It also has no chance of becoming law, not while Republicans control the Senate and climate change denier Donald Trump resides in the White House.
It’s a remarkable thing to see a populist political stance transform into a liability in front of your eyes. So it is with the federal Coalition’s adventures in climate denialism.
Consider the story arc commencing with Tony Abbott’s leadership: what was once perhaps the most potent stick an opposition leader has wielded – leaving both Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard in its wreckage – this week disintegrated to the point that even the Coalition’s own colleagues in the NSW government have now abandoned them.
Watch Fossil Fuel’s lobbyist News Corp’s Andrew Bolt and all you will see is the the voice of the reactionary right wing elders not just aloof but defiant and with tin ears broadcasting and mocking the young 17 year olds who are soon to be voters (ODT)
But the voice and face of the revolt on Monday night painted a different picture. Bellemo was no dill headed for a dole queue.
Striking students defy PM to protest at inaction on climate change
Striking students defy PM to protest at inaction on climate change
Student activism has many precedents over decades, but in 2018 it resonated especially strongly. It’s been the year of the teenage revolt in the US after the Parkland school shooting in February, a tragedy that sent survivors out on a potent public campaign for gun control.
Their message: we may not yet be able to vote, but we do have a voice.
President Donald Trump on Monday appeared largely unimpressed by the dire warnings outlined in a recent scientific report issued by more than a dozen federal agencies, which, among its various conclusions, found that the United States is bound for economic disaster unless its reliance on fossil fuels is dramatically curtailed.
“I’ve seen it, I’ve read some of it, and it’s fine,” Trump told reporters as he departed the White House for a campaign rally in Mississippi. The milquetoast response was paired with a physical shrug of the shoulders.
Trump then directly dismissed the report’s conclusion that climate change will bring severe economic damage to the country.
“I don’t believe it,” Trump continued. “No, no I don’t believe it.” He then appeared to blame China, Japan, and “all of Asia” for being the world’s worst climate change offenders, while claiming that the US is currently the “cleanest we’ve ever been.”
IN ORDER TO get to my point of energy policy and climate change, I need to take you back in time to the years 2010-11 when Tony Abbott was the Coalition Opposition leader.
Whoever wins the next election is going to face a monumental task to reduce our emissions in order to tackle the existential threat posed by climate change.
In one way, it would serve Scott Morrison right to have to face the consequences of his lies. But the country cannot afford someone who thinks prayer is the answer to the drought.
Our Prime Minister, the man charged with making the decisions on how to keep us safe, is a bald-faced liar.
But more importantly, this is California, the world’s fifth-largest economy and home to 40 million people, making a huge statement of intent that it’s serious about solving the climate crisis. And not just making a statement – SB 100 will mean the state reshapes its power sector and replaces dirty coal, oil, and gas facilities with wind, solar, and other clean energy technologies to do it.
If you think this bill sends a message to the rest of the country that if California can go all in on clean energy, there’s no reason they can’t too – you’re right. And fossil fuel companies have every reason to be terrified.
The me before we in the crazy Capitalist structure. Free market unregulated competition forces me to oversupply, cause a major problem that then we have to pay and fix. Ergo I can’t lose in that never ending denier’s cycle.(ODT)
“Big Oil is asking tax payers to pay for protecting their refineries from sea level rise that they caused by keeping us addicted to oil? Yeah…no.”
Jon Queally, staff writer
Yet we are now in a surreal world where consequences and causes are disconnected, where science is ignored in the face of existential threats and where building coal-fired power stations is viewed by some in Government – such as former PM Abbott, Member for Hughes Craig Kelly and Resource Minister Matt Canavan, among others – as some sort of an answer to Australia’s future.
It is now viewed in Government as heresy to mention the drought and climate change in the same sentence, just as it is when bushfire strikes. Those who do so risk being accused of politicising the issue, or worse, of pushing a “green-left” agenda. So toxic are the climate wars that it is now taboo to discuss the possibility that we may be entering a dangerous new time in our “sunburnt country”.
