A quick post tonight – because I want to have a week off (well at least until Friday). There’s not much news really happening (well not much that I usually write about).
Yesterday the ALP got slaughtered in NSW. Everyone knew this was going to happen, everyone had predicated it for a long long time. Barry O’Farrell ran a good campaign, he spent the last couple of years being sensible and safe. He took the NSW Libs from being an infighting party-machine, to one that won an absolute shirt-load of seats. Tony Abbott give him bugger all credit (most likely because Abbott knows that O’Farrell saw him as a liability), and instead he gives it all to the climate tax decision by Julia Gillard.
Now look, I have no doubt that it was a nice cherry on top of an already big chocolate cake for B’OF, but take away the stinking mess of NSW ALP, and take away B’OF and say put in place Peter Debnam, and the ALP would’ve won – carbon tax or not.
The reality is NSW ALP did stink to high heaven (and I mean really stank), B’OF was very good, and well there you go. Tony Windsor suggests maybe the carbon tax added “a bit” to the swing, but I think that was more because the inertia against the ALP was already so strong.
I also wonder if the ALP knew the carbon tax announcement was going to cause a hit in the polls, and saw no reason not to delay announcing it till after he NSW Election – given it was a lost cause.
On the topic of inertia a pathetic little debate is getting a run in a couple places (Andrew Bolt’s blog and The Oz) – namely that Tim Flannery for some dopey reason went on MTR and talked to Andrew Bolt. In the interview he said:
If the world as a whole cut all emissions tomorrow the average temperature of the planet is not going to drop in several hundred years, perhaps as much as a thousand years.
This line apparently is so stunning that it even got a run today by Tony Abbott in his suspension of standing orders motion he moved this morning so he could “take the fight” up to the Government.
Louise Maher: If we stopped all human activity on the planet tomorrow, what would be Earth’s temperature fall? What would be the drop in the Earth’s temperature?
Andy Pitman: And here’s our problem. It wouldn’t drop. If we could stop emissions tomorrow we’d still have 20 to 30 years of warming ahead of us because of inertia of the system. It’s like a juggernaut going up the freeway. You slam on the breaks, but it takes a long time to stop. We are already committed to the climate of 2040. What these emissions reductions are about is how much we can reduce warming into the medium term to protect, for instance, the planet for our grandchildren. It’s on those timescales that we’re terrified. On the timescales of 20 to 30 years, I’m sorry but we have already hard-wired the warming into the system.
Now firstly, I have to say I don’t think much of Flannery’s ability as an advocate. Sure he is smart and passionate, but for example when he is on QANDA I usually am screaming at the TV for him to say the statement made by the climate change sceptic was bullshit. Too often he’ll also forget that people like Bolt are looking for any slight exaggeration or inconsistency to argue that his entire argument is false (because of course, Bolt himself is a big one for facts and research…).
But here’s the thing: what Flannery has said is not that big a deal, because it pretty nicely accords with what was reported in the IPCC Fourth Assessment released way back in 2007, and it certainly doesn’t make Pitman wrong either.
The orange line is what they expect would happen if we were able to keep emissions at 2000 levels from 2000 (ie something that obviously has not happened – and would be a bloody miracle if we could achieve it).
As you can see it ain’t dropping – it flattens out.
Today Flannery wrote in a letter to The Oz that he meant that if the world stopped all emissions it would take hundred of years – if not thousands – for the temperature to get back to the same state it was when we were not emitting carbon – ie pre-industrial world.
Bolt and others of course won’t buy that, but to be honest who gives a damn? The point is not whether or not Flannery flubbed a line, but what is the science. The science is that if we all cut all emissions the temperature would keep going up for a good 30-40 years and then it would decline – but it would take a bloody long time to decline to even the temperatures we are at now. If Flannery didn’t make himself clear that doesn’t change that fact.
The point of doing action to combat climate change is not to decrease the temperature – hell we’ve given up on that – but to arrest the increase, and hopefully (if somehow we can get the world to act) to have the temperature flatten.
But here’s the other thing – no major party has ever suggested as a policy that we should cut emissions to zero tomorrow (sure the Greens may have dreams for it by 2050), and no one has ever suggested that a carbon tax would decrease the temperature – ie get it to go below what we are at now. As you can see from the graph just keeping emissions at Year 2000 levels does not see the temperature decline – at best – at very best, we may hope that temperature will peak – in 30-40 years and then start to go down. So why in the hell would any “journalist” or politician think that such a point is at all valid? The entire thing is a complete straw man augment – no one has suggest that temperatures will go down due to the carbon tax, and no one has suggested we stop all emissions to try and get the temperature to go down.
Anyone who thinks such a point is worth quoting or repeating merely betrays their own ignorance of not only the science but also the intent of putting a price on carbon. Which brings me to Barnaby Joyce who came out today with this press release:
Well I do not know whether William the Conqueror was governing for me when he knocked over poor old King Harold but according to Tim Flannery he should have been.
As absurd as it is, here is the quote, Res ipsa loquitur and 1000 years ago that would have been well understood around the castle.
Professor Tim Flannery, the Commissioner for Climate Changesaid on radio on Friday,”If the world as a whole cut all emissions tomorrow the average temperature of the planet is not going to drop in several hundred years, perhaps as much as a thousand years...”.
By the time this proposed carbon tax has had its affect Jesus will have come and gone, again!
The two great mysteries in 1000 year's time will be, “Is Stefano DiMera from Days of Our Lives really dead?” and, “Who in the Australian Labor party honestly thought they could change the climate from a room in Canberra?”
Days of Our Lives and William the Conqueror. Yeah, we really should be listening to this guy on this issue.
Today the House of Reps was back to pass some NBN legislation – and pass it it did (so much for Malcolm Turnbull’s ongoing campaign to destroy the NBN). For those who love the absurdity of parliament, today was a golden day. Have a look at this:
Mr Albanese, 10:39:42 AM, moved—That the amendments be considered immediately.
Mr Turnbull, 10:40:11 AM, Mr Pyne, 10:55:55 AM, Mr Hartsuyker, 11:10:50 AM, Mr Truss, 11:26:43 AM, Mrs B. K. Bishop, 11:38:23 AM, Mr Fletcher, 11:51:12 AM, Mr Albanese, 12:06:25 PM, by leave, again addressed the House, without closing the debate., Mrs Prentice, 12:21:28 Mr Wyatt, 12:27:52 PM, Mr Neville, 12:37:56 PM, Mr Billson, 12:50:28 PM, Ms Rowland, 1:05:36 PM, Dr Southcott, 1:20:44 PM, Mr Husic, 1:27:03 PM, Mr Oakeshott, 1:41:56 PM
Personal explanation, Mr Pyne, 1:57:26 PM
Personal explanation, Mr Albanese, 1:58:26 PM
Dr M. J. Kelly, 1:59:17 PM, Mr Albanese, 2:14:24 PM
Question—put, 2:19:42 PM.
The House divided (the Speaker, Mr Jenkins, in the Chair)—
And so it was resolved in the affirmative.
[Div No. 73], 2:19:48 PM to 2:27:48 PM, Ayes 68, Noes 65
Yep, a motion was moved at 10:39am for the amendments to be considered immediately. Three hours and forty minutes later the house voted to agree to do that.