Tony Abbott’s speech to the Global Warming Policy Foundation beggars belief. Being invited to speak to this forum is not something the vast majority would want on their cv. As staggering as his cavalier dismissal of science has become, even more staggering is the apparent reality that the Australian population is now being held ransom to his brand of bizarre loopiness.
What has become of us, or will become of us, if political leadership, or lack of it, continues in its current accommodating vein to such brazen nonsense?
The points Mr Abbott made in his speech are so embarrassing that even many he would normally count on as colleagues are stunned into silence. His points are so bizarre they do not deserve countering.
But what does deserve comment is the content of predicted energy policy statements from the Turnbull government. Because of the government’s slim majority, is it, and by default the whole Australian population, going to be held hostage to this infantile but yet dangerous madness? The Finkel report is not simply about environmental stability, it is also about policy certainty, a necessity for adequate financial investment. It is Finkel’s view that a Clean Energy Target is one of the best mechanisms to achieve this dual goal – as demonstrated by an increasing array of policy worldwide. If this central pillar of the Finkel review is to be abandoned, the Australian people deserve a cogent argument as to why politics should trump science and reason.
It is true that costs associated with renewable energy are continuing to fall and even if the target is abandoned, we may now be in a position where the market does the job anyway – no thanks to politics.
It is clear that ‘clean coal’ is not simply an oxymoron, but that the costs associated with capturing emissions will place coal fired power stations increasingly beyond the reach of sensible private investment. Is this very conservative government then going to invent its own brand of socialism by investing tax payer’s money into projects which private investment cannot touch without government guarantee?
We are at a point where the government must finally and unequivocally say ‘no’ to ‘Mr No’. Mr Abbott has almost single handedly turned Australian political life from a bumbling ‘b grade’ into a toxic ‘d grade’. (If proof of this statement is needed, look at the proliferation of minor parties and causes). He has made an art form of opposition, of opposing absolutely anything and everything that he has not mouthed himself – even from within his own party. That he and literally a tiny handful of supports can hold the country to ransom is a shocking scandal that must end.
Mr Turnbull, end this nonsense and the Australian people might stay with you. Fail to end it and you and your government will be remembered as one of the most gutless we have ever encountered. This gutlessness is not simply political weakness; its consequences endanger the future of us all. We are increasingly seeing the true Abbott, the vista is clearly very unattractive. Let’s see the true Turnbull, unlike Abbott, someone who has a life and therefore, standing for principle, can risk being defeated, knowing that inner integrity remains intact. Doing deals with loopy people, making the Australian people pay the price, is a total lack of integrity.