Unapologetic insolence from an aging subversive

Unapologetic insolence from an aging subversive

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Stating the Obvious



 The Rightwing blogosphere is hyperventilating about Obama's remarks on the reef at the G20. Apparently the Queensland government is "incensed".

The only thing the Queensland government is incensed about is that they couldn’t control what the visiting leaders said.
 
Everything Obama said about the reef is true. Noddy and the collection of white shoe spivs that constitute his administration are worried that the mining and real estate interests that are the real government in Queensland will come off second best, if the mad rush to exploit coal and gas is more carefully regulated. Instead of listening to paid shills in the US media (like Andrew Bolt here), Obama actually reads and understands the science.

He also understands the difference between warming and the rate of warming. Bolt spouts the “no warming since 1998” nonsense because he believes his readers can’t tell the difference between a trend and a rate. Obviously, some of them can’t – particularly those who think the earth is flat. A quick perusal of the science shows that warming has continued unabated since 1968. The only thing that’s changed is the rate. The car is still heading for the cliff, only now it’s traveling at 40km per hour instead of 60.

The agreement between China and USA is a watershed. Obama doesn’t need congress to implement his side of the bargain, and the Chinese have no choice, given the toxic atmosphere which most urban Chinese experience.

Only 1 percent of the China’s 560 million city dwellers breathe air considered safe by international standards. Air pollution is particularly bad in the rust belt areas of northeastern China. A study done by the World Health Organization estimated that the amount of airborne suspended particulates in northern China are almost 20 times what WHO considers a safe level.

A poll conducted by the Pew Research Center before the 2008 Olympics found that 74 percent of the Chinese interviewed said they were concerned about air pollution. It’s got much worse since and kills over half a million Chinese annually. The irony in this is that the pollution is a daily fact of life for the most populous nation on earth – it’s visible – and despite the restraints of command economy, the Chinese people will not, in the long run, continue to tolerate it. The leadership is well aware that China has no choice.

China has the world highest number of deaths attributed to air pollution. The World Health Organization estimated in 2007 that 656,000 Chinese died prematurely each year from ailments caused by indoor and outdoor air.

So it’s going to happen.

The two most powerful and polluting nations on earth are taking action. The rest of the world, including Australia, has no choice. The Coalition's only remaining argument against an ETS has vanished into thin (hopefully unpolluted) air. Reference to the Green Climate Fund, of which Abbott has been highly critical, was inserted into the final G20 communiqué after pressure from Japan,  the USA, South Korea and the European Union.

If Abbott and co had any sense they’d be planning for an economy when the rest of the world won’t want our coal any more, or at least nowhere as much of it as they do know. It looks as if, behind the bluster, they've woken up to that reality. The FTA with China, whilst of doubtful value to everyday Australians, especially those who can't find work, significantly broadens the base of what we can profitability sell to China.

The pragmatists in the Coalition have sniffed the global breeze, and come to the only rational conclusion. Their spin merchants will never let that get in the way of a discredited three word slogan, of course.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Yep, China is going to slow down its emissions acceleration post 2030. That could mean a lot more deaths by air pollutants in the mean time. Which part of peaking in 2030 didn't you understand? In the meantime China keeps building coal burners and buys what it needs for production of electricity from us....all the while donkeys like you think that is a good idea.

Anonymous said...

I think you are confusion air pollution with carbon pollution which is heating the planet, raising sea levels and sending fear into the hearts and minds of all lefties.

Abbott's job is to pay down debt (interest bill of $1bn a month) and grow the economy.

The senate will not let him introduce any measures to reduce debt, so debt will be another $40bn so far on top of what we already owe.

He needs to dump the baby leave, but that was his hit at getting the women vote. People hate it though, especially women at the ABC and the public service who have access to a similarly generous scheme but somehow don't want their sisters to have the same perks.

Internationally Abbott (and Bishop) have been winners. The FTA will grow the economy while our locals are seething at a half a cent a litre increase in petrol when they wouldn't be able to quote you the price of petrol at the bowser today.

There is so much hate out there for Abbott that he may well loose the next election. Who then will pay down debt? Who then will grow the economy?

It is certainly not going to ne Labor and the Greens.

The schoolkids are in charge of the Senate, who will take them on and make for effective government?

We are going to be in the doldrums for some time yet with debt increasing to a point where it will not be able to be paid off within 25 years, meanwhile that $1bn a month interest bill will keep rising.

We need someone to stand up and tell people the truth, not chasing populism, but someone who will grab Australians by the scruff of the neck and introduce the changes needed.

That man is Morrison.

Cav

1735099 said...

Both air pollution and carbon pollution are harmful. The difference is that air pollution is a threat to those living, whereas pollution threatens the unborn.
It's telling that the Chinese shut down their polluting industries when the international spotlight is on their air quality - refer the Olympic games and APEC.
Abbott's job is to provide leadership. Australians don't trust a leader who lies and breaks promises. They also regard with contempt any leader who attacks the most vulnerable (the unemployed, pensioners and service personnel, past and present) in an effort to balance the budget. Abbott's first priority should be to deal with the 18% youth unemployment rate. A whole generation of young Australians is denied a future. Instead, he sets up an FTA which will have the outcome of exporting more precious jobs to China.
The Australian tax system needs reform, but he lacks the guts to take it on.
It doesn't take an economics degree to understand that the problem is declining revenue, not government spending.
As for Morrison - any so called Minister who hides from accountability on the basis of operational priorities should be sacked. The man's arrogance is insufferable.
He is also a coward. Anyone in power who profits through abject cruelty to desperate people is less than a man.

