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Reducing CO2 without a Carbon Tax & Increasing Government Revenue!

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  • #493983
    porgeyporgey
    Member

    Casalenta, regardless of the statistical variance I still dont believe that humans are contributing to CO2 induced climate change like we are being told so I dont support a CT. I think you maybe spot on about the GST and if they took more notice of the Henry Review then they would possibly not be in so much political poo.

    I cant bear hearing/reading stories of environmental degredation and it pains me greatly that CO2 is everyones focus when there are so many other things that the govn could be doing that would have a far greater beneficial impact on Australia’s environment & economy. We introduced the Compact Fluroescent Light Bulb (CFLB) when there are far better alternatives to ILB, we are pouring Billions into an NBN when solar & renewables should be getting that money & priority, we are not tackling population growth & uneccessary international trade etc.

    The CT wont work and all our politicians dont seem to be tackling the right issues and have no announced long term vision for Australia.

    #493984
    AirgeadAirgead
    Member

    I wish real life wouldn’t get in the way so much… been too busy to post for a day or two…

    Porgey

    You may not believe it but it is true. In fact we humans are in all likelihood contributing far more to global warming than you are being told right now.

    As I have said before, the science on this is well and truly settled. The current climate measurements are tracking or exceeding the worst case IPCC forecasts. The only scientific debate is whether it will be as bad as the IPCC said or whether it will be worse. The smart money is on worse.

    If you really look into the science, the actual science not the opinion pieces written about the science it is very, very clear.

    Whether you believe it or not, its happening.

    The need to do something is very urgent. The economics says that the best chance we have is with a carbon price. I’m a percentage player so I’m throwing my lot in with the experts.

    Cheers

    Dave

    #493985
    porgeyporgey
    Member

    Airgead, my position is quite clear. Climate change exists, it always has & always will. The carbon tax will do nothing to alter climate change and any so called scientific proof of any reduction in atmospheric CO2 will be within excepted statistical & natural variance.

    In addition, and way more importantly, the CT is an absolutely pointless strategy in trying to influence natural climate change if we continue to populate the planet & increase international trade, issues you and many others fail to recognise let alone discuss. Include the growing affluence & consumption of third world countries, especially China, and it just adds to the futility of the Governments position.

    #493986
    BootstrapperBootstrapper
    Member

    Solutions won’t be forthcoming from those who are fully invested in the status-quo. Fossil fuel is the most concentrated energy source ever discovered. It gives all who use it decisive economic and military advantage over those who don’t. No grubbyment will abandon fossil energy, until all countries have done so – in other words, not until the Oil, Coal and NG have run out.

    Pricing carbon is just another scheme to appease the masses by appearing to be doing something about CO2 emissions while transfering wealth from the productive to the parasitic. We wear the ‘hair-shirt’ and wait (maybe decades) for results/rewards while they reap the benefits, immediately.

    There is only one sure way to reduce anthropomorphic CO2 emissions – reduce the number of Humans! Since we lack the political will to do this in a controlled and humane manner (eugenics?) Nature (think four unpleasant characters on horseback) will do the job for (or is that “to”) us. That process will be neither controlled or humane.

    #493987
    AirgeadAirgead
    Member

    Porgey

    Population is, as you say, the elephant in the room. It is an issue that really needs to be tackled. It will make a low impact economy far more difficult.

    However, even if population growth stopped today, we would still need to reduce what we produce now. And with population going to increase at least for the near future (even a 1 child policy worldwide would take 20-50 years to stabilise the population) reducing our per capita emissions is even more vital.

    Global trade isn’t as much of an issue as people think it is in terms of direct emissions. It accounts for under 10% of emissions worldwide. The vast majority (around 40%) is from stationary power. Electricity generation in other words. Another 20-30% is from domestic transport – cars and trucks. That’s what we need to target first, hence the focus on renewable power. The real international trade issue is over consumption in developed countries.

    Australia’s emissions are (approximately) 50% stationary power, 15% agriculture, 15% manufacturing and heavy industry and the remainder transport. Our need to reduce emissions from power is urgent.

    Yes, we emit only 1.4% of the world’s overall emission. However, only 0.3% of the world’s population is Australian. We are the largest emitters per capita in the world.

