Australia: the worst place on earth for a carbon tax

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Australia’s huge reserves of fossil fuels mean that a carbon tax is just about the worst possible thing anyone could do to our economy. Congratulations Julia!

IF ever there were a single country in the entire world spectacularly unsuited to be the sole imposer of a vast, unprecedented carbon tax, which no other country in the world is remotely duplicating, it is Australia.

Isolated from our strategic friends, far distant from our biggest markets, a member of no natural trading bloc or customs union, we have just one serious, competitive advantage in the global economy.

That is the abundance of our fossil fuel endowments. If ever there were a nation well advised to move slowly and carefully on policies to cut greenhouse gas emissions, we are it.

As Productivity Commission head Gary Banks commented: “It will not be efficient from a global perspective [let alone a domestic one] for a carbon-intensive economy, such as ours, to abate as much as countries that are less reliant on cheap, high emission, energy sources . . . Modelling aside, it’s common sense that achieving any given level of abatement is likely to be costlier in a country with a comparative advantage in fossil fuels.”

Banks here did something extremely dangerous. He pitted common sense against economic modelling. Part of the economics profession has gone weak at the knees because the government has labelled its bizarre new amalgam of vast new taxes, huge new bureaucracies, massive expenditure churn, endless new regulation, huge government subsidies for preferred companies and wildly unrealistic targets, a “market-based mechanism”.

The government’s carbon tax does not pass the commonsense test at any point. To call $8 billion in new taxes in the first year, and new government expenditure so great that it exceeds even the new tax intake, a “market-based mechanism” and economic reform just illustrates George Orwell’s insight that if you control the language, you can convince people that black is white and up is down.

The whole enterprise is built on a falsehood, the supposition that nations around the world are taking comparable economy-distorting actions to that proposed by the Gillard government.

There is no really polite way of putting this but it is simply, utterly and comprehensively untrue. This is critically important. Even if you accept that all the science about climate change is true, that does not indicate what the best response for Australia is. If the science is true, then the problem can only be tackled by global action. If global action is impossible, then nations should do their best to cut greenhouse gas emissions in ways that don’t hurt their economy too much, prepare for adaptation when it’s needed and work to produce technological breakthroughs that allow lower emissions technologies to work and become affordable. This is broadly what other nations are doing. None is doing anything remotely like our carbon tax. (source)

And an economist dares speak the plain and simple truth (and we hope more will say the same):

AUSTRALIA could shut up shop and move all of its people to Antarctica and it would have little or no impact on climate change, says Griffith University economist Ross Guest.

“In terms of the world’s carbon emissions, Australia contributes 1.5 per cent,” Professor Guest said.

“So the carbon tax will have no effect on global warming.

“What Australia does makes almost no difference.” (source)


  1. Philip Roberts says:

    This tax has nothing to do with climate. This useless, incompetent and thieving government knows what’s coming in terms of a global economic meltdown and this is a last minute grab for a new tax source.

    • Precisely. No one who thinks logically can come to the conclusion that this is really at all about the climate.

      To those who doubt that, one question to ask Julia, would be: “With a carbon dioxide tax in Australia, how long will it take to reduce global temperatures?” (Yes, the question is absurd, but that is the point.)

      I could guess the mealy-mouthed response, but it would be fun the see her squirm none the less.

  2. Graham Richards says:

    Oh god!!!! what is “dear leader up to today!!!!!!!

  3. Graham Richards says:

    I have heard that George Soros has a hand in the funding of ‘Get Up’.
    can anyone throw more light on this.

  4. Richard N says:

    I want someone to ask Gillard whether she would like Auastralia to export more or less coal. At the moment she likes to have it both ways ie be optomistic about our vital coal export industry and at the same time trying to discourage coal use. Whats it going to be Juliar more or less? At least Red Bob Brown comes out and says he really wants to end the coal mining completely.

  5. Baldrick says:

    Professor Guest is correct. Even if you believe the global warming hype there is still one insurmountable fact that cannot be ignored.

    China produces 18 times more carbon dioxide (based on 2008 figures) than does Australia and the United States produces 14 times more. These 2 emitters alone dwarf anything we can ever hope to do and any decrease in Australia’s emission of CO2 will be inconsequential to the rest of the world. It’s like urinating on a bushfire … why bother!


  6. Bob in Castlemaine says:

    In Germany, that beacon of global warming piety, Angela Merkel has recently vowed to close all the country’s nuclear power stations in the wake of the Fukushima accident. The amazing irony is that while you’d expect to see thousands of new windmills and solar panels sprouting up across the landscape, it seems Germany’s rulers have recognised that when it comes to real base load power they need the cost effectiveness and reliability of coal and gas fired plants. Accordingly the government will use it’s climate fund cash to build those new coal and gas stations.

  7. Andy G55 says:

    A survey people might like to partake in:

    Nothing to do with me…Link sent to me by email

    I had some fun answering it 😉

    • Richard N says:

      Your right . It was fun. Scary to think that there are actually people intent on being professional warmists. They must really anxiously watch the weather reports, hoping like hell that they have backed the right it actually is getting warmer.

  8. Uhavitbad says:

    “But if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought. A bad usage can spread by tradition and imitation ,even among those who should and do know better”. Orwell 1946

  9. David Davidovics says:

    The vast carbon reserves in Australia are exactly why the carbon[dioxide] tax is such good idea for socialists like Gillard. All that possible revenue, and to have a strangle hold on the biggest economic engine you folks have – what’s not to like?

    Climate – what’s that? This is about money, power, and control.

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