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Day to Day Politics: They still think it’s about them.

Thursday 15 June 2017

If you didn’t catch what I wrote yesterday about the Finkel Report and the history of a climate and energy policy then here it is again:

”With 10 years now elapsed no party in the history of Australian politics has been so pathetically incompetent with its policy failure on climate change than the Liberal, National parties. Policy failure of this magnitude in some other countries would invoke street protests.

The lay-back attitude of our citizens is equally pathetic. To think that after 10 years we still don’t have an energy policy is an indictment of all politicians and it highlights the failure of our system. Even when we have an opportunity to reach a bi-partisan agreement, as imperfect as it may be, the party who has so frustrated all moves to put the future of the planet first, continues with its defense of coal.

The former failed Prime Minister Tony Abbott leads the charge of Government backbenchers that would forego this opportunity in the interests of the coal producers.

One has to wonder what special knowledge they think the have that would make it superior to the best science available and the dictates of the capitalistic market they so adhere to.

For one or indeed both sides not to take up this chance of a bipartisan solution would be a disgrace for our politicians, tragic for the planet, and an indictment for our people in so much as we stood by inaudibly, allowing it to happen.”

As I perused a wide range of commentary about the Coalition’s meetings on this subject a lot of things were revealed to me. Tony Abbott, for example, the one making all the noise in the party room hadn’t bothered to read the report. That’s not unusual. Christopher Pyne when Education Minister never found time to read The Gonski Report.

The Prime Minister didn’t take part in the debate and left it to Freydenberg to answer all the tough questions.

I asked myself ”where is the leadership of our country?”. John Howard would have said ”this is what we are doing, like it or lump it”. The same goes for Whitlam, Hawke and Keating.

During the extended meeting it was widely reported that 32 MPs spoke, and around a third were unhappy having serious reservations. Of these some were openly hostile. Most were concerned about the future of Australia’s coal industry. Another third – after a decade of debate – wanted further information. Can you believe it?

The remaining third went along with Finkel’s recommendations.

I paused and wondered how it had all come to this. That after 10 years we might still not be there. That the maniacal right-wing wankers of the Coalition might yet still win. Unlike the rest of the world, they don’t recognise that coal doesn’t have any future. Then, when asked about the possibility of getting the support needed Freydenberg answered:

”Too early to say’.’

”Many colleagues want to understand what is the true impact on price of the clean energy target.”

”And the Cabinet itself hasn’t made any decisions.”

A decade and these fools want more information. I wonder how advanced we would be had Labor’s ‘carbon tax’ been allowed to settle. We would have had an Emissions Trading Scheme settled-in and working.

One thing I have learnt in life is that if you do nothing, nothing will happen.

”Certainly, people are concerned about the future of coal, rightly so too.”

”They understand that coal is a critical source of caseload power”

So is gas, Mr Frydenberg, I’m thinking.

Then I read that George Christensen is so upset that he wants the Government to fund new coal plants. I kid you not. And with our taxes.

The Deputy Prime Minister, Barnaby Joyce, a chief architect of Abbott’s axing the carbon tax propaganda on Tuesday said that coal ”would not have the advantage that other forms [of electricity] would, but it wouldn’t have any sort of persecutory penalty placed against it”.

When he was asked about Tony Abbott’s view that a CET would be a tax on coal, he answered that there was ”no penalty placed on coal”.

But Abbott is doing what comes naturally to him: lying. He has labelled Finkel’s recommended clean energy target as a “tax on coal” and, on Radio National, Kelly said coal power is still “our lowest cost of electricity generation”. Both are untrue.

Joyce reckons that Labor would oppose the CET if the Coalition adopted it, and said by contrast the government was ”moving to try to make sure we land this”

”We’re moving … We’re all doing our bit. And the Labor party should do their bit.”

The hypocrisy, after 10 years is remarkable. Even breathtaking.

However, the Government is keen to say that this isn’t a decision-making process. They needed more time. Some as yet unnamed Government MPs are suggesting that Turnbull is in danger of losing his job over this and I wonder what ever happened to the good old crash through or crash theory of Gough Whitlam.

Oh well, leaders had balls in those days.

One Liberal MP told Guardian Australia the bulk of the concern expressed related to the risk that the clean energy target would increase power prices. ”We will wear that for the next decade – if prices go up,” the MP said.

Why is everything about self-interest? Or indeed about appeasing Tony Abbott.

One National Party member, Andrew Broad in a moment of pure truthful enlightenment said the general consensus of the meeting was that status quo was not acceptable because it was stifling investment.

