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Reducing CO2 without a Carbon Tax & Increasing Government Revenue!

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  • #493938
    porgeyporgey
    Member

    Airgead wrote; Wage disparity is a serious issue but a separate one to carbon pricing.

    No they are not separate at all. Price is king regardless of how it is set. If every country imposes a CT then nothing changes, trade increases and emissions rise.

    #493939
    AirgeadAirgead
    Member

    porgey post=308754 wrote: Airgead wrote; Wage disparity is a serious issue but a separate one to carbon pricing.

    No they are not separate at all. Price is king regardless of how it is set. If every country imposes a CT then nothing changes, trade increases and emissions rise.

    Again the theory, and past experience with these sort of polluter pays schemes is that it does drive industry to pollute less per unit of production.

    Yes, if we continue our profligate ways, we will be come more efficient at production but increasing production will cancel out those efficiencies. The trick is to grow efficiency faster than production. That’s easy at first because efficiency is so low. After a while (say 10-15 years) the easy stuff is all done and further efficiency becomes much harder. That’s when increasing consumption will catch up and start driving emissions back up.

    The way you counter that is by using the revenue from the scheme to invest in new low carbon infrastructure (like massive renewable power infrastructure) that allows us to de-carbonise fully.

    Like I said, a carbon price alone isn’t the answer. It needs to be part of an integrated solution. Without a carbon price there simply isn’t the revenue available to invest in the new infrastructure needed.

    You also need to reduce consumer demand. That’s where I am most confident actually. I know it seems an impossible task but I am very confident that the coming peak oil crisis will do a very good job of reducing demand by making our current way of life unaffordable.

    That’s one reason I am so keen to get a carbon price now. We need that revenue to invest in low carbon infrastructure before peak oil hits and we simply can’t afford to do that any more.

    Incidentally, the topic of this thread mentions a desire to not increase government revenue. What’s wrong with increasing government revenue? That government revenue pays for things like schools, hospitals, police, fire, ambulance, even things like garbage collection. Its a lack of government revenue that is leading to massive shortfalls in their ability to provide these basic services. The government (at all levels) needs a massive cash injection to counter 30 years of middle class welfare and elections won on the promise of unaffordable tax cuts.

    Cheers

    Dave

    #493940
    porgeyporgey
    Member

    Firstly Aigead, my heading is a bit misleading as the & should be whilst.

    By mandating schemes like increasing locally refined gas usage rather than importing more higher carbon petrol, taxing food imports and encouraging local food production Australia could actively reduce carbon emissions, improve balance of trade, increase government revenue and make Oz more self sufficient. This alone would enable us to build renewable energy power stations without the imposition of a carbon tax.

    #493941
    SurvegalistSurvegalist
    Member

    porgey post=308757 wrote: Firstly Aigead, my heading is a bit misleading as the & should be whilst.

    By mandating schemes like increasing locally refined gas usage rather than importing more higher carbon petrol, taxing food imports and encouraging local food production Australia could actively reduce carbon emissions, improve balance of trade, increase government revenue and make Oz more self sufficient. This alone would enable us to build renewable energy power stations without the imposition of a carbon tax.

    Well I think it’s a better way to go also porgey.Regardless of what we are being sold it’s the mainstream of ppl in Oz that will be hit hardest,not those on wages above $50,000 who could possibly afford the $1,000 increase to living.

    Green power,what a scam..they don’t/can’t garentee the power you pay extra for IS actually green produced and it was only to offset the payback price they gave out on grid connect solar which they lowered by heaps just lately.All designed to be a win win for the big end of the pollution providers.

    Maybe if the govt subsidised stand alone systems to 3kw for households instead of grid conect which ultimately only benifits power stns,then and only then(When it hurts the power Co’s in the pocket)they will move to research and design towards greener technologies.

    I didn’t want to bring up CT cause it’s not what this thread is about really but,If they charge a tax on one hand and from the other say most of it will go back to the ppl then frankly I just don’t see too much money going into research and what does will take sooooo long to be effective,it’s just a case of the govt seeing to be doing while keeping the main polluters happy and incharge.

    Go to coles and see the $1.99kg pees,Product of China,Woolies,product of the UK…They certainly screwed up our food production Heh,we cant even produce cheap peas.It seems like some here can’t understand the quick and easy of just how easy it would be to lower emmissions then some ponsy scheem just by supporting our own produce and natural gas’s.They sold us out,they will keep selling us out untill we don’t produce anything worth eating and are all relient on “GREAT WALL “apples.

    #493942
    porgeyporgey
    Member

    Survegalist, thanks for your comments and I agree with yours.

    Something has to be done to tackle ALL pollution including excess carbon but the proposed tax is an ineffecient and such an uninspiring way of going about it. It saddens me especially as the The Greens are a part of this government and are inextricably linked with such a poor scheme.

    After all there hard work for the environment and House of Reps & senate seats the The Greens will get a shalacking at the next federal election and with the economy on the skids environmental schemes will be worse as a result and we will have Turnbull & Hockey leading the government. Hopefully PM Turnbull will scrape the multi billion dollar NBN and use the money to better utilise our resources & food growing and establish better solar technologies.

    #493943
    SurvegalistSurvegalist
    Member

    Yeah I get it,the two biggies,electricity and transport(The main polluters).What dosen’t sit well with me is the fact that TPTB keep on spurting that solar and wind are not sutable as a base load and refuse to address indervidual loads,ie..the householder.If ppl were confinded to useing only the power they produce,they would fall into line quicker with regards to consumption(FACT).

    And if they had gas powered cars,they at least wouldn’t polute as much.The big 2,simple fix’s for both.Too easy hey!

    One thing that would do our food industry good would be to limit the buying power of the big 2 wollies and coles,they should never have been allowed to set the wholesale price paid at the gate of the primary producers and sure as flies to poo they didn’t hesitate at forceing out the smaller players that sold Aussie produce bought at a fair price from the growers.It wont be long now before we are drinking “GREAT WALL” milk either

    Multy nationalists and free trade agreements are not geared to supporting the sales of local produce or provide assurity to farmers for getting a fair price.They made it too easy for our own multy generational farmers to HAVE to sell out to internation buyers that ultimately only sell as export.Thank the govt for that one.

    This country is going to poo and we are just the paper.They need more money from the paper to pay for the poo LOL.

    Could you imagine the uproar if 75% of the population here grew their own food and produced their own(Even though limited) power,they would put a stop to it quick smart and that would be showing their real colours.

    The sad truth is that TPTB run the show and if it dosen’t benifit international multinational conglomerates,it just won’t happen for the good of the people or the planet or our concience.

    #493944
    AirgeadAirgead
    Member

    Hi Guys

    Direct subsidies and things like that are wonderful and =are an essential part of decarbonising the economy. The big problem with them is that there is no money to pay for them. Governments (state and federal) are rolling back greenhouse schemes because they don’t have the funds to maintain them. Industry won’t do it because there’s no profit in it and we can’t do it because we have no money either.

    This is where a price on carbon is essential. It gives government a revenue stream that it can use for those direct programs (complementary measures in official language). Without a carbon price, there is simply no enough money to do what needs doing.

    This is where the design of the tax/levy/whatever is vital. If all the revenue is given back in the form of compensation there will be nothing left for funding other programs. This is where the government will most likely let us down – by caving in to demands for compensation for fear of losing votes.

    A carbon price does three things – it sends a price signal by making it cheaper for industry to build low carbon infrastructure than carbon based infrastructure (sad fact is that green costs more) by making carbon based infrastructure more expensive. It sends a price signal to consumers and hopefully sees a drop in consumption and lastly it provides a revenue stream for complementary measures.

    We simply can’t do it without a carbon price. There just isn’t the money.

    Oh and if there is a grid nearby, a grid connected system is far more efficient than standalone. The grid acts as a giant battery which you feed into when you have a surplus and draw from when you aren’t generating enough. It insulates individual users from peaks and troughs in local production without needing local battery storage. Standalone systems need large battery arrays to cope with night time, extended bad weather etc. Those batteries need maintenance and don not last indefinitely. They need replacing every 5-10 years. They are expensive and filled with toxic stuff (lead and other heavy metals, acids etc). If we all went standalone the environmental cost of the batteries would be enormous.

