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Switching carbon from fixed price to ETS: should Rudd do it?

Carbon pricing has helped to destroy three political leaders - Malcolm Turnbull, Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard - since 2009. Why would a re-minted Prime Minister Rudd want to touch such a poisoned chalice…

Reducing carbon pollution has bi-partisan support. It wouldn't hurt to re-open debate on the method. Takver/Flickr

Carbon pricing has helped to destroy three political leaders - Malcolm Turnbull, Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard - since 2009. Why would a re-minted Prime Minister Rudd want to touch such a poisoned chalice in the short time he has to recapture the hearts and minds of the Australian electorate? What are the economic and political risks of doing so?

Ratification of the Kyoto Protocol and the “Sorry” speech marked the high points of the Rudd Prime Ministership. When he baulked at taking the carbon pricing scheme through Parliament in 2010, Rudd lost many of the faithful who voted in the Labor Government in 2007. Having labelled climate change the “greatest moral, economic and environmental challenge of our time”, his fall was so much more damaging.

Many would say that Prime Minister Gillard’s tenure was doomed when she allowed the Opposition and the media to frame the fixed price of the emissions trading scheme as a carbon “tax”. What may have been a simple attempt to avoid being seen as pedantic over a definition proved to be a fatal own goal.

The problems with a fixed price

There have been three killer problems with the initial fixed price arrangement. One, it could be so easily labelled a tax – a problem at any time but worse when Gillard had ruled out a tax during the 2010 election campaign.

Two, in compensating low-income households by adjusting the tax system, the Government locked in the cost side of the ledger. Yet the revenue side is determined by the combination of the price and the volume of emissions. This is fine while the price is fixed, which it is for the first three years. It is not fine when the price is set by the emissions cap and by currently low international prices. Current expectations of the price for 2015-16 suggest there will be a hole in the budget worth many billions of dollars.

The third reason is that the current price of above $23 has never looked like being in line with international prices, most notably the European price. If it had turned out to be much lower, the Greens and others on the environmental advocacy side would have protested. Much higher, as it has turned out for now, and the business lobby and those opposed to emissions reduction in any form would have done the same.

Reasons to switch quickly…

There are three main arguments in 2013 for moving quickly from a fixed price to a market-priced mechanism with a fixed emissions cap. First, it would distinguish Rudd 13 from both old Rudd and the failures of the Gillard regime. Second, it would take the fight up to the Opposition by neutralising the “carbon tax" argument.

The members of the Government’s emerging leadership group are already consistently emphasising the use of carbon price rather than tax. It might even make climate change an election issue again. There is bipartisan support for reducing our greenhouse gas emissions by 5% below 2000 levels by 2020. What does not have bipartisan support is the path to that objective. A real debate on the merits of an emissions trading scheme against the Opposition’s Direct Action policy has been sadly lacking to date.

Third, the change would open a constructive dialogue with business. Individual companies and their industry associations such as the Business Council of Australia and the Australian Industry Group have vigorously lobbied for a move away from the current fixed price. Ironically, if tight caps more aligned with tougher global climate change commitments become a reality, business groups may just as quickly turn back to fixed - in that scenario, low - prices.

…and reasons to keep things the way they are

Why might a move from a fixed to a floating price be a bad idea? The original rationale for the fixed price, remember, was largely to provide price certainty. The business lobby wanted a fixed low price, the Greens a fixed high price. The resulting compromise, also based on forecasts of international prices, was wrong and was always going to be so.

Assuming the market-based price would be well below $20 - perhaps as low as $10 a tonne - the revenue shortfall against the fixed compensation would be revealed. Compensation might need to be adjusted, at some political cost. A low price would be likely to trigger a major disagreement with the Greens, particularly since they already see the current fixed price as too low. Also, moving from a fixed price earlier than the scheduled date of July 2015 would require the setting of emissions caps, which is both politically difficult and hard work.

On balance, there are strong arguments for committing to an early move to a market-based emissions trading scheme as the core climate change policy. The arguments against are most likely manageable. Yet such a move will force Prime Minister Rudd to create a narrative that explains how he got it wrong the first time, connects with international action now taking place in countries such as China and the US and rekindles the climate change flame of Kevin 07.

Join the conversation

122 Comments sorted by

  1. Lee Emmett

    Guest House Manager

    We live in a world market, where prices follow 'supply and demand'. We are also committed (in an international agreement) to reducing emissions. Moving to a market-driven carbon price makes a lot of sense. It's then up to the Treasurer to come up with figures on revenues and expenditures based on a market-price. Tony Abbott's 'alternative' plan to meet emission targets is itsy-bitsy and untested: the 'carbon sequestration' aspect has many critics. The media needs to scrutinise this 'plan' and show…

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    1. Steve Hindle

      logged in via email @bigpond.com

      In reply to Lee Emmett

      You are right Lee, the Liberal party should be supporting a market driven carbon price instead of direct action. Letting the market decide instead of trying to pick winners is meant to be a core economic principal of the Liberal party. Unfortunately Abbott has a "whatever it takes" mentality to wining Govt and has ditched principals for the politics.
      It's a pity Turnbull wasn't a better communicator, I think he would have made a great PM.

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    2. Wade Macdonald

      Technician

      In reply to Steve Hindle

      Abbott's version of an ets would be to privatise all sequestration resources to the multnational's at the exclusion of the local communities access just like labor.

      Welcome to the new style of conservation advocacy!

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    3. Billy Field

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Lee Emmett

      Lee says "66% of the population believes that climate change is real"....
      Perhaps of course they do....probably more believed it was good to invade Iraq...
      ...as Gobbles said "if you tell people a lie often enough they believe it"...we need to see the facts & BEFORE any actions taken & need to see the whole proposed ETS deal tabled.
      Smells like a rort to me.

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    4. Billy Field

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Steve Hindle

      If our forebears had "refused to pick winners" we would not have had any utilities, or cheap ones, in Australia...we wouldn't even have roads....now "our" politicians sell our utilities which are monopolies to foreigners ..and do so in secret deals to boot....of course we will get screwed down the line...these are MONOPOLIES & OLIGOPOLIES....seems SO stupid to me.
      As for selling remnants of Wheat board to foreigners ..seems to me reason enough to toss Labor out!
      We need to take care of our own ....

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    5. Ian Rudd

      Retired accountant

      In reply to Lee Emmett

      The problem with a market driven price is that the emission caps are set too low and there are too many rorts available to circumvent actually having to reduce emissions.

