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Jun 29, 2010

Carbon Tax the next battle in the long War on Carbon.

Cartoon; by Nicholson.

By Viv Forbes,
Chairman, The Carbon Sense Coalition.

Nearly twelve months ago “Carbon Sense” predicted that the Ration-N-Tax Scheme was dead in the water, but there was real danger that it would be replaced by a carbon tax.

This looks more likely today. Those who seek total control over our lives and our assets will not rest, and a carbon tax will be supported by: 

• Governments who need help to fund their wasteful spending. 

• Promoters of wind and solar power – a huge permanent carbon tax is the only thing that will make these energy follies look economic.

• Those promoting nuclear power, which is coal’s major competitor for the generation of reliable economic base-load electricity. 

• The Climate Change Research industry, which needs an assured stream of income to support never-ending “research”. 

• Those who support national and international redistribution of wealth. Favored classes and nations will have access to a carbon slush fund to be used for “compensation” for the effects of climate change, for increases in the cost of living or for whatever else sounds plausible and deserving at the time. 

• The anti-development, anti-technology, anti-enterprise, anti-growth, back-to-sandals brigade who see carbon fuels, cheap energy and abundant power as the wicked foundations for all modern industry. 

• Gas producers will secretly barrack for a carbon tax. Even though gas is a carbon fuel, and produces carbon dioxide when burnt, gas usage will get a boost every time a wind farm or solar array is built. Every wind/solar plant needs a reliable but flexible power plant on standby. As soon as the wind drops, or a cloud obscures the sun, the standby plant must be ready to fire up immediately. Gas will generally be the chosen backup. A carbon tax will also encourage the replacement of coal generators with gas generators, as gas combustion produces less carbon dioxide per unit of energy produced. So, ironically, one carbon fuel (gas) will benefit from a carbon tax, even though its price will increase to cover the tax. 

• Many Greens rightly object to the speculators, traders, regulators, auditors, lawyers and bankers lined up to benefit from emissions trading. They prefer the clean punishment of a simple heavy direct tax on their hated coal and oil fuels. 

• Nations (mainly in Europe) who depend on non-carbon fuels such as nuclear, hydro or geothermal will be very pleased to see taxes on coal-dependent countries such as USA, China, India and Australia. 

• Many economists will rightly claim that a carbon tax is more direct and efficient than the complex exemption-riddled Cap-n-Tax Schemes.

However the alarmist industry knows that people hate taxes. For them, the disadvantage of a carbon tax is that it will always be vulnerable to clean quick abolition (and the sooner the better).

An election is looming and carbon taxes and/or new resource taxes will loom large on the agenda. None of them will have any beneficial effect on global temperatures. We must increase the heat on all politicians – let them know that you will actively oppose anyone who supports or defends Emissions Trading or Carbon Taxes.

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