Is Aussie PM Turnbull quietly dismantling Abbott's Climate Legacy?

Abbott, Lomborg and Turnbull, source Wikimedia

Abbott, Lomborg and Turnbull, source Wikimedia, Abbott picture author MystifyMe Concert Photography (Troy), Turnbull picture Вени Марковски, Lomborg picture free use

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

The new Australian PM Malcolm Turnbull may be quietly dismantling former Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s climate initiatives. The latest move is the cancellation of an offer to fund Bjørn Lomborg’s Climate Consensus Centre.

According to the Australian ABC;

The Federal Government says it has withdrawn a $4 million offer to help establish a climate change research centre headed by Bjorn Lomborg.

Education Minister Simon Birmingham has told a Senate estimates hearing the proposal was quietly dropped in the week when Malcolm Turnbull became Prime Minister.

“Certainly, a specific incentive from the Government for such an institute is no longer available,” Senator Birmingham said.

Read more:

Malcolm Turnbull won the leadership challenge against former PM Tony Abbott, by promising to maintain Tony Abbott’s climate policies. An apparent substantive breach of that promise in the first week of leadership is a bit of a record, even for an Australian Prime Minister. So far Turnbull has declined to offer the Australian people an opportunity to vote their approval of this change in direction. Turnbull’s hesitation to obtain a mandate from the Australian people may be understandable, given that Australia voted overwhelmingly for climate skeptic Tony Abbott in the last election.

117 thoughts on “Is Aussie PM Turnbull quietly dismantling Abbott's Climate Legacy?

    • When judging a politician, always go by their long held positions, not the promises they are making in the heat of a campaign. Politicians will say anything to get elected, but their long held positions determine how they will govern.

      • Bri
        I think our language is flexible enough to allow both to be right.
        It is
        Its – possessive – the breathing belonging to the politician; hence it’s – or its (possessive) – lying. . . ..
        Don’t stress.
        It is about communication – IMHO.

  1. Reblogged this on Climatism and commented:
    Australian’s voted overwhelmingly for sceptical climate policies when Tony Abbott was elected as Australia’s PM.
    Malcolm Turnbull agreed not to water down any of Abbott’s policies as a trade for taking over leadership.
    Turnbull is a staunch global warmist and will view all broken climate promises as virtuous and in the interests of the planet. (Gaia and the UN)

    • I think the political truth is more “nuanced.” I think Turnbull will stick to the emission cut promises of the former Abbott-led government, but the method may vary. Abbott had his “Direct Action” plan (i.e. pay for emissions reductions via competing projects). I think you’ll find Turnbull changing tack and promising the same reductions but through an ETS. This will be pitched as saving the electorate money and keep Turnbull’s investment banker buddies happy. Politically its a win-win for him.
      Paris is now looking particularly dangerous. Here’s hoping for another ClimateGate-like incident in the next couple weeks.

  2. I think we’ll have another change in political direction now that the Canadian voters have shot themselves in their collective feet, by electing another Trudeau.

      • It was mutual between Snoozooki and Poutine Trudeau. Kitchen implements in a race to better besmirch.

      • Suzuki called him a twerp, and on this point he is correct.
        Within hours of the election result, the CBC enthusiastically trumpeted that Trudeau will be going to the Paris Summit to sign the climate treaty and that a carbon tax will be in place within a year.
        Canadians haven’t a clue what they have done.

      • Klem, some of us do. If you were watching closely, you may have noticed that Alberta and Saskatchewan did not vote for that guy. Apperantly we are the only ones who can see through the BS.

      • Klem,
        Things are not always as they appear.and I am not convinced that Trudeau is enamoured of the fight to change the world’s climate to an unspecified state.
        Reading between some lines over the period of the election campaign, I noted that Trudeau pointedly didn’t offer any emissions reduction target, tried to deflect questions about what he was going to do about it onto the Premiers of the Provinces and, yesterday, alluded to the “climate change file”.
        In my mind, that is not the language of someone who is passionate about the subject. He had just been talking about the bombing of isil, murders of Aboriginal women, child care and so on and he didn’t refer to them as “files”.
        It would be naive to expect him to announce that he has no interest in the Paris thing and doesn’t really care about GW.
        As for taxes, I don’t personally care what they’re called, they’re not going to go away.

