Carbon Price Capers

Posted: May 12, 2011 in Politics



Winemakers Choice

I’ll start this off with those immortal words, I’m not a climate change scientist but…., however I have heard enough lies, misinformation and spin in my lifetime to know a thing a two about how facts can be distorted, and complex issues that need sensible debate, and I emphasise the word sensible, can be written off by using simple slogans repeatedly. It’s the old rule, simple slogans to reach simple people… The simple slogan I refer to is Tony Abbott’s “Great Big New Tax” he uses it a lot, and has used it for other issues in the past, currently of course it is being used to argue against setting a price on carbon.

I also know a thing or two about how things work in business. Anybody who has ever negotiated a long term contract would understand that this is hard to do if one of that parties involved cannot fix their costings for the duration of the contract, and if a competitor comes along with all those boxes ticked, then they will walk off with the deal. Setting a price on carbon will tick that box for Australia.

One of the great myths that is currently being spread by the coalition is that Australia would be the first to set a carbon price, and therefore be at a disadvantage in trade negotiations. This is nothing short of utter crap, other nations may not call it a “Carbon Tax”, they may call it an emissions tax for example, but it amounts to the same thing.

Don’t believe me? Then believe Tony Abbott, below is a chart on which countries have a price/tax in place already, this chart comes from page 10 of Tony Abbotts own 2009 policy document titled “Direct Action Plan”.

Climate Change Policies of Major Economies in 2009
Country  National Emissions Trading (Y/N) Emissions Taxes (Y/N)
Argentina N N
Australia N N
Brazil N N
Canada N Y
China N POSSIBLE
EU Y VARIES
France Y Y
Germany Y Y
India N N
Indonesia N N
Italy Y Y
Japan Y Y
Mexico N Y
Russia N N
Saudi Arabia N N
South Africa N POSSIBLE
Turkey N Y
UK Y Y
USA Power Staions Only Y
Source: Parliamentary Library December 2009  

 

Interestingly enough, even in 2009 there seems to be a few boxes marked yes to an emissions tax, including Japan, our biggest trading partner, the UK, the USA.

Geez I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t say putting a price on carbon was exactly boldly going where no man has gone before.

I’m not sure how many other nations have seen the light that Mr Abbott seems oblivious to, but I do know of one on that list that now has a tax on emissions, and that is India, a nation that is still classed as a developing nation. Surely we can be expected to at least keep up with a developing nation, especially when you consider that India has one of the fastest growing economies in the world, and is already a huge trading partner of ours, and will only become a bigger trading partner in the future, assuming that is that we can set a price on our resources, by setting a price on carbon. Hopefully we can manage this before our iron ore competitors over in Brazil do.

But for all his posturing, and all the “sound bite politics” games that he is playing, it is also interesting to note that in Tony Abbotts own current “The Coalition’s Plan For Real Action On The Environment, Climate Change, And Heritage”, which is his version of Environment Policy, on page seven, it refers to a $15 per tonne tax on Carbon, hmmm that’s odd, I kind thought that they didn’t like the idea of setting a price…. Also in this document, contradicting his “Real Action” stance and so called policy title, is the magic word “Voluntary” for big business.

Awfully nice of Mr Abbott to give all the big polluters a free pass while the rest of us pay under his scheme. I didn’t bother checking his policy on crime, but one can assume from Mr Abbotts logic that it will see the freeing of our prison inmates, and the innocent being locked up. That would be using the same logic.

Anyway, I’m sure you are capable of seeing through all of the silly sound bites, and the sexist signs at the childish rallies, and seeing that sensible debate is needed.

I’m not going to tell you that Mr Abbott is wrong, as all of the facts, and the chart etc came from the Liberal website and policy documents, I’m just hoping that one day he will be “Fair Dinkum” as he likes to say, and be honest about a matter that is important, not just to future generations, but according to our big miners, our current trade negotiations.

I would hope that Mr Abbott takes the time to look over his own party’s website soon, and sees the facts that are cleverly hidden amongst the propaganda, and has the guts to debate this matter like an adult, rather than the schoolyard bully, and name calling tactics he is currently choosing to deploy.

Afterthought: Could someone also please suggest to the Liberal Party that their policy titles be kept to one page long….



Ready Flowers

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