As predicted, Liberal leader Malcolm Turnbull lost the party leadership today, to (surprisingly) Tony "The Mad Monk" Abbott rather than dithering "consensus candidate" Joe Hockey. Unfortunately Malcolm is saying that rumours he will set up his own liberal party are science fiction, but you never know - science fiction is a way of exploring future scenarios, some of which eventually come true.
The Business Spectator thinks the Monk's win is a boon for Kevin Rudd - Abbott's win is a boon for Labor.
What’s certain is that this vote was not about the ETS. It was about the heart and soul and core of what the Liberal Party stands for and where it’s headed. It was also about bruised egos, simmering resentments, personal hatreds, relevance and ambition. ...
Three national polls were published over the last few days. All showed a landslide to Labor. That landslide will continue. Whether the ETS is good or flawed public policy, what is certain is that the broad electorate are mightily concerned about the changing global climate. They see it every day in their own lives.
A party that goes to the people denying that certainty will be obliterated. And the political implications will be felt for a generation.
The ALP campaign will be a classic – and will feature Malcolm Turnbull, Ian MacFarlane and Joe Hockey. The ad featuring Turnbull's face will be simple, with words to the effect of: “What does it say about the character of the Liberal Party if, having entered into an agreement, we were to simply say we have changed our minds, we are going to renege on the deal? How could you trust us?” Indeed. ...
Until today the contest was between two mainstream political candidates – Rudd and Turnbull.
That’s changed, irrevocably. It is between the mainstream Labor Party under Rudd and a far right party under Abbott with heavy input from Nick Minchin. The line in the sand has never been clearer. Stand by for fireworks, an early double dissolution election next year, campaigning by shock jocks and News Limited on behalf of Abbott – and a massive Labor win.
The BS also thinks that Rudd and his predecessors have thrown away a huge opportunity to begin the transformation to a clean energy economy, to our long term detriment - Australia is losing the new-energy race.
Australia is at real risk of watching the clean energy transformation pass right by.
It is rapidly losing the opportunity of becoming a regional financial centre for carbon trading. International investment banks started giving up on that idea more than a year ago. They didn’t even bother attending the local carbon expo on the Gold Coast in October, preferring instead to mingle with the crowd at rival events in Singapore and South Korea.
Nor does Australia have a renewable energy industry to speak of. Despite being a centre of world renowned research and unlimited resources, the country has forsaken its intellectual capital to foreign shores such as the China, the US and Germany. While international governments spend billions supporting the roll-out of emerging renewable technologies, the sum total of Australia’s spending since the election of the Rudd government amounts probably to less than $20 million.
Not a single clean energy facility has been built as a result of the current federal government’s policies. A few wind farms have popped up because state governments have committed to having renewable offsets for installations such as desalination plants, but even Australia’s geothermal producers, who cannot easily pack their wares, are hedging their bets by pursuing opportunities in friendlier investment environments such as Europe, Asia and South America, and the solar industry exists on little more than hope.
The energy white paper which is due to be released shortly would hopefully discuss the opportunities presented by the transformational technologies such as solar, geothermal and ocean energy, along with energy efficiency and storage.
Instead, it is likely to focus on carbon capture and storage – coming to a power station near you in about 2034, at a carbon price of around $80 – and progressive fuel technologies such as oil shale.
And nor have Australian businesses – with the exception of a few – properly prepared themselves to embrace the challenge of energy efficiency, refusing to entertain the idea that energy prices will sometime soon rise significantly – ETS or not – and threaten one of the country’s more significant competitive advantages.
But hey, we are building the world's biggest houses to live in (and to heat, cool and fill with energy consuming gadgets), so its not like the leadership is doing anything different to most punters - Australians live in world's biggest houses
New data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics indicates that new homes across Australia are bigger in square metre terms than anywhere else in the world.
Commsec chief economist Craig James says the great Australian dream has expanded over the past few decades. "You go back 20 or 30 years ago and the average house was, you know, sort of two or three bedrooms, three bedrooms at most," he said. "Now it is at least four bedrooms, possibly even and five and it is a lounge, dining room, home entertainment room. Certainly we are putting more and more rooms in our ever-growing houses." ...
"We are bigger than the US for the first time. Our newly built homes are 7 per cent bigger than those in the US, double the size of those in Europe, and triple the size of those in the UK."