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The right is splintering on climate change

Written By: - Date published: 11:30 am, January 23rd, 2020 - 70 comments
Categories: australian politics, climate change, Donald Trump, Environment, global warming, national, paula bennett, same old national, science, uncategorized, us politics - Tags:

The latest international news involves former Australian PM Malcolm Turnbull castigating Donald Trump for his climate denial rhetoric. 

Earlier on Trump had been reported as saying at Davos the usual right wing attack lines on climate change.

From Jeremy Diamond at CNN:

President Donald Trump attacked climate activists as “perennial prophets of doom” on Tuesday while addressing the World Economic Forum, in Davos, Switzerland, where the agenda is focused on tackling the climate crisis.

Trump’s remarks underscored the chasm between his denialist view of climate change and the overwhelming scientific consensus driving the rest of the developed world to action. Speaking shortly after the teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg accused world leaders of not taking action, Trump rejected calls for urgent action and encouraged the world to instead embrace “optimism.”

“To embrace the possibilities of tomorrow, we must reject the perennial prophets of doom and their predictions of the apocalypse,” Trump said.
“They are the errors of yesterday’s fortune tellers and we have them and I have them and they want to see us do badly, but we don’t let that happen,” he added.

Trump has promised to plant a trillion new trees.  Which is a good thing.  But much more is required.  As noted by Greta Thunberg:

Our house is still on fire. Your inaction is fuelling the flames by the hour. And we’re asking you to act as if you love your children more than anything else.”

Turnbull’s comments appear to be a thinly veiled attack on Scomo and the current Australian government.

From Paul Kemp at the Guardian:

Donald Trump is the world’s “leading climate denier”, the former Australian prime minister Malcolm Turnbull has said.

Turnbull, who lost the prime ministership in August 2018 in part because of his own party’s opposition to his plans to do more to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, made the comments to BBC Newsnight on Tuesday (Wednesday morning, Australian time).

The US president told the world’s business leaders to stop listening to “prophets of doom” as he used a keynote speech at the World Economic Forum to attack the teenage activist Greta Thunberg over her climate crisis warnings.

Asked about the comments, Turnbull replied that Trump had been “quite a prophet of doom himself”, citing his acceptance speech to the 2016 Republic convention in which Trump painted the picture “of America threatened by crime and gangs [and] invasion from asylum seekers”, which Turnbull labelled “quite apocalyptic”.

“He uses the politics of fear when it suits him,” Turnbull said. “Trump is the leading climate denier in the world. He’s leading the most influential nation in the world and he’s actively working against global action to reduce emissions.”

The incident highlights an interesting phenomenon.  The right are splitting on climate change.  The overall effect is that right wing governments are still not able to take the urgent action required to address the problem but at least some of them are acknowledging a problem.

Locally National Hunua MP Andrew Bayley recently had an opinion piece (in Premium) published in the Herald where he warns of the danger posed by climate change.

The piece is on the need to safeguard the Antarctic and a recent International Assembly that he helped organise.  And in discussing this he puts climate change at the front and centre risk that the South Pole is facing.

He says this:

Eight scientists from around the world were invited to address the assembly, including Victoria University’s Professor Tim Naish. He talked about Antarctica’s ice sheets and how they will contribute to future sea level rises. He explained that 70 per cent of the world’s fresh water is locked up in Antarctic ice, and that sea levels have already risen by 20cm s in response to 1C of global warming.

His message was sobering: If we continue the way we’re going, he believes sea levels could rise by 1.5m by the end of the 21st century. If that happens, 800 million people around the world will have their toes in the water.

The assembly concluded with a unanimous message:

A consensus statement signed by all 19 noted with concern “the recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate, which highlights the profound effects of climate change on Antarctica’s ecosystems and the potentially catastrophic effects of Antarctic ice loss on global sea level”.

Contrast Bayley’s somber rational analysis with that of Paula Bennett from earlier this week.  Rather than teach our children of the risks posed she misrepresents what the new teaching resource says and engages in rhetorical flourishes about balance to attack something that is actually well balanced.  Note to all righties out there, the teaching resource does not advocate that all children should become hippie vegans, rather it notes correctly that lowering the amount of meat that we eat can have beneficial environmental effects.

