Scott Morrison coal climate emergency
(Image: AAP/Lukas Coch)

PLAN OF INACTION

The Morrison government’s plan for climate action will lead to nearly 4 degrees of global heating, analysis from Climate Analytics has found. Labor’s would lead to 2 degrees of heating — both fall short of the landmark 2015 Paris Agreement and Glasgow climate pact of 1.5 degrees. Only the Greens and the teal independents fall within that goal, Guardian Australia reports. What does this mean? Under the Coalition, and if other governments did the same, eight of the world’s 10 largest cities would face flooding catastrophes, hundreds of millions of people would be displaced, island nations would disappear, large swathes of marine and land species would cook to death, our crop supplies would be under threat, and all tropical reefs worldwide would die, as Global Citizen explains.

It comes as former Liberal prime minister Malcolm Turnbull thinks people should vote for the independents, the SMH reports. In a speech today that the Nine papers saw, he’ll say those disillusioned with reigning factions should show their disappointment by voting for an independent “who has a real chance of success”. Since his 2018 knifing, Turnbull says the moderates in the Liberal party have been zipped up — particularly on climate change where the right faction and Murdoch media have opposed action for years. Yikes.

So far, climate has barely come up in this election campaign — but there is a debate today between the Coalition’s Energy and Emissions Minister Angus Taylor and Labor’s climate spokesperson Chris Bowen you can watch for free. Labor has pledged to slash Australia’s emissions by 43% by 2030 compared with the government’s 26-28%, as the SMH reports. Labor also pledged that 82% of our energy would be renewable by 2030, and will spend $20 billion on giving the transmission network a facelift — but won’t penalise Australian coal exporters. Labor has also pledged to bid to host the UN climate conference in Australia in 2024 if it wins the election, as Crikey continues.

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UP FOR DEBATE

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg and opponent Monique Ryan went head-to-head in a fiery debate yesterday, where Ryan slammed him as the “Treasurer for NSW”, The Age reports. She continued that Australia is already ruled by a minority government because of the Liberals’ coalition with the Nationals, and declared that the “legacy of Mr Frydenberg’s government is going to be a toxic miasma of division, disappointment and debt” — ouch.

Meanwhile Goldstein incumbent Tim Wilson went up against his high profile challenger Zoe Daniel yesterday, and “he never stopped moving, punchy, ducking and weaving”, Crikey’s Guy Rundle writes in a cracking commentary about the event. “He sounded threatened, hostile and petty. He was either screwing this up, or he’d decided the fix was in, and the only way to win was to come out of it, head bloody but unbowed.”

Speaking of messy drama, Coalition candidate Vivian Lobo who is running in Queensland’s most marginal seat has told the AEC he lives in his electorate when the address is actually an abandoned and unfurnished house, The Australian ($) reports this morning. His home is in the neighbouring electorate of Brisbane, held by Liberal MP Trevor Evans, but he is challenging the incumbent Labor MP Anika Wells, the paper says.

A PRESSING DETAIL

Labor Leader Anthony Albanese says Tony Abbott, Malcolm Turnbull, and Scott Morrison prove the law of diminishing returns, and that nothing good happens in a fourth term government, ABC reports. He made the comments on Q&A last night — Morrison failed to show up, as host David Speers repeatedly noted.

It came as the headline-hungry press scrum tried to trip Albanese up by asking him to list the six points of his NDIS plan — he initially deflected the question, before being handed a document with the detail. The Daily Telegraph ($) says it’s hardly a killer blow, but he should be across his brief. It’s 16 days since the policy was unveiled, and follows earlier cash and unemployment rate gaffes. The Australian ($) says it spoke to a “senior Labor figure” who described it as “embarrassing”, but another faceless Labor MP said voters are sick of reporters playing “gotcha” by testing recall.

Journalists behaving badly or a sign of our increasingly centralised media pack? Australia has fallen to 39 in the Reporters Without Borders’ World Press Freedom Index for 2022 — the report found press freedom in Australia is “fragile” because of “ultra-concentration of media ownership”, continuing “two giant firms [Nine Entertainment and News Corp] dominate the media landscape… this oligarchic model prioritises business interests to the detriment of public-interest journalism”, as The Daily Aus reports. Nine (that’s The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, and the Australian Financial Review as well as 9News and Pedestrian plus several more), is a big Liberal donor and I don’t need to explain how Liberal-aligned Murdoch’s camp has been over the years, as former PM Kevin Rudd delves into for Guardian Australia.

