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Dealing with the Greens

December 2nd, 2009

The ETS has been rejected, and the government has announced it will come back for a third try, adopting the failed deal with Malcolm Turnbull as its new policy. In short-run political terms, there are some obvious benefits here.
Clearly, a crucial consideration is that the government does not want to negotiate with the Greens and would much prefer a deal with the Liberals. But if they are looking at three or four terms in office (and they should be) they will have little choice but to make such deals.

And, even if they don’t care about having an ETS that is decent in environmental terms, the government could save billions of dollars that is currently being handed over to ungrateful political enemies.
I hope this bill is rejected once again, and that the government finally bites the bullet for a double dissolution.

Posted via email from John’s posterous

Categories: Economics - General Tags:
  1. Hermit
    December 2nd, 2009 at 15:33 | #1

    In a DDE I won’t be voting Lib, Lab or Green. I can’t vote Liberal because they are insular and scientifically illiterate. Can’t vote ALP because they have mishandled the whole saga and will turn the ETS into an even bigger dog’s breakfast. Can’t vote Green because they like internet censorship and believe in techno-fantasies. That leaves ‘Independent’ and ‘Informal’. The I’s have it.

  2. Donald Oats
    December 2nd, 2009 at 15:39 | #2

    Oh, I must have missed the beginning of the Gillard, Wong, Combet interview, or misunderstood. I thought that they intended to introduce a new bill for the first time, on the first sitting day in Feb 2010. Afterall, post-Copenhagen a lot will have changed.

  3. Paul
    December 2nd, 2009 at 15:57 | #3

    Hermit – the Greens like internet censorship? Can you please explain that comment?

  4. djm
    December 2nd, 2009 at 16:03 | #4

    If the government has significant numbers in a DD, I think we would end up with the same watered-down ETS that robs consumers to pay big business. Labor has shown zero appetite for being economically-, or environmentally- correct here but has moved plenty for lobbyists. If the Libs weren’t such a sinkhole of obdurate ideological denialism they could make quite a bit of political hay from this.

    Considering the ETS alongside the recent decision on books and it looks as though the government has opened the door for all sorts of special pleading by vested interests. With a riven and jejune opposition, the trajectory of this government may end up scarily similar to that of state Labor in NSW.

    Question: where are the Greens in all this? Their inability to play an effective part in the ETS either politically or though effective commentary reflects quite badly on them IMO.

  5. Chris Warren
    December 2nd, 2009 at 16:18 | #5

    I would keep a close eye on the elections this weekend (Bradfield exNelson, Higgins exCostello).

    I expect the Greens will receive a fillip from both safe Liberal seats.

    There may be a swing to independents generally.

    Or there may be a swing to moderate Liberals…

    An increase in Greens (say after a Double Dissolution when the quota is halved) will change the politics.

  6. Alice
    December 2nd, 2009 at 16:21 | #6

    I say go straight to a DD and fight it on fear of workchoices.

  7. gerard
    December 2nd, 2009 at 16:21 | #7

    And, even if they don’t care about having an ETS that is decent in environmental terms, the government could save billions of dollars that is currently being handed over to ungrateful political enemies.

    Billions in nakedly corrupt bribes to the polluting industries, and refusing to deal with Greens, can turn these “enemies” into friends! And that is the ALP’s game plan – appropriate the Liberals’ Corpo-Right support base for themselves. The rest is just for show.

    Labor Right has a website “The New City” or somesuch (I’m not about to google it) which pretty much proves that Labor Right is as bad as the Liberals on their worst day when it comes to climate.

  8. 2 tanners
    December 2nd, 2009 at 16:23 | #8

    I am profoundly lacking in optimism about the ETS legislation, simply because Labor wants to keep big business onside. Politically cunning, because everyone who benefited from the compromises will also be kept onside and the Libs will lose more of the centre right.

    I believe the only person in Labor who should be sweating is Lindsay Tanner, who could lose his seat out of this. The greens came second in his electorate last election, obviously largely on Liberal preferences which flowed to the Greens candidate, rather than Green preferences flowing to him. A big move to the left or a big protest vote could have interesting consequences.

  9. TerjeP (say tay-a)
    December 2nd, 2009 at 16:42 | #9

    Abbott has ruled out the ETS and a direct carbon tax but says he will have a policy to cut carbon emissions. He says he won’t rule out nuclear being part of the mix. This sounds quite promising although I doubt they can sell nuclear to Australians that quickly. I hope they have a go anyway. I suppose he could also scrap spending earmarked for the NBN and use it to buy out the brown coal power plants in Victoria and maybe spend a bit on extra transmission interconnects between the states.

    At least we will have a clear choice at the next election. Something the pollies usually work to avoid.

  10. Sea-bass
    December 2nd, 2009 at 16:43 | #10

    @Paul
    Paul, Hermit’s comments most probably refer to the Greens’ choice of Clive Hamilton (one of the driving forces behind the government’s plans to filter the internet) to run in Higgins (I think – not sure which electorate).

    Much has been made of this apparent conflict, given that the Greens of course oppose the filter, while Hamilton has been forced to tone down his support for the policy and his rampant moralism.

  11. Alice
    December 2nd, 2009 at 16:45 | #11

    @2 tanners
    I dont even care about the ETS now (sacrilege) . I care about keeping that b***** Abbott out of power. It needs to be fought, if there is a fight, on workchoices and people’s rights to a decemt working life. The ACTU needs to get up the scare campaign AGAIN and Rudd needs to put some money in to it (serious money). Sorry, but forget ETS for now. The objective is to keep the delusionists OUT of power and kill Abbott politically once and forever…so he dies with a knife in his back.

    Let Rudd just get on with it.

  12. nanks
    December 2nd, 2009 at 17:17 | #12

    @Hermit
    I have no problem with some sort of filter on the net to help prevent minors accessing porn. Anyone with young male children will know that their access to internet porn is a problem. I haven’t seen anything in an article of Hamilton’s – like this one http://tinyurl.com/yke9376 – that strikes me as excessive. Of course whether such a filter is possible without side effects that are worse than the problem a filter seeks to address is still moot.

