Australia’s carbon tax

Good news! I’m still able to post — Australia has not returned to the Stone Age. A few links:

Key points of the carbon price package

Frank Jotzo: popular tax cuts and a carbon price that just might deliver

Roger Jones

John Quiggin

Larvatus Prodeo

Gareth Renowden.

The carbon tax alarmists are now not arguing that the tax will destroy the economy, but that it won’t do anything.

Update Greg Jericho

Comments

  1. #1 dexitroboper
    July 10, 2011

    But the legislation hasn’t been passed yet, and the carbon price doesn’t start until 2012. So there’s still time to run for your life.

  2. #2 WotWot
    July 10, 2011

    The carbon tax alarmists are now reduced to bleating ‘socialist’ at every possible opportunity, like it’s a bad thing.

    (It is true that this policy also has some social equity measures built in, which is fine by me.)

    Even more bizarre, good ol’ Oz is already a mildly (and successfully) socialist country, and always has been, including under Howard and Menzies, the two great local heroes of the Oz right.

  3. #3 SteveC
    July 10, 2011

    But but… Everything Will Go Up!!

    EVERYTHINGS!!1!.

    ;-)

  4. #4 Mike Pope
    July 10, 2011

    Given that the primary purpose of the Gillard scheme is to reduce CO2 emissions and encouraging other countries to do likewise, I detect only three weaknesses: 1. Compensation for the coal and electricity generating industries, 2. Proposed trading in overseas carbon off-sets which may be of dubious antecedents and 3. Exclusion of oil-based fuels from the scheme.

    Compensation to highly profitable coal mining, other than to gaseous mines which would be forced to close, and electricity generators able to pass-on increased costs to customers is at least questionable. Such compensation might have been better used to encourage more rapid reduction of pollution and clean energy technology development.

    Purchase of international carbon off-sets in lieu of actual reduction of CO2 emissions by polluters in Australian should, at the very least, be regarded as questionable and undermining both the efficiency and ability to reduce our emissions. It would be preferable to limit trading to verified Australian off-sets rather than unlimited international trading in dubious off-sets.

    Exclusion of oil-based fuels may be understandable from an economic point of view but what is being proposed is a mish-mash with some exclusions (heavy vehicles) and some inclusions (diesel trains). Administratively inefficient and cumbersome. In the short-medium term (5-15 years), the price of these fuels will become increasingly unaffordable as oil scarcity increases and demand for it rises. We should be planning for this. The Gillard scheme does not.

    Apart from the above, what is proposed appears to be a remarkable achievement and one which seems likely to make an important contribution to both reduction of CO2 emissions and, no less importantly, achieving energy self sufficiency through growing emphasis on development of clean energy sources.

  5. #5 SteveC
    July 10, 2011

    Thanks for the thread and links Tim.

    See also Crikey on the carbon tax.

  6. #6 Dan Moutal
    July 11, 2011

    Here in British Columbia we have had a carbon tax for several years now… and as far as I can tell we are no closer to the stone age.

  7. #7 MikeH
    July 11, 2011

    In today’s Age Abbott claims the carbon tax ["won't cut emissions"](http://www.theage.com.au/environment/climate-change/pollution-tax-wont-cut-emissions-abbott-20110710-1h8zt.html).

    Isn’t this the same Abbott that forecast the end of the coal industry. Can one of Tony’s advisors tell him that burning coal releases CO2.

    Meanwhile in the same issue, Victorian Deputy Premier and National Party Leader Peter Ryan claims that there will be ["frequent power outages in summer in years ahead because of the likely closure of the Hazelwood power"](http://www.theage.com.au/environment/climate-change/prepare-for-no-power-when-heat-is-on-warns-ryan-20110710-1h8zw.html#ixzz1RlwUh5vl).

    Given that Hazlewood produces produces 2.8% of Australia’s CO2 emissions, it seems like Ryan is also at odds with Abbott. Apparently scare campaigns do not have to be consistent.

  8. #8 Billy Bob Hall
    July 11, 2011

    A sorry day indeed.

    How much will it cost ?
    Who pays ?
    How much will it change global temperatures ?

    No, you are wrong Tim. In Australia unfortunately, we are now back in the stone age.

  9. #9 PaddaCom
    July 11, 2011

    Oh thanks Tim. You’re so with it in giving people the latest about AGW news. You’re the go-to guy.

    Isn’t this just exciting news.

  10. #10 Bernard J.
    July 11, 2011

    I have to give a grudging respect to Julia Gillard, [who just faced the Q and A audience on ABC](http://www.abc.net.au/tv/qanda/txt/s3263582.htm). Most questions were answered well, and I particularly enjoyed her responses about the science.

    On that matter, I hope that the questioner who asked that Tony Abbott face scientists in an objective discussion of the science of global warming has his request granted. Perhaps we here can help to nudge the idea along…

    I also have to give credit to the tweets. I used to loathe the content, but tonight’s twittering was incisive indeed!

  11. #11 Lionel A
    July 11, 2011

    OT

    Thought I would point out that Richard Lindzen has been at it again. It was a race between sleep and vomit. With myself I am afraid, sleep didn’t win I felt too ill:

    Live radio interview with Richard Lindzen: “Scientists are in an awkward position on this one…”

  12. #12 Sean
    July 11, 2011

    “How and why would even a 5 degree C warming be of concern?”

    Just curious how much warming would have to occur for Lindzen and/or this blogger to be concerned. 6 degrees? 7? 8?

    Crank it up boys! No need to worry!

