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Australian Senate Kills Emissions Trading Scheme Bill

Australia's carbon trading laws were defeated in parliament's upper house Senate on Thursday, leaving the government's plan to curb greenhouse-gas emissions in disarray and raising speculation of an early snap election.

--Reuters, 13 August 2009

The Australian Senate has defeated legislation to establish an emissions trading scheme, forcing the Government to negotiate with the Opposition or persist with its bill with the threat of an early election. The Coalition and independent senator Nick Xenophon want the Government to consider an alternative scheme.

Family First's Steve Fielding is yet to be convinced human activity is causing global warming. In the end the Senate voted 42 to 30 to reject the bills.

--Phillip Coorey, The Sydney Morning Herald, 13 August 2009

The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) and the American Council for Capital Formation (ACCF) released a study Wednesday that found under a high-cost scenario the House global warming bill could reduce economic growth by 2.4 percent and cost 2 million jobs by 2030. The business groups' figures will likely provide opponents of capping carbon more ammunition and could add to the angst of senators from industrial states. One key finding is that the climate bill will hurt the manufacturing sector particularly hard.

--Jim Snyder, The Hill, 12 August 2009

A senior U.N. environmental official says entire nations could be wiped off the face of the Earth by rising sea levels if the global warming trend is not reversed by the year 2000. Coastal flooding and crop failures would create an exodus of "eco-refugees," threatening political chaos, said Noel Brown, director of the New York office of the United Nations U.N. Environment Program, or UNEP. He said governments have a 10-year window of opportunity to solve the problem.

--The Miami Herald, 5 July 1989

The world may have little more than a decade to avert catastrophic climate change, politicians and scientists say.

--Alex Kirby, BBC News Online, 24 January 2005

The world has less than 10 years to halt the global rise in greenhouse gas emissions if we are to avoid catastrophic consequences for people and the planet.

--UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, 10 August 2009

In reality, the United Nations can't even maintain its own headquarters, manage its own books and keep its tens of thousands of peacekeepers under control, let alone save the world. The UN is an extraordinarily badly run institution, rife with corruption and mismanagement, that shields some of the most odious tyrants on the face of the earth. If Ban Ki-moon really wants to make a bigger impact on the world stage he should condemn North Korea's barbaric enslavement of millions of its own people in forced labour camps, speak out against Iran's nuclear weapons program, fraudulent elections and mass violations of human rights, and stand up to tyrannical regimes from Pyongyang to Khartoum.

--Nile Gardiner, The Daily Telegraph, 12 August 2009


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