    Special interest groups in IT are always very keen to promote ‘freedoms’ that shift money to IT -more web traffic = more money for IT

    Dealing with the Greens won’t suit Labor because the Greens don’t support corporatism as the highest good.

  13. Alicia
    December 2nd, 2009 at 17:30 | #13

    I agree with Nanks.

    Clive Hamilton’s concerns as written, as read, were related to the type of internet porn that frankly is indefensible on all grounds excepting freedom of expression.

    We do need to come up with ways of blocking this material for people who inadvertently may stumble across it on the net who would have preferred to not have viewed it or even known of its existence, either on their own behalf as adults or on behalf of children in their care.

    The ALP are little different to the Libs and any ALP deals or negotiations with the Greens on anything will only ever be motivated by furthering the interests of the ALP organisationally and strategically, not by ideal or progressive policy objectives per se.

  14. TerjeP (say tay-a)
    December 2nd, 2009 at 17:58 | #14

    Filtering the net will not stop child pornography, rape and snuff movies and the other super obscene stuff. Get your head around onion routers and SSL and it should be clear why. Filtering the Internet will however cause problems for innocent parties and overly empower executive government. The blacklist the government was working on using was leaked and was found to block political websites. That is a slippery slope we don’t need.

    If you want to put a basic filter on your home Internet for the sake of the kids then use a free services such as the one offered by OpenDNS. I have three young kids and that’s what I use. It is also now integrated with most new D-Link home routers.

    Government Internet filtering is a case of using a bazooka to crack a walnut. Dumb, dumb, dumb. Hamilton is a neo-socialist control freak.

  15. Donald Oats
    December 2nd, 2009 at 18:06 | #15

    @Alice
    I can relate to your feelings on this Alice – I particularly dislike lying scumbags, and he is sailing close to the wind on this. One minute he thinks ETS is essential, blah blah blah; next he thinks the science is crap (his words not mine), and then the minute after that he’s saying, oh we’ll just delay the bill until after Copenhagen, then properly review it. Once leader of the opposition party he nixes the bill. Fluid adaptation to changing evidence? Or lying scumbag? I’ve made my bet.

    I reserve my most ineffable invective for Nick “The Knife” Minchin. He’d make Macchiavelli envious.

    I simply do not believe anything the Liberals have to say regarding nuclear power and climate change policy. On nuclear power they will obfuscate exactly as Howard did, pretending that it is to save the environment, all the while increasing both coal power and nuclear power. I simply won’t take that chance with them. Turnbull I probably would have trusted before the knifing – now, I know for certain the hardliners will always look to derail anything the moderates put up.

    Now I simply refuse to both listening to the Liberals – as F-Troop’s indian chief said once, “White man speak with forked tongue.” How apt.

  16. Alice
    December 2nd, 2009 at 18:13 | #16

    @Donald Oats
    Lying scumbag Don.

    Nothing else to say and at the moment annoyed to hear Plimer on TV getting airtime. Need a weapon – any weapon will do. Just told partner to shut the **** up ( idiot thinks he is conservative but votes what I tell him anyway in support of marital harmony). Fights coming.

    Very grumpy. Even grumpier than before. Grumpy as….fight the damn thing onw orkchoices, Thats what the man in the street threw Howard out on – the greed and the selfishness and the beggar thy neighbour attitude of the LP. They need to fight it again!!! AGAIN (insane but they need to go there again)!! Remind people why they fought last time.

  17. Freelander
    December 2nd, 2009 at 18:18 | #17

    I find I can no longer believe in AGW. So many Liberal and National Party politicians can not be wrong. As they have been saying, climate changes all the time. I am now a convert to a new non-AGW explanation…

    My new understanding is that, apparently, contrary to science, global warming was not caused by humans introducing increasing quantities of ‘greenhouse gases’ into the environment. The people who have been erroneously labelled ‘climate change deniers’ really have a valid alternative ‘scientific’ theory of what has been going on.

    An intelligent being made everything happen (note: not necessarily God, but someone who highly resembles God and will, if called by the chosen, answer to the name of ‘God’, or ‘The Flying Spaghetti Monster’), anyway, this being made everything happen so that scientists would think that the laws of chemistry and physics and so on, meant that the global warming they observed was explained by science and the greenhouse gases humans had introduced into the environment (when it was really the intelligent being all along).

    This alternative theory goes under the name “Intelligent Warming” [IW] (note: not to be confused with the decidedly unscientific “Creationist Warming” — which is the theological idea that God did it — or the apocalyptic “Satanic Warming”).

    Tony Abbott, the new leader of the Liberal Party, set me right on this.

    Apparently, the full name of this theory is ‘The Abbott-Minchin Intelligent Warming Theory’ and has been published in the prestigious journal “Punch Drunk Review”. This journal also contains their companion paper that explains “Intelligent Financial Crisis” theory, which, similarly, provides the explanation of that disaster where mainstream economists have failed.

    In a forthcoming paper (same journal), Abbott and Minchin explain the intelligent being’s behaviour as motivated by rage at Australians, Americans and the British having rejected his anointed ‘Trinity’ — JW Howard, GW Bush and ACL Blair.

    Given these real causes, that is, IW and IFC, there is nothing we can do — except get down on our knees and pray. And when the time comes, vote right and vote often.

    God help me.

  18. TerjeP (say tay-a)
    December 2nd, 2009 at 18:19 | #18

    Howard bought back the weapons Alice. He didn’t trust you.

  19. TerjeP (say tay-a)
    December 2nd, 2009 at 18:21 | #19

    Freelander – the British people never had an opportunity to reject Blair.

  20. Fran Barlow
    December 2nd, 2009 at 18:21 | #20

    You can include me in those opposing internet censorship. I find it astonishing that the Greens chose this wowser as their candidate in Higgins.

    That said, the Greens were right to oppose passage of the CPRS and to leave the way open to a better scheme, or none at all if that were truly the best offer on the table. A bad scheme is not better than no scheme.

