Abbott?!!

By one solitary vote.

90% chance of this being the best thing ever – electoral oblivion for the Liberals and a great opportunity for the Greens.

And a tiny, but nightmare-inducing prospect of it being the worst.

Tony Abbott as PM. Can you imagine?

UPDATE: Ten minutes of Abbott as leader has broken Twitter:

UPDATE: Do you think this is the time for Labor to go in hard, reinforce the idea of Abbott as a ludicrous fringe candidate, a loser who’ll take his party to destruction – or could that backfire? Australians love an underdog, after all.

UPDATE #2: And something else to keep in mind. Given how appalling Abbott as PM would be, the rest of us are relying on the ALP and the Greens not to take ANY RISKS making sure that doesn’t happen. Underestimating the gullibility of voters the way the press underestimated the risk-taking of the Libs’ party room would be very unfortunate indeed.

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121 responses to “Abbott?!!

  1. With a margin of 42 to 41? How stable is the party going to be? I’m not putting money on Abbott being still leader by the next election – but then, who will it be?

  2. Rasputin Abbott the mad monk?!!!!!!

  3. Abbott tried to triangulate Hockey into taking the poisoned chalice. That way he could get Hockey to send the ETS to a Senate Committee, and then roll Hockey later.

    Hockey was too smart for this, and suggested a conscience vote. Abbott had to challenge, and has sacrificed himself to stop this stupid legislation. Truly a man of principle.

  4. Doubt Abbott will be able to muster Senate solidarity on the basis of a leadership vote like that.

    There will be enough senators to cross the floor to pass the bill, providing the Libs don’t manage to filibuster long enough.

  5. There was a separate vote on sending the ETS for further consideration. It was 54 – 29 in favour. A great victory for common sense!

  6. SB… that doesn’t mean that’s what’ll happen.

    After all… the Liberal party has the grand tradition of conscience votes and a recent history of not caring too much about the decision of the party-room…

  7. This is a decision to defer for further consideration. It is nothing that requires a conscience vote. It is high time the politicians had a good look at the shenanigans behind the alleged science.

    Overall the Libs have renounced Turnbull’s attempt to to turn the Liberal party into Rudd’s catamites.

  8. I’ll believe it when the vote comes down. The Liberal Party is a shambles, currently. Almost anything could happen.

    And although I know you’re just being you, I call shenanigans on your shenanigans…

  9. Would have preferred Joe Hockey. Oh well, if only team Rudd would self destruct as well.

  10. Christ, don’t wish for that. At least not yet. The only way Abbott could become PM is if
    (1) civilization was obliterated; or
    (2) Kevin ate a baby.

  11. Fundy Fielding wants a “Royal Commission” on Climate Change.

    That could be fun.

    Wasn’t it 55 to 29?

  12. While SB’s opposition to the ETS is apparently predicated on a particularly juvenille misrepresentation of the overall scientific approach to this issue, his broader point about whether the it is good policy is worth considering.

    Has any serious consideration been given to alternate measures for dealing with AGW, such as direct (and massive) government funding for R&D initiatives? It seems to me that the capitalist option represented by the ETS (i.e. “pricing” carbon so that the market solves the problem itself) is a relatively inefficient way of achieving the technological change needed to really combat climate change.

    Wouldn’t a more ‘socialist’ solution, i.e. direct government funding of important research projects, make more sense?

  13. If a bunch of Libs were ready to cross the floor to vote against the ETS, I think there will be more than a couple who will cross the floor to support it.

    SB: the bill won’t be deferred unless Fielding changes his mind. If Fielding stays with his position, it will have to go to a vote. This was never about ‘deferring’ or anything like that.
    Unless you have had a lobotomy ala SB, Abbott and his gang are all about killing the bill, wether it’s ‘deferring’ it, then killing it, or killing it outright. Only a Senate more favorable in numbers to the ALP will get this passed.

  14. Sorry, SB, but really:

    ” Truly a man of principle.” Yup, he has a principle to suit every occasion. Which one would you like?

  15. Oh, I don’t think the ETS is a good policy. The Greens are voting against it.

    The problem is that the Libs want to make it even worse.

  16. Sorry, it was 54/29.

    Weird though, according to Fairfax it was:
    Abbott 35 + Turnbull 26 + Hockey 23 = 84
    Abbott 42 + Turnbull 41 = 83
    No ETS 54 + ETS 29 = 83

    So who took their bat and ball and went home after the first vote, therefore ensuring the other two went Abbott’s way?

    And what Mondo said.

  17. I’ve posted some of the twitter responses at Asian Correspondent.

  18. Agree with Mondo.

    When you consider how many billions are going to be spent subsidising people under the ETS, wouldn’t it be smarter to just spend all the money building wind, solar, nuclear and gas power plants, and of course putting a heap of money into R&D?

    Also, i reckon it would be a good idea to buy up shitloads of marginal, degraded and unprofitable farmland and revegetate it as carbon sinks and wildlife corridors.

  19. Gotcha Russ. I knew someone would appreciate that line. Abbott is an irrelevance. The next PM will be Gillard.

    The coalition’s first preference is to defer, and only to reject if necessary. Also, if it turns out that AGW is real then we really ought to be doing something less compromised than the ETS measures proposed by Rudd.

    Maybe the Senate committee will shine a light on the issues and we will end up with more certainty.

    Mondo, I’m pretty sure Garnaut was charged with examining policy alternatives. That is why they chose an economists to advise on the best scheme. He still got it wrong.

  20. “wouldn’t it be smarter to just spend all the money building wind, solar, nuclear and gas power plants, and of course putting a heap of money into R&D?”

    It would but it doesn’t satisfy the (filthy brown) coal lobby so it wont happen as long as one of the major parties has a say in it.

