Coalition’s ‘direct action’ policy almost as pointless as carbon tax

Quote of the Day

Quote of the Day

I was reprimanded by a commenter yesterday for being ‘inconsistent’ and apparently ‘more interested in insulting those on the other side of politics’, as a result of not having sufficiently criticised the Coalition’s direct action policy.

Well, there are a number of reasons why posting has been light over the past few months, including a variety of other commitments which have meant the blog has been lower down the list of priorities, but I am very happy to go on the record to state that the Coalition’s direct action policy on climate is almost as pointless as Labor’s ETS or carbon tax. [Read more...]

Coalition will force double dissolution on carbon tax

Greg Hunt

As we would expect, the Coalition will not allow the undemocratic “poison pill” tactics of Labor to stand in the way of its right to repeal the carbon tax legislation if (when) in government:

THE Coalition will go to a double dissolution election if it wins government and Labor baulks at repealing the carbon tax and its associated compensation, opposition climate change spokesman Greg Hunt says.

But Mr Hunt has declared he expects Labor to eventually support the Coalition’s push to unravel the Gillard government’s climate change policy, if it loses the next federal poll.

Speaking on Sky News’s Australian Agenda yesterday, Mr Hunt said doing otherwise would be “an act of almost breathtaking democratic arrogance”. Indicating the opposition had been busy behind the scenes building its election policy platform, Mr Hunt said he had been up till 5am one night last week trawling through previous years’ budget papers for viable savings.

The Coalition has confirmed it is looking for savings of about $70 billion to fund its policies.

“We are preparing for an election at any possible time, so we are ready to go in case the instability in government translates to an election,” he said.

“If there is more time, we can do more work. But we are ready for an election because we believe this government is unstable.” (source)

Coalition to demolish carbon tax

The Coalition's plan

There is currently a flurry of activity to beat the deadline for written submissions from members of the public to the Joint Select Committee on the proposed carbon tax. But in all honesty, why bother? Why does anyone think that a government that is hell bent on introducing this tax at any price will take any notice of what the public think? The whole exercise, like everything else to do with the carbon tax, is a sham which will make no difference whatsoever. Have they listened before? No. Are they listening now? No.

Save your ink and the postage (or your fingers and a few KB of data sending an email). There are only two ways that this tax will be defeated: (a) some Labor MPs with a conscience vote it down; or (b) we wait for an incoming Coalition government to repeal it. Option (a) won’t work because, there aren’t any Labor politicians with a conscience (and even if there were, they would be prohibited from voting against the party anyway), so we’re left with option (b), which fortunately looks more and more likely:

THE Coalition will today sink Julia Gillard’s plan to send asylum-seekers to Malaysia and has vowed it will purge all elements of Labor’s mining and carbon taxes when it wins the next election.

In an escalation of the Coalition’s policy rhetoric, Joe Hockey has warned householders and businesses that any compensation they receive from the government over next July’s introduction of the carbon tax will be taken back by an incoming Coalition government as part of a push to improve the government’s budget position.

The opposition Treasury spokesman has also vowed to amend Labor’s industrial relations laws to deliver “worker mobility”, re-emphasised the Coalition’s promise to demolish Labor’s mineral resources rent tax and rejected the use of its proposed parliamentary budget office. (source)

In other words, any last trace of this appalling government will be airbrushed out of history. Good.

Wong pounces on Turnbull's comments

Traitor to the Coalition

Could this guy be any more of a quisling treacherous rat? Inevitably, after his criticisms of the Abbott climate policy (see earlier story), Labor has pounced, damaging Abbott and the Coalition in the process:

Finance Minister Penny Wong said Mr Turnbull was one of the few people in opposition truly committed to tackling global warming.

“What we saw last night is Malcolm really telling the truth about what the Liberal policy is,” she told Sky News.

“It’s very expensive and … it’s a con because those on his side of politics who we know really don’t want to do anything on this issue are able to roll it back and switch it off whenever they want.” (source)

Bravo Malc. Well done. Now, what else can you do to damage your own party? Just pack your bags and go and join Labor. Idiot.

Opposition budget ditches green tokenism

Spending on "green initiatives"

The Opposition will slash millions of dollars of pointless climate change spending promises by Labor if it regains power:

  • $200 million off reducing emissions on coal-fired power stations (spend it instead on reducing emissions of toxins and particulates, which would actually achieve some environmental benefit, rather than removing, at vast expense, a harmless trace gas essential for life)
  • $193 million off “climate aid” to poor countries (no global socialism here, thanks very much)
  • $76 million off funds encouraging individuals to reduce emissions (pointless tokenism)
  • $30 million ad campaign on climate change scrapped [BRAVO - Ed]
  • $278 million off a plan to develop “greener cars” (no, we need more cars like the Prius…)
  • $653 million off renewable energy schemes (which need massive government support to be even barely competitive)

All of these policies are predicated on CO2 being the primary and dominant driver of climate change, which $70 billion of research since 1990 has failed to establish. If it isn’t, every single one of them is completely, utterly, totally, and 100% pointless.