  21. Alice
    December 2nd, 2009 at 18:21 | #21

    @Donald Oats
    And Don – if I had my way Id marshall every woman in this country to tell your male half to go jump if necessary and its no sex no dinners till we get rid of the oppressors of women and our children and those oppressors are the LP and the likes of that ***** Abbott.

    No doubt about it – ugly oppressors just extending JH’s oppression of women and children.

  22. Alice
    December 2nd, 2009 at 18:24 | #22

    @TerjeP (say tay-a)
    Terje – dont speak too soon. Workchoices very fresh very raw. It hurts Terje…still out there. Im in the mood for a fight.

  23. nanks
    December 2nd, 2009 at 18:26 | #23

    @TerjeP (say tay-a)

    “Filtering the net will not stop child pornography, rape and snuff movies and the other super obscene stuff. Get your head around onion routers and SSL and it should be clear why.”
    Who was talking about this – not me not Hamilton. Why did you raise that terjeP – have you misunderstood the problem?
    To spell it out, currently – and the tech may have changed recently – you cannot easily assign a unique identifier to each machine on the home network at the router such that each machine can have it’s own filter settings as per openDNS or via the routers site blocking system. (effectively fake a unique static IP for each machine) This means everyone has to have the same filter settings – clearly a problem when what is wanted is to restrict children’s (not adults) access to readily available pornographic material.

  24. Alice
    December 2nd, 2009 at 18:27 | #24

    @Freelander
    Yes God or Abbott help you indeed Freelander for you have cracked completely…

  25. Alice
    December 2nd, 2009 at 18:29 | #25

    @nanks
    Nanks – who gives a damn about internet porn?? – if Abbott or LP get up a lot of families wont be able to aford an internet connection. Lets get with whats really happening.

  26. TerjeP (say tay-a)
    December 2nd, 2009 at 18:31 | #26

    Id marshall every woman in this country to tell your male half to go jump if necessary and its no sex no dinners till we get rid of the oppressors of women

    Wow. I didn’t realise Australian women were so cheap. Remove the oppressor and one guy gets sex with the lot of them. A very interesting deal indeed.

  27. TerjeP (say tay-a)
    December 2nd, 2009 at 18:33 | #27

    To spell it out, currently – and the tech may have changed recently – you cannot easily assign a unique identifier to each machine on the home network at the router such that each machine can have it’s own filter settings as per openDNS or via the routers site blocking system. (effectively fake a unique static IP for each machine) This means everyone has to have the same filter settings – clearly a problem when what is wanted is to restrict children’s (not adults) access to readily available pornographic material.

    The government solution would be even less subtle so I’m not sure what your point is.

  28. nanks
    December 2nd, 2009 at 18:37 | #28

    @Alice
    I’m responding to those who think the Greens should not be supported due to their support of some draconian internet filter. In my view this is a false position as internet filtering can have many forms – some of which do not require any intrusive government oversight.
    This issue was raised by others and as I think labor and the libs are similarly hopeless I am concerned to promote the Greens as – effectively – the only alternative.

  29. Freelander
    December 2nd, 2009 at 18:38 | #29

    @TerjeP (say tay-a)

    True, Blair didn’t wait for an election, or his party to do the deed. He had the benefit of rational expectations (or divinely inspired prophecy). And he was itching to come out of the closet – as a Catholic!

  30. Alice
    December 2nd, 2009 at 18:39 | #30

    @TerjeP (say tay-a)
    We arent cheap Terje…just watch us and you will eat your words. Note this date and this comment. Its got to be worth a $50 bet Terje??? Put your money where your mouth is. Australian women will see out Abbott (measured by a vote in the DD – agreed?). Fair is fair.

  31. Alice
    December 2nd, 2009 at 18:44 | #31

    @nanks
    I know what you are saying Nanks but I really think the fight is over work. That affects peoples hip pockets more than the ETS, more than internet porn. I want a DD and soon and I would like it fought on the same issues we voted to get rid of Howard. Abbot is even more insane if that is possible. We need the libs to implode properly and cannibalise people like Abbott until there are none of them left.

  32. Alicia
    December 2nd, 2009 at 18:45 | #32

    I always vote for the Greens No 1 and if I lived in Higgins I’d gladly vote for Hamilton.

    I don’t give a rats if he abhors vile internet porn and calls for the screening of it. The current technical solution might be problematic and opaque but the sentiment is spot on. Besides, I don’t expect any political party to adhere 100% to what I support but the Greens come closest of any political party to what I do support on major issues.

    I’d wager that’s how most potential or actual Greens voters usually see it them and this minor in the scheme of things issue.

  33. TerjeP (say tay-a)
    December 2nd, 2009 at 18:52 | #33

    Alice :@TerjeP (say tay-a) We arent cheap Terje…just watch us and you will eat your words. Note this date and this comment. Its got to be worth a $50 bet Terje??? Put your money where your mouth is. Australian women will see out Abbott (measured by a vote in the DD – agreed?). Fair is fair.

    Alice – what odds are you offering? The Liberals are after all the underdogs and I don’t
    expect them to win.

    And I didn’t imply woman were cheap. You did when you suggested that they should trade sex for voting behaviour. I never would have dared to propose such a bargain.

  34. Alice
    December 2nd, 2009 at 18:59 | #34

    The bet is $50.

    Are you trying to weasle out of it? $50 bets we, women and children, the oppressed by these arrogant filthy anti ETS, pro workchoices party (LP),

    demolish the catholic oppressor at a DD?

    If he gets eaten alive at a DD I win $50 from you Terje. If Abbott, the unreligious narcissistic aggressive selfish uncharitable catholic idiot wins you score $50 from me.

    Fair bet? Are you in or not?

  35. TerjeP (say tay-a)
    December 2nd, 2009 at 19:00 | #35

    The current technical solution might be problematic and opaque but the sentiment is spot on.

    That is so typical of the latte left. They don’t give two figs about whether a policy will work or the negative consequences so long as they like the sentiment. We may as well be looking to ban sychronised swimming if sentiments are all that matters. Heck why not ban bad breath and death whilst we’re at it.

