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Greed speaks louder than need and ambition is a willing listener

In November 2015 in the lead up to the Paris climate summit, then Environment Minister Greg Hunt announced that Australia had already achieved a 5 per cent reduction in emissions based on 2000 levels.

“We have closed the gap and go to Paris officially subzero and on track to beat our 2020 target,” Mr Hunt said.  “This still remains a conservative forecast, and I am hopeful that future updates will show an even greater surplus.”

After missing the September 2016 Quarterly update, the Department of Environment and Energy released the December Quarter figures on Friday which tend to indicate that Greg Hunt is a liar.

Total emissions for Australia for the year to December 2016 (including Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry) are estimated to be 543.3 Mt CO2-e. This figure is 2.0 per cent below emissions in 2000 (554.4 Mt CO2-e).

Aside from 5% being a totally inadequate target, if it has taken us 16 years to reduce emissions by 2%, what are the chances of reducing them by a further 3% by 2020?

One thing you can certainly rely on is that the government will fudge the figures.

Josh Frydenberg tweeted “Emissions data released today ….  NB: electricity sector emissions decreased by 1.3% in Dec Qtr.”

What he doesn’t mention is that “For the year to December 2016, emissions increased 1.4 per cent on the previous year.”

In fact, emissions have been going up steadily ever since the Coalition formed government in 2013.

It is also apparent that the government is knowingly trying to hide, or at least obfuscate, this information.

Departmental correspondence obtained under FOI confirmed advice that the data be released “from March 31” and that the team was “preparing for release of the full set of accounts late on Friday 26 May”. But that did not happen.  They waited until a Friday afternoon in the winter recess.

They deliberately decided there would be no Departmental press release and instead, provided a list of “possible talking points” (read here’s a number or two you can quote but don’t tell them the overall picture).

When Malcolm Turnbull staged his coup, he promised to “respect the intelligence of the Australian people.”

“We need to be truly consultative with colleagues, members of Parliament, senators and the wider public.  We need an open government, an open government that recognises that there is an enormous sum of wisdom both within our colleagues in this building and, of course, further afield.

Remember this, the only way, the only way we can ensure that we remain a high wage, generous social welfare net, first world society is if we have outstanding economic leadership.”

Like so many of Turnbull’s fine words, his actions belie them.

By conflating citizenship with national security and conferring power without oversight on the Immigration Minister, the Turnbull government has artificially created fear and division.

By imposing the religious beliefs of the few on the many, the government is advocating discrimination against people on the basis of their sexuality.

By pursuing those on welfare whilst ignoring corporate tax avoidance and overly generous tax concessions for investors, the government is asking those who are most in need to subsidise those who have the most.

By undermining unions, they have taken away the workers’ collective bargaining power leading to stagnant wages, insecure employment and unsafe workplaces.

By lumbering us with FttN broadband, the government has condemned us to obscurity in the digital world.

By failing to pursue foreign bribery allegations, and by their willingness to deal with corrupt regimes and even people smugglers, the government has given approval for bribery, fraud, and corruption.

By lying about our emissions, promoting fossil fuels, and blaming renewable energy for blackouts and rising electricity prices, they are abrogating our responsibility to avoid calamitous climate change.

Respect our intelligence?

Or manipulate the truth, restrict information, treat us like mugs, the treasury like your personal war chest, and the power of government as a tool by which to bestow position, favour and profit upon the chosen.

The voice of greed speaks louder than the voice of need and ambition is a willing listener.


24 comments

  1. George Swalwell

    Kaye you are a star! Devastating analysis of actual figures and statistics shows the true picture. Keep on with your much needed blend of accuracy and attack.

  2. Jaquix

    So sick of Hunt speak and Lib speak. Good for you Kaye, you are a trojan at calling them out in their obfuscating nonsense. Different subject – make sure you see the TV clip of Barnaby stuffed into hi vis gear complete with helmet, at the opening of a windfarm today, and rabbiting on about the importance of renewables. !!! Not looking like he’s enjoying it at all. They are such hypocrites. Newspoll out today shows Labor leading 53-47% on a 2PP basis, again, same as Essential this week. Trending downwards and no wonder. Wont matter who they prop up as their figurehead either, its the rot thats underneath it thats the problem.

