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The madness of King Malcolm and the Emissions Trading Scheme.

November 27th, 2009 · Greg Atkinson · 17 Comments

From the moment the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) concept was floated I had an uneasy feeling about it and unlike a lot of recent anti-ETS converts, I have voiced my opposition to this legislation for many, many months. Simply put, I don’t see the logic in trying to help the planet with a tax.

I am what Kevin Rudd would call a “global warming” denier. Actually I am more of a “questioner” but it seems that in Rudd’s Australia anyone who questions his infinite wisdom does not care about the future of the world, is not concerned about well-being of children and throws rock at small furry animals.

However the truth is that I, along with many other people across the blogosphere, simply don’t see the science behind Anthropogenic (human-induced) Global Warming (AGW) as being proven without doubt.

Therefore I believe debate should be still open on the subject and that we should certainly not be rushing through a punitive tax via the ETS before we all fully understand what the nation is getting itself into.

In any case we should be facing the challenges ahead by working smarter and using technology, not by creating a scheme that will generate millions in revenue for accountants and lawyers but do little to solve a number of problems we humans will face as we move further into the 21st century. (some of which I highlighted in Are climate change and global warming dangerous distractions?)

However in Australia there has been very little debate regarding an alternative to the ETS and the questioning of the science behind AGW has been shut down by the Government. Many in the media have also played their part in supporting the suppression of free speech by labelling those who oppose the ETS as people on the fringe with no credibility, or merrily echoing Rudd’s attack on the scientists who don’t fall into line.

It is a sad state affairs when a Luddite like Rudd is allowed to shut down scientific debate. Yet that is what the Australian public has allowed him to do.

But Malcolm Turnbull and the federal Opposition have also failed the Australian people. Rather than actually taking a firm position regarding the ETS they have simply folded and were prepared to vote for a modified form of the legislation rather than face a possible early election. It is irrelevant if Turnbull believes the planet is heating up or not, because the issue at hand is simply do you support a bad piece of legislation or not.

The Federal Opposition should have opposed the ETS from the beginning because:

  • It is a punitive and complicated new tax. Do any of us really understand how the ETS will drive up costs?  Why hasn’t any detailed economic modelling been debated and analysed?
  • Australia should only undertake to reduce CO2 emissions as part of a global framework agreement that makes sense and is practical in nature, not political, and;
  • It is flawed. How can you possibly claim the ETS will help save the planet when the coal industry for example will be compensated? This is a little like handing out money to speeding drivers to compensate them for speeding fines and while maintaining you are still interested in road safety.

By the way I am not against the coal industry as such, I am simply highlighting the hypocrisy of saying you are motivated by the desire to reduce Co2 emissions on one hand, but then using taxpayers money to shore up votes in “coal” electorates on the other.

This is why the ETS is flawed; because it is all about politics and it is not an honest and sensible approach toward reducing CO2 emissions. (if in fact we need to do this anyway)

Sadly King Malcolm’s leadership has been shown to be just as ego driven as Kevin Rudd’s. Turnbull simply does not offer the Australian people an alternative Prime Minister, but rather just a different version of Kev07.

Turnbull could have taken the position that no vote would be taken on the ETS legislation until at least after Copenhagen, but instead he appears too stubborn to admit he was wrong and take a new approach.

Of course the Australian public spent months not paying much attention to what the Rudd Government was trying to sneak though under the guise of saving the planet. However suddenly over the last few days talk back radio, online websites and blogs have been flooded with people expressing outrage over the rush to pass the ETS legislation.

On one hand it is good to see people taking a little more interest in what their politicians are doing, however it also illustrates how poorly our media presents all sides to an argument and how many members of the Canberra press gallery spend more time trying to be witty via Twitter as opposed  to trying to scratch beneath the surface and encourage public debate on issues.

I don’t think either side of the global warming debate should be happy with the ETS as it stands today nor should anyone be comfortable when any government tries to rush though legislation. The reason the ETS is being pushed so hard is because Rudd knows when the public really understands what impact it will have on them their support for it will plummet.

Isn’t it also amazing that many G-20 leaders have just spent billions (and still are) on projects that create CO2 will be heading to Denmark to talk about reducing the emissions that they have helped create. Truly bizarre.

Personally I hope common-sense prevails and that the ETS legislation will be shelved until the result of the talks in Copenhagen become clear. In addition I would hope that the Prime Minister would encourage discussion around the science behind AGW rather then trying to suppress it, but I am a realist and appreciate that is unlikely to happen.

Finally I nearly fell off my chair the other day when I saw the Prime Minister on television linking the hot weather in some parts of the nation with global warming as if Australia was suddenly experiencing extremes in weather never  seen before. Obviously he is not aware of these words from a well known Australian poem first published in 1908.

I love a sunburnt country,
A land of sweeping plains,
Of ragged mountain ranges,
Of droughts and flooding rains.
I love her far horizons,
I love her jewel-sea,
Her beauty and her terror –
The wide brown land for me!

From “My Country” by Dorothea Mackellar.

17 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Senator13 // Nov 29, 2009 at 2:04 pm

    Now what we have here is a giant mess. At the moment it seems that it is more the Liberals fault then the Government. The Government put this dodgy scheme that no one knows how it works, will cost everyone money and do nothing for the environment and doing all of this even before we know if anyone else in the world will do anything. The only thing worse is Turnbull letting it through and basically handing it to Rudd on a silver platter.

    Turnbull has been sounding more like Rudd everyday this week. He has been slamming sceptics and all of a sudden has contracted the same compulsion from Rudd of wanting to ram this through the Senate before we know what the rest of the world is doing. I do not see what the problem is with waiting till next month just to see what everyone brings to the table.

    Rudd now also wants to give hand outs to other smaller nations to help them in this fight. We are in billions of dollars of debt and this Bill is going to cost people in our own country money and Rudd wants to go off and hand out more money like it grows on trees. So not only do we have to pay for our own ETS we now have to foot the bill for others too.

    This week in parliament has been completely crazy and highlights the very poor situation we are now in. We have Rudd who thinks he is king and the people that are suppose to be holding him to account are now getting in bed with him on this. It is crazy.

  • 2 Greg Atkinson // Nov 30, 2009 at 2:05 pm

    Senator13 what I find very interesting is that the new term is “climate change”. It seems that the global warming lobby have now hedged their bets and are ready to blame CO2 emissions for any change in the weather. Early snow in Beijing or a hot summer in Australia, it is all to do with CO2 and human activity. But never fear the answer to all our problems remains the same..a tax!

    Of course many journalists have made everything even more confusing by linking any opposition to the ETS with climate change when in fact they are two different issue. Just because someone opposes a new tax and a confusing piece of legislation does not mean they are not concerned about C02 emissions. But it seems most reporters just can’t grasp this concept.

  • 3 Senator13 // Dec 1, 2009 at 8:23 pm

    Yes the reporting has been very dodgy. I also notice that on the days that it is hot the journalists run a global warming story.

    I’m still not sure how ice caps melt when they are located in areas that have constant sub zero temperatures… The reporters don’t really explain that one…

    Anyway, as I write this it looks like the CPRS Bill won’t pass Parliament tonight. Wonder what will happen from here?

  • 4 TG // Dec 1, 2009 at 11:03 pm

    And these repeated attacks on anyone who doesn’t agree with Rudd and his Lemmings are beyond a joke. Just because you don’t agree with Rudd’s (perfect in his mind) CPRS and the rushing of the legislation through the Senate you are called a Sceptic, a Denier or an Extremist…. I see more mature debate (and media reporting) in school playgrounds. Many of those who have opposed this recently are climate change “believers”, or those with an interest in doing something to support the environment; they just don’t agree with Rudd’s policy. In modern Communist Australia, if you don’t agree with Chairman Rudd you are an extreme right wing, neo-liberal, work choice loving, climate change sceptic and a Monarchist…. Quite the insult hey!

  • 5 Greg Atkinson // Dec 2, 2009 at 10:02 am

    Indeed the verbal attacks with those who don’t agree with Rudd’s view is what I find most worrying. If a right wing conservative politician behaved in the same way the media would start calling him/her a Nazi or tag them as dictatorial. Science is a field where debate is usually encourage and so I wonder why the IPCC and others seems so keen to avoid any serious scrutiny of their findings?

    Let’s hope the CPRS legislation does not pass the Senate so that we can have a real debate about the ETS and what it actually means for the economy etc.

    The Rudd Government has taken 2 years to get this far, an extra 6 months is not going to cause any harm. In fact even if Australia does nothing about CO2 emissions it won’t affect global temperatures at all!

  • 6 TG // Dec 5, 2009 at 12:51 am

    I found this site during the week. Jo does a great job making the exposure of the climate fraud entertaining:

  • 7 Greg Atkinson // Dec 5, 2009 at 12:26 pm

    I have to say Malcolm Turnbull has lost the plot recently. He sent out an e-mail earlier in the week where he said that there was no way to reduce how much C02 was being pumped into the atmosphere without the ETS.

    This just shows how dangerous it is for politicians to ramble on about something they have no clue about.

    I am sure a primary school child could come up a list of ways we could reduce our use of fossils fuels without a tax starting with better public transport, less MP’s jetting overseas for study tours, smaller cars, more energy efficient homes etc.

    Then if we were really serious we could use Nuclear Power…no extra tax needed to get that going.

  • 8 Senator13 // Dec 6, 2009 at 6:50 pm

    Turnbull has been acting like a child the last few weeks.

    I think that it is good to have someone that has the guts to stand up against the fraud that is the CPRS.

    Rudd is not looking so cocky now either. I see he backed away from his “this deal is only good for a week” rhetoric. He also backed away from Tony Abbott asking for public debates on the issue. This was the PM’s big opportunity to “sell” us this grand ETS of his. Why does he not want to back up his rhetoric and really tell us what it is and how it works? He knows it is a fraud that will do nothing for the environment.

  • 9 Senator13 // Dec 15, 2009 at 8:41 am

    I found this an interesting article in today’s paper:

    Rudd complains about red tape – when his ETS will create one giant financial exchange with regulations that have not even been invented yet.  I suspect the same traders will be trying to get in on the action that were involved in Rudd’s GFC.  You know those nasty banker types that he hates so much. 

    He is such a hypocrite.  I’m sure there will be a whole new set of financial instruments created to trade carbon credits and carbon derivatives.  Is he going to explain those regulations to everybody?  He cant have it both ways. 

    You can’t say that an emissions trading scheme is going to be regulation free.  Business are going to have to deal with fluctuations in interest rates as well as fluctuations in the price of carbon as well as fluctuations on the exchange rates.  It could get very complicated.

  • 10 Greg Atkinson // Mar 3, 2010 at 11:05 pm

    Senator Kev07 seems to have gone quiet regarding the greatest moral issue of our time. He has now left climate change behind him and moved onto the reform of the hospital system. If that fails to distract people, then we will probably see war declared on Albania.

  • 11 Anon // Mar 4, 2010 at 8:32 am

    I feel like i’ve invested in an unlisted dog stock – Kevin Rudd Pty Ltd. I cant unload it altho all the warning signs are going off. Everything this guy touches is turning to crap.
    When I see the polls I cant believe he is still ahead…perhaps ppl are in denial that they made a mistake and are praying for a hail mary?
    Well at least we dont have Obama running the country…could be worse 😛

  • 12 Ralph // Mar 4, 2010 at 1:19 pm

    Anon – very funny. It certainly is turning out to be a dog stock.

    Borrow money and spend like a drunken sailor – easy, let’s do that.
    Cut back on stimulus as economy ‘charges’ back (note that readers of this blog know otherwise) – too hard, dropped.
    Return budget to surplus/pay down deficit – looking like it’s too hard.
    ETS/Climate change – too hard, dropped.
    Tax review – too hard, dropped.
    Health – flavour of the day and designed to show ‘courage’, but ultimately too hard and will be dropped before the election.

    K Rudd has the courage of a gnat. He deserves to be a oncer. But what we’re waiting for now is for Abbott and the coalition to show that they have credible alternatives.

  • 13 Anon // Mar 4, 2010 at 2:01 pm

    Yeah thats what I’m worried about Ralph – Abbott’s alternatives. He seems good on first impressions but as we all know that doesn’t count for much once we get into the guts of it.
    In regards to Rudd and budget surpluses…LOL…an oxymoron?
    The list of Rudds failings is just too long…its becoming comical.

    For those who are following the China story Roger Montgomery just wrote an article expressing views similar to what Greg was talking about awhile back:

  • 14 Greg Atkinson // Mar 4, 2010 at 2:35 pm

    Hey let’s ease up on drunken sailor’s, I was one of those many years ago 🙂 Mind you I can’t recall having that much money to toss around.

    Anon, yes I reckon we are counting too much on China as you know and that perhaps fact the peak of the construction boom in China may have already ended? Thanks for the link, Roger and I seem to have similar views.

    I have also read several articles in the Asian media about signs of overbuilding in China. When it comes to watching Asia I simply don’t pay any attention to most finance commentators in Australia as they simply don’t have a clue.

  • 15 Ralph // Mar 4, 2010 at 2:40 pm

    At the moment, I think Abbott is just appealing to the party faithful – the rusted on Liberal voters. He’s got them won over, so now he has to work on convincing the rest of the electorate that he’s not a madman who’ll take too much of a puritanical approach, forcing religion down everyone’s throats and letting unscrupulous employers take away public holidays. Australia is convinced that K Rudd is pretty close to a disaster but needs to see that Abbott is not also going to be a loose cannon.

  • 16 Greg Atkinson // Apr 27, 2010 at 8:23 pm

    It seems my wish has been granted and that the ETS has been shelved! It just goes to prove that Rudd is truly driven by poll numbers! What does the guy actually stand for..anyone?

    Rudd is simply a policy coward, because he has failed to stand up for an issue that he reckoned he passionately believed in. At the end of the day when push came to shove, he backed down.

    The term “girly man” comes to mind.

  • 17 Greg Atkinson // Sep 3, 2012 at 11:17 am

    The ETS saga continues as the government finds new ways to make bad policy even worse. From the AFR today:

    “Whenever the Gillard government was told the bleeding obvious about the negative impact its carbon tax would have on our economic fortunes its response was defiant.

    Never mind that the carbon tax is pushing up our cost of living and the cost of doing business in Australia. Never mind that no other country in the world was or is contemplating any similar impost which would come close to what has been legislated here. Never mind that it would make us less competitive internationally while doing nothing to actually help reduce global emissions.

    Its carbon tax would be implemented as legislated, period.

    Only when confronted with the reality that Australian businesses would face carbon prices nearly three times those in Europe, and the small fact that based on the many exemptions under the EU’s ETS 23 million Australians are now paying five times as much carbon tax over the next three years than 500 million Europeans, did the Gillard government decide to do anything.

    Source: Europeans have the last laugh on ETS

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