Australia’s bitter choices if there is a Biden Presidency

In a piece in the  Spectator Flat White, I address the unpalatable choices Australia faces if Biden is, indeed, President-elect.

Biden’s “Climate 21 policies” focus on net zero emissions and, supported by a two trillion-dollar spending program, drive all his policy agenda.

In forcing greenhouse gas emission reductions, a Biden Administration would resume the path that Obama embarked upon.  A President Biden, working through the Paris Agreement, would see a US-EU axis adopting more radical abatement measures.

To reduce loss of industry, this would need to redefine world trading rules so that imports carry the same baggage that the US/EU impose on their own producers.  Biden showed a willingness to use such pressures with his threat to tax Brazil’s imports if its government refuses a $20 billion offer to stop Amazonian “deforestation”.  Boris Johnson, judging by the latest UK abatement proposals, would concur.

Many in Australia (Greens, most ALP, half the Coalition) would support such policies and their associated disciplines but an outcome would be a loss of energy intensive industries and a contraction of many others processing agricultural and mineral products.   

Australia’s current greenhouse abatement policies already impose a $13 billion a year burden in taxes and higher electricity costs. Energy Minister Angus Taylor claims that by 2030, a net zero by 2050 policy means a 43 per cent cut in emissions rather than the 26-28 per cent in place (the ALP went to the last election with a 45 per cent reduction).    

But new options may be presenting themselves with Australia joining the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership trade deal with China, Japan, India and Indonesia – countries that place a low priority on climate change matters.   

Australia’s trade links are now Asia-oriented but a close association with the UK and US has defined Australian foreign relations for two centuries.

Biden’s win may set the stage for a global re-alignment in which Australia finds itself divorced from Europe and North America, with implications for national defence. and international posturing  The alternative is an intensification of the domestic anti-carbon energy policies that are crushing the nation’s industrial capabilities. Bleak choices!

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40 Responses to Australia’s bitter choices if there is a Biden Presidency

  1. stackja

    Biden might face resistance from Congress. How many in Congress want to lose their jobs?

  2. Rorschach

    Biden’s win may set the stage for a global re-alignment

    Full stop.

    The impact of a Biden presidency are many-fold. Three biggies:

    Middle East. Israel -> Palestine ; Saudi / Emirates -> Iran. I place this at top as I would suggest that there is a skirmish there shortly that will make the Generals and Military Industries happy.

    Asia: India -> China China is a major problem for the world. The Belt & Roads and String of Pearls expansion will be consolidated. Major impact to Aust as we have supported Trump with respect to COVID and China may extract her dues. [Watch Andrews re-start his China relationship]

    UK -> EU Problem for Boris. UK will be isolated and Brexit – already struggling – will be so watered down as to make no difference.

    Climate Change. A new Paris accord in the making and will affect the entire world. Big Techs and Big Corporates will make squillions here. Corporate Cronyism will be the new way of the world.

    Yes – a bit pessimistic … but with Kamala as President (prob in two years – but effectively running the show with Geriatric Joe really incapable) it think that this is very likely. Australia will be a bit player in this – as usual. [Which may be a good thing!]

  3. Texas Jack

    The really big problem in Postrump World is that an emboldened left supported in lock-step with the MSM moves on to its next suite of nonsense. Climate change palaver could be the least of our problems and without a single strong voice willing to push back anywhere.

  4. stevem

    China, of course, will continue to be exempt from the climate change madness and all associated carbon tariffs due to their fatuous status as a “Developing Nation” granting them a further price advantage over the West.

  5. thefrollickingmole

    To reduce loss of industry, this would need to redefine world trading rules so that imports carry the same baggage that the US/EU impose on their own producers.

    Its ok, when you search on google the chocolate ration was always 10g per week.
    And we were always at war with eastasia.
    Now back to your prolehuts.

  6. Cassie of Sydney

    “Texas Jack
    #3663412, posted on November 18, 2020 at 3:19 pm
    The really big problem in Postrump World is that an emboldened left supported in lock-step with the MSM moves on to its next suite of nonsense. Climate change palaver could be the least of our problems and without a single strong voice willing to push back anywhere.”

    Yep although do you want to know what’s worse than an emboldened left? Appeasers.

  7. Roger

    Of course, none of the local Biden boosters in the press or politics considered these matters before offering their opinions.

  8. Bruce of Newcastle

    in which Australia finds itself divorced from Europe and North America, with implications for national defence

    Perhaps it’d a really great time to stop persecuting the men in khaki.
    We might just find we need some.
    ScoMo, you listening?

  9. Rorschach

    Yep although do you want to know what’s worse than an emboldened left? Appeasers.

    OK Cassie – I’ll play. Can you please let me know exactly why you think so?

  10. HGS

    If it is Biben, and he and the Dems can get anything voted through, then yes, it is a Europe/USA hard line green/socialist world for us.

    The Asia we are linked to already does not especially favor private property or liberal freedoms. The siren voice of socialism will win through in many Asia countries.

    We may gain a bigger market in Asia, but will always cling to the skirts of the US military.

  11. Elizabeth (Lizzie) Beare

    That’s a bad future for us to look forward too. OK for me now retired, but I really feel for my children and grandchildren in this world of lunacy that will impel great and unnecessary hardships. It’s even more worrying if the US Senate falls into Democrat hands during the run-offs in Georgia.

  12. Fang

    What? China will just look at us as the coal mine, and send half 100 million soldier’s to make us do as were told!

  13. Rorschach

    What? China will just look at us as the coal mine, and send half 100 million soldier’s to make us do as were told!

    Nah … China will demand that we send our police for re-training to learn the correct public relations techniques:

    https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2019/06/hong-kong-police-violence-verified/

  14. Judge Dredd

    “If”
    Trump has already won.

  15. A Lurker

    Don’t forget CANZUK.

  16. Nick

    The same Left who campaigned for years about US influence in Australian affairs ? Ok.

  17. Texas Jack

    #I’mwithCassieofSydney

    Appeasers, yes, and Scott Morrison keeps looking like the Appeaser in Chief, but maybe he’s second in line to Boris – unless we accept the horrible reality that Boris is one of them???

  18. Net zero CO2 emissions.
    Wonderful concept from people who are absolutely clueless.
    75% of all Australian electrical power generation IS CO2 emitting, THREE QUARTERS.
    Net zero is all fine and good, until they turn off that critical power plant, and the whole Country cascades immediately into black.
    What I will be looking for then is a politician to actually explain ….. “What just happened then?”
    He’ll go to the phone, you know, an all powerful Government Minister, to scream out the phrase … get the power back on , only to speak into the dead phone ….. “Hello, hello, hello!”
    No power equals nothing.
    THAT is nett zero.
    Nett zero ….. everything.
    Tony.

  19. Daily llama

    Yes, I dread what the Democrats will do. But I’m sorry, I dunno how anyone can see Trump as anything but a raving loony. Look at how he’s acting now, and imagine an entire term of it, because he’s crackers.
    All he had to do was act half normal and he would have romped home. But he can’t help himself. How can it be that everyone everywhere is wrong, except Trump? It’s like he’s in some fantasy land and still on The Apprentice! America (and therefore us) has dark times ahead

  20. Bronson

    I suspect it will be back to pointless never ending wars in countries not so far away. Considering the dearth of policies put forward by the democrat party in the end who would know wtf they actually voted for.

  21. Bruce of Newcastle

    I dunno how anyone can see Trump as anything but a raving loony.

    Llama, you really should stop watching the MSM. It’s bad for your sanity.

  22. Daily llama

    Greetings Bruce, I don’t know what MSM is! I should look it up. Is it some sort of kinky bondage thing?
    And my sanity went decades ago. All who grow up in SA must by legislative fiat either love or hate Port Adelaide. I’m in the latter category…

  23. Daily llama

    Now I get it!
    Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM)
    How did you know I got bursitis? Methinks this Catallaxy mob doth verily know too much!

  24. Epicurious

    HGS
    #3663453, posted on November 18, 2020 at 3:55 pm
    If it is Biben, and he and the Dems can get anything voted through, then yes, it is a Europe/USA hard line green/socialist world for us.