She said this:

“This is voluntary … Climate change being taught in our schools is not necessarily a bad thing – it is about our future and young people need to understand it better. We don’t like elements of what’s being suggested should be taught, and there does need to be a way for the young people to have a discourse that can create that debate of what the future looks like for them. 

Jarrod Gilbert in the Herald sums the situation up in these terms:

Based on all of the information available to us, there is no sound argument against the existence of anthropogenic climate change, only ignorance of the scientific consensus and an arrogance to argue against it – often by people armed only with an elementary education and an internet connection.

When you have highly educated scientists amassed on one side, it’s prudent to stick with their assessment of matters relating to science. If you want to understand how to be a complete twonk, seek notes from those peddling the other side. But for science, definitely stick with the scientists.

And he has the perfect retort to National’s attack on the climate change educational material:

The problem with information uploaded to the internet is not just that it bypasses these hurdles and can therefore be utter rubbish, it can be utterly convincing. Being fooled by charlatans is nothing to be ashamed of, in an age awash with information, it’s sometimes difficult to tell the credible from the credible-sounding.

For this reason, having the facts of climate change taught in schools is important. Radio shock jocks who are concerned that children are only being told one side ought also ask why the other side of round earth theory is not taught, or that the moon landings were filmed in a desert in Utah.

Trump and Scomo notwithstanding it appears that even the right is coming to the view that climate change poses a major problem.  How far they are prepared to go could determine how big a hole the world finds itself in the next few decades.

70 comments on “The right is splintering on climate change ”

  1. RedLogix 1

    Yup. This has been an apparent trend for a wee while now. Did you capture the RNZ interview with Turnbull on this? Very plain speaking.

    "The right [wing] in the Liberal Party essentially operate like terrorists," he said.

    "Now I'm not suggesting that they use guns and bombs or anything like that, but their approach is one of intimidation.

    "And they basically say to the rest of the party … if you don't do what we want, we will blow the show up. Famously one of the coup leaders said to me, 'you have to give in to the terrorists'."

    The good news is there are sane right wingers who're fed up with it and I think we will start seeing more speak out. They need support and encouragement.

  2. Gosman 2

    Ummm…. this is not new. There have been significant supporters of dealing with anthropogenic climate change from a right wing perspective for decades. Arnold Achwarzenegger for example was a prominant proponent of tacking the challenges during his time as Governor of California.

  3. Gosman 3

    What doesn't help is the continued push by some climate change activists to turn the battleground in to an ideological battle between Capitalism and the Environment.

    • RedLogix 3.1

      Agree with both of these comments; hell it's not well known that Margaret Thatcher (who had studied chemistry before switching to law) understood the AGW issue and was supportive of measures to deal to it.

      It was roughly around the 90's when both sides realised the political potential of the issue and we've wasted 30 years bickering. It’s been a failure of political leadership of monumental proportions.

    • Tiger Mountain 3.2

      Ker-sploosh! Ker-splash! It’s a double floater drop off at the pool for Gosman today.

      The existential issue of our era is exactly the environment vs capitalism.

      • RedLogix 3.2.1

        This is the exact mistake the Green movement has been making for decades, a false dichotomy between human development and the environment.

        Michael Schellenberger writes on this bleak Malthusian outlook here:
        https://quillette.com/2019/10/05/channelling-the-malthusian-roots-of-climate-extremism/

        • Incognito 3.2.1.1

          Which may be one reason why the Green movement has hardly touched the levers of power during the last few decades.

          Let’s try stay on-topic under this post.

        • Simbit 3.2.1.2

          And then capitalism became 'human development '…

          • RedLogix 3.2.1.2.1

            People curse the government, and shovel hot food down. It is What it Is, Mark Knopfler

            Yet here you are living in safe, warm comfortable world surrounded by goods and services provided by nasty evil capitalists. Bit of a paradox really.

            No-one is arguing the current form of capitalism we have is ideal or beyond reform, indeed it has already evolved substantially over the past 500 years or so and will likely continue to do so.

            But just hating on an idea that has delivered you the very computer and internet you type those words on seems more than a tad hypocritical.

            • Drowsy M. Kram 3.2.1.2.1.1

              "Bit of a paradox really." indeed. Rational cultural evolution could deliver 'less bad' long-term outcomes, but we're 'wedded' to our 'better off comforts'.

