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Tony Abbott is responsible for our high energy prices

Commentators blame successive governments over the last ten years for our lack of a coherent energy policy resulting in excessive power bills but that, in my mind, is completely unfair.

This whole debacle can be sheeted directly to Tony Abbott.

Many blame the Greens for sinking Rudd’s emissions reduction scheme but, had Labor and the Liberals continued with the agreement they had reached before Abbott rolled Turnbull, the Greens would have been irrelevant.

When the 2010 election did not produce a clear winner, Gillard negotiated the support of the Greens and Independents to form government by promising to introduce carbon pricing. The policy was introduced in 2012 with the effect of bringing down emissions and prompting a surge of investment in renewable energy projects.

With old coal-fired power stations reaching the end of their ‘technical’ lives, this investment was crucial to help cover the transition as they closed down. Gas could have been an option to help during this period except the government had agreed to export it with no compulsion to retain sufficient to cover domestic needs, leading to skyrocketing prices locally which are unlikely to come down any time soon.

Then the wrecker won in 2013 and threw out any certainty the industry thought they had. Investment in new generation ground to a halt. No-one was going to invest in coal and the rest of the world were more than happy to accept their investment in renewables.

Emissions started rising again for the first time in a decade and energy prices continued to rise astronomically, much higher than any increases due to the carbon price.

But Tony couldn’t care less about that as his tweet this weekend showed.

“To have a chance of winning the next election, the Coalition must create a policy contest on energy, not a consensus.”

So there we have it.

Abbott does not want a solution. He wants a fight. His political future is more important to him than any real effort to give the industry the certainty they need to invest in new generation to lower prices and emissions.

And he most certainly will not allow Malcolm Turnbull to come up with a solution.

Tony Abbott is a narcissistic anachronism who seethes with anger and resentment at being dumped by his own party less than two years into the gig he felt he was destined for.

Any idea that he gives the slightest shit about energy prices, or anything other than himself and his all-consuming desire for revenge, is laughable.


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  1. David Tyler

    Well said, Kaye. In an era where history is simply in the telling your reminder of the facts underlying the pathological wrecker and your exposure of the budgie smuggler’s hypocritical need to posture on energy is timely. He also needs to be called regularly on the wilful and damaging disinformation that he is happy to disseminate. Of course, he’s well-primed by Peabody Coal propaganda but it’s clear that he doesn’t really understand either global warming nor the economic case for renewables. Remember last year when he claimed that “Australian temperatures have not changed since the 1800s.” Sorry, Tony, the world’s warmest years have all occurred since 1998.

    He’d fail Year Nine Science. As some wag wrote, he and Barnaby are a credit to the Riverview Science Department.

  2. Kaye Lee

    Tony is a fool who doesn’t care about consequences.

    Trade Minister Steve Ciobo has rebuffed Tony Abbott’s demands to pull out of the so-called Paris Agreement, which he signed up to as prime minister.

    “I can tell you one of the very first consequences if we were to adopt that approach would be that we could kiss goodbye to doing a trade deal with the European Union,” Mr Ciobo told Sky News on Tuesday.

    “They would walk away from it. I have no doubt about that at all. The impact on Australian exports and Australian jobs would be profound.”

  3. Keith

    The mess the Liberals are in now should not be too much of a surprise the leadership issue has been simmering since Abbott was knifed in the back; Abbott had previously knifed Turnbull. Should Dutton become “PM” then hopefully an election will occur promptly. Abbott’s past commentary on ALP changes in leadership will provide some great advertising material the ALP could use.

    The tail of the Liberal Party that wagged (extreme right) has now become the dog.

  4. Kaye Lee

    Abbott told a group of Young Liberals in Tasmania that he was quite looking forward to working in a “Dutton government”.

  5. johno

    Well said Kaye, the guy is the full blown nut job with an ego that has no boundaries.

  6. Kaye Lee

    At least the Guardian has a memory….

    “Just a reminder: Tony Abbott signed Australia up to the Paris agreement.

