“Climate change is nothing less than a threat to our people, our nation and our planet.”

“It [climate change] is a threat that, if left unaddressed, has the capacity to permanently affect our way of life,”

“The incontestable truth of climate change is that a decision not to act is in fact an active decision; an active decision to place the next generation at grave risk.”

Kevin Rudd, 15th December, 2008

“When you strip away all the political rhetoric, all the political excuses, there are two stark choices ­– action or inaction.”

The resolve of the Australian Government is clear: we choose action, and we do so because Australia’s fundamental economic and environmental interests lie in action. Action now. Not action delayed.”

“It is time to be totally blunt about the agenda of the climate change skeptics in all their colours ­ some more sophisticated than others. It’s time to remove any polite veneer from this debate. The stakes are that high.”

“… by doing so, these do-nothing climate change skeptics are prepared to destroy our children’s future.”

“This brigade of do-nothing climate change skeptics are dangerous because if they succeed, then it is all of us who will suffer. Our children. And our grandchildren. If we fail, then it will be a failure that will echo through future generations.”

No responsible government confronted with the evidence delivered by the 4,000 scientists associated with the international panel could then in conscience choose not to act. In any public company, it would represent a gross contempt of the most basic fiduciary duty.

Kevin Rudd, 6th November, 2009

 

11 Responses to Rudd's suspends Australia's Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme until at least 2013

  1. sebastien says:

    You know what’s odd? I checked Kevin Rudd’s page here and there’s nothing about “Prime Minister bravely delays action on climate change to make sure he makes it through to the next election despite obvious hypocrisy”. There’s nothing on http://www.climatechange.gov.au about this backflip, either… the official CRPS website doesn’t mention the ‘delay’ as a ‘key milestone’ either. No word from the usual firebrand Penny Wong either? Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. The skeptics might claim this as a victory, but really it has nothing to do with ‘climategate’ or science at all, more political cowardice and short-term re-election victories. Bastards.

  2. Tim says:

    Cheers for highlighting the hypocrisy..
    I’m not sure I agree with Sebastien; I somewhat believe the denial camp (as Rudd himself makes clear; “skeptics” with an agenda), with their head strong push for the baseless “climategate” scandal as well as the endless PR with excellent public speakers like Monckton, have very much done their bit to ensure that a government bold on tackling climate change will face a tough road at election. The public are increasingly wary of climate science. The conservative parties here and in the states are currently riding this wave while governments that have sided with the science are currently on the back foot…
    I worked for a while for the SA gov regarding environmental science and have come to the conclusion the liberal or labour; their both frail wolves under aging sheep skin. Many issues will have to be made public sooner or later and being rather devoid of political interest, I just hope it happens sooner rather than later.

  3. Phil M says:

    The skeptics might claim this as a victory, but really it has nothing to do with ‘climategate’ or science at all,

    Come off it Sebastien. Deniers have been harping on for ages now that denialist bloggers are winning the opinion war. Even here on this blog one of your bedfellows admitted, “the science may be settled, but perception is what counts”. News.ltd the largest paper & web based news provider in the country saturates its news with anti science propaganda & has a ratio of 5 bloggers to 1, who fight the fight against science. Not to mention the carnival shows of Monckton, Plimer & Carter in an attempt to sway opinion. Its not entirely about climategate, but that & the conservative party & conservative media campaigns against science have played a large part in transforming public opinion. The mud was thrown ( climategate), it stuck, people were sucked into believing it & changed their views accordingly, a small victory to the denier camp, which turned out to be wrong.

    more political cowardice and short-term re-election victories. Bastards

    Again, come off it. Abbotts comment on Rudd that he “gutlessed out” on the ETS was unbelievable cheek. He knew they had the numbers in the senate & made it clear that they would block ANY climate change legislation Rudd brought to the table. Opposition, for opposition sake. While the greens were asking for 40% reductions. Rudd tried to get it through the senate & was blocked 3 times! If he didnt feel passionate about it, they would have stopped after the first attempt.

    Better now to wait until after the federal election to see if they get an upper & lower house majority. If they get a majority they can just rubber stamp every policy they choose like Howard did. Why try to take it to the senate again only to have it fail? Tony Abbott already made it clear he wanted Rudd to introduce his ( Abbotts) policy instead. What a joke. One of Abbotts Ace’s in his hand just went missing, his “great big new tax” catch cry. Smart.