      • mebbe, not wanting to talk about climate change could also mean that he knew that letting his real positions be known, would cost him more votes than it would gain. So he did his best to not answer such questions.

      • The action of getting elected involves letting people think what they want about you and not revealing anything that would create competing polarities. The Libs promised nearly nothing and they will deliver on that. The essence of populism is to be seen doing popular things. How can anyone be ‘against Paris’? Paris in the fall can be quite pretty.
        There is a Change/Org petition going round calling for the Green Party leader to be made Environment Minister. That ought to create some polarities!

      • In the race to the political bottom with respect to the executive branch, I think I speak for most Americans when I say we are well ahead, hands down. My only solace, given the relative ages of my children and myself, is that I won’t have to explain to my grandchildren why their world is turning to cr*p.

      • D. J. Hawkins – things can change ….. Australia and Canada were the stand-out bastions of sanity while the USA sank enthusiastically into carbon dioxide lunacy and self-destruction. Now Australia and Canada have turned and the world appears doomed unless someone like the NZ PM can firm up and punch way above his country’s weight. That’s not a pretty state for the world to be in. But, at the end of next year, one of the ultra insane-or-incompetent leaders gets removed from office, thank goodness, and there is then a distinct possibility that the USA will elect a republican (pleeeease not Trump) and start us all back on the path to sanity. Mind you, there is still the possibility that self-interest will prevail in Paris, ie, all the mealy-mouthed toadying wimps will still have enough spine to make yet more grand-sounding resolutions that don’t actually commit them to doing anything. (not a very satisfactory outcome as it still allows the propaganda to continue unabated, but a lot better than actual self-destruction). Anyone owning a hole in the ground suitable for storing CO2 might be well advised to sell it now while it still has a market value.

      • Peter K
        You have that exactly correct. Butts is the man behind the throne and it is he that we should be worried about.
        For those of us that we’re running companies in western Canada when Jistin’s dad was elected 35 years ago in 1980 and the billions that were lost due to the National Energy Policy that bankrupted many western companies to promote growth in the liberal stronghold in the east, hang on to your hat ’cause it looks like 1980 all over again. Alternative energy projects and carbon taxes will suck the life out of the country just like it did in the 80’s. Welcome to the Trudeau legacy. But it could have been much worse. Think “Mulcair” legacy.
        “Forgive them for they know not what they do. “

    • Apparently there is a push to get Trudeau to appoint Green Party member Elizabeth May as Minister of the Environment. Yikes!

      • Boy oh boy Chris Moncton’s prediction in Sept 2014 sure was 100% right. The money poured into Canada to defeat Harper was astounding but thanks to the CBC and CTV ? Canadians never heard about that. The prediction that Abbott would be “back tabbed” is even more chilling.

    • Yes, the Liberal party have won the comfy seats again. Expect to see such stupidities as carbon taxes and green energy initiatives in Canada. The biggest green initiative, of course, is green backs for liberal cronies.
      BTW Canadian money comes in many colors.

      • Yes but the most easily moved note the $20 is green.Brown bags for all.
        And for sure the Liberals will sign us up, impose a carbon dioxide tax and manage to retain 95% of those funds as they “administer” saving the planet.
        Wardheelers and bagmen will be enriched at the cost of whatever dummies up here who keep producing.
        These parasites promised to protect the middle class, tax the rich(both carefully undefined), except the last time they held power we found out, anyone with an income(outside government) is considered to be rich.

      • Canada already has carbon taxes and various other green energy initiatives. The provincial governments put them in place to fill the federal void. In particular, the British Columbia’s carbon tax implemented in 2008 been successful and received broad public support. It is also revenue neutral.

        Because the tax must, by law in BC, be revenue-neutral, the province has cut income and corporate taxes to offset the revenue it gets from taxing carbon. BC now has the lowest personal income tax rate in Canada and one of the lowest corporate rates in North America, too.
        The article from 2014 goes on:

        Stephen Harper, the prime minister, remains unimpressed. In June, when fellow centre-right prime minister Tony Abbott of Australia arrived for a visit, the two leaders dismissed the carbon tax as an iffy hedge against climate change and a destroyer of jobs. But the BC experiment makes that line harder to sustain. “There’s very little evidence—zero evidence—that carbon taxing is related to jobs,” says Brandon Schaufele at the University of Western Ontario, who co-authored the PICS report.

