Following the election of Australia’s first female Prime Minister Julia Gillard, I expected her to tread carefully by not embarking on any decisions policies that would anger the population and endanger her political survival. Sadly, I was wrong.
In a major pandering to her Greens Party coalition partners, she has backflipped on her pre-election promise to NOT introduce a tax on Carbon Dioxide emissions.
She has now announced that a carbon tax will be introduced from July 2012. The price per tonne of carbon will be fixed for a period of up to 5 years, after which market-based mechanisms will be used to set the price. Although the carbon price has not been announced, a popular figure thrown around in the media is $26/tonne. This will increase the cost of electricity across the nation, as Australia generates most of its power from coal and natural gas. The government has not announced whether petrol will also be subject to the carbon tax, but various Green party members have announced that they want it to. This will also result in an avalanche of other price increases as businesses pass on their increased costs directly to consumers.
Gillard has claimed that “low-income families” and the Agricultural sector will receive some form of compensation for the increased costs, but has not gone into details. Liberal Opposition Leader Tony Abbot has claimed that the carbon tax will result in an average electricity bill increasing by $300/year and the price for petrol increasing by 6.5c/Litre. Abbot has already pledged to repeal this tax if he wins the next election.
Regardless of one’s opinion of the causes of climate change, this tax is a stupid and pointless exercise that will needlessly punish the middle class and hard the Australian economy, whilst making no global impact on carbon dioxide emissions.
- None of the tax money is being used to replace our fossil fuel burning power stations with non-CO2 producing alternatives like Nuclear power
- We will still be exporting coal that will be burnt and converted into CO2 overseas, contributing to global emissions. No-one would ever dare suggest that we stop selling coal.
- Even if Australia ceased to exist and emitted no CO2, the growth in Chinese emissions would replace it within a few months.
- Australian households have already been forced to reduce electricity and fuel consumption in the face of skyrocketing global crude oil prices and increases in domestic electricity costs. The fact is, Australians still need gas and electricity for cooking and powering appliances and in this 21st century, no-one should have to return to a pre-industrial age state of existence. People also need to travel to work and transport their children to school. There really is little scope for further drastic cuts
- Australia goes to great lengths to protect its own agriculture sector from foreign competition, so that we can be self-reliant on food. Also, Australia is raking a fortune in from mining and resources, which generates a lot of tax revenue to fill government coffers. Both these sectors intrinsically emit a lot of CO2. Do we really want to bite the hands that feed us?
- There will be absolutely no indicator or measurement that can prove that this carbon tax is having any effect on either global CO2 levels or climate events, so it will be impossible to tell whether this policy is working. Money is effectively being thrown into a black hole.
Daily Telegraph journalist Tim Blair brilliantly demolishes the case for a Carbon Tax in his article here where he addresses a series of rhetorical questions regarding the purpose and implementation of the “Carbon Tax”:
Regardless of the outcome, no-one will ever trust Julia again.
The Food and Grocery Council, together with large Australian retailers have warned that the proposed Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) will result in more expensive food and groceries, with food price increasing at the checkout by up to 7%.
What this means to you is that if this mangled, complicated and utterly useless ETS legislation is passed, food prices WILL increase by 7%, as farmers, wholesalers and retailers will have a solid excuse to justify their profiteering.
Such price increases occurred when the 10% GST was introduced in the year 2000, and you may remember when a cyclone hit a banana-producing region of Queensland, ALL banana prices went up by up to ten times – 1000% for almost a year, even though other banana producing regions were unaffected and we could have easily allowed cheap imports from New Zealand.
I am conservative when it comes to my belief in human nature. Most people will pretend to believe in something whilst they believe it is socially beneficial [cool] or financially beneficial to do so. People are happy to make token gestures like sticking a ‘go green’ bumper sticker to their car or have a fun day out at a protest rally with friends, but when it comes to pulling money out of one’s wallet, people show their true selves. We are seeing increased voices in the media questioning the basis of evidence for catastrophic predictions of climate doom.
The proposed ETS legislation, that has been the subject or negotiation (horse-trading) between the major political parties and independents is complicated and full of exception clauses for all industries with powerful political lobbies.
Its phasing in has been drawn out over a number of years to try and stem public outrage. I question whether this legislation will result in a single molecule of CO2 from being generated. If there are any savings, the CO2 emission growth of our crucial trading partner China will cover them within a week.
If talks over this legislation collapse and resulting an election. I know who’ll be getting my vote – the party that promises to rip up this worthless piece of paper.
Oh yes – the disclaimer – I will take a complete U-turn on my position once I see:
- Falsifiable scientific evidence proving that human CO2 emissions have a significant and detrimental impact on climate – i.e. an experiment that makes a clear prediction that can be tested.
- Evidence that any plan to mitigate this will be effective and based on sound science.