$20 a tonne: the price of economic suicide

Economy, you're next

Any price on carbon [dioxide] in Australia is a pointless gesture that will do nothing for the climate. Nothing. At all. And that’s if you assume that CO2 is causing dangerous warming. So our government, without a democratic mandate, intends to tax a harmless trace gas and wreck our economy for no purpose whatsoever. And yet many people, including Julia Gillard and her government, think that’s a good idea? O.M.G. as the saying goes.

At least by trying to stick to the middle ground, $20 a tonne will annoy everyone: business and consumers because it’s too high, eco-nazis, sorry, Greens, because it’s too low. So there is a glimmer of hope that sanity might prevail at the 11th hour, but it’s looking less and less likely.

JULIA Gillard’s key climate change committee is working on a carbon price of between $18 and $23 a tonne – a level that will deepen rifts with business groups demanding a starting price of no more than $10.

As Tony Abbott issued a call to arms yesterday to angry miners to reprise their successful campaign against the resource super-profits tax and fight the carbon tax, senior government sources confirmed that the price of the European Union’s emissions trading scheme would heavily influence the Australian starting price.

A carbon price set between $18 and $23 a tonne would collect between $8 billion and $10bn a year from big polluters [or big employers, exporters, contributors to the economy – Ed], of which more than half is expected to be distributed to households to compensate against higher prices.

Climate Change Minister Greg Combet has indicated that the carbon price would be “well south” of $40 a tonne – a level initially endorsed by the Greens – when it is introduced on July 1 next year.

The Australian Industry Group and the Business Council of Australia have recommended the carbon tax start at $10 a tonne, while the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry is flatly opposed to the carbon pricing regime.

The Greens have indicated they could accept a lower price than $40 if it were buttressed by the prospect of deeper emissions cuts, accommodated by a rising carbon price. (source)

I think we all know where the tax will go (up) and where the compensation will go (down).


  1. Interesting figures in the decline in the economy, the govt smokescreen is blaming the natural disasters, but it appears that it was due to the inability to mine our coal & export offshore. If thats what happens if we stop exporting coal (that the rest of the world wants/needs) as per the greens wish, we see the long term effects to the economy, and its not good.
    Hopefully the opposition uses this ammunition to attack the carbon tax again.

    • 33 comments so far and this first one still stands out as the mist important contribution to the discussion. Well done Banana!

      (No relation to Bananarby?)

      • Thanks Gnome. Not related to Barnaby….lol
        It does bear some thought especially with Germany now looking like they are going to close their Nuclear power plants and move to more coal fired power plants.
        Interesting also that Garnaut was involved in the consulting process when the Govt of the day reshaped our economy to basically be a giant quarry. Now we are dependant on that very quarry for economic growth, some political voices want to shut down or financially penalise the very industries which have lead to our prosperity ….ridiculous..!!

  2. Why are you constantly publishing stories about the carbon tax? All you are saying is that Made Global warming is a fact and that we need a carbon tax; it’s just a matter of deciding how much pain we suffer in our pockets. You are doing a much better job of promoting the Global warming scam than Julia’s own people

    • No, Colin, I have to disagree. Nowhere do I ever say we need a carbon [dioxide] tax – precisely the reverse. ACM believes that man’s contribution to climate change is present, but small, and that “tackling climate change” is not a sensible policy option. Money would be far better spent adapting to the inevitable natural climate changes that will occur in the decades and centuries ahead. However, we have to face the challenges as they present themselves. Right now, that challenge is ensuring that the carbon tax fails, and our economy and standards of living are preserved. Simply not talking about this issue will not make it disappear. I believe that we have to inform readers about the insanity of a carbon tax, but at this stage without getting bogged down in arguments about the science of AGW – that is too contentious in this political “climate” to raise… yet. So even if we accept the alarmist view of AGW, a carbon tax is STILL madness. I hope a time will come (in many years time) when it is clear that the alarmist view of AGW has been exaggerated out of all recognition, and there will be an open debate about the science. Alarmists and genuine sceptics (of which I believe I am one) agree on a fair amount. However, the alarmists refuse to admit there is doubt, because there is financial and political bankrolling at work. I sincerely hope that will change, and we can have a proper, honest, unbiased discussion about what we know about AGW and what we don’t.