              "The current economic system being utilized and internalized relies on perpetual growth. It has long operated counter to the reality that we are confined to a finite planet with finite resources. Yet, this system continues to be practiced and promoted globally. As the environmental and social repercussions of disbelief in limits become increasingly clear, so does our need for a new economic system —one that is not wedded to growth. Neither growth in the number of consumers nor growth in the amount consumed."
              https://mahb.stanford.edu/blog/moving-away-progrowth/

      • Dennis Frank 3.2.2

        Only if the fundamentalists on both sides control the game. Sensible people get the notion of a sustainable economy. You just subtract exponential growth from what we have now. You impose the true costs, penalising pollution and eliminating fossil fuel subsidies. You allow sustainable industries to prosper. Etc.

        Russell Norman got it right by advocating green growth (I rarely agreed with him). Progress happens when clever people drive it forward. Democracy has the opposite effect: lowest-common-denominator thinking, in which the masses preserve the status quo.

      • Paddington 3.2.3

        "The existential issue of our era is exactly the environment vs capitalism."

        Only if you apply a very narrow definition of capitalism. For example, I could counter with examples of how 'socialism' has contributed to environmental harm in the USSR, Cuba, Venezuela, North Korea and so on, but what form of 'socialism' are/were these countries actually practising?

        For me at the heart of humanity's negative interaction with our environment is greed. One of the advantages of a mixed-market economy is that the capitalist element will respond to an increasing awareness of environmental issues from amongst its citizenry by meeting demand for more sustainable products, services and business practices. A centralised bureacracy (particularly one in an environment such as the countries mentioned above) has no such imperative.

      • Nic the NZer 3.2.4

        Its my considered opinion that capitalism is simply a description of the (every) human economic system. This fits with supposed communist political regimes also being well functioning as (state) capitalist economies (e.g China) and a lack of alternative economies existing which can be described as clearly not capitalist.

        As humans we may reform our economies but I am yet to see any reason for us to describe them as anything other than capitalist.

        I think its important to therefore be quite specific about the reforms being described when talking about 'transitioning off capitalism' because we don't all have the same meaning to that.

        • RedLogix 3.2.4.1

          Exactly. And besides every developed nation has a state sector that is at least 30-50% of the total economy. Characterising this as just 'capitalism', oversimplifies a much more complex picture.

      • sam green 3.2.5

        Its not capitalism that's necessarily the problem – its corporate greed, corruption and mega profit at any cost. Capitalism can marry with environmental protections – easy.

        • Tiger Mountain 3.2.5.1

          Maybe not so easy–the exploiting class has had several hundred years to show that they can respect rather than just trash and exploit natural resources and environment, and have failed. A total, absolute and epic failure in fact.

          For instance, 38 squillionaires having more wealth and resources than nearly 4 billion other inhabitants of this place is clearly not sustainable. Unless you are an aspirational filthy rich or one of their enablers perhaps.

          • Gosman 3.2.5.1.1

            Why is it not sustainable? How much more resources do you think Bill Gates uses than the average middle class North American whose net wealth is a tiny fraction of his?

    • Sarah 3.3

      Capitalism with its predilection for constant growth is one of the major problems though. Until Capitalists recognise this they're perceived as the enemy of common sense. Having greater production needs to change to working better with what we already have. Banks have been talking about investing in sustainable business rather than new coal mines which is a start in the right direction.

      • Gosman 3.3.1

        I don't think you understand the concept of growth. Do you or your children use significantly more resources than you did 20 years ago? According to your logic you should do because there has been significant per capita growth in that period.

    • Rae 3.4

      I would like to just go away in a corner for a while, have a think then come back and tell us how you think capitalism in its current form will be able to function in a world where we might adopt a more circular economy and become far more mindful about what we do, how we do it and how much waste and emissions we create from it and hell, maybe even reduce our numbers on this under pressure planet. Tell us how you think it can survive without some sort of modification, at the very, very least.

      Tip: You do need to think quite hard about this

    • left_forward 3.5

      I appreciate all of the comments here – and hope I can add a different perspective.

      I think that Schumacher who worked for the British Coal Board, in his ground breaking book 'Small is Beautiful', first published in 1973, understood this issue better than most.

