UPDATE: The more I think about this, the more sinister it seems. Gillard won’t put the policy on the table for all of us to debate, but she’ll get a quasi-mandate for an ETS by proxy. She’s playing both sides of the field. The Greens will assume the “citizens committee” will be convinced, they’ll be angry at the delay, but vote for the ALP anyway, the mainstream voter thinks they can relax and worry about it later. The skeptics know that any committee can be whitewashed or biased, and Gillard has pretty much said an ETS is inevitable. Michael Cejnar in #7 is exactly right (read his comment).
What’s a politician to do to convince the masses? They’ve tried the panel of 2,500 so-called experts at the UN who spend five years writing 3,000 page reports. They’ve tried spending millions on advertising campaigns, prize winning documentaries, coloring in competitions in schools, and they’ve tried bullying, name-calling and endless rounds of repetition.
Now instead of convincing the masses, they’ll just “convince” 0.01%. Democracy be done with it.
By “moving forward” to the Rudd summit of 2008 (or as Bolt points out, the Republican deliberative-poll farce of 1999) Gillard thinks if we pin down 150 people and subject them to more PR, more staged events, and what… are we giving them a job for a year? She thinks this will do the trick?
On the Republican committee of 1999, Bolt shows how bad it was at being a guide to the public consensus:
After two days of solid nagging, these (350) “ordinary Australians” backed the republic by an overwhelming 73 per cent. Just one month later the rest of the nation voted on the same proposal at the referendum—and rejected it in every state.
This is not how democracy works. We elected representatives to consider issues, we don’t draw names out of hats. If our elected reps won’t read both sides of the story and make up their minds, let’s have a referendum.
The only good news is this “plan” will cost the country a million times less than the ETS.
POST NOTE: The bad news is that it will cheat the country out of a proper debate.
ABOUT 150 ordinary Australians would be randomly chosen to develop the nation’s response to climate change under a re-elected Gillard Government.
Julia Gillard will today pledge to set up a Citizens’ Assembly to spend 12 months examining the evidence on climate change, the case for action and the consequences of putting a price on emissions. About 150 community representatives from a range of ages and backgrounds would be randomly chosen to take part in the 2020 Summit-style panel.
“They would be voluntary participants, but selected through the census/electoral roll by an independent authority,” Ms Gillard says.
This looks like a sincere do-nothing response that will make the greens angry about the delay, but conveniently keep the issue out of the election debate.
“If I am wrong, and that group of Australians is not persuaded of the case for change, then that should be a clear warning bell that our community has not been persuaded as deeply as required about the need for transformational change.” (my emphasis)
Not persuaded? Persuaded by whom? Who gets to speak?
Then is this the slip-of-the-tongue that shows it’s all a sham or the token platitude for the Green-preferences:
But she says she will not allow the nation “to be held to ransom by a few people with extreme views that will never be changed”. (my emphasis)
Extreme views? You mean like the paid up gravy train participants who think we need to redevelop our energy sources from scratch even though there’s no empirical evidence that a catastrophe is on the way; the models they’re based on are known to be wrong; and the benefits are uncertain and in most cases unmeasureable? They’re the ones trying to hold the nation to ransom.
The Age has a poll that shows 89% are unconvinced that another committee will achieve anything.
Gillard has already made up her mind.
From Sky news:
Ms Gillard recommitted to the need for a market mechanism to meet emissions reduction targets.
Tougher emissions standards will be implemented to ensure energy generation is ‘cleaner and greener’.
Labor also will spend $1 billion over 10 years to make it easier to connect renewable energy projects to the electricity grid.
Another $100 million will be provided to work with financial institutions to develop new renewable energy projects.
Wait a minute, I didn’t realize the experts on renewables were bankers: Goldman-Sachs-Geothermal, Westpac-Wind and Suncorp-Solar? Silly me.
But the committee are not the ones who decide anything anyway. After all that work and money they are merely an expensive polling device. (The riggable substitute referendum).
‘The roll of the citizens assembly will not be to become the final arbiter or judge of consensus but to provide and indicate back to the nation the progress of community consensus,’ Ms Gillard said.
There’s also a Climate Change Commission with “Experts”
The prime minister also committed to the creation of a climate change commission to explain the science of climate change.
The commission would report on international progress on climate change.
Deputy Opposition Leader, Julie Bishop, says there is a fundamental dishonesty about Labor’s Climate Change Policy.
“She’s putting off any decision, any policy on climate change,” she said.
“She says she believes in a carbon price, she’s done a preference deal with the Greens, who believe in a carbon tax, I think this distraction of a committee of 150 people is designed as a smoke screen.”
The Age: A preposterous PR machine
The Age of course doesn’t welcome another “expert” panel, because alarmists already have a 100% grip on all the so-called expert-panels around, so they can only lose:
The new Climate Change Commission could be seen as part of the spin, especially given that the existing CSIRO is already a well-respected and established authority on climate science. If climate sceptics are included in the new body purely for the sake of “balance”, it would be a backward step and a politicisation of the science. But a new body that is seen as neutral and authoritative would be a force for good.
Here’s Ben Cubby of the free press shamelessly arguing for no-free-speech for people who hold different scientific opinions to him. But then wait for it, having said “no dissent” he then says it would be good if it was … seen as neutral. In his twisted world of cult like belief in a scientific hypothesis, sceptical scientists who ask for no legislation, “politicize” things and scientists who demand you to pour your money into their pronouncements are not?
Addendum in political machinations
Rudd has confirmed he is talking to the UN about a part time job as a climate representative. That step ladder to the Secretary Generals position beckons.
h/t Peter D.
Bolts summary is a corker.