WHEN Julia Gillard declared six days before the last election that "there will be no carbon tax" our hearts sank. This had been the last chance for urgently needed action to reduce Australia's carbon emissions.
For years under Howard nothing had been done, even to hold steady our emissions.
In 2007 there was much concern and Australia voted for Kevin Rudd partly for his commitment to act on "the great moral challenge of the generation".
Sadly indeed this was a challenge he was unable to rise to and the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme his government created would actually have assured Australia's ongoing status as global climate action pariah and shelter for the world's dig and burn billionaires.
The Greens, who manage to preserve a modicum of independence from the rich and powerful, as well as some disdain for their treatment of our only home, couldn't vote for the scheme even though they were desperate to "put a price on carbon".
After political difficulties over the Emissions Trading Scheme, the Greens began advocating a Carbon Tax, ironically an alternative previously favoured by Tony Abbott.
When Julia Gillard had the chance to save the country from the COALition by joining with the Greens, her only option was to adopt this carbon tax, and break her earlier promise.
At least there was now a chance of joining other nations benefiting from expanding renewable energy supplies and cooperative action.
- DAVID MACILWAIN,