For Like minded people who like to see-
The great global warming/carbon tax debate
Ohh well here we go, I have once again drowned my brain with weeks of conflicting information, and after around 8 years into the debate, it appears I am none the wiser, and will continue to be labeled a denier amongst many other colorful terms, even though I am a staunch environmentalist and believer in climate change.
The conclusions the climate does change, co2 is considered a green house gas, man has had a massive effect on the environment and the IPCC scientists have proven our actions have a “likely” affect on the climate, wont save me the name calling.
Many facts while taking up this study are clear, Australia’s promise to the UN to lower Co2 emissions appears not negotiable, so the Gillard “Co2 tax package” is to become a part of our future, regardless of the will of the people, how it is introduced, how much it will cost, its affect on the weather, its environmental impact, and where the money goes, appears all we have left to debate, or do we?
*“Australia’s 2020 Copenhagen commitment to an unconditional emissions reduction target”
On top of my years of interest, reading and speaking on the topic, the information in this report comes from the 4 IPCC reports, The Australian Governments latest comprehensive reports, a variety of credible scientific articles and news broadcasts.
While I still remain a sceptic of some of the information we are being fed, I chose not to use the many articles from alternate credible news services, but draw on articles from the governments own source of information, allowing the reader to be the judge.
While the world toils over the whole debate, division appears an important part of the agenda, misinformation, spin, and self-interest clouding the truth, if indeed a simple truth exists. The biggest looser is unfortunately the future of the environment, the one part of the game; both believers and deniers have lost sight of, and the very thing that could unite us all.
If we study the United Nations IPCC reports, the facts support both sceptics and believers, the world is to continue warming, regardless of any action we take, due to the time lines associated with climate warming, the lead authors and chairman of the reports in the most have been critical of the final result, some what a direct result of the UN’s self interest, the trillions of dollars they will control over the next decade to play the worlds Robin Hood, (10% of our Carbon Tax, will go direct to the UN) appears to have had an impact in their final released reports.
*Former IPCC chairman Robert Watson has said "The mistakes all appear to have gone in the direction of making it seem like climate change is more serious by overstating the impact.”
*(The 2007 IPCC reports was clear, Anthropogenic warming and sea level rise would continue for centuries due to the timescales associated with climate processes and feedbacks, even if greenhouse gas concentrations were to be stabilized)
The reports also clearly indicates we are no longer in a warming cycle, somewhat backing the sceptics position, while at the same time confirming to a large degree Co2 is having an affect on the temperature of the planet, backing the believers, so it comes down to how much, what can we do, and the urgency of the situation.
*Keith Shine, one of IPCC's lead authors, discussing the Policymakers' Summary, said: "We produce a draft, and then the policymakers go through it line by line and change the way it is presented.... It's peculiar that they have the final say in what goes into a scientists' report"
The massive “Say Yes” campaign, with out even knowing what one is saying yes to, and words like “Carbon Pollution” to describe Co2 emissions, is not helping and idea of unity, stepping back from the environment in favor of debating what the weather will be like in a centuries time adds no real urgency and offering hand outs and excluding fuel from the proposed tax, while allowing massive mining expansion, offshore investment, while reducing self investment in renewable energy is just plain stupidity.
Cutting back solar rebates, feedback schemes, LPG incentives and green industry support by the very same government demanding the new tax regime, seems to have flown under the radar. Just as the disappearing act of the current $44 per ton, in favor of a $26 per ton price in the new tax.
While we are arguing over a basically harmless gas, our eyes have been diverted from the real issues, the attacks on the environment continue, the current hard fought environmental protections already in place are being cut back, and our democratic rights are being destroyed right in front of out eyes.
Make no mistake, the Gillard governments carbon tax price of $26 a ton, is only in the initial sell, with many on the panel, arguing figures of over $50 are more appropriate, add to this the proposed inclusion of primary producers after 2015, and Australia is to be hit hard financially.
I have to conclude that which ever way we read the reports, it is clear we must take action, more so to reduce our reliance on carbon based fuels in favor of renewable energy and the urgent need to protect and restore our environment. The emissions of Co2 have become more of a way of measuring our reliance on carbon-based fuels, rather than the most important part of the overall vision of a sustainable future.
The very fact the Gillard plan is not to become a cap and trade, will put no pressure on polluters to curb their emissions but rather simply pass on the increased costs, but the government know that, it is in their own reports. The reports also confirm we are already one of the leaders in cutting Co2 emissions, one must ask where the current $44 a ton we are already paying in over 230 stealth taxes identified by the governments latest report will end up, general revenue?
*“Australia’s suite of measures appears to have been much more cost effective and to have produced more abatement.”