      • I am neither a scientist nor a lawyer but a can read and I know when I am being conned. The sub headline for this blog is that the debate is not over and yet as far as I can see the debate has been put on the shelf on this blog and now all we get is the arguement of how much carbon tax do we pay. You seemed to have fallen for the Governments major distraction program, accidently or deliberately I am not sure. They know that they will never win an open debate on Global Warming and they are terrified because so many Big named people are making a fortune out of Climate equipment, there would be hell to pay if the truth won out. So what to do? The same as the Americans do all the time distract them, hence the carbon tax. One side will push for a high price the other a low price, there will be debates on the TV and all sorts of article published and eventually we will settle on a low price and the population will give a sigh of relief and think them selves lucky.
        I personally believe that this blog is doing a better job of maintaining the distraction than Julia’s own people.

        I wrote this before I saw your reply to my last comments but I still differ in what you say. There is never going to be a time when others don’t debate the carbon tax, we see it every day but apart from stubborn old farts like me I see no counter arguments against Global warming in the mainstream media.

        I don’t have the skill to write like you do otherwise I would be bombarding the media with all of the latest evidence and there is lots, every single day

        • Thanks for the reply. What do others think of Colin’s arguments?

        • Simon C says:

          I have to admit I am not sure which direction Colin is coming from on this issue but I suspect it’s this: man-made global warming is a load of crap and therefore we should not be debating “distractions” such as whether or not we need a carbon tax but the actual science itself. If I’ve read Colin correctly then I 100% agree with him. Too many sceptics in the media seem to have stopped reporting the flaws & faults in the alarmist’s arguments and are focussing on the tax itself. We need to go back to the basic arguement, namely that man-made warminng is a load of garbage and that’s the end of it. Challenge the alarmists to prove their science, which they can’t.

        • To me, opposing the implementation of a carbon tax is simple. If the govt is going to use data from reports from a bias policitical organisation such as the IPCC, I will oppose it on the webb etc until I get a chance to vote again.
          I agree with what Colin says about the MSM. As you know Simon, it gets to me that there is no investigative journalism done. Its left to the right wing fan boys to do it, which gets a number of people off side instantly as they dont like the commentary style of Jones, Bolt etc
          I guess the truth of AGW isnt as shocking as the doomsday scenario, and the media generally runs on negativity.
          I would like to see some more investigative work done by journalists into the members of the Climate Comission to expose some of the conflicts of interests etc.
          If the media is not going to take this stuff on board it is left to concerned citizens to find out for themselves, and thats what I like to think Im doing.

        • I agree with Colin in many respects, this blog lately has a lot to say about the Carbon Tax and not enough about how the scientific view supporting why the so called ‘science’ for AGW has failed- ‘the tag- the Debate is not over’ is a more powerful that l or more usefully – how we can better promote education of everyday Australian citizens to find the science behind the debate.

          It is particularly troubling for me as a parent as according to my children the alarmist message is now part of their school curriculum and they are being taught that AGW is real and to fear it.

          I’m writing to my school and my local MP directly, since very few people who I have refered to this blog have been ‘moved’ from their position on AGW, nor influenced to find out more. Unfortunately image is everything today- and this blog is too political.

          I also note some very selective editing by Simon which makes me wonder how impartial this blog is, and I wonder how may other posts don’t make it just because they hold a different view to the blog owner. My last post suggesting that “despite good intentions, the ‘image’ of the Galileo Movement was tainted and would fail to appeal to a wider audience”. Because of that it ‘failed’ to meet approval of the moderator. I wonder why I am bothering to post this now?

          Very differently, I note the ‘regular’ contributors seem to have their often purile, hackneyed and stale comments poking fun at the opposing view of everything for the sake of it added by Simon without a second thought. Most of which add little beyond the background noise as ineffective political ridicule and name calling and don’t do anything to advance the cause for proper scientific scrutiny by the masses, or more importantly do nothing to promote sensible Govt policy by voter pressure.

