Saturday, November 24, 2007

Australia: The First Election Decided Because of Global Warming

300th post

Today, Australians went to the polls and voted for a new direction. They voted out the incumbent, John Howard, and voted in Kevin Rudd.

The opinion is held wisely that Howard was voted out because of his failing economic policies – wait, excuse me, I’m being handed a note by my producer. It appears that – no! Howard’s economic policies were hugely successful! High economic growth, low unemployment, relatively low interest rates, tax reform, a more flexible workplace, zero Government debt, excellent international credit rating, strong investment in defense force funding, the list continues. This is strange…

Why was Howard voted out? Because of global warming. Australia is the only major industrialized country other than the U.S. not to sign the Kyoto Protocol. Howard was the staunchest backer of the Bush administration’s environmental policy. Australians seem to be very displeased not with the economic direction of their country, but the environmental direction.

Why? One report suggests that Australia, because of its geographic position and natural climate, will be hit hard by global warming.

Okay. Maybe there were one or two other policies the Aussies didn’t like. Like his support of the Iraq war, and his decision to send troops there.

But it is pretty safe to say that one of the major issues this election was global warming. Hopefully, the environment will be just as important in other elections.