        But things haven’t gone very well for Harper and Abbott.

      • And then they will blame greedy businessmen, who ship our jobs overseas, when the businessmen respond to the higher taxes and move production elsewhere.

      • A carbon (dioxide) tax is the least worst option because the costs are easily identified and, although taxes are rarely repealed, they can be; on the other hand carbon (dioxide) trading establishes an artificial property right artificial government-controlled market and a vast dependent industry which would be politically impossible to be rid of.

      • I don’t think the carbon emissions permit property right issue is a valid argument. If the permits are valid for a stipulated period (presumably a financial year), then an ETS could be unravelled with, at most, a year’s prior notice. If people are silly enough to gamble on derivative markets on the side, that’s their problem, not that of the permit issuing authority. Sure it would take more political gumption to eliminate the permits, assuming the knowledge of such side markets, but I don’t think there would be a resulting liability for the government of the day.

      • Well said Chris Hanley.
        The reason Goldmann Sachs promotes carbon trading is they speculate on it. Basically it is opening a huge international trading forum with no rules. All the banned activities such as levered and speculative derivatives, bundling of emissions projects, ratings, futures and so on will be allowed because there is no mechanism to prevent it. They will make a fortune and that fortune comes from somewhere. It is not like printing money, it is like taxing transactions at speculative and uncontrollable rates.

    • It is quite clear that Canadians have rejected the notion that pipelines should not be built. For example the Simon Fraser University professor Lynne Quarmby who was involved in the Burnaby Mountain Kinder Morgan pipeline upgrade protests only received 5% of the vote.

    • Financial Post, Canada, Oct.20,2015
      Scroll down to: Renewable Energy
      Trudeau promises to commit ~ $6 billion in green spending over 4 years and ramping it up to ~ $20 billion in 10 years.
      Posted some information under “Elizabeth and Sheldon Torquemada” article on who some of the parties are that are involved in climate change in Canada and their international ties.

  3. Things are going to shytte very quickly prior to COP21. The Aussie is doing it under the table. Canada’s brand-spanking-new Far-left puppet Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is promising to lead a delegation from Ottawa that will likely include another far left Provincial Premier, Rachel Notley, of oil-patch Alberta. I’m sure it’ll be with all the glitz and glamour of a sophomore frat house weekend, and just as wasted. Siome of the agenda will no doubt be loud proclamation of a death-grip on the Western Canadian petroleum sector.

  4. Turnbull is a back-stabbing not-Conservative. He hijacked the Australian Liberal party and is a warmista and socialist.

  5. Turnbull is not a real conservative. He’s what Americans know as a progressive liberal. It’s just that he is in the wrong political party… everyone knows that. He should really be a member of the opposition Labor Party… but had he been so, there was never any chance of him ever becoming its leader let alone becoming a Labor prime minister.
    Typical of progressive liberals, Turnbull is bewitched by the IPCC mantra. He worked closely with Australia’s former Labor prime minister Kevin Rudd back in 2009 on an emissions trading scheme they both believed Australia just had to have. That’s why Turnbull was replaced with conservative, Tony Abbott. Now that Turnbull is back in the driving seat, he will go down the green road. He doesn’t fool me.

    • The same for Justin Trudeau. His father Pierre E. Trudeau was a socialist/Marxist of hi order and became a LINO [Liberal In Name Only] so that he had a chance of becoming Prime Minister, which he did. It was a the beginning of the end of responsible government.
      Justin is far left and an immature, poorly educated nitwit. I think that his background was an assistant drama coach.

    • In his effort to create a Broad Church he runs the risk of breaking up the Coalition, but considering his popularity among Green and Labor voters (as illustrated in a recent poll) it may come to fruition before the next election.
      Uncharted waters.

    • He’s another version of Al Gore, there to make a ton of money out of CO2 trading for either him or his wife Lucy

  6. “So far Turnbull has declined to offer the Australian people an opportunity to vote their approval of this change in direction.”
    Ruling by fiat, eh? Sounds like a certain president in America.
    (oops – almost said American president)

  7. Lord Monckton had mentioned the possibility of a push to topple both Abbott and Harper.
    Well right or wrong they are both gone.
    And here in Canada there is no chance that any of our official media will investigate the money flows that financed the haters up here.
    The Canadian Media Guild, I believe thats what they style themselves, registered as active campaign opponents of our government.
    Then they pretended to report the election.
    That said 60% of our voters support the takers agenda.
    As with Turnbull, the things politicians do are beyond contempt so we just ignore them until they hurt to much.
    Possibly government is like a boil , grows under the skin for ages, causing minor discomfort,grows to be a major pain then has to be lanced.