  21. Rob, if the brown coal industry were smart, they would rebadge their product.

    Istead of Filthy Brown Coal, they could call it Natures Goodness Organic Soil Conditioner 🙂

    Lignite is an excellent fertilizer and soil conditioner but instead of using it grow food, we are burning the shit.

    Bloody ridiculous.

  22. Labor will run the mother of all scare campaigns now about the extremists being in control of the party.

    And perhaps serendipitously one by one they’ve all been interviewed on Sky news this morning: Joyce, Bronnie, Mad Uncle Wilson. These people now represent the face of the Libs.

    They are fucked lol!

  23. “Istead of Filthy Brown Coal….” Flammable mud? Nah, flammable dirt!

  24. Nuclear Power is far better for the environment then Coal.

    We need to get over our phobia, we also need a proper radioactive waste site in Australia opposed to shipping our waste overseas or let it sit in a old hospital or warehouse.

  25. “Nuclear Power is far better for the environment then Coal. ”

    Nuclear is probably a good solution for the third world but instead of Au investing in the likes of nuclear or ‘clean’-coal why on earth aren’t we leading the world on molten salt? Why is Germany more solar savvy than au?

    Why, because in Australia (filthy brown) coal is KING.

  26. [Has any serious consideration been given to alternate measures for dealing with AGW, such as direct (and massive) government funding for R&D initiatives? It seems to me that the capitalist option represented by the ETS (i.e. “pricing” carbon so that the market solves the problem itself) is a relatively inefficient way of achieving the technological change needed to really combat climate change.]

    You’re absolutely right Mondo, and this is Labor’s Achilles heel. You can’t go to the electorate promoting yourself as the only party willing to get serious about action on climate change when the action you’re proposing is likely to be far less effective than a range of alternatives.

    [Mondo, I’m pretty sure Garnaut was charged with examining policy alternatives. That is why they chose an economists to advise on the best scheme. He still got it wrong.]

    Yes he did, but not as wrong as you would have got it, given that you seem to think the science is dodgy and there’s not even a problem to be dealt with.

  27. Holy shit – just saw the news.

    I didn’t think the Liberals where quite so deeply in the grip of the forces of fundamentalism. The Australian Taliban are now appropriately led by Abbott and Bishop.

    Or, as one Liberal MP succintly put it this morning – “[we’ve] fucked ourselves over”.

  28. Interestingly, it seems the Abbott tactic will to be conceed the reality of AGW (sorry SB) but quibble over the degree of it, while going in hard on ‘green tax’ , ‘working families’ etc. That will work for a while, but if they are to pull off the ‘AGW actually is real’ line, they will at some stage need to come up with a credible scheme to address CO2 emissions.

  29. The worst thing that could happen is for AGW to drive further use of nuclear energy. Nuclear fission has already led to proliferation of nuclear armaments and sentenced humanity to managing radioactive waste for thousands of years. On the other hand it will probably speed up evolutionary change, but not necessarily in a good way.

  30. OTOH, perhaps the liberal Liberals will launch a counter-revolution and Abbott will be one of the shortest lived Liberal leaders ever.

    As Possum has pointed out, a re-run of the ballot in another week would probably see a 44-42 result to Turnbull.

    Round 2……..

  31. Let’s see what the doctor’s wives think about this.

    Too bad we have to wait 2 weeks for the next newspoll, but Higgins, and to a lesser extent Bradfield, just got a bit more interesting.

  32. Yes. Hockey has dodged the poisoned cahlice, and will be waiting in the wings. And if Turnbull is still ambitious to be PM, he may hang around waiting for his chance (unless Rudd finds a nice government posting for him).

  33. Northern Exposure

    The backlash from the constituency for the Libs going hard to starboard when they wanted a moderate will be seen in the next polls. I wouldn’t be surprised if right now PM Rudd and his Josh Lyman are having a quiet glass of scotch over this. Couldn’t have planned it better.
    Mad Monk wont be able to control himself now that he has access to all these wonderful telly and radio things, expect some wonderful brain fades. Wether or not the ETS is prudent doesn’t matter, in terms of the politicking.

  34. And predictably here come the fundies:

    Right to Life Australia president Veronica Andrews said she hoped Mr Abbott would use his position to speak out against abortion and voluntary euthanasia in parliament.

    The Libs are imploding on AGW, can you imagine what would happen if Abbott started muttering about abortion!

    http://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-national/abbott-excites-antiabortion-group-20091201-k3lx.html

  35. This has all been propelled by a desire of the grass roots party faithful to take back their party from the Labor-lite (inner city, Eastern Suburbs, Lower North Shore) types.

    Malcolm can’t believe what has happened because no one at his trendy dinner parties has a clue.

  36. The political cartoonists will be wetting themselves at the prospect of Abbott.

  37. This has all been propelled by a desire of the grass roots party faithful to take back their party from the Labor-lite (inner city, Eastern Suburbs, Lower North Shore) types.

    No. It has been engineered by Nick Minchin and other denialists as a result of their desire to ensure their ideology remains the dominant force in the party.

    The Parrott’s tea baggers were just a sideshow.

  38. SB, that’s just the thinking that has got the Libs in tot his mess in the first place.

    It seems some conservative members have taken to studying the US play-book rather too closely (IIRC wasn’t the spawn of Howard sent off to study the Republican election machine? – didn’t that work splendidly?!) All this talk of ‘the base’ is pointless. There is no imperitive to ‘energise the base’ here, as we have mandatroy voting. Are the hard-right going to shift their votes to Labor?, the Greens?????.

    What Turnbull knew, but didn’t implement all that well, was that the Libs need to attract the votes of the middle. Abbott will scare them off at a great rate. But hey, now they have a rock solid primary vote of 28-30%.

