Australian Senate blocks cap-and-trade system
posted at 11:36 am on December 2, 2009 by Ed Morrissey
The big fight in the anthropogenic global warming debate took place yesterday Down Under, where the Australian Senate had been expected to pass a cap-and-trade system backed by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd. The bill created a leadership fight in the opposition, though, and the bill died after the new leader of the Senate Liberals successfully torpedoed it. That leaves Rudd unexpectedly empty-handed on his way to Copenhagen:
Australia’s Parliament defeated legislation to set up a greenhouse gas emissions trading system on Wednesday, throwing a central plank of the government’s plans to combat global warming into disarray.
The Senate, where Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s government does not hold a majority, rejected his administration’s proposal for Australia to become one of the first countries to install a so-called cap-and-trade system to slash the amount of heat-trapping pollution that industries pump into the air.
The 41-33 vote followed a tumultuous debate in which the conservative main opposition party at first agreed to support a version of the government’s bill, then dramatically dumped its leader and switched sides after bitter divisions erupted within the party.
Rudd had wanted the legislation passed before he attends next week’s U.N. summit on climate change in Copenhagen so he could portray Australia as a world leader on the issue.
Ahead of the issue? More like behind the curve. The AGW movement has stumbled badly this past week, and this just adds to its woes. The news reports do not detail how much of the debate centered on the exposure of chicanery at East Anglia’s CRU and the AGW establishment, but the point seems clear. Rudd expected to have this bill in hand at Copenhagen, and now he may have to call an election on its failure — if he has the nerve to try it.
Australia may not be one of the world’s major producers of “greenhouse gases” as a nation, but on a per-capita basis, they are. Furthermore, Australia is a net exporter of coal, which means a cap-and-trade system poses serious risk to their economic growth. With that in mind, asking Aussies to deliberately kneecap themselves while the UEA-CRU e-mails show all sorts of academic malfeasance in their argument for the need of these extreme measures is not just unreasonable, it’s completely irresponsible.
The same is true here in the US. AGW advocates demand either tax schemes, cap-and-trade systems, or EPA regulation of a gas that naturally occurs in the air — and that provides life to vegetation– on the basis of seriously flawed scientific models that these e-mails now largely discredit. Until AGW advocates have clean, transparent data, with replicable studies and predictions that actually match the real-world conditions that follow — none of which has been true to this point — the US and the rest of the industrialized world should refuse to commit economic seppuku, just as Australia’s Senate did yesterday.