Tony Abbott is a big government conservative, I'm one of those small government types who thought his book "Battle lines" was just a recipe for greater state power and higher taxes but he is spot on the ETS legislation.:
Climate change certainly takes place. The issue is how much of it is due to man's activity and what is the best response to it. We only have one planet and we have to look after it. Of course, we should take prudent precautions against foreseeable risk.
Still, it's far from certain that the best response to rising sea levels, for instance, is lifting the price of electricity, rather than the kind of measures that have been used in The Netherlands for centuries. If there's to be a carbon price to wean us off coal-fired electricity and oil-driven cars, an ETS may be the most market-oriented way to do so. The Howard government thought so, but many respected economists think a carbon tax would be more certain, less complex and far less open to manipulation than traded carbon permits.
At this point, though, the argument is not so much about the merits of an ETS as about whether it makes sense for Australia to have one before the US, Canada, China and India; and whether it's good governance to have one designed in political horse-trading rushed through the parliament before its implications can really be digested.
Its completely wrong to think all the people against the ETS are global warming sceptics, What Tony and I are sceptical of is the ETS.