Politicians in a vacuum on ETS

27/08/2009 - 00:00


Save articles for future reference.

Ordinary Australians will bear the brunt of the government’s proposed ETS.

Politicians in a vacuum on ETS

EARLY this month, State Scene presented Western Australian-trained scientist, William Kininmonth's scientific case against the Rudd Government's plan to impose a business- and employment-killing tax, the so-called emissions trading scheme.

Unfortunately scientific considerations, which many believed would be paramount when something of such magnitude was being considered, went out the window long ago.

What we're confronting with Labor's and the Liberals' essentially identical ETS mega-taxing plans is raw political rivalry, pure and simple, plus a dose of cowardice, ignorance and careerism on the part of politicians in both moribund parties.

None, to State Scene's knowledge, has ever confronted Mr Kininmonth's pivotal 2006 (yes, three years ago) contention that: "70 per cent of carbon dioxide's greenhouse effect is due to the first 50ppm of [carbon] concentration.

"Carbon dioxide is essentially a spent force as far as the enhanced greenhouse effect is concerned and adding to the concentration by industrial activities has little impact.

"The approximately 100ppm of carbon dioxide added to the atmosphere since industrialisation has increased the greenhouse effect by a little more than 1Watt per square metre (W/m2).

"A further doubling of carbon dioxide concentration to 800ppm by the end of the 21st century will only increase the greenhouse effect by about 3W/m2, a very small increase.

"When we look at the numbers in perspective, the impact of the enhanced greenhouse effect from anthropogenic carbon dioxide is small and the threat is a mirage.

"The suggestion that earth's climate is about to cross a trigger point that will result in runaway global warming also does not stand up to scrutiny."

Those paragraphs need careful and thoughtful reading.

Those doubting them should make further inquiries while Labor and Liberal politicians should be compelled to confront what they state before obeying party bosses to vote for an ETS - the Labor or Liberal variant.

If Mr Kininmonth is correct - and State Scene most certainly believes he is - there's no need for an ETS tax.

It's no longer good enough for politicians in either camp to mouth vacuous standard answers when questioned on imposition of the ETS: "We've decided to give the planet the benefit of the doubt" - and then obeying party whips.

But there's another vacuous statement politicians, especially Mr Rudd and Climate Change Minister Penny Wong, make that needs putting to rest.

And it is that by embarking on their unnecessary and costly carbon taxing and job devouring path we'll somehow boost national wealth by allegedly creating what they love calling "green jobs".

Not surprisingly, the Rudd government's propaganda spin machine is constantly borrowing tried and tested arguments and phrases from around the world to help bolster it vacuous case for the ETS tax.

And because the Turnbull-led Liberals are heading down essentially the same track, Australian voters are starved of opposing arguments.

Voters are literally being squeezed into ignorance by a Liberal-Labor anti-information cartel.

That's why a tiny informal but learned opposition, based largely outside both parties and parliament, has emerged.

Its members include: meteorologist Mr Kininmonth, formerly head of Australia's National Climate Centre; Perth scientists David Archibald, and David Evans, formerly of the Australian Greenhouse Office; James Cook University and Adelaide University geologists Bob Carter and Ian Plimer, respectively; and former WA senator Peter Walsh.On the Liberal side we have brave individuals such as Tangney MP and scientist Dennis Jensen, and Adelaide-based senator, Cory Bernadi, who Mr Turnbull, not coincidentally, dumped from his shadow ministry, plus the indefatigable Wilson Tuckey.

Thankfully the Nationals haven't fallen victim to the Rudd-Turnbull United Nations-promoted campaign against life nourishing carbon.

Notice the deafening silence on Labor's side, where backing the party line has long been an article of faith, otherwise it's disendorsement.

Although cowardice, ignorance and careerism are well represented across Liberal ranks, it's on the Labor side of the political equation that they really kick in.

Name one WA federal Labor politician who has voiced concern or even mildly criticised Mr Rudd's rush towards the ETS, which remember is essentially a tax on business and, therefore, households?

But back to the starving of voters of information about all the ballyhoo on so-called green jobs, the 50,000 that were boasted about at Labor's recent national conference.

Because Mr Rudd sings from the same UN song book as US President Barack Obama we can turn to what American economists Michael Economides and Peter Glover recently wrote in Energy Tribune (July 31 2009), 'Green Jobs: Fast-tracking Economic Suicide'.

"To generate real industrial jobs, however, you need a basic commodity to trade, such as oil, gas or coal," they said.

"Yet green politicians and eco-lobbyists expect to create a revolution in green jobs based on alternative energy sources. The trouble is that alternative energy technologies currently don't work. That is to say, they remain inefficient, offering a very poor energy return on investment.

"Cut off the flow of public subsidies and the alternative energy industrial revolution would grind to a halt tomorrow - as the European experience already bears out."

They said Europe's experience was that, for every green job created, a real job was destroyed somewhere else across the economy.

To back this contention they've highlighted a March 2009 research report by Spanish-based think tank, Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, titled: 'The Study of the Effects on Employment of Public Aid to Renewable Energy Sources'.

Here are four points from that paper.

- "Despite its hyper-aggressive (expensive and extensive) 'green jobs' policies ... Spain has created a surprisingly low number of jobs."

- "Since 2000, Spain has spent $800,000 to create each 'green job', including subsidies of more than $1.4 million per wind industry job."

- "The programs creating those jobs also resulted in the destruction of nearly 110,500 jobs elsewhere in the economy or 2.2. jobs destroyed for every 'green job' created."

- "Each 'green' megawatt installed destroys 5.28 jobs on average elsewhere in the economy: 8.99 by photovoltaic (solar), 4.27 by wind energy, 5.05 by mini-hydro."

Spain's energy regulator said: "The price of a comprehensive electricity rate (paid by the end consumer) in Spain would have to be increased 31 per cent to repay the historic debt generated by the subsidies to renewables."

Australian voters aren't being told such pertinent facts. Nor have they been told the extra cost to each voter and each working family of the ETS.

State Scene has begun collecting uncomfortable evidence set to strike those families after a Rudd-Turnbull ETS is adopted.

Here's one from Melbourne finance writer, Terry McCrann. (The Weekend Australian, August 8-9.)

"It [the ETS] is equivalent of increasing the GST from 10 per cent to 12.5 per cent in 2012-13.

"Imagine the uproar if the government had proposed raising the GST to 12.5 per cent. That's 12.5 per cent, in year one, with it able to go to 15-20 per cent or higher, as events, not parliament, then took it.

"Almost $12 billion in its first full year, 2012-13. The uproar would have been loudest from the Labor Party."

Has anyone heard a squeak?

The stunned silence from most Liberals and all Laborites prompted Mr McCrann to say the Liberals could have saved themselves a lot of headaches if they hadn't called the 10 per cent impost we presently pay on goods and services, a tax.

"If only John Howard and Peter Costello had called it [the GST] their GSTS, they would not have heard a peep out of media or opposition," he said. "It's not a tax, it's a Goods and Services Trading Scheme."



Subscription Options