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Carbon rationing or freedom

By Jennifer Marohasy - posted Friday, 14 March 2008


There was diversity of opinion among delegates at the conference as to the causes of global warming in the last 100 years, and also little consensus regarding the future of fossil fuels.

Benny Peiser from Liverpool University in the UK, acknowledged that governments worldwide had no real solutions to rising emission levels but that solutions would come through geo-engineering and the development of solar energy.

In contrast, Michael Economides from the University of Houston in the US suggested this was a pie in the sky fantasy. Professor Economides said the world was likely to continue to source most of its energy from fossil fuels for the foreseeable future.

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Perhaps it all depends on the extent to which governments in developed countries, including Australia, are prepared to risk a fall in their GDP by insisting on a real reduction in carbon emissions before new low emissions technologies are in place.

Such social engineering, President Klaus warned, would be disastrous.

Instead, we perhaps have to restart the discussion about the very nature of government and about the relationship between the individual and society. Should governments let climate alarmists impose policies designed to limit an individual’s access to energy?

We do need to relearn the lessons from the collapse of communism nearly 20 years ago. It is not just about climatology; it is also about freedom.

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Jennifer Marohasy was a delegate at the 2008 International Conference on Climate Change, March 2-4, 2008, New York City.

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About the Author

Jennifer Marohasy is a senior fellow with the Institute for Public Affairs.

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