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Good evening, welcome to Lateline, I'm todges. With tomorrow's Newspoll in the 'Australian'
newspaper showing Kevin Rudd has increased his lead over Mr Howard as preferred Prime Minister are
we seeing a redefinition of the term " swinging voters". We'll be joined by President Bush's point
man on global warming, James Connaughton has been in talks with Alexander Downer today ahead of
next month's APEC meeting in Sydney. Should we expect a joint US-Australian joint global warming
pact at the meeting of world leaders. Hurricane Dean heads towards Mexico leaving nine people dead
in its wake. Time bomb - Australia's ambassador to Washington warns of the real threat of nuclear
attack on America by terrorists. And on 'Lateline Business', buying up,

Rudd avoids poll slide after strip club revelations

Rudd avoids poll slide after strip club revelations

Broadcast: 20/08/2007

Reporter: Hayden Cooper

It appears the saga surrounding Labor Leader Kevin Rudd visiting a New York strip club has had
little impact on his standing in the polls.

Transcript

TONY JONES: Strippers and plenty of alcohol - it doesn't sound like Kevin Rudd's cup of tea.

Mr Rudd has spent the day giving interviews about his drunken night at a New York strip club four
years ago. There are, however, few who are willing to criticise the Labor leader. But the issue of
who leaked the story is emerging as a potent unanswered question. Labor suspects the Foreign
Affairs Minister but the Government has angrily hit back.

Well there is some good news for Mr Rudd tonight in the latest Newspoll, which shows a slide in the
Prime Minister's dominance of economic management. From Canberra, Hayden Cooper reports.

HAYDEN COOPER: It's a night Kevin Rudd can barely remember, but one he'll now never forget.

KEVIN RUDD, OPPOSITION LEADER: The mistake that I made was to go into that place in the first
place.

HAYDEN COOPER: Not that anyone's criticising Mr Rudd for his drunken night in a New York strip
club.

JOHN HOWARD, PRIME MINISTER: I've got nothing to say about it. I don't intend to go there and I
won't be making any comment on it.

HAYDEN COOPER: While John Howard campaigned on family values, Kevin Rudd spent his day going over
his blurry memories of the night of strippers and booze in 2003. Yesterday Mr Rudd said he doesn't
have a clear recollection of whether he did anything inappropriate at the club. Now he's more
certain.

(Excerpt of 7.30 Report)

KEVIN RUDD: What I can absolutely recall is that there was nothing inappropriate as far as my
behaviour was concerned.

KERRY O'BRIEN: You can recall that with certainty? Yourself?

KEVIN RUDD: Yes.

(End excerpt)

HAYDEN COOPER: Not even two weeks ago Kevin Rudd and the Prime Minister were given VIP access to
thousands of Christians nationwide. But even the conservative Christian lobby behind the webcast is
pointing out that to err is human.

JIM WALLACE, AUSTRALIAN CHRISTIAN LOBBY: I think there's no doubt that some people will be
obviously lost to him as a result of it, but I think it's very few. I think most would see it as
being out of character and of course most people realise that we're only in the Christian faith
because we understand we're not perfect and hoping to be better.

HAYDEN COOPER: Mr Rudd says he confessed to his wife the day after the big night out.

KEVIN RUDD: Therese is a firm woman.

HAYDEN COOPER: The Greens put the night into a deeper historical context.

BOB BROWN, AUSTRALIAN GREENS LEADER: Well four years ago, Kevin Rudd got drunk and took himself
into a strip club. Four years ago John Howard, sober, took Australia into the Iraq war. I think the
electorate can judge which one did the more harm.

HAYDEN COOPER: What Labor really wants to know is who leaked the story.

KEVIN RUDD: When the story as circulated refers to various, you know, diplomats, then it's simply a
question which I think Mr Downer should answer.

TONY ABBOTT, HEALTH MINISTER: The Government has absolutely nothing to do with this. The Government
didn't invite him out that night. The Government didn't take him to the place he went to. To try to
get yourself out of a mistake by blaming other people, that's just low.

