Australia shelves CO2 plans - Hits smokers instead

Written by Mike Roberts

Thursday, 29 April 2010

image for Australia shelves CO2 plans - Hits smokers instead
A 'thumbs down' for beer's methane producing properties

Members of the Australian government are said to be furious after it had to put plans for a flagship emissions trading scheme on hold until 2013 at the earliest after it was twice rejected by the Senate.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said angrily, "Thanks to the likes of Castlemaine and Fosters, Australia has some of the highest per capita carbon emissions in the world. Let's be honest about this, even the millions of sheep that we're so well known for produce less methane than we do. We've got to do something!"

Australians' reluctance to give up their favourite weekend 'tipple' has left the government with a difficult dilemma, how can they cut down CO2 emissions AND keep the 'beer swilling' electorate happy?

"One possible way forward is to target CO2 emissions from smokers." said Mr Rudd "There are also very serious health concerns surrounding smoking, especially with all that methane around. By reducing the number of smokers, we could simultaneously cut CO2 emissions and reduce the annual death toll from bar room explosions."

In addition, there would be a reduced burden on the tax payer, due to a reduction in the requirement for firemen, especially at the weekend when methane levels are at their highest, and savings for pub owners who would no longer need to buy expensive 'Davey' lamps and canaries.

Changes to advertising rules have already put a lot of pressure on smokers but this is going to be stepped up even further tomorrow, when the government announces new rules for tobacco producers.

Mr Rudd explained the government's proposals, "Manufacturers will be forced to sell cigarettes in plain, standardised packaging without any branding or logos. We are hoping this will reduce the 'sexiness' of tobacco products and lead to a drop in their sales."

Tobacco manufacturers were quick to criticise Mr Rudd's comments and claimed that he was simply going after the 'easy target'. "CO2 emissions from smokers are minute compared to other sources" said one representative.

Opposition politicians also criticised Mr Rudd, "He's just too much of a scaredy-cat to address the real problem of beer consumption." said one MP, slurring heavily.

Unexpected support for the opposition parties' view came from Australian winegrowers. "We've got some fair dinkum wines in Australia and they don't have any of the adverse effects of beer." said an industry spokesman.

"Put another shrimp on the barbie for me." shouted one over-enthusiastic wine grower. "Open a bottle, not a stubby!" he continued, before collapsing in an alcoholic stupor.

He's got a point. Get drunk by all means but do it responsibly and think of the environment!

The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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