In case you missed it: Rudd vs Turnbull

The light hearted column that makes facts relevant and looks at some of the more humorous goings on in politics and clean energy. This time we look at Rudd and Turnbull, nuclear power and media coverage of wind power.


While Heather Ridout and Judith Sloan stole the headlines on Monday for their appearances on Q&A, a less publicised talking point was the prospect of Malcolm Turnbull and Kevin Rudd joining forces. To be fair, one or two people might have mentioned it on Twitter.

Indeed, it seems a Rudd-Turnbull party is on the cards, provided those cards are blank and in the fireplace. For a backbencher and an opposition communications spokesman, the two former leaders of their respective parties sure do get a bit of attention. Imagine if their titles actually meant something.

Brilliant, I wish I’d tuned in

Speaking of Q&A, Tony Abbott joined the chorus of people praising Turnbull’s performance on the show; the only problem was Abbott didn’t actually watch it.

“I didn’t see it because I was on a plane, but I believe that Malcolm gave an outstanding performance,” he told reporters.

I guess it’s just assumed with Malcolm.

It was almost akin to the heavily publicised Bill Shorten interview earlier this year, where he found it possible to agree wholeheartedly with a view he had not heard and which had contradicted something he had said earlier.

“I haven’t seen what she (Julia Gillard) has said, but let me say I support what it is that she said,” he told Sky News in relation to the Peter Slipper scandal.

We want less than nothing

An interesting study from Bloomberg New Energy Finance and Vestas into people’s views on different energy sources threw up a surprising result: 40 per cent, okay 39.3 per cent, of Australians want the country to decrease its use of nuclear energy. The issue with this request? Nuclear isn’t a source currently used in Australia.

So toxic is its reputation it seems that no nuclear is too much nuclear.

It stays the same, yet it’s a blowout?

More than $8.9 billion will be spent importing wind turbines because of the blowout in the Gillard government's renewable energy target, providing few if any benefits to local industry, one of the nation's biggest electricity generators warns,” The Australian warned its readers this week [emphasis added].

Read on a little further and you’ll find the money will come from “comply(ing) with a scheme that is set to blow out the amount of renewable energy in the system to about 26 per cent by 2020, from the original 20 per cent.”

Shock. Horror. Call your local pollie and get them to scrap this out of control scheme.

Before you do that though, perhaps it’s best we separated fact from fluff. There is no “original 20 per cent;” there is instead an ‘original’ fixed target that is designed to get us to at least 20 per cent. This target has not changed since it was passed into law by both sides of politics in 2010 (and became operational on January 1, 2011).

So that $8.9 billion, regardless of whether the figure is accurate, is not new or additional spending. The same amount of renewable energy that was needed when the legislation was passed is needed today.

Previous 'In Case You Missed It' columns:

-- Labor's horror movie

-- The 'Pilbara Valley'

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