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public debate on the economics of climate change (Read 13635 times)
freediver
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public debate on the economics of climate change
Apr 13th, 2013 at 10:55am
 
I have updated the website home page with the following:

http://www.ozpolitic.com/index.html

Time for the public debate on the economics of climate change

April 13 2013.

Back in December 2010, the Sustainability Party of Australia and OzPolitic issued our first call to arms on the carbon tax, asking people to write to their local candidates in support of a carbon tax.

http://www.ozpolitic.com/index.html#Carbon%20Tax%20Back%20on%20the%20Agenda

At the time our efforts seemed futile. Labor was openly hostile to a tax, probably in response to the Greens adopting a carbon tax policy, and Tony Abbott had steered the coalition to a policy of never putting any kind of price on Carbon. Yet the extraordinary events that followed showed us once again that in politics, anything is possible.

Now we are once again calling on people to support the tax. We are asking people to write to local members and election candidates to voice their support for the tax. We are asking people to finally have the public debate we need on the merits of the tax, without the partisan baggage it attracts. We have 5 months to turn the tide of public opinion.

Again, both major parties seem against us, with Abbott committed to 'direct action' and Labor committed to a change to a trading scheme in 2015. This change has already been legislated as part of the original carbon tax package and will go ahead without new legislation, which means support from one of the major parties. The change will happen in 2015-2016, however the fate of the carbon tax will most likely be determined by the policies that the two major parties go into the next federal election with. Although the odds seem stacked against the carbon tax, the reality is much more complicated. For example, prior to taking control of the Liberal Party, Tony Abbott put considerable effort into promoting a carbon tax. You probably didn't notice at the time because his comments about the ('crap') science of climate change were getting far more attention. Unfortunately, Abbott changed his stance on a carbon tax at around the same time he changed his stance on the science.

You can read more about Tony Abbott's remarkable transition on the science and economics of climate change here.

http://www.ozpolitic.com/green-tax-shift/tony-abbot-science-economics-climate-ch...

Whatever your views are on how we achieved a carbon tax, I believe the reason we ended up with it is that everyone in the game, be they Greens, Labor, Liberal or Nationals, understands the need for action on climate change, they understand that a carbon tax is the best way to achieve that change, but they also see the political toxicity of a tax with a public that does not always understand the counterintuitive yet fundamental economics behind it.

Back when he was happy to be seen as an intellectual economic rationalist, Tony Abbott himself summed up the dilemma:

July 27, 2009:

Quote:
The fact that people donít really understand what an emissions trading scheme entails is actually its key political benefit. Unlike a tax, which people would instinctively question, itís easy to accept a trading scheme supported by businesses that see it as a money-making opportunity and environmentalists who assure people that it will help to save the planet. Forget the contested science and the dubious economics, an emissions trading scheme is brilliant, if hardly-honest politics because people have come to think that itís a cost-less way to avoid climate catastrophe.


Quote:
If Australia is greatly to reduce its carbon emissions, the price of carbon intensive products should rise. The Coalition has always been instinctively cautious about new or increased taxes. Thatís one of the reasons why the former government opted for an emissions trading scheme over a straight-forward carbon tax. Still, a new tax would be the intelligent skepticís way to deal with minimising emissions because it would be much easier than a property right to reduce or to abolish should the justification for it change.


The point of these quotes is that the Coalition policy against carbon pricing in general, or the carbon tax in particular is not as set in stone as many think, despite Abbott's claims that he never supported an emissions trading scheme or a tax. For Labor, this argument is a little easier to make, but still needs to be made. The contrast between the clear economic arguments in favour of a tax and the difficult political reality it faces is the ultimate reason why our path to a carbon tax was so messