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Turnbull’s fine line on climate: Capitulation or denial?

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Tony Abbott is at it again. And so too are the rest of the crew – Matt Canavan, Judith Sloan, Nick Cater, and the endless cast of malcontents in the Murdoch media and the Coalition back-bench and ministry.

For months we have lamented the stupidity of the debate around climate and energy, and the extraordinary push-back from conservatives against any new technologies such as wind, solar, battery storage, demand management, and electric vehicles.

Surely, we said, the debate could not get any dumber. We were wrong.

The volume is being dialled up to maximum as the weeks count down towards a meeting of state and federal ministers that will discuss and vote on the National Energy Guarantee.

The simple message coming out of the Abbott and Murdoch camp: How could anyone be so stupid as to take climate change seriously, or advocate for a single wind or solar farm? Or battery. Or load management. Who not just burn coal.

They are not happy. And they are barking madly.

Prime minister Malcolm Turnbull shouldn’t be surprised.

Having promised never to lead a party that didn’t take climate change seriously, and then doing exactly that, he and his energy minister Josh Frydenberg embraced an improbable and complex idea, the NEG, and its reliability and emissions “obligations”.

The idea was to give the impression they were doing something, and nothing at all, at the same time, to different constituents.

Too clever by half. Frydenberg’s attempts to portray this as a sensible compromise are rapidly coming unstuck.

On one side, because no one trusts a government that votes, en masse, in support of a Pauline Hanson motion to build a new coal-fired power station, or that is reportedly putting together a $5 billion fund to do exactly that.

On the other side, because the Far Right will push back at anything that looks like something.

Abbott, in a speech to the Australian Environment Foundation, a “think tank” whose main platform is to deny climate science and preach against wind farms, will claim that the NEG is all about emissions. And that, therefore, must be bad.

Except that it is not. The Coalition’s emissions target, signed off by Abbott when he was prime minister, requires a reduction of just 26 per cent in electricity sector emissions from 2005 to 2030.

That target will probably be met by 2020 or soon after thanks to all the wind and solar farms being built to meet the renewable energy target, the mechanism that the Coalition tried to kill, but couldn’t.

Turnbull has been careful not to offend Abbott and his mates any further, and while he could do nothing to stop the wind and solar investment boom and ensuing emissions reductions, he has taken care not to introduce any other policy to cut emissions in other sectors.

That leaves Australia in no position at all to get anywhere near its modest and low-ball Paris climate commitment, let alone the increased targets it will be under pressure from the international community to produce in 2019.

The strategy? In the age of Trump, it is OK to be an international pariah. And to spout nonsense.

Even in transport, where some exploratory noises have been made about ending Australia’s position as the only developed economy that allows its vehicles to emit and pollute at will, any moves towards fuel or emissions standards have been brandished as a carbon tax on wheels.

That’s enough to frighten Frydenberg, who pointed last year to the front page of the Daily Telegraph to explain why no policies had been enacted. This is being interpreted by many as the actions of a man whose eyes are on the long term goal of being PM, not to resolve energy or climate policy in a meaningful way.

Abbott, in excerpts of his speech reportedly due to be delivered on Tuesday night and reported on the front page by, who else, The Australian, says it is impossible to address energy reliability, prices, and emissions at the same time.

He also does not like the idea of consensus. “It’s not a circle you can square with the Labor Party,” he says. “It is a fight that has to be won. There can be no consensus on climate change …. you either win or lose …. and at the moment we are losing.”

Hey, we know the feeling. Anyone who has taken climate science seriously, and is vaguely literate on economical and technology issues, can see the multiple benefits – environmental, engineering, and economics – of the clean energy transition.

But Abbott and his fellow pot-holes are not budging. While the former PM charged headlong into the trenches, his conga-line of supporters were defending the flanks, attacking those who would challenge the right wing.

Nick Cater, the head of the Menzies Research Centre (about as much an insult to the legacy of Robert Menzies as the Monash Forum is to John Monash), made himself and his readers feel good with a spray against Tasmania’s Greens. Something about pumped hydro and wind power.

Economist Judith Sloan turned her arrows to the new head of the National Farmers Federation, Fiona Simson, who in an interview with The Guardian last week dared to admit that she took climate change seriously.

In a piece titled “You’re fashionable Fiona, but get a grip on the facts,” Sloan said she was appalled that the NFF should decide it should act on climate change.

“My advice to the NFF and Simson is to stick to your knitting,” Sloan wrote. “Getting into bed with climate change enthusiasts is a quick route to the introduction of a raft of new policies that will damage the farming community.”

Farmers are tough, she said, and would deal with any changing weather patterns, just like they always had. “It’s time the NFF began to stand up for the farmers rather than take fashionable positions on topics that are poorly understood by its leadership.” And she threw the NEG in for good measure.

Meanwhile, behind the scenes, the Energy Security Board and an army of “experts” imported from energy industry, many from the incumbents trying to defend their turf, are racing to cobble together the biggest re-write of the National Electricity Rules since they were created two decades ago.

This will happen in the space of four weeks, with no time for reflection, analysis or fine tuning. All in the name, we are told, of a “bipartisan” solution to the climate and energy debate.

But Abbott and his team have made it clear. There can be no compromise. What we need is another more powerful word for stupid. NEG doesn’t quite cut it.

   

Pocket
  • Joe

    Get set for Round 3, ‘The Decider’…The former Champ now just a chump vs The current Champ being chumped on. Leadership political brawls, its great theatre and free fodder for the newsrags but we / the punters all lose out again as serious policy has been sidelined. And what more serious policy is there than climate change and the intersecting energy policy. Abbott and Turnbull’s toing and froing over the years with ‘their’ Leadership baton squabbling will go down as the wasted years when the serious issue of climate change demanded full focus and concentration. Sadly Australia scores an ‘Own Goal’.

    • MaxG

      Welcome to the land where stupidity is abundant. 🙂

      • Joe

        Yes indeed and I do remember your item from a few days ago about ‘stupidity’

        • Paul Surguy

          That word `stupidity` is always there and it is not going away any time soon

  • Ren Stimpy

    “pot-holes” 🙂

  • Patrick Comerford

    I for one don’t want consensus on energy policy. Consensus in any reasonable interpretation means compromise, fair enough but to a RWNJ it means weakness and a signal to put the boot in so you end up with nothing changing and the vested interests which these nut jobs represent can carry on their merry way.
    No, now it’s an effective policy that prepares the energy sector for the future grid we need or it’s a fight to the bitter end and either way that is an outcome personally I’m ready for.

    • PacoBella

      The only chance we have is throw this lot out of government and as many of the extremists out of the Parliament entirely. Given the 80% approval rating in the public sphere, the best method I can find to make any impression on conservatives and swinging voters is to talk about renewable energy and then send them the link to reneweconomy.com.au and invite them to educate themselves. I always say the comment threads from knowledgeable experts is often as interesting as the articles. It would really help if all readers try to boost the reach of this website. Go Giles….you good thing!

      • Phil NSW

        I have tried your suggestion. I was astounded by the outcome. I think the battle is bigger than logical argument. Giles’s work is a testament to his belief and values but as good as it is, I believe it is only scratching the surface. Blind prejudice is very hard to break through.

        • Pedro

          Sadly I agree with you. I have found that people on the conservative side of the spectrum are almost impossible to convince that Climate change is real and that RE is the best way to solve the problem. There is a tendency to resist any change which is embedded deeply in their personality. Rational arguments simply will not work. So I argue the point on security grounds. That centralised energy production is inherently vulnerable to attack and failure. That reliance on oil from the middle east puts us at a military disadvantage. Then you can make your point on economic grounds. Forget all about the environmental benefits. Talk about reduce health costs with less particulates which means less tax (in theory)

          • Hettie

            Agreed. That’s how Arnie convinced California to go to renewables, by emphasising the health and other costs of air pollution.
            Incidentally, how is California doing on EVs? With hardly any public transport, their vehicle pollution must be vile.

          • Pedro

            Dont know much about California. But I would guess air quality in LA must have improved

          • Eric

            It is not that hard to convince them if you use the right tactics and remain calm. You need to use their natural conservatism as a weapon.
            Tell them that the two most conservative, respected and prestigious scientific bodies in the world,
            The Royal Society and the US National Academy of Sciences, put out a joint statement explaining why human climate change is real with supporting evidence. Both organizations have as members the brightest scientific minds of the times like Einstein, Newton and Darwin, Edison etc. They don’t make public statements lightly.
            I have found this works very well with rational conservative people. It is almost as if they were waiting to here an irrefutable argument.
            I’m surprised most supporters of climate change don’t use this tactic when arguing in the media. Or The Greens or Labor during political debates. Abbott would hate to have pointed out that he is directly opposed to the Royal Society!
            As a final nail- every peak scientific and meteorological body on the planet agrees human induced climate change is real and then ask them who is backing up their argument that it is not?

            Keep it clear concise and short. If they start arguing on specific points, point out that neither of you have any knowledge of the subject and return to the above argument. They will soon give up and start making conciliatory noises.

            If they continue to deny then they are not rational people, stupid or both and any argument is pointless. Just walk away.

  • howardpatr

    “Tony Abbott is at it again. And so too are the rest of the crew – Matt Canavan, Judith Sloan, Nick Cater, and the endless cast of malcontents in the Murdoch media and the Coalition back-bench and ministry.”

    It is noteworthy that the above list and their followers, who proudly tout their ignorance of the ANTHROPOCENE but invariable profess their belief in a fairy in the sky who is their maker, can’t put a genuine climate scientist into their group.

    Maybe the time has come for Turnbull to demonstrate some fortitude by finally doing what he said in 2009: he is not prepared to lead a party as committed to climate change as him.

    Sadly I think Turnbull will do what is good for Lucy and him; not what is good for the nation and the world.

    • Pedro

      If Turnbull was to strongly rebut the climate deniers and pro fossil fuel lobbyists within his Party, he would realize that he gains the LNP integrity on this issue and probably gain a pile of 2nd preference votes

    • Chris Drongers

      I agree with you re the Murdock malcontents, but did you read Alan Kholer’s article in the same edition of The Oz? Alan’s point seems to directly contradict Judith Sloan’s about the need and cost of new coal-fired plant. Alan’s main point are that the principle reasons that new coal plants are not being built and that electricity prices are going up are 1) electricity prices have been held down BELOW the cost of replacement plants by overbuilding power stations in the past so that capacity factors and price competition cannot not pull in enough money to replace them; power prices are still rising to meet the real cost of economic construction and operation of new power stations and 2) lack of a stable vision and policy of what will power Australia into the future.
      Fortunately for us renewables lovers, the higher cost of new coal will make solar and wind power with storage more desirable and reduce the utilisation (and profitability) of any new coal plant that might be built.
      I might add that Turnbull’s inability to demonstrate the political ability to silence, or reduce to ineffectiveness, the Monash group has been a big failing and disappointment to his Prime Ministership. Why not just re-start the public discussion of sea level rise, declining rainfall in southern Australia, defence implications of climate refugees from the Middle East and South Asia, and recently potential carbon emission tied trade restrictions to Europe to remind/educate the Australian population of what is at risk?
      And I think Turnbull and Lucy are quite comfortable, and Malcolm really does believe that he being Prime Minister is good for the country even at considerable personal financial cost.

      • DevMac

        I haven’t read Alan Kohler’s article as it’s behind a paywall (imagine subscribing to THAT!?!). But, from what you’ve said above, I’ve got a couple of issues:

        1. Was there any mention of the gold-plating of the networks that resulted in the 15% to 20% price increases in 2011 and 2012? (see here for my figures: http://electricity.atcf.com.au/cost-component-percentage-increase-by-year/)

        Almost all of the price increases have been greater than CPI for the past 10 years. That speaks to inefficiency or rorting as opposed to artificially keeping prices low.

        2. The Coalition years of renewable-energy-policy-uncertainty has undoubtedly caused increasing power prices due to less investment-certainty around solar and wind farms, which, despite this uncertainty are still putting downwards pressure on prices.

        The only (acceptable) justification for increasing power prices above CPI is preparing the grid to work as a network of micro-grids. I have no idea of how much or how little work is involved in that, however.

        • Chris Drongers

          1a) No mention of network costs.
          1b) Kholer’s argument (to paraphrase wildly) was that under government ownership and auspices, power demand was forecast to increase massively and power stations (subsidised directly, or through cheap coal and water) were built to suit – but the power consumption didn’t increase due to the pink batts programme and other electrical consumption efficiencies and declining manufacturing in the transition to a service economy;
          the result was too many power stations needing to operate to recover their investment, or at least to operate to cover holding costs and put off site remediation upon closure.
          Under these conditions plants bid to sell wholesale power on average at above marginal cost of supply but below cost of power station replacement, hence power costs have to rise either directly to cover private investment or indirectly through increased subsidies (low loan rates, cheap coal and water, indemnity against cleanup and environmental coss)
          2) Policy uncertainty and a failure of governments to educate us, the public, about the real cost of various options for power supply, are a big part of Kholer’s argument, network costs weren’t touched on.

          • Jordan

            Try the guardian then!

          • Francesco Nicoletti

            This is textbook socialism bad arm waving. Were there any numbers attached to the article or any reason given why the alleged marginal cost of supply keeps going up or why this allegedly subsided cost is one of the highest in the world ?
            The same argument has been used for the US nuclear plants. Most of the original operators went bankrupt. The new owners bought them at much less then they were built for. This resulted in power being priced at below replacement rate of power station. In this case you end up with low stable power prices, not a continually escalating price. You don’t end up with any new nuclear power plants either. Here the model makes sense. In Australia it does not.

          • Chris Drongers

            The difference may be the difference in the size of the markets – Australia loses 2GW of LoyYang and that is 5% of the market; the US loses 2 GW and the dials don’t move. Proportionally, Australia is handing market power to the remaining dispatchable generators much more quickly than the USA for similar amounts of coal plant closure.
            Both Australia and the USA are readjusting their thermal power plant/demand ratios to approach economic capacity factors that will provide the funding and economic stimulus to keep power dispatchable.
            Unfortunately for coal boosters, this rearrangement is happening at the same time that alternative sources of dispatchable power (i.e. solar/wind paired with batteries/pumped hydro) are close to the cost of equivalent coal power but with prices dropping and showing every sign of continuing to get cheaper.
            In the longer term one might expect wholesale prices (ex. gaming by generators) to rise to cost-of-replacement in the short term but then to begin a long term decline until power costs are so low that they hardly figure in cost of living expenses.

          • Ren Stimpy

            But their Chief Electricity Policy Educator, Tony Abbott, was just on the Andrew Bolt show educating us.

        • Rod

          Firefox and anti-paywall will let you in. But not comment. Probably a good thing 😉
          https://github.com/nextgens/anti-paywall

          • DevMac

            Gold! Thanks, will get onto that

      • Joe

        Alan Kohler is probably the black sheep so to speak in the Rupert’s stable of commentators. The Kohler isn’t a Coalition booster like all the others in Rupert’s ‘Commentary and Coalition re election team’.

  • Ren Stimpy

    SMUG?

    NEG doesn’t quite cut it so how about SMUG?

    Same-old Muttonhead Unhelpful Guarantee.

    • Hettie

      I do like that. Well done indeed.

  • Energy Governator

    Yep, a bunch of utter morons. But if they do kill off the does nothing but increase prices NEG, that is actually a good thing.
    Also great to hear the NFF has finally admitted climate change is real and may therefore hurt farmers. I hope they will be meeting with the National Party leadership soon to make exactly that point. They might also add that, if electricity sector does not do more heavy lifting on emissions reductions, then farming sector will eventually have to put up with more reductions on land clearing…

  • DevMac

    “Abbott, in a speech to the Australian Environment Foundation, a “think tank” whose main platform is to deny climate science and preach against wind farms, will claim that the NEG is all about emissions. And that, therefore, must be bad.”

    Is this a case of ‘the enemy of my enemy, my friend’? The NEG is a do-nothing, go-nowhere policy, so any help in undermining it is a chance to undermine the Coalition, to hopefully lead to a party with at least slightly more environmentally- and economically-friendly policies to win the next election.

    I’d never build the tool myself, but if it was already there, then I’d use it to my advantage… wouldn’t I?

  • Chris Fraser

    The Minerals Council must be on their last innings if all they have access to is the Mon-tards and Barking Mad Tony. He of the “Mad Dogs and Englishmen, Out in the Noon-day Sun”.

  • Jon

    I think this is great, hopefully it brings things to a showdown in the LNP and Abbot and his cronies are brought into line a little.
    Turnbull needs to grow a pair of he will be gone, at least they’ll be out in the next election.

  • solarguy

    A case of the greedy mentally disabled leading the masses of disengaged and gullible sheepeople.
    This has parallels with Nazi Germany for fox sake…………but instead of murdering millions of Jews, these insane pricks want to slot the whole world….slowly. They should be tried for treason.

    DAMN THEM TO HELL!

    • Hettie

      So true!

      • solarguy

        And ain’t that sad Hettie!

        • Hettie

          Very sad. Scary, too.

    • Ren Stimpy

      I reckon you would’ve been good at storming the beaches in ’44 solarguy

      • solarguy

        Well my uncle Bill was air dropped behind the German lines on D-Day. He was in the Para’s, British Army. My old man was in the Infantry in North Africa at the same time and joined the Para’s after the war. He became the champion recruit for he’s intake. Sadly the’re all gone now, even super trooper (Dad)

        I never was in active service myself when in the Australian Infantry nearly 40yrs ago, but proud to serve and I think in the same situation as dad and my uncles where, I would have done alright, who knows. During the war my two Aunt’s also served in the British army. Just FYI all my family on my fathers side where military, going back to the Napoleonic wars, maybe we were even there at the battle of Hastings 1066?

        Amazing, the waffle coming out, sorry. I’m trying to drown this cold with Wild Turkey and I think it’s working too good, but now you know who I am and why.

    • Rod

      For we students of Germany 1929-1939 it does indeed parallel the Nazis.

      Fourteen Defining Characteristics Of Fascism
      https://rense.com/general37/char.htm

      • solarguy

        Perhaps they could make a movie about it, the title…… Das C..nts.

        • riley222

          Careful Solarguy, maybe das Pr..ks

          • Hettie

            Indeed. Best avoud it.
            Using the C word as a term of contemptuous vilifIcation is insulting to all women.
            The association is a pillar of misogyny.

          • Joe

            The Liarhjelm ( Senator Leyonhjelm) is rightly in the middle of a storm over his insults. Not happy with just going at Senator Hanson, he ups it by now going at.. ‘Pussy’ Turnbull. Anyone that tries to pout him straight gets a sexual insult retort for their troubles.

          • solarguy

            Joe, did you get today’s 4/7/18 renew economy. Mine hasn’t turned up in email yet.

          • Hettie

            Not Joe, hehehe, but mine is timed at 15:12 hrs.
            Hope yours has arrived.

          • solarguy

            No it hasn’t. Giles sent me an email saying that some haven’t.

            Weird.

          • Hettie

            Give me your email address and I’ll forward it to you.

          • Hettie

            A thought. Have you had any comment notifications for it? If so, would replying to one give you access at least to that article????

          • solarguy
          • Joe

            Mine still hasn’t arrived. Just go into the ‘Renew Economy’ header at the top and all the daily business is available.

          • Joe

            Hello my Solarman. I missed out as well. Maybe hackers and the odd Trolli have had a ‘success’ in blocking us off.

          • solarguy

            Something strange is going on, some have it some don’t.

          • Joe

            Hello my Solarman. We will see what happens this afternoon, if everything is back to normal or not. You can still go onto the website directly in the meantime.

          • john

            He is a disgrace there is not other word to describe the person.

          • solarguy

            Yeah, dropping the C bomb wasn’t a great idea and I’m sorry if anyone was offended, that wasn’t my intention. The word has two meanings and when someone uses it to describe a contemptuous person, they are not describing the female anatomy or even thinking of it.

            These people are the ultimate psycopathic arseholes and the word fits them like a glove and I can’t shoot any straighter than that.

          • Hettie

            See my reply to Nick, above.

          • solarguy

            I’m not going to even bother to go there. Just realize one thing I’m not the enemy ok.

          • Hettie

            I know you don’t mean to be, but I’m just saying what it’s like to live with the constant disrespect. It is not even the tiniest bit funny. And if you can use the C word without thinking, perhaps it is time to start thinking. For the reasons I have stated.

          • solarguy

            It isn’t that I don’t mean to be Hettie, I’m not the enemy period.

            I have had to live with disrespect in my life and condescending attitudes from both sexes, so understand how you feel and no it isn’t funny.
            My dear old gran, who left this world 17yrs ago, swore like a trooper and in the rare times she called someone a c…….not only was she on target, but I’m pretty sure she wasn’t thinking vagina. She was a salt of the earth kinda girl, she would give you the shirt off her back if she thought you needed it more, but attack her in anyway she would strip them to the bone.

            Do you get where I’m coming from?

          • Hettie

            Yes, Solar, I do get it, but that does not change my position. Times have changed in 17 years, indeed, as far as recognition of misogyny goes, they have changed in the few months since #me too started.
            Let’s not fall out over this. I see that you are committed to your position, and I must assure you that my statement of how it feels to be subjected to that constant disrespect was just that. A statement of how it feels. It was not an attack on you as a person.

          • solarguy

            Fall out, no not at all. I have noticed these days that some people are touchy over bugger all and it seems to be getting worse. And I’m saying that generally. I was talking to Sue at the local bottle shop about this very matter the other day, she has never been upset that I have called her sweetie sometimes and she calls me darl mostly. I feel it is just mutual respect, a term of endearment. Anyway time for the fart sack, gotta be up at 5.30.

          • Hettie

            Ouch. 5.30 would be cruel and unusual punishment to me.
            Sweet dreams.

          • I feel like this thread is off topic 🙄

          • Hettie

            Discussions are wide ranging here.
            As in general conversations, digressions come up, mostly political, sometimes personal, always triggered by the article in some way. Conclusions are reached, or not.
            Unless frankly abusive, comments are very seldom moderated.
            Keeps things interesting.

          • solarguy

            It is but don’t worry about it.

          • solarguy

            Cruel for sure I have one of the worst cases of bronchitis and slept badly and I have a long day ahead.

          • Hettie

            Look after yourself.
            Try to stay warm.

          • solarguy

            Thanks Het. It turned out to be a warm day eventually, in the morning it was 11c but had toss the jacket in order to cool down, as it felt like I was in an oven.

          • Hettie

            Hope you are home again now and looking forward to a restful weekend.

          • solarguy

            Resting right now and enjoying thanks. Is it windy up there too? Would be lovely to have a small wind turbine yeah.

          • Hettie

            Deleted. I see you have too. And point re email noted, thankyou.
            Yes. A suitably scaled wind turbine would indeed be a great addition to home solar. One of the great big new industrial models might present some problems, but.

          • solarguy

            For overcast days and after dark a 2kw turbine would be ideal. Off griders love them and they are practical addition to PV for them especially. One problem for suburbia is there are precious little sites where they would be cost effective. Where my home is, is an exception, great wind speeds with the westerlies we have had over the last few days.

            Vertical axis turbines work best as the can handle turbulent air better, however just like their horizontal cousins, decent ones aren’t cheap.

          • Hettie

            The perennial question is, what is the return on investment? Vis a Vis batteries, particularly. And would its vibration produce unacceptable reverberation of the roof, or would stand alone installation, to be above surrounding trees etc, require too costly construction and intrusive cable bracing? And and and.
            One thing on the roof of an EV combivan, where the vehicle motion provides wind right at rooftop level, and quite another on the top of a tall pole subject to wind sway.
            No doubt in time the boffins will produce a good solution. They nearly always do, for everything.
            The notable exception being CCS.

          • solarguy

            Eggsactly, all of that stuff and without going into it too deeply, better to look at batteries for ROI, unless they make these things cheaper and maybe not even then.

            CCS is the biggest joke I’ve ever heard. A stillborn idea if ever there was one. LOL!

          • solarguy

            Hope you have an enjoyable weekend too.

          • Hettie

            Not so much. Had to have my lovely old kelpie put down on Friday, buried her Saturday. But lots of support from friends and family. Lots of tears.
            All calm now, and it was the loving thing to do. Deaf, going blind, intractable pain from arthritis, and rapidly progressive confusion.
            So a world of fear and pain. All over now.
            I have a youngish cat who is very puzzled about it all, but is a good lap cat, and will fill the gap.
            I’m doing ok.
            And yes, it’s blowing fiercely.
            28 kWh Saturday, and a warm sunny house.

          • solarguy

            Oh dear Het, I’m so sorry, you must be feeling completely gutted, it’s terrible to loose such a good friend. When our Border Collie, “Pepper” died suddenly some years ago, we where inconsolable, so our hearts go out to you. We really know how your feeling and hope you will feel better soon.

            We too have a have a lovely pussy cat, her name is Abbey and I’m glad to hear you have your cats comfort.

            All the best Het.

          • Hettie

            Thank you. Now it’s all over, I am strangely calm about it all. But I thought before Christmas that it wouldn’t be long. Anyway, this is not the right forum. As soon as I know you have read this, I’ll delete it and the sad story.
            Thank you for your sympathy.

          • solarguy

            You’re welcome. If you would like to talk off this forum you have my email address. Delete now.

          • Nick Kemp

            “pillar of misogyny.”

            Now that is very funny and clever too

          • Hettie

            Not at all funny. When a term of contempt is so very female, it draws the label “female” in to be a term of contempt too.
            Think of, “Wot are ya, a girl or sumfing?”
            “What a wuss!”
            “Grow a pair!”
            Such expressions all have that subtext, “female is despicable.”
            Language does not only express thought, it forms thought, and more pernicious, attitudes as well.
            Which is why racist terms such as nigger, boong, abbo, slope, etc are so offensive and, now, unacceptable.
            Yet the misogynistic terms of abuse persist. Please do not be an apologist for them.

          • Nick Kemp

            I meant your “pillar of mysogyny” comment. or was that unintended

          • Hettie

            Yes, I did read it. Are you interpreting “pillar” to mean “phallic symbol?”.
            That was not my intention. And still not funny. You seem not to appreciate how bloody exhausting it is for women to have to deal with misogyny in all its forms every day of our lives. From the tradie who asks “where’s yer husband, luv?” and is outraged to be sent packing on the spot, to the constant mansplaining and hepeating that is met with, because unless a man says it of course it has no value, we are so so sick of the assumptions that we are mentally deficient, incompetent, Improvident…

            No, of course #not all men, but far too many. So no, it is not funny at all.

          • Nick Kemp

            I simply thought it was a deliberate and hilarious juxtaposition. No offense intended.

          • Hettie

            Not offended , Nick. Just so, so tired of it all.