Read it here.

Comment: Abbott's uncomfortable climate policy

Abbott v Rudd

Well, the Coalition have finally revealed their climate policy, and it looks as uneasy as one would expect. At least it’s not a massive new tax a la ETS, but the gestures towards cutting carbon dioxide (well done to TA for making this small but important point) are really just that. TA looked uncomfortable on The 7.30 Report last night, defending a policy that you know he doesn’t really believe in, and Kerry O’Brien succeeded in exposing that conflict.

The problem is that, deep down, TA is a true sceptic [Bravo for that - Ed]. He knows that the climate science is corrupted and that the projections for dangerous global warming are mostly hype. However, he doesn’t believe he can say this in the current political climate – which is probably right. Not doing anything would give Labor and the Greens a field day – branding the Opposition “deniers”, “flat earthers” and every other warmist ad hominem known to man. It would also go down very badly with the public at the moment, who have been so utterly brainwashed by the government and a media in its pocket that they still believe global warming needs action. This is despite everything that has happened since Climategate in November, and the disaster of Copenhagen in December.

This, however, is starting to change. The Australian continues to print sceptical articles, and even the Fairfax press have begun doing the same. The barrage of stories exposing incompetence and manipulation or suppression of data in the IPCC reports continues unabated. The IPCC has been exposed, not as a body of scientific impartiality, but of extremist environmental advocacy.

In time, the weight of evidence against the “consensus” will eventually percolate through to the public, despite the media’s increasingly unsuccessful attempts at its suppression. Eventually (and I hope it happens before the election), the collective public penny will drop, and there will be a unanimous cry of “We’ve been conned.”

So TA should bide his time and continue with his “interim” policy, until the political climate and public opinion can accept what should be the proper Coalition position: that climate change is a non-problem.

Tony Abbott unveils Coalition climate change policy

From the ABC:

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has placed a $1 billion emissions reduction fund at the heart of the Coalition’s new $3.2b climate change policy.

Announcing the policy today, Mr Abbott said the Coalition would use the fund and its policy to invest in direct measures to help the public, industry and farmers cut emissions.

Those measures would include planting 20 million trees, a $1,000 solar panel rebate and soil carbon storage.

Mr Abbott said the plan would be simpler, cheaper and more effective than the Government’s emissions trading scheme and would deliver the same 5 per cent cut in emissions by 2020.

“Our policy will deliver the same emissions reductions as the Government’s, but without the Government’s great big new tax,” he said.

The policy would be funded from the Budget over the forward estimates but Mr Abbott is yet to explain where the Coalition would find the savings to pay for it.

But he says the Coalition’s policy is vastly cheaper than the ETS, which he says will cost $40b over the same period.

“It’s careful, it’s costed, and it’s capped,” Mr Abbott said. (source)

And Tony Abbott has used his first question time as Opposition leader to goad Kevin Rudd into a debate on climate change, which Rudd continues to shy away from:

Mr Abbott, who earlier released the coalition’s long-awaited climate change policy, opened question time by directly challenging the prime minister.

“When I first challenged the prime minister to a public debate on climate change, he refused, saying the coalition had no policy,” he told parliament.

“Well, we have a policy which is simpler cheaper and clearer than the government’s.

“Does the prime minister have the guts to have a nationally-televised debate about climate change?” (source)

Answer: NO. And to finish off, Rudd comes out with his usual evasive nonsense:

Mr Rudd said the opposition had some simple questions to answer: Did it understand the science behind climate change, how did it propose to tackle it, and was it fair dinkum?

“Was it fair dinkum?” Oh per-lease. And I think the Opposition understands the science (or now should we say, the lack of science) better than you do, clearly.

Abbott: 4 degree rise "not the greatest moral challenge"

Needs a new climate adviser

You have to wonder who is advising Tony Abbott on climate. This kind of comment plays straight into the warmists’ hands, especially as we wait for the Coalition’s climate policy, due on Tuesday:

It will deliver the same carbon pollution reduction as Labor’s emissions trading scheme but for a “comparatively modest cost”, he told a Young Liberals convention in Adelaide on Saturday.

