Killing two birds with one underhanded stone
Posted by Dave Bath on 2009-09-28
If it’s considered OK to pay money for carbon credits to developing nations for not burning forests that would otherwise be burned and release significant carbon dioxide, perhaps it’s possible to argue the same for ancient forests (coal), after transferring title to Australian coalfields to our indigenous communities who are demonstrably living in third-world conditions, then excise those lands from Australia (we did it to Christmas Island) and grant them to a new indigenous nation, which, because of current appalling living standards, would qualify as a developing nation, and thus eligible for "non-burning" credits.
It might sound like an underhanded ridiculous rort, but it’s no more ridiculous than the way not burning forests can get carbon credits in places like Indonesia and the Amazon.
Besides, it would let white Australia cynically wash their hands of a couple of centuries of guilt and responsibilities, funnel funds directly to indigenous communities, and as the coal-rich communities would still require goods and services from the rest of the mainland, our economy would gain just as many benefits as it does (supposedly) from subsidies to miners and others in the Big Carbon Mafia.
Just because it might be cynical and underhanded doesn’t mean that our politicians wouldn’t jump at it.
No, I don’t think such a rort is the right thing to do, but as a thought experiment, raising the issues associated with the rorts of carbon credits for non-deforestation, it does prompt some useful points to think about.
Besides, Aussie Rules Footy would instantly become an international game, with a VERY competitive new international team that would be a joy to watch, and send even more funds (from TV rights, etc) to indigenous communities. This way, it becomes easier to argue that Aussie Rules should be an olympic sport, and this might assuage the anger of the rednecks and a possible political backlash.
Again, that’s a smartarse tongue-in-cheek remark… but again it raises the issue of what sort of things might make necessary economic restructuring more palatable to those who’d still love to be able to vote for Pauline Hanson.