Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Open email to Wayne Swan, Federal Treasurer

To: Wayne Swan, Federal Treasurer
Cc: Tim Blair, Daily Telegraph
Bcc: Global Warming Watch

Re: Gettin' me some of that Global Warming Religion

Dear Mr Swan,

Firstly, thank you for organising with Tim to answer the questions raised by his thought-provoking article in Saturday's Daily Telegraph.

Any questions about this column should be addressed to

I wondered about the wisdom of your accepting the hospital-pass, and tacking the weighty climate change issues Tim aired for his knowledge-starved readership — you must be busy delivering my tax-cuts. But it soon becomes apparent how clever Tim is. You are the Treasurer after all (btw, congratulation your new job, and good luck).

As you know, Tim is considering switching his belief system — Capitalism, it seems — to "Join the Green revolution!", and his article is about his due diligence.

My questions, which I now raise to you, are:

1) What part of that bloody year long electoral assault did I sleep though to miss the news that global warming awareness is now a religion?

"Ditch your old ways of thinking," emailers urge. "Join the Green revolution!"

Very well. I'm game.

But first, some due diligence is required. Before signing any contracts, a fellow needs to know his new belief system is in sound working order, unburdened by internal contradictions and free of technical glitches that may end up causing frustrating warranty claims.

Now, I had always thought that climate science, like any science, was more about establishing the the absence of belief. But hey, if living green is somehow a new religion, so be it; You are the new Government. And Tim's a good journo.

So... I re-use, reclaim and recycle.

I offset. I vegetate with drought-tolerant natives. I pay extra for green electricity. I invest in energy-efficient lighting. Catch public transport, or I fill up on E10 at an indy petrol station, getting between 8-12 litres to the 100kms. I wear out more shoe leather than before. Often I don't travel, I Skype instead. I eat locally produced, and less meat now. I consume conscientiously. It's all going rather well, and it's a welcome change from the frenetic pace of before. My doctor is happier with me, and food tastes better. Well, I do some of these things.

So you can imagine my joy at the startling news that now Greed is Good Green is God, Tim's endorsement of you as Australia's first Treasure-Priest. He clearly understands that the acid test for any religion is not evidence of a creation myth, or ancient sacred-texts, or holy men and religious leaders, rituals, festivals, houses of worship, and land.

All that stuff is nice to have for your religion taxonomist, but Tim knows that a tax-free status is what's definitive. Which is why he referred me to you, no doubt: My second question is:

2) Where's my tax deduction for expenses occurred in all of the above?

It doesn't stop there. I don't want to go as far as Cate Blanchett's $1.5 million greenovation of her Hunter's Hill mansion, but I do want to throw a few squid on the solar panels BBQ.

Unless I see a fat little rebate in my tax-return, I'm forced to conclude that climate science is exactly that, science, not faith. And to look twice at the rest of Tim's claims.

Like his problem with your new prime minister appointing a petrol commissioner to monitor price-fixing among petrol companies.

But he also vowed to appoint a petrol price commissioner to monitor big oil companies, with the aim of keeping fuel prices down. Now, the purpose of ratifying Kyoto is to cut our carbon emissions; but the result of cheaper fuel will be to increase carbon emissions.

Tim's not really making a clear conversion from his Capitalism here, which clearly is Orthodox Cartel Capitalism, as distinct from Free-Market Capitalism. He's arguing against ratifying Kyoto, yet wants to limit emissions by ignoring the week-to-week evidence of oil-industry price-collusion.

But I like his argument that Green is the New Religion. I want a tax advantage for my carbon cuts since I am doing my bit.

Yours, in speaking truth to green power,


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