  39. Now I’m not sure what will be worse, a liberal government under Tony Abbott, or a labour government that may manage to get the internet filter passed. If Tony Abbott was against the filter I’d be in a quandary. Does anyone know his position on it?

  40. Abbott is as conservative as they come, he would be for it.

  41. The quote of the day for me was when a reporter asked former PM Bob Hawke what type of a leader Tony Abbott would make?

    Bob said “Temporary”

    Pure gold Bob

  42. LOL Bob.

    Cracks in the great conservative wall of anti-science have taken all of a few hours to show;

    And already he’s facing that debate he’s still not daring to have. A journalist asks: Why did he say at a Liberal branch meeting of heated members that climate change is “crap”?

    Answer: “It was a bit of hyperbole. It is not my considered position…. climate change is real.” Humans were contributing, he said, and there was an argument about how much.
    Which is essentially saying nothing, I guess, except to the ignorant.

    Oh, poor Andrew Bolt! Even his man is caving in to the science. No one is irrational enough for Bolt.

  43. Oops, tag fail!

    LOL Bob.

    Cracks in the great conservative wall of anti-science have taken all of a few hours to show;

    And already he’s facing that debate he’s still not daring to have. A journalist asks: Why did he say at a Liberal branch meeting of heated members that climate change is “crap”?

    Answer: “It was a bit of hyperbole. It is not my considered position…. climate change is real.” Humans were contributing, he said, and there was an argument about how much.

    Which is essentially saying nothing, I guess, except to the ignorant.

    Oh, poor Andrew Bolt! Even his man is caving in to the science. No one is irrational enough for Bolt.

  44. There might be some kind of record, but the Labour Party have already released an Abbott attack ad.

    http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollytics/2009/12/01/and-so-it-begins-new-alp-ad/

    Of all the things the ad could be about they have chosen work choices – what a joke.

  45. Abbott also supports a return to fault-based divorce.

    Way to win Teh Wimminz Tone!

  46. Rudd vs Abbott. Battle of the christian fundies. Yeah lets do the election on social issues.

  47. Battle of the christian fundies.

    Except Rudd wears his religious beliefs mostly privately. Abbott wears his like a neon light.

    Yeah, let’s do the election on social issues. LOL.

  48. This has all been propelled by a desire of the grass roots party faithful to take back their party

    Oh C’mon, SB!
    First of all, Conservatives, historically, have never had a “grass roots party faithful”.
    At best they’ve had a bunch of voters who weren’t particularily pissed off at anything and liked how their lives were.

    Howard was the one who introduced the politics of fear and opprobrium, as you’ve so eloquently pointed out over the years.
    He deformed the beauty of Conservative thought into an anti-progressive, mob-rule populism.
    Howard’s Battlers?
    Gimme a feckin’ break!!

    Turnbull was a reformer.
    He sought to return the Liberal party to the principles for which it, presumably, was called.
    Like most reformers throughout history, he was sacrificed at the stake by the self-protecting Inquisitors.

    So much for progress!

    Cheers

  49. Aw C’mon, Marek.

    Turnbull was trying to drag the party where it didn’t want to go. If they’d wanted that they would have voted for Rudd. Instead, in their thousands they let their pollies know that they didn’t want some arrogant Eastern suburbs trendy reinventing their party.

    Abbott’s triumph is a victory for common folk and a slap at the chattering classes who threatened to turn their party into Labor Lite.

    Turnbull would be a Labor minister by now, except that Labor had more sense than accommodate his inflated ego. He then became a Johnny-come-lately Liberal and tried to hijack the party. I guess now we will get to see what a loyal team player he is.

  50. Cnfessions says “Except Rudd wears his religious beliefs mostly privately” yes he does have the trenchcoat on just waiting to flas his privates to the next unsuspecting passer by. lol.

  51. Turnbull was trying to drag the party where it didn’t want to go.” – SB

    Into the 21st century?

  52. Apparently the Senate’s voting on the ETS/CPRS in the morning. I really, really hope that the Bill doesn’t get up and that it instigates a double dissolution election.

    Go the Greens!

  53. I think there were plenty of people in the Liberal party who were happy to get an Emissions Trading Scheme up, especially a fairly weak one like this.

    A large rump disagreed, and as a result they are about to find just how far away from the general public their views are.

    You don’t win elections in Australia by pandering to your base. Parties need to be reminded of this lesson every so often.

  54. The large rump was 54-29 in favour of sending the ETS to committee for further consideration.

  55. And possible floor crossers have been bullied into acquiesence.

    Queensland Liberal Senator Sue Boyce says she intends to cross the floor if the Senate votes on the emissions scheme today.

    Another, Judith Troeth, was pursued around the chamber last night by the party’s whips, and left the Senate visibly upset.

    So much for not having the “stalinist enforcement” Abbott accused the ALP of having. The Libs are a broad church, but only when you support the bullies and the white-anters it seems.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/12/02/2759132.htm

  56. Intersting meme that the Libs are going for – twice yesterday we had references to ‘Stalinist’ re: Labor.

    Seems the remmnats of the cold-war warriors reside in the hard-right.

  57. The large rump was 54-29 in favour of sending the ETS to committee for further consideration.

    And are completely out of step with public opinion, let alone reality.

  58. They are clearly little concerned with reality.

    How weird that a form of extreme post-modernism (ie. reality is what we make it) should find it’s home amongst the conservatives.

  59. Seems the remmnats of the cold-war warriors reside in the hard-right.

    He needs to shore up the over 60 vote – that which hadn’t moved to labor – hence the invoking of Whitlam in an interview yesterday.