          There are literally hundreds of similar blogs which promote a cause- some more effectively than others. I suppose this is a good thing, but short of forming your own political or (better) scientific body to take action, generally these blogs add/do nothing except provide a place for like-minded contributors to feel ‘warm and fuzzy’ and allow them to ‘vent’ their frustration, which is pure politic- not science.

        • Wow. Sorry you feel like that. Maybe this blog isn’t for you? Just for the record, I don’t moderate if I disagree with something. I searched for your comment but couldn’t find it. It could have been merely a technical glitch with no sinister motive behind it. Your last comment I can find was on 27 March, and was, naturally, approved.

        • Colin, et al, Instead of knocking those of us who are prepared to blog in ACM and put forward our points of view. Something we get slandered by the likes of Combet everytime, as being anything but knowing what we are talking about. We don’t want more of the same from you guys!
          I can’t understand why you guys and the media have not tackled Gillard & Combet after they continually sprout:
          the “Top 1000 Big Polluters will be the only ones to pay this tax”?
          What happens to the 1001th Nearly Big Polluter? Do they wipe their brow and say that was close? What happens if the 1024th Medium Polluter has a bad month and moves to 999th?
          Does that Company move up like a football ladder?
          Do they refund the money paid by anyone who is replaced?
          The Climate Change Committee are doing nothing other than sitting waiting to cut and past the umpteen reports and reviews and hope it looks good. The only thing for sure is the compensation for enough of the voters to return them all to Government will be massive!!!!

        • To me it is simple. What Australia needs, based on it’s comparative advantages and unique economic structure, is a $0 carbon tax guaranteed for at least a decade ahead. Breakable only by agreements between all state governments, as per the GST. That’s business confidence with a capital ‘C’. They can ‘decarbonise’ at their own leisure if they feel ‘it’s the right thing to do’.

          The argument right now is about killing the tax. Then killing the argument for the tax. The tax is the clear and present threat – once it is in the arguments against the science wiil always come from a long way back – because of a chicken and egg situation where people say the science must be correct because there is a tax to t support it. And once a climate change dept has an income stream, you can bet they will spend it making sure their critics are buried.

        • Ron, I don’t think that I was actually knocking anyone for blogging on here. I think that we need more doing the same not less. However I did suggest a different direction for the purpose of the blogs but as far as I can remember I did not threaten anyone with a flogging if they disagreed with me

        • This interview with Prof. Timothy Ball summarises the science very well in 20 minutes. It is truly worth the time investment.


  3. We hear lots about how consumers will be compensated for their extra costs.
    But nobody mentions the 10% of the tax which will go to the United Nations.
    Why is that?

    • Also Gogs the Govt agreed to that amount at Cancun late last year, prior to announcing the actual carbon tax. If some self respecting journalist had looked at what was decided at Cancun and then reported it, the pressure on the Govt could have been bought to bear long before the announcement of the tax.
      Bob Brown complains about media bias, I have to laugh, compared to the UK which seems to have a number of journalists who regularly write as opponents to AGW theory, we can count the number of journalists/commentators who are openly against the AGW issue on one hand.

  4. Hi,
    I feel it doesn’t really matter to the everyday Aussie how much the carbon tax starts at, as it will continue to go up yearly, as people start to realize just what this tax is going to cost. Around 11 Billion Dollars will be collected in the first year, and there are roughly 14 Million workers, that’s a lot of money to come from so few people. All company’s will pass their costs on down the line to the consumer so we will all be paying, no amount of compensation will cover all the costs, and who knows how many people are going to lose their jobs.

  5. I believe that so many people fell for the original IPCC crap which has been absolutely discredited and made a big noise about melting ice and rising Oceans which never eventuated they are too embarrassed to admit they were wrong. Think back to the Copenhagen talk fest which was abandoned not for lack of interest but because the so called third world counties realised that they were getting screwed. Their development was being held back for the sake of the planet while the fat cat counties of the west could more or less do as the wished. One item on the agenda was to form an international carbon police, who could enter your home without warning or warrant and fine you for your carbon usage and then charge you for the visit. They were going to encourage carbon spies, rewarding your neighbours for dobbing you in. You can bet that Julia Gillard would put her hand up for that one… How stupid can we be to believe that CO2 is toxic? Every breath we take we breathe it out, so every time you kiss your loved one you are actually poisoning them??. I have no idea of how much CO2 we actually breath out each day but I imagine that the entire human race must at least match the output of industry if not exceed it. If they get away with the ridiculous carbon tax today, how long before some smart y will do a calculation and decide that we should be taxed for breathing. With exception of course for the important people like bankers and Politian’s
    Ridiculous yes it is so maybe The carbon tax has nothing to do with Clime control but something far more sinister.

    • Colin says: “I have no idea of how much CO2 we actually breath out each day but I imagine that the entire human race must at least match the output of industry if not exceed it.”
      A: Breathing out CO2 is carbon neutral (a closed system). Farting however, creates methane which is ‘supposedly’ a gas more likely than CO2 to trap heat on Earth. Also being cremated may be ‘better’ than being buried as the latter possibly adds more methane than CO2 (unconfirmed).

      For those who are interested in a scientific and math discourse on the topic of human contribution to CO2, head on over to here to an old but still alive thread: http://micpohling.wordpress.com/2007/03/27/math-how-much-co2-is-emitted-by-human-on-earth-annually/

  6. Uhavitbad says:

    $20 a tonne?
    Cheap as manure. Different pile, same smell.

  7. I think Colin is right. The main argument to Australians should not concentrate on what the Carbon Dioxide Tax price level should be but how pointless it will be in doing something about global warming (which may or may not be true).

    I would love to hear from some of our scientists who know something about sunspot activity and there effect on our planet. (They may be afraid of losing their funding)

    You will notice that I call it a “Carbon Dioxide Tax” and I would love to see all sceptics call it for what it is – in every spoken and written word. Let’s no longer call it a Carbon Tax – that is what the government wants. I would just love to see all opposition spokes persons constantly using the words “Carbon Dioxide Tax” and see what reaction you get from the goverrnment and the greens

  8. I hear what you are all saying, and of course I agree that we should be challenging the science. But the political and media climate will not accept that (yet) as I said before. We all know that Tony Abbott thinks the alarmist science of AGW is crap. But can you imagine what would happen if he stood up in parliament and started questioning the science? He would be flattened by a barrage of “denier” from all sides. Already we have commentators in the press who are flamed for daring to question the consensus. Such a course of action at this time would be foolhardy, and may lose the Coalition the chance of a victory at the next election.

    I emphasise “at this time” because I believe there will be a time when this can be debated. But we must take it gently, a step at a time. The trouble is that a large proportion of the population have this feeling that we should be “doing something” about climate change, so they need to be taken slowly through the steps and at some point in the future, when the carbon tax is dead and temperatures are not rising as the alarmists predict, we can have the debate that all of us (not least me) want to have.

    I am sorry that many of you feel that the carbon dioxide tax is taking up too much of this blog, but that is the battle we are fighting now. If we can stop the tax, it will clear the way to argue the other points. If a tax is legislated, it will make it much, much harder. The only way to get rid of the tax is via political means, and the only political means we have is the Coalition. I do not agree with their direct action policy either – another political gesture that will do nothing for the climate. But in a choice of two evils, the Coalition’s plan is the lesser.

    Once we can establish a Coalition government, then the way is open to start questioning the science, as I feel we must. But at the right time! Patience!

    • Simon this is my last word otherwise this will go on for ever. I understand but don’t agree with what you are saying. The only time to speak up is now, later is too late. Once it’s in it’s in for ever. Don’t rely on Abbot he is Gutless, he should not be going with the flow as he always does Otherwise he is no beter than the back stabber. Bring a spark into any dark room and the darkness will recede no matter how small the spark but some has to srike the spark. In the far future history will remember the one with the matches not the one who drew the curtains to make it darker.

      • Baldrick says:

        Colin – that spark you talk about is defeating the carbon tax. Once that’s done then we can turn on the light and expose the science behind the whole global warming scam.
        The important thing to remember is we are all opposed to the same thing, and that is the lies perpetuated by the Labor/Green alliance in their support for the voodoo science of global warming and the need for a carbon dioxide tax.

        • How do you kill the carbon tax without killing the Global Warming scam? what do you say? it’s unfair, it won;t effect climate, no one else is doing it Etc, Julia does not give a S…t
          All she wants is to win and she believes that she is on a winner because everyone it too scared to stand up and tell the truth. You don’t cure a cold by wiping your snotty nose, you have to kill the virus first. If she called an election today she would mostly win because even through we don’t want the carbon tax, The oppostion in Abbott is non exsistant. He can’t get the same story two days on the run. Most may hate her but is a strange way they probally admire her for sticking to her guns at least in this case. To stop her and kill the tax you have to kill the virus GW scam first the you can wipe her snotty nose

        • The scam is mostly harmless unless it starts to interfere with political decision making. So it’s where the scame meets the politics that the fight must happen.

          It will collapse under the weight of it’s own failed predictions soon enough. The forecasts and predictions aren’t coming to pass. The panic is not occurring. This will kill the scam stone dead over time – it won’t be as dramatic as the y2k or rapture scams, but it will happen. You just can’t keep the general public scared for a long time – eventually they adapt to the fear level and go on with their lives. Its’ mostly fear of the unknown. Once it starts to be come known, the fear goes away. Once the fear goes, the ability to gain votes dies with it.

          The most important job is to stop the tax or trading scams to be implemented. Solar and wind subsidies die under the weight of their own success as coffers bleed dry. It’s unfortunate but self-limiting. Carbon Trading is on the way to it’s own death, simply from lack of interest and liquidity. A Tax is virtually impossible to reverse. Income Tax in the USA was brought in ‘for high earners only’ as an emergency funding effort. A Carbon tax with a unelected oversight committee and baked-in above-CPI increases is a nightmare waiting to happen.

          I’ll agree that Tony Abbot needs to work on this further. He has the guts to stand against it, he also needs the guts to drop his plan as well, or at least water it down to be useless and drop the 5% targets. We’ll see what happens – you don’t see them pushing it much so they might have a new policy come election time. At the moment they are looking to keep the disbelievers and lukewarmers on board. Another couple of state election whitewashes and the message that outright rejection is a plausible policy stance might get through. You can see a much more skeptical line starting to seep into newspaper editorials but tv stations are still very pro-warmist. Until this changes it will be difficult for politicians to run against the grain. That’s why we need non-political movements like the galileo movement are so important – to take all the ‘denier’ abuse and draw it away from politicians who just want to do nothing on the whole issue.

          THe other thing that is about to happen is a major double-dip recession. The first quarter is locked in, the next quarter is on the way. Once that happens, all talk of climate will be 5 pages into the paper.

        • Richard N says:

          BRC Good summary of the situation. Wish you were advising Abbot. Such a pity he rushed in with that half baked direct action plan. Just gave Turnbull a target he coulnt reisist.Do you think Abbot could ever just drop the whole stupid expensive idea and just say we will take no action on glbal warming at this stage but will keep aclose watch on international scientific and political developments…yada.yada.yada

    • The Loaded Dog says:

      Colin, I agree with what you’re saying but also with Simon in fighting against this tax. Have you noticed how the public mood has changed on the so called “science” of global warming since Gillards announcement to introduce a carbon tax (sic)

      My belief is that the tax has in fact FORCED people who previously didn’t care one way or the other about the “science” to have a closer look at it and as such are now seeing it for what it is. A load of CRAP.

    • Have to agree Simon. Would be suicide for the opposition to openly oppose the science etc. The labels would fly thick and fast, JuLIAR anyone….?
      At least his direct action plan can be stopped pretty well in its tracks if need be. If the Govt goes down the trading scheme, carbon bank path, then it will be harder to undo.

    • Baldrick says:

      The first and most appropriate step is to fight this insidious carbon dioxide tax. This is the major issue facing Australians at present. Once the carbon dioxide tax has been defeated, then and only then can we start to tackle the issue of the science behind the global warming scam.

