Has Australia Taken a New Path on Climate?

September 14, 2015

Climate denier Tony Abbot has been removed as Australian Prime Minister, and replaced with someone who, apparently believes in science. We shall see.

Above, newly deposed PM Tony Abbott and Ministers caught on open mike, giggling about climate impacts on Pacific islanders….. not sure if this was any deciding factor in the upset, but it could not have helped Abbott.

Sydney Morning Herald:

Malcolm Turnbull will become Australia’s 29th prime minister after beating Tony Abbott in a dramatic leadership ballot in Canberra on Monday night.

Declaring himself “humbled,” by the victory, Mr Turnbull said he would serve out the Coalition’s remaining year in office before calling an election, promised a new economic vision and thanked Mr Abbott for his service.

Mr Turnbull’s victory is reminiscent of the coup former prime minister Julia Gillard staged against Kevin Rudd in 2010 and makes the former communications minister Australia’s fifth prime minister in just over five years.

Liberal MPs gathered at Parliament House at 9.15pm to decide whether Mr Abbott or Mr Turnbull would lead them to the next election.

Ahead of the ballot, both camps were confident of having the numbers but chief whip Scott Buccholz announced Mr Turnbull had prevailed over Mr Abbott 54-44. One Liberal voted informally and another was absent.


(Turnbull) has spoken out in defence of climate scientists, whose work has been derided by many of his colleagues and even by Maurice Newman, the chairman of Abbott’s business advisory council, who believes the world may have entered a cooling phase.

“It is undoubtedly correct that there has been a very effective campaign against the science of climate change by those opposed to taking action to cut emissions, many because it does not suit their own financial interests, and this has played into the carbon tax debate,” Turnbull said in a speech in 2011.

“Normally, in our consideration of scientific issues, we rely on expert advice [and] agencies like CSIRO or the Australian Academy of Science, are listened to with respect. Yet on this issue there appears to be a licence to reject our best scientists both here and abroad and rely instead on much less reliable views.”

He has railed against the “dumbing down” of Australian debate in general and the debasing of smart policy for political gain.

11 Responses to “Has Australia Taken a New Path on Climate?”

  1. John Englart Says:

    In post ballot press conference Prime Minister elect Malcom Turnbull said “Our Climate policy is very well designed and one I support today.”

    Deputy Leader and Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop piped up immediately and said that Australia will stick to current emission reduction targets for the Paris climate talks.

    Now Turnbull acknowledges the climate science and in 2009 was negotiating with the then Prime Minister Kevein Rudd for an Emissions Trading Scheme. A leadership ballot then was successful with the rise of Tony Abbott, riding on far right climate sceptic support in the Liberal Party.

    Turnbull went to the backbench and made this blog statement on Liberal Party policy (scroll part way down the page)

    In February he didn’t put himself forward in a spill of leadership positions, but he had already thought through his stance on climate policy and had decided to placate the right wing by keeping the poor climate policy and low climate targets of the Government. I wriote this article in February 2015.

    I hope I’m wrong in the lead up to Paris, but I think at present Turnbull is unlikely to substantively change Australia’s climate policy. Maybe there is a little more wiggle room. But don’t expect too much. While Abbott was pretty much a weathervane climate denier, Turnbull is aware of the science, so his inaction as Prime Minister will be, if anything, more culpable.

  2. Harry Twinotter Says:

    I watched it on TV a couple of hours ago. A long evening for some! 🙂

    Malcolm Turnbull did say he will not change the emissions reduction targets already worked out by the Liberal Party, going into the Paris Conference.

    So early days for Australian Climate Change policy. I hope he is not as anti-renewals as Tony Abbott was.

  3. MorinMoss Says:

    Australia, like the USA & China both has and burns a lot of coal.
    We’ll have to wait and see what this shift in leadership means for the “little black rock” Down Under.

    A good site to track what’s going on in renewable energy in Australia is http://reneweconomy.com.au/

  4. uknowispeaksense Says:

    same shit, shinier shovel.

    • dumboldguy Says:

      Five Prime Ministers in five years? How long will this one last?

      • uknowispeaksense Says:

        Until the next election which has to be held before September next year. If the conservatives are voted out, we will have 3 years of stability as the ALP have internal structures now that will prevent leadership spills. They changed their rules after Rudd/Gillard/Rudd debacle.

  5. Turtnbull is a sleaze that is not to be trusted or given too much credence.
    He has been minister for Communications and done an excellent demolition on Australia’s NBN.
    Have a good read thru Delimiter, especially the archives re dear Malcolm



    To quote from a damn fine article
    “But my personal view — after being closely exposed to Turnbull’s daily moves for a period of five years — is very close to that of former Prime Minister Paul Keating.

    Keating told Kevin Rudd when Turnbull first took leadership of the Liberal Party that Turnbull was brilliant and utterly fearless. And of course, as should be obvious at this point, it is common knowledge that Turnbull is charismatic and extremely ambitious.

    But Keating’s ultimate view on Turnbull is that he has poor judgement — in short, that he is not wise.

    Looking back over Turnbull’s two years as Communications Minister, it’s easy to confirm this statement as accurate.”

    The dominant force in the LNP Government is extreme right wing, wannabe Tea Party clones. So don’t expect much at all

  6. https://au.news.yahoo.com/a/29532824/turnbull-stands-by-direct-action-policy/

    Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is sticking by the climate change action policies of Tony Abbott.

    Mr Turnbull, who lost the Liberal leadership to Mr Abbott in 2009 over his support for Labor’s emissions trading scheme, was asked in parliament on Tuesday whether he would retain the coalition’s emissions reduction fund.

    “The reality is if it works in practice, it works. If it cuts emissions, it does the job,” Mr Turnbull said.

  7. MorinMoss Says:

    What surprised me what the unequivocal statement by Shannon Phillips, the Minister of the Environment of the Province of Alberta

    “There is a great appetite for action on climate change in our province, and the days of denial are over,”


    • dumboldguy Says:

      Why should that surprise you? After decades on the outside looking in, the NDP, has finally taken control in Alberta, and that is likely because the voters are finally getting tired of the Province being destroyed by the fossil fuel interests. New brooms sweep clean, etc, and it’s not a surprise that the NDP is coming out strongly on climate change. Now if we could just get rid of Harper…..

      • MorinMoss Says:

        The NDP got in because the rightwingnuts were split between the Conservatives and the Wildrose. Rachel Notley has one chance to make a lasting positive impression and if the right unite, even that may not be enough.

        Let’s not forget that the Alberta NDP were lost in the political hinterland for 2 decades. I suspect that the Alberta oil boom may have played a role in shifting the long-established political landscape; that the influx of people seeking a share of the pie weren’t committed to the right wing.

        That’s a lesson that Texas may learn before the middle of the next decade.

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