This is the text of a submission by the Carbon Sense Coalition to the Australian Government on the Proposed Repeal of the Carbon Tax.
The Case for Repeal We support the immediate repeal of the carbon tax. This tax was introduced by stealth, and the justification for its introduction is spurious. It should be repealed or made ineffective immediately. We are told its purpose is to “reduce carbon pollution” – just three words, each of which is based on a lie.
• “Reduce”: The effect of Australia’s carbon tax on the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is so tiny as to be undetectable and any miniscule reduction would be totally swamped in the far bigger natural seasonal variations of carbon dioxide levels. The effect on global climate, if any, would also be too small to be measured and of no benefit to the climate or life on Earth.
• “Carbon”: It is NOT a tax on carbon. Carbon is a solid – either soft and black like graphite and soot, or crystalline, hard and beautiful like diamond. It is definitely not the colourless gas created when carbon is burned. The “carbon” tax falls mainly on carbon dioxide, a colourless, harmless natural gas which has always been present in Earth’s atmosphere, usually in far greater amounts than at present. The use of “carbon” when referring to “carbon dioxide” is a deliberate deception. It would be like calling liquid water by the name “hydrogen”, a major element in the water molecule which is a dangerous explosive flammable gas. Based on the carbon example, a tax on water vapour (another “greenhouse gas) would probably be called “The Hydrogen Tax” by government propagandists.
• “Pollution”: Carbon dioxide is not a pollutant, and should never have been called one. It is the essential gas-of-life for all plants and they support all animals on Earth. It is no more a pollutant than oxygen, which is the gas-of-life for animals, or water vapour which is essential for all life. All three gases have effects on earth’s surface temperature, and on surface life, and such effects are usually highly beneficial. Additional carbon dioxide has been improving and will continue to improve the growth rate and drought tolerance of all plants on earth. Far from polluting the Earth, extra carbon dioxide has been greening the globe for decades.
There has been no attempt at an independent cost benefit analysis to justify the tax. The costs of the carbon tax are substantial and will increase every year it remains. It will increase the costs of locally produced coal, gas, electricity, cement, steel, timber and everything made using these essential products. If these businesses are exempted or compensated, the tax will be totally ineffective and taxpayers in general will bear the cost of the extra red tape, bureaucracy and churning of funds. If they are not exempted, value-adding businesses such as further processing, fabricating and manufacturing will be forced to close and relocate to more sensible business environments. There are no proven benefits. In fact, even if the tax was effective in reducing the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, this result would not be beneficial to life on Earth.
To introduce such a costly tax without even the pretence of an independent public enquiry into the likely costs and benefits will (hopefully) stand for decades as Australia’s worst example of bad public administration.
There has also been no independent enquiry into the science supporting this massive gamble with the job prospects and economic future of Australians. The government has relied totally on local and overseas activists with a radical agenda, or on its own employees and grant recipients, most of whom have bent to the political will and supported the views of their pay-masters. The continual appeal to “consensus” and “authority” is clear evidence that the scientific case is weak.
The conclusion is obvious – this tax must be repealed as soon as possible. Australian voters have twice supported a political platform that promised that there will be no carbon tax under their administration. It is time the people’s opinion was heeded.
The Mechanism of Repeal The main legislative support for the introduction of the war on carbon in Australia is contained in about 25 separate bills passed quickly and gleefully one day in 2011. In an instant, a new class of carbon tax victims was created as well as another class of carbon tax beneficiaries. The passage of time has entrenched and emboldened the beneficiaries and triggered the evasive ingenuity of the victims. Neither should be rewarded or punished any longer. No new injustice will be created by instantaneous restoration of the situation to that which prevailed on the eve of the introduction of the carbon tax legislation. To organise repeal by introducing almost as many new bills as are being emasculated is just creating legislative pollution which is sure to provide employment for smart lawyers for years to come. There should be no transitional arrangements – those receiving benefits should see them stopped immediately, and those paying the costs should get immediate and total relief.
The most appropriate repeal bill should say: “The sole purpose of this Carbon Tax Repeal Bill is to totally repeal the following Bills and regulations (and then list them all). The Speaker should then say “Those in Favour. . . Those against. . . I think the ayes have it. Session closed”.
If there is any opposition or delay to the repeal program in Parliament, the government should use its regulatory power and ingenuity to reduce the carbon tax rate to zero. It should also set to zero any penalties for failure to comply with the as-yet un-repealed Bills.
Related Matters Needing Attention As part of this carbon tax repeal session, several more things need to be done:
1. Remove carbon dioxide from the list of pollutants requiring reporting under the National Pollution Inventory Scheme.
2. Australia should withdraw from the Kyoto Agreement, thus falling into line with China, India, Japan, Canada and USA.
3. Cease funding or supporting in any way in the operations of the IPCC. This body has become a destructive and costly international bureaucracy. Australia should push to limit its activities, cut off its income and close its operations.