  3. townsvilleblog

    Tory Ministers smiling while in excess of three million of their countrymen struggle to survive living below the poverty line as a direct result of their policies. In my humble opinion all tories are social psychopaths who lack empathy and compassion for their fellow man, their only thoughts are of what they can get for themselves. We certainly need a federal Crime and Corruption Commission and we need it urgently.

  4. Bronte ALLAN

    Well said as usual Kaye! Remember their are lies, damn lies, & then statistics, I reckon ALL three apply to these so-called obscenely over-paid, lying inept f*cking Liberal lot! BASTARDS the lot of them.

  5. helvityni

    Yes, Jaquix,so sick of those two putting on an earnest expression when spouting nonsense…. They are all trying to give an impression that all’s well.. Yet even in Paris, Mal could not forget about Bill….

  6. Kaye Lee

    I watched it gobsmacked Jaquix as I have heard him so many times bag wind power. It was, of course, in his electorate so he will claim credit for it as he did with so many things Tony Windsor got underway. The money came from two government bodies that Barnaby tried to abolish – ARENA and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation.

    He talks through his hat.

    September 2016

    Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has awarded a grant of $6 million to Xinjiang Goldwind Science and Technology – a Chinese wind turbine manufacturer – for its White Rock solar project. (That’s where Barnaby was today)

    December 2016

    The Clean Energy Finance Corporation has made a $120 million dollar loan for a new windfarm in Barnaby Joyce’s electorate.

    It comes three months after Joyce slammed the South Australian government’s over-reliance on wind power, and linked SA’s damaging September blackout on the state’s lack of coal-fired baseload power.

    March 2017

    “The ACT saying they want 100 per cent renewables is crazy,” Mr Joyce told the ABC’s AM radio program. “That might be a policy setting, but it’s also completely insane. It just doesn’t work.”

    April 2017

    NSW Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham said the massive wind farm in the heart of Mr Joyce’s electorate, in between Glen Innes and Inverell, was underpinned by a 20-year supply agreement with the ACT government.

    “It would not be going ahead without the [ACT renewable] policy,” Mr Buckingham said. “Joyce knows full well it is delivering clean energy jobs and billions of dollars of development in his electorate.”

  7. Freethinker

    Thank you Kaye for an excellent article.
    Regarding Joyce, he does what their supporters like and they will support him again.( Almost like Trump in USA.)
    It was a shame that Tony Windsor was not a candidate for the senate, he will be there now.

  8. Matters Not

    Re your link:

    Documents obtained under FOI by the Australian Conservation Foundation reveal that while the government possesses data on greenhouse pollution for the two quarters leading up to the end of last year, it has failed to release them.

    That the ACF had to do the homework, that should be the bread and butter of journalists must be seriously embarrassing for the profession.

    As for:

    They waited until a Friday afternoon in the winter recess.

    Yes the best time to bury a story is on a Friday afternoon (Christmas Eve is best) when any hard bitten journalist is imbibing at a favourite watering hole and telling tall tales. On the other hand, want to get an easy front page? Then release on Sunday afternoon (on a slow weekend) so that it will ‘headline’ in the morrow.

  9. Frank Smith

    Thank you Kaye Lee. Information of this type should not be subject to the whims of politicians – it should be released on time by a totally independant body. How can any democracy work when the electorate is either kept in the dark or lied to?

    Off topic, but whilst I am here, I want to register my disgust at the manner in which the Manus Island refugees are being treated in the lead up to the closure of the detention centre – what gives any public servant the right to force vulnerable people in their care into an unsafe living environment at the transit centre?

  10. helvityni

    Yes ,Frank, pretty disgusting, I wonder if any reporters at G20 asked Turnbull , why has Australian government handled the refugees so inhumanely,they are not criminals.

    If they are not lying, then they are hiding the truth; their two ways of operating.

  11. Keith

    Thanks Kaye.
    Turnbull has endorsed the Paris accord while emissions are increasing. Also, the LNP wish to develop the Galilee Basin; the emissions from the Galilee Basin would place them as being the 15th highest emitter without taking other emissions from Australia into account (per Climate Council).
    In other words, the the LNP statistics do not bear close scrutiny, nor do their promises Internationally and locally.

    Meanwhile the Great Barrier Reef and other coral reefs are being impacted.

