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The finger of blame has been wagging furiously this week as the new government comes to grips with the energy crisis. We're in this mess, we're told, because the old government dithered so abjectly with its energy and climate policies. But, really, if you're going to play the blame game, do it thoroughly. Finger all the villains, including the really surprising one - the Greens. Yep, those valiant defenders of the planet must shoulder some of the responsibility for their role in getting us to where we are today.
Back in 2009, when Kevin Rudd was PM, the Greens voted with the Coalition in the senate to defeat the Labor government's Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme. The CPRS was a price mechanism designed to encourage emissions reduction and the take-up of renewable energy. When the Greens voted it down, Tony Abbott had been opposition leader for one day - elected on a margin of one vote after a divisive feud within the party room over its increasingly progressive climate policy under Malcolm Turnbull.
Had the Greens not pursued the perfect at the cost of the good - they wanted a tougher stance on carbon - the passage of the CPRS would have likely short-circuited the climate wars. Had Rudd not blinked in the face of Abbott's relentless "great big tax on everything" barking and shelved the CPRS, after telling the nation climate change was the "great moral challenge of our generation", his tenure as PM might have been longer. Had the CPRS been successfully legislated, business would have had the certainty to invest in renewable energy. And we might have been spared the ugly politics which followed, after Julia Gillard got the top job, not to mention the decade of climate and energy dithering which has come back to bite us now.
Ain't hindsight a wonderful thing?
Prime Minister Albanese has vowed to end the climate wars but surely the Black Summer fires and this year's floods have already done that. And surely the Greens have learned from their mistake in 2009. When parliament returns in late July, there will be a record number of them on the crossbench. Many of the new faces would have been in their early teens when their party derailed serious climate action. It's important they remember what happened and know that compromise and pragmatism yield better outcomes than rigid ideology.
HAVE YOUR SAY: Is it fair to blame the Greens? Do you think we'd be in a better place if they had voted for Rudd's scheme? Are the climate wars really a thing of the past? Email us: email@example.com
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IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:
- Chris Bowen has rejected a call from the Nationals to consider nuclear power as part of the country's energy mix. The Energy Minister said nuclear power was the most expensive form of energy when Australians were facing skyrocketing electricity costs.
- Rio Tinto will invest in large-scale wind and solar farms in central and southern Queensland to power its aluminium operations in the Gladstone region. Aluminium chief Ivan Vella announced a call-out for proposals to meet the energy needs of the Boyne smelter, the Yarwun alumina refinery and the Queensland Alumina refinery.
- A woman found guilty of using a drone to fly drugs across the NSW-Victoria border during the pandemic border closure has been spared jail time but placed on a community corrections order.
THEY SAID IT: "Climate change knows no borders. It will not stop before the Pacific islands and the whole of the international community here has to shoulder a responsibility to bring about a sustainable development." - Angela Merkel
YOU SAID IT: "We have all witnessed Republics in other countries, do we want to go down that 'woke' pathway? I think not. With China on our doorstep do we want to confront that with a slingshot?" - Wayne
"Constitutional Monarchy is the most egalitarian system we can have because it separates and entrusts constitutional authority to someone who can never in their wildest dreams ever have the remotest political mandate or therefore any political agenda. The ultimate referee of our politicians sticking to the rules and calling elections when required, will never be, and by nature of holding the job, can never be, a politician or someone beholden to political power brokers and political elite." - Quentin
"I have repeatedly stated over the past decade or so, that Australia will never achieve the necessary majority vote at a referendum to form a republic while ever Queen Elizabeth II is alive and continues to reign. I don't believe that the eventual ascension of Prince Charles to the British throne will hold the same attraction, however, but an abdication in favour of his first born son, Prince William, just might. PS: The Echidna appears on the Australian five-cent coin." - John
"Nobody else seems to think so, but I reckon we should just make the Governor General our head of state. Appointed by parliament without the fuss, expense and controversy of an election. We'd save a lot of money with this minimal change. We don't even need to change the name of the office, not even the stationery. To placate the traditionalists we can keep all the Royal titles such as the RAAF, RAN, all the Royal hospitals, the RACV and most importantly all the Royal Hotels. Quick, simple and totally cost free." - Daniel
"Australia needs to unhitch itself from the mothership, either when the Queen abdicates or passes. This is overdue and should have happened years ago. Sadly the Prime Minister at the time, John Howard, ensured the referendum would fail. I'm sure Charles will make a fine king; it is just time that we stand on our own feet. There are many countries which have become republics but maintained membership of the Commonwealth. We should follow in their footsteps." - Rhonda
"Why is it necessary to become a republic? To me, it's just another way for governments to spend millions of our taxpayers' hard earned money without a care in the world where that money is most needed. Our hospitals, Medicare, nursing homes and schools, etc. are in crisis, and the cost of changing over from a monarchy to a republic will be astronomical. We already have extremely high debt and what difference will it make in the everyday lives of Australians to change?" - Gail
"Becoming a republic is long overdue. We need self respect as a nation." - Ian
"There would need to be very strict rules in place if we did become a republic to ensure that whoever gets the top job is elected by all Australian voters, and has very defined and limited powers/time in that position. The last thing we want to become is federal republic like America." - Jeanette
"I don't have any particular affection or interest in the house of Windsor, but "accident of birth" seems safer than having us choose between multiple people who desire the role/power." - Duncan
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