          • Joe

            Hi Hettie. I’m not entering this particular debate. There is another item in today’s ( 3/7 ) RE that you may like to look at about Trump’s Golf Course in Aberdeen Scotland. I noticed that you haven’t posted any comments…yet. Please have a look at the documentary video on YouTube, its called You’ve been Trumped. Our fellow RE friend, Rod, gave this link as well

          • Hettie

            Trump and all related matters give me heartburn.
            My protest is silent. I refuse to watch or comment, beyond resrating that the creature is evil. A threat to civilisation.

          • Joe

            Yes, he is all of that.

          • MaxG

            Thanks for sharing…
            Money trumps environment!
            The world we live in.

      • Hettie

        The first 13 are clearly happening here. There are questions unanswered about the 2016 election. Polling booths running out of voting papers, mainly in North Queensland.
        The Coalition refusal to refer to the High Court its own members who have not produced documents to prove they are not dual citizens, while not exactly electoral fraud, comes close. Especially as they packed 5 non-government members off for HC examination. One rule for the Coalition, different rules for opposition.

    • john

      I am very much of the thinking that we are going to wind up with Fascist Governments.
      You can see it in the outcomes all over the world and the spoken word of more and more leaders so called.
      Building a framework where hatred for others is put in place this is not healthy for society it is not what my father and his father and his father and for that matter every one back to 1066 wished for me to pass on to my children.
      Mind that 1066 person was in today’s parlance a fascist oops.

  • riley222

    Abbott and the crew have woken up to the NEG, and decided its a threat to their agenda.
    The renewable battle at the moment realistically centers around the coalition, that’s where the decisions are being made at the moment.
    Things could be radically different, we should give thanks for Mal being in the controllers chair at this time of change.
    Things could be better, but they could be a hellava lot worse.

  • Climatemonster

    Jeez I thought UK conservatives were denser than Osmium, but I have to say your guys seem real world beaters, and would definitely carry off the Ashes for pure dumb ignorance. Who knew that being a tough guy could allow a farmer to grow crops or raise cattle whatever the temperature or rainfall. When can you vote these missing links out?

    • Rod

      Trumble thinks he is a clever Dick and might call an early election but he might also cling on to power until early 2019.

      • Nick Kemp

        At least that’s less than a year now – I’m probably biased but I think the longer they holdout the more seats they will ultimately lose because the effects of their policies will reach more and more people

        • Hettie

          Less than a year only if the bastards, knowing they are heading for a wipe out, don’t opt for just a half Senate Election in May, and hold on in the House of Representatives until the last gasp – November 19.
          In which case, Coalition Senators, start packing your bags, and Coalition Members, buckle in for a VERY rough 6 months.
          The voters WILL punish you for the inconvenience of two polling days, on top of all the hardship you have wrought.

    • RobertO

      Hi Climatemonster, We have in parts of Australia already lost the ability to grow crops in the summer time. The liverpool plains used to get about 1 in 3 years where they would get a crop off but now its more like 1 in 8 years so it has become better not to try for the summer crops (due mainly to temperatures but rainfall is also having an effect). One of my mother neighbours had records going back to his great grandparents (over 100 years) written down. It shows a slow decline in volume, but a sharper rise in the numbers of days without rain (heaver when it does arrive).

      • john

        That exactly reflects what the Scientists are saying.
        A decline in rainfall but when it falls a higher level over a short period.
        Which is useless for farming high rainfall over a brief period does not replenish underground supplies, washes away nutriment in the surface soil.

        • solarguy

          Hiroshima is getting their dose as we speak.

    • Hettie

      Sometime before the end of November next year. Hopefully before mid May.
      Not nearly soon enough.

  • Phil Shield

    Tony Abbott is right:
    1. This is war. A fight that has to be won.
    2. It is pointless trying to achieve consensus. Forget about compromise.
    3. Abbott and his Luddite mates are on the losing side.

    • riley222

      I’d give that 3 out of 3

      • Hettie

        Since when is accepting overwhelming scientific evidence from ice cores that go back 600,000 years, the evidence before our eyes of extreme temperatures and weather events, the evidence provided by re running climate change models based on conditions 30 years ago showing that the most accurate models are the worst case models, since when is that evidence of bias?
        It’s the RWNJS, who refuse to accept this evidence “just because ” or because a book, said to be inspired 5,000 years ago by a sky fairy, says that man (gender specific) has dominion over all the world an is to exploit its many resources, they are the biased ones. Accepting evidence shows you to be UN-biased.

  • JIm

    So farmers are tough and would deal with any meteorological hazard thrown at them, or indeed sea level rise, but not a very weak policy on climate change? Yeh right Judith!

