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Small business would be damaged under the Kyoto protocol

By Graeme Haycroft - posted Thursday, 15 August 2002


If Andrew Craig speaks for Commerce Queensland (Courier Mail, Perspectives, 10/07/02), then Commerce Queensland is out of contact with the interests of Australian business, especially small business. Commerce Queensland, as Queensland's peak employer body, should be protecting business. Instead, they demonstrate once again that at the first sign of a threat they run up the white flag.

We know that Kyoto protocols are based on shaky science. Many reputable scientists assert that the world's temperature moves in cycles, and that the influence of human activity on those cycles is barely perceptible.

According to The Wall Street Journal of 11 June 2001, more than17,000 US scientists, among them Richard Lindzen of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who worked on studies on climate change by both the National Research Council and United Nations, have expressed serious doubts about the link between global warming and man-made carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels.

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James K Glassman and Sallie Baliunas wrote in The Weekly Standard of 25 June 2001 that highly-accurate, carefully-documented NASA satellite and balloon monitoring have shown no warming of the troposphere in over 25 years.

Tom Randall of the National Center for Public Policy Research (June 2002) acknowledges that in the past century there has been a rise in surface temperatures of about half a degree Fahrenheit. "Most of this occurred prior to 1940, followed by slight cooling from 1940 to 1975 and some slight warming from 1975 until now - definitely not a pattern consistent with climate change caused by increasing amounts of carbon dioxide in the air".

If the world is getting warmer, then there is no certainty that this is a bad thing. We certainly know that when it last got really cold in the 12th century that the effect on human habitation, particularly in Greenland was devastating.

There exists a coterie of international bureaucrats who have a vested interest in frightening nations into signing up to a regime which is intended to increase the powers of international bureaucrats, undermine national sovereignty and jack up the costs of doing business. Every Queensland business which depends on energy inputs has its viability threatened by the Kyoto Protocol. A reduction in greenhouse emissions translates to rising energy prices, which would mean greater cost for already struggling small businesses.

There is no substance to Andrew Craig's claim that Australian business might suffer if the Australian Government does not ratify the Kyoto Protocol but there is an absolute guarantee that every Australian small business, which either depends on energy inputs or relies on other businesses which do, will be worse off if we are stupid enough to ratify it.

In contributing handsomely to feeding and clothing the world, Australia produces crops which require heavy consumption of fuel for ploughing, planting, harvesting and transportation, and also fertiliser which consumes energy. Australian primary producers and small businesses already have quite enough bureaucrats ordering them around and impeding their productivity.

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The Small Business Union, which now competes directly with Commerce Queensland to provide services to other small business employer associations and professional groups, is all about protecting Queensland small business from adverse influences, wherever they may be.

Andrew Craig bleats: "Our environmental and renewable energy industries clearly will suffer if excluded from the international scene." Compared to Queensland's mighty coal industry, solar energy is a toy, and, moreover a very expensive toy. Even in draughty Denmark, much-touted wind energy is still unprofitable, according to Herbert Inhabler (TechCentralStation of 11 July 2002), who points out that Denmark remains heavily dependent on coal.

The United States of America has no doubts about the Kyoto Protocol, the U.S. Senate having voted 95-0 on July 25, 1997 to reject any treaty that would harm the American economy or fail to require developing nations to reduce emissions. Australia would be very wise to align itself with the USA on this vitally important issue.

If Commerce Queensland believes Australia should seek compliance with Kyoto, small business should ask if their interests are being represented.

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This article was first published in The Courier-Mail on July 22, 2002.



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About the Author

Graeme Haycroft has been involved in workplace issues for over four decades. He is one of the founders of the Nurses Professional Association of Queensland.

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