Australia passes carbon tax

Australia’s carbon tax has been passed by the Senate. Be entertained as Piers Akerman goes barking mad:

This is the day the Western tradition of science-backed advancement of the human condition was rejected in favour of paganism. …

We are witnessing the beginning of the end game for Australia as we know it. …

The rest of the globe’s population is wondering why we ever permitted ourselves to be lied and deceived back into the Dark Ages.

Oddly enough, despite Australia’s return to the Dark Ages, New Limited’s server was still able to serve up Akerman’s rant.

Comments

  1. #1 frank -- Decoding SwiftHack
    November 8, 2011

    Alas for inactivists, the carbon tax isn’t likely to cause the Dark Ages to descend upon Australia, so the inactivists will have to create the Dark Ages all by themselves in order to fulfill their own prophecy. A few autos da fé complete with show trials of climate scientists might be a good start.

    — frank

  2. #2 Deen
    November 8, 2011

    I would consider internalizing external costs as a good way to advance the human condition.

  3. #3 bigcitylib
    November 8, 2011

    All hail paganism. About bloody time.

  4. #4 Paulino
    November 8, 2011

    We all know that warmistas are funded by the powerful and mega-billionaire lobby of the Society of Creative Anachronism and Renaissance fairs. You can probably add traditional farming tools industrial conglomerates and the Amish into the conspiracy but I don’t have evidence for those…

  5. #5 Lars Karlsson
    November 8, 2011

    Oh what fools!
    >The backward thinking clique who are running the government are determined to see solar and wind power restored as our principal energy sources.
    >In the “new” green era we will be as dependent upon the rising of the sun and the blowing of the wind as those who reached these shores in the First Fleet.

    This is the end of electricity! The Australians will have to cook their food by putting it out in the sun!

  6. #6 ben
    November 8, 2011

    Australians certainly won’t be cooking their food out in the sun, but you will be paying more for your electricity with negligible benefit to anything but your guilty consciences.

  7. #7 Peter
    November 8, 2011

    Alas I followed the link to PA. I feel dirty now.

  8. #8 Juice
    November 8, 2011

    Deen,

    Could you explain what you mean? Will the carbon tax money go to pay direct reparations or recompense to victims of climate injustice or some other kind of climate crime? Maybe the tax money will go toward rescuing climate refugees?

  9. #9 Lars Karlsson
    November 8, 2011

    Australia is emitting 2 to 3 times more per capita than most European countries. Some reductions should be possible without having to live like in the Middle Ages.

  10. #10 Chris O'Neill
    November 8, 2011

    you will be paying more for your electricity with negligible benefit to anything but your guilty consciences.

    And so ben propagates the litterbugs defense.

  11. #11 cbp
    November 8, 2011

    It is a little known fact that in the Early Middle Ages, a journey by aeroplane cost $4 more than it does now in modern times. The horror!

  12. #12 SteveC
    November 8, 2011

    Almost 24 hours after the legislation got Senate assent, the Strayan economy has yet to fall into a shattered, sobbing heap. However, Piers Akerman and Andrew Bolt are by their own estimation never wrong, so I expect this is just a minor aberration and we will all be ekeing out a threadbare existence on a rubbish tip by the end of next week, or piling onto unseaworthy boats and heading off to Indonesia claiming refugee status.

  13. #13 bill
    November 8, 2011

    Oh, the humanity!! Will no-one think of the children!?!? There’ll be blood in the streets, I tell you!!!!

    The thing about such public displays of frenzied onanism is that when the excitement’s over you just look rather limp and silly…

  14. #14 Gaz
    November 8, 2011

    “Could you explain what you mean?

    Are you kidding, Deen?

    Read the Garnaut report. Look at the Clean Energy Future web site. Look up the wikipedia entry on “externality”.

    These things aren’t secrets.

  15. #15 mandas
    November 8, 2011

    “…..Australians certainly won’t be cooking their food out in the sun, but you will be paying more for your electricity…..”

    And so we bloody well should!! Maybe then we will be a bit more thoughtful about how and why we use it, instead of wasting huge amounts of energy. If we paid the real cost of what we use, instead of the subsidised price, we might come to realise that we have been living in a fool’s paradise for too damn long, and its about time we woke up and started to manage our resources a bit better.

    And perhaps a tax on the externalised waste product of fossil fuels will drive investment into cleaner and more efficient energy, which will actually end up costing us far less.

  16. #16 Mike Pope
    November 8, 2011

    Legislation imposing an initial price of $23/tonne on carbon dioxide emissions will bring about reduction of Australia’s CO2-e emissions. Unquestionably, it will also bring about a significant increase in the price of goods produced by the 500 or so companies, the largest emitters, which will have to pay for their emissions. That increase will be passed on to the customers of those businesses. The most noticeable effect will be an increase in the cost of electricity, probably of 10-15%.

    Most households affected by this increase are fully compensated for this increase, as are trade exposed industries, such as steel and cement production which would otherwise be unable to compete with businesses located in countries which do not impose a levy on carbon emissions.

    Arguably. the most important effect of pricing carbon is not reduction of CO2-e emissions but the beginning of the end of our dependence on the use of fossil fuels to meet our energy needs. This will result in Australia gaining a competitive advantage over countries which are not doing so but will later have to. A shorter term effect will be creation of new investment and employment opportunities as billions of dollars become available for development and application of new technology for production and delivery of electricity from renewable sources.

    Within a few years, electricity generated from renewables will be cheaper than that produced from coal and the latter will cease top be produced. Within 20-30 years domestic use of coal will decline to zero and, unlike India and China, Australia will not be reliant on use of costly fuel imports for production of its exports. This will lead to Australia becoming a centre of expertise in renewable technology and know-how. Pricing carbon has far wider implications which go well beyond reducing CO2-e emissions.

  17. #17 Billy Bob Hall
    November 8, 2011

    Frank @ 1 is wrong. The new dark age (for Aust at least) is now upon us.
    The age of reason and logic is lost.

  18. #18 Craig Thomas
    November 8, 2011

    I have never read a more concentrated pile of utter horseshit as Piers Akerman’s latest inane nonsense printed in the Telegraph.

    It will be fun to remind him and Bolt of these execrable examples of unprofessional journalism in the years to come.

  19. #19 harvey
    November 8, 2011

    Time to build some Carbon Neutral solar plants that can use the current natural gas infrastructure….

    http://www.solar-fuel.net/en/the-challenge

  20. #20 WotWot
    November 8, 2011

    Yay Australia. You done good. :-)

    As to PA, all I can say is enjoy the final stage of your long slide into complete and self-inflicted historical irrelevance.

  21. #21 jakerman
    November 8, 2011

    >you will be paying more for your electricity with negligible benefit to anything but your guilty consciences.

    ben demostate an empty notion of what constitutes “negligible benefit”.

    I’d rate taking an advance step with other nations towards a global (internalising) cost of carbon and a real benefit.

    And as Mike Pope points out this is just one of many real benefits.

    The carbon price will influence investors. Venture capital can see the long term rising trend in fossil fuel prices and the collision course with falling costs of solar in particular.

    Our price is small, but it sends a message that more and more nations around the world are going to make it harder and harder to emit endless amounts of carbon.

    Another link in the chain of global action, and a necessary prerequisite to major emitters like China and India taking deeper action. Prerequisite because per capita China is already leading with the average Chinese emitting a quarter that of the average Australian as [vividly shown in this chart](http://www.theage.com.au/environment/climate-change/the-question-is-what-earthly-difference-can-we-make-20110903-1jrom.html#ixzz1X2bakgrW).

  22. #22 BabsonTask
    November 8, 2011

    For anyone in The Australian to write “the day the Western tradition of science-backed advancement of the human condition was rejected…” is laughable.

  23. #23 Chris O'Neill
    November 8, 2011

    Here’s an example of ben’s logic:

    If I reduce my Carbon emissions to zero, I’m quite certain the effect on earth’s global temperature will not be measurable. Therefore I shouldn’t try to reduce my Carbon emissions.

  24. #24 Ark
    November 8, 2011

    Unless Piers announces disasters, no one will listen.

  25. #25 Chris O'Neill
    November 9, 2011

    As I mentioned in the open thread, but it’s appropriate here, TV news items captioned Geoff Hunt with the most ironic title in Australian politics: Opposition Spokesman for Climate Action.

  26. #26 bill
    November 9, 2011

    Chris O’Neill @#24: And I’ll repeat my quip – that’s what’s known as a carbondioxymoron.

  27. #27 ianam
    November 9, 2011

    ben displays the two primary characteristics of deniers (and yes, lukewarmers are deniers): stupidity and intellectual dishonesty. ben, don’t vote because your contribution to the outcome is negligible. Don’t put on sunscreen because the damage from any one exposure is negligible. And by all means don’t look up “Sorites Paradox” because any reduction in your ignorance would be negligible compared to its overall vastness.

  28. #28 bratisla
    November 9, 2011

    “his is the day the Western tradition of science-backed advancement of the human condition was rejected in favour of paganism. …

    We are witnessing the beginning of the end game for Australia as we know it. …”

    Alarmists ! Crooks trying to scare people to get funds for their researches !!!

    … Wait, we do not talk about scientists, but deniers ?
    My mind boggles.

    … or not :]

  29. #29 Donald Oats
    November 9, 2011

    Darn, had to eat my baked beans cold…and there’s rioting in the streets (well, whichever street PA lives on).

    I’m wondering where the Libs go to from here—they’ve demonstrated repeatedly that they are the opposition party of the Automatic NO, so where does that leave them now? More specifically, where does that leave the opposition leader Tony Abbott—the political policy Weathervane—now?

  30. #30 jakerman
    November 9, 2011

    Ark FTW!

  31. #31 jakerman
    November 9, 2011

    >they’ve demonstrated repeatedly that they are the opposition party of the Automatic NO

    Good point, Australian’s don’t yet know what he will say yes to if given government.

  32. #32 Robert
    November 9, 2011

    Had Akerman used the word “stupidity” instead of “paganism”, he would have been spot on. The carbon tax won’t materially change the course of our climate at all. It will keep an army of bureaucrats employed to administer the thousands of pages of legislation that accompany the Clean Energy Act. Coal is a renewable energy anyway. It just takes a very long time to renew.

  33. #33 Wow
    November 9, 2011

    Really, Robert? And you know the future HOW, exactly?

    I hope you used a model with EVERY SINGLE VARIABLE included in it! Humans are very chaotic.

  34. #34 Chris O'Neill
    November 9, 2011
  35. #35 jakerman
    November 9, 2011

    >The carbon tax won’t materially change the course of our climate at all. It will keep an army of bureaucrats employed to administer the thousands of pages of legislation that accompany the Clean Energy Act.

    Rob you’ve got it the wrong way around, the Oppositions direct action will employ the army of bureaucrats to process all the grants application and great expense.

  36. #36 FrankD
    November 9, 2011

    Mike@16: That increase will be passed on to the customers of those businesses.

    There’s something I don’t quite get about that. As a hairy unwashed Dark-Age Greenie recidivist, of course I agree that our large corporations will just pass on the cost, because they are mostly run by a useless bunch of c%#@s.

    But the people who believe our corporations are lean, mean, cutting-edge wealth generating machines of human freedom…why do *they* think that they will just pass it on? Surely this change “incentivises” (shudder) and provides considerable scope to reform many aspects of business performance to trim costs and *outcompete their rivals in Australia*. I mean, if company A trims, say, their energy bill a tad and can make the same profit when passing on only $22 per tonne, they gain a competitive advantage, market share, happy shareholders and fat CEO bonuses. Don’t they?

    Seems to me that “they’ll just pass on the costs” equals “all our corporate executives are a bunch of useless fucktards who couldn’t find a real efficiency gain if their share options depended on it”.

    Now *I* agree with that. But surprised at how many rightwing trollumnists do too…

  37. #37 barry
    November 9, 2011

    Frank,

    they’ll do both – trim their emissions to pay less tax and pass on costs. The less carbon tax they pay, the more competitive they become.

    In theory, anyway.

  38. #38 jrkrideau
    November 9, 2011

    @20 jakerman
    That’s definately an interesting chart in terms of information : It also looks like it would score highly in the “Worst chart of the year” contest.

    As I feared we in Canada are following fast on Oz’s emissions and, worse, our government is doing basically nothing about it.

  39. #39 frank -- Decoding SwiftHack
    November 9, 2011

    SteveC:

    > Almost 24 hours after the legislation got Senate assent, the Strayan economy has yet to fall into a shattered, sobbing heap. However, Piers Akerman and Andrew Bolt are by their own estimation never wrong, so I expect this is just a minor aberration and we will all be ekeing out a threadbare existence on a rubbish tip by the end of next week, or piling onto unseaworthy boats and heading off to Indonesia claiming refugee status.

    As I said, SteveC, I’m sure Akerman and Bolt are now thinking about how they can turn the Australian economy into a shattered, sobbing heap. Much like US Republican driving the economy into the pits so that they can complain about how the economy’s in the pits.

    — frank

  40. #40 Fran Barlow
    November 9, 2011

    Gaz … I read Deen’s comment as supportive of carbon pricing. It was “ben” who was pushing what Chris O’Neill rightly called “the litterbug’s defence”.

    @mandas said:

    And perhaps a tax {price} on the externalised waste product of fossil fuels will drive investment into cleaner and more efficient energy, which will actually end up costing us far less.

    Taxes are compulsory contributions by individuals or businesses purely for communal purposes, rather than personal services. The disposal of industrial waste is clearly a service, and calling payment to the commons for removal/agistment of this waste “tax” implies that business has a “right” to dump and the commons no right to object. That is all kinds of wrong.

    @craig

    Agree … I read through six pages of comments and there were only a few people who managed anything accurate and coherent — and all of them copped several shades of abuse, including from PA himself. I wrote a non-abusive reamrk addressing issues of policy making amidst uncertainty, which never got published. This underlines part of the problem — that PA wants to keep the blog as a cheersquad for his brand of hectoring stupidity.

    What was telling was the persistent reference to @n@l sex/r@pe (albeit who was doing it to whom varied. I have to assume this was at least in part driven by homophobia directed at Bob Brown. References to “jackboots” and paranoid fantasies about comun|sts and total|tarianism were also much in evidence. Bizarre. You’d think if the state felt as confident about repression as these fools assert, that they’d have not bothered with household or business compensation or even an explanation.

  41. #41 SteveC
    November 9, 2011

    @ Fran B:

    I read Deen’s comment as supportive of carbon pricing

    I think the word price needs to be highlighted, because that it what this is. It is NOT a tax, and even though it has become common parlance to refer to it that way that does not make it correct.

    @ Tim, it might sound like nit-picking but my view is that the title of this thread should have been called a carbon price not carbon tax. As has been discussed elsewhere (notably by Fran B) allowing the media and opposition parties to call it a tax is probably a blunder on the part of the Gillard government.

  42. #42 bill
    November 9, 2011

    I also read Deen’s comment as supportive. You know, as Bing Crosby might have sung –

    Accentuate the positive
    Eliminate the negative
    Internalize, the externalities
    Don’t mess with Mr. In-Between

  43. #43 Mulga Mumblebrain
    November 9, 2011

    Fran Barlow was correct concerning the comments appended to Akerman’s febrile and puerile verbiage. It was the Dunning-Kruger tendency in full spate and very sinister. Amongst the spluttering, the idiocy and the ignorance was a nasty leavening of thinly veiled threats of violence and much uncensored homophobia and not a little crude misogyny. The Right are a delight to behold, no doubt about it, and when the Ponziform global economic grift collapses and the really big climatic and weather disasters and the effects of Peak Oil all kick in, in a very few years, the dragons’ teeth that the likes of Ackerman, Bolt and the whole News Corpse crew have sown, and fertilised with their own copious supplies of bulldust, will produce nasty, nasty, results. I’m not sure, these things being opaque, but the sheer uniformity of the comments (a universal feature at News Corpse these days)smells of bias and suppression of unwanted ideas, rather like most of the ABC Radio National comments pages.

  44. #44 barry
    November 9, 2011

    If it was a ‘price’ on carbon, wouldn’t it be universal? Looks like a tax to me, as only those companies who go over the ‘carbon free threshold’ are required to pay it.

  45. #45 Lotharsson
    November 9, 2011

    > Very good post I very much enjoyed reading it, keep at it as I hope to read more.

    This is spam (check the link). There are bots going around posting this precise sentence.

  46. #46 jakerman
    November 9, 2011

    I agree with the Gillard govt’s decision not get caught in the word game of whether this is a tax. Its too important for our government to be distracted with word acrobats. They need to sell the benefits of it rather than looking slippery.

  47. #47 KiwiInOz
    November 9, 2011

    I’m thinking of investing in tinfoil shares. The lot at Ackerman’s site must surely go through a lot of hats to keep the mind reading satellites at bay.

  48. #48 ben
    November 9, 2011

    And so ben propagates the litterbugs defense.

    Not so. If everyone else litters and there’s nothing you can do to stop them, then it won’t make a difference if you stop or not. Now, if most people don’t litter, then it makes a difference if you litter or not.

    Second, the cost to you of not littering is very small, and the relative benefit is quite large. Not so with AGW I’m afraid.

    If I reduce my Carbon emissions to zero, I’m quite certain the effect on earth’s global temperature will not be measurable. Therefore I shouldn’t try to reduce my Carbon emissions.

    It’s foolish to try because it won’t make a difference, because the rest of the world is going to go right on pumping out CO2. If you want to do it anyway, and pay commensurate higher prices for energy and everything else, go right ahead. I’m not arguing that you shouldn’t do it.

    ben displays the two primary characteristics of deniers (and yes, lukewarmers are deniers): stupidity and intellectual dishonesty. ben, don’t vote because your contribution to the outcome is negligible. Don’t put on sunscreen because the damage from any one exposure is negligible. And by all means don’t look up “Sorites Paradox” because any reduction in your ignorance would be negligible compared to its overall vastness.

    Sorites paradox does not apply to what I wrote. The paradox you mention makes no mention of the cost of each individual grain of sand. I’m thinking of cost/benefit, while you’re arguing about the straw that broke the camels back. Reducing CO2 emissions doesn’t come without cost.

  49. #49 jakerman
    November 10, 2011

    >If everyone else litters and there’s nothing you can do to stop them, then it won’t make a difference if you stop or not. Now, if most people don’t litter, then it makes a difference if you litter or not.

    ben importantly for both littering and emissions, peoples actions are not independent of each other. The actions taken by individuals and nations influence others (either positively or negativly).

    The belief that if “everyone else litters and there’s nothing you can do to stop them” is contradicted by the pivital points of change in history. i.e when nations somehow move from slavery as the norm, or changes from smoking as the norm, or from when women were second class citizens. Or when workers were subject to the whim and fancy of employers.

    Individaul action did make a difference.

  50. #50 hannah's dad
    November 10, 2011
  51. #51 jakerman
    November 10, 2011

    Nice point HD.

  52. #52 bill
    November 10, 2011

    Individual action did make a difference.

    Building on Hannah’s Dad’s theme: as did far-seeing legislation. As a resident of the quaint, progressive little state down the bottom in the middle there, I’ve watched in amazement as attempts to introduce such schemes further east have produced thunderous Piers Akermanite prophesies of an immediate and bloody halt to the economy, followed by the collapse of Western Civilization, to boot!

    But we’re the catastrophist alarmists, of course! Projection, much?

    Or perhaps it’s only alarmism if you have overwhelming evidence on your side, too?

  53. #53 Geoff Beacon
    November 10, 2011

    In York, England (pop over 193,000) I have an epetition

    “We the undersigned petition the council to congratulate David Cameron for supporting the Prime Minister of Australia in her introduction of a carbon tax.”

    It has 41 signatures – most of these I solicited personally.

    If you know anyone in York, please let them know. Easy access through http://bkuk.com

  54. #54 Geoff Beacon
    November 10, 2011

    Can I repost this from my posting on Tamino’s blog. If I sound deperate, I am. I suppose most of you here will be….

    We have an economic “crisis” but a climate disaster.

    The tsunami of climate change will dwarf the ripples in the economy.

    The big fear in the economic crisis is unemployment.

    We stand a (possibly small) chance of averting the tsunami by cutting carbon emissions with a carbon tax. So lets

    TAX CARBON AND SUBSIDISE JOBS.

    Full employment and a small hope the tsunami will stop.

    http://www.brusselsblog.co.uk/jobs-and-carbon-taxes/

  55. #55 ianam
    November 10, 2011

    The paradox you mention makes no mention of the cost of each individual grain of sand. I’m thinking of cost/benefit, while you’re arguing about the straw that broke the camels back.

    ben again demonstrates that he is jaw-droppingly stupid and dishonest. The Sorites Paradox pertains to how the sum of “negligible” differences add up to a significant difference.

  56. #56 ianam
    November 10, 2011

    Second, the cost to you of not littering is very small, and the relative benefit is quite large. Not so with AGW I’m afraid.

    Again, mindbogglingly stupid and dishonest.

  57. #57 Wow
    November 10, 2011

    > If it was a ‘price’ on carbon, wouldn’t it be universal?

    No. Why would it?

    The price of a DVD isn’t universal (not even from Universal).

  58. #58 Chris O'Neill
    November 10, 2011

    ben:

    If everyone else litters and there’s nothing you can do to stop them, then it won’t make a difference if you stop or not.

    Classic litterbug’s defense.

    Now, if most people don’t litter, then it makes a difference if you litter or not.

    And what, pray tell, is so special about this 50% (as in “most”) boundary line?

    Second, the cost to you of not littering is very small, and the relative benefit is quite large. Not so with AGW I’m afraid.

    And what, pray tell, is the difference between AGW and littering in general? AGW is one case of littering yet you haven’t spelt out what makes AGW different from littering in general. Is or is not AGW an example of littering?

    If I reduce my Carbon emissions to zero, I’m quite certain the effect on earth’s global temperature will not be measurable. Therefore I shouldn’t try to reduce my Carbon emissions.

    It’s foolish to try because it won’t make a difference, because the rest of the world is going to go right on pumping out CO2.

    No, it won’t make a measurable difference what I do regardless of what anyone else does. That is the denialist argument. And how on earth do you know what the rest of the world is going to do?

  59. #59 Rick Bradford
    November 10, 2011

    > “In York, England (pop over 193,000) I have an epetition … to congratulate David Cameron for supporting … carbon tax. It has 41 signatures – most of these I solicited personally.”

    Nice to see that the people of York retain their sturdy common sense.

  60. #60 frank -- Decoding SwiftHack
    November 10, 2011

    Rick Bradford, what’s this “common sense” thang, and how does it actually relate to logic, evidence, and science?

    — frank

  61. #61 Wow
    November 10, 2011

    It doesn’t, frank.

    Rick doesn’t use common sense, he uses “gut feeling”.

    His brain is being carried around as a method of cooling the blood.

  62. #62 Rick Bradford
    November 10, 2011

    @59 frank

    I can’t help you.

    All but a tiny minority of people understand the concept of “common sense”, and those that don’t are characterised by adverse mental conditions, including but not limited to: paranoia, extreme narcissism, delusional thinking, or arrested development.

    You may wish to consult your physician.

  63. #63 Wow
    November 10, 2011

    > All but a tiny minority of people understand the concept of “common sense”

    We know.

    > and those that don’t are characterised by adverse mental conditions, including but not limited to: paranoia, extreme narcissism, delusional thinking, or arrested development.

    Yup, you (and all deniers pretty much to a man) described to a “t”.

  64. #64 frank -- Decoding SwiftHack
    November 10, 2011

    Rick Bradford:

    > > what’s this “common sense” thang, and how does it actually relate to logic, evidence, and science?

    > All but a tiny minority of people understand the concept of “common sense”, and those that don’t are characterised by adverse mental conditions

    So in your view, reliance on logic, evidence, and science, instead of this indescribable “common sense” thang, is a symptom of “adverse mental conditions”?

    — frank

  65. #65 Rick Bradford
    November 10, 2011

    @63 frank

    I’ve said already that I can’t help you.

    ‘This indescribable “common sense” thang’ is so obvious to the vast majority of people that it doesn’t need describing.

    Contact your physician or local support centre.

  66. #66 Wow
    November 10, 2011

    No, dick, it looks like you can’t help yourself.

  67. #67 frank -- Decoding SwiftHack
    November 10, 2011

    Rick Bradford:

    > ‘This indescribable “common sense” thang’ is so obvious to the vast majority of people that it doesn’t need describing.

    What’s clearly “obvious” is that this “common sense” runs contrary to science, logic, evidence, and stuff. Which means relying on “common sense” in contrast to actual science is a bad idea.

    > Contact your physician or local support centre.

    You know, my “common sense” tells me that you’re an idiot. Take that.

    — frank

  68. #68 Rick Bradford
    November 10, 2011

    @66 frank

    > You know, my “common sense” tells me …

    You really don’t get it.

    “Common sense” is not an individual thing, it’s a shared thing (as we infer from the word ‘common’), so there is no such thing as “my common sense” or “his common sense”, there is just “common sense”.

    As your counsellor can explain, “common sense” is a distillation of things we have collectively learnt as a species — not to eat cat faeces, not to attack grizzly bears, not to attempt sexual congress with a duck.

    If you like, it is a precis of the science — we don’t need to describe all the biochemical downsides of eating cat faeces — “common sense” dictates that we don’t do it.

    “Common sense” is, in fact, distilled science and wisdom, of the kind which helps humanity develop.

  69. #69 Wow
    November 10, 2011

    There is, however, a lack of common sense.

    As appears in every one of your posts, dick.

  70. #70 frank -- Decoding SwiftHack
    November 10, 2011

    Rick Bradford:

    > “Common sense” is not an individual thing, it’s a shared thing (as we infer from the word ‘common’)

    Since when did words determine reality? If I label my pronouncements as “plain objective truth”, does that make them so?

    Your idea of “distilled science and wisdom” runs contrary to my idea of “distilled science and wisdom” — and contrary to the science and wisdom espoused by, y’ know, actual scientists. So yes, there’s such a thing as “your common sense” and “my common sense”. And your “common sense” happens to be bullshit, as evidenced by bullshit arguments you spew.

    Your so-called “climate skeptic common sense” has no relation to actual science, logic, and evidence.

    — frank

  71. #71 chek
    November 10, 2011

    Well, here in the UK I haven’t heard any reports of Australian civilisation breaking down into Mad Max style scenarios just yet.

    It’ll be interesting to see what Ackerman and Bolt et al are going to comment on next when Ackmageddon doesn’t materialise. Honestly, the fuss these tinfoil hatters make about regulating an industry is beyond belief.

  72. #72 Geoff Beacon
    November 10, 2011

    An interesting finding by two separate research economists I’ve met is that the long run elasticity of demand for household energy is over 100%.

    THAT MEANS DOUBLE THE PRICE AND THE DEMAND WILL HALVE.

    That means not only would “Tax carbon, subsidise jobs” create employment, it would be very effective in cutting carbon emissions.

    THAT SOUNDS LIKE COMMON SENSE TO ME.

  73. #73 ianam
    November 10, 2011

    Common sense is the level of analysis available to people with IQs of 100. Sometimes they are right, often they are wrong … especially about anything complex.

  74. #74 James Wimberley
    November 10, 2011

    To be fair to the good citizens of York, it´s far from clear that the proposed petition would be a good use of their civic energy. Neither they nor David Cameron has any influence on Australia´s energy policy. You can´t infer that they don´t care about climate change. Maybe they think that home insulation etc is a better priority for Yorkshire.

  75. #75 ChrisC
    November 10, 2011

    Rick Bradford:

    “Common sense” is, in fact, distilled science and wisdom, of the kind which helps humanity develop.

    Albert Einstein:

    “Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen.”

  76. #76 Ken Fabos
    November 10, 2011

    Litterbug defence! I like that. Very concise and cogent. Better than my efforts to look at the ‘we shouldn’t unless they do and they won’t unless we already have’ quandry by reworking Zeno’s Paradox. With Zeno we all know the tortoise does indeed get left in the dust at some point; with the emissions problem it really does lead to an impassable err… impasse. But that is surely the desired result of most of those that push the litterbug defence.

    Critiques of measures to restrain emissions come in two primary forms – criticism in order to make those measures more effective and criticism in order to make them less effective. Not much doubt in my mind which category the litterbug defence falls into.

  77. #77 Chris O'Neill
    November 10, 2011

    Geoff Beacon:

    An interesting finding by two separate research economists I’ve met is that the long run elasticity of demand for household energy is over 100%.

    THAT MEANS DOUBLE THE PRICE AND THE DEMAND WILL HALVE.

    This, of course, is not the main reason a Carbon price will reduce emissions, although it causes some reduction as stated. The main reason is that a Carbon price is intended to make low Carbon energy sources economically viable where they would not be otherwise and hence for them to take over energy production.

    Of course, there’s no shortage of ignoramuses who only realize the first reason and not the second and thus say “Well there’s not much point bringing in a Carbon price if it’s only going to reduce emissions by 10%”.

  78. #78 Gaz
    November 10, 2011

    Sorry Deen. My comment at 14 should have been directed to Juice.

  79. #79 Rick Bradford
    November 11, 2011

    > Common sense is the level of analysis available to people with IQs of 100. Sometimes they are right, often they are wrong … especially about anything complex.

    Totally wrong.

    Common sense is not closely correlated with IQ.

    Example: People who completely fall for the Nigerian e-mail scam are disproportionally high-IQ types — they seem to believe they are so smart that they can judge everything for themselves rather than listening to other people, the lessons of history, or folk wisdom such as “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”

    Lack of common sense isn’t an IQ problem (many of these people are very smart, well-educated and well-qualified) but an EQ one (something has stripped a gear in their emotional development).

  80. #80 Wow
    November 11, 2011

    > Common sense is not closely correlated with IQ.

    Just as well that isn’t what the sentence you quoted is saying.

  81. #81 ianam
    November 11, 2011

    Common sense is not closely correlated with IQ.

    I didn’t say it was, moron. What I said was that idiots like you don’t have access to anything more sophisticated than common sense. But even then, you’re too stupid to use it … for instance, it’s common sense that, if the world’s scientists say one thing and a blithering idiot and ignoramus like you says another, it’s the scientists who are right.

    As for your comments about the 419 scam, they are a complete fabrication, a pile of bs that you concocted with no evidence. That’s your more basic problem … beyond your stupidity is your complete lack of moral character.

  82. #82 Rick Bradford
    November 11, 2011

    > As for your comments about the 419 scam, they are a complete fabrication, a pile of bs that you concocted with no evidence.

    No. That happens to be my area of work (trying to prevent it, that is).

  83. #83 Wow
    November 11, 2011

    So I take it that because it’s your job, you know better than someone else whose job ISN’T about preventing fraud scams like the 419 scams?

    You agree that someone whose job it is to look at something is better qualified to talk about that which their job is about?

  84. #84 Wow
    November 11, 2011

    So I take it that because it’s your job, you know better than someone else whose job ISN’T about preventing fraud scams like that?

    You agree that someone whose job it is to look at something is better qualified to talk about that subject?

  85. #85 Rick Bradford
    November 11, 2011

    You can take it that because it’s my job and has been for over a decade, I object to being accused of making “a complete fabrication, a pile of bs that you concocted with no evidence.”

  86. #86 Richard Simons
    November 11, 2011

    You can take it that because it’s my job and has been for over a decade, I object to being accused of making “a complete fabrication, a pile of bs that you concocted with no evidence.”

    So you agree that the vast majority of climatologists are probably correct?

  87. #87 chek
    November 11, 2011

    ” I object to being accused of making “a complete fabrication, a pile of bs that you concocted with no evidence”.

    I believe the technical term of the above from Bradford is ‘oh the irony’.

  88. #88 frank -- Decoding SwiftHack
    November 11, 2011

    Rick Bradford:

    > People who completely fall for the Nigerian e-mail scam are disproportionally high-IQ types — they seem to believe they are so smart

    And since when was IQ (or aptitude in anything) ever measured by self-evaluation? Have you ever, ever administered or been administered an intelligence test?

    > You can take it that because it [preventing 419 scams]’s my job and has been for over a decade,

    My “common sense of smell” tells me that you’re a bald-faced liar. Because only a lying liar can state the brazen nonsense that you did with such high confidence. Now prove me wrong.

    — frank

  89. #89 frank -- Decoding SwiftHack
    November 11, 2011

    More Bradfordian wisdom:

    > Lack of common sense isn’t an IQ problem (many of these people are very smart, well-educated and well-qualified) but an EQ one (something has stripped a gear in their emotional development).

    Oh, so climate change shouldn’t be studied using mathematics, logic, instruments, and stuff, but instead it should be studied using “emotions”.

    Is this really “common sense” we’re talking about here, or just common bullshit?

    — frank

  90. #90 ianam
    November 11, 2011

    I object

    I object to you being a dishonest sack of shit and as dumb as a bag of rocks. Once again,

    it’s common sense that, if the world’s scientists say one thing and a blithering idiot and ignoramus like you says another, it’s the scientists who are right.

    Admit it and bugger off.

  91. #91 ianam
    November 11, 2011

    Oh, so climate change shouldn’t be studied using mathematics, logic, instruments, and stuff, but instead it should be studied using “emotions”.

    I think Rick was speaking of those who fall for Nigerian scams having low “EQ” — not that he can provide any evidence for that … like, say a double blind application of the Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test to people who have and have not fallen for the scam, controlling for other factors. For a git like Rick, it’s all about “common sense” (which he hasn’t the sense to actually apply) and personal impressions.

  92. #92 John
    November 11, 2011

    >Oh, so climate change shouldn’t be studied using mathematics, logic, instruments, and stuff, but instead it should be studied using “emotions”.

    Classic.

  93. #93 Gaz
    November 13, 2011

    I’d just like to add my bit in agreement with Chris O’Neill’s comment at #76.

    The price elasticity of demand for household energy is interesting, but in reality it will not be the key to the change in energy supply, except in a roundabout way.