ON A LIGHTER NOTE

Picture this: you’ve lived a long, happy life and you’re standing before your maker. But all those times you closed the elevator door when someone was running for it have added up. You’re sentenced to… move house for the rest of eternity. “Noooooo!” you cry. Aside from the laborious hours spent packing random cords and burnt frying pans into boxes, a new place can sometimes mean new furniture. The Guardian’s Arwa Mahdawi, who recently moved house, has found there are five stages of furniture-assembly grief.

One — denial. You’re surrounded by disjointed shapes and flat plains, as if some madman took a circular saw to a table, and one concerningly-miniature Allen key. Seems straightforward, you reason with yourself, I don’t need instructions. Two — anger. “They’ve definitely packed the wrong parts!” you yell into the empty room. Three — bargaining. Mahdawi says by this stage she is pep talking herself into thinking it’s just a little game of adult Lego. Four — depression. Mahdawi hates Lego. Five — acceptance. The finished product is wobbly, and curiously there is one part left over, but the main thing is that it’s over… for now.

Wishing you patience if you’re mid-move, and gratitude if you’re not — and have a restful weekend ahead.

SAY WHAT?

Small target means a small leader. A small leader is a weak leader. And a weak leader is a danger to Australia … With a weak leader who is not ready for the times we face. Mr Albanese is a weak leader, offering a weaker economy, and a weaker Australia.

Scott Morrison

Hearing word that the PM might think his opponent is weak. Morrison will call Anthony Albanese weak at least six times in a speech at a luncheon hosted by The West ($). It’s reminiscent of deputy Labor leader Richard Marles’ similar attack on Morrison, branding him a liar no fewer than 18 times at a rally, except, well, Morrison has lied a lot.

CRIKEY RECAP

The lonely passion of Tim Wilson

“What is remarkable about Wilson is that in a profession that requires it, he is utterly without charm. It is quite distinctive: there is something almost abnegatory about the way he seems never to miss an opportunity to set people’s teeth on edge. For a man dependent on the kindness of strangers, his gamut of emotions appears to run from the perfunctory to the insincere to the dismissive and contemptuous, a true Blanche du Blerrgggh.

“The more he tries to grow into the role of permanent local member in the old style — he is one more fleshy chin away from a starch-white wing collar — the less convincing it gets … And it must be like some nightmare of old, 600 or so people whose purpose is none other than the destruction of your life’s ambition baying at you from amid the shining parquet and gleaming stucco, the bourgeois auditorium, forever in your own head. It’s the sort of thing from which you try to wake yourself up from within a dream, screaming if necessary.”


‘Our drama detainee’: Leaked Nauru police emails show staff mocking suicide, self-harm threats in Australia’s offshore processing centres

“The leaked emails also show a detached tone from some of the police who are dealing with these situations. One police officer forwarded an email showing gruesome images of an asylum seeker who had slit their wrists, with a message: ‘Refer photo evidence of our drama detainee’ with a smiling emoji. Another officer responded to a weekly intelligence update noting a threat to self-immolate: “Was it because of his refugee status as usual?”

“The documents show police frequently chalking acts of self harm up to ulterior motives. In 2017, Nauru’s Deputy Police Commissioner Kalinda Blake wrote in an email to all staff that asylum seekers and refugees were intentionally getting in traffic accidents because they thought getting hurt was ‘the only way of getting off this island’. Other threats are attributed to refugees and asylum seekers trying to get better rooms or get urgent appointments with staff.”


Why did the Morrison government so badly handle the pandemic? Because it favoured party mates over public servants

“How could a government that had been in power for seven years have been so unprepared for a public health emergency that it had known was a possibility for years, and so flat-footed and incompetent at managing it once it had arrived? In particular, why did it seem so unable to learn from its own mistakes, even as the same ones kept accumulating and members of the pro-Coalition cheer squad at the Murdoch press, including Janet Albrechtsen and Miranda Divine, began raising concerns?

“Here’s a theory. Maybe it’s the Coalition’s style of governance that’s at fault … A style of governing that continues to this day and relies entirely for its planning and ideas and implementation on consultancy and business mates knocking on the doors of key ministers to alert them to a (real or imagined) problem and simultaneously provide the solution, which can of course be purchased from them in exchange for a generous dollop of taxpayer dollars.”

