Abbott: ETS is a "slush fund"


Slush fund

Tony Abbott has picked up the point made here yesterday, that the ETS will simply redistribute wealth with no benefit to the climate:

Speaking after the Government said Treasury modelling showed low-income households would get an average of $610 in cash compensation but would only experience price rises of $420, Mr Abbott questioned the purpose of the scheme.

”When the Government starts talking about 120 per cent compensation for some people, it gives rise to the understandable suspicion that the ETS is not about the environment, it’s really about a political slush fund.”

Mr Abbott called on the Government to release the modelling behind its claims. A Government spokesman said the analysis was based on October 2008 Treasury modelling and updated to reflect the lower carbon price forecast in November’s Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook.

While it released some detail on the impact on low-income households, the Government has held back on similar information for wealthier households.

Not in the least bit surprised. Taxing the rich is traditional Labor policy.

Read it here.

Brazil legislates nearly 40% CO2 cuts by 2020


Let's see you cut those emissions by 40%

Oops! Somebody forgot to tell the Brazilian delegation that the Copenhagen Accord isn’t binding! Just as the world is moving away from carbon taxes and cap ‘n’ trade, the nutty Brazilians have followed through with their half-baked promises and actually enacted carbon cutting legislation that will kill their economy stone dead, and send even more of their desperately poor population into even deeper poverty. Anyway, when you read the fine print, it’s all hot air and exclusions:

President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has signed a law requiring that Brazil cut greenhouse gas emissions by 39 per cent by 2020, meeting a commitment made at the Copenhagen climate change summit.

Brazil announced at the summit a “voluntary commitment” to reduce CO2 emissions by between 36.1 and 38.9 per cent in the next 10 years.

The new law, however, is subject to several decrees setting out responsibilities and regulations for the farming, industrial, energy and environmental sectors.

Lula is expected to sign the decrees in January after consulting scientists and other experts, officials said.

Despite its ambitious targets, Greenpeace’s top representative in Brazil, Sergio Leitao, called it merely a list of good intentions and accused Lula of using double standards in environmental issues.

“Brazil usually makes good speeches on the international stage, as in Copenhagen, but in practice it doesn’t keep its word,” he told reporters. (source)

Those crazy Brazilians…

France's carbon tax ruled illegal


Oh putain!

Nothing seems to be going right for the carbon taxers and cap-n-traders. Firstly, Australia dumps the ETS, then US democrats threaten to block the legislation in the Senate unless it is seriously watered down, and now the French courts have ruled their flagship carbon tax illegal:

FRANCE’S new carbon emission tax, due to have gone into effect on Friday, has been ruled illegal by the country’s constitutional court on the grounds it exempted too many polluters.

The Conseil Constitutionnel struck down the tax as the exemptions “create a breach of the principle of (tax) equality.”

It estimated that 93 per cent of industrial emissions outside of fuel use, including the emissions of more than 1000 of the country’s most polluting industrial sites, would be exempt from the tax of 17 euros ($A27.29) per tonne of emitted carbon dioxide.

The ruling is a severe blow for President Nicolas Sarkozy as the measure was one of his flagship initiatives to cut emissions of greenhouse gasses that fuel climate change.

It also leaves the government scrambling to plug a hole of 4.1 billion euros ($A6.58 billion) in the 2010 budget. (source)

As they would say in Paris, merde alors!

Fantasy: ETS will make people better off!


Shifting it around for no reason

Yes, that’s the line being spun by Peter Garrett, who claims that despite the ETS increasing living costs for everyone, nearly 3 million households will be better off thanks to the government’s compensation plan:

Mr Garrett [Garrett? On climate? Where's Penny? - Ed] said the scheme would raise the average cost of living for low-income households by $420 a year, while their compensation would add up to $610.

In addition to the average $190 gains for low-income households, 97 per cent of middle-income households would receive at least some form of direct cash assistance and half of them would be fully compensated.

“The opposition have spread misinformation around about the Rudd government’s efforts to tackle climate change, but the fact is lower and middle-income households will be compensated by the government for the expected price rises under the scheme,” Mr Garrett said.

The government has been forced on the defensive by the Opposition Leader’s assault on the ETS. As Mr Abbott said on a Sydney radio station just before Christmas: “There is a real people power revolt against this big new tax and it is being led, in many cases, not by traditional Liberals but by traditional Labor voters — blue-collar workers in industries like coal mining who know their jobs will be much less safe if Mr Rudd has his way and brings this in.” (source)

But even the Sydney Morning Herald can see through it:

According to the Government’s figures, however, about half of all middle-income households will be financially worse off under the scheme, even with the compensation package in place. (source)

All this scheme does is move money around for no purpose, with most Australians still worse off – let’s not forget, the ETS will do nothing whatsoever for the climate, whether locally or globally. So basically, this is a transfer of wealth from rich to poor with no discernible benefit for the climate, in other words: socialism by the back door.

US: Democrats' threat to cap and trade bill


On the way out?

Democrats in the US are “lining up” to argue against Obama’s Cap ‘n’ Trade bill in the wake of the non-existent outcome at Copenhagen. If the US bill is sunk, or watered down significantly, the whole face of global climate action will change radically.

Less than ten days after claiming a breakthrough on climate change in Copenhagen President Obama is facing a mutiny from senior Democrats who are imploring him to postpone or even abandon his cap-and-trade Bill.

