Junkets abroad, handsomely-paid positions at home – no wonder government employees love the environment.

Some days it’s difficult not to see the environment as a bounteous goody bag for government employees. Yesterday, Steve Lewis reported that the better part of $1 million was spent sending Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard and a retinue of 50 other individuals to the Rio+20 eco summit in Brazil last June.

Many of those people apparently flew business class and spent up to 12 days out-of-the-office. Lewis says the bill for the 2009 Copenhagen climate summit was an additional $1.5 million, and that $360,000 was spent sending personnel to the one in Cancun in 2010.

Nothing of significance occurred at any of these UN events, but Australian taxpayers are now $2.7 million poorer (news article backed up here).

Further confirming suspicions that “climate” is the magic word that turns on the money tap, is the fact that Australia’s chief climate commissioner Tim Flannery is being paid $180,000 a year for a 3-day-per-week position ($1200 per day). That’s in addition to the compensation he already receives as a professor at Sydney’s Macquarie University.

This man is cashing two government paycheques. Then there are his speaking fees, and the revenue he earns as a bestselling book author.

A federal election will be held later this year. Tony Abbott, currently Australia’s Opposition Leader, says he plans to abolish the Climate Commission in the event that he himself replaces Gillard. Five days ago, the Environment Editor at the Canberra Times was already giving Flannery a platform to whine that he is being victimized:

Ignoring it or shooting the messenger will not reduce the threat of climate change, it will just mean that Australia is less prepared.[backed up here]

Some people really are shameless. If Flannery’s concern is the well-being of Australians, wouldn’t he be performing his climate commissioner duties for next-to-nothing? By no stretch of the imagination can he claim to be impoverished.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: If climate activists such as Flannery want us to believe there’s an honest-to-goodness crisis, they have to start acting like it. In 2007, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation ran this headline above a story: Flannery calls for war on climate change. The article quoted him as follows:

The priorities are: secure our energy sector, to move as rapidly as possible to low emissions technology and that means getting on a war footing. Economists might tell you in conventional times that might take 20 years but when there’s a war on you get it done in a few years so we need to move as quickly as we can.

When there’s a war on, people pitch in. Prominent members of the community lead by example. They work long, exhausting hours. They risk their lives and their health in order to save their fellows.

In a real war, no one expects to be paid $1200 a day for doing the right thing.


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