How to save ScoMo’s prime ministership

With each passing day, ScoMo climate change ineptitude burns brighter. He will no doubt be reassuring colleagues that it is all in hand, as the closed loop of politics does its thing. He’s wrong.

This is a catastrophic political moment. A tipping point has passed. ScoMo is on the wrong side of it.  Indeed, he is carrying thirty years of baggage into it. It will brand him permanently.

His only political answer is to go hard and go early on change. This does not necessarily mean an embrace of climate change and emissions abatement. That would look phony anyway.

The alternative path is to beef up a discussion on resilience and adaptation. Both are sellable concepts. They also offer a way of bridging the two sides of the debate. ScoMo can mumble about all the good things he’s doing in the cities while winking at the QLD coalies.

But he’s way behind on this too and getting further behind. He has no policy ballast with which to act. The Coaltion has literally wasted thirty years doing nothing but deny.

ScoMo has mooted a royal commission as the first stepping stone to creating policy momentum. Even in normal circumstances this would be a bad idea, risking losing control of the narrative a’la Hayne Royal Commssion.

Today it risks being catastrophic. A royal commission will be a drawn out affair, unable to report for a year at best. Implementation of any recommendations will take longer still.

In political terms, this is far too long to turn the Coalition towards addressing climate change. It will look like what it is: dissembling. Moreover, it wastes the crisis of the bushfires itself.

A much better idea for ScoMo is to commission a new report from the bureacracy, perhaps PM&C. The template is John Howard’s Shergold Report into Emissions Trading, which was produced in under five months including a Christmas break, enabling Howard to go into the 2007 election with a climate change policy.

Likewise, ScoMo should commission a report into resilience and adaptation to climate change on a timeline that makes it public a month before the May Budget this year.

What’s the rush? Aside from the obvious political neutralisation it is a great opportunity to reverse the Government’s other major blunder without appearing to be at fault. As the economy struggles on at stall speed, with no lift in sight, the fiscal surplus must be abandoned.

If he prepares the ground for it now, ScoMo can bring these two political and policy imperatives together in a big climate change adaptation stimulus package announced in the May Budget.

And when I say big, I mean BIG. $30bn over three years would add half a percent of GDP per year. It’s not hard to dream up where the dough could be invested. This will give domestic demand the boost that it needs to support the private sector deleveraging that is underway and entrenching.

In short, ScoMo has two choices. He can burn along with the bush or he can use the crisis to reset the political and policy agenda in a way that might save his prime ministership.

I put the chances of it happening at no more than one in four.

David Llewellyn-Smith
Latest posts by David Llewellyn-Smith (see all)


  1. Start with this:

    Scott Morrison to call for global plastic policy at UN

    PM vows to protect oceans

    Morrison to ramp up push against plastic

    Tax it hard.

  2. It’s natural justice that the arch climate warming denier’s credibility and government are burnt to the ground by a warming climate. Let’s not presume to interfere in an Act of God.

  3. – I think the Liberals / ScoMo will go “Populist” in the next coming months. I see some worrying signs that indicate that that change is coming.
    – I hope Albanese & the ALP will come to their senses very soon or it will be too late for the ALP.

  4. His biggest mistake is telling everyone they’re wrong and to ‘chill’ rather than going with the flow – even if he doesn’t believe any of it.

    His job as a modern day pollie is to pay lip service to the issue and pretend to be doing something about it. Surely? Dog forbid any of our elected reps would actually do anything of substance during their tenure.

  5. SnappedUpSavvyMEMBER

    This is a catastrophic political moment. A tipping point has passed. ScoMo is on the wrong side of it.

    nah there are heaps of people, actually a disturbing amount, who still think he’s ok. 2GB people, the types that talk loudly so everyone can hear them in restaurants

    • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

      So many people just don’t pay much attention to any of the details of what’s going on at any one time, but have this Partisan loyalty to “Their team” no matter what.
      In many ways the focus on “Leaders” personalities is just as much as a distraction as professional sports.
      It’s policies and their implementation that makes the material differences on the ground.
      All this endless wailing about the goose like behaviours of Trump, ScoMo and Boris etc is no more productive than paying attention to all the stupid, pointless, vacuous commentary around “Harry and Megan”

      • SnappedUpSavvyMEMBER

        my father wakes up to 2GB and goes to bed listening to 2GB, he talks all day about how its all Labors fault.

        when I tried to explain to him that while Dutton may be a big tough man on 3 rohingya people he is letting half a million people in by plane every year he replied: labor are still worse. And FUK he had me. So this is not a total disaster for SmoCo unfortunately, however I do want it to be

        • happy valleyMEMBER

          And just wait until 2GB’s Alan Jones (to whom many Strayans subcontract their thinking) returns to the airwaves at the end of this month – presumably, he’ll have SmoCo’s back?

        • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

          I listen to 2GB regularly on the way to and from jobs.
          It gives me a good heads up on what ever my father in-laws latest focus and political position is going to be at the next Family dinner or BBQ.

          I also like to listen to all the talk back callers, laugh at them and loudly call them stupid cvnts whilst doing my driving around.
          Gets me a lot of funny looks at traffic lights.

        • Had a similar dead end conversation with my drinking mate in the unit complex. He said the bush fires in NSW are the Greenies fault for locking up areas preventing back burning. I said the LNP have been in Government for what, the last 8 years and had the opportunity to but not addressed the issue. Silent pause. Nup, still the Greenies fault.

          I found this whole conversation perplexing. Here was a seemingly rational person, tradie, self employed, doesn’t do domestic work only big contracts, does well for himself, can make such an irrational assessment and stick by it. This wasn’t about defending the Greenies, this was about the Government of the day not addressing issues. Is there such a thing as mass cognitive dissonance?

  6. No chance. They have trumpeted the surplus way too much and frydenturd’s bonus depends on it…
    The sporting grants thing came at the wrong time.
    The thing is, every time I hear about “Scott Morrison says”, even I roll my eyes involuntarily now. Guess what the people actually impacted by the tragedy are doing? It’s going to get a bit worse than better, consumer already sick… reports are, due to the bush fires, fresh food is about to get expensive…

  7. arescarti42MEMBER

    What climate change adaptation could the government possibly spend $30b on over 3 years?! They’d be lucky to get a third of that out the door in 10 years.

    • They could subsidize a “clean” coal fired power plant. Put in the high speed rail link. Subsidize the relocation of people from rural Australia into cities, particularly into apartment buildings.

      • bolstroodMEMBER

        I received this from a friend yesterday.

        Hi all,
        I just had a really distressing experience in Victor Harbour.
        After cleaning the ash from Kangaroo Island off their veranda, family members hit me with the entire repertoire of Murdoch lies:
        Fires not that bad. All normal.
        Nothing to do with global warming – Greenies responsible by stopping hazard reduction
        Massive outbreak of arson.
        Terania rainforest normally burns
        Climate change not happening, exaggerated
        We can’t do anything about climate change
        It is not true that 97% of peer-reviewed climate scientists agree on AGW. It’s only 50%… the Chief Scientist said so ”
        Insidious, pervasive, and very, very dangerous.

  8. HadronCollisionMEMBER

    Resilience and adaptation completely ignores the root cause which needs addressing now so scomos kids and grandkids aren’t completely fked

    I hope he bumbles along

  9. “Science Minister says climate denial a waste of time in wake of fires”

    LNP’s well oiled machine is in motion. The party will now become climate warriors.

    Rendering those idiots Labor even less electable. Meaning workers rights to be further eroded. More of Australia to be sold. More fuel to property prices.

    Labor have destroyed our country.

  10. ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

    Embracing “Climate Change action” is the perfect “Out” for the coalition’s Budget surplus commitment.

    Everyone will be crying out for stimulus soon and the Coalition’s can do so now without being called fiscally irresponsible.
    Maybe the dark side of the ideological force is just to strong for them to break though.
    2020 go long Pop corn!

    • I’d propose the Coalition has more face to lose embracing climate change than they do abandoning the surplus.

      The latter they can still blame on Labor.

      • LNP don’t have to blame Labor. The country have already abandoned them and won’t be returning to them anytime soon.

        If Labor couldn’t win the last election, they’re not winning for many decades.

  11. Australia USB a pimple on the bum so enough of the hysteria

    China has a space program with nuclear subs and nuclear aircraft carriers and is not on the Paris agreement unbelievably

    All of you lot who believe in global warming ask yourself what are you doing to change your actions?? Give up the iPhone? Give up aircon or travel on a plane?

    I expect none of you will do much apart from virtue signal to your friends on fb just like greta

    • bolstroodMEMBER

      Well Reg,
      We (Mrs B and I) have installed 5kwh solar+ 3kwh battery, I don’t use areoplanes,don’t have Iphone, only use a/c when temp gets to 35 degrees C.
      Will be meeting our National Party fed Rep next week to talk about CC,( a thankless task I fear).
      We grow fresh veges & fruit trees run chooks, use the car sparingly.
      I collect and disseminate Climate Change articles, support Science, don’t do FB.
      I do not expect any of this to affect the Climate Catastrophe, we passed the point of no return many years ago.
      As for virtue signalling you do a pretty good line of that yourself
      F Y I .

    • HadronCollisionMEMBER

      That’s interesting Reg, you may as well throw your hands up at and throw yourself off a bridge, at least there’d be less bloviating inanity.

      Wait a minute, “believe in global warming.”
      Is the Earth flat or round, Reg?

      • some people are so far behind the curve on whats happening. I don’t understand how they can watch all this unfold and still refute. It’s just so fckn stupid.

    • @RegTheDenier:

      The World is not warming!

      The world is warming, but humans aren’t the cause of it!

      There is no consensus that we are the cause of it!

      Yes, yes, the world is warming and we are the cause, but it is actually good for us!

      Yes, yes, the world is warming and we are the cause, but we are too small to make a difference!

      Yes, yes, the world is warming and we are the cause, but there is nothing we can do about it!

      Yes, yes, the world is warming and we are the cause but it is too late to do anything

      We are actively blocking action on climate change at world forums. If enough countries act together we can force China to do more – at the moment why would they when a rich country like Australia does nothing?

  12. ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

    2GB are talking about the boom in people requesting 2019-2020 RFS (Rural Fire Service) tattoo designs.
    I Wonder if anyone will be seeking “ScoMo Cobargo handshake” tats as well?

  13. It’s his true Engadine moment. Locked in the cubicle. Pants off. Staring at the excrement in the back of his usually pish stained Bonds Y-fronts. Drunk barbarians hammering on the door, wanting to drop their own load. There’s no way out. Does Scotty flush the Y-fronts and forge a new path, commando? Or scrape as much crap out of his gruds as possible and plough without acknowledging a thing?

  14. I hear it best said yesterday – SmoKos response to the climate crisis is to park the ambulance at the bottom of the hill waiting for the charred corpse of Australia to roll down it.

    As for another ‘inquiry’ this should be vehemently opposed by the Opposition and Greens. Since 1927 there have been 105 assorted audits and inquiries into bush fire response and management. 80 of those since 2000! 57 of those have been formal public inquiries, reviews and Royal Commissions. That’s more than one every two years over the past 80 years. There are recommendations from the 1939 Royal Commission into the ‘Black Friday’ bush fires that still haven’t been implemented. There is nothing that we don’t already know that another expensive and drawn out inquiry will tell us.

    Here’s a fantastic resource from the Bushfire and Natural Hazards Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) that gives you access to a database of all inquiries and reviews into natural disaster emergency management between 1886 and 2017

  15. This government will swing into action like it did with the banks. It will Rip out a royal commission, carefully setting the terms of reference. The answer to any question about climate change and bushfires will be “lets not pre-empt the outcomes of the royal commission” that buys their donors another year suckling on the teat. Once the commission findings are handed down, there will be another 6 months to assess the outcomes of the royal commission and implement those recommendations that the minerals council lets them, by which time the government is about to enter caretaker mode. All up its a recipe for another 3 years inaction during which time they will be able to approve Adani in full and contract for another coal fired power station. Should be perfectly timed to get the approvals in the day before the next election.

  16. I’m confused: Scomo is our PM, we elected his party into office knowing full well that he represented the Climate Change denial faction of the LNP.
    Nothing has substantially changed since the election, we haven’t changed and he hasn’t changed.
    Personally I believe that all real change happens in the hearts of the people. Politicians only change in that they learn to new trick to exploit our hearts, they’re the ultimate puppeteers pulling on our heart strings but always to advance their own agenda.
    But like I said if we haven’t changed what’s in our hearts, why would we expect our puppeteers to change the strings that they pull on.

    • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

      Mate Global Plutocracy has so gotten its way over the last 40 years that the only thing for a Pro Plutocracy “Conservative” political party to do is NOTHING!
      Thats how they service their constituency of corporate cvnts.
      The Cvnts who actually run the world!
      Thats conservative politics today.
      Do nothing while talking culture Waring shyte.

      • Yeah that’s one way to see things.
        Personally I view the whole game through slightly different optics and see slightly different distortions, however what I don’t see is a willingness to change.
        Most Aussies are unwilling to earn their pay in the global market place, so they play only in their own little sand box. Within this sandbox there are hundreds of distorting forces which cause a few dollars more to flow this way or that way, over the years Aussie workers have been guided by these distorting forces and optimized their life around these lies.
        So today we have absurd distortions existing between the average global price for a given task/action and the Aussie price, but nobody here wants these distortions to end. They justify the distortions with talk about exceptionalism and finance the distortions through a combination of Mineral sales and Cash inflows from asset sales / Finance activities….no Aussie wants any of this to change, in this sense we are our own Puppet Masters. that’s kinda what I’m saying

  17. TailorTrashMEMBER

    So we spend the 30 billion on mitigation ….solar panels made in China installed by Chinese companies ….maybe Dan’s Belt and road thing will be used
    ….getitintaya straya !

    • Imagine the scams, schemes and rorts that could be perpetrated by their mates with 30B in 3 years, it’d be a feeding frenzy….. yeah, yeah, nah thanks !

  18. And Libs will still win the next election because…

    Greens and Labor: We love the environment and want to lower emissions.
    Voter: Doesn’t higher immigration lead to more people using scarce natural resources?
    Greens and Labor: You’re a racist.

    • Yes. The obvious solution (to the things nobody actually says) is to vote for the Libs, who will not only continue running high immigration, but also continue to fvck the environment in all the other ways that aren’t related to immigration.

  19. David WilsonMEMBER

    For all of our Global Warming friends … it has just been confirmed today that the planet is still cooling, yep 2017, 2018 and 2019 were all cooler than 2016.
    Is climate changing, yep, it always has and will and there is nothing we can do about it so why are we bothering to destroy what was once our low cost energy coal fired power generation.. stupidity comes to mind.

    • unreferenced, likely just plain bu!!sh!t,, and what a 4 year timeframe? the denialist comments really are becoming more garbage like

    • 2019 was the second hottest on record, going back to the 1890.
      The last five years were the hottest on record.
      The last decade was the hottest on record.
      Here’s a clip from NASA that summarizes the results.

    • >For all of our Global Warming friends …
      You mean EVERY scientific organisation IN THE WORLD

      >it has just been confirmed today that the planet is still cooling,
      Ha, ha, ha – oh, wait, you are serious? You can only come to this conclusion if you did not pass Primary School Maths.

      >yep 2017, 2018 and 2019 were all cooler than 2016.
      You would not even convince a kindergarden class with this argument. You will be proud showing your grandkids this in the future. Maybe you might want to google ‘trends’?

      >Is climate changing, yep, it always has and will and there is nothing we can do about it so
      The above science organisations have detailed what we can do about it. Why would you say such rubbish?

      >why are we bothering to destroy what was once our low cost energy coal fired power generation..
      Why am I wasting my time arguing? Maybe we would like a habitable planet? Maybe we would like cleaner air? Maybe we need a fuel source that will not at some stage run out?

      >stupidity comes to mind.
      Oh yes it does, yes it does. I can’t work out if it is stupidity, but I find it hard to believe someone would pay for trolling like this.

      • David WilsonMEMBER

        I find it rather sad that those above cannot handle the truth about my statement about 2017,18 and19 being cooler than 2016 for our planet as referenced from NASA and the World Meteorological Organisation.
        Name calling and abuse instead of recognition of science and facts is grubby and gutless.
        As I said climate is and will always change and there ain’t nothing we mortals can do about it as long as we keep our air rivers seas and lands clean from dangerous chemicals we will be in good shape
        Those that study our planets history will know it has been hotter and colder in the past and as recently as 12-13 thousand years ago we came out of an ice age and sea levels rose 130 meters.
        All predictions of the IPCC have proven to be excessive with regard to climate and in my humble opinion we need to learn to adapt to climate change and ignore the shrill screams from the left that we are all doomed, we are not.

        • Each year is not guaranteed to be warmer than the year prior to it. The overall trend of a rising average temperature across the planet is why it is called global warming. If the average temperature was not going up, which it is, then it wouldn’t be called global warming. The reason for this is the increase in greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. They do not prevent sunlight from getting in but they do prevent heat from escaping. Even if there was no industrial activity greenhouse gasses would be released into the atmosphere. If we were in that position then a lot of the incorrect theories, like the role of the sun or procession of the axis, would hold sway. This is because they would have a greater effect on the environment in proportion to greenhouse gasses than they currently do. It is addition of greenhouse gasses from human activity which is over and above what is normally released in nature that has caused the rapid rise in global temperatures. It is the rate change that is causing the problem. The environment can not adapt fast enough. As we are dependent on the environment it is an emergency that requires action. The longer we wait to act the more that is required to be done.

          • David WilsonMEMBER

            I find your comments re the sun.. sun spots, solar radiation etc misinformed, our planet’s path changes around the sun, it’s axis changes, it wobbles on 100,000 ,40,000 and 20,000 year cycles, our seas tides and currents change over time along with well known El Nina cycles etc , these have a massive mpact on our climate, rainfall, droughts etc . I suggest readers should study our more recent history since Roman times as our planets has gone through warm and cool periods along with changes in sea levels.
            All of this information is studied and known however is ignored by climate catastrophists , rainfall patterns have changed, I have been to many glaciers in Europe, NZ, Alaska etc and all began their slow melt 150-200 years ago long before CO2 was at its current level of around 410 ppm , CO2 has also been at higher levels during ice ages etc.
            Climate is and will always change, the trick is to adapt, their is no need to panic as during warm periods more species evolve, more crops are able to be grown and CO2 increase also increases growth speeds of all plant life and crops etcwhich is a good thing.
            Relax folks, we ain’t gunna die ,that is unless someone nukes us or there is a global plague of some dreadful disease.

        • “I find it rather sad that those above cannot handle the truth about my statement about 2017,18 and19 being cooler than 2016 for our planet as referenced from NASA and the World Meteorological Organisation.”

          Ok, so you are actually serious in saying that because 2017,18,19 are cooler than 2016 PROVES that the world is not warming. Wow. You think the climate needs to be purely linear? And you actually know that 2019 was the 2nd hottest on record and we have just had the hottest decade ever

          You are really one of the few deniers who still holding onto the delusion that the world is not warming! Most of those climate denying ‘experts’ have moved on to “not humans fault” or “it is good for us” or “nothing we can do about it”.

          Have a nice life. No point wasting my time.

    • For all of our Global Warming friends … it has just been confirmed today that the planet is still cooling, yep 2017, 2018 and 2019 were all cooler than 2016.

      So… The next time it’s hotter than it was the day before you’ll agree about climate change ?