Despite the distraction and political chaos of Brexit negotiations, the United Kingdom has just published a far-reaching and thoroughly impressive plan to manage risks from climate change.
This follows on from their broader 25-year Environment Plan, released in January. It aims to “help the natural world regain and retain good health”, to enable it to better cope with climate change.
The recently released climate plan is a strategy to save lives from heat, flood and fire — yes, fire, even in the UK!
It’s important to understand that the JCPOA is not just an agreement between the US and Iran, but one negotiated alongside our partners in the P5+1 – the UK, France, China, Russia and Germany – and endorsed by the United Nations security council. Trump’s withdrawal further deepens tensions with our most important democratic allies, France, the UK and Germany, who all continue to support the agreement and have consistently said that it is in their own national security interests to see it upheld.
Trump also rejected the advice of his own top national security officials like the joint chiefs chairman, Gen Joseph Dunford, and defense secretary, James Mattis, both of whom have repeatedly stated that staying in the agreement is in the national security interests of the US. Nuclear non-proliferation and national security professionals around the world share that assessment. Just as he has done on the issue of climate change with his withdrawal from the Paris climate accord, Trump has chosen to ignore the overwhelming expert consensus and sided instead with a small ideological faction, with disastrous consequences for our global security.
Meanwhile, Columbia University’s Silencing Science Tracker documents news stories about climate scientists who have been discouraged from conducting, publishing or otherwise communicating scientific research. These groups have documented four ways that climate-related information has become less accessible since Trump took office.
So, even with the inherent uncertainty in the pace and potency of these overwhelmingly negative effects of climate change, safety from it all is only likely in a handful of countries – those that currently have mild climates, that are wealthy and resource-rich, that have good healthcare systems, that aren’t politically unstable, and aren’t likely to experience dangerous weather extremes on a regular basis.
That leaves us with a pretty short list, then: Canada, Northern Europe, New Zealand, and perhaps Japan, for example. Wait, what about the Land of the Free – the wealthiest, perhaps most resourceful nation on Earth? Isn’t this a safe haven? Actually, no, not quite.
those who deny Climate Change and the overwhelming scientific consensus seek to justify their belief by attaching themselves to a minority of science deniers with obscure qualifications or worse-to right-wing shock jocks and journalists with no scientific training what so ever.These people have no way of evaluating the volume of data produced by the various scientific institutions. One of the most outspoken deniers (Andrew Bolt) has, in recent times, been found guilty of deceptive lying in that he defamed some white skinned aboriginals. One has to wonder how many he has told when writing about his favorite topic climate change.Which brings me to the point of this piece: Hypocrisy.Now who said this?
As Turnbull theatrically struts around throwing out childish taunts like Blackout Bill and No Coal Joel, it should be remembered that it isn’t Labor who has changed their support for emissions reduction and renewable energy.You cannot privatise an essential utility and then create such uncertainty that the industry effectively grinds to a halt.Our energy crisis can be laid squarely at the feet of a divided Coalition whose own power struggles over the last decade have made it impossible for them to come up with any sort of enduring policy.
So far, major broadcast networks are failing to note the link between Harvey and climate change
The acclaimed political critic and philosopher delves into a number of pressing subjects in a special hour-long talk with Amy Goodman on Democracy Now!
Syria and Nicaragua are proud to accept the United States into their league of third-world nations for whom climate change is neither a priority nor a concern.Meanwhile, the President of the United States has now informed the world that he is willing to cede leadership on climate change to China, preferring to bow before the Kochs and other oligarchs instead.
The transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy “now appears irreversible” as the cost of green power plunges, according to a new report. In The Transition Takes Hold, Clean Energy Canada said some 6.7 million people were working in the sector worldwide with one out of every 50 new jobs in the US being created by the solar industry alone.
Financial officials from the world’s biggest economies have dropped from a joint statement any mention of financing action on climate change, reportedly following pressure from the US and Saudi Arabia. Finance ministers from the G20, which comprises more than 80 percent of the global economy, debated the wording of their final joint statement on trade at their summit in the German resort of Baden-Baden.
