Carbon price debate misses the point

Twisted logic or a circular argument?

There have been barrowloads of stories over the past few weeks about how various businesses are either supporting or opposing the carbon tax, when the “detail” is going to be released so that we can work out how much it’s going to cost, etc etc. But every time, the key point of this is missed. We hear Gillard and Combet committed to “acting on climate” but again, the next obvious question is always avoided.

What will a carbon tax or ETS in Australia actually do for the climate? The answer is, of course, nothing. Nothing at all. This isn’t tackling climate change, it’s spitting in a hurricane. Even if you believe the consensus science that man-made emissions are causing dangerous climate change, you cannot escape the point that anything Australia does alone will make not the slightest difference. Any reductions in emissions we make will be swamped thousands of times over by China and India.

So given that, Gillard and Combet rely on the “business certainty” line. Business needs “certainty” for a “transition to a low carbon economy”. Hmm. Will India and China follow our lead by moving to a “low carbon economy”? I don’t think so. The best business certainty would be achieved by abandoning a pointless price on carbon for the foreseeable future and using all the energy and time wasted on climate for something that will actually benefit Australians.

The media have got themselves bogged down in the detail and have lost sight of the bigger picture. The Sydney Morning Herald continues to print daily scare stories about the climate, no doubt to try to influence its readers to support “action on climate change”. But with a carbon tax or ETS in place in Australia, those scare stories would still be there, unchanged even by a fraction. What do we do then? Maybe the Herald will simply not print them, because, so the logic would go, we can’t be causing it… It’s an utterly ridiculous argument.

I guess we can wistfully look to Canada, where the climate sceptic Conservatives have won a majority government, and hope that the same thing happens here in 2013.


  1. Dave N says:

    If they want “certainty”, all they have to do is to completely drop the idea, and say it will never happen. How much more “certain” can you get?

  2. The media is not doing a good job with this whole issue.
    There are so many questions that ordinary Australians want to know that are not being asked by the very people that are employed to do so. So much for investigative journalism.
    It reinforces my view that in Australia it has been left up to individuals that feel strongly about the issue to make other people aware of the issues.
    Quite simply the media are not doing their job.
    It is left to the openly right wing commentators such as Andrew Bolt & Piers Akerman to question the issue, and their forthright commentary style gets a number of people automatically off side.
    More comment and investigation is required from more moderate commentators to bring the issue into focus for more Australians.
    We cant kill this issue dead until more people are provided balanced information to make an informed choice on the subject of carbon in the atmosphere, and why we should not have to pay a tax for it.

    • Can’t wait for the Bolt report on Ten.. though I fully expect that network to chop out anything substantial.

      I sincerely hope I’m wrong.

    • gyptis444 says:

      I found this recently

      Read all the papers there. IMO this author has completely demolished the very foundations of AGW which is therefore a blatant nonsense. It is high time Gillard and her cronies faced reality.

  3. Baldrick says:

    As usual, the debate in Australia about a carbon tax (global warming) and its environmental and economic outcomes has more to do with politics than science. Politics doesn’t deal in facts but twisted logic!

  4. Toscamaster says:

    Carbon tax for dummies – Imagine wanting to get rid of human created CO2 from 1 km of atmosphere – 770 metres are Nitrogen – 210 metres are Oxygen – 10 metres are water vapour – 9 metres are argon

    Only 1 metre left – After a few other gases only the last 38 centimetres is CO2 – a bit over a foot.

    Mother Nature produces 97% of CO2 – Only 12 millimetres left – Just over a centimetre

    That’s how much CO2 all global human activity puts into the atmosphere

    Of those 12 millimetres Australia puts in 0.18 of a millimetre – Less than the thickness of a hair. Out of a kilometre!

    As a hair is to a kilometre – so is Australia’s contribution to what Julia calls Carbon Pollution.

    Imagine Julia preparing herself to open Brisbane’s new Gateway Bridge.

    It’s been polished and scrubbed till its 1 kilometre length is surgically clean.

    Except Julia says “Shock, Horror. We have a huge problem, the bridge is polluted – there’s a human hair on the roadway.”

    We’d laugh ourselves silly.

  5. Dyspeptic Curmudgeon says:

    The Harper government’s majority arose from a major turn by the voters against the Liberal party, which was coasting on its own hubris at being the ‘natural governing party’. That actually meant that it was an unprincipled herd of swine. Ignatieff was the very model of the stuck-up elite intellectual.
    And that came through.

    The collapse of the Liberals was forewarned by a few writers. Only Lord Conrad Black, sometime/maybe-maybe-not felon, conjured up the collapse of the Bloc Quebecois. Quebec will now be represented by a federalist party, and the blackmail will end…not only in part because the government is a majority.
    It was a preference cascade. Ignatieff triggered an election over nothing and the people decided to punish him. Similarly, Julia is done. It only remains to see how much damage she can do in the meantime.
    The trick now is to scare the crap out of the weaker MPs, who WILL lose their places if things are too stupidly done. And 2013 is a long way away. Statistically, there are bound to be some gov’t side deaths/retirements etc. resulting in winnable by-elections.

