- Tasmanian Liberal senator Eric Abetz is accusing the chief scientist of using “creative assumptions” to come up with his recommendations for a CET.
- Western Sydney Liberal backbencher Craig Kelly said he would not support a benchmark emission target of 0.6 tonnes of carbon dioxide per megawatt hour, which is the level Dr Finkel has used in his report to model economic effects.
- Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce on Friday went on the record arguing for any CET to allow coal-fired power stations to be built.
Eric Abetz was a lawyer before entering Parliament, Joyce was an accountant, Craig Kelly was a small businessman and ex-rugby player. And, naturally enough all are self-appointed experts on climate science.
Dr Alan Finkel is Australia’s eighth Chief Scientist, an entrepreneur, engineer, neuroscientist and educator. He is an expert and was appointed by the government to head up the review of climate change. It is a reasonable assumption that he knows what he’s talking about and with his background has approached the topic with a discipline that is rare in most of politicians.
But now members the government are saying he doesn’t know what he was talking about.
Barnaby Joyce is actually suggesting that any plans for clean energy in Australia should include building new coal mines.
Perhaps it’s time that we issued licenses to parliamentarians that allowed them to speak on topics on which they were qualified rather like having portfolios. That would mean that Craig Kelly was allowed to speak on matters like rugby and small business. Barnaby Joyce could speak on matters that are affected Tamworth.
And Eric could speak on matters that affected, well, we might have to work on that one.