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Craig Kelly is a dangerous embarrassment

I cannot tell if Liberal MP, Craig Kelly, is dumb as a post or if he thinks we are.

Highlighting the internal divisions in the Liberal Party, we have Josh Frydenberg, the Energy and Environment Minister, throwing his support behind electric cars while backbencher (and Tony Abbott ally) Craig Kelly, who sits on the House of Representatives Standing Committee on the Environment and Energy and is chairman of the Coalition backbench environment and energy committee, is all over the media running them down.

First off, Kelly played the battler card.

“Why should a bloke in Penrith who’s driving a Corolla subsidise a rich person in Balmain buying a Tesla?”

But it’s not just about fair dinkum battlers paying for rich inner-city latte-sipping dilettantes.

Oh no. Mr Kelly is doing it for the environment.

He informs us that a petrol Toyota Corolla emits significantly less carbon dioxide than a Tesla.

I could, as Fact Check did, go through lots of evidence about how Kelly used outdated emissions intensity figures and how he compared a high performance electric vehicle with a sub-compact, low-power petrol one, but that misses the main point.

Leaving aside the emissions created by the manufacture of the vehicle, the CO2 emissions for the running of an electric vehicle depend on the energy mix of the grid supplying the power to charge the vehicle. The higher the proportion of energy from renewable sources, the lower the emissions.

When charged using 100 per cent renewable energy, electric cars produce no emissions other than those used to create parts and build the car.

Yet it was Kelly who last year urged the government to scrap renewable energy targets or risk being responsible for an increase in deaths over winter as people were too scared to turn on their heaters because renewable energy was making power unaffordable.

No mention of the price of gas, I note.

On Monday, Mr Kelly linked to a Daily Mail article quoting an amateur weather forecaster who runs a facebook page called East Coast Weather who says that Australia is set for the coldest winter on record.

Mr Kelly commented in response that “with over $5 billion in subsidies for Chinese solar panels and wind turbines directly added to our electricity bills – we’ll be paying some of the highest electricity prices in the world to keep from freezing.”

Ignoring the gratuitous “Chinese” dogwhistling, there is no mention from Mr Kelly of fossil fuel subsidies, no mention of inflated network costs, no mention of gas exports, and, most significantly, no mention of the data from the Bureau of Meteorology released in January which said:

The 11-year mean temperature for 2007–2017 was the highest on record at 0.61 °C above average. Seven of Australia’s ten warmest years have occurred since 2005 and Australia has experienced just one cooler than average year in the last decade (2011). Background warming associated with anthropogenic climate change has seen Australian annual mean temperature increase by approximately 1.1 °C since 1910. Most of this warming has occurred since 1950.

In May last year, Craig Kelly applauded Donald Trump’s anticipated exit from the Paris climate accord, describing the deal as “cactus”.


Despite every regulatory body, every stakeholder, every scientist, every economist and every commentator blaming a decade of toxic politics for our current energy crisis and inaction on climate change, the Coalition is happy to send out this ignorant man to be their spokesperson in the media, a man who would rather rely on what he reads on facebook than actual evidence.

Malcolm Turnbull is incapable of getting his own party to agree on a direction let alone leading the country in the direction we must go to deal with the existential threat posed by climate change.

Will Labor have the courage to do what must be done?

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  1. Aortic

    Coal is good for humanity, climate change is crap. Have a listen to Jeremy Rifkin.

  2. Glenn Barry

    No need to be polite about it, Craig Kelly is an effing imbecile, if you’ve ever had the displeasure of witnessing him on the ABC on a Saturday morning, you’ll be inclined to use even harsher language.

    He’s a Turnbull and Trump equivalent without the financial backing

  3. Cool Pete

    Craig Kelly is a bloody idiot!

  4. Kaye Lee

    In Kelly’s first speech in parliament, he said “I consider myself an environmentalist. As our cities and roads become more and more congested, I am concerned about the health effects from fine particulate matter in diesel exhaust, as studies in California show that diesel exhaust leads to 9,000 premature deaths annually.”

    I wonder if these people ever look back at their first speeches to see just how corrupted they have become by the Canberra games.

  5. Matters Not

    Kelly is one of the pure people and not a member of the corrupt elite. That’s the image he constructs and presents at every opportunity. It’s called populism. Currently, there’s any number in the Australian Federal Parliament as exemplified by George Christensen, Bob Katter, Pauline Hansen, Barnaby Joyce, Craig Kelly and the like. Internationally we see examples such as Donald Trump, Rodrigo Duterte, Viktor Orbán and Marine Le Pen.

