“we are over here”

Katherine Murphy explaining climate change policy:

To plot the path of the first major failure of the political year, we need to walk back a distance to the repeal of the carbon tax (that was never a carbon tax) when Tony Abbott won power, and Labor’s response to that setback.

It’s a bit hard for voters to understand what happened because Shorten and the shadow treasurer, Chris Bowen, have been utterly unable to explain their own policy this week, flailing around like a couple of brain dead numpties, in a week where explaining the policy and the thought behind it actually did matter.

Perhaps Shorten and Bowen don’t know what their own policy is, perhaps they are clueless, or dangerously complacent. But if you read the documents, the policy and the intention behind it, is reasonably clear.

After the defeat of the clean energy policy, Labor licked its wounds, and lowered the ambition of the Rudd/Gillard period, coming up with a policy that would have some prospect of gaining bipartisan support in the event Turnbull could walk the Coalition back, slightly, in the direction of where he was in 2009.

Labor proposed a thing that was real, albeit lacking in critical detail: an emissions intensity scheme for electricity – and some political feelgood, an “aim” to have 50% of Australia’s electricity generated from renewable sources by 2030 – which Labor dresses up periodically as a “target”, which it isn’t, and never has been, except in the loosest sense of the word.

Rather than a manifestation of some wild and reckless green leftism, as Turnbull currently likes to characterise it, Labor’s stake in the ground was actually a bunch of signposts, which to mix a metaphor (sorry about that), had more holes in them than Swiss cheese.

The ambiguity and omissions were deliberate – partly to avoid having to answer questions it would be politically inconvenient to answer, like what does all this cost – and partly to give themselves room to move.

It was a bit of signalling to the Coalition, look guys, when you are ready, we are over here. It was an attempt to press reset on the rancid partisan conflict and anticipate the next cycle of the debate – a time when pressure from industry would begin to build on the government to fix up the mess that was clearly beginning to manifest in Australia’s energy sector.

I think as an explanation that works very well. One small problem: the electorate are somewhere else. It seems to me that the electorate do not want a tax, a price, a scheme, a what-ever-you-want-to-call-it that increases electricity prices. People want cheap and reliable electricity.

This brings to mind that great line from The Gladiator.

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22 Responses to “we are over here”

  1. incoherent rambler

    perhaps they are clueless, or dangerously complacent

    perhaps both.

  2. Rabz

    flailing around like a couple of brain dead numpties

    Hang on, Katherine Murphy wrote this? About Blankets Bill and Li’l Rat Face?

    Bluddee hell.

  3. Bruce of Newcastle

    Rather than a manifestation of some wild and reckless green leftism, as Turnbull currently likes to characterise it, Labor’s stake in the ground was actually a bunch of signposts, which to mix a metaphor (sorry about that), had more holes in them than Swiss cheese.

    It’d help, Katherine, if you wrote out what the signposts say.
    They say:

    Green Hell this way
    Irrelevance ->
    High Electricity prices in this direction
    Poverty and misery ->
    Stupid people should follow this sign

    I wonder if she can read a graph?
    No Global Warming For 25 Years

  4. B Shaw

    Bruce of N is on to it – words on signposts, please

  5. Jo Smyth

    Not quite sure how to interpret this. Are we the people conquered, the fight is over, the spin is spun and we have accepted defeat because the MSM and the ABC have so indoctrinated us we now blindly accept it or has the worm turned. A lot of Politicians, Unions and businesses have made a lot of money out of the Renewable Energy market and they are certainly not going to give up the fight when money is the motive.

  6. RobK

    Irrespective of the carbon caper, the unsustainable subsidies and preferencial treatment of renewables should make it obvious to any casual observer that renewballs are not ready for primetime. The workhorses, baseload coal power stations, still need to be deployed and renewed as they fall due. They are not all replaced at once. The 40-50yr life is only a commitment to that proportion of the supply. Build a new baseload station beforeyou demolish the old one. The argument about pissing money against the wall on renewables is a separate (somewhat futile) argument.

  7. Art Vandelay

    As Bolt points out today, the Coalition are equally as clueless and are unable to justify their climate change policies.

    Perhaps it’s because all such policies that claim to deal with climate change are irrational and stupid?

  8. jupes

    Perhaps it’s because all such policies that claim to deal with climate change are irrational and stupid?

    Indeed they are.

    PHON has the only sensible policy on climate change in the parliament. They require a cost – benefit analysis.

    Simply put: Cost – billions. Benefit – zero. Therefore scrap the fucking lot.

  9. Fisky

    All warmists must accept that they have been defeated, and surrender!

  10. Tim Neilson

    flailing around like a couple of brain dead numpties
    Why is “brain dead numpties” being used as a simile rather than simply a description?

