The Australian Election

Reader Keira McKenzie (owner of Plushie) from Oz sent an email and photo about the new election, which apparently has booted out Labour and voted in the government of Tony Abbott:

As you know, Australia had an election today.  It looks like the climate-change-denying, staying with 20th century internet (yes, I said *20th century*), foreign aid denying, criminalizing refugees party—the Liberals (the equivalent of your Republicans in that they’re conservatives) have got into power through a load of lies on the economy.
We are in for a rough ride and the country for a rough millennium or so because all work on attempts to mitigate & prepare for climate change will be abandoned.

I knew before the vote was in because Ceiling cat told me so, appearing above my own MtLawleyShire in Western Australia at sunset.

As the BBC notes:

Mr Abbott has also promised to repeal the government’s unpopular carbon tax – a policy which has marked Australia out as a world leader on climate change legislation in the past three years.

Ceiling Cat and his eponymous Earthly minion, Professor C.C., indeed disapprove of the election’s results, and Ceiling Cat has turned black to protest the increased emissions. Keira’s photograph:

the dark side of Ceiling Cat_election day sunset

80 Comments

  1. Posted September 7, 2013 at 4:52 am | Permalink

    I think Keira McKenzie has it about right.
    But at least we have Billionaire Clive Palmer to provide comedy relief.

  2. Posted September 7, 2013 at 4:59 am | Permalink

    a very scary take on humanity

  3. kelskye
    Posted September 7, 2013 at 5:24 am | Permalink

    “a policy which has marked Australia out as a world leader on climate change legislation in the past three years”
    If that’s leading the world, it’s an even scarier prospect for the world. The carbon tax wasn’t really a major thing, except that everyone knew they were being taxed as it was marked on our bills as such. So while we all got tax cuts to offset the carbon tax, we saw an “increase” in our cost of living.

    Ironically enough, 3 years ago Kevin Rudd tried to introduce an ETS – which the Greens party voted down because the legislation didn’t go far enough. A move that showed the weakness of Kevin Rudd, brought about the eventual move to Gillard (which was good in every way except the polls), and now we have Tony Abbott. For the sake of Australia, my hope is Abbott will continue to be as centrist as his populist rhetoric over the last few years has been.

    • BillyJoe
      Posted September 7, 2013 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

      According to the ABC questionaire, my views are 87% in line with the Greens (64% Labor, 43% Liberal), but I couldn’t bring myself to vote for them because of the fact that, in the name of purity, they effectively killed off the ETS, leaving us eventually with the relatively ineffective carbon tax.

      I only hope they have now learned from their mistake, because the ramifications are that we now have no tax at all and will make no progress on climate change for at least six years under Abbott who is on record as referring to AGW as bullshit.

      • madscientist
        Posted September 7, 2013 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

        I don’t understand why you believe in the emissions trading scam. Didn’t the EU demonstrate that it’s a load of horse crap? Taxes on the other hand work nicely; the Norwegians have been taxing CO2 emissions from gas production for quite a few years now.

        • Gary W
          Posted September 7, 2013 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

          Taxes on the other hand work nicely; the Norwegians have been taxing CO2 emissions from gas production for quite a few years now.

          If this is an example of taxes working, I’d hate to see what failure would mean. Despite its emissions taxes, Norway has one of the highest levels of oil and gas production per capita in the world. It accounts for around 25% of the country’s GDP. Norway’s exceptionally high standard of living is funded by selling huge amounts of oil and gas to other countries, which is then turned into carbon emissions.

          • Posted September 7, 2013 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

            At the same time, though, the oil and gas profits are nationalized and profit the people and not a small handful of fat cats.

            • Gary W
              Posted September 7, 2013 at 10:52 pm | Permalink

              Norway has only 5 million people, out of a global population of 7 billion. So a tiny fraction of the world’s population is massively enriching itself through an activity that results in huge carbon emissions.

            • Posted September 8, 2013 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

              Nor can you blame Norway for other countries’ poor emissions control when consuming the oil and gas Norway produced.

              For its own part, Norway’s oil and gas production has a carbon footprint only a third of the world average (if I remember what I read last week in the Oil Museum in Stavanger correctly).

