A track winding back

A look at leadership approval poll trends, and my new facility for tracking them.

BludgerTrack is back, sort of – you can find a permanent link on the sidebar along with a miniature version of its main attraction, namely polling trends for leader approval and preferred prime minister. These go back to the onset of Scott Morrison’s prime ministership in August last year, and thus encompass distinct Bill Shorten and Anthony Albanese epochs.

As you can see, Morrison has mostly gravitated around neutral on his net rating (i.e. approval minus disapproval), barring a post-election surge that has now run its course. Shorten’s position appeared to improve during the election campaign, which was also picked up in Labor’s internal polling, though clearly not far enough. Albanese has mostly been around neutral, but as a newcomer he has a high uncommitted rating, which doesn’t come through when you reduce it to a net measure. This is how he manages to do worse than Shorten on preferred prime minister (although a narrowing trend kicked in here a few months ago) despite doing better on net approval.

I haven’t included the most recent Newspoll result at this stage, as this is clearly a distinct new series for which I will require a few more results before I can standardise it against the other polls. On the basis of this limited evidence, the new-look Newspoll’s leader rating scores can be expected to behave somewhat differently from the old. As Kevin Bonham notes, the new poll has markedly worse net ratings for both leaders, as uncommitted rates are lower and disapproval higher.

Needless to say, what’s missing in all this is voting intention, for which I am going to need a good deal more data before I reckon it worth my while. If you’re really keen though, Mark the Ballot has gone to the trouble of running a trendline through all six of the Newspoll results post-election. If nothing else, my BludgerTrack page features a “poll data” tab on which voting intention polls will be catalogued, which for the time being is wall-to-wall Newspoll. And while I have your attention, please note as per the post above that I’ve got the begging bowl out – donations gratefully received through the link at the top of the page.

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.

1,119 comments on “A track winding back”

