The carbon tax will finally get the boot

Premium content

To access premium content, please log in or set up a subscription. It's quick and easy.

More from Business Spectator


Please login or register to post comments

Comments Policy »

Robert you seem to ignore that removal of the carbon tax was supposed to be the first order of business. The senate doesn't change until July next year.

And direct action is better than a market mechanism? Please.

An ETS is hardly a "market mechanism". It is a government imposed, regulated and controlled system (a tax if you prefer). Europe has shown that it does not work, can be easily defrauded, and when the price heads south, they cancel free permits. That's one market I wouldn't want to be involved in. In summary, the market based ETS is a government tax controlled by investment bankers. No thanks! Oh yeah, and all it does it's export your emissions to the developed world. Been to Asia lately?

The ETS is a broken market. One main reason why it is broke is that not all the world is participating. It could never work to reduce global levels of CO2 especially while populations are growing - it may only slow the increase. Europe is having a go at it but China is not. China's emissions will increase something like 238% between 2000 and 2020, requiring 470 Australias cutting 5% to compensate.

Some say that China has right to increase their wealth to 1st world standards. This same logic would apply to India and others and once China is 1st world there will be a new crop of budding nations with swelling middle classes aspiring toward first world standards. And if China has right to increase their wealth to 1st world standards, then Australia has right to increase our population towards China population density unfettered by population and economy limiting measures.

Another reason why the ETS market is broken is that Australia's participation in the ETS is not backed up by cost/benefit analysis. Sure lets limit CO2, yet what about outcomes such as excessive costs in participating with little or much less benefit than the cost to Australia - would this be a working market? We could cop the costs of CO2 reduction, and also cop costs associated with higher global temperatures. Then we have the deindustrialist Greens for whom no amount of CO2 reduction in our economy is enough.

All the carbon trading markets are broken because too many concessions and free credits were issued to the big emitters to get the schemes across the line. It's got nothing to do with the market itself and everything to do with the lobbyists and rent seekers weaseling themselves out of actually having to do anything.

Here is another broke aspect. The export exposed miners get credits so that they would not have to directly cop the carbon tax as their prices for their commodities are determined by world markets (yet they still get hit indirectly through higher electricity prices). HOWEVER, Australia still cops the CO2 from the miners in the total CO2 for the country. The result is then a higher CO2 price needed to bring down the CO2 and a disproportionate hit on the nonmining sector.

Then as all the countries are not participating, there is the distortion effect of carbon taxing nations chasing off investment, jobs, and manufacturing to nonparticipating countries - especially to those such as China who have been given a CO2 "get out of jail free card" in recognition of right to bring their economy to first world standards. So while it is considered a good to chase the CO2 away, this CO2 could just be in another country or in a country less concerned with CO2 or other environmental factors - so could even be more CO2 and other forms of air, land, and water pollution.

All of this suggests to me that the whole carbon issue was never about climate and is really about controlling people and countries. How arrogant!

Remember: The IPCC was set up with a mandate to find 'political solutions' to a scientific problem. How can they ever find anything other than a political solution ? Science doesn't conform to political solutions!

How do you find a solution without government legislation? Definitely not through the free market that only cares about short-term profits! i.e. an investment is basically meaningless in the free market if it does not make a return within ten years.

Clearly because Robert says so the Direct Action is better. We have a career pollie in Abbott as PM, a lawyer as dep Lib leader and another lawyer as treasurer. The Dr's of economic on Labor's side were much less qualified to run the economy. Abbott will get it moving

Robert, how about we keep the carbon price until we are not the worst carbon emitters in the developed world of 100 or so countries? How can you point the finger at what others are doing in terms of carbon when you are dead last?

Even at a 0% Co2 target by 2020, the share of Australia's CO2 of the world is dropping. You must admit that is a good statistic.

"Robert, how about we keep the carbon price until we are not the worst carbon emitters in the developed world of 100 or so countries?"
How are we the worst emitters?
Do you mean emissions per capita? If so that is TOTALLY MEANINGLESS.
As far as the environment is concerned emission per capita are irrelevant, but total emissions matter.
No matter what environmental efforts we make, our effect will be minimal because our contribution to world pollution is small.

Using per capita stats for carbon emissions is pointless. The first aborigine to light a fire was probably the worlds biggest carbon emitter.
People who don't know how to quote relevant statistics often pull this one out eg. the greens.

Australia is a geographically disperse country and is that way because of history. We cannot get good economies of scale on pollution until we sort this out. There will always be a high fixed cost component of carbon emission because of the way Australia is laid out.

You say nothing about why power prices are "going through the roof ",why such power price increases are bad for the Australian economy or who has raised them Robert Gottliebson.
That means power price increases are really just as bad as the Carbon Tax is for small and large businesses surely ?
Colin Barnett's 62% increase in power prices in Western Australia in the last 5 years has been roundly criticized by small and large business alike in this state ,yet YOU never mention anything about it all.
Recently Clough Engineering's CEO revealed plans to set up a branch of his company in Scotland because W.A. is now according to him one of the most expensive places to execute engineering work in the world.Oh I forgot to mention Colin Barnett has not only raised electrcity 62% in the last 5 years,he's raised water 60% over the last 5 years and gas 48% over the last 5 years as well.
In the meantime Don Gilbert hasn't mentioned anything about Don Argus's crfticism's of debt levels crippling small and large businesses in Australia.Now that Tony Abbott is in power how is he going to deal with one of the country's greatest economic problems ?

In regards to power prices going through the roof. I believe a good part of this is attributable to Labor/Greens treating rising power prices a Good. They contributed to this with their carbon tax and renewable energy target (both putting Australia among a leading group of nations in the world - without support of cost/benefit analysis of doing so). Then there were and are those Greens calling for even higher energy prices, stopping all coal exports etc. So in the environment of rising power prices as a Good, the regulators felt that they had more leeway.

What is needed is some Direct Action on these power regulators to roll back prices. If they don't do this then perhaps they should get an extra federal levy on their incomes.

Rising power prices need to be treated as a Bad for the good of the economy. The Abbott government has started to signal this. Australia has given away a comparative advantage in energy prices as part of the influence of the Greens deindustrialist religion (look how far that got Tasmania).

Cost benefit from London School of Economics. "The case for carbon pricing rests on the economic analysis of ‘externalities’ – circumstances where the effect of production or consumption of goods and services imposes costs or benefits on others that are not reflected in the prices charged for those goods and services." and more info here
You'll find most of the power proce rises were due to infrastructure upgrades which weren't very well regulated.

The model you refer to is a global model with assumed concerted participation of the world. Still no justification for Australia to be among a leading group of nations on climate action.

In regards to Rudd's figure of $358 per household saving from reducing the carbon tax to European ETS levels. We are at $24 per tonne, Europe $6 - going from $24 to $6 is a 75% drop. If we go from $24 to $0 then that would be $477 per household savings per year, and greater savings into the futrue than what would have otherwise been. Then there are savings to businesses.