    The main way the tax/ETS will affect energy supply is by
    making some forms of energy more profitable for suppliers. It’s a policy oriented toward the supply side, as economists say, rather than the demand side.

    Investment in new electricity generation will go into the most profitable technology.

    Presumably, this is why the IPA and their buddies in the Liberal/National coalition are against the carbon tax and the ETS, because they have forgotten how good markets can be at allocating capital, given the right price signals.

    Consumers will probably not notice much difference in price, though.

    Why would a supplier offer electricity at a much lower price than a competitor? A bit lower maybe, to prompt a switch, but not a lot lower.

    The elasticity comes in importantly on the other side – it’s what will stop the more carbon-intensive suppliers from jacking prices up to maintain their profit margins.

    Look at it this way – it’s cheaper to dig gold up in some mines compared with others, but there’s only one gold price.

    The reason the cheaper-to-dig up gold is mined in preference to the less accessible deposits is because the profits are bigger, not because people like buying the cheaper gold rather than the more expensive gold, because it’s all the same price.

    The supply side focus is pretty clear in the literature the government has put out explaining the new system, also in the Garnaut report as well.

  94. #94 Lotharsson
    November 14, 2011

    #93 is spam.

  95. #95 Mike Pope
    November 17, 2011

    Poor old Ackers. So wrong, so misinforming, and so out of touch with reality – just like his fellow journo’s Bolt and Jones when commenting on matters related to science, climate change and government policy thereon.

    Tim describes Ackers contribution as a rant and so it is. Contributions so blatantly devoid of anything resembling the truth, forces one to question not just the sanity of the author but his motivation. Perhaps he is trying singlehandedly to justify calls for a public inquiry into journalism and media standards?

    Ackers seems to be over the view that without energy produced from burning fossil fuels, civilisations and the world as we know it must inevitably come to an end. The very idea that our energy needs could and should (and will) be produced from renewable source such as solar, wind, hydro and, importantly for Australia, geothermal, is clearly beyond his comprehension. The fact that technology already exists enabling us to generate base load electricity to meet all our needs is seemingly regarded by him as a fiction which will never comes to pass.

    Perhaps Ackers rant has helped to show the nation and the wider world, just how rabidly stupid some people can be when it comes to embracing necessary, orderly and well planned change.

  96. #96 ianam
    December 24, 2011

    #93: 93 is spam.

    Not any more. :-)

  97. #97 Stephen
    Sydney
    June 8, 2012

    For Consideration of LeGrange Points in Earth Climatic Orbits
    If the Earth is warming it is may be caused by greenhouse gases. It may be that Geothermal or Solar origination is also plausible, or contributing or detracting.
    As it appears the first half of the millennium tends to be warmer the weighting may be more towards a Solar cycle stimulus aiding warming.
    It is important for scientists to monitor the things that matter. Limited science and community resources have to be placed in the eye of the storm.
    The last mass extinction on Earth in the Paleozoic was the result of a rapid and massive increase in methane levels in the atmosphere. This methane is still here, preserved frozen in huge sheets of methane hydrates on the deep ocean floor. Are we monitoring the water temperature above these sheets? Are we monitoring the techtonic stresses and volcanic activity potentials at these locations? Are we researching organisms that can feed on frozen methane or refining how it can be used as a fuel?
    The Earth’s climatic trajectories can be compared to the orbits of satellites in Space. Once an orbit is set the object in Space is in a space tube. It can’t vary from the determined trajectory until it reaches a LeGrange point. A LeGrange point is some point in the objects’ obit where it is subject to equal attractive forces and its future trajectory can be changed by only a small external influence. Flight Engineers successfully use LeGrange point mathematics to alter the course of satellites at the lowest fuel cost.
    Logically, such LeGrange points, moments of susceptibility, in the climatic orbit or “set path” of the Earth’s Climate exist. Once set upon a new Climatic Orbit, Earth’s Climate will not vary from that orbit until it reaches another Climatic LeGrange point of susceptibility to change.
    What research is being done to analyse the characteristics of these short Climatic LeGrange periods from the Earth’s climate records?
    What influences can divert the Climate Orbit to a frozen Earth orbit, a desert Earth orbit or a temperate human tolerant orbit?
    The inputs needed to effect change during a Climatic LeGrange Period need not be initially brutal, they may have a butterfly effect . A volcanic eruption under a frozen methane sheet, a volcanic eruption into the atmosphere of a large volume of ash, a proximal solar flare, are obvious candidates.
    Is there potential for controlled inputs to manipulate the next Climatic Orbit to the advantage of life on Earth, an ideal Climatic Orbit? How to combat a sudden influence predictably able to put the Earth on the disastrous Climatic Orbit?
    A side issue, a niggling consideration in the current Climate knowledge base, is the loss of oxygen in the atmosphere from the millions of combustion engines burning it up 24/7. What is the burn rate and what is the replenishment rate? What is the real science of measurement on oxygen balance and sustainability. The last big drop in oxygen levels saw the extinction of the mega-fauna in very recent geological time, just yesterday in geological terms. What will happen tomorrow?

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