There is some interesting material thrown up by today’s release of the Newspoll results on climate change. One interpretation is that a majority of respondents would prefer to leave the Paris Agreement, which the Government uses as justification for green energy policies, in light of Trump having already so opted, if this “could result in lower electricity prices”.
Another way of looking at the results is that 40 per cent want to stick with the Paris Agreement even though its original fragility (in not requiring any action from the non OECD world responsible for 60 per cent of emissions) is further undermined by the US reneging with a further 15 per cent. That 40 per cent of voters (34 per cent Coalition; 50 per cent ALP; 71 per cent Green; 19 per cent One Nation) refused the carrot of prospectively lower electricity prices.
The problem with such surveys is “rational ignorance” on the part of respondents with many other matters on their mind beyond abstract policy matters. This is a factor in 17 per cent of Green voters rejecting the party’s core policy and 19 per cent of One Nation supporters also reject a key party policy line.
Breaking down the reactions by party of choice in this way means rather less reliability but the numbers of supporters for each political party that reject the leadership position is interesting. While the Coalition supporters are overwhelmingly lined up against the Turnbull government pro-Paris position, over a third of the ALP people reject the extreme 50 per cent renewables policy being promoted by the Shorten team if that will cost them – as it undoubtedly would.
Some doubt on the credibility of what people say as opposed to what they do can be seen in the fact is that only about 3 per cent (and falling) of electricity users actually agree to pay any premium by selecting green power options. But then again most people think the government should collect taxes but hardly anyone voluntarily pays more than required!
The poll’s result illustrates the support for “clean energy” and all the other propagandistic labels that have conditioned people’s thinking. There is no major lobby group prepared to contest this head on – even the Minerals Council doffs its hat to lower emissions. Add to this a high proportion of people who are sucked into the Finkelesque view that renewable energy if not quite cheaper than fossil fuels right now will very soon be.
We have some way to go before a recognition of the damage being done by green energy causes a groundswell of opposition to the policy and causes the retail politicians to abandon it.