A few people I have spoken to over the last couple of weeks, people who are otherwise intelligent as far as I can tell, have told me they intend to vote for the Greens in the Senate.
When asked why, they usually respond by saying they think the Greens will do a better job of protecting the environment.
So I ask if they can tell me about any specific Greens policies.
‘No. Well, they’re in favour of the environment.’
‘OK. How do their specific policies differ from those of the Labor or Liberal parties?’
The Greens win votes by making sure people don’t know about their policies. There’s just a general fluffy, let’s be nice to green things and furry things feel about them.
But there is nothing green or pleasantly furry about the Greens.
Just consider two Greens policies, one which will impact on everyone, and one which will impact on a few in real need.
First, the Greens have made it clear that if Labor depends on them, even occasionally, to get legislation through the Senate, the price of their co-operation will be a carbon tax.
A Carbon tax will have no positive effect on the environment.
Human activity has had a miniscule impact on the level of CO2 in the atmosphere – from about 3 particles per 10,000 to about 4 particles per 10,000. And that is assuming we are to blame for all of that small increase over the last 100 years. But we don’t know. It really is just an assumption. CO2 levels change all the time. They have been much higher in the past, and sometimes lower.
Higher is good. During the Carboniferous period, when most modern trees evolved, temperatures were about the same as they are now. CO2 levels were three times higher than now. At current levels, trees and other green things are Carbon deprived. For plants, surviving at current levels of CO2 is like our surviving on Oxygen depleted air. Less CO2 means less green, not more.
More CO2 means better crops, and more resilience in forests and wetlands.
So a carbon tax is bad for the environment. It is also bad for industry, because it is a tax on energy, which means it is a tax on transport, manufacture, travel, power generation, etc, etc, etc.
Everything will be more expensive, for no point whatever.
This is what voting for the Greens means.
A second Greens policy is the closure of the Lucas Heights reactor.
I have mentioned this to a few people, and the response is always something like: ‘Well that’s OK. Good. We don’t need any nuclear reactors in Australia anyway.’
Actually we do. They are a cheap, clean, sustainable form of energy production that will reduce our dependence on coal and imported fuels. But that is not the immediate point.
The Lucas Heights reactor produces the isotopes required for nuclear medicine. Radiotherapy. Diagnosing and treating cancer.
1.5 million doses of nuclear medicine (radiotherapy) are administered in Australia every year.
If the Greens have their way on this, cancer patients in Australia will die because a basic modern form of treatment will not be available to them.
Know what you are voting for.