Democratic Senators, fearful of a drubbing in the mid-term elections next year, are lining up to argue for alternatives to the scheme that is the centrepiece of the carbon reduction proposals that Mr Obama hopes to sign into law. With the Congressional battles over Mr Obama’s healthcare reforms fresh in their memory senior Democrats are asking the Administration to postpone the next big climate change push until at least 2011.

Senators from Louisiana, Indiana, Nebraska and North Dakota, some with powerful energy companies among their constituents, are falling out of love with the idea of a large-scale cap-and-trade scheme — which seeks to allocate tradeable permits to major polluters — in favour of less ambitious proposals that put jobs and the economy first.

Each of their Senate votes is vital for any climate change Bill to have a chance of being passed, and a firm American commitment to cap and trade is essential for similar carbon reduction mechanisms to be effective on a global scale.

Interesting times.

Read it here.

Carbon Sense: Climate crusaders conned in Copenhagen


Carbon Sense Coalition

From Viv Forbes at the Carbon Sense Coalition:

The Carbon Sense Coalition today called on the Australian Parliament to repudiate the Copenhagen giveaways promised by PM Rudd to the failed states of Africa and the welfare beggars of the islands.

The Chairman of “Carbon Sense”, Mr Viv Forbes, said that the three Climate Crusaders, Obama, Brown and Rudd, had been comprehensively conned in Copenhagen by African mendicants and fakers from the islands.

“They have agreed to hand over mega-bucks of our money (anywhere from $5 billion to $100 billion) as compensation for alleged damage caused by our production of carbon dioxide – the Africans citing climate damage and the islanders claiming rising sea levels.

“Even a cursory examination of the facts would prove that both of these claims are fraudulent.

“There is no evidence that carbon dioxide has caused global warming, or causes damage to any aspect of life on earth. The vast majority of earth’s warming originates from the sun, and fluctuations there are the major cause of climate changes.

“In addition, careful recent surveys show no unusual rising of sea levels.

“Moreover, all plant and animal life on earth benefit from industry’s production of carbon dioxide. Crops, grasses, forests and fruit trees are growing more profusely, the planet is becoming greener, and the oceans can produce more algae, more plankton and more life – all because of this free bounty of aerial plant food released whenever carbon fuels are burnt.

“Carbon dioxide is not a pollutant – it is a boon to all mankind. Africa and the islanders should pay us to release more valuable carbon dioxide, not the reverse.

“This giveaway is just a back door extension of the foreign aid program which has done so much harm to both donors and recipients.

“The vast majority of mendicant African nations have sterilised vast agricultural and mineral resources by their failed political systems. The foreign aid has mainly assisted their dictatorial governments to stay in power, harm their people and amass ill-gotten wealth.

“To increase the resources controlled by these dictators does nothing to improve the lot of their ordinary citizens.

“What they need is not welfare or climate compensation, but investment funds, low cost reliable energy, efficient infrastructure, sound currency, fair taxation and secure property rights.”

Source (PDF).

Michael Asten: cautious on CO2 causation


Climate sense

Writing in The Australian, Michael Asten again questions the climate science orthodoxy in an excellent article (his earlier article was posted here). Here he addresses the Palaeocene-Eocene thermal maximum, a time when CO2 levels rose sharply and temperatures also rose, often cited by the warmists as “proof” that CO2 causes rapid and dangerous warming:

I argue there are at least two possible hypotheses to explain the data in this study: either the link between atmospheric CO2 content and global temperature increase is significantly greater (that is, more dangerous) than the existing models show or some mechanism other than atmospheric CO2 is a significant or the main factor influencing global temperature.

The first hypothesis is consistent with climate change orthodoxy. Recent writings on climate sensitivity by James Hansen are consistent with it, as was the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in its pre-Copenhagen update, The Copenhagen Diagnosis.

Indeed, the 26 authors of the IPCC update went a step further, and encouraged the 46,000 Copenhagen participants with the warning: “A rapid carbon release, not unlike what humans are causing today, has also occurred at least once in climate history, as sediment data from 55 million years ago show. This ‘Palaeocene-Eocene thermal maximum’ brought a major global warming of 5C, a detrimental ocean acidification and a mass extinction event. It serves as a stark warning to us today.”

We have to treat such a warning cautiously because, as Pearson and his colleagues pointed out in their letter two weeks ago, “We caution against any attempt to derive a simple narrative linking CO2 and climate on these large time scales. This is because many other factors come into play, including other greenhouse gases, moving continents, shifting ocean currents, dramatic changes in ocean chemistry, vegetation, ice cover, sea level and variations in the Earth’s orbit around the sun.”

Sound science also requires us to consider the second of the above two hypotheses. Otherwise, if we attempt to reconcile Zeebe’s observation by inferring climate sensitivity to CO2 is greater than that used for current models, how do we explain Pearson’s observation of huge swings in atmospheric CO2, both up and down, which appear poorly correlated with temperatures cooling from greenhouse Earth to moderate Earth.

The two geological results discussed both show some discrepancies between observation and model predictions. Such discrepancies do not in any sense reduce the merit of the respective authors’ work; rather they illustrate a healthy and continuing process of scientific discovery.

Read it here.

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