Tag Archives: Tony Abbott

March 23, 2011 “Ditch the witch” rally

 

On this day in 2011, an ‘anti-carbon tax’ rally was held outside Parliament House in Canberra.  The crowd was addressed by Opposition Leader Tony Abbott, who was in the midst of his relentless (and successful) campaign to characterise an emissions-trading scheme with an initial fixed price as a ‘tax’ (with the help of Julia Gillard, it has to be said).

Infamously, and in a move that should have been far more damaging than it was (imo), Abbott was pictured in front of a placard that declared Gillard was ‘Bob Brown’s bitch’.

Image result for bob brown's bitch

 

Labour minister Craig Emerson “wanted to vomit,” and he was not alone. Gillard told an ABC documentary that she felt this should have ended Abbott’s career.

Also on this day- 

It happens to be  World Meteorological Day . I should try to track down speeches by Australia’s first environment ambassador (Climate change and policy change : the nexus : World Meteorological Day address 1991 / by Sir Ninian Stephen) and the 1992 one by ex-science Minister Barry Jones.

Climate change, resource use and population growth: the challenge for sustainable development : World Meteorological Day address, 23 March 1992 / Barry O. Jones

2013 –  The Australian Government’s formal response to recommendations outlined in the Final Review Report (on Renewable Energy) was released on 23 March 2013  (Simpson and Clifton, 2014:129)

March 5, 2011 – “Wingnuts coming out of the woodwork”

2011 was a very very interesting year for Australian climate politics. And a bloody one. Kevin Rudd’s failure to get his Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme through parliament,and his decision to shelve it, had caused a drop in his popularity. After a battle with miners over a mining tax (they spent $22m on a’Keep Mining Strong’ campaign’), he was replaced as Labor leader (and Prime Minister) by his deputy Julia Gillard in June 2010. During the subsequent election campaign she had said there would be ‘no carbon tax under a government she led’. Usually- but not always – she added that her government would look at a price on carbon. Whoops.

The price of support from Green and Independent MPs in the subsequent hung parliament was… a price on carbon. Gillard then mangled the labelling of that policy, most spectacularly on 24 February 2011. Tony Abbott, by then Opposition Leader, can surely not have believed his luck. Recently his chief of staff, Peta Credlin, has admitted what everyone knew – the Gillard ETS was not, in fact, a carbon tax.

At the time, well… on this day that year, elder-journalistman Laurie Oakes, he of the “hierophantic condescension” had this to say

“Wingnuts are coming out of the woodwork. The mad and menacing phone calls to independent MP Tony Windsor are just one indication. There are plenty of others online. The carbon tax and Tony Abbott’s call for a people’s revolt have crazies foaming at the mouth. You see it on the ‘Revolt Against the Carbon Tax’ Facebook page, for example. Like this message from a Gillard-hater about a rally in front of Parliament House being planned for March 23: ‘Just like Egypt we stay there and protest continuously until she and her cronies, Bob Brown Greens etc are ousted! We have got to get rid of this Godless mistress of deceit.'”

Oakes, L. 2011. Loonies latch on to the politics of hate. Daily Telegraph, 5 March.

 

Also on this day

2004  The Australian National Audit Office issues a report that basically skewers the Australian Greenhouse Office (see March 4 blogpost for the background to the establishing of the AGO…)

2007 Senator Nick Minchin writes to Clean Up Australia’s founder and disses – quelle surprise-  climate science  (see Wendy Frew, 15 March 2007.)

Feb 3, 2010 – Tony Abbott meets Lord Monckton (no photos though!)

On this day seven years ago, the newly minted Opposition Leader Tony Abbott did some dog-whistling more subtle than his March 2011 debacle.  As Bernard Keane perceptively notes –

“Tony Abbott’s decision to meet Lord Monckton was contemptible — but smart politics. Abbott is just doing what he has been hired to do: dog-whistle to the extreme right of the party. Tony Abbott met with conspiracy theorist Chris Monckton yesterday at lunchtime, but Abbott wouldn’t allow photographers to record the meeting or publicly comment on what was discussed.”

Keane, B. 2010. Abbott to the lunatic fringe: it’s OK, I’m one of you. Crikey, 4 February.