HAYDEN COOPER: Kevin Rudd expects to take a hit in the polls but so far there's no sign of that.
Tomorrow's Newspoll in The Australian newspaper was taken from Friday to Sunday when the stripper
scandal broke. It shows Labor still holding a 10-point lead after preferences. Kevin Rudd's
personal support is up two points and on who would better the economy, the Prime Minister has
fallen six points in a month, that included an interest rate rise. It's not the news John Howard is
looking for as he makes his pitch for a fifth term in power. With Kevin Rudd on the backfoot, Mr
Howard took the opportunity to give another of his landmark speeches on his vision for the future.
A recurring theme - more federal intervention into state affairs.

JOHN HOWARD: Sometimes it will involve cooperative federalism, on other occasions it will require
the Commonwealth bypassing the states altogether and dealing directly with local communities.

KEVIN RUDD: Mr Howard has had 11 long years to fix the federation and has not done so.

HAYDEN COOPER: The Prime Minister calls it aspirational nationalism. Labor says it's political
posturing. Hayden Cooper, Lateline.

Labor dumps Harry Quick

Labor dumps Harry Quick

Broadcast: 20/08/2007

Reporter: Tony Jones

The Labor Party in Tasmania says it expelled federal Labor MP Harry Quick because of his failure to
pay party fees.

Transcript

TONY JONES: Tasmanian federal Labor MP Harry Quick has been kicked out of the party, but for
financial reasons, not disloyalty.

Mr Quick was criticised for publicly supporting the Liberal candidate for his seat over the
endorsed Labor candidate Kevin Harkins. Labor Party officials met this afternoon and said there was
no choice but to expel him. Mr Quick has not been a financial member for more than a year and owes
$17,000.

The news was delivered by Mr Harkins, who stood aside as the candidate for Franklin, partly because
of pressure from Mr Quick.

KEVIN HARKINS, FORMER FRANKLIN CANDIDATE: I think the outcome today has been very fair. Obviously
Harry, because of his failure to renew his membership and pay his outstanding fees, has made
himself a non-party member. So resignation by another term, I suppose, but at the end of the day
the effect's the same.

TONY JONES: Harry Quick was unavailable for comment.

Cwth 'playing politics' with Gunns pulp mill

Cwth 'playing politics' with Gunns pulp mill

Broadcast: 20/08/2007

Reporter: Tony Jones

The Greens say the proposed pulp mill for northern Tasmania will become a key election issue and
the Federal Government is playing politics.

Transcript

TONY JONES: The Tasmanian Government claims the Commonwealth is playing politics with the proposed
Gunns pulp mill by attacking the assessment process.

The Federal Environment Minister has given the project conditional approval, but Malcolm Turnbull
has labelled the assessment process for the mill as unsatisfactory, accusing the State Government
of eroding the public's trust by abandoning the resource, planning and development commission
process.

He's given the public 10 working days to comment before he makes a final decision.

The Greens say the mill will become a federal election issue.

Mexico, Texas brace for Hurricane Dean

Mexico, Texas brace for Hurricane Dean

Broadcast: 20/08/2007

Reporter: John Stewart

Hurricane Dean is continuing its destructive path across the Caribbean after battering the southern
coast of Jamaica.

Transcript

TONY JONES: Hurricane Dean is continuing its destructive path across the Caribbean, after lashing
the south coast of Jamaica.

Wind speeds of more than 200 kilometres per hour were recorded in Kingston. There are fears the
storm could strengthen as it heads towards Mexico. Residents of Texas are also preparing for the
worst, with warnings the category four storm could build into a category five. John Stewart
reports.

JOHN STEWART: Wild seas lashed Jamaica's coastline as the eye of the storm passed just a few
kilometres out to sea. In the capital, Kingston, trees were uprooted and roofs ripped off homes.
The Jamaican Government declared a 48-hour curfew to deter looters and shut down the city's
electricity supply.

In Haiti, these men struggled to secure a boat in huge seas and several people died when a tree
fell on this house. The hurricane is tracking across the Caribbean, heading to Mexico's Yucatan
peninsula and may hit the popular resort at Cancun. Today thousands of nervous tourists headed to
the airport.

MATT SMITH, TOURIST: Yeah, I've never experienced a hurricane before, so I'm happy I'm leaving,
man. I don't want to get stuck here.

JOHN STEWART: Others are planning to stay put.