  4. sebastien says:

    Come off it Sebastien. Deniers have been harping on for ages now that denialist bloggers are winning the opinion war. Even here on this blog one of your bedfellows admitted

    Hold yer horses Phil M, I didn’t say I was a skeptic!

    I pretty much stand by what I said, I don’t think the deniers had much to do with this.

    News.ltd the largest paper & web based news provider in the country saturates its news with anti science propaganda & has a ratio of 5 bloggers to 1, who fight the fight against science. Not to mention the carnival shows of Monckton, Plimer & Carter in an attempt to sway opinion. Its not entirely about climategate, but that & the conservative party & conservative media campaigns against science have played a large part in transforming public opinion. The mud was thrown ( climategate), it stuck, people were sucked into believing it & changed their views accordingly, a small victory to the denier camp, which turned out to be wrong.”

    But that’s all it is, a carnival sideshow.

    It was political weakness that forced Rudd to back down. He’s flipflopped on almost every election promise, this one no exception. Probably would have been better to focus on a single election promise and make that come true, rather than fail all the other little ones, but that’s besides the point. I don’t see this as a ‘we won the war’ style deniers vs actualists, mainly because I reckon the debate doesn’t extend much beyond the blogosphere and the general public are too easily swayed in opinion to hold firm beliefs longer than an election term.

    Its not entirely about climategate, but that & the conservative party & conservative media campaigns against science have played a large part in transforming public opinion. The mud was thrown ( climategate), it stuck, people were sucked into believing it & changed their views accordingly, a small victory to the denier camp, which turned out to be wrong.”

    I reckon your giving the background noise too much credit here. On a world stage, the signal is coming through loud and clear.

    The general public may be increasingly skeptical, but had the Australian public been offered an election with a promise to cut greenhouse gases in a sensible way (i.e. in a way that wouldn’t have costed them heaps of taxes), they would have bought it no problems. Those are strong words by Rudd and Wong, strong leadership, something for us to admire. The u-turn is pretty unfortunate and based upon political choices rather than denier campaigns.

    Again, come off it. Abbotts comment on Rudd that he “gutlessed out” on the ETS was unbelievable cheek.

    Oh, definitely. It’s hypocrisy. It also happens to be largely true.

    He knew they had the numbers in the senate & made it clear that they would block ANY climate change legislation Rudd brought to the table. Opposition, for opposition sake.

    I don’t mean to sound offhand, but isn’t this pretty much all Australian politics?

    While the greens were asking for 40% reductions.

    Which makes the greens no better at all.

    Rudd tried to get it through the senate & was blocked 3 times! If he didnt feel passionate about it, they would have stopped after the first attempt.

    Double dissolution?

    Better now to wait until after the federal election to see if they get an upper & lower house majority. If they get a majority they can just rubber stamp every policy they choose like Howard did. Why try to take it to the senate again only to have it fail? Tony Abbott already made it clear he wanted Rudd to introduce his ( Abbotts) policy instead. What a joke. One of Abbotts Ace’s in his hand just went missing, his “great big new tax” catch cry. Smart.

    I wouldn’t go as far as to say ‘smart’, as it was pretty much his only option. It’ll be interesting to see how he weathers in the eyes of the public as to whether he can make it that far… Given the opposition, it seems likely, but the attrition approach is so f*@#$ing stupid.

    tl;dr,a decision not to act is in fact an active decision , but a decision to delay is also not in fact an active decision.

  5. Phil M says:

    It was political weakness that forced Rudd to back down

    He was blocked 3 times in the senate & would only be blocked again if he attempted again, which would just give more air time to Abbott to yell “great big new tax”. Its just a waste of tax payers dollars to have our politicians debate something for days, when ultimately we know that whatever is presented, Abbott will block.

    I reckon your giving the background noise too much credit here. On a world stage, the signal is coming through loud and clear.

