It is always difficult to interpret meetings between two leaders of countries and many words have been written about Malcolm Turnbull’s meeting with President Trump. In this instance the interpretation is made more difficult than usual because most of the meeting was in public and the two leaders were not inclined to be critical of each other. Perhaps the most important outcome (sic) is that it confirmed the importance for Australia of the US alliance. That Turnbull showed he could handle Trump should ceteris paribus also help his polling.
But it also threw out a challenge to Australia to recognise the potential for Trump to lead the way towards establishing a so-called new world order which accords recognition to the importance of sovereign nations and their right to develop their own domestic policies without unwarranted interference from international agencies. Kenny is one of the very few commentators who seem to have been recognised this (see article on Mainstream Pulls Reins on Runaway Political Masters).
This is not only a matter of deciding the extent and diversity of immigrants, including refugees, as we have started to do under the protecting national borders policy. It must also involve the right to develop our own environmental and energy policies and to insist that policies developed by international bodies be subjected to rigorous examination before being adopted. This has not been done in the assessments of the causes of climate change, where Trump’s predecessor succumbed to UN agencies which sought to increase their powers by concluding agreements which require individual countries to conform. As suggested by Kenny, Turnbull should start our new relationship under Trump by limiting the renewable energy policy which adds unnecessarily to electricity prices.
French Presidential Election
That the French Presidential Election was between two candidates whose policies each differed from those of the so-called traditional parties undoubtedly reflected the development there of dissatisfaction with the impingements on national sovereignty of the European Union and the large inflow of immigrants with Islamic beliefs contrary to democracy. This was, in turn, reflected in the candidacy of Le Pen, who was defeated by a considerable margin but whose attitudes penetrated deeply. Indeed, a Paris imam told The Australian that a Le Pen victory “would be like an atomic bomb falling” and “would signal the start of a civil war” (see Muslims in French Election). Given the history of Le Pen, it is in one sense remarkable that she received even 34% of the vote in the final round.
The winner, Emanuel Macron, has been painted in most media as a “former investment banker” with pro EU, centrist policies. But, according to one commentator, although “not a supporter of terrorism or Islamism. It is worse: he does not even see the threat. In the wake of the gruesome attacks of November 13, 2015 in Paris, Macron said that French society must assume a “share of responsibility” in the “soil in which jihadism thrives.” (see Macron Seen as Useful Idiot). It appears that he actively sought the large Muslim vote. Note also Andrew Bolt’s piece on his wife (see Bolt on Macron).
The various issues which arose during the Presidential Election Campaign are likely to continue during and after the imminent Parliamentary Elections. These will be of more than usual interest because both the Macron and Le Pen parties start with only a few members of Parliament already and it is predicted that Macron will need to form alliances in order to form a government (and a PM). His already stated polices will be susceptible to change.
Review of Climate Change Policy
After being pre-occupied with other matters (including my daughter’s participation in the Canberra International Music Festival), I overlooked the closing date (5 May) for submissions to the Government’s Review of Climate Change Policies. That meant that my only option was to make a submission based on the last occasion on which I made a public presentation, which was in 2015 at the Noosa Festival. Accordingly, I submitted a slightly modified version of the Noosa presentation to the Department of the Environment and Energy, with the Abstract below.
Meantime, it is reported that the Trump Administration may decide what to do about the Paris Agreement in the coming week or two. A major legal issue has arisen because at the last minute the Obama administration revised the Paris Agreement to make it appear it was an executive agreement, not a treaty. To have US participation, all other participating nations signed the revised agreement, many after signing the original. There is an extensive history of US executive agreements with foreign powers. But, not one so binding onto the general population and the economy as is the Paris Agreement. However, the Paris Agreement could be submitted to the Senate as a treaty, with a recommendation for disapproval. Then, it would be voted upon by the legislators, requiring a two-thirds approval. This appears to be the strategy which Trump will pursue.
Submission to the Review of Climate Change Policies
By Des Moore, Director, Institute for Private Enterprise 5 May 2017
“I summarise my assessment as follows. There are fundamental faults in the statistical and scientific analyses used to justify the need for early comprehensive mitigatory action by governments; claims of a consensus on the IPCC science have no credibility and account is not taken of the long history of faulty analyses by scientists; examination of the temperature and CO2 concentrations data indicate that any green house effect on temperatures to 2100 is likely to be very much less than the IPCC (and other believers) predict; there is no satisfactory explanation of why temperatures did not increase during two lengthy periods when fossil fuel emissions did so; new research adds to existing evidence that temperature increases in the last 100 years or so have been considerably overstated; new research also suggests that the extent of carbon dioxide in atmospheric concentration is much smaller than previously thought; there is no substantive evidence of threats from rising sea levels or melting of sea ice in the Arctic or Antarctic; there is no evidence of any significant change in average rainfall or that droughts and other severe weather events are likely to occur more frequently.
My assessment is that the best policy for governments, businesses and individuals is to adapt to changes in climate”.