KEVIN, TOURIST: We're not scared of the hurricane, we just want to see it. [We will] stay in the
hotel. Very nice location.

JOHN STEWART: But Cancun residents are taking no chances, boarding up homes and businesses and
stocking up on supplies. The storm could hit north America within the next few days. In Texas,
federal officials are getting ready.

DAVID PAULISON, FEMA DIRECTOR: We are going to continue to operate as if this storm is moving into
the United States and I think that is a prudent thing to do.

JOHN STEWART: Even the space shuttle has been affected by the hurricane. The Endeavour is heading
back to earth one day early in case the bad weather threatens the Houston control centre. The space
shuttle crew had this armchair view of the huge storm.

DAVID PAULISON: There is still uncertainty with a storm like this.

JOHN STEWART: Other recent tropical storms have flooded parts of Oklahoma. Helicopters were used to
rescue people stranded in the water. One woman was dragged into the air then dropped, and then
picked up again. The helicopter rescue team also saved another man caught in the flood. John
Stewart, Lateline.

Bush faces further pressure to act on climate change

Bush faces further pressure to act on climate change

Broadcast: 20/08/2007

Reporter: Kim Landers

US President George Bush is under increasing pressure to tackle global warming, recently inviting
the EU and 15 other countries, including Australia, to take part in a summit at the end of next
month.

Transcript

TONY JONES: Well climate change has been singled out as a key point for discussion at the APEC
conference, due to start in Sydney in a little over two weeks. But without the agreement of the
world's biggest polluter, the United States, any consensus would be meaningless.

President Bush is under increasing pressure to tackle global warming and recently he invited the
European Union and 15 other countries, including Australia, to take part in a summit at the end of
next month to develop long-term voluntary goals to cut greenhouse emissions.

In a moment we'll talk to the senior adviser to President Bush on the environment and energy, but
first this report on the US energy policy, from our north America correspondent Kim Landers.

KIM LANDERS: In America's mid-west, wind farms sprout from the fields of corn and soy beans. Here
in north-west Iowa, there are hundreds of turbines owned by MidAmerican Energy, which pays farmers
for the use of their land.

In Iowa alone, the emissions avoided by using wind power are the equivalent of removing 680,000
cars from the roads. While wind power is one of the lowest cost-renewable energy sources, in the
United States only enough is produced to power about 2.5 million homes. Coal-fired power stations
provide more than half of America's energy needs and nuclear power generates one fifth.

In Washington, there are no wind turbines, just a lot of hot air as some may unkindly joke. Instead
there's this power plant, sitting just a few blocks from the US capital. It burns 17,000 tonnes of
coal a year, producing about 60,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions. Some call it the armpit of
Washington.

DANIEL BEARD, CHIEF ADMINISTRATION OFFICER, US HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES: I think it's an
embarrassment that the Congress owns and operates a facility that isn't in compliance with our
clean laws and is the second largest point source polluter of the district of Columbia.

KIM LANDERS: The power plant hasn't generated electricity since the 1950s. It produces steam and
chilled water to heat and cool the capital complex and it's putting a black smudge on efforts by
some to turn the Congress and the rest of the United States a shade of green.

DANIEL BEARD: We want our operations to be carbon neutral by October 1st of 2008. Second, we want
to reduce our carbon footprint by reducing the amount of energy that we use by 50 per cent over the
next 10 years.

KIM LANDERS: Daniel Beard is the chief administrative officer of the House of Representatives. With
an electricity bill of almost $19 million a year, he's in charge of projects like putting more
energy efficient bulbs in 12,000 lamps and replacing a 50-strong fleet of cars with hybrid
vehicles. There's also ancient infrastructure like this old basement boiler room to be replaced.

DANIEL BEARD: Basically we've got pipes coming in from the street from the 1940s. This is 1940s
technology and this is a great opportunity that can be modernised.

KIM LANDERS: Improving energy efficiency by blocking the steam escaping from leaky pipes could make
a big difference to America's power consumption. The United States is the world's biggest
greenhouse gas emitter, almost 7.5 billion tonnes a year. Yet the US has been dragging its feet on
tackling the threat of global warming. But there are signs of change.

