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. RI @ #1149 Friday, November 29th, 2019 – 4:50 pm

    P1 reminds me of no bludger so much as the serial philosophical contortionist, ModLib. They were well-known for running interference for the Libs, just as P1 does these days.

    Bucket full of eels.

    I am sorry you continue to lose your argument so comprehensively, but what can I do about that?

    Your support for new thermal coal mines is just completely and utterly nonsensical. In fact, I will go further – given our current predicament, it is quite simply unhinged.

    Also, it seems that you follow the standard pattern here of resorting to insult and abuse when you can no longer win your argument by using using facts, logic and reason 🙁

  2. The coal in the Galilee is rubbish. On a calorie-for-calorie/ash-for-ash basis, it’s worth about 60% less than Newcastle coal. That is, it’s worth about $25/mt compared to $65/mt for Newcastle coal. It cannot be mined, washed, railed and loaded for shipment for that price, even if no royalties were ever paid.

    However, the Galilee has other uses. It is a political device of use to the Greens and their alter-egos, the Nationals.

  3. Cud chewer

    Hunter coal might have a future as metallurgical coal.

    But even there, the right future is Australia using renewable s to generate hydrogen and reducing the iron thus.

    If the demand side is solved there is no future for thermal coal. To my mind the most important thing for Queensland is that coal dies a natural, it is important that no-one other than the market gets the blame.

    The Liberals cannot have delivered the argument that it would al be OK if Labor didn’t fold to the nasty Greens.

    That will be no good for the future of the region, or for the Labor party.

    My beef with the greens is their all out attempt to support the Liberal’s argument.

  4. RI @ #1153 Friday, November 29th, 2019 – 4:56 pm

    The coal in the Galilee is rubbish. On a calorie-for-calorie/ash-for-ash basis, it’s worth about 60% less than Newcastle coal. That is, it’s worth about $25/mt compared to $65/mt for Newcastle coal. It cannot be mined, washed, railed and loaded for shipment for that price, even if no royalties were ever paid.

    However, the Galilee has other uses. It is a political device of use to the Greens and their alter-egos, the Nationals.

    Now that is just a tad hypocritical. You have yourself posted in favor of opening Adani – indeed, opening up the whole Galilee basin – and given political reasons as one of your justifications.

  5. The joy of it all is that coal use is falling even though P1 is trying to prolong and expand its role in electricity generation. This is a very good thing. The tendency to replace coal with renewables will accelerate. Nearly everyone welcomes this, even if P1 does not.


  6. Player One says:
    Friday, November 29, 2019 at 4:59 pm


    Now that is just a tad hypocritical. You have yourself posted in favor of opening Adani – indeed, opening up the whole Galilee basin – and given political reasons as one of your justifications.

    Not very good at comprehension are you. I will do it slowly for you.

    Galilee is rubbish it will never get opened up . It is nothing more than something for the greens and people like you to bash Labor over the head with.

  7. RI @ #1155 Friday, November 29th, 2019 – 5:02 pm

    The joy of it all is that coal use is falling even though P1 is trying to prolong and expand its role in electricity generation. This is a very good thing. The tendency to replace coal with renewables will accelerate. Nearly everyone welcomes this, even if P1 does not.

    You are simply being ridiculous now. I would go further, but William would (perhaps rightly) ban me for doing so.

    I am in favor of discontinuing the use of thermal coal, not opening new coal mines, and imposing a price on carbon.

    You are in favor of precisely the opposite.

  8. There is nothing hypocritical about the pricing. It is what it is. The operators of the Newcastle Port have a very good appreciation of their circumstances and are planning for a decline in exports. Newcastle coal represents a bit less than 2% of global thermal coal consumption. They know they have to adapt to the retrenchment of coal as a fuel for electricity generation.

  9. frednk @ #1156 Friday, November 29th, 2019 – 5:04 pm

    Galilee is rubbish it will never get opened up . It is nothing more than something for the greens and people like you to bash Labor over the head with.

    And yet, all of you “musketeers” are the ones in favor of opening it up. Go figure.

    Sometimes here on PB, I feel like Alice must have felt when she went through that looking glass 🙁

  10. P1…you do protest too much. Coal use has begun to fall and you express only regret. There are proposals to replace fossil fuels with renewably-sourced electricity and you denounce them. Given the choice of investing in renewables – which renders coal uneconomic – you advocate investing in gas. You are a fraud. You not only misrepresent the positions of other bludgers. You misrepresent your own.

  11. 1. I am heartily sick of this useless argument about coal, which it seems will never be resolved and which is incomprehensible to me. Not because I am a fan of coal, but because the ridiculous “but you said, no I meant, you’re a fool,” carried on for hours, is so boring.
    2. I don’t believe we should judge those who lived centuries ago by modern standards, which we proudly believe are always “better and higher” than in the past.

