June 2012

Newman is digging in wrong hole

by Matt Grudnoff in The Courier-Mail

In his televised address, Premier Campbell Newman warned Queenslanders that spending cuts were needed to rein in debt. This follows his announcement that the state cannot afford to pay 20,000 public-sector workers. But how can this be when Queensland is the second most resource-rich state in the middle of the biggest mining boom in Australia’s

May 2012

April 2012

The government’s clean energy bank and the Abbott-proof fence

by Andrew Macintosh and Richard Denniss in Crikey

The government announcement on Tuesday that it accepts all of the recommendations of the Broadbent inquiry into the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) is a high-water mark in the politics of perception. The commitment to spend $10 billion on renewable energy and energy efficiency helps convince the public that the government takes climate change seriously.

What electricity will really cost under a carbon tax

by Richard Denniss and Andrew Macintosh in Crikey

Late last week the ACT electricity price regulator released its draft electricity pricing decision for 2012-13. And the political response couldn’t have been more predictable. The Coalition raced to highlight that, out of an estimated $244 increase in annual household electricity bills, almost $190 was attributable to the carbon price. Labor and the Greens downplayed

March 2012

Electricity industry shockers

by Richard Denniss in The Canberra Times

‘Who’s using the hot water?!” You can often hear that shout from someone trying to have a shower while someone else in the house is trying to do the dishes. The reason is simple; most houses don’t install multiple hot water systems to ensure that everyone in the house can simultaneously use as much hot

February 2012

Mining industry’s big lie

by Richard Denniss in The Canberra Times

The New York Times recently asked its online readers a simple question: should the newspaper check the claims made by politicians before it reports them? The response was a torrent of bemused hostility. What, the readers wanted to know, did the newspaper think its job was? Much has been written in recent years about the

January 2012

Whalers are an easy target

by Richard Denniss in The Canberra Times

What is it Australian politicians are afraid of? They can’t seem to take a strong stand on important environmental questions. In a rapidly changing world it’s reassuring that a few constants remain in Australian politics. Like the sounds of cicadas in the summer bush, the sounds of Australian politics always take on a distinctly summer

December 2011

Green ideas gone bad

by Richard Denniss in The Canberra Times

The road to fiscal recklessness is paved with green intentions as poorly designed climate policy could cost ACT taxpayers millions. It is rare in public debate that you can enter a fight knowing that you can’t possibly lose. Sadly, the same cannot be said for the taxpayers of the ACT, who will likely waste hundreds

November 2011

October 2011

Threat to our carbon efforts

by Richard Denniss in The Canberra Times

As with all complex financial products, when it comes to emissions trading, all is not what it seems. Common sense tells us that banks would never lend money to people who have little chance of repaying it, but the collapse of the American banking system taught us that they do. Common sense tells us that

September 2011

Abbott out of step on carbon

by Matt Grudnoff in On Line Opinion

The list of friends for Tony Abbott’s Direct Action Plan continues to shrink. The Australian Industry Greenhouse Network (AIGN) which co-ordinates, among others, the mining and manufacturing industry’s response to climate change issues has rejected the Opposition’s plan saying it would cost far more than the Coalition has claimed. Opposition Leader Tony Abbott responded by

August 2011

Carbon tax: for Abbott it’s appalling policy or appalling hypocrisy

by Matt Grudnoff in Crikey

A rather small convoy of constitutional confusion today rolled into Canberra calling for a double-dissolution election. The impending carbon price, the ban on live exports and the imminent threat of one world government were all cited by participants as motivating their demands. But no matter how sincere their confused calls for a double-dissolution election, they

Abbott reads from Mao’s little green book of nonsense

by Richard Denniss in The Punch

Australian politicians have spent more than 20 years thinking up reasons not to tackle climate change, but the latest from Tony Abbott really must take the cake. According to the Opposition Leader, it now seems that until Communist China introduces a market-based mechanism to reduce their emissions, Australia shouldn’t either. That should buy us some

July 2011

Direct Action: Good politics, bad policy

by Matt Grudnoff in Analysis & Policy Observatory

Last week Tony Abbott branded the Government’s target to reduce emissions by five per cent by 2020 as ‘crazy’, but the crazy thing is that the Coalition has the same target. Was this just Mr Abbott getting over excited in his attacks on the Government? A slip of the tongue similar to when he told

Debating Lord Monckton

by Richard Denniss in ABC The Drum

If your doctor told you that you had cancer and Lord Christopher Monckton told you to ignore their advice would you listen to him? What if he told you not to immunise your children or drink fluoridated water? It’s interesting how many people are unlikely to trust him for personal advice but who seem willing

Denniss: My tactics for debating Monckton

by Richard Denniss in Crikey

The House of Lords says that Christopher Monckton is not entitled to claim he is a member of that House, but he disputes this. The internet is full of scientists carefully debunking the claims about climate change made by him, but he is similarly impervious to correction. Put simply, Lord Monckton is a case study

June 2011

Targeting meaningful change

by Richard Denniss in The Canberra Times

What is the point of Canberra’s 40 per cent emission reduction target? If you thought it was to help reduce Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions then you should probably be far more concerned with the current negotiations between the Gillard Government, the Greens, Rob Oakeshott and Tony Windsor. Put simply, unless those negotiations result in a

April 2011

High risks in carbon gamble

by Richard Denniss in The Canberra Times

The only thing that big business in Australia wants more than certainty is the certainty that they will get their own way. When they aren’t certain about that, it’s amazing how much uncertainty they are willing to tolerate. It seems it’s better to have a chance of a win than be certain of a loss.

February 2011

Good politics, good policy

by Richard Denniss in The Australian

Julia Gillard’s multi-party committee on climate change (MPCCC) has achieved what the Rudd government should have relied on its cabinet for – a good political outcome likely to deliver a good policy outcome on that wicked problem of climate change. While there is still plenty of room for negotiations to go off the rails, the

December 2010

Power to the people, simply

by Richard Denniss in The Canberra Times

Most people when they get back from a week at a tropical resort are usually inclined to want to lead a simpler life. For the planet’s sake, let’s hope the entourage getting back from the latest round of climate talks in Cancun are also in the mood for simplicity. What simpler way could there be

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