    I’ll be interested to see how the coalition intend winning back the support of women who have been leaking away from the Liberals for the last 5 to 7 years. All those awkward questions Abbott faced on abortion, fault-based divorce and contraception from Red Kerry are not going to go away no matter how much he tries to walk back on his record.

  60. The cold warriors were right. The result of their efforts was the lifting of the totalitarian yoke from millions.

    At least as far as climate “science” is concerned, the post modernists have had their way, truth is irrelevant and science is played as a political game. And yet the very “scientists” who perverted their own discipline would place us all in bondage to their political scam which, funnily enough, they now insist is the truth.

  61. Michael and Topher

    Out of interest – in what way do you consider the Liberals who voted against supporting the ETS to have lost touch with reality?

    Are you assuming that they are all climate change deniers?

  62. Are you assuming that they are all climate change deniers?

    They are ignoring the evidence that the ETS won’t be an economic disaster, and that global warming is happening.

  63. “Turnbull was trying to drag the party where it didn’t want to go.” – SB

    You got that back to front.
    Turnbull was trying to keep the party honest by sticking to its’ policy position.

    “What Mr Rudd is proposing is not all that different from what I took to the last election,” Mr Howard told News Limited newspapers on November 8.

    The paleo-cons in the Liberal party are showing themselves to be an untrustworthy and shameless rabble who gleefully jetison any semblance of principles when it suits them.

    I suppose one could argue that the ETS crafted by Howard and Turnbull and then presented to the electorate in 2007 was a policy of the decidely “non-core” nature.

    Turnbull should be congratulated for trying to hold the Liberals accountable to their stated policy positions.

    Cheers.

  64. They are ignoring the evidence that the ETS won’t be an economic disaster, and that global warming is happening.

    Not all of them deny AGW – many simply believe there are better ways to deal with it. Nonetheless your comments show that the “they’re all deniers” meme has already become entrenched.

    I don’t personally think it’s valid, but Abbott is certainly going to have a hard time dealing with it!!

  65. Mondo, not all.

    There’s quite a mix. But at the core of the anti-Turnbull push is a group who really ‘think’ AGW is a fraud cooked up by scientists wanting grant money (or a socialist one-world govt), with another group who think the same, but know it’s too crazy to say so publicly, with a larger group who think AGW is real but this is not the correct policy.

    The problem for the latter is, if they didn’t get the policy they wanted from Turnbull, what is their preferred solution and how on earth do they think they’ll get it from Abbott (who I believe is in the AGW-is-a-fraud-but-we-need-to-appear-rational camp)? We still have no firm plan from them.

  66. Rudd does not want an election based on the ETS. The more light that shines upon it the more unpopular it will become.

    The Libs are finally taking a principled stand here. I would have thought the Greens of all people would understand that.

  67. The Libs are finally taking a principled stand here.

    Really? Which principle are they upholding?

    And before you fall back on red herrings like hearing “the base”, you should read what polled coalition voters are saying to polling agencies.

    http://www.crikey.com.au/2009/12/02/comitatus-an-ets-driven-voter-backlash-polling-says-no/

  68. Confessions how do those figures contradict the thesis that the Libs are taking a principled stand? All they do is eliminate the possibility that their policy is driven by polls. Instead they are taking a stand against the tithes sought to imposed by the new climate change theocrats.

  69. What principle are they standing for SB?

  70. “the Libs are taking a principled stand?”

    How is flip flopping ‘principled’? How is supporting something one minute then changing your stance for political/personal reasons ‘principled’?

    For the record- I’m with Bob Brown (a principled politician IMHO), I oppose the ETS because it’s too weak.

  71. The principle that politicians should do the right thing irrespective of the polls. In this case that an ETS should not be rammed down our throat so that a vain PM can strut about at Copenhagen.

    In this case the Libs have given a voice to the common folk who do not enjoy being shat upon from a great height by the smug and stupid chattering classes. The last thing the AGW crowd want is open discussion of the issues, particularly an investigation into Climategate.

  72. So the ‘principle’ is all about Rudd is it SB?

  73. “The principle that politicians should do the right thing irrespective of the polls.”

    Riiiiight, The day Abbott et al (almost ant politician) isn’t poll driven will be the day hell freezes over.

    “. In this case that an ETS should not be rammed down our throat so that a vain PM can strut about at Copenhagen. ”

    I mean they’d have some credibility if they didn’t flip-flop, how can I be sure that they are being principled now but weren’t then?

    “In this case the Libs have given a voice to the common folk ”

    As I just posted in PP, I’m as common as muck, they DO NOT SPEAK for me (not withstanding the fact that I think Rudd’s ETS is crap)

    “The last thing the AGW crowd want is open discussion of the issues, particularly an investigation into Climategate.”

    What about me? I’m not the AGW crowd..

    “being shat upon from a great height by the smug and stupid chattering classes. ”

    I wouldn’t mind betting that more toffs vote Liberal than Labor.

  74. RobJ: SB has been taken in by the spin. What he doesn’t realise is the Abbott has given support for the targets in Labor’s CPRS, but because of his rhetoric has eliminated the options of a flat carbon tax, a carbon trading framework or price on carbon emissions. He has also vowed to deliver Labor’s targets more cheaply, and can be implemented similar timeframe to Labor, but needs to find something that is amenable to his partyroom, filled with denialists, agrarian socialists, and people who voted in favour of the Turnbull negotiated amendments. Abbott seems to be shifting closer and closer to the do-nothing anti-AGW denialists.

    SB thinks this is a vote winner, but hasn’t twigged yet that Abbott and the Liberals are dealing themselves out of relevence in the eyes of the voting public. Australians will not support an alternative government that is prepared to isolate our country from international momentum on an important economic reform.

