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19 responses to “Climate change issue comes alive – almost!”

  1. Robert Merkel

    Sounds like the Climate Institute isn’t taking into account the results of emissions trading, which is where the overwhelming majority of emissions reductions are going to come from.

    The decision about what level of reductions are specified, and when, is the key one, and Labor has decided to kick that to touch for now. We essentially have to take them on trust.

    But when the choice in the lower house is between a party who’s at least made the right noises on the issue, and a party who for a decade put their hands in their ears and sang “la-la-la-I-can’t-hear-you” whenever the topic was mentioned, it’s a pretty straighforward choice.

  2. Robert Merkel

    The other point is that, to a large extent, the decision will be taken out of our hands by the post-Kyoto negotiating process. It’s not implausible that in six months time we may see Rudd making a terribly serious televised address saying “it has become clear in international negotiations that Australia will be forced to make much bigger cuts to greenhouse emissions…therefore to prepare us for that I am instituting these measures to …etc etc etc”.

  3. Brian

    Both good points, Robert. Much will also depend on what Garnaut comes up with, and, I think, a growing realisation on the part of policy makers everywhere, that the situation is worse and more urgent than realised when the IPCC report was being compiled.

    On the climate Institute’s score card, John Connor, CEO of the Climate Institute was on Breakfast with Fran Kelly on Tuesday. They are hard markers, and generally don’t give much credit for anything that is not pinned down, tangible and quantifiable.

  4. suz

    a clear majority of cabinet did not think changing the government’s stance was a viable political position to take

    What silly old duffers they are, then.

  5. Michael D

    And finally someone is talking about feed-in tarrifs. Or at least Bob Brown on meet the press this morn said the Greens were announcing the policy as part of their launch today. (Can’t find it on their website however…)


  6. Sam Clifford

    Howard would’ve been crucified if he ratified Kyoto after the reconciliation backflip. The Libs would’ve been left with no credibility and their record in tatters. Standing against something for the last 20 years only to embrace it at the 11th hour smacks of political desperation and the people of Australia would see it for what it is.

    Besides, it’d be a non-core promise and we’d still hear Howard arguing for a “New Kyoto” (Tokyo?)

  7. Peter Kemp

    Turnbull is ambitious and will almost certainly look for a different portfolio under Costello

    Brian, surely you got those names back to front? 🙂

    Perhaps an appointment as financial adviser to Khazakstan by an LNP government led by Turnball in 2022?

    (& Dolly as “Cultural” Attache)

  8. Paul Burns

    Yes, he would have been crucified. But wasn’t it lovely watching him squirm as that naughty (presumably ABC) journalist repeatedly asked him if it was true Cabinet had knocked back Malcolm’s submission to ratify Kyoto. Actually, I think they might have got away with it if they said it was all Malcolm’s idea as the new environment minister. He must be delighted (Malcolm that is) at the way he’s got both Howard and Costello groping for the knives in their back. I thought the Liberal Party was supposed to implode after losing elections. Fun to see it happening during the campaign. Was this the tsunami Costello really meant?

  9. Nick Caldwell

    Regarding Sam Clifford’s point at 11:22, I’m wondering if the concept of the sunk cost has any bearing on the economics of reputation as well. In other words, the Coalition is throwing good money after bad if they’re only maintaining a climate denialist position because they’ve got so much time already invested in it.

    Sorry, bit of a mixed metaphor there.