  8. if anyone is under any misaprehension over Abbotts recent ‘demise’, see what Lord Monckton predicted in the following video…… seriously disturbing…..

      • As an atheist-agnostic, I tremble in fear at the thought of an “end of the Christian way of life.” Because of what would almost certainly replace it.
        I’ve studied a lot of history, and I’ve heard all the moaning and groaning over the excesses of Christianity (and, yes, there were many excesses). But what if it had been the gentle druids instead? Does anyone imagine life would have been more humane? Think, “Lottery in June. Corn be heavy soon.”
        Islam in the Mideast was, of course, far more humane and reasonable than Christianity for a number of centuries. But does that mean that Islam in the hands of Northern Europe would have been equally so? I don’t think so.
        When we atheists dis Christianity, we bite the hand that feeds us. Do we atheists imagine that we are morally superior? No, I don’t have an “invisible friend”, but, speaking personally, I feel the lack. And furthermore I respect the ones that do. Maybe I’m wrong, but I don’t think so.

      • “No, I don’t have an “invisible friend”, but, speaking personally, I feel the lack.”
        Don’t be too sure. . I’m extremely glad I wasn’t . .
        “For he that is not against us is on our part.
        For whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink in my name, because ye belong to Christ, verily I say unto you, he shall not lose his reward.”
        ~You know Who

  9. I dearly hope that a lot of alarmed, low-information voters will finally vote for common sense after their utility bills shoot skyward and for all that extra expense from “free” energy, are rewarded with blackouts and brownouts due to intermittent energy.
    After Abbott and now Harper have lost their seats, it’s frustrating to see our utility money, still visible, but circling around a central vortex, too late to save it because the flush lever has already been tripped. Maybe now the only thing to do is to watch our money and treasure go down the sewer, till enough people realize how stupid we’re being, and vote differently from their new found positions of greater poverty. Of course, increased poverty doesn’t mean leftists will promise LESS government control, LESS government spending. Just look at the recent Democrat debate. They ALL wanted to give away even more free stuff, when our US government faces huge entitlement budget deficits. They all want us to pay MORE for electricity, to travel, for food, and this they pretend is a boost to our economy. What a bunch of brainless numpties (h/t Alan Richardson, above, who I shamelessly mimic).

  10. We should stop using the term ‘warmist’, because it is ambiguous. There are 3 positions on climate change:
    1) IPCC position (catastrophic anthropogenic global warming).
    2) Denier (zero anthropogenic climate influence)
    3) realist (mostly natural, nothing alarming).
    The consensus truly is for position #3, but the jumble of terms and dogma hides that. Historically the debate was #1 (alarmist) vs. anti #1 (skeptic). We should consistently use precise terms like “alarmist”, “realist”, and “denier” to properly frame the debate.

    • From the beginning I’ve been a critic. The science is so bad, so flawed, and it looks like fraud that simply being a denier or realist isn’t enough. They used a couple of warm years in the US during the last el nino to push the CAGW agenda. Remember the headlines Winters last hurrah… in January? Then they started naming snowstorms…

  11. Abbott was trying to cut back on debt and wastage on climate alarmism. The media hated him.
    Turnbull is borrowing like hell and ramping up the wastage on climate alarmism. The media love him.
    Turnbull was chairman of Goldman Sachs. Go figure.

    • The press hated Abbott for several reasons
      1) He was an ex Journalist and knew exactly how they operate. He was disliked because he wasn’t “one of the boys” while he was a journalist. Anything he did that was a bit out of the ordinary was blown up out of all proportion eg skulling a beer at a pub
      2) He was seen as basically a good person (He was a volunteer Firefighter and a Surf Lifesaver and also a very physically fit person) by most of his supporters
      3) He was a practicing christian and held strongly to his beliefs. He supported his friends which ultimately lead to his downfall.
      4) He was once a member of the Labor party at University, but decided he didn’t like how the Unions influenced policy within the Labor party and left. Most journalists I know are staunch members of Unions. I would have thought that educated people would understand how corrupt unionism is, but I guess its like religion, you only believe what you want to believe.

