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
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.