      Unfortunately the consequences of doing next to nothing on GHG reductions as is the case with the present legislation and with the Coalitions "scheme" will be felt by future politicians and the citizens whose welfare they should be attending to.

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    6. Ian Rudd

      Retired accountant

      In reply to Billy Field

      I agree toss Labor out. But replacing them with the Coalition will give us more of the same...only worse.

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    7. David Rennie

      IT Consultant

      In reply to Billy Field

      Billy,
      the Deniers have been following your dictum of lying to the public for years. They have confused the issue in the minds of some of the public. The science hasn't changed and the overwhelming body of evidence continues to show AGW is a real and present danger.

      If the Coalition was as concerned about a Carbon Tax as they make out they would have continued their support of an ETS which had existed under Howard and Turnbull. It was only the Liberal rump of extremists and Abbott's policy of 'whatever it takes' that has left us with a Carbon tax that was only wanted by the Greens.

      Abbott had the numbers to ensure we didn't get a Carbon Tax, HE refused to use those numbers to ensure we didn't have one.

      Let's not be under any illusions about who is lying to the electorate on AGW it is unequivocally the Liberal party.

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    8. Billy Field

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to David Rennie

      David Rennie accuses me of some "dictum of lying"....& "confused the issue in the minds of some of the public" ..Jeez, Blimy.....more rhetoric & personal abuse?....hilarious really!

      I ask for this (before the billions go south or ought I say north):-

      1. The "scientific facts" re problem to be tabled in point form so as can be looked at by public & this "consensus" of scientists.
      2. The whole deal of any proposed scheme to deal with "the problems we might have" also tabled for consideration.

      Can the climate really be warming midst so much snow?
      Lastly scientists can also be wrong....as also POLITICAL/FINANCIAL solutions to "future problems" we "might" have.

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    9. Chris O'Neill

      Victim of Tony Abbotts Great Big New Tax

      In reply to Billy Field

      "probably more believed it was good to invade Iraq"

      How do you know that? Even if they did, they were lied to anyway.

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    10. Peter Ormonde

      Farmer

      In reply to Ian Rudd

      It will Ian (no relation?) also give us light relief.

      It will be a golden age for cartoonists and satirists. Mad as Hell will become the new Four Corners.

      Our real problems - like CO2 and boats and the tax system and the gap - will get worse and will eventually require greater pain to address when we finally get to doing something in another decade or two.

      But for the next three years expect nothing beyond the smoke and screaming from the brakes. Not doom sadly... it'll just feel like it. Gee I hope Barnaby gets a high profile role ... don't worry - with Barnaby running the egg board it would be front page every week.

      What else can one do but laugh.

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    11. David Rennie

      IT Consultant

      In reply to Billy Field

      OK It was 'Gobbles (who) said "if you tell people a lie often enough they believe it"' you just repeated it.
      My reference was to deniers in general not you in particular, it's not abuse just a statement of reality.
      Once a denier, accepts the evidence for climate change it is reasonable to discuss strategies to reduce the consequences. It's the mindless idiocy of denying the evidence I object to.

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  2. John Newlands

    tree changer

    We've been in a hybrid zone for some time now with terms like 'free permits' used for carbon tax and 'surrendering of certificates' used for LGCs under the Renewable Energy Target. It sounds like a trial run for an ETS. I think a floating CO2 price is correct provided
    1) all permits are sold upfront i.e no 'grandfathered' permits
    2) offsets must meet strict criteria so they are minimised
    3) wind and solar sink or swim under the carbon price, not the RET
    4) smelters get help via carbon tariffs…

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  3. Sean Lamb

    Science Denier

    Might be a good wedge. Call back parliament before the election and introduce legislation. Since the Greens will oppose it, then it will come down to the Coalition. If the Coalition opposes it weakens their election campaign against the carbon tax since they themselves have obstructed efforts to lift it and look politically tricky. If they back it they have removed the issue from the election and leaves them campaigning against carbon pricing in general.

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    1. William Bruce

      Artist

      In reply to Sean Lamb

      Abbott might just say they are going to scrap the tax & create BIG incentives & Govt support to move to Green energy as a matter of urgency ...it can employ heaps....

      I think if we can build Wind, wave, solar & dams etc (YES some DAMS/hydro) that is has vey low maintenance cost & produces power virtually for free FOREVER after i it is installed it an OBVIOUS Winner....
      Also fast trains on big links...lets get commuters to work faster & chgeaper & greener.

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  4. William Bruce

    Artist

    Whats "the detail" re this so called "China linked" ETS?
    Seems to me ETS so complex, expensive to administer and open for rorting as to be absurd. Who gets what deals & "special deals"? Exemptions? Subsidies? Does our money go overseas to buy dodgie permits approved by whom?

    If the goal is truly reducing emissions, seems to me ETS looks like another monster rort... ...BECAUSE seems obviously far better to just simply marginally tax "bad energy" and put all that money into PUBLIC EQUITY in "green…

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  5. Leigh Burrell

    Trophy hunter

    Wish they'd just introduce a voluntary carbon tax for all these people itching to pay one. It would be a piece of cake to implement - just let people nominate their emissions and liability on their tax return if they're keen.

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    1. Henry Verberne

      Former IT Professional

      In reply to Leigh Burrell

      A very cynical and essentially argument-free drive by comment Leigh.

      Sure you're not a sock puppet for Andrew Bolt?

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    2. Chris O'Neill

      Victim of Tony Abbotts Great Big New Tax

      In reply to Leigh Burrell

      "a voluntary carbon tax"

      should work just as well as a voluntary law against murder.

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    3. Leigh Burrell

      Trophy hunter

      In reply to Chris O'Neill

      Yeah, you're right. It's nutty to think that punishing oneself will inspire others to do likewise.

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    4. Leigh Burrell

      Trophy hunter

      In reply to Chris O'Neill

      I imagine it would be rare and any that did would be most unlikely to inspire others. I wasn't being sarcastic. I was thinking of polluting people/countries that punish themselves in the hope of inspiring others. For a person and for a country I think it's nutty, but I don't object to individuals being allowed to choose to pay. Countries must decide collectively, which we did in 2010 and will do again in a few months. Last time over 80% of us voted for candidates that ruled out a carbon tax.

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    5. Gerard Dean

      Managing Director

      In reply to Leigh Burrell

      Excellent point Mr Burrell

      So many of those pushing the climate change barrow complain that our leaders don't do enough to stop fossil fuel emissions, yet fail to take the simplest steps themselves to reduce their own emissions.

