Shorten’s religious-like belief overshadows debate

Today in The Australian

According to Labor and the Greens, climate change is fundamentally a moral issue. That, they say, means there is no need to cost their policies, which must simply be accepted as the right thing to do.

About Henry Ergas

Henry Ergas AO is a columnist for The Australian. From 2009 to 2015 he was Senior Economic Adviser to Deloitte Australia and from 2009 to 2017 was Professor of Infrastructure Economics at the University of Wollongong’s SMART Infrastructure Facility. He joined SMART and Deloitte after working as a consultant economist at NECG, CRA International and Concept Economics. Prior to that, he was an economist at the OECD in Paris from the late 1970s until the early 1990s. At the OECD, he headed the Secretary-General’s Task Force on Structural Adjustment (1984-1987), which concentrated on improving the efficiency of government policies in a wide range of areas, and was subsequently Counsellor for Structural Policy in the Economics Department. He has taught at a range of universities, undertaken a number of government inquiries and served as a Lay Member of the New Zealand High Court. In 2016, he was made an Officer in the Order of Australia.
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22 Responses to Shorten’s religious-like belief overshadows debate

  1. stackja

    Government mandated religion?

  2. Dorothy

    That translates as I have no f…..g idea about anything

  3. Robbo

    They are having a laugh if they expect us to believe that rubbish.

  4. a happy little debunker

    C’mon Bill, what is the cost of not acting on ‘climate change’™?

    You have claimed that you cannot possibly cost your policies without such consideration – so be very considered.

    Dollars and Sense required!

  5. 2dogs

    The response to this, that Morrison should have done, was to call, in conjunction with the election, a plebiscite on renewables vs nuclear.

    This would not be an offence to the Gods Of Climate Change, as nuclear power has no emissions, so Morrison could not be condemned as a heretic in that regard. But it would lead those who oppose nuclear in the plebiscite to make some very unscientific statements, exposing their fanaticism.

  6. mh

    Bill Shorten is Lord Summerisle.

  7. John Constantine

    Their shorten is an opportunist and all deindustrialisation is, is sheer rank opportunism to superprofit posing as self righteousness.


  8. RobertS

    Last night on ABC Radio National’s “The Economists”, Peter Martin was talking to an ANU economist about The Asian Renewable Energy Hub. First time I had heard about this but it involves wind turbines, solar panels, pumped hydro and hydrogen making in the Pilbara. A 2000 km undersea power cable will export electricity to Indonesia. The ABC economist Peter Martin (who at one point during his show referred to carbon dioxide as a pollutant) thought all this was a good idea. Here is the ANU economist, Paul Burke.
    The trouble is that Bill Shorten is attracted to these hare-brained schemes and is likely to hand huge amounts of taxpayer dollars to the financial wizards that run them if he ever gets the keys to the Treasury.
    What the Pilbara needs is nuclear power.

  9. min

    sacrificing a few virgins to appease the Climate gods is the way to go . I am sure there would be plenty of volunteers from the Greens .

  10. woolfe

    I am working in the Pilbara and we have an offshoot of the Karratha-Perth Gas pipeline to power the town and mine.

    There is also a coal deposit 200k’s away if anyone is interested!

  11. Perth Trader

    Woolfe .. RobertS…., Gas from the norwest shelf has pipelines going south to Bunbury and inland to Esperance via Kambalda. I guess you people knew this but our east coast cousins may not.

  12. Perth Trader

    In relation to Indonesia , 9 new coal fired power stations of 2000 mw each are proposed and 2 of these will be completed by 2020. Indonesian industry needs more power . They have huge coal deposits and need the power for the urban and industry sectors. Why they would buy elect. off Aust. in confusing.

  13. Tony

    Woohoo! The public servants with any fingers touching the environment/climate change budget are just waiting for a Labor win. There’ll be a line outside bank loan offices the first Monday after the election.
    Budgets with no top end mean little oversight, little accountability and lots of areas in which easy justification can be explained.

