Malcolm Turnbull shows Kevin Rudd how it should be done

Full marks to former Opposition Leader Malcolm Turnbull for the sheer sanity and clarity of this courageous speech.

…During my time as Leader of the Opposition I often defended the right of my colleagues from time to time to cross the floor and vote in accordance with their strongly held personal beliefs. This is a longstanding and treasured principle of the Liberal Party and very different to the tradition of the Labor Party. In that context, I commend the courage of my colleagues Senator Troeth and Senator Boyce who crossed the floor to support this bill and effective action on climate change late last year. The importance of this issue, the expectation that Australians have that their parliamentarians will lead on it, the fact that the emissions trading scheme being considered is nearly identical to the proposal put to the electorate by the Howard government in 2007 and my strong and longstanding personal commitment to effective action on climate change make it impossible for me to vote against this bill, amended in terms as agreed between the coalition and the government last year.

The proposed ETS is a balanced, substantive and timely step forward on an issue of immense importance. By relying so heavily on market forces to address this very severe challenging problem, the ETS is far more in the great traditions of modern liberalism than any other available policy response. After all, I have always believed that Liberals reject the idea that government knows best and embrace the idea that government’s job is to enable each of us to do our best. This ETS allows Australian businesses to make their own decisions as to how to reduce their emissions. Government sets the rules and, in particular, sets the cap on total emissions and then lets the market work out the most efficient and effective outcome. Schemes where bureaucrats and politicians pick technologies and winners, doling out billions of taxpayers’ dollars, neither are economically efficient nor will be environmentally effective. For those reasons, I will be voting in favour of this legislation.

In his heart of hearts Joe Hockey surely must have agreed with every word.

See also New UN emissions pledges still stack up to 3.5°C (New Scientist).

If you are still tempted to regard the ubiquitous Lord Monckton as anything other than a performing seal, visit last night’s Media Watch on ABC — just one of that channel’s great offerings last night.

Lord Monckton: I think the United Nations Climate Panel is now a busted flush. For instance, Rajendra Pachauri, its chairman, Sir John Houghton, its former chairman, and a number of other people associated with it, are now under formal criminal investigation in the United Kingdom for filing false accounts of a charity known as TERI Europe of which they are all trustees. For the last three years they have under-declared their income of that charity saying there was less than ten thousand pounds income each… We’ve now discovered they were getting income certainly in the millions and this wasn’t being disclosed.

— Radio 2GB, The Alan Jones Show, 25th January, 2010

Those are serious allegations to be throwing around.

But Sir John Houghton has told Media Watch:

I am not and have never been a Trustee of Teri Europe…
I have never received any money at all from Teri Europe…
I am writing to Lord Monckton demanding an apology and a public retraction of the libelous statements about me that he has broadcast.

— Email from Sir John Houghton to Media Watch, 5th February, 2010

See Houghton on the Monckton allegation and Miranda asks a question or two on climate change (2007).

I was especially moved though by Four Corners on palliative care, as the hospice at the centre of the report became very familiar to me when Lord Malcolm was dying.

Update 10 February

Dear me, I left this “uncategorised”!

See also Ask Monckton a question and Media watch on Monckton by Tim Lambert. This Monckton is such a buffoon! One can only have serious doubts about anyone who gives him the time of day – not Tim, of course, but people who take Monckton seriously: they have to be seriously desperate!

Do visit John Quiggin on the raving Viscount.

One thought on “Malcolm Turnbull shows Kevin Rudd how it should be done

  1. The very active Lord Monckton: see New York Times U.N. Climate Panel and Chief Face Credibility Siege.

    Dr. Pachauri, 69, said the only work income he received was a salary from the Energy and Resources Institute: about $49,000, according to his 2009 Indian tax return, which he provided to The New York Times. The return also lists $16,000 in other income, most of it interest on accounts in Indian banks.

    Dr. Pachauri acknowledged his role as an adviser and consultant to businesses, but he said that it was his responsibility as the panel’s chairman to disseminate its findings to industry.

    Nonetheless, Christopher Monckton, a leading climate skeptic, called the panel corrupt, adding: “The chair is an Indian railroad engineer with very substantial direct and indirect financial vested interests in the matters covered in the climate panel’s report. What on earth is he doing there?”

    A former adviser to Margaret Thatcher who also assailed Dr. Pachauri in a critique in Copenhagen that has since been widely circulated, Lord Monckton is now the chief policy adviser to the Science and Public Policy Institute, a Washington-based research and education institute that states on its Web site: “Proved: There is no climate crisis.”

    As the accusations have snowballed in the last six weeks, Dr. Pachauri remains widely admired for his work on the intergovernmental panel, which relies on the collaborative work of hundreds of volunteer scientists to sift through current scientific evidence for its reports. He has served in an elected, unpaid position as chairman of the panel, often known by its initials, I.P.C.C., since 2002.

    “There is no evidence that outside interests affected Pachauri’s leadership of the I.P.C.C. at all,” said Hal Harvey, chief executive of ClimateWorks, a foundation based in San Francisco that focuses on how to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The panel’s process is so “robust and transparent” that it could not be undercut by “personalities or errors,” he said.

    See Spin Profiles on the Science and Public Policy Institute.

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