Mr Abbott also mocked Prime Minister Kevin Rudd for declaring climate change was the greatest moral challenge of our time.

“It’s an important issue but even if dire predictions are right and average temperatures around the globe rise by four degrees over the century, it’s still not the ‘great moral challenge’ of our time – as Mr Rudd has described it on 14 occasions – let alone the ‘greatest’ moral challenge of our time – as Mr Rudd has described it at least four times,” Mr Abbott said.

“Adapting to changing rainfall patterns, for example, will be hard but it won’t supplant the threat of war, injustice, disease and want as the biggest problems with which humanity must grapple.”

And, naturally, here is the response:

The Climate Institute’s chief executive John Connor said it was reckless and ridiculous for Mr Abbott to be relaxed about a four-degree rise in global temperatures.

“He’s missed the link that such an increase will, in fact, lead to greater insecurity and instability around the world and particularly in our region.

“It will lead to very significant public health impacts and disease.”

And I’d have to agree that a 4 Celsius rise would probably have an enormous effect on the planet. Tony Abbott has tacitly admitted that the “dire projections” of the IPCC have some validity, whereas in reality the credibility of the alarmist science is disappearing faster than a Himalayan glacier. The point he should have made is that Rudd’s “great moral challenge” could not be based on flawed models and dodgy science.

Read it here.

Tony Abbott at the Sydney Institute

Tony Abbott delivers an earlier Sydney Institute address

I was fortunate enough to attend Tony Abbott’s policy speech at the Sydney Institute last night and had the pleasure of meeting him afterwards. It was a very interesting speech, with one of the key messages being that environmental matters are being sidelined thanks to the obsessions with climate change. I understand he will announce a climate change policy in a couple of weeks, but the focus of last night’s speech was the Murray-Darling, and the creation of a 15,000 strong land army to tackle environmental problems.

Mr Abbott did touch on climate issues, however:

Of course, Australia has a role in reducing global emissions but we can’t save the world from climate change on our own. To act alone would simply export emissions (and jobs) to other countries. Not only has the Rudd Government’s grandstanding on climate change failed. It’s masked the near total neglect of those environmental problems that Australians alone can fix. In the past two years, there has been almost no progress on improving water use in the Murray-Darling basin, only modest additional use of renewable energy, and no further support for more effective land care. In fact, funding for solar panels, water recycling and land care programmes has been cut. Instead, there’s been a great deal of political barracking plus obsessive support for an emissions trading scheme: a great big new tax on everything that merely masquerades as a programme to improve the environment.

A unilateral emissions tax here in Australia would do next to nothing for the environment but would seriously damage the competitive position of our export industries. In the long run, it would damage our ability to fund the environmental improvements here in Australia that only Australians can bring about.

It’s stunning to hear the Greens to give even limited support to ideas on the environment from the Liberals, as the ABC reports:

Greens Senator Sarah Hanson Young agrees with the Opposition Leader’s critique of the Government.

“They have done little on tackling the Murray Darling Basin – a lot of talk and no action,” she said.

Senator Hanson Young says both ideas have merit, but the Liberal’s track record on environmental issues undermines Mr Abbott’s message. (source)

That’s why they’re changing the track. But we can always count on a knee-jerk reaction from Penny Wong, and we weren’t disappointed:

“It appears Mr Abbott is again making things up as he goes along, stealing from failed Howard government policies when he can’t come up with his own ideas,” Senator Wong said.

“Mr Abbott now has 19 days to release his detailed and fully costed policy on climate change.” (source)

Tick tock tick tock. Penny clearly doesn’t read the papers, or else she would have seen The Australian’s ridiculing of her constant, robotic “countdown mode” just two days ago (see here).

Read the full text of the speech here.

Grocery industry "backs Coalition on ETS"

5% increase at least

The grocery industry has rubbished the government’s forecasts on price increases, claiming that they will rise far more than predicted:

THE grocery industry has sided with the Coalition’s claim the Rudd government’s emissions trading scheme will be a big tax.

Environment Minister Peter Garrett said yesterday that claims by the Australian Food and Grocery Council that food prices would be pushed up by 5 per cent overstated the reality by seven times.

“The Treasury modelling found that in 2013, the average price impact of the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme on food bills will be around $68 a year — less than 1 per cent of household food bills,” Mr Garrett said.

However, the council chief executive Kate Carnell said this was not realistic, given the role of electricity in the processed food supply chain. “The average shopping basket is about $200 a week, so the government’s modelling suggests a barely 0.5 per cent increase off the back of increases in electricity prices of 20 to 40 per cent. That is not even vaguely credible in a manufacturing industry,” she said.

Read it here.


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