      • Re point 3. Abbott was a practicing Roman Catholic with close affiliations to a corrupt archbishop who assisted during his campaign for PM and who he allowed to flee to Rome in return. Hardly proper Christian behaviour.

  12. Australian politics is a remote mystery, being impossible to comprehend why they would return to a Gillard without a skirt.

      • Well John, the thread was about Australian politics, so thought I’d go there, but explanations for any of this are beyond my pay grade. With the politics in ostensibly free western nations being as it is, and with recent musings from POTUS and heir- designate (only by hook and crook) Hillary Clinton both making statements recently about employing presidential edicts to force a mandatory gov’t “buy back” program of civilian firearms, Lord Monckton may be right; that mankind’s short- lived grasp on freedom from tyranny may be about to end. There is no lack of speculation in certain quarters, that the US might not have a 2016 election, that the internationalist usurpers of power have stuck their fingers in the wind and have judged conditions favorable to set the fire…

      • Australian politics? Surely you mean Australian political Pantomime that we have been subjected to since lovvy dovvy kevvywevvydonttouchmyhair747 took us from politics to pantomime in 2007?

  13. So, no more government hand-outs for Bjørn Lomborg. He’ll have to get a proper job like most of the rest of us

    • I wasn’t aware he was unemployed.
      Quip: When FDR cranks out an old joke.
      One Liner: When Ronald Regan makes the same joke.
      Grant: Money given by government in a cause with which you agree.
      Handout: Money given by government in a cause with which you do not agree.

    • “Turnbull is a strong believer that man can change the temperature”
      Wrong! Turnbull is a strong believer in the money to be made by from trading in hot air. His only loyalty is to himself and Goldman Sachs. He will impose an ETS by hook or by crook.

  14. Turnbull, darling of the mad Left, has also reversed Abbott’s opposition to the Clean Energy Finance Corporation which dreams up new ways of wasting taxpayers’ money to make no difference to climate.
    Furthermore, Turnbull and his fellow swampies have heaped fulsome praise on the ABC’s chairman Mark Scott who has nurtured the hysterically alarmist and partisan groupthink at that debauched broadcast toilet. Reading the latest on the “independent” investigation of the ABC’s alleged bias is at least good for a laugh.

    • Andrew Bolt has also helped out with an interesting list of Australia’s latest unelected PM Malcolm “Labor Lite” Turnbull’s fairly predictable lurches to the left to date.
      First his lurches to the Left:

      – giving in on Lomborg’s Centre, opposed by warming extremists.
      – dropping support for amendments to the Racial Discrimination Act that would allow more free speech.
      – softening the Government’s opposition to the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, which invests public money to make no difference to global warming.
      – softening the cuts to middle-class welfare.
      – raising discussions on increases taxes on superannuation.
      – running for a seat on the discredited United Nations Human Rights Council.
      – praising the partisan leadership of ABC chairman Mark Scott.
      – initially describing the Islamist murder of Curtis Cheng as “politically motivated”, not religiously.
      – signalling that the 12,000 refugees to be taken from Iraq and Syria may not be predominantly Christians, after all.
      Against that:
      – Flagging changes that loosen the grip of union-backed superannuation funds on workers’ savings
      – Agreeing to demands from the Nationals to retain the Abbott Government’s policies on emissions target and a gay-marriage plebiscite.

  15. I certainly hope Turnbull is cleaning the stables. The build up of manure started in John Howard’s time when he set up a Joint Venture between our CSIRO and BoM as the “flagship office” on Climate Change. All the while there was an Australian Chief Scientist who prevaricates and failed to give good advice. Abbott took his lead from his mate Cardinal Pell and was too loyal to the Pope whose opinions are now out there.
    Currently Turnbull is playing it a bit close to his chest and leaving Minister Hunt to carry the ball to the Paris party. Our local MP has throughout stayed on the fence to avoid the trogdolyte label and advises he is happy with the Party plan for Paris whatever that plan may be.
    There are more stalls in the stables to be mucked out yet. Go you good thing! Get this one right and with Shonky Bill Shorten digging his own grave you will be a shoo-in at the next election.