    A carbon tax will reduce emissions from stationary power by making renewables cost competitive with coal. It will have a major impact on our emissions. It also gives a revenue stream to fund complimentary measures which we can use to decarbonise the rest of the economy. The ideal position would be a carbon tax on everything, no exceptions, with transitional assistance only to trade exposed industries and only compensation for the difference between our price and the price in the destination country. Starting at $30/t and moving within 10 years to $200/t. With that sort of program we could decarbonise our economy within 20 years.

    Will our individual effort make a difference to the world’s emissions? Perhaps a very small one. But it is necessary. The rest of the world has moved on from this debate, seriously, the debate in Australia has moved back 20 years. The rest of the world is moving on this. Europe, India, China are all moving quickly on a carbon price. Europe and China already have one. Large chunks of Asia are moving on a carbon price. The more politically advances states in Latin America are moving on this (the ones not ruled by Juntas or drug barons). Only the US and Australia are holding out. If we don’t move on this, the rest of the world will punish us. Not having a carbon price will be far worse for our economy long term than having one.

    I read a nice quote on the Climate Spectator a couple of days ago. “Anyone who thinks that a carbon price alone will be enough doesn’t understand much economics, anyone who thinks we can reduce emissions without a carbon price doesn’t understand any economics”. I think that’s true.A lot of the opposition to the carbon tax is based on a misunderstanding, or lack of understanding of how economics works. For my sins, I have had to become familiar with economics. We can all rail against our current system and decry capitalism (actually… its consumerism that is the problem, not capitalism… they are different) but short of a revolution its the system we have and the system we have to work within. To say that we can never make a difference under the current system is defeatist (and untrue).

    Cheers

    Dave

    #493988
    porgeyporgey
    Member

    Dave, I enjoy reading your posts but you have not convinced me that the proposed CT and C&T scheme will work in altering climate change. It may work in the economic & political vortex that we as a country and world have been sucked into but its just a delusional attempt at trying to fix a problem without addressing the real issues. Economic, political & environmental commentators, analysts and psychologists are going to have a ball with this one as the veil of self deceit withers in the heat and cold of an overpopulated world in a hundred or so years time.

    Australia is no longer the clever country just a badly led ankle biter in the worlds economic & political system. We could do so much to improve our economy and protect the environment with well considered, funded & fairly protected manufacturing, industry, farming and services but all we seem to be doing is digging holes and importing more and more.

    #493989
    MetuMetu
    Member

    (actually… its consumerism that is the problem, not capitalism… they are different)

    Captialism is like the neck, which can turn the head of consumerism. The head is free to consume all it wants (the problem) but it’s the neck that can change in what direction.

    What is free to move around these domains however, are individuals. They often think for themselves and together, contribute a lot. They just differ on what they believe in. Diversity is a good thing. Because if you put all your eggs in one basket, it all goes together should anything go wrong.

    The simple and very enormous reality in this Climate Change world is, we’re still going to die. Regardless of what the IPCC report says or what new tax will be invented – even if nothing changes.

    I won’t be convinced (no matter how much they charge as the going rate for planetary survival) the world economy can prevent that outcome from eventuating. Death is nigh to every living thing. Which includes the planets and solar systems. How I live my life in the meantime however, has always been up to me. In the land of democracy, the only way that will change is if the majority decide how others should live.

    I guess that’s the way of the future, as it has always been of the past.

    Doesn’t make us very intelligent though. Kind of more like Lemmings, when you think how deomocracy works. Majority rules – over the cliff we go! Which you could say of my side too. If I convinced enough people to come with me, we’d all go over the cliff together. That’s what Lemmings do. And ultimately, like I said, we’re all going to die any way.

    What’s to look forward to – possibly having your own thoughts and your own choices in this world, while you’re still alive? 🙂

    #493990
    AirgeadAirgead
    Member

    porgey post=309367 wrote: Dave, I enjoy reading your posts but you have not convinced me that the proposed CT and C&T scheme will work in altering climate change.

    Porgey

    I doubt my meagre persuasive skills would be enough to tip anyone over the line…

    Can I do enough to convince you to check out the Climate Spectator blog (www.climatespectator.com.au)?

    I read a lot of climate stuff online (Its my job.. I gota keep informed) and CS has by far the best coverage and commentary on climate issue that I have seen anywhere. Some very well respected people are writing on there at the moment.

    Whatever your views on a carbon tax, CS is well worth a read. And it will give you a really good insight into how government and business are viewing the problem.

    Its also free. What’s not to like?

    No affiliation etc etc just a keen reader sharing the love

    Cheers

    Dave

    #493991
    AirgeadAirgead
    Member

    Metu post=309371 wrote:

    Captialism is like the neck, which can turn the head of consumerism. The head is free to consume all it wants (the problem) but it’s the neck that can change in what direction.

    Consumerism can exist under any economic system. If you look at China today you can see a very good example of consumer communism…

    The history of consumerism is a very interesting one. It was conceived after the second world war to soak up a massive oversupply problem in the US and European economies. During the war, factories had become so efficient at producing that when turned back to peacetime work there was more stuff being produced than people wanted. In order to stop the whole global economy falling flat, and therefore stopping European rebuilding after the war, consumerism was encouraged as a temporary measure to soak up supply.

    It kinda got out of hand though…

    Strict capitalism favours wise investment and saving over reckless spending.

    Cheers

    Dave

    #493992
    MetuMetu
    Member

    Strict capitalism favours wise investment and saving over reckless spending.

    Absolutely, but capitalism is still the accumulation of wealth (investments) and consumerism only seeks to spend. It’s the wealth builders who want a stable investment, which accummulates profit. But we’re talking global economies and that’s the problem.

    Herein lies my point about it not fixing the environment by using a fiscal economic policy. I will cite a very good example in Australia’s history, but first I want to suggest that what kills planets quicker than consumers, is global economies.

    The recession we had to have, is my case in point. While it actually shrunk our economy for a small period, the contraction was very big in such a limited amount of time. The boom of the Howard era, mirrored that same economic trend. It was a swift but large expansion, made possible by – deregulating our banks.

    Deregulating our banks (a la Paul Keating) freed the market for fresh overseas investors. Capitalism was rife with wise investors who suddenly recognised our potential for growth. No more government regulation on Australian banks, meant a more liberal (less risk) economy for investors.

    We were also quick to drop our tariffs, where other European countries and Communist ones, were still protecting their domestic economies. To make this very brief, we got a large bankroll thanks to the strengthening global economy, to start industrialising industry and agriculture in Australia.

    Why is this important to know for the planet? Heavy industrialisation in our workforce and industries mean, any new growth we make in the economy now (eg: renewables and green industry) will be done utilising that heavy industrialisation. We will grow the emissions, not reduce them.

    It won’t show up in household use (that will drop as renewables become more readily available) but our emissions will rise in industry instead, as the money for expansion comes in.

    There’s a nice trick built into this system too. Global Industry will be able to hide those increases, with the new carbon offset scheme. If said industry plants a monoculture forest to sink carbon into, the growth in emissions won’t translate across. Or at least the global placebo will make us not notice the emissions so much, because they’ll be safely neutralised on paper.

    Yet the planet is already seeing those carbon sinks with projects like Greening Australia, managed forestry and the growing market of organic and byidynamic agriculture. Not to mention every day householders who won’t be able to claim their ornamental gardens and vegetable patches as a carbon offset to their household budgets.

    Conveniently, those carbon off-sets won’t be written into the official carbon economy, until the carbon tax is introduced. The gain is already there for the environment to have access to now, we just haven’t paid for the burocracy to manage it yet. When they crunch the new numbers, factoring in existing carbon offsets, they’ll tell us how good we are at managing the environment then.

    Lemmings, I tell you. 😉 🙂

    If we really want to talk about saving the planet through economies, let’s go back 20 years before deregulating the banks in Australia. If we hadn’t opened our enconomy to the world markets back then, we would have maintained growth according to our population’s fiscal limitation – our domestic economy. There wouldn’t have been a transition to modern agriculture, of pesticides, machinery and genetically engineered foods, to the degree it is today.

    If we hadn’t tried to compete with the rest of the world back then, the global resources wouldn’t have been taxed so quickly or in such a large scale.

    My point is, markets generate money for investment (wise or otherwise). The bigger the corporations, the more money and leverage they have to dominate the market. Just because this new economy is pigeonholed for the environment, doesn’t mean it will be good for it.

    We should be taking this debate back 20 years ago, where local economies were the backbone of Australian life. Local economies had a built-in limitation, by the real cost to produce goods and the population’s need for less of it.