”The general consensus was that the old days of opposing everything and a big tax on everything are gone.”

”Those views weren’t really reflected, the concerns were more about whether this policy is going to work or whether it is a Band-Aid over an electricity grid system with structural flaws.”

How refreshing it was to hear someone speak plainly and truthfully when he said that while he was hopeful of his party room landing some energy policy, he had yet to see an opposition go along with a policy in the national interest – including the then Coalition opposition.

”Even if we do land on a sensible, sound position, I haven’t seen in any point of my career, where oppositions say for the sake of national interest, we will go along it – I just see how partisan it has become on both sides.”

After taking in all the comments on the issue I conclude that Broad is correct. Without a bipartisan agreement the proposal is unlikely to go ahead. The other impediment is that division in Coalition ranks threatens to derail the government’s ambition to end the impasse and lets not forget that Abbott is determined to sink Turnbull.

Fair dinkum, these people are seriously well-educated. And they still think it’s about them.

My thought for the day.

”We all incur a cost for the upkeep of our health. Why then should we not be liable for the cost of a healthy planet.”

PS: And in yesterdays Essential Poll the Coalition was only four points behind Labor.


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  1. Keith

    What is being lost in the arguing within the LNP about the Finkel Review is that it is anthropogenic climate change which needs to be addressed.

    Deniers argue about how temperature increases have been modest; but, when compared against previous epochs where temperature increases had slowly increased over hundreds of years, we are in a period where temperature increase is happening with great rapidity.
    Ten thousand years ago CO2 was increasing by 35ppm every thousand years; now it is increasing almost 3ppm every year.
    The Agency 350.org is so named as it is believed that 350ppm is a safe level of CO2, we are now at around 406ppm.


    Phys.org report on a recent study published in the reputable Journal Science:


  2. David Bruce

    Sorry to burst your bubble John, you seem so articulate on the subject of climate science and the associated political interference! However, CO2 from human activity is not the cause of our climate variations.

    MIT atmospheric science professor Richard Lindzen suggests that many claims regarding climate change are exaggerated and unnecessarily alarmist. Dr. Richard Lindzen says CO2 is not the cause of climate change, He has also made jaw-dropping claims that science of global warming is based on Propaganda, stating that “97 percent consensus” statistic is completely false. Dr. Richard Lindzen says that most scientists do not agree that CO2 emissions are the cause of Climate Change.

    From my Lagoon Lodge vantage point in the Kingdom of Tonga, I see first-hand the results of “climate change”, with coral bleaching, species die offs and weird weather. The evidence provided by science indicates a link between the use of Round Up (glyphosphates) and coral bleaching and fish kills. The EL Nino weather cycle is a major influence on weather in the South Pacific. It happens to be very active at the moment. What is surprising is the drop in temperatures we are experiencing. We are past the the Solar maximum 24 and we are now experiencing lower Sunpsot activity. With the exception of Round Up, all other factors are cyclical, usually involving an eleven (11) year cycle.

    What started out with Al Gore and “Global Warming” has now evolved to what George Bush Jr called “Climate Change”. I suppose the next catch phrase will be “mini ice age”?

  3. Terry2

    It is incumbent on Alan Finkel to get out into the community and the media – even 2GB – and explain his proposals and to answer questions from all and sundry.

    One of the problems with the Gonski proposals on education funding was that David Gonski retired into the background once his report was delivered save one non-speaking cameo appearance with Turnbull seemingly to endorse coalition funding policy for Gonski2.

    We really need these specialists to lead us through the political morass and head off the nay-sayers and in particular to blunt the inane slogans by the likes of Tony Abbott.

  4. darrel nay

    reply for david bruce,
    nice one mate – unfortunately you’re preaching to a cult on this site.

    These people want to argue that the CO2 we breathe in/out for our entire lives is toxic – despite the fact plants and animals need CO2 to survive.


  5. wam

    Did you see bill is at 31%(28% on the graph) to trumbles 39%? He doesn’t appear have your belief in the effect of doing nothing?
    Do you blame dutton for labor’s lost two points?

    ps if the medicare levy was on gross income then your ‘thought’ would be openly true for none of my circle of contemporaries pay a fair levy. Indeed most pay nothing.for the levy or the doctor and a few $s per script.
    pps ostensibly polls were the cause of BREXIT oops Poles
    ppps Why is Abbott lying? Do you not think finkel’s words would stop a new coal-fired and close the existing ones? Did you not consider Howard’s price on carbon was ‘ostensibly’ a tax on coal?
    Haha darrel nay understands little and says less

  6. Freethinker

    Richard Lindzen from the Skeptical Science site? what a spams we have today morning.!!
    Must be the side effect of caffeine
    I respect John’s opinion any time before the one from Richard Lindzen .

