Home > Environment, Oz Politics > Time for Turnbull …

Time for Turnbull …

January 1st, 2014

… to speak up in defence of climate science, or give up any pretense of being better than the rest.

If there is one prominent figure on the right of Australian politics[1] who could plausibly claim to be both sane (on issues such as climate change) and honest, it’s Turnbull. He has stood up in the past, notably against Abbott, but has said nothing (AFAICT). Until relatively recently, he could reasonably claim that the government’s policy was based on acceptance of mainstream climate science, and that, even if he disagreed with Direct Action, he was bound by the principle of cabinet solidarity. But a string of events, culminating in Maurice Newman’s latest idiocy have made this position untenable. If Turnbull remains silent, he is tacitly accepting denialism as the view of the government of which he is part.

It’s possible that speaking up could cost him his ministerial view. But, as Tony Abbott observed recently, that might be a liberating experience. And, unlike the GMH workers to whom Abbott was referring, it’s not as if Malcolm needs the money.

fn1. Two former leaders of the Liberal Party, Malcolm Fraser and John Hewson, have taken a strong stand on climate change. But Fraser has quit the party, and Hewson was threatened with expulsion over this and similar remarks.

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  1. Alan
    January 6th, 2014 at 14:35 | #1


    To be fair, the faustian proclamation was:

    …freshly minted 18 year olds can come out with the mix of ambition and charisma…

    Both Abbot and Joyce arguably have the right mix of charisma and ambition if you disregard the moral vacuity of their charisma and the policy impact of their ambitions.

  2. CJD
    January 8th, 2014 at 01:43 | #2

    Julie Thomas, your experiences among the upper crust seem very similar to my own, as a younger woman.

    Nice place to visit, sort of. Wouldn’t want to live there. Stuff of neurotic nightmares. And Zoot, I also know of plenty of elite children who went on to become some of the most dedicated junkies, dealers and con-artists you’d ever hope not to meet. All the money and prestige in the world won’t fix sick, broken minds. That’s the stuff of character money doesn’t buy.

  3. Julie Thomas
    January 8th, 2014 at 06:37 | #3


    But there were a few really nice boys who went to private schoos though. I took one of them to the Aquarius Festival.

    And I knew – not very well – two med students who were making acid to sell, in the uni labs.

    But with the parents, it was their bad taste I think, that was the turn off at the time; me being an art student and very avant garde. I really didn’t like the decor or style of the richer more conservative types; so stultifying. But the more ‘liberal’ ones who had come across the Japanese aesthetic I found a more worthy of some admiration.

  4. CJD
    January 8th, 2014 at 14:30 | #4

    Being an avant garde art student doesn’t tend to go down well in conservative circles nor the working class (generally speaking of course).

    Being green…same.

  5. Julie Thomas
    January 8th, 2014 at 15:16 | #5


    I think that might have been the point of being ‘avant garde’, for many art students lol – freedom from any rules. And then the hippies were like that too, when I became one of them. They were supposed to be for ‘freedom’ too.

    But the avant garde art students were so critical – and cruel in that critique – of the traditional artists and the hippies were so critical of the straights they were equally authoritarian.

    Human nature eh?

    It isn’t easy being Green as Kermit says. I’ve been called a watermelon too. :) But even out here in regional conservative land where I live, I think it feels a bit more friendly to greenies like me, now that they have become used to us.

  6. CJD
    January 9th, 2014 at 08:49 | #6

    Well anyway. Life. Stuff. :)

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