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Carbon tax – extra ACT hit

By I-filed - 5 May 2012 150

Are different arms & factions of the feds talking to each other? One lot who weighed up the carbon tax politics clearly felt that we’re a safe enough locality to add li’l ACTEW to the Clean Energy “dirty list”. Can it be a coincidence that this will hit supposed safe-Labor-seat voters in the guts?

Confusingly, another arm of the gubmint apparently decided we were wavering vote-wise and in need of pork-barrelling, hence the Manuka Oval lights announcement the other day.

Here’s the regulator’s punishment list.

So, fellow average-income-earners-not-getting-any-compensation, get set for extra nasties and carbon tax cost imposition way beyond the official calculator’s risible “$8 a week”.

What’s Your opinion?


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Carbon tax – extra ACT hit
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dtc 2:34 pm 07 May 12

devils_advocate said :

By contrast, carbon credits will be an essential input for business activity. Sustained increases or spikes in the carbon price will be more akin to, say, the oil crisis, because the price impacts are to a business input and spread throughout the economy. Leaving policy makers with a choice between potentially massive inflation, slowdown in the real economy, or both (stagflation)..

And thus carbon fundamentally becomes a commodity like all other commodities that go into production. I agree that it becomes this due to govt intervention, rather than due to scarcity, but fundamentally the market should work the same way.

What a lot of people fail to realise is that we tax – indirectly – a vast array of ‘pollution’. For example, restrictions on disposal of chemicals and a requirement to incinerate is a cost imposed on the use of those chemicals. We dont tax it direct, but regulation is a cost and that cost gets passed onto the consumer. For example, look at the cost of replacing CFCs about 10 years ago.

If you regard carbon as a pollutant, then the carbon tax is easily the best way to control production (because it imposes costs on users/consumers of that pollution). If you dont think carbon is a pollutant, then the tax is pointless.

devils_advocate 2:22 pm 07 May 12

The carbon price (under a cap and trade system) is fundamentally different from the GST. This is because the price of a tonne of carbon will be set by markets, not the government.

The real risk associated with carbon trading is when the futures markets become sufficiently deep and liquid, and the speculators get involved.

People whinged and moaned before the GFC when the short-sellers started targeting capital-strapped financial entities and effectively forcing sell-downs. The difference is, equity markets don’t have a *direct* effect on the real economy.

By contrast, carbon credits will be an essential input for business activity. Sustained increases or spikes in the carbon price will be more akin to, say, the oil crisis, because the price impacts are to a business input and spread throughout the economy. Leaving policy makers with a choice between potentially massive inflation, slowdown in the real economy, or both (stagflation).

Hopefully there will be an active market in shorting the carbon credits but often there aren’t enough counterparties to even allow complete hedging for people that need the credits, let alone enough shorters to stop speculative bubbles emerging.

But I just console myself with the fact that if it all goes to hell I won’t be the first one over the cliff.

davo101 2:17 pm 07 May 12

krash said :

Of all the Carbon Dioxide produced, 97% is produced by nature, 3% by human activity. Of that 3%, Australia produces about 1.4% of the Carbon Dioxide.

/scratch head

Instead of scratching your head perhaps you should spend some time reading up on the carbon cycle.

welkin31 2:08 pm 07 May 12

CSIRO research in 1992 showed that the Australian landmass absorbed our emissions from industry and land clearing.
“Implications of the Globally Increasing Atmospheric CO2 Concentration and Temperature for the Australian Terrestrial Carbon Budget: Integration Using a Simple-Model”
http://www.publish.csiro.au/paper/BT9920527.htm
Quote from the Abstract – [The present modelled rate of net sequestration is of a similar magnitude to CO2 emissions from continental fossil fuel burning and land clearing combined.]

So from a global perspective Australia produces practically no net carbon dioxide emissions anyway.
Nino Cullotta was right.

rhino 1:00 pm 07 May 12

HenryBG said :

As pointed out above, the effect of the carbon tax will be a fraction of the effects of the already-introduced GST.

I disagree with this. That was based on the CPI at the period immediately after the release of the tax. If you look at the graph of the CPI at the time of the GST release, it spiked heavily for a very short period and then settled back to normality. Is that estimate (with a lower spike figure) a peak spike level or the actual medium to long term estimated increase in CPI? I suspect it would not be an equivalent figure. That spike is fairly irrelevant in the scheme of things, as it is just the adjustment to the new tax, not the lasting effect of the tax.