  7. Roswell

    Nr Nay seems to think that if CO2 is good for plants then it is good for us too. It certainly is a crucial element within our atmosphere, but too much and we die. Plants won’t.

    And if CO2 is so good for us, why do we expel it?

  8. darrel nay

    CO2 is good for us because it’s good for the plants that produce the O2 we need – it’s simple.


  9. havanaliedown

    No Darrel, it’s TOXIC is what I have learned here… We should propose banning fizzy drinks, beer and champagne. And of course jet travel to global warming conferences in swanky locations, and jet travel to writer’s festivals! Oh and gazette Co2 as a pollutant…

  10. darrel nay

    Nice one havanaliedown,

    Yeah, lets ban CO2 but have a Maccas on every corner and put GMOs in our food and push for solar radiation management geoengineering schemes.


  11. Zathras

    Why do some people still attribute the concept of global warming to Al Gore as if he discovered it?

    He was just a programme presenter and is no more responsible than David Attenborough personally discovering all those facts about the natural world.

    The concept of global warming was known about way back before the sixties and scientists believed that the first signs would become evident “in about 40 years” which was some years ago. In fact when a US politician was warned about it he said “get back to me in 39 years”.

    Even Thatcher and Reagan were aware of the coming problems and took tentative but inadequate steps toward slowing the process.

    The problem has been that there has been a heavily funded campaign by self-interested groups in certain industries to deliberately blur the science, as they did with tobacco, DDT and acid rain.

    There was no equivalent scientific scepticism about the problem with the ozone layer because the chemical industry that caused the problem also provided the solution.

    As an example for the benefit of deluded pundits like Malcolm Roberts there is no “empirical evidence” that tobacco causes cancer and this was proven in the USA courts long ago. Not everyone who smokes gets cancer and not everyone with cancer has smoked. However there is a link between smoking and genetic damage and link between genetic damage and cancer so logically there must be an association and there are statistics that back up assertions but these are not “empirical”, otherwise tobacco would be banned – like asbestos. All anti-smoking legislation has therefore been based on behaviour and is not purely scientific.
    Common sense must play a part somewhere and outweigh misleading false assertions.

    Shooting the messenger (Al Gore) simply diverts from the real discussion.

    Also, CO2 is not the problem it’s too much CO2 – that’s what “too much” means.

  12. Jagger

    John, you seem to think Turnball wanted the job of PM, he only wanted the title, as in everything, he’s only about embellishing himself.

  13. darrel nay

    Turnbull is globalist sell-out traitorous scum.

  14. John Lord

    If I don’t reply or comment to criticism of the science then please forgive me. I got over it a long time ago.

  15. darrel nay

    REAL science encourages constant testing and questioning

  16. havanaliedown

    Listen to your masters, Darrel. It’s SETTLED! Fat Al Gore says so and that’s good enough for me. He knows what he’s talking about – he made a lot of money from this scam, fleecing the gullible.

  17. John Lord

    darrel. Indeed it does. Thats why it it peer tested by scientists every year.

  18. eefteeuu

    darrel nay,

    Maybe this will help you understand. CO2 is heavier than the air we breathe, therefore if we produce too much CO2, it naturally sinks (see gravity), thereby displacing the oxygen we need to survive, and we SUFFOCATE.

    If you don`t believe this fact, try sticking your head in a barrel of CO2 and see how long you last.

    Incidentally, that why as parents, we tell our children it is dangerous to put a plastic bag over their heads for that very reason, YOU WILL DIE.

  19. Kronomex

    Eefteeuu, going by Darrel’s reasoning, if we put a plant in the plastic bag then stick it over our head the plant will absorb the CO2 and release oxygen thereby keeping us alive. Darrel, please test that and let us know the result.

    Looking at the photo at the top left me wondering who got the brain (the small speck between the heads) when they were separated?

  20. Florence nee Fedup

    Not sure that climate change whether real or not matters. We have moved on, renewals are rapidly becoming the most efficient and cheapest way to provide energy for the planet.

  21. Florence nee Fedup

    Water is essential for life to exist. Drink too much and one will die. Arsenic, most would say is toxic. In minute amounts it can heal.

