Big mining may have put the COAL in the Coalition, but Abbott’s war on the environment is facing some tough opposition.
To spite the Climate Change Authority predicting that the scrapping of the carbon tax will lead to a 17% increase in emissions (over 2000 levels) by 2020, the urgency of the climate situation seems totally lost on our government. It appears the LNP would prefer to destroy the CCA, (and every other climate/renewable agency/initiative in the country) rather than heed their sobering warning.
Mean while, back in the real world, those of us who value scientific consensus over the bloated opinions of fox news, corporate toadying shock jocks and all the other wilfully ignorant, vested interest denialists, are rightly concerned.
The science is in, and it’s not looking good. While a certain amount of climate change is now inevitable, we have a small window in which to avoid the CATASTROPHIC consequences of a major climate shift. Almost everyone seems to understand this, except our government.
Let’s face it, the profoundly short term “Après moi le déluge”, attitude of Abbott and his cronies is certainly not the quality of response any one with half a brain would want from those at the helm. That is of course unless you are coal miner, in which case Tony is definitely your man on the inside!
In the run up to last years federal election big mining and energy poured over $1,000,000 in declared donations into LNP coffers, (not that anyone would be so bold as to suggest that may have wielded any influence on Coalition policy). It is however worth noting that the LNP’s largest donor, the Cormack Foundation, is an entity designed to shield the identity of donors,which means that the true figure could actually be much larger, but we would never know.
So … in stark contrast to the rest of the developed world, the coalition is determined to push it’s demonstrably ideological position in favour of coal, and wind back, (rather than ramp up), Australia’s climate action. In series of moves, that could only be described as economically reckless, including the dismantling the PROFITABLE clean energy fund (potentially costing thousands of jobs and hundreds of millions in sustainable investment and development), the LNP appear determined to trash the renewable energy industry. While this course seems to defy all logic (especially when one is supposedly managing a “budget emergency”) quick application of Occam’s razor would suggest that the LNP must have been bought and paid for by big mining and energy.
If you look at the coalition’s much ridiculed “direct action” policy, a policy that removes the cost of acquiring carbon credits from big mining and energy and then hands them tax payers money in return for some nebulous promise to behave nicely, it reads like something Energy Australia might have put on their christmas list.
Admittedly with Abbott at the wheel Australia’s environmental landscape appears overwhelmingly bleak, but the outcome is far from a foregone conclusion. The global commitment to acting sensibly is growing fast, with both the US and China moving aggressively to reduce emissions and embrace renewables. Those of us who wish to run along side them should take some heart in the fact that our senate is far from compliant with Tony’s madness, and that it is a long way from policy to legislation.
While we may not hear about it in the Murdoch press there is considerable senate pressure being brought to bear on the government over it’s lunatic climate policies.To wit something rather special happened in parliament recently that I would like to share with you. Amongst all the argy-bargy of the post budget wrangling Greens senator Scott Ludlam, armed with nothing more than intelligent line of questioning, managed to unravel the sad truth behind the LNP’s “direct action” climate policy. Which is, quite counter to all their rhetoric, not even the government expect their direct action policy to actually reduce emissions (in real terms), let alone energy prices in the longer term.
In a stunning display of political acumen Ludlam tore through the LNP’s rhetoric, establishing that not only is the LNP’s direct action policy not expected to reduce emissions, the LNP haven’t actually done the modelling required to give us so much as an estimated reduction in emissions.
While the LNP readily admit “direct action” will cost a lot, about $2 Billion (AU) over the forward estimates (not to mention the revenue lost from abandoning carbon pricing), under Ludlam’s relentless interrogation they were forced to admit that they may even need to “find” a bit more money for the scheme.
It was an eye opening display, and one that warmed my heart. It was a real pleasure to see the quality of interaction elevated above that of school yard cat calling; to actually see intelligent, articulate scrutiny sweep aside the slogans and cut to the heart of the matter. I congratulate Mr Ludlam, and I sincerely hope we may we see many more of his calibre entering politics on all sides!
Is the Coalition driving renewable energy investment overseas?