ABC worm has turned

Unheard of: Gillard tax scheme questioned on the ABC

The ABC seems to have taken up seriously the possibility that carbon taxes and mitigation schemes are ineffectual, just as Nick Minchin has come out forcefully to question Ross Garnaut’s dogged insistence that the science is settled and that there is urgent need for emissions abatement.

According to the ABC:

Senior Liberal Nick Minchin says the globe is more likely to be cooling than warming and has slammed the Government’s key climate adviser, Ross Garnaut, as “on the Government’s payroll”.

Professor Garnaut, an economist, “knows nothing about the climate”.

Speaking on Sky News, Senator Minchin said: “He’s not a climate scientist. I don’t think he has any authority whatsoever to speak on the climate”.
While saying he respected Professor Garnaut, he said: “He’s on the Government payroll, he’s paid to ensure that the Government’s desire to tax the hell out of us over this issue is substantiated by proclamations that the world is about to end”.
“It’s clear that the models, and we’re dealing with models, have grossly overestimated the sensitivity of temperature to increases in CO2.
“I think what’s occurred is that there was a warming period from about ’75 to the year 2000. It was part of a natural cycle of warming that comes in 25, 30-year cycles. The world has basically stabilised in terms of temperature since about 2000.
“There are many, many scientists who actually think we could be entering a cooling phase, and I for one think that is more than likely.
“We have stabilised in terms of world temperatures. There is a very powerful natural cycle at work, and if anything we’re more likely to see a tendency down in global temperatures, rather than up.”

Further to the argument, the ABC interviewed Professor Jeff Bennett of the Australian National University Crawford School of Economics. He said:

the Government’s policy will disadvantage local exporters, while other countries are lagging on the issue.
“The Prime Minister said we’ve got to do something or else we’re going to be left behind – it’s important to realise that first of all, very few countries around the world are doing much about this [pricing carbon],” he said.
“And secondly, even if everybody did something about, if all nations in the world did what Australia’s doing, still the impact on greenhouse gases in the atmosphere would be so small, [it would] not have any real or meaningful impact on the pattern of climate across the planet.
“What that means is that the Australian economy is going to have this quite substantial cost imposed on it, with very little to show by way of benefit.”
The ABC noted that Professor Garnaut was unavailable for comment when contacted by the ABC today.

I heard all of this on tonight’s PM on Radio National. I didn’t think the ABC played music on current affairs programmes, but this music sounded sweet. Could there now be a realignment of thinking on this issue at last?

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