    • Turnbull, as Environment Minister, was driving John Howard reluctantly towards action on “global warming”. He also has the distinction of being the person who banned incandescent light bulbs in Australia.
      What an achievement!

      • And someone in the know got the big lighting manufacturers to replace incandescent lamps with the CFL that we know did not live up to the green mark. Philips spent over a billion on that one only to wake up and sp[end another billion on the LED replacement therapy. Like most of the other money-driven technologies that global warming and climate change has spawned, all have cost users dearly. I agree however that incandescent lamps, like candles, are inefficient combination heating and lighting devices and we really only want one or the other.
        Would have been a few windfalls there for the ones in the know. Every post-war PM in Australia has left office a millionaire, goes with the job. Turnbull is just ahead of the pack for now.

      • grumpy, I was being sarcastic. It was an achievement only for statist autocracy – Turnbull’s natural environment.

  16. Establishment Republicans are also edging their way back to the center, with the “I’m not a scientist” line. And China and India have moved as well. As a political force, climate skepticism is pretty much dead. But, hey, there’s always Putin.

    • ” climate skepticism is pretty much dead.”
      It seemed so in 2008 when even the Republican candidate wanted ‘cap-n-trade’ boondoggles, but then 2009 was a dud.
      On the other hand, another 7 years of not-much-warming has virtually destroyed the actual scientific basis for alarmism. The case for alarmism is weaker than ever.

  17. The “Climate change” in your original quote that is the premise of this discussion is an invention, is a lie, of the author. The proposed centre was a consensus centre according to the proponents. It was not a policy of Tony Abbott, it was a bunch of government money being spent on a think tank.

  18. I know this is an Australian story so I would be interested to know whether electricity and resources are controlled at the federal or state (territory?) level.
    In Canada the power generators are provincial as are the resources (ownership wise). The federal government would have a tough time implementing a carbon tax other than “if you (the province) won’t then we (the federal) will.
    This would ultimately limit what Justin Trudeau could implement.
    Not sure how it works in the US either. Can the President realistically dictate a carbon tax to every state?

    • The U.S. president has no authority to levy federal taxes but the Congress has the authority. All tax legislation must originate in the U.S. House of Representatives which in turn stands for re-election every two years.

    • The better question is ‘Can the President LEGALLY dictate carbon usage to every state?’
      That is exactly what the EPA is trying to do, and it is very far outside the bounds of the real authority of the President or his agencies under the Clean Air Act. But mere laws are just ‘bumps in the road’ for Obama.
      A carbon tax OTOH could be done federally, just get it through Congress. Thanks to a GOP Congress, it wont happen anytime soon.

    • Resources are owned by the States, who levy royalties. The Feds have many lawyers and 115 years’ practice overriding State rights.

      • Unfortunately leaving things to the States allowed the iniquitous daily price slot system in to the Market 15-16 years ago. The one designed by Enron Economics Inc where every one is a winner if suppliers can price gouge and consumers still get savings. I attended seminars on the scheme run by the Snowy Mountains Hydro Authority and came away wondering if or how anybody could be conned into accepting such a scam. Clearly remember one Power Engineer gushing over such an elegant pricing scheme.

  19. In a way it’s good Lomborg has been kicked from this job.
    He isn’t really anti AGW, he’s mostly just criticising the measures taken for being inadequate or too expensive.
    His education is in political science and statistics. Not in anything related to climate.
    Basically he’s always just saying that we have to think it through before we spend money fighting AGW.
    Denmark has more relevant AGW critics like Henrik Svensmark !
    It’s sad losing Abbott, but it’s good losing Lomborg !

  20. I have been saying this would happen soon after the 2013 election and when pool results started to turn negative for Abbott as Turnbull was waiting in the wings just biding his time. Abbott and the LNP took their climate change policies to the voting public, and won. No-one voted for Turnbull’s (Read McQuarrie Bank and Goldman Sachs) change policies and we’re told, apparently, Australia is a democracy.
    The LNP will lose in 2016 to be replaced with another ALP/Green coalition pantomime to take over. Watch Turnbull’s poll rating plummet after COP21 when nothing is agreed (Again).