      I often suggest that these people should stop using JetA1 fossil fuel to fly on discretionary holidays to Europe and through their own actions, keep the oil in the soil. Sadly, most just mock and jeer me.

      But your idea on the other hand, appeals directly to the climate changer's altruistic mind. It could be as simple as a tick box on your employment form, so that your workplace deducts the tax every pay.

      Imagine the next "Friends of the Earth' dinner party. Each attendee could bring their group certificate to show how dedicated they are to the environment.

      I think that the author of the article might like to float your idea.

      Gerard Dean
      Glen Iris .

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    6. Ian Rudd

      Retired accountant

      In reply to Leigh Burrell

      Hilarious, I thought. That is until I read the word "corporation" below your name.

      Then I realized this man is serious. He may even be working for the IPA.

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    7. Leigh Burrell

      Trophy hunter

      In reply to Ian Rudd

      I didn't actually ever put that. I had a naughty joke which I was asked to remove, but it ended up breaking their web site and being unable to be removed for some reason. A staff member had to delete it for me with my permission but wasn't able to leave it blank, so they entered employee and corporation. True story.

      I don't work for a corporation.

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  6. John C Smith

    Auditor

    I have forgotten the workings. @ 29$ a tonne, an average (weight about 80kg) person has to pay around 20 cents. Remeber life on earth is carbon and our body has a lot of carbon.
    At last Kevin 007 got the royal baby Kanga. He was waiting all this time for the enmy to be engaged in an activity that she forgot everything else.

    Now the Carbon and Climate beleifs. Is it the heat we produce? or is it the way we produce that heat?

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    1. William Bruce

      Artist

      In reply to John C Smith

      Go John, big laugh enjoyed here,......you knit one bloody Kangaroo and what do you get....! So much for spin "experts"...?

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  7. Comment removed by moderator.

    1. David Maddern

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Ian L. McQueen

      Ian,

      Well you believe water has a bigger effect.
      OK Carbon dioxide was measured about 170 ppm at the start of the Industrial Revolution and has now crested 400ppm. The Oceans are measured to have changed pH, and they have sequestrated a large amout above the atmospheric lode.
      This poinoning of the ocean is a good reason to limit carbon output, even if you don't believe in the antrropogenic warming, isn't it.
      And do you think that the vast majority of the climate scientists haven't quantified and looked closely at the 'Science' you follow by opinion.

      I sincerely hope you are right, but I can't imagine not doing all I can to minimise releasing more than the 50 or 60 gigatons that will tip us over 2% rise. Christ we have seen the effect of 1% rise. Superstorms with velocities over 300 kph, mate, in the seventies I was in the North West of WA and the cyclone scale went to 3.
      But we have seen cat 5 in the last 10 years.

      David

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    2. Ian L. McQueen

      Retired

      In reply to David Maddern

      Hi David-

      I know that you have been told that all the information in your posting is true. But you must ask yourself if that information is correct. F'rinstance:
      -The scientific apparatus did not exist to measure the CO2 concentration during the Industrial Revolution. The numbers are only guesswork.
      -The ocean waters are buffered and alkaline (pH around 8.2); they will never become acidic.
      -The 2 degree C rise is a number taken out of the air; there is no scientific validity to it.
      -Check…

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    3. Henry Verberne

      Former IT Professional

      In reply to Ian L. McQueen

      Ian you really need to supply some links to peer-reviewed science to back up the claims you've made.

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    4. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to Ian L. McQueen

      With due respect Mr McQueen, I'm not sure that your comprehension of science is very detailed.

      1) Pre-Industrial atmospheric CO2 is well-established from ice core analysis at ~270 ppm (Mr Maddern's 170 ppm pertained during the depths of Pleistocene glacial periods). You may want to refesh your understanding, perhaps beginning with http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_dioxide_in_Earth's_atmosphere

      2) Here's a calculation I did a few years ago which shows that we've added plenty enough CO2…

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    5. Peter Ormonde

      Farmer

      In reply to David Arthur

      Anyone ever told you you starting to sound like one o' dem warmista fellers there?

      Turn out the pockets of that lab coat Mr Arthur ... all those zlotties and crona and euros stuffed in there ... let's see the pay-off for sacrificing our kiddies' heritage from the IPCC....

      We have rung the National Security Hotline and drawn their attention to your presence in our midst. No doubt the entire global tentacle of PRISM now has your every move under close scrutiny. Don't worry - you have nothing to fear if you've done nothing wrong. Expect a visit any day now - a summons to our Inquisition of Royaltitude.

      Alert but not alarmed at all really. No hardly much at all. Burn those books. Shred the files.

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    6. David Maddern

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to David Maddern

      I have to register an errata

      I don't know how it happened but the amount of CO2 to release to 2 degrees is
      around 565 gigatons
      not 50 to 60

      David

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    7. David Maddern

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Ian L. McQueen

      No indeed there was no equipment with the sensitivity to measure parts per million at the start of the Industrial Revolution, but you can find stored air of that time, and this happens when snow falls in its crystalline shape and is then is compressed by snow above lit.
      These are found in snow cores, and they confirm the rise of CO2 concentrations with modern equipment that can measure ppm.

      Sea water may be buffered but buffers can become saturated and the ocean has absorbed about half again…

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  8. Comment removed by moderator.

    1. In reply to John Newton

      Comment removed by moderator.

    2. In reply to John Newton

      Comment removed by moderator.

  9. Jeremy Tager

    Extispicist

    Fairly extraordinary that a piece about whether to remain with a fixed carbon price or a floating price (tax or ets) doesn't even mention the underlying purpose of the tax - the most effective way to reduce emissions and the need to reduce emissions significantly in a very short space of time. Moving to an ets now is simply a sop to industry - a nice low price which will mean nothing in terms of emission reductions and the added bonus of ensuring that the entire system will ultimately be owned and controlled by the financial sector...Of course, we can trust them to work to the common goal of reducing emissions. Stick with a tax!

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    1. Dianna Arthur
      Dianna Arthur is a Friend of The Conversation.

      Environmentalist

      In reply to Jeremy Tager

      Exactly what I was thinking.

      We need to reduce emissions and dependency on fossil fuels - it will take a concerted effort of will and dare I say $ to achieve this.

      Paying the polluters - is beyond nonsense.

      We already have a carbon tax/price, how about we improve on what little we have? And stop this bickering over semantics.

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  10. David Carwardine

    Checking at A818

    Abbott will have the out and will say he is unable to scrap the scheme as he is promising. Our Politian's are the puppet's to have us swallow the bait and enjoy the contest. Australia has no choice and never will unless we are crazy enough to do something like Iceland. That's even less likely after quickly going into so much debt for next to nothing. That was just one of Gillard's jobs. Close to check mate and wasn't it fun!