      In his first chapter – the Problem with Production, he says:

      "Natural Resources (such as fossil fuels) are treated as expendable income, when in fact they should be treated as capital, since they are not renewable…"

      Considering oil or coal for example, the extractors of these fossil fuels (and who by doing so provide the opportunity for others to release sequestered carbon to the atmosphere) should pay the true value of the asset to the commons (the collective – i.e. the people). Given the damage to our environment, the commons should today set an extremely high price, which of course would be passed on to the user, but this would be the true value of the commodity. The market would then adjust accordingly – and alternative renewal energies would soon become economically viable.

      Only then could capitalism begin to claim some legitimacy, because it currently steals from the commons for huge gain for a few, with a corresponding huge loss for all of us.

  4. alwyn 4

    You aren't really someone who believes that Turnbull is of the "Right" are you?

    The only reason he finally ran for the Liberals is because he couldn't find a safe Labour seat in Parliament. He was a bit like the old slogan they used for Tim Shadbolt. "I don't care where as long as I'm Mayor".

    Look at all the well known Labour figures who confirm that Turnbull was desperately trying to get in to Parliament via the NSW Labour machine.

    Hawke, Beasley, Della Bosca, Richardson, Kelty etc.

    https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/malcolm-turnbull-wanted-to-join-labor/news-story/48bc14a793ffa9671d2450457e36886e

    • RedLogix 4.1

      So now he's saying things that make you a bit uncomfortable, he gets kicked out of the tribe.

      Besides Turnbull is no political neophyte, he would not be speaking now if he didn’t think he had a receptive audience. I could come all over cynical on this, but that really takes us nowhere. Politics is as always, the art of the possible.

    • Nic the NZer 4.2

      Mr Shadbolt, please be aware the standard has a policy of respecting anonymity and not outing your identity online. Please respect that rather than making statements only Tim Shadbolt could know to be true.

      • alwyn 4.2.1

        I really don't think that Tim Shadbolt can be considered to be an anonymous figure.

        If you mean that only he could know about the "I don't care where …." comment I have news for you. He appeared in an ad for New Zealand cheese after he moved from Waitemata, where he had been Mayor, to Invercargill where he has been Mayor for what seems to be eternity.

        It was in that ad that he used the phrase. Have a look at this story, where it says "After Waitemata he moved on to Invercargill, infamously joking in a cheese ad "I don't care where, as long as I'm mayor".

        https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/opinion/84036832/shadbolt-has-a-battle-on-his-hands

        So No. I am not making it up.

  5. Contrast Bayley’s somber rational analysis with that of Paula Bennett…

    Pretty damning alright. But then, contrasting anyone's rational analysis of anything with that of Paula Bennett is going to make Bennett look bad. Everything she says comes across as a calculated appeal to the ignorant.

    • RedLogix 5.1

      But like the poor, the ignorant will always be with us. And representative democracy requires someone represents their interests.

      This is the core structural problem with our political system; we celebrate it when it stands up for people we approve of, yet deplore it when the Bennett's of this world represent people we don't like. There is no obvious solution to this paradox within the current paradigm.

      • Psycho Milt 5.1.1

        Oh, I don't for a moment believe that Paula Bennett has their interests at heart…

      • bwaghorn 5.1.2

        Huh . Shes not representing the ignorant shes useing their stupid for political gain .

        If she was representing their interests she would be gentle guiding the fuckers to understanding cc. Because having a habitable planet is in their interests

        Shes either ignorant as well ,(which is very possible) or shes representing the parasites who stand to loss if we tackle cc.

        • RedLogix 5.1.2.1

          I was of course being a tad ironic. But the point I am making is that we live in a world flooded with information, and it's not easy to determine which sources you will trust or not. You have to have some sympathy with that problem, for none of us are infallible, we're all ignorant really. Worse still none of us are all that rational, much of what we do is motivated reasoning.

          You would think on that basis that human societies must be an utter mad-house, but the miraculous thing is that most of the time we are mostly pretty damned good, and getting better according to the likes of Steve Pinker.

          The reason for this is more subtle than I realised. Jordan Peterson had a good line that 'humans outsource their mental health', in other words we need other people to talk to, listen to, and contend with to rub off our own sharp and ill-formed edges.

          What has changed in the past 30 years since the internet came along is that our social horizons have been exploded and we’re still very much in the process of adapting to this.

        • Gosman 5.1.2.2

          You most likely think that for anyone slightly right of center onwards.

          • bwaghorn 5.1.2.2.1

            I'm sure that there is the odd good right winger . But the leadership teams that national ave had since jim got knifed have been cynical shits who put winning ahead of actually making a positive difference.