  36. Alice
    December 2nd, 2009 at 19:01 | #36

    @TerjeP (say tay-a)
    I vote Australian women trade whatever it takes to get rid of female oppressors like Abbott. he is no good fpr women.

    Whats wrong with that Terje? I dont give a damn about your moralistic views on what women have to trade.

  37. TerjeP (say tay-a)
    December 2nd, 2009 at 19:04 | #37

    Fair bet? Are you in or not?

    No and no.

  38. nanks
    December 2nd, 2009 at 19:07 | #38

    @TerjeP (say tay-a)
    my point is that you are misleading with respect to the greens and Hamilton – the Greens have not put forward the govt policy – why are you talking about the govt policy now, why have you raised this and changed the subject?

  39. TerjeP (say tay-a)
    December 2nd, 2009 at 19:07 | #39

    Whats wrong with that Terje? I dont give a damn about your moralistic views on what women have to trade.

    I have no moral objection to women buying votes with sex. Or men buying sex with votes. I simply made a comment regarding the price.

  40. TerjeP (say tay-a)
    December 2nd, 2009 at 19:09 | #40

    Nanks – I didn’t say that the Greens had the same policy as this government. I said that a government controlled Internet filtering was a really stupid idea.

  41. Alice
    December 2nd, 2009 at 19:15 | #41

    @TerjeP (say tay-a)
    You did???? Any price Terje and most me like donestic harmony….Im suggesting women have more power than you think and they should use it…otherwise we get Abbott….enuff said. The price is different in every house…hey …its the only really free market you know Terje!! You should be proud of it!!

  42. Alice
    December 2nd, 2009 at 19:16 | #42

    @TerjeP (say tay-a)
    You did???? Any price Terje and most men like domestic harmony….Im suggesting women have more power than you think and they should use it…otherwise we get Abbott….enuff said. The price is different in every house…hey …its the only really free market you know Terje!! You should be proud of it!!

  43. Alice
    December 2nd, 2009 at 19:16 | #43

    ooops double yoker

  44. Alice
    December 2nd, 2009 at 19:18 | #44

    $50 too much eh Terje? Pretty cheap for a bet IMHO.

  45. rog
    December 2nd, 2009 at 19:22 | #45

    @Alice

    Alice represents a huge voter block that Abbott has clumsily offended.

  46. TerjeP (say tay-a)
    December 2nd, 2009 at 19:25 | #46

    Alice :$50 too much eh Terje? Pretty cheap for a bet IMHO.

    Alice – I have no problem with the amount. It is the odds I object to.

  47. rog
    December 2nd, 2009 at 19:25 | #47

    @Freelander

    I like the sound of “intelligent warming”, it has a plenty of hooks and a nice ring to it – any thoughts on a jingle for the ad campaign? (I had some thoughts on those little tinkly bells that you see in budgie cages)

  48. Alice
    December 2nd, 2009 at 19:25 | #48

    @TerjeP (say tay-a)
    I knew it. Not willing to put his bet where his mouth is. Terje…you disappoint me. Well then ladies, if even a conservative libertarian isnt willing to place a$50 bet on Abbott, we will win using home stragies.
    Seriously Terje ..this fool is a monumental backward step for women, children and equity …all round (its like electing an apartheid govt in in Australia – only its women who will be sidelined and segregated from all the benefits of production. Bully boy Abbott – deformed offspring bootlicker of bully boy Howard.).

    We (women) are not silly.

  49. Alice
    December 2nd, 2009 at 19:27 | #49

    @rog

    You bet on it Rog. I do represent a huge voter block that Abbott would do nothing for.

  50. Alice
    December 2nd, 2009 at 19:34 | #50

    @TerjeP (say tay-a)
    OK Terje – name estimate of the odds then.

  51. TerjeP (say tay-a)
    December 2nd, 2009 at 19:34 | #51

    Alice – what would Abbott do to women that has you trembling?

    In terms of putting my money where my mouth is I don’t know what you are referring to. Where have I suggested that Abbott is likely to win the next election? I don’t think he will.

  52. TerjeP (say tay-a)
    December 2nd, 2009 at 19:40 | #52

    Alice :@TerjeP (say tay-a) OK Terje – name estimate of the odds then.

    At a guess I’d say that the ALP currently has about an 70 – 80% chance of remaining in government at the next election.

  53. nanks
    December 2nd, 2009 at 19:44 | #53

    @Alice
    Hi Alice – actually I think global warming is the issue – the most significant issue people have ever faced as it cuts right to the heart of what it is to be a social body of the size we should become.

  54. Alice
    December 2nd, 2009 at 19:44 | #54

    So you want $80 if you win and $50 if I win? let me get that striaght Terje?

  55. Alice
    December 2nd, 2009 at 19:49 | #55

    @nanks
    Im all for bringing women to the fore and workchoices Nanks. I dont think this should be an ETS DD. The opposition are going to blow any tax effect to kingdom come when people are more worried about their jobs. That gives them an argument. Nah – its a workchoices fight all over again. We dont want the bastards back and we dont want Abbott telling women what they can and cant do with their bodies (dark ages stuff).

  56. Tim Macknay
    December 2nd, 2009 at 19:49 | #56

    Alice, Abbott is the Leader of the Opposition, not the Government, and has bugger-all chance of winning the next election. You should take a deep breath and calm down.

    Your implication that men will vote for Abbott unless women deny them sex is misandrist garbage. Australian voters, of both sexes, will reject Abbott because they dislike him and his (or Minchin’s) policies, not because of threats in the boudoir.

    BTW, how the hell d’you know how your other half votes anyway? It’s a secret ballot, FFS.

  57. TerjeP (say tay-a)
    December 2nd, 2009 at 19:53 | #57

    If the ALP wins the lower house I give you $15. If the ALP loses the lower house you give me $85. Deal?

