Ripples of Climategate? Liberal MP's desert Turnbull in Australia over emissions trading scheme

Wow, Australia’s parliament just imploded over discord due to emissions trading scheme being pushed by opposition leader Malcolm Turnbull (website here). Here’s the news from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation:

click image for the news story

Pretty heavy stuff when Liberal MP’s resign rather than vote for a cap and trade scheme. The vote seems rather difficult now.


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Capn Jack Walker

Liberals in Australia are conservatives think of them slightly light republican.
Tradtionalists and a Party for business people.
Labor was originally a union movement but with the almost universal decline in union membership, they are a party of the left. The Greens who always vote with Labor are Australia’s hard left.

Johnny Honda



Excellent news – makes me proud to be an Australian. I was just about to switch my vote to the other conservative (sic) party in Australia – the “Nationals”. (Actually I might yet – at least in the Senate.)
Unfortunately Australia will still probably get an ETS bill passed this year but these guys negotiated it to be a bit better (less worse) than it otherwise might have been before they resigned.


Good point Capn Jack – the “Liberal” party are a centre-right party, rather than truly conservative (hence my “sic” above) and in the main are not “small l” liberal; the name is confusing for non-Aussies.


The Rudd government is still trying to force the ETS through. Man I hope it fails, it will destroy this country.


I wouldn’t say they have resigned because of the recent ‘climategate’ events. There was deep party divide over the ETS before ‘climategate’ became public.
I havent seen the CRU emails/data leak mentioned in any media over here yet.
REPLY: It’s been all over the Herald Sun. And I didn’t mean to suggest they did resign over it, only the growing doubts. -A

Some commentary from Joanne Nova, most of which applies equally to the US and UK:
Journalists view world through a mirror: see things in reverse. Coming soon, is one of those In-the-Matrix moments when reality shifts for our journalists.
The realization that the CO2 theory is fraudulent is spreading across the political spectrum, from right to left. Hard nosed realists first, ideologues last.

Greg Cavanagh

Nor have I seen any mention of this unfolding email leak mention in any news broadcast in Australia. Its been 6 days now and not a word.
REPLY: You have not seen it in the Herald Sun? I’ve seen several articles there. Still I’ll take your word for it and I’m just leaving the title free of the suggestion and only the story line. – A


Michael and Greg,
it is all over Andrew Bolt’s Herald Sun articles, and his and Tim Blair’s blogs. There was a soft mention in the Brisbane Courier Mail and a better on in the Australian (national) newspaper hard copy.
They didn’t call it “climategate” though.
I saw it called “Climaquiddick” somewhere, because the Media will ignore and then hush it up. [A – please feel free to snip that last sentence if it’s outside comment policy.]

a jones

I am not sure, not being au fait with Australian politics or constitution.
From what I understood after the Senate rejected the bill the gov’t reintroduced it and should it fail again can call an election for both houses: I believe the last time that happened was under Gough Whitlam.
Now apparently, and again I am not sure Turnbull agreed with the gov’t to pass the revised bill effectually without a vote: and this gave the impression that the new bill would be waived through. I am not sure whether the defections mean that is now true and if it is not whether the bill can pass.
So could somebody from down under please explain. That means you DMS.
Kindest Regards


I thought it was only Andrew Bolt giving climategate some traction. Guess I havent been looking hard enough…
Bit of coverage and a Lateline Video link on ABC if any Aussie’s are interested;


Emails in play- –
“I’ve received over the years many, many emails and phone calls,” he said.
“They have never been to the level that I’m receiving them at the moment.”
~Alby Schultz
“We are receiving thousands of emails from all over Australia from people who are outraged that the Government will implement and introduce a $120 billion tax with no possible environmental benefit.”
“The Australian temper about the ETS is white hot – they hate it,” he said.
~Senator Cory Bernadi


Most people here in Australia are unaware of the CRU hack and the questions it brings. I also have not seen any coverage at all on the televised media or any major coverage in the dailies. Thank goodness we have the internet. I just wish more people understood what the ETS really means, and the baseless science driving it


I emailed Baraby Joyce the link to the NZ Climategate thread with links to the Marble bar and Kalgoorlie adjustments.
about 2-3 hours ago
Hopefully the senate may toss it out .


