Australian news, and some related international items

Climate change policy – the wrecking ball that destroys Australia’s prime ministers

What has been clear is that the task is hugely difficult for reasons Kevin Rudd recently underlined.

One is the daunting task of convincing a current generation to make sacrifices for a future one.

Australian politics an unwieldy wrecking ball claiming PM’s careers, IT HAS already destroyed four Aussie prime ministers, and now the very same wrecking ball is about to smash Scott Morrison as well. 29 Oct 18 Malcolm Farr@farrm51

IT’S the uncontrollable wrecking ball of Australian politics which so far has smashed the careers of four prime ministers.

And now it could be swinging Scott Morrison’s way, just as it had towards Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard from Labor, and his Liberal colleagues Tony Abbott and Malcolm Turnbull.

This demolition beast is climate change policy and the inability of politicians to present coherent schemes of their own or to resist misrepresenting those of rivals.

To dodge the ball of policy destruction Prime Minister Morrison is attempting to please everyone.

He wants a system which will lower emissions, encourage coal-fired power stations, force private power companies to divest assets, promote new generating technologies, and cut household electricity bills.

It’s a political strategy more than a global warming response, constructed to appease the array of cemented positions on energy policy within the Liberal Party rather than the wishes of consumers, including business.

It has a touch of former prime minister Tony Abbott’s unsuccessful Direct Action scheme and a taste of former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull’s National Energy Guarantee.

And one of its objectives is to blame the power industry, not government, for everything from electricity reliability, price, and technologies.

Scott Morrison is pushing around power companies, threatening them with his “big stick”, in a way he shrank from doing with banks when he was treasurer.

It’s a way of saying, “It’s not our fault you don’t like your electricity bills.”

Which is the gist of Mr Morrison’s comments on the Seven Network on Friday: “That is why we have to put more pressure on the big energy companies so they are doing the right thing by their customers and we are going to back that up with the laws which will give effect to that.

“As I said, we will take the big stick to the energy companies.”

And the timing is right for this blame shifting as the use of cheaper renewables is starting to lower prices.

The Morrison government will be delighted to take the credit. But it underlines the complexity of the power game here.

Australia alone of developed nations has this preoccupation with climate change as a political battleground.

In Australia we can’t even settle on what is at stake.

Is it what Kevin Rudd called the great moral challenge — which portrayed it as something which can’t be measured by a temperature gauge alone — or is it about using more coal?

The climate change debate here can take many identities as political leaders shuffle around priorities to suit their already-existing positions.

So at one moment it’s not about addressing a changing climate, it’s about the unreliability of renewable energy, or about lowering electricity prices, or about supporting coal resources, or about not being told what to do by the United Nations.

There have been times of confusion as to what was being addressed.

What has been clear is that the task is hugely difficult for two reasons Kevin Rudd recently underlined.

One is the daunting task of convincing a current generation to make sacrifices for a future one.

And because of the technical complexity of the climate change responses, which understandably baffle most people. That’s one reason why the Prime Minister uses the clunky term “fair dinkum power” instead of “dispatchable power”……….


October 29, 2018 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, politics

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