  58. Ros
    December 2nd, 2009 at 19:56 | #58

    FYI debaters of internet censorship, Reporters without Borders maintain 2 lists on internet freedom. There is Internet Enemies, 12 countries, and then there is Countries under Surveillance. There are 11 on that list, one western nation, Australia.

  59. Donald Oats
    December 2nd, 2009 at 19:58 | #59

    Ahhh, tactfully steering past any issues of price and quantity, or the “Cap In Hand” policy I think Alice is promoting, may I suggest moving back to the main topic of dealing with the Greens? And if anyone is asking for money, I gave at the office.

    Now, I do hope Clive Hamilton wins in Higgins, simply because that knocks of one ex-Costello staffer. Oh, and it does send a fairly pointed reminder to Nick “The Knife” Minchins band of Merry Munchkins that environment is important. Flip side is if an ex-Costello staffer gets in, well, I don’t know – Abbott and Costello have traded verbal bazookas in the past few hours, so I guess Costello isn’t on the Abbott Xmas list.

    After Copenhagen, to which I hope the Labor government invites Green representation (and stuff the freakshow on the speaker’s left side of the house), perhaps a compromise position may be reached with the Greens on a new CPRS II, or something simpler and better, if it comes up. Labor needs to get decent discussions going with them this time, even if some initial conditions are a bit tough to chew on.

    If they don’t do that I might get religion and go over to the dark side, to the Intelligent Warming or Intelligent Cooling, or whatever gives the most amusing acronym.

  60. nanks
    December 2nd, 2009 at 19:59 | #60

    FFS.

    For Feminine Sensibilities ?

  61. nanks
    December 2nd, 2009 at 20:05 | #61

    @Ros
    I realise the govt sees the internet as a mechanism through which to achieve greater control over the population. I think that is a seperate issue to internet filtering – sadly the two have become conflated

  62. December 2nd, 2009 at 20:05 | #62

    I think Abbott will do better than expected, and that the ALP may be scared of an ETS election.

    The question is whether the ALP will want to go to an election before or after the next budget. If they think it will be a horror budget (as Turnbull was hoping) then they may trigger the DD for March or April… but if they think they can justify a few more handouts then they may wait for a budget bounce and go after July.

    If you combine the possibility of a horror budget with rising interest rates, then you can see the ALP argument for an early election. But, as I said at the start, the hard heads in Labor are also probably aware of the dangers of an ETS election… where the ALP will increase their vote in dead red seats (like Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Griffith etc) but potentially lose votes in marginal regional seats.

  63. Tim Macknay
    December 2nd, 2009 at 20:15 | #63

    Interesting that the Government intends to send the bill back in for another go. It must be calculating that Abbott will not gain much in the polls, the divisions in the Libs will continue to fester, and that there is a better than even chance the moderates will have a go at knocking off Abbott, putting Joe Hockey or Mal Turnbull back in and backing the bill. Either that or it is hoping that a repeat of the bill will keep the CPRS pressure on the Libs all the way until election day. I can’t quite bring myself to believe it’s that cynical.

  64. TerjeP (say tay-a)
    December 2nd, 2009 at 20:19 | #64

    Assuming Abbott can come up with a policy that cuts carbon emissions I doubt there will be any split within Liberal ranks. Perhaps he will go the nuclear option. The senators that did cross the floor to vote with the government on the ETS spoke in favour of nuclear.

  65. SJ
    December 2nd, 2009 at 20:22 | #65

    Labour have said that there’s not going to be a DD, and they’re probably not lying about that.

    It’s obvious that the coalition will be wiped out at an election next year.

    There are two possibilities:

    a) the govt thinks that it will win an outright majority in both houses, and doesn’t need to consider the greens, or,

    b) the govt thinks that the greens will hold the balance of power, and are offering the Libs a chance to re-think their position and vote for the existing CPRS in February, prior to the election, thus preserving the rip-off from households to big business that Turnbull negotiated.

    I think that the govt is neglecting to consider some other possibilities, e.g. that the public won’t tolerate the proposed rip-off at all, and will vote against both the Libs and the govt.

  66. December 2nd, 2009 at 20:23 | #66

    It looks to me that Alice doesn’t understand the concept of betting odds. Nothing wrong with that. Lots of people are confused about lots of issues. That’s why people generally shouldn’t try to impose their life preferences on other people.

    Tim — I imagine it is that cynical, though I’m not sure it’s going to work. If they can encourage continued instability (and Turnbull may help) then it will be a good strategy. But if the Liberals fall in behind Abbott then it will simply give the Liberals more time to attack the ETS. The other point is that they can’t really call a DD now (christmas time) so having another sitting in early February gives them an obvious point in time to call the DD.

  67. Donald Oats
    December 2nd, 2009 at 20:28 | #67

    What Labor need are a bunch of retired scientists still on the public teat to travel around the rural Australia I know and love, and to explain how the evidence stacks up to make AGW the best supported theory so far, and the least successfully argued against (in the sense of rational argument using observational evidence and other factors like “It’s the Communists!”). So far the IPA-ers have had their crack geologist unit criss-crossing the rural townships and leaving a (steaming pile of) mess-age full of a mish-mash of sciency bits and bulldust. If Labor cannot or will not deal directly with defeating the mess-age left by these rockcrackers then Labor are going to lose valuable voters – not the farmers themselves for they see only drought, a bloody long drought – namely the rural industries and services that depend upon agriculture. Small businesses have everything to lose in the bush if the hardliners spit on the dirt in front of them and call it rain.

  68. iain
    December 2nd, 2009 at 20:37 | #68

    ALP have showed their hand here. Their interest in CC is primarily as a political wedge at the moment.

    Primary vote poling for the greens is up to around 13%. Obviously a few percentage points coming from the lib vote over to greens – at least in terms of polling. But one has to figure some will now come over from ALP as well.

    If you are fair dinkum about CC then obviously a conservative vote is out of the question – but it is hard to see how you could actually vote ALP, especially after their disgraceful (water it down and wedge it) treatment on this issue.

  69. Freelander
    December 2nd, 2009 at 20:52 | #69

    @rog

    I’ve given up on Intelligent Warming.