Apologies for multiple comments.
Here’s the story from The Australian
“Hot and bothered”
“CLIMATE change sceptics have pounced on the mass release by hackers of emails between climate scientists that appear to portray the scientists as fudgers and obfuscators of data and as plotters who would undermine their opponents’ work.”
also within the text
“Opposition Senate leader and Australia’s unofficial chief climate change sceptic Nick Minchin says the email scandal has strengthened a point he has long made.”
Opposition senate leader Nick Minchin is one who resigned today; I don’t think Anthony’s Climategate link is miles off.


Time for a real leader KEVIN ANDREWS to step up and oppose the global bullies of climate change, this Turnball guy is an ex banker, like the ones who are setting up the ETS

Patrick Davis

“Greg Cavanagh (23:49:46) :
Nor have I seen any mention of this unfolding email leak mention in any news broadcast in Australia. Its been 6 days now and not a word.
REPLY: You have not seen it in the Herald Sun? I’ve seen several articles there. Still I’ll take your word for it and I’m just leaving the title free of the suggestion and only the story line. – A”
Anthony, I thank you for your site and bringing these stories to our attention. Thankyou Al Gore for inventing the interenet 😉
But, here in Aus there has been very little coverage in the MSN and main news broadcasts. It has featured in “Technology” sections of the SMH for instance, but wasn’t up on their site for long on the front page. There also has been a little coverage in late TV programs like “DateLine”, but that is it.
In all, there’s no coverage of the hack/leak at the CRU. There will be no, or little, coverae of the NIWA event either.
The ruling elites in Aus are pro-AGW, with fingers in both ears, both eyes shut, and screaming “I can’t hear you! Blah blah blah blah…!”


Again, sorry for multiple comments.
a jones,
you’re pretty close. If a bill is rejected twice then the Government can call a “double dissolution” and all house and senate seats are vacant and up for election. (A bit like your mid terms not all seats are necessarily up at each election).
It does require a vote in the senate though and not a “wave through” (it has already passed the house by vote the second time). That second senate vote will be tomorrow (Friday) or Monday (remembering we’re a day ahead).
The Labor (left) govt will vote in favour, the National Party (conservative) will vote against, the Greens will vote against (strangely! but that’s because it isn’t “tough enough”) leaving this party above with the casting vote. As of yesterday I though they would vote in favour/favor (i.e. we’d get an ETS). Not so sure now, but I still don’t think these guys quite have the numbers. I think we’ll get it by a squeak, unfortunately, unless others follow these resignations and there’s another leadership spill (there was an unsuccessful one yesterday to remove the leader).
This is exciting stuff – shame so much rides on a few wavering votes.

Graeme from Melbourne

Personally I love it – Turnbull is a “True Believer” and ex head of Goldman Sachs in Australia…
The sooner he and his adherance to a fraudulent idea are ousted the better.
Graeme from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Geoff C

The Liberals (conservatives) yesterday had a party meeting and decided not to have a vote for leadership. Turnbull won 45-37. His problem is that indeed if the bill is rejected, it could trigger a dissolution of both houses and an early election. However, the Liberals would not win on current polling. They may have better numbers by next November when the election is due. He did manage to easily negotiate to have several ammendments which weaken the ETS. The Greens and Liberal right don’t like the ETS bill.
A sideline is that Turnbull is an ex-merchent banker, so would dearly love his mates (cronies) to have an ETS (cap-n-trade) so they can make lotsa money off the Aussie sheeple. He is also a republican in that he wants to be rid of the monarchy. Most of his party probably think he is a bit too left wing.
The prime minister Kevin Rudd, on the other hand, is an ex-diplomat. He is very boring and waffles a lot like most bureaucrats. It is widely believed he is an opportunist, not an idealist and just wants an ETS now to impress the UN, so he can fulfill his duel ambition of being let onto the UN security council, and one day being the head of the UN. Don’t let him, please, US voters.