Plus there is that component of the electricity price that has been jacked up by the renewable energy target. If that target is relaxed than that would be a help too, especially into the future, as would treating energy price increases as a Bad.

It says "...uniform global carbon price..would be an ideal tool..In practice, this will be difficult to achieve.." This does NOT mean it is a global model. Did you even read it? You asked for a cost benefit so there it is. "The UK’s Committee on Climate Change has suggested that a price of £30 per tonne of carbon-dioxide-equivalent in 2020" and this is what the current UK CONSERVATIVE government has legislated. That's equivalent to roughly AUD $50. The RET has been shown to add between one and two cents to the cost of electricity. Well I suppose all this means the UK is now amongst the leading nations acting on climate change.

Because you don't agree with a price on the environment you also mustn't place any value on trademarks and the worth of brands. Please read a basic example of pricing the environment. Tragedy of the commons is a good start. Why can someone pollute a good used by all for profit and not pay for damage?

Franky, CO2 is a plant nutrient.
Double CO2 roughly doubles the yield of crops at current water availability levels.
While we do want to reduce various other pollutants, are you sure we want to reduce CO2 levels?

Are you saying if we double the Co2 levels from the current 380 ppm to 760 ppm the crop yields will double? If so, can you please provide a reference as I'm very interested where this data comes from.

If only it were that simple Roger. 99.9% of the time variables such as water availability, temperature and soil fertility are the limiting factors in plant growth. Where all other variables are optimised a yield response from CO2 can be acheived in greenhouse trials (it's nowhere near 100% btw). The only time a yield response has been acheived from CO2 in field trials, is in mature corn crops, mid-afternoon, with no air movement, with ideal soil moisture, fertility and temperature. I'm afraid you'll have to find a new reason to justify changing our atmosphere. That's without even mentioning the potentially negative impacts on plant growth from reduced water availability, due to changed rainfall patterns and increasing temperatures and evaporation.

If only it were that simple Roger. 99.9% of the time variables such as water availability, temperature and soil fertility are the limiting factors in plant growth. Where all other variables are optimised a yield response from CO2 can be achieved in greenhouse trials (it's nowhere near 100% btw). The only time a yield response has been achieved from CO2 in field trials, is in mature corn crops, mid-afternoon, with no air movement, with ideal soil moisture, fertility and temperature. I'm afraid you'll have to find a new reason to justify changing our atmosphere. That's without even mentioning the potentially negative impacts on plant growth from reduced water availability, due to changed rainfall patterns and increasing temperatures and evaporation.

CO2 is a greenhouse gas. Greenhouses are good for plants. Bad for ice, though.

Do you know how much power priuces increased before the carbon tax? i.e. the carbon tax has been in for just over a year, power prices have been rising for over 5.

A component of power prices is requirement for the producers to source increasing amounts from more expensive renewable energy - so impacts price even before the carbon tax. Also the message is that rising energy prices are a good, so regulators and others were not as concerned about this.

I have / had no problem with my power price going up by $2.5 a week form the carbon tax or probably more due to the green component you mentioned, if it means all the idiots with >$1000 power bills get shocked into turning off their air cons, multiple plasma TVs and computers that they must have on 24/7 to get such high bills.

Also, you did not mention anything about gold plating of electricity grids to cope with peak demand due to the air cons etc

Robert, don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good. The truth is carbon price has had little economic impact and is showing signs of doing its job. It is not perfect, but better to improve what we already have than do nothing. The majority of the electorate thinks something needs to be done in response to climate change. They want it to be done effectively and efficiently, and they want to move on from the issue, not be dragged back a decade. They want Australia to be a good international citizen, not a rogue saboteur. They want us to influence international progress by setting a good example and diplomacy, not by passively sitting back and having the future determined for us by others. A large proportion of people who oppose carbon pricing do so on the basis of misinformation. The Coalition's position on climate change jars with broader community values

Re the electorate: FYI Australia just voted in a Coalition government who talked for years about removing the carbon tax and who declared the election a referendum on the carbon tax. Rudd also made claims about eliminating the carbon tax and saving an average household $358 per year. While the electorate may want something done on climate, they don't want the carbon tax. Perhaps Direct Action may be described as good and perhaps not perfect.

Re: Australia being the example to the world. Do they really care? If they did we have shown them how trying to lead the world on climate action has cost the jobs of three prime ministers, one opposition leader and now a roll back of climate actions.

Stop spending my tax dollars on climate action, stop taxing my business for CO2 reduction, stop taxing my customers for CO2 reduction, stop taxing my household for CO2 reduction, until you come back with cost/benefit justification to Australia for doing so. By trying to spin "little economic" impact is not good enough and not justification for doing it in the first place.

Grant, stop trying to knowingly force avoidable risk, cost and ecological damage on society including future generations. Stop insisting we continue an activity (carbon emitting) that you know causes long term ecological and societal damage. Don't allow yourself to be mislead into believing the impact of carbon pricing is far more than it actually is, and don't ignore the balancing effects of compensation. The carbon tax involves draws less money than tobacco and alcohol taxes. It has not wrecked the economy. It not perfect - where it (and the planned ETS) can be improved, it should be, but its a start and better than doing nothing.

You can't expect a detailed cost benefit analysis when the full benefits won't accrue decades in the future. We are certain though it will be cheaper to avoid the worst impacts of climate change through prevention than to accept them. Australia has the ability to influence (though usually not determine) global events, and we should be doing our bit if that increases the likelihood of global action. We are not leading the world. Many other countries and regions are moving to some form of carbon pricing, and they will get increasingly irked if a wealthy small country such as Australia freeloads on their efforts.

Guy, see my reply to Franky above and then see if you can sustain the notion of CO2 emissions being bad.

Sorry, Guy, I dont concur with your point that the majority of Aus wants to 'influence the world by setting a good example'. Thats is not shown in the election debate or final result. Carbon pricing does have an economic impact - thats accepted by all. It is rather the level of impact thats debated. In this particular election, it is fair to say that the majority of Aus do not believe Labors carbon solution to be the way to go. Again, follow up on some of the Euro reports or on the science from IPCC.

The binary character of the election result is a way too blunt instrument to draw detailed conclusions about precisely what the electorate wants. I think by and large the electorate do want us to be good international citizens about controlling carbon emissions so long as the costs are not excessive and its doesn't overly disadvantage our industries. In broad terms I think we need a market based mechanism involving carbon pricing that we can be certain will work. What we've got now is at least a start, though it should be continually monitored and improved. Effective and efficient is what we need. The proposed alternative (Direct Action) is neither. I don't care which side of politics does it, and really wish it hadn't become a partisan issue.

The binary character of the election result is a way too blunt instrument to draw detailed conclusions about precisely what the electorate wants. I think by and large the electorate do want us to be good international citizens about controlling carbon emissions so long as the costs are not excessive and its doesn't overly disadvantage our industries. In broad terms I think we need a market based mechanism involving carbon pricing that we can be certain will work. What we've got now is at least a start, though it should be continually monitored and improved. Effective and efficient is what we need. The proposed alternative (Direct Action) is neither. I don't care which side of politics does it, and really wish it hadn't become a partisan issue.

