September 29, 2008 | Graham

It had to happen sometime

It’s semi-official. Global warming is taking a back seat to the economy. The Lowy Institute has just released the results of their 2008 pollwhich finds, amongst other things:

Australians see protecting their jobs and strengthening the economy as more important foreign policy goals than tackling climate change according to the 2008 Lowy Institute Poll, to be released tomorrow.
The Poll’s findings also indicate that we regard climaterelated challenges as the most critical threats to Australia and a slim majority (51%) of Australians are not confident in the government’s ability to deal with global warming.
The Poll also reveals that Australians want action on climate change but not if it hits hard on the hip pocket.
Asked how much extra each month they would be willing to pay on their electricity bill to help solve climate change, 53% of Australians were only prepared to pay $10 per month or less. 19% were prepared to pay $21 or more.
Last year, ‘tackling climate change’ tied for first place with ‘protecting the jobs of Australian workers’ as the most important foreign policy goal (75% of Australians said these were ‘very important’ goals).
This year ‘tackling climate change’ dropped from first to equal fifth place (from 75% saying it was ‘very important’ to 66%).

The poll mirrors election results in the UK where policies to counter climate change have cost governments votes.
While voters are worried about climate change, policies which apply any sort of a tax or impost to counter it are seen as being unrelated to dealing with the problem, and just another way for the government to put their hands in voters’ pockets.
Food for thought for Kevin Rudd and Malcolm Turnbull. Howard’s climate change policy might not have been politically wrong, just poorly timed.
They’re releasing the complete poll results at 11:00 a.m. and hopefully I will be able to put a link up then.

Posted by Graham at 12:00 am | Comments (8) |
Filed under: Environment


  1. Part of the problem remains the fact that the whole climate change debate has been poorly handled. For Australia the priority should be to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and increase our efficiencies. The scare campaign conducted by the fossil fuel industry is effectively putting a brake on our long term economic development. Estimates vary but the general consensus appears to be that by implementing a raft of energy efficiecies we can reduce our CO2 output by a range of 30% to 60%. If this coupled with a phased in programme of producing electricity by using solar, wind, hot rock and wave technology coupled with gas generation we will have the capacity to develop a hybrid transport system. Hybrid in the following sense. Personal transport centred on a plug in drive technology, and heavy transport based on gas. In the first instance compressed natural gas but in the longer term hydrogen. Over time (as early as 2050) we can be weaned off fossil fuels. In the process we will not merely reduce our carbon footprint and strengthen our economy but we will also be developing technologies that can be exported to an energy hungry world.
    A government strategy that focusses on looking at solutions as opposed to clumsy, blunt instruments like carbon taxes will both protect jobs and address our CO2 emissions.

    Comment by John Tons — September 29, 2008 @ 10:09 am

  2. Most people who support action to reduce potential global warming clearly have no concept of the costs involved – they balk at the prospect of paying a small portion of the costs involved, e.g. $120-250 each a year rather than the prospective few per cent of national income, or $000s a year. Whenb it comes to the crunch, a government attempting to impose large costs with no discernible benefits is unlikely to gain electoral support.

    Comment by Faustino — September 29, 2008 @ 2:06 pm

  3. My hope is that I live long enough to see the hypophesis of anthropogenic global warming to be the rubbish it really is. It certainly is not science. In the meantime please don’t wreck the economy by arbitarily increasing the cost of energy across the board. It is under enough stress already.

    Comment by D.C. — September 29, 2008 @ 8:04 pm

  4. Have tried to quietly raise the issue of the funny financing of all sorts of perverted schemes.
    The Dutch Tulip Futures was historical fact.
    The Great South Sea Bubble was another.
    Whaling, for good clean lamp oil, a worthy murderous industry, foundered many years ago; Thank God, almost overnight when new technology found an abundant source of better stuff underground.
    The Fuggers’ amongst other worthy banking families, financed all sorts of Wars in Europe for many years.
    But why would all these people comport themselves this way?
    Easy. To make immediate advantage for themselves – at the disadvantage of the less informed.
    Nothing much changes.
    So please guys – get a grasp on it. Check out the precedents in the same way a good lawyer would.
    It might not especially be a problem if you all want to trade on negative carbon futures.
    Except for the fact that the exchange medium might have become bankrupt those last few days. In other words- you might do your dough.
    Like a headache – I believe it is nature’s warning.
    It isn’t practical. It won’t work in the long term.
    It is mirage!

    Comment by A NON FARMER — September 29, 2008 @ 8:59 pm

  5. Hey DC,
    How is it you get to say the things I’d like to say –
    but if I do – I get censored, the chop, on other ‘pages’?
    Your’s above – about 55 minutes ahead of my poor comment.
    Your 4 Short succinct sentences say it all.
    Faustino, below, mentions the cost involved – and sort of admits that who (no-one really) really knows the ultimate cost.
    Then John Tons speaks about technologies that do have an undisclosed ‘detriment’ or ‘defecit’ once the maths are tabled.
    In the meantime we seem to keep talking about the issue as if it was all above our heads.
    Surely that isn’t the case.
    Surely we may all take our place and do things like refuse to drive large and stupid vehicles.
    Refuse to drive long distances to where we work.
    Refuse to leave our cars running when we park (to keep ’em cool when we get back on board).
    Refuse to play stupid games with other drivers, behind us, by hanging back at the traffic lights so’s that he catches the amber behind us if we dick about for a few more seconds.
    There are people who recognise a diminishing resource and want to preserve that resource.
    There are plenty of others who want to blow that resource away – probably, mostly because their credit cards can support that for something like the next few weeks.
    We are approaching a time of great change, whether any of us like it or not.
    It would be good to see Adult Australians accept that by beginning to behave as if they cared.
    Here in a ‘region’ I see a reaction against the inevitable.
    More petrol-heads out there burning rubber than ever were there before.
    More importantly – women are supposed to be ‘enlightened and intelligent’; yes?
    Well, they are the worst.
    Park their Jap-Crap with the door open – leave the Free Air on – and their piss-ant power plant running at about 15000 revs trying to keep the interior cool while they shout at their Kaffee-Klatch mates about six feet away for the best part of an hour or so.
    The Aussie motto is – “I can afford it”
    – except for the fact that we cannot – nor especially need to.

    Comment by A NON FARMER — September 29, 2008 @ 10:12 pm

  6. The realists in business investment community have had the shivers since green labor and the democratic party adopted the man made global warming diversionary election winning story. No wonder some have gone to extreme lengths to protect their wealth from the lefts political vandals, even vladimir can see an opportunity when the west is suckered on fiction.

    Comment by Dallas Beaufort — September 30, 2008 @ 12:19 am

  7. The realists in the business investment community have had the shivers since green labor and the democratic party adopted the mad man made global warming diversionary election winning push. No wonder some have gone to extreme lengths to protect their wealth from the lefts political vandals, even vladimir can see an opportunity when the west is suckered on fiction.

    Comment by Dallas Beaufort — September 30, 2008 @ 12:27 am

  8. Interesting article by Bjorn Lomborg in The Times today. He estimates that UK programmes costing around $A45 bn will reduce the global temperature in 2100 by 0.0004C, and rightly suggests that there must be more valuable uses for our resources.

    Comment by Faustino — September 30, 2008 @ 4:49 pm

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