  1. Good morning Dawn Patrollers.

    David Crowe writes about this shocking week of unforced errors from Morrison and his government. He concludes this good article with, “Morrison’s personal standing is not strong as he thinks. His political skills are not as polished as his acolytes claim. His judgment is not as sound as he pretends. That makes this week something of a wake-up call.”
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/a-shocking-week-of-unforced-errors-from-morrison-and-his-government-20191128-p53f55.html
    And the SMH editorial says that the PM and his team need to regain self-control after a bad week.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/pm-and-his-team-need-to-regain-self-control-after-bad-week-20191129-p53fgv.html
    Laura Tingle declares that the Coalition’s embrace of machismo gives little in return.
    https://www.afr.com/politics/federal/the-coalition-s-embrace-of-machismo-gives-little-in-return-20191129-p53fdn
    Ooh! Morrison’s religious discrimination bill is collapsing as certain church groups threaten to withdraw their support. Judith Ireland reports.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/serious-unintended-consequences-church-groups-threaten-to-withdraw-support-for-religious-discrimination-bill-20191129-p53fbj.html
    And according to Katharine Murphy Chris Bowen has signalled Labor could vote against the Morrison government’s religious discrimination legislation, characterising the bill as “friendless” – setting up a potential showdown in the final parliamentary sitting week for 2019, if the Morrison government brings the proposal on.
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/nov/30/this-bill-is-friendless-chris-bowen-signals-labor-could-vote-against-religious-freedom-bill
    Lawyer Duncan Fine tells us why Scott Morrison’s phone call to a police chief matters.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/why-scott-morrison-s-phone-call-to-a-police-chief-matters-20191129-p53fes.html
    And Tony Wright says Scott Morrison’s call to a state police commissioner in quest of an escape hatch from political frenzy was rather more than unorthodox. It was closer to Trumpian.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/the-pm-the-phone-call-between-mates-and-amateur-hour-20191127-p53emc.html
    Paul Bongiorno states that Morrison’s handling of the police investigation into Energy Minister Angus Taylor this week brazenly flouted conventions of propriety and integrity.
    https://outline.com/rDr7Wb
    Scott Morrison’s reputation as a miracle worker took a big hit this week, as the national parliament resumed for its last few sitting days of the year says Paula Matthewson.
    https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/politics/australian-politics/2019/11/29/hanson-lambie-scott-morrison/
    Scott Morrison has made much of his claim to be focused on life outside the Canberra bubble. However, Martin Hirst argues, Morrison IS the Canberra bubble.
    https://independentaustralia.net/life/life-display/scott-morrisons-impenetrable-canberra-bubble,13361
    The Age reports that Nick Zhao, who reported the Chinese spy inducement to ASIO and was later found dead, attended a local Liberal meeting at Gladys Liu’s house.
    https://www.theage.com.au/national/alleged-chinese-spy-target-pictured-sitting-next-to-liberal-mp-gladys-liu-at-her-home-20191129-p53fj4.html
    This government must be held to account on press freedom. It’s not to be taken lightly writes Kerry O’Brien.
    https://www.theguardian.com/media/2019/nov/29/this-government-must-be-held-to-account-on-press-freedom-its-not-to-be-taken-lightly
    Meanwhile the Australian federal police will make a second submission to federal parliament’s press freedom inquiry as part of efforts to draw a line over controversy triggered by raids on the ABC and the News Corp journalist Annika Smethurst.
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/nov/29/afp-to-highlight-less-intrusive-approach-in-new-press-freedom-submission
    Paul Karp outlines how the Liberal Party post-election review found that Scott Morrison navigated the government through a “narrow” path to victory but was aided by Labor’s “many missteps” and a strong contrast with Bill Shorten and Labor’s policies.
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/nov/29/coalitions-narrow-path-to-electoral-victory-helped-by-labors-missteps-review-finds
    At a recent ALP function, former Deputy PM Wayne Swan gave a speech about overcoming our nation’s conservative political agenda. Noely Neate was in attendance.
    https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/wayne-swan-out-of-parliament-not-out-of-politics,13364
    How everyday Londoners took down a suspected terrorist overnight.
    https://www.theage.com.au/world/europe/breathtaking-heroism-how-everyday-londoners-took-down-a-suspected-terrorist-20191130-p53fl0.html
    Clancy Yeates writes that public outrage was a factor in Westpac’s purge – but it was a powerful group of investors who ultimately forced the bank’s hand.
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/banking-and-finance/the-day-that-shook-westpac-how-investors-ousted-a-bank-boss-20191128-p53f8c.html
    The Prime Minister and Peter Dutton have spent the week beating up Westpac, ignoring their own failings on money laundering, where Australia’s lax rules rank the country alongside Haiti.
    https://www.afr.com/politics/as-morrison-slams-westpac-anti-money-laundering-laws-lag-behind-20191129-p53fff
    Katharine Murphy writes that the robodebt horror was all about boosting the budget and she wonders who in the Morrison government will own the consequences of this wretched, possibly unlawful, scheme.
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/nov/30/the-robodebt-horror-was-all-about-boosting-the-budget-thats-the-brutal-truth
    After many months of inflicting suffering on welfare recipients, Centrelink is now having to answer for its Robodebt scheme, writes Gavin Silbert QC. Well worth a read, this one.
    https://independentaustralia.net/life/life-display/the-rise-and-fall-of-robodebt,13360
    Ross Gittins says that the RBA has offered no let out for Morrison’s surplus-fixated government.
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/the-economy/rba-s-lowe-offers-no-let-out-for-pm-as-he-hoses-down-qe-business-as-unusual-20191128-p53eya.html
    Peter Hartcher writes about how Australians’ attitude towards China and its influence have been changing fairly quickly.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/our-fear-of-china-is-not-loathing-20191129-p53fiv.html
    The Age reveals that the Critical Incident Response Team that rejected requests to arrest James Gargasoulas hours before the Bourke Street murders was following orders to not become involved in vehicle pursuits.