  10. philiptravers

    And I am a complete bore I suppose,if, I think the leading experts that always get the publicity are staking too much on election outcomes,because whatever science they are undoubtedly agreeing on is not the languid humanity that continues to claim some invariable self-condition of real motivation,intent and outcome! So other parts of the matters of the development and continuation of the attempts to scientifically derive the future with great purpose and certitude are all rendered down to the majority of politicians, who arent as a whole, conversant with climatology as a second language, geology as a practice in historic assessment,or even concentrating long enough to wonder,if cloud seeding of the tourist mountains isnt adding to the woes in the Australian landscape,instead preferring the belief, accuracy in knowing the result is the same as the fundamental process of regular patterns of behaviour operating specifically for a particular industry. Accuracy of outcome as benevolence maybe in fact,a malevolence in the short and longer patterns,and these people dont bloody well know they are all trying to claim expertise,and the longitudinal assessment hasnt even been familiarised in how to look at these weather patterns that can predictably assess the non need for again going down the weather modification path! now, I know how I am expressing this viewpoint has a sort of redundancy of economic efficiency about it,but it is clear to me.I was a member ,a lay member of a UNO affiliated group in the Year of water.Within the magazine they were presenting evidences from the U.S.A. as to the potential for long term weather change of a detrimental type by the use of the present system of doing it and now more refined. Its like a comparison with shattering in a car window a hole,that is cloud seeding, can lead over time by virtue of the glass stresses already present,after the hole is complete extending further across the window as the car travels under various conditions and speeds.Certainly this may not be a useful analogy to suggest the weather related pressures of stress and shearing immediately and into the future because of new and incomplete pathways of weather travel across the landscape.Reiterated in presentation,the hole,cloud seeding, has set up a pathway of whole windscreen collapse,more so maybe because of other forces on the windscreen.Laminar realities unfortunately as a selection of phenomena present in weather conditions and windscreens does create some momentary confusion.The knowledge meteorologist deal with, are patterns not necessarily continually referenced to geological strata and points within the geology.The C.S.I.R.O. have definitely concluded how tree lines pull the weather in,but the mass of trees still on the strata in the conditions of weather modification can affect by their own needs as bio-strata, irregular and unexpected outcomes.The recent fires locally in that area and national,are already sources of weather change.Come on wake up, this isnt getting even a mention.The scientists are confounded by the knowledge and legitimate theory is bedeviled by how more than one result can be attained by modelling.

  11. Bill O'Slatter

    The most likely culprit in a leaking is the biggest beneficiary. There’s little benefit in this for Ratty or the liberal Party ;iti just emphasizes how stuck in the past they are. Good strategy from Turnbull however positioning himself for leadership ( if he survives in his own seat) . After the pulp mill debacle and failure of nerve he had to do something.

  12. Michael D

    re: Sam – someone knows his japanese history…

  13. Snorky

    Seems pretty clear to me. Turnbull leaked the story, with Howard’s connivance, on the basis that it might persuade a few prevaricators in Wentworth to return to the Liberal fold on the strength of Turnbull’s environmental credentials.

    Whether it’s actually true is debatable. There’d be plenty of public servants who would know.

  14. CK

    Yes, he would have been crucified. But wasn’t it lovely watching him squirm as that naughty (presumably ABC) journalist repeatedly asked him if it was true Cabinet had knocked back Malcolm’s submission to ratify Kyoto.

    Yes, it was delightful. The classic Howard “No, look behind you! No, not that way, THAT way” refrain.

    I can’t bear this for another four weeks. It’s death by comedy.

  15. Sam Clifford

    CK, did the twitch make another appearance?

  16. Aidan

    But cabinet decided such a backflip would not look credible to voters given the vehemence with which Prime Minister Howard had argued against Kyoto for a decade, even though it was looking for ways to redefine the coalition’s image in the electorate.

    Yet again Howard’s non-retirement has bitten them. Under new leadership they could have ditched the belligerent anti-Kyoto rhetoric. Sweet.

  17. habby

    Anyone in any doubt what has driven Coalition policy on greenhouse and climate change and the critical role of Howard in particular should read Clive Hamilton’s “Scorcher: The dirty politics of climate change”. For a short version you can see a speech Hamilton delivered several years at –


    If it’s half true it’s a damming indictment and highlights the energy industry has had them by the short and curlys for many years.

    And we should be fearing undue influence from the unions with a potentail Labour government!

  18. Brian

    habby, that’s exactly right. Guy Pearse, the former Liberal insider, reckons the penetration of the Greenhouse Mafia into the organs of government is such that even a Rudd government is going to find it difficult to shake them off.

    The strategy, according to him, is do all the superficial stuff, but to do nothing that would threaten the role of coal in particular in the world energy production system.

  19. Brian

    Snorky, the story about Turnbull taking the proposal is almost certainly true. Taylor said today that the AFR would not have run it without confirming it with several cabinet sources.

    Whether Turnbull leaked it or someone else hardly matters, I think. The main thing is that they are squabbling over it.