In my last commentary I suggested that Palmer’s support for repealing the carbon tax, in company with Al Gore, could mean a cessation of emissions reductions policies not only because of the repeal but also because of the reality that a zero ETS for Australia until other major countries adopted one would have no effect in the foreseeable future. And while Abbott’s Direct Action plan would be opposed by Palmer, that would in any event likely have only a very limited, if any, reducing effect on emissions.
Of course, Palmer is apt to change his views and it now appears that even the zero ETS is not part of his agreement with Abbott.
However, the fact that Palmer was accompanied by Gore, who congratulated him publicly, fooled large sections of the media (including the ABC) into thinking, first, that Palmer had (in some unexplained way) been converted to a warmist and, secondly, that Gore had been made a fool for extending congrats.
Indeed the ABC’s CEO Scott even issued a Twitter saying there must be concern at The Australian (as if it was against carbon pricing and had not realised what was the substance of Palmer’s announcement). This disgraceful partisan action by Scott should (but won’t) lead the ABC Chairman to sack him (one cannot help wondering if some brave sole might be able to sue the ABC for failing to fulfil the impartiality requirement in its guidelines).
The immediate pro-global warming media reaction in Fairfax press and the ABC indicates the extent (and depth) of warmism there and the fact that it continues to be almost impossible to have the alternative view published other than in journals like Quadrant. Even The Australian fails to publish analyses by those holding that view and that paper has, for example, made no mention of the NIPCC publication in the US by peer reviewed analysts (incl our own Bob Carter) showing why the IPCC analyses are either wrong or grossly exaggerated.
As recipients of the present commentary are aware, through Dr Dennis Jensen MP I have petitioned Parliament to resolve that the Abbott government have an independent inquiry. But to no avail.
Returning to the puzzle about Gore’s applause of Palmer, Andrew Bolt suggested this morning that the applause relates to the fact that Palmer is opposed to any reductions to the Renewable Energy Target and that he (Gore) has investments in wind and solar energy schemes. In short, even the requirement in Australia that 20 per cent of electricity comes from these generally more expensive sources by 2020 gives Gore a pecuniary reason for supporting Palmer (it is also consistent with Obama’s policy of requiring US electricity producers to stop using coal).
Unlike the US (where the rapid development of increased access to “cheap” gas supplies is naturally replacing coal in electricity use), Australia does not have that alternative under existing policies –and their retention would in practice increase the target to 27% by 2020. A recommendation by the inquiry into the use of renewables, which is due to report next month, to effect a major change in those policies would, if adopted, have the potential to get around the expensive renewables target. Contrary to the view in Kenny’s article below, there is a potential opportunity for Abbott to seek to effect a major reduction in renewables.
In Iraq, the US appears to have become slightly more involved as it has in Syria too. A majority in the US do not favour helping Iraq with troops but amongst Republicans there is an almost equal division (see below)