    While it’s not a new phenomenon, it’s certainly undergoing a successful resurrection. Politically – It works but only in the short term – but isn’t that what modern political success is all about?

  6. LOVO

    Thank f#%k for people like Craig Kelly…….he shows us how not to be……. 😉
    What ever he says….and when ever he says.. ‘it’….the opposite is closer to the truth. 😤
    He’s an truth sayer…from Bizzaro World (that square planet where they don’t peel thier onions before they eat them), his legacies will be an bane for all…. What an embarrassing Australian. …such an inept human…..such an personification of Fiasco (writ large ,a typical LNP trait)….he is an perfect example of what’s wrong ‘with’. ..and wrong ‘for’ Australia, going forward….

  7. Roswell

    What’s the world coming to? I agree with LOVO. 😺

  8. Kaye Lee

    I notice that the Coalition are focusing on what Labor politicians have said in the past eg on corporate tax cuts.

    Without trying to sound like Michaelia Cash, does Turnbull really want to go there?

    “I will not lead lead a party that is not as committed to effective action on climate change as I am”.

    Time is running out for Turnbull…..and for the planet unless we get rid of these dinosaurs.

  9. Matters Not

    Yes – the past and how it comes back to bite you on the … Seems like Abbott will experience another little ray of sunshine as the 30 Newspoll benchmark arrives. How does Turnbull handle that? Who will be there to help alleviate the pain? And who will be there to feast on the potential political corpse?

    While Abbott has expectations, they will come to nought! A pity. Can’t see a serious challenger on the horizon even thought there’s any number with ambition. I suggest they go with Dutton and make the disaster complete. Perhaps Turnbull could elevate Kelly to the Cabinet? Desperate times require ..

  10. Roswell

    Matters Not, but … but … Malcolm no longer takes notice of the polls. They’re irrelevant, he says.

  11. Kaye Lee

    In October 2015, just after Malcolm took over, some of our country’s world-leading climate scientists offered to brief politicians from all parties in Canberra.

    Craig Kelly accepted the invitation to have some scientists speak to the Coalition’s backbench committee on the environment on the Monday evening. In attendance would be the Global Change Institute director and marine biologist and coral reef expert Prof Ove Hoegh-Guldberg, Dr John Church, a world-leading scientist on sea level rise from the CSIRO and Prof Mark Howden, a chief research scientist at CSIRO and also the director of the Climate Change Institute at Australian National University.

    But on the Friday, the scientists were told that Kelly had also invited three representatives from the Institute of Public Affairs to also make presentations. This was, apparently, to provide “balance”.

    Hoegh-Guldberg said the response to the briefings to a large cross-party group on the Tuesday had been “fantastic”.

    “There was no debate as far as I could tell at all about the realities of climate change. The questions were about the appropriate level of cuts, about what we should do and how to adapt to the inevitable aspects of climate change. Quite different actually from a few years ago when I was part of similar briefings. The issue has matured to a point where effectively they now understand what’s science and what’s bogus. With the change of leadership [to Malcolm Turnbull] the issue has advanced rather smartly. It has moved from anti-science to something more like a competition between the three parties as to who can be the most responsive to the issue. The Monday evening, though, was unpleasant. We had people shouting. We have heard all of the old arguments before a million times – ‘CO2 is plant food’ … ‘climate change isn’t happening’ … that sort of thing. It was disappointingly uninformed. The scientists were from premier institutions taking time to address the committee. Then we had three people from the IPA – clearly lobbyists. What they were saying was not based in reality or science – it was an anti-intellectual environment.”


    And yet Kelly’s crowd have won??????

  12. Zathras

    It’s both frustrating and discouraging to see after all this time and all the investigation that the anti-AGW brigade still persists and is given serious media coverage.

    Then again, in a world where most of the population believes in some sort of invisible sky-daddy coming to save them all, it’s a fight that probably can’t be won until it’s just too late.

    Their individual self-interest must be greater than the whole and they should be called out to defend their claims at every opportunity, rather than letting them make crazy claims and move on unscathed.

    The only way they can be beaten is at the ballot box. Throw each and every one of them out until there are none left.
    It will probably still be too late but we will know who they were and will always remember.

  13. johno

    Looking forward to the demise of Fizza and his hapless crew.

