Tom Dusevic

Mar 29, 2011

Carbon derangement in NSW

There's a narrative starting to build that the repudiation of the New South Wales ALP last Saturday is a result of the federal ALP's announcements this year regarding a price on carbon.

There’s a narrative starting to build that the repudiation of the New South Wales ALP last Saturday is a result of the federal ALP’s announcements this year regarding a price on carbon. Today, the Australian’s Tom Dusevic attempts to draw some kind of meaning from that rorschach blobs of information that the election has left us with.

ALP deserters ‘spooked’ by carbon tax

…incoming Coalition MPs in NSW argue that traditional Labor voters were spooked by the prospect of job losses, higher petrol prices and rising household power bills from a carbon tax.

So is the NSW Liberal Party really trying to argue that they’ve won the election on the back of a federal policy announced only a few months ago? I think Possum Commitatus provides the simplest debunking of that idea.

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So the ALP were due for a hiding regardless of the carbon price, but lets take a closer look at some of Dusevic’s claims.

The first item on Dusevic’s list is the seat of Bathurst, which recorded the state’s biggest swing. According to Dusevic the carbon tax is an obvious issue:

The electorate is home to coalminers, factory hands, power workers and farmers,

What he doesn’t point out is that the sitting ALP member retired, leaving a relatively unknown ALP candidate without a block of personal support, and that the successful candidate was an incredibly popular local Mayor. According to one local source:

During the last local government elections, Paul Toole (mayor) received a staggering 52% of the vote and left the remaining 48% to be fought over by another 24 candidates. The Mayor of Bathurst is extremely popular

So we have a government on the nose for almost four years, a retiring incumbent, and a candidate with huge personal support, and yet you think that the result swings on a carbon price?

Other seats that Dusevic highlighted include:

There were over twenty ALP members who did not recontest this election, quite a few having resigned in disgrace, leaving the impression that NSW Labor had given up on governing, but Dusevic thinks that eight weeks of talking about a carbon price has more influence?

While it’s obvious that Tony Abbott wants to tie the ALP’s carbon price mechanism to the failure in NSW, it’s insulting to NSW voters to suggest that they don’t understand the difference between the State and Federal Governments, and it also lets NSW Labor off the hook for four years of ineffective government. No matter how loudly the crowd cheered as Barry O’Farrell decried the carbon tax, ignoring the fact that NSW already has an emissions trading scheme in action, the NSW government don’t get a vote in the federal parliament.

If Tony Abbott wants to win the argument over how to reduce emissions most effectively he’ll have to do better than rely on the incompetence of the NSW ALP.

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73 comments

73 thoughts on “Carbon derangement in NSW

  1. GavinM

    I wouldn’t get too carried away by China’s efforts MW, yes they are closing down small coal-fired power stations but they are also replacing them with much larger ones. Even though these larger stations are cleaner than the old ones, they still require coal, and China is increasing its consumption of it.

    They are also in the process of building 27 new nuclear power plants which have been temporarily suspended but they still plan to build 110 over the next few years.

    Given the safety records of their mining sector I’m more than a little concerned about their nuclear power ambitions, particularly in terms of their waste disposal plans.

  2. Captain Col

    Yep. My funny bone.

  3. Rich Uncle Skeleton

    I seem to have touched a raw nerve.

  4. Captain Col

    Why would you want to limit cobalt emissions? Mr Magoo?

    We’re all gonna die.

    When there’s warming, or there’s doubt,
    run in circles, scream and shout.

  5. Rich Uncle Skeleton

    It’s about limiting Co2 emissions Mr. Magoo. The only choice now is between a little bit of warming or a lot of warming. Either way we’re getting warming.

  6. Captain Col

    And China lovers everwhere, do remind me when China’s total CO2 emissions are projected to trend down.

    I’m old(ish), but even you youngsters don’t have that long.

  7. Captain Col

    Dave C, if you don’t get it by now you never will. Ask your mates. they may be able to help with the lecture ‘Spin 101’ – sell the sizzle not the sausage.

  8. Captain Col

    Hey, Rich Uncle. I hope your mum’s not reading this. She’s for the high jump. Dad’s probably already been dealt with.

  9. Rich Uncle Skeleton

    I wonder what will happen to the economy when China stop needing so much of our coal?

  10. monkeywrench

    In fact, while stupid Australians piss and moan, the Chinese are beating everyone.

  11. Dave C

    Col,

    I’m glad you’re onboard with chemistry. That’s a start. Perhaps you’d like to discuss what you mean when you say “carbon”, because if CO2 doesn’t qualify as a form of carbon, then virtually nothing does, fossil fuels included.

    The only things that would qualify under such strict criteria (that you’re likely to encounter) are graphite and diamond. Only one of these is black, and I’d wager that neither are considered “nasty” or “polluting” in the eyes of the public.