Over the past three years, almost all of the world’s reefs have experienced summertime heat stress.
The greatest hallmark of the Coalition’s baked-in streak of climate denialism is the extent to which it will contort itself not to have a credible policy.
A senior NASA official has taken the extraordinary step of personally rebuking One Nation senator Malcolm Roberts’ claims the agency had falsified key data to exaggerate current extreme warming in the Arctic.
Australia the only country to receive a rating of ‘very poor’ in a majority of categories in Climate Transparency scorecard
The Queensland government has agreed to recommendations that will help the reef survive climate change.
Despite aggressive attempts to convince the public otherwise, new analysis of the vast body of research shows 97% of scientists agree that human activities are fuelling climate change.
A new study warns coral’s ability to withstand bleaching would suffer in warmer oceans.
By Juan Cole | (Informed Comment) | – – The US corporate press is letting the presidential candidates set the …
ATLANTA – (CT&P) – The Weather Channel is advising all elderly or weak individuals in the path of Winter Storm Jonas to go ahead and commit suicide before the storm hits.
Weather Channel stalwart Jim Cantore, reporting from the nation’s capital, told viewers today that suicide would be preferable to a slow, agonizing death at the hands of the blizzard.
“If you are elderly, weak, or disabled, and unable to flee the path of the storm, it would be much better for you to go ahead and end it all now while you still have power,” said Cantore, after shooting up half a gram of methamphetamine.
“You certainly don’t want to slowly freeze to death in your home surrounded by cats, who are sure to devour your bloated corpse in the days to come. In fact, I advise even young adults who are depressed or have bleak economic futures to do the same. Remember, no one will be coming to check on you because you have no friends and you alienated your family a long time ago. Just get it over with, for God’s sake.”
David Clark, president of the Weather Channel, was quick to point out that although Cantore’s recommendations had merit, they represented his opinions alone and were not those of Weather Channel management.
ATLANTA – (CT&P) – The Weather Channel is warning its viewers in Tennessee and North Carolina that when ice forms on roads, cars tend slide out of control, which can cause wrecks.
Winter Storm Ilias, which has caused raised blood pressure, racing heartbeats, and raging hornyness among Weather Channel personnel, is currently moving across Tennessee and western North Carolina causing hazardous driving conditions in higher elevations.
Since no one in Tennessee or North Carolina has ever seen snow or ice before, the helpful folks at the Weather Channel have mentioned about 500 fucking times this morning alone that when it’s cold, water falling from the sky turns to something else, and it can be damn dangerous.
“I don’t know what I’d do without the Weather Channel,” said Greta Hangnail of Ducktown, Tennessee. “I’ve seen pictures of all that ice and snow in my National Geographic, but I had no idea it could happen in the United States. I thought all that stuff was up in Canada.”
Jeffrey Scrotum of Mulebutt, North Carolina told a local TV reporter that he had heard from his grandpa that one time it snowed up in the Smoky Mountains but that was a long time ago.
“I don’t know nothing about no snow and ice,” said Scrotum. “You really think I can’t drive on it? Why would that be?”
The Weather Channel is advising that everyone in both states should go ape shit and go buy all the milk and bread in every fucking grocery store within 100 miles of their homes just in case the storm traps them in their miserable homes for more than three or four hours.
They also advise that no one should drive for at least three or four days after the storm is over because black ice could be lurking everywhere and cause massive casualties on a scale not seen since World War II.
“It’s always best to cower in fear and hunker down wherever you are once the storm hits,” said Bernie Shortschlong, a winter storm specialist. “From what I’m seeing on radar I think it’ll be safe for folks in the Deep South to return to work sometime next week.”
China — the world’s biggest polluter — will use this week’s UN conference in Paris to stake a global leadership claim on climate change.
When the 21st United Nations Climate Change Conference opens in Paris on November 30, annual global emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) will be about 32 billion metric tons.
