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CCNet 09/09/13

Climate Scepticism And The Triumph Of Tony Abbott 

Tony Abbott Instructs Officials To Prepare To Scrap Carbon Tax 





Australia’s Prime Minister-elect Tony Abbott has personally instructed his new departmental secretary to make preparations to axe the carbon tax. Mr Abbott got down to business this morning after his landslide election victory, with a briefing with Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet Secretary Ian Watt. “Obviously, a very early item of business is scrapping the carbon tax,” he told Dr Watt at the commencement of their meeting. --Ben Packham, The Australian, 8 September 2013


 

 
 
According to the conventional wisdom of just a few years ago, Tony Abbott should never have become prime minister of Australia. The doyens of the press gallery had marked him as a right-wing throwback to a bygone era. After all, Mr. Abbott is skeptical about alarmist claims of man-made global warming. --Tom Switzer, The Wall Street Journal, 9 September 2013
 
 
 
 

For two years, the global warming debate had been conducted in a heretic-hunting and illiberal environment. It was deemed blasphemy for anyone to dare question not only the climate science but the policy consensus to decarbonize the economy. Mr. Rudd even claimed that climate change was the "great moral challenge" of our time and even denounced critics of cap and trade as "deniers" and "conspiracy theorists." Mr. Abbott, then widely written off as a remnant of the Howard era, decided to challenge the media-political zeitgeist. Cap and trade, he argued, merely amounted to economic pain for no environmental gain, especially for a nation that accounted for only 1.4% of greenhouse gas emissions. He contested the Liberal party leadership, winning by a single vote. --Tom Switzer, The Wall Street Journal, 9 September 2013
 
 
 

For more than a decade Australia had one of the world's most successful center-right governments, and on Saturday it voted overwhelmingly for a restoration. After six years of Labor Party melodrama and leftward economic policies, Australians returned a Liberal government to power under new leader Tony Abbott. There are lessons here for conservatives in the U.S. and Europe. One lesson is to beware the faddish politics of climate change. –Editorial, The Wall Street Journal, 9 September 2013
 
 

 
 
The World Wide Fund for Nature financed full-page adverts in Australian newspapers that awarded him a fail grade on every key environmental issue. Mr Abbott doesn’t care and neither, it seems, do Australian voters. In a decision that could not have been more different from Mr Cameron’s decision to mimic the environmental priorities of the Left, Mr Abbott has refused to accept inflated energy prices, fewer manufacturing jobs and higher carbon taxes as the price for not saving the planet. “Not” is the key word. Australia might be willing to bear sacrifices if global emissions were falling, but they aren’t. Unilateral action by nations such as Australia produces drop-in-the-ocean benefits if the likes of China and India continue to guzzle energy. –Tim Montgomery, The Times, 9 September 2013
 
 


 
In his victory speech on Saturday night, Australia’s new Prime Minister Tony Abbott repeated his promise to scrap the carbon tax. Declaring the election a “referendum on the carbon tax”, Mr Abbott said last week he thought it ”unimaginable” that a defeated Labor Party would stifle his ”mandate” to repeal the tax. Mr Abbott promised he would do whatever was necessary to ”scrap the tax” within his first year in government, even if it meant getting blocked in the Senate and sending Australians to another election through a double dissolution. --Jonathan Swan, The Age, 7 September 2013
 
 
 
 
Europe’s industry is being ravaged by exorbitant energy costs and an over-valued euro, blighting efforts to reverse years of global manufacturing decline. “We face a systemic industrial massacre,” said Antonio Tajani, the European industry commissioner. Mr Tajani warned that Europe’s quixotic dash for renewables was pushing electricity costs to untenable levels, leaving Europe struggling to compete as America’s shale revolution cuts US natural gas prices by 80pc. European president Herman Van Rompuy echoed the growing sense of alarm, calling it a top EU priority to slash energy costs. --Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, The Daily Telegraph, 9 September 2013
 
 
 
 
I am in favour of a green agenda, but we can’t be religious about this. We need a new energy policy. We have to stop pretending, because we can’t sacrifice Europe’s industry for climate goals that are not realistic, and are not being enforced worldwide. --Antonio Tajani, EU Industry Commissioner, The Daily Telegraph, 9 September 2013
 
 
 
 
The Global Warming Policy Foundation is pleased to announce that the 2013 Annual GWPF Lecture will be delivered by The Hon John Howard, former Prime Minister of Australia. --The Global Warming Policy Foundation
 
 
 