    The Asia we are linked to already does not especially favor private property or liberal freedoms. The siren voice of socialism will win through in many Asia countries.

    What do you think will happen in the USA if these demo-commies win the presidency? They will sign up for the WEF’s Great Reset, then we will see civil war erupt in the US. As the red centre is where most of the guns are I’d be betting on them. Is it any wonder Bidet wants to swamp the Supreme Court and ban guns. Won’t happen, look out for the Cividians.

  25. Epicurious

    Covidians, bloody spellfecker

  26. Hasbeen

    Perhaps we could thumb our noses at them all, use or cheap coal to process our iron ore & bauxite, to produce the cheapest steel & aluminum in the world by an order of magnitude.

    There will be enough sane Asian buyers beating a path to our export terminals for us to ignore the ratbag greenies.

  27. Daily llama

    I like it Hasbeen, I like it! Didn’t Lang Hancock have a plan to build a railway from the iron mines of WA to the coalfields of QLD and all the associated industries at each end? I think he also suggested atomic bombs to blow up mountains of iron ore and create deep sea ports. What a guy…

  28. Chris M

    Trump has already won.

    Exactly, and won big; the rest is just dem-media garbage. President Trump is going nowhere. Which is just as well because serious conflict would begin if they tried to defraud the majority electors.

  29. Bear Necessities

    It’s 7 pm AEST and about 80% of Australia’s electricity demand is being met by a mixture of coal and gas. When the sun has set on all Australia that will probably climb to 85%.

    If you add more electric cars to the road, who will start recharging at this time, then as Scotty would say “She’s gonna blow Kaptan!”

  30. Rorschach

    Branch Covidians?

    Noice!

  31. Entropy

    It is a real worry. Imagine agriculture rigged so that any sales of produce to high value markets has to be zero net emissions?
    At present there are a few farmers selling carbon credits to the likes of Qantas et al. Little do they realise that once sold, they can’t use them to offset their own produce anymore. Any emission reduction sold to other industries for those other industries to offset can’t be counted for agriculture. They will have to buy carbon credits from someone else.
    TANSTAAFL. Particularly if some scumbag European is writing the rules.

  32. EllenG

    Trump busted the trading order and left the US influence out of the picture. Whatever happens next will have a lot to do with the US withdrawal to transactional behaviour of a kiddy kind.

  33. Rorschach

    Imagine agriculture rigged so that any sales of produce to high value markets has to be zero net emissions

    The governments are so deeply in debt, and this means they need to have a novel way to raise the ever hungry social security / welfare commitments. All the quantitative easing and stimulus is mostly sitting in banks at zero% [as no one can take on expansion / entrepreneurial risk] and there is little pass through investment / profit to tax – so something like the Carbon Tax will make them salivate in anticipation. Hitting agriculture and esp the rural sector means little or no loss of votes. So yes – I can imagine.

  34. Ƶĩppʯ (ȊꞪꞨV)

    China, of course, will continue to be exempt from the climate change madness and all associated carbon tariffs due to their fatuous status as a “Developing Nation” granting them a further price advantage over the West.

    China straight out lies about everything. Nothing that comes from this totalitarian shithole can be trusted.

  35. candy

    transactional behaviour of a kiddy kind.

    I think you mean Joe Biden there – because of the little girls etc. and what he does.

  36. mareeS

    Biden is like our recently deceased kitty in her last few days. She had a benign send off via our vet two days after my spouse was admitted to ICU, unfortunately he survived. Shit happens.

  37. mareeS

    I should have put a smiley emoji there, but 46yrs, is a fair stretch.

  38. RobK

    It seems there’s no stopping the juggernaut of technocracy.

  39. maree

    Australia is fortunate as the Great South Land. Our indigenous people were left undisturbed for millenia, and we today can thumb Chinese bullies because we have a small, smart population that will not tolerate such overbearing behaviour.

    We can feed ourselves, we are an island, we are well-connected, so the bullies can Eff Off while we do our own thing.

  40. Cassie of Sydney

    “Whatever happens next will have a lot to do with the US withdrawal to transactional behaviour of a kiddy kind.”

    Well it is very clear you know all about “kiddy kind”.

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