    https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/police-team-not-authorised-to-respond-to-james-gargasoulas-former-cop-20191129-p53fbd.html
    The New Daily explains how the Reserve Bank is preparing Australians for a world without ATM and credit cards.
    https://thenewdaily.com.au/finance/consumer/2019/11/29/rba-cardless-electronic-payment/
    Despite the furore over new allegations of Chinese espionage and interference, experts are urging a cautious response, saying there are many questions yet to be answered writes Karen Middleton.
    https://outline.com/caLtes
    Mike Foley explains how pressure is mounting to reform the complicated water rights system that seems to favour big corporations.
    https://www.theage.com.au/politics/federal/profiteering-is-rampant-labor-calls-for-water-market-reforms-in-wake-of-job-losses-20191129-p53fa7.html
    Labor and the ACTU have credited ordinary workers with defeating the government’s union-busting legislation but Attorney-General Christian Porter warns the battle is not over.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/workers-sent-45-000-emails-to-senate-crossbenchers-to-defeat-union-bill-20191129-p53fcy.html
    The AFR says that the Ensuring Integrity Bill would have been a new weapon against unlawful industrial action, but its broad powers ultimately led to its defeat.
    https://www.afr.com/work-and-careers/workplace/why-hanson-pulled-support-for-union-busting-bill-at-eleventh-hour-20191129-p53fhu
    And Paul Karp explains how a thaw between unions and One Nation doomed the ‘integrity’ bill.
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/nov/30/anatomy-of-a-defeat-how-a-thaw-between-unions-and-one-nation-doomed-the-integrity-bill
    The alcohol lobby has launched a fresh offensive against the regulator’s mandatory pregnancy warning labels, claiming it will cost manufacturers $600 million to redesign their products. Sounds like BS to me.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/alcohol-lobby-says-new-pregnancy-warning-labels-too-expensive-20191127-p53elf.html
    The Saturday Paper’s Rick Morton writes that as Andrew Bolt attempts to start a culture war over Bruce Pascoe’s Dark Emu, a search of primary documents affirms the book’s accuracy.
    https://outline.com/SsFuBH
    Shane Wright tells us that some businesses are more interested in using “weapons of mass influence” to drive customers to poor products and services than delivering quality outcomes. ASIC has called for companies to lift their game.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/business-hurting-customers-with-weapons-of-mass-influence-asic-20191129-p53fb2.html
    Adele Ferguson explains how Alan Fels and others are saying there needs to be a clean up of the auditing industry in Australia. Too right there does!
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/the-economy/who-audits-the-auditors-the-reform-needed-to-stop-corporate-collapses-20191129-p53fie.html
    Elizabeth Knight talks about the difficulty Westpac faces in fining an untainted banker to fill the CEO position.
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/banking-and-finance/westpac-desperately-seeking-a-cleanskin-banker-20191129-p53fg7.html
    Michael West writes, “For 13 years, Australia has slow walked. A first tranche of anti-money laundering and counterterrorism financing laws was introduced in 2006. Yet it only applied to banks, casinos and bullion dealers. There was to be a second tranche enacted in 2008 – covering accountants, lawyers and real estate agents – but successive governments have failed to legislate it.”
    https://outline.com/35HuxR
    Westpac has been running an invisible banking system, invisible to regulators, where multinational company clients even had their own log-ons and could act like banks themselves. Michael West unpicks the Austrac action and the biggest money-laundering scandal in Australian history.
    https://www.michaelwest.com.au/the-barangaroo-triangle-inside-westpacs-invisible-banking-regime/
    Peter Lewis writes that according to the man credited with being the inventor of the internet rather than an entreaty to all play nice, a contract with the web should demand that new applications comply with existing law and ensure they are safe before they go to market. If it is good enough for pharmaceuticals, surely its good enough for a transformative technology.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/web-inventor-s-plan-to-tame-it-so-we-all-play-nice-is-frustratingly-naive-20191128-p53eze.html
    Elizabeth Farrelly is unimpressed with the “dull, wasteful and overblown” expansion of the War Memorial in Canberra.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/dull-wasteful-and-overblown-is-this-the-best-australia-can-do-20191128-p53f0n.html
    Mike Seccombe writes that although touted as a clean energy project, the government’s investment in hydrogen production is in fact protecting the fossil fuel industry – a paradox that may limit the value of the new technology.
    https://outline.com/gk5sEm
    The Saturday Paper explains the importance of medevac and provides some interesting figures.
    https://outline.com/X9yCMa
    Spurred by the disaster engulfing Prince Andrew, his brother and heir to the throne Prince Charles is planning to become the “Shadow King” and take over leadership of the royal family, according to reports.
    https://thenewdaily.com.au/entertainment/celebrity/royal/2019/11/29/prince-charles-prince-andrew-plan/
    Big retailers and shopping centre landlords are heading for a big stoush. It’s been building for years with the cost accounting death spiral hovering.
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/companies/killing-jobs-killing-retailers-premier-chiefs-lew-and-mcinnes-unleash-on-landlords-20191129-p53fdz.html
    And speaking of death spirals . . .
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/consumer-affairs/private-health-system-in-a-death-spiral-says-expert-but-what-can-be-done-to-save-it-20191128-p53f58.html
    The announcement that London’s transit regulator would not renew Uber’s licence this week has sparked concerns that unauthorised drivers are swapping accounts here in Australia.
    https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/national/2019/11/29/uber-accounts-australia/
    Jonathan Freedland says that voters might not trust Boris Johnson in general, but on Brexit many seem to believe him.
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/nov/29/politicians-liars-boris-johnson-voters-prime-minister-brexit
    This French cardinal has earned a nomination for “Arsehole of the Week”.
    https://www.smh.com.au/world/europe/french-cardinal-can-t-see-error-of-not-reporting-abuse-20191129-p53ffr.html

    Cartoon Corner

    Classic stuff from Alan Moir.

    More from Moir.

    David Rowe and the government’s bad week.

    Andrew Dyson and the good ship Integrity.

    Matt Golding and a new warning system.

    Mark David.

    John Shakespeare and the Chinese threat.

    A rearguard action from Zanetti.

    Simon Letch’s view on the War Memorial.

    Jon Kudelka and bankers’ woes.

    Johannes Leak and the last day of parliament.
    https://cdn.newsapi.com.au/image/v1/98ab31126564c14dd2d9ab54821aa186?width=1024

    From the US



  2. William

    Thanks for all your continuing efforts to keep us informed and educated! I look forward to Morrison’s falling popularity being documented (hopes and prayers).

  3. “Albanese has mostly been around neutral, but as a newcomer he has a high uncommitted rating”

    ***

    Except, as someone who has served in the role of Deputy-PM before, Albo isn’t really a newcomer to the national scene at all. People should well and truly know who he is by now. The reality that many wouldn’t speaks to just how disengaged from politics some people are. Hell there’d even be people out there who honestly wouldn’t be able to tell you who the PM is. And these people vote…

    Morrison’s “quiet Australians” are really just uninformed Australians.

  4. Having been one, worked with several, mentored many and known lots, I’ve yet to observe a party which takes the role of candidates very seriously.

    Labor USED to offer candidate training, but I haven’t been aware of any for a decade or so (might be different in other states). I used to recommend to political hopefuls that they put up their hand because at least they would get some media training but it doesn’t happen now.

    Candidates get very little information to work with (the morning ‘lines of the day’ wouldn’t get you past the first question in an interview; finding the reasoning behind policies is left to the candidate to work out). Of course, if you get something wrong, you get blasted.

    In short, candidates are treated as irrelevant in the bulk of seats, despite the fact that they can cause their party great embarrassment, regardless of how minor they are in the scheme of things.

    My recent observations of Labor campaigns is that this attitude has now extended to the branches as well, with the emphasis being on building up a bank of volunteers, who are often not even party members.

    These volunteers are used to contact people who are already highly likely to vote Labor and make sure they do, rather than working on switching votes from Liberal to Labor.

    For example, a Green voting friend of mine was rung by Penny Wong and asked what it would take to switch his vote to Labor. That’s a totally stupid use of someone like Penny. It would, in fact, be a totally stupid use of any other volunteer.

  5. Dirty tricks; fake news. It’s the way they work now.

    Guardian

    A faked tweet made to look like it came from the account of Jeremy Corbyn has been circulating online.

    In the mocked-up screengrab, which we will not disseminate any further, it is made to appear as if the Labour leader expressed sympathy for the suspect, who was shot dead by the police, rather than for the victims of the terror attack.

    No such tweet ever existed.

  6. Lizzie,
    Thanks for the info re NoPlaceforSheep. Yes, it’s distressing alright.

    Oh, and with Dominic Cummings links to Russia, you’d have to suspect their dirty tricks department to be behind the mocked-up Tweet.

  7. zoomster,
    NSW Labor has candidate training and volunteer training as well. It’s called, ‘Campaign Insight’ and covers a wide variety of ways of dealing with social media, the media and voters.

  8. Zoomster
    Very disturbing report from you. It sounds like more centralisation of power and decision making into an elite few. And those elites usually got there by political maneuvering rather than proven performance. The ordinary campaign at the last election is the outcome. It’s getting harder to point a derisory finger at the Libs on this issue.

  9. “A faked tweet made to look like it came from the account of Jeremy Corbyn has been circulating online.”

    ***

    The “alt-right” at work no doubt. They were doing similar things during the 2016 US election. They have a win at all costs mentality and have no qualms about spreading false information about their opponents. They target the politically disengaged as they don’t know what’s really going on and can be easily mislead.

  10. If you want a picture of what life is like without the separation of powers just look at Russia, China or North Korea, where a leader can order the police to arrest any inconvenient citizen and then have a quiet word with the judge to make sure the court arrives at the “correct” verdict.

    To come back to the idea of trust, we have to trust that people who hold high office are fully aware of their responsibilities and the weight of history that anchors the rules of government. Morrison’s reckless and unthinking disregard for those principles should alarm us all.

    Most concerning to me is that so many on the conservative side are insisting that Morrison has done nothing wrong. It seems they don’t understand the separation of powers either.

    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/why-scott-morrison-s-phone-call-to-a-police-chief-matters-20191129-p53fes.html

  11. @WrittenOnWater
    5m
    Many believe Angus Taylor bought his pre-selection and a seat in Parliament. He gifted the Liberals $155,000 in five separate tranches in 2012-13. Turnbull ensured Taylor would not face a pre-selection fight with Russell Matheson to give him an easy run.

    For his full history (if you don’t already know it):

    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/nov/30/the-angus-taylor-story-from-the-liberalsgolden-boy-to-a-man-on-the-edge?CMP=share_btn_tw

  12. zoomster

    My experience with campaigns is they are very well organized and they focus their resources on swinging voters, which is very depressing as you are always dealing with, well swinging voters. It was nice in the past to occasionally talk to someone with similar views.