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  11. Peter Lang

    Retired geologist and engineer

    >"Switching carbon from fixed price to ETS: should Rudd do it? "

    No!. Dump the carbon pricing completely. If the world reaches a global agreement on carbon pricing (highly unlikely) that would be the time to join up, but not until then.

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    1. Alice Kelly
      Alice Kelly is a Friend of The Conversation.

      sole parent

      In reply to Peter Lang

      Such a crock Peter. Many countries in the world are doing something. We are a part of the world. Countries are pricing carbon, changing energy technologies, improving efficiencies. So what about a world-wide price. It isn't just a matter of signing up. It is deciding whether we are going to be left behind after the carbon bubble has burst with black on our faces, and an economy not capable of transitioning into a clean economy like the rest of the world is doing.
      http://carbontracker.live.kiln.it/Unburnable-Carbon-2-Web-Version.pdf

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  12. Peter Lang

    Retired geologist and engineer

    Carbon pricing will fail. Here's why:

    • Carbon pricing cannot succeed unless it is global.

    • Global carbon pricing is unlikely to be achieved.

    • Therefore, carbon pricing in Australia will not succeed.

    • The Australian carbon pricing scheme, if continued, would be high cost and provide little to no benefit.

    • The Australian carbon pricing scheme is bad policy and should be repealed as soon as possible.

    1. Carbon pricing cannot succeed unless it is global:

    Analyses by Professor…

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    1. Henry Verberne

      Former IT Professional

      In reply to Peter Lang

      Well Ian carbon pricing is becoming more widespread with China introducing it. Once the bigger players start to come on board more will follow. The process will develop momentum.

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  13. Peter Ormonde

    Farmer

    Let's be real here.

    We are about to have a new panel of faces most of whom reckon climate change is "crap" and couldn't care less.

    These nostaligic thoughtful studies of empty stables and hoof dust are all rather pointless. And beyond the Greens - no one - no one - is going to go near CO2 for years.

    We sort of had a bit of a go at it... we didn't like it... we squibbed and ran off... too hard, too expensive, not necessary, crisis what crisis? Now where?

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  14. Gordon Alderson

    Management Consultant

    Nothing short of a Royal Commission into the science of Climate Change will resolve the divisiveness of this vexed issue.

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    1. Peter Lang

      Retired geologist and engineer

      In reply to Gordon Alderson

      I agree. I'd strongly support that. But the terms of reference would have to be genuinely impartial, and achieving that might be the real issue.

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    2. William Bruce

      Artist

      In reply to Gordon Alderson

      It's incumbent on those pushing for ETS/Carbon tax to table a concise list of scientific facts/evidence & problems that proves their case to all.........Best I can tell we have not seen this. Links to long & convoluted study models & postulations don't wash...... Absent of this it looks like GLOBAL monster rort for vested interests to me.

      Seems to me the point we in the west are missing is there are huge long term ECONOMIC advantages going for Renewables/Green power.....THAT IS IF WE KEEP THE TAX MONEY HERE & put it to good use. This is what China & Germany are doing as far as I see.

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    3. Ian L. McQueen

      Retired

      In reply to Gordon Alderson

      A royal commission. Excellent idea!! As Peter Lang says, the terms of reference would be crucial. Also, that the commissioners themselves be impartial, and not hand-picked to give a desired report.

      Best regards.

      IanM

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    4. Doug Hutcheson

      Poet

      In reply to Ian L. McQueen

      A royal commission by all means, but we have to make sure no scientists or statisticians are allowed to testify, because everybody knows how corrupt all the boffins have become.

      No, we need to sort out the TRUTH, so we need armies of lawyers and politicians to present the only allowed testimony. Oh, and people who support the idea that science is easily corrupted will be allowed to vent their feelings. Oh, and people whose religion makes it obvious that we puny humans cannot overwhelm the delicate…

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    5. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to Ian L. McQueen

      A Royal Commissions? You mean, an excuse for another bunch of polished bewigged buffoons, largely ignorant of anything and everything, to have lots of long lunches at taxpayer expense?

      All you need to do is read Spencer Weart's "Discovery of Global Warming - a History" available as a book or as a set of hyperlinked essays at the website of the American Institute of Physics. http://www.aip.org/history/climate/

      Or, you can start by understanding the following perfectly straightforward bit…

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    6. David Rennie

      IT Consultant

      In reply to Gordon Alderson

      Gordon Alderson,
      If the deniers will not accept the evidence of an international body, set up to achieve precisely what you are suggesting, that has been reporting consistently for 20 years that AGW is real, what makes you think a Royal Commission would achieve anything.

      Certainly the Royal Commission might not be hamstrung by Climate Change Deniers and bureaucrats trying to tone down the message so it would return a more resounding endorsement of the conclusions reached by the IPCC.

      However when have deniers ever been bothered by the evidence or the opinions of people and organisations competent to assess the evidence.

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  15. Geoffrey Harold Sherrington

    Boss

    There is no need for a carbon tax or an ETS. They are merely ways to take money from your wallets.
    Virtually all those who should know have admitted that global temperatures have not increased over the past 15 years and might even be falling now.
    Why combat Global Warming if there is no warming?
    Height of stupidity or tax theft?

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    1. Peter Ormonde

      Farmer

      In reply to Geoffrey Harold Sherrington

      Precisely Geoff ... utter rubbish!

      And that whole gravity business! Like as if! I think it's high time we had a Royal Commission into that whole relativity scam as well!

      These so-called laws of physics - who voted for them?

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    2. Ian L. McQueen

      Retired

      In reply to Geoffrey Harold Sherrington

      Geoffrey-

      Yours is a voice of common sense. There is hope that observations and genuine science will eventually prevail and that the present religious adherence only to a particular belief will come to an abrupt end.

      Best regards.

      IanM

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    3. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to Geoffrey Harold Sherrington

      Here's what to do with the money from a carbon tax: put it back in everybody's wallet via cuts in company tax and personal income tax.

      The dumb people will continue as they are, burning fossil fuels and paying tax. The smart people, on the other hand, will lock their tax savings in by purchasing and using solar panels, and electric cars and stuff. Fossil fuel use goes down and the government gets less tax revenue.

      Now here's the clever bit. If the government makes up its revenue shortfall…

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    4. Chris O'Neill

      Victim of Tony Abbotts Great Big New Tax

      In reply to Geoffrey Harold Sherrington

      "global temperatures have not increased over the past 15 years"

      You've slipped back to not telling the truth again, Geoffrey.