ELLIOT DIRINGER, PEW CENTRE ON GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE: I'd say it's possible that we could see
comprehensive climate legislation signed while President Bush is in office. I think it's more
likely that that will come after the 2008 election.

KIM LANDERS: The Bush administration has long opposed mandatory caps on carbon dioxide emissions,
the major contributor to global warming, but the White House position is shifting. The President
recently made a surprise pledge to seek international agreement on long-term greenhouse gas
reductions, inviting the world's biggest polluters, including Australia, to a meeting in Washington
next month.

DAVID HAWKINS, NATURAL RESOURCES DEFENCE COUNCIL: Well we have to be sceptical, unfortunately,
because the President has taken his whole two terms of office talking about global warming but
unfortunately not doing very much about it.

KIM LANDERS: David Hawkins head the Climate Centre at the Natural Resources Defence Council. He's
urging the president to back legislation to curb global warming and to set up a carbon trading
system before the conference, and he says Australia should only attend the Washington conference if
the President acts.

DAVID HAWKINS: From our standpoint, the countries that he's invited to come to this meeting should
basically say to them, to say to our president, if you want us to come to this meeting we have to
know that it's worth coming to.

ELLIOT DIRINGER: The global effort really is at a standstill at the moment and that's primarily
because the US has stood off to the side and what we need now is for the US to adopt some mandatory
limits on its emissions here at home and then to re-engage internationally and lead the effort to
establish a really strong global agreement.

KIM LANDERS: The President insists he's following commonsense policies when it comes to energy and
the environment. He wants regulations to cut gasoline consumption by 20 per cent over 10 years, in
part by producing 35 billion gallons of alternative fuels.

The US Congress is a step ahead. This month the House passed legislation requiring most utilities
to produce 15 per cent of their electricity from renewable sources. But the 786 Bill did not
include an increase in fuel efficiency standards for cars and light trucks, which supporters call
the most effective way of cutting oil consumption and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. the senate
passed it's own energy legislation in June. It does require better fuel mileage for vehicles as
well as making sure half of all the new cars made by 2015 are capable of running on either 85 per
cent ethanol or on biodiesel.

But so far, only individual politicians have been touting a cap and trade program for greenhouse
gas emissions, and none of their proposals have been passed. The House and Senate now have to sort
out their differences before passing the compromised legislation to the President.

ELLIOT DIRINGER: The difference today from just six or seven months ago is really quite profound.
Congress is at this stage deeply engaged in the climate debate, focused very heavily on designing
domestic legislation to set those mandatory limits.

KIM LANDERS: Many American business leaders sense that carbon constraints are inevitable and
they're voluntarily reducing emissions. Seventeen US states have also vowed to reduce greenhouse
gas emissions. In the United States, the political climate is beginning to favour action on climate
change. Kim Landers, Lateline.

US environment adviser discusses energy, climate policy

US environment adviser discusses energy, climate policy

Broadcast: 20/08/2007

Reporter: Tony Jones

Senior White House environment adviser James L Connaughton talks about the US policy on energy
security and climate change.

Transcript

TONY JONES: James Connaughton is the chairman of the Council on Environmental Quality, coordinating
policies for the Bush administration. He's effectively the chief adviser to the President on
greenhouse gases and other environmental issues. He's currently in Australia to discuss US policy
on energy security, climate change and international efforts in the Asia Pacific region. James
Connaughton, welcome to Lateline.

JAMES CONNAUGHTON: Thanks, Tony.

TONY JONES: How important will the issue of climate change be at the APEC meeting in Sydney next
month?

JAMES CONNAUGHTON: Well the issue of energy security climate as an integrated issue will actually
be on the agenda for the first time. I think that's a real signal of Prime Minister Howard's
commitment to advancing this issue in the region.

TONY JONES: What can we expect, though? I know you've had meetings with Alexander Downer today, is
there likely to be any kind of joint US-Australian initiative emerge there?

JAMES CONNAUGHTON: I think what you'll see is the APEC meeting is going to provide a very important
foundation for the meetings that follow in the UN. The UN framework convention on climate change -
this will be the first time the APEC leaders will come together on a set of common areas of
priority with a work to improve energy security and find pathways to reducing greenhouse gases.

