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climate change

May 1, 2010

I'll see you a coward and raise you an idiot.

Rudd’s backflip on the ETS and his unwillingness to fight a double dissolution over the issue makes him a coward. No, it’s true – every color-by-numbers, intellectually lazy hack

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Rudd’s backflip on the ETS and his unwillingness to fight a double dissolution over the issue makes him a coward. No, it’s true – every color-by-numbers, intellectually lazy hack from Broome to Cockle Creek has told us so over the last few days. You only have to head over to Fox News With Words and pick a random column to experience the flavours of that particularly insipid political degustation menu.

Yet a reality check is in order here because this sort of vacuous tosh ignores a few rather important truths relating to policy implementation timelines, Senate maths and the electoral clock. Not quite as sexy as plucking a tantrum from the nearest orifice and pretending you’re Glenn Beck , but it’s probably more enlightening.

First up – the obvious. The current Senate route to an ETS policy goes through one of two paths – either a joint Labor/Coalition agreement, or a Labor/Greens/Xenophon/Fielding agreement. There is no third option – those two are it.

The election of Abbott as leader destroyed one ETS Senate route, and the odds of Fielding becoming a gay icon are better than the odds of him passing any form of ETS whatsoever. After all, this is the bloke with climate change graphs so dodgy that he makes Andrew Bolt look like Edward Tufte.

This term, because of Abbott and Fielding, any ETS in any form is dead.

No amount of ifs, buts, bitching & moaning or political hallucinations will change that reality. This term it’s dead.

So the earliest possible time that any ETS can get implemented is during the next term with a new Senate, whether that new Senate is as a result of a double dissolution or whether it comes about through the ordinary half-Senate election process that will accompany the next general election.

However, there is a problem with the ETS policy that is a current double dissolution trigger – it is legislated to commence on July 1st 2011.

When the most recent version of the ETS was planned to be passed (the bipartisan Wong/ MacFarlane plan) back in December, it would have provided an 18 month window for all stakeholders to get their act together before the ETS D-Day of July 1st next year rolled around. That would have meant every business, organisation and government department in the country even marginally involved in the ETS, had a solid year and a half to prepare themselves, to put in place the people and the processes that were required to make the ETS an economic reality.

It’s worth mentioning about now that the last comparable structural change we had to the Australian economy was the GST and the other bits and pieces that made up the package quaintly called “A New Tax System” – an arguably simpler structural change compared to the complexities, let alone the enormous churn of dollars, that is the ETS currently on the table.

The GST was passed in June 1999, for commencement on July 1st 2000. That gave everyone involved a full year to prepare. The reason for that was simple, these types of large policy programs with sweeping consequences require a massive amount of work up front to make sure that the new system won’t smash anyone or anything into tiny little pieces. The pure magnitude of the preparatory work involved in getting a company(s) or government department(s) ready to comply or administer large new economic policies is rarely appreciated by either the journalists and commentators or the wider public. As we saw with the GST, 12 months was barely enough time at all to prepare considering what happened in the last 6 months of 2000.

Keep that in your thought orbit for a second.

If Rudd were to hold a DD on the ETS, the political reality is that he would first have to spend a few months planning for the election – getting the political ducks in a row, so to speak. That means a DD couldn’t practicably be called before July, and probably not actually held until the last half of August – at the earliest.

If Rudd won such an election, it would take 2 weeks or so for the results to be finalised, which would mean a joint sitting of Parliament to ram through the ETS couldn’t be held until September.

If the ETS was passed at the joint sitting process, that would give the everyone involved in the ETS, from large companies to utility services, all the way through to the government departments administering the program, only 9 months to prepare – exactly half the time that the Wong/MacFarlane legislation had provided for, and a third less time to prepare for than was provided with the GST.

You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to see how that is a blueprint for complete and utter disaster for everyone involved. Nine months preparation time is simply a failure waiting to happen for everyone concerned.

So this ETS, the one with the July 1st 2011 starting date, has already passed it’s used by date – it is now too late to implement it in any way, shape or form. Any government that gives even the smallest care about proper governance standards would not implement this policy for commencement 9 months after legislating for it in a million years.

