New – Open Thread

OK, first time for ACM, an Open Thread, while posting is light.

Discuss any current climate issues here.

Play nicely, as the saying goes. Comments will be moderated as usual.

Light posting

ACM is taking a short break. Posting will be light until end of April.

As always, the blog roll on the right will keep you informed!

Unions, industry abandon Labor's carbon tax

Gillards' carbon tax plan…

The house of cards is beginning to topple. One by one, unions and industry are realising (finally, FINALLY) that a carbon tax is bad news all round – and for no benefit whatsoever. Yesterday it was Paul Howes of the Australian Workers Union. Today it is the turn of the big steel companies and various other unions:

Other unions yesterday piled in to back the AWU, including its traditional rival – the left-wing Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union – and the Transport Workers Union.

Ms Gillard plans to place a price on carbon from July next year as an interim step to a full carbon trading system within three to five years. The tax will apply to big polluters and the proceeds redistributed to consumers to help them cope with the effect on consumer prices.

Ministers played down the seriousness of Mr Howes’s intervention, describing it as a case of the union leader “talking to his constituency”. [And there we have the sheer breathtaking arrogance of the Labor government encapsulated for all to see. We are right, everyone else is wrong - Ed]

But his comments were welcomed at a meeting of AWU officials in Sydney, with some demanding tougher rhetoric.

Steel giants BlueScope and OneSteel also seized on Mr Howes’s comments to argue for special treatment of their industry, which employs more than 20,000 people and has been hit by the soaring value of the dollar.

BlueScope Steel chief executive Paul O’Malley said: “BlueScope and the AWU now both agree that a carbon tax would do irreparable damage to the Australian steel industry.”

OneSteel chief executive Geoff Plummer also declared there would be “no global environmental benefit” to impose a carbon tax on Australian steel when a similar tax was not imposed on direct overseas competitors. “We understand the point that Mr Howes is making is that to tax Australian industry is also to tax Australian jobs,” he said. (source)

This is great news. The fantasy universe I mentioned yesterday, which Labor inhabits, crumbles away, and we are left with grim reality. With the unions and industry pulling one way and the Greens pulling the other, Labor and its pointless carbon tax should tear itself apart.

But why has it taken so long?

Also read Dennis Shanahan here, and Terry McCrann’s excellent article: Producing CO2 is what we’re good at.

Swan delusional: "carbon tax will save jobs"

Get his ugly face off my monitor

It is as if we are living in a parallel universe, where fantasy becomes reality, black is white, white is black, lies are truth and truth is a lie. My head is spinning from all the spin.

Not sure whether Wayne Swan is a liar or a fool. Does he genuinely, honestly, truthfully believe that taxing our economy for no reason whatsoever and damaging our competitiveness will “save jobs”? If so, he’s a fool – and a damn fine one at that.

Or is he just saying that to deceive the Australian public into supporting his government’s carbon tax policy? In which case he’s a barefaced liar. Please, make it stop.

Future jobs will be at risk if Australia does not put a price on pollution, the Government says.

Treasurer Wayne Swan responded to reports that Australia’s biggest manufacturing union will stop supporting the Government’s carbon tax if it costs a single job, saying the scheme is designed to save jobs.

‘Nothing could be more important to jobs in Australia in the future than making that transition [to a low-pollution economy]. If we don’t make that transition there will be a threat to our economy because the world is moving to lower carbon emissions,” Mr Swan said.

”So it is a difficult transition, but it is one that the Government wants to make working with the community, because our number one objective is to support employment and future prosperity.” (source)

And the key lie here is “the world is moving to lower carbon emissions.” It isn’t. It just isn’t. Are China or India lowering their emissions? No. The US? No. Wait, New Zealand has an ETS. Great, that will save the planet by reducing emissions by the square root of sweet FA. Climate madness.

Greens "want higher carbon price"

Bunch of cynical ecotards

Of course they do. They don’t care about people not being able to pay their electricity bills, or living in excessive cold (or heat), or not being able to afford to buy groceries to feed their families. They don’t care about humanity full stop. They only care about “saving the planet”, so naturally, they want a carbon price as high as possible in order to shut down our economy to please Gaia. More evidence (should any be needed) that the Greens, being an extremist environmental advocacy group rather than a reputable political party, should never be trusted to ever hold any sway in the government of Australia.

THE Greens are pushing for a carbon tax starting price well above $20 as multiparty negotiations on climate change are set to restart on Tuesday.

The government is believed to be settling on a starting price of $20 a tonne of carbon emitted as its preferred position for its proposed carbon tax, which it hopes will start in July next year.

But The Age believes that the Greens, whose support Labor needs to establish the tax, are advocating a starting price well above that.

Greens senator Christine Milne said yesterday: “There has been no decision in the Multi-Party Climate Committee about the starting level for the pollution price, and any numbers in the public arena are nothing more than speculation.”

But in a glimmer of good news, Tony Windsor has stated that his support is not guaranteed:

Mr Windsor again cautioned the government yesterday that his support for a carbon tax was not a foregone conclusion.

“I have a vote, others do as well, so you can never guarantee something until it gets through a minority Parliament,” he said.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard sought to play down Mr Windsor’s comments [of course she did - Ed], saying “he does believe that pricing carbon is the best way, an important way, of tackling climate change. But for an individual legislative package, he’s going to look at the package and wait until the end and then judge.” (source)

I’m not holding my breath. Windsor has already betrayed his electorate by handing power to Labor after the last election, and I can see him folding like a house of cards on the carbon tax as well. More worrying for Labor is the possible threat of a union going feral:

Australia’s biggest manufacturing union has called on the government to urgently release details of its protection for industry and householders under a carbon tax, in the face of a growing workers’ revolt on the workshop floor, where union officials are being challenged and jeered for supporting Julia Gillard’s plan.

As Australian Workers Union national secretary Paul Howes prepared for a crisis meeting of union officials today to discuss the impact of the carbon tax, he said his union wanted to ensure that “this carbon price won’t cost a single job”.

Mr Howes, who went on television the night Kevin Rudd was removed as prime minister to declare his union’s support for Ms Gillard as the coup was unfolding, told The Australian last night: “If one job is gone, our support is gone.” (source)

Well I can tell you right now, Paul Howes: there won’t be just one job gone, there will be tens of thousands, maybe more, as our economy grinds to a halt, our industries move offshore and our competitors rub their hands with glee.

Also highly recommended is Jeff Kennett’s article in the Herald Sun: Gillard government has failed us

Daily Bayonet GW Hoax Weekly Roundup

Skewering the clueless

As always a great read!

"The days of cheap energy are over"

Shocking price rises

And that’s BEFORE the carbon tax. Just imagine what is going to happen if that pointless tax ever makes it to the statute book:

Household electricity bills in NSW are set to rise by up to 18.1 per cent, or $316 a year following price rises outlined today by the pricing regulator.

“The days of cheap energy are over,” Stephen Cartwright, CEO of the NSW Business Chamber, said in a statement.

“This is a crippling blow for every energy-reliant business in NSW and a savage blow to local exporters who have yet to come to terms with the impacts of a very high Australian dollar.”

He said the impact of the federal government’s planned carbon tax would send bills even higher in future.

A year ago, IPART approved rises of up to 13 per cent to be implemented from the middle of this year, with another round of rises of up to 11 per cent approved from the middle of next year.

At that time, it anticipated the average power bill for residents in rural NSW would reach $1900 a year, compared with between $1500 and $1600 for those living in Sydney, Wollongong and Newcastle.

Electricity prices are being forced higher as electricity companies boost their networks to avoid further blackouts, and are set to rise much faster if the federal government succeeds in introducing a carbon tax, which will force up prices.

Read it here.

How stupid do Gillard and Combet think we are?

Gruesome threesome

Terry McCrann on the increasingly nonsensical propaganda for the carbon tax:

Just how stupid does the prime minister and her climate minister think you are? Pretty damn stupid has to be the answer.

There they both were yesterday, saying we want to hit you with a $10 billion tax, to pretty quickly grow to a $20 billion or $30 billion one. And we promise to give you back half of it.