In terms of the lasting effect of the GST, you have to recall that many taxes were removed in order to make way for the GST. It was a fairer and simplier system. This made administration for all of the hundreds of thousands of businesses in Australia and the ATO much easier and therefore made conducting business more efficient and so our society more productive. Things like bread and milk are not taxed, which is nice. And it taxes consumption (on things other than the bare necessities of food), rather than just income. It allows funds for the states in an organised manner.

rhino 12:45 pm 07 May 12

HenryBG said :

krash said :

Of all the Carbon Dioxide produced, 97% is produced by nature, 3% by human activity. Of that 3%, Australia produces about 1.4% of the Carbon Dioxide.

/scratch head

Of all the garbage in Australia, Canberra produces 1%.

Of that, *your* street produces 0.1%.

So why do we bother collecting garbage from *your* street?

/scratch head?

If we could reduce our emissions and make Australia immune to any climate issues through our own local action then that would be equivalent. But it’s more like everyone in canberra is dumping their rubbish on your front lawn every day so you try to reduce the amount of your own rubbish that you dump there.

davo101 10:00 am 07 May 12

PantsMan said :

@HenryBG A rational debate would proceed as follows:

Question 1: is there climate change?

Yes

PantsMan said :

Question 2: is it being caused by humans?

Yes

PantsMan said :

Question 3: should we worry?

Yes

PantsMan said :

Question 4: should we do something about it?

Don’t know. This is the point where we leave the confines of science. Science can give us information about the feasibility of trying to do something, how much it would cost, how much it would save, the chance of success, etc, but it tells us nothing about if we should bother to try and do anything.

PantsMan said :

Question 5: what should we do about it?

Once again don’t know. The safe option would be to try and avoid the problem because our understanding of the consequences is limited but equally, perhaps, we could just leave it to future us to worry about.

PantsMan said :

Question 6: should we have a carbon tax?

Bit of a pointless question as the carbon tax is only an interim step on the way to an emissions trading system so it only has a limited life anyway.

Jim Jones 9:56 am 07 May 12

PantsMan said :

@HenryBG A rational debate would proceed as follows:

Question 1: is there climate change?
Question 2: is it being caused by humans?
Question 3: should we worry?
Question 4: should we do something about it?
Question 5: what should we do about it?
Question 6: should we have a carbon tax?

The problem with extremist warmists like yourself is that you shut down any questioning or debate by accusing anyone who asks reasonable questions of being essentially the anti-Christ.

The only ‘debate’ is about questions 5 and 6.

Sadly, the ‘debate’ has been hijacked by nutsacks who keep dragging us back to question 1, so nothing gets done.

pajs 9:37 am 07 May 12

krash said :

Of all the Carbon Dioxide produced, 97% is produced by nature, 3% by human activity. Of that 3%, Australia produces about 1.4% of the Carbon Dioxide.

/scratch head

The way to understand this is to think about the natural carbon cycle. For example, plants decay and emit greenhouse gases, but new plant growth can take that up. The emissions cycle through the biosphere. Kind of like having a fishpond where the evaporation from the pond matches a trickle in of new water. The pond level stays the same.

What happens when you do things like release fossil carbon into the atmosphere is you add extra carbon that the natual carbon cycle can’t handle, leading to carbon dioxide building up in the atmosphere. In the case of the fishpond, you’ve turned up the flow rate into the pond. Sooner or later, the pond overflows.

Australia is part of turning up the flow rate ane we need to do our bit to reduce emissions.

HenryBG 8:21 am 07 May 12

PantsMan said :

@HenryBG A rational debate would proceed as follows:

Question 1: is there climate change?
Question 2: is it being caused by humans?
Question 3: should we worry?
Question 4: should we do something about it?
Question 5: what should we do about it?
Question 6: should we have a carbon tax?

The problem with extremist warmists like yourself is that you shut down any questioning or debate by accusing anyone who asks reasonable questions of being essentially the anti-Christ.

Wailing about “Surfdom”, “the Antichrist” and accusing Tim Flannery wanting “power over us” are not questions and are not reasonable.

Or was this florid gem meant to be reasonable:

three thousand delegates flying in on CO2-spewing, Gaia-killing, death machines known as “planes”.

The problem with kooks is they take their nutty ideas so very seriously.

HenryBG 8:16 am 07 May 12

krash said :

Of all the Carbon Dioxide produced, 97% is produced by nature, 3% by human activity. Of that 3%, Australia produces about 1.4% of the Carbon Dioxide.

/scratch head

Of all the garbage in Australia, Canberra produces 1%.

Of that, *your* street produces 0.1%.

So why do we bother collecting garbage from *your* street?

/scratch head?

krash 7:33 am 07 May 12

Of all the Carbon Dioxide produced, 97% is produced by nature, 3% by human activity. Of that 3%, Australia produces about 1.4% of the Carbon Dioxide.

/scratch head

JC 7:08 am 07 May 12

2604 said :

HenryBG said :

S
But people generally don’t chuck their rubbish out on the street, because they agree that the environmental costs of doing so are unacceptable and the cost of avoiding this environmental damage – putting rubbish in a bin – is low.

Bulldust. People put their rubbish in the bin because garbage collection is a non optional ‘tax’. Sure as shit if you gave people the option of opting out of garbage collection there would be a lot of people who would happily forgo the cost of the collection and dumo where ever they like. Just take a look at all the people who dump items at charity bins or in the parks or bush that they would otherwise have to pay for. In fact rubbish collection is a good example of where for the most part a compulsory tax works, so too with the carbon tax.

PantsMan 12:40 am 07 May 12

@HenryBG A rational debate would proceed as follows:

Question 1: is there climate change?
Question 2: is it being caused by humans?
Question 3: should we worry?
Question 4: should we do something about it?
Question 5: what should we do about it?
Question 6: should we have a carbon tax?

The problem with extremist warmists like yourself is that you shut down any questioning or debate by accusing anyone who asks reasonable questions of being essentially the anti-Christ.

HenryBG 12:02 am 07 May 12

pandaman said :

So HenryBG, do you have any specific thoughts on the carbon tax, and whether you think it will deliver a good deal for you personally? There’s a lot of confusion about the potential effects of the tax among the community as a whole, and by your tone, you seem to have a very well defined set of views. Care to take the time to expound those views of a Sunday morning?

As pointed out above, the effect of the carbon tax will be a fraction of the effects of the already-introduced GST. SO I’m not particularly concerned about it being a “good deal” for me, or not, when it should be obvious to Blind Freddy that ending CO2-emitting industries’ ability to externalise the cost of releasing CO2 into the atmosphere is a sensible thing to do.

More interestingly, though, with a long string of wars having been fought over access to fossil fuels since 1914; with one proper big oil crisis under our belts; with the last decade-and-a-half of rampant price increases and price volatility in the energy sector; and with the concentration of ownership of energy producers and distribution, I think it is decidedly in our interest as a community to invest in and promote alternative means of producing energy.

The chief reason there is such a massive PR-effort aimed at disseminating lies about the science, lies about renewable technologies, personal vilification of the scientists (witness the numbnut nonsense about Flannery above), and destabilising governments who fail to toe the Murdoch line is because by definition, an energy-producing industry that doesn’t rely on a tightly-controlled supply-chain of fuel, is an industry that is democratised: all you have to do as an individual, a community, or a local government is buy the infrastructure and install it, and the corporations that make so much money supplying the fuel are entirely cut out of the loop. They are petrified at the idea of their impending obsolescence and their future inability to manipulate governments to start profit-generating wars over fossil fuel deposits.

I think it’s interesting that the world’s biggest defender of the “climate change is crap” lie is Rupert Murdoch: officially now a person who is, “not a fit person” to be running a public company.
That description can be extended to anybody associated with Heartland: they are not fit persons to have their opinions taken into account in the public policy debate over the future of energy generation and how we will address the effects of climate change.
That description should also be extended to Tony Abbot, Nick Minchin, and any of the rest of them who have let politics get in the way of commonsense on this issue: they are not fit people to be representing Australians in either of our houses of parliament.

HenryBG 11:42 pm 06 May 12

PantsMan said :

Supposed solution: tax people back into povery. Sound’s like surfdom to me. Would Flannery, Combet, Parkinson et al still support a carbon tax if they did not get power over other people from it?

Are you referring to the “UN Plan 21”, which aims to gain total control over all world governments and then kill everybody?

The problem with Surfdom is it only works down the coast, so the UN can’t touch us here in Canberra, especially if we put our hands over our eyes and shout very loudly, “I can’t see it, therefore it’s not happening!

Thanks for the excellent demonstration of the kind of intellect that is attracted to climate denialism.

HenryBG 11:37 pm 06 May 12

I-filed said :

Speaking of cows – it’s a little-known fact that the breathtakingly opportunistic Tim Flannery was until recently in the (considerable) pay of Meat & Livestock Australia as a consultant on “sustainable cattle farming”!

Ye Gods! Somebody got a job as a consultant? I don’t believe you!

I-filed said :

Presumably in a PR spin capacity.

Sure. Or – just maybe – Dr Flannery has some expertise which people are willing to pay for.
Seems like others in the business agree with him –
http://theland.farmonline.com.au/news/nationalrural/agribusiness-and-general/finance/flannery-backs-farm-animals-in-fight-against-carbon/1681075.aspx

I-filed said :

Flanner described himself only this morning on radio as a mere biologist whose career was “discovering new species in PNG and environs”, and speculating on Indigenous prehistory, until he jumped on the climate change gravy train.

How very unselfish of him – he could have jumped on the Gina Rhinehardt/Rupert Murdoch/Heartland gravy Train like Bob Carter did and got paid for spinning up bullshit designed to “undermine the teaching of science” (direct quote from their strategy documents) instead.

I-filed said :

If one didn’t know his modus operandi, one might have wondered on what Tim Flannery’s new-found expertise on cattle husbandry could possibly be based.

Oh, I don’t know, how does his extensive post-graduate research and publications in the field of zoology including the descriptions for 29 new species of Kangaroo compare with *your* expertise in the field?

I-filed said :

Why are our tax dollars paying this show pony $180,000 p.a. part-time, three days a week? What is he delivering?

It’s well under what *I* get paid – and most of my peers, and I have never written anything even remotely as good as Dr Flannery’s extensive publications (“Throwim Way Leg” being my personal favorite).

I assume you crank halfwits are just jealous of others who have an intellect and an education that others are willing to pay for. I accidentally caught a minute or two of Andrew Bolt’s woeful TV show again today – clearly nobody would pay *him* $180,000 pro-rata for his “expertise”, which he gained from dropping out of uni and then…writing bollocks for the next 30 years.

Additionally, you might want to back off from the retarded reactionary crankism for a minute and figure out what “pro-rata” means – you can then explain it to Sen. MacFarlane (who proved unable to grasp it in Senate estimates shortly after Dr Flannery was employed) as well as Joanne Codling from whom you clearly get your insane gibberish.

gazket 11:13 pm 06 May 12

Labour = incompetent fools.

The only reason they want a carbon tax is to cover thier arses from the mismanagement of the tax payers /our money.

I-filed 9:54 pm 06 May 12

Elizabethany said :

Our cows fart (methane)

Speaking of cows – it’s a little-known fact that the breathtakingly opportunistic Tim Flannery was until recently in the (considerable) pay of Meat & Livestock Australia as a consultant on “sustainable cattle farming”! Presumably in a PR spin capacity. Flanner described himself only this morning on radio as a mere biologist whose career was “discovering new species in PNG and environs”, and speculating on Indigenous prehistory, until he jumped on the climate change gravy train. If one didn’t know his modus operandi, one might have wondered on what Tim Flannery’s new-found expertise on cattle husbandry could possibly be based.

Why are our tax dollars paying this show pony $180,000 p.a. part-time, three days a week? What is he delivering?

Elizabethany 8:39 pm 06 May 12

switch said :

mr reason said :

No, we’re the world’s biggest emitter per capita. If we don’t do anything, why should anyone else.

When will this meme go away? We’re not even in the top ten: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_carbon_dioxide_emissions_per_capita

From that page… “Countries are ranked by their metric tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions per capita in 2008. The data only considers carbon dioxide emissions from the burning of fossil fuels and cement manufacture, but not emissions from land use such as deforestation.”

and

“The carbon dioxide emissions of a country are only an indicator of one greenhouse gas. For a more complete idea of how a country influences climate change, gases such as methane and nitrous oxide should be taken into account. This is particularly so in agricultural economies.”

We mine, farm and log, none of which are included in that list. Our cows fart (methane), and plowing releases nitrous oxide from our soils. We cut down our forests and build pulp mills. Our resources are used around the world to release even more CO2 equivalent gases. And the main problem with the carbon tax is that it dosn’t include these sources eirther (can’t hurt the farmers!)

Personally, I think the human race has left its environmentalism run a bit late, and with the growth of politics of divisiveness (on both sides in ALL major demorcarcies), and it is too late. We will hit warming with seriously unpleasant effects. It is time to work on dealing with what is to come, rather trying to prevent it.

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