Election 2010: Climate role in choosing new government


Parliament House, Canberra

It will be down to a bunch of independent MPs to determine whether Julia Gillard or Tony Abbott forms the next Australian government, with both the major parties unable to command an overall majority. Three of them are small-c conservative, and would prima facie favour the Coalition, one is left-wing, and they have vowed to act as a “block” – all plumping for one option or the other to ensure “stable government”. But their views on the climate issue are diverse, as The Sydney Morning Herald reports, and bear in mind of course when reading this that the SMH wants Labor back in office:

Two likelihoods arise from Saturday – that Labor will eventually concede that it has been punished in part for its dismal failure to live up to expectations on climate change, and that four of the five men likely to share the House of Representatives crossbench will want to see the next government do more.

The fifth, renegade former National Bob Katter, doubts that man-made climate change exists. Whoever forms government, finding common ground to get a climate change policy through the lower house is not going to be easy. But neither will it be impossible.

Rob Oakeshott, independent member for Lyne, yesterday said an emissions trading scheme would be a key issue in the next Parliament. He voted in favour of the ALP’s shelved scheme, having earlier proposed amendments to bring it more into line with the cleaner model proposed by former Labor climate adviser Ross Garnaut. Oakeshott also backed the Greens’ push for a feed-in tariff to develop renewable energy. During the campaign he warned the ”do nothing” approach on climate was a lose/lose approach that would lead to rapidly increasing electricity prices and loss of quality of life.

Tony Windsor is harder to read. In 2008, he introduced a private member’s bill that included a target of a 30 per cent cut in emissions below 1990 levels by 2020 – far beyond what the major parties are proposing.

But he voted against Labor’s emissions scheme and has signalled he would prefer measures to directly boost renewable energy to a carbon price. He has not indicated that climate change would be a major issue in deciding which party should form government.

Andrew Wilkie views climate change as a social justice issue [as all far-left wingers do] and has backed a carbon price as the best way to cut emissions.

Oakeshott and Wilkie might struggle to find common ground on climate with a Coalition government, which would make Australia one of only three G20 countries to be led by a vocal climate sceptic.

Read it here.

Labor "all over the place" on climate


Blown about like a fart in a hurricane

Does Labor want an ETS or not? Flip a coin – the answer you get will be about as reliable as asking Joolya, who also doesn’t want to admit to wanting a carbon tax or ETS. Labor are in disarray on climate, on the one hand having to appease the Greens, but on the other not wanting to let Abbott scare everybody with the “great big new tax on everything” line.

Let’s look back at what a certain Gillard, J said after the defeat of the ETS in the Senate back in late 2009:

Today the climate change extremists and deniers in the Liberal Party have stopped this nation from taking decisive action on climate change,” the Deputy Prime Minister said, deadpan, into a thicket of cameras and recorders.

Extremists and deniers. In case anyone had missed the point, she repeated the phrase five times. ”Now [we] have been stopped by the Liberal Party extremists and the climate change deniers. This nation has been stopped from taking a major step in the nation’s interests by Liberal Party extremists and climate change deniers.”

So in her mind back then, clearly delay is denial. Then, having realised she had been outmanoeuvred by Tony Abbott after the defeat of the ETS, and the effectiveness of the Coalition’s “great big new tax” line, she came up with this pointless “citizen’s assembly” on climate, in other words an excuse for doing nothing whilst appearing to do something, which was hammered mercilessly from all sides.

But then came the shady, murky backroom deal for preferences with the Greens. When it didn’t look like Labor would need them, it was happy to continue along the no-ETS path, but now, with the polls split 50-50 and Labor desperate for Green preferences to stay in power, guess what she does: she raises again the possibility of a price on carbon in the next parliament. So transparent.

And now the messages are all over the place, and Labor is in chaos on climate:

Less than 24 hours before voters head to the polls, there is confusion around whether Labor wants to legislate for a carbon price next term.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard is sending mixed messages around whether she would try to pass an ETS next term, or wait until two elections away, after 2013.

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott accused Labor of being “all over the place” on climate change.

Ms Gillard told a News Ltd newspaper she would not rule out legislating a carbon price next term.

But when pressed in other interviews, she declined to repeat the statement or clarify her timeline.

She told ABC Radio that Labor would consider the matter in late 2012 and would move to legislate at some stage if the conditions were right.

“Obviously that takes some time, as does the implementation date,” Ms Gillard said.

An interviewer on ABC Radio’s Triple J asked Ms Gillard if she would legislate next term; her response was “we will work to get a community consensus”.

Mr Abbott said: “Labor’s policy is all over the place … they’ve got to make up their minds what they want”.