    Transfering the cost to a global market (whether it be for the new green industrialisation, or the old dirty one) will only increase the demand for supply. We’re talking global demand, not domestic. Carbon will only increase to meet that supply, but at least we get to compete in the new *global* green economy to build our wealth base again.

    Ironcially, we have the power today, and the planet is actually using it today, to sink carbon back into the environment. We just haven’t got the offical number crunchers on it yet, to tell us how great Australians really are at managing the environment.

    We may have the biggest emissions per capita, but we also have the biggest contient for our population’s size. Which means we have one of the world’s largest natural carbon sinks for our emissions per head. Now wouldn’t the government like to price that in the new global economy. Sounds great for investors, but global demand never benefits the environment.

    #493993
    ahningahning
    Member

    Has anyone heard the story of the tourist in rural Ireland who asked a local for directions. The answer was “Well, I wouldn’t start from here.” The joke is that “here” is the only starting place there is.

    At this moment the world is on the verge of losing the climate that has supported the whole span of human civilisation. Also at this moment there are tightly coupled national economies, transnational corporations and organisations, gross inequalities in wealth and well-being, conflicts of interest between haves, have-nots, and won’t-let-goes, and many other complications and problems. That’s what we have to work with. We can’t wait to undo globalisation: there isn’t time. We can’t wait to define a whole new economic system that includes environmental and non-monetarised goods and services: there isn’t time. The longer we wait, the harder it all gets on individuals, societies, and economies at all scales.

    What is the economic effect of a collapsed ocean food chain? Of the loss of Arctic summer sea ice? Of two 500-year floods in a decade? Literally immeasurable, but that’s what we face. Does a “wise investor” respond to those prospects by putting all their funds into fossil carbon baskets? Only if the economic environment is loaded against other baskets, or if the investor is so confused by lies and disinformation that they don’t understand the risks they face.

    I’ve said before that I first heard about climate change from reinsurance companies. They are pricing the effects of global warming; does anyone think that insurance is going to get cheaper after the floods?

    This is an urgent problem with no quick solutions. The longer we dither, deny or delay about tackling it, the worse the problem becomes and the more painful the remedies. Most people here are already doing a lot at the personal level; our reasons might be to live more cheaply or to eat better but for the methods we use reduced carbon emissions are a by-product. Carbon pricing is a way to make reduced carbon emissions a by-product of cost efficiencies in industry and commerce. Let’s just get behind it and get started.

    Ahning

    #493994
    Anonymous
    Guest

    now we are taking a lead from insurance companies the greatest legal bushrangers in commerce, they take no risks just money to fill their coffers then reject legitimate claims, of course the recent flood, cyclones are going to add to insurance premiums(note it says premium not fair pricing)as will the earthquakes and volcanos, plane crashes you name it.

    how does one get capitalism without consumerism? like any of these fear hype topics they go hand in glove.

    when the minority who are peddling this worship belief of men prove in a tangableway that there is an issue outside of the assumtion of an issue because this or that? then they may get support but pushing the prices of everything up and risking further unemployment as manufacturers go off shore and we end up with nuclear power is no answer, especially when the supporters can’t explain how australia with its 1.3% of total imput can make an iota of a difference to our own climate let alone that of the world.

    sadly of course the rest of us are cooked chooks as the minority (when they say the majority support the concept they mean the majority of the minority group, silly statement realy as of course, if you are a believer you will support it or why would you be there?)are on a winner here and they don’t have to do much as they rely on corruptable politics to push their barrow for them.

    my prayers are again with the poor as they currently don’t have one, a prayer that is.

    len

    #493995
    MetuMetu
    Member

    Hi Ahning

    We can’t wait to undo globalisation: there isn’t time. We can’t wait to define a whole new economic system that includes environmental and non-monetarised goods and services: there isn’t time. The longer we wait, the harder it all gets on individuals, societies, and economies at all scales.

    On the question of time, the science already states we have none. The only way to re-invent the concept of time now, is to market it on a carbon scale. Only it’s an economic measurement, not a scientific one. It will be based on the same global markets which fail to measure the real cost of production today.

    Carbon offsets will hide the real emissions to the green upgrade, like low wages and worker conditions offshore, hide the real cost of products to the consumer.