 
A chilly Arctic summer has left nearly a million more square miles of ocean covered with ice than at the same time last year – an increase of 60 per cent. The rebound from 2012’s record low comes six years after the BBC reported that global warming would leave the Arctic ice-free in summer by 2013. Some eminent scientists now believe the world is heading for a period of cooling that will not end until the middle of this century – a process that would expose computer forecasts of imminent catastrophic warming as dangerously misleading. --David Rose, Mail on Sunday, 8 September 2013
 
 
 


1) Tony Abbott Instructs Officials To Prepare To Scrap Carbon Tax - The Australian, 8 September 2013

2) Australia: Despite Losing Election, Labor Party Set To Fight For Carbon Tax - The Age, 7 September 2013


3) Australia May Face New Elections Over Carbon Tax Battle - ABC News, 9 September 2013

4) Tom Switzer: Climate Scepticism And The Triumph Of Tony Abbott - The Wall Street Journal, 9 September 2013

5) The Honourable John Howard To Deliver 2013 Annual GWPF Lecture - The Global Warming Policy Foundation

6) Europe Fears ‘Industrial Massacre’ Sparked By Green Energy Costs - The Daily Telegraph, 9 September 2013

7) As Arctic Ice Rebounds, Top Scientists Predict A Period Of Global Cooling - Mail on Sunday, 8 September 2013
 
 

 
1) Tony Abbott Instructs Officials To Prepare To Scrap Carbon Tax
The Australian, 8 September 2013

Ben Packham

Australia’s Prime Minister-elect Tony Abbott has personally instructed his new departmental secretary to make preparations to axe the carbon tax.

Mr Abbott got down to business this morning after his landslide election victory, with a briefing with Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet Secretary Ian Watt.

Meetings were scheduled with Treasury secretary Martin Parkinson and Finance Department head David Tune, while Mr Abbott was also due to hold talks with senior Coalition colleagues later in the day.

He told Dr Watt to prepare the ground for the Coalition to implement its agenda swiftly, and he was confident the public’s “reasonable expectations” could be met.

“Obviously, a very early item of business is scrapping the carbon tax,” he told Dr Watt at the commencement of their meeting. [...]

Mr Abbott has a packed agenda for his first 100 days in office. On the top of his agenda is rescinding the carbon tax.

But senior Labor figures have warned they are unlikely to recognise his claimed mandate to axe the measure, and are likely to frustrate the measure if the Senate numbers allow it.

Full story
 

 
2) Australia: Despite Losing Election, Labor Party Set To Fight For Carbon Tax
The Age, 7 September 2013

Jonathan Swan

In his victory speech on Saturday night, Australia’s new Prime Minister Tony Abbott repeated his promise to scrap the carbon tax. But a defeated Labor Party looks set to fight hard against his signature promise. 

Declaring the election a “referendum on the carbon tax”, Mr Abbott said last week he thought it ”unimaginable” that a defeated Labor Party would stifle his ”mandate” to repeal the tax.

Mr Abbott promised he would do whatever was necessary to ”scrap the tax” within his first year in government, even if it meant getting blocked in the Senate and sending Australians to another election through a double dissolution.

In his victory speech on Saturday night, Mr Abbott again repeated his promise to scrap the carbon tax.

While the final make-up of the senate is still unclear, if the Greens and Labor hold the balance of power, Mr Abbott would be relying on Labor to accept his ”mandate” and agree to repeal the carbon tax.

Labor had lost so much political skin over the unpopular tax, and Mr Abbott said that it would be a crazy party that would dig its heels in and defend a policy that would cost them ”not one, but two elections”.

But Mr Abbott should perhaps revise his confidence. Senior Labor figure Bill Shorten, who many tip to become Labor’s next leader, suggested to various TV stations on Saturday night that the party was not about to give in on the carbon tax.

”I can say now, Labor believes in the science of climate change,” Mr Shorten said. ”We believe there should be a price on carbon pollution.”

Asked whether Mr Abbott had a mandate to repeal the carbon tax, Mr Shorten said it was Labor that had a ”mandate from its supporters to be true to its values”.

A defeated Labor Party would not make the same mistake it did in 1996 by throwing “the baby out with the bathwater” and junking all its hard work and policies over the past six years, he said.

Former climate change minister, Greg Combet, who was instrumental in legislating the carbon tax, told ABC TV he would be ”surprised” and ”disappointed” if Labor undid all its good work on the carbon tax and gave in to Mr Abbott.

