LDP press release #6

Liberal Democrats say no to big government climate schemes

Issued 6 August 2010

The Liberal Democrats are calling on the next federal government to stop distorting the energy market and do nothing about climate change.

“We accept the climate may be changing, and we acknowledge there is evidence to suggest human activity is contributing. However, we do not regard these as justifying government action. Even if they are proven to be both true, it does not mean governments should respond,” said Queensland Senate candidate Jim Fryar.

The policy of the Liberal Democrats is that governments cannot do anything that will make a material difference but their efforts will divert resources from more needy and realistic goals, causing immense economic damage.

“Much of human history has been subject to the effects of global warming or cooling. Humans have adapted before and there is no reason to believe they cannot do so again, if they need to, without massive government schemes,” Mr Fryar said.

“Our current standard of living relies on energy being available at the lowest cost. Government intervention such as subsidising renewables or penalising certain sources, raises the cost.

“That means Australia has less money to spend on R&D, infrastructure, or to help poor countries adapt. Spending money on boutique energy sources wastes the very money we need for a properous society,” Mr Fryar said.

The Liberal Democrats believe the free market is the best mechanism to deal with climate change.

“Wherever government planning or intervention has been tried, it has failed at great cost to society. Unrestricted market competition will keep energy costs low while also allowing for the market to respond to climate change concerns if they are reflected within the community.

“The Liberal Democrats would end all subsidies for carbon sequestration, ethanol, solar and wind power, carbon forestry, and the climate change industry,” said Mr Fryar.

“It would also remove regulatory barriers to nuclear power generation, to allow it to compete with other energy sources.”

“Only the Liberal Democrats oppose taxpayer dollars being wasted on renewable energy projects. Voters opposed to this waste should consider voting for the Liberal Democrats in the Senate to oppose the Green/Labor alliance,” he said.


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56 Responses to LDP press release #6

  1. Splatterbottom says:

    This is pure common sense.

    Getting to the bottom of the science is hard enough, especially when the scientists go out of their way to prevent others checking their work. This is aggravated by the delusion of those who think that somehow concerted government action will achieve anything at all, other than to deliver power into the hands of those who think that the the world will somehow benefit if they are given control. Such people are the true enemies of humanity.

  2. john walker says:

    Mr Splatter
    Arguing about the science is frankly a waste of time, I wont try. The powerful evangelical folk religion tradition and its ideological fear of evolution/science has certainly contributed lot of heat and smoke to the brawl, The interesting thing is that the most ‘successful’ opponent of evolution was Stalin, evolution did not fit the ideology
    and was replaced by ‘Lysenkoism’ . I tend to agree that concerted government action will not achieve much, However negative feed back will work , and it might hurt.

  3. Splatterbottom says:

    JW, the thing that gives credibility to science is that it can be verified. Sadly critical parts of climate ‘science’ are not verifiable at all, but are hidden from scrutiny by ‘scientists’ who would rather not subject their work to verification. Despite this the Climate change agenda is swallowed whole by politicians who see it as a means of increasing their power and relevance. Climate ‘science’ has this in common with Lysenkoism.

    Lysenko wasn’t so much anti-evolution as he was anti-Mendelian. Like Lamarck, he believed that characteristics acquired after birth could be inherited by subsequent generations. This is merely proposing a different method by which evolution proceeds rather than rejecting evolution.

  4. john walker says:

    Lysenko suited the ideology of marxisum, and had no scientific basis as an explanation of the fact of evolution. Darwins theory is an explanation of an observable reality ; evolution. Evolution is actually a very old ‘concept’ , darwin and
    genes provided an very good explanation of the mechanism

  5. Jarrah says:

    “Sadly critical parts of climate ‘science’ are not verifiable at all, but are hidden from scrutiny by ‘scientists’ who would rather not subject their work to verification. ”

    Splatter, that’s false. But I do take consolation in the fact that if denialists are resorting to this line of attack, at least we’re making progress.

  6. Splatterbottom says:

    Lysenko merely provided a different mechanism by which evolution might act. His theory was that evolution could occur by means of acquired characteristics. I am not arguing that Lysenko was right. He wasn’t.

    Interestingly Lamarck’s theory of evolution (on which Lysenko based his work) predated Darwin. Also, Mendel was a Christian whereas Lysenko was an atheist.

  7. Splatterbottom says:

    Jarrah, why is that false? Phil Jones said: ‘Why should I make my data available to you when you are going to try to use it to prove me wrong?’ If the pro-AGW camp really want to take command of massive resources they first need to let sceptics probe and verify their arguments. They then need to demonstrate that their proposed remedy is worthwhile pursuing.

    Also, casting me as a ‘denialist’ is illogical and wrong. It shows you are trying to vilify rather than engage in rational discourse. I am a sceptic, but I don’t deny that the AGW theory may be proved to be correct. The problem is that no such proof has been presented. True there is some evidence to support it, but that evidence does not amount to proof, or anything like it.

  8. Jarrah says:

    Oh, please. Quote-mining is beneath notice. Better to turn your attention to the three separate inquiries into the CRU emails that show up the hysterical claims of the science-attackers for what they are.

    “The problem is that no such proof has been presented.”

    This is why you’ve earned the label ‘denialist’. Proof doesn’t exist in science. Evidence does. And the preponderance of evidence (by about 1000:1) is that AGW theory is correct.

  9. Splatterbottom says:

    Wow. I am a denier because I dare to quote an alleged scientist. Now that really is proof, eh?

  10. Jarrah says:

    No, you’re a denier because you deny the evidence. It’s quite simple, really.

  11. john walker says:

    Lamarcks theory is just one of many theory’s of a mechanism for ‘evolution’.
    Darwin’s theory happens to be the that best explains the observable facts.

  12. john walker says:

    Darwin’s theory of natural selection of traits, that are generated by imperfect copying of the inherited genome, did not suit the command economy model of soviet ‘progress’.
    Darwin’s theory was a bit to free market in its mechanism.

    The evidence that climates change in an aperiodic (directional) way is incontrovertible:
    15 thousand years ago were I live was a cold dessert. The explanation of current changes is open .

  13. Splatterbottom says:

    JJ: “you’re a denier because you deny the evidence.”

    In fact I noted above that there was evidence to support AGW. To somehow characterise this as a denial of that evidence is at best misleading.

    JW, you may have been living in a cold desert 15K years ago, but at various times since then the temperature has been both colder and warmer than it is now. For example it was warmer during the Holocene Optimum, and it was colder in the Little Ice Age.

  14. john walker says:

    Mr splatter- . There have been a number of predictions made by the Warming model that have proved to be correct. In particular there was a prediction that the Antarctic vortex would get stronger, this has definitely happened; SE australia is getting far fewer SW winter rain events and much more NWhot drying wind events. We are very happy at the moment, for the first time in 10 years we will get a annual rainfall total that was once the average. The last time that the Shoalhaven had a real flood was in the 70s. It used to be a once in 10 years event. My neighbor is a 60 year old farmer, there used to be paddocks around here that were ,even at the height of the great drought of the 40s, too boggy to walk across, you can drive across them now.

  15. Jarrah says:

    The list of fulfilled predictions is quite substantial. Deniers frequently ignore this, it doesn’t suit their argument.

  16. Splatterbottom says:

    If you look at the models, thy offer a wide range of predictions. Some of the predictions even turned out to be in the ballpark.

  17. john walker says:


  18. john walker says:

    It is possible that it is all caused by invisible cats pulling strings.
    Personally I side with Oscar:
    ” It is only superficial people who do not judge by appearances , The mystery of the World is in the visible, not the invisible.”

  19. Splatterbottom says:

    Like most things Oscar this aphorism is ultimately unsatisfying, especially if your interest is in the ultimate cause of appearances. At a basic level Oscar is right – the problem with say, Plato, is that he thought stereotypes were archetypes and that these archetypes were real, rather than invented categories. It seems that in this stage of human development we cannot safely go beyond crass materialism in our efforts to understand the existence of things. However that doesn’t mean we should slam the door shut on the possibility of doing so.

    Also, like most things Oscar, this aphorism is fun and contains more than a grain of truth. It provokes thought, but so to does Plato who should at least be admired for bringing his extravagant intelligence and deductive skills to bear on this problem. Plato attempted to answer a larger question which Oscar declined to ask, although it did apparently occur to him on his deathbed.

  20. john walker says:

    What, the wallpaper Question?

    It goes without saying that an artist would not care much for Plato and viza versa.
    Plato did not care much for reality.

  21. john walker says:

    PS Dualism is a bad mental habit.

  22. Splatterbottom says:

    Certainly that is the materialist view, but dualism has fascinated thinkers for a long time, and although it is losing support, it is a long way from being dead.

    Plato just had a different view as to what constitutes reality. I think it is deeply flawed, but it is fascinating to see him address an issue that others can’t even perceive.

  23. john walker says:

    It is also the view of most mystics- ‘this is heaven/nirvana, and what stands before me is the word made flesh; It is only my illusions that prevent me from knowing it’

  24. Splatterbottom says:

    Are mathematicians mystics? Where would the ‘real’ world be without the conceptual world of mathematics?

  25. john walker says:

    Mr splatter ,
    It is a false opposition; ‘There is no soul distinct from body and no body distinct from soul.’
    ‘Meaning’ without form is every bit as meaningless as ‘form’ without meaning is.

  26. Splatterbottom says:

    JW, you are making a leap of faith with those statements.

  27. john walker says:

    Possibly true. Mr Splatter.
    The first statement is from William Blake.

    However the second statement is more a matter of personal experience. In visual art the idea of pure concept has tended to result in invisible visual art.
    ‘Form’ of course can be very ephemeral – a pattern of neurons firing for example.

    A bit surprised that a libertarian would be keen on Plato, he is after all the granddaddy of all ‘father knows best’ political models.

  28. Splatterbottom says:

    Anything for an argument, JW.

    Plato was big on censorship, government by an intellectual elite and abolition of the family and of private property. Despite these leftist tendencies his contribution to philosophy was enough to earn him the right not to be dismissed out of hand. I prefer Aristotle to Plato, and Hayek to both of them.

  29. john walker says:

    I am but artist trash . Life long passion for science, history, narrative- What Hofstadter calls complex aperiodic and recursive structures , have little feeling for Philosophy as a area.
    Dismiss ‘Plato out of hand’, would be rather grandiose, I certainly did not intend that .
    However, He dos seem the prototype philosopher for all the ‘Great Men’ .


  30. john walker says:

    PS think: ” censorship, government by an intellectual elite and abolition of the family and of private property.” Should be better described as Authoritarian tendencies; International Socialist or National Socialist they all look the same to me.

  31. Splatterbottom says:

    JW, I am not much of a libertarian in the purist sense. I believe that the role of society is to produce a framework in which individuals can enjoy liberty, free from government control and from the oppression of combinations and monopolies. Within such a state religion should be a private matter, and for me that involves living in accordance with the Catholic tradition.

  32. john walker says:

    Mr splatter
    roughly speaking I am a lowercase liberal conservative , and in private a old fashioned Anglican. Love all the old hymns especially because our ‘local’ has a 600 pipe organ.

    PS Tony Windsor looks promising, no?

  33. Splatterbottom says:

    JW, I am a big fan of pipe organs.

    Tony Windsor is a straight shooter. The independents in the lower house will want to preserve the hung parliament for as long as possible, so we may actually see a period of stability. If they allow another election to be called they will have less power to advance their causes.

  34. john walker says:

    It is an interesting result. Windsor is impressive , not least for his willingness to give strait answers to questions.
    There were some very odd results in the election, Eden Monaro nominally a bellwether seat actually went in the opposite direction to the rest of NSW.

  35. Splatterbottom says:

    Windsor seems stable, Catter is as mad as hatter. Whichever party gets to form government will look bad if they can’t hold things together. Being PM this time might be a poisoned chalice, but I doubt that that will deter the pretenders.

  36. john walker says:

    Catter is not that mad- If you live in the bush you get used to a certain kind of ‘opera’.
    As to the other two am looking forward to the headline ‘ Australia held to ransom by the moderate center’. Mr Tuurnbull is looking very happy these days, no?

  37. Ruby says:

    This is a very good episode of Insight where the late Stephen Schneider (IPCC scientist) takes on a whole room full of climate sceptics like Splatterbottom. Very interesting.


  38. john walker says:

    What was very clear during the discussion is that , as Mr Schneider said, questions of the ‘definitions’ of for example , terms such as ‘high risk’, are at the core of the fight. When a conversation becomes a question of definitions the conversation has become a question of power.
    The Bizarre (and very dishonest) advertisement that ran during the program – ‘save our planet , go veg’ exemplifies the way in which all sorts of fringe groups of both the right and the left have hijacked the debate.

  39. Ruby says:

    I agree that the issue has been politicised and ‘hijacked’ by both sides of the political spectrum, which is a shame really. The climate debate in general is overall not very constructive and frequently distorted and biased by ulterior motives and interests, and this has just resulted in inaction. It is such a complicated concept that I suppose it is understandable that a lot of people would have difficulty with it, and end up ‘cherry picking’ evidence when it really should be viewed as a whole. I personally agree with one of the audience members in regards to the ‘precautionary principle’ – I think it is fairly hard to argue against action on climate change when you take that into consideration. I also generally trust the integrity of the scientific community.