He told reporters in Sydney that Labor was torn between subcontracting climate change to “some kind of nebulous citizens’ assembly”, and bringing in a carbon price which would force up electricity prices.

Coalition campaign spokesman Andrew Robb said Ms Gillard would use a Labor election victory as a mandate for a carbon tax. (source)

And I would have to agree with that. The Greens, if they hold the balance of power in the Senate, will blackmail Labor into legislating a price on carbon whether Joolya wants it or not.

Please, people of Australia, vote this incompetent bunch of no-hopers out of government tomorrow.

Shock: Gillard "open to carbon tax"


Carbon tax in action

There’s a surprise – not. Finally climate crawls back onto the electoral agenda again, as Joolya reveals her desire for an ETS or carbon tax:

Prime Minister Julia Gillard has left open the door for a future carbon price or emissions trading scheme.

Emissions would be abated through policies Labor already had announced, for renewable energy, greener buildings and cars, Ms Gillard told the National Press Club on Thursday.

She said Australians frustrated that Labor had not achieved an emissions trading scheme in its first term should give the government another chance.

“People are making a decision whether they will have a prime minister who believes in climate change, who is committed to leading a national debate to get a carbon pollution reduction scheme and the market mechanism we need to price carbon, whilst delivering on the policies I’ve outlined,” she said. (source)

So all this horseshit about a citizens assembly is a smokescreen, as we knew all along. Joolya and Labor want an ETS or a carbon tax, and with the Greens twisting their arms in the Senate, we will surely get one.

Summary: A vote for Labor is a vote for a carbon tax.

"Global warming fatigue sets in all over the world"


Climate sense

Tom Switzer on the waning interest in “saving the planet” [that’s because “saving the planet” is the biggest conceit ever dreamed up by humanity – the planet’s been here 4.5 billion years, and will be here long after we’re all gone]:

Canada’s cap-and-trade legislation is going nowhere. Japan’s weak and divided government has temporarily shelved its ETS in parliament. French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s carbon tax is blocked by the Constitutional Council. Public opinion polls show higher climate scepticism in Britain than in western Europe, North America and the Antipodes. Even when an ETS has been implemented, as in the case of the European Union, the policy has been a debacle: a collapsed carbon price, higher energy prices, and increased emissions during the first three years in operation.

China’s leaders, far from leading the world to a low-carbon future, won’t sign a legally binding global deal, because they want to grow their economy and reduce poverty on the back of the cheapest form of (carbon) energy.

Senior Indian politicians, meanwhile, criticise US officials when they push for Delhi to adopt binding emissions targets.

Nowhere is the changing climate more evident than in the US. Last month, congress could not even agree to a climate bill to debate on the Senate floor before a vote. Nor was it simply conservative Republicans who opposed what is called “cap and tax”. Democrats from states heavily dependent on coal, oil and manufacturing are overwhelmingly opposed to Al Gore’s agenda. When the House passed a climate bill a year ago, one in five Democrats opposed the legislation.

Read it here.

UPDATE: Strange that some polls seem to say precisely the opposite:

A poll has found climate change is a big issue in voters’ minds, as Labor hastily reassesses its climate policy before election day.

The poll of 2200 people, commissioned by conservation groups, found 78 per cent said climate change would influence their vote.

Almost half said the issue would be a strong influence, with younger people, and those learning towards Labor or the Greens, most concerned. (source)

The poll was commissioned by two environmental advocacy groups, the Australian Conservation Foundation (that runs Al Gore’s misleading Climate Project in Australia) and WWF, both of which firmly believe in AGW. I have requested the question wording and will update when I receive a response.

Election 2010: Half don't even know what an ETS is!


ETS? Never heard of it.

Yet oddly a majority of the population are still in favour of it (allegedly). Despite being a small poll, the number of people stopped in the street by Sydney’s Daily Telegraph who didn’t have a clue what an emissions trading scheme actually is was astonishing.

The Daily Telegraph yesterday surveyed 150 people in five Sydney suburbs and in the marginal seat of Robertson on the Central Coast, with the results showing Ms Gillard could have a lot of work ahead of her before she even gets consensus on what ETS means.

Just 73 of 150 voters knew what the letters ETS stood for, while only 53 of the 150 supported the introduction of an Emissions Trading Scheme.

Parramatta local Shaun Fernandez, 29, said he didn’t support an ETS because “it doesn’t seem like it will aid in the reduction of emissions”.