    You also need smaller solar arrays grid connected as household peak loads are spread across the grid. If your average load is 2kw say but you have occasional peaks to three, grid connected you can use just over 2kw in the array say 2.1kw (so normally you provide a surplus to help with other houses peaks) but standalone you need 3kw as you need to provide for the peak all by yourself.

    Its counter-intuitive but grid connected is far greener than standalone.

    Cheers

    Dave

    #493945
    porgeyporgey
    Member

    Dave, there are many reasons but the proposed Carbon Tax (CT) wont work.

    I think everyone agrees we need to move away from fossil fuels and embrace solar power and other techs. This transition will take time but there are a number of things we can do to reduce carbon. As an energy consultant could you please comment on this;

    Tomorrow the government mandates that on july 1 2014 (or earlier) every new car sold in Oz must run on gas with strict emission levels. This reduces our reliance on importing higher carbon petrol & reduces huge transport miles. It instantly & cheapily increases demand for Oz mined & refined gas. Increases government revenue & improves balance of trade. It develops our gas industry and provides sufficient funds & gas to replace coal fired power stations with cleaner gas fired power stations on the way to solar stations. This simple act provides demand without costing citizen Bob much at all, gives miners & refiners investment assurance, is much more politically palatable, significantly reduces city air pollution & coal fired power station pollution, has enormous nation building potential, reduces carbon & other pollution etc etc.

    Ban /tax food imports would be even better.

    #493946
    Anonymous
    Guest

    yes move away from coal fired power but power must remain affordable, as its cost reflects on everything, food the lot. that’s teh thing but hey renewables are very expensive suppliers of power, and only when the sun shines so to speak, not available for on demand loads. so jumping the gun won’t help at all, develop the affordable alernative before we shut down the coal fired power stations, and of course common sense must prevail once we take our reliance away from caol then caol minning stops also (no run out time that starts from when the decision to go coaless starts). for now power our stations with our natural gas, then sell what ever is left over.

    with cars that target of gas powered cars (now is that natural gas or butane gas?, and also if this polcy were to work fuel gas would get expensive in a hurry, gov’ greed). so in 2014 or so all new cars to be gas powered, that is only new cars predominataley aussies keep their cars for 10 or 15 years or so, so that means it will be maybe by 2040 before you see any benefits at all, if there are any benifits to be had.

    now just take take little ole australia out of the little picture (our total world pollution is stated at less than 2%, we are around 23 million people). there are around 550 million cars in the world, they make about 45 million new cars per year, so what happens with them bigger countries doing something, that is a lot of cars to change and it is going to take decades to occur during which time this science will say the carbon issue continues, so then the pain of the taxes and trading continues unabated doing nothing.

    edited in:

    up to march 2010 app’ 92500 new cars sold

    12,269,000 cars in asutralia for the same period.

    we need common sense and perspective, not feel good hype. proton in malaysia patting themselves the back how they converted a mega amount of impenetrable rain forest and turned it into silver auto city, much more desirable. puts stock in the trading scheme hey? on one hand they say we need trees to soak up their carbon on the other we don’t need trees because building cars comes first.

    and on the vehicles emmission side shouldn’t we be right now looking at planning to grow our fresh food where the consumers are instead of trucking it all around the country. with no common snense we are putting the cart before the horse.

    len

    #493947
    AirgeadAirgead
    Member

    porgey post=308958 wrote:

    Tomorrow the government mandates that on july 1 2014 (or earlier) every new car sold in Oz must run on gas with strict emission levels. This reduces our reliance on importing higher carbon petrol & reduces huge transport miles. It instantly & cheapily increases demand for Oz mined & refined gas. Increases government revenue & improves balance of trade. It develops our gas industry and provides sufficient funds & gas to replace coal fired power stations with cleaner gas fired power stations on the way to solar stations. This simple act provides demand without costing citizen Bob much at all, gives miners & refiners investment assurance, is much more politically palatable, significantly reduces city air pollution & coal fired power station pollution, has enormous nation building potential, reduces carbon & other pollution etc etc.