            • David Mac 5.1.2.2.1.1

              "David you cynical shit." Would not be a good way to start a bid to change my mind. To change my mind bend your story to suit what I want to hear.

  6. Rae 6

    I have recently become concerned about the uses of all encompassing "right" or "left" to describe people's politics, as it is all far more varied than this. At the moment what we are seeing is a rise of reactionary politics that do tend to settle on the right of the scale but as all ponies are horses, not all horses are ponies, thus all reactionaries are right wing but not right wing are reactionary.

    I think we will achieve more if we be a little more precise about such things, and allow more moderate people who might have right wing sentiments not to have to identify with reactionaries.

    Just a thought.

    • Gosman 6.1

      What are right wing sentiments in your view?

      • Rae 6.1.1

        Right and left wing only refer to economic philosophies, right of the individual, left of the collective and any amount of a combination of the two along the line give you the idea of mixed economies (which are the best in my view). Capitalism is definitely right wing, but almost everywhere it is tempered by more or less socialist policy, usually found in services such as health, education etc.
        Sentiments don’t come into that, they fall along the libertarian/authoritarian line

  7. Ad 7

    Green Parties will increasingly have to form governments with right-wing parties as the traditional left parties continue to decline.

    This won't be easy.

    I know the Greens have ruled out coalitions with National here (and pretty hard to see the electoral necessity for it in Federal Australia), but right wing governments need to get in power.

    Case in point is the Greens joining with the far right party to achieve government in Austria. It's going to get muddy in there.

    • RedLogix 7.1

      Good point. It's why I switched to TOP last election despite the forlorn odds against them. They were a party with an strong environmental agenda based on positive human development, and had the political flexibility to participate in any coalition.

      We got lucky that time with Winston and Shaw being able to work together in a sufficiently stable govt, but eventually the electorate will swing back to it's default conservative settings … and once again the Greens will be left in the cold.

      In many ways there is a substantial policy overlap between the two, if you read the NZ Green and TOP sites, apart from the logo at the head of the page, it's sometimes hard to tell which site you're on. Yet the degree of tension between the two, both competing for the same space, was intense.

      • Muttonbird 7.1.1

        I found TOP to be fringe, extreme centrist and consequently ludicrous.

        A large majority of Kiwis from both sides of the political divide felt the same way.

        • RedLogix 7.1.1.1

          A party that openly stated that it could work with either a left or right wing govt is by definition not fringe; not unless you want to twist words beyond all reason. I realise everyone thinks the centre of the political universe is located where they are, but the term 'extreme centrist' is an idiotic bunk.

          Nope … what you are doing here is demonstrating Ad's exact point, that tribal Greenies incapable of making broad alliances beyond their 5-6% ghetto are precisely why the Greens have failed to get a decent grip on political power for decades now.

          • Muttonbird 7.1.1.1.1

            There is such a thing as extreme, or fringe centrists.

            True story, I was at the filming of a political show before the last election where Gareth Morgan tried to sell lowering the drinking age to 16…to intermediate children.

            That kind of arrogant and deliberate misinterpretation of his surroundings pervaded TOP's campaign. A campaign which consisted of competing radical ideas and Sean Plunket to boot.

            We are entering an age of very very strong environmental politics and they are and always have been rooted to social responsibility.

            • RedLogix 7.1.1.1.1.1

              The Greens have taken great pride in being the extremist, anti-establishment radicals for decades, so it's very interesting to see you now ditch this label and try to reposition yourselves as the responsible middle of the road party. It's an interesting sleight of hand, hell it may even work.

              • David Mac

                I think for Labour and the Greens their primary concern is people. The Greens have a 'if we all keep dumping in the nest aren't we all going to drown in poo' focus.

          • McFlock 7.1.1.1.2

            A party that openly stated that it could work with either a left or right wing govt is by definition not fringe;

            I dunno about that – it's a niche crowd that like to have a foot on each side of a barbed-wire fence. Everyone has their own kink, but that one is definitely "fringe".

            • gsays 7.1.1.1.2.1

              I wonder what Peter Dunne is up to nowadays?

              Politically ‘flexible’.

              • David Mac

                For as long as Peter Dunne can remain esoteric, bi partisan and visually resemble Bram Stoker's Transylvanian that guy has got a role on those Newshub Nation type shows. Broadway soundbites, he's great content.

