Climate Wars: How Activists Lost the Battle for an Aussie Carbon Tax

Former Aussie PM Kevin Rudd
Former Aussie PM Kevin Rudd. By Department of Foreign Affairs and Tradederivative work: 99of9 – This file was derived from  Australian Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd with Foreign Minister Utoni Nujoma of Namibia.jpg, CC BY 3.0 au,

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

h/t Dr. Willie Soon; Lots of finger pointing, hand wringing, accusations against the Green Party of dirty politics, sad former PM Malcolm Turnbull admitting a “failure of leadership”, uncomfortable questions for former Aussie PM Kevin Rudd about why he “walked away” from hardline climate policies.

Four Corners is a high profile Aussie current affairs programme.

The story is told from a perspective sympathetic to climate activism, but otherwise it is an interesting walk down memory lane, of why the brief bipartisan Aussie climate consensus collapsed.

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Curious George
May 19, 2020 10:20 am

I don’t intend to waste 45 minutes on this. Is there a transcript somewhere?

Reply to  Curious George
May 19, 2020 10:56 am

Amen. Nearly everyone is more or less a speed reader. And I detest any obligatory background music, always too loud and usually not particularly musical.

Walter Sobchak
Reply to  brians356
May 19, 2020 12:57 pm

me three.

You don’t have to be a speed reader. Visual is higher bandwidth than auditory.

Reply to  brians356
May 19, 2020 1:53 pm

There is a lot which is lost with a bland transcript, especially if you are not intimately fami1iar with the actors. I never realised how smiley KRudd was until I saw him talk.

A lot of the sense of what the key players of the time were saying in retrospect would be totally missing from a transcript. Communication is a lot more than the typed word. If you don’t want to spend 45 minutes fine. You are probably not that interested anyway.

It’s actually quite reassuring that democracy seems to have spared Australia from climate BS their leaders seemed to have been willing to play along with. Those who made it all a partisan issue all now regret how partisan it was when they lost.

Boo hoo.

Komrade Kuma
Reply to  Curious George
May 19, 2020 3:32 pm

CG, that would still be a waste of time. Anything to do with KRudd is a waste of time cos its just about KRudd. Anything on the ABC re climate change is a waste of time. They will happily put on economists who oppose COVID 19 shutdown because it damages the economy and never mind the deaths (they are mainly just old people) but you could grow very old waiting for a climate skeptic to get a proper hearing as distinct from just being sneered at remotely or brought on to be interrupted and laughed at.

May 19, 2020 10:58 am

It’s unfortunate if not deserved that the Australian public must view this and other world events through the warped prism of the ABC (Australian Boshevik Corporation). At least the rest of us don’t have to pay for it.

Scouser in AZ
May 19, 2020 11:28 am

I spent 45 minutes and watched it.
The comment about
“The story is told from a perspective sympathetic to climate activism”
is certainly true…

Clay Sanborn
Reply to  Scouser in AZ
May 20, 2020 1:17 pm

Scouser in AZ, those are my observations too. The presumption is apparently that something needs to be done about “carbon”, i.e. presumably CO2. It’s like once you get politicians talking about something that can give them more control, more power, the focus topic’s actual efficacy becomes a moot point; they don’t care as long as they get the power and tax. Since “carbon” IS NOT a problem at all, this 45 minutes of video only shows politicians for the power hungry asses they apparently are. Activists too, of course.

May 19, 2020 11:30 am

If any of these agw-boosters (Rudd, Gillard, Turnbull) had a scintilla of self-respect, they would admit that they totally misread the voting public’s disinterest in all the ooga-booga climate bs, and do a humble public mea-culpa.

Voters can always see when some puffed-up politician is trying to put one over them, and dip into their hard-earned while offering sfa benefit in return.

IMO, the smartest thing any politician (or CEO) can do is to regularly take a very hard look at all their advisors and other minions, and dispassionately assess who is on some sort of zealous agenda campaign, then fire them on the spot, and immediately recruit some Neville Nobody from suburbia to fill their place.
That’s how you find out what the regular people are concerned about.

Reply to  Mr.
May 19, 2020 1:58 pm

They do not care about misreading the public because they have a contemptuous disregard for what the plebs think. They are sure they can spin it and blind the voting public with BS once every few years.

Gi11iard’s “no carbon tax” campaign statement then turned on a pin as soon as in office, is a fine example of political hypocrisy.

Javert Chip
Reply to  Mr.
May 20, 2020 5:11 pm

iI’m assuming money is involved in here somewhere…

Who needs the love of a bunch of cowboys in Alice Springs when you get all the cash (ok, we’ll call ’em campaign contributions…wink wink) from the other side?

May 19, 2020 1:49 pm


“That’s how you find out what the regular people are concerned about.”

Is that what the Ivory Towers call the ” Little People”?

Well, I’ve got friends in ‘low places’. And they are friends and I’m probably one of those in ‘low places’!

May 19, 2020 2:27 pm

RuddsADud is also Australia’s greatest China apologist, and yet he still pops up regularly on tv. Given the worldwide death and destruction from covid19 you would think he would be a mute for the rest of his life.