  14. diannaart

    You don’t have to be as “dumb as a post” to be a member of the LNP, but it helps.

    As with any “judgy” anal retentive, paternal, authoritarian types, they reflect their inadequacies onto everyone else (except themselves of course) so, yes, they think the public is as dumb as posts if not even dumber – if you’re going to reflect inadequacies why limit such insult?

    They don’t get pollution either, whether it is the variety caused by burning toxic fuels, dumping into oceans, rivers and other eco-systems or their pollution of democratic process. They believe pollution “toughens you up” and, therefore, nothing to worry about. “Robust” debate is considered de rigueur, anything else and you’re just too soft and a bit of a “girly man” and that includes the women.

    Bill Shorten has his work cut out for him – if he really wants a return to representative governance – to represent people you need/must respect the populace and those pesky things called facts provided by those uppity qualified experts.

  15. guest

    The decision to sign off on Adani indicates how far the ‘populist’ coal for jobs mantra has succeeded. It is economics trumping science. In such an ethos people like Kelly make a lot of sense to people who have vested interests. Hense all the shouting, Kaye.

    There is no denier science. What they say is a mishmash of nonsense and very often not even that.

    Tony Eggleton, Emeritus professor at ANU (2013), tells us: “At present the world is warming at the rate of 1 degree C in 60 years; that is, 20 times faster than any previous sustained rate of temperature change”. (p 133)

    Here in Oz the debate has been deliberately muddled and dumbed down politically.

  16. Rat Matrix (RatMatrix)

    Purely for scientific purposes of course, next time young Craig ‘Ned’ Kelly makes a speech in our esteemed Houses of Parliament, count the times it says “….Deputy Speaker”.
    Then, for even more scientific reasons, take a small snifter of Laphroaig every time he says it.
    The horizon will rapidly turn vertical in quick time I can assure you.
    I know, I’ve tried it…. in the name of science of course.

  17. Frank Smith

    Kelly is a buffoon who adopts these idiotic stances purely to draw attention to himself. As does his other NP buffoon mate George Christianson – it’s their foolish way of saying “look at me”.

    “Will Labor have the courage to do what must be done?”

    One can hope. At least Labor’s policies recognise the problem and the science and are far more in line with recommended solutions than the LNP’s denier non-policies. A “50% renewable energy target by 2030” is a very good start that, I believe, can be easily achieved once Labor get into Government with a solid majority. A rapid move to electric vehicles fueled largely by renewable energy (eg solar panels on car parks) would also be of great assistance in transitioning to a lower carbon economy. Many of the Greens environmental policies are also worthy, but they have little hope of being able to fully implement them.


  18. Frank Smith

    Re; Frank Smith, above should read:
    “Why should I be surprised to NOT see Norman Farms among those being cited in this report?” Sorry, the “not” somehow got out of place – gremlins perhaps or just a confused mind?

  19. Kaye Lee


    “WaterNSW said other matters were still being investigated and it expected to announce further enforcement action against other landowners shortly.”

    I have been calling politicians’ offices and emailing them letting them know that we know and what a conflict of interest it represents. I have posted it on a few Coalition facebook pages where any reference was immediately removed. It is ridiculous that they have let this situation arise. They should put water back with the environment and let Littleproud do agriculture considering the circumstances.

  20. Frank Smith

    Of course they should put Water Resources back with Environment, Kaye Lee. But Environment is now in bed with Energy (=Coal). So it has all been hopelessly compromised under this shambolic Government. The National Party have sought and prize Ministries that provide them with wonderful pork barrelling and gerrymandering opportunities. For instance, there is the Nats Littleproud in Agriculture and Water Resources (used to be Barnaby a few months ago), there is the Nats McCormack in Infrastructure and Transport (also Barnaby’s until a few weeks ago), there is the Nats Canavan in Resources and Northern Australia, there is Nats McVeigh in Regional Development, Territories and Local Government. Enormous pork barrelling opportunities in all of these Ministries keeps these gerrymandered positions in the Nationals hands where “mates” are always held in higher regard than the common good. It also results in hugely disproportionate power being held by a minor Party.

    Keep chipping away at the Littleproud conflict of interest – I have alerted my rep (sadly a Lib) and the shadow Minister for Environment and Water Resources, Tony Burke, about the situation. No response from either.

  21. Audioio

    Craig Kelly is not just stupid. He is a lying racist homophobic misogynist fascist wing nut, like every other current member of the Liberal Party. (That’s because all the decent people left years ago.)