Australians are treated to a daily diet of climate armageddon by the MSM, the television channel SBS one in particular. Congratulations to those politicians who quit in protest. They put their intellect and commonsense on the line and refused to go along with the complete airheads who lead them. While Turnbull is unfit for the job, it is just nauseating to watch that pious little prefect Krudd pontifificate on the weather and just about everything else that takes his fancy. I anticipate a public revolt if the ETS is ever implemented, a revolt which will consign all these moronic political warmists to Siberia.


The Democratic Party is the party of opression.

a jones

Thanx DMS.
I am in the UK by the way.
Exciting times indeed.
We shall see what we shall see.
Kindest Regards


The Australian Liberals are NOT a conservative party. They once were, a long time ago.
Today – if you look at their policies, they are almost identical to the US Democrats in policy and priciples.
Australian politics in general, is far to the left of the US politics.
The Liberals are a Centre-Left party, while Labour (the party in power in Aus) are an far-left/socialist party by US standards.
That`s even more important because now we have a centre-left party with people quiting over AGW.

Geoff C

Andrew Bolt’s presence is mostly his blog on the Herald Sun opinion section. Not much other sceptical view is included, but the paper is socially conservative and popular and can change very quickly. He had a large centre spread in todays paper paper.
The newspaper The Australian is a bit more intellectual and sometimes has sceptical views, but has a low circulation. The Age (or Sydney morning Herald) is dominated by left wing elitists, pompous school teachers and other radicals that can’t listen to any rational debate and they have their fingers in their ears.


Just to get foreign readers (non Australian) up to speed the story goes something like this:
The government (which is the Labor party) have been negotiating with the opposition party (Liberals) on the ETS scheme that Rudd (the PM) is determined to get through before Copenhagen (delusions of grandeur).
The Liberal party are so divided on this issue that after Turnbull (The opposition leader) announced an agreement had been reached with the government to allow the bill to pass to the senate for final vote, a faction of his party called for a leadership spill. He won the leadership vote 48-35 (or something similar), hardly flattering for him.
Now the ETS bill has to pass the senate vote before it becomes law. Those shadow ministers that would have been compelled to vote the party line have resigned their positions on the ‘front bench’ (ie they held portfolio positions) to go to the ‘back bench’ which allows them to vote as they please.
The funny thing is we also have the Nationals who are dead against it, and the Greens who will vote against it only because they don’t think it goes far enough!
I don’t know how the number stack up but I hope it doesn’t get through.


While the issue of the emails was covered for two days in the Australian news paper, front page on 23/11/09 and a full page on 24/11/09 there has been no mention on any TV broadcast that I have seen in Australia. No attention was paid to the more serious issues of the code and data. Senator Minchin was reported to be aware of the emails and their significance in the 24/11/09 edition. Given the that many skeptical or realist Liberals are now threatening to resign from party positions over Mr. Turnbull’s spineless handling of the whole climate matter, I would guess most are aware of the leak. My feelings as an Australian are that Mr. Turnbull is a fatuous buffoon who believes issues of science can be measured by political and popular opinion. If an ETS passes in Australia the public will blame the Liberal party who had the chance of stopping it, but chose to avoid an early election. Sadly the Labor party can be excused as they were voted in to do this damage.

King of Cool

Turnbull has just held a Press Conference and is going down like a kamikaze pilot defiantly calling for action over climate change and at the same time destroying the integrity of his own party and everything they stand for.
Passions are running high all over the country but there is no doubt that Turnbull cannot survive as leader of what appears to be majority that do not support his view.
That view is confused because there has never been a proper debate over the effect of humans over climate. Hopefully, if anything this political crisis, the likes of which I have never seen, may encourage more debate. However, the MSM will be spinning the issue as a destabilised opposition who do not care about the environment rather than concentrating on the issue which is the futility of an ETS that would do nothing for the country except to send it broke.

