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 transport needs, and 300 years worth of coal. We already pay some of the highest electricity rates in the world. We have faster population growth than practically any other first-world nation (so we’re offering to ignore that completely and cut our total emissions, not our emissions per capita? Master negotiators, not.)
This is industrial and economic suicide, but on the upside we will look fashionable in UN cafe-latte circles right until the lights go out. Good work Malcolm.
Sadly, the main opposition party’s aim is to destroy jobs and lifestyle even faster. Why go out on a limb when you can launch yourself with a canon? The “conservatives” want a 26% reduction, Labor thinks a 45% cut will stop storms and make electricity cheaper. (So why not do 100%?)
This is a big risk the party did not have to take
Just like 2009 — Turnbull fell on his sword over climate change and was tossed out as opposition leader, he’s doing it again. He runs a one seat majority government, up to ten MPs have such great reservations they say they might cross the floor (and vote against it). Turnbull has to get the Labor party and states to back this. If he fails, the word is it will cost him his leadership. That gives the Labor party huge leverage over the policy details.
They may say “No” because the policy is not suicidal enough and they are scared of losing the Green voters. Or because they want to troll the Libs, watch them immolate and pick a new leader, in which case, the joke’s on them. If somehow Turnbull pulls it off, the Liberal base will desert the party, he’ll have to put in two million dollars of his own money this election to replace the lost donors, and he’ll likely lose anyway. What drives this man?
Foreign readers can get some idea of the schism in Australian politics — the last Prime Minister of the very same party writes of the dissent in the ranks at the party meeting on the NEG: ” there were lots of pleas for unity, but as one MP said, we’ve got to be loyal to our electorates and to party members too, and not show the “unity of lemmings”. On Abbott’s Facebook page there are over 600 commenters, most of whom are congratulating him and pleading for cheaper electricity.
Peter O’Brien replies — Tony, The Real Lemmings are Smarter
What they [Liberals] have done, to put it in the most simple terms, is back a policy that will now be filtered and modified by the demands of state premiers to whom Turnbull will be obliged to defer if he hopes ever to go before the cameras and claim with that patented supercilious grin that his NEG has carried the day. It won’t be his NEG by that stage. What sort of a “conservative” leader places his destiny in the hands of Laborites?
For people looking to understand the political ramifications, read all of Peter O’Brien’s piece at Quadrant.
These men need our support
It’s a high risk play to talk about crossing the floor in a government that rules by one seat.
Only a few politicians are brave enough to stand up to the namecalling and media intimidation, and say what most Australians think. Send them your thanks, and let them know how much you appreciate their effort.
Some just want a price guarantee which Turnbull may be able to (in theory) add to the NEG but the wisest MP’s won’t settle for anything less than pulling out of Paris:
Mr Turnbull and Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg yesterday claimed the partyroom meeting as a victory for the NEG with majority support for the policy, and dismissed questions about MPs threatening to cross the floor. However, it is understood that, privately, there were concerns within the leadership group about the fate of the policy. The Australian has confirmed Barnaby Joyce told the partyroom he couldn’t support the bill. He was joined by South Australian MP Tony Pasin, the LNP’s George Christensen, Victorian Kevin Andrews, outspoken NSW Liberal Craig Kelly and NSW Nationals MP Andrew Gee. All cited price guarantees as a minimum requirement for support.
West Australian Liberal Andrew Hastie, Tasmanian senator Eric Abetz and Mr Abbott claimed they would not support the bill on principle because its only purpose was to legislate the Paris target of reducing emissions by 26 per cent on 2005 levels. LNP senator Barry O’Sullivan has also indicated he could cross the floor in the Senate.
…. But it is understood it will fail to win the support of Mr Abbott and Mr Hastie, whose opposition to the NEG is based solely on the Paris target.
Then CC your messages to your local MP — whoever they are. And if you have the energy, CC it to the editors of the major daily papers.
Can a reader (or two) please do an email list of current politicians? (Here’s the 2015 list).
Australians go early to bed,
To reduce power bills which they dread,
Due to blind dumb ambitions,
To cut ‘carbon’ emissions,
By their leaders who serve Paris instead.
Tony Abbott says the NEG policy should go back to the drawing board:
The Member for Warringah tells Ben Fordham he won’t support the policy as it stands.
“Had I been at the top table, it would have had to go back to the drawing board.
“Certainly in John Howard’s time, a submission from a minister that got the kind of treatment that Minister Frydenberg’s submission got yesterday, it would go back to the drawing board.
“Because the first duty of the leader is to keep the party together, we should be fighting the Labor Party, not fighting ourselves.
“At the moment, thanks to this so-called National Energy Guarantee, the fight is an internal fight.”
Barnaby Joyce says “This is bulls***. This has got to stop”.
Mr Joyce says people, especially our farmers, “are terrified every time the power bill turns up”. “We’ve got the Salvation Army, a reliable source, saying people are going to bed at half past four in the afternoon to stay warm.”
When the Liberals are beaten at the next election, they will look for leaders who stood against this madness.
I note, on that point, that Andrew Hastie was reportedly brilliant in putting the arguments against the NEG in today’s party room meeting.
The NEG would be a disaster for Australian Industry, consumers, electricity prices. If we are lucky, the Labor Party and Greens will be so delusionally overconfident they’ll vote “No”. (Shh. Don’t tell them).
PS: For foreign readers, the Liberals in Australian are theoretically the conservatives here. RINOs.