I certainly have not noticed one iota of an effect from the carbon tax. So much for the world falling in.

Isn't the point that the Carbon Tax had a greater impact than it should have because it put further pressure on already escalating energy prices? If energy prices were already pushing higher every year and were/are high by world standards, wasn't there already an inherent disincentive to use power? As far as criticism of direct action goes, solar rebates, green loans and insulation are forms of direct action that the Rudd Government pushed very hard and in many cases duplicated existing State Government programs. Even the carbon tax compensation that 90% of Australia received is another form of direct action to protect people from the impact of the quasi market price mechanism. Hopefully the new government doesn't make the same type of policy mistakes.

Why can someone pollute a good (the environment), used by all, for profit and not pay for damage?

What nonsense.
CO2 is most certainly a pollutant.
Just as water flowing through your house in a flood is a pollutant, even though we need water to survive.
Or, to be a bit more fundamental, just a feces in drinking water is a pollutant, but it's also a fertilizer.

The notion that because a compound has a useful function therefore means that it cannot be a pollutant is just plain ridiculous.

There is a very interesting course which may help you understand re CO2.
Bill Gates is sponsoring and setup by a Aus scientist - call Big History Project.

I'm waiting for the day that the Libs make it legal to dump rubbish and pour chemicals into our rivers by big business. Afterall, as the coalition asks, why should there be any cost or penalty or disencentive for mass pollution of our environment? Why should the poor big polluters suffer the imposition of having to care about the damage they cause? Pollution causes no harm, and anyone that suggests so is clearly a lefty nutter and being conned...

Brent, you'll never get far with your line if you keep referring to CO2 as pollution. Yes, I know that Labor and The Greens do this to try to sway people to their way of thinking, but it simply trashes the debate. CO2 is not pollution - it's a trace gas comprising an incredibly tiny component of our air. Arguably, water vapour (cloud) has more effect than CO2.

The issue is that the planet's warming has plateaued for nearly 15 years despite CO2 levels rising in this time. Clearly, scientific climate modelling has a long way to go in order to understand the true causes. Accordingly, you should consider that many people do not wish to damage our economy (while others aren't doing the same) on some ruse that we're dealing with a pollution issue when it's clearly something else.

The whole 'carbon' part refers to the 50 plus pollutants that all include CO2 as a part of their make-up. Rather than list every pollutant, they list them and refer to it as carbon. There is no pure CO2 being emitted by industry. Carbon is the carrier if you will of other more damaging gases and impurities that help cause the entrapment of heat. Stop playing with semantics and realise the term is interchangeable with pollution for intents and purposes.

Absolutely right, Brett. It's the heat that heating the planet; not necessarily being trapped, but just by being there on its way out.
But absolutely wrong because "they" list and single-out CO2 as being, in its minute concentration, a mirror reflecting infra-red radiation back at the earth. That's what the "climate science" is about. It's not acknowledged that nuclear reactors release swathes of heat, in the form of water vapour (a greenhouse gas) into the atmosphere in climate science.
CO2 and pollutant are not interchangeable in this debate. Post your comment on Climate Spectator if you want constructive feedback.

Well it had to happen. As I previously wrote, tampering with our Westminster System of Government inevitably produced the disarray we courted.

The election seems to have stabilised one house and transformed the house of review into one of , catch as can catch and infiltrated by carpetbaggers, who will be with us for as long as the mob who created the mess, have been in power - Six hard Labor years. It is said that all parties are now willing to make changes but sanity comes too late to make a difference, except by going back to the, double D, drawing board.

Rudd's handy work of reorganising Labor's modus operandi to elect or change a prime minister has created a monster. If more than one candidate opts for the Prime Minister ship, it will take a month to arrive at a result. Given that it took a single day to dispatch the party to opposition, the process is out of step with reality.

Even the Greens are in some turmoil, it is reported that Hanson-Young plans to sue over bikini pics - God help us.

It may well say something about both mobs (I mean major parties) that no one controls the senate.

I've been out of the country and only just got internet access yesterday. Please tell me that SHY got voted out of her electorate. I've been keeping my fingers crossed that she would be turfed for a long time.

Well it had to happen. As I previously wrote, tampering with our Westminster System of Government inevitably produced the disarray we courted.

The election seems to have stabilised one house and transformed the house of review into one of , catch as can catch and infiltrated by carpetbaggers, who will be with us for as long as the mob who created the mess, have been in power - Six hard Labor years. It is said that all parties are now willing to make changes but sanity comes too late to make a difference, except by going back to the, double D, drawing board.

Rudd's handy work of reorganising Labor's modus operandi to elect or change a prime minister has created a monster. If more than one candidate opts for the Prime Minister ship, it will take a month to arrive at a result. Given that it took a single day to dispatch the party to opposition, the process is out of step with reality.

Even the Greens are in some turmoil, it is reported that Hanson-Young plans to sue over bikini pics - God help us.

Six years. What is the likelihood of changing rules about getting in the senate, minimum 4% of the vote, etc. then forcing a double dissolution to apply the rules smart quick?

It may then be better to work with the Lame Duck Senate to get the new rules passed.

Greens would support the 4% change. Working with lame ducks is what Labor did in Parliament and brought about its demise.

Hanson-Young suing over the fake bikini pics doesn't represent turmoil within the party. The fake picture (they placed her head on the body of a bikini model) and the accompanying sexist, derogatory article represents defamation.
Despite a certain politician announcing a fellow female politicians best quality is her 'sex appeal', it doesn't give free reign to the media to belittle female politicians as nothing more than pieces of meat that should not be taken seriously.
The media clings to the American 'free speech' argument as defense against actual breaches of law and their own standards all the time.

Apologies, I don't read frivolous articles. In this case I judged the article by its cover.

You didn't read the article, yet were prepared to use it to support your twisted views. Your credibility and relevance score is now officially Zero.

How about we face up to the fact there is no global warming and wev'e been conned for 17 years, that CO2 emissions are irrelevant. Lets eradicate all climate schemes from goverment and stop wasting our precious money

Lord Monckton, despite his claims, is NOT actually a climate scientist.
And he hasn't cured AIDS either.
Stop believing him just because he is a 'Lord'.

I still find "climate scientist" a strange terminology for a profession. Nuclear physicist, marine biologist, industrial chemist etc. all roll off the tongue without further qualification.

Brent, Lord Monckton is a mathematician who is well qualified to asses the claims of the climate scientists (who have used dubious use of proxy measures when it suits only to drop them when they indicate the "wrong" thing).

In fact, Monkton is a discredited mathematician who was caught fudging the numbers and who is treated as a laughing stock in his home, the UK.

David, weather the CO2 emissions are real or a figment in Labor's imagination, the real concern is that Gillard's concocted carbon tax with the Greens is, as Abbott calls it, a bad tax. Why is it a bad tax? simply because it's a two edges sword which, cuts cuts, to use Rudd's mantra. It reduces our money by paying futile increases in our cost of living and harms our competitiveness to do business in the competitive world in terms of my often quoted mantra:

'Our businesses are currently locked-in to incur carbon tax @ 2012/13 $23.00 per metric tonne, 2013/14 $24.15 and 2014/15 $25.40. Whilst their European competitors have dropped the carbon cost to a new low of $5.20 for each metric ton allowance of CO2, down from a high of $23 in 2011. "

First class stupidity by a government sent to Coventry by the electorate at large on September 7 2013.

Wow, Occam's Razor at its simplest.

Robert, rather than debating the value of pricing/taxing energy, we need to look at the scenario from a different angle.

Lets back our currency with energy. For example lets make an AUD worth 4 KWH. As technology and imagination, give us lower energy production costs (for electricity), then we will have less need to print more money. Governments will only be able to spend more money, if more electricity is produced.

This will lead to (mild) deflation and increased currency value.

It was a hundred years ago that Thomas Edison and Henry Ford proposed this as an alternative to the gold standard.

Gold is limited in supply and is therefor becoming more expensive to dig up. Electricity on the other hand is unlimited, so if it, backed fiat money, then research funds would flow into it's efficient production.

Efficient production of energy would eliminate waste, by definition, that's what efficiency is. So, governments would be forced to pump funds into energy research and this would encompass all forms of energy production.

China is growing because it is producing more electricity, poor countries are not growing because they do not have the ability to produce enough electricity, so a carbon tax, is a tax on poor countries.

Bottom line: all businesses use electricity, if our currency was based on KWH (of electricity), then all businesses would try to save money, by saving money and money is electricity.

Deflation and increased currency value, with businesses & households all trying to cut back on power use. As power is used in an economy to manufacture, to farm, to mine, to provide services, cutting back on it means less productivity, less money flow, less employment ... sounds to me like a re-run of the Great Depression.

Andrew you missed all the relevant points.

1. Fiat money has no backing, it is just paper.

2. Printing more paper currency is a recipe for slavery.

3. Gold was used (until 1971) to give value to currencies.

Thomas Edison and Henry Ford argued with the US government, that gold was not as useful as energy to back currencies.

If you go the Koukoulas post, you will see a web page under the name of Keyser, (sent to me).

Read it and then you will understand what I was saying.

Yes, I agree with your 3 points list above, I guess I'm struggling to understand though how it would work in reality. Let's hypothesize 2 countries - country A is blessed with great natural resources allowing them to generate as much cheap energy as they like. They even export a lot to neighbouring countries as they have more than they need. Country B has few resources, has to import oil/gas/coal/whatever to generate power, of which there isn't very much.

Using energy availability to value their currencies, A would have more energy & hence a lower currency than B, where energy is scarce and hence the government can't print as much as A.

In terms of world trade, A would have a massive advantage as it could price its exported goods attractively compared to its energy-poor neighbours and would enjoy great terms of trade. If the currency became too low their central back could always print less or raise interest rates or the government could cut back on power production - they'd have options for keeping it under control and at a satisfactory value.

Then there's B. Poor B. They don't have the means to create abundant energy, and won't unless cold fusion is discovered. All the research in the world won't let them create that power from their sand dunes and palm trees. They are therefore doomed to a high value currency, their government/central bank can't print to lower it, they're flooded with cheap imports and cheap foreign-owned debt but can't export anything, and they're on a one-way track to bankruptcy as a nation.

I know fiat currencies fail, but let's look at A & B with market-traded fiat currencies ... A's terms of trade would see its currency climb. This would raise the cost of its exported goods, which would stop it becoming a world-dominant trading superpower - in fact it could cause Dutch Disease if their government doesn't manage things carefully using a Norwegian-style sovereign wealth fund.

B's government would be able to print money sufficient to keep their currency low, and use their palm trees and sand dunes as meccas for tourists as their local prices are cheap. The dates & oil from their palms would find a ready market overseas, providing a valuable export industry. While they'd never thrive and become a superpower, there's the chance that they'd do well enough to get by.

If I'm misunderstanding this please feel free to correct & enlighten me. I'm a FX trader and find the whole field of currency valuations & their effects on economies quite fascinating.

Robert, another point about the independents - with the Coalition in firm control of the Lower house, Labor/Greens will not be able to offer them anything. The game will only be about the Coalition enticing or not enticing to vote with the Coalition. And as some say the win will likely mean six years of Coalition government then it would be a long time before Labor/Greens are able to entice the independents with tax payer funds.

Like it or lump it the coalition have been elected with clear policies to remove the carbon tax.abolish the mining tax and reinstate the building industry industrial watchdog.The saner elements of the Labor Party recognise this and know that it is smart to let such legislation pass and make the new government responsible for any defects in its implementation..Refighting the last election is not smart.However if Labor is intransigent then inevitably the new independent senators of July 2014 will be able to be persuaded to pass the coalitions legislation and Labor will have simply wasted a lot of time on issues that electors voted against.

If the Coalition wanted the last election to be a referendum on carbon pricing, they should have held a referendum. If as they claim, the majority oppose it, they should not have had any hesitation about doing this. Opinion polling however indicates only a minority of the electorate support the scrapping of carbon pricing. How do you reconcile Abbotts claim to have have mandate with opinion polling? Furthermore, the Coalition did not release detailed policies about what 'Direct Action' is before the election, so how can it claim the electorate made an active choice in favour? There was an air of sneakiness to its whole approach.

I keep hearing about these opinion polls being so much in favour of keeping the carbon tax. From what I've found there were only two conducted this year, the JWS Research poll of 1000 people in June and the Lonergan Research survey of 1300 people in July.

I haven't been able to actually find either report online, only articles & spin written about their results. The JWS poll was commissioned by the Climate Institute, which has an obvious stake in finding results skewed towards keeping the tax/ETS, so I find this poll very hard to take seriously. The Climate Institute used this survey as justification for saying on their website that "there is no mandate for a double dissolution if the Coalition fails to get the carbon laws abolished". So a biased 1000 person opinion poll carries more weight than a general election with millions of voters where the Coalition campaigned heavily on removing the tax? Yeah, right.

The Lonergan survey was confusing - only 24% wanted the tax kept as it is, 39% wanted it reduced, 38% wanted it removed even if doing so hurt the economy, and that's more than voted for Labor in the election.

I don't see any justification for the repeated mantra that the weight of public opinion in Australia is behind keeping this tax. Its based on (as far as I can tell) only two surveys of barely more than 1000 people, at least one of which was likely heavily skewed, and whose data is open to interpretation & spin as all statistics tend to be. Its simply wrong to dismiss the fact that all Australians just voted and the party that campaigned strongly on removing the tax was elected to government.

