Carbon realities

John Bignucolo writes: Re. “Slay the dinosaurs, save the Earth” (yesterday). Crikey’s editorial, though heartfelt, is ludicrously naive in its misreading of the Coalition’s view of climate change, and Malcolm Turnbull’s capacity and willingness to amend it.

Tony Abbott’s “climate change is crap” view is not some outlier position. It is fundamental conservative orthodoxy. It’s what one believes if one is a conservative (whether Liberal or National). It’s the message that is relentlessly pumped out by The Australian and Rupert Murdoch’s other antipodean Fox News outlets.

The Coalition are heading to the exact some position as the U.S. Republican Party on climate change, since the same prejudices, anti-science bigotries, and sectional interests are driving both parties. The Coalition is just year or two behind in getting there.

Malcolm Turnbull will never do anything effective about reducing carbon emissions because the overwhelming consensus within his party doesn’t want to and doesn’t think there is a problem in the first place. Besides, coal is great.

His coalition colleagues will happily let Turnbull attend conferences and give high minded speeches, or waste billions of taxpayers dollars on the ineffective Direct Action programme.

Turnbull’s mellifluous pronouncements cajole the media into believing that something will be done any day now, while Direct Action’s  ineffectiveness and massive transfer of funds from the taxpayer to the private sector is precisely the kind of win-win that conservatives can get behind. But don’t for a second expect a price on carbon.

Numbers and details

Chris O’Regan writes: Re. “Albo’s fall from grace? Grayndler could go Green” (yesterday). Alex Mitchell’s article on the Grayndler redistribution features adjectival phrases like “by no means secure” but is regrettably free of any reference to anything so vulgar as numbers. It would have been nice to read about things like booth returns, polling, the details of boundary changes, historical data, or indeed quotes from named individuals. About the closest thing to specifics in Mitchell’s article is the reference to Grayndler being “once regarded as Australia’s safest Labor seat. It is, according to Antony Green’s latest version of the pendulum, still third out of 57, and still the safest in Liberal-versus-Labor two candidate preferred terms.

But perhaps that level of specificity or detail is too much to ask for when we are presented with such masterful insight to into the nature of preferential voting: either the Greens or the Liberals “could” finish second behind Labor and thus “could overtake Albanese, the frontrunner.” No mention on whether the Greens would consider adopting a strategy of preferencing Liberals ahead of Labor to facilitate getting rid of Albanese — maybe someone should have asked them about that!

Mitchell never makes much of an attempt to hide his pro-Greens anti-ALP bias in his writings but as a reader it’d be nice to have more concrete facts and data to back up his assertions.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey