New Australian PM abolishes climate watchdog

Sep 19, 2013
File photo of coral-eating starfish on Australia's Great Barrier Reef, the scourge of which has been partly blamed on climate change. Australia's new conservative government on Thursday abolished an independent climate change commission set up by the previous Labor administration, as part of its plans to streamline bureaucracy.

Australia's new conservative government on Thursday abolished an independent climate change commission set up by the previous Labor administration, as part of its plans to streamline bureaucracy.

The Climate Commission was set up to provide apolitical and reliable information to the public about the science of climate change, emissions targets and international action being taken.

But Prime Minister Tony Abbott's conservative coalition, which plans to repeal Labor's tax on corporate pollution and is the first post-war Australian government not to have a science minister, said an independent body was not needed and the role wouldscourge be assumed by the Department of the Environment.

"As part of the coalition's plans to streamline government processes and avoid duplication of services the commission's function to provide independent advice and analysis on climate change will be continued by the Department of the Environment," said new Environment Minister Greg Hunt.

He said it would save the budget Aus$1.6 million a year in running costs.

Climate Commission head Tim Flannery argued that there was a strong need for independent and accurate information on climate change as "propaganda" aimed at misinforming the public increases.

"I believe Australians have a right to know, a right to authoritative, independent and accurate information on climate change," he said.

Australia, which is among the world's worst per capita polluters due to its reliance on coal-fired power and mining exports, has just experienced its warmest 12 months on record.

Average temperatures throughout the country in the year to August 31 were 1.11 degrees Celsius ( 2.0 degrees Fahrenheit) above the long-term average.

Australia's last summer—the hottest ever recorded—witnessed an unprecedented heatwave, and floods and Flannery, a professor regarded as one of Australia's top , said an informed public was key to action on climate change.

Australia's chief scientist, Ian Chubb, told the ABC this week that the axing of any climate bodies would be a loss.

"These sorts of issues are not going away just because we ignore them," he said.

"They are things we are going to have to deal with and grapple with and understand better and then make informed choices, rather than go out there and guess at what we might do."

Abbott was only sworn in on Wednesday but he has already taken the axe to three high-profile public service department heads and merged government aid agency AusAid with the Department of Foreign Affairs to cut costs.

He made clear on Wednesday that scrapping the carbon tax, which charges the country's biggest for their emissions at a fixed price and is due to transition to an emissions trading scheme next year, was his top priority.

His government instead favours a "direct action" plan that includes an incentive fund to pay companies to increase their energy efficiency, a controversial sequestration of carbon in soil scheme, and the planting 20 million trees.

Abbott, who once said that evidence blaming mankind for was "absolute crap", ordered officials to immediately "prepare the carbon tax repeal legislation", despite a battle looming in the upper house.

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Birger
3.6 / 5 (21) Sep 19, 2013
This prime minister seems like a the usual kind of "if we don't talk about it, the problem will go away" douchebag.

"Abbott, ... once said that evidence blaming mankind for climate change was "absolute crap",
-So, the melting glaciers, the thawing-out permafrost I can study in person a hundred miles from my home, all this is an illusion, induced by telephatic aliens?
The rare droughts becoming commonplace, that is also illusion?

Let me guess, a lot of campaign $ "accidentally" came his way from the oil industry.
deatopmg
1.6 / 5 (28) Sep 19, 2013
@Birger you forgot the Koch brothers too!

the real facts of life here is that your religion is dying from an ever continuing lack of evidence that increasing CO2 is a significant climate driver and a wealth of new studies that show its contribution is, and will continue to be, small.
VendicarE
2.8 / 5 (13) Sep 19, 2013
"This prime minister seems like a the usual kind of "if we don't talk about it, the problem will go away" douchebag." - Birger

All Conservatives are worthless, evil, Duchebags.

The sooner you realize that the sooner the world will make sense to you.
VendicarE
3.4 / 5 (16) Sep 19, 2013
"the real facts of life here is that your religion is dying from an ever continuing lack of evidence that increasing CO2 is a significant climate driver" - deaTard

Yup. If you ignore all of the incontrovertible scientific evidence, then there is none.

Just ask the new Australian PM.

Just don't ask while he counts his coal industry cash. He won't hear you.

runrig
4.3 / 5 (12) Sep 19, 2013
@Birger you forgot the Koch brothers too!

the real facts of life here is that your religion is dying from an ever continuing lack of evidence that increasing CO2 is a significant climate driver and a wealth of new studies that show its contribution is, and will continue to be, small.


