Tag Archives: Power Failure

April 13 2011 – the “pro-carbon price” squeak

The 2011 assault on the proposal for a price on carbon was astonishing in its brutality, given that the Liberal Party had gone to the 2007 election with a similar-enough set of proposals. One under-remarked aspect of that assault was the almost complete silence of pro-price business groups, which (wisely from their perspective) decided that discretion was the better part of valour…

As Phillip Chubb writes in his excellent “Power Failure”-

“On 13 April 2011 the company [GE] was joined by a number of others, including AGL, Linfox, Fujitsu, BP and IKEA, in issuing a statement backing the government.”
(Chubb, 2014:173)

And here is a screengrab of the press release

2011 04 13 support climate price

Also on this day-

“By April 2007 there was formal agreement by COAG to a national mandated rollout of electricity smart meters to begin by the end of 2008, in locations where an economic case could be made, as summarised in the 13th April 2007 COAG Meeting Communique:
‘‘COAG. . . endorsed a staged approach for the national mandated roll out of electricity smart meters to areas where benefits outweigh costs, as indicated by the results of the cost-benefit analysis which will be completed by the end of 2007.” [COAG (2007): 1]
(Lovell, 2017:103)
Lovell, H. 2017. Mobile policies and policy streams: The case of smart metering policy in Australia. Geoforum, 81, pp.100-108.

2012 Bob Brown announces resignation as leader of the Greens.  I will write more of Brown another time.   A man with immense courage, in my opinion.

Feb 7, 1995 – Treasurer points to ‘let out’ clauses in the UNFCCC

On this day  in 1995, during the peak of the carbon tax battles,  Treasurer Ralph Willis old Parliament that the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, which Australia had ratified in late December 1992, contained ‘let-out clauses’ and that the government might decide that a less ambitious target was appropriate Parliamentary Debates, House of Representatives, 7 February 1995, 582 (Ralph Willis, Treasurer).

“Those are not unimportant clauses (and) they have to be taken into account when considering whether we need absolutely to tie ourselves to achieving the (targets)… `(But) we are concerned with ensuring that Australia does everything in its power to try to live up to its obligations to the convention.”

Meanwhile,five of his Cabinet colleagues were taking part in the first of two roundtables about the proposed carbon tax. The environmental and community groups were on the 7th, the business groups on the 8th.

By total coincidence, the Business Council had sent out press releases on the 6th February warning of massive job losses if a carbon tax were instituted…

Thomas, C. 1995. Business Council Hits Plan For Carbon Tax. The Age, 7 February, p.50.

 

Also on this day –

In 2009 the  Black Saturday bushfires  around Melbourne.  These were also the spur for Philip Chubb to write his book “Power Failure.”

Feb 7, 2009: Black Saturday bushfires around Melbourne, 173 killed.

The Black Saturday bushfires[7] were a series of bushfires that ignited or were burning across the Australian state of Victoria on and around Saturday, 7 February 2009 and were Australia’s worst ever natural disaster. The fires occurred during extreme bushfire-weather conditions and resulted in Australia’s highest ever loss of life from a bushfire;[8] 173 people died[6][9] and 414 were injured as a result of the fires.

The fires inspired Philip Chubb to write “Power Failure“, his book about the Rudd/Gillard governments and their climate policies.

And yes, attribution.

Other things that happened on this day:

2008 Royal Geographical Society conference on adaptation. I think was hoping to have the same influence for adaptation as the Exeter conference (see Feb 3rd entry) had had for mitigation. Still, it posed the crucial question “are there limits to adaptation”? (Hint, “probably, and we are about to find out”) http://www.tyndall.ac.uk/events/2008/are-there-limits-adaptation

As ever, see the disclaimers, help the project and comments policy.