    God told me that he doesn’t exist and neither does ‘the intelligient being’ and even ‘The Flying Spaghetti Monster’ is a myth. He explained that, therefore, IW is not correct.

    I am taking him at his word on this. He’s never lied to me before.

    That said, I still think that IW should get equal time in teaching at school – after all, it is a scientific theory.

  70. Freelander
    December 2nd, 2009 at 20:57 | #70

    TerjeP (say tay-a) Heck why not ban bad breath and death whilst we’re at it.

    Maybe banning death would be as effective as denying AGW? This could be a new Liberal party policy. I hear Tony is groping around for policies at the moment.

    Maybe Abbott and the Liberal Party should have insisted that the world is flat and that the moon landing was a fraud. At least those claims will not rapidly become untenable through direct experience!

  71. TerjeP (say tay-a)
  72. Freelander
    December 2nd, 2009 at 21:18 | #72

    @John Humphreys

    I doubt Labor can do better than let Abbott flap in the wind for a time. The longer they leave him before they cut him down, the larger the electoral victory. They don’t need to do the DD immediately. Let them fight and bicker amongst themselves. Already there are signs that the realists are finding a party lead by surrealists difficult to stomach. Leave Tony, Minchin and friends to do more damage to the Liberal party than Labor could even wish for. Hell even if they come back to their senses, more flip-flopping will simply lose even more votes. Since 2007 they have held every conceivable position on every conceivable issue. Even the most die hard Lib, still willing to vote for them, must be suffering from vertigo by now. No need for hanging chads, in that state, they’ll invalidate their votes themselves.

  73. SJ
    December 2nd, 2009 at 21:21 | #73

    It is actually worth a look, Terje. Some idiot who calls himself KAPITALIST88 falsified the data on the page. Was that you, by any chance?

  74. Peter Evans
    December 2nd, 2009 at 22:02 | #74

    I think the ALP should let the Libs bicker amongst themselves a while. The divisions won’t go away. If there’s more head cracking, all the more reason for Turnbull to go start his own party (you can be assured he’ll be talking long and hard to his business mates in the next week about funding the venture, as well he should). That would be a win-win for labour since a moderates party let by Turnbull would be ideal for Labour to negotiate with. The Greens are gambling on a DD to really break through (compare 1984 for the Democrats) and get some serious numbers into the Senate, and they’ll play pretty hard on that.

    John Humphreys has a good point about ALP trepidation on a ETS election. You can betcha bottom dollar there’s a swag of advertising companies pitching to the government right now for some lucrative public awareness work. Every state and federal government for the last 15 years has played that trick.

  75. TerjeP (say tay-a)
    December 3rd, 2009 at 05:42 | #75

    SJ – I don’t travel under any names other than my own. I don’t falsify data. I am not KAPITALIST88.

    I hope you corrected the inaccuracies. Can you point out what they are?

  76. Alice
    December 3rd, 2009 at 05:43 | #76

    @nanks
    LOl Nanks – FFSS – For feminist superior sensibilities.

  77. TerjeP (say tay-a)
    December 3rd, 2009 at 05:45 | #77

    Here is what the Wikipedia source dated October 2009 said:-

    Forty-nine per cent of respondents to the poll said nuclear power should be considered for Australia’s future energy needs, while 43 per cent were completely opposed, Fairfax newspapers said.

    http://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-national/more-aussies-back-nuclear-power-poll-20091013-gu7r.html

  78. rog
    December 3rd, 2009 at 06:07 | #78

    @TerjeP (say tay-a)

    Thats not very good Terje, only 49% want to consider it. If half of those who then proceed to consider it reject it you have three fifths of bugger all.

  79. Freelander
    December 3rd, 2009 at 06:10 | #79

    @TerjeP (say tay-a)

    I thought it said…

    :Here is what the Wikipedia source dated October 2009 said:-

    Forty-nine per cent of respondents to the poll said nuclear power should be considered for Australia’s future energy needs, 23 per cent were undecided, while 43 per cent were completely opposed, The Australian newspaper said.

  80. rog
    December 3rd, 2009 at 06:12 | #80

    Nuclear power may well be established in parts of the world but in Oz we have had such a long tradition of not doing it’s hard to see how this will be reversed with the support of an overwhelming majority of punters.

    And where are we going to put it? It has to be near the grid so you have them near cities. Imagine the nimbyism

    Nuclear power in Australia is dreamtime stuff.

  81. Graeme Bird
    December 3rd, 2009 at 06:16 | #81

    Its irresponsible not to got with nuclear. Heliostats can help because they work in well with peak usage. Home solar and wind less-so. And here we ought be matching technologies. Ammonia and hydrogen can be made intermittently. A perfect match with wind and home solar.

    Hydrogen is uneconomic and dangerous where compression is high and for central manufacture and distribution. But its so easy to make it can be made at home or by one fellow on your street. With only a small amount of compression you can make enough of it to get to work and back. We want hydrogen/diesel hybrids. But in practice it will be cheaper eventually to sort out hydrogen for commuting needs with diesel as backup.

    There is no getting around diesel for heavy cargo transport if its efficiency that you want. But still having basic commuting hydrogen-based and oh so cheap. Well its a start.

    We have got to start building more wharves. Nothing can beat the energy efficiency of water transport. You can even have computer-controlled sales to take the edge off the energy cost. That opens up the oceans for work in progress. Since manufacturing is really an extension of logistics. Logistics is about putting things in the right sequence. And cost-cutting is often about getting inventories down.

    Putting this together it stands to reason that the most powerful economy to be spoken about with a human language, would be based around a multitude of factories with their own wharves as dispatch and incoming. And their inventories and work in progress on the water. Unmanned boats traveling slowly, with sales, hydrogen and diesel back up. And continually putting themselves in the correct order so that they arrive at the factory in the exact sequece in which they are needed. No economy could possibly be more effective or energy efficient then that.