    Tony Abbott was the prime minister when the budget was handed down which offered the states a slice of a $5bn “asset recycling fund” to build infrastructure in exchange for selling off their power assets.

    It is now Abbott arguing for Australia to dump Paris. And Abbott who is saying “we must do something” to keep Liddell open.

    Anyone spotting the common dominator here?”

  7. New England Cocky

    All too true, Kaye. Thank you for stating the obvious. The LNP misgovernment do NOT care about Australian voters or their families. The sooner the election occurs, the sooner the Australian voters can rid our Parliament of these self-serving economic parasites.

    “Women supporting Adulterers support National$”.

  8. Garrett

    Kaye,TA is one factional rep in the LNP. To credit him with some kind of independent power over any situation is a stretch. Last week the ABC News ran with some numbers that showed that 38% of increases in the cost of electricity relates to catch-up investment in ‘poles and wires’. Apparently that cost would be substantially lower if our rate of population increase was 1st world and not 3rd world. If a group of prominent scientists were guiding the political debate we might have a sensible outcome. No such luck, the IPA-LNP don’t do science so we have what we have.

  9. Kaye Lee

    The Guardian live feed is excruciating.

    “So, in effect, the Neg is done and dusted. There will be no legislated emissions target.

    Malcolm Turnbull has capitulated to the minority of his party to save his leadership. There is no other way to view this.”

    Tony Abbott: “I am just interested in trying to ensure that Australians have the lowest possible power prices and that people’s jobs are safe. That is what I am interested in. What that means is that we stop running a power system to reduce emissions. That is the madness at the heart of all of our problems and this is why I am so determined that we get out of the Paris Agreement because, as long as we are in it, we will be running our power system to reduce emissions and not to give us affordable, reliable power.”

    Abbott thinks he’s a tough guy but he is a craven coward. When it was HIM that had to answer to other world leaders, he signed up to Paris quick smart. He wasn’t game to stare THEM down. He says it’s about saving jobs. As Ciobo pointed out, it will cost us trade agreements with the EU who will no doubt apply sanctions. Last time they threatened to make Qantas pay exorbitant fees to land there because it was unfair they were working to cut emissions and we weren’t.

    He is such a moron.

  10. Matters Not


    so determined that we get out of the Paris Agreement

    Doesn’t matter whether we are signatories or not, Take the 1951 Refugee Convention and its 1967 Protocol as an example. Sure we may sign up but as for living up to our promises we are a nation of international welchers!

    So why not have one as our PM?

  11. Glenn Barry

    The damage is set to continue to both that side of politics and the country, at this point however with the LNP’s imminent disintegration I’m beginning to enjoy the spectacle

  12. Andreas Bimba

    When the government owned state electricity commissions and gas and fuel corporations provided these utilities minimal resources were diverted to marketing, billing administration and profiteering and consumers paid some of the lowest prices for electricity and gas in the world.

    Infrastructure was generally well maintained, problems were dealt with quickly and those working for the utility companies had relatively well paid and stable long term careers. In the past new infrastructure generally had a high local design, manufacture and construction content.

    Under the previous state owned structure the transition to clean energy could have been implemented smoothly and rapidly with workers retrained rather than retrenched by the tens of thousands. France basically followed the former approach when they transitioned from coal fired electricity to nuclear power many decades ago.

    The privatisation process which is one of the pillars of the neoliberal scam is the primary reason for our current shambles and massive gouging of consumers and businesses by the capital controlling elites. The Conservative Coalition have been the main drivers of the privatisation fraud but they have also been ably assisted by neoliberal team B – the Labor Party.

    The federal government is the currency issuer and could easily have ensured the States and Territories had adequate funding support and so all the infrastructure sales that were largely forced upon them by unnecessary austerity were thus based on a neoliberal lie.

  13. Kaye Lee

    AGL bought Liddell for an effective price of zero from the NSW Coalition government. The total price for 4,600MW of Liddell and Bayswater was a knock down $1.5 billion. Given AGL valued Bayswater at $780 million and the cheap coal supply (just $1.50/gigajoule) arranged by the NSW government at $768 million (Subsidy? What fossil fuel subsidy), AGL’s valuation of Liddell started and finished with a big fat 0.