1735099 said...

all the while donkeys like you think that is a good idea.
And do you have a better one - or are you too busy with ad hom abuse to be bothered?

Anonymous said...

Opening the country up for trade will benefit the economy - that's what needed. Protectionism means that the taxpayer subsidises workers pay and cannot be sustained in the long run when our products are too expensive when compared to the rest of the world.

Morrison stopped the boats. People stopped drowning at sea. There were 30,000 in captivity from Labor, Morrison is reducing that.

A governemnt should be allowed to introduce legislation on its policies that it went to the electorate on. It hasn't a hope now.

Bracket creep will reap the governemnt more revenue and everyone pays more. Surely reducing spending, reducing debt, smaller government will allow citizens the tax break they need.

People want the government to do stuff for them but they are not prepared to pay for it.

Cav

1735099 said...

The FTA creates winners and losers.
That's OK so long as the losers are given options. Under this government they won't be.
For example, whilst the NAFTA's overall financial impact has been generally positive, it has not lived up to the high expectations of its proponents. It has made many U.S. companies and investors rich - and their managements richer. But it has also cost many U.S. manufacturing workers their livelihoods while failing to raise living standards.
It's quite obvious that the same will happen here with the China FTA, and the people most impacted will be blue collar Australians working in local manufacturing. They will end up being tossed away to join the millions of unemployed in this country.
Any major market changes not dictated by market forces usually lead to both opportunity and loss, and this has happened with NAFTA and will happen with China FTA.
The boats have stopped but the deaths continue. They now occur in Afghanistan, ISIS occupied Iraq and Iran rather than on the high seas. They're not reported in local media, so the likes of Andrew Bolt doesn't feel the need to hyperventilate.
Meanwhile there are still thousands locked up in Gulags as a result of bipartisan cruelty since 2001. The numbers are being reduced by shipping them off to corrupt regimes (Cambodia and Nauru). These are people, not abstract numbers.
Contrast the successful humanitarian exercise of resettling 175000 Vietnamese in the seventies and eighties with the tragedy of refugees post 2001. I am deeply ashamed of my country. This is not what I fought for in 1970.
A government certainly should be allowed to legislate its promises, but Abbott is attempting to legislate on decisions which were never promised, and will disadvantage the most vulnerable.
It will take a bloody lot of bracket creep to reduce our debt, and people have never been given the choice at the ballot box to decide if they are prepared to pay for services. Both sides of politics are paranoid about tax reform to raise revenue. Even school kids understand that specific situation.
We are governed by spivs and spin merchants - not leaders.

Anonymous said...

Yep, China is going to slow down its emissions acceleration post 2030. That could mean a lot more deaths by air pollutants in the mean time. Which part of peaking in 2030 didn't you understand? In the meantime China keeps building coal burners and buys what it needs for production of electricity from us.....try an address the rest of the comment.

1735099 said...

Yep, China is going to slow down its emissions acceleration post 2030.
Thank you.
That could mean a lot more deaths by air pollutants in the mean time.
And without that agreement, no doubt many more. If you indeed have a point to make it is well hidden.
try an (sic) address the rest of the comment.
Trouble is, there is no "rest" of the comment to address.

Anonymous said...

China does nothing until 2030.....continues to accelerate emissions at a rate they decide. That's a big plus? I don't see any concessions there. If the Chinese decide in 15 years that they wish to alter the agreement they will. It will be interesting for those who are still around to see what the Chinese consider "peak". If our government went the same way you would be screaming blue murder. Don't thank me unless you are conceding an oversight in your comprehension. By the way your claim of ad hom abuse did not address what I perceived as poor comprehension skills on you part. What don't you understand about the Chinese not being required to do anything until 2030 and in fact being blessed with an agreement that states increase your output until the agreed date and then slow down the rate at which you output carbon dioxide? We are not talking about Carbon here but CO2.

1735099 said...

China does nothing until 2030
Rubbish - China is doing a lot.

China has a tax on coal, oil and gas extraction in its largest gas-producing province and plans to extend this to all other western provinces.

And China is closing down older, high-pollution power stations and replacing them with new-generation capacity.

In the past five years, they've closed down more in high-pollution capacity than the entire volume of the electricity capacity of our country.

And in the past fortnight, China announced plans to go further.

Two weeks ago, the Chinese released their 12th Five Year Plan. This plan, China's key economic planning document, identifies tackling climate change as a priority for China, and includes a commitment to gradually introduce market mechanisms to control energy consumption and carbon pollution.

Over the next five years, the plan also commits China to increasing the proportion of renewables in their energy mix, reducing energy per unit of GDP by 16 per cent, reducing carbon emissions per unit of GDP by 17 per cent, and increasing the forested areas of China by 40 million hectares by 2020.

All of this action, along with China's commitment to gradually introduce market mechanisms, such as carbon trading, is significant for Australia.

SMH April 1, 2011
They've done a great deal more since.
We're not talking about carbon here but CO2
I don't know about you, but I'm talking about emissions.

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