Saturday, January 27, 2007

green is the new true blue

Tim Flannery, Australian of the Year:

"There's been a decade of delay, and that's put us in quite a difficult position. Hard steps are now required [whereas] a decade ago we may have been able to take smaller and easier ones."
(Source: SMH, 26 January 2007: "Flannery berates Howard on climate")

John Howard, blithely:
"Does it embarrass me? No it doesn't," Mr Howard said. "We do live in a democracy and I'm not so thin-skinned and so desiring (of) uniformity that I want every Australian of the Year to engage in fulsome praise of the Government or of me."
(Source: The Weekend Australian, 27 January 2007: "Flannery choice not bid to embarrass PM")

I don't know if Howard gets the distinction between being embarrassed just because someone has criticised you, and being embarrassed about the substance of the criticism and the credibility of the critic. Flippantly brushing it off as 'just someone's different opinion' means Howard evidently doesn't take Flannery's opinions very seriously at all.
It should embarrass Howard that he has done nothing for the environment at all during his decade in power. It should embarrass him that he's been shown to have woeful judgment on yet another critical issue. It should embarrass him that he is only now waking up and smelling the coffee, at around five to midnight on the Doomsday clock.
Doubtless this year we'll see more of Howard hastily attempting to paint himself a lovely pale shade of green, but I think voters will be quite cynical about such born-again environmentalism-lite.