    I am not at all surprised your Friend was rang by Penny Wong, once.

    The trouble with politics is it does take a lot of time and as a result the campaigning is dominated by the young and the old. The middle group are raising families.

  13. Well. Well. Well.

    Cormann won’t be around much longer to deal with the compromises and contradictions of bare-knuckle politics. His colleagues say he’s quitting politics at the end of this parliamentary session. The unexpected election win had merely delayed his planned departure by eight months. The defeat of “integrity” on several fronts this week would do nothing to persuade him to stay.

    Via Paul Bongiorno.

    Who also relayed this comment from a Liberal backbencher about Angus Taylor:

    Taylor’s performance is not impressing the government backbench. One of his colleagues says the Rhodes scholar is a “smart-arse” and a dill.

    😀

  14. If you want a picture of what life is like without the separation of powers just look at Russia, China or North Korea,

    Or Joh’s Qld 🙂 . In the following article Jack the Insider includes a long transcript of Joh Bjelke Petersen being questioned about separation of powers and his understanding of it. Quite gobsmacking and very funny to see his struggle with the concept………………..or even its existence . Spoiler alert, they may as well have asked him to explain quantum mechanics.

    Use incognito. Worked for me yesterday but not today 🙁
    https://www.theaustralian.com.au/commentary/call-crimestoppers-we-have-a-parliament-of-dobbers/news-story/f1288e713c38bad76b578e768443f8d3

  15. Just out of curiosity, is RWNJ “journalist” Peter Gleeson coralled to the Courier Mail site or does he spread his ravings to other news outlets?

  16. Another takeout from The Saturday Paper; thanks BK

    Lambie was locked in negotiations late Thursday over repealing the medevac bill. Sources say her condition was that the government had to allow those still held on Manus Island and Nauru to take up New Zealand’s offer of settlement.

  17. lizzie @ #12 Saturday, November 30th, 2019 – 8:20 am

    @WrittenOnWater
    5m
    Many believe Angus Taylor bought his pre-selection and a seat in Parliament. He gifted the Liberals $155,000 in five separate tranches in 2012-13. Turnbull ensured Taylor would not face a pre-selection fight with Russell Matheson to give him an easy run.

    For his full history (if you don’t already know it):

    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/nov/30/the-angus-taylor-story-from-the-liberalsgolden-boy-to-a-man-on-the-edge?CMP=share_btn_tw

    More good stuff from Anne Davies.


  18. C@tmomma says:
    Saturday, November 30, 2019 at 8:24 am

    Taylor’s performance is not impressing the government backbench. One of his colleagues says the Rhodes scholar is a “smart-arse” and a dill.

    He is going to be brought undone by second rate university politics, “smart-arse” and a dill can the only explanation for the stupidity.

  19. “Use incognito. Worked for me yesterday but not today”

    ***

    Don’t use incognito for The Australian. You need to use a paywall blocker extension. Using an incog tab actually prevents paywall blocker extensions from working. Chrome extensions, such as ad and paywall blockers, are actually disabled in incog mode by default even if they are enabled for normal tabs. You need to go into the extension and manually allow it to work in incog mode. But don’t worry about that because you don’t actually need to use incog tabs for The Australian, you just need the paywall blocker. Use incog for sites like The Canberra Times which have the “soft” paywalls that give you free articles before locking you out. “Hard” paywalls like The Australian’s need to be bypassed by blocker extensions.

  20. This is what happens when you let religious zealots run governments:

    A bill to ban abortion introduced in the Ohio state legislature requires doctors to “reimplant an ectopic pregnancy” into a woman’s uterus – a procedure that does not exist in medical science – or face charges of “abortion murder”.

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/nov/29/ohio-extreme-abortion-bill-reimplant-ectopic-pregnancy

    All I can say is thank goodness Australian State governments are going the other way but it’s always going to be one of those totemic issues that religious conservatives get into politics to try and change.

    Eternal vigilance is required.

  21. Firefox

    Re incognito and The Australian. It does work………usually………….often , if you open incognito and do a google search for the article’s address ( minus the http:Australian bit) you copied from the ‘normal’ page then open the search result in a new incognito tab. It was how I read the article yesterday.

    Thanks for the ‘paywall blocker’ tip .

  22. Anyone (like me) who has been wondering at the recent upswing of activity here on PB by the “deniers-in-deed” may want to read this “Production Gap” report, released about a week ago by the UN to understand why:

    https://www.unenvironment.org/resources/report/production-gap-report-2019

    I had read articles about the report, but have only just read the report itself. I wish I had done so earlier, because it would have saved me a lot of time trying to refute the utter nonsense that has been posted here. In particular, it completely and utterly destroys the key argument of the “four musketeers” – i.e. that Australia opening new thermal coal mines will have no effect on global supply or demand for coal.

    In fact, of course, the opposite is true:

    There is a popular misconception that reducing production in one location will simply lead to an equal amount being produced elsewhere — a game of “perfect substitution” that would, if true, negate the emission reductions and other benefits of supply-side actions (Roberts 2015). However, this argument of perfect substitution defies basic economics of supply and demand.

    Indeed, the report points out just how effective supply-side policies can be in practice:

    Using elasticities of supply and demand, we can gauge the extent of leakage and demonstrate the effectiveness of supply-side climate policy. The less fossil fuel producers are able to increase extraction in response to price increases (i.e. low supply elasticity), the more effective a cut in fossil fuel supply becomes at reducing carbon dioxide emissions. For example, studies using elasticities from the economics literature have shown that for oil, each barrel left undeveloped in one region will lead to 0.2 to 0.6 barrels not consumed globally over the longer term (Erickson et al. 2018).

    Of course, the report mentions demand-side policies as well, but since it is basically about addressing over-production, it spends a lot of time on the importance of supply-side policies, and lists just how many countries have implemented such policies to reduce their dependence on fossil fuels. Like me, you might wonder why this particular aspect of the report seems to get very little mention in the Australian media. The answer, of course, is that as one of the top fossil-fuel extracting and exporting nations, Australia has perhaps the most to gain of any nation by ignoring this key detail.

    You can read the article itself for much more detail. Basically, Australia gets a guernsey for leading the world in the projected increase in the production of coal (Yay, Australia!). Not just by opening new mines, but by various government subsidy increases, funding of infrastructure projects, outright grants and government assistance to exploration companies, fast-tracking approvals, royalties holidays etc etc.

    And, of course, this is not just the actions of our Federal Coalition government. This is also beign done by State governments, including Labor governments. Using the government’s own projections, the report finds:

    Under these projections, Australia’s extraction-based emissions from fossil fuel production would nearly double (a 95% increase) by 2030 compared to 2005 levels. However, its NDC targets a reduction in territorial GHG emissions of 26–28% over the same period.

    “In a canter”, right?

    By the way – the report also emphasizes the importance of countries moving to “extraction-based accounting” methods to more readily monitor track fossil-fuel exports. But of course Australia would oppose this – it would expose our rank hypocrisy to the world a little too clearly.

    (To be even-handed, I acknowledge that the report also addresses the use of gas as a transition fuel. It finds that this is very likely no longer practical, for several reasons: we have simply left it too late, the emissions from unconventional extraction make gas little better than coal, and that gas has become so cheap that using it might actually defer or even displace the move to renewables (Yay, Australia!). However, while this may be true worldwide, I believe there is still potential for gas to play in niche countries with an absurdly high dependence on coal, such as Australia.)

    The report does not address why the over-production of fossil-fuels is happening, but to me the answer seems pretty clear. This is not about politics at all. Nor is it about accepting or denying the reality of climate change.

    It is just about money.

    As the world moves closer to the brink, and as public opinion turns against fossil-fuels, the fossil-fuel companies are ramping up production as fast as they can to make money while they still can. It is a global game of “chicken” being played by the fossil-fuel companies, with the connivance of the fossil-fuel exporting nations.

    Yay, Australia! 🙁

  23. Real Mark Latham @RealMarkLatham
    · 1h
    Sook, sook, sook inside the Morrison Govt over how Pauline Hanson voted.
    The Liberals preference everyone ahead of One Nation, do deals with workers’ enemy Clive Palmer, then think we owe them something on workers’ issues.
    Sod that.

  24. Thanks BK once again for the Dawn Patrol.

    Elizabeth Knight talks about the difficulty Westpac faces in finding an untainted banker to fill the CEO position.
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/banking-and-finance/westpac-desperately-seeking-a-cleanskin-banker-20191129-p53fg7.html

    https://www.athensguide.com/journalists/articles/honestman.htm

    This is a good read. Behold – how all things old become new ❗

    BY ADRIAN VRETTOS

    ONE of my all-time heroes is Diogenes the Cynic, who spent most of his life chilling in his barrel outside the city-state of Corinth. He was the original Cynic because he believed that men and women lived a life dictated by rules and taboos and therefore no one was really truthful or honest. Actually Diogenes is my hero because he was witty,rude, and had little respect for authority.For example, when Alexander the Great rode down to visit Diogenes in his barrel, he offered Diogenes any gift of his choice. With a scowl, Diogenes snapped back his response:”What you’ve taken away, you can never give me.”