4. There should be no new price control or surveillance legislation. Many semi-public bodies such as electricity generators are already subject to price justification/competition tribunals. All this has done is allow or even encourage generating and distribution companies to invest heavily in building or upgrading facilities knowing they will get a guaranteed return on those investments. More useless price surveillance will just add to the costs and overheads of the industry.
5. The Climate Change Authority is still spreading nonsense reports. The responsible minister should immediately change the board, re-deploy staff to more productive jobs and lock the corporate doors. It should then be abolished as soon as possible.
6. The government should delay the introduction of legislation to support their direct action climate program until there has been an independent enquiry into global warming science and a rigorous cost-benefit analysis of “Direct Action”.
7. Finally, John Howard’s Renewable Energy Targets legislation should be repealed. These targets act like a hidden carbon tax, whose cost will continually escalate as significant renewable energy sites become harder to find and connect to the power grid. No one should be forced to use or pay for any special type of energy.
1. The “Bill to repeal the Carbon Tax” should be no longer than one page and should say just that – no transitional arrangements.
2. If the repeal bill is delayed in Parliament, the government should use its regulatory ingenuity to reduce the carbon tax rate and the benefits to zero and set to zero any penalties for failure to comply with the as-yet un-repealed Bills.
3. Carbon dioxide should be removed from the list of pollutants covered by the National Pollution Inventory Scheme.
4. Australia should withdraw from the Kyoto Agreement.
5. Australia should cease all financial or other support for the IPCC.
6. There should be no new price surveillance introduced when the carbon tax is repealed.
7. The Climate Change Authority should be abolished as soon as possible. Pending abolition, it should be de-staffed, de-funded or re-deployed.
8. The “Direct Action” legislation should be put on hold until a thorough independent enquiry has been held into global warming science and a comprehensive cost-benefit analysis has been completed.
9. The Renewable Energy Targets should be repealed together with all other market, price or subsidy mechanisms which favour renewable energy.
Submitted on behalf of the Carbon Sense Coalition by:
Viv Forbes Chairman
Disclosures: The above report was produced by Viv Forbes with assistance from several other members of the Carbon Sense Coalition. No one prompted or paid us to produce it. Everyone in Australia has a vested interest in this legislation, some winners, and some losers. Viv Forbes and his wife own and operate a livestock grazing property which will benefit from repeal of the carbon tax. He also uses electricity, diesel, petrol and gas all of which will benefit from repeal of the carbon tax. He is also a non-executive director and small shareholder in an Australian coal exploration company. The operating costs of this company will benefit if the carbon tax is repealed and any future underground mining operations will also benefit with lower costs. However this company’s expected market for coal is overseas in Asia, and Australian coal exporters will benefit if Australian processing, smelting, refining and manufacturing plants are forced overseas by the carbon tax. Finally, he is a father and grandfather who supports repeal of the carbon tax because that will create stronger, richer Australia with better opportunities for those who want to work and prosper.
Petition. If you are concerned that federal and state governments are spending billions of taxpayer funds on green climate follies, without due diligence, here is a petition demanding a cost-benefit study be done. Please sign and help it along: http://www.ipe.net.au/ipeframeset.htm
John Howard Joins the Deniers (well almost).
John Howard did many silly things which still haunt us. One of the worst was when his government passed the Mandatory Renewable Energy Targets legislation in 2000, after an off-the-cuff election promise in 1998. This acorn has developed into Australia’s most costly carbon tax. It has permanently saddled our electricity system with a slab of costly intermittent energy, and created a mendicant class of electricity producers and equipment suppliers with a huge vested interest in staying on that gravy train.
Then in a silly promise before the 2007 election, Mr Howard promised, if elected, to introduce an Emissions Trading Tax. But Mr Rudd outdid him, describing the ETS as the answer to the “great moral and economic challenge of our time”. Unfortunately Rudd won the election and unfortunately kept his promise.
Despite these black marks, Mr Howard has seen the light (despite the fact that he says he has only read one sceptical book on global warming policy). In a speech in UK to the Global Warming Policy Foundation entitled “One Religion is Enough” he said “The high tide of public support for over-zealous action on global warming has passed”. For his full speech see here
The Many Benefits of CO2
How humanity and the rest of the biosphere will prosper from this amazing trace gas that so many have wrongfully characterized as a dangerous air pollutant.
Keeping a Sense of Perspective on Global Warming.
There is nothing unusual or worrying about the modern warm era (as long as it does not end):
Funds Flow in, in Enormous Dollops. In the previous issue of Carbon Sense, we advised that our finances were $124 in the red for the month (while Flannery raised $1 million). This is the response from one supporter:
Funds, in enormous dollops, flow in to Viv:– slightly tongue-in-cheek, I just deposited (exactly….) $124 into your account. Didn’t send a dime to Flannery though.
All that aside, the last several weeks have been a very cheerful period, as we have watched a lot of the nonsense being dismantled by people with a bit of sense