    On the other hand, if you think CO2 does qualify as a form of carbon, then a “carbon tax” is clearly more expansive than a “carbon dioxide tax”.

    Either way, I continue to wonder why you think a tax on “carbon” is easier to sell. (For my part, the government can have my CO2 if I can keep the rest of my carbon.)

  12. monkeywrench

    Col suggest Australia won’t accept a carbon tax, one of his reasons being that big polluters like China aren’t doing anything.
    Yes, the Stupid Old Right keep babbling the same “no-one else is acting” lies. But China has a target of an 18% reduction in emmissions over the next 5 years.
    RUS is right. Thankfully, the angry Right will all soon be history.

  13. GavinM

    “Meaning they become resentful and angry towards a world that has changed since the one they grew up in.”

    Well there’s some projection for you.

    “Abbott is far from assured of winning the next election…”

    I hope you’re right. I’d be surprised (and somewhat dismayed), if Abbott is still the Opposition leader by the time the next election comes around.

  14. Rich Uncle Skeleton

    They become more conservative. They become more practical.

    Meaning they become resentful and angry towards a world that has changed since the one they grew up in.

    They call ‘bullshit’ more often when told what they should believe.

    Funny coming from a man who readily admits he only accepts what he is told to believe by “his” scientists.

    And I’d be happy to make a paper bet here on your prediction that, “The carbon tax will go through before the next election and should Abbott win that election, he won’t be repealing it.” I’ll give you odds. And I’m fit enough to survive too!

    It’s a reality. The majority of people support the idea of tax in its current form and Labor have the numbers to push it through. Abbott is far from assured of winning the next election, and the people directly behind him support a tax. Once it does go through it’s going to be very difficult to remove, and I doubt anyone will like Abbott’s ludicrous and more costly plan any better.

    It’s going through Col.

  15. JT

    ‘Grey hair is a sign of age, not of wisdom’ – Greek Proverb

  16. Rich Uncle Skeleton

    I give them the respect they deserve, and there’s no doubt a large part of the anti-science, global warming denying community will die out when the current generation of people aged 60+ do.

    Better hoard yours nuts.

    Winter’s coming.

  17. GavinM

    “You and the rest of the retirees can board all the buses and ring all the talkback stations in the world but you’re just a very loud minority of people who will soon, thankfully, be dead.”

    Very inappropriate and very ugly — especially in the context of the number of posts I’ve seen on this site criticising Right-wingers for hateful and nasty comments.

    Please do better RUS.

  18. Captain Col

    Let me tell you a little secret, Rich Uncle. I’ll whisper it so others don’t hear.

    Ready?

    All the old people don’t just die off. You see, young people get old at the same rate and young people, who we know, are stupid and do things they regret later. They grow up. They change their minds about things that really pushed their buttons back in uni. Here’s the secret bit. Sshhhh. They become more conservative. They become more practical. They call ‘bullshit’ more often when told what they should believe. And all the while, they vote. Not a happy prospect for lefties (finding out their life’s work and beliefs were a crock), but that’s what happens. Sometimes slowly but nevertheless, steadily.

    And I’d be happy to make a paper bet here on your prediction that, “The carbon tax will go through before the next election and should Abbott win that election, he won’t be repealing it.” I’ll give you odds. And I’m fit enough to survive too!

  19. JT

    “JT, welcome to the fray. So I lack, “total self-awareness?” Is that some sort of love-in you did in Nimbin? Or the social sciences at uni?”

    No, just an observation.

  20. Rich Uncle Skeleton

    In case you haven’t notice Col we are going ahead. The carbon tax will go through before the next election and should Abbott win that election, he won’t be repealing it.

    You and the rest of the retirees can board all the buses and ring all the talkback stations in the world but you’re just a very loud minority of people who will soon, thankfully, be dead.

  21. Captain Col

    My apologies, MikeKear. My aim was to ridicule the tax and its proponents and the language they use to sell it.

    People like Rich Uncle Skelton are already sold so it wouldn’t matter if they called it the Kill Your Baby Tax or the Give Us All Your Money Tax. He’d still sign up. Mr & Mrs Joe Average are yet to be convinced so they need to be stroked with soothing assurances that big, nasty, evil, carbon-eating, multinational companies will pay the tax. Not Joe & Mrs.

    BTW, Rich Uncle, you and your mates go on ahead. I’m happy “to be left behind.”

  22. Rich Uncle Skeleton

    It’s nice to see Col showing his usual scant regard for original or critical thinking.

  23. confessions

    [confessions adds to her own confusion with some babble about the US origin on the carbon dioxide tax]

    Which happens to be true. Google is your friend.

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