    Finally SB thinks that politicians don’t pay attention to polls. That must be true, otherwise Abbott would never tune out to what the clear majority of Liberal voters are saying they want when it comes to action on climate change.

  75. The last thing the AGW crowd want is open discussion of the issues, particularly an investigation into Climategate.

    I guess the investigation into Phil Jones’s research as a result of the “climategate” emails (as announced by the University of East Anglia today) is slightly inconvenient to your hysterical nonsense SB.

    But don’t worry – you can always wait until the results are known and then either dismiss or embrace them depending on whether they support your conspiracy theory.

    I’m sure you will.

  76. Actually Abbott’s fucked up their climate change response completely – before it’s even begun!

    Labor will re-introduce the CPRS to parliament in Feb: in an El Nino summer when temperatures are soaring, fires are raging, water restrictions are in force, and the Murray River plight is once again in the news. Abbott’s and the coalition’s posturing over the bill means they can’t negotiate with the government to get further concessions because they’ll look like hypocrites. They’ll either have to vote it down again, let it through, or hope it passes with Liberals who ‘forget to return from lunch’.

    Meanwhile Abbott’s going to find it tough going to come up with a scheme that is:

    – environmentally relevent
    – economically relevent
    – matches Labor’s targets
    – matches Labor’s timeframe
    – cheaper than Labor’s CPRS
    – satisfies his partyroom
    – passes the electorate’s bullshit detector

    It’s a very big ask.

  77. RobJ & Confessions: the change in stance of the parliamentary Liberals was driven by a grass roots rebellion. It had its genesis in a traditional Australian suspicion of pollies. In this case they felt that Rudd was moving with unseemly haste, driven by his own ego.

    By being prepared to further water down the ETS for the sake of having it implemented a couple of months earlier it seems Rudd is less concerned about long term climate issues and more concerned about appearances at Copenhagen.

    Climategate provides the perfect opportunity to re-assess the alarmist claims of the AGW crowd. A healthy debate is a good thing.

    Abbott had a clear mandate from his party to block the ETS. If he is smart he will cast himself in a less polarising light and give voters a clear choice. Ultimately if Rudd keeps his ego in check he should win the next election. However, we are in for interesting times in Federal politics. The incomprehension of many at Abbott’s victory is strange. He can hardly do worse than his immediate predecessors, and he should put up a contest come election time.

    Also, given that two Libs crossed the floor, I assume it was ultimately the Greens that brought the ETS down. Strange bedfellows indeed.

  78. Mondo, UEA has obviously decided to provide some adult supervision over the CRU crew. UEA needs to protect its reputation. Let’s see how independent and transparent the investigation is, and how wide its terms of reference are.

  79. the change in stance of the parliamentary Liberals was driven by a grass roots rebellion.

    This is not true. It was driven by:

    a) Nick Minchin’s engineering a revolt by the denialists to change the coalitions party

    b) a visceral hatred of Rudd and seeing him succeed on the world stage

    b) the loud polemicists on talkback radio who gave voice to an even louder minority.

    If the Liberals were responding to what their voters want they they would of supported the CPRS. The only principle they were standing up for was a hatred of Rudd.

  80. “coalitions party” should read “coalition’s policy”

  81. LOL So Abbott is continuing to flip flop. Now he’s no longer committing to supporting Labor’s targets and will support only 5% not 25%.

    So he fails on environmentally and economically relevent, and the electorate’s bullshit detector: voters can usually sniff out policy on the run.

  82. There has always been unease at the lack of transparency of the Warmenistas. This has been increased by the Climategate scandal.

    This resulted in people not wanting rush the ETS, as shown in the Galaxy Poll last weekend (a majority feeling not enough information and that the ETS should be delayed). This sentiment was expressed in thousands of messages from voters to their local members, and the politicians reacted accordingly.

    This is precisely why Rudd doesn’t want an election now on the ETS now. Better to wait until things become clearer.

    Now, you can assume that this is all down to ‘visceral hatred’ or ‘loud polemicists’, but it might be that people are sceptical about being railroaded into a scheme in advance of a general agreement at Copenhagen, particularly when acting alone will cost a lot and achieve nothing. It is fascinating to watch.

  83. SB: drawing on ONE small poll while dismissing 16 months of polling on the subject which shows very little movement in people’s support for the ETS and the government’s actions is desperate. And laughable. As for Rudd not wanting an election now, why should he? By introducing the bill into parliament he’s about to demonstrate to the electorate what a hypocrite Hockey is (what’s the bet he doesn’t resign from front bench and cross the floor?), and open all those wounds in the coalition again – remember Turnbull sitting on the backbench, with a grudge just waiting for the wounds to open.

    The legislation will be back in parliament in Feb. What will be the delaying excuse then, given Copenhagen will be behind us and Rudd will be back from overseas? We will finally see conclusively that the excuse of delay was just so they didn’t have to deal with a policy issue that is dividing them bitterly.

    Mondo’s right: you are incredibly hysterical about this, and it’s blurring your ability to view what’s happening with objective rationality.

  84. Where the hell do the Liberals think they are going with this??

    Just 3 years ago (under Howard, no less) they come up with an ETS.

    No it’s no ETS, no carbon tax.

    What exactly is their policy going to be??

    From what I can gather, all this bluster about ‘green tax’ and ‘working families’ will be dumped the second that the US signs on for an ETS.

    But by then, the Liberal Party will have nurtured within it’s bosom a core of die-hard anti-science militant idiots who will then set about tearing the party apart again.

    If the Libs are lucky they may flounce off and set up their own denialist party.

  85. The hysterical approach is to attribute things to ‘visceral hatred’ or ‘loud polemicists’, rather than to look at recent polling data, which provides a logical and rational explanation for the what has happened.

