Category Archives: Emissions Trading Scheme

The Great Wealth Redistribution: South Korea implements “Australian” style ETS, falls to our cunning plan to destroy industrial civilisation!

Comrades,

I am delighted to announce that South Korea in the process of being taken over by our organisation. How you ask? They have adopted an emissions trading scheme!

SEOUL, May 3 (UPI) — South Korea approved a national emissions trading scheme covering 500 of the country’s largest emitters.

Of the 151 lawmakers who voted Wednesday, just three voted against the bill.

Under the law, set to take effect in 2015, emissions limits will apply to companies that discharge 125,000 tons or more of carbon dioxide annually or workplaces that emit at least 25,000 tons a year, said the Ministry of Knowledge Economy.

Only three capitalist running dogs voted against the scheme! These fools will think it will spur growth in technology!

The government is considering fining $88 for each ton of greenhouse gas emissions that a company releases above the limit.

The measure will help Seoul to develop new technologies and to play in an international carbon exchange sector that by 2010 had grown into a $141.9 billion market, the ministry said.South Korea is the third country in the Asia-Pacific region after Australia and New Zealand to adopt an emissions scheme.

Little do they know we plan to de-industrialise the entire Korean peninsula and force children to sing hymns in praise of Great Mother Gaia! Clearly our operatives in South Korea have been effective.

Soon the whole world will fall! As evidence of our COLLECTIVE MIGHT, our army of environmentalists, scientists, liberals and socialists  staged an early morning parade at the University of East Anglia, our current HQ:

Soon the whole world will fall under our control!

We will begin the Great Wealth Redistribution!

Ever since our agents infiltrated what the West calls “SCIENCE” over 100 years ago, we have been shaping chemistry, physics and geology into an arsenal of knowledge! 

We have successively fooled the world for 100 years, and now they fall like leaves in an early climate-induced Autumn!

Next, we will force cats and dogs to live together in sin!

The climate change conspiracy smashes capitalism! Huzzah!

OECD slaps down America for lack of action on climate

Concern about climate change is not the preserve of green extremists, but is fast becoming a concern of business. As noted, the CEO of BHP has called for a price on carbon.

Now it seems the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has called upon the US to lift its game:

The United States this week received a lesson in climate change policy 101 from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

As the American political class struggles with the issue of climate change and the need to act – none of the Republican Senate candidates support action, and most do not believe the science – the OECD, in its regular economic survey of the world’s largest economy, has called for the US to take action on the domestic front and take a pivotal role internationally.

“The cost-effective way to reduce these emissions is to price them and to support the development and deployment of emission-reducing technologies, which will reduce future abatement costs,” the OECD writes in the report released this week.

As the OECD notes, Congress may well have passed legislation along these lines in 2009, but the Senate has not. And so the task of reducing emissions – firstly in motor vehicles and then in other sectors – will fall to the US Environmental Protection Agency, at a greater cost to the economy, and probably to no great effect.

So the miners want a price on carbon and the pro-market OECD wants action. Who does this leave the anti-science zealots to attack?

The deniers are fast degenerating into mish-mash of conspiratorial fantasists angry at anyone who disagrees with them. Everyone else is on the conspiracy!

There’s a word for people like that: cranks.

Time to “act-act”?

Of course, as the world heads into the next round of negotiations for a binding agreement to reduce emissions at Cancun, the US is playing down expectations:

The top US climate negotiator warned Tuesday against expectations of any binding deals on cutting greenhouse gas emissions at the next UN conference on the issue in Mexico later this year.

Climate change special envoy Todd Stern also insisted the United States still had a major role to play in the battle against global warming, despite its failure to get a bill cutting greenhouse gas emissions through Congress.

Stern said after a high-level international meeting on climate change here that nations would seek progress on non-binding “decisions” at the talks in Cancun, Mexico, which some experts believe will produce another stalemate.

“No one is anticipating or expecting in any way a legal treaty to be done in Cancun this year,” he said.

“The focus at this point is on a set of decisions on the core issues,” Stern said after talks among 17 nations responsible for 80 percent of carbon emissions.

Churchill famously said it was better to “jaw-jaw” than to “war-war”, sentiments I agree with.

However on climate it would seem we’ve had enough “jaw-jaw”.

We need governments to “act-act”.