    I’m not proposing a whole new economic system however. It’s actually an old one that’s still in use today. It’s our domestic economy, and it has the potential for sustainable growith. Consumers are already supporting their domestic economies by buying local. They’re already reinvesting in local business, over mega stores. They’re already growing these economies and reducing their consumption habits as a result. So domestic economies are already reducing emissions today.

    But where’s the global market share in that for corporate investors? Even green corporate investers. Well, there’s not a lot, simply because the investment is spread around to more people in localised economies.

    By inventing a new global economy however, they can re-market themselves as the only green solution for the species. They appear to stretch the parameters of time the science sets out, but they only transfer it to carbon, which can have it’s increases hidden in off-sets.

    It’s a very ingenious system which seeks to control natural elements which were only going to be measured on a different scale anyway. Result is, consumers and voters are left with the impression the issue of survival has been addressed while their economy didn’t really have to change at all.

    Part of my reasoning says, I shouldn’t ignore the global contribution as part of the solution either. But I’m not keen on supporting it as the control mechanism for the planet and our survival. Especially with it’s track record of redefining ethics to maximise profits.

    We need to engage more in our ethical responsibility towards reducing personal emissions, rather than taking a market placebo and consulting our financial advisor/political leaders/conscience in the morning.

    There is money to be made from a dying planet, just as there is one to be made from a living one. But only the individual can take responsibility for their personal actions. By engaging in our local economies, we keep the cycle of production and consumption in our faces. Global economies keep it offshore, and far removed from the real cost of what we’re contributing/buying in to.

    #493996
    AirgeadAirgead
    Member

    gardenlen post=309472 wrote: now we are taking a lead from insurance companies the greatest legal bushrangers in commerce, they take no risks just money to fill their coffers then reject legitimate claims,

    Len

    Not insurance companies. Re-insurance companies. They are the huge firms that insure insurance companies against the possibility of large claims.

    Whatever we think of the insurance industry, the global re-insurance industry are some of the absolute best risk managers anywhere. They have to analyse and assess every contingency from climate to political instability to whatever might have an impact on insurance claims somewhere in the world. Where insurance claims rise, you can bet something bad has happened so when they talk about increased claims, that translates directly into bad stuff happening to people.

    For at least 10 years they have listed climate change as the number one long term risk on their books. Bigger than middle eastern political instability, bigger than terrorism, bigger than nuclear accidents. Its their number one long term source of bad things happening to people.

    Interestingly, the other organisations that do very serious long term risk planning – the military shares that view. The US joint chiefs in their last few global strategic reviews list climate change as one of the top potential causes of instability and conflict.

    As Ahning said, we have to start now and the only place we can start from is here. That means working within the system we have and doing what we can while moving to a better system. We can’t wait to move to a better system first. The best way to proceed under our current system is a carbon price. The rest of the world has realised this and is moving on it. We are being left behind.

    Cheers

    Dave

    #493997
    AirgeadAirgead
    Member

    Metu post=309499 wrote: Hi Ahning

    On the question of time, the science already states we have none. The only way to re-invent the concept of time now, is to market it on a carbon scale. Only it’s an economic measurement, not a scientific one. It will be based on the same global markets which fail to measure the real cost of production today.

    Carbon offsets will hide the real emissions to the green upgrade, like low wages and worker conditions offshore, hide the real cost of products to the consumer.

    I’m not proposing a whole new economic system however. It’s actually an old one that’s still in use today. It’s our domestic economy, and it has the potential for sustainable growith. Consumers are already supporting their domestic economies by buying local. They’re already reinvesting in local business, over mega stores. They’re already growing these economies and reducing their consumption habits as a result. So domestic economies are already reducing emissions today.

    Metu

    I’m not entirely sure what your first paragraph means. It may be the late night I had last night but its not making a lot of sense to me right now.

    Your statement about domestic economies is, unfortunately incorrect. You need to remember that we aren’t normal people. WE are shopping local and building our domestic economy which is great, but the vast majority of people are not. In fact the majority of people are actively turning away from local producers and local shopping in favour of the lower prices and ‘convenience’ provided by the big chains.

    Local shops are closing down all over the country as new shopping centres open up full of chain stores. Local production is disappearing as farmland is covered by new suburbs. Local businesses are being closed down or bought out by multinationals. The domestic economy is in real trouble.

    Its easy for us to look at what we are doing and think that everyone else is as well. Sadly, they are not.

    Cheers

    Dave

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