    The general public may be increasingly skeptical

    While polling still shows that in most countries people support action on AGW, there is no denying that the section of the public that believe global warming is natural or non existent, has grown considerably. How did they arrive at that decision? What swayed them? Did they all get climate science degrees & conduct research themselves? NO, the anti science media, pr, lobbying & political machine has ensured that.

    but had the Australian public been offered an election with a promise to cut greenhouse gases in a sensible way (i.e. in a way that wouldn’t have costed them heaps of taxes), they would have bought it no problems

    Oh..you mean like the one that Howard introduced with Abbotts support….what was it called again..oh yeah an ETS! Seems Abbott is fond of the flip flops also. By the way, its an Emissions Trading Scheme, not an Emissions Tax Scheme. Instead of putting the burden on industry, Abbotts plan was for the tax payer to fund it through planting ,greencorps & subsidies. All directly tax payer funded.

    Oh, definitely. It’s hypocrisy. It also happens to be largely true.

    We didnt hear much dissent or bravado from Abbott while he was under Howard did we? ETS was A OK back then. Gutless.

    Double dissolution?

    Governments decide double dissolutions on THEIR terms, not oppositions.

  6. Ken Fabos says:

    I for one have doubted that Australian Labor was ever truly serious about this. It’s been a case of making the right sounding noises but avoiding any serious commitment. Denialism is almost as entrenched in Labor as Liberal but the deniers there are keeping mouths closed – and why not? In real policy terms they’re getting the results they want and blaming the Liberals for their own inadequacies helps stem the flow of voters towards the Greens. In short term political terms that’s win-win. Meanwhile serious, energetically pursued policy remains to maximise the world’s dependence on Australian fossil fuels – true bipartisanship at work. Carbon Capture and Storage is the greenwash get-out-of-jail-free card that will supposedly make the problem stop being a problem.
    We need a serious shift within mainstream Australian politics. It’s all very well to blame the Greens for failing to support a flawed policy but Labor was willing – downright eager – to negotiate it’s effectiveness but unwilling to negotiate to make it more effective. Meanwhile an impasse is failure to deal with this world changing issure and too many shortsighted people consider that a victory. But this issue won’t go away, not ever in the lifetimes of everyone now living – and far beyond. Are we even capable of dealing effectively with this or will we go on showing no more intelligence than yeast in a bottle, consuming all our resources until our waste products result in a huge die off? Yeast at least has the excuse of not knowing better.

  7. Phil M says:

    Carbon Capture and Storage is the greenwash get-out-of-jail-free card that will supposedly make the problem stop being a problem

    Totaly agree.

    It’s all very well to blame the Greens for failing to support a flawed policy but Labor was willing – downright eager – to negotiate it’s effectiveness but unwilling to negotiate to make it more effective.

    The problem was , as I said above numbers in the senate.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australian_Senate

    Members 76
    Political groups Labor (32)
    Liberal (32)
    Green (5)
    National (4)
    Country Liberal (1)
    Family First (1)
    Independent (1)

    **Note to international readers. Liberal in Australia is a conservative party, polar opposite to the liberals in the USA. Nationals as well.

    Looking at the numbers, any party needs a minimum 39 votes to pass a bill. The conservatives have the majority with a total of 37. Plus Family First virtually always votes with the conservatives, so its really 38. So to get any sort of ETS bill through, they needed ALL of the Greens, who wanted 25-40% & another 2 magic votes. The conservatives didnt even want Rudds measly 5%. If Rudd have of gave in to the Greens, he wouldnt have any chance in hell with the conservatives. The greens had more of a realistic percentage to tackle AGW seriously, but anyone who introduced those sorts of targets would be lynched out of parliament, so whats the point?

    How can they negotiate to make it more effective when they simply didnt have the numbers? It would be just token jesture.

    If they called a double dissolution while Abbott was on a high with his great big new tax slogan, they risked more people siding with deniers. If the conservatives were to win, you could garauntee the whole AGW debate would be shelved completely for the next 3 years.

    What sort of negotiation did you have in mind Ken? Negotiate what?

    Meanwhile an impasse is failure to deal with this world changing issure and too many shortsighted people consider that a victory. But this issue won’t go away, not ever in the lifetimes of everyone now living – and far beyond. Are we even capable of dealing effectively with this or will we go on showing no more intelligence than yeast in a bottle

    So who do believe has the answers AND numbers?

  8. Ken Fabos says:

    If even a few on the opposition benches had a minimal measure of trust in the abundant scientific advice at their disposal and the courage of conviction to vote accordingly the position of The Greens would have been irrelevant. So I sheet home blame to the failures of mainstream politics which should have some level of bipartisanship on this very serious issue.
    BTW – should have read – ‘ negotiate away it’s effectiveness .. ‘.

