Sunday, April 22, 2007

Howard prays drought not linked to global warming

Looks like I am not the only one to think that the Australian Prime Minister's threat to cut off water to our farmers unless heavy rains fall soon, is strange, or strangely timed, or political. :::[SMH: Letters to the Editor]

Rain is not the only thing in this Government's prayers

Gotta love it. After 10-plus years of squandering the nation's natural resources, refusing to invest in alternative energy and squandering finances by taking us into an illegal war in a faraway place that is no threat to Australia's security on nothing but lies and by deception, and with the wells running dry, John Howard and his incompetents tell us all to pray for rain.

Forget God save the Queen. How about God save Australia - from this Government?

S. Cavli Como West

The Howard Government's involvement in the fate of the Murray-Darling river systems over the past 10 years matches its involvement and policy on climate change. It stands back and allows every last cent to be dragged out of the environment until the damage is done, then it thinks about a plan.

The state of the rivers offers a preview of what will happen in the wider environment if the Government continues to put profits before sustainability.

M. Pearce Richmond

When John Howard was asked if he showers with a bucket, he thought that was "a bit extreme", but he does not blink cutting off access to the Murray-Darling to our food producers.

Come on, John, we want to see you tipping the morning bucket on the garden like the rest of us, not striding out in your trackies with a bevy of minders. Think global, act local.

Melissa Ward Bilambil Heights

While not doubting the power of prayer, is it the best option for a government's water policy?

John Cook Chatswood

Pray? After years of ignoring climate change experts, the looming economic train crash has galvanised John Howard into action.

And, at this 11th hour, the power of prayer is all he can come up with. Not good enough, I'm afraid.

C. Northcott Oatley

Before the last federal election we were being "alarmed" about terrorism. A few months from the next election, we are being "alarmed" about water shortages and the effect on the economy.

I am truly alarmed about how a government in office for more than a decade has allowed the situation to reach such critical proportions.

L. Francis Jannali

Consulted the tea leaves and chicken entrails this morning and they indicate praying for rain will have exactly the same effect as Costello praying to be handed the prime ministership.

Rog Cooper Boambee East

With water so scarce, it is time to choose. I'd rather eat fruit and veggies than cotton.

Gillian Scoular Annandale

The answer to the water shortage may well be the election of Kevin Rudd.

Weeks after Bob Hawke's election in 1983, the rains came and a drought was broken. Surely, a case of rainfall rates always being higher under Labor.

David Bolton Loftus

By week's end, we were reduced to prayer - for rain to save the Murray-Darling. But even the most devout thought the Prime Minister's prayer plan was unlikely to effectively restore our once great river system. As Geoffrey Cowling wrote: "Why does John Howard think God would answer the prayers of a man who will not even sign the Kyoto accord?"

Jennie Curtin, letters editor

Other reports:

The Sydney Morning Herald headlines with the threat to wetlands. :::[Drain wetlands to save towns]

EIGHT wetlands face being drained to free up water along the Murray-Darling as John Howard warns that Australia may have to import more food to cope with the historic drying of the basin.

The same paper editorialises that the link between global warming is not definitive, and somehow presents Rudd as the opportunist, rather unfairly, I thought. :::[Looking to the heavens for an answer to the drought]

While there may yet be proof of a link between global warming and the drought, Mr Howard is entitled to be sceptical. After all, Australia had droughts - long droughts, extreme droughts - well before talk of climate change.

Whatever the facts, the problem for Mr Howard is that drought and climate change have become messily entangled in the public mind. It is a perilous confusion for the Government in an election year - a confusion Labor will happily encourage. The Opposition Leader, Kevin Rudd, has taken out time from lecturing the Americans about the Chinese to say that while Mr Howard could not make it rain, of course he should have done more about climate change. Such politicking may leave Mr Rudd looking not merely petty but irrelevant as the full ramifications of the drought become clear.

And here it the controversial report itself. :::[Murray-Darling Basin Report]

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