The inner-city basket-weaving yoghurt-knitting sandalistas that make up the Fairfax and ABC’s environment desks are already writing the eulogies for their beloved tax.
In the lead-up to last year’s election, Abbott repeatedly told us that the carbon tax would be a wrecking ball through the economy. He told us that electricity prices would be all kinds of terrible as a result of the carbon tax. He told us that the carbon tax wouldn’t bring down Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions. It’s a tax, he said. A Great Big New Tax On Everything.
He was wrong on all of these accounts, of course. But the damage was done.
‘Of course’ he was wrong! You fools! She continues:
But like Shelley’s creation, it was not quite the horrendous beast we feared. The economy continues to defy prediction, quietly growing.
The latest figures from December show that Australia’s emissions have dropped 0.8 per cent, with most of the fall being explained by a 5 per cent drop in emissions from electricity generation.
It grew thanks to putting adults in charge of the shop last September, and the removal of that hopeless bunch of pre-schoolers who had spent six years grinding the country into the ground with their incompetence. But nice try, anyway. Just remind me what difference those emission reductions would have made to the climate again… oh, that’s right, zero.
Fairfax isn’t far behind, with a gushing, tear-stained hymn of praise for the Senate climate warriors of the Left. Be warned, strong stomach required:
Amid ongoing speculation over Christine Milne’s leadership style and future, the Greens leaders’ Senate performance has been passionate, emotional and, most of all, resolute. Senator Milne had a great deal invested in the legislation that created the price on carbon that kicked in on July 1, 2012. Its abolishment [sic] on Thursday was personal.
She has spent much of this week seamlessly switching between offering forceful condemnations of the government’s undoing of the legislation and in promising renewed vigour from her minor party in restoring action to address global warming.
Just moments before the final Senate action that killed the carbon tax 39 votes to 32, Senator Milne appeared very much a political leader determined to keep climate change at the forefront of the political debate.
“This is a critical moment for our nation and there are a number of new senators in this chamber today,” she said.
“Their vote today and the vote of every person in this debate will be the legacy of their political career.”
And with Opposition Leader Bill Shorten committing Labor to campaign on an emissions trading scheme as a central theme of the next federal election, his party’s leader in the Senate, Penny Wong, championed the cause with her usual skill and smooth, calculated passion.
Another standout performer in this debate has been Tasmanian Labor senator Lisa Singh, grasping her new junior environment and climate change portfolio with gusto.
The shadow parliamentary secretary was Labor’s most riveting advocate this week for keeping the price on carbon.
Again, just moments before that argument was lost, Senator Singh delivered a stinging rebuke to the government and those senators who joined with it in repealing the legislation.
“We are sending this country backwards,” she said.
“All for what? For playing politics. Playing politics with Australia’s future; playing politics with the environment; playing politics with our children.
“And it is an outrageous moment in Australia’s history.”
Too much for my stomach… Pass the sick bag.