    Siberian tundra is flying a huge red flag, with 7,000 potential sites where methane explosions could take place.

    https://www.mnn.com/earth-matters/climate-weather/blogs/thousands-bulging-methane-bubbles-may-soon-explode-siberia

  12. Matters Not

    what gives any public servant the right to …

    Possibly the Law? Which often goes beyond the right to include the obligation.

    And given we claim to live in a democracy, it’s our collective responsibility – isn’t it?

  13. pierre wilkinson

    As usual, a well articulated disposition… thankyou Kaye Lee

  14. True Activist

    Wonder why the biggest promoters of Paris were the Greediest, it shows that Paris was just away for them to make more money out of Green Bullshit. Now who were they, Goldman & Sachs, Wall Street, City of London, and Queen. They had a nut case from the Eugenics Movement (he is worse than the Current leader of the Eugenics movement constantly called for World population to be reduced to below 2 Billion in a decade and now this Green nut case has called for it to be reduced to below 1 Billion in a decade) is the person who wrote the Popes paper on environment & Climate . Paris was a Bullshit Talk Fest with fake green scientist (not real scientist) giving bullshit Theory.

  15. stephentardrew

    Great article as usual Kaye.

  16. jamesss

    All of the great works and services by our people for our people are being dismantled and destroyed. The untouchables reek havoc upon our citizens in the cruelest ways. The NLP is not a government, it is a Dictatorship of the worst kind in the resent history of our planet. They are trashing our nation and are beyond redemption.

  17. johnlord2013

    And why isn’t it a full on headline in every major newspaper.

  18. Möbius Ecko

    https://goo.gl/Erzu8a

    Kaye Lee some ammo for you on your other subject of massive government waste, and it doesn’t get much more than this. If not changed and the economy keeps trending the way it is, Abbott’s 2% of GDP for Defence could cost up to $500 billion.

  19. David Bruce

    Last month an Australian parliamentary delegation visited some south pacific island neighbours. At one of those meetings, I was amused to hear them saying “the islanders have nothing, so why are they all so happy, smiling, kind and considerate?” We want to give them more of our Western Democracy, reduce poverty, improve child mortality, stop domestic violence and help them become good little tax paying entrepreneurs!

  20. Keith

    UNESCO has ruled that:

    “Countries with responsibility over world heritage-listed coral reefs should adopt ambitious climate change targets, aiming to cut greenhouse gas emissions to levels that would keep global temperature increases to just 1.5C, the UN agency responsible for overseeing world heritage sites has said.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/jul/11/countries-with-coral-reefs-must-do-more-on-climate-change-unesco

    Faint hope of Australia doing more while the LNP is in power.

  21. Winston Smythe

    I saw a documentary recently about all the young priest’s who live in the Vatican yet happily attended all the gay bars in Rome. When quizzed on the hypocrisy of their lifestyles; they just shrugged their shoulders as if everyone does it. It seems most people want to be a member of a powerful club rather than be truthful to their own convictions.

  22. Kaye Lee

    Indeed ME. According to ASPI, we spend $95,032,591.78 every day on defence and that doesn’t include capital expenditure on things that go bang or funds appropriated to the Defence Housing Authority, nor those administered by Defence for military superannuation schemes and housing support services.

    ASPI also noted that “after years of uninterrupted transparency, the government has ceased disclosing what projects it approves.”

  23. Jerry

    Kaye! this Government and past Labor governments or just Turnbull’s Abbott’s governments ?

  24. Divergent Aussie

    Is wind power the solution or has it been getting away with RECS murder? The physics dictate that the power output of wind is proportional to half the cube of the velocity (speed). This means power output is non-linear in relation to wind velocity (speed) At the rough wind cut in velocity (speed) of a wind turbine of 12.5 km/h the turbine produces not 1/4 of the power of its max output at 50 km/h, not 1/8, not 1/16 but just 1/64 of the max power output. This goes a long way to explaining why wind power output regularly collapses even though the wind is still blowing; it just isn’t blowing hard enough. Ask any sailor about this phenomenon. This means managing such vast variation in power output is extremely challenging. The problem with the coalition is that they don’t care about what sort of renewable the renewable is because they just don;t believe in climate change. If they did believe in climate change they would unmask wind power for what it is and prioritize energy sources, primarily renewable, that can address climate change.

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