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Turnbull, Hunt & Bishop: Piling on the porkies in Paris

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(Image via @TheMandarinAU)

With Turnbull promoting big, new coal mines, nuclear power and sabotaging plans to reduce OECD coal subsidies, it's clear Big Mining continues to control Canberra's levers of power. Lyn Bender warns us not to get our hopes up that our new PM will salvage Australia's reputation as 'climate villain' and #ColossalFossil in Paris.

IN THE LEAD up to the Paris Cop 21 climate summit, promises are being framed. Paris is the famed city of romance. Romantics are notorious for believing the promises of grand love and for being deceived. We are now approaching the perfect romantic storm. But which leaders are telling us lies? With so many figures being quoted, how can we even tell who are the liars amongst the hearts and flowers?

The mere mention of Paris, the city of love fills me with excitement. Mon amour Paris is far more seductive than the Copenhagen climate conference could ever have been. No wonder the climate promises from that icy city failed. It’s hard to believe in hot love in the winter of our lives, and psychological research reveals that people are less likely to believe in global warming when it’s cold and bleak.

But as leaders from 190 nations head for Paris on fossil fuel burning planes, we at least have the consolation of the city of lights should it all not work out.

Here in Australia many are also filled with hope. Having deposed the evil climate criminal, former PM Tony Abbott, we can hold our heads high in the world. We now have Malcolm Turnbull touting the brave new but hopelessly old Abbott climate non-solution.

Tanya Plibersek demolishes Greg Hunt on Q&A
 
Environment Minister Greg Hunt is proclaiming the success of his first Direct Action Auction. This pays polluters to pollute less – pretty please and here’s money – and there are no penalties if they renege. He is bamboozling us with numbers and projections, meant to dazzle and calling it a stunning success. So far, the Government has spent $660 million for 47 million contracted tonnes of CO2.

And anyway “coal is good” echoes Mathias Cormann. They all lie.

Direct Action is dodgy as all get out. It’s the mother of all green-wash schemes. As Malcolm Turnbull in 2009 has himself said of Direct Action — it’s the climate policy you have when you don't want to do anything about climate change. It is a “fig leaf “ and a “farce”

But under Turnbull, coal mines are being smilingly approved as Turnbullism descends on Paris like a lead balloon — with the same Direct Action climate plan that has been slammed by many experts.

The Climate Authority has also debunked the Turnbull emissions targets as inadequate and not even achievable, under this plan.

The blatant outright climate liars and deniers have held up climate change action to the point of extreme hazard. The world has now already warmed one degree. But now that the signs that the world is warming are indisputable, we have a new stage of lies and denial. The sophistry of loquacious, seemingly plausible untruths, is seeping into our psyches in the form of the weasel words of politicians and their advisors.

Malcolm Turnbull resorts to weasel words to hide the flaws in his government's Direct Action plan.
 

Yes climate change is real they say, but offer this bunkum.

  • We cannot take action at the expense of the economy.
  • We can do something – token – about climate change; but keep things going as they are.
  • Creative accounting can show that we are doing enough already.
  • We can’t sacrifice our economy if others are not doing enough.
  • Poor countries need coal to help them out of poverty.
  • We will find a technical fix.
  • We could move to Mars.
  • We must keep growing the economy.
  • Coal remains an important part of the mix for the foreseeable future.
  • Climate change is real but coal is good.
  • In 2013, I identified 50 ways in which our government was denying climate change. Many still apply

But how can we know whom to trust? 

Turnbull laughs off question on how much GHG Adani's new mine will emit. 
 

Tony Abbott told obvious lies that have been thoroughly documented; but our new leader is far more slippery. Shiftiness, inconstancy, fudged facts; distractions and obfuscation are the new strategy.

Canadian respected academic turned activist, Professor Mark Jaccard has a short simple checklist to help you determine when leaders are lying about climate change policy. As a climate expert, who contributed to the IPCC but who disclaims individual Laureate status and as a [frustrated] former advisor to the climate laggard Stephen Harper, Jaccard ought to know.

Here is his checklist to ascertain if your leaders are lying to you on climate policy?

1.  If a politician has targets but no [credible] policy to achieve this?

     He is lying

2.  If he has a policy and targets but no effective regulation to achieve those targets?

     He is lying

3.  If a politician has forceful policy and targets but with substantial loopholes?

     He is lying.

Australia’s government exhibits all these climate scams.

In the lead up to Paris, Environment Minister Greg Hunt is doing a snow job. Having recently approved coalmines, he is focusing on a new Montreal Protocol agreement regarding hydroflorocarbons [HFC’s]. These replaced ozone-depleting gases but are adding to greenhouse gases. The Sydney Morning Herald has declared proudly ‘Paris climate talks. Australia comes in from the cold’.

But not in from the coal.

And it’s the heat we need to worry about. 2015 is shaping up to be the world’s hottest year on record.

Meanwhile Fairfax gushed:

‘And Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop has negotiated for Australia to become one of two co-chairs of the UN's Green Climate Fund, a body that Tony Abbott once derided as a "Bob Brown bank".

 But it suits the new look Malcolm climate concern disguise, perfectly.

‘”We bring a new energy and a new commitment to these processes," Mr. Hunt told Fairfax Media.’

It’s all sophistry and window dressing.

The final piece de resistance is the news that the Turnbull Team in Paris is blocking a U.S. Japan supported plan to reduce OECD subsidies to coal fired power stations in developing countries.

Australia’s leaders definitely fail the test of climate honesty, as they fail the planet and us.

Join The People’s Climate March November 27-29. Details below.

Lyn Bender is a professional psychologist. You can follow Lyn on Twitter @Lynestel.

Be sure to come to the People's Climate March on 27-29 November (in the run up to the world leaders' meeting in Paris) and help make this global march the biggest the world has ever seen. Details for each capital city here.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Australia License

 

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