  21. “Is Aussie PM Turnbull quietly dismantling Abbott’s Climate Legacy?”
    He probably is but he had this to say in response to the Leader of the Opposition’s accusation that allowing the people to vote on a plebiscite to change the definition of marriage like Ireland would unleash nasty homophobia-
    “I am very disappointed at his lack of faith in the Australian people. He thinks so little of the people of this country that he does not believe we are capable of having a civil debate on a matter of this importance. He is so frightened of public debate that he wants to shut the people out…
    I have great faith in the decency and the common sense, in the humanity, in the wisdom of the Australian people and if there are unruly voices heard, they will be drowned out by the common sense and the respect and the general humanity of our people….
    When the Australian people make their decision, that decision will stick. It will be decisive. It will be respected by this government and by this parliament and this nation.”
    To which many of us digusted by the previous Govt’s Section 18C of the Racial and Religious Discrimination Act whereby it makes it an offense to ‘insult’ or ‘offend’ someone on such vague grounds, want to know just when he will repeal it and trust us all again with the absolute right of freedom of speech. What sayeth our new Messiah to that after such fine and lofty words to the Opposition Leader?
    I’m offended and insulted being called a CAGW denier so can I have the caller prosecuted? Yeah right! Some insults and offence are more equal than others naturally and unlike the US there is no Constitutional protection against the vagaries of the State as to what’s insulting and offensive.

  22. There can be no such thing as democracy until right of recall is introduced so that politicians who lie and cheat – I know, doesn’t narrow it down much – can be held to account by the electorate. If Turnbull breaks his election promises then he should have to stand up in front of the electorate and explain why. There needs to be a system where it is the individual on trial so that the only way to remove them isn’t just to vote for the other party. That would be the problem of getting Turnbull to call a new election – chucking him out means bringing in the left. No different here between red labour and blue labour and no conservative party.

    • I agree Gerry. Politicians should be accountable in real time. There is a push getting up again to increase life of parliament to 4 years and 4 years is much too long a gap to let politicians get away with their deceptions. It gives the electorate time to forgive and forget their stupidity.

      • On a parallel tack I reckon the ALP is regretting Shorten’s recent moves that gave him tenure in the shadow PM job. He’ll be in gaol before he makes PM now.
        At least if Turnbull turns out to be a red wolf in sheep’s clothing his party will have no trouble kicking him out. They will have trouble finding a good replacement. Hopefully Turnbull has more sense than to pursue many of his former tenets and public statements and gets his feet back under the conservative table.

  23. Offloading Lomborg is a symbolic gesture (except if you ARE Lomborg). If that was the worst thing Lord Malcolm does, I will breathe a big sigh of relief. It won’t be.

  24. More blocks falling in place, eh? In the space of a week, both Canada and Australia have removed their AGW-sceptic prime ministers, by fair means or foul, just before COP21. There’s even a small but strongest-evah hurricane about to hit Puerto Vallarta in Mexico, plus what I’m sure they’re already labelling The MegaNino. I’m sure the words of Pielke Jnr will be ignored in the next week and all the way to Paris.