    Ban /tax food imports would be even better.

    I’ll address this one specifically.

    The average age of the Australian car fleet is 10-15 years. This means that it will take at least that long to get significant new cars on the road using mandatory gas. You will see little or no benefit until then. That’s just too slow.

    Second, there simply isn’t the infrastructure to support that many gas cars. That infrastructure would need to be built. The question then is – who pays for it. And whit whose money. At the moment the answer would be – the petroleum companies with our money gathered by increasing the price of gas. At the moment LPG is transported by road using oil powered tankers. To really scale it up you would need pipelines from the oilfields (WA and NT) to the major population centres (east coast) which would be an absolutely massive project.

    Third, there simply isn’t the gas available to support that many gas cars. Remember, our gas reserves are natural gas – methane. The gas used in cars is propane which is mostly a byproduct of the petroleum industry not the gas industry. That’s why its so cheap – its a waste product from petroleum refineries. Natural gas is hard to use in cars because it requires very high pressures (dangerously high) or serious refrigeration to liquefy it for storage. Its not really a practical transport fuel. If we move away from oil as a fuel, the refineries won’t refine oil and won’t therefore produce propane as a byproduct.

    Edit – forgot to mention… another issue is that due to the size of the tanks needed, gas is only practical in large cars and even then you loose significant boot space. By mandating gas you would push everyone into larger cars which would mean more emissions. You would get better emission reductions by mandating diesel.

    The problem with this whole debates is that the problem is complex and really beyond the understanding of most people. I include myself in that. I do not fully understand the problem and its implications. It takes years of expert study to get a handle on this stuff.

    The unfortunate thing about people is that we like to understand things. We like to feel in control. So when we are faced with a really hard problem that we don’;t understand, we tend to turn to simple, intuitive answers to solve that problem. Unfortunately, simple intuitive answers do not have a good track record of solving complex problems. Usually they make things worse.

    This is a complex problem that needs a complex solution. Simple populist solutions just will not work. In this case we have to put aside our natural distrust of things we don’t understand and trust that the experts, who do understand this stuff, have got it right. If we barge in with what seems right, we will end up doing a lot of harm.

    Populist politicians always do well in times of uncertainty (and I include Abbot squarely in that camp). It is human nature to turn to simple, easy to understand solutions. History has shown, repeatedly, that this is not a good thing.

    We just have to trust the experts in this case. None of the experts support the populist position on this. The overwhelming majority of expert opinion supports a carbon price in one form or another.

    Cheers

    Dave

    #493948
    porgeyporgey
    Member

    Thanks Dave, you made some really interesting points especially about methane & propane.

    I dont completely agree with your point about needing complex solutions to this problem. We emit to much CO2 its that simple. The effects, science & consequences are serious & complicated but the simple answer is reduce the production and atmospheric release. Another way to do this is to stop food imports. Australia has such geographic & climate diversity that we could be completely self sufficient in food production. This would dramatically reduce food miles & carbon release and if we went organic the sequestering of carbon would have even more benefits.

    #493949
    BootstrapperBootstrapper
    Member

    A better alternative to any proposed CT I’ve heard of: Cap and Share

    In any event, I think the proposed CT is just a smokescreen, to disguise the true cause of the inflation being exported globally by the U.S. thanks to their abysmal monetary policy and management.

    The whole CO2 emissions debate may itself be a smokescreen to divert attention from something else; Like an ongoing campaign for corporations to enclose (privatise) the atmosphere? How critical is our society’s CO2 emmission level? An avearge volcano burps more Carbon Dioxide in a day than Australian industry produces in a year. Even China and India combined, can only match the CO2 output of a handfull of volcanoes.

    The Carbon Dioxide already in the atmosphere will cause changes that we can’t do anything about, except adapt. There are more urgent questions that need to be addressed. Like how do we, as a community, cope with a severe recession, a dwindling supply of transportation fuels, shortages of everything, a Police-state, personal security in the absence of an effective Police deterrent, keeping fed, staying warm and dry, etc.

    #493950
    AirgeadAirgead
    Member

    Bootstrapper post=308997 wrote:

    The whole CO2 emissions debate may itself be a smokescreen to divert attention from something else; Like an ongoing campaign for corporations to enclose (privatise) the atmosphere? How critical is our society’s CO2 emmission level? An avearge volcano burps more Carbon Dioxide in a day than Australian industry produces in a year. Even China and India combined, can only match the CO2 output of a handfull of volcanoes.

    The Carbon Dioxide already in the atmosphere will cause changes that we can’t do anything about, except adapt. There are more urgent questions that need to be addressed. Like how do we, as a community, cope with a severe recession, a dwindling supply of transportation fuels, shortages of everything, a Police-state, personal security in the absence of an effective Police deterrent, keeping fed, staying warm and dry, etc.

    No. Absolutely no. The figures are quite unequivocal. Volcanic activity as a yearly average emits around 0.3 billion tonnes of co2. Human activity emits around 29 billion tonnes (2009 figures) which is around 100 times as much.

    This was graphically provern during the recent unpronounceable Icelandic volcano. During the eruption, flights across Europe were grounded for days. This was shown to be a net saving in emissions – the volcano emitted less than the flights would have. Not all human activity over the period, just the flights. That shows just how little volcanos actually emit.

    Yes they have emitted enough in the past to alter the climate. Different scale of volcanism though. We are talking about the Siberian traps – an outbreak of volcanism the size of western Europe erupting continually for tens of thousands of years and paving over 7 million square kilometres with lava a kilometre thick.If there was something of that scale happening today I think we would know about it.

    I’m not sure we want to muddy the waters of the debate any further by delving into the crazy underbelly of the Internet and throwing in conspiracy theories about enclosing the atmosphere and global police states. We have enough real problems without making up our own…

    Cheers

    Dave

    #493951
    AirgeadAirgead
    Member

    porgey post=308991 wrote: Thanks Dave, you made some really interesting points especially about methane & propane.

    I dont completely agree with your point about needing complex solutions to this problem. We emit to much CO2 its that simple. The effects, science & consequences are serious & complicated but the simple answer is reduce the production and atmospheric release. Another way to do this is to stop food imports. Australia has such geographic & climate diversity that we could be completely self sufficient in food production. This would dramatically reduce food miles & carbon release and if we went organic the sequestering of carbon would have even more benefits.

    You are absolutely correct. Fundamentally there is a very simple solution – emit less.

    The problem we have is that carbon is so deeply embedded into our whole way of life that achieving that simple goal – emitting less – is very viticulture indeed.

    I see it as being a bit like a cancer. The simple solution is to cut it out but its growing deep inside us so we need to cut carefully to avoid damaging nerves and bones and vital organs.

    Cut we must though and we can only hope that the surgeon has a steady hand and knows what he (or she) is doing.

    Cheers

    Dave

    #493952
    porgeyporgey
    Member

    Dave wrote; You are absolutely correct. Fundamentally there is a very simple solution – emit less.

    But the problem with the PMs proposed plan is its strategic policy isolation will still see CO2 emissions rise. The Economic & Political imperative is for growth so whilst a CT may (I am doubtful) assist, the policy contradictions of increasing trade and population growth will inhibit any meaningful reductions in atmospheric CO2. Without reducing the amount of mouths that need feeding and all of the un necessary systemic Economic & Political “imperatives” that go with it the negative human influence on climate change will continue to increase.

    In Australian supermarkets right now you can buy Marios tinned tomatoes from Italy, Pedros aftershave (aka Wine) from Chile, Hectors Orange juice from Brazil, Radiums rice currie from Japan, and Who Flung Dungs confectionary from China for example. The food import list is enormous and totally & utterly un necessary. Its a woeful situation and a huge indictment on our political leaders. The massive carbon release from the transport of these increasing imports alone undermines serious climate change strategies that the CT is attempting to do. Jamming another 3 billion mouths onto this rock will only make it worse.

    Humans are the cancer and the band aid that we are trying to apply to the problem is no cure.

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