Not in a million years.

But wait – the stoopid gets worse! (#WorseThanWhitlam even, for the Twitterati out there)

In order for Rudd to fight a DD on climate change that actually had some semblance of appreciation for the most basic notions of responsible governance, he would need to change the commencement date in the legislation from July 1st 2011 to July 1st 2012 (as well as delay and rejig all the other dates built into the program by 12 months – a substantial change), then send it back before the Senate, get it rejected, wait three months and then get it rejected again – just to get a proper trigger with a workable timeline.

The Senate doesn’t sit properly until the end of May, meaning a trigger won’t become available until the last weeks of August.

But!

The last possible date available to call a DD is August 10th 2010 (rather than explain the gory details, Antony Green goes through the complex constitutional realities over here ), meaning that the Constitution T-bones the calendar, providing absolutely no mathematical possibility of there being an ETS with an appropriate commencement debate becoming a double dissolution trigger this term.

But wait – the stoopid gets worse! Again!

Under an ordinary election result, the new Senate will start sitting from July 1st 2011, but the make-up of that Senate will be known a few weeks after any ordinary election later this year. The alternative for the government is to have a normal half-Senate election and then start negotiating with the new Senate before it actually starts sitting, so that the legislation can be rammed through on the very first date that the new Senate takes over from the old in July 2011.

Considering that new Senate will probably have the Greens with the balance of power, Rudd could start negotiation an ETS with them in October/November this year (assuming an election at the back end of this year), have it finalised and publically released by February in 2011, ready for commencement in July 2012 (while passing the legislation in July 2011). That would give the economy a full 17 months to prepare.

So it would be an ETS that would commence at what is really the earliest possible time anyway, which would also have the exact same commencement date that a “fantasy ETS” with an appropriate timeline would have had, were there the months left this year to call a DD on it in the first place!

But wait – the stoopid gets worse! Again, again!

Not only are the clowns calling Rudd a coward for not running on a DD which would result in the economy having an impossibly short preparation time, less time to prepare than there was for the GST, but they are also calling Rudd a coward for avoiding a Senate result which would be worse for Labor than a normal half-Senate election!

Antony goes through the likely results of the Senate under two scenarios – a DD and an ordinary half-Senate election over here – and while it gets a little tedious as all Senate numbers do, the key point is that 2004 was a good year for the Coalition and a bad one for Labor. As a result of the pro-Coalition 2004 half Senate likely getting replaced by a much more normally balanced half Senate this time through, under just about any circumstance Labor ends up better off in the Senate with a half Senate ordinary election than they would under a double dissolution.

So, according to these jokers and misfits, Rudd is not only a coward for choosing to avoid screwing the economy blind for absolutely no reason (as a result of July 2011 not providing enough preparation time) while still having plenty of capacity to introduce an ETS for what is the earliest possible practicable commencement date anyway, but he has the audacity to choose an election path that provides a beneficial Senate result for Labor!

I know – whooda thunk it!

Honest to god, the commentary around the ETS and the DD is being written by idiots.

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107 comments

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107 thoughts on “I’ll see you a coward and raise you an idiot.

  1. SonofMogh

    The ESV in Victoria issued a warning over 2 years ago about insulation fires. They thought over 50 fires a year were caused by poorly installed insulation coming into contact with down lights, so it’s nothing new.
    Keep up the good work Poss.

    As for jc123, please take your medication.

  2. kuke

    Caf: yes, the carbon tax need to be continually rising, eventually to an international standard – this doesn’t make it unreliable, rather effective (viz. a “signal”). Eventually both systems, the tax and an international trading scheme is needed, but the tax is ostensibly easier and hopefully less “coalpromized”. Also, the tax rate needs to get to rise to $50/tonne as soon as possible to make thermal coal undesirable.

    Reimbursements can be directly paid to people’s bank accounts or in-part firstly to their energy supplier (and not just the low-income bracket) to cover the increased power bills. Small business also gets compensation, agriculture can initally be exempt until monitoring improves (and then at a lower rate), big business can deduct tax for renewable energy investment and selected imports are taxed based on the source nation’s carbon price.

    I don’t pretend it’s easy, I’m just looking for a fair go.

  3. Possum Comitatus

    [I used the data as it officially stood and provided the primary sources for every piece it.

    Yea. Show us.]

    They’re linked in the article:
    http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollytics/2010/02/24/did-the-insulation-program-actually-reduce-fire-risk/

    That’s twice now – do you need it three times?

    When you have any evidence whatsoever – some report, some verified set of numbers, something *robust* – that suggests that the fire rates or installs or house fire numbers have substantially changed, let me know. I’ll rerun the numbers.

    You are the only one in this conversation wedded to an ideological position, not me.

    Until then, I’ve given you the data, I’ve even held your angry little hand and walked you through it – apparently enlightening you to what the data actually means compared to what you apparently thought it meant (considering your previous nonsense over at Catallaxy)

    Bitching to me about piffle over how *some* people, or you, or whoever “might have concluded” something completely ridiculous (something not supported by the data in a million years) might be an exciting use of your time – but it aint of mine.

    Give me data or save your meta-debate breath.

    I’ll let you out of the idiot bin on the issue if you ever get around to providing any.

  4. jc123

    I used the data as it officially stood and provided the primary sources for every piece it.

    Yea. Show us.

    What some bloke reckoned on some program with no verification is about as credible as you are.

    Like the Melbourne fire chief for instance. You dope.

    The link is on the very page of the article you’re railing against and always has been.

    Post it here and provide context in terms of where you derived it because frankly I don’t believe you.

    “Would lead a person” -What person, you?
    You’re the only one who has mentioned such idiocy.

    No doubt, seeing your target audience is innumerate. That’s who you target, right?

    I’ve used official data, from official sources and cited every piece of primary evidence along the way – what I do on this blog – to attempt to estimate fire rates per install.

    Concluding with the suggestion that the Lurch/Rudd program was good for fires. It reduced them. But blame your swill on the data like any “good” tradesmen. Lol.

    In return, you give me some wishy washy bullshit about some bloke on that 4 Corners hack job – a program that couldn’t even be bothered to cite the Hawke Report – the report that actually dealt with the insulation saga.

    You mean the Hawke report that suggested the freaking mess could end up costing us $1 billion to clean up and ensure people’s homes don’t burn down. That one?

    What you don’t give me is any real evidence at all to even remotely suggest that those figures are incorrect or have substantially changed, to the point where you’re *still* asking for links to the data sources I already provided in the article itself, and that have been linked from the article from day one!
    Now you give me some half-baked spiel about how it might not be the case that the data is incorrect, but instead, the problem is how the results *could* “lead a person to conclude” i.e. complete vapid rubbish citing your own stupidity as a valid talking point.

    Yea right, more blabbering to defend the innumerate conclusion that the program reduced house fires. You’re laughable. You really are a joke.

    Give me a break.
    The data is what it is – if you couldn’t understand it, that’s your fault not mine. I’m not your primary school maths teacher.

    Thank god you weren’t my math teacher otherwise I’d be as innumerate and as dense as you are.

    I’ll repeat, your stupid analysis led to the conclusion that this moronic program had the effect of reducing house fires. You had the temerity to peddle that crap to the public. You should return your primary school graduation certificate and apologize the readership here for your stupidity. In fact you also ought to write to that ALP innumerate that tried to use your defense of the Lurch/Rudd program and apologize for leading him/her astray.

  5. Possum Comitatus

    [Your data is suspect for a start as it doesn’t confer with that which was given in the 4 corners report.]

    I used the data as it officially stood and provided the primary sources for every piece it.

    What some bloke reckoned on some program with no verification is about as credible as you are.

    [You also mentioned in that laughably stupid junk you presented that some of the stats were derived from the bureau of Stats.. I’d like a link to that please. Provide a link showing those stats conferring with those you used.]

    The link is on the very page of the article you’re railing against and always has been.

    [Stop the dishonesty. I never said the data iself supported that. I say that your manipulation of the data would lead a person to conclude that we should re-adopt and expand the Lurch/Rudd program as it reduces house fires.]

    “Would lead a person” -What person, you?

    You’re the only one who has mentioned such idiocy.

    I’ve used official data, from official sources and cited every piece of primary evidence along the way – what I do on this blog – to attempt to estimate fire rates per install.

    In return, you give me some wishy washy bullshit about some bloke on that 4 Corners hack job – a program that couldn’t even be bothered to cite the Hawke Report – the report that actually dealt with the insulation saga.

    What you don’t give me is any real evidence at all to even remotely suggest that those figures are incorrect or have substantially changed, to the point where you’re *still* asking for links to the data sources I already provided in the article itself, and that have been linked from the article from day one!

    Now you give me some half-baked spiel about how it might not be the case that the data is incorrect, but instead, the problem is how the results *could* “lead a person to conclude” i.e. complete vapid rubbish citing your own stupidity as a valid talking point.

    Give me a break.

    The data is what it is – if you couldn’t understand it, that’s your fault not mine. I’m not your primary school maths teacher.

  6. jc123

    I can’t believe you continue repeating the same innumerate senseless crap. Your data is suspect for a start as it doesn’t confer with that which was given in the 4 corners report. Unlike you they didn’t seem to have met a firefighter friend at the pub or some such.

    You also mentioned in that laughably stupid junk you presented that some of the stats were derived from the bureau of Stats.. I’d like a link to that please. Provide a link showing those stats conferring with those you used.

    That being said:

    You must have been dropped on your head as a baby.

    No I wasn’t. However I reckon you weren’t breathing when you were born thereby suffering permanent brain damage.

    Only a complete tool would think you could expand that to reduce fires – the data doesn’t suggest any such thing, it’s just shit you made up because you’re innumerate.

    Stop the dishonesty. I never said the data iself supported that. I say that your manipulation of the data would lead a person to conclude that we should re-adopt and expand the Lurch/Rudd program as it reduces house fires. That’s so dumb, so irritatingly dense that’s even annoying to remind oneself of this junk. No member of our species should ever reach such conclusions. It’s a bad look for humans in front of other mammals.

    Yet that rate per 100,000 installs would still be less than the rate that occurred before the program.
    Like, really, this isn’t that difficult.

    Exactly. It isn’t too difficult to understand that it leads to the conclusion I said about the junk you posted. Thanks for making my point again.

    I repeat. You shouldn’t be allowed to go anywhere near a spread sheet and ought to be made illegal.

  7. Possum Comitatus

    JC went:

    [Look, you anti-genius… I’m not the that needs to prove my thesis. You are.]

    The numbers speak for themselves:
    http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollytics/2010/02/24/did-the-insulation-program-actually-reduce-fire-risk/

    [Your stupid analysis suggested that there were only 7 or 8 extra fires as a result of the insulation program…

    [The extra fires would suggest under you Einstein-ic analysis that not only should the fiasco continue but we should add to the Lurch/Rudd program as it produces less fires. It’s a fire reducing measure.

    If that isn’t about the stupidest dumbest thing/suggestion I’ve read for a decade I don’t know what is. You shouldn’t be allowed within 50 feet a spread sheet.

    You dolt.]

    You must have been dropped on your head as a baby.

    Before the program, there was between 12 and 110 fires caused per 100,000 insulation installs every year under the *full spectrum* of possibilities.

    Under the program, there were 8.5 fires experienced per 100,000 insulation installs

    That’s what the data says.

    Only a complete tool would think you could expand that to reduce fires – the data doesn’t suggest any such thing, it’s just shit you made up because you’re innumerate.

    Let’s say the government forced everyone in the country to have insulation installed under the program. The only thing that would happen is that absolute fire numbers would increase – at a rate of 8.5 fires per 100,000 installs!

    Yet that rate per 100,000 installs would still be less than the rate that occurred before the program.

    Like, really, this isn’t that difficult.

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