Bolt on Turnbull, Important New Rebutalls of Climate Policy, AFR Off-Track

Next week is the last for Parliament before it takes a month’s break. Turnbull will be trying to divert attention away from “difficult” issues, such as the Finkel Blueprint, Turnbull’s attack on Trump during a speech at the Winter ball, and the publication of a book in which the author claims that Turnbull told him he joined the Liberals only because Labor wouldn’t have him(see Bolt on Turnbull & Finkel).

Bolt on Turnbull

Andrew Bolt says that, in addition to wanting “a new carbon tax plus higher taxes to pay for Labor’s NDIS”  …Turnbull is reportedly even offering the Greens $5 billion more spending on Labor’s Gonski plan: The Turnbull government is set to spend billions of dollars to pass school funding reforms next week. Sky News can confirm that the Turnbull government is in talks with the Greens to boost the $18 billion in extra cash over 10 years. The deal will include a new independent body to set schools’ funding in Australia, but could include boosting the additional funding allocated by $5 billion or more”. If correct, this would confirm Turnbull as a Labor/Greens man.

AFR Off-Track

In similar vein, AFR political editor Coorey uses Cory Benardi’s support for ousting Turnbull in 2009  (“for wanting to cut a deal with Labor on carbon pricing, a move that would have settled energy policy then and there”) to indirectly attack Abbott. Coorey claims this “sliding door moment, which led to the leadership of Tony Abbott and the destructive policy approach that followed, is pretty much why we are where we are today”. According to Coorey, “the trouble is that politics acts like a sea anchor by refusing to give industry the policy certainty it craves so it can make long-term investment decisions without the fear that another former student politician will become prime minister and blow the show up”.

He acknowledges that “this week showed that guaranteeing that certainty remains far from assured” but, without offering any analysis of Finkel’s Blueprint, shows where he stands viz,  “Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg has done a good job in commissioning Alan Finkel to come up with a policy that offers a way through the political impasse. Frydenberg, who has sufficient personal energy to power a small city, has also corralled just about every relevant industry chief executive officer to get off the fence and speak in favour of a Clean Energy Target. The biggest challenge remains the conservative right, people who pay lip service to climate change because they feel they have to, but do not believe emissions mitigation should be a driver of energy policy” (see Coorey on Turnbull & Finkel).

Such commentary has become typical of the AFR, which offers limited analysis of the adverse effects on business of government interventionism. We await the breaking of the political impasse which Coorey attributes to Finkel.

New Science Assessment on Climate

It is timely that a group of scientists has published in the US an assessment of a large number of deficiencies in analyses which support the dangerous warming thesis. They draw on criticisms made by Professor Rafael Reif, president of MIT,  of President Trump’s decision to exit the Paris Climate Accords.  Their conclusion is that  “By withdrawing from the Paris agreement, President Trump did a wonderful thing for America and the world. He showed that advocacy masquerading as science should not be the basis for political decisions. He showed that to put America first is to put the planet first. And, by rejecting the non-problem of man-made global warming, he began the long and necessary process of waking up the likes of Professor Reif to the fact that the diversion of time, effort, and trillions of dollars away from real environmental problems and towards the bogus but (to MIT) profitable non-problem of supposedly catastrophic global warming is as bad for the planet as it is for true science”.

While written by scientists, the text is easy reading and, without understanding every point made, I recommend it. The biography of the leader of the group, Willie Soon, can be found here.

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