Climate Change Australia – Now He’s A Believer

Posted on Wed 10/28/2015 by


Bolt New 01By Andrew Bolt ~

There is a slight contradiction in Paul Kelly’s praise for Australia’s Prime Minister:

Global Warming PoliticsIn the latest display of his business/rationalist outlook, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has bagged the role of ideology in the climate change debate, breaking from both the green lobbies and Tony Abbott, and has signalled his strategy to bury the culture war over climate change that has mocked Australia’s intelligence and weakened its policy response.

Turnbull and his Environment Minister, Greg Hunt, are lining up a position for the 2016 election that will appeal to the mainstream, pitch to common sense and practical action in combating climate change but confront the ideologues seeking to punish the economy and households.

The ingredients are now in place. They begin with Turnbull’s credentials as a climate change believer, unlike the sceptical Abbott.

So Turnbull is not an “ideologue” but he is a “believer”.

I guess the difference is that while Turnbull does not question the warming gospel, does not question the predicted Apocalypse and does not question the need for prayer (making purely ritualistic gestures to “stop” global warming), he at least does not construct a whole liberation theology to go with it. This is about virtue and not the overthrow of capitalism.

That’s fine as far as it goes, but it does not go far.

Note, by the way, that Turnbull’s approach is contrasted with Abbott in only one particular – in the language used. Their policies are so far actually identical. Sadly, Abbott could not afford to show his scepticism. Turnbull, I suspect, has none to conceal.


Our coal industry supplies our cheapest and most reliable source of electricity. It pays around $40 billion a year in taxes and royalties. It directly employs about 40,000 Australians. Oh, and the world has barely warmed a jot over the past 18 years.

Yet the Sydney Morning Herald’s Mark Kenny believes that getting rid of our coal industry is the “centre ground” of politics:

The timing of Dr Alan Finkel’s appointment as Chief Scientist coincided with 61 eminent Australians taking out a full page newspaper advertisement to seek a moratorium on any new coal mines in Australia – the proposed Carmichael mega-mine in the Galilee Basis, being target number one.

Like many in the broader community, the group expects the green-tinged Turnbull to shift the Coalition on climate policy towards the centre-ground. Specifically it wants to put coal mining – as distinct from merely the carbon-dioxide released from its burning – on the upcoming Paris climate change agenda.

Turnbull instead told them their idea was wrong-headed… It would have been Turnbull’s own “coal is good for humanity” moment were it not for his Finkel appointment and the question it raises about his underlying values in this debate.

The Nationals demanded Malcolm Turnbull agree to stick with existing climate change policies in exchange for its support for him to become Prime Minister. Now the Left is hoping – even expecting – the real Turnbull will emerge as soon as possible.

Lenore Taylor:

Malcolm Turnbull needs all his rhetorical skill to bridge the gap between what he knows is true and what he has to say to appease his party.

Asked about the future of Australian coal exports on Tuesday, Turnbull started with the familiar “energy poverty” argument…

Similarly, Turnbull had to do a rhetorical dance around the call for a global moratorium on new coalmines, choosing to assert (incorrectly) that the argument was for an Australia-only moratorium and explaining that there were many other producers of coal, including China itself, which was about to become a net coal exporter…

Turnbull fully understands the massive technological change afoot in the energy sector, he understands climate science, and he is impatient for Australia to be right in the thick of the clean energy race.

But he is constrained by the policy he has inherited and the mentality of some in his party.

The Left is giving Turnbull a pass for as long as it believes he doesn’t believe in his government’s own climate policies. Conservatives won’t trust him until they believe he does.

Andrew Bolt is a journalist and columnist writing for The Herald Sun in Melbourne Victoria Australia.

Andrew Bolt’s columns appear in Melbourne’s Herald Sun, Sydney’s Daily Telegraph and Adelaide’s Advertiser. He runs the most-read political blog in Australia and hosts Channel 10’s The Bolt Report each Sunday at 10am. He is also heard from Monday to Friday at 8am on the breakfast show of radio station MTR 1377, and his book  Still Not Sorry remains very widely read.

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