  6. A quick cautionary tale, why I’m no longer a believer in big government!

    As A Canadian I care about Australia and it’s future.

    We Canadians have always identified with Australians, and we have suffered for many years with the Leftist tax and spend government’s, public broadcasters (CBC) like ABC who always spin the socialist line.
    They have longed for Cap and Trade and Carbon taxes. And they love and sign up for every pronouncement and regulation that comes out of the UN and the IPPC, the EU or the loony Global warming the end is near crowd?
    Our governments have been determined control us though punitive tax and fees schemes starting with the liberals (socialists in sheep’s clothing) in the late 1960s, they invented big government, big spending, interference with our lives and huge crippling deficits.
    Till the IMF called and told Canada it was weeks away from going broke just like in New Zealand.
    We went through years of austerity, a collapsing 50% dollar, higher taxes and no increase in wages and sky-high prices for everything FOR 15 YEARS!! We have had Minority governments for some time and it is NOT the way to go for any Country financially (Witness most of Europe) Leftist government’s always go the same root and are always the first in line to commit the long suffering taxpayers to crazy tax and spend scams, as is happening in Australia today.
    We Canadians have dodged the global warming nuts, now have a majority conservative government and no crazy ETS plans for the next 4 + years, thank god.
    Good luck Australia, you are going to needs it!
    Best wishes to all.

  7. Audrey says:

    2013!!!! God Please Help Us! Yes the tolerance of the Australian people is pretty good, but surely this Gillard/Brown/Windsor/Oakshott Government is the one exception. Enough is Enough. Stop this madness and bring on an election now!

    • Banana says:

      Im hearing you Audrey, but the govt doesnt want an election as they know they will be flogged.
      It seems that people are now well aware of the Greens and their agendas and only the hard core will vote for them in future.
      The other issue is that come July 1 the Senate will be controlled by the Greens for 4 years, and even if we vote the current govt out, then we will still be faced with a hostile Green senate.

      • Audrey says:

        Ok, Positive thinking. Have the election and current govt get flogged. It will take the LibNat govt a couple of years to sort out the Labour Mess. Hopefully the following four years the Greens will be nothing but the label on my toilet paper wrapping. …………..oops Evil thoughts have now entered my mind. New marketing plan – toilet paper printed with the face of Bob Brown and Julia Gillard, oh can you just imagine the fun with the slogans.

  8. Confusious says:

    When will Australians finally realise that Gillard, Combet, Swan and all the other Labor Unionist Club members give a rodents rectum about climate. The whole story about Carbon Tax is to squeeze even more blood from the Australian Taxpayer. Mind you not from the big business end well protected by these selective revolutionaires, but from you and me, the hard working people on the ground. Of course the useless Canberra mob will look after their dole bludgers support base which under Gillard swelled to almost two million which is about ten percent of population and I guess almost 20% of working age people. Add to that all these useless leeches such as Garnaut, Tim Fluffer and Brown Bob and one can see the pictures. They could teach few lessons to Dracula in blood sucking!

  9. Why is there still a debate about Carbon Dioxide TAX. Every country around the world has dropped it – they all know it was a HOAX – Another TAX. The globalists lost this war – which was to control countries through a Carbon Tax. Everyone should start listening to alternative media, not the paid teleprompt readers. Only then will they discover how the New World Order – and the Trilateral commission works & wants to control the world. Gillard was obviously told by Obama to implement the Carbon Tax against the public wishes. Have a close look at the USA. Once free, it is now one of the most policed countries in the world. Look at the EU, Non elected government running everything by directives from non elected politicians. Let Australia avoid all of this and stay free.

  10. earkracf says:

    the carbon tax is a good thing and whether you guys will face it or not, it will help reduce the amount of carbon in the atmosphere. The fact that people will have t5o pay for their carbon emissions will make them try to emit less so they dont have to pay as much. it is measly price to pay for the health of our planet. i am 13 years old and i know that this is true.

    • How much will a carbon tax in Australia reduce carbon [dioxide] in the atmosphere? The aim is to reduce emissions by 5% by 2020. Australia emits about 1.3% of global emissions. 5% of 1.3% is 0.065% or 65 parts in 100,000. So out of every 100,000 carbon dioxide molecules emitted globally, Australia will cut just 65 of them.

      Given that China and India will be increasing their emissions by far more than that between now and 2020, how will a carbon tax help the health of our planet? Nothing that Australia does on its own will make any difference, even if you believe that carbon dioxide is causing dangerous global warming.

      I am glad that you are taking an interest in these matters, but how do you “know” that what you say is true? Have you actually researched the subject yourself, or do your teachers tell you what you should think? I would be interested to know what you have heard at your school about the carbon tax and climate change. I would also be interested to hear what you think of the ACM Summary (tab at the top left).

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