Essential Research: bushfires, climate change and asylum seekers

A new poll finds respondents clearly of the view that not enough is being done to tackle climate change, but with opinion divided as to whether it appropriate to debate the matter in the context of the bushfire emergency.

The Essential Research poll series continues to chug along on its fortnightly schedule without offering anything on voting intention, with this week’s survey mainly relating to bushfires and climate change. Support for the proposition that Australia is not doing enough to address climate change have reached a new high of 60%, up nine since March, with “doing enough” down five to 22% and “doing too much” down three to 8%.

However, perceptions of climate change itself are little changed, with 61% attributing it to human activity (down one) and 28% opting for “a normal fluctuation in the earth’s climate”. On the debate as to whether it was appropriate to raise links between climate change and bushfires, opinion was evenly divided – out of those who considered such a link likely, 43% felt raising the matter appropriate compared with 17% for inappropriate, while another 30% rated the link as unlikely.

A further question related to the issue of medical evacuations for asylum seekers, and here the situation is murkier due to the need to provide respondents with some sort of explanation of what the issue is about. As the Essential survey put it, the relevant legislation allows “doctors, not politicians, more say in determining the appropriate medical
treatment offered to people in offshore detention”. Put like that, 62% were opposed to the government’s move to repeal it, including 25% who believed the legislation didn’t go far enough. That left only 22% in favour of the pro-government proposition that “legislation will weaken our borders and result in boats arriving”.

The poll was conducted Thursday to Sunday from a sample of 1083.

Author: William Bowe

William Bowe is a Perth-based election analyst and occasional teacher of political science. His blog, The Poll Bludger, has existed in one form or another since 2004, and is one of the most heavily trafficked websites on Australian politics.

1,314 comments on “Essential Research: bushfires, climate change and asylum seekers”

  1. “ I agree with the EU on carbon stuff.
    We should also impose a tariff on imported CO2 by way of EU’s manufactures.
    The principle is exactly the same: If you emit CO2, you pay for it.”

    As poroti points out, and you seem to agree Boerwar, Europe has a carbon price, so tariffs would be purely punitive and unnecessary.

  2. Boerwar

    For someone who makes so many claims about so many things with no evidence whatsoever, pardon me if I ignore your so very high standards for evidence in this case.

    If you can’t accept the assertions made by researchers from ABC 4 Corners and others already provided, I suggest you do your own research to disprove the figure.

  3. EU parliament declares “climate emergency” …

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/nov/28/eu-parliament-declares-climate-emergency

    Speaking to the Guardian before the vote, the Swedish meteorologist-turned Green MEP Pär Holmgren said other political groups hadn’t grasped the urgency of the climate crisis. “You could sum it up by saying: for the moment we are heading for 3C, which is of course better than 4C, but it’s far from well below 2C, aiming at 1.5 degrees which we have promised to each other, to future generations.”

    Meanwhile, of course, Australia is pushing hard for 4 degrees plus. Yay, Australia!

  4. I am just wondering if this government got voted in precisely because they are so useless…
    Everybody enjoys watching episodes of Utopia and this latest series is delivering because they aren’t.

    The country can afford 3 more years of Utopia. This govt? Not so much.

  5. Andrew_Earlwood @ #951 Friday, November 29th, 2019 – 9:24 am

    “ I agree with the EU on carbon stuff.
    We should also impose a tariff on imported CO2 by way of EU’s manufactures.
    The principle is exactly the same: If you emit CO2, you pay for it.”

    As poroti points out, and you seem to agree Boerwar, Europe has a carbon price, so tariffs would be purely punitive and unnecessary.

    It would, however, be consistent for the EU to impose tariffs on imports from countries without a price on carbon.

  6. “Thick smoke blanketing Morrison’s Capital.
    #WeatheronPB”

    ***

    Hope you’re not talking about Canberra.

    …and most Canberrans would be appalled at being associated with Morrison like that. It’s the most progressive city in the country. You should feel sorry for them for having to put up with the nutcase extremist from Cronulla (Cook).

  7. I take it that the claim cutnpasted uncritically by Peg that just two corporates own 70% of the MDB water is a crock of the usual Greens faux news.

  8. I find it weird people compare the Morrison Govt to Utopia- in Utopia there is a Nation Building Authority…Morrison has no nation building plans at all. No pretense of any.
    A long overdue airport in Sydney, that’s about it.

  9. Boerwar and others

    On carbon prices, I think the principle is that any country that has a carbon price tariffs imported goods at a rate equal to the different between the consuming countries carbon price and the import producing countries carbon price. That way the “playing field is level”. Otherwise importers from low/no carbon price countries get a competitive advantage and drive local manufacturers out of business.

    Gatt has already ruled on the legitimacy of such tariffs.

