February 22nd 2020


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Articles from this issue:

COVER STORY Coronavirus: China must answer hard questions

EDITORIAL Inquiry needed into medically transitioning children

CANBERRA OBSERVED Nationals leave the home paddock unattended

ENVIRONMENTALISM Bushfires are being used as fuel for green polling

GENDER POLITICS Senator Amanda Stoker takes a stand on transgenderism

RURAL AFFAIRS Drought loan scheme deficient in delivery

MANUFACTURING Renewables push puts aluminium smelters at risk

ENERGY Is agricultural biomass viable as an energy producer?

SOCIETY Cold is more lethal than heat worldwide

CLIMATE POLICY Adaptation: A better way to tackle global warming

LITERATURE AND SOCIETY The poetry of Distributism

AUSTRALIAN HISTORY What if the French had settled Australia?

HUMOUR Ern Malley Writers' Festival goes 'bang'

MUSIC Nina Simone: At the raw edge of pain

CINEMA Where wars intersect our lives: A Hidden Life, Midway

BOOK REVIEW Atheism with an Islamic cast gives way to the Catholic Church

BOOK REVIEW The janitor opened a door

POETRY

LETTERS

AS THE WORLD TURNS

CLIMATE POLITICS Business joins Big Brother in climate-change chorus

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ENVIRONMENTALISM
Bushfires are being used as fuel for green polling


by Chris McCormack

News Weekly, February 22, 2020

 

  • Forty per cent believe global warming not man-made
  • Australia is world’s fastest adopter of renewables
  • Media using fires to “prove” climate-change

Since the widespread bushfires in Australia, the media has been having a field day linking the fires to climate change and highlighting polling that ostensibly shows that more Australians are demanding action on climate change.

The ABC has been a broken record, suggesting those who don’t accept the link between the fires and climate change are effectively brain dead. This, despite quoting a Climate of the Nation Report in which nearly 40 per cent of Australians believe humans are not responsible for global warming.

All this media hype may be influencing polling results, but one also has to look at whether the poll questions are loaded to pre-determine a particular response.

A Lowy Institute 2019 poll incorporating “climate change and energy” began with the statement: “Now about global warming. There is a controversy over what the countries of the world, including Australia, should do about the problem of global warming.”

Survey respondents were then asked to choose which one of three statements reflected their view, but the faulty premise that “global warming” was a problem could influence responses. That poll showed 61 per cent wanted action taken now, 28 per cent wanted gradual, low-cost steps taken, and 10 per cent agreed that no action should be taken at this time.

Clashing priorities

Conversely, a Newspoll in The Australian conducted on 1661 people between September 5 and 7, 2019, found that 37 per cent of respondents said the highest priority for the Government should be reducing the cost of living, followed by 20 per cent prioritising action on climate change.

Arguably, the two highest priorities are incompatible: that is to say, subsidising renewable energy and implementing taxes on carbon-dioxide emissions will markedly increase the cost of living. Wholesale power prices in the National Electricity Market (NEM) rose 85 per cent in the period 2013–19 as renewables flooded the NEM. Not to mention curtailing our freedom to drive, eat, fly and live where and how we wish.

This misperception about the real effects of taxing carbon dioxide is the result of relentless media propaganda that has demonised carbon dioxide and equates renewables to lower power prices.

‘Appalling’ is right

In February 2019, Guardian reporter and climate zealot Kathryn Murphy wrote: “The Coalition’s policy record on climate change is appalling … absolutely, indefensibly, appalling.” Yet, Australian National University research shows that the Government has (idiotically) spent per capita 10 times the global average on renewable energy? Australia is, in fact, the world’s fastest adopter of renewables per capita, installing them 2½ times faster than Germany and four to five times faster than the European Union, Japan, the United States and China.

I agree that the Coalition’s policy is appalling, but for the exact opposite reason: it is destroying our standard of living in pursuit of the solution to an imaginary problem.

In November last year, Murphy referenced the Essential Poll, which claimed 60 per cent of respondents believe Australia should be doing more to combat “climate-change”. But the poll is online only, which can skew results. Essential Media’s executive director is Peter Lewis, who wrote in The Guardian of the Coalition’s “parallel universe where the fires are the work of greenies and arsonists”.

Despite the polling, Australians rejected radical climate-change policies at the federal election. It is no wonder that some National Party MPs are now questioning the party’s raison d’etre under the current leadership, which has rubber-stamped the city-centric Liberals’ policy on subsidising renewables at the expense of reliable and affordable power as well as endorsing the insidious Murray-Darling Basin Plan, which has robbed farmers of affordable (or in some cases any) water and their livelihood.

While the Nationals have the balance of power, they should stand up to the Liberals, whose radical free-trade and deregulationist policies are decimating regional and rural Australia in particular, and whose renewables obsession is killing large industry and businesses of all sizes.

This is the only way to force the hand of the Liberals, whose globalist ideology will (possibly) only be restrained in the face of electoral defeat. It will also go some way towards protecting the Nationals from electoral defeat at the hands of parties such as One Nation and the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party.

Similarly, the PM and sensible Coalition members should categorically dispel the myth that the bushfires are the result of climate change and vigorously prosecute the argument that state governments’ lack of controlled burns have increased the fuel load leading to massive fire fronts.

The PM’s response in January to the fires, saying that Government policies would “evolve” to reduce emissions “even further”, is only going to alienate those voters who chose to vote for the least-destructive energy policy of the two majors at the last election.




























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