    Estimates of how much it would cost a buyer to upgrade the decrepit Liddell to keep it running for another 5 years vary between $500 million and a $1 billion.

    In its current state it hardly meets AEMO’s definition of a reliable generator and would probably be the last thing it would turn to in the case of a power emergency. In fact, Liddell is more likely to be the cause of a power emergency because of what AEMO describes as the potential for ageing coal generators to fail in the heat – and in last summer’s heatwave, Liddell was missing 1,000MW of its capacity due to problems with boiler tube leaks.

    On average it only operates at around half of its capacity. Sometime it is a lot less. Liddell rarely operates with all four units running – just 18.5 per cent of the time.

    Even more striking, the amount of time it operates all four units at levels of 400MW (their capacity is actually 500MW) is just 0.44 per cent of the time. It probably makes Liddell less useful to the market operator than the solar panels on Turnbull’s Point Piper mansion.

    AGL bought Liddell for nothing – what will it cost Turnbull?

  14. guest

    Abbott is an ignorant ideologue who understands nothing. He has admitted as much during his wrecking ball term as PM. And the lies! Unbelievable nonsense.

    His talk about reduction in emissions is not as important as reduction in energy costs is a furphy. He himself has clearly played a part in raising energy costs.

    I keep asking people like Abbott, you talk about energy costs – but what is the cost of cooking the planet?

    He does not want to know because he is interested only in short-term political gain at any cost. And we know he is not worth it.

  15. Leonie Saunders

    As much as I am loathe to say it Tony Abbott is not responsible for our high energy prices… To call a spade a spade the real reason we pay an extortionate price for energy is relative to the GST, it is in the service charges. But most significant of all is due to government in the thrall of neoliberal economic mismanagement. Liberal and Labor Governments screwed us all by privatising economic and social dividend paying essential energy services! Until Australians demand the re-socialisation of our energy supply the cost of power and gas will remain in a constant state of flux. If defy someone to come up with a better more efficient way of transitioning away from fossil fuels to renewables, while still delivering certainty of energy supply than the re-socialisation of this essential service.

  16. Keitha Granville

    We tread very carefully if Dutton becomes PM – the LNP are likely to call an election at the first hint of a lift in popularity, which they will get. There are enough far right fascists in the country to leap on that bandwagon.

    We need this leader in place to defeat the government next election.

  17. blair

    could the good burghers of Warringa see their way to not voting foor the deposed luddite?

  18. Kaye Lee

    George Christensen has put out a statement:

    “We have a new energy policy thanks to a band of ‘Liberal National rebels’ who stood firm and fought for common sense,” Mr Christensen said.

    “What has been announced this morning puts price reductions first and foremost, so pensioners struggling to pay their power bills come before the ‘feel good’ Paris Agreement.”

    The key policy points are:

    The Liberal National Government will both underwrite new clean coal-fired power stations and upgrade existing coal-fired power stations, as well as underwrite gas and hydro.
    There will be no legislating or regulating the Paris Agreement or carbon emissions reductions.
    There will be a default price for power which energy companies will need to abide by.
    This will see savings for householders of between $183 and $416 for householders, and for job-creating small businesses of between $500 and $1500.
    Big energy companies who abuse market power will be broken up
    The Liberal National government will work with the States to ensure a guarantee around reliability so the power doesn’t go out again like it did in South Australia

    For pity’s sake…..

  19. diannaart

    Tony Abbott one of the most destructive politicians – destructive in what he is doing to the national interest, in which he cares nothing.

    Thanks Kaye Lee for keeping the facts straight, neither Labor, the LNP nor the Greens have achieved much by way of glory on the solvable threat of climate change.

    The Greens because they tried to achieve a high road that simply was not attainable and wound up shooting themselves.