  9. Sorry I know that I said that I had made my last commnet but OMG Banana why would you think that it would be suicide to openly oppose the science? most people just don’t want the carbon tax at any price but they go along with it because they don’t know any better For the last five years it’s been one way traffic in the media and no one having the Guts to satnd up and say enough.
    Start by giving them the truth with facts and references that they can check for themselves and you may be surpprised at the results you start to get.
    Now this is my last word, in reality you get the Government and the country that you are prepared to stand up for. If you don’t make astand now we will end up just like the USA security forces daily put their hands down the pants of young boys and girls and fomdel women in the name of protecting your freedom.

    • Colin, I would love there to be an open debate on the whole issue, but we need to remember that the media will have a huge say in what is covered & how it is covered. They have failed so far, so I cant see them getting on board with the side that says “everythings ok”.
      Classic point, mobile useage causing cancer, I heard a relevant scientist yesterday say that there is ongoing research into the link of cancer and mobile phone useage, but basically no need to panic. I look on the front of the Herald Sun in Melb this morning, & it says “DEADLY MOBLIES WARNING”. As I said earlier, the media loves hysteria, not a “she’ll be right mate” attitude.

  10. I personally think we need a two tier approach, to show people that the science behind man made climate change is false and also to show that implementing such a thing as a carbon tax would be economic suicide. The main thing is to stop this tax at all costs

  11. I agree with Colin that the AGW science has to be scrutinised, but unfortunately most people in the country have previously had no reason to care. As The Loaded Dog says above more people now are searching for answers since the Govt has politicised the debate by deciding to tax carbon emissions.
    I myself was swayed by the scientific evidence a few years ago, but this Govt is unpopular and if that negative feeling can be used to expose more people to the alternative view, that makes sense to me.
    I regularly click on the links to other websites & blogs to see other points of view both political and scientific.

  12. Confusious says:

    Problem is that the immediate danger to Australia is the Bob Brown’s crazy government and the tax it wants to impose on majority of Australians who did not even vote for them. I agree that one has to make concerted effort accross the wide spectrum of population to educate as many people as possible about the patently falsified arguments used by the Great Wizzard Al Gore and his Disciples Garnaut & Flannery to propagate their New World Order dogma. Brownites & Gillardites are just what Goebbles used to call useful idiots who are only too glad to sacrifice Australians on the altar of Global Warming fraud (now called Climate Change as there was no global warming they predicted).
    Best way is to open attack on two or more fronts because such strategy always work better. Expose their lies, falsifications and pseudo-science whilst, at the same time make people of Australia aware who at the end will foot the bill.
    It certainly will not be Carbon Cate who will suffer but the ordinary Australians.

  13. Simon, Good stuff huh?

  14. Confusious says:

    Check this link below. X-Strata, who was one of the three foreign big boys doing secret deals with JuLiar is now warning about taking it’s business elsewhere!


    • Andy G55 says:

      What I would like to see is one of the big power producers come out and say something like,
      ” sorry, but if you bring in a tax, we will have to shut down within six months or so”

  15. Check on your computer (Internet) for the list of countries that will NOT be charging their people a Carbon Tax, and include the list of those major countries that have made it clear they will NOT become involved in anything like what the Australian government is planning to foist on us.
    And also check on what the estimated effect of the world’s CO2 levels will be, when they bring in their Carbon Tax.
    You will discover that the countries that put out the largest levels of CO2 are exactly those that will NOT be doing anything effective to reduce their levels. And the effect on ther world’s CO2 levels from everything Australia does will be so small as to be unmeasurable !! Something on the lines of 0.0005% of 1.3% !!

  16. Andy G55 says:

    What is really needed is for Oakshott or Windsor to be bought to heal by their electorates. If one or both of them could be persuaded to turn from the dark side………. oh but that would mean an election, where they would both loose their seats.

    Is there any provision for an electorate to dismiss their respresentative and bring about a bi-election?

  17. Wiliam Hugh(Bill Mcquaid) says:

    Australia signed up, along with nearly 200 countries, with the UN’s AGENDA21 at Rio in 1992. This document is freely available to read on the INTERNET. The things that are happening at the moment corespond exactly with the proposals contained in AGENDA21

    Not content with this, the ICLEI has recruited local councils all over the world to further the UN’s plans.

    Miss Gillard is smply doing the bidding of the UN

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