CANBERRA, Australia — Lawmakers Thursday rejected legislation aimed at capping greenhouse-gas emissions in Australia, in a widely-expected move that could be used by the center-left Labor government to justify an early election if it can’t convince key conservatives to back the plan in coming months.
Labor’s plan to introduce a carbon trading program in July 2011 — similar to a European one in place since 2005 — was defeated by 42 votes to 30 in the Senate, where Labor doesn’t have a majority, and needs the support of the main conservative opposition, or other smaller parties, to pass laws.
The government may be able to revive some form of climate program in future months. But it would likely have to agree to further concessions to win enough support from key Senators from the conservative Liberal-National coalition.
Climate Change Minister Penny Wong said earlier Thursday that the government is willing to negotiate with opposition leader Malcolm Turnbull over any “serious and credible” amendments.
(End WSJ report)
In June, Australian Senator Steve Fielding attended the third International Conference on Climate Change in Washington D.C., produced by The Heartland Institute. And since early August, Jay Lehr, Ph.D., Heartland’s science director, has been in the midst of a 15-city tour of Australia to confront the issue whether global warming is at crisis levels and whether human activity plays a role.
Earlier this week, Lehr appeared on Australian Broadcasting Corp.’s LateLine. Here’s a transcript from the network of his interview with reporter Margot O’Neill:
LEIGH SALES, PRESENTER: You may remember that in June, Senator Fielding attended a major climate change conference in Washington. It was hosted by the conservative American think tank The Heartland Institute.
The body’s chief scientist, Dr Jay Lehr, is currently touring Australia, as Margot O’Neill reports.
MARGOT O’NEIL, REPORTER: Dr Jay Lehr is in Australia rallying the troops against what he describes as the evil forces which have duped us to believe in global warming.
Last week he was in Melbourne speaking at the Institute of Public Affairs.
DR JAY LEHR, HEARTLAND INSTITUTE: Man-caused climate change is among the greatest scams that has ever been inflicted on society. It is indeed. And I’m going to show you how to stay with the battle, because we are battling ultimately the forces of evil here.
MARGOT O’NEIL: Today Dr Lehr was in Sydney for a meeting of climate sceptics, again warning about the dangers of the Government’s emissions trading scheme.
DR JAY LEHR: You will be told how far you can drive a car, how much fuel you can use. Ultimately perhaps, how many children people can have because we create carbon dioxide.
MARGOT O’NEIL: Dr Lehr says he can explain the origins of what he calls the global warming scam. It started with environmental extremists, but now encompasses thousands of scientists around the world as well as governments, the Pentagon, the CIA and just about every major international corporation.
DR JAY LEHR: First, the environmental zealot groups got together and decided this was a way to scare the public and before there was any opposition they got the public really scared. And then they enlisted financiers who realised if we can trade carbon credits there was a huge amount of money to make — literally trillions of dollars. Then the government realised, if they can control carbon dioxide emissions, they control life in general.
MARGOT O’NEIL: The 73-year-old hydrologist from Ohio has written more than 20 books, but admits he has never published any peer-reviewed research on climate science.
But that doesn’t matter to him or his supporters.
DR JAY LEHR: If you’re a scientist and you know how to evaluate science, if you know how to read equations and you know how to deal with numbers and how to evaluate evidence, you don’t have to have published in a climate journal.
MARGOT O’NEIL: Dr Lehr made this DVD of his favourite hobby. He holds the world skydiving record for parachuting from a plane every month since August 1978. He says he has to be an optimist to keep jumping out of planes, unlike climate change alarmists whom he says are fear-mongering about rising carbon emissions.
DR JAY LEHR: I don’t know anybody in the United States who wouldn’t love to have the average temperature of their town be two degrees Fahrenheit warmer. And I don’t know any old people who would rather live in a cold climate.
MARGOT O’NEIL: Dr Lehr says carbon dioxide is not pollution and the intergovernmental panel on climate change science is wrong.
DR JAY LEHR: You will know in a few years, I’m 100 percent right and you’re 100 percent wrong. And you’ll be … you will look back economically and say you were scammed.
MARGOT O’NEIL: His hosts here are the Australian Climate Science Coalition.