              And it is actively funding research into, eg, technologies for carbon recovery.

              I think Norway’s social responsibility wrt oil and gas production, both nationally and globally, is exemplary.

              /@

            • Gary W
              Posted September 8, 2013 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

              Nor can you blame Norway for other countries’ poor emissions control when consuming the oil and gas Norway produced.

              Of course you can. Norway knows perfectly well that the oil and gas it sells will be burned with little control of emissions, producing massive quantities of carbon. If emitting massive amounts of carbon is a bad thing, Norway’s action can be compared to someone who sells a gun knowing that it will be used to commit a crime.

              For its own part, Norway’s oil and gas production has a carbon footprint only a third of the world average

              So what? Your comment here is like trying to defend someone who manufactures and sells a dangerous product on the grounds that the manufacturing process he uses is less dangerous than that of his competitors.

              And it is actively funding research into, eg, technologies for carbon recovery.

              Again, so what? Is selling a dangerous product ok as long as you actively fund research into possibly making it less dangerous in the future?

              I think Norway’s social responsibility wrt oil and gas production, both nationally and globally, is exemplary.

              If our current rate of carbon emissions is irresponsible and dangerous, you certainly haven’t offered any reason why Norway’s behavior should even be considered ethical, let alone exemplary. Why doesn’t Norway slow emissions of carbon by slowing its production of oil and gas? Even if it massively reduced its production, it would still be one of the most affluent countries in the world. Answer: because it’s greedy.

        • BillyJoe
          Posted September 7, 2013 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

          With the ETS, you set an upper limit on emissions…and then you progressively lower the upper limit. Of course it won’t work if you don’t actually implement it. If you do, it has to work by definition. Politicians are gutless though and won’t do what’s necessary so as not to upset the swinging voter and lose elections. And the media tell the swinging voter what to think about AGW.

      • kelskye
        Posted September 7, 2013 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

        I did that as well and got similar figures (slightly less greens than you). Some of the greens senators are really good these days, Scott Ludlam in particular is an invaluable voice in Australian parliament. But that incident did drive home (to me) the problem the Australian senate has thanks to the decline of the democrats. Keeping the bastards honest cannot be done with a party so skewed to one side of the political spectrum. Their lack of compromise does make me worry about their prevalence as Australia’s leftish protest vote party. Makes me wish the Democrats would come back, or Nick Clegg would emigrate here.

        Ironically enough, in the ACT the greens were punished for being pragmatic by the Animal Justice Party. The AJP has an almost identical policy position to the greens, yet put the greens last on the ACT senate ballot because the greens played a role in culling the overpopulated kangaroos. Their reward for trying to be sensible politically was losing votes from even stronger idealits than they are.

    • madscientist
      Posted September 7, 2013 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

      Well, that’s what the folks in Australia are told; the previous government told ‘em that Australia had the best carbon dioxide abatement regulation on the planet and none of the new people bothered to check what other nations were doing and how they were faring. The Norwegians for example would be wondering what was so great about legislation which is already proven to have no effect on CO2 emissions.

      • madscientist
        Posted September 7, 2013 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

        new people = news people

  4. Posted September 7, 2013 at 5:40 am | Permalink

    That is a total shame – what is wrong with Australians? They have been bearing the brunt of global warming and its consequence – climate change – with their epic droughts and floods. They should have voted for Julian Assange…

    http://www.vice.com/vice-news/julian-assange-talks-to-vice-about-bradley-manning-and-political-payback

    • Gary W
      Posted September 7, 2013 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

      They have been bearing the brunt of global warming and its consequence – climate change – with their epic droughts and floods.

      There’s no scientific basis for claiming that droughts and floods in Australia, or anywhere else, are caused by global warming. Even the much weaker claim that global warming has increased the number or severity of these events is dubious.

      • Posted September 7, 2013 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

        I beg to differ, but you are of course entitled to your beliefs.

      • BillyJoe
        Posted September 7, 2013 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

        This is not correct.

        No specific event can be attributed to climate change.
        However, trends can be.

        Climate science predicts increasingly severe droughts and floods in Australia (floods in the north and droughts in the south).
        It’s happening.

      • Gary W
        Posted September 7, 2013 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

        What I said is correct. A prediction of a possible future trend in weather events is not the same thing as attribution of historical or current weather events.

        A report on extreme events issued by the IPCC last year states “there is low confidence in any observed long-term (i.e., 40 years or more) increases in tropical cyclone activity (i.e., intensity, frequency, duration), after accounting for past changes in observing capabilities” and only “medium confidence that some regions of the world have experienced more intense and longer droughts.” Similarly, for floods there is “low confidence at the global scale regarding even the sign of these changes [in the magnitude and frequency of floods].”

        With respect to Australia specifically, the report states that in northwestern Australia “droughts have become less frequent, less intense, or shorter.”

        It’s important to pay close attention to what the scientific studies and reports actually say, and not just uncritically repeat statements you have read on blogs or in news articles, which frequently misrepresent the science.

        • Posted September 7, 2013 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

          What makes you think I only refer to and read blogs and news articles? My reading is vast and not in any way limited to such, and I have friends who are climatologists and paleoclimatologists whose scientific knowledge cannot be impugned and with whom I have frequent conversations on the subject.

          • Gary W
            Posted September 7, 2013 at 11:06 pm | Permalink

            So show us your evidence for your claim that Australians “have been bearing the brunt of global warming and its consequence – climate change – with their epic droughts and floods.” The IPCC special report on extreme events certainly doesn’t support it.

        • BillyJoe
          Posted September 7, 2013 at 9:27 pm | Permalink

          You also need to understand what you read.
          First, I said nothing about cyclones so thanks for that irrelevant quote.
          Second, there is medium level of evidence for longer and more severe droughts in some regions. That is a relevant quote and thanks for it though not for the unnecessary “only” you added yourself and that is not in the report.
          Thirdly, the fact that there is no evidence of GLOBAL change in flooding, says nothing about REGIONAL flooding. So thanks again for the irrelevant quote.
          The fact is that climate change models product regional increases in severity and duration of floods and droughts.
          There is evidence that this is happening.

          • BillyJoe
            Posted September 7, 2013 at 9:28 pm | Permalink

            product => predict

        • Gary W
          Posted September 7, 2013 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

          First, I said nothing about cyclones so thanks for that irrelevant quote.

          It’s very relevant. Tropical cyclones are an example of extreme weather events and are a significant cause of flooding. But the IPCC reports “low confidence” that there has been an increase in tropical storm activity.

          Second, there is medium level of evidence for longer and more severe droughts in some regions.

          Which is completely different from the unsupported claim that Australia has “been bearing the brunt of global warming and its consequence – climate change – with their epic droughts and floods.” As I said, there’s no scientific basis for that claim.

          Thirdly, the fact that there is no evidence of GLOBAL change in flooding, says nothing about REGIONAL flooding.

          You haven’t presented any evidence about regional flooding. Or any evidence for your claims regarding the effect of climate change in Australia specifically. As I said, the IPCC report states that “droughts have become less frequent, less intense, or shorter” in northwestern Australia.

          • Dominic
            Posted September 9, 2013 at 1:52 am | Permalink

            You can sit on the fence or deny there is climate change affecting Australia or anywhere else all you want. Whether there is a change in Australia’s climate or drought/storm frequency is hardly the issue. Lack of evidence should not stop us from acting to reduce or mitigate any impact on the environment. We KNOW what carbon dioxide & methane do in the atmosphere, & what they have the potential to do.

            Don’t bother insuring your house against theft or fire because no one has so far robbed you & your house have not burst into flame.

            Be as sceptical as you wish. However pollution knows no borders & you have no right to wreck the world for others who DO give a damn.

          • Gary W
            Posted September 9, 2013 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

            You can sit on the fence or deny there is climate change affecting Australia or anywhere else all you want.

            Climate change does seem to be affecting Australia. But the evidence suggests that the effects are modest and mixed, some positive and some negative. And some of these effects may be caused by natural climate variability. It’s complicated. There’s no scientific basis for vierotchka’s absurd statements.

            Lack of evidence should not stop us from acting to reduce or mitigate any impact on the environment. We KNOW what carbon dioxide & methane do in the atmosphere, & what they have the potential to do.

            On the contrary, taking expensive action without evidence that it is justified is irrational. The mere fact that greenhouse gases “have the potential” to produce certain effects does not support any particular action.

    • kelskye
      Posted September 7, 2013 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

      The Wikileaks party shot themselves in the foot by preferencing right-wing parties ahead of those who are naturally aligned with them. For example, in Western Australia they preferenced the right-wing Nationals party ahead of the one politician who championed Wikileaks / Assange.

    • Marella
      Posted September 7, 2013 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

      I was intending to vote for Julian Assange, but infighting and the loss of Leslie Cannold and others meant that I changed my mind. Even so the Senate will have about 9 senators from various interest groups possibly including the Motoring Enthusiasts Party who mostly want the right to go bush-bashing in their four-wheel-drives, Clive Palmer who wants to run the country for his own personal enrichment, and many others, but it’s still too early to say for sure.

  5. Posted September 7, 2013 at 5:43 am | Permalink

    In Switzerland too, the Liberals are a right-wing party. Their Liberal label is from what they call the liberal professions, i.e. lawyers, bankers, notaries, doctors, engineers, architects, etc., who are among the top earners.

    • Marella
      Posted September 7, 2013 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

      Our Liberal Party was named thus in order to suggest a lack of government regulation. It was supposed to be about personal freedom, but like most of these sorts of parties, it’s actually about the freedom of the rich to oppress the rest of us.

  6. staffordgordon
    Posted September 7, 2013 at 5:45 am | Permalink

    A scientifically illiterate Prime Minister is as bad as it gets!

    • denese
      Posted September 8, 2013 at 1:52 am | Permalink

      sit back and watch it all unravel, the pm person is now in the lime light he cannot blame the gov, he is the gov, sadly we lost so much I am grieving the nbn and little policies that went un noticed like brining in children with autism under the umbrella of more help at school a small policy but a wonderful policy only labor see people as people tories see people as numbers on balance sheet , thats their born to rule dna
      but unravel it will I ve read a few things about our economy that there is worries on the horizon. I don’t believe this lot will be able to handle it at all and they keep saying they will sack so many thousand, well that’s not the way to keep the tills jingling is it. so inflation and high int, rates are coming what will happen to our triple a a a rating?

  7. Jodie Furner
    Posted September 7, 2013 at 5:53 am | Permalink

    The worst of two awful options prevailed today. Abbott is scientifically, ethically, socially challenged, but he won because people believed a biased, misleading media campaign, and Labor contributed by their own in-party fighting. It’s going to be interesting three years ahead….

    • Posted September 7, 2013 at 11:27 am | Permalink

      I think many people felt that – that both options were pretty bad, but Labour was the lesser of 2 evils.
      All that work, & people are quite accepting of the price on carbon (it was never a tax) – after all, the idea was to reduce the use of energy. That’s what it was for. Now?

  8. Posted September 7, 2013 at 5:57 am | Permalink

    Shame on Keira McKenzie for politicising this blog ..er .. website with typical Greens fear-mongering. Her comments are representative of the sanctimonious ad hominem attacks Tony Abbott and the rest of the Australian electorate (remember it’s their fault for electing him) have had to put up with for years.

    Also to compare the LNP to the Republicans is just being plain mendacious.

    • Posted September 7, 2013 at 6:05 am | Permalink

      First of all, we discuss plenty of politics on this website, and much of politics is opinion. You apparently disagree with her opinion, which is fine, but to accuse her of “politicizing with her fear-mongering” is out of line.

      Finally, there is no ad hominem in her argument; do you even know what “ad hominem” means?

      Mendacious is an accusation of lying.

      You can make your points without being insulting, so please apologize to Ms. McKenzie.

      • Posted September 7, 2013 at 10:06 am | Permalink

        WEIT,

        I certainly do know what ad hominen means – playing the man, not the ball – and I agree although Ms McKenzie does not make one specifically in her note, the left have been stridently vilifying Tony Abbott for the last few years, culminating in Julia Gillard’s “Misogynist” speech (almost always shown without the full political context in which it was made – where she accused Tony Abbott of such without producing any evidence and to draw attention away from a particularly embarrassing political situation of her own making. She could have correctly directed the accusation at some Abbott supporters, though).

        Having reread her note, I agree Ms McKenzie did make the comparison of the winning Liberal Party to the Republicans only I hope to identify them to your readership as the conservative party, so I apologise for that. I did initially think she was implying that the Libs were as conservative as the Republicans, which is clearly wrong and, frankly, insulting. It has been an impression that the left side of politics in Australia have been trying to cultivate since Abbott became leader of his party.

        The Libs do have a minority (loony) religious right at a state level, whilst the out-going federal Labour ministry has 2/3 practising Catholics (which might be an indication as to why they were in no hurry to legalise gay marriage). The influence of the church in the affairs of the state still abounds.

        DCM

        • Posted September 7, 2013 at 10:19 am | Permalink

          Ad Hominem: http://www.fallacyfiles.org/adhomine.html

        • Posted September 7, 2013 at 11:34 am | Permalink

          thanks for the apology. If I hadn’t been used to political comment, personal opinion, and such on this blog, I would never have sent Jerry an email.
          Both sides have been insulting, both sides have been nasty. Quite frankly, I voted for neither of them, but I do consider the Libs to be the worst of the pair, especially in regards to their released policies.

          • Dominic
            Posted September 9, 2013 at 1:54 am | Permalink

            Website!

            • Posted September 16, 2013 at 11:01 am | Permalink

              I’m not sure what your comment means. Maybe I’m being thick…

    • BillyJoe
      Posted September 7, 2013 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

      Poor old Tony Abbott.
      Your sympathies are clearly misplaced.
      Have a look at how the media, the radio shock jocks and the politicians treated Julia Gillard.
      There is no comparison.

  9. Stephen Ryan
    Posted September 7, 2013 at 6:21 am | Permalink

    I agree dcm001. This blog is no place for biased political comment. Most readers are not Australian and would not appreciate the nuances of Australian politics.

    This is the lowest vote the Labor party has got since the 2nd World War and against an opposition leader that many said was unelectable. That in itself should make those reading the original post on the thread come to the conclusion that the defeat has more to it than the infantile comments by the obviously far left leaning Keira who posted it.

    • Posted September 7, 2013 at 6:30 am | Permalink

      As if somebody can make a political comment that others can’t see as biased!

      Second, maybe it’s time that non-Aussies learn something about Australian politics. And we do have quite a few Australian readers.

      Finally, apologize to Keira for calling her comments infantile, or you’re gone. Maybe you don’t know the rules, but we do not insult other commenters here.

    • Alex Shuffell
      Posted September 7, 2013 at 9:12 am | Permalink

      This site is a great place for biased political comment, many of us are intelligent and interesting people, we can and do defend ourselves and have fun doing it. Some of us may even learn something. Even from you. Only two of the readers are from North Korea, none of us understand their politics yet it is fascinating to see, as is any news from around the world. If this site stuck to US politics too many of us would get bored.

    • Dominic
      Posted September 9, 2013 at 1:57 am | Permalink

      “Most readers are not Australian and would not appreciate the nuances of Australian politics” – for crying out loud! It is proclaimed loud & clear! There is no ‘nuance’ -Abbott is pretty clear

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-24005687

  10. Torbjörn Larsson, OM
    Posted September 7, 2013 at 10:47 am | Permalink

    I was afraid of that. Abbott is an unapologetic misogynist (repeat offender) IIRC, regardless what apologetics his defender dcm001 chose to drop onto this page.

    However, I dunno about the new administration’s climate science denial. In the local news they were claimed to substitute the carbon tax with the usual carbon share system that many has used early on. (Rather unsuccessfully, but anyway.)

    • Posted September 7, 2013 at 11:35 am | Permalink

      Abbott is on record as a ‘climate science denuier’ and his policies in that regard are certainly not partivularly strong and somehwat misleading.

    • ratabago
      Posted September 8, 2013 at 6:02 am | Permalink

      Abbott is on record as having described climate science as “crap”, and the ETS and the Carbon Tax as “crap policy”. Though in the case of the comment on climate science it was in the context of his personal view of the matter, not as an official Liberal Party spokesperson.

      As recently as the 3rd of September, according to The Age, Abbott admitted that the Coalition’s direct abatement scheme ” may not reach its promised 5 per cent cut in emissions by 2020,” but no further money will be made available to strengthen the scheme. By contrast, Monash University has analysed this scheme and suggest that with the given budget that Australia’s carbon emissions will raise by 9% by 2020, and 45% by 2050.

      Abbott is unapologetic about being a misogynist because he doesn’t think he is one. He has a right wing conservative Catholic world view that informs his ideas of proper gender roles. Views that I personally find obnoxious. But his attacks on Gillard and her “barren womb” were just his “Junk Yard Dog” personality coming to the fore. They were personal attacks, directed at an opponent. From his point of view it was entirely incidental that she was a woman. Making these sorts of ill considered personal attacks against opponents used to be his job before he became opposition leader, he used to brag about it. It’s taken time for him to ease into his recent, more statesmanlike, public persona.

      • Torbjörn Larsson, OM
        Posted September 8, 2013 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

        So they are in denial but wants to prevent what they deny?

        I’m confused. Aren’t you confusing Abbott’s climate science denial with his administrations policies? It would make Abbott a compromise politician.

        • ratabago
          Posted September 8, 2013 at 8:49 pm | Permalink

          “I’m confused. Aren’t you confusing Abbott’s climate science denial with his administrations policies? It would make Abbott a compromise politician.”

          No, I’m not confusing his climate science denial with his policies. He really doesn’t believe the science, he really does believe his God will protect us from the consequences of our actions. He really doesn’t object to our emissions increasing by 45%. But he also understands that denying the science was a strong contributor to the coalition being thrashed in the 2007 election, and that significant numbers of Australians are still concerned about climate change. He has made a point that the Coalition needs to distance itself from Howard in this matter if they are to be able to win an election (I think his actual words were “we must not appear more brown than Howard”.)

          So he has found a policy where he can direct $3.2Billion to some of his core constituencies (Businesses and Farmers), selling it as a carbon reduction strategy to the voters, while actually doing little to nothing to actually reduce emissions.

          It’s really just a minor rehash of the policy he took to the 2010 election. It was pointed out at the time that it fell $20Billion short of the funding level needed to achieve its goals. So he added $700M to the kitty. It’s not about achieving a working compromise. It’s about finding the minimum he can sell to the public. He is in denial, he just doesn’t want to be seen as being in denial.

  11. Diana MacPherson
    Posted September 7, 2013 at 11:02 am | Permalink

    Ah crap. Canada has a conservative government in power now & they’ve done a lot of things that have vexed me: censored scientists, ramped up the oil sands & created an Office of Religious Freedom. I’ve even heard the PM say “God bless Canada”, which believe me, sounds completely foreign to Canadian ears (which I think is why he has pulled back on that a bit). There are some things they’ve done correctly but these deeds are unforgiveable.

    Now, with the Aussies with a conservative government pulling back on climate work started, it’s going to make things worse….so all you Americans have to make sure your next government is not one with bad climate policies!

    • Posted September 7, 2013 at 11:37 am | Permalink

      yeah – I’ve been wincing at Canada’s antics. It’s heartbreaking. It was once a leader. I guess, as in Australia, it’s short-termism and get the dollar while we can, before everything blows up in our faces. Although, it’ll be other countries who suffer.

  12. Gary W
    Posted September 7, 2013 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

    Whether or not an Australian carbon tax is a good idea, it’s important not to exaggerate its impact. Australia accounts for about 1.3% of global CO2 emissions. A carbon tax in Australia would have only a negligible effect on global emissions and only a negligible effect on climate change.