  9. Phil M says:

    If even a few on the opposition benches had a minimal measure of trust in the abundant scientific advice at their disposal and the courage of conviction to vote accordingly the position of The Greens would have been irrelevant.

    Two of them did.

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/nation/liberal-party-voted-against-ets-out-of-fear-of-losing-preselection/story-e6frg6nf-1225806336825

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/12/02/2759595.htm

    Liberal senator Judith Troeth & Liberal senator Sue Boyce. Troeth who said :

    “In short, I believe there is global warming. We need to take steps to remedy this,”

    And:

    Senator Troeth said about nine or 10 other Liberal senators wanted to vote for the bill, but chose not to join her and Senator Boyce on the Labor benches.

    “I expect some of them felt it would be a mark of disrespect to a new leader, given that we have changed leaders and some of them have preselection coming up,” Senator Troeth told The Australian. “Others, perhaps, just prefer not to show their approval or disapproval in such a radical way.”

    And:

    “While this legislation may be flawed in many ways – it’s been amended by the very substantive efforts of the Coalition – we will all ultimately have to accept that to a greater or lesser degree we will all pay in some form or another to combat global warming,” she said.

    “I urge senators to consider that if people like me are wrong there will be many great gains to be achieved nonetheless.”

    Then there was this from Sue Boyce:

    “I am supporting party policy of less than 24 hours ago,” she said.

    “Last week in this place I urged that we pass the amended CPRS bills.

    “That continues to be my view. We should be using the science that is available to behave responsibly”.

    Labor introducing an ETS which the Liberals themselves came up with & besides the amendments Labor made to appease the coaltion as Troeth verifies : “it’s been amended by the very substantive efforts of the Coalition” . It was opposed….by the liberals.

    What happened in those days before the ousting of Malcolm Turnbull?? It no secret that the conservatives get much of their campaign funding from big business & Labor from the unions. Did the Liberals get some calls saying funding would be withdrawn if Liberals didnt tow the line? Certainly it wasnt just political ideology, as 24 hours before hand, it was the conservatives position to back the ETS & that AGW very much existed as Troeth said : “nine or 10 other Liberal senators wanted to vote for the bill, but chose not to join her and Senator Boyce on the Labor benches.”

    So up to 12 conservative senators had a conscience 24 hours before hand & were going to vote for a bill they came up with themselves, but at the last minute chose to tow the party line, or save their arses in preselections?? How can Abbott call Labor gutless or say they are playing politics?

    ETS is working in other countries, but not all countries who have implimented it:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_tax

    Maybe Labor should look at the “tax & dividend” approach advocated by James Hansen:

    http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/2009/WaysAndMeans_20090225.pdf

    However the word “tax” is hardly an endearing term to the public. Which ever way it goes though this saying rings true. “You can please some people some time, but you cant please all the people all the time”.

    Better to do SOMETHING, than opt for the wait & see approach.

  10. Phil M says:

    Wow, I think I will start drafting my comments in word first, as the post above had so many mistakes in spelling & syntax. I did have a few drinks, but still…

  11. Ken Fabos says:

    Phil, I did recall (after having submitted my comment) that a couple of opposition members did cross the floor, but not enough did. More could have and in my opinion should have. Whilst I grant that populism and party loyalty are inherent in our political system I find it deeply disturbing that any mainstream political party with prospects of leading a government could choose to dismiss and ignore the abundant scientific advice at it’s disposal and actively court the votes of climate change denialists rather than work to reduce their undeserved and dangerously irresponsible influence. Worse, we have an opposition that appear willing to encourage an ongoing climate of disinformation and denial around this very serious issue and actually discourages trust in our scientific institutions and practitioners. Any political leaders who prefer to take their lead in this from Monckton, Plimer and Carter and deliberately ignores the advice from the CSIRO, BoM, Chief Scientist as well as the IPCC reveals themselves as unfit to govern. Not that Labor is significantly better than Liberals or Nationals; assessing their actions rather than their words only convinces me that they want to lock in the maximum future export sales of fossil fuels whilst making the kinds of noises that can prevent a flow of votes to the Greens ie not do anything much that will seriously impact global emissions.

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