So lets get into the facts, Australia produces around 1.2% of the worlds carbon dioxide emissions, of the 3% man contributes to the total out put of Co2, which is only a minor percentage of green house gases and we are not about to shut down, so at the best we may be able to cut back our emissions by 20% on 1990 figures over the next 20 years, at a cost of upwards of 12 billion in the first year alone.
To the every day Aussie, this means by 2020, twice the amount of people, will have to live on a lot less resources, and endure a much higher cost of living, heading us back to hardships we have all worked hard to put behind us.
Australia will join with a hard full of countries that combined emit around 11%, of the worlds 3% contribution to Co2 emissions, while some countries will not only continue on with business as usual, but continue to increase their emissions and seemingly with less environmental protections than we presently have worked hard to achieve.
In the first 5 years of the EU tax scheme the success rate was not in line with expected forecasts with England increasing Co2 by 5.8%, Estonia and Demark up to 21%, Finland up 28%, Sweden were the only stand out with a reduction of 20%, in the most the carbon tax was passed on by polluters and most emissions across the participating countries rose.
Iceland’s recent volcanic eruption emitted 150-300,000 tons of CO2 daily— taking only 9 days to over ride the Co2 output saved in the most successful country (Sweden), so taking on Mother Nature is going to be a hard ask.
*(Sweden’s carbon dioxide emissions in the trading sector totaled 17.5 million tonnes in 2009. This means that emissions in the trading scheme have decreased by 2.6 million tonnes in comparison with 2008. The trend towards decreasing total emissions from Swedish companies covered by emissions trading is thus continuing)
*Note (Japan, Germany, United Kingdom, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand combined contribute less than china, who are not adopting effective action)
Richard Branson hit the nail on the head when he said today "With the carbon tax, ideally it should be done on a global basis," Sir Richard told reporters at the Asia Pacific Cities Summit in Brisbane yesterday, making mention of the fact, we will be disadvantaged on a global scale, if we are only part of 12% of the world carbon emitters adopting the tax.
So the whole debate is about lowering by around 20 to 30% on 1990’s figures, the Co2 emissions of countries that contribute 12% of the worlds 3% of co2 emissions, (only a minority green house gas) while other countries raise emissions by more than is saved, considering the fact the tax system already adopted in a hand full of countries has failed to meets its targets, surely shows we should air on the side of caution?
The United States estimates committee came up with a cost of over 700 trillion dollars to hopefully lower the world temperature by 1.0 degree in one hundred years time, yet the IPCC say the weather cant be lowered in such a short time period, so how much will it cost and what can we achieve? (Remembering the IPCC’s own chairs say these figures are inflated)
*(IPCC figures; the average surface temperature is projected to increase by 1.4 to 5.8 Celsius degrees over the period 1990 to 2100, and the sea level is projected to rise by 0.1 to 0.9 meters over the same period)
So, why the sudden desperation for a huge tax, by the very same government that only months earlier promised, “Vote for us and we will NOT introduce a carbon tax” to be elected? When their own report ordered by Bill Shorten, clearly shows we are not just doing business as usual, and in fact are already one of the better performing countries?
The sudden power of the green agenda has played a big part in the governments position, of Labor’s 72 federal seats, 44 (or 61%) come courtesy of Greens’ preferences. That includes eight Labor MPs who finished second on primary vote and fell over the line after big boosts from the Greens.
But all leads are not direct to Labor or the greens, in the most they lead to big money, so are the genuine environmental concerns of the people being used to promote a not so hidden agenda?
There already sites teaching people how to play the carbon credit market, so many will be making money “how to broker carbon credits” yet nobody questions who will be paying for the profit of the traders, will it be the environment or the tax payer?
The EU Trading scheme goes somewhat like this. Like any other financial instrument, trading consists of matching buyers and sellers between members of the exchange and then settling by depositing a valid allowance in exchange for the agreed financial consideration. Much like a stock market, companies and private individuals can trade through brokers who are listed on the exchange, and need not be regulated operators.
*Richard Martin, the chief executive officer of Rothschild Australia said, "With recent developments in international climate change policy, the question is no longer if, but when the global carbon trading market will emerge. Rothschild Australia, through Carbon Ring, intends to be at the forefront of this market, providing private investment vehicles to companies seeking to offset their greenhouse gas emissions liabilities." Carbon trading in the Asian pacific is estimated to be worth 150 billion by 2012
The European Union just recently suspended trading, finding billions missing from their scheme, and you can bet the average tax payer didn’t find it in their wallets, the money is huge, the speculation massive, the spin is overwhelming, and the people are being kept divided, sound familiar?
Dare we as a global community allow more hands in “Carbon Credits” pie, when the environment needs more rather than less financial support?
So where to from here, as a long term political candidate, I am nothing but a commentator, so it would be hard to consider I have all the answers, and I do not, if we are currently one of the leading countries regarding environmental protection and the reduction of Co2 emissions with out the new Carbon tax, then it would appear the current system is only flawed by the very fact we are drowning in the red tape of 230 current schemes, brought about by being over governed and over regulated, so fine tuning and improving our current system of renewable energy subsidies and carbon reduction ideals seems an educated approach.
Tackling environmental issues head on, appeases both sides of the divide, bringing with it the unity that seems currently to be of the agenda, increase investment in renewable energy in the same way we have been heading, while funding investment and innovation in mass power storage systems to ensure green energy can power a modern industrial economy are steps forward, with out any need for a new tax.
Applying schemes like the LPG and Solar panel rebates to small and big business rather than only the public, who are not the greatest users of our resources seemed flawed from the onset, but our government seem obsessed with big business and buying votes from the electorate.
*The use of the word Likely through out the IPCC’s final 2007 report, clearly supports the need to continue to investigate and question, facts from the report are clear Global average sea level in the last interglacial period (about 125,000 years ago) was likely 4 to 6 m higher than during the 20th century.. Ice core data indicate that average polar temperatures at that time were 3°C to 5°C higher than present, because of differences in the Earth’s orbit, so the report confirms that the planet has been much hotter with out human co2 contributions.
There are a host of new innovations in green power, but with subsidies of the new agenda and government ideals like interest free loans for advanced innovation in the same sinking boat, I feel we are heading in the wrong direction, even debate on Hemp, which could not only help as a carbon sink, and take up the roll of deforestation for paper and textile manufacturing, a range of building products and alternate green fuel production, has had no place in this debate.
If the world climate is to create increased disasters, one would think our agenda would include increased infrastructure to ensure we can cope with what the weather is about to dish out, increased hospital beds, potable water supplies, green power storage, stable food production, yet even here we are not only falling behind, but going in the opposite direction.
With the government investing 12 million of our money to sell us a tax, we have to have, is outright waste, offering us money back to compensate us for the huge costs of living about to be passed on by the big polluters reminds me of the many billion dollar failures we have already had to endure, the School halls fiasco, the Insulation debacle, cash for clunkers just to name a few.
If we cant trust our government to honor their promises made only months ago, if we have become used to their lack of ability to see into our future beyond the term between elections, can we dare trust them to change the long term weather?
”I sometimes during this debate ask myself, if we are still on a global scale recovering from an ice age, and the weather is meant to get warmer, Co2 is meant to increase as a result, rainfall with it, to induce increased plant growth, could it be mother natures way of rectifying our wrongs, and all we have to do is give her a hand, by stemming deforestation, population growth and improve other more acceptable environmental approaches other than planning ourselves to change the weather for her?”
warms, but the magnitude of this feedback is uncertain) So clearly warming it self increases Co2 emissions, which throws doubt on the affect even a world wide carbon reduction scheme may have!
With our education system, the media, and so much advertising money backing the tax and the political science behind the driver of our climate, all with the full support of the mighty political machine, even those who dare question the way forward, will be deterred from speaking out, and those that do, have very little chance of being heard, so don’t fool yourselves this is an open debate in any respect.
*For the next two decades, a warming of about 0.2°C per decade is projected for a range of SRES emission scenarios. Even if the concentrations of all greenhouse gases and aerosols had been kept constant at year 2000 levels, a further warming of about 0.1°C per decade would be expected.
Say Yes will tell you we cant continue with business as usual, they will use words like peer-reviewed science, and the proofs is in, and label any who still have questions, even going as far as running campaigns to manipulate polls and shut down any skeptical views, as easily seen with the attacks on Lord Monkton, who has every right to present his views, if free speech still has any value in our society.
I say the evidence is in, the science is still open to some debate, the urgency for a new tax is not warranted, or democratically supported, we are heading in the right direction for our environment, and we should continue to lead by example, rather than follow what appears to be a failing would wide monetary scheme, more than the savior of our planets future.
*Climate change in IPCC usage refers to any change in climate over time, whether due to natural variability or as a result of human activity.
It is defiantly up to us, to lead the world in way we treat the planet, we must reduce our reliance on fossil fuels and embrace renewable energy and much needed mass power storage, to continue to raise awareness about our failing eco systems and to find a compassionate way forward for all the people to live comfortably and in a sustainable way, and I fear putting all our eggs in the one basket, which will be held by a dubious one world type government in the UN and the world bank, may not be the best way forward for any sovereign nation.
Toss the words “Carbon tax” and “Climate change” in the bin, and go back to concentrating our money and efforts into environmental protection as a community united, and we all win, our Country wins, our planet wins and so does our children’s future.
Mark M Aldridge
“Proud member of the Alliance”
*denotes statements from the following and reliable media reports