  82. Donald Oats
    December 3rd, 2009 at 07:00 | #82

    In South Australia the obvious place for a nuclear power station (or four or five, to cope with the massive influx of our share of 15 million new immigrants) would have to be the Spencer Gulf. Nice clear waters with a brand new spanking desalination plant next door, and three towns full of unemployed and other welfare recipients. We could even put in some uranium enrichment plants nearby and use the rail infrastructure to transport it to the nearest port.

    Fast forward five years in the hardliner Knifer’s Party (Nick “The Knife” Minchin’s legacy):
    The rest of us live in Adelaide and the surrounds – except Minchin who had to move to Tassie shortly before the reactors were built, something to do with allergies – peaceful in our ignorant bliss, until the old generation nuclear power plant goes and does a III or IV. That’s when we all wish we had paid more attention to the prevailing winds in South Australia :-(

    Luckily though, we kept all our old dirty coalfired power stations running – I mean hey, nuclear is sooo expensive compared with coal coal all you need is coal – and so no problemo. Pity ’bout the tuna zoo and prawns and abalone and other shit though. If only we’d waited until someone had figured out how to build a Gen IV reactor, but no, the hardliner Knifer’s Party insisted on exploiting the cheap existing technology (thanks Ukraine, great second hand reactor parts). Their intentions were good. Just helping their trillionaire friends to avoid financial ruin. Wonder why the insurance companies left SA all those years ago…

    We all luv nuclear power and we all luvved James Hardie. Here’s a question: why must we be virtually dead last in coming up with legislation for an ETS and/or target commitments for GHG emissions reduction, yet we must race ahead to nuclear? Unless we know the objectives the rest is complete bollocks.
    Here’s another one: why do we need nuclear if reducing emissions in Australia won’t make any difference to global GHG mass in the atmosphere? Just applying the Barnaby “Carbuncle” Joyce and Tony “Mad Monk” Abbott logic to the assessment.

    PS: I’m kidding around in case noone noticed, just blowing off steam and a few carbon emissions from last night’s dinner. Go nukes go nukes ra ra RA.

  83. Alice
    December 3rd, 2009 at 07:13 | #83

    What a fine day it is…I wake up to the news…..the right are kicking out Rees and we have a pic of Sartor looking like an advertisment for spray starch, and we have Abbott waving a cartoon pitchfork talking about bring back invidual work contracts (Workchoice V.2).

    At least the weather is nice. Maybe I can forget about the madness for a while.

  84. Donald Oats
    December 3rd, 2009 at 08:43 | #84

    I hope Rees buries Sartor, Tripodi et al. Good luck to him.

  85. JJ
    December 3rd, 2009 at 09:01 | #85

    @TerjeP (say tay-a)

    while a poll may suggest that more people are in favour of nuclear power now than in the past, it is worth noting that this polling was undertaken in an environment without detailed public debate. So it reflects a gut feel response.

    I would suspect that if the debate got serious a lot more information would be disseminated and hopefully a lot more people would make a more informed decision.

    In my mind it isn’t a hard one. Not only do you get significant risk during operations of the facility and a really expensive and risky waste management problem, you also dont get the benefits that some protaginists envisage. The Olkiluoto-3 facility currently under construction in Finland was begun in 2005 and due to open earlier this year. It would generate 1600MW at a planned cost of E3.2bn. It is a couple of years late and well over budget. They hope to open it in 2012 at closer to E5bn (about A$8bn). The uranium will be mined in Namibia where they have had to build a 400MW coal fired power station to operate the mine. And no one wants to release information about the carbon emission generated from the construction of the facility, but I am guessing it is pretty significant. Depending on how you account for your long term waste costs (and discount rate) modern nuclear generates electricity that costs more than combined cycle natural gas.

    What this all means is that nuclear is really expensive, takes a really long time to bring online even after you have committed to it and it doesn;t really deliver environmental benefit.

    So why is it even being considered again?

  86. Fran Barlow
    December 3rd, 2009 at 09:02 | #86

    @Alice

    Crazy stuff Alice. You have to wonder about the sanity of people who are arguing about who gets to wear the captain’s hat on a ship that needs all hands focused on stopping it from sinking beneath the waves.

  87. Fran Barlow
    December 3rd, 2009 at 09:59 | #87

    I agree with the DD PrQ … but not before July 1 2010. Were I Rudd, I’d dissolve the parliament on July 2 2010 and call the election for Saturday July 24, unless of course I could cut a deal in February with the Greens + 2 out of Xenophon, Troeth, Boyce and Humphreys to get legislation through.

    Of course then I’d conjure another politically attractive trigger and do it on that basis.

  88. Peter Evans
    December 3rd, 2009 at 10:17 | #88

    Hi JQ – any reason why the comment I posted 10 o’clock last night is still awaiting moderation? Thanks.

  89. JJ
    December 3rd, 2009 at 11:31 | #89

    Rudd has referred to Abbott’s magic pudding approach to climate chage policy.

    I like to think of it as good old fashioned regulation based response, with more energy-efficient buildings, better land management and biosequestration programs. It sounds like Abbot will use regulatory powers and government programs to generate the carbon reductions. Sounds a bit lefty to me – i wonder if he has noticed yet?

  90. Doug
    December 3rd, 2009 at 11:32 | #90

    If the Opposition is ruling out both a market based solution and a carbon tax there only alternative left is some form of regulation to direct people’s activity in the desired direction.

    Regulation has the disadvantage of not being transparent, particularly on the allocation of costs, not comprehensive in scope and subject to severe distortion and unanticipated impacts.

    Sounds slightly stalinist to me. Any libertarians on this thread would find any option based heavily on regulation highly undesirable, I would have thought.

    On the issue of nuclear power, it has a very long time frame, substantial externalities that need to be properly costed in to get a fair comparison with other energy options and probably will require a substantial carbon tax to make it an attractive option for commercial power generators. an option that mr Abbott has ruled out.

    A heavy regulatory hand by the government plus implicit subsidies by Government assuming responsibility for the cost of various risks is likely to be needed to make the nuclear option viable. We are aback here in the world of a centrally controlled economy.