BHP calls for “big new tax” and breaks the back of the denial movement

When one of the worlds largest producers of coal calls for a direct tax on carbon, you know the debate over the reality of climate change is over.  

BHP CEO, Marius Kloppers, has just reshaped the climate change debate by urging the Australian government to “go it alone” and introduce a carbon tax sooner rather than later:

“THE world’s biggest mining company has urged Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott to act on climate change ahead of other countries, warning that Australia’s economy will suffer unless it looks to a future beyond coal. In a dramatic intervention into the stalled climate debate, BHP Billiton chief executive Marius Kloppers yesterday called for ”a clear price signal” on carbon dioxide emissions, possibly including both a carbon tax and a limited carbon trading scheme covering power plants.

Importantly, Klopper calls for a direct tax, not a complicated emission trading scheme. 

I tend to agree, believing a direct tax on carbon would be more effective as it would provide the market with the right “price signal” about the true cost of CO2.

To my mind such an approach is similar to that used for tobacco: as a product it is heavily taxed to both reflect the cost in additional health care services (all those smokers contracting cancer and other diseases are a heavy burden on the public health system) as well as discouraging the habit.

A tax on carbon would help break the “carbon habit”, much in the same way taxes on cigarettes encourage others to give up the “nicotine habit” because the a packet of smokes are “Just so damn expensive”.

I also think such a tax could be sold to the public with cuts to the personal income taxes.

The failed ETS was just too complicated and hard a package to sell.

A carbon tax would also be less expensive to administer, be less susceptible to exploitation and mirrors already existing taxes such as those on nicotine, fuel and consumption (Australia’s GST).

Kloppers voiced similar opinions in yesterday’s speech:

“Mr Kloppers said Australia, heavily reliant on coal for energy and export income, would need to look at other power generation solutions to avoid disproportionate penalties when there was eventually a global price on carbon.

“With about 90 per cent of the carbon emissions from our electricity sector coming from coal-fired power stations, Australia will need to look beyond just coal towards the full spectrum of available energy solutions,” he said.

But he warned against backing specific alternative energy solutions, saying the revenue from a carbon tax should not be used by government to pick “winning technologies”.

Mr Kloppers said funds raised from a carbon tax should be treated as revenue neutral and not be considered a windfall by government. He said those funds could be best returned to society through cutting taxes or giving lump-sum grants to those individuals heavily disadvantaged by the tax.

Putting a price on carbon would encourage investment in alternative sources of energy.

Klopper’s views are reasonably close to mine. Personally I’d like to see some government support for renewable energy. But that is a debate well worth having – time to move on from the silliness of debating the science.

BHP is a company taking the long view. Indeed I’ve known people who’ve worked at BHP and I know that they take risk very seriously.

From what I can tell, BHP have made an assessment and concluded failing to act on climate change and placing a price on carbon will hurt their bottom line. In their estimation it will hurt the Australian economy.

I’m not sure it could be spelt out any clearer, but here you go deniers:

Failing to act on climate change is a risk to our economy, life style and well being. BHP agrees.

So Prime Minister Gillard, what are we waiting for?

BHP breaks the back of the denial movement

Who would have thought that a coal mining executive could become a hero to the environmental movement?

According to Kloppers we should be “looking beyond coal“.

Not doing so will hurt Australia’s economy and make us less competitive according to BHP’s CEO:

“…Mr Kloppers stressed the need for a clear price signal on carbon emissions and recommended a combination of a carbon tax, land use actions and a limited emissions trading system, which could apply to electricity generators. He said Australia’s energy production was particularly carbon intensive and the highest among OECD countries in terms of tonnes of carbon emitted per unit of energy. Coal-fired power stations account for almost half of the country’s emissions.

”Australia will need to look beyond just coal towards the full spectrum of available energy solutions,” he said…”

Exactly the thing activists and those supporting action on climate change have been saying for years.

Not only does Klopper reshape the debate about pricing carbon, he has effectively broken the back of the denial movement.

When one of the world’s largest producers of coal suggests a tax on carbon, you know the debate has really moved past denial.

If climate change was a “scam” and a simple revenue grab by governments, socialists, scientists and/or the New World Order then BHP would be among the first to line up and deny climate change. That they suggest we tax carbon signals just how mature and forward looking they are as a company.

Personally, I’m delighted: we should applaud Kloppers remarks.

Yes, mining and the resources sector will have a future. All that is being asked is the business take into account the impact their products have on the environment. The CEO of BHP has just said as much.

Do the deniers really think adding BHP to the ranks of scientists, governments and environmentalists supposedly behind this “scam” makes them sound rationale?

“See! Even the miners are in on it!”

Now, even by their standards that’s just plain crazy. 

The list of those denying climate change is growing shorter by the day.

While many activists seem discouraged, I’d argue the opposite.

It may not be apparent, but the denial movement’s is fragmenting and falling apart.

Kloppers has just delivered a serious body blow to the denial movement by publicly abandoning their cause.

BHP, “The Big Environmentalist”?

Who’d of thought that!

It’s about climate change stupid: the Australian election is a major blow to the denial movement

Quite a few commentators have stated what was obvious to voters, but some how eluded the major parties.  

Climate change is a real issue to Australians. In ignoring it both the Liberal and Labor parties got punished at the ballot box.

Tony Abbot thought the old “Stop the boats!” mantra would allow the Liberals to tap into Australia’s perceived xenophobia and win him the election as it did his political mentor John Howard. Labor thought the promise of really fast broad band (compromised by repressive censorship) would appear visionary.

No one talked about the elephant in the room: climate change.

However, in ignoring climate change both parties got a rude shock: a hung parliament and the rise of the Greens.

It would appear the Australian public is more visionary and “big picture” than most of our politicians.

Says Nature:

“Although Australia’s national election has failed to produce a clear winner, the result is pushing climate change up the political agenda once more.

Both the incumbent Labor party and the Liberal–National opposition failed to secure an overall majority after this weekend’s vote. That means that the Australian Greens, who now have a record 11% of the vote and advocate aggressive action on climate change, could become key players. Along with a handful of conservative rural independents, the Greens are being wooed by both major parties to help them form a government.

…The swing towards the Greens represents a direct message from voters to their politicians, says Glenn Albrecht, director of the Institute of Sustainability and Technology Policy at Murdoch University in Perth. “Australians are telling their parties that they take climate change seriously and they take the science seriously.”

  John Hepburn over at Rooted calls it the second climate change election:

“…When Kevin Rudd won the 2007 election in a landslide, it was heralded as the world’s first climate change election. Three years later, having squandered their mandate, the ALP went to Saturday’s election having tried to bury the issue. With little clear difference between the offerings of the two major parties, and neither pushing their climate change credentials as a strong point of difference, it was little wonder that climate change didn’t feature strongly in the media coverage of the election campaign.

But with the results almost in, it is clear that climate change once again played a major role in the election, but in a very different way than 2007.

In 2007, the Greens got 7.8% of the primary vote, a disappointing increase of only 0.6% from the previous election. Public concern over climate change was channelled into a vote for Labor – which was promising strong action and a clear alternative to Coalition inaction. But in 2010, with both major parties failing on the issue, the Greens were the only party promising strong and credible action on climate and their vote jumped 3.6% to 11.4%. Of the 5.4% swing against Labor, nearly 70% of it went to the Greens.

The result is a hung Parliament for the first time since 1940 and the clear emergence of the Greens as a third political force in Australia.

It shows that climate change is an issue that can’t be ignored. It can’t be dismissed with a talk-fest, a grab bag of half baked ideas, or pork barrels. Concern over global warming has entered the bedrock of the Australian body politic and politicians ignore it at their peril.”

George Monbiit sums it up nicely:

It’s not difficult to see why this is a hot issue in Australia. The country has been hammered by drought and bushfires. It also has the highest carbon dioxide emissions per person of any major economy outside the Arabian peninsula. Australians pollute more than Americans, twice as much as people in the UK and four times more than the Chinese. Most Australians want to change this, but the coal industry keeps their politicians on a short leash. Like New Labour over here, Rudd and Gillard’s administration was a government of flinchers. It has been punished for appeasing industrial lobbyists and the rightwing press.

Message to politicians: it’s about climate change stupid.  

While the political parties might think this is a crises most Australians are pretty pleased they’ve delivered such a strong message.

While the political class is absorbed in the drama in Canberra, the sun still shines and we go about our lives. Crisis? What crisis?

We’ve told you want you want.

Now act.

What does it mean for the denial movement? Politicians should stop listening to the denial machine  

The Australian public is very clear on climate change: they accept the science and they want action. They just given both major political parties the equivalent of an electoral backhand.  

“Are you paying attention now?”  

For far too long our politicians have listened to the vested interests and the climate change denial lobby.  

“It will cost too much….”  

“The science isn’t settled…”  

“We have to wait for the US and China to act…”  

This election sends a clear, powerful message: stop listening to the deniers, and act on climate change.  

Otherwise we will vote you out of office.  

It’s that simple.  

As a consquence the election result is bad news for the denial movement.

Politicians will simply look at the numbers and decide there are no votes in climate change denial. After all, the Australian Climate Skeptics Party received a paltry number of votes compared to the Greens.

This election has rendered climate change denial the political movement irrelevant.

At this point it will start degenerating into a niche “culture war” issue, the preserve of cranks and fools.

“Sound and fury, signifying nothing….”

The coming political instability: new politics for a new planet

“…global warming is no longer a philosophical threat, no longer a future threat, no longer a threat at all. It’s our reality. We’ve changed the planet, changed it in large and fundamental ways. And these changes are far, far more evident in the toughest parts of the globe, where climate change is already wrecking thousands of lives daily…”  – Bill McKibbin, Eaarth

Extraordinary things are happening in Australian politics today.

Kevin Rudd, who lead the Labour part to a “smashing” victory in 2007 – and was once Australia’s most popular Prime Minister – has been ousted and replaced by Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gaillard.

There are far more qualified people who can comment on this, however thinking about this in the context of climate change I believe this is a harbinger of things to come.

In less than twelve months a Prime Minister and a Leader of the Opposition have been deposed because of the politics surrounding climate change.

Late last year, Malcolm Turnbull was ousted by right-wing elements of the Liberal Party who rejected not only the ETS, but the idea that humanity was causing global warming.

Rudd was elected in large part because many Australians wanted action on climate change. There are many reasons for the collapse in public support for Rudd, however the key moment was his “back flip” on the Emissions Trading Scheme that destroyed people trust in him and the governments willingness to take action:

By November, the Rudd government appeared unassailable, enhanced by the faltering state of then opposition leader Malcolm Turnbull.

Mr Rudd went to Copenhagen with fading hopes of climate glory on either the international or national stage.

This was to mark the beginning of his slide.

As Opposition Leader Tony Abbott, who had been hoisted by the vigorously anti-emissions trading scheme agitators within the Coalition, began to badger Mr Rudd over the ”great big new tax”, his climate ardour cooled.

His backing away from legislation, let alone a double dissolution, on the climate issue became corrosive.

The politics of climate change destroyed two political leaders: what’s next?

The politics of climate change is not the sole driver of these events.

However, I think we can say climate change is no longer an issue politicians can afford to ignore.

The majority of Australians (let’s ignore the highly vocal, but significant minority of “sceptics”) want action on climate change. Rudd disappointed with his ETS back flip.

Conversely, sceptics of climate change backed the new Liberal leader Tony Abbot whose acceptance of the science is at best tenuous.

I think it goes without saying that climate change issues will completely reshape the political landscape over the next few years.

As it’s effects begun to be felt even more, politicians who once chanted the “growth” mantra will struggle to develop policies that will mitigate the effects of global warming and put a price on carbon.

The public will become even more divided on what they believe is an adequate response to climate change. This in turn may drive even wilder swings in opinion polls.

Perhaps politics will become even more partisan. Having delayed action for nearly twenty years, governments and politicians around the world will scramble to develop effective and popular strategies.

But what will this mean for us, the ordinary citizens of democracies such as Australia?

New politics for a new planet: the “Green-Security” political paradigm

As Bill McKibben said in his recent book Eaarth, we live on a new planet.

Thus it makes sense that we will see a new form of politics emerging, one very different from the neo-conservative politics of the last few decades that have placed a primacy on economic growth and management.

It won’t be “It’s the economy stupid” but “It’s the planet, stupid”.

Economic issues, once the predominant concern of politics is going to take a back seat.

The old distinctions between left, right, liberal, green, progressive and conservative will become increasingly meaningless.

Instead, we may see a politics that is focussed on conversation and security.

The politics of green parties will merge into the mainstream, as we see the effects of climate change become even more apparent – protecting the environment will become the central position of most parties. [1].

Twinned to this will be a concerns about security: food security as agriculture suffers under climate change; border security as populations become displaced and waves of refugees shift in response to weather; economic security as we struggle with the costs climate change will wreck on our economics; energy security; and military security, as conflicts escalate.

This hybrid “Green-Security” politics will be a direct product of climate change. [2]

We will lurch between wanting to mitigate the effect of global warming, desperately trying to reduce the volume of CO2 we put into the atmosphere and dealing with the political and economic impacts all this entails.

We’ve left Earth with its familiar climate, cultures and politics.

We’re about to land on Eaarth, a very different planet.

[1] This won’t stop the denial movement, even as the seas rise they’ll claim it’s the sun, faulty weather stations or a conspiracy orchestrated by green-socialist-bankers.

[2] I’m struggling for an adequate definition, happy for other suggestions

Stop the world, Australia wants to get off: how Rudd’s ETS backflip ignores global trends

Team Kevin07 executes a 4.5 double-twist, over-the-arse, policy backflip

Michael Gordan of The Age is a respected political commentator, and his analysis of Kevin Rudd’s “back-flip” on the ETS succinctly sums up the problems the Labor government has created. Not only has it called into question the sincerity of Rudd and Labor’s commitment to taking on climate change, it has also inadvertently fueled the denial movements sense of achievement.

Gordan’s article is worth quoting at length:

PAUL Keating used to say that there was a place for the backflip in politics, provided it was performed with ”the appropriate degree of style and panache”. The former prime minister was not averse to pre-empting his cabinet and unnerving his backbench, so long as it delivered an advantage over his political opponent.

When he reversed his position on the delivery of pay-TV in 1992, he told Parliament he was in good company. ”Greg Louganis, the great American diver, won a gold medal for his backflips,” he said.

What John Howard lacked in panache, he more than made up for with audacity when he reversed his stand on petrol excise back in 2001, and so paved the way for an unlikely Coalition comeback.

His strategy for winning approval was to be upfront about screwing up in the first place. ”I was plainly wrong in not understanding some of the concerns held by the Australian people about the price of petrol,” Howard explained at the time.

What distinguishes Kevin Rudd’s reversal on his emissions trading scheme from the efforts of Keating and Howard is the apparent arrogance and cynicism of the act. There was no announcement, no special press conference, no real attempt to explain why statements made with absolute conviction before and since the last election no longer applied – and not one skerrick of finesse.

Instead, having spent months developing his bedside manner at a multitude of hospitals around the nation, the Prime Minister treated those who had taken him seriously on climate change with the kind of contempt he might reserve for people smugglers – those he calls ”the scum of the earth” and ”the lowest form of life”.

The denial movement has been cheering Rudd’s failure, while those of advocating action can only look on with bemusement and a fading sense of confidence that Rudd has the cojones to lead on this issue.

Rudd’s lack of the proverbial “stones” is thrown into further light by a recent report by the Climate Institute of Australia.

Continue reading

The failure of Rudd’s ETS – strangely – does not vindicate the deniers

Following the Rudd government’s announcement that the ETS will be delayed until “at least 2013”, Murdoch papers such as the Herald Sun and The Australian have swiftly denounced the “fat cats” in government.

Other deniers and think tanks such as the Institute of Public Affairs have joined in what can only be described as an orgy of self-congratulation calling out Rudd for his failure.

Yesterday’s HUN attacked the Federal Government’s Department for Climate Change & Energy Efficiency for having “nothing to do” now that the ETS has been delayed. It also questioned both the staff numbers and salaries of staff attached to the office.

This is classic “old school” media trope: government “fat cats” living off the back of the tax payer. It plays right into the stereotype of public servants as corrupt, out of touch and “bludgers”.

They continued to editorialize about Rudd’s failure:

The latest policy to be abandoned is the Emissions Trading Scheme, which was to confront what we were told was “the greatest moral challenge of our time”.

The Prime Minister wanted to lead the world, but the world didn’t listen at the failed global warming conference in Copenhagen. His call to arms was ignored.

Now, to use the overblown terminology of the Prime Minister, he has laid down his shield and surrendered by saying the ETS is off the agenda until 2013.

Not that that’s such a bad thing. It was always better to wait to see whether the world would follow.

A nice example of schadenfreude, as the Editors glee that the ETS – and by extension our response to climate change – is seen to fail is barely masked.

Continue reading

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]

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