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Liberal Party self-destructs on climate change

It is difficult to see anything defendable in the Liberal Party’s position on climate change as it was articulated on Four Corners last night.  The Leader of the Liberal Party in the Senate, Nick Minchin made things clear. He questioned Malcolm Turnbull’s authority and declared man-made climate change a myth – a view he said ‘most’ of his Liberal colleagues shared. He said man-made climate change and pollution-reducing schemes were a left-wing conspiracy.  

”For the extreme left it provides the opportunity to do what they’ve always wanted to do – to sort of de-industrialise the Western world,” he said. ”The collapse of communism was a disaster for the left and really they embraced environmentalism as their new religion. For years the left internationally have been very successful in exploiting people’s innate fears about global warming and climate change.”

The difficulty with the position of Minchin is that these lunatic views – which contradict all science and border on the paranoid – make it difficult to treat anything at all he says with credibility.  He is both wrong and ignorant.

Tony Abbott and many others openly showed the same degree of ignorance.  All the usual wrong denialist lies. Abbott also warns he is concerned the world is not ‘jumping on a bandwagon or being taken in by a fad’. ‘We embraced the policy then for good reasons which means that it’s uh not a crazy policy but that doesn’t mean we can’t modify the policy or change it or even abandon it should that be our current judgment’.

These clowns had the responsibility to inform themselves on climate science. 

My assumption after last night’s show is that the CPRS legislation will be defeated in the Senate which will lead to a double dissolution of parliament, the probable end of the Turnbull leadership and a desperate fight for survival and distinctiveness among the Nationals.

Hopefully the Liberals and the Nationals face a decisive defeat in both houses with Labor being left to deal with an enhanced Green vote.   The major concern is that these stupid views will infect the public with further skepticism regarding the issue of climate change.  Labor can win the election decisively but at the expense of a more polarized electorate.

Unless Turnbull is able to engineer a major change of heart in his delusionist colleagues, I will be part of that polarization. For the first time in 30 years I will not be voting for the conservative side of politics at the next poll.

13 comments to Liberal Party self-destructs on climate change

  • Uncle Milton

    My tip is that Turnbull and McFarlane will cut a deal with Rudd and Wong, and it will be passed in the Senate with significant numbers of Liberals, and of course all Nationals, voting against. The Greens will also vote against.

    The open insurrection currently waged by Minchin and others against Turnbull will become an all out war.

  • hc

    I hope it is but I hope that part of that deal will not be to permanently exclude agriculture from the CPRS. Nor should iot – at least in terms of the Nationals – who have shown themselves to be the worst of a bad lot.

  • Sir Henry Casingbroke

    This is a non-event. No need to get hysterical Harry. In the Senate:
    1. Greens will vote for it (and whine afterwards) otherwise its own constituency will go berserk.
    2. Some Liberals will vote for it.
    3. ALP will vote for it.
    4. Xenophon will vote for it.

    Do the maths. 76 votes. ALP – 32, Greens – 5, Xenophon – 1, that’s 38. Plus say, two Liberals. That’s 40. Is that enough?

  • hc

    Sir Henry, The Greens will vote against it for reasons I still don’t entirely grasp. Take away 5 that’s 35 not enough. But yes I hope a large number of Liberals will repudiate the Minchin idiocy. In Sydney next few weeks will call and terrorise you.

  • Krystian

    The flat-earthers coming up with conspiracy theories about climate change is one thing – But I was also shocked by their lack of honour, dumping on their leader like that. Sure there can be disagreements in politics, but you express your views in the partyroom, and then you stand by your leader and respect their decisions. If somebody can’t cope with that then they don’t belong in party politics. Not sure if it ever got close to this bad for Labor in opposition

  • Sir Henry Casingbroke

    Oh do. I’m wet already.

  • Supporting your leader despite him supporting the worst policy in Australian history doesn’t sound very smart.

  • Uncle Milton

    Harry, there are possibly good reasons to exclude agriculture on the grounds that you can’t properly measure the emissions. But the demands by the farming lobby not only to exclude agriculture (so they don’t have to buy permits) but to allow them to sell permits for things like land they decide not to clear is rent seeking on a scale so grand that even French dairy farmers would be too embarrassed and ashamed to try.

  • hc

    Uncle Milton, There are many problems with bringing agriculture into the ETS – measurement problems are huge, an internationally traded sector and, yes, payments to farmers for not developing land. Still I would not want it permanently excluded from the ETS.

  • Jim

    You’ve said before yourself that the CPRS looks almost identical to what Howard took to the polls in 2007. I don’t think you’ll really have to switch your vote away from the “conservative side of politics”, you’ll just have to vote for another fairly conservative party (the one in Government, perhaps?).

    I still think when I’m older I’ll found a political party called the “Competence Party”…

  • Harry,

    The reasons some parts the environment movement intensely dislike this bill (and hence the Greens are under heavy pressure to oppose it) are as follows:

    1) the targets aren’t as tight as to be consistent with the kind of global deal they think is necessary.
    2) too much money is spent compensating polluters (who’ve been fighting emissions trading for more than a decade), and not enough on households and their favourite green technologies.
    3) apropos 1 and 2, it *locks in* targets which are too unambitious.
    4) it’s too easy to meet the target by buying offsets internationally rather than making reductions here, which a) may not result in net emissions reductions as – for instance – forestry is simply displaced rather than reduced, b) doesn’t drive the development of technologies to reduce emissions, and c) is somehow believed to involve punishing poor people while the rich world gets off again.
    5) it doesn’t reward additional voluntary effort.

    I think these have varying merit, to say the least – point 1 is the biggie, the rest are sideshows at best – but there you have it.

  • For me the problem is the combination of 1 and 3. The issue with 3 is the “scheme caps and gateways” part of the legislation, which requires the minister set 5 years of “scheme caps”, then the minister can set upper and lower bounds for emissions (gateways) for as long as they choose afterwards – with the policy being for an extra 5 years of gateways. The electricity generators (and probably the Liberals) want to lock in 10 years of scheme caps and then 10 years of gateways.

    The Greens state that the CPRS “locks in failure” because of the handouts to polluters. While it could be argued that the CPRS “rips off the taxpayer” because of the assistance measures, which also distort the price signal to a certain extent, it doesn’t have much to do with “locking in failure”. The scheme caps and gateways approach is what risks “locking in failure”. But I think the Greens want a nice simple message.

    I think the decision on whether to support the CPRS, oppose it, or critique it and let people make up their own minds, is a political one. It is a decision that should be based on strategic considerations in the presence of uncertainty.

  • Martha Maus

    I read at a political commenatary site ( I think it was Politically Homeless? ) that Rudd would not risk a DD because in a DD the Senate only required 5% vote and that would mean the balance of power would most likely be held by the Greens.

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