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Turnbull to the rescue? « Previous | |Next »
February 8, 2007

Both Ian McFarlane, the Industry Minister, and the Prime Minister are on the public record as sceptics of the connection between greenhouse emissions and climate change. The PM is currently trying to cover his tracks, backtrack and move away from his history of defending an untenable position to protect the coal industry and high energy users.

climaterescueMA.jpg
Alan Moir

I watched Malcolm Turnbull in Question Time yesterday.The Howard Government is on the ball, rising sea levels are nothing to worry about, and the ALP is simply engaged in a fear campaign (panic mongering over global warming) and were dogmatists who refused to doubt. It wasn't very plausible, even with the barrister's theatrics. But at least Turrnbull is rescuing a defensive Howard who can say little more than economy and jobs and that he will not "sacrifice" the jobs of coalminers with knee-jerk environmental policies that damage Australia's international competitiveness.

As Turnbull says the Coalition is adapting to, rather than dealing with, climate change. It needs to adapt because Howard has vetoed plan after plan on emissions trading since 1997, even though it accepted that his clean coal and nuiclear power solutions are commercially unviable without a price on carbon.

The postion Turnbull has to defend whilst saying the government is on the ball is that Australia's mining and minerals and coal-fired electricity generation industries have to be protected at all costs; since Australia contributes only 1.5 per cent of the world's greenhouse gas emissions, so only a global response will be effective; and that Australia shouldn't undertake measures to cut greenhouse gas emissions unless all other countries are locked into taking the same measures. The assumption that there is a conflict between the environment and the economy — and that Australia has no choice but to choose the economy.

Why is this unreasonable? Because it is stated that any other position is a fanatical one based on fear mongering. This is what pases for "debate" in federal Parliament. Since A global trading system is decades away.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 5:13 AM | | Comments (6)
Comments

Comments

Did someone put a band-aid on that hole in the ozone layer that was going to kill us all or did the whole thing just get boring and untopical?

Shaymus,
I'm not sure. It was going to incrrease the level of radiation from the sun's ultraviolet rays. I understand that the depletion of the ozone layer may be slowing down due to the international ban on chlorofluorocarbons, chemical compounds containing chlorine, fluorine and carbon.

I thought Turnbull came off better that I expected in the NOT so Great debate last night...also Garrett seemed like he had got his face caught in the Bus doors on the way over(Bus driver I'm not in Yet)It probably distracted a lot from what he was saying.

Nope, it's still there and growing, just slower.

But it is a case where firm international action worked to circumvent a more drastic consequence.

It's a bit of a model for what should be happening with global warming, except the industry lobbies are far more powerful this time.

BigBob,
you are right on the ozone and global warming.

Shaymus,
I didn't see the debate, unfortunately. Appearance does matter, especially for focus groups. It's the visuals not the words.

I think it is to Garrett's credit that he has raised the issue of rising sea levels.

However, Turnbull is a good perforrmer. He acknowledges that its warmer.and that in southern Australia, it will get drier - and there is likely to be water scarcity. However, he is runnng a scare campaign against Garrett---he is about reduces economic growth, doesn't care about jobs etc. Garrett of course is talking about sustainable economic growth from alternative energy industries like solar and a national emissions trading system.