Here's a few more data points: a Reachtel poll of more than 2000 people across Australia in August, which found and more support for moving to an ETS than repealing the current carbon price, and significantly more support for achieving Australia's carbon pollution reduction targets (60%) than for repealing the carbon price ( And exit polling o 1500 people conducted by JWS Research on election night, which found voters evenly split between repeal and keeping a carbon price, and carbon price repeal an extremely low priority for Coalition voters (

All these polls do reinforce the argument that there isn't a strong mandate for repeal.

Thanks for those links Olivia. Unfortunately they work against the argument you're trying to make, and it all comes down to how you read the results and what spin you want to put on them.

For example, the Reachtell poll has a whopping 86.4% of respondents saying that its important the carbon tax is removed. We don't at present have an ETS - that would be a new scheme. The Climate Institute's JWS poll is even more in favour of a repeal than it was in July, and again I find this particular poll to be less than trustworthy given the people who commissioned it.

You say there's no strong mandate for repeal, and I say the polls indicate no such thing. There may be no strong mandate for Direct Action simply because few understand it, but that's a different matter entirely. I tend to agree with that Labor backbencher who recently said the Coalition should be allowed to implement the policies they took to the election - if they're dud policies they'll be revealed as such and they'll promptly be thrown out of office, but as it stands the people of Australia have swept them into office in the only poll that counts, and they have the right to pursue their agenda for good or ill - that's democracy for you.

A lot of the survey results could do with how the questions are phrased.

How about this Olivia as a set of questions:

Please choose one of the following:

A) Do you favour exchanging an emissions trading scheme for the carbon tax, at an estimated savings of $380 per household in the first year, with savings per year declining and being reduced to perhaps $0 in 5 years.

B) A removal of the carbon tax without replacement by an emissions trading scheme, for a savings of $507 per household in the first year, with the savings remaining $507 per year each year for the next five years.

C) Don't know.

The $380 figure is what Rudd campaigned on. And as the change from a carbon tax to an European ETS represented about a change from $24 per tonne to $6 per tonne, the $380 only represented about 75% of the potential savings.

Re: Reach Tel study. I declare this one very misleading. For instance it states in the first question that both Labor and the Coalition have promised to reduce Australia's carbon emissions between 5- and 25% by 2020, what do you believe the target should be? First of all where did the 25% wishful thinking come from? The answers would be far different if the statement were based on the fact that both have pledged a target of 5% by 2020. By putting in 25% then it shows major bias in the survey not based on fact. Many have argued that not even a 5% reduction by 2020 is realistic by the plans of either party.

Back to my questions above, they are more realistic as they put what it will actually cost households. And as the questions are more realistic so would the answers be. It is kind of like asking do you want a train station within walking distance of your home if you don't have one now. Lots of people will say yes to this as the question is framed as if it were free.

The second link references an exit survey by the Climate Institute: "there was no majority support for repeal with voters split 47 per cent for repeal and 47 per cent for maintaining some form of carbon pricing when asked to choose between the two." This sounds kind of even, yet the question was not designed to get to a realistic answer as the costs were not included. The Climate Institute has proven its bias toward climate action. The survey should have been done by a third unbiased party. Where is the Coalition in all this who should respond with their survey and not let the survey by the Climate Institute be among the only surveys standing.

Back to this ReachTel survey: both Labor and the Coalition have promised to reduce Australia's carbon emissions between 5- and 25% by 2020, what do you believe the target should be?

How about if we preface this question with something like: Today China, US, Japan, Russia, and Canada do not have a national carbon tax/ emissions trading scheme. Both Labor and the Coalition have promised to reduce Australia's carbon emissions by 5% by 2020, what do you believe the target should be?

And the countries biggest polluters all high five each other, and rejoice in the fact that their political 'donations' to the Liberals will be repaid in full.

Never mind that every credible economist in the world agrees that an emissions pricing mechanism is the only sensible way to drive down carbon emissions

Never mind, that even Bloomberg, a business oriented organization ridicules Direct Action.

Never mind that the world has just had its 342nd .month of above average global temperatures.

Never mind any of that. The world is going to be a wonderful place, the streets will be rivers of gold, and global warming will be a thing of the past because of Tony's Direct Action nonsense.

If you and your ilk have grandchildren, Robert, then how on earth do you look them in the eye?

Anthony, you wish to review the IPCC average global temp - it does not a vertical slope, so over the last 28 odd years you will see it bounce around a bit, granted linear regression is climbing. But what they are experiencing is that there cooler months / years hence more analysis is needed. Granted the IPCDC reports are technical but you will see there are many subjective inferences and probabilities. We, in Aus, have decided as a majority to let LNP have a go. Labor did not convince the majority - acknowledge that.

Dance around it all you like.
Please read the attached regarding my assertion
Please note that anthropomorphic global warming is not a political issue, it's a fact of physics, accepted by
> The Academies of Science of every developed nations,
> All major universities;

But hay, you keep on deuding yourself because evidently you are too frightened to face reality.

Well, if this whole issue is predicated on IPCC's findings & interpretations and you are unable to accept this then your thoughts are subjective.
You must however, accept that the majority of Aus have clearly selected a group to manage this at least for the next three years.

"Credible economist" is another strange one. Surely "economist" would suffice. Or does it differentiate from "incredible economist"?

There are a few economists who still adhere to Friedmanism, ergo, not credible.

The phrase "credible economist" these days is an oxymoron. Very few predicted the GFC, and those who did were laughed at by the mainstream as being "Dr Dooms". I have trouble believing anything a "credible economist" tells me, as most of their models are built on abstract & outdated ideas that have no relation to how things work in the real world.

Ken, there is a clear and important differentiation. 'Credible economists' are those characters referred to in books and articles normally found in the fiction section. The rest usually appear in non-fiction, but with the following qualification: they are not 'incredible', they are 'non-credible'.

Got it...I think. Increduluous!

There is no such thing as a credible economist as far as I am aware.
Climate change started out as a strategy to increase funding for scientific research and as it was concurrent with some global warning, which is only part of a large cycle, it became the flavour of the month, the year, the decade. Scientists 'herd' just like humans and like economists and most academics are very poor at recognising cycles and capable merely of linear interpretation of historic data.

Anthony... "Never mind that the world has just had its 342nd .month of above average global temperatures."
A year or 2 ago most countries were experiencing record cold winters, so this claim cannot be correct.
In 1903 Amundssen sailed the North West passage. I'm not sure if this is possible even now.
During the medieval warm period wheat was grown in Greenland, grapes in Britain and Canada (known as Vinland by the Vikings) extensive irrigation was undertaken in the Takla Makan desert (not possible to that extent today because of insufficient glacial melt) and so on.
Our warming is on time compared to the Roman and Medieval warm periods and about the right magnitude so where is the problem and where is the proof that our warming is anthropogenic?
Before we join in trying to control the world's climate, lets be sure that the scientists who have the ear of the world's press (who will always run with a potential disaster story) have actually got it right and are not being influenced by government grants.
Note that all the AGW proponents are basically on a government payroll (either directly or indirectly), while their opponents are usually not.
From a fairly careful study of the available evidence I can only conclude that the weight of evidence is actually on the side of the deniers.

Anyone who thinks one cold winter or hot one (like this year) means anything is a mug. It's the long term trend that counts.

The greater the level of bs is equivalent to the level of desperation . Robert story and grant masons ignorant rants are really just symbols of how desperate climate deniers are to sve the Australian market from strong action on carbon pricing .
The reality is the Australian people Wong allow it ... The polls show it and that's without the damming international evidence that is to come .. I give Abbott two years before his finished and the credibility of the Murdoch press in tatters .

The sad thing is that we could have had a decent manufacturing industry in the renewables sector if Tony had not created so much negativity and scared investment out of this field. Most of our other manufacturing sector can not compete with Asia. We need to be aiming for specialised manufacturing not trying to compete with the cheap crap that Asia produces.

Interesting move by BS... user commentary is now becoming official opinion/editorial. A sign of things to come.

The Kouk was once just a commentator on this site before he was enlisted to write articles...

We just put solar PV on our roof to primarily reduce power use ($) and do our bit (I'm not an AGW sceptic but am a risk manager - the science, on balance, looks ominous).

Anyway, no rebate in NSW, and a small FIT of 8c kWh.

Got our first bill.

If we had our time again there's NO WAY we'd install solar PV under current arrangements in NSW. It's just not worth it, without a fairer FIT. <= this is something that needs fixing.

Not even the price signal of higher power prices justifies a solar PV system unless power put into the grid is treated as of similar value as coal powered (with a discount for reliability i.e. only produced during day, but a premium for the fact it's clean).

The direct action policy is actually pretty good (for us and others) and represents a better approach than a carbon price (where in NSW there is little incentive to go green, beyond turning the lights off at night or becoming more efficient).

The way I see it, the Coalitions mooted policies ($500 rebate on PV and SHW) are probably an effective way to reduce pollution (solar hot water moreso than solar PV due to aforementioned poor FITs - we'd cut our power bill by 30% by removing the electric storage unit, as opposed to 5% for solar PV). For a cost of $500, we'll spend 2500 (for example) and remove around 2 tonnes of CO2e per annum from the atmosphere, and free up 500pa to spend in the economy. A 1 year payback for the taxpayer, and 5 years for us.

If the LNP wanted to really make a difference they'd mandate a nationwide floor price FIT for everyone, and perhaps throw some money at R&D into progressing cheap onsite storage. More people generating power and storing it = better outcome than taxing emitters, churning money back to people (to offset against a bill that increases in response to the tax).

As always, socialising stuff like this is a murky area (I generally oppose taxpayer funded stuff like rebates as generally not everyone benefits) but in this case it might be worth looking at.

Direct action has the chance (if done right) of bringing front and center why this is being done, to our minds. A price is invisible (some would argue this is an advantage) but for the consumer they just see a net increase in the power bill.

The NSW FIT is a pure political ploy and it has been put in by the O'Farrell government in order to discourage Solar in this state. There should be no difference between the power households buy versus what they sell ... unless you want to meet future power demand by building more coal fired power stations.

The "Merchants of Doubts" have had a success in the recent Australia election. It will be a short-lived one since the rest of the world is moving in a different direction that Abbott wants to take us. A simple look at this link will provide some information to all those that aren't yet convinced that the rest of the world is moving in a different direction (

I trust that Shell International CEO, Peter Voser, may be more aware of how business view carbon pricing than Tony Abbott and the vast majority of deniers in Australia. In a recent ABC 7:30 report this is what he said "PETER VOSER: Well let me first say that Shell as a company is actually very much advocating that we need a price for carbon on a worldwide basis and we want that to be on a market mechanism. So for years actually Shell has included in all their projects a carbon price of $40 a tonne, so from that point of view we take a very long-term view that the carbon will be priced and needs therefore to be covered in our profitability in the projects." (

Abbott's tactics are so blatantly simple and I'm surprised that an intelligent person as Robert hasn't understood (although I suspect he has understood but refuses to tell us hoping that we won't know!).

Abbott is not known for his negotiation skills (Mr Windsor can attest to this!) and he knows that in July next year there is going to be a bunch of new comers into the Senate that will demand their pound of flesh in order to support the removal of the current carbon pricing. Therefore Abbott is resorting at what he knows best: BULLYING!!

Abbott is hoping to bully Labor into allowing him to repeal the legislation before the new senators arrive so that he won't have to deal with them, particularly with Palmer's and maybe Hanson.

It's a simple strategy and I give him credit for trying ... but he won't be successful and it will be the start of his undoing. I predict the legislation won't be repealed and Abbott won't go to a double dissolution before or after the new senators take their seats. He will simply mumble his way through it. He won't go to a double dissolution because by that time the public would have learnt how incompetent Hockey and other ministers are and Abbott won't risk losing an election which would require a swing of just 1.5% against the LNP to lose.

Don't blame me, I didn't vote for them!

Instead of a blanket carbon tax across all industries, we should have a focused tax on certain goods. E.g the meat industry. With Australia having a high meat consumption per capita (second highest only to the US), we should reduce our meat consumption if you really say you care about the climate. You contribute more than just having a solar panel.

Saves lots of water as well.

Any carbon tax or ETS fails the moment it excludes imports. This was the inherent problem that Labor and other carbon proponents did not and still do not understand. The moment you take this approach, the policy transforms into a tax of doing business in Australia and incentivises companies to shift production out of the country. The high AUD further magnifies this incentive.

The carbon problem is actually a population problem. People in the know readily admit this in private but never in public because of the sensitivity about population control. David Attenborough has an interesting video about this, where he says as much but then sidesteps population and turns it about carbon. Also says that the human species is the first to have stopped evolving because of it's ability to control the tools of evolution.

Even the whole carbon debate about per capita pollution shows the lack of integrity on the part of the scientists. If carbon pollution was such a critical emergency as they are portraying then they would be talking about absolute global carbon levels and not per capita levels.

In an emergency scientists would say this is the maximum amount of carbon the world can accommodate. Then countries can be allocated a certain amount of carbon based on their land mass, and decide whether to have a high population and low carbon per capita policy, or a low population high carbon per capita policy, or somewhere in between.

Instead by focusing solely on per capita carbon output, it is forcing countries into high population growth policies. As population increases, economies of scale kick in and carbon per capita automatically decreases without actually decreasing global carbon. As such it has the effect of increasing carbon (as population growth is outstripping gains in carbon reduction technologies), especially where the population increase involves the transfer of people from low carbon countries to high carbon countries like Australia, USA, Canada, UK etc. Also so happens that these countries also make up the largest share of the global immigration programme. The ever increasing human lifespan also impacts on the debate.

This is why direct action is much better because firstly it limits resources put towards carbon reduction until the world gets serious about the problem but also shows that action is being taken until that point is reached, and secondly it does not act as a disincentive for Australian employment.

"The carbon problem is actually a population problem."

No - I don't agree - it is actually a per capita consumption problem. By saying it is a population problem - you are neatly sidestepping the issue and putting the onus on developing countries with large population. You should look are reducing per capita consumption before looking at the overall population issue.

Also will there be a levy imposed to compensate the developing countries for output by developed countries so far?

Don't deny population is a function of it all. For instance, emissions per capita * population = total emissions in the country. If population increases in the above equation then total emissions increases. This is mathematical fact!

Do the mathematical calculations and the numbers will tell you otherwise. What you are talking about with per capita consumption is an income distribution issue and how to achieve greater equality. That is another problem with the climate change issue which is making it hard to achieve global consensus ie. the pollution issue is intermingled with the wealth issue.

As an example on why it is a population issue. Based on data from 5 years ago, if Australia reduced its per capital consumption from 18t per person to 5t and the rest of the world also did the same by either reducing or capping their emissions (just a 75% reduction of carbon). The projected population increase to 9billion people would see global emissions exceed the total carbon emission for that year by 20%. China at the time had a carbon emission per capita of 4.5t. That figure has now increased to about 7t. So the claims about carbon emissions being at critical levels does not gel with what is happening. Unless family planning and population is also discussed, any reduction in per capita emissions are just going to be swamped by emissions growth in China and India, alone. China has also in the last year or so removed its one child policy. Once critical levels are passed it does not matter whether you are 10% above it or 50% above it. An interesting point by Attenborough is that population growth means that we have locked in the planet's emission levels for the next 100 years or so. And that the discussion now is about what happens after this time on the assumption that the global population peaks at about 9billion.

Yes you are right both per capita and population numbers are important in the global context. From Australia's perspective per capita is more relevant.

If you want to include the impact of the population growth in India and China, then there should be historical levy on the emissions so far by the developed countries. Otherwise this whole discussion is about a mechanism for Europe to sell their "green" technology to the rest of the world.

I don’t think it will be as straightforward as Robert G would like to think. Any move would be impossible before mid 2014. Then, a number of the new far right folk in the Senate seem to be very much opposed to Direct Action; others will be unpredictable. Overall, I think the Coalition will have a real fight on its hands. And they won’t be able to back away like they did from public forums and debates in the lead up to the election.

Direct Action is a shocker. See The last entry states: “30 August 2013: Reputex detailed modeling on direct action finds it will leave emissions 16 per cent above 2000 levels, would require an extra $35 billion to meet the target, cannot meet higher targets and needs to pay polluters $58 per tonne by 2020.” And Abbott has said that once the budgeted amount has been reached, no more will be spent. The whole thing will be an expensive waste of time.

We’d be better off with a carbon tax or an ETS of some sort. This is the way the world is moving. A Reachtel poll of over 3000 people in July found that 41.4% of people favoured an ETS and 33.4% were against it, with 25% undecided.

As a medium sized player, Australia needs to take some responsibility.

Chirpy 52: Reputex manufactures condoms - or it sounds that way. It is as straight forward as Robert G thinks. Remember when Robert returned from Hayman Island in 2010 and wooed the independents to side with the NBN? The whole naughties has been an expensive waste of time. How did you go?

I estimate the carbon price adds $2.50 in additional electricity costs to my bill per week. It's not exactly breaking my budget. That's just over half a price of a cup of coffee. It's the many little stupid purchases that break peoples budgets like buying too many cups of coffee or take away food all the time. People need to learn to add up all these stupid little purchases and then compare it to the cost of carbon on their quarterly electricity bill. That is, if they are able to distinguish the cost of the carbon tax from other factors affecting their electricity bills. The coalition has done a good job of purposely confusing factors affecting elec bills.

Bill Shorten has declared carbon pricing as a key achievement of the last Labor government. No doubt, the very reason Labor were recently routed.

Australia's global emissions account for only 1.5% yet Labor devotes $23.00 per metric tonne, rising to $24.15 then $25.40 towards the futile emission reductions. If the electorate did not spare us from this agony. Their next step was to join the European ETS which allow polluters to carry on polluting @ a mere$5.20 per metric tonne. Meaning, we export our wealth and don't even provide funds for direct action as outlined by Jonathan Archer above , which I second.

"Australia's global emissions account for only 1.5%"..........and what is our population as a percentage the world.........And how many other 1.5% countries are there that should do nothing by your reckoning???

Brad, Australia is unique in that it's an island continent. For purposes of emissions count, one needs to take account of our large live stocks in addition to human population. Also, the huge travel distances come into play. If you like to dabble in various permutations, go ahead but remember that if we wave a magic wand and clear all our emissions, it would make absolutely no difference to the total global emissions. In fact, a costly exercise in futility unless all countries participate in a joint effort. Direct Action, encouraged by conditional foreign aid, may make an overall difference.

Here's a pie chart of global emissions you may care to have a look at. A better source than Labor's pie in the sky ETS endeavour.

Thanks for the reference. Some good data there. Also, I do understand that we are a big country with a small population. That's why things like high-speed rail aren't economical., and it annoys me when we are compared to small countries with big populations. I was also really angry that Krudd wasted so much money during the start of the GFC on total crap when he could have been spending on infrastructure like rail (for commodity transport) that would benefited the nations farmers and industry and lowered green house emmissions and congestion by getting trucks off the road. All governments should have emergency spending plans for good things not "drop of the hat" spending like Labour did.

I don't want to go back to living in the caves like the loonie greens I just want sustainable living. The reason I'm pro doing something is that I really think we could benefit by being at the front of the pack and help the environment at the same time. Even if you don't believe in climate change, surely no one thinks there is unlimited fossil fuels to burn. We will have to go renewable eventualy and it could be a great manufacturing industry for Australia and it would pay itself off in the long term. I get angry with short term thinking which predominants these days. What ever happened to politicians with vision who built things like the snowy river scheme or the nations road and rail net works. These days they can barely maintain the roads.

Brad, thanks for the words of wisdom. So rare these days. It does not matter which big party one supports, so long as its supporters ensure they do the right things. Minority governments are impotent as illustrated by the Rudd/Gillard/Rudd administration over six fateful years from which , it will take us years to recover.

Sadly Robert you are living in denial. This is something which older people tend to do.

When you talk about a double dissolution you are making one very big assumption: that Abbott is re-elected. This is not exactly a given. And all the sabre rattling and (perverse) talk about a "mandate" ignore the fact that wrecking ball Abbott had no regard for the nation when in opposition and voted against EVERY PIECE OF LEGISLATION other than a big pay increase for parliamentarians. This is the man who is to serve the interests of the nation. Yeah right.

I believe that naive Australians will see Abbott for who he is. The recent election campaign was a dirty gutter affair with Abbott and the media play tag, lying, deceiving and distorting the truth whilst the coalition got away with almost everything. And when issues were presented they were dealt with with one question, unlike people like Peter Slipper who despite having committed a similar crime to Tony Abbott had weeks of media attack whilst Abbott had one question from Lee Sales from the 7:30 Report. Abbott responded "now come on Lee" and the questioning ended. So was this not the tag team in action.

Since taking office Abbott has sacked Steve Bracks from the foreign posting he was about to leave on and replaced him with a Liberal Party crony. There was no memory of the many Liberal Party people Labor put in in 2007. Fairness? Not any. Respectability? None. Just the same gutter behaviour we have seen for 4 years.

So Robert I'll take your position with a very large grain of salt. I stand for honesty, decency and the interests of the nation in government. You will see in time that your man Abbott stands for none of these.

Not true the Abbott lead opposition voted to pass lots of legislation.As for Bracks the appointment was made so late that he was to take up the position AFTER the election and convention is to consult the opposition in such circumstances.I recall the opposition specifically warning the government concerning appointments to take place after the election.The Abbott government has left in place appointees such as Kim Beasley because they were properly made and took effect at a time when there was no intervening election.Besides one could look at Brack's own miserable behaviour concerning then Victorian Governor James Gobbo.The Bracks appointment was a Labor Government attempt to make an appointment beyond its own political grave.

Graham: when Labor came to office it made 5 or 6 appointments to Liberal cronies. This was fair. Unfortunately the same cannot be said for Abbott and his cut throats. Amanda Vanstone was one of the lucky appointments but just before the election she got herself onto Kitchen Cabinet and spewed the vile crap which has been forthcoming from so many coalition pollies. Not one mention of the fact that she received one of those appointments. Such is the nature of the Liberal Party. I believe that Wayne Swan referred to "selling your soul" when he talked about doing business with the opposition and I am beginning to see where he was coming from.

The ALP is just making the Bracks issue a red herring trying to create a narrative they want the public to believe about the new government.

I seem to remember the ALP blocking an impartial appointment to the future fund of Peter Costello. The Fund conducted their selection process and recommended Costello as Chairman of the board. The ALP government of the day stepped in and blocked the appointment.

Those who ask ‘why should Australia do anything about carbon emissions when they are significantly less than others who aren’t doing anything’ forget that we have all but sub contracted our manufacturing and thereby pollution to those countries we incorrectly accuse of doing nothing. Not only that, we and other fossil fuel producing countries export carbon emissions in the form of gas and coal and then have the hypocrisy to demand they reduce their emissions before we will do likewise.
We also forget that there are opportunities as well as costs to quitting our addiction to fossil fuels. Australia needs to move its economy away from fossil fuels ahead of others as quickly as possible rather than follow in their footsteps. It is inevitable that the world will move in that direction and are doing so, even as we bleat about the cost that will be miniscule compared to waiting.

Where is your cost/benefit analysis justifying the spending of my tax and nontax dollars to the direction you want?

Grant: When you can't beat them with logic then beat them with terminology. "Please explain". Whilst I do not like the carbon tax because it did not prevent the export of Australian money to overseas businesses and criminal gangs I do support slowing down the destruction of the planet. We all live in this fish bowl and it is not the right of coal miners to destroy the ability of the speciies to exist so that they can get their dirty money.

Grant: When you can't beat them with logic then beat them with terminology. "Please explain". Whilst I do not like the carbon tax because it did not prevent the export of Australian money to overseas businesses and criminal gangs I do support slowing down the destruction of the planet. We all live in this fish bowl and it is not the right of coal miners to destroy the ability of the species to exist so that they can get their dirty money.

Are you suggesting that we keep our entire assets of fossil fuels buried, close all mining activities and sack their entire workforce. Hmmm, Never put your hand up for prime ministership

Yes, cease exports and phase out coal mining as quickly as possible. Reports of the importance of coal mining to the economy are exaggerated. Once gone it will not be missed. It benefits only the relative few employed in the industry and the mainly overseas owners.

You're not Clive's brother, are you?

I guess we will know soon enough if Tony will do the same sort of deals that he hounded Labor about, or will he have the things that fill his budgie smugglers to call A DD if they don't pass his bill as it is. But we all know Tony is cheap talk, he will give anything to keep his job he fought and conned so hard to get. The little party guys, it's well know that a DD would make it even easier for them to get in, maybe even bring some mates with them, then what?

Sadly, by the time the climate problem is irreversible all the climate denialists will be dead, otherwise they could be tried for crimes against humanity. It's the future generations that will inhabit a planet in a death spiral you have to feel sorry for, they didn't gain anything from the acts of the greedy generation, they are just left with the mess.
The climate denialists would be the first to jump up and down about a mob of kids wrecking their neighbourhood, yet they believe it's their right to wreck the kids world just so they die with even more $$ in their pockets.
It's sad and greedy world we live in. the kids have more money to spend on climate mitigation.

Grant, no I don't have a cost benefit analysis as neither do you on the cost of doing nothing. You are not alone in paying for something you don't agree with out of your taxes, The difference is I am prepared to pay a tax that may benefit others who might not even be born yet whereas judging by your comment you would only pay tax for things that benefited you and you alone.

Graham. Step back, look in the mirror, grow up. We pay tax. I'm not prepared to pay for the unborn, but I pay for you to bear offspring. Abscond from sex. The Poe does.

Sorry. "The Pope does...". I went for a pee.

Of course you do, but you obviously only look at life through your myopic telescope held around the wrong way.

I always silently side with you Grant. But that was you at your best.

Greedy? You and I excluded, of course. (Where's Phil when I need to ramble on?)

We seem to be haunted from the Labor grave.

A miracle has happened

"So OK, you might think that the ASX200 is merely following world markets upward, as China recovers, rather than reacting to an Abbot victory. But we have a better theory: the election of Tony Abbott has caused a surge of confidence right around the globe — from Wall Street to the Tokyo bourse to China, investors are celebrating an Abbott win and the confidence it will engender in global capitalism!

What’s disappointing is that Murdoch’s hacks have missed an opportunity to point this miracle out. They’re getting slack at Holt St."

Pratico Pratico: They they who list web web sites in their defence are followers, not thinkers. Thinkers can actually absorb from web web sites, re-formulate in their own words and present a reasonable case case. It makes them think about what they're thinking - or not thinking - before they're tweeting.

If my electricity bill doesn't fall but my consumption, and pattern, of electricity remains constant, does that mean my anus is full of soap?

I think you should change your provider....or habits.

Jeepers Ken M....just reading Chris posting ( above yours) and I thought I'd over shot the BS site this morning and gone straight to Gerbils R Us

The hullabaloo about the carbon tax by Abbott is a mischievous red herring. The carbon tax has ALREADY been booted (as announced by Rudd two months ago) and replaced with a different type of carbon pricing scheme.

So, Robert, you think direct action is a good idea.

Of course you do. With direct action, the taxpayer pays for all carbon abatement efforts while corporations are paid to invest in emissions reduction programs.

Once again, the Right come up with a plan to shift wealth from the middle class to the wealthy, meanwhile doing nothing for the real problem, Anthropomorphic Global Warming.

Yeah, Robert, it figures you'd like it.