During the height of Covid19 panic in Australia, the Victorian Labour Party quietly announced the go ahead for onshore gas drilling in Victoria after a multi year ban. So some of them don’t even believe in global warming anymore.

May 19, 2020 3:40 pm

Three photos Kevin Rudd in a row are even more frightening than three pictures of Nancy Pelosi in a row. The Left does not care about the misfortunes that they inflict on the public. They are a contemptuous of the poor and dispossessed. They do not care about anything but propaganda to convince the Proles that the Left is the true way. They care only for their own Leftist comforts and ascendancy to power over the people.
The video is 40 tedious minutes of Leftist propaganda for a Cause which is shown to be self-evidently misguided.

John Bruyn
May 19, 2020 3:41 pm

The program showed quite conclusively that AGW is nothing more than a political football which even the Greens did not want too loose by supporting legislation that would make them loses the balance of power.

John in Oz
May 19, 2020 4:39 pm

Please DO NOT post pictures of KRudd to ruin the mornings of your many readers, especially the Aussie ones.

The Krudd/Gillard/KRudd musical chairs fiasco was dark times in our political history which we should all be regretting, especially if you voted them into power.

KRudd still thinks he is the smartest person in the room and Gillard continues to be given high-paying jobs even though she is well known for lying about a carbon tax.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  John in Oz
May 19, 2020 4:52 pm

It was a pantomime. Musical chairs would have been a class act.

Craig from Oz
Reply to  Patrick MJD
May 19, 2020 8:22 pm

A Pantomime??


Still, at least the photos seem to be of a younger Rudd. In his more recent ones he honestly looks unhealthy.

May 19, 2020 4:52 pm

To me the question that needs to be asked is: Would it have made any difference to the worlds climate or bushfires or drought in Australia if we had accepted and enacted the policies of the climate change fan base?

John in Oz
May 19, 2020 5:16 pm

I managed to watch 1:44 before deciding that, if they are not going to mention green policies curtailing burn-offs to reduce fuel loads, then the rest is likely partisan reporting as well.

I also saved myself from seeing/hearing KRudd and Gillard, the ones who put truth to the saying ‘If their lips are moving then they are lying”.

Patrick MJD
May 19, 2020 6:28 pm

Rudderless and Giliar STILL get far too much airtime in Australia. I am glad I now don’t have a TV at home.

Craig from Oz
May 19, 2020 8:19 pm

“Four Corners is a high profile Aussie current affairs programme.”

Oh Eric, always with the funny.

Four Corners in practical terms is Australia’s ONLY current affairs programme, and by affairs we mean hard left.

This is the programme that devoted three episodes to the ‘Story of the Century’ of Russian Collusion and then… pretended it never happened.

Four Corners brought the live sheep trade to a complete standstill based on some ‘secret footage’ of animal cruelty provided by a green group. Australia exports live sheep because most of the SE Asian areas supplied to do not have the levels of refrigeration required to allow them to handle large scale importation of frozen meat. Result of the Four Corners programme was Australian exporters went to the wall, the largely Muslim customers had their supply cut. Not to worry, harming Muslim interests (ie EATING FOOD) is apparently not racist when vegans are involved.

Four Corners exposed the mean and nasty youth correctional services officers of regional Australia so fast a Royal Commission was launched within a week. Footage was obtained of some poor Aborigine boy restrained in detention with a bag over his head, so that was clearly racist. Exactly why he was restrained (he was violent), in detention (serial law breaker) and had a bag over his head (he spat at people) was never discussed, the important thing was that Imperial White People were BAD.

Four Corners may be high profile, but it is one eyed and Australian Television is the land of the blind.

May 19, 2020 8:46 pm

If it weren’t for the deniers this battle might not have been lost and the planet might have been saved.

May 19, 2020 8:49 pm

There was no “accusations against the Green Party of dirty politics”.

Reply to  Loydo
May 20, 2020 1:17 am

That’s what the unelected elites think of the Greens for not going along with a carbon tax by another name because it wasn’t pure enough for them. As for those of us who never swallowed the doomster plant food meme it’s the first time we went yippee Greenies with a big sigh of relief. Meanwhile the fight for reliable affordable energy and the defense of modernity against the looney Luddites goes on –

Dudley Horscroft
May 20, 2020 8:51 am

Well I did watch and found it most interesting. More for what it left out than what was actually said. But I felt it horrifying that the top brass – Department Secretaries and Chief Scientists – had succumbed to the CAGW agenda rather than looking at the actual Climate Science. Remember, look at Climate Science rather than Climate Alarmism.

Did anyone see any reference to the Copenhagen Climate Conference? No, because it was not mentioned. This was the real cause of the upsetting of Malcolm Turnbull (the first time). PM Rudd wanted to be able to go to the CCC with a demonstration that Australia had adopted a brave new greenhouse tax, aka Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS). The Liberal Party was generally supported of the ETS but wanted the passage of the Act to be delayed till after Copenhagen to see what the rest of the world was going to do. Sort of “OK, but we don’t want to get out of step with everybody else.” Turnbull wanted to get the ETS done and was happy that the Liberal Party should support the ALP. More than half of the Party wanted to wait. He lost. So when it came to the vote, the Liberal Party – as a matter of principle, voted NO, and so did the Green Party, on the opposite principle that the proposed ETS did not go far enough. Condemned by Rudd and many others as a wicked coalition of Liberals and Greens. No Coalition, just an agreement that the ETS was wrong.

