JoNova

A science presenter, writer, speaker & former TV host; author of The Skeptic's Handbook (over 200,000 copies distributed & available in 15 languages).


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Turnbull’s “pet fetish” – thinks people will sing hallalujah to climate change. He’s ruined. (Blame Abbott)

Abbott is an incredibly powerful man. From the backbench he’s creating disunity, stopping legislation, ruining careers, and bringing down Prime Ministers, all just for the fun of it.

This has nothing to do with the 54% of Australians who are skeptics.

Turnbull has lost control of government. He cannot get legislation through the lower house. But hey, if only Abbott wasn’t there, Australians would be happy to buy expensive electricity. It would take a ‘miracle’ to save Malcolm Turnbull

Peter Hartcher, The Sydney Morning Herald

“Turnbull thinks people will fall on their knees and say hallelujah!

Turnbull’s supporters are angry and frustrated at Abbott. But among many in the conservative faction of the Liberal Party, there is glee. Turnbull has been humiliated. And, to the conservatives’ great satisfaction, he has been humiliated over what they consider his pet fetish – climate change and carbon emissions.

“Turnbull is obsessed with this issue,” says a leading conservative MP. He thinks it’s a “‘greatest moral challenge of our time’ type of initiative”, a reference to the Kevin Rudd description of climate change. It was a challenge that Rudd failed because of an internal insurrection and now Turnbull [...]

Turnbull stays – can’t last

Good news for people who like political drama. Turnbull lives on, as does the lack of unity, purpose and meaning of The Australian Liberals.

Malcolm Turnbull wins partyroom ballot against Peter Dutton 48-35

The Australian

Malcolm Turnbull has won a leadership ballot against Peter Dutton in the Liberal partyroom by 48 votes to 35 and Peter Dutton has resigned to the back bench.

Dennis Shanahan:

Malcolm Turnbull’s victory in the leadership ballot has solved little for the Liberal Party.

It has also shortened the odds of an election before Christmas and confirmed the rebellion against the Prime Minister is far wider than just a few malcontents.

As the leadership crisis engulfs the Australian Government…

Turnbull braces for leadership challenge

Simon Benson, Geoff Chambers, The Australian

Malcolm Turnbull has lost the confidence of half of his Liberal Party cabinet colleagues as the Prime Minister’s backers admit they are bracing for a leadership challenge from Home Affairs Minister and leading Queensland conservative Peter Dutton.

As the leadership crisis engulfs the government, sources close to the Prime Minister were yesterday briefing that they were expecting a leadership challenge as early as today. Liberal MPs last night claimed that Mr Turnbull had begun calling colleagues to shore up support.

Mr Dutton’s camp believed that it could get to the required 43 votes to roll Mr Turnbull…

Peter Dutton may be ineligible to sit in Parliament. His lawyers say clearly no. Other lawyers say “Maybe”.

Anne Twomey, The Conversation

Section 44(v) says that any person who “has any direct or indirect pecuniary interest in any agreement with the Public Service of the Commonwealth” is disqualified from sitting as a member of parliament.

Dutton, as recorded in the parliamentary register of interests, is the beneficiary of a discretionary family trust. This trust, through its trustee, apparently owns two childcare centres [...]

Rebel numbers swell: Carbon emissions poised to bring Turnbull down a second time

An imminent train wreck that has been coming a long time…

Supporters of an overthrow of the Australian PM are phoning in, numbers are being tallied:

by Simon Benson, Dennis Shanahan, Joe Kelly, The Australian

The leadership crisis engulfing Malcolm Turnbull has deepened, with cabinet ministers privately accusing the Prime Minister of cobbling together his plan to cap retail power prices in a last-minute bid to save his leadership.

The Australian is aware that a number of MPs called Home ­Affairs Minister and leading Queensland conservative Peter Dutton at the weekend to pledge support should he seek to challenge Mr Turnbull.

Former prime minister Tony Abbott told a Tasman­ian Young Liberals meeting at the weekend he was looking forward to serving under a “Dutton government”.

Even PM’s allies ask: what use is he to us?

Simon Benson, National Affairs Editor, The Australian, says the word is that the challenge is “inevitable”.

Malcolm Turnbull is in full capitulation mode. In the face of a possible and increasingly likely challenge, he has buckled to rebel MPs, and in the process surrendered the future of his leadership to the demands of a few.

It’s [...]

Abbott wins this round: Turnbull pulls Paris Agreement from NEG, but still wants to meet it “for free”

Too little, too late, not enough

Turnbull has to go.

Faced with a possible and imminent challenge from Peter Dutton, a limping Malcolm Turnbull has done the barest minimum just to stay in power. He has capitulated, and won’t try to mandate the Paris agreement through law, but he still wants the nation to meet the Paris agreement. If he had pushed it through Parliament he would have faced a leadership challenge for sure, and pundits are saying it’s still likely. How long will Liberal lemmings allow him to lead and give up the easiest, well trodden and winning election strategy?

