Has climate change cooked the Coalition?

Even the lunatic RBA has swung behind climate change mitigation now, at the AFR:

Reserve Bank deputy governor Guy Debelle has called for immediate action on climate change to avert an “abrupt, disorderly” economic transition, in a speech that confirmed climate change policy as one of the central bank’s key priorities.

In a speech on Tuesday, Dr Debelle said climate change posed a “systemic risk” to the Australian economy and would make new demands of monetary policymakers.

The speech paid particular attention to macroeconomic modelling, which Dr Debelle said had failed to adequately factor in the economic effects of climate change.

But not the LNP. Via David Crowe at Domain:

The research, presented to the federal Nationals MPs in Canberra last month, showed that voters were most concerned about the cost of living but that climate change also ranked as one of their top issues.

The findings are fuelling fears within the party about a backlash in Nationals strongholds in northern NSW and possibly other areas, where voters have increased their support for the Greens and independents.

In a sign of those concerns, Victorian Nationals leader Peter Walsh accused former Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce of hurting the party with his calls for federal aid for a new coal-fired power station in Queensland.

The QLD Nats live in One Nation coal heartland. Support for coal in these jurisdictions is not a rational position and is not going to change in any immediate future. It is some toxic combination of denialism and self-interest.

Yet taking that policy position to the wider community renders the rest of the LNP toxic everywhere else. So long as ON exists to hold QLD Nats to account, LNP governments cannot.

Paul Kelly sums it up pretty well:

Disunity over energy policy during Turnbull’s leadership ­became fatal. The Nationals can pitch coal to their regional constituency but Australian sentiment has turned against coal. This is yet another massive victory by the progressives while the ­Coalition has been governing.

The anti-coal forces in effect vetoed coal on political grounds, won the battle on financial grounds and their ideological wing now conducts a cultural war against coal that seems to have made immense inroads. In truth, this campaign is a bizarre brew of rational economics and irrational climate change mania that threatens serious harm.

The conservatives have been outsmarted and out-muscled. The upshot is rage and frustration within the Queensland wing of the Nationals over the demonisation of the nation’s major export ­earner and sullen resentment among conservative Liberals typified by Abbott’s recent concession that Australia should honour the Paris accords.

For the government, the most frightening aspect of Joyce’s intervention is his apparent assumption of irreconcilable National-Liberal differences over coal and climate change. Joyce’s assertion of a pro-coal National stance comes with the recognition that this will damage Liberal votes and lose Liberal seats in the far bigger suburban centres of Melbourne and Sydney.

There’s nothing “irrational” about the war on coal. It’s going to get much, much worse as climate change advances. Anyone who can’t see this is a political liability.

Yet, progressive leaders like Malcolm Turnbull can’t cut it, either. Leaders at either end of the polarity will fall.

John Howard might have negotiated this impasse by pushing forward on climate change mitigation while holding the Nats together with conservative social policy. But even he had a lot of luck in doing so and did not face today’s rising anti-coal tide.

The only hope that the Coalition as it is currently constituted has of recovery is to find other issues that can paper over its climate change impasse. Immigration was the obvious choice given it would have destroyed ON. But the Liberal Party appears just as irrationally wedded to that as the QLD Nats are to coal.

It may take years in opposition before the party collapses, but with its current structure the LNP appears doomed.

Comments

  1. GunnamattaMEMBER

    Well actually Debelle is simply after mega level fiscal stimulus of sufficient scope to ensure that money printing (which the RBA will be onto within months) stays in Australia. You could probably even scope that to embed gas reservation to drive gas prices down (without losing face)

    The incoming ALP government will presumably have no problems with signing up. The RBA in addition to printing will propose a mega climate change bond of some sort.

    And the building of sea walls, artificial reefs, dams – not to mention desalination plants, pipelines to ensure the Darling has flows all year round, railways shunting punters about, solar panels for every home rooftop and lining roads, and probably even digging out some super port facility somewhere on the North coast can become the employment demand driver for a generation – a crazy government and monetary backed hail Mary while someone in power works out how we ever become competitive again. All requiring loads of men with shovels, and enabling spending on Northern development.

    After the Magic Mushroom experience of this government it may get a look in.

    The Liberal National Party?………from here on in their future is as an entry in history books under the heading the coalition which bought you the very worst period of government in Australian history
    – and Joe Hockey leaning as Treasurer
    – and Dutton
    – and ScoMo and coal
    – and Tony Abbott
    – and Barnaby
    – Bronwyn and the helicopter
    etc etc etc…..

    • proofreadersMEMBER

      +1 Absolutely – As for the RBA, basically any excuse (albeit climate change is very, very real, but the LNP hasn’t got the memo yet) will do for the RBA to cover up for their total incompetence and negligence in control of monetary policy over the last 10 years. It is pathetic watching the RBA trying to look like it is oh so concerned and wise.

      • I’m with you guys. Climate change is a convenient “whocouldanoed” bogeyman type excuse. And the RBA wants an excuse to print like effing crazy.

        I suspect that the only disaster bigger than climate change for this country’s youth will be the RBA printing.

      • proofreadersMEMBER

        Peachy – the RBA couldn’t even be trusted with the petty cash tin, let alone anything more.

      • I know proofreaders. They’d spend the cash on housing, then when confronted with the empty tin, hand you an IOU and declare that they’ve gone cashless!

      • @above

        “The point emphasized by MMT is that modern money, unlike commodity monies such as gold that the mainstream traditionally has in mind, is ultimately a creature of the state, a token that owes its value to the fact that the state requires its subjects to pay taxes in terms of the very token that is a creature of the state. It is a matter of pure logic to accept that for these subjects to be able to pay their taxes in terms of said monetary tokens, the state has to first issue its money.

        While featuring the state, this point also highlights the logic of capitalism: the “money-first principle.” For without money (liquidity, really), not much will happen in a capitalist economy. In a monetary production economy, for anyone to order the production of anything, you need to get your hands on money first (which may of course feature many forms of credit, including shadowy ones). It takes money – obtained from the financial system where it is made – to spend, produce, or acquire assets. This point was at the heart of the “finance motive” debate following the publication of The General Theory, a debate that allowed Keynes to drive home the vital insight that “loanable funds theory” was fatally flawed. In preindustrial agrarian economies, the saved corn provides the seed (the investment) that yields next season’s harvest. By contrast, in capitalism, economic activity in monetary production economies is not drawing on some preexisting pool of saving or loanable funds, but on the pool of liquidity as provided by the financial system.”

        http://multiplier-effect.org/big-guns-shooting-holes-in-the-sky/

        Why are some so insistent on arguing or thinking about money from a deduct angle, then get their panty’s in a twist when stuff does not workout accordingly …

      • @Skippy
        “a token that owes its value to the fact that the state requires its subjects to pay taxes in terms of the very token that is a creature of the state.”
        This is quite clearly an incorrect assumption. There are multiple examples of tokens required for payment of taxation that have been made worthless by the issuing government, ergo requirement to pay taxation does not give the currency any significant value. Of course simple deductive reasoning like this is something completely foreign to most economists from what I can tell.

      • @skippy
        You are getting your carts and horses all mixed up. Let me fix it for you: you must produce BEFORE you consume. Surely this obvious? You produce, you exchange the production for either other goods or ‘money’, which you then exchange for the goods you want.

        “By contrast, in capitalism, economic activity in monetary production economies is not drawing on some preexisting pool of saving or loanable funds, but on the pool of liquidity as provided by the financial system.” WTF? Wrong again, skippy. The very essence of capitalism is to produce enough in order to live plus put some aside to invest in further production — in other words, a perpetual cycle of re-investment in the economy. Money and capitalism are mutually exclusive in that money does not need to exist for capitalism to exist but it certainly greases the wheels of commerce, as barter is inefficient and money itself (if in the form of gold or other monetary metal) can provide a convenient store of value.

        State money exists because states like as much control as possible and when gold was considered money it granted the citizens power that the state resented. The State cannot ‘print’ gold and the elites were endlessly frustrated by the fact that the economy, facilitated by gold as money, freely operated and thrived without them. By monetising gold and making toilet paper ‘legal tender’ the State wrested control from the citizens by having the power to issue as much worthless confetti as they wished, in the process imposing a tax on the citizens, if you like. It is the most insidious of taxes, of course, because it is one the people don’t understand and cannot ‘see’.

        If you want to understand proper economics — not the Mickey Mouse crap they teach in our Unis these days (based on a litany of fallacious Keynesian theories), then classical economics is where you start. Take Keynes and use his words to fuel your next BBQ — at least you’ll get something of value from them.

    • you are right this is softening the public opinion for some kind of “green new deal” needed to pull country out of recession we are already in (latest dec qtr numbers are likely to be revised down at or below 0%)

      objectively some kind of green new deal is probably the best government will be able to do

      • I still think the the pink batts policy was good one.

        Now before you start laughing, remember those pink batts are still in homes. They still exist and houses with them will be cooler in summer and warmer in winter.

        This is a physical product, still in existence and one that helps with climate change. It also created jobs (no, I am not going to ignore the rogue operators which resulted in unfortunate deaths.) but it did good things for the Australian people – not multinational corporations.

        I’d much prefer to see things like this done, than $900 grey vote buyouts that end up pissed against the wall or spent on pokies.

    • St JacquesMEMBER

      Yeah, but hardly any of that mass of printing of pseudo reserve currency aka AUD, is going to stay in Oz given we make SFA, and have lost much of the industrial technical knowledge and infrastructure to do so even if we wanted to, and much of our critical businesses and infrastructure is largely foreign owned so there goes most of our profits.

      • St JacquesMEMBER

        Well, in reality the mass printed AUDs will stay in Oz, they’re just going to become joke money as foreign suppliers of trinkets and other goodies demand real reserve currencies, ie the USDs, renminbies, yen or euros. Welcome to the “developing world” Austaya.

      • my thoughts exactly. Even if this New Green Deal kicks in it will take time to convince anyone to invest in manufacturing here. Manufacturers will insist on long term tax and wage agreements. Not sure if we can manage a way out without suffering massive casualties.

      • Yep I don’t think most Aussies realize just how much Manufacturing capability has been lost over the last 2 decades. IMHO the losses of the last decade were unforgivable given the clear connections that exist between Manufacturing Capability and National security outcomes, however we went there anyway.
        So talk about policy changes today restoring life to our dormant manufacturing is just plain laughable, Even JC himself only left it for 3 days to rise from the dead. Our manufacturing revitalization would be like trying to perform CPR on a skeleton.
        Without the possibility of exports based on added value through advanced manufacturing, what avenues exist for Australia to somewhat balance our Current account requirements with Traded goods and services?
        It’s a question that nobody wants to ask lest they be found wanting for an answer.

      • It’s taken six decades to get to where we are. IOn the process we cheered on the destruction of manufacturing. We cheered on the impoverishment of farmers, country towns and regional areas. We cheered on the destruction of the education system. Then we screwed the political system through centering most of the population and ALL the MSM in three capital cities. Change will hurt and, particularly, it would hurt people in the big cities. How the hell do you suddenly turn all that around.?

        The answers lie back in time.

    • Can I ask a simple question here. Is MB for or against coal and gas exports ?

      If against is there any suggestion of how we would deal with an Australia that has lost $100B in export earnings ?

      • St JacquesMEMBER

        I’m not saying this is necessarily the case with coal, but look at LNG. We’re the world’s biggest exporters and it’s actually hurting our economy. It pumps our GDP figure but that is a meaningless statistical mirage as far as the real Oz economy is concerned.. The only good it did was employ a bunch of tradies during construction, and increasingly even they are foreign sourced. Be careful what you wish for.

      • SJ
        GAS shortages caused by the LNG export boom continue to threaten the future of one of Queensland’s biggest manufacturers.
        The 50-year-old Gibson Island fertiliser plant (Brisbane) would close if a long-term affordable gas supply was not found. 400 employees on the footpath.
        Incitec was preparing to close Gibson Island.

      • @WW it not just direct users of NG that are feeling the impact of LNG exports because through Electricity prices this LNG stupidity impacts ever Aussie manufacturing business. The choice of Gas turbines, that could have provided a viable transition fuel in the economic shift to Renewables, has been lost to our nation and this loss is indirectly pricing many remaining Aussie manufactures out of business.

      • Rod…For God’s sake shut the hell up. You can’t go around asking those sorts of questions!!! What do you tjhink? This is some sort of business/economics site? Get with the religion!

      • “If against is there any suggestion of how we would deal with an Australia that has lost $100B in export earnings ?”

        But being for or against exporting fossil fuels is irreverent. They are dying industries – we (you?) just haven’t acknowledged it yet. In 30 years time there will not be a market to export coal into. Gas may have a market as peaking plants may still be needed to fill some gaps, but it will be so over-supplied as to be meaningless. We need to work on HOW our economy will cope. And ignoring the problem will not fix it.

    • Gunna – you missed Deploying Proper NBN. That will keep lot of people employed for years to come.
      This one is an easy win for Labour as every idiot that was agreeing with Abbott and Jones that we don’t need NBN now agrees we actually need it. And yes proper NBN can drive productivity and help us become competitive.

      • I can see it now – NBN2.0!

        I hope the next version has proper upload speeds. I think that the industry of the future and the glimmer of hope for our youth will be do do camgirling/camwhoring for export to the billions of eyeballs worldwide. I think ind!ah might be a strong market – they like pale people there.

        But you can’t do it on a silly 1 or 10 megabit uplink. We need 50mb+ so you can do HD quality or 4K quality cam broadcasts from home.

      • NBN – dirves productivity??? Depends on what you call productivity. We can buy more cheap goods from overseas faster? Govt can be a bit faster imposing more anti-productivity legislation? The lawyers can create more wrangles in the Court? Sorry Nikola I know what you are driving at really BUT iof we don’t fundamentally reform the economy then all things like NBN do is further enhance the non-productive consumption economy we have.
        Secondly how do we pay for it? The import costs of materials for this thing has been massive. So we sell of a few more key industries, mines and farms at a faster rate than we already are??

      • Of course and I’m sure Darwin with its 1,000 empty apartments and declining population, could use a debonaire man with his real estate skill set.

  2. The RBA is now getting super desperate to avoid responsibility for their gigantic stuff ups

    • proofreadersMEMBER

      And it was sickening/pathetic listening to the fawning reports on ABC Radio this morning on Debelle’s speech, as if the RBA was some sort of organisation to be venerated – rather, than called out for the tosser that it is.

  3. No. What’s cooked the coalition is what cooked the previous labor govt (and what will no doubt cook the next one) – that they’re a dysfunctional,corrupt bunch of knaves, scoundrels and window-lickers who chase a 30 second soundbite or the latest newspoll and almost completely ignore their job, which is to govern the country.

      • Not quite. What cooked them is peoples living standards are falling, and this will also cook the next government. The fact is they couldn’t do much about it even if they wanted to.
        The answers lie back in time, to pilfer another commenter.

    • Their hypocrisy has also roasted them in hot chilli sauce to the sound of loud applause.

      Scomo with a lump of coal, then suddenly giving millions to climate change? The voters may not pay much attention but even the bogan’s saw through that one.

  4. China PlateMEMBER

    Fair dinkum you blokes, a month ago it was all rainbows and sunshine from the RBA and now this grand conspiracy. Sure they are in the midst of an epiphany but longbow much right here, right now

    • the message has two purposes:
      1. To make sure Climate sceptics don’t win many seats. So Tony is doomed but I will not be shocked of Barnaby to be gone. Also Scumo might be the biggest surprise. Who can forget the lump of coal. These people make life really hard for RBA as they don’t work on policies to benefit Australia and it all falls on RBA who only has limited tools to play with.
      2. When RBA starts cutting message will be all to address Climate Change with side note about collapsing house prices. To avoid panic selling I guess.

  5. Thanks RBA. A country that has its main exports as coal and gas along with Iron ore which has significant downstream
    emissions is going to quit these lucrative industries to set up a Kibbutz.

    Whats wrong with these people ? No coal exports = no Australia as we have known it.

    One thing I don’t get with all this climate emergency.. Why the fck did the elites invade Iraq ? Why spend $1T getting Hydrocarbons if they really believed this stuff. Answer is they don’t.

    • You are one of those mouth breathers who thinks that all this drama over climate change is because people hate coal, when really it is because climate change is going to completely destroy the world and the economy with it.

      Coal is perfectly lovely. Easy to mine, and we have a heap of it. Unfortunately, we rely on it too much and the rest of the world, especially our main trading partners, are segueing out of it quicker than we are moving towards economic alternatives.

      We can keep exporting coal as far as I’m concerned, we just need to start to moving ourselves towards economic alternatives to lessen the blow when the world panics and cuts its usage.

      Add to this the obvious way that climate change is putting Australia at risk of all kinds of calamities, and its kinda obvious that we also have to start moving away from fossil fuels.

      But not you, No! For you it’s all a conspiracy. Stop huffing paint.

      • I’ve got no problem at all with what you’re saying BUT what alternatives?
        Will we be a nation delivering Scientific discoveries to the world and profiting from same?
        Will we focus on Medical or Pharmaceutical innovation?
        Will we embrace advance robotics and thereby profit from cheap added value manufacturing?
        will we corner the world on Educating Asia’s rich princlings (a second rate education for second rate students)
        Maybe our plan is to become world leaders in Software development or advanced Renewable systems or or or
        OR
        will we simply talk about these opportunities until they’re all gone and than be happy with the claim that we invented this or that technology?

      • There’s the rub, Fisho. It actually needs to be something like what you have on your first list. But we are light years away from contemplating the kind of national resolve and maturity that would take us there.

  6. “It may take years in opposition before the party collapses, but with its current structure the LNP appears doomed.” – bit you to it during weekend links.. the LNP appears to be doomed part.
    That is why I think we have all these Independents who are really moderate LIBS running against the likes of Tones. My money is on these Independents, once/if they win their seats, will join the LIBS. If this does not work then Liberal party will fall apart as per your comments.

    • “who are really moderate LIBS”
      Bwahahahaaaaa! Nah! I’d also debate the term moderate – but that must be another day.

  7. I agree, but I don’t see the ALP saving us. In a little while when the ALP is ruling fed/state totally, we’ll be mad a hell wondering how did we get here. I’ll be fair and give them a go, but seriously, do we think they have our, or our kids interest at heart with further boom immigration and tighter ties to the CCP. What that means for us in Vic already is unknown, but it’s like everything Dan pulls off down here. The ALP does act on infra, but at what cost to us all.

  8. Call me Cynical, but I suspect the RBA has just realized the depth of the dodo that they’re wading out into and have come to the realization that they’ve got no where near enough dry powder to address this downturn using traditional Monetary policy measures. So they’ve brushed off their old copies of Fiscal policy economic control procedures and added the new spin of Climate Change as the rational behind revisiting Fiscal Policy.
    The truth is that they have no choice, they know that their expanded Fiscal Policy will require the issuance of mega amounts of Government debt and that’s before they even begin t think about funding their own CLF book.
    So naturally they’re focused on what possible longer term economic / social value they can create with this Fiscal spend and naturally in today’s world that spells Climate Change mitigation measures.
    Don’t get me wrong I’m not against this outcome but I find it’s better to understand why an organization is acting the way that they are then to be blindsided when your investments are suddenly no longer aligned with their goals.
    In a way this is a little like the revelation (to the RBA) that Macroprudential policy has worked to stem the runaway hosing price problem (that their Monetary policy created) So can Climate Change management become a sort of Macroprudential tool for managing the necessary Fiscal spend?

    • Cynical, whilst I think you may have meant “doodoo”, dodo will do… because it’s dead; and we’re in it.

    • fisho …you’re not cynical.., maybe the RBA talked to the Pope. A few weeks ago the Vatican was calling just for this? I believe in climate change 100%, but when I hear rusted on globalists messaging CC and looking at the broader economic mess it doesn’t sound genuine to me. Agree it’s a macro move by them and hopefully fiscal by govs, but the wheels fall off if you look at population increases. There is no way we’re getting out of this. In the GFC all these people had a great chance to change direction, and for 10 years they boosted assets, and the 99% suffered in many financial ways, while the planet was ignored. No one confronts population growth, and technology is not going to save us. The greatest fraud is continuing with coal exports while preaching CC fixes. The RBA is probably conflicted on that as well. All we get is talk and no action while the planet dies a slow death pushed by the neolib globalists in every political party imo.

    • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

      The Plutocrats only want the printing presses turned on for them, not the Plebs.
      Thats why its always important to control the Narrative.
      The cold War was a wonderful Narrative to justify the state funding of High technology with printing press money handed over to Corporate plutocracy willy nilly,…with those corporates making fortunes not just from those “Tax payer dollars” but off those state paid for patents as well.

      Though this “Climate change emergence” is touted as a “Left Agenda” it’s clearly being comendered by Global Plutocracy (the Capitalist Right) to become the next Narrative to generate massive Printing Press Profits for the 0.1% and deliver FA for everyone else. (Just like the QE response to the GFC)

      If these big decisions are left to our Plutocratic owned technocrats and careerist politicians, instead of genuinely being put to the people through real Democracy, then the continuation of the Capitalist destruction of our fragile environment will continue unchallenged in any meaningful or successful way.
      No issue facing human Civilisation will be resolved without first addressing inequality and the increasing concentration of wealth and Power.

      • FFS! The ‘Capitalist Right’ are cheering the whole climate change hysteria on!! They invented the bloody thing just to harness all that free Govt money that would flow from it. It has created a whole new money flow. The big capitalists are making even larger fortunes. Big Left and big Right are in on this.

  9. Most Australians have experienced dramatic swings in their climate this year.

    Fires, floods, dust storms. Dead fish and rivers flowing with red algae. Its positively biblical in the range of disasters.

    I guess even the RBA members have come out of their bunkers and seen that its real and it has a price.