  25. Many commenters on WUWT lament that on a particular topic the scientist or commenter involved has failed to do his/her homework on the topic. This comment string about Lomberg is an almost perfect case in point. It deals with Lomberg’s consensus centre which it incorrectly describes as a ‘Climate Consensus Centre’ The term ‘Climate Consensus Centre’ is nonsense.
    Wiki tells us that Lomberg’s consensus centre is the ‘Copenhagen Consensus Centre’ as follows:-
    “Copenhagen Consensus is a project that seeks to establish priorities for advancing global welfare using methodologies based on the theory of welfare economics, using cost–benefit analysis. It was conceived[1] and organized by Bjørn Lomborg, the author of The Skeptical Environmentalist and the then director of the Danish government’s Environmental Assessment Institute. The project is run by the Copenhagen Consensus Center,[2] which is directed by Lomborg and was part of the Copenhagen Business School, but it is now an independent 501(c)(3) non-profit organisation registered in the USA. The project considers possible solutions to a wide range of problems, presented by experts in each field. These are evaluated and ranked by a panel of economists. The emphasis is on rational prioritization by economic analysis. The panel is given an arbitrary budget constraint and instructed to use cost–benefit analysis to focus on a bottom line approach in solving/ranking presented problems. The approach is justified as a corrective to standard practice in international development, where, it is alleged, media attention and the “court of public opinion” results in priorities that are often far from optimal.”
    It is always painful for fantasists to have a fantasy contaminated by facts but here goes:
    1. Lomberg is a strong believer in the phenomenon known as ‘climate change’ or ‘global warming’. He almost as strongly believes that it is not nearly as serious a global problem as many other global problems. He has arrived at this view through his knowledge of the range of global issues which require attention and the application of benefit/cost analysis. I for one agree with him.
    2. A flavour of the Lomberg approach comes from his third International consensus which involved
    “gathering economists to analyze the costs and benefits of different approaches to tackling the world‘s biggest problems. The aim was to provide an answer to the question: If you had $75bn for worthwhile causes, where should you start? A panel including four Nobel laureates met in Copenhagen, Denmark, in May 2012. The panel’s deliberations were informed by thirty new economic research papers that were written just for the project by scholars from around the world.”
    10 challenges (thought to be capable of economic solution) were identified –
    Armed conflict
    Chronic Disease
    Climate Change
    Hunger and Malnutrition
    Infectious Disease
    Natural Disasters
    Population Growth
    Water and Sanitation
    ‘Corruption’ and ‘Trade Practices’ were also researched but considered to be capable of
    political solution rather than by economics.
    3. Lomberg apparently conceived the idea of extending his network of Copenhagen Consensus Centres to Australia – an idea with which I wholly concur.
    4. The Abbot government offered a $ 4.0 Mill AUD grant to any University which would find a home for such a centre. Another idea with which I wholly concur.
    5. The University of Western Australia (the former academic home of Lewandowsky) accepted the dosh.
    6. In an outburst of madness prompted by the Guild of undergraduates the academic staff of UWA objected overwhelmingly to the University administrators about accepting the dosh thus allowing the malevolent introduction of the rational analysis of Lomberg to their campus. UWA gave the dosh back to the gov’ment.
    7. Flinders University in South Australia then gave serious consideration to accepting the gov’ment money to set up a Lomberg Consensus Centre. Like proverbial addle brained sheep the Flinders academic community promptly repeated the madness of the UWA academic community. An excerpt from their letter to the University administration demonstrates the Flinders version of the nonsense:
    ” We, the below signatories, object to controversial Danish academic Bjorn Lomborg being offered $4 million to set the Australian Consensus Centre at Flinders University. We are students, teachers, academics, alumni, and the general public. We are concerned that Flinders would consider such a reputationally risky and academically damaging appointment.”
    8. Faced with this further example of collective academic stupidity the Australian gov’ment has sensibly withdrawn the offer of support for a Lomberg Consensus Centre in Australia.
    Speaking as a lifelong supporter of the Australian Labor Party (ALP) may I say that I am pleased that the liberal and economically adroit Turnbull successfully rolled the economically illiterate Abbot (which led to the resignation from Parliament of the hopeless former Treasurer – Joe Hockey). The USA may shortly enjoy the services of Hockey as the our Australian Ambassador. He will be a pale shadow of our current Ambassador Kim Beasley (a former leader of the ALP) who is about to finish his term. Meanwhile the hopeless Bill Shorten, the current leader of the ALP, will be no match for Turnbull.
    Turnbull is likely to reign for as long as he pleases. That will be a good thing for Australia following the dud (ALP) Prime Ministerships of Rudd/Gillard/Rudd. It will also ensure that Shorten never becomes Prime Minister.

  26. Turnbull is reasonably good looking, but I don’t trust him one bit. Look into his face, he drops his eyes a lot. 4 million for Bjorn is nothing. But with UWA refusing his attendance was not surprising. I had a letter from Chris Pyne who said some months ago they were finding another venue. Tough love to keep the warmists alive and well, eh?

  27. Abbott, like Harper, was a complete waste of space. It would be almost impossible for Turnbull to not improve. I’m not on his side of politics, but since Abbott’s demise, the mood in Australia is greatly improved. Turnbull is hostage to the right wing of his party (i.e. the climate change denialists). But I think he will outwit them soon.

    • John Brookes, could you tell me what it is that climate change denialists go about denying? There are not too many right wingers in Turnbull’s party who have ever denied climate is changing, has changed and will continue to change. There are a few who argue that global warming is not caused by man. But they are politicians. What would they know?

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