  • Carl Raymond S

    Do they not care for their children? Unless the stupidity is hereditary, the kids should be saying “hey mum, dad, a planet with a functioning ecosystem would be kind of cool”.

    • john

      in one word NO.

  • Chris Jones

    Perhaps all this brouhaha will make the NEG seem to many a good thing even without ‘fine-tuning’ it to address energy analysts concerns?

  • Ralph Buttigieg

    The best way out of this mess is to have the NEG fall apart and do nothing. I believe we are beyond the tipping point anyway when it comes to renewables.

    • Hettie

      Don’t underestimate government determination to protect their coal buddies.
      And to keep Appauline’s vote.
      Given half a chance, they will find a way to cripple renewables.
      And Abbott’s irrationality has reached such a pitch that if a totally effective, dirt cheap mechanism for carbon capture and storange were proven tomorrow, he would oppose it because it would reduce emissions.

  • lin

    Abbott is correct when he says:
    “It is a fight that has to be won. There can be no consensus on climate change” – just not how he means it.
    The majority of Liberal voters accept climate change is happening, that humans are the major contributor, and that the consequences will be very bad for future generations. Voters need to stop voting for the Lib/Nat rump of climate change denying anti-science, alt-fact neo-con politicians until their party leadership sees sense and stops preselecting these conflicted idiots. A couple of decades in the political wilderness should help them see reason.

    • john

      Do you honestly think the majority of Liberal or National Voters accept Climate Change is happening?
      Not to the Liberal National party voters i talk to they are totally opposed to any utterance of any hint of that.
      In fact they are totally and adamantly opposed to any hint of any change in the climate outcomes at all they HATE the idea and will yell into my ear any mention of this blaspheme.

  • Les Johnston

    Thanks for spending the time to collect the commentary of various writers. It is very challenging reading documents lacking in facts just based upon beliefs. Pretty easy to write about beliefs sitting in an ivory tower.I prefer not to bother reading about the sky falling. Those closest to the soil, if they undertake critical analysis, will recognise the perils of ignoring the facts. The real farmers recognise the need for real action. Unfortunately, the LNP is lacking in farmers.

  • TheRealist

    There goes Tony again, spouting on about his Dirty Brown Coal fetish. Trouble is, renewables are cheaper, and deep down in their lost souls even the Liberals and the Nationals know what that means.

  • Ken Fabian

    We have a government who’s principle and most urgent response to the climate problem is to support as many new, long term coal and gas projects as it can, while it can. A government that, even with record temperatures across Australia – new records, yet again – voted unanimously in the Senate to support coal power. That is what Turnbull’s government really thinks about the climate problem

    This position – their real position, not their misleading rhetoric – can only be based on wilfully rejecting and denying the validity of climate science and the reality of climate change. They won’t say so because arguing about it’s reality is a debate that can only make them look like idiots, so they say climate change is real (with an ‘always changing’ dog whistle) and reducing emissions is good whilst they oppose and obstruct every policy based on it being real and emissions reductions being good.

    If there are any elected LNP MPs, even one, willing to stand up and say that “saving the world” from the consequences of excess fossil fuel burning is more important than selling as much coal and gas as possible I’m not aware of them.

    • Hettie

      Right on all points.
      Incredible arrogance, stupidity, but most of all, greed.

    • john

      We do not do “saving the world” down under we do giving some one else the right to dig and sell the valuable resources to overseas countries and the company does not have to pay any tax.
      List of companies who do not pay tax.
      The top 630 do not pay any income tax in Australia.
      If you sell a commodity overseas you sell it to an offshore identity.
      This works because you sell it at $50 cost is $60 so you make a loss.
      You borrow the capital from another offshore company and pay 10% – 20% interest on the loan.
      This of course means you have zero taxable income.
      But you pay royalties and GST then you can bleat about all the tax you pay.
      Australia open for business come down under and plunder our resources.
      You pay no tax we love you.

  • Gavin

    If this article was intended to make me consider parking myself in front of Abbots’s HQ in Manly, then mission accomplished. Everything these people push on this subject is in total opposition to the evidence gathered over the past 30+ years and for this to be in the public interest/good is an absolute perversion of democracy. The economics of renewables is now beyond argument. Simple as that!

  • john

    Today there was a fog over Sydney and some very well informed person made this comment on the Guardian News Item.
    So much for Global Warming.
    To me that person’s comment just about sums up why the JACKS have air.
    JACKC are Joyce Abbott Abetzs Kelly Canarvon.
    People follow the gushing of these leaders {not} and actually believe the rubbish they spread.

    • Hettie

      Some mothers do ‘ave ’em!