    Now go and argue about that.

  12. frednk only some Hunter coal is metallurgical grade and yes hydrogen will take over – quicker than some think. However that’s not my point.

    My point is that the politics of the issue is fundamentally tied to a nonsense about jobs. And its even more bizare hearing Joel support Galilea coal given his constituent’s best interests.

  13. beguiledagain
    Friday, November 29th, 2019 – 3:16 pm
    Comment #1096

    When the 12th and last submarine is delivered (if on schedule) I will be 120 years old.

    Allow me to offer congratulations (in advance) for your remarkable longevity. I will be watching from Bizarro World.

  14. RI @ #1161 Friday, November 29th, 2019 – 5:11 pm

    P1…you do protest too much. Coal use has begun to fall and you express only regret. There are proposals to replace fossil fuels with renewably-sourced electricity and you denounce them. Given the voice between investing in renewables – which renders coal uneconomic – you advocate investing in gas. You are a fraud. You not only misrepresent the positions of other bludgers. You misrepresent your own.

    Just who is misrepresenting who here?

    When have I expressed “regret” at the idea that coal might decline? When have I advocated investing in gas, or using gas in circumstances except as a transition fuel to replace coal? When have I advocated not investing in renewables? When have I claimed that coal is “economic” (unless you succeed in pushing the price of it down)?

    Honestly. Do you have such a low opinion of the intelligence of other bludgers, that they think they would fall for such obvious claptrap?

  15. lizzie @ #1162 Friday, November 29th, 2019 – 5:14 pm

    1. I am heartily sick of this useless argument about coal, which it seems will never be resolved and which is incomprehensible to me. Not because I am a fan of coal, but because the ridiculous “but you said, no I meant, you’re a fool,” carried on for hours, is so boring.
    2. I don’t believe we should judge those who lived centuries ago by modern standards, which we proudly believe are always “better and higher” than in the past.

    Now go and argue about that.

    I heartily agree, lizzie 🙁

  16. Paddy Manning……’The Coalition’s union-busting legislation was called the Ensuring Integrity Bill, but it’s the Morrison government’s evident lack of integrity that brought the bill undone last night, when Pauline Hanson torpedoed it on the floor of the Senate. The Bill was a cynical ploy designed to beat up a couple of militant unions, most particularly the CFMMEU and its Victorian secretary, John Setka. That strategy would punish a lot of innocent union members and their elected officials forever, in pursuit of a narrow political advantage, which is no way to run the country. ‘

  17. Suppose there is a village without current grid connection (no transmission/distribution network) and with good local wind or solar resources, but no viable storage options (no hydro, batteries too expensive to deploy in the next decade). Also the village has a nearby unconventional gas resource

    Assuming that village needs firming, does it:
    1 -build transmission network capacity so it can access firmed power from the grid?
    2 -develop the local unconventional gas resource as a supply for local gas powered generation to provide firming?

  18. KayJay

    How about this for a reason, trying not to upset the ‘snowflake’ coffee drinkers 🙂

    It also means you get the chance to call out to the guys at the crease

  19. Just think if there was a 50 posts a day limit P1 would only have two left………

    Then….. P2?
    Are you thinking what I am thinking P1?

  20. Firefox

    ‘Yes. Are you aware of what the Protestant Elizabeth I did to one of her cousins and Catholic rivals, Mary, Queen of Scots (not to be confused with her sister, Mary I)?’

    Absolutely I am. Mary Q of S wanted to paint herself as a Catholic matryr, dying for her faith; instead she had given her blessing to a plot to murder Elizabeth.

    Virtually everyone at the time thought that Elizabeth had been far too merciful to Mary Q of S over the years. If she had listened to her advisers, Mary would have been dead a couple of decades beforehand. They would have liked to return her to her Scottish subjects, who wanted to investigate the very peculiar circumstances of her husband’s death.

  21. Cud chewer:

    Theodore your assumption about batteries is dubious at best.

    I agree, in fact I’ve made a number of assumptions about batteries all of which would be dubious dependent on context, and would ask which of those you are objecting to:

    1 – I have assumed there are developing countries in which solar without batteries is a useful thing to have. Obviously this isn’t always the case, but are you saying it’s never the case?
    2 – I have assumed that Western safety standards apply, but I think it’s quite clear that a developing country would in some circumstances go for a “battery” technology that is not safe according to Western standards if it brought the cost of deployment down enough
    3 – I have assumed that there are non-trivial costs related to transplanting battery technology from developed countries (where one can rely on a whole lot of pre-requisites such as access a reliable grid, qualified staff, replacement parts etc.) to developing countries where those pre-requisites are not met We would be lucky if there are no such costs

  22. poroti
    Friday, November 29th, 2019 – 5:34 pm
    Comment #1171

    How about this for a reason, trying not to upset the ‘snowflake’ coffee drinkers

    Hmm ❗ I dunno. Maybe. Could be.

    **********************************************

    Are coffee drinkers smarter?

    Coffee Can Make You Smarter
    Coffee doesn’t just keep you awake — it may also make you smarter. The active ingredient in coffee is caffeine, which is a stimulant and the most commonly consumed psychoactive substance in the world. … Controlled studies show that caffeine improves both mood and brain function.Apr 30, 2018

    On the other hand I’m pretty sure that watching cricket doesn’t make me any smarter. 😎 ☕

    ♫Hey-ey-ey ♪ snowflake
    ♪ My pretty little ♫ snowflake
    ♫ Ooh, ooh, the ♫ change in ♪ the weather
    ♪ has made it ♫ better for ♪ me.
    ♫ Hey-ey-ey ♫ snowflake, my pretty ♪ little ♪ snowflake
    ♪You’ve got me ♫ warm as a ♪ fire
    ♫ With the ♫ burning ♪ desire for ♪ you…

  23. One of the few remaining pleasures that I retain from visiting this blog is to not have the slightest clue, the merest hint of an idea – even at this advanced stage, month after excruciatingly boring month down the track – WHAT in the hell P1, RI, Firefox, Pegasus, C@tmomma, Quoll and all the rest of the Adani shit-throwers are yabbering on about.

    Not far behind that is the exquisite anticipation of never feeling the need to bother finding out.

    The absolute worst thing you can do here is to get into an argument with RI. The second-worst is to lock horns with P1. And so on down the line.

    They are engaged in a selfish, bone-headed argument, its origins lost in the Mists Of Time, that bores everyone else to death. This argument is without wit, originality or style. The same insufferable points are repeated by either side, endlessly, all day. Every fucking day.

    In their self-absorption they insultingly suggest trite solutions for non-conbatants like “The scroll wheel is your friend”, or “Block me if you don’t like it” or – the most pathetic – “William lets me do it, so THERE!”, unaware that what this really means is “We’ve taken the place over and anyone who doesn’t like it can get stuffed”.

    Boiled down to its essence it means that not only has the blog been rendered unreadable, but they don’t give a tinker’s cuss that it has, and that they are responsible.

  24. Andrew_Earlwood @ #1176 Friday, November 29th, 2019 – 5:38 pm

    Other than Bukkake I can’t think of a bludger that’s actually favours
    Opening Adani.

    If they are not in favor, why did they vote for it?

    There were five bludgers who explicitly voted in favor of opening the Adani coal mine when asked. Three went further than just Adani, and were in favor of opening up the whole Galilee basin. One thought opening Adani would have no impact, but was not actually in favor of it.

    Since the vote, several other bludgers have expressed their support for Adani.

    I had to tally the votes, so I could name names – but I won’t do so.


  25. Cud Chewer says:
    ….
    My point is that the politics of the issue is fundamentally tied to a nonsense about jobs. And its even more bizare hearing Joel support Galilea coal given his constituent’s best interests.

    Point taken. It underlines why Adani has to be seen to die a natural.


    lizzie says:
    Friday, November 29, 2019 at 5:14 pm

    1. I am heartily sick of this useless argument about coal

    I am sorry Lizzie, but it is an important issue, and the Greens attempt to pull it down to tokenism really has to be dealt with.

  26. …and, no, Elizabeth was not a religious extremist. She tried – largely successfully – to protect her Catholic subjects from persecution, even though the Pope had given them permission to kill her. She talked of not wanting to make a window into people’s souls and said that there was only one important thing, that people follow Christ, and that anything else was ‘a dispute over trifles’.

  27. C@tmomma @ #1173 Friday, November 29th, 2019 – 5:50 pm

    Kate @ #1170 Friday, November 29th, 2019 – 5:35 pm

    Just think if there was a 50 posts a day limit P1 would only have two left………

    It’s a lonely life running an eco resort. 🙂

    It’s a lonely life being glued to the internet because your property is threatened by a 5,000 hectare bushfire, caused by idiots who thought burning coal was a neat idea even after they were informed of the consequences 🙁

  28. KJ
    Aside from the change in schedule in Pink Ball cricket, in Adelaide I believe they use the word ‘tea’ to refer to ‘dinner’… but not always… often using the words interchangeably just to keep outsiders on their toes.

    I dont mind, so long as they dont call me late for lunch. Smoke me a kipper, I will be back for breakfast.

  29. frednk @ #1180 Friday, November 29th, 2019 – 5:55 pm

    I am sorry Lizzie, but it is an important issue, and the Greens attempt to pull it down to tokenism really has to be dealt with.

    As does the Labor internal factional bunfight about whether or not to support new thermal coal mines. Why can’t you people just keep it within your party, FFS? Why do you have to try and convince us of your ridiculous notions here on PB?

  30. Oh, oh, Bushfire Bill has swung by like the pompous blowhard he is. 🙄

    Who cares if:

    One of the few remaining pleasures that I retain from visiting this blog is to not have the slightest clue, the merest hint of an idea – even at this advanced stage, month after excruciatingly boring month down the track – WHAT in the hell P1, RI, Firefox, Pegasus, C@tmomma, Quoll and all the rest of the Adani shit-throwers are yabbering on about.

    He can always sling his hook elsewhere. No one is stopping him. But then he only has a small pond across the road to throw his weight around in. So I guess we’re stuck with him. 🙂

    Maybe next time he wants to criticise the tenor of debate here he could be more polite about it? However, I think that’s beyond him.

  31. Good to see FIGJAM Porter has been reading his copy of “How to Win Friends and Influence People” . Poorlene will surely be won over 🙂

    Hanson ‘did deal with CFMEU’

    Attorney-General declares One Nation ‘sided with the thugs’ as he leaves the door open to further changes to union-busting bill.

    https://www.theaustralian.com.au/nation/politics/christian-porter-alleges-pauline-hanson-made-a-deal-with-the-cfmeu-as-she-rejects-unionbusting-bill/news-story/56f13e5da3288cb5166be94d98b9a675

  32. The government says that, at present, the unions are breaking the laws.

    Apparently there is nothing the government to do to stop this happening.

    Their solution is to put in place more laws.

    If the unions aren’t obeying the first lot of laws, and the government is apparently powerless to prevent this, how will they stop the unionists breaking the new laws?

  33. By comparison with rural Indians, you do realise that many Australians live with a solar panel and lead acid battery to provide basic led lighting and to power electronics. It’s called off grid clamping. That would be sufficient to raise their standard of living without new coal power stations until distributed renewable power infrastructure rolls out. Add this to non-polluting cooking and Indian standard of living and health would rise significantly and immediately.

  34. The banks are breaking the laws as well. And there’s apparently nothing the Morrison government can, or wants to, do about that either. 😐

  35. “Absolutely I am. Mary Q of S wanted to paint herself as a Catholic matryr, dying for her faith; instead she had given her blessing to a plot to murder Elizabeth.”

    “…and, no, Elizabeth was not a religious extremist.”

    ***

    It’s all very disturbing, isn’t it.

    And she was. England engaged in war under her rule in order to spread Protestantism in Ireland. The Nine Years’ War is considered as one of the many European Wars of the Reformation.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_wars_of_religion

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nine_Years%27_War_(Ireland)

  36. Firefox

    As your own source makes clear – although no historian relies on entries from wikipedia – the Irish rebelled. There were various reasons for the rebellion, including religion, but any sovereign at the time, whatever their religious bent, would have met such a rebellion with force.

    There is very little evidence that Elizabeth’s decision to put down the rebellion was religiously motivated (and not much to suggest the rebellion itself was).

  37. …in other words, a ruler putting down a rebellion is not evidence of religious extremism, even if the rebellion is motivated by religion (which it wasn’t really).

  38. I scroll through pollbludger for BK news summary and Bushfire Bills lyric descriptions of his tree change

    Hope BBs neighbour with the stubbed toe still has her leg and the fire bug has left the district

  39. Oh, oh, Bushfire Bill has swung by like the pompous blowhard he is.

    You don’t realise how funny that statement sounds coming from you, one of the most obsessive, abusive, repetitive foghorns here, always ready with an insult, only to wave your girlish gender at anyone who bites back.

    I make, at best, two or three posts a day, usually less. You are here from dawn until midnight, posting variations on the same rambling theme dozens of times a day.

    You do have some wit about you, and some energy. That’s your saving grace. The dead-headed RI still takes the cake for the most boring lane-hugger in history, refusing to speed up, slow down, or even get out of the way, as if the sheer insufferable relentlessness of his droning prose will someday win through and convince everyone he’s right.

    An unbiased outsider wouldn’t pay 20 cents to wade through the cant and drivel dressed up as “debate” written here, much less $20. I know I won’t.

    One last observation: thank God for BK in the mornings (and Lizzie when he’s off duty).

  40. “the Irish rebelled”

    ***

    Well gee. Should they have just let England walk in the door?

    As a dual citizen of the modern day Republic of Ireland, I’m not going to accept that as an excuse. The Irish were defending themselves from an invasion.

    I should also make it clear that I’m defending the Irish because I’m Irish, not because I’m Catholic. I’m very much an atheist.

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