Tony Abbott is leading the nation from the back bench.

When will the Liberals grow a spine and dump the Paris agreement completely?

Most of the party is too afraid to even talk about how much warming humans may be causing lest they be called a “denier” for doubting that it is not exactly the same as an unaudited, unelected and unaccountable foreign committee says. The nation can’t even have a sensible public discussion on climate change.

As Andrew Bolt says Turnbull’s leadership is now terminal. His clumsy gambit to present the NEG as a done deal too early [...]

Turnbull faces “sizable revolt” over energy prices and Paris agreement

Normally a governing party, especially with a margin of “one”, would consult with its own members before it consulted with the opposition. Turnbull’s gambit appeared to depend on sneaking the plan past the conservatives and libertarian skeptics.

Turnbull in bid to quash NEG rebellion

Simon Benson, Joe Kelly, The Australian

It emerged last night that Labor had been given a copy of the NEG legislation, another move that has angered Coalition MPs who are yet to see it.  A Liberal rebel told The Australian it was “disgusting” that Labor had the legislation but they were being asked to sign off on it sight unseen.

To forestall a revolt, Turnbull is said to be giving ground on all kinds of things, like ways to stop the big retailers gaming the market, but not “Paris”?

However, senior ministers have told The Australian this would not be enough to prevent Coalition MPs crossing the floor if the 26 per cent Paris emissions reduction target was not dumped or “decoupled” from the NEG.

The move to cauterise the growing threat of internal revolt came as the Prime Minister’s most senior conservative minister, Peter Dutton, suggested there could be a time [...]

Solar boom to bust in China: worlds largest solar PV projects drop 43% as subsidies cut

The advantage of communist autocrats is that they can create government havoc so much more efficiently.

The Chinese solar boom was so big it became the world’s largest solar market. It was so big it pushed up global “clean energy” investment to a record high. China became the veritable show pony of the solar spruikers: “leading the world in clean energy investment”. Mashable tells us it was so big “the solar boom could be seen from space“.

But the star advertisement for renewable glory was all based on subsidies:

The Chinese solar boom was “pretty significant”

A couple of months ago the Chinese government admitted they were cutting the subsidies to make electricity cheaper again for consumers. That hit the stock market. Now projects are being cancelled and orders are drying up for the hapless manufacturers.

The free market might be telling us something China’s solar industry is at a crossroads

“Without subsidies there’s no return on investment for over a decade, so investors and property owners aren’t interested in distributed solar. With subsidies it only takes seven years to recoup the investment,” he adds.

China’s solar manufacturers are unhappy with recent government policy changes [...]

Climate Wars back in Australia: Both parties pander to zealots, ideologues and renewables industry

The climate circus is back in Australia

Election 2019 is coming and Turnbull just lit a fire under the conservative base. The Deplorables are angry. Phones are running hot today. The DefCons awaken. In the last election defiant non-left voters were the “most influential group” — the swingers who ultimately decide the winner. This was the same group the journalists completely missed, like Brexit and Trump voters.

The Australian government, despite the polls showing Australians don’t want to pay more for renewables, has agreed to try to legislate a 26% reduction in emissions, setting a target in stone that almost no other country has done. (Have any?) Most countries have committed to nothing, or rather, they’ve committed to building nearly 300 coal plants. They’re planning 400 more.

A 26% mandatory target means so much more than just higher electricity bills, we’ll have to carve up our cattle and sheep, transport, waste and the rest of the economy too. What are they thinking?

We could lead the world in agriculture or medicine but we picked hara kiri?

We are the largest coal exporter in the world and it’s our largest export earner, we have a lower population density, bigger distances, higher [...]

Midweek Unthreaded

Dear Australia, would you rather have $8,500 or a 0.0001C cooler climate for your 130th Birthday?

Why Australia must exit the Paris Climate Agreement, The IPA report.

IPA estimates Paris Agreement to stop storms and hold back the tide may cost $8500 per Australian family

What a deal. You could have free electricity for the next four years or an imperceptible difference in the air outside the nursing home for your children’s 94th birthday.

The Americans went for the money. So did nearly everyone else.

Damian Wild at the IPA calculates that the Paris Agreement will cost patsy Australians $52 billion dollars in the next 12 years.

Paris deal spells ‘irreparable damage’: IPA report

Rachel Baxendale, The Australian

A study by the Institute of Public ­Affairs, “Why Australia must exit the Paris Climate Agreement”, estimates our Paris target of reducing emissions to 26-28 per cent on 2005 levels by 2030 will impose a $52 billion economic cost between now and 2030, equating to $8566 a family.

Paris Agreement To Cost Australia $52 Billion

“The immutable law of energy policy is this: lower emissions mean higher prices.”

“Each family in Australia will be at least $8,566 worse off under the Paris Climate Agreement, on average. This is at [...]