                I wonder if he'd entertain a bow-tie sponsor? The Coca Cola swirl device through a silk dapper number would be a sensation.

            • Dennis Frank 7.1.1.1.2.2

              So you see Winston as fringe then, eh? I wish you could tell him, and I could watch his reaction. 😎

    • Dennis Frank 7.2

      "Given that the two parties entering this government are polar opposites in terms of political orientation, left vs. right, it is not surprising that the negotiations for a "viable" and lasting government took 100 days until their successful conclusion. Moreover, given what the Greens stand for — the climate, preventing "right-wing extremists" (namely the Austrian Freedom Party) from entering government ever again, and transparency — it would seem irreconcilable with the People's Party's goals: migration and law and order. At first, only the Austrian and European mainstream media and the European Union enthusiasts in Brussels were optimistic about this new coalition. The latest polls, however, indicate rising approval among the population." https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/15469/austria-coalition-agreement-serfdom

      Grounds for serious concern: "Finally, and this is most likely the passage with the gravest consequences for dissidents: Take measures effectively to combat associations that disseminate anti-state ideas/ideologies/thoughts (such as Identitarians)."

      Signalling intent to assume state power while contracted to combat anti-statist groups seems rather inauspicious. Did you like that understatement? 🙄

      • Ad 7.2.1

        Government is still the power best able to turn markets, so the Greens have to hold their noses and deal if they want government.

        They've done it in Denmark as well as Austria, with the centre left running hard on immigration.

        • Dennis Frank 7.2.1.1

          Historical context: "The Greens (Die Grünen), a party focusing on environmental and social justice issues as part of the worldwide Green movement, received 10.4% of the vote in 2008. They are particularly strong in the city areas, for example in Vienna, where they received 22% of the votes in the 2004 EU-elections. In Neubau they received 41% of the votes, more than SPÖ and ÖVP combined."

          "The Greens attract left-liberal intellectuals and voters from 18-30. Some insist on characterizing the Greens as leftists because they are perceived to be anti-capitalist and certainly employ anti-corporate rhetoric and less business friendly policies. However, this labeling confuses the differences between the Greens—who place a great deal of faith in local markets and direct democracy—and left-Socialists and Communists who tend to favor centralization and planned economies and economic class issues."

          "The Green Party suffered internal strife and fissure in 2017 and failed to meet the 4% threshold in the national elections held that year. It thus lost its seats, but made a spectacular comeback in 2019, with a vote share of 13.9% and 25 seats."

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Politics_of_Austria

          I wonder if leftists caused that crisis & exit from parliament? Whatever prompt reformulation they achieved worked like magic!!

          • Ad 7.2.1.1.1

            Let's wait a few months and see what the results for the Austrian Greens are, or indeed whether the government is still standing.

          • gsays 7.2.1.1.2

            To be fair, when an option came up (Mana) my Green vote shifted.

            I figure if it's good for the marginal of society, then society is uplifted.

            • Dennis Frank 7.2.1.1.2.1

              Reminds me of reading that bit in the Bible when I was a kid, when Jesus went & found the lost sheep. Children don't see that as an opportunity cost/benefit decision for the local (tribal) economy. They see it as caring about the lost sheep, so making the effort to look after it.

              And I have always shared that part of the Greens' leftism because it is a spiritual stance. Even if most of them not only don't see it as such but refuse to agree when you point it out to them!! 🙄

              But in politics pragmatism counts for more than principles, so we end up learning to play the numbers game according to accepted rules…

    • Muttonbird 7.3

      Green Parties will increasingly have to form governments with right-wing parties as the traditional left parties continue to decline.

      Merely a pendulum swinging. Most Green parties will never work with right wing parties because their ideologies are opposite.

      We have seen a massive upsurge in climate awareness and Green/Left parties will benefit.

      Our own experience during this government term should be a model for how environmental and left wing parties in other countries can achieve results. I suspect they are an inspiration in many places.

      I can't buy into your persistent doomsday predictions that left wing parties are in terminal decline.

      • Ad 7.3.1

        Since 1989 most people have given up waiting to see if it ever comes back.

        Greens here only clutch their pearls and chant "Never!" because New Zealand is one of the very last countries with the left in power. Across the entire world, Spain is the only left Federal government with a population over 20 million, and that was by cosying up with the loonies.