      A 95% likelihood of warming does not mean THERE IS NO INCREASE.

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    5. Chris O'Neill

      Victim of Tony Abbotts Great Big New Tax

      In reply to Ian L. McQueen

      "the present religious adherence only to a particular belief"

      I expect your religious adherence that 70% is "negligible" will not come to an end any time soon.

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    6. Henry Verberne

      Former IT Professional

      In reply to Geoffrey Harold Sherrington

      The planet has continued to accumulate heat since 1998 - global warming is still happening. Nevertheless, surface temperatures show much internal variability due to heat exchange between the ocean and atmosphere. 1998 was an unusually hot year due to a strong El Nino.
      Geoffrey
      To claim global warming stopped in 1998 overlooks one simple physical reality - the land and atmosphere are just a small fraction of the Earth's climate (albeit the part we inhabit). The entire planet is accumulating heat…

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    7. David Rennie

      IT Consultant

      In reply to Geoffrey Harold Sherrington

      Geoffrey Harold.
      The corollary to your question "Why combat warming if there is no warming?" Is "why not combat warming when we know there is warming".

      Are you aware of any science that shows no warming over the past 30 years, the scientifically accepted period for assessing climate variations. Scientists accept that short term fluctuations can briefly overwhelm the long term trends. Statistically, there is an anomaly showing a 15 year flat line in temperature if you choose the right starting month (Sept 1997). But there is an increase in temperatures if you consider a 14 year, 16 year or any longer period.

      Two years ago during the 2010-2012 La Nina, deniers were claiming a temperature decline since 1998, now they are just claiming no increase.

      Deniers are much like the Knight in the Pythons' Holy Grail fighting on despite the fact that all their evidence has been cut out from under them.

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  16. Peter Lang

    Retired geologist and engineer

    Could I appeal to those advocating carbon pricing to read this (to broaden your perspective):
    “Humanity Unbound: How Fossil Fuels Saved Humanity from Nature and Nature from Humanity”
    http://www.cato.org/publications/policy-analysis/humanity-unbound-how-fossil-fuels-saved-humanity-nature-nature-humanity

    Until we have an alternative source of abundant, cheap energy, we’ll have to stick with fossil fuels. Anything we do to artificially raise the price of energy harms human wellbeing, especially for the poorest people and the poorest countries.

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    1. Peter Ormonde

      Farmer

      In reply to Peter Lang

      Too right Pete!!!

      Let's get that stuff stuff shovelled up and on the boats yesterday.

      Let's makes opposition to CSG frakking a capital offence. It's down-right ungodly this looking a gift horse in the mouth like this. Alan Jones has blood on his hands!

      Let's strip away all those red and green tapestries that stifle our mining adventurers and a FIFO future. Let's get this place looking like Big Nauru ASAP.

      You lot just watch.

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    2. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to Peter Lang

      We have abundant energy alternatives to fossil fuels.

      We could ride pushbikes to work, saving ourselves a fortune in medical expenses for our grossly unfit decaying bodies.

      Australia could stop importing petroleum, instead obtaining all the transport fuels we need from ~10,000 sq km of algae ponds.

      With solar panels on all our roofs, and battery storage, we could avoid huge expense in further infrastructure upgrades. What with closing coal-fired power stations, the water previously lost due to evaporation of warmed cooling water could increase agricultural productivity.

      With a nuclear power station on the Pilbara coast, Australia could convert its ~$35 billion of iron ore exports into ~$181 billion of iron and steel for export, more than making up for the ~$29 billion loss that will occur when China stops using our exported metallurgical coal.

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    3. Chris O'Neill

      Victim of Tony Abbotts Great Big New Tax

      In reply to David Arthur

      "With solar panels on all our roofs, and battery storage, we could avoid huge expense in further infrastructure upgrades."

      Actually, we could do this with just the battery storage. The battery storage has the advantage over solar cells that its energy source (off-peak electricity) is cheaper than solar cells.

      "With a nuclear power station on the Pilbara coast, Australia could convert its ~$35 billion of iron ore exports into ~$181 billion of iron and steel for export"

      Unfortunately the nuclear power and iron smelters would cost more than $146 billion. Aluminium is the far more obvious choice.

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    4. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to Chris O'Neill

      Thanks Chris. I've done the same calculation for Aluminium, and the increase in export revenue for aluminium metal over alumina is about $15 billion per annum.

      Regarding exporting iron and steel rather than iron ore, I neglected to mention that iron ore production figure ($35 billion) is an annual figure. While you're quite right that a nuclear power plant might cost more than the $146 billion extra that would be earned in the first year, so that payback might indeed take a few years.

      I'm told that Rome wasn't built in a day either.

      The point of the solar cells on the roof instead of off-peak coal-fired electricity is that the climate demands that we achieve a 100% decrease on fossil fuel use as rapidly as we can. This is because with atmospheric CO2 way above 350 ppm, we are already in the climate change red zone, with strong likelihood of runaway greenhouse warming due to methane released from thawing permafrost and decaying submarine methane clathrates.

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    5. Chris O'Neill

      Victim of Tony Abbotts Great Big New Tax

      In reply to David Arthur

      "While you're quite right that a nuclear power plant might cost more than the $146 billion extra that would be earned in the first year"

      You're completely underestimating the scale of electricity generation that would be required to electrically smelt all the iron ore that Australia exports. It would be far, far more than the electricity now used to smelt Aluminium. There is a very good reason why China imports coal from Australia to smelt iron ore. It is far cheaper than using electricity. You're obviously unaware of these fundamental issues.

      "The point of the solar cells on the roof instead of off-peak coal-fired electricity is that the climate demands that we achieve a 100% decrease on fossil fuel use as rapidly as we can."

      I know that but the first time you were talking about avoiding huge expense in further infrastructure upgrades. I was simply addressing what you were talking about then.

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    6. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to Chris O'Neill

      Thanks for that Chris.

      Capital cost for installed nuclear power ~$US 3850/kWe (http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/Economic-Aspects/Economics-of-Nuclear-Power/#.Uc-ahUZ_U4Q) ie ~$4 million /MW

      Electrical power per tonne liquid steel ~14 GJ/tonne liquid steel ("A Technical Feasibility Study of Steelmaking by Molten Oxide Electrolysis", Donald Sadoway).

