Australian news, and some related international items

Voter support for Climate Action is now high, but Turnbull and Shorten don’t care

Australia's politiciansTurnbull and Shorten ignoring voters on coal and climate, Canberra Times,   June 28 2016 Sarah Gill

Here are two statistics to ponder as we prepare to head to the polls this weekend: voter support for action on climate change has surged to historically high levels since the last election and; four fifths of usbelieve neither of the major parties actually gives a toss.

Polling released by the Climate Institute last week reveals that 72 per cent of us are worried about global warming, and that while only 17 per cent think the Coalition’s climate policies are credible, the plausibility of Labor’s response is ahead by just a whisker, at a paltry 20 per cent.

And, really, is it any wonder? While the Coalition and the ALP have emission-reduction targets – neither of which, it must be said, will avoid dangerous global warming – the policy detail underpinning them is woefully inadequate. It’s like trying to build the Eiffel Tower with a box of matchsticks.

After a decade of flip-flopping on climate policy, the electorate, it seems, has wised up. We’re not buying Labor’s pledge of an “orderly” closure of coal-fired power stations – remember how well that went last time? – any more than Environment Minister Greg Hunt’s enthusiasm for the Coalition’s Emissions Reduction Fund which, as everyone knows, is about as effective as an ashtray on a motorbike. …….

If you thought Resources Minister Josh Frydenberg was on thin ice spruiking the benefits of coal for the third world – asserting, I kid you not, that coal will reduce air pollution – then the Australian coal lobby recently dispensed with reason altogether by claiming, in the wake of the Paris climate agreement, that “coal will play a part in reducing emissions globally”……..

Let’s not forget that in the lead up to the last election, the Coalition snared $1.8 million from companies in favour of a carbon price repeal. Mining industry executives – who are drawn, with disturbing regularity, from the ranks of former politicians and political staffers – would, no doubt, be similarly disgruntled. ……

The world’s largest privately-owned coal producer, Peabody Energy, may have recently filed for bankruptcy protection amid a slump in global demand and tighter environmental regulation, but our political leaders are resolutely peddling a narrative on the merits of Australian coal that could have been drafted by the Minerals Council of Australia. Who knows, maybe it was?

June 29, 2016 - Posted by | election 2016

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