READ ALL ABOUT IT

WHO puts global COVID-19 death toll at nearly 15 million (Al Jazeera)

Abortion pills stand to become the next battleground in a post-Roe America (The New York Times)

Putin sorry for Lavrov’s claim Hitler was part Jewish — Israel PM (BBC)

Thousands sickened, one dead as latest severe sandstorm hits Iraq (Al Jazeera)

Elon Musk gets $7b in fresh financing for Twitter deal (The Wall Street Journal) ($)

Xinjiang cotton found in Adidas, Puma and Hugo Boss tops, researchers say (The Guardian)

Bank of England raises rates to 1% amid recession worries. (The New York Times)

Shell reports a record $9.1b profit. (The New York Times)

‘Fake 3D’ portrait of Maori filmmaker Taika Waititi wins Archibald’s Packing Room Prize (SBS)

Turkey’s cost of living soars nearly 70% (BBC)

[US] mortgage rates hit highest level since 2009 (CNN)

THE COMMENTARIAT

The leader who builds a Hawke or Howard umbrella will winPeter Beattie (The Brisbane Times): “Bob Hawke and John Howard, our two most successful modern prime ministers, both built broad coalitions of support under an umbrella uniting the social and economic divides in Australia. Hawke’s inclusive style and economic reforms with Paul Keating won four elections for Labor. Howard first won on the back of traditional Labor supporters called the ‘Howard battlers’ while keeping the small-l liberals under his umbrella with tax reform. With 15 days to go before the federal election, what does Scott Morrison or Anthony Albanese need to do to win majority government? The fact is, achieving that winning edge will be a big challenge for both. So why is it so hard for the major parties to win an election in 2022?

“At the heart of the challenges faced by Morrison and Albanese are long-term changes in their traditional support bases and social and economic changes. These changes have been dramatic. Blue-collar working families in traditional industries have lost their job security; outsourcing has produced small business tradies and contractors struggling to survive; women are being empowered but their families have been burdened by the high costs of childcare; the myth of nursing homes providing quality care has been exploded; progressive small-l liberals have lost their home in the Liberal Party; and the influence of religion has diminished. It is a complex mix.”

Scorched dystopia or liveable planet? Here’s where the climate policies of our political hopefuls will take usBill Hare (The Conversation): “The federal election campaign takes place against a background of flooding on Australia’s east coast, where some residents remain in temporary accommodation a month after the disaster. It’s just the latest reminder Australia is set to become a poster child for climate change harms. Australia has warmed about 1.4 degrees since 1910. With it has come extreme heat, bushfires, floods, drought and now, a sixth huge bleaching event on the Great Barrier Reef. Yet meaningful climate policy debate has largely been absent from this election campaign. So Climate Analytics, a research organisation I lead, has weighed up the policies of the Coalition, Labor, the Greens and the ‘teal’ independents.

“We analysed the global warming implications of each party’s or candidate’s target for 2030. As the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warns, this timeframe is crucial if the world is to stay below the Paris Agreement’s goal of limiting warming to 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels. Dramatic action by 2030 is also vital to reaching net-zero emissions by 2050 or earlier. Alarmingly, the Coalition’s climate policy is consistent with a very dangerous 3 degrees of global warming. Labor’s policy is slightly better, but only policies by the Greens and the “teals” are consistent with keeping global warming at or below 1.5 degrees.”

HOLD THE FRONT PAGE

The Latest Headlines

WHAT’S ON TODAY

Online

  • Federal Minister for Industry, Energy and Emissions Reduction Angus Taylor and shadow spokesperson for Climate Change and Energy Chris Bowen MP will go head-to-head in a Federal Climate Ministers debate at 11am AEST.

  • Tune into Australia’s Climate Choices afterwards with ClimateWorks Centre’s Anna Skarbek, Commonwealth Bank Australia’s Alex Matthews, Fortescue’s Julie Shuttleworth, and Deloitte Access Economic’s Pradeep Philip — this kicks off at 1pm AEST.

Eora Nation Country (also known as Sydney)

  • School Strike 4 Climate will hold an election strike calling politicians to end fossil fuel handouts and political donations, as well as to commit to net zero by 2030.

Kulin Nation Country (also known as Melbourne)

  • Treasurer Josh Frydenberg will be at a business breakfast at the Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Yuggera Country (also known as Brisbane)

  • Data expert Selena Fisk will speak about her guide, I’m Not a Numbers Person, at Avid Reader bookshop. You can also catch this one online.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief
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