Geoff C

On monday, ‘climategate’ got 40,000 hits in google.
Today it is 5,500,000


@Patrick Davis (00:10:43) : The headline (ie 7:10am) part of Sunrise this morning on Ch7 ran the story. It started off well, live cross to the UK with a report on the leaked emails, then it all went pear shaped when Kochie lobbed skeptics’ questions to Nick Rowley who answered them in true Rudd/Wong-speak. Video here: I’m told after that segment they promised to have an AGW skeptic on the show but only if they were a climate scientist. Anyone wanna forward them Lindzen’s phone number?
Anthony – Bolt has been superb but apart from his column yesterday (this runs in the print edition on Wed and Fri in the Herald Sun, Australia’s highest selling newspaper), there has been no column inches in the print edition dedicated to this (that I’ve seen).


I have been trying to understand Turnbull’s thinking and simply can’t. There’s obviously a bit stubborn price and trying to impose his authority in it but he was well aware of the divisions in his party on the issue, which have been simmering for some time, and the release of the CRU documents gave him a golden opportunity to say that, with the new information to hand, he would step back and reconsider. That’s all he had to do. The Cap and Tax has been shelved. Copenhagen is going nowhere. What’s the imperative to pass it here? To enable Rudd to boast about his world leadership?
Turnbull is my own M.P. and I’ve written to him on many occasions on this subject. Earlier, when the ETS was popular (public ignorance) he was afraid of a double dissolution wipeout but he MUST be aware now of the changes in public perceptions. In fact, his only opportunity to win the next election is to reject the legislation and force Labor to stand on it in an election. Just think what a scare campaign could be run.
Everyone is always saying how bright Turnbull is so I have to assume that he knows all this. This leaves only two options that I can see –
1. He’s such an idealogue that he will go to any lengths, including
destroying his own party and leadership, to get this through (which
means he’s in the wrong party), or
2. There is some pecuniary interest in it for him. He did, after all, make his
considerable fortune as a merchant banker.
If anyone has any other possible explanation I’d be delighted to hear it because I’m stumped.


Sat through a presentation of our ETS (CPRS) from the WA Treasury Department. It is clear they do not have a grasp of the mechanics of the scheme nor the economic implications. Australia has a growing population and is set for another wave of the mining boom driven by Chinese demand… and at this point in time we want to decrease carbon emissions based on year 2000 levels?
The government is going to fix the number of permits allocated per year, but they also want to cap the price at AUD$20 per tonne of CO2-e… now I don’t know, but I was taught that even a pure monopolist can only control price or quantity … not both. Once the cap is lifted the price will explode on a freely traded market and we can wave a lot of marginal industries goodbye.
Also the “free” permit allocations are to be based on emissions intensity. So for EITEs (Emissions Intensive Trade Exposed) industries they get 94.5% or 66% of their permits free depending on their emissions intensity.
Emissions intensity = Tonnes CO2-e / (price * quantity) We will be committing to a 5% minimum reduction of CO2-e emissions. We emit 1.5% of the world’s CO2… so this massive hit to industry which involves massive revenue reallocation, will reduce the world’s man made CO2 emission by a whopping 0.075%.
/golfclap Emperor Rudd

Gregg E.

It always strikes me as an odd thing in so many countries where a batch of politicians will just up and quit or withdraw from an election when things get tough. How can they affect (or effect) things when they *quit*?
Remember the last elections in Iran? The Mullahs disqualified most of the conservative candidates so in “defiant protest” almost all the ones not disqualified withdrew. Brilliant plan! Hand over the entire government to the crazy people.
I do like the concept of forcing everyone to go up for election all at once. Gives a chance for the voters to really clean house, though I suspect the sheep of all parties return most of the rotters back to their offices.
Something I thought of today for the US Senate, if the Republicans want to try and filibuster a cap and trade bill, the perfect reading material would be the CRU e-mails and other documents. That’d be a real side-slapper to get it all read into the Congressional record! e-mail your Senators and suggest it. 🙂