    If you don’t believe that Climategate matters much, you will probably have some difficulty understanding the reactions of some people to the impropriety suggested by the leaked documents.

    A lot has happened in the last week, and no doubt a lot more will happen before February. The way this plays out will interest curious minds and send polemicists into paroxysms of irrationality, conjuring up all manner of conspiracy theories and evil motives for perfectly rational behaviour.

  86. Maybe people respond to changing facts and their growing appreciation of the issues, Michael.

  87. “Maybe people respond to changing facts and their growing appreciation of the issues” – SB

    But , as we’ve seen, mostly with “paroxysms of irrationality” and “all manner of conspiracy theories”.

  88. Gawd SB, how did I know you’d be one of the emailgate cranks! Those people are like the birthers – no amount of evidence that the whole thing was a beat up will convince them their stance has legs. I don’t see much point debating someone who’s so deluded.

    What exactly is their policy going to be??

    They will probably embrace voluntary action, tighter regulations etc. Which means (as Bernard Keane points out) we have the hilarious situation where the party of the Right is embracing government intervention, whereas the so called party of the Left is advocating market-based solutions.

    And in the bigger picture, the science is no longer the focus of debate: the focus of debate becomes how nations engage internationally, and what framework is endorsed that rewards countries with policies in place and penalises countries with no policies in place. The Liberals are taking themselves back to the protectionist and isolationist philosophy of the 1970s Nationals.

  89. “stance has legs”=”stance has NO legs”

  90. The hysterical approach is to attribute things to ‘visceral hatred’ or ‘loud polemicists’, rather than to look at recent polling data, which provides a logical and rational explanation for the what has happened.” – SB

    You mean the polling that says “no ETS” is a massive loser in every single demographic??

  91. Of course the elephant in the room is that if SB’s ‘Climategate scandal’ is real and AGW is simply a massive scientific fraud, why would the Liberals even need a climate change policy? Surely they could stand up for their…[gasp]…principles and just declare the whole issue redundant?

    SB?

  92. Meet an emailgate crank.

    The fact is that the Climate gate documents raise some issues which need investigation. I doubt there is outright fraud going on, but the rational approach when you see this sort of stuff is to look and see if they actually behave in the manner suggested by their documents. The irrational approach is to stick your fingers in your ears and go ‘la-la-la’ like Michael.

  93. Well, as usual SB, you’re wrong.

    Emailgate cranks think it means that the whole of science on climate is a fraud. George Monbiot has said exactly the opposite – that this has no bearing on the science, which overwhelmingly points to AGW.

  94. The fact is that the Climate gate documents raise some issues which need investigation.

    As mondo has already pointed out there are some aspects which are being subjected to investigation, and as I understand it the researchers in question have agreed to release their data. So? This doesn’t prove anything.

    The real issue is that none of this accounts for your statements above of:

    Maybe people respond to changing facts and their growing appreciation of the issues, Michael.

    and earlier:

    There has always been unease at the lack of transparency of the Warmenistas. This has been increased by the Climategate scandal.

    Which suggests that you believe the Liberals have recanted on their prior agreement with the government to pass the CPRS with amendments because of these so-called “issues” and “public unease”.

    Which brings us back to my question: why should the Liberal party even have a policy on climate change if there are people out there like you who believe that facts have changed, or that your ‘Climategate scandal’ has increased public unease?

    When I talk of a gap between delusion and objective rationality this is precisely what I’m referring to.

  95. Confessions I (mistakenly) took your previous comments to suggest that people who took Climate gate seriously necessarily also believed they were evidence of scientific fraud. I am not going further than ‘unease’, ‘prima facie impropriety’ etc the whole point of my previous email was to move away from fraud. I think that they may end up showing overzealousness and a lack of respect for scientific precepts like transparency and verifiability, which is any event already evident based on their behaviour to date.

    Even though it looks like some data may be released, it also seems that a lot has been ‘lost’.

    Policies must be subject to change, having regard to changing circumstances. Any other approach is silly.

  96. The recent revelations about the Liberal Party vote are fascinating. Apparently, Abbott will have to put Turnbull on his Xmas card list. The Hockey camp thought that Turnbull wasn’t contesting and got a big surprise when he did. Without this, the first round might have been 49-35 to Shrek.

    No wonder Hockey was expressing surprise after the vote – he was expecting a two horse race.

    Malcolm is a very naughty boy.

  97. SB: forgive me if I’ve misunderstood your position, but you do seem to of run hard (*very* hard on other threads) on the CRU email hacking, giving me the impression that you think this in some way throws doubt on the tens of thousands of other literature in the evidence base that substantiates the CRU authors’ data.

    You have also sought on this thread, to frame the Liberal party’s decision on the CPRS, indeed Abbott’s election, within this context, suggesting again that the CRU email hacking was in some way responsible for a light that went off in Liberal voters’ and their MPs’ collective heads.

    Objective polling data over time and polls has shown this to be false. The fact the Liberal party feels it needs a climate change policy at all shows this is false. Now you seem to have a position that “policies must be subject to change”, which is self-evident, and not at all eroded by the proposed CPRS bills.

  98. Confessions, I have been frustrated by the ‘no big deal’ approach to Climategate taken by many. The approach of thoughtful AGW proponents, like Monbiot, who feel betrayed by the scandal, is to recognise it is serious, and call for serious action to be taken. Michael has yet to recognise this. He has certainly given no indication that he thinks Climategate is anything other than trivial.

    My position is that there is prima facie evidence of impropriety, which also affects the integrity of the IPCC. This is consistent with previous attitudes to transparency exhibited by the Hockey Team and the IPCC.

