Category Archives: ETS

Turnbull throws spanner into repealing that “great big tax”…. Abbott’s blood oath getting shakier by the day

Source: The Vine

Form the Sydney Morning Herald:

Coalition frontbencher Malcolm Turnbull has characterised his party’s climate change policy as ”short term” and says he hopes the world moves to a market-based mechanism to reduce emissions.

But Mr Turnbull, who has previously described Tony Abbott’s Direct Action policy as ”a con” and lost his leadership of the Liberal Party in 2009 due to his support for an emissions trading scheme, chose his words carefully while appearing on the ABC’s Q&A program on Monday night.

”I will support the collective wisdom of the party room,” Mr Turnbull said.

And this:

Asked whether he would join Mr Abbott in campaigning to repeal an emissions trading scheme, Mr Turnbull admitted ”there would be more convincing advocates”.

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott said he thought that Mr Turnbull “did a very very good job on Q&A last night” but he contradicted Mr Turnbull’s view that the world was moving in the direction of carbon pricing.

“As I’ve always said, the world is moving away from carbon taxes and emission trading scheme, not towards it,” Mr Abbott said.

“The world is moving towards the kind of Direct Action measures that the Coalition has long been proposing.”

On Tuesday, shadow treasurer Joe Hockey suggested the Coalition was open to considering an emissions trading scheme if the circumstances were right.

“If the world comes together in pricing carbon across their whole economies, then Australia stands prepared to look at joining them,” Mr Hockey said

Abbott says one thing, Hockey and Turnbull another.

Jo Hockey: I mean if the world is moving that way, well we might consider a emissions trading scheme…

Boom, here comes the back flip!

A few words from me some time back:

For over a year now I’ve been arguing Abbott and the LNP have a growing problem on their hands. Their opposition to the carbon price (Ax the tax!) and Abbott’s “Blood oath” is a trap they have made for themselves.  While ditching a price on carbon may be to the liking of far-right-wing columnists such as Andrew Bolt and eccentric mining billionaires, it turns out the vast majority of business in Australia is happy with an emissions trading scheme (see below).

While “Ax the tax”. “Ju-liar” and “Ditch the Witch” were effective (but ugly) slogans they lacked substance. Simple opposition and the proposed Direct Action Policy are now being seen as lacking substance. Abbott has a growing problem, and it is a problem of his making.

I suspect the vicious opposition to the “carbon tax” will prove to have been useful in giving the Coalition a useful short-term tactical advantage, but in the end a strategic blunder. China and now America are now moving towards more vigorous action. This now leaves Australia and Abbott the laggards. The world is moving, and Abbott still thinks it is 1955.

My advice: watch this space. 

I’m growing increasingly confident that Abbott may have to breach his “blood oath”. The moment Abbott baulks he is in deep trouble: the hypocrisy will be obvious to all.

Here’s another thought…  imagine what Malcolm Turnball, the man Abbott deposed with the backing of climate sceptics, is thinking after watching the return of Kevin Rudd.

The Ides of March come more than once a year down under

Men at some time are masters of their fates:
The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,
But in ourselves, that we are underlings.

And so it is done.

We have removed another Prime Minister from office. I was also part of the chorus calling for her resignation.

Did I feel my reasons were justified?

Perhaps.

Pragmatism tells me a hard choice had to be made.

Pragmatism tells me it was needed to avoid a forthcoming decade or more of conservative rule.

Without doubt we would have seen the stripping away of environmental and social protections under an Abbott led government with a super-majority.

Pragmatism told me something had to be done to avoid – or blunt the scale of – the victory of politicians beholden to mining billionaires.

Pragmatism called for the sacrifice of the individual for the sake of many.

But my conscience knows something very wrong took place, that all of us – every adult Australian – was complicit.

Every politician, every journalist, every pundit and every voter: we all have blood on our hands.

The Ides of March come more than once a year down under.

We have revealed our dark hearts: a nation of assassins.

Body blow to the merchants of doubt: High Court decision upholds plain packaging, helps reverse one part of the neoliberal war on regulation

What’s with the Fifty Shades of Grey advertising campaign big tobacco? New target audience?

While not directly related to the climate change debate, the defeat “big tobacco” suffered in today’s High Court decision has profound ramifications as the Sydney Morning Herald notes:

The federal government has secured a big win over big tobacco with the High Court ruling Labor’s world-first plain packaging laws are constitutionally valid.

The decision is expected to have significant influence globally with both the United Kingdom and New Zealand considering plain packaging

“It is also the global tobacco industry’s worst defeat,” said Professor Daube, who chaired the federal government’s expert committee that recommended plain packaging.

”The global tobacco companies have opposed plain packaging more ferociously than any other measure we have seen.”

The companies knew that plain packaging would have a major impact on smoking in Australia – and that other countries would follow.

Professor Daube said the companies’ own internal documents showed that packaging was a crucial part of their marketing.

”Since we learned about the dangers of smoking, cigarettes have killed one million Australians, in large part because of the activities of the world’s most lethal industry.”

Say, I should go check the share prices of these companies – I believe this legal defeat might prompt some “sell” recommendations from brokers.

It’s worth noting that Institute of Public Affairs has been working hard to undermine public support for these laws indulging in its usual campaign of saturating the media with op-ed pieces and the like. The “meme” they’ve run with is protecting us from “the nanny state”:

In its latest attempt to derail the plain cigarette packaging legislation, Big Tobacco has pulled out one of its favourite pro-tobacco messages: say no to a nanny state.

Having failed so miserably in their attempts to reverse the legislation I wonder if the IPAs funding will take a bit of a hit?

The war on regulatory constraints: mining and carbon taxes

Bear in mind there are several other High Court challenges are either under way or threatened, each of which attack the Government’s ability to regulate, tax and govern:

Considered legal opinion holds neither of these poses a real threat to the legislation. But surely it’s a coincidence that all of the above parties are climate sceptics (or their political parties are hostile to the science)?

Or that the Institute of Public Affairs has worked over time to cast doubt on science, argue against both taxes and arguing against plain packaging?

Surely it is just coincidence

If we look at these three challenges: 

  • to plain packaging of tobacco products
  • the regulation of CO2 emissions
  • the government’s ability to tax on the “super” profits of miners

…we see the neoliberal agenda of limited government, free market fundamentalism and brushing aside “pesky” regulatory constraints.

It’s not just Big Tobacco that suffered a crushing defeat today: by extension the “neoliberal” war to remove important restraints – and desire to reduce government to the play thing of large corporations – equally suffered a setback.

If I could stop one heart from breaking: carbon tax greeted with gnashing of teeth, claims of witchcraft and blood oaths

 

The face of denial: anti-carbon tax protestor in Sydney (source: The Age)

 

On 1 July Australia saw the “carbon tax” came into effect, and the nation’s response has been telling.

To quote Gandhi:

A nation’s culture resides in the hearts and in the soul of its people.

And what hearts we have; what a culture we have made.

In less than 48 hours segments of the Australian media and public have gone into a frenzy of panic, fear mongering and denial:

Piers Ackerman in the Daily Telegraph claims the tax unnecessary because the science of climate chance is undecided:

Despite the bleating of the government’s shills, there is no scientific certainty about the causes of climate change.

The Earth has been much warmer with less carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, warmer with more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

There is no concrete evidence that carbon dioxide is even a major climate determinant.

The constant claims of settled science have not led to any reassurance in science; they have led to an unprecedented distrust in scientific institutions, spurred largely by the disgraceful practices engaged in by contributors to the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

No fact checking – Ackerman trots out a stunning series of falsehoods and lies.

It gets better.

This morning protestors converged on the steps of state Parliament houses in Victoria and New South Wales to protest the tax. Right-wing radio shock-jock Alan Jones made some startlingly claims about climate science:   

About 2000 people marched from Hyde Park to Belmore Park to hear Bronwyn Bishop speak against the government’s Clean Energy Bill, while a much smaller group in Melbourne heard the broadcaster Alan Jones refer to climate change science as ”propaganda”.

”The notion of global warming is a hoax,” Jones told a group of about 150 people on the steps of the Victorian Parliament. ”This is witchcraft. Commonsense will tell you its rubbish; 97 per cent of all carbon dioxide occurs naturally … 3 per cent around the world is created by human beings.”

That’s right; climate change is “witchcraft”. Let’s roll back the Enlightenment and declare anything we don’t like sorcery.  

“Won’t somebody think of the children!”

In addition to protecting the world from witches, tax protestors are deeply concerned about our children:

Ms Bishop and a Liberal MP, Craig Kelly, repeated the opposition’s line that MPs would swear a ”blood oath” to repeal the carbon price legislation immediately after the next federal election, should the Coalition win government.

Mr Kelly also accused the government of using ”fear tactics”.

”The worst thing that they’re doing is that they’re scaring our kids,” he said.

The protests were far smaller than last year’s rallies in support of a carbon price, but there was no shortage of placards.

The Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, was depicted as a Soviet army officer and a snake-haired Medusa, while there was also a sprinkling of other banners and signs referring to ”illegals” and ”boat people”.

Obviously the worst thing about climate change is it might scare the kids. And of course, conservative politicians continue to pledge a “blood oath” to repeal the tax.

Whatever the merits (or lack thereof) of the carbon tax, the response of the Australian media and large segments of the public has been telling.

When compared to the vast majority of our fellow human beings on the planet, the average Australian enjoy advantages in education, careers, entertainment, peace and security, access to consumer goods and travel opportunities that make our lifestyle the envy of the world.

And yet as extreme weather events escalate across the globe and temperatures continue to rise most Australians are in a state of panic about having to spend a few extra cents in the dollar after being compensated in billions of tax breaks.

The debate on climate change has revealed the soul of our nation. And now that our national soul has been laid bare, all I can do is but weep.

Stop one heart from breaking

Despite this, I will not dwell in despair.

Why?

I take comfort in the fact that I am not alone.

Across the globe there is a community of activists, bloggers, scientists and citizens concerned about the state of the environment. Millions of equally passionate, committed and concerned individuals who collectively through word of mouth, Twitter, blogs, YouTube, Facebook have a voice.

Thus there is one thing we can do today to counter the fear and panic being spread by conservative politicians and the Murdoch press in Australia: we can tell our fellow Australians “It will be OK”.

We can push back and tell the media and the organised campaign of deceit and denial by saying we will not succumb to fear.

The poet Emily Dickinson wrote about the experience of overcoming grief:

If I can stop one heart from breaking,
I shall not live in vain;
If I can ease one life the aching,
Or cool one pain,
Or help one fainting robin
Unto his nest again,
I shall not live in vain.

Nothing will have been in vain should you tell one other person that the neither carbon tax or climate change is the end of the world.

Yes – the scale of the present environmental crisis seems daunting and the vested interest groups too powerful.

But to quote Gandhi:

A small body of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history.

I’ve told you: now go tell someone else.

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!

The shape of things to come.. CO2 at 800ppm by 2100?

How alarming!

An interesting article by William D. Nordhaus from Yale University in the most recent Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (PNAS). The same PNAS who in the spirit of true debate deniers such as Jo Nova like now claim to be practising ‘witch craft“.

Titled “Economic aspects of global warming in a post-Copenhagen environment“, Nordhaus’ examines some of the most likely outcomes for the planet following the failure of COP15:

“The world is far along in what Roger Revelle and Hans Suess called “our great geophysical experiment”. The failure of nations in Copenhagen in December 2009 to reach a concrete agreement to extend and broaden the Kyoto Protocol raises the prospect that attempts to limit atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases (GHGs), with the resulting global temperature increases, may prove politically difficult. This study reports improved estimates of the likely trajectories of global output, GHG emissions…”

Putting a price on carbon is a vital strategy, and as part of his modelling, Nordhaus calculates a “true price” for coal:

“The model also calculates the path of carbon prices necessary to keep the increase in global mean temperature to 2 °C or less in an efficient manner. The carbon price for 2010 associated with that goal is estimated to be $59 per ton (at 2005 prices), compared with an effective global average price today of around $5 per ton. However, it is unlikely that the Copenhagen temperature goal will be attained even if countries meet their ambitious stated objectives under the Copenhagen Accord…”

As many of us know, the “Accord” was a face-saving exercise that does nothing to limit CO2 emissions. Thus, some of the conclusions of the paper are gloomy:

“The reality behind the accord is not encouraging. To begin with, even if the high-income countries fulfilled their commitments, these would probably not achieve anything close to the 2 °C target, as is shown below. Meanwhile, progress on reaching a more binding agreement has been glacial at best. At present, a global agreement is waiting for the United States to take credible legislated steps. Continued delay in adoption of climate change policies by the United States may lead to a domino effect in which other countries follow the US inaction…”

I think we know where we can place the blame for inaction.

The RICE model: basis for criticism?

Nordhaus’ used a model to calculate possible outcomes:

The RICE model views climate change in the framework of economic growth theory. In a standard neoclassical optimal growth model known as the Ramsey model, society invests in capital goods, thereby reducing consumption today so as to increase consumption in the future. The RICE model modifies the Ramsey model to include climate investments…

..The model divides the world into 12 regions. Some are large countries such as the United States or China; others are large multicountry regions such as the European Union or Latin America. Each region is assumed to have a well-defined set of preferences, represented by a social welfare function, and to optimize its consumption, GHG policies, and investment over time.”

The bulk of the paper is a fascinating discussion of the model developed by Nordhaus and the most likely outcomes of different policies designed to reduce CO2 and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

The “baseline” projection in which we do nothing – the one the world is actually following at present – may see CO2 reach 800 parts per million (ppm) by centuries end.

You’ll note my little widget there on the right states where at 392 ppm as of May 2010. Over the last century that has seen a rise in temperatures by 1 degrees and a 5% increase in moisture, the effects of which are noticeable already.

Of course climate change sceptics deny the validity of any computer models (my response to that is here).

The point of models is to evaluate possible outcomes, not make exact predictions such as “sea levels will rise by 10cm by June 2035”.

No scientist has ever made such a claim, which makes the accusation “models are useless” chanted by the denial industry both facile and disingenuous.

Models are designed to help us evaluate risk: there isn’t a major industry that does not do some form of modelling of future outcomes.

Should we really be listening to people who want us to be blind to the future?

My take away from the paper by Nordhaus: the longer we delay, the greater the risk.

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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