  40. . says:

    The LDP policy is an implicit tick for nukes and reducing electricity subsidies for industry, and removing subsidisation of loss making farms, which are invariably less sustainable.

    It’s an eminently sensible policy with no regrets that will tackle emissions and result in cheaper energy and a net GDP gain.

  41. Ruby says:

    I seem to recall that the LDP don’t believe there is enough evidence in climate change to do anything about it?

    From their website: “Should the evidence become more compelling that global warming is due to human activity, that such global warming is likely to have significantly negative consequences for human existence, and that changes in human activity could realistically reverse those consequences, the LDP would favour market-based options.”

    Major reason why I didn’t vote for them.

  42. john walker says:

    Ruby I agree with you.
    I know a few scientists- they mostly tend to be cautious skeptical (and shy) sort of people, not given to making outrageous claims.
    The hard man of the Liberals did a very nice job of wedging his own-side, no?
    The power and ruthlessness of Peabody coal and the barking irrationality of the American lunar right have a lot to do with the current situation.

    Regarding market based solutions, As Malcom Turnbull recently stated on Q&A, the point of any sort of carbon scheme is to make the burning of fossil carbon more expensive. It is very hard to see how a market solution could deliver increased prices.

    Whilst I am a ‘liberal’ I am too conservative to believe in ‘answers’- the LDP has too much of a whiff of ideology about it.

  43. . says:

    Ruby – there is climate change. Does action result in a net benefit though?

    The LDP’s “doing nothing” policy actually does quite a lot. It would free up ther most reliable, safe and cheapest carbon neutral technology.

  44. john walker says:

    Markets are very good at maximizing supply at the lowest cost, and when it comes to fossil carbon, that is the exact problem.

  45. Ruby says:

    Not convinced. How can doing nothing be better than doing something? Why would big polluters bother to switch to renewable energy technology if they don’t have to? It seems like a fairly inadequate policy to me, but I’m open to hearing alternative perspectives.

  46. . says:

    They won’t switch, compeititon will arise. The Government is already subsidising the use of coal fired power to produce aluminium. Doing something is clearly not working.

    Nuclear power is set to become cheaper than coal as plants become standardised. If only we allowed them to operate.

    Renewables are wholly inadequete. Wind power in Holland has failed so miserably that nuclear France has massively lower carbon emissions.

    I recommend you view the blog of Prof. Barry Brook and the (vertically integrated) US nuclear energy company USEC.

    They changed my mind on nuclear – in all aspects, including terrorism and waste problems.

  47. john walker says:

    Nuclear definitely is a option that should not be rejected (and the dangers ,while real , have been exaggerated) however coal is very cheap and plentiful, without some sort of tariff on its use, it will be used.

  48. Ruby says:

    OK I will check the blog out. I don’t know much about nuclear so would be good to read up on it. At the moment I’m sitting on the fence.

    I just think it is possibly a bit irresponsible to just wait until coal runs out and becomes more expensive and only then move onto other alternatives such as renewables or nuclear. Especially when the general consensus in the scientific community is to act now? Shouldn’t we start preparing now? It is inevitably going to run out anyway.

    I’m still leaning towards an ETS rather than the LDP’s stance. My understanding of the ETS is that big polluters would be rewarded for changing their practices to reduce emissions, as they could sell carbon credits onto those who wish to emit more?

    I wasn’t aware of wind power failing in Holland, however from personal experience I’ve found solar power to be completely adequate on the scale of an individual average household. My family have used solar power in our home for 35 years with no problems, with a few solar panels on the roof. Also the added bonus of no electricity bills.

  49. john walker says:

    New scientist ran a story a few weeks ago about how the guidelines for safe levels of exposure to radiation are excessively cautious.

    There is an awful lot of coal in the world.
    Most of the worlds oil was created in(provably) just a few runaway greenhouse events such as Permian–Triassic (P–Tr) extinction 25o million years ago .
    Oil is getting scarcer and more expensive .

    Coal on the other hand is always forming.
    There is coal under much, virtually all, of eastern Australia much of it is very close to the surface and cheap to get at.

    Wind power can be effective and reliable, especially if placed offshore. The old clipper ships did Sydney to London faster than modern shipping.

    Most electricity is used in industry and in transport , the TGV is an electric train.
    Domestic consumption is a relatively small part of the picture

    Do you mean solar electric for 35 years?

  50. john walker says:

    PS Ruby You would enjoy the fromage shops on the Rue Mouffetard. France has about 600 varieties on shop had at least 300 kinds of cheese , an agony of choice!

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