Geoff C

The following paragraph from Andrew Bolt today wraps it up nicely for the Liberals. I think this is true for many political parties around the world.
So the fight now MUST belatedly be about the state of the science itself, a a debate I’ve urged on the Liberals for the best part of a decade. Lazy bastards are now reaping their failure to do so – are paying for their lack of intellectual curiosty, their lack of faith in their power to convince, and their lack of courage. Still, many are showing courage now, and the fight cannot now be shirked.
I hope they show more guts than they have showed over the last few years,

Nick Stokes

The point about the Liberals being the more conservative party is that this is a split in the side with doubts about the ETS. The Labor government is united in support of the legislation, but does not have a majority in the Senate (nor do the Liberals).
Read DMS’s post carefully if you want to follow this. It’s possible that the more chaotic Senate could reject the ETS, for varied reasons. But the counter is that Labor could then force an election in which all members of both houses would face the voters. Senators normally have six year terms (rotating as in US, but three year election cycles), so that is painful for some. And in the current climate, Labor would win easily (and then pass the ETS). They are the tactical issues that have put the Liberals in a spot.

Chris Polis
Greg Spurgin

Its great to see that the Liberals are finally standing up to Rudd and the ETS scheme. The Liberals are going to loose the next election anyway – no government in Australia gets throw out after one term. However if the Liberals oppose the ETS they will have something to fight the Labor Party with in the 2013 Election. I think the climate skeptics grow in numbers every year, and by 2013 they will be an even greater electoral force.


For some reason my previous post was slightly chopped up. What I meant to add was that:
Emissions intensity = Tonnes CO2-e / (price * quantity)
Tonnes emitted and quantity produced do not change that much for industry from year to year, but price varies enormously in the mineral industries. Thus EITE free permits will be at the whim of international metal markets. Some years a particular industry, say alumina refining, may get 66% of their permits free, the next (after a price increase) they may drop below the 1200 Co2-e per A$million threshold and lose them all.
This scenario is clearly unacceptable risk to industry. I sincerely hope they intend to smooth these transitions out.


Front benchers are the “shadow govt” ie the people in opposition who are the most senior and have portfolios simulating the govt positions. Whilst part of the front bench they are not allowed to vote against their own party lines. If they resign from the front bench and become a “back bencher” the party does permit them to cross the floor and vote against their own party.
FOllowing about 10 Liberal front benchers resigning today so that they can go against party decisions and vote against what the party wants them to vote for, there was intense speculation the leader would resign. (The leader is intent on passing the ETS bill.) The leader called a press conference where many thought he would resign but instead he dug his heels in. There is significant opposition to the bill in the Liberal party largely due to the intense grass roots movement that have been calling, faxing and emailing their politicians telling them to vote against the bill.
The question now is a) whether there will be another leadership challenge (there was one yesterday that was defeated) and/or b) whether there are enough liberal senators that will vote against their own party in the vote tomorrow or Monday.
Sadly, current analysis seems to indicate the bill will just go through. If there is another leadership challenge though this may change.


Admittedly somewhat OT but there’s a new take on the email release here
I think we can assume that the Daily Mail does not always print that which is not true as alleged by some.


From Andrew Bolt’s Blog in the Herald Sun –
“Turnbull at his press conference says he’ll fight and claims no modern party can survive if it’s sceptical about man-made warming. ”
Question answered – he’s a lunatic.

When considering the history of this event,and the possible outcome ,it is relevant to know that Malcolm Turnbull was an executive with Goldman Sachs.
Some people say “follow the money”.


Now that’s my kinda Jimmy Hansen……

Patrick Davis

Well, finally, there is some coverage at the SMH…
But it seems to be the tinyest trickle.