    Labor for trying to win over the small-minded voters – the Hanson voters, the vested fossil fuel interests and the racists.

    The LNP because they poison everything – even themselves.

  20. Cynthia

    Perhaps I should buy their “sharks and unicorn” insurance !!!

  21. Pingback: Tony Cheshire Cat? | Neil's Commonplace Book

  22. Kaye Lee

    This is getting really bizarre. Apparently the nationals think the Liberals have agreed to underwrite new clean coal-fired power stations and upgrade existing coal-fired power station whereas the Libs have put out a statement saying “The Government will also be accepting the ACCC’s recommendation to implement a program to underwrite new, stable, low-cost generation for commercial and industrial customers. This program will be technology neutral, as recommended by the ACCC.”

    Someone’s lying. Is it technology neutral or is it, as that flip Bridget McKenzie said, “Coal, coal coal”?

  23. guest

    Leonie Saunders @12:30pm

    You say: “…Tony Abbott is not responsible for our high energy costs…”

    Well, perhaps not completely responsible; major parties in the States have sold off government assets for short term gain and have guaranteed profits for the buyers – so that as the use of roof-top solar power has increased and the power generators have bought power from domestic sources, the power generators have had to play with power prices on a daily basis to maintain and extend profits.

    But Abbott in my opinion is the destructer in his attack on the carbon “tax” which was not a tax – as he admits – and Oz has been set back a decade in its approach to Climate Change.

    And we can see how Abbott has been aided and abetted by the Murdoch media. Still today Graham Lloyd, who has never explained what the IPCC is saying except through the jaundiced eyes of climate deniers, persists in saying how coal is the best cheap source of power as the populace will discover if we turn to re-newables with its subsidies (no subsidies for coal?). Further echoed by Christensen, etc.

    So your suggestion is that “re-socialisation” is required in “transitioning away from fossils fuels to re-newables.” But for the Coaltion/IPA socialisation is communism, is it not?

    dianaart @1:36pm has said: “… neither Labor, the LNP nor the Greens have achieved much by way of glory on the soluble threat of climate change.”

    Exactly – and we know why. We have been conned – and TA is one of the deceivers along with Murdoch.

    So what does Christensen tell us about what the Coalition should be doing?

    He says there should be a “default price on power” and that rogue power generator companies should be broken up [divested of their companies]. The Coalition will “work with States to ensure a guarantee around reliability so the power doesn’t go out like it did in SA.” This from a Qld coal man, of course, as if SA has been without lights for the past couple of years – and as if the Coalition can control extreme weather.

    So what does it tell us? This government, whose mantra is “small government”, intends to be a “big” government, employing a clunky command economy of the Mao kind, in order to bully industry, which it claims to support, just so it can cling to political power.

    And it will do it on the premise that something like the Paris Agreement is part of a UN conspiracy (the climate change global warming scam) to take away Oz sovereignty, to open up our borders and encourage more migration. Therefore, ignore Paris, just as we ignored the Refugee Convention.

    And who promotes this kind of nonsense? Why, the Murdoch media. While it might be seeing big faults in Turnbull’s leadership, it still backs the idiot ideology of people like Christensen, Abetz, Abbott, etc. And at the same time tries to promote IPA ideology, Western Civilisation supremacy, religious freedom, etc against the Marxist/Socialist Left while the Coalition itself plays Little Mao, having also claimed Labor policies as its own.

    No wonder Oz politics is in deep confusion.

  24. Andreas Bimba

    New coal fired infrastructure is madness when global greenhouse gas emissions must reduce by 5 to 7% p.a. to avoid CATASTROPHIC climate change. {ref. Dr. James Hansen}.

  25. John Cran

    Although this is correct the real reason we are paying more for all our essential services is privatisation. There is no way a for profit can provide a service for the same cost as a public utility.

  26. Kaye Lee

    Labor must be up to their necks in great quotes to use…..

    April 4, 2018 (less than 5 months ago)

    SCOTT MORRISON at The Australian Financial Review Banking & Wealth Summit:

    “There’s a difference between old coal and new coal. Old coal bids into the energy grid at about $30 a megawatt hour, it could be up to $40. A new HELE plant five, six, seven years down the track is estimated to be bidding at around $70 or $80 so it is false to think that a new coal-fired power station will generate electricity at the same price as old coal fired power station for the obvious reason that the asset has already been written off.

    “You just don’t open one up down the road and all of a sudden it’s producing power at the same price as Bayswater or any of the others. That’s just an economic fact.”

    The price of new HELE coal would rise to as high as $190 if carbon capture and storage technology was added.

    “What they do in looking at a new one is they need to pay back over 15, 20 years, and so they’re going to need to have a guaranteed lock-in price at that much higher level for a much longer period of time. So the risk of that is consumers are going to have to pay more or taxpayers are going to have to pay more in higher subsidies.”

    “The days of subsidising energy are over whether it’s for coal, wind solar, any of them. That’s how you get the best functioning energy market with the lowest possible price.”

  27. Andrew Smith

    We know what Abbott is against, but what does he specifically support?

    Further, how does the LNP get away with promoting this NEG political media PR construct to avoid renewable sources and entrench coal, masquerading as an energy policy?

    Meanwhile, no mention of gas powered electricity, as our Australian gas consortia dominated by Exxon Mobil etc., have been stitched up by the latter and energy conservation, solar panels etc. are dismissed.

  28. Florence Howarth

    Abbott has what he was after. He is back in the driving seat. He has taken over govt agenda, policies. He is now the puppeteer who pulls the strings of his puppet, the PM.

    PM has capitulated on every front.

  29. totaram

    Kaye Lee: Labor have always had any number of quotes to use, including Tony Abbott’s quote that the best way to reduce emissions was to put a tax on them. Did they use them? I don’t know, but whatever they did, didn’t work, because Tony Abbott romped home in 2013.

    Let’s hope the influence of the MSM propaganda is much reduced this time around, so that these quotes can be used. They should be printed into a booklet and given to all the teams doorknocking when the election comes around.

  30. Robin the Hood

    Ahh Tones, aka Dr No, Abbott the wrecker, some time roads skolar (Sic) boxer and wannabee priest from hell.

    He does this on the taxpayer, free car big salary and office, with colour photocopier, free tim tams and a throng of photo journalists waiting for the budgie smuggler from waringah to give the us, the lesser lights in Australian communityHIS pearls of wisdom. Never in Australia’s interests only his own’.

    Never has one man deserved to be pilloried and revilled as A J Abbott. A self interested sociopath, who missed his calling years ago. He has those around him in raptures, promises of greed, power and riches beyond their wildest dreams. BUT, is the cost too great for them to bear? Put simply, its too much for us to bare. Michael sukkar one of the first to offer up his pink slip takes one for the team. All these young types coming into ‘power” and think its easy. “Take one for the team Michael, its always the first one that hurts the most’ Abbott one too many times in the ring and we all know it. Just that a lot of Australians aren’t prepared to admit it..just yet

  31. Dixon


    The whole point of pricing ‘carbon’ (dioxide) has always been to make electricity more expensive, though privatisation doesn’t help. The reason renewables are expensive is because they are intermittent and so require additional infrastructure and installed capacity compared to other sources. The ‘gain’ is renewables don’t burn up the planet. If you think that will happen. If you do, you’ve probably swallowed a little too much ‘Big Climate’. Had we invested properly in high tech energy production back in the early 90’s we might be seriously contemplating a sustainable energy future that we could be using to help Africa and Asia avoid polluting their cities and we could be enjoying cheap, clean, reliable electricity to fuel our industry and leisure here. Instead we let banks lead the way in trying to trade a colourless, odourless, untraceable gas which in all likelihood doesn’t have that big a role in climate – considering the impacts of land-clearance, water extraction, real air pollution – like ozone, particulates and oxides of nitrogen, intensive agriculture and natural variability. (The banks moved on to other financial instruments to make easy money when it became clear carbon markets weren’t politically palatable).

    To blame Tony Abbot for high electricity prices in Australia is ridiculous. It is a problem with a global cause, 40 years in the making.

    In a warming climate every successive year should be the warmest year. If it’s not, then natural variability is playing a role and the reality is that natural variability is a lot larger than any scientists involved in demonising CO2 ever thought possible back in the 90s and early 2000’s. Europe has finally had a hotter summer than 1976 and suddenly we are facing climate armageddon? I’m not doubting climate change, but the role of human emitted CO2 from fossil fuels in it has been consistently exaggerated and a ‘reduce CO2 at all costs’ is a lunatic approach, especially if it is not a global one. I can’t think of anything else about Mr Abbott that I like, but his ‘climate change is crap’ comment is one that is not all that far off the mark given it’s context. But the debate is over. What do I know? Buy your Tesla batteries and pretend the laws of physics (and rules of economics) don’t exist. But don’t whinge about the cost of electricity!

  32. Harry

    Dixon: the whole point of pricing carbon has been to make the production of electricity from high CO2 intensity sources more expensive and thus reduce the use of those sources.

    I think you are no more than a subtle type of CC denier. Your suggestion that every year should be a warmer year indicates you do not understand the science or wilfully choose to misrepresent it. It’s the TREND that counts and that trend (most climate scientist agree) is a clearly rising one as CO2 emissions continue to rise. The increasing temperatures we are seeing are global not restricted to Europe. So your reference to 1976 is not valid.

    The so called electricity “market” bears most of the responsibility for rising electricity prices. Competition is poor, gold plating of networks, gaming of the market and high retail margins are the main price drivers; renewables represent only about 16% of the cost of electricity. Privatisation of electricity has been a disaster for consumers as has been the open slather of OUR gas resources, leading predictably enough, to domestic consumers and producers battling unaffordable cost of heating.

  33. corvus boreus

    You seem more than a little ‘fuzzy’ on the subject of the climatic influence of ‘greenhouse gases’.

    I suggest that you research a little on the known role of carbon dioxide (and other gases) in trapping radiant heat.
    Start with Arrhenius’ hypothesis from the late 19th century, then check out the laboratory experiments consistently conducted since the 1950s that solidified the hypothesis into a roundly accepted scientific theory.
    Then do a little research on the escalating (traceable) readings of CO2, now around 410ppm and rising ever faster.
    Lastly, take the time to read recent scientific findings on events like the deteriorating state of Arctic ice and the recently observed phenomenon of enormous methane hydrate emissions rising from melting ‘permafrost’.
    Gaseous carbon is not the only factor that effects our planetary climate, but do deny that it has the capacity to significantly do so is to fly in the face of the overwhelming weight of peer-reviewed science, which is about as wise as duplicating Icarus’ flight-plan.

  34. Rob

    I agree that Tony Abbott is really only worried about Tony Abbott!; however the problems with energy supply and Australian domestic energy costs, goes way deeper into just how ineffectual & useless are virtually all Australian Governments (State Federal & Local). For example & as certainly with the 5 major banks, plus 6-10 major insurance companies, plus the major telcos etc., then there is 100% most definitely also collusion going on between the major energy producers & re-sellers/ distributors etc. for domestic energy needs as well (& as with the banks etc., there is deliberately confusing/ misdirecting collusion with pricing, fees, terms & conditions etc. etc…..& this has certainly being happening like this for many decades now, no matter whichever party-politicians is/ are in power). The biggest problem is that no elected Government allegedly “of The people” are actually doing their jobs, by always thoroughly watching/ regulating businesses (especially those businesses which were, or still are partly owned by Governments); & even recently for example at the banking inquiry, ASIC was rightly harshly criticized for not doing their jobs (& I beleive “heads should have rolled” at ASIC, just for starters) & basically letting the banks do whatever crap they think they could get away with (as banks certainly still do with collusion even now!; despite the banking inquiry by the way). Another example is how after millions of homes (new and old) have been sold to foreigners (i.e. non-citizens) since the 1970s, not one of these foreigners were prevented from buying whatever Australian property they wanted; until of course a Chinese billionaire paid $65,000,000 for a property, just a few doors away from Malcolm Turnbull’s Point Piper, waterside mansion; then suddenly this rich Chinese person was forced to sell his property (i.e. “not in my ((P.Ms)) backyard”); but anywhere else across the country, this (illegal’ & legal;…..who knows for sure?; certainly not the F.I.R.B., that’s for certain!) foreign investment in second hand & new domestic property continues effectively unchecked (i.e. business as usual, which all helps to keep our economy ((barely)) growing in GDP; but sadly for all the wrong, if not illegal reasons). What is the point of electing a new party into any Australian Government, when they do not even understand, let alone care if businesses/ energy companies are colluding to rip off the average Australian citizen! I believe that if all collusion was rightly (& by the way, Very simply) investigated and heavily penalised when found out (along with gaol sentences for corrupt/ collusive business people and especially any corrupted public servants involved as well) by all government regulators, in every government regulatory dept., then 100% domestic energy prices would drop by 40-60% virtually overnight (JUST FOR STARTERS!). Why do we long suffering citizens have to endlessly suffer being ripped off like this & by everyone/ every business?; whilst all politicians sit on their hands & do nothing, apart from endlessly thinking about their own self serving grip on power, plus their undeserved privileges etc. Anyway it appears that short of a real democratic revolution here (& finally real accountability for both politicians and the countless so called “public servants”, they are allegedly the bosses of? ((ha, ha!)), nothing will be changing here in the fantasy land of Oz, any time soon!

  35. Dixon

    My point is that Tony Abbot is in no way responsible for the price of electricity in Australia.

    You can call me a denier if you want – although if done to equate me with a perpetrator of the holocaust, then you should hang your head in shame. I deny that human emitted CO2 from fossil fuels is a significant driver of climate change, but if it calms you down a bit, I can add that I am pretty happy with the contents of the last IPCC report which significantly ratchets down the alarm (but very few actually read the detailed chapters – the damage done by Big Green has already had effect). The degree of peril humans face from Climate Change is not significant, catastrophic claims have no significant science standing behind them, and if you think well-funded Science is immune from the same political interference, self-interest and shoddy workmanship as any other profession, then you are sadly mistaken. Every healthy profession has a professional standards board that ensures that evidence is reviewed and tested and tries to ensure that members adhere to ethical standards. Science lags in that regard, especially inter-disciplinary fields like Climate which have few sole practitioners.
    As for telling me to go study up, this is hardly the place to debate the evidence, drop me an email to gnt 2003 at big pond. com (with no spaces) with your preferred timeseries and the amount of warming you think is due to human fossil fuels and we’ll go from there. But I warn you, you will need good data and science to convince me, not 3rd hand ideology. You can launch straight in. I understand quantum mechanics, spectroscopy, thermodynamics and fluid dynamics and now supplement that with a bit of life experience with risk management, politics and sociology. Given good evidence, I change my mind, so give it your best shot!

    The Climate debate needs to be about creating resilient societies and managing risk, not blaming everything on a benign gas. Everything should be as simple as it can be but not simpler. Not much is simple with Climate, not with it’s science, and most certainly not with it’s politics. I changed fields back when there was credible evidence a catastrophe was possible because I realised the science was a waste of time and money without global cooperation. Fascinating as the Climate of earth is, it should not receive funding at the expense of things like brain cancer research, or education, or clean water or even Earthquake mitigation (etc). Adaptation is useful because it needs no more research money and instead spends money on things that will help whether the disasters are man-made or natural.

    “[Man-made] Climate change [caused by fossil fuel combustion] is crap” is much easier to say and comprehend.

  36. Kaye Lee

    “Tony Abbot is in no way responsible for the price of electricity in Australia.”

    Everyone in the industry would disagree with you. They ALL say the uncertainty about policy and the ignoring of climate change has hobbled investment.

