Welcome to Durban

The Australian 7 December 2011

Back in the old days day, when they had proper music on the radio, politicians used to be far better at pretending that politics wasn’t simply a matter of victory to the lobby group which was best at kicking and screaming. Of course, they were innocent times, and it comforted us to think that sometimes things happened because they were a sensible idea.

Then along came global warming, the solution to which (after all the kicking and screaming about the science had quietened down a bit) was a pretty straightforward try to stop burning fossil fuels as much as possible. 

Sadly, it turns out that this was in fact straightforward in the same way that smoking cigarettes will give you cancer/give you a heart attack/cause your foot to drop off/make you smell funny etc seems straightforward. That is, not at all, especially when there’s rather a lot of cash involved, which means the professional kickers and screamers get some gainful employment and everyone’s happy apart from the people with cancer, heart trouble, fewer than two feet or unusual odour who, to illustrate my general point about the straightforwardness of things as pertaining to human nature, had been pretty thoroughly warned.

Where was I? Kyoto. Yes, everybody got together at Kyoto where the idea of trying to burn less fossil fuels turned out to be extremely complicated and involve a lot of kicking and screaming, which, if you’ve looked into it at all, is a bit of a pity. Anyway, there was another meeting in Copenhagen recently where nothing much happened, mainly I suspect because somebody decided to call it “Hopenhagen” which was a pretty convincing argument against making any attempt at saving the human race from extinction whatsoever.

Anyway, the show has rolled on to Durban where most of the discussion will be about the Kyoto Protocol which was adopted in 1997, quite along time ago when you’re talking about potentially catastrophic changes to the planet’s climate, you’d think. Luckily though, there’s not that much you can really do with “Durban” as far as awful nicknames go, so you never know your luck.

Posted in political cartoons, The Australian.

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