  10. Joel Fitzgibbon pops up

    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/federal-labor-mp-challenges-andrews-government-over-native-forestry-ban-20191128-p53f0x.html

    Federal Labor frontbencher Joel Fitzgibbon has delivered a veiled swipe at the Andrews government over its decision to phase out Victoria’s native timber industry.
    :::
    The decision by Premier Daniel Andrews earlier this month to end the harvesting of native hardwood timber from 2030 has caused a major split within the Labor movement, leading to fierce criticism from the Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy Union.
    :::
    Responding to fierce attacks on the Victorian government from Australian Forestry Products Association chairman Greg McCormack, Mr Fitzgibbon told the annual forestry industry dinner at Parliament House that government agreements had reliably provided the hardwood industry with resource security for more than two decades.

  11. It’s wonderful when the Senate works as it did yesterday and blocks extremist government nonsense. Well done to all. Nice to see the Coalition face the reality that they don’t have all the power and can’t do whatever they want.

  12. I like it – What Boerwar is banging on about is a crock of the usual Boerwar faux news.

    I am considering repetitively using this phrase 24/7.

  13. Kerry O’Brien

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-11-28/kerry-obrien-press-freedom-walkley-awards-julian-assange/11748198

    “This year, for a brief moment in the history of Australian journalism, every significant news organisation in this country put its competitive instincts and its differences to one side and united as one voice to stand against an unacceptable step down the road to authoritarianism,” he said.

    “Authoritarianism unchecked can lead to fascism.

    “Fortunately in this country, we’re a long way from that yet, but a study of history amply demonstrates how fascism begins.

    “Freedom is usually eroded gradually.

    “It might happen over years, even decades.

    “Its loss is not necessarily felt day by day, but we will certainly know when it’s gone.”

  14. @ C@T – yesterday arvo

    “My apologies. ”

    Thank you Cat, mine to you also, i was starting to get frustrated with the childish antics with some on here when this is actually a great forum for informed discussion 🙂 i have learn’t quite a lot on here over time…….

  15. BW,

    Barwon-Darling water allocations. Not the entire MDB.

    But on the flip side, it shouldn’t be surprising that “Big irrigators take 86% of water extracted from Barwon-Darling,” they are the big irrigators after all, and it’s large-scale industrial farming out there or nothing.

    FWIW I met David Lewis a long time ago when working for Qld DPI&F. (I was very green, the water markets had been established for only a little while, and I don’t recall much of the discussion.)

  16. That way the “playing field is level”.

    I find it problematic to be talking about instituting a ‘level playing field’ in international relations that does not take into account the fact that many countries have been significantly advantaged, at the expense of others, for centuries.

    Wealthy countries should bear most of the initial weight of reducing emissions by reducing their emissions more than developing countries and/or by assisting developing countries in reducing their emissions. If emissions can be reduced quickly and fairly by factoring in a carbon cost for each service and good, then by all means.

  17. What a shocker of a week for former “Miracle Man” Morrison and his shonky pals, and next week promises similar. Just six months ago they were on top of the world, full of hubris. This week, however, Morrison misleads the House; Taylor’s getting closer to his comeuppance; his mate Fuller has been referred to the Law Enforcement Conduct Commission; and, to top it off, the surprise defeat of a bill designed to break unions. I offer Morrison and his motley crew my sincere thoughts & prayers.

  18. “ the nutcase extremist from Cronulla (Cook).”

    He’s from Bronte, in the eastern suburbs, actually. A rugger bugger spiv just like the rest of them.

    Everything about Morrison is faux.

  19. Boerwar @ #979 Friday, November 29th, 2019 – 10:27 am

    DM
    So, a crock.

    Not really, if you follow and read the links, it becomes clear that it is the northern MDB being discussed. But the story also gets worse – floodplain harvesting (i.e. taking water before it even reaches the river, and is therefore metered) seems to be mean that even more water is now being taken by the big irrigators. I haven’t finished reading all the articles yet, but it seems to be suggested that this is the reason the rivers are drying up …

    Webster and Harris have clearly taken advantage of floodplain harvesting where water is pumped, free and unmeasured, into dams before it can reach the river. Currently, only water pumped from rivers is measured and licensed.

    Last year, the NSW government began the process of legalising floodplain harvesting by handing out free licences to irrigators on the basis of how much they have been able to extract and store until now. This means that those who previously managed to extract the most water receive the biggest share of the free licences.

    Irrigators are able to sell these licences to others and be compensated for any reduction in entitlements.

    As the volumes of water taken from floodplains have not been measured, there is no transparency over the process and the government has no ability to know if irrigators exceed the amount stipulated in their licences in the future.

    https://www.greenleft.org.au/content/rivers-crisis-redesigning-river-systems-profits

  20. Queen on the brink: Her Majesty’s retirement plan that could see King Charles in two years

    QUEEN ELIZABETH II is supposedly giving serious thought of stepping down and handing over the reign to Prince Charles, when she turns 95 in two years time.

    https://www.express.co.uk/news/royal/1209789/royal-family-news-queen-elizabeth-ii-prince-charles-prince-andrew-royal-succession

    Oh yay! King Charles! How exciting and inspirational that will be!