  22. Win jeavons

    Seriously well educated? Seriously? Not even able or willing to think clearly and dispassionately, is NOT at all well educated. Just trained puppets, surely all with large shares in coal that blinds them to reality ?

  23. diannaart

    Cannot believe the “CO2 is good for everything” line is still being used as an argument.

    To all who believe the more CO2, the better, please go lock yourselves in a a small room and stay there until CO2 levels are greater than oxygen levels.

    The above request will demonstrate that too much of anything is toxic.

  24. guest

    David Bruce,

    thank you for mentioning Richard Lindzen. He is a contrarian who, for example, questioned the link between smoking and lung cancer. He has also been linked to Peabody Energy, a company that has funded multiple groups contesting the climate consensus.

    Some critics of Lindzen include Gavin Schmidt, Director of NASA’s Goddard Institute; Christopher S. Bretherton, atmosphere researcher at the U. of Washington;Kerry A. Emanuel, an MIT scientist; Jerry R. Mahlman, Director of the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory.

    According to an April 30, 2012 NY Times article, Dr Lindzen accepts the elementary tenets of Climate Change. He agrees that CO2 is a greenhouse gas, calling people who dispute that fact as “nutty”. He agrees that the level of it is rising because of human activity and that this should warm the climate. He also believes that decreasing tropical cirrus clouds in the warmer world will allow more long radiation to escape the atmosphere, counteracting the warming (“Iris” Theory, 2001, 2009) (Wikipedia)

    He is mentioned by Tony Eggleton (2013), p 192, where Lindzen says that: “Using basic theory, modelling results and observations we can bound the anthropogenic contributions to surface warming since 1979 to a third of of the observed warming, leading to a climate sensitivity to small to offer any significant measure of alarm… ” Eggleton does not agree.

    It is interesting to see that Lindzen worked on the IPCC 1995 and 2001 and approved of its reports. Yet he has also criticised the accuracy of modelling elsewhere.

    He is, as we see, a contrarian, not always consistent.

  25. guest

    darrel nay and havanliedown,

    clearly, neither of you have any idea of what climate change science is about.

    It seems you just think up something in your heads and believe that must be how it is. Concerning toxicity of CO2, why do we breathe it out? Water is great for plants, but floods tend to destroy them. Water is not so good in your fuel tank. People have been found to drown in water – but it is not the water which is toxic – like too much CO2 in the wrong palce, it simply deprives the affected by depriving them of oxygen.

    CO2 in the atmosphere has an affect on temperature – and in that sense it is pollutant if it creates temperatures which affect us badly.

    You have considerable homework to do.

  26. Jaquix

    Bottom line on all this shows what a weak leader Turnbull is.

  27. diannaart

    Indeed, guest.

    I have been searching for a really, really straight forward explanation of what the release of additional CO2 from human actions looks like.

    Darrel Nay, if you just try to understand, you may earn an exemption from the CO2 room. Can’t be fairer than that.

  28. Keith

    David Bruce

    I wouldn’t get too excited about your reference of Richard Lindzen.


    darrel nay

    Whether you believe it or not, greenhouse gases pick up warmth from infrared radiation … per science. Earth would not sustain warmth without greenhouse gases. CO2 is the main greenhouse gas usually discussed but there are several others. It has been known for more than a century how CO2 functions (Eunice Horne).

    Note an actual science reference, not garbage from WUWT:


    The study makes a mockery of the rubbish put out by deniers in relation to temperature of past epochs, a very recent study:

    Based on:

    Adrien Gilbert et al. The projected demise of Barnes Ice Cap: evidence of an unusually warm 21st century Arctic. Geophysical Research Letters, March 2017 DOI: 10.1002/2016GL072394

    What deniers cannot argue against:
    … Greenhouse gases store warmth.
    … Oceans are warming
    … Glaciers are breaking down, many have been lost. But a warming planet can have nothing to do with this … per denier.
    … Volume of sea ice in the Arctic is getting to very serious levels (the most stupid WUWT article has denied this).
    … Extreme weather events are causing billions of dollars in costs (Munich Re, floodlist.com)
    … Already communities are having to move due to climate change
    … Disease vectors are changing
    … Habitats of flora and fauna are changing
    … Fossil fuels have been sequestered over millions of years, they have now been utilised for around 100 + years with emissions being sent into the atmosphere. According to deniers, CO2 that is a by-product of carbon created over millions of years has been flooded into the atmosphere over a short 100 + year period … has no impact.

