UPDATE: The Who-wants-to-be-called-a-pariah argument has been wheeled out again in July 2015, see Forget the climate — Spend billions to stop Australia being called names like “Pariah” and “Denier”
According to the Guardian, Australia is almost a Climate Pariah TM, and owes the world an apology for voting to repeal the Carbon Tax.
What chilling effect, I wondered, did being a pariah have on international tourists?
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, in July 2014 as the Carbon Tax was finally removed, tourists voted with their feet … and flocked to come. A record 573,100 visitors arrived in Australia from all over the world. Year on year tourism from May 2013 – May 2014 grew by 8%.
Pariah status it appears, may count for Guardian and NY Times columnists, but not so much for the rest of the world.
Josh Bornstein of The Guardian says Australia is seen as a dirty polluter. The Axis of Carbon!
“This is how the New York Times responded to the scrapping of the carbon price scheme:
At a time when president Obama is seeking emissions limits on new and existing power plants, and when many scientists are arguing for major reductions in fossil-fuel use by 2050 to keep global warming within manageable limits, Australia – among the world’s highest emitters per capita of carbon dioxide – has chosen to become an outlier.
“Slate went further, condemning the “rapacious policies of the current government”. In an article headed The Saudi Arabia of the South Pacific, it told its readers how Australia became the dirtiest polluter in the developed world. Strictly speaking, both publications are wrong. Australia is not alone; it constitutes one half of the Canada-Australia axis of carbon.
The “rapacious policies of the current government” are evidently not too much of a turn off. For short term visits, the top ten groups of citizens came from New Zealand, the UK, Malaysia, Singapore, China, Hong Kong, Korea, India, USA, and “other”.
Similarly international student enrolments grew 10%. Chinese, Indian and Vietnamese parents were keen to pay big dollars for their offspring to learn in a pariah nation.
Even Bornstein admits skeptics are having fun:
Prime minister Abbott once famously described climate science as “crap”; he typifies a discernible demographic trend in his country. For white men aged 50 and over, climate change skepticism seems to be our new national sport, perhaps even more popular than golf.
Jealous Josh? Join us, it sure beats propping up a dying religion and defending a tax that was supposed to change the weather.
Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics 3401.0 – Overseas Arrivals and Departures, Australia, Jul 2014