    Even though I don’t live in a barrel like Diogenes did, I did live out of my car in the exclusive Irodotou Attikou Street outside the Spanish ambassador’s apartment until one day I caught a policeman taking the plates off my car. I brought up the idea of paying him off in exchange for my number plates. But unfortunately, the amount he suggested was five times more than my yearly budget for traffic offences. So, being rather good at bargaining, I haggled. At which point,this honest copper threatened to arrest me,impound the car, and keep theplates.

    Did Diogenes ever find his honest man? As far as I know, he didn’t. Nor did I find my cheap corrupt traffic cop. So I had to wait to get my plates back. Which I think somehow and in someway makes me an honest man.

    So is the search for top level staff at Westpac more likely to find lanterns than honest men ❓ Who can say ❓

  25. The only way I can see that Labor can reach out to disengaged voters. Thereby circumventing the government and their allies disinformation campgains. Is to have a huge number of volunteers going out there in the community and speaking to these voters. Anthony Albanese has alluded to such a strategy in such a speech.

    This strategy is what the British Labour Party and particularly it’s Momentum movement are doing in current British General election. This has resulted in the Labour party increasing its numbers in the opinion polls, thereby increasing the chances of at least another hung parliament.

    However as I see it without a radical transformative agenda of the nature that Bernie Sanders, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortexl and Jeremy Corbyn are proposing. I believe it is going to be difficult to attract enough volunteers (especially young people) needed for such a strategy to be effective.

  26. “Re incognito and The Australian. It does work………usually………….often , if you open incognito and do a google search for the article’s address ( minus the http:Australian bit) you copied from the ‘normal’ page then open the search result in a new incognito tab. It was how I read the article yesterday.”

    ***

    Ah yes, true. That way works too because sites want to be indexed by Google and it just thinks you’re one of Google’s bots because of incog. However, it’s unnecessarily complicated and adds extra steps and stuffing around to do it that way. If you use a paywall blocker you can just use The Australian’s website as if you have an account with them. If you use the Google trick you can only read that one page after going through the steps to access it. If you hit a link to another article on their site it will trigger the paywall. Using a paywall blocker means you don’t have to use incog and Google to access each individual article’s page.

    Normal tab using paywall blocker to unlock the site completely:

    Incog tab (which disables the paywall blocker):

  27. Firefox

    However, it’s unnecessarily complicated and adds extra steps and stuffing around to do it that way.

    No argument from me on that point 🙂

  28. Thoughtful words from Commissioner of the Met in the UK, Cressida Dick:

    “The empty ideology of terror offers nothing but hatred and today I urge everyone to reject that. We must emerge stronger still from this tragedy. In doing that, we will ensure that the very few who seek to divide us will never, never succeed.”

  29. ‘bakunin says:
    Saturday, November 30, 2019 at 7:15 am

    BW,

    Is this the same as people excoriating eagle killers when they themselves live in inner urbs that have totally extirpated eagles?

    You are making a false equivalency between engaging in the act of killing birds and habit loss that resulted from settlement.
    The claim that eagles have been “totally extirpated” in the inner urbs is also false.
    The most recent eBird listing in the inner urbs was a Wedge Tail Eagle seen over the Melbourne CBD on 13 September 2019.’

    There are a couple of realities about the full suite of Greens policies that the Greens resolutely ignore.
    1. It is well known that biodiversity values where Greens actually live and work and play have been almost totally trashed.
    2. The Greens want these very same biodiversity values to be maintained by others, regardless of the cost to the others.
    3. The full suite of Greens policies will disrupt or destroy the ways of lives of hundreds of thousands of rural and regional people. One that might have had an impact on the inner urbs – recreational angling – is NOT going to be banned.

    An element of Dio’s analysis of virtual signalling is ‘Do as I say, not as I do.’ My point about the eagles is that the Greens’ core political business model is all about increasing the amenity of the Inner Urbs while smashing the lives of others, notionally for their own good. Just to remind you of just what is encompassed by the Greens’ policies, here is a partial list of things that are going to be destroyed for the good of the people currently relying on them for income, life’s meaning and recreation:

    Beef feedlots
    Piggeries
    Poultry sheds
    Biofuel operations
    Native forestry industry
    Rodeos
    Camp drafts
    Dog racing
    Trots racing
    Jumps racing
    Live exports of beef
    Live exports of sheep
    Live exports of goats
    Circus animals
    Duck hunting
    Kennel breeding of dogs
    Cattery breeding of cats
    Rabbit hunting
    Kangaroo hunting
    Buffalo hunting
    Deer hunting
    Pig hunting
    Muttonbird harvesting
    Theme park animals
    Live exports of greyhounds
    All uranium mines
    Lucas Heights reactor/radiation medical production
    All uranium exports
    All coal mines
    All conventional gas production facilities
    All coal seam gas production facilities
    Deep sea bottom trawling
    All oil production facilities
    Beef farming
    Sheep farming
    Cotton industry (on current indications, might as well add the irrigated olive and almond industries because the chief thresholds for those industries are the same as those for the cotton industry).
    Warship manufacturing
    Fighter component manufacturing
    Infantry fighting vehicle manufacturing
    The Singapore Air training facility in Queensland
    The three joint spy bases
    Around a dozen major fleet, air and army bases
    All facilities that enable the deployment of nuclear weapons – whatever that means.

  30. The news about the London Bridge attack is very sad because people died, but I had to smile, remembering Dad’s Army.

    One of the members of the public was wielding a narwhal tusk, and another reported that “there was one chap running away from five guys running him down with a fire extinguisher.”

    But I bet Boris gains support because of this.

    The attacker is understood to have been wearing an electronic tag when he staged the attack after being released from prison for terrorism related offences.

    He was known to the authorities at MI5 and police because of his previous conviction, sources confirm.

    https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/live/2019/nov/29/london-bridge-incident-police-city

  31. Thanks BK.

    The stories about Robodebt over the last few months just cannot be believed. How can the govt continue to be wedded to it given it’s proven ineffective, and ironically wastes more resources than it’s supposed to save. Not to mention unlawful as Murphy points out. I don’t think the govt will suffer any consequences for it, but we’ll see what happens.

  32. C@t

    Thank you.
    It has been a very stressful week. Im going to see him later on. He has improved and is stable. The antibiotics are working so far. So his prognosis is more positive than it was a few days ago.

  33. Using elasticities of supply and demand, we can gauge the extent of leakage and demonstrate the effectiveness of supply-side climate policy. The less fossil fuel producers are able to increase extraction in response to price increases (i.e. low supply elasticity), the more effective a cut in fossil fuel supply becomes at reducing carbon dioxide emissions.

    We have the opposite processes operating in the market for thermal coal. Prices are not rising. They are falling.

    The point made by the report is that even if prices are rising, if supply restraint is imposed then extraction rates will not rise with the price. That is to say, production will not respond to the price increase.

    But we do not have rising prices. We have falling prices. We do not have efforts to increase coal production in response to falling prices (an inverse elasticity). We have supply falling as prices fall.

    P1 has claimed many times that price falls would lead to demand increases and this in turn would lead to supply increases. The experience is contrary to this. This is predictable. The stimulus for supply is price, not volume. If prices are falling, supply should be expected to contract. Prices for coal are declining (for reasons that have nothing to do with supply) because demand has been contracting. Prices and volumes are moving in the same direction, suggesting elasticity is not ‘low’.

    In any case, whether prices are rising or falling, the elasticity of supply of thermal coal is not going to be a fixed ratio. It is going to vary a lot with coal quality, extraction costs, proximity to markets and the underlying breakeven point for any given site.

    In the case of the Galilee, the breakeven cost is a long way above the current market price for the coal that could be extracted. The elasticity of supply is an absolute. There will be no mining in the Galilee.

  34. We got a letter from Senator Bridget MacKenzie the other day — the envelope listed all the men in the family. I’m sure they’ll tell me what’s in it, if I need to know.

  35. Confessionssays:
    Saturday, November 30, 2019 at 10:23 am

    Thanks BK.

    The stories about Robodebt over the last few months just cannot be believed. How can the govt continue to be wedded to it given it’s proven ineffective, and ironically wastes more resources than it’s supposed to save. Not to mention unlawful as Murphy points out. I don’t think the govt will suffer any consequences for it, but we’ll see what happens.

    Because that’s exactly the way it was designed and they forgot to hire another empathy consultant. 🙁

  36. BW,

    Hilarious.
    Faced with facts that prove you are completely full of shit, you resort to cut and paste whataboutism and fake “facts”.
    Does Moscow pay you per word or per post?

  37. RI @ #42 Saturday, November 30th, 2019 – 10:31 am

    Using elasticities of supply and demand, we can gauge the extent of leakage and demonstrate the effectiveness of supply-side climate policy. The less fossil fuel producers are able to increase extraction in response to price increases (i.e. low supply elasticity), the more effective a cut in fossil fuel supply becomes at reducing carbon dioxide emissions.

    We have the opposite processes operating in the market for thermal coal. Prices are not rising. They are falling.

    You apparently didn’t understand the point. There is probably no benefit in my just posting it again. You should instead read the UN report.

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