Of course, Copenhagen ended in disaster for the alarmists.

Then we come to 2018, and the National Energy Guarantee (Neg). This was a complicated “energy policy proposed by the Turnbull government in late 2017 to deal with rising energy prices in Australia and lack of clarity for energy companies to invest in energy infrastructure. The policy specifically targets energy companies in the National Electricity Market and large energy users to have a reliability obligation as well as emissions reduction obligations.” Quote from Wikipaedia.

The following quote is from The Guardian referencing a book by Nikki Savva.

“But there is also a chapter laying out the frantic manoeuvring around the energy policy pursued by the then prime minister and the then energy minister, Josh Frydenberg – a policy that was a catalyst for the end of Turnbull’s prime ministership because of an internal brawl about the proposed emissions reduction target for the electricity sector.

Dutton is quoted in the book decrying the policy as “noodle nation Neg” and saying Turnbull planned to bring on the legislation in parliament even though the policy was resisted by a group of party conservatives who were threatening to vote against it.

The home affairs minister is said to have believed that Turnbull’s strategy of trying to isolate internal dissenters by proceeding to court Labor’s support for the necessary legislation would only lead to disaster.

“Turnbull’s plan was to bring the Neg on [in parliament],” Dutton is quoted as saying by Savva. “Pyne and I went nuts.”

Dutton is quoted as saying: “Malcolm’s plan with the Neg was to get the states to agree through Coag, then have the states pressure Bill Shorten to support the legislation, and from there what he thought would happen was on one side would be the Liberal party and the Nationals and Labor. Sitting on the other side would be Tony Abbott and fringe-dwellers.

“It was never going to happen. There were 20 people on our side who were not going back to their electorates with photos of them sitting next to Tanya Plibersek voting on a motion supporting climate change.

“It would have been a complete disaster for the government. We effectively had the bill pulled.”

The author says Dutton’s account of dissuading Turnbull was confirmed subsequently by Pyne, the then manager of government business. Pyne says he and Dutton convinced Turnbull not to go down the path of splitting the government and not proceed with the legislation until MPs were on the same page.

Even though the Coalition party room had given the proposal in-principle backing despite the lingering dissent, leading Frydenberg to lodge the legislation with the tabling office, Pyne intervened and removed the legislation.

The internal crisis over the Neg continued to escalate, with a Turnbull adviser proposing a regulatory option for the emissions reduction target, which was then leaked, causing more internal angst.

During a cabinet meeting on the Sunday night before the week Turnbull lost the prime ministership, Pyne advocated putting the policy on ice. Pyne is quoted telling colleagues at the meeting: “We can keep dragging our bloodied stump across the political firmament, leaving a trail of gore behind us, or we can cut our losses and move on.”

With the government plunged into the leadership crisis that would play out over the next five days, Pyne is said to have challenged Dutton at that cabinet meeting to articulate his position on what should happen with the energy policy.

Dutton agreed the Neg should be effectively abandoned, a decision that was outlined by Turnbull the following day.” – Quote from The Guardian newspaper.

Actually the Liberal Party Caucus had not given ‘in-principle’ support. It had been brought to Caucus, and discussed, but there had been no vote taken . Turnbull had not ‘lost’ the prime ministership – he resigned.

It is a pity that the ABC did not go more fully into why Australia has no Carbon Tax!

May 20, 2020 10:03 am

Of course while Australia dodged an overt carbon tax we always had the covert ones with RECs and STCs-
as well as the various handouts and subsidies for unreliables.

But the most obvious covert tax on renters and those who couldn’t afford to was the State sponsored rooftop solar dumping and the FITs that has to be dealt with now by adults looking at the big picture-

We always needed a level playing field from the start and tenderers of electrons to the communal grid should have been mandated to reasonably guarantee them 24/7/365 (ie short of unforeseen mechanical breakdown) along with FCAS or keep them. That would mean dumpers like Thanasis Avramis et al would have to invest in storage like Powerwalls to be able to do that but then he wouldn’t have any to spare and any cursory examination would show him how costly that power would be anyway. It’s why the unreliables shucksters advocate $6000 battery subsidies like SA but they’re clueless about the fallacy of composition with that too.

So what should Thanasis et al really do with their unreliable solar power? Well storage is the answer and he could use the power with a solar diverter ( to heat an electric storage HWS which is usually around 30% of household energy consumption. Any left over could be used to RC aircondition his home during the day and store a more pleasant environment like that for the evening instead of the beggar thy neighbour policy at present.

Australia needs to stop living this giant Green lie with State sponsored dumping of renewables that normally the ACCC would be all over like a rash. Instead it’s the silence of lambs and Lysenkoism all over again. The ACCC overstuffed suits should all be sacked forthwith and Australia needs to heed the AEMO and get on with a level playing field for electricity.

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