Full story
 
 
3) Australia May Face New Elections Over Carbon Tax Battle
ABC News, 9 September 2013

Emma Griffiths
Australia’s Prime Minister-elect is piling pressure on the Labor Party to “honour” the new government’s mandate to repeal the carbon tax. But Labor’s opposition to the moves could leave the bill deadlocked in the Senate and could trigger a double dissolution election.

Prime Minister-elect Tony Abbott yesterday instructed his department to begin drawing up the legislation to dump the carbon pricing scheme, and says Federal Parliament will resume in late October or early November to deal with it.


Coalition leadership team meets in Canberra
PHOTO: Prime Minister-elect Tony Abbott, with Nationals leader Warren Truss and Liberal deputy leader Julie Bishop in Canberra. (AAP: Alan Porritt)

“My emphasis will be on being purposeful, methodical, calm and conscientious,” he told Fairfax radio.

“And the last thing I want to do is rush the Parliament back for a photo opportunity before the substance of the work is there for it to do.”

The Coalition is on track for a 32-seat majority after wresting a swathe of seats from Labor and independents in Tasmania, New South Wales and Victoria in Saturday’s poll.

Mr Abbott’s spokesman – and likely minister – for the environment, Greg Hunt, says scrapping the carbon tax will be new government’s “first order of business”.

“We want to set out now to do what we said we would do, and the only people who stand between Australia and lower electricity prices are the Labor Party,” Mr Hunt said.

However, both Labor and the Greens have indicated they will not support moves to dump the carbon pricing scheme, nor will they support the Coalition’s direct action scheme to address climate change.

Senior Labor frontbencher Chris Bowen says his party’s stance is clear.

“The Labor Party believes that climate change is real,” he said.

“The Labor Party believes that we need to do something about it. The Labor Party believes that a market mechanism is the best way to do that, and we won’t be walking away from those beliefs.”

Labor’s opposition to the moves, would leave the bills deadlocked in the Senate and could trigger a double dissolution election – an option Mr Abbott has said is on the table.

Full story



4) Tom Switzer: Climate Scepticism And The Triumph Of Tony Abbott
The Wall Street Journal, 9 September 2013

According to the conventional wisdom of just a few years ago, Tony Abbott should never have become prime minister of Australia. The doyens of the press gallery had marked him as a right-wing throwback to a bygone era. After all, Mr. Abbott is skeptical about alarmist claims of man-made global warming.

He is a former Catholic seminarian who opposes abortion and same-sex marriage. His gaffes—he recently said a female parliamentary candidate had “sex appeal”—have provided fodder for left-leaning satirists. He is an Anglophile, a former Oxford boxing blue, and an unashamed constitutional monarchist who sides with America in the world.


Yet for all his evident shortcomings, Mr. Abbott led his center-right Liberal-National coalition to a resounding victory at the weekend, handing the Australian Labor Party one of its biggest defeats. How did this political outcast win power down under? And is he a role model for conservatives around the world?

To understand the momentousness of this weekend’s election outcome, let’s recall how the Liberals wandered in the political wilderness after Kevin Rudd took power in 2007. The consensus then was that he would consign conservatives to opposition for a generation, much as American pundits predicted Barack Obama’s victory in 2008 would mark a liberal realignment of the U.S. political landscape.

In response, the Liberal leader Malcolm Turnbull and other so-called moderates within the party jettisoned policies of the conservative era of Prime Minister John Howard from 1996 to 2007, believing the way forward was to ape the Rudd agenda. So they agreed to reverse pro-market labor laws that made it easier for business to hire and fire. Apologies and feel-good pronouncements were offered to indigenous Australians for past Western sins. They grew more relaxed about illegal immigration and people-smuggling rackets that had virtually ended under Mr. Howard.

And crucially, the opposition’s leaders embraced the global warming agenda. As if to demonstrate the liberal Liberals’ fitness for government, they endorsed Mr. Rudd’s signature legislation, a cap-and-trade emissions trading scheme. The result was that the governing Labor party held commanding double-digit leads over its conservative opponents.

But Labor’s Indian summer came to an end, and what changed the political climate was climate change.

For two years, the global warming debate had been conducted in a heretic-hunting and illiberal environment. It was deemed blasphemy for anyone to dare question not only the climate science but the policy consensus to decarbonize the economy. Mr. Rudd even claimed that climate change was the “great moral challenge” of our time and even denounced critics of cap and trade as “deniers” and “conspiracy theorists.” The hapless Liberals led by Mr. Turnbull—an Oz version of Mitt Romney—were in the deepest political valley.