TONY JONES: But is there going to be anything specific that - you know we've got an election coming
up, Mr Howard knows that climate change is a serious issue in voters' minds. Do you expect there'll
be a joint initiative between the US, between the President and Mr Howard, to put it frankly?

JAMES CONNAUGHTON: Well, we've been... actually this will be the President, Mr Howard and the other
APEC leaders. So this is much bigger than just the US and Australia, and we'll be focusing on key
areas of common interest. The issue of deforestation, which I think Australia has put on the map in
the region in partnership with Indonesia and a few other countries. We'll be looking at issues
related to efficiency, related to how we advance technologies. We're dealing with coal, which is
highly CO2 emitting, as well as how to deal with a new generation of transportation fuels. These
will be among the range of issues that we'll be laying out, if you will, a common framework and a
common agenda for APEC to work cooperatively on.

TONY JONES: The big picture for John Howard is he's announced this publicly that he wants to see a
new Kyoto, in other words, a new international agreement that takes all the major polluters in,
including China and India.

JAMES CONNAUGHTON: Well it was Prime Minister Howard working with President Bush and the leaders of
China, India, Korea and Japan that first forged the Asia Pacific Partnership on Clean Development
and Climate. That was done two years ago. That partnership has laid a very nice foundation for then
a broader conversation among this group that will be convening in Washington, that will really try
to break down the problem into its component parts and tackle it sector by sector, technology by
technology, and develop national plans that will include binding measures to address this important
issue.

TONY JONES: So that meeting is late following, is in fact, in late September, after the APEC
meeting, is that right?

JAMES CONNAUGHTON: That's right, we'll have the APEC meeting, then the leaders will get together at
the UN General Assembly, September 24. And then shortly after that meeting, we'll be having
leaders' representatives who will meet several times over the course of the next year to see if, in
fact, we can develop a new framework by the end of next year and bring that into the UN.

TONY JONES: Bearing in mind Australia may well by then be in the middle of an election campaign, do
you have any guarantees Mr Howard will be there, or will it be one of his ministers?

JAMES CONNAUGHTON: Well the leaders will be getting together at the UN General Assembly meeting,
and I think the timing of your election will make a difference as to whether Mr Howard will attend.
I've already spoken with Alexander Downer and he expects to be there and he's certainly capable of
carrying the weight of this issue.

TONY JONES: So Mr Downer will be at the Washington meeting?

JAMES CONNAUGHTON: Yes, he expressed that he intends to be there.

TONY JONES: All right. Now the US has refused at any stage to sign up to anything that looks like
it's mandatory, that would be legally binding. What does the future hold in terms of that and in
terms of targets for greenhouse gas emissions as far as the US is concerned?

JAMES CONNAUGHTON: Well actually that's not quite correct. What we've done in the US is we have
pursued a wider range of policies that includes some very consequential mandatory policies. The
President's desire for new mandatory fuel economy regulations, which would be unprecedented in
America and actually unprecedented in the world. Up to 4 per cent improvement per year for the next
10 years, his mandatory program [is] to replace 20 per cent of fuel with alternative fuels. Now
that's a cap in trade program that will be weighted on the energy content of the fuel and the
greenhouse gas content of the fuel and again, it's 35 billion gallons replacing gasoline. Huge.

We've also supported mandatory appliance standards, and those are good old-fashioned technology
standards, and we work with states to set mandatory requirements for renewable power as well as for
new efficiency in building codes - up to 30 per cent. So these are all mandatory programs. So we're
not afraid of mandatory, we want the right policies for the right jobs.

TONY JONES: Okay, but what about mandatory targets set country by country for reducing carbon
emissions?

JAMES CONNAUGHTON: This is what we're hoping to develop in the course of the major economies
process. We're going to try to work with China, India, Brazil, Mexico, South Africa, along with the
major developed countries and see if we can create a new set of strategies in each country to
tackle their own emissions in accordance with their own national circumstances.

Japan and France have a lot of nuclear, so they'll be focusing on other issues. In America and
China we use a lot of coal. So we're going to be putting a heavy priority on how to make power from
coal with no emissions. So you'll see a mix of strategies but you'll see a whole series of
mandatory measures, incentives as well as technology partnerships that will advance this issue.

TONY JONES: And what about global targets? Will you see global targets? Will that be part of this
framework?

JAMES CONNAUGHTON: Well we have joined with our counterparts in the G8 to make a commitment to
establishing a long-term global goal for significantly reducing emissions. We are hopeful that
China, India and the other major emerging economies can come on board with a shared vision of a
level of ambition that we all need to achieve over the long-term. So we hope that will be part of
the package.

TONY JONES: What's the global target that you think is necessary by 2050?

JAMES CONNAUGHTON: We're going to have a very deliberate process that will look at our current
technology pathways, look at reasonable expectations for technology breakthroughs and then set a
number in accordance with that. We need to actually work through our common understanding of that
potential, and also because countries like China and India have been naturally resistant to this
kind of commitment.

So we want to be sure we do it deliberately and in consultation with everybody and find consensus
on that goal.

TONY JONES: What do you think of the 50 per cent target by 2050 which is the commonly-expressed
target?

JAMES CONNAUGHTON: Well we've got different targets proposed by Japan, by the EU and Canada. So
we'll take a look at those. 50 per cent is very aggressive. We want China - I'm sorry, Japan - to
sit down and explain to us its thinking behind that goal. Europe will explain to us its thinking
behind its proposal.

TONY JONES: Which is higher?

JAMES CONNAUGHTON: Which is more stringent, but theirs really relates to Europe, it doesn't really
take into account what's going on in the Asia Pacific region. So that's why this is more
complicated than it would appear and we want to be sure we have a deliberate process.

TONY JONES: Let me put it this way - could you imagine this administration agreeing to a target
like 50 per cent by 2050?

JAMES CONNAUGHTON: President Bush has committed as part of his proposed initiative to the
establishment of a long-term goal that will produce a significant net reduction in emissions.

TONY JONES: But we don't know what that is?

JAMES CONNAUGHTON: What that number is - stay tuned. Hopefully we'll have consensus by the end of
next year.

TONY JONES: James Connaughton, let me ask a fundamental question. Do you agree with this
proposition that I'm about to put - greenhouse gases are accumulating in [the] earth's atmosphere
as a result of human activities, causing surface air temperatures and sub-surface ocean
temperatures to rise?

JAMES CONNAUGHTON: That sounds very much like a statement out of the National Academy of Sciences
that President Bush commissioned back in 2001. That's been our long-standing view.

TONY JONES: So you have no doubt, the administration has no doubt, that man-made global warming is
actually happening and it's leading to climate change?

JAMES CONNAUGHTON: This is a point we've been making clear for five years. Others try to rephrase
what we say, but the President's been clear on that for some time.

TONY JONES: One of the people that rephrased that of course was your own deputy, Phillip Cooney,
back in 2003, as you know, when he was editing a whole series of climate change documents that were
coming from different departments, including the Environmental Protection Agency. I mean, do you
decry that editing of documents and the changes that he made?

JAMES CONNAUGHTON: Actually I strongly supported it. What Mr Cooney was doing was he was receiving
edits from a number of different agencies and what he was working to do was to make sure the
documents conformed precisely with the science that was given to us by the National Academy of
Sciences. So if you actually look at the editorial suggestions Mr Cooney was making, they track
nearly verbatim with language out of the National Academy of Sciences report that the President
commissioned.

TONY JONES: Let's look at one of them because he took that very line, that greenhouse gases are
accumulating in the earth's atmosphere etcetera - as I just quoted to you - and he edited it out of
the critical report on the environment back in 2003. So he took that line out and changed it
completely to have another meaning?

JAMES CONNAUGHTON: Well actually, I don't know the specific change you're referring to, But I do
know the process that Mr Cooney followed. And if he took that line out and replaced it with another
line, I can assure you that that line would have come verbatim from the National Academy of
Sciences report.

TONY JONES: Not according to the EPA scientist who rose up in uproar against him and wrote a memo
saying that he'd distorted the science. This is what he wrote - 'some activities emit greenhouse
gases and other substances that directly or indirectly may affect the balance of incoming and
outgoing radiation, thereby potentially affecting climate on regional and global scales'. Now those
two sentences sound completely different. One is totally unambiguous and a suggestion that human
activity causes global warming, which is exactly what you agree with, and the other is really so
ambiguous as to mean nothing?

