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.
Filed under: International News, Politics and Policy
The only certainty from the climate summit was that in the process of hosting the summit they would spent a lot of money, generate a lot of CO2 and attract a lot of crazy people.
I must say that I am half impressed with the outcome – I was half expecting that the summit would be terminated by a walkout by disgruntled countries, but I am sure they realised that would be bad PR.
Instead, they have announced a non-binding declaration – a US-brokered deal with India, China, Brazil and South Africa – that they say will limit global warming to 2 degrees.
Here are a couple of links:
I am trying to work the meaning and impact of the declaration. My understanding is that they have a few pledges from countries to achieve certain drops in CO2 emissions by 2020, but the specific figures have not been disclosed.
Also, they may impose additional tax air and sea travel to raise billions of dollars yearly to assist island nations who believe that they are at risk of being submerged.
Naturally, most opposition and criticism is coming from countries that don’t thing the measures go far enough, and other countries who do not want to harm their economies atoning for the sins of the developed world.
More to come as things are clarified in the media.
Filed under: Australian News, Australian Politics, International News, International Politics, Science
‘ClimateGate’ is the name given to the controversy surrounding the leaking of emails belonging to the Climate Research Unit of the University of East Anglia that took place in late November. This institute is a major research centre that played a key role in promoting Global Warming Alarmism and contributing to the IPCC report on Global Warming.
There has been some coverage in the Australian mainstream media, but most of it has completely ignored the meat of the issue, and instead focussed on ‘computer hacking’ or how it could impede the Copenhagen climate summit. The most thorough coverage has been in the Australian newspaper and the blogs of News Ltd. columnists Andrew Bolt and Tim Blair.
For those of you that are unfamiliar, emails contained in these archives strongly suggest that academics at CRU have prepetrated widescale scientific fraud and engaged in highly unprofessional, if not criminal conduct. Furthermore, it casts a strong shadow of suspicion and doubt on their conclusions of future global climate catastrophe.
These practices include:
- Suppressing the views of dissenting scientists
- Mathematically manipulating climate data to hide features of the curve that disagree with alarmist opinions
- Knowingly incorporating poor quality, unreliable data into their research
- Subverting the peer review process
- Withholding and destroying information in response to Freedom of Information requests
I have no doubt that ClimateGate played a significant role in increasing opposition to the Australian ETS legislation and the fall of Opposition Leader Malcolm Turnbull.
Plenty of great posts have been written that explain the content of these emails and surrounding issues in depth, so I will just include the links:
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.
This was an ad for AGL gas in 1983, broadcast on Australian TV, showing their future vision of Sydney’s weather.
In it, you can see beautiful shots of Martin Place covered by snow, and people ice-skating in Circular Quay, with the Harbour Bridge visible in the background.
You see, climate change afficionados had slightly different expectations back then.
I am in full agreement with the first comment on the video:
“Is the pattern of the world’s weather changing?” Ha Ha. Al Gore must have been in town. This ad of course dates from the days when the coming ice age was the big climate scare. Back when silly religions used to sacrifice a goat in a futile effort to influence the weather, rather than trying to sacrifice entire economies.
There is a Russian proverb – ‘when you live beside the graveyard, you can’t cry for every funeral’.
Recently in the news, there has been nothing new, just repetitions of the same themes over and over – economic bailouts, corporate fraud and distraction politics. As a result, I have become desensitised and no longer feel any shock.
I will comment on two piece of related news: Bernie Madoff’s $50bn Ponzi Scheme and Kevin Rudd’s Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme. How are they connected? They are both scams.
Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi Scheme
For many years, New York investment manager Bernie Madoff operated a hedge fund that consistently returned 12% per annum to investors for many years.
Early this month, it all fell apart when investors wanted out. The fund turned out to be a Ponzi Scheme that merely used new investors capital to pay distributions to previous investors.
This has been described as the “world’s biggest corporate fraud by a single individual”, resulting in estimated losses of $50 billion US dollars. I personally doubt that he acted alone.
Incredibly, the alarm bells were raised as far back as 9 years ago when an analyst named Harry Markopolous sent a report to the SEC titled “The World’s Largest Hedge Fund is a Fraid”. It is not clear if the SEC took any action on this.
How did he get away with it? I’m not sure, but he did have many friends in high places – after all, he was a former chairman of NASDAQ.
Regulators generally don’t care about small investors, but now that some rich and prominent people got hurt, perhaps the SEC will start taking corporate transparency seriously.
Kevin Rudd’s Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme
Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd set a token 5% Carbon Dioxide reduction target for the year 2020. Expectations were as originally as high as 15% and some were demanding a reduction of 25%.
Clearly, he wanted to maintain his popularity by doing something to appease the Climate Change believers, but not dare risk anything to further exacerbate our economic problems.
So what was has been achieved by this? Apart from the fact that Global Warming Alarmism is bullsh**, China’s own CO2 emission growth will of course outstrip our savings within several months. Even if we ignored China, the flawed computer models (that others believe in) indicate that a much much larger cut would be needed to reverse a warming tread.
I am sure that this does not come as a surprise to anyone living through the current Australian Winter, but this year, 2008, has been the coldest this century. So reads a fantastic post at slashdot.
But does this reality make the anthropogenic global climate change believers start having some doubts?
Of course not! It appears that they now say that a combination of phenomena – the La Niña effect and “Atlantic Multidecadal Information” will buy us another decade or so of unusually cold temperatures – plenty of time to concoct a new explanation to resolve their past inconsistencies.