Mr. Abbott, then widely written off as a remnant of the Howard era, decided to challenge the media-political zeitgeist. Cap and trade, he argued, merely amounted to economic pain for no environmental gain, especially for a nation that accounted for only 1.4% of greenhouse gas emissions. He contested the Liberal party leadership, winning by a single vote.

Like Margaret Thatcher’s victory in the U.K. Conservative party leadership ballot and Ronald Reagan’s nomination as the Republican presidential candidate in 1980, this delighted the left. They considered him too divisive and—gasp!—conservative to be electable. According to one distinguished intellectual, under Mr. Abbott’s leadership the Liberals would become “a down-market protest party of angry old men and the outer suburbs.”

Then along came the failed 2009 Copenhagen summit, which exposed the Rudd agenda as a sham. When the rest of the world refused to endorse the climate enthusiasts’ fanciful notions for slashing carbon emissions, Mr. Rudd imploded. Mr. Abbott seized the moment and highlighted the higher energy costs created by Labor’s emissions trading scheme.

Almost overnight, Mr. Rudd’s stratospheric poll figures cratered. Facing a changing (political) climate, he ditched the emissions trading scheme, his government’s keynote legislation.
Labor factional warlords panicked, knifed Mr. Rudd in an internal party coup and installed Julia Gillard as prime minister. Undeterred, Mr. Abbott continued his relentless attacks on other key issues of principle and policy.

Full comment
 
 

5) The Honourable John Howard To Deliver 2013 Annual GWPF Lecture
The Global Warming Policy Foundation


The Global Warming Policy Foundation is pleased to announce that the 2013 Annual GWPF Lecture will be delivered by


The Hon John Howard, former Prime Minister of Australia

Title: One Religion Is Enough

When: 5 November 2013, 7pm

Where: Institution of Mechanical Engineers, One Birdcage Walk, Westminster,  London SW1H  9JJ

Attendance at the lecture is by invitation only.
 

The Hon John Howard served as the 25th Prime Minister of Australia, from 11 March 1996 to 3 December 2007. He is the second-longest serving Australian Prime Minister.
 
Media enquiries:
The Global Warming Policy Foundation
10 Upper Bank Street
London E14 5NP
tel: 020 7006 5827
info@thegwpf.org
 
 
6) Europe Fears ‘Industrial Massacre’ Sparked By Green Energy Costs
The Daily Telegraph, 9 September 2013

Ambrose Evans-Pritchard

Europe’s industry is being ravaged by exorbitant energy costs and an over-valued euro, blighting efforts to reverse years of global manufacturing decline.

“We face a systemic industrial massacre,” said Antonio Tajani, the European industry commissioner.

Mr Tajani warned that Europe’s quixotic dash for renewables was pushing electricity costs to untenable levels, leaving Europe struggling to compete as America’s shale revolution cuts US natural gas prices by 80pc.

“I am in favour of a green agenda, but we can’t be religious about this. We need a new energy policy. We have to stop pretending, because we can’t sacrifice Europe’s industry for climate goals that are not realistic, and are not being enforced worldwide,” he told The Daily Telegraph during the Ambrosetti forum of global policy-makers at Lake Como.

“The loss of competitiveness is frightening,” said Paulo Savona, head of Italy’s Fondo Interbancario. “When people choose whether to invest in Europe or the US, what they think about most is the cost of energy.”



A report by the American Chemistry Council said shale gas has given the US a “profound and sustained competitive advantage” in chemicals, plastics, and related industries. Consultants IHS also expect US chemical output to double by 2020, while Europe’s output will have fallen by a third. IHS said $250bn (£160bn) in extra US manufacturing will be added by shale in the next six years.

European president Herman Van Rompuy echoed the growing sense of alarm, calling it a top EU priority to slash energy costs. “Compared to US competitors, European industry pays today twice as much for electricity, and four times as much for gas. Our companies don’t get the rewards for being more efficient,” he said.

Europe’s deepening energy crisis has for now replaced debt troubles as the region’s top worry, with major implications for the Commission’s draft paper on shale expected in October. The EU’s industry and environment directorates are pitted against each other. The new legislation could in theory stop Britain, Poland, and others going ahead with fracking.

“Personally, I am in favour of shale gas in Europe because we have to do more for industry,” said Mr Tajani.