    • BillyJoe
      Posted September 7, 2013 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

      And if Australia opts out of action on AGW because of that fact, every country in the world can do likewise for the same reason and no one will do anything and the climate denialists will have won.
      Congratulations.

      • Gary W
        Posted September 7, 2013 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

        And if Australia opts out of action on AGW because of that fact, every country in the world can do likewise for the same reason

        Well yes, they “can,” but I doubt that other countries will opt out of action on AGW because of the fact that Australia’s share of global emissions is very low.

        • BillyJoe
          Posted September 7, 2013 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

          You misunderstand.
          Everyone opts out because everyone else opts out.
          The Tradegy of the Commons.

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tragedy_of_the_commons

          • Gary W
            Posted September 7, 2013 at 9:59 pm | Permalink

            My point has nothing to do with the tragedy of the commons. The point is that since Australia accounts for such a small share of global emissions, and has so little influence on the behavior of other countries, it will make little difference to climate change whether Australia has a carbon tax or not. Australia’s climate change policy simply isn’t an important factor.

            • BillyJoe
              Posted September 9, 2013 at 3:42 am | Permalink

              As I said Tragedy of the Commons.

    • madscientist
      Posted September 7, 2013 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

      So what? That sounds like it’s leading to an excuse to do nothing. I’ve heard that sort of thing from every single global political CO2 meeting – “If X were to do it, it wouldn’t have an impact, so why bother” and “We want A, B, and C to do it first, so we’re doing nothing”. Unfortunately Nature doesn’t care for politics or national boundaries and continues to do what nature is inclined to do.

      • Gary W
        Posted September 7, 2013 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

        So what?

        So, given that a carbon tax in Australia isn’t likely to have a significant impact on climate change, it’s hard to see why it should be considered an important issue.

        I suppose you could claim that a carbon tax in Australia will set an important example that countries with much higher emissions are likely to follow, but that seems pretty implausible to me. Australia has only 22 million people and little geopolitical influence. Its domestic policies on climate change aren’t likely to have much impact on how other countries behave.

        • BillyJoe
          Posted September 7, 2013 at 9:37 pm | Permalink

          Tragedy of the Commons (see above)

          Also, on a per capita basis, Australians are one of the biggest emmitters in the world.

          http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/EN.ATM.CO2E.PC

          • Gary W
            Posted September 7, 2013 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

            The tragedy of the commons has nothing to do with it. Neither does Australia’s per capita emissions. What matters with respect to the significance of Australian climate change policy is the country’s total emissions, not its per capita emissions.

            • BillyJoe
              Posted September 9, 2013 at 3:43 am | Permalink

              Say what you like but you are mouthing the spiel of climate denialists.
              And yes it is the tragedy of the commons.

    • kelskye
      Posted September 7, 2013 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

      Ahh, the tragedy of the commons. The carbon tax was a step in the right direction, even if it wasn’t going to solve the world’s problems.

      The more worrying thing about the repeal of the tax is that it’s a repeal of the programs the carbon tax funded. We’re going to save $7.5 billion dollars under the new government by the removal of the tax and its programs, and in return there will be $3.2 billion dollars of funding (no more, no less – unless the budget doesn’t have it) that will be put towards direct measures such as storing carbon in the soil. The repeal of the carbon tax means a shift away from Australia trying to shift towards a more sustainable future.

      • Posted September 7, 2013 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

        exactly, kelskye. Exactly.

      • Gary W
        Posted September 7, 2013 at 10:33 pm | Permalink

        The carbon tax was a step in the right direction, even if it wasn’t going to solve the world’s problems.

        Even if Australia’s carbon tax was a step in the right direction (a claim that itself seems rather dubious), it was only a very small step, so it doesn’t really matter much either way. And given how widespread and intense opposition to the tax has been among the Australian people, it doesn’t bode well for similar policies in the future. The situation sounds rather similar to Margaret Thatcher’s attempt to ram through a poll tax in Britain, in the face of intense public opposition. That didn’t end well for her or her party either.

        • kelskye
          Posted September 8, 2013 at 12:25 am | Permalink

          “Even if Australia’s carbon tax was a step in the right direction (a claim that itself seems rather dubious), it was only a very small step, so it doesn’t really matter much either way.”
          Yet we are saving $7.5 billion dollars by eliminating the tax and programs associated with it. That doesn’t mean anything?

          “And given how widespread and intense opposition to the tax has been among the Australian people, it doesn’t bode well for similar policies in the future.”
          It’s disappointing just how vociferous and scaremongering the media and opposition was towards the tax (it even culminated in a piece where a man ate dog food because of fears about the carbon tax’s impact on the cost of living), especially too that low income people were given subsidies to help cope and the rest of us were given tax cuts (these tax cuts aren’t being wound back either). The majority of Australians want the government to do more about climate change (see: ABC vote compass), yet the carbon tax was a PR nightmare. It was sold poorly, it was handled poorly, and that we could see “carbon tax” written on our electricity bills while “carbon subsidy” wasn’t written on our paychecks meant that people saw it as a far greater threat than it really was.

          “The situation sounds rather similar to Margaret Thatcher’s attempt to ram through a poll tax in Britain, in the face of intense public opposition.”
          It’s interesting that you’re comparing an environmental measure to an anti-democratic one. Why this comparison?

          • Gary W
            Posted September 8, 2013 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

            It’s interesting that you’re comparing an environmental measure to an anti-democratic one. Why this comparison?

            I thought I had already explained this clearly. Whatever you personally think of the merits of either Thatcher’s poll tax or Rudd’s carbon tax, the point is that they are both examples of deeply unpopular taxes that the government tried to impose on an unwilling electorate. And the result in both cases, not surprisingly, was political defeat.

            • BillyJoe
              Posted September 9, 2013 at 3:46 am | Permalink

              That’s because of self interest. How about doing what is good for everyone. Again, thanks for mouthing climate denialists propaganda.

              • Gary W
                Posted September 9, 2013 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

                Yes, defeating the British poll tax and defeating the Australian carbon tax were both examples of self-interest. Thanks for agreeing with me.

    • Dominic
      Posted September 9, 2013 at 2:02 am | Permalink

      328 million tonnes exported in 2010 – hardly a smidgen – & MASSIVE shale gas reserves.

  13. Posted September 7, 2013 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

    Reblogged this on hitchens67 Atheism WOW!! Campaign.

  14. Posted September 7, 2013 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

    This is yet another reminder to me that our US political scene has almost nothing to do with politics in other countries, save for Canada, which seems to have caught the conservative bug.

    It struck me when Bush’s Iraq adventurism and domestic policies had proven extremely unpopular, other countries had themselves voted for a more conservative-leaning government. I had to wrap my US-bound head around the fact that being a “superpower” is only relevant in war-times, unless you’re an oil-exporter, of course.

  15. marcusa1971
    Posted September 8, 2013 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

    Our new PM is BFF with George Pell, the Cardinal that Richard Dawkins debated in Australia in 2009. Pell claimed that humans were descended from Neanderthals, and that the ancient hebrews were “morally and intellectually inferior” to their contemporaries. And when Dawkins criticized Margaret Thatcher, he helpfully pointed out that Hitler was worse. Something that I’m sure most people were unaware of.
    Also, a Royal Commission into institutional child sexual abuse recently commenced here in Australia. As this inquiry is destined to determine that the Catholic Church in Australia is not responsible for ALL institutional child rape and torture, only the VAST MAJORITY, I wonder how our new devout catholic PM will attempt to undermine the commission?

  16. Andrew Lucas
    Posted September 8, 2013 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

    I normally love WEIT, but the subsequent discussion illustrates that the issues are complex and not correctly represented by the OP, which is far down the left tail on the bell curve of Australian opinion. As a scientist, I suggest that you expose opinion to critical examination and where it’s not supported by evidence, you call it is such.

    • John Scanlon, FCD
      Posted September 14, 2013 at 9:43 am | Permalink

      The correct position must be the exact centre of the bell curve? How likely is that?

  17. Dominic
    Posted September 9, 2013 at 1:36 am | Permalink

    This guy is a ‘Liberal’???!

    Congratulations Australia, you are obviously eager to turn back the clock.


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