    I also acknowledge that some latitude needs to be allowed for the informal and private nature of the correspondence (just as the fact that a group of blokes sit around a campfire and share dreams of jihad and caliphate does not mean they are terrorists).

    I do think that we should slow don on the implementation until these matters are explored, and more transparency is achieved. It is poisonous to the possibility of getting everyone on board if the doubters can’t even check the calculations.

  99. Bwahahahahah SB.

    George Monbiot is now the “thoughtful AGW proponent[s]”.

    In a wonderful example of the contortions and confusion of the denialists, just the day before ’emailgate’, SB was referring to “that fuckwit Monbiot”.

  100. Oh joy!, Barnaby on Lateline.

    More bluster, bullshit and bafflement.

    Barnaby believes in AGW……but the science isn’t settled, we don’t know if it’s true……but we need to reduce GHG emissions…..though Barnaby has been dragging his sorry-arsed denialists around telling everyone AGW is a hoax…….and an ETS won’t reduce GHGs………unless America has one.

    Got that?

  101. SB: I will leave it to others to judge whether this position is consistent with your recent statements about the CRU email hacking, but it is good to see that you understand why climate change policy is an important perogative for any Australian government.

    But I will just point out the obvious fact that there is an entire evidence base on global warming that is broadly consistent with the data referred to in the emails. That is why this is a beat up: email correspondence between a few researchers at one institution doesn’t throw questions on the science of AGW one iota. Except in the minds of fanatics who are desperately searching for anything that can give credibility to their outrageous, psuedo-scientific claims.

  102. Michael, Monbiot is not alone among AGW proponents in recognising the serious nature of the Climategate documents. He has said some stupid things before, such as that sceptical speech about this issue should be prohibited.

    The utterly striking thing is that Monbiot had the integrity to apologise to his readers. That is something you are constitutionally incapable of. It is often the monstrous ego that undermines the sharp mind.

    Confessions:

    1. The Climategate documents are not just emails. Some of the most explosive information is in the code, and in the comments in the readme.txt files made by the coders in relation to the irrationality of what they were asked to do.

    2. Climategate is not just about CRU. It also affects scientists from US institutions such as U.Penn, NASA and UCAR. It also concerns the IPCC and the corruption of its processes. Many of the people implicated in this scandal are authors of IPCC reports.

    3. The work affected includes HadCRUT3, the Hockey Stick, and the Spaghetti Graphs (sons of Hockey Stick).

    4. The tainted work is central to the AGW case, and central to the IPCC conclusions. If the work cannot be relied upon, the case for AGW is greatly weakened.

    5. The best approach is to have a good look at the documents, and check the facts and see if the process has been tainted. For example where ‘scientists’ are conspiring to have a journal editor sacked for publishing papers that differ from the Team line, it would be worth checking to see whether the editor was sacked, and look at the surrounding circumstances, the timing and the paper trail.

  103. Some of the most explosive information is in the code

    Wrong.

    The whole thing is a beat up SB, relying on quotes taken out of context, code ‘quote mined’ for [gasp!] shock words, and you’ve fallen for it hook, line and sinker.

    Like I said: it’s the Birthers nonsense just a different issue.

  104. SB, with your sudden turn-around on Monbiot I assume you acknowledge his main message?

    “But do these revelations justify the sceptics’ claims that this is “the final nail in the coffin” of global warming theory?(8,9) Not at all. …….They raise questions about the integrity of one or perhaps two out of several hundred lines of evidence“.

    1. Oh ,the code. The denialists ‘explosive’ insights into the code are just that they don’t like some of the side-comments which are not part of the calculations. Remember the whole ‘code’ thing was about how the evil scientists were cooking the whole thing up – now it’s just the text comments about the code, as they can’t find anything about the code itself.

    2. Corruption! – evidence? Nil

    3. “the Hockey Stick” . There’s only one? Hhmmmm.

    4. “tainted work ….central”, “greatly weakened”. No and no. See your heroes comments above.

    5. “see if…tainted” – but in 4 you already assume this.

    All makes perfect sense …..as long as you don your conspiracy googles.

    But this is the great advantage of a PR campaign over science – it’s wonderfully unrestrained by any connection to reality. The arguments and accusations can change from day to day as needs dictate, while science grinds on in a relentless and dull fashion. It’s like a sloth trying to catch an annoying mossie.

    As the last great anti-science campaign (tobacco) demonstrated, there are short term victories to be had for PR over science, but eventually reality rolls over the top of the “doubt is our product” camp.

  105. Confessions, I would rather an independent inquiry look into this than the completely one-sided Deltoid blog looking at two issues. What they wrote is hardly convincing in any event. More importantly, there is plenty of other stuff that needs explaining, like this:

    “So with a somewhat cynical shrug, I added the nuclear option — to match every WMO possible, and turn the rest into new stations … In other words what CRU usually do. It will allow bad databases to pass unnoticed, and good databases to become bad …”

    Or this:

    “You can’t imagine what this has cost me – to actually allow the operator to assign false WMO codes!! But what else is there in such situations? Especially when dealing with a ‘Master’ database of dubious provenance (which, er, they all are and always will be).”

    At the very least you should be able to see why people might be concerned by comments like this. Integrity of data is a serious issue.

  106. SB: in my view there are no grounds on which an inquiry should even be considered! This is what I’m referring to when I (and Michael) talk of objective rationality.

    You are looking at this issue from the perspective of someone who wants to see fraud, corruption, a compromise of data integrity, whatever. If you take off the blinkers however you see a different picture: one in which people’s emails have been reported out of context, quote-mined, and trumped up as if the CRU researchers represent the entire evidence on which the scientific phenomenon of AGW is based.