They actually think this is the trump card! Climate Change Minister Combet: “I can assure you … that more than 50 per cent of the carbon price revenue will be used to assist households.”

While earlier in the day, the prime minister herself even more emphatically: “I can guarantee that more than 50 per cent … of the revenue raised will go to assisting households.”

She then managed to say with a straight face: “That means millions of Australian households will be better off under a carbon price.”

How persuasive can you get? We hand over $10 billion, they give us $5 billion back. And it just gets “better” as the tax rises. We hand over $20 billion, they give us back $10 billion. We hand over $40 billion, they give us back $20 billion.

So this is what Ms Gillard means when she claims that people will be “better off”. Just focus on the $5 billion or $10 billion or more that you are “getting back”.

You don’t need to worry about the $10 billion or $20 billion or more flowing to Canberra, because as Gillard and Combet keep claiming, you won’t be paying it.

No, only the big so-called polluters will be paying the tax. Believe that and I have an opera house to throw in with the bridge I’ve got to sell you.

Read it all.

Combet's "national interest" lie

National interest my a***

At the Press Club this lunchtime, Greg Combet stated, without any hint of irony, that the government was “acting in the national interest” by putting a price on carbon. He’s not the first. Gillard and Wong banged on and on about it in the Rudd era, but it’s such a shocking lie that it needs revisiting.

So Greg, it’s a very simple question:

Please would you explain how putting a unilateral price on carbon [dioxide], which it is agreed will do nothing for the climate whether globally or locally, but will do significant damage our economy relative to our competitors, increase prices for every product and service in Australia, and require a massive bureaucracy to administer the redistribution of wealth from the rich to the poor, be “in the national interest”?

There isn’t any point in asking this question to his face of course, because any response will be so wrapped up in spin, misrepresentation and pre-rehearsed sound-bites that it will be barely comprehensible.

If anyone can provide an explanation as to how this can possibly be in the national interest, please let me know. I’m dying to hear.

A tax to make you richer!

Greg's carbon tax fudges kept crashing Excel…

It’s a miracle! If you’re a “low or middle income” earner, you’ll be better off under a carbon tax, says Greg Combet. It’s just the gift that keeps on giving!

Such is the laughable level to which the government’s rhetoric has sunk, Combet is depserately trying to bribe a section of the Australian population into supporting it. And of course, it’s the rest of us that will be hit hardest. Sounds like a simple redistribution of wealth to me. Take from the rich and give back to the poor – it’s that ‘S-word’ again, isn’t it?

But why do families need compensation anyway? I thought the government told us that the tax would only “hit big polluters” and that they wouldn’t even think of passing on costs to consumers.

And quite how this ties in with changing people’s behaviour to reduce emissions is yet to be announced. If the poorest are compensated, then they are unlikely to consume less energy, and the well-off will just pay more for it.  Gee, Greg, you’ve really worked this through!

THE Federal Government has promised that millions of low and middle income families will be better off financially under its plans for a carbon tax.

More than half the funds raised by the Gillard government’s carbon tax will be used to pay for permanent tax cuts and pension hikes under a plan to be outlined on Wednesday.

In a bid to turn around widespread concern that the tax will hit family budgets, Climate Change Minister Greg Combet pledged that more than two million households will be better off under the related tax and welfare changes.

Compensation for families will be in place permanently, even after the carbon tax is replaced by an emissions trading scheme in three to five years, Mr Combet said.

The pledge comes as Treasury models revealed average family bills could jump $860 a year based on a $30 a tonne carbon tax.

The Government plan has not been signed off on by the multi-party climate change committee including the Greens and independent MPs Rob Oakeshott and Tony Windsor.

Mr Combet will use a National Press Club speech in Canberra on Wednesday to outline the Government’s plans to win over voters. In an excerpt from his speech, Mr Combet vowed “we will put households first”.

“There will be generous assistance for households to meet costs that may be passed on by the companies that are paying for their pollution,” he said. (source)

Oh, so companies may pass on their costs to consumers now, will they? It’s a different line every week.


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