  91. Fran Barlow
    December 3rd, 2009 at 11:47 | #91

    @JJ

    As the saying goes, Abbott is writing cheques his butt can’t keep. He can’t bring in nuclear without a substantial carbon price or a subsidy or a substantial increase in energy prices. he can’t regulate in areas of state sovereignty – which is pretty much all the areas he is talking about and business is not going to accept massive regulation unless there’s a market framework which means they have to do it anyway. The AIG is already concerned.

    Expect Rudd to make these points.

  92. Tim Macknay
    December 3rd, 2009 at 12:21 | #92

    Fran’s right JJ. Abbott’s pissing in the wind. He hasn’t even begun to think about how he can do it.

  93. Hermit
    December 3rd, 2009 at 12:42 | #93

    I see Abbott wants to increase soil carbon instead of cutting back on coal. I envisage Sturts Stony Desert being carpeting with potting mix.

    Re nuclear economics a couple of things need to be pointed out. Government indemnities are not unique to nuclear; both the WA and Federal govts have let Chevron off the hook if some of the 120 million tonnes of NG derived CO2 escapes from beneath Barrow Island. Gas fired electrical plant can never achieve more than 60% CO2 reductions compared to perhaps 98% for nuclear on average. The Finnish example is a cockup for which remedies are being implemented. Both gas and uranium will run short at some time but in relative terms nuclear fuel cost will be more affordable. It’s possible that future nuclear may need little if any new fuel. Even if not fuel will still be available at a price. Note for example Britain has used most of its North Sea gas reserves and will have to import gas from volatile Russia. Better to import uranium from the colonies but we’ve plenty to spare for at least a generation.

  94. Alphonse
    December 3rd, 2009 at 12:52 | #94

    … adopting the failed deal with Malcolm Turnbull as its new policy …

    … thereby driving a wedge between the minchkins and the coalition’s corporate constituency, who know they’ll never get a better deal.

    I’d prefer a green-tinged bill to this blue-tinged one – a real one rather than this political artifact.

  95. Alice
    December 3rd, 2009 at 16:21 | #95

    @Fran Barlow
    Exactly Fran…we have the main headline today. Something about Abbott wants work contracts and we have Labor swinging madly right again at State level…I despair the country I live in is a fools paradise…or a paradise of fools. Here we go again. But it wont save state Labor and even less so now and who will we get in? State libs – even more right.

    Ive had enough up to my back teeth of the blind mice in this country. They wouldnt know decent policy and decent politicians if both leapt up and bit them on the bum.

  96. Alice
    December 3rd, 2009 at 16:30 | #96

    @TerjeP (say tay-a)
    Abbott is a fake christian relic from the dark ages Terje. He would not approve that abortion pill….thats what he did to women. He would rather women who want an abortion to have a more difficult invasive procedure. This in the modern age when we have overpopulated the earth (perhaps with creeps like Abbott who would have been better terminated). I dont care where he is coming from but its plain outright misogynistic in my opinion.

    He is an hideous. Capital H. Any woman in her right mind shouldnt vote for him. Its also a small matter that a lot of women work part time….the very people who get stuffed around by flexible work contracts. The women trying to raise children and get a bit extra to help their partners…there are so many of them and its them that gets clubbed by his wacko ideas on work contracts (workchoices V2).

    Is there anything else you want to know Terje about why Abbott is a disaster for women??

  97. Graeme Bird
    December 3rd, 2009 at 17:24 | #97

    “He would not approve that abortion pill….thats what he did to women. He would rather women who want an abortion to have a more difficult invasive procedure.”

    That was definitely a mistake on his part. Even from an anti-abortion point of view which says the child has rights later in the pregnancy. Nobodies perfect. He’s not the bad guy you are making him out to be. I’d rather have a person who gets a few things wrong and is fair dinkum and not a triangulater. We are taught about the halo concept. But there is the opposite concept and we are not taught about it and so are probably too susceptible to it. The “anti-halo” concept. Where a dude really does get one thing very wrong. And so from there on in you figure he’s got cloven feet and horns hidden by hair. We all suffer from this. But you know we gotta look out for it.

  98. Graeme Bird
    December 3rd, 2009 at 17:33 | #98

    “As the saying goes, Abbott is writing cheques his butt can’t keep. He can’t bring in nuclear without a substantial carbon price or a subsidy or a substantial increase in energy prices. ”

    Thats the myth but no tax on coal is not the real problem for nuclear Fran.

    Thats not why the nuclear is expensive. The main nuclear cost is financing the initial capital outlay. And if you know about discounting to present value, you will realise that there is going to be a big difference between the costs if you can put up a Westinghouse in 3 years or in 12.

    Its not about taxing coal. Its about bringing down the commissioning time from 12 years to 3 years. The other thing is think about the fellow who owns the land. If he knows that these guys have had to go and get down on one knee to three layers of government, and schmooze and this is the one place they can put their nuclear setup then thats a sellers market for the land.

    But if the Prime Minsiter uses just persuasion. And he goes around and persuades everyone to pre-approve more land than we could possibly use for energy factories and wharves and things….. that way you’ll have a buyers market.

    The third thing is that all the workers are paying income tax, even though its years before the company can break even. So you do need that long-term tax exemption. Not a subsidy, just a tax-exemption.

    You put that all together the mystery ends. Because the amount of power you can extract from the nucleus just dwarves anything coming out of some puny chemical reaction. If you have heard that mantra Fran, you haven’t heard it with all the relevant assumptions on the table.

  99. Graeme Bird
    December 3rd, 2009 at 17:37 | #99

    Barry Brook would be your man for a second opinion on this matter I’d say. When Barry talks nuclear its time to get out the notebook.

  100. Alice
    December 3rd, 2009 at 19:01 | #100

    @Fran Barlow
    But wait Fran – it gets worse. Tripodi’s puppet is now premier of NSW and shes glad the people have such faith in her….and its such an honour to serve the people of NSW (and Tripodi and Obeid as per usual)…bla bla…yeah right Kristina – the people didnt get a say in you. The right faction voted but the people will vote you out soon. Enjoy it while it lasts.

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