      Australia exports ~390 Mt/yr iron ore and pellets, from which is made ~260 Mt steel /yr. Using Sadoway's Molten Oxide Electrode process, this would require 3.64 x 10^12 MJ/yr = 115,000 MJ/s = 115,000 MW. At ~$4 million /MW, the capital cost for that much nuclear power would be ~$462 billion (ie~$462 x 10^9).

      If sale of that steel is $180 billion pa, payback for the nuclear power would be 462/180 = 2.6 years.

      Still, 115,000 MW is about 40 times the output of Eraring power station on Lake Macquarie, so the volume of discharging warmed cooling water would be a problem, as would finding sufficient suitable sites.

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    7. Billy Field

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to David Arthur

      David Arthur says "We have abundant energy alternatives to fossil fuels." How true!
      I think regardless, it's worth moving in that direction for economic reasons alone....eg windmills can produce virtually free power FOREVER..,,..theoretically just change a coupe of bearings perhaps every 40 yrs?...,if Govt creates incentives we can produce massive amounts of alternative power & easy achieve enormous energy efficiencies..,,THEY WON'T because of vested interests.
      Seems FACT IS it is ALL political...& it seems these stupid minded "schemes" are NOT the environment.

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  17. Ivan Quail

    maverick

    reply to Peter Lang, W. Bruce and others
    It is a fundamental, cold hard peer reviewed scientific fact that Co2 is 62% better as a thermal insulator than air is. Therefore 390ppm +62% =631 effective =2.25 times greater than 280ppm.
    As Dr Bindschadler (NASA) pointed out we know how many million tons of coal, oil and gas are burnt each year. We know fairly accurately how much additional Co2 is released into the atmosphere each year on top of the Co2 emissions from nature. Dr Bindschadler states 1…

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    1. Peter Ormonde

      Farmer

      In reply to Ivan Quail

      Science ... yes indeed. That's the whole point isn't it really ... this obsession with facts?

      Burning stuff. It's the Lord's will. The Bible is chockers with inflagration ... cities, bushes, tongues ... It saved nature from our depradations. It has saved the poor and promises a rosey future for the entire planet. It separates us from the animals that don't burn anything much.

      No no no, facts have had too much weight for my liking of late.

      So obviously the terms of inquiry will have…

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    2. Peter Lang

      Retired geologist and engineer

      In reply to Ivan Quail

      All totally irrelevant. There is not a dollar sign in anything you said. temperature is not a measure of costs or benefits.

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    3. Peter Ormonde

      Farmer

      In reply to Peter Lang

      That got him Pete - temperature is a measure of plot and corruption... and we know it will be us that bears the costs while those overpaid climate scientists will reap their ill-gotten benefits! The swine.

      Will the Royal Inquisition look into the BoM and the lies and insinuations it publishes on a daily basis? Will heads roll?

      But there is a problem with allowing a group of lawyers, judges or the like to delve into the bowels of science and its purported facts. No I think it should be a people's jury myself... use twitter or the worm to get a real grip on the factiness of this warming rubbish or not. Real time gut reactions to truthiness.

      And verdicts. And sentencing. Vote off your favourite evil boffin. I've been trying to put my name down and have been collecting good flinty metamorphic stones for weeks. I've got buckets of them. Bring in the retired geologists!!!!!

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    4. Alice Kelly
      Alice Kelly is a Friend of The Conversation.

      sole parent

      In reply to Peter Ormonde

      Yeah, all those pinko scientists stuffing the wads of cash into their mohair jackets. Sack the lotta them.
      Royal commission , such a proper idea , The Queen could officiate, whoops, (she believes in climate change). It's like a whole bunch of zombies all turned green.

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    5. Peter Ormonde

      Farmer

      In reply to Alice Kelly

      Whenever there is doubt and yes fear Ms Alice - we should turn to our monarch for the light of truth and comfort.

      And fear there is.

      I have seen these scientists in their cash-padded lab coats flapping about with their charts and graphs and promising us endless warmth. Yet here I am sitting hunched over my laptop for warmth, thinking of overcoming the ice to go out and log up the fire.

      The local TV weather spokesmodel - all teeth and haircut - takes a malevolent spite in prophesying heatwaves. Gavin's - yes let's call him that - erupts in a Cheshire grin and just starts oozing schadenfreude and other decimalised euro expressions. I report his every smug warmista utterance to the National Security Hotline. I have them on speed dial after the police and the Woolibuddha Chronic. I only pray that PRISM lot is watching all this.

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    6. Alice Kelly
      Alice Kelly is a Friend of The Conversation.

      sole parent

      In reply to Peter Ormonde

      Like I said , I neva got my magnet cos I threatened to tie it to a brick. An anyways, I wuz too bizzy spawning brats by diffint men, lookin for a new one an eatin chockies on the couch. An hurlin abuse at the telly, (showin the young ones how). Where have you been. Glad to have you back. It is the damned french, if they hadn't taken down all those nice dahomey gals who were doing such a nice trade in men.
      Co2, to be serious. I don't entirely care which system as long as it's eventually effective. On a sort of an increasing sort of continuum.

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    7. Peter Ormonde

      Farmer

      In reply to Alice Kelly

      Good to see you have been taking up all the opportunities for self fulfilment afforded by our rich and envied lifestyle Ms Alice.

      I'm afraid effective is the last thing these fellas want. A decade of missed opportunities when it comes to CO2 and refugees.

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    8. Alice Kelly
      Alice Kelly is a Friend of The Conversation.

      sole parent

      In reply to Peter Ormonde

      Yeees, life style, one must never forget the advancement of all these new technologies, binding agreements, and mechanisms for change should never impact on aar lifestyles. Seville oranges to pick..

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    9. Chris O'Neill

      Victim of Tony Abbotts Great Big New Tax

      In reply to Ivan Quail

      "Co2 is 62% better as a thermal insulator than air is"

      Radiation does not care about the thermal conductivity of substances.

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    10. Ian Rudd

      Retired accountant

      In reply to Alice Kelly

      Alice,

      Sole parent, I see? Are you allowed to reside in this country?

      Take a flight to Christmas Island, grab one of those rickety boats left by some unfortunate very, very illegal refugees and start rowing. If you can take some unemployed, Islamic or disabled people with you the government will be even happier. After all they have their time cut out dealing with all those bloody scientists and the pesky global warming alarmists they've managed to con into believing their fiction.

      We don't want sole parents or unemployed or Muslims or, or, or... any of that in this wonderful country.

      We want miners. Oh hale miners saviors of our land, oh hale!

      At this point the cymbals start sounding and the band marches off to the haunting refrain of the new national anthem, "Oh Land of our Fossil Fuel abundance praise be to Miners and Frackers, may they rule eternally."

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  18. Ian L. McQueen

    Retired

    Here are references to two articles that refer specifically to Austalia and to weather research at the University of Melbourne. They should be read carefully, along with the comments, to determine if there is any basis whatever for any form of carbon tax, ETS, etc.
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/06/27/claim-humans-play-role-in-australias-angry-hot-summer/#more-88867
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/06/28/model-data-comparison-australia-land-surface-air-temperatures-anomalies/#more-88904

    Best regards.

    IanM

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    1. Chris O'Neill

      Victim of Tony Abbotts Great Big New Tax

      In reply to Ian L. McQueen

      "Here are references to two articles that refer specifically to Austalia They should be read carefully"

      if you want to see how clueless Willis is.

      Anyone who wants you to believe that the hottest summer on record, the hottest month on record, the hottest day on record, and the longest national scale heatwave on record, all add up to “nothing at all unusual” is pathologically delusional.

      And Ian McQueen is sucked in by this.

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  19. Arthur James Egleton Robey

    Industrial Electrician

    Reading through the postings here I conclude that some people are too stupid to know how to look after number one.
    You pay your taxes like a good little boy right?
    And if some large multi-national company (lets say, oh I dunno, maybe a Coal miner) was dodging it's tax liability by employing a team of accountants, economists and lawyers, you wouls be outraged right?
    Not bloody likely, you poor little bunny. You would side with the Multi-nationals!
    The Big Boys don't like a carbon tax. How on earth are they supposed to dodge that? No wonder they are screaming blue bloody murder.
    Forget all the complicated taxes. Raise all taxes from Carbon.
    But you won't do that will you. Dumb Bunnies..

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    1. Jeremy Tager

      Extispicist

      In reply to Arthur James Egleton Robey

      And in the news today, Clive Palmer caught avoiding paying his carbon tax liabilities for his Nickel Plant in Townsville...The man who would be PM...

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  20. David Arthur

    resistance gnome

    Many of the comments on this page are based on the lie that there is no such thing as climate change. this is a shame, since the truly pernicious evil is the utter nonsense that the climate can be saved by turning the entire economy into a huge derivative trade for the boyos down at the Exchange to extract yet another fortune from the real productive economy.

    The major point of emission trading schemes is trading - every time there is a trade, a little million quid land in some broker's bank…

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    1. Billy Field

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to David Arthur

      David says "If they were serious about cutting emissions, then they'd simply put a consumption tax on fossil fuel, and increase the rate of this tax each year until they've achieved the required emissions reductions ... and use all the money raised by this new tax to give people tax cuts and benefit increases so they can buy solar cells and wind generators and stuff."....I agree

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  21. James Hill

    Industrial Designer

    All those wondering where the money to counter global warming is going to come from, well certainly not from the two hundred billion dollars of interest payments raised on Australia's mortgage debt alone,EVERY YEAR!
    Not much left for anything else is there?
    The GFC will reduce emissions in Australia, that is also why Abbott is committed to austerity measures; Direct Action, taking us back to the 14th century.
    Be careful what you ask for, or vote for.

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  22. John Davidson

    Retired engineer

    The ETS is a market based system for setting the rate for carbon tax. Rudd and Abbott can play word games as long as they like but the ETS is simply a complex tax that diverts money to the government.
    To my mind the real benefit of the carbon tax was that it created the revenue to pay for some climate action and an income of the less well off members of our society. At this point in time all the change to an ETS will do is increase uncertainty and reduce the revenue available to the government. Hardly a smart move when both federal and state governments are suffering from a shortage of revenue.

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  23. Gerard Dean

    Managing Director

    The author of the well written article above has failed to understand that his assumptions are based on quicksand - the quicksand of the European Trading Scheme.

    The EC proudly rolled out their ETS years ago to much fanfare. The price started high but once the ETS started to bite and raise electricity prices, the faceless, Eurocrats in Brussels along with clever scammers started to dismantle its effectiveness. The European price fell to around A$4 per tonne which prompted Germany's Chancellor Merkel to OK the building of over 20 new coal powered stations that burnt cheap Polish coal.

    And therein lies the rub. The European ETS was designed to make it APPEAR like Europeans wanted to reduce fossil fuel emissions, not actually do it.

    The idea that Australia should tie its emissions to the corrupt European market which is run by faceless bureaucrats who are not beholden to Australian voters is sheer madness.

    Gerard Dean

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    1. Doug Hutcheson

      Poet

      In reply to Gerard Dean

      Gerard, you said "The idea that Australia should tie its emissions to the corrupt European market which is run by faceless bureaucrats who are not beholden to Australian voters is sheer madness."

      For once, we are in total agreement!

      It will be interesting to see what Kevin decrees, now that he is back in the driver's seat. Will he change to an ETS straight away and will he keep it tied to Europe? Will he leave Tony any wriggle room?

      The world waits and ponders ...

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  24. Ivan Quail

    maverick

    To Chris O,Neill
    When light hits the rocks and sand it converts to heat. Heat is re-radiated as infra red.
    Co2 and clouds act as an insulator to keep the heat in and stop transmission to space!
    BTW Co2 is a catalyst for the formation of clouds.

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    1. Grant Burfield

      Dr

      In reply to Ivan Quail

      Mr Quail,
      Thankyou. Someone at last has introduced cogent scientific argument to this debate. Rather than politics.
      Well done.

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    2. Billy Field

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Ivan Quail

      So help us pleas, exactly what is the problem & what is your empirical evidence?

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    3. Ivan Quail

      maverick

      In reply to Billy Field

      Billy Field
      Please see my earlier post regarding cold hard peer reviewed long standing scientific facts about Co2 and my reply to Chris O,Neill.

      I agree with your comment regarding picking winners.

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  25. Ivan Quail

    maverick

    to Peter Lang
    Yes you are right about the $. I would prefer the state to spend money on developing our huge Tidal power resource in the Kimberly like we did on the Snowy river mountains scheme as a means of reducing Co2 emissions and to smelt Aluminium for the world.

    The Tides of the Kimberly can generate 10 times more electricity than we currently generate in the whole of Australia. Installed National generating capacity is about 54Gwatts

    Too far away you think. A 6G/watt (6,000Mw) bulk…

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  26. Ivan Quail

    maverick

    to James Hill

    National debt is $184,070M x 2.75% pa is $5,062M.
    Where do you get your alarmist and false 200 billion dollars from?

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    1. James Hill

      Industrial Designer

      In reply to Ivan Quail

      The government, alarmingly for you, Ivan,does not hold private mortgage debt, which id $1.5 TRILLION.
      Apply your calculations to that figure.
      This is the debt which matters to the economy, IMHO.
      It is probably unsustainable.

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    2. James Hill

      Industrial Designer

      In reply to James Hill

      Only a mere $100 Billion in interest now, but under a "Interest rates are too low' treasurer Joe Hockey/
      $200 Billion might suit Hockey's real employers very well?

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  27. John Davidson

    Retired engineer

    Despite the claims being made by it's supporters, the carbon tax is too low to have had much effect. Recent reductions in emissions would be due to a combination of the RET emissions trading scheme, feed in tariffs, people being scared by Abbott's dishonest scare campaign and large jumps in power prices for reasons other than the carbon tax.
    Switching to an ETS will be even less effective in the short term unless a floor price is set which is higher than the current one. If anything, linking…

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    1. Doug Hutcheson

      Poet

      In reply to John Davidson

      "If Rudd wants to convince us that he really is committed to climate action he needs to spell out what tangible action he would take during the next parliamentary term." The same applies to Tony: if he wants us to think he is really committed to action, he needs to demonstrate how his Direct Action agenda will translate into tangible outcomes, specifically emission reductions. We have heard much posturing from the Libs, but I cannot imagine how their soil carbon sequestration target is going to reduce emissions.

      Every day we argue, debate and compromise, the problem gets worse. The edge of the cliff is approaching and we still have our foot mashed down on the accellerator, while we argue about whose job it is to empty the ash trays. Our species deserves the future it is heading for.

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  28. Billy Field

    logged in via Facebook

    I am not an expert in this field but I don't understand... firstly, I have seen no tabled list of scientific facts about "carbon emissions" and their associated problems that can be considered by anyone for sake of probity. I have heard a lot of rhetoric but where are the facts for Joe Public who are expected to pay?

    Secondly, IF best to act why a "global scheme"? Will China or USA or others submit to "a global scheme"? It seems a farce to me.

    Thirdly, we need to see all the details of ANY scheme before buying in.....we have been lied into so many hair brained multi-billion dollar disasters in recent times by politicians & media & "experts"it is not funny...why ought we trust them without question?

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    1. James Hill

      Industrial Designer

      In reply to Billy Field

      Before all this compulsion came in there were Voluntary Emissions Trading Schemes in place.
      Usually involved carbon being sequestered in trees, here in Australia, to balance industrial emissions elsewhere.
      Why did they bother?
      Perhaps the shareholders of the emitting corporations approved.
      The compulsion has always been a problem for me in the face of the evidence of voluntary systems.
      Adma Smith's" Dead hand of the Bureaucracy lying across the levers of the market" and all that.
      No doubt those…

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    2. Billy Field

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Doug Hutcheson

      Thankyou very much Doug. Very kind of you, I have started looking at it already & remain open minded.

      Interesting how little discussion re expanding energy needs issues due to global Population explosion & the development of underdeveloped world?

      Seems to me Doug, if we want to move to alternative energy, & I do for many reasons, it's up to Govt to ACT itself .....they need to create financial & tax incentives to go green & micro green.....setting up a "carbon trading scheme" is absurd to me....simple I think, gradually increase the tax the bad & put ALL this money into the good....,not some "traders pockets".

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    3. Peter Ormonde

      Farmer

      In reply to Billy Field

      Traders - you mean investors, buyers and sellers, financiers and advisers - like say the Stock or money markets? Should we be shutting all that down too?

      Genuine question actually. As a recovering economist I am quite ambivalent and genuinely interested in the idea - of what shutting down the financial system might do. Nearly switched itself off a while back. The world hasn't dealt with the debt yet or the costs of the bail outs. Just socialised 'em - here kids.

      But the sad sorry fact…

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  29. David Huang

    logged in via Facebook

    In human history, tax never be the catalyst as the incubator of innovation. Many of us know what it means when it comes to energy efficiency. We will be first to embrace any technology that save energy. We need to understand worldwide energy consumption is overly burdened by low energy efficiency. For example, our car engines/ship engines are no more than 15% efficient. Electricity generation is less than 30% efficiency after considering the generation, transmission and correlation in demand/supply…

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    1. James Hill

      Industrial Designer

      In reply to David Huang

      There was a report I read on secondary bio-diesel, which relies upon waste, which was used by V12 diesel engined racing cars in Germany, with the diesel yield being one litre for every two kg of old newspapers.
      Might just as easily be old grass clippings and the residue can be returned as fertiliser.
      Too easy!

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  30. John Merory

    neurologist/environmentalist

    Perhaps the money lost by going to an ETS could be recouped by cancelling the subsidies and tax concessions for the fossil fuel and mining industries.

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  31. UCL Australia

    International Energy Policy Institute at Education Industry, Energy, Resources

    The benefit of a fixed price is market certainty. It is also a method of maximising incentive to cut emissions, which is the argument of supporters of a carbon tax.
    Whilst it is true that Australia is the only country SO FAR to have a fixed price, the need to stabilise the price and incentivise the market is widely recognised. Mechanism to do this are used in several emission trading schemes, particularly the use of floor and/or ceiling prices. Europe is considering such ideas. However, detractors…

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    1. Ian Rudd

      Retired accountant

      In reply to UCL Australia

      As long as big banks and other speculators have a large role in carbon trading the markets will not necessarily be efficient.

      If there is to be some sort of market mechanism to help reduce GHG emissions then I think the tax and dividend idea favoured by George Monbiot and now also James Hanson should be implemented.

      But in the end any system that relies on big profit making corporations as major participants will be undermined and abused since these entities don't operate with the goal of benefiting humanity. Their bottom line is the focus and they use governments to protect or enhance it.

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  32. Ivan Quail

    maverick

    to James Hill

    The 7.30 Report on Tuesday night interview with Joe Hockey. He States "Labor is leaving us with $340B of debt" Not the $1.5 Trillion you claim!

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  33. Honeybee Blaze Frolics

    logged in via Facebook

    Climate change is happening now. Just ask 97% of the top climate scientists & every major National Academy of Science in the world. http://clmtr.lt/cb/wPU0bWP Put a price on carbon! Today in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania is unusually hot humid unbearable goin to take a cool bath @ 5am in the morning..check Climate Reality Project.org and learn more about Climate Change!

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  34. Ian L. McQueen

    Retired

    I give up. I've been writing replies two times and both vanished.

    IanM

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