  29. Zathras

    It still amazes me that there are people who have dedicated several years of their life studying and building up a vast body of specialised knowledge about certain scientific subjects but can be so easily dismissed by any comparatively ignorant layman’s half-assed opinion.

    When a vast number of them (95+%) are in mutual agreeance about something like the evidence for human induced climate change they are labelled as being financially and morally corrupt and only interested in “grants”.

    Then again there are some that insist that the moon landing was a hoax, that the earth is only 6,000 years old, that dinosaurs were on Noah’s Ark and others who believe that Queen Elizabeth is a shape-shifting reptilian alien who runs the world drug trade. Fortunately such people can’t resist making themselves identifiable from time to time.

  30. @RosemaryJ36

    Actually, Darrel Nay, we breathe in a mixture of gases, use the oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide. Meanwhile photosynthesis in plants figuring the time the sun is shining takes in carbon dioxide and ‘breathes out’ oxygen.

  31. darrel nay

    even if the air was 100% CO2 you wouldn’t have toxic effects from CO2 – rather you would suffocate from lack of oxygen. CO2 is NOT toxic.


  32. Johno

    darrel & havana
    Are you both on Malcolm Roberts payroll ??

  33. Keith


    I agree with you completely about how the expert knowledge of scientists with PhDs is discarded by opinion and not evidence.

    darrel nay

    Is acid a pollutant?

    Should we take any notice of scientific consilience?

    Consilience meaning that a number of science disciplines show climate change is happening:

    Biology through fauna and flora having to adapt to a changing environment; Agricultural Science through studies showing how soil is voiding greater amounts of CO2 than in past, and also, growing seasons are no longer as predictable as in past ( flooding at unexpected times); Oceanography, changing Coastlines through rising sea levels and storm damage, the fishing industry being impacted by acidic waters (West Coast of USA); Atmospheric Scientists through showing how the troposphere is warming and stratosphere is cooling; Astrophysicists who state the sun is presently having no impact on climate change; Volcanologists who indicate that there has been no excessive eruptions which have an impact on climate; and Glaciologists who appear to be most expressive about their concerns about where we are heading, pingoe eruptions ( and there are more).

    But, all these disciplines; and more, are wrong according to the non-credentialed denier groups (eg Anthony Watts is not a scientist and often gets caught out).

    darrel nay, I’m glad for you and your denier mates that you have a greater knowledge of climate change than scientists representing diverse science disciplines.

  34. Florence nee Fedup

    It isn’t about CO2 being toxic. It is about it getting caught in the atmosphere.

  35. Florence nee Fedup

    “Gases that trap heat in the atmosphere are called greenhouse gases. This section provides information on emissions and removals of the main greenhouse gases to and from the atmosphere. For more information on the science of climate change and other climate forcers, such as black carbon, please visit”


  36. havanaliedown

    Carbon Dioxide, an inert trace gas, is only approximately 0.04% of the atmosphere by concentration. Human activity contributes only 3% of the 0.04% of the atmosphere. Therefore, at 1.5% (Australia’s contribution) of the 3% of the 0.04%, if Australia ceased to exist – it would make precisely no measurable difference (0.000018%) to Climate, Temperature or Weather in terms of Anthropological Climate Change THEORY.

    Nice try, but it’s a confected crisis in order to foment Global Totalitarianism under the UN.

  37. Roswell

    … it’s a confected crisis in order to foment Global Totalitarianism under the UN.

    Oh. My. God.


  38. guest

    darrel nay and havanaliedown

    this obsession about Co2 not being toxic is just a distraction You do not seem to know what to say next What is the point, darrel?

    havana, you say CO2 is only a small % of the atmosphere. What would happen if here was no CO2 at all? A Big Freeze?

    And I see that you have discovered there have been times when ther e were many times the present CO2 level. But what was the world like in, say, the Pre-Cambrian times? Check it out.

    As for “scam” and “confected crisis”, see Eggleton (2013) for names of scintists who confirm Mann’s Hockey Stick. (p. 4)

    And p.175 fo the fact the present level of CO2 is unprecedented for “at least the past 24m years Twent four million!

  39. Freethinker

    After reading the last line in the havanaliedown I think that it is time to turn the page in this debate.
    Yes Roswell, sad, perhaps a tragedy specially if there is more that one person in the electorate like him

  40. eefteeuu

    JohnoJune 16, 2017 at 6:56 am
    darrel & havana
    Are you both on Malcolm Roberts payroll ??

    I don`t think he works for Malcolm Roberts Johno, I reckon he IS Malcolm Roberts.

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