    /sarcasm

    Although, having him on the throne should be a big help to the Republic movement.

  21. “ but it seems to be suggested that this is the reason the rivers are drying up …”

    Obviously. This is what has been happening in various guises across the whole MDB at an accelerating rate for the past 210 years at least.

    Which in turn and in combination with land clearing has dropped the water table, dropped the humidity levels and led to prolonged droughts and those bushfires.

    The loss of humidity – both ambient and in the water table – is causative of all those remnant tracks of Gondwana land rainforests being bone dry this year. Why they were not impervious to the bushfires ranting around them in the opens woodlands and grass lands. Why they were incinerated.

  22. Question without notice to PBs legal minds:

    The Taylor referral is in the hands of the NSW Police, presumably because it involves the Sydney City Council and this is the body to which Labor referred the matter, but are they able to access material from or interview members of Taylor’s parliamentary office which is in the ACT and therefore not under NSW jurisdiction?

  23. Andrew_Earlwood @ #985 Friday, November 29th, 2019 – 10:49 am

    The loss of humidity – both ambient and in the water table – is causative of all those remnant tracks of Gondwana land rainforests being bone dry this year. Why they were not impervious to the bushfires ranting around them in the opens woodlands and grass lands. Why they were incinerated.

    That is a contributing factor in those areas, but global warming caused by C02 emissions is the major cause of our changing climate.

  24. It’s not going to be King Charles – he will re-name himself King George I believe, because all the previous King Charles’ were all horrible…

  25. Player One @ #917 Friday, November 29th, 2019 – 8:39 am

    C@tmomma @ #876 Friday, November 29th, 2019 – 5:57 am

    Player One @ #864 Thursday, November 28th, 2019 – 9:54 pm

    C@tmomma @ #860 Thursday, November 28th, 2019 – 9:46 pm

    Angus Taylor … who thinks the only answer to that is coal-fired power.

    Well, he’s hardly all by himself in that one, judging by the pro-coal Labor lobby here on PB … 🙁

    And what sort of coal are you specifically talking about, P1?

    Because I’ll proudly put my hand up to support Metallurgical Coal, until such time as it’s no longer needed and the plants are built to use alternative fuels.

    Have you got a problem with that? Because, if you have, then that’s just dumb.

    You are aware that the Galillee basin is thermal coal, I presume?

    And you are aware that if our customers don’t get it from us they will get it from those countries willing to sell, like America or Russia, whose reserves are approximately equal to or far outweigh ours?

    https://www.theglobaleconomy.com/rankings/coal_reserves/

    And America is willing to just chop the top off a mountain to get to theirs. So it’s not even more expensive to mine.

    Of course we all know what needs to be done and should be done, it just seems that you are unwilling to think realistically about the issue. It’s why I discount what you have to say.

  26. “He’s from Bronte, in the eastern suburbs, actually. A rugger bugger spiv just like the rest of them.”

    ***

    I was more making a point about the people who elected him in Cook (which includes Cronulla) and how different their views are to those held by Canberrans. I picked Cronulla of course because it is infamous for the race riots. And also because Morrison loves to remind everyone constantly of how big a Cronulla Sharks fan he is.

    But yes, you are correct to point out that he is originally from Bronte, which is in Wentworth.

    Apparently he was living in Port Hacking (in Cook/The Shire near Cronulla) though before moving into Kirribilli.

  27. Firefoxsays:
    Friday, November 29, 2019 at 10:44 am

    Oh yay! King Charles! How exciting and inspirational that will be!

    Almost as exciting as Betty is now!

  28. One of the worst goals to set in relation to the global heating issue is to say, “We are going to profit from selling green technologies to developing countries.” If we develop useful technologies we should be giving them to poor countries, not placing a burden on those countries. This is an All Hands On Deck situation. We need to cut emissions to zero as quickly as possible.

  29. I love Black Friday – it means that you don’t hear frikken Jingle Bell Rock or Wham or see Xmas adds on TV until December.

    As for Bronte, it was working class when my Grandparents bought there in the 1950s…

  30. Alpha Zero @ #989 Friday, November 29th, 2019 – 8:00 am

    It’s not going to be King Charles – he will re-name himself King George I believe, because all the previous King Charles’ were all horrible…

    I think you’ll find that there have been 6 other Georges throughout history, none of them much cop either. Three of them have been German, one was certifiably insane, and the most recent one is the father of the incumbent monarch and had an Oscar wining film made about his speech impediment.

    If Chuckles does decide to become a George, he’d be George VII.

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