If you’ve seen the movie Bonnie and Clyde, you’ll remember the stylish Faye Dunaway as Bonnie Parker and Warren Beatty as the roguish Clyde Barrow. Parker and Barrow were Depression-era bank robbers in the American heartland who captured the attention of many around the country with their daring exploits in the 1930’s. You also know how the movie ended.
Upon arriving in Sydney, Australia yesterday, Al Gore blasted the environmental policies of both Australia and the United States. Will the AU-US partnership in blocking meaningful change to combat the problems posed by Climate Change hold up and for how long?
Gore is trying to cause a split between ‘Bonnie’ (Australia) and ‘Clyde’ (United States) and explicitly suggesting that being an outlaw can, ultimately, be harmful to your environmental health.
According to The Sydney Morning Herald, here’s what Gore said in a speech yesterday
The former US vice-president Al Gore says a change of policy by Australia to support the Kyoto Protocol would be the final nail in the coffin of the Bush Administration’s opposition to the climate change treaty.
Addressing a $1000-a-head business lunch at Darling Harbour, Mr Gore used one of his favourite lines – describing Australia and the US as “Bonnie and Clyde” environmental outlaws – as he launched a passionate attack on the climate policies of John Howard and George Bush.
He called on Australia to change course, saying if it did, “it would be impossible for the United States to withstand the pressure” to join the rest of the world in ratifying Kyoto.
A Passionate Al Gore Blasting the Environmental
‘Axis of Evil’ Yesterday in Sydney, Australia
Gore’s trip, only a few weeks before the expected Australian elections this coming November, raises a couple of interesting questions
* What specifically are Gore’s objections to this unholy partnership between Australia and the United States?
* Can Gore, through his scathing criticism of the Australian government headed by conservative Prime Minister John Howard, cause a change in governments in the next election?
A bit of background on Australian politics. The Australian government, led since 1996 by Liberal (read: conservative) Party Prime Minister John Howard, has been a part of the coalition of the bribed and coerced in Iraq since 2001. Additionally, along with the Bush Administration, it remains adamantly opposed to reaching a “post-Kyoto accord” on Climate Change. The opposition Labor Party, led by Kevin Rudd, has promised full cooperation on such an accord. And, has been leading 55%-45% in the latest poll, though Howard’s party remains optimistic that it can win the election which must be held by mid-November. Is this interference in another country’s upcoming elections? Gore, obviously, hasn’t commented on that aspect on his trip but given his low opinion of Bush’s environmental and Iraq policies, I’m sure it would give Gore great satisfaction in seeing a Bush ally go down to political defeat.
The Melbourne Herald Sun, the country’s biggest-selling newspaper, reports that Gore will attend a major environmental forum tomorrow in Melbourne, where he’ll meet with additional Labor Party leaders. The environment figures to be a major issue in the election
Tomorrow’s forum at Docklands features speakers discussing sustainability issues such as transport, water and energy.
Australian of the Year Mr Flannery will feature in a session about the pressures on ecosystems, highlighting eroding hotspots around the world and strategies to reduce negative impacts on biodiversity.
(Labor’s Environmental Spokesman, Peter) Garrett said Labor had promised to fund a $50 million Australian Solar Institute and provide $10,000 low-interest loans for green home improvements such as solar hot water systems.
Commenting on reports about the extraordinary loss of arctic sea ice this summer, Gore added this is his Sydney speech
“In the last three weeks, the amount of ice melting at the Arctic has been completely unprecedented,” he said.
“In six days, an area the size of the US state of Florida disappeared. The week before that, an area almost twice the size of Britain disappeared… the experts are saying if we don’t act with urgency and dispatch, the entire polar ice cap could be completely gone in less than 23 years.”
One observer said the former vice-president spoke with “missionary zeal”.
Raising his voice almost to shouting, Mr Gore said: “It’s about survival.”
Memo to Al Gore: after you’ve accomplished your mission in Australia, come back to the United States as soon as possible. The other outlaw partner of this environmental ‘Axis of Evil’ could use some tough love. We desperately need regime change here as well as a proven, experienced, and visionary leader providing sorely-needed leadership on issues such as Climate Change, Iraq Occupation, and restoring this country’s economy. You’ve provided leadership before and you can do it again. Otherwise, we’re going down like Bonnie and Clyde.
As you said after the 2000 Election
“If I had to do it all over again, I’d just let it rip,” Gore said a year ago. “To hell with the polls, the tactics and all the rest. I would have poured out my heart and my vision for America’s future.”
Indeed, “let it rip,” Al. This is your moment in our nation’s history.