        If you're still looking for some awesome-left-green government that will propel us to the Great Leap Forward, well ….

        …. you'll be waiting a while.

        The GFC did not move people to the left.

        On cultural issues, English-speaking and Euro countries have banked hard right.

        We haven't proven a winning inspiration to any other country. We're an outlier.

        We're soaking in a country with a bath temperature of baby wee.

        Time to dry off.

  8. David Mac 8

    The best way to get the Right onboard with climate change is for publicaly listed sea-wall, solar cell and lithium producers to start spiking upward on Wall Street. It'll come.

  9. David Mac 9

    If creating electric cars is helping, the Right are all over that. Elon Musk extracts billions out of them. Not because Elon is saving Mother, it's because 'That 20 grand will be worth 40 grand in 6 months Baby,'

    There lies the path to getting everyone singing off the same page.

    Market pressures are already pushing this way, most car makers' plans involve an electric future.

    Wouldn't it be cool if the paltry 4.5 million of us trialed some hybrid ideas. Like…no import duty etc on import used electric vehicles. No registration charges for an electric vehicle. Govt subsidy on insurance for an electric vehicle. Power companies to install devices to allow cheap charging of vehicles when grid demand is low.

    Make owning an electric car as sexy as Marilyn Monroe.

    The world knows Jacinda, it's time she set some global trends rolling.

  10. David Mac 10

    I'm discounting the time Jacinda spent with Zuckerberg et al. I think she has already made an offshore difference. There's an awful lot of Aussies wishing 'By crikey. I wish we had that Sheila at the helm of the ute.'

  11. David Mac 11

    When it comes to climate change we can't avoid being hypocrites. We all sin.

    I just can't stop fiddling with V8's.

    But I don't need to drive it from here to Africa, don't want to. The car I do all my kms in could easily be electric.

    Over 12 years, triple the tax on petrol/diesel, Squeeze them out of town, have them leave of their own free will.

    Make owning an electric car as sexy as Marilyn Monroe and owning a burner as ugly as a Christmas eve double shift on the min wage.

    • RedLogix 11.1

      It will happen around 2025 when EV's become about 5 times cheaper to own and run than ICE's. Exactly as the first cars rapidly replaced horse drawn vehicles in the decade 1900 -10 in most large western cities.

      Those capitalist bastards everyone hates so much around here will make it so.

  12. Jenny How to get there 12

    How rotten is Australia's ruling political class?

    Climate protesters, including young girl, threatened with arrest outside Australian PM's official residence

    Giovanni Torre, The Telegraph

    20 DECEMBER 2019

    ……Rumours have abounded that Mr Morrison is in Hawaii, which his office denies. At the demonstration, a police officer read the girl her rights: “I warn you that should you fail to comply with my direction, you may be arrested. Force may be used,” he said. “Do you understand, Izzy?”

    “Yes,” she replies.

    ……While demonstrators were arrested outside Kirribilli House, on the outskirts of the city at least 20 homes were destroyed by fire.

    A maximum temperature of 42.4C was recorded at Sydney airport, and the hot dry weather has made the job of tackling more than 100 fires even harder for the more than 2,000 fire fighters deployed in New South Wales alone.

    Fifty of those 100 fires are still uncontained, and smoke has blanketed Sydney. Meanwhile, 69 bush fires raged in Queensland.

    Northern New South Wales and southern Queensland have suffered severe drought for months.

    On Thursday, the New South Wales Rural Fire Service confirmed that two volunteer firefighters died tonight near Buxton, in south western Sydney…..

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/12/19/australia-fires-sydney-hottest-day-emergency/

    Makes you wonder what sort of leader would go on holiday with this sort of thing going on.

    But if Scott Morrison ever did move to do something about climate change the fossil fuel lobby would ensure he is replaced, just as they have done for every past Australian Prime Minister who tried to do something about climate change.

  13. peterlepaysan 13

    Once again Gosman derails the discussion.

    Of course capitalism is a problem.

    It relies on greed and complete exploitation of very finite resources.

    Environmental consequences are irrelevant. The relevant things are shareholder returns and management/executive bonuses. To hell with the environment, and the unwealthy.

    • Incognito 13.1

      It was always inevitable that this post could turn into a sub-post entitled The left is splintering on a post on the right splintering on climate change. Gosman was predictably obliging and helpful @ 3.

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