    ” I deny that human emitted CO2 from fossil fuels is a significant driver of climate change”

    What a silly statement. You can deny all you want. The science proves you wrong.

    “The degree of peril humans face from Climate Change is not significant,”

    Tell that to the people in India who are suffering record floods. Tell that to the farmers who know climate change is affecting growing seasons and rainfall patterns. Tell that to the insurance companies that are already factoring in the damage from rising sea levels, storn surges, and increasingly intense natural disasters. Tell that to the business community who are already suffering from interruptions to their supply chain.

    And let’s talk about what those ethical health professionals think about climate change.

    Climate change affects the social and environmental determinants of health – clean air, safe drinking water, sufficient food and secure shelter.

    Between 2030 and 2050, climate change is expected to cause approximately 250 000 additional deaths per year, from malnutrition, malaria, diarrhoea and heat stress.

    Increases in the amount of ground-level ozone and fine particle pollution we breathe lead to lung disease, heart conditions, and stroke. Less rain and more heat means this pollution will stay in the air for longer, creating more health problems.

    I could go on and on and on….

    Dixon, you are wrong and we can’t pander to your ignorance any longer.

  37. Dixon

    Harry, I take your point, and it would be a good one if the replacement electricity sources were cheaper than the fossil fuels they are replacing. But they aren’t. And for most people, electricity isn’t a consumer good, it’s an essential service with a high switching price, so normal market considerations don’t apply. While some people might not follow that (not here though!) the people responsible for floating the original ideas of carbon markets absolutely did and were only too happy with the icing on the cake which is privatisation of electricity networks and supply.

    The end game for renewables now is software-controlled network supply, consumption and pricing. Good luck making sure you are getting a fair deal there as an ordinary consumer. It will be expensive (so need taxpayer subsidies – bad) and vulnerable to fraud and malicious damage.

    I repeat: the whole point of renewables was to raise the cost of electricity.

    The environmental benefit of renewables + batteries must also consider the toxic mining and manufacturing processes used, the difficulties recycling e-waste and the hazards produced in motor-vehicle accidents and house fires. CSIROs ammonia-hydrogen process for a fuel offers a lot more promise. Hopefully people here are smart enough to know that hydrogen is much safer than petrol and fully charged lipos.

  38. Dixon

    Surely if we know anything about politics in Australia, it’s that the views of the leader are not what drives policy? But we all love a scapegoat!

    Kaye Lee: The answer to ignorance is education. You provide no data and linking ‘unprecedented flooding’ and a number of other ills with CO2 from fossil fuels with no consideration of other causes like land-use change or melting glaciers is just simplistic.
    We live in a warming world and have done for at least 10,000 years – get used to it. Some of that warming is due to CO2 from fossil fuels, but absolutely, undoubtedly, not all of it. Helping people move away from flood-plains and be better prepared for natural disasters is smart. Demonising CO2 and bankrupting the poor is not.

    If you really want to debate – I gave you my details. I will say no more here.

  39. Kaye Lee


    You can’t expect people to accept what you say without any form of verification. Could you show me your source for saying fossil fuels are cheaper?

    And could you provide a comparison between the emissions, pollution and waste produced by coal mines and coal fired power generation compared to solar and wind backed up by pumped hydro?

    I think you need to provide links to back up your assertions so we can see the source of your information. because whilst you might say things very confidently, I kinda like real evidence.

    Right now we’re in a warm interglacial period, having come out of the last ice age (when New York City and Chicago were under an ice sheet) about 12,000 years ago. During that transition, the Earth’s average surface temperature warmed about 4°C, but that temperature rise occurred over a period of about 10,000 years.

    In contrast, humans have caused nearly 1°C warming over the past 150 years, and we could trigger anywhere from another 1 to 4°C warming over the next 85 years, depending on how much more carbon we pump into the atmosphere.

    We’re already warming the Earth about 20 times faster than during the ice age transition, and over the next century that rate could increase to 50 times faster or more.

    Equilibrium cannot adjust that quickly. We reach tipping points.

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