While it burns: Australian Emissions Trading Scheme “delayed” until 2013

While the urbs of Rome burn, the debate rages.

Yesterday the Rudd government announced the Emission Trading Scheme (ETS) would be put on hold until “at least 2013”. ABC reports:

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd says he has been forced to put his emissions trading scheme (ETS) on ice because of the Coalition’s opposition and the slow pace of international climate change action.

Mr Rudd has confirmed the ETS has been shelved until at least 2013 so the Government can consider what the rest of the world will do beyond the expiration of the Kyoto protocol.

He says the Government remains committed to implementing the scheme but the Opposition’s refusal to back it and the lack of international progress in the wake of the Copenhagen talks meant it had to be delayed.

Kevin Rudd, our PM blames others for this failure:

“The Liberal Party have executed a complete backflip in their historical position in support of an ETS,” he said.

“The rest of the world is being slower to act on appropriate action on climate change.

“It’s very plain that the correct course of action is to extend the implementation date.

“What we need to make a judgment of is what happens post-2012 and what the rest of the world is doing, because the rest of the world and what they do is pretty important in terms of Australia’s future actions as well.

The tragedy of the commons continues to play itself out.

Of course, it was all just a scheme to introduce a “great big tax on everything”. Says leader of the Liberals, Tony Abbot:

“It seems the Government has dropped its policy to deal with climate change, namely an ETS, because it is frightened the public think that this really is just a great big new tax on everything,” he said.

“I’m quite happy for the next election to be a referendum on Mr Rudd’s great big new tax on everything, and he’s frightened of that.”

Tony stays on message about the “great big tax on everything”.

This from a man who served in a government that actually introduced a “great big tax on everything”, the Goods and Services Tax (GST – or general consumption tax on all goods and services).

Obviously the deniers crow. Andrew Bolt’s take:

Has any Prime Minister had to reverse, delay or repair so many of his own disastrous policies in just three weeks?

While The Australian’s Denis Shanahan notes (with some truth):

Today’s declaration has hollowed out Rudd’s climate change conviction and adopted the Coalition’s “wait-and-see” approach which meets none of the demands Rudd made before Copenhagen last year.

We are going to lose another four or five years.

One can understand realpolitik, but the science will not wait for us to play catch up.

My prediction: by 2010 geoengineering will become mainstream, as political parties on both sides start to promote carbon capture technology, “planet hacking” and other wild schemes in order to ally the public’s growing concerns.

We’ve just witnessed record temperatures these past three months. The electorate is presently disconnected from the issue. However over the coming years, as the effects of climate change become more apparent, the public will begin to look for “action”.

However, we will have to wait as our politics and society catches up.

What can you do today?

Start small. If you are an Australian resident, write to you local member for Parliament, expressing your concern. Believe it not, this makes a difference.

A sufficient number of emails and letters will be noted.

[Hat tip Sou for picking this up]

2 thoughts on “While it burns: Australian Emissions Trading Scheme “delayed” until 2013

  1. manuelg says:

    > …promote carbon capture technology, “planet hacking” and other wild schemes…

    How strange that these free market fanatics play up technologies *designed* to allow governments to pick the climate disruption winners and losers! Because no planet hacking technology works as a dimmer switch. The planet will be hacked piecemeal in regions separated by flow boundaries of water and air, until all the elites of nations possessing intercontinental ballistic nukes are satisfied. With whatever chaotic results in other regions allowed to stand.

    How strange it will be: the market fanatics pooh-poohed carbon taxes because they would disproportionately harm the poorest, only to leave them food insecure because their agriculture never got a seat at the planet hacking controls. At least we will have an ample sample of the market fanatics’ dissembling (as if there was a lack of evidence before…)

    • Watching the Deniers says:

      Manual, sadly you may be correct. About a year ago I read Gywnne Dyers “Climate Wars” that explored such scenarios. Based on conversations and interviews with leading figures in the world’s military and intelligence agencies it painted some worrying scenarios.

      As the public and politicians fiddle the world’s militararies are gearing up for the inevitable conflicts:

      “From one of the world’s great geopolitical analysts, here is a terrifying glimpse of the none-too-distant future, when climate change will force the world’s powers into a desperate struggle for advantage and even survival.

      Dwindling resources. Massive population shifts. Natural disasters. Spreading epidemics. Drought. Rising sea levels. Plummeting agricultural yields. Crashing economies. Political extremism. These are some of the expected consequences of runaway climate change in the decades ahead, and any of them could tip the world towards conflict. Prescient, unflinching, and based on exhaustive research and interviews, ClimateWars promises to be one of the most important books of the coming years…”

      http://www.scribepublications.com.au/book/climatewars

      I’m not going to say that this is exactly how the future may play out, however those with foresight are starting to explire the “what if’s”.

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