  11. incoherent rambler

    All warmists must accept that they have been defeated

    Successfully scamming a few tens of billions of AU taxpayers money, if that’s defeat then I hope I suffer some of the same fate.

  12. Snoopy

    All warmists must accept that they have been defeated, kneel and surrender bare their necks!

  13. egg_

    The deplorables/neo-cons have been defeated by Chicken Little?
    I think not.

  14. Myrddin Seren

    It was a bit of signalling to the Coalition, look guys, when you are ready, we are over here.

    It was a mating ritual ?!

  15. Squirrel

    “People want cheap and reliable electricity.”

    Precisely – even after severe heatwaves (which will be largely forgotten when the cold and wet of autumn and winter arrive), the punters aren’t interested in making big sacrifices to fight “climate change”. They know that the system is rigged, and that other countries are cheating while we’re busily self-flagellating and posturing, and many genuinely can’t afford constant increases to the costs of essentials. What seems like a small price to pay for working class heroes and journalistas with comfortable six-figure household incomes, is a real squeeze for many others.

  16. Eddystone

    jupes
    #2299601, posted on February 17, 2017 at 3:45 pm

    PHON has the only sensible policy on climate change in the parliament. They require a cost – benefit analysis.

    Bloody extremists!

  17. Eyrie

    Warmists surrender? Screw that, that means we have to take prisoners.
    No prisoners!

  18. JohnA

    egg_ #2299639, posted on February 17, 2017, at 4:33 pm

    The deplorables/neo-cons have been defeated by Chicken Little?
    I think not.

    That’s because the sky has not fallen, and Chicken Little has transmogrified into The Boy Who Cried Wolf.

  19. “One small problem: the electorate are somewhere else. It seems to me that the electorate do not want a tax, a price, a scheme, a what-ever-you-want-to-call-it that increases electricity prices. People want cheap and reliable electricity.”

    And that, dear listener, is exactly what the politicians, bureaucrats, activists, old uncle tom cobley and all need to remember – we do not, under any circumstances, want any of their stupid, wasteful, costly, insane, criminal, carpetbagging schemes, plans, plots, taxes, levies, targets, goals etc.

    We want and they are obliged to provide or provide for efficient, reliable electricity supply so that we can have a functioning economy and people can actually afford to turn on the lights or the fan when they need them, not fear losing a freezer-full of meat or be caught up in stalled lifts and traffic jams when the lights go out, or even have surgery cancelled when the power goes off and the back-up generator at the hospital fails. Businesses need to be able to rely on electricity supply to remain viable, to produce goods and services (for the politicians to tax) and to employ people (for the politicians to tax) and to remain profitable (for the politicians to tax).

  20. “One small problem: The electorate are somewhere else.
    It seems to me that the electorate do not want a tax, a price, a scheme, a what-ever-you-want-to-call-it that increases electricity prices.
    People want cheap and reliable electricity.”
    Not to mention the lights on.
    Instead of wealth transfers facilitated through the UN, a world gov of fed gov, without influence from state or local gov.
    But no regret moves would work, incrementalist instead of blue sky thinking.
    Lotsa green stuff, like trees and shrubs.
    More decentralised power generation from renewables.
    Water tanks and dams.
    Changing light bulbs.
    Sort pollution.
    Less asphalt and concrete and more tiles and stones …
    Small wonder the major parties are still smarting from the reaction against dollar grabs of all kinds.
    Chatter on the budget, whilst not dealing with entitlements, retirement gold passes let alone that pollyTICs have defined benefit pensions (against everyone else on contribution based superannuation), instead of addressing opportunity, cost of living, education, healthcare, human rights, infrastructure or even meaningfully public safety and security.
    The money/ pollyTICs/ media spin cycle.
    Just as W(r)ong who was KRudd7x7’s lead over Copenhagen (COP15?).
    Or Ju-liar and minority fed gov, with the Greens and independents in power, even after mentioning there will be no carbon tax …
    After all, axe the tax/ stop the boats/ no cuts to …, even saw Tonicchio briefly rise to PM in 2013. Well, until knights and dames, Budget Emergency (the architect of which is ambassadoring over in New Netherland) …
    Fizza at least once lost the party leadership over an ETS, besides the whole Grech episode.

  21. Mark M

    “perhaps they are clueless, or dangerously complacent”

    Stupid and incompetent are the words you’re looking for, Katherine:

    “As for any politicians who have ever believed in global warming, or supported the carbon tax, or a carbon-constrained economy, there is no hope for them.

    They are either too stupid or incompetent to be taken seriously.

    Merely recanting, at this late stage, won’t be enough.

    Make their lives hell too, just as they wished a diminished life on you.”

    http://newsweekly.com.au/article.php?id=5257

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