Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Australia and Climate Change - Updated

When Julia Gillard was campaigning for Prime Minister of Australia in 2010, she stated no carbon tax would be imposed under a government she led, but did exactly that with the Clean Energy Bill of 2011. This led to her being met with placards that read 'Ju-liar' and, through a series of Parliament events, resigned her position as Prime Minister in June, 2013. Tony Abbott hammered her on the broken promise. His conservative coalition won the September 2013 election and Abbott introduced a bill on his first day as Prime Minister to repeal the carbon tax. The bill passed in July 2014, much to the fanfare of climate change deniers and fossil fuel billionaires everywhere.

Happily ever after? Not hardly.

While campaigning, Abbott vowed he would not cut popular programs. Now that he is in charge, he has cut funding for schools and hospitals by A$80 billion over the next decade. As can be expected from someone that is demonstrating his contempt for science, the science budget is being hit with cuts of A$420 million. The national science budget amount to just .6% of the national GDP. His reasoning for cutting their budgets? To cut the budget deficit.

But, wait a minute, one of the reasons Australia has a budget deficit is because Abbott cut the carbon tax and then replaced it with a tax-payer funded program to pay polluters to cut back on carbon emissions. Instead of making the polluters pay to clean-up their own mess, Abbott decided the taxpayers had to pay for it. Instead of having an income stream, he now has an expense. Who benefits and you doesn't? Well, the polluters benefit because they are now being paid by the government to pollute. The more they pollute, the more they get to clean it up. The taxpayers lost because their tax dollars are being used to pay Abbott's corporate sponsors and they have to live in the pollution.

Now, the government is reeling and Abbott is getting back what he dished out - his integrity is being questioned and he is being accused of lying about his campaign promises. Ms. Gillard probably thinks it all sounds familiar. The popularity of Abbott's coalition government has plummeted and he is being met with placards that read, "Abbott-Liar." On November 29, Abbott's coalition lost in the state election in Victoria.

Abbott is finding himself isolated in the international community, as well. As the U.S. and China negotiate limits to greenhouse gas emissions, Abbott is busy paying polluters to clean-up their own mess. Abbott tried, and failed, to keep climate change off the G-20 agenda. The man that said the "climate change argument is absolute crap," is now finding himself in the minority on the issue.

It just keeps getting worse for them. The Foreign Minister, Julie Bishop has been getting hammered from all sides on the issue. First, being embarrassed at the Australia-hosted G-20 conference on the subject, and now at the climate change conference in Lima, Peru.

So, Australians decided to elect a guy that is beholden to the fossil fuel industry, and now they aren't happy when they find out he will take care of industry instead of the citizens. I feel like saying this is a case of voter beware, except for the fact that we pretty much did the same thing in this country when we gave the Republicans full control of Congress last month. That is likely to be something we will regret, so I can't wag a finger at Australia.

UPDATE (12/10/2014): Did Australia cave in to international pressure? After saying all along that Australia would not contribute to the UN's global green fund, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has now announced Australia will pledge A$200 million to the fund to help third-world countries deal with climate change. Is this the start of a change in policy? We'll have to wait and see. 


  1. In my opinion Labor lost the election, the Liberals won it by default.

    Abbott was given a chance and has been found to be lacking.

    Politicians are a "renewable resource" as some say - bring on the next election!

  2. Absolutely. As for the Oz government "caving in" to international pressure. No such luck!

    They're trying to turn their unimpressive little $50 million a year for 4 years into a mechanism for directing funds specifically to a) private industry, b) "our" region - presumably meaning Oceania. (That $50 mil a year looks to be pretty weak tea seeing as this govt also reduced general foreign aid in much the same way as they gutted the CSIRO. These funds will barely make up for what should otherwise have gone out anyway.)

    They're also using the Lima conference as a venue to try and strongarm a few of the countries attending there which will also attend the UNESCO meeting in a few days. This govt is wonderful! No, no, no, the Great Barrier Reef is in no danger at all! No need to damage the tourist industry by saying that it's In Danger. Hmmpphh. It's very easy to say this sort of thing authoritatively when you've increased your height by standing on all the Australian govt reports about the various threats to the GBR.

    These people are not just amateurs. They're bullies who also happen to be bumbling fools.

  3. That is an interesting take on the Lima conference. I can imagine Australia really could bully some countries and Lima would give them a good opportunity to do just that.

  4. The body of "evidence," used by the challenger, seems entirely too daunting for laymen like myself who are not familiar with the many types of measurements and graphs depicted in Samurai's contentions. But I was able to raise a personal flag when reading that one of his water vapor concentrations charts dealt with "relative humidity," and not gross amounts of water vapor itself. Thanks for pointing out that as temperatures go up, the amount of water vapor the atmosphere can hold goes up, even though relative levels may not represent the same kinds of increases.

    I am also aware that Arctic land ice melt is different than sea ice melts, and I appreciate the reference to the fact that as more ice melts around the Antarctic, ocean ice water is diluted and requires lower temperatures to freeze.

    If the very questionable reputations of Lindzen and other biased skeptics weren't enough, and all their disproven claims weren't enough, apparently Samurai has no scruples about actually lying about and using graphs which are known to be false, as a last resort. Personally, I think the fact that so many AGW deniers, do not hesitate to use every dirty trick in the book, only begs the question of how rational, supposedly ethical, and forthright people like themselves, can justify conveniently hanging their distorting and dishonest overcoats at the door, and then expect us to trust and ultimately accept their deliberately false versions of climate change, as if they represented actual truths?

    Thanks again Christopher, for pointing out the many inaccuracies and distortions in the data presented by the challenger, since a mere partial understanding of climate science is supplemented greatly with the testimony of those like yourself, who know just what the many lies and distortions used by deniers are, and why they are indicative of just the opposite of real ethical behaviour on the parts of those deniers.

    Those who tell the truth have no need to lie, but charlatans like Linzden are completely misrepresenting the evidence, since that's what they need to sell their partial truths and outright lies!