In a recent poll, two-thirds of Americans say they accept climate change, and the vast majority say human activities cause it – but they aren’t very worried
There’s much more variety than you might think.
Immigration Minister Peter Dutton has been caught on tape joking about low-lying islands being swamped by rising seas in a 23-second exchange that risked offending Indigenous people, ethnic leaders and Australia’s Pacific neighbours in one fell swoop.
There’s a part of the story you might not have known.
Australians who install coal-fired power stations on their roof at home will soon be eligible for a Government-funded rebate, under new plans unveiled today.
Speaking at the program’s launch, Prime Minister Tony Abbott said the initiative would become the centerpiece of a range of Government policies designed to address the country’s future energy needs.
“Let’s be up front about this, the world is changing. So we need to think differently about how we generate our power needs into the future,” he said.
Mr Abbott said the new scheme was innovative and cost effective. “What this new scheme does is allow ordinary Australians to generate their own electricity, reducing their reliance on more traditional forms of energy, and lowering the monthly bill at the same time”.
Homeowners will be eligible for rebates of up to $5,000, depending on the size of their power station.
Environment Minister Greg Hunt said the scheme will mean production and emissions levels at large-scale coal-fired power plants will fall. “We expect carbon emissions in some stations to fall by as much as 30%. That’s above and beyond the targets set by many other OECD countries,” he said.
Mr Abbott said as part of the new initiative rebate schemes for solar panels will be scrapped. “People can still install solar panels if they wish, but there won’t be a rebate. They’re unsightly and ugly, so we’re trying to discourage them”.
Since ascending to the Catholic Church’s top perch in March 2013, Pope Francis hasn’t shied away from taking political stances that rankle conservatives. He has said evolution and creationism aren’t mutually exclusive. Asked about gay priests, he responded, “Who am I to judge?” And he has embraced a populist approach to tackling income inequality.
Now the pope risks drawing conservative ire on climate change. In a document set to be released on Thursday—which leaked to an Italian publication and was published as an act of “sabotage against the pope,” according to a Vatican official—Francis will apparently call for a strong, multi-country push to curb global warming and the “human causes that produce and accentuate it,” according to the Guardian. The message will reportedly call out climate deniers, saying “the attitudes that stand in the way of a solution, even among believers, range from negation of the problem, to indifference, to convenient resignation or blind faith in technical solutions.”
There’s a growing contingent of congressional Republicans who are Catholic, and a number of the party’s leading presidential candidates (or potential candidates) are Catholic. If those candidates’ past statements on climate change are any indication, they could soon find themselves at odds with the pope over the looming encyclical. Here’s what they’ve said:
Rick Santorum: “The church has gotten it wrong a few times on science, and I think we probably are better off leaving science to the scientists and focusing on what we’re good at, which is theology and morality.”
Jeb Bush: Bush has said anybody who thinks the science on climate change is settled is “arrogant.”
Chris Christie: The New Jersey governor’s views might be the most in line with the pope’s: “I think global warming is real. I don’t think that’s deniable. And I do think human activity contributes to it.”
Bobby Jindal: While acknowledging that human activity has had an impact on the climate, Jindal has decried Obama’s environmental regulations as “reckless and based on a radical leftist ideology that will kill American jobs and increase energy prices,” according to the Associated Press.
Marco Rubio: “I do not believe that human activity is causing these dramatic changes to our climate the way these scientists are portraying it. That’s what I do not. And I do not believe that the laws that they propose we pass will do anything about it, except it will destroy our economy.”
Prime Minister Tony Abbott has tabled a plan that he hopes will placate supporters of wind turbines, while removing the ugly, noisy devices from view.
The ambitious strategy will see the turbines removed from roadsides and windfarms, and placed inside unused storage sheds in regional Australia. Some new sheds may also be built if enough existing space cannot by found.
Mr Abbott said it was a sensible plan that demonstrated the Government’s ongoing commitment to renewable energy, while ensuring Australians did not have to look at anything ugly. “When you look across the globe, no one else is putting wind turbines inside sheds. This is an innovative, workable solution, and once again Australia is leading the world”.
A Liberal party insider said it was an example of a more consultative, balanced Abbott who was willing to compromise to get things done. “He’s really listening. He really understands the planet’s energy issues, and he’s willing to do something about it”.
Coal-fired power stations are a stunning addition to the Australian landscape, Prime Minister Tony Abbott said this morning.
“When you get up close to these things, it’s something quite special. The sheer size of the stations, the elegance of the chimneys themselves, the plumes of smoke filling the air around you. I’d recommend all Australians take the family out to see one”.
The PM said they made good spots for camping trips. “They’re not only visually beautiful, there’s a serenity about them too. You can hear a pin drop. A largish pin”.
He singled out the smell as a particular highlight. “It’s that distinctive smokey aroma that you get with these types of set ups”.
Mr Abbott said if it weren’t for the Senate, Australia would have a lot more coal stations gracing our farms, regional towns and countryside. “I drive to Canberra to go to Parliament, and I must say, I would love to see rows and rows of coal stations, around Lake George for example. It would bring the area to life”.
SANTA ANA, CALIFORNIA (CT&P) – Leaders of the Criminally Negligent Parents Association and the Vacuous Housewives Club of Orange County, the two largest anti-vaccination groups in the country, have called a crisis meeting this weekend to discuss how to respond to the barrage of criticism the groups are receiving over the measles outbreak currently sweeping the country.
Officeholders of both organizations will be present at the emergency summit as well as several luminaries and public advocates for the misguided cause. Former Playmate and Rhodes Scholar Jenny McCarthy, serial killer and conspiracy theory kook Jeffrey John Aufderheide, virus rights advocate Senator Thom “Typhoid” Tillis (R-NC), and New Jersey governor and planetoid Chris Christie will all be in attendance.
The emergency summit will commence on Saturday morning with a series of round table discussions on how to best deflect the criticism of nearly every sane person in the United States and carry on with the asinine policies that have loosed a once-eradicated disease on an unsuspecting public.
The discussions will be followed up with a gala dance featuring West African witch doctors and shamans on loan from obscure Brazilian rain forest tribes.
Late Saturday night, VIP guests will be treated to a gathering where famous medium and charlatan John Edward MaGee Jr. will conduct a séance in an attempt to reach long-dead anti-intellectuals and enemies of science to seek their advice in averting a catastrophe for “The Cause.”
Mr. MaGee will enter the “spirit world” and try to speak with such revered personalities as Puritan John Cotton, Chairman Mao of China, various former leaders of the Spanish Inquisition, and most importantly, leader of the Cambodian Khmer Rouge guerrillas, Pol-Pot.
“We’d like to get some advice on just how we can keep this dumb ass anti-vaccination movement going,” said Jenny McCarthy, president of the Vapid Blonde Models Society. “I’d really like to get in touch with General Fransisco Franco of Spain to get some advice on how we could initiate our very own ‘White Terror’ campaign. After all, I think we can all agree that intellectuals and scientists are Public Enemy #1 in this country.”
Jeffrey John Aufderheide agreed with McCarthy saying: “We have to nip this criticism in the bud. Most of it is coming from alien lizard people from outer space posing as cable TV pundits anyway. If we don’t find some way to stop this invasion from Planet 10, the earth is doomed.”
Most pundits believe that the summit meeting has a snowball’s chance in hell of stemming the tide of criticism for the anti-vax crowd. “Even the mentally deficient American public has enough sense to see the logic in protecting our kids from the ravages of preventable diseases,” said Bill O’Reilly of Fox News.
Even in California the tide seems to be turning against the dunderheads in the anti-vax crowd. State politicians from both sides of the aisle are proposing legislation to join 32 other states in limiting exemptions for childhood vaccinations.
“We’ve got to get a grip on things before these morons fuck things up for the rest of us,” said California State Senator Richard Pan, a pediatrician from the 6th District. “If these idiots don’t want to vaccinate their kids, fine. Let them live in total isolation from the rest of us. The nitwits don’t make any valuable contribution to society anyway. Fuck ‘em!”
What is it about the temperature that some of us find so hard to accept?
The year just ended was one of the hottest on record. In NSW it was the absolute hottest, in Victoria the second-hottest, and in Australia the third hottest.
The first step in getting people to at least agree that it’s getting hotter is to stop talking about how to prevent it. Muddying the two, as we do all the time, gets people’s backs up.
The measure is compiled by the Bureau of Meteorology. It dates back to 1910. A separate global reading prepared by the World Meteorological Organisation has 2014 the hottest year since international records began in 1880. Not a single year since 1985 has been below average and every one of the 10 hottest years has been since 1998.
That it’s getting hotter is what economists call an empirical question – a matter of fact not worth arguing about, although it is certainly worth arguing about the reasons for the increase and what we may do about it.
But that’s not the way many Australians see it. I posted the Bureau of Meteorology’s findings on Twitter on Tuesday and was told: “Not really”. Apparently, “climate-wise we are in pretty good shape”.
If the bureau had been displaying measures of the temperature on a specific day or a cricket commentator had been displaying the cricket score, there would be no quibbling. The discussion would centre about the reasons for the result and its implications.
But when it comes to the slowly rising temperature some of us won’t even accept the readings. And that says something about us, or at least about those of us who won’t accept what’s in front of our faces.
I am not prepared to believe that these people are anti-science. Some of them are engineers, some mining company company executives. Like all of us, they depend on science in their everyday lives.
Nor am I prepared to believe they’ve led sheltered lives, although it’s a popular theory. In the United States a survey of six months of coverage on Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News Channel found that 37 of its 40 mentions of climate change were misleading.
The misleading coverage included “broad dismissals of human-caused climate change, disparaging comments about individual scientists, rejections of climate science as a body of knowledge, and cherry-picking of data”.
Fox News called global warming a “fraud”, a “hoax” and “pseudo science”.
Rupert Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal fared little better. 39 of its 48 references were misleading.
In Australia it’s not as bad. Rupert Murdoch’s The Australian gives more space to climate change than any other newspaper. Its articles are 47 per cent negative, 44 per cent neutral and 9 per cent positive, according to the Australian Centre for Independent Journalism.
It’s impossible to read The Australian‘s articles without feeling at least a bit curious about climate change.
Another theory is that it’s to do with psychology. Some people are more threatened by bad news than others, making them less able to accept that it’s real.
And now a more sophisticated theory suggests that it’s not about the facts at all. It’s really a debate about the implications, disguised as a debate about the facts. Troy Campbell and Aaron Kay, a researcher and associate professor in neuroscience at Duke University in North Carolina find that belief in temperature forecasts is correlated with beliefs about government regulation and what those forecasts would mean for government regulation.
They assembled a panel of at least 40 Republicans and 40 Democrats and asked each whether they believed the consensus forecast about temperature increases. Half were told that climate change could be fought in a market friendly way, the other half that it would need heavy-handed regulation. Of the Republicans, the proportion who accepted the temperature forecast was 55 per cent when they were told climate change could be addressed by the free market and only 22 per cent when they were told it would need regulation.
(Democrats were about 70 per cent likely believe the temperature forecast and weren’t much swayed by how climate change would be fought.)
The finding is important. It means that the first step in getting people to at least agree that it’s getting hotter is to stop talking about how to prevent it. Muddying the two, as we do all the time, gets people’s backs up.
It is getting hotter. Seven of Australia’s 10 hottest years on record have been since the Sydney Olympics. Last year was 0.91C hotter than the long-term average. Last year’s maximums were 1.16C hotter than long-term average maximums. Warming is a fact. The Bureau of Meteorology accepts it, the government accepts it and it shouldn’t be beyond our abilities to accept it.
Then we can talk about what to do.
Peter Martin is economics editor of The Age.