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"...public opinion deserves to be respected as well as despised" G.W.F. Hegel, 'Philosophy of Right'

to hell with science « Previous | |Next »
September 3, 2013

The arrival of a conservative Abbott Government does mean, as Clive Hamilton points out, the appointment of charlatans to senior advisory positions on the environment, the hollowing out of the federal climate change department, winding back environmental legislation, including the Renewable Energy Target, abolition of carbon pricing and rising emissions as the Direct Action Plan fails.

PopeDragstoriches.jpg David Pope

Less is going to be done to address climate change, or shift the Australian economy to a low carbon one. Australia will not take the necessary steps with respect to structural change to reduce its emissions by 25-40% by 2020, or encourage the new energy industries. Old Australia will rule during the period of an Abbott Government, and it will its political power to to set up extractive economic institutions for its own benefit.

By old Australia will rule I mean Big Coal such as the global mining company barons – BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto, Xstrata, Anglo American and Peabody – who have been joined “by a dozen or so medium-sized players”. To these are added the familiar names of the local nouveau-riche – Gina Rinehart, Clive Palmer etc.

The spell of fossil fuels and the carbon curse (substantial fossil fuel industries that are heavy carbon polluters) will remain as coal mining expansion continues apace in Australia.and the warming climate increasingly shapes our history.

The main hope is that the market will drive the shift to a low carbon economy in that the cost of renewable sources of energy is plummeting while the costs and risks of investing in coal-fired power generation are increasing.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 8:50 AM | | Comments (13)
Comments

Comments

The Coalition hardliners think that a campaign against renewable energy sources might be a popular thing. They are dreaming. It's only the right wing fringe that hates renewable energy.

"Old Australia will rule during the period of an Abbott Government,"

Socioeconomically, power is concentrated in the hands of wealthy incumbents who benefit from the carbon-intensive status quo: fossil fuel companies, the sprawl industry (roads, real estate) big coal miners etc

"The spell of fossil fuels and the carbon curse (substantial fossil fuel industries that are heavy carbon polluters) will remain "

Things can appear stable for years and years while tensions gather beneath the surface, hairline fractures develop, and the whole system becomes highly sensitive to small perturbations.

Can we stop stop rising temperatures at 2 degrees?

It will be a tragedy to shoot past 2 degrees to 3, but 4 is worse than 3, and 5 is worse than 4. Being unprepared for any of those will be much worse than being prepared.

That's the weight of climate change

Abbott still believes the science of climate change is crap. So there is no need to reduce Australia's emissions to reach The Liberal Party's commitment to reach a 5 per cent reduction target.

Abbott's ability to roll back the shift to renewables will only be restricted by the opposition he faces in the Senate.

"The main hope is that the market will drive the shift to a low carbon economy "

The “solar revolution” has gone virtually unnoticed by the mainstream media, even though its impact is already being felt within the electricity industry.

Coalition – and in particular its energy spokesman, Ian Macfarlane –continue to argue against wind and solar.Their line is to give a bleak picture of renewable costs and a rosy picture of fossil fuels.

So there will be a host of climate change and green energy programs and institutions to be bulldozed into the rubbish dump.

These include the Australian Renewable Energy Agency, the Clean Energy Finance Corp, the Climate Change Authority and the Renewable Energy Target.

The incumbent fossil fuel generators love the Coalition's scenario of wiping out the renewable energy industry.

It would mean they get a significantly higher return, possibly as much as $1 billion a year. They don’t like wind or solar, because those generators lower the spot prices on the wholesale market.

The coalition will be giving everybody a green hat and bucket. That's a solution isn't it?

the Coalition relies heavily on voter rejection of Labor and Abbott has built his political campaign on the wholesale extinguishing of Labor.

For the Coailtion and its media friends climate change is a political issue. Anyone who doesn't scoff at the science is a left-wing dupe.

Until mid-2014, the Senate will remain under the control of Labor and the Greens. Control could then pass to a mix of the Greens and small parties of the right.

the fossil fuel industry has brutalised and degraded public life with its funding a vicious campaign of mud-slinging against those who argue for the careful and sustainable use of natural resources.