Delusion is a primary trait of deniers.
VendicarE
3.6 / 5 (9) Sep 19, 2013
Suppressing truth is a primary trait of Conservatives.
rwinners
1.5 / 5 (8) Sep 19, 2013
Oh YEAH! Let's RAPE the planet.
gregor1
1.5 / 5 (26) Sep 19, 2013
So they boy cried wolf once too often and now the people are reacting via the Parliament. Who'd 'av thunk that was going to happen? This is the commission headed up by Tim Flannery who pedaled alarm to line his own pockets through his heavy personal investments in the renewables industry. The same man who told us that any building up to 8 story's high on the coast would soon be underwater and then bought himself a waterfront property. This is one of the first dominos to fall in an upcoming world wide rout. You can trust the greens to sink their own ship. The entire movement is about to run of a cliff.
VendicarE
3.8 / 5 (11) Sep 19, 2013
"So they boy cried wolf once too often and now the people are reacting via the Parliament. " - GregorTard

Meanwhile, back in Reality Land....

The Critical Decade: Report Links Australia's Extreme Weather To Climate Change

A new report confirms that the extreme heat waves, floods, droughts and wildfires that have wracked Australia over the past decade have been exacerbated by climate change. The report, commissioned by the Australian government's Climate Commission, makes clear that these weather events will only get worse in the coming years, and warns that health and emergency professionals as well as citizens must prepare for their impacts now.

...

The study confirms what climate scientists have warned for years — that climate change will likely lead to an increase in extreme weather events. It comes at a time when the effects of climate change are being felt not just in Australia, but around the world: Drastic melting of Arctic sea ice has been linked to a bitterly cold Spring in parts of Europe and North America that has devastated sheep farmers, and the record-breaking drought that affected more than half of the continental U.S. in 2012 is expected to continue into this spring and summer.
gregor1
1.5 / 5 (25) Sep 19, 2013
Yes Vendi. This is exactly the trash they churned out without seeing the need to provide any evidence at all. It's pure propaganda to support the agenda of the government there. Why, for instance, would you appoint a mammalogist rather than a climate scientist to head the commission up?
Extreme weather events are the norm in Australia. During the last drought the Climate Commission reported to the Australian people that it was never going to rain again and the taxpayers forked out billions of dollars to build desal plants. Flannery was on the 'advisory panel' of the company that got the contract to build them as they obviously needed the help of a mammalogist (sarc). Then, as they always do, they had floods. Every one of their predictions has been way off the mark and it has cost the Australian public a fortune. These twits and the Green party handed the Conservatives in Australia the election on a plate. They won with an unprecedented landslide.
Sinister1811
2.5 / 5 (16) Sep 19, 2013
I'm actually disappointed with the way the public voted in this election.
gregor1
1.5 / 5 (25) Sep 20, 2013
Blame the Green movement
runrig
3.7 / 5 (9) Sep 20, 2013
So they boy cried wolf once too often and now the people are reacting via the Parliament. Who'd 'av thunk that was going to happen? This is the commission headed up by Tim Flannery who pedaled alarm to line his own pockets through his heavy personal investments in the renewables industry. The same man who told us that any building up to 8 story's high on the coast would soon be underwater and then bought himself a waterfront property. This is one of the first dominos to fall in an upcoming world wide rout. You can trust the greens to sink their own ship. The entire movement is about to run of a cliff.

Another Denialist's trait is paranoiac character assassination.
gregor1
1.4 / 5 (22) Sep 20, 2013
Keep crying wolf and hurling abuse runrig and see what happens. People skills are not your strong point.
runrig
4 / 5 (8) Sep 21, 2013
Keep crying wolf and hurling abuse runrig and see what happens. People skills are not your strong point.


So you weren't attacking Mr Flannery as a means of denigrating AGW science?

People skills involve being honest. And also you know I am one of the most reasonable posters on here.
Moebius
2.5 / 5 (13) Sep 21, 2013
They want to plant 20 million trees. Meanwhile the world stands by and watches south america destroy the rain forest.
gregor1
1.2 / 5 (20) Sep 21, 2013
Flannery has denigrated AGW science with exaggerated prophesies on steroids. He is laughing stock, an emperor with no clothes. Agw science has a major credibility problem thanks to lose cannons like him. Here's some classic Flannery https://www.youtu...DSeknn_c
@Moebius unfortunately the World's rain-forests have been decimated as collateral damage of the Agw movement. They have been destroyed to plant oil palms and and soya beans for the production of bio- diesel.
runrig
5 / 5 (6) Sep 22, 2013
Flannery has denigrated AGW science with exaggerated prophesies on steroids. He is laughing stock, an emperor with no clothes. Agw science has a major credibility problem thanks to lose cannons like him.


Never heard of the guy actually. We have "strange" folk on both sides of the fence.
But I try not to bring up "Lord" Monckton unless he is referred to as some sort of font of Climate science.
goracle
2 / 5 (12) Oct 28, 2013
The gregorian ranter ranted: "Agw science has a major credibility problem thanks to lose cannons like him. Here's some classic Flannery"
You would have a slightly less severe credibility problem if you knew the difference between the word loose, as used in the expression 'loose cannon', and the word lose, which you used. It's only a small part of your credibility gap, so even if you got that right, I'd still say "you lose".