Morrison Must Change Energy Policy
I was a bit surprised at having two letters on climate change published in succession by The Australian and the latest one along with almost all other letter writers having similar questioning of Morrison’s energy policy as enunciated so far. Of particular interest, but worryingly true, is the heading to the letters below.
Morrison’s approach to energy should suit Labor
The Australian, October 26, 2018
You report that the Morrison government will ask energy companies to reduce power prices by January 1 and that energy retailers will be required to set their prices for small businesses and households. Scott Morrison also says he’s open to bolstering funds for greenhouse gas reductions but claims Labor’s 45 per cent reduction target would have a bigger impact on household electricity prices than the carbon tax (“PM weighs cheap loans for clean coal plants”, 24/10).
It is not surprising the Opposition Leader has no problems with the huge increase in proposed regulations, although Bill Shorten suggests the national energy guarantee be revived. If achieved, the de facto nationalisation of the electricity industry by Morrison would suit Labor.
But the PM is attempting to adopt contradictory and politically suicidal positions to satisfy colleagues’ varying views. The rhyme about shaking your right foot all about to do the hokey-pokey provides a turnaround towards Labor.
Des Moore, South Yarra, Vic
Your editorial of September 28 (“Soaring price tag must be faced”) correctly stated that Australia was “responsible for only 1.8 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions”, so when John Williams (“We fiddle, our coal burns across the world”, 24/10) says “Australia is responsible for 1.3 per cent of the world’s emissions”, and Doug Hurst (Letters, 25/10) tells us “his facts cannot be disputed”, then the truth is that global warming deniers have no idea what facts are.
Williams’s central premise that Australia’s contribution “would have almost no impact on the world’s climate” is disproved by one fact — we are the world’s biggest coal exporter.
With company directors accepting that climate change is our greatest challenge, it is conservative ideology and media groupthink that prevents the fact-based truth from penetrating the denial cult.
Chris Roylance, Paddington, Qld
The reason the young will abandon the Liberals is because they are so brainwashed with lies about global warming that they now believe it to be fact. It’s long overdue for the government to counter these stories and expose the IPCC for publishing false information and rubbery computer models. This should be played on till the truth gets into their minds and gets them to realise that the climate is controlled by the Earth’s elliptical cycle around the sun.
Brian Doherty, Beenleigh, Qld
How blissful it is to row with the flow of the stream. But the realities of life are that we must frequently row hard against it. Prosecuting the case against socialist ideology and monetary greed of the players in the climate change industry is now the only option to preserve Western democracy (“Young will abandon us for climate inaction, Lib warns”, 25/10). These climate alarmists, socialist elites in political parties, in carefree suburbs, academics and student bodies, media and industry leaders whose interests are clearly on profit, have blindly swallowed the alarmist propaganda of man-made CO2 killing the planet, when hundreds of senior scientists have denounced it as based — at best — on failed computer modelling and at worst fraud and manipulation of data.
Every natural aspect, from the influence of the sun, ocean oscillations, clouds, water vapour — far more abundant and 1000 times more potent as a greenhouse gas than CO2 — not to mention three decades of evidence, have all been ignored in their so-called science.
We are on the precipice of economic insanity and Western leaders should read, learn and argue the case, rather than lean back on the oars and end up in the deep.
Kevin Begaud, Dee Why, NSW
Any hope some common sense would be brought to the climate change debate by Scott Morrison and Alan Tudge have been dashed. Interviewed on Sky News, Tudge is still talking glowingly on how the Coalition will meets its emission targets, and how Malcolm Turnbull will make a great contribution to the Bali conference. In contrast, his proposed actions to reduce electricity prices have to be described as weak, at best.
The Coalition stills sounds and looks like a clone of Labor, the only difference being the renewable targets and just how much pain they are going to impose on voters.
The future looks black whichever party wins the next election.
R. Watson, Sunnybank Hills, Qld
The Australian, which as previously mentioned has a new editor, has also published three articles on its Commentary page which are questioning of the Morrison approach to energy policy so far. This article by Chris Kenny directs attention to a survey by the Australian Institute of Directors which finds that “climate change is their top issue” and which has attracted considerable publicity. Amazingly, the chief executive of the Institute seems to take as given the jump in concern of company directors and makes no reference at all to the now widespread critiques of the analyses (sic) of what causes climate change (see Company Directors on CChange). Perhaps the Institute has informed its members of other views but there is no sign of it here or in what the Business Council of Australia says in public. And BHP has recently publicly supported more action to reduce emissions.
I don’t agree with everything Kenny says but his article includes the pertinent comment that “the trouble with this argument is that other countries are not reducing emissions; our own coal exports to China, Japan, South Korea and Japan are fuelling continued global emissions growth. There simply is not another nation crippling itself with energy policy contortions to meet emissions reductions targets — Canada is the best comparison and it is missing all targets and winding back emissions reductions measures”.
The other two articles published by The Australian, one by Maurice Newman and one by Henry Ergas, are not directly on climate change but are similarly critical of the attempts to reduce emissions. Ergas for example says “And in climate change policy, which attracted such attention in the by-election, the government has managed both to undersell the carbon emissions it has secured and to systematically understate the vast costs securing them imposes, inviting the incessant clamour for more”. Newman draws attention to the fact that Christiana Figueres, who “led the Paris climate conference that captured Australia” is a Marxist. She has publicly declared that she wants to get rid of capitalism.
Another concern about Morrison’s handling of energy policy is that, before issuing the press release on it with two other Ministers (it was attached to an earlier Commentary by me and is available on my web site), he appears to have failed first to consult the head of ACCC, who has previously been closely involved in the framing of policy. Ministers are not required to make such consultations but it would have been wise to do so, particularly given the complexity of the policy as announced (see Morrison Hasn’t Discussed Energy Policy with ACCC).
I have previously referred to a recent address by US professor Richard Lindzen, an expert on meteorology with over 200 published analyses. He told a London audience that conventional thinking on global warming is “nonsense”, that Australia’s holiday sanctuaries on the Barrier Reef are not in any danger, and that man-made climate change does not appear to be a serious problem. Lindzen suggested that Australia’s political class “has gone completely bonkers in their response to climate change” and argued that the IPCC report reduced the alleged tipping point from 2C to 1.5C simply because there had been no significant warming for 20 years. There was an obvious need, he said, for something more plausible to ‘sustain’ the renewables bubble.
Lindzen is only one of many scientists in the US and Australia to take a sceptical view about the dangerous global warming thesis. In the US over 30,000 scientists have done so. His expertise on climate change suggests that Morrison should invite him to come to Australia and address audiences in our capital cities and Cabinet. That would help members of the Coalition (and others) to update their assessments of the costs and benefits of policies designed to reduce CO2 emissions and whether any policy adjustment would be warranted.
Perchance, it would eliminate the Turnbullism which seems to be so influencing Morrison.