  14. Mark M

    The bar for “cost of inaction” is a high one to jump …

    UN chief says ‘total disaster’ if warming not stopped

    Guterres said he’s about to fossil-fuel tour Pacific islands to see how [global warming] is devastating them as part of his renewed push to fight it.

  15. stevem

    No matter how much of a moral imperative taking action against climate change may be, it is still necessary to cost the options to determine which way gives greatest bang for the buck. To claim otherwise is clearly dishonest. To expect honesty, fairness or intelligence from Shorten is a fools game that over 50% of the electorate has fallen for. We’re in for a bumpy ride – disastrous if Corbin & Sanders get in as well.

  16. Leo G

    UN chief says ‘total disaster’ if warming not stopped

    A more imminent ‘total disaster’ is the UN itself, its manic claims and hallucinatory global climate modelling.

  17. Aynsley Kellow

    I have posted the following comment to Henry’s article in the Australian:

    The cost or 50% renewables is substantial. The cost of solar in Australia is estimated by the US asset manager Lazard estimated (November 2018) at $62-189/MWh. The estimate for wind is $49-105/MWh. This does not include integration costs, estimated by economist Lion Hirth as adding at least 50% to these prices – and they rise rapidly as the penetration of renewables rises above where they are now, ultimately doubling.

    In contrast, ultra supercritical coal was estimate at $81/MWh in Australia in the last analysis – and will reduce GHG emissions by 25% over black coal and 40% over brown coal.

    Note that McKibbin’s analysis assumes that substituting renewables for coal will reduce costs. It will not, so Fisher’s analysis is the more accurate.

    Shorten’s promise that more renewables will lower prices cannot be supported, and would not withstand scrutiny of misleading advertising if political advertising were not exempt from that law.

    There are obvious reasons why the ALP is avoiding any discussion of costs.

    Foregoing 370 million tonnes of Kyoto credits alone will cost an additional $15.5 billion at the current price of $42/tonne.

    And, as the Chief Scientist pointed out, the cost of inaction is zero: if Australia closed down tomorrow the mean global temperature would not change. This is a collective action problem, and most emitters are doing nothing before 2030.

  18. Bruce

    The “cost” of all these taxpayer-funded programmes of action (or inaction) is huge and open-ended.

    Then there is the utterly predictable factor of “spillage” along the way. THAT is the REAL game.

  19. Louis Hissink

    All religion is government mandated. It was the original HR department. Life became secularised for some of us, and which now seems to have been nullified by the appearance of Climate Religion.

  20. ArthurB

    There is no point in arguing with the Greens and the snowflakes about (so-called) climate change, they are like religious fanatics, their belief will not be shaken by rational argument.

    There are some disturbing aspects of the matter. In Western Australia the State government condones union and Green activists encouraging children to take a day off school so that they can attend rallies protesting against the (so-called) lack of action on climate change. I see this as a further step towards the Orwellian future that lies ahead of us, the next stage will be that children will be encouraged to spy on their parents, and report on any that express doubts about climate change. Gillian Triggs’s dream of controlling what people say at their own dinner table will be closer to being realised.

  21. Rockdoctor


    #3008893, posted on May 10, 2019 at 8:42 am

    These guys ever hear of subduction zones which is why Timor Gap products will likely be processed in WA & not in East Timor but being fair a disclaimer on the only port being Dili, the southern coast is quite undeveloped…

  22. Squirrel

    As the old saying goes, experience is the best teacher, and it is very clear that the only way that many Australians will be disabused of the mad folly of thinking that this little nation can lead the world in a holy crusade against “climate change” is through the bitter experience of what that will mean for their comfy lifestyles.

    Add this to today’s sobering forecasts from the RBA, and the various other delights that a Labor-Green government has in store for middle Australia, and you have the ingredients for a future which many will live to regret voting for.

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