And almost half of 30 voters approached in Robertson – one of the most marginal seats in NSW – said they had never heard of the ETS concept. (source)

We’ve seen these kinds of results before. Despite all the government spin and advertising, and saturation media coverage and support, the general public have very little understanding of the ETS, and therefore the reality of what it will achieve (nothing) and at what cost (substantial). People tend to think that Australia should be “doing something” for the climate, because that’s the politically correct attitude to take (after all, who doesn’t want to “save the planet”?), but they have no comprehension of the fact that an ETS or any kind of carbon price in Australia will have no effect on the climate whatsoever, especially when China is installing new coal fired power stations with emissions equivalent to our entire annual CO2 output every few weeks. And that’s even assuming that microscopic changes in a harmless trace gas actually have a discernible effect on the climate over and above natural forces and noise.

They also do not understand the cost to our economy, and that the price of virtually everything, goods, services, you name it, will go up. And jobs will move offshore to countries, like China and India, that are more concerned about economic growth and raising their populations out of poverty than some liberal-elite ivory-tower urban “save the planet” crusade.

Election 2010: a vote for Labor is a vote for the Greens


Not fit for politics

That’s the inevitable result of the cosy little back-room deal for preferences struck by Labor and the Greens earlier this week.  The Greens will hold the balance of power in the Senate, meaning that no piece of legislation which does not have bipartisan support will get through without the Greens’ say so. The question that must be asked, therefore, is: what have Labor secretly agreed to in order to secure their support for government legislation? Who knows. The media obviously don’t care, but the people should care.

The Greens are an extremist, single-issue, far-Left environmental advocacy group that shouldn’t even be dignified by calling them a political party. Once they get their hands on the levers of power in the Senate, who knows what nonsense they will force Labor to enact – maybe interfering, meddling, nanny-state anti-Libertarian claptrap like this, or much worse: an ETS or carbon tax.

The Australian people should be afraid, very afraid.

And whilst we’re on the subject of extremist, single-issue, far-Left environmental advocacy groups, the WWF today proves that if you ask the right questions in a poll, you’ll get the right answers:

A new Galaxy poll of four marginal Queensland seats has found support for an emissions trading scheme (ETS) continues to grow.

The poll was commissioned by World Wildlife Fund Australia.

It found 74 per cent of respondents in the seats of Brisbane, Bowman, Petrie and Ryan say they are in favour of an ETS to reduce carbon pollution.

The figure is up 4 per cent from the previous poll conducted in June.

The survey also found 87 per cent of those who identified themselves as Labor voters want an ETS by next year. (source)

I am currently trying to source the question wording, and I’m sure we won’t be surprised when we see it.

UPDATE: Fair play to WWF for courteously providing the information requested. The primary question asked regarding the ETS was:

Overall, are you in favour or opposed to the introduction of an Emissions Trading Scheme to help reduce carbon pollution in Australia?

66% responded “in favour”. My gripe with this is the reference to “carbon pollution” rather than “carbon dioxide”. Any question that asks “do you want to reduce pollution” will predispose respondents to answer in the affirmative – I mean, who doesn’t want to reduce pollution? Unfortunately, the public do not understand enough about the real meaning of an ETS, and that’s thanks to a politically correct media. I wonder what the response would be if the question had been worded “are you in favour of an ETS to reduce the harmless trace gas carbon dioxide and which will increase your electricity bills by 50% and have no discernible effect on climate either locally or globally”?

Abbott: no price on carbon [dioxide]


No ETS or carbon (dioxide) tax

Tony Abbott has confirmed that a Coalition government will not set a price on carbon [dioxide].

TONY Abbott has vowed any government he leads would never introduce a carbon price.

The Opposition Leader has hardened the Coalition position, preparing a campaign strategy to target Labor on the basis that it would drive up electricity prices.

He said that, even if the international community agreed on a carbon price, a government led by him would not necessarily back it. “I do not support the government going out there and making consumers pay a price on carbon,”Mr Abbott said.

Even if there was an international consensus position on a carbon price, a Coalition government would not necessarily fall into line, he said.

“Let’s cross that bridge . . . look, it’s not going to happen in the foreseeable future,” Mr Abbott said.

“One thing is for sure, if this government is re-elected there will be a carbon price.

“It will be a high one and it will impact on everyone’s standard of living.”

And then a Labor own goal from Penny Wong [who she?]:

Climate Change Minister Penny Wong said without putting a price and a limit on pollution, Mr Abbott had no way to meet the emissions reductions targets that he had signed up to.

“He should be upfront with the Australian people and admit that his policy is a con that will not do anything to reduce emissions,” Senator Wong said yesterday.

But unfortunately, that’s the Labor policy too, and Julia Gillard believes in man-made climate change.

Read it here.

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