Australia Nixes Carbon Tax

Monday, 21 Jul 2014 11:38 AM

By Larry Bell

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Bucking an aggressive Green Party climate scare-mongering campaign, the Australian Senate has passed a carbon tax repeal bill.

That July 17 vote validated Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s central campaign pledge to “axe the tax”.

Even though the tax was unpopular, its defeat depended upon some unlikely supporters.

That assistance was negotiated with Clive Palmer whose United Party holds three seats. Palmer then turned the debate into a media circus with none other than Al Gore in the center ring.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Gore was somehow led to believe that scrapping the tax would lead to a cap-and-trade scheme that he advocated.

Coincidentally, the Senate vote came exactly seven years to the day after Liberal Prime Minister John Howard had presented a carbon emission trading plan that went nowhere. Labor Party Prime Minister Kevin Rudd later failed to pass another proposed cap-and-trade deal with opposition party members in 2009.

Those two Senate defeats paved the way for a leadership change the following year by Julia Gillard who caved in to pressure from Greens and agreed to a carbon tax after promising not to do so. A resulting US$21.54 per ton levy on carbon set Abbott up for his big repeal platform win.

The Australian government estimates that the carbon tax has added nearly $40 to average monthly household power bills. Manufacturing industries have also suffered big cost hits, seriously impacting international markets.

Such conditions would have worsened with planned hikes and a transition to a cap-and-trade next year.

There should be no doubt that these escalating costs were intended from the beginning — a strategy to drive the Australian economy away from reliance upon fossil fuels in order to save the planet from global warming meltdown. Those who have dared to oppose this anti-carbon campaign have been vilified worldwide as climate change deniers.

Have you ever met anyone who doesn’t believe that climate changes?

Perhaps some apparent public cooling on climate alarm follows an obvious disconnect between dire predictions and direct observations. Some people are finally noticing that global mean temperatures have been flat for going on 18 years despite rising atmospheric CO2 levels. Media-hyped conflation of a prolonged Australian drought with global warming similarly lost steam when rains resumed.

Many scientists in Australia have gone on record to refute the notion that energy policies should be premised upon unproven doomsday theories. After more than five years of debate and two failed attempts at publishing a position on human climate change influences, the Geological Society of Australia has quit trying to reach unanimity among its more than 2,000 members.

As GSA’s President Laurie Hutton explained in its quarterly newsletter, the issue “had the potential to be too divisive and would not serve the best interests of the society as a whole.”

The first unsuccessful 2009 draft blew up after many members took strong issue with a statement that the society was concerned about potentially harmful effects of carbon dioxide emissions and favored “strong action to subsequently reduce current levels.” It went on to say, “Of particular concern are well-documented loading of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere which has been linked unequivocally to burning of fossil fuels, and the corresponding increase in average global temperature.”

In marked contrast to the first draft, the revision said “The GSA makes no predictions or public policy recommendations for action on climate beyond the generally agreed need for prudent preparations in response to potential hazards, including climate change.”

Such encouraging evidence of expanding scientific sensibility is long overdue. Cascading programs which impose high-cost renewables and penalties for fossil fuels continue to inflict unwarranted pain which falls most heavily upon those least able to bear it. In addition to the carbon tax, these programs include an onerous Renewable Energy Target (RET).

Recognizing that Abbott can’t take ongoing United Party and Palmer support for granted, Alan Moran writes in the Australian Financial Review that “The final domino, the RET, is under review. The only issue is how fast it will be abolished.”

Moran goes on to observe: “In this respect, powerful forces continue to demand payment for the worthless energy they have persuaded governments to fund, and these apparently include Clive Palmer and those close to al Gore.”

Hopefully sanity will prevail, and the “Land Down Under” will rise above that challenge.


Larry Bell is a professor and endowed professor at the University of Houston, where he directs the Sasakawa International Center for Space Architecture and heads the graduate program in space architecture. He is author of “Climate of Corruption: Politics and Power Behind the Global Warming Hoax,” and his professional aerospace work has been featured on the History Channel and the Discovery Channel-Canada. Read more of his reports — Click Here Now.
 

 



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