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POST-ELECTION CLIMATE September 9, 2013

Posted by wmmbb in Australian Politics, Global Warming (climate change).
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For me the critical issues were: asylum seekers and climate change.

Following the election, I am more worried about economic management. In the election campaign, you might have been lucky to hear about the proposed commission of audit. It was one of those policy measures that were well hidden. If Tony Abbott and his government claim a electoral mandate for the politics of austerity, and even achieving a budget surplus, they have to confront their deviousness in relation to providing a full costing of their policies. As the cartoons point out the principal purpose of the commission of audit is to discover, which will justify cuts to common goods and public services.

This is the party that has lead the way, followed by the ALP, to be cruel to those who would seek refuge from persecution and war. In their attempt to neutralize the wedge, the ALP lost its soul. They got to retain most of their Western Sydney seats, so on that calculation it might be considered to worth the transaction cost. The Liberals compound their cruelty and moral myopia by reducing foreign aid and reducing the humanitarian intake on the pretext of sending a message to the refugee travel agents.

The reality of climate change, given the robustness of the system change theory, challenges the cultural paradigm. This fact is pointed out on many occasions by the people who cannot believe the evidence and the reality. The overwhelming success of the Coalition lead by Tony Abbott and the minor parties in the Senate is evidence of climate change denial. Tony Abbott assumes the title of an “infrastructure prime minister”, providing for more carbon emissions rather than less. In the final days of the electoral campaign, the liberals admitted that no modelling had been undertaken for their policy.

The potential and awareness of catastrophic climate change is not appreciated, so it makes sense for most people to unconsciously fall back on their cultural conditioning. This requires people to be philosophically construct, and ask about what is wise or what is good. Plato – or was it Socrates – got the drop on us thousands of years ago, by posing, whether we need to ask these questions? As a model, I am quoting Michael Nagler in another context, consider there are three levels. The first two levels which include data and information and then joining the dots to create the picture from insight and imagination and testing theory are the two levels that science can do. The third level requires a change in the relationship to the new understanding of the world and the biosphere. This involves fundamental questions of justice and truth as it applies to the global society.

Not just our children and grandchildren, but is a question for all of Earth’s  future. The question of morality also includes the advice that we can do something about it, and by refusing to entertain those issues things are made worst rather than improved. There is an argument that Australia while high per capita environmental polluters, and ignoring the effect on the continents environment, that carbon emissions are low in overall global terms. I have always thought this was a “beggar your neighbor” argument that worked so well in the twentieth century economic crisis.

Now the responsibility for national strategic thinking, vision and values lies with the new Prime Minister. Tony Abbott, with his colleagues support, and with the good will in his task, which I share, he will prove to be better than I have reason to imagine I hope that he will prove me wrong.

Just to keep the video presentation short here is Ceng Uygur reporting on the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature Project organized by Professor Richard Muller.

The capacity of the Government to get its’ policy agenda implemented will depend negotiating with a number of small right wing parties in the Senate, which may tend to skew things to unreality and create dissension within the Coalition and the Liberal Party.

Postscript: (by way of clarification)

I regard the calls by past worthies of the ALP Government for Kevin Rudd to resign as nonsense. In my view, much that is wrong with the ALP is not to do with Kevin Rudds shortcoming, but the institutional deficits of the ALP, including the role of king makers and parachuting in of chosen local candidates. All PM’s have to learn on the job. It helps to have had executive experience and a relevant background. We can expect the management style that Tony Abbott to continue, and I anticipate it will create tensions. However, with six years as Opposition Leader, I would not expect an internal coup. However the democratic health of the Liberal Party is an unknown. There is some question as to the effectiveness in Cabinet of the National (formerly Country) Party. PM is not an easy job, and one that learning has to take place on the job. So it will, I imagine be useful to have such as John Howard to turn to. The same will apply to the next ALP PM.

Secondly, I am reminded by David Donovan at Independent Australia of the power of traditional newspapers to set the set the agenda.  “The fascist Australian,  Rupert Murdoch”, as described by Chalmers Johnson, will expect and be given access and reward. Politicians,  especially Tony Abbott, who is a vulnerable as Kevin Rudd , after this impressive demonstration of propaganada will fear Murdoch and seek his favour to the detriment of  the democratic process. Apparently “austerity politics” is good for billionaires. The politics of cruelty is a broad church that applies equally to refugees and foreign aid, as it does to the unworthy and the guilty deserving economic failures the system can be so easily rigged to produce.

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