  22. LOVO

    Audioio, G’day. …one wonders when the IPA’s political wing (cult, spawn, collective …ad infinitum ) a.k.a the Liberal Party EVER had any “decent people” …all they have ever ‘had’ is a bunch of me-me’s…..just throw thems a chip into the “trough” and watch thems go ‘mine, mine, mine’ (no Adani pun intended 😉) Craig, it would seem, is an ardent adherent to the ‘seagull-ism’ that is todays Liberal Party, it’s all about the trough…. 😤

  23. Roswell

    Tell us what you really think, Audioio. 😀

  24. Kyran

    Politicians arguing about the existence of AGW and the viability of fossil fuels? It was embarrassing 5 years ago when they got in. As you say, it is now dangerous. Apparently, Batman is a single issue by-election on the environment, sort of. Well, it’s about Adani.
    Adani can’t make an employment case for the ‘thousands’ of jobs, can’t get finance (even with government referrals), isn’t sure about the Indian market, lied about the environmental impact, isn’t sure about the safety of the GBR, isn’t sure about the 2 councils building an airport for the FIFO workers which Adani says it won’t use, the railway thingy is a ‘no go’ on the NAIF. But the issue is whether or not Labor will support it, no matter how many times they say it has to stack up.
    That’s assuming Adani are still viable into the future. There was an article on their financial losses a little while ago.


    Even with all the losses, the only component of their business (which is hard to be sure about as they do appear to use royalty agreements, tax dodges and those lovely banks in the Caribbean a lot) which is doing well in India is the renewables.
    “Meanwhile, the company reported remarkable achievements in its renewable energy business in India. Within three years, it has built the nation’s second-largest renewable energy business, Buckley said.”

    More than 80% of Australians have consistently stated they accept the existence of AGW and want something done. The insurance industry has been factoring in AGW into premiums for nearly two decades and the re-insurance industry for nearly three decades.
    And these idiots are still running around trying to deny AGW and promote fossil fuels. The part that makes it dangerous is the economic impact on every power user. Back in 2015, Jess Hill wrote a piece that should have got immediate response from the government. It warned of the structural (and fatal) flaws in the existing financial scam (that was the ‘power market’) and the impending disruption of that market pricing due to the increasing use of renewables. It added a further danger, the improving battery storage technology.


    Our government screamed louder about fossil fuels and the hysteria of the AGW greeny lefty scientists. “What would they know?” screamed Kelly.
    In the absence of government action, industry responded to the market. Cost of renewables went down, consumption went up. Like manna from the heavens (it was rain and a lot of wind, actually), the weather gods unleashed a storm that disrupted power supply to SA. “It’s the renewables!” screamed Kelly and his cohort of cretins (Not mentioning names Turnbull and Frydenberg).
    In the never ending quest for more reports, our intrepid imbeciles commissioned NEG and energy councils and all sorts of things. Ye gads, SA got a battery up and running in 100 days and started an installation scheme on public housing projects.
    Yet these idiots kept talking about the 19th Century power supply model. The market is now having to deal with the disruptive impact to the economic model that was structurally defective.
    More research was done and more warnings were issued in 2017 after the storms.


    There is already a surplus of power generation from renewables and, if it continues at the same rate (with battery storage developments, this is a certainty), it will break the already fragile ‘gold plated poles and wires’ methodology of market pricing mechanisms. That’s before we start on companies developing ‘market strategies’ that already outstrip government policy.


    Yet these idiots still scream, increasingly shrilly, about the 19th Century model. In a final attempt to gloss over the problem, they announce Hydro as a modern clean alternative. The technology is unproven, the cost benefit analysis is top top top secret and we are now two feasibility studies in to the program with no science in sight. Don’t worry though. The Feds bought the facility off the states to enable a quick sale when it’s finished.


    There you go Singapore. We’ll have your new infrastructure facility ready in no time. It’s not like there are any elections coming up soon.
    It’s not like anything is happening in the science world, is it? Nano technology is already being used to convert hard surfaces to ‘solar panels’. Heck, they just released details on another battery.


    Nah, Ms Lee. They were embarrassing years ago. Now they are just really, really dangerous.
    Thank you Ms Lee and commenters. Take care

  25. ace Jones

    “Why should a bloke in Penrith who’s driving a Corolla subsidise a rich person in Balmain buying a Tesla?”

    More class warfare! the politics of envy …

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