  13. #13 Rixaeton
    July 11, 2011

    So the share market went down on Monday, along with the world markets, and the headline reads “Carbon Tax hits ASX.” You can bet if the market went up, it would read “Market up Despite Carbon Tax” :(

    Funny how the rest of the world markets also went down because of our cabon tax. /snark

  14. #14 David Horton
    July 11, 2011

    #12 Yes, Rix, this is a classic example of the problem. Gillard isn’t in a debate with Abbott, she is facing a war with the media http://davidhortonsblog.com/2011/07/12/motherless-child/. I reckon the war is lost.

  15. #15 Lotharsson
    July 11, 2011

    > “How and why would even a 5 degree C warming be of concern?”

    Did he actually say that?! Is he **completely** off the planet now?

  16. #16 dhogaza
    July 12, 2011

    Did he actually say that?! Is he completely off the planet now?

    Apparently … not to be concerned about NA becoming, oh 10C+ warmer on average? The interior of NA is semi-arid, and 10C+ isn’t to be worried about?

    Lord.

  17. #17 Shinsko
    July 12, 2011

    >How and why would even a 5 degree C warming be of concern?

    Why shouldn’t human beings have the opportunity to challenge ourselves and live on a planet that has seen the complete collapse of all natural systems?

    And anyway as a commenter on Bolt’s blog once said: “The English adapt when they go to Spain , don’t they?”

  18. #18 Ezzthetic
    July 12, 2011

    “The English adapt when they go to Spain, don’t they?”

    Why are we wasting time with carbon taxes and ETS schemes, when we could solve all our climate problems by giving everyone Watneys Red Barrel?

  19. #19 SteveC
    July 12, 2011

    Why are we wasting time with carbon taxes and ETS schemes, when we could solve all our climate problems by giving everyone Watneys Red Barrel?

    And chips.

  20. #20 Sean
    July 12, 2011

    Didn’t take the time to listen to the interview, so I’m not sure if Lindzen actually said that. Just noticed that quote below the audio play feature in the link.

    Also from the link…
    ‘As a former IPCC contributer, Lindzen dislikes the IPCC “spin” and opines that none of the IPCC scientific statements is alarming. “None of it points to alarm.”

    On the precautionary principle: “It’s incoherent…”‘

  21. #21 Wow
    July 12, 2011

    > The English adapt when they go to Spain, don’t they?

    But the Spanish will then want to come to the New Spain (England). Will the English adapt to that?

    Past record seems to indicate otherwise. Especially amongst the Daily Mail readers who would consider it no problem to “adapt”.

  22. #22 Jeffrey Davis
    July 12, 2011

    I just wonder what level of damage would move Lindzen to concern. As the biggest name among the deniers, let us name the level of human suffering sufficient to change his attitude the “lindzen.”

    Surely he’d quail were the deaths due to AGW to reach that of the Nazi concentration camps in WW2. So, 7 million deaths = 1 lindzen. Would he change his mind about the danger at a fraction of a lindzen. A millilindzen? (7000 deaths) Probably not. A centilindzen? (70,000 deaths) I don’t think so, but maybe. A decilindzen? (700,000 deaths) That’s Rwanda scale, but I bet he could find a way of staying calm in the face of it.

    It would be terrible to think it would take multiple lindzens for him to change his mind.

  23. #23 Fran Barlow
    July 12, 2011

    Just a quick heads up on the latest line in anti-mitigation policy spin …

    It is being asserted that the “carbon tax” sic is pointless because Australia’s emissions in 2020 will be above those we have now. According to Treasury modelling (using a $20tCO2e price and a 5% real escalator — I understand the one on Sunday was 2.5% on $23) local emissions will rise from 578mtCO2e to 621mtCO2e, foreclosing the business as usual scenario in which we go to 679mtCO2e in 2020. In the “core policy scenario” outlined in pp76-77 there is 58mtCO2e of domestic abatement and 94mtCO2e of offshore abatement (ergo the 152mtCO2e).

    I’m not sure if the modelling has been rejigged since Sunday to reflect the announced deal, but it is worth noting, again, how the enemies of mitigation, who for years have said Australia can’t go it alone and have endorsed Hunt and Turnvbull’s “a ton of carbon is a ton of carbon” claim, now seem to be saying that only domestic abatement counts.

    Now I’m as keen as anyone to see domestic abatement, and equally keen to see that any offshore abatement meets additionality tests and due diligence — that it really is what it seems. Yet now it seems that the Blot fringe wants to say that Australia is some sort of Potemkin Village — that only “our” CO2 matters — and this after years of saying that Australia’s emissions were irrelevant and that the only thing that mattered was what China and India and maybe the US did.

    These folk are utterly shameless. It’s a different objection every day. Don’t like that objection? Well what about this diametrically opposite objection?

  24. #24 SteveC
    July 12, 2011

    @ Fran, it’s a bit like the Groucho Marx quote:

    “Those are my principles. If you don’t like them I have others.”

    But without the wit.

  25. #25 Gaz
    July 20, 2011

    Just a thought.

    It’s tempting to come to the conclusion that the Gillard government’s unpopularity is a sign that the country has stopped thinking climate change is important, and that the Moncktons of the world and their naive followers are having an effect.

    So the latest poll by this crowd called Essential Media [published on July 20](http://www.essentialmedia.com.au/essential-report/) is worth looking at.

    The poll was commissioned by (TV) Network 10 (of which Monckton sponsor Gina Rinehart owns about 10% I think – corect me if I’m wrong).

    It found 46% of people say they’ve “become more concerned about the effects of global warming over the last 2 years”, 40% say they feel “about the same” and only 11% say they’re less concerned.

    So don’t despair.

    Just because people seem inclined to vote for the party that’s says it will tackle climate change in the most inefficient, costly way imaginable doesn’t mean they’ve stopped caring about the issue.

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