JAMES CONNAUGHTON: Well you need to be careful because you're suggesting language that is actually
given to us by the scientists. The scientists are very careful to provide their top-line statement
and then provide qualifications to that statement. And so that's exactly what occurred in this
process and it occurs in all the inter-agency processes. Scientists are pretty good about not
leaving out the qualifications to their conclusions. Many policy people tend to like to simplify
and we need to be careful in the documents we provide to the public that they reflect what the
scientists are giving us.

TONY JONES: Well you'd be aware presumably that that was an EPA report and it was revealed that
senior EPA scientists were furious about that change. They claim that Mr Cooney's edited text
didn't reflect scientific consensus and quote, 'may leave the impression that cooling is as much of
an issue as global warming'.

That was a memo uncovered by congressional investigators, as you possibly know.

JAMES CONNAUGHTON: Of course I know. But what's fascinating to me is that the documents in their
final form were signed off on by the President's science adviser, Dr Jack Marburger, and the
documents in their final form with Mr Cooney's edits, the ones accepted, were signed off by Dr Jim
Mahoney, who's the head of the climate science program. What you tend to see in some of these
criticisms from scientists and often other non-scientists is their own particular bent on how they
want to express something. What we're trying to do is forge the scientific presentation of their
general consensus.

TONY JONES: Mr Cooney's bent, you don't believe, was in any way or his objectivity was any way
influenced by the fact that he used to be a lobbyist for the American petroleum industries before
he joined your staff?

JAMES CONNAUGHTON: No, I know it wasn't, actually. Mr Cooney was a government servant of high
professional integrity. Everything he did he worked through the President's science adviser and Dr
Jim Mahoney. Most of his suggestions were taken, some of them were not, and that was the ordinary
course of the process. That happens to my edits. I'll look at something and say, 'is that quite
right?' And I'll suggest it and Dr Marburger will say, 'no Jim, this is the way it should be
stated', and I'll say, 'great'.

TONY JONES: But he fundamentally disagreed with the line from the eminent scientists of the
national science academy that you agreed with earlier, that's my point.

JAMES CONNAUGHTON: No, actually what I think he was aiming at was there was an incomplete statement
in what was presented and he provided the more complete statement than the National Academy of
Sciences provided.

TONY JONES: Were you aware that when he was at the American Petroleum Institute, according to a
plan that they had that was entered into evidence at other congressional oversight committees, that
they had? Under his - during his time, there's a deliberate strategy to quote, 'to sow doubt about
global warming'.

JAMES CONNAUGHTON: Well I think as you look through the 90s there was a lot of back and forth on
the science and the science has evolved. President Bush has dedicated more than $2 billion each
year to the advancement of the science following the priorities given to us by the National Academy
of Sciences. Now let's look at the net effect of that. The net effect of that, the President made
that clear just this past year, the science has advanced and our understanding has deepened, as
well as the opportunities for tackling this problem. So there's a lot of fun and back and forth and
the political process likes to get into the science debate. That's great, but the President's
focused on solutions. The solutions are a new generation of coal electricity that has no emissions,
a new generation of coal powered electricity that has no emission. A new generation of
transportation fuels that will replace gasoline with sustainable biofuels. A new generation of
appliances and new buildings that are going to help us reduce energy loads. That's where we should
be focused. And the skirmishes between scientists and the skirmishes between policy people, it's a
great distraction, but we're focused on the solutions.

TONY JONES: These were extraordinarily vicious skirmishes, weren't they? I mean, it was said by
your opponents that sleeper cells from the fossil fuel industries are actually being put inside the
administration to distort policy?

JAMES CONNAUGHTON: I think that's an outrage and the policy speaks for itself. I mean here we have
an individual who used to work in the American petroleum institute but he worked with me on
policies that were going to make vehicles more fuel efficient. He worked with me on a program
that's now taking the world by storm on how to capture methane profitably and reduce a potent air
pollutant greenhouse gas because he actually knows what he's talking about. He worked on the
climate strategy that gave rise to this new policy on alternative fuels and as importantly, he came
up with the strategy that's going to help us deliver money to our farmers to help us sequester
carbon. Here's a guy that had a lot of practical know-how and we put it to good use in developing
solutions, not just to the greenhouse issue but developed solutions the energy security problem we
all face as well. So I'm disappointed Phil left. I'd love to have him back on my staff because
here's a guy who knows how to have the job done.

TONY JONES: He was forced to resign, wasn't he, after the New York Times revealed how he'd edited
this document?

JAMES CONNAUGHTON: No that's not true at all. In fact, I asked Phil to stay. He moved on, he moved
to Texas and took care of his family. His kids are going to college and as I said, I'd gladly have
him back because he was a first-rate government servant and he knew how to come up with solutions
rather than bickering over the problem.

TONY JONES: So rather than bicker over the problem or over these details, would you now say, does
the administration now believe that the argument over whether humans are causing global warming and
climate change is actually over?

JAMES CONNAUGHTON: Well on that particular issue, the President made that clear in a speech in June
of 2001 before Phil Cooney and I even came into our jobs. So again there's been much
misrepresentation of the President's own views on this.

TONY JONES: So the argument's over?

JAMES CONNAUGHTON: He's consistent with that ever since. We are doing a lot of research on the
issue of the nature of impacts related to climate change. That's in accordance with the science
priority plan that a group of 1,200 scientists around the globe helped us pull together. So we know
a lot and we have a lot more to learn on the science. But as I indicated, most of my time is spent
on designing solutions to this problem and that's where we should all be spending our time.

TONY JONES: James Connaughton, it's been fascinating to talk to you. We thank you for coming in to
and spending this time with us tonight on Lateline.

JAMES CONNAUGHTON: Thank you so much.

Nuclear terrorism in US a ' real threat'

Nuclear terrorism in US a ' real threat'

Broadcast: 20/08/2007

Reporter: David Lawrence

The Australian ambassador to the US, Dennis Richardson, says America faces a real threat of nuclear
terrorism.

Transcript

TONY JONES: Australia's ambassador to the United States has tonight warned that America faces the
real threat of nuclear terrorism. Speaking at the Sydney Institute, Dennis Richardson said the
threat of weapons of mass destruction was not an abstract notion and if terrorists ever got hold of
them, America would be their first target. David Lawrence reports.

DAVID LAWRENCE: Our man in Washington for more than two years and a career diplomat, Dennis
Richardson was not about to criticise his American hosts.

DENNIS RICHARDSON: The United States is an indispensable nation as it is for the rest of the world.
That fact neither diminishes our independence, nor our identity. Overwhelmingly, the US remains a
force for good in the world.

DAVID LAWRENCE: And as such the West, he suggested, could not afford to ignore its superpower ally.

DENNIS RICHARDSON: US global priorities and how it views the rest of the world is important to us
all, whether we like it or not, both because of its economic weight and because it is the sole
superpower.

DAVID LAWRENCE: But powerful though it is, Mr Richardson warned America faced enormous security
concerns, including the possibility it might be the target of nuclear terrorism.

DENNIS RICHARDSON: It's a real threat to be addressed not as an abstract notion. It is a concern
driven not so much by fear but by hard-headed analysis, the certain knowledge that terrorists want
to obtain weapons of mass destruction and if they do, their target of first choice will be the
United States.

DAVID LAWRENCE: Armed with this knowledge, US concerns over nuclear proliferation in countries like
Iran and North Korea are understandable.

DENNIS RICHARDSON: The depth of concern amongst Americans of all political persuasions is not, I
believe, fully and properly appreciated in all countries. Partly because they know the threat is
not directed against them and therefore, they don't feel it the same way.

DAVID LAWRENCE: On the question of trade, Mr Richardson argued that despite the enormity of the
American economy, Australians had no reason to feel intimidated.

DENNIS RICHARDSON: It's all too easy for Australians in the United States and elsewhere to become
mesmerised by the size of the United States itself and to underestimate our own weight. Equally,
because it is so long established and works relatively smoothly, it is easy to underestimate the
breadth and depth of our bilateral relationship with the US.

DAVID LAWRENCE: He wouldn't be drawn on a political preference, but Mr Richardson said that
relationship would continue to prosper, whoever wins the race for the White House. David Lawrence,
Lateline.