    That is delusionism of the Birthers variety, and one of the reasons why I generally don’t debate AGW denialists – their fanaticism outweighs any ability they might have to consider issues objectively, logically and rationally.

  107. The problem for the denialists is their complete unfamiliarity with scientific processes and handling data.

    They see discussion of routine data problems and make vast conspiratorial leaps based on ignorance mixed with a heady dose of ideological zeal.

    I’m just thankful that the CRU mob were so restrained in their email discussions. Imagine if the denialists could overhear their face-to-face disacussions! Comments on data being ‘rubbish’, ‘junk’, ‘ crap’ , ‘fucked’ abound with a range of awful sounding verbs employed to describe what must be done to it – ”dodged’, ‘fixed’, ‘dumped’, ‘tamed’, ‘worked’, ‘whipped [into shape]’, etc etc.
    Or in other words, the data requires appropriate correction and statistical handling to extract any meaningful information it may contain.

    Denialists are labouring under the illusion that the data is a thing of perfect beauty, when it’s more like a bucket of sludge.

    Plimer has demonstrated this in his usual wilful manner in his H&E diatribe. Complaining about the CO2 measurements from ML, he accuses the scientists of fraud by excluding some of the raw data – but some of it was excluded for the simple reason that at times the sensors go wacko and produce rubbish. The rubbish gets dumped. But for the denialists, this is evidence of FRAUD, FRAUD I tell you!

  108. So far two universities have seen the need for an inquiry, Phil Jones has stepped down as head of CRU and a number of other leading AGW supporters take the Climategate disclosures seriously.

    The deniers in this case are the ‘nothing to see here, just move along’ crowd.

    Why are Confessions and Michael so afraid of an investigation. Before all of this blew up there were serious issues in the transparency of the process. Climategate has only highlighted the problem.

    CRU has sort of acknowledged this by saying they will release all data (except that which has been ‘lost’, presumably). They also need to show what they’ve done with the data so that their conclusions can be checked.

    If ‘the science is settled’, what have you got to fear? Calling critics idiots is not really an option if you want to retain credibility.

  109. Imagine if the denialists could overhear their face-to-face disacussions!

    I commented elsewhere on this that imagine if the denialists had found the word “cleaned” with respect to the data? A common, frequently used term to describe a technical and necessary function prior to any analyses, yet the fanatics would’ve gone nuts over it.

    If ‘the science is settled’, what have you got to fear?

    I don’t fear anything. It is you who is making the fuss about this.

  110. It is not me trying to head off an investigation!

  111. Damn us warmists here on blogs, trying to “head off investigations”.

    I didn’t know I was so influential!!

    AFAIC, they can investigate till the cows come home. I’m pretty sure of what they’ll find – SFA.

    SB, your reference to the release of CRU data is just another demonstration (if further were required) of your delusion on the subject.

    You know that almost all of it (over 95%) is already publicly available?? And they’ve been working for some time (years) on making the rest (which is owned by others) available.

  112. That would be the data that the head of CRU Phil Jones said he would rather delete than hand over under FOI, or was it the data that Jones said he would not release to people whose aim was to prove him wrong?

    What is wrong with putting sufficient information out there so that critics can verify the ‘science’ underpinning the alarmist claims?

    Asking the world to invest trillions in a Quixotic quest involves submitting your work to close scrutiny from your critics. How is that unreasonable?

  113. Jomes was a bit worked up over McIntyres tiresome and vexatious FOI requests. He put in 59 FOI requests over 4 days. Her’d already been knocked back, had gone to the independent umpire, who upheld the rejection of the FOI. McIntyre had been told that the data wasn’t CRUs to release. But he kept annoying them anyway.

    Steve McIntyre is to science, what Peter Hoare was to public events.

  114. It is not me trying to head off an investigation!

    SB: if you can take my personal view that there is nothing in the email hacking that is worthy of an inquiry to mean that I am trying to “head off an investigation”, you are more deluded than I thought.

    Honestly, the way denialists carry on leads me to think if you lot were running the show we’d have nothing more than voodoo science and magic pudding analyses.

  115. Why so abusive about me wanting a transparent process before we spend trillions of dollars?

  116. John Stewart – not a Climategate denier:

  117. Why so abusive about me wanting a transparent process before we spend trillions of dollars?

    Perhaps, SB, it’s because you pepper your posts with insults, innuendo and hysterical assertions about fraudulent science and leftist conspiracies? You can’t honestly be suprised when others respond in a somewhat terse manner!!

    BTW I agree with confessions that the emails are probably meaningless and have been taken completely out of context. I consider it likely that they are equivalent to emails between evolutionary biologists when discussing how to deal with the endless quasi-scientific creationist nonsense.

    Can you imagine the case an agenda-driven email hacker could mount against the science of evolution on the basis of frustrated comments between real scientists? It would be even stronger than the case against the Hockey Team!

    Not that this means that an investigation is unnecessary this time around. There may well come a point, however, when the deniers’ claims of scientific misconduct become vexatious and laughable.

    But we’re not there yet.

  118. Abusive? Nobody’s being abusive.

    Why so sensitive about having your anti-AGW memes destroyed so comprehensively?

  119. Confessions, you have been lumping me in with the denialists, even though I have been at pains to state that, contra some, the Climategate docs do no more than raise questions that need further investigation.

    Besides, I am not anti-AGW. I was once pro AGW, but after mature reflection, I have come to question the basis of . It is still quite possible that the AGW position is correct. However, I am disturbed at the lack of transparency in the arguments presented to date, and the IPCC process in general.

    Anyone of curious disposition will want to understand that the process is rigorous and transparent, and that those with a political agenda haven’t hijacked the debate.

  120. Mature reflection.

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