I've realized for ages that France and Australia are rarely on the same wavelength on sociopolitical issues. Today, in the environmental domain, there's a particularly striking contrast.
— In France, the Grenelle of the Environment is in full swing. I evoked this major national get-together at the end of my article entitled Wild rabbits and environmental issues [display]. The latest news is that the president Nicolas Sarkozy will almost certainly announce the creation of a "carbon dioxide tax".
— On the front page of today's The Australian, there's an article about two "experts" in the UK, named Gwyn Prins and Steve Rayner, who back the refusal of Australia and the US to ratify the Kyoto Protocol.
It goes without saying that I find the French approach more reassuring than the Prins/Rayner hot air. Incidentally, you might do a Google search on the Pommie jack-of-all-trades Gwyn Prins to determine whether you think he deserves to be thought of as an environmental expert. As for the dilettante American Steve Rayner, he refers to himself as an "undisciplined scholar, committed to changing the world through social science". Big deal! Pretentious fellows such as the Prins/Rayner duo are definitely bad news for the future of the planet Earth. But I would imagine that only idiots would be prepared to take them seriously.