Full story
 

7) As Arctic Ice Rebounds, Top Scientists Predict A Period Of Global Cooling
Mail on Sunday, 8 September 2013

David Rose

A chilly Arctic summer has left nearly a million more square miles of ocean covered with ice than at the same time last year – an increase of 60 per cent.

The rebound from 2012’s record low comes six years after the BBC reported that global warming would leave the Arctic ice-free in summer by 2013.

Instead, days before the annual autumn re-freeze is due to begin, an unbroken ice sheet more than half the size of Europe already stretches from the Canadian islands to Russia’s northern shores.


global cooling

The Northwest Passage from the Atlantic to the Pacific has remained blocked by pack-ice all year. More than 20 yachts that had planned to sail it have been left ice-bound and a cruise ship attempting the route was forced to turn back.

Some eminent scientists now believe the world is heading for a period of cooling that will not end until the middle of this century – a process that would expose computer forecasts of imminent catastrophic warming as dangerously misleading.

The disclosure comes 11 months after The Mail on Sunday triggered intense political and scientific debate by revealing that global warming has ‘paused’ since the beginning of 1997 – an event that the computer models used by climate experts failed to predict.

In March, this newspaper further revealed that temperatures are about to drop below the level that the models forecast with ‘90 per cent certainty’.

The pause – which has now been accepted as real by every major climate research centre – is important, because the models’ predictions of ever-increasing global temperatures have made many of the world’s economies divert billions of pounds into ‘green’ measures to counter  climate change.

Those predictions now appear gravely flawed.


THERE WON'T BE ANY ICE AT ALL! HOW THE BBC PREDICTED CHAOS IN 2007

BBC

The continuing furore caused by The Mail on Sunday’s revelations – which will now be amplified by the return of the Arctic ice sheet – has forced the UN’s climate change body to hold a crisis meeting.


The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was due in October to start publishing its Fifth Assessment Report – a huge three-volume study issued every six or seven years. It will now hold a pre-summit in Stockholm later this month.

Leaked documents show that governments which support and finance the IPCC are demanding more than 1,500 changes to the report’s ‘summary for policymakers’. They say its current draft does not properly explain the pause.

At the heart of the row lie two questions: the extent to which temperatures will rise with carbon dioxide levels, as well as how much of the warming over the past 150 years – so far, just 0.8C – is down to human greenhouse gas emissions and how much is due to natural variability.
 
In its draft report, the IPCC says it is ‘95 per cent confident’ that global warming has been caused by humans – up from 90 per cent in 2007.

This claim is already hotly disputed. US climate expert Professor Judith Curry said last night: ‘In fact, the uncertainty is getting bigger. It’s now clear the models are way too sensitive to carbon dioxide. I cannot see any basis for the IPCC increasing its confidence level.’

She pointed to long-term cycles  in ocean temperature, which have a huge influence on
climate and  suggest the world may be approaching a period similar to that from 1965 to 1975, when there was a clear cooling trend. This led some scientists at the time to forecast an imminent ice age.

Professor Anastasios Tsonis, of the University of Wisconsin, was one of the first to investigate the ocean cycles. He said: ‘We are already in a cooling trend, which I think will continue for the next 15 years at least. There is no doubt the warming of the 1980s and 1990s has stopped.


Then... NASA satelite images showing the spread of Artic sea ice 27th August 2012
Then... NASA satelite images showing the spread of Artic sea ice 27th August 2012

...And now, much bigger: The spread of Artic sea ice on August 15 2013
...And now, much bigger: The same Nasa image taken in 2013

‘The IPCC claims its models show a pause of 15 years can be expected. But that means that after only a very few years more, they will have to admit they are wrong.’

Others are more cautious. Dr Ed Hawkins, of Reading University, drew the graph published by The Mail on Sunday in March showing how far world temperatures have diverged from computer predictions. He admitted the cycles may have caused some of the recorded warming, but insisted that natural variability alone could not explain all of the temperature rise over the past 150 years.

Nonetheless, the belief that summer Arctic ice is about to disappear remains an IPCC tenet, frequently flung in the face of critics who point to the pause.

Yet there is mounting evidence that Arctic ice levels are cyclical. Data uncovered by climate historians show that there was a massive melt in the 1920s and 1930s, followed by intense re-freezes that ended only in 1979 – the year the IPCC says that shrinking began.

Professor Curry said the ice’s behaviour over the next five years would be crucial, both for understanding the climate and for future policy. ‘Arctic sea ice is the indicator to watch,’ she said.






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