Jack Jennings

Hi All, I’ve been watching this Climategate unfold, slowly gathering way. So pleased to see all the Aus comments here. In Melbourne we’ve been hit by very early, really hot weather, which of course Rudd has linked directly to AGW.
I’ve searched the MSM eg The Australian, The Age and SBS News to see an emergence of news about CRU and they have been very, very slow to post anything. Given how much they exclaim that AGW is the most urgent issue and that the calamities are so great then a issue that speaks to the heart of the whole AGW hypothesis seems extremely odd. Instead we get articles about ice loss in east Antarctica that posit a 100% error factor.
My 2 bobs worth is that Rudd needs the ETS money to pay for all the money he gave away in the GFS stimulus (we didn’t need) and has put the word on the MSM not to spill the beans about the CRU exposure until after he has his ETS. It’s all about the money.
There are many, many people genuinely (I assume) worried about effects of AGW on their children & others so the work of WUWT is so important in providing links to information, discussion and intellectual rigour.
Cheers & thanks, Jack

Tony Abbott, you little beauty! This won’t stop the legislation, and the opposition is unlikely to win after a double dissolution. But with luck we’ll have party-delineated opposition to AGW, with front and back bench skeptics on Labor’s side.
Cometh the hour, cometh the Jesuit boy.

Jack Jennings

Hi moderators,
my last post had the wrong email address. You always notice these things a nano second after your finger hits the button.
Thanks for your sterling work, Jack

Geoff Larsen

The Senate will vote by 3.45 pm Australian Eastern time Friday. A note on the numbers in the Senate. The party numbers are: –
ALP- 32 All will vote yes.
CLP- 1 will vote no.
Fam 1st- 1 will vote no.
Greens- 4 will vote no.
Indep- 1 not sure.
Lib-32 Assuming the independent votes yes 5 have to vote yes for it to pass.
Nats.- 4 will vote no.
Total no. of Senators – 75. A majority is 38 minimum.
The Liberal Senators are currently meeting. The Liberal Senate leader & dup. leader offered their resignations earlier but the party leader, Malcolm Turnbull asked that they stay on till this legislation goes through the Senate.
Nine or ten liberal members resigned from the opposition front bench yesterday & today. Turnbull is under tremendous pressure; I don’t see how he can survive because he has dug in his heels on this issue to get this legislation through. He stacked his leadership on getting this legislation through the Senate after negotiating with the Labour party (A.L.P.) for 5 weeks. In a press interview 1 3/4 hours ago he emphasised again that “climate change” is the most important issue of the times, blah, blah, blah and is not standing down.
My bet and I could be wrong; the legislation will not pass & Turnbull will not be liberal leader for long.
Nothing to do with Climategate, sorry. What’s driving this is huge pressure from the Liberal’s grassroot constituents, since the party meeting last Tuesday, who don’t agree with this legislation.

Geoff Sherrington

In Australia, it’s wedge politics. If the Liberal/National coalition refused to pass the ETS, that could trigger a double dissolution, which could happen sooner than the normal scheduled election. At a DD, all seats in both Houses become vacant. In a normal election, only half of the Upper House (Senate) comes up, the other half alternates 4 years onwards. The Libs have no desire for a DD because chances are they would lose the small control they now have in the Senate by making unholy alliances with the few Greens and some reasonable alliances with a couple of thinking Independents.
So it became a matter of Principle or Politics. That separates honest people. The ambitious ones can’t adjust to a wait of 4 years plus to the next election, so they go for politics in the hope that “someting” might spring up. That something could be the CRU emails and an analysis of their sigificance, but the MSM is playing that down because (a) if fails the skill to understand the significance and (b) it wants Labor back anyhow. Most journos here are just a bit short of Communism. Andrew Bolt is the standout exception.
BTW, there has been no publicity given to the targets who will receive windfalls from a Tax on carbon. One can only assume the prospect of pork barrelling on a grand scale. Likewise, there’s no access to a balance sheet calculating of GHG will increase or decrease. It’s just Loony Tunes stuff.


send my a photo of your “greatest AGW hero” and i`ll fix it in the montage below: