Cartoon by Gary Varvel.
By Viv Forbes
(Ed note, the full printer friendly version of this article is available at this link.)
Malcolm Turnbull met coal mining chiefs recently. He said later that the miners begged him to negotiate a compromise deal. They want the Liberals to lobby for exemptions from Penny Wong’s Ration-N-Tax Scheme.
The big miners supported the scheme in the belief that exporters would be exempt, and they would also get buckets of taxpayer money for fantasies like carbon capture and burial. Now they find that the dog they unleashed is menacing them. The Ration-N-Tax Scheme proposes a tax on fugitive mine emissions of methane and carbon dioxide. This will close many gassy mines unless they get a special exemption.
Other Liberal leaders have said that big business wants the “certainty” of the Ration-N-Tax Scheme. There can be no certainty on the amount of damage any Ration-N-Tax Scheme will bring. We know the economic damage of a full blown scheme will be large (that is what it is designed to do) but no one knows how large. The only certainty is that whatever we do with carbon dioxide will have no effect on the climate. The only way to get a “certain” outcome from Parliament is to reject this bill entirely.
The Liberal backbench are right in rejecting Penny Wong’s flawed legislation. They are reflecting the interests of real Australia outside the urban greens and the Big Business Councils.
And surely no one except Mr Turnbull wants a Clayton’s version of the Ration-N-Tax Scheme, with a huge bureaucracy administering nothing useful to the climate or anyone else - it must be thrown out.
It seems we have a house full of puppets in Canberra, all dancing as vested interests pull the strings?
Those calling for “certainty” are mainly the voices of vested interests, and they expect a pay-off.
Some are already celebrating the pay-offs to come.
For example, the “Carbon Market Expo” to be held on the Gold Coast in October 2009 boasts that “more than 70 businesses will exhibit at the expo”. They include bankers, brokers, carbon asset managers, carbon investment managers, carbon accounting firms, carbon management firms, carbon consultants and auditors, carbon control consultants, emissions trading forums, carbon rewards groups, tree technology consultants, green fleet firms, carbon credit offset suppliers, carbon forest service companies, carbon certifiers and verifiers, carbon registries, carbon market infrastructure providers, recruitment firms, R&D advisers, PR firms, engineering contractors, University academics, carbon market advisers and of course all the federal, state and even local “climate smart” bureaucracies and their well travelled staff.
Despite their totally mercenary aims, this large group of city business interests will talk reverently of their visions of Carbonia. This is a mystic land where only green carbon is permitted to exist; where nymphs and gnomes skip through sylvan forest of indigenous vegetation; where gentle breezes and warm rain are never disturbed by snow storms or heat waves; where floods, droughts and bushfires are unknown; and where a planned carbon depression has ensured there are no nasty farms, factories, mines or motor engines.
In other meetings across town, the alternate energy crowd are still celebrating their success in gaining bi-partisan support for the recent legislation forcing consumers to use their expensive and unreliable products. (Of course, the sun never sets and the breezes never fail in Carbonia.)
And those expecting continuing millions from taxpayers for carbon burial sink holes also have their lobbies and meetings for the faithful.
No doubt all these people are lobbying for the “certainty” of a place at the carbon trough.
But none of these “businesses” could exist without the taxes and controls to be imposed on everyone who consumes the products of carbon fuels – food, travel, electricity, steel, cement, chemicals and manufactured goods - all the tangible things we need to support our standard of living and our jobs.
A huge parasitic industry trading permits in hot air or living on carbon-funded welfare is gathering to feed off the dying carcass of our real industry. But when the hosts die, so will the parasites. And through all this planned turmoil, climate will go on changing as it always has.
Let’s turn the limelight of publicity onto the puppets in Parliament and the puppeteers calling their tunes.
The Labor Party dances to the fiddles and flutes of the green fairies, and their expected pay-off is election preference deals or voting support in the Senate. The Liberals dance to the big bass drums of business offering who-knows-what for exemptions, mandates, subsidies and special tax handouts.
No one consulted the Rockhampton Cement Plant which is being mothballed because of the threat of the Ration-N-Tax Scheme. An upgrade of the Gladstone plant is also is also a likely carbon casualty.
Does anyone care that farmers in droves are leaving the land, fishermen are leaving the sea and factories are migrating to China? Who represents these real workers whose jobs will slowly disappear in the green haze now intoxicating most politicians in every Parliament?
Things are no better on the international scene, where vested interests have created their own consensus - those expecting benefits from Copenhagen far outnumber those who will undoubtedly pay.
Who will be net losers from any Copenhagen carbon deal? It will not be places like France, heavily reliant on nuclear power; nor will it be places like Scandinavia, lucky enough to have harnessed their abundant hydro power; nor will it be places like Iceland, where geothermal energy is readily available; nor will it Russia who will take advantage of the collapse of Soviet industry to earn “carbon credits”; nor will it be places like India, China and Brazil, who see Copenhagen as the place where they will manage to extract massive funds and technology from the west in order to “clean up their industry”; and it will not be OPEC who are already seeking deals to get “compensation” if Copenhagen reduces demand for their oil.
Who is destined to play Santa Claus at the global warming party in frigid Copenhagen? The intended victims are those rich western nations heavily dependent on carbon fuels, such as Australia, USA, Poland and UK.
Kevin Rudd and Malcolm Turnbull are the Judas goats leading us to this slaughter.
The Ration-N-Tax Scheme must be rejected.
Oct 19, 2009
Cartoon by Gary Varvel.