Monckton visited again, the following year.  We’ll come back to that…

 

Also on this day –

1994 – John Daley (not Daly), not yet executive director of the Australian Industry Greenhouse Network, attends the ABARE ‘Outlook 94’ conference, and, in the words of Simon Grose, hack for the Canberra times, warns that  warns that

“Australia and the developing economies of the world could bear an unfairly high proportion of the costs of controls on greenhouse emissions in the event of any global agreement to adopt uniform emission-reduction targets”

Grose, S. 1994. Unfair burden’ on Australia. Canberra Times, 4 February, p.4.

1995 In the context of a probable/possible carbon tax, Senator McMullan gives a speech at a Committee for Economic Development of Australia in Melbourne “The levy will be dealt with on the basis of its appropriateness as a measure to reduce Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions rather than on the amount of revenue it might raise…. What we need to avoid is any situation where we unilaterally place a wide range of export and import-competing industries at a competitive disadvantage without actually contributing effectively to reducing global or domestic greenhouse emissions.”

Gill, P. 1995. Official warns of small cut in gas with carbon tax. The Australian Financial Review, 7 February, p.3.

2009 At the  end of the Climate Action Summit  in Canberra, activists encircle Parliament

 

Feb 2, 2010 – Tony Abbott launches ‘Direct Action’ climate ‘policy’

On 1st December 2009, by a single vote, Tony Abbott defeated Malcolm Turnbull for the leadership of the Liberal Party of Australia. The issue at stake – Turnbull’s support for Kevin Rudd’s emissions trading scheme. Abbott, who had recently declared climate science to be ‘absolute crap’ (in Beaufort, Victoria, on 30 September 2009) took over. He said that the Liberals would meet the 5% reduction by 2020 target that Rudd had set… by planting trees, basically.  After the summer break, he explained what the Liberal ‘policy’ would be.

You can read his media release here.
Direct action on the environment and climate change.

There will be more about ‘Direct Action’ in due course. Suffice to say that ‘we will plant trees instead of putting a price on carbon’ was Liberal Party policy from 1995 onwards.

Also on this day –

2010 Australian ETS legislation introduced a third time. The recently deposed Malcolm Turnbull would cross the floor to vote for it, symbolic action that it was.

July 17th, 2014 – Australian carbon tax repealed

A year ago today, in an act of intergenerational vandalism that will be the only thing that Tony Abbott is remembered for, the Australian Senate repealed Julia Gillard’s carbon tax. You could not make it up, really.

Also on this day.
1991 Gore v Bush Sr on climate
Mr. GORE. Mr. President, I rise to introduce a resolution that calls on President Bush to provide the environmental leadership he has promised. Soon, the nations of the world will meet for the third preparatory committee meeting for the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development. We have now passed a critical point in those meetings; less than a year remains before the conference will take place in Brazil. The conference provides a truly historic opportunity for all of the countries of the world to join together to chart a future for the planet that is bright for our environment as well as for our economies. I am afraid, however, that the critical importance of the meeting is escaping the President.

March 25th 2013 – Australian Department of Climate Change disbanded

Tony Abbott has a lot to answer for, but the abolition of the Australian Department of Climate Change was a futile attempt by Prime Minister Julia Gillard to bury the issue of climate change before the election. Before the 2013 election she herself was buried by Kevin Rudd, another chapter in a saga that made Macbeth look like a Sunday school story.
There are eerie parallels between the Dept of Climate Change’s fate and that of the “Australian Greenhouse Office” (1998 – 2005). But that’s for another time.

The Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency is abolished. Most of its functions are moved to the Department of Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Science, Research and Tertiary Education, with responsibility for energy efficiency transferred to the Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism.

Also on this day
“In the absence of an official US initiative, WMO took the lead and held discussions with UNEP on this proposal. Eventually, a slightly modified version was sent out by the Secretary General of WMO on March 25, 1988 to member governments inquiring whether their country would like to be represented on a proposed ‘Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’ (Obasi, 1988).”
Agrawala, S. (1998a, p 615)
March 25 2009 New York Times magazine has a profile/puffpiece on smart guy and climate skeptic Freeman Dyson as “the Civil Heretic”. Dyson was a “JASON” back in the 70s and 80s when they looked at this…

March 23rd, 2011 “Ditch the bitch” anti-carbon rally

Five years ago today, Tony Abbott, then the leader of the Opposition, attended an anti-carbon tax rally in Australia. One of the signs he was willing to stand in front of had the charming slogans “Ditch the witch” and Juliar, Bob Brown’s bitch(referring to Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard).  He was as classy then as he is now…

march23bobbrownsbitch

Also on this day

2007 JimHansen’s Scientific Reticence and Sea Level Rise received