For a perfect example of what is meant by "gesture politics" - an empty pledge given solely for effect, which the politician has no hope of honouring - one could not do better than this week's commitment by the G8 leaders on how they want us to fight climate change.
Sitting on their cloud-wreathed Japanese mountain top, they solemnly agreed that, to halt global warming, their countries would aim by 2050 to halve their emissions of carbon dioxide.
A tiny indication of the fact that they didn't really have a clue what they were talking about was a slip by Japan's prime minister, Yasuo Fukuda, when he had to be corrected for announcing that the CO2 cut would be measured from "1990 levels".
More than 9 million motorists face road tax increases of up to £245 under the Government's "green" car tax plans, the Treasury has admitted.
Nearly half of all drivers will be hit with significant rises in Vehicle Excise Duty (VED), while fewer than one in five will see any benefit from the reforms, according to official data.
The figures directly contradict Gordon Brown's claim in the House of Commons that most drivers will actually gain from the changes.
They have also intensified pressure on Alistair Darling for a rethink on the plans.
The Chancellor has already assured angry Labour MPs that he will look again at the reforms in the autumn, but some ministers now believe he must publicly ditch the scheme before then.
When I was the political reporter and weekend anchor at WISN TV, the CBS affiliate in Milwaukee, John Coleman was our weatherman. He was a strong conservative and was known for his sense of humor. One time it had rained for 30 days straight. Coleman said if it rained on the 31st day he would produce the weather forecast standing on his head. It rained. He did it. Another time the camera opened on a wide shot of a blindfolded John Coleman throwing darts at a dartboard labeled “Hot,” “Cold,” “Snow,” “Rain,” “Sunny,” “Cloudy,” “Fog,” “Drizzle” and so on.
He had had a string of days when his forecasts had been erroneous. John said “Well, this probably is as good as my forecasts these days.” Coleman went on to be the weatherman on “Good Morning America” for seven years. He began the weather channel with his life savings. He subsequently has forecast the weather in New York and Chicago. Today he says his retirement job is weatherman for KUSI in San Diego.
Environmentalism enforced by political correctness is destroying our country. Simply put, it has been turned into a cult religion.
An excellent example is what we are seeing today at the gas pumps. We are now seeing how our energy dependency is getting us right where it hurts — the pocket book and our economy. Diesel fuel, the live blood of our commerce has surpassed $5 a gallon. Gasoline is $4. What are your plans for vacations this summer? What about those who just need it to get to work, but can't afford it? Why the high prices, you ask? We have not built a refinery (you know, the place oil is turned into gasoline!) in this country in over 30 years. Why? Environmentalists. We are told there is a shortage of oil. Must be because they want $130 a barrel, soon to be $150, maybe $200.
The reality is, we have plenty of oil right here at home. When those visionaries asked to drill in the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) in Alaska, they were told, "Oh no, it will take 10 years anyway." Who said that, the environmentalists. Well, that was 10 years ago. It would be kind of nice if we had that oil now, wouldn't it?
Ever wonder how Al Gore, the United Nations, and company continue to get away with their claim of a “scientific consensus” confirming their doomsday view of global warming? Look no farther than Wikipedia for a stunning example of how the global-warming propaganda machine works.
As you (or your kids) probably know, Wikipedia is now the most widely used and influential reference source on the Internet and therefore in the world, with more than 50 million unique visitors a month.
In theory Wikipedia is a “people’s encyclopedia” written and edited by the people who read it - anyone with an Internet connection. So on controversial topics, one might expect to see a broad range of opinion.
THERE is one constant surrounding the global warming debate: There is no shortage of self-styled climate experts to make diabolical predictions and cast shadows of doom and gloom.
Apparently global warming will expose Australians to tropical disease from which their previously temperate climate offered protection. Never mind that malaria was previously endemic through Europe during the Little Ice Age of the 17th century. The disease was rife through Russia until the middle 20th century, with thousands dying at Archangel on the Arctic Circle. The climate experts making the dire predictions seem to not recognise that disease is eradicated by good public health management, not by regulating the climate.
Then we have those who predict the demise of our beautiful natural environment from increased carbon dioxide levels and warmer temperatures. Never mind that our natural biosphere evolved in an earlier climate when the concentration of carbon dioxide, the natural food of plants but now demonised as a pollutant, was much higher than now. The way that most plants respond to increased carbon dioxide is much like people after enforced starvation — they take in more food and grow bigger!
ENVIRONMENTALISTS said they are ready to be arrested when they try to shut down Australia's coal export industry on Sunday.
With the debate on climate change hotting up, protesters plan to blockade a Newcastle railway line which carries coal trains to port.
Lobby group Friends of the Earth said 500 to 1000 people are expected to join in, with some to walk along the railway line or sit on it to stop the coal trains.
Campaign coordinator Cam Walker said the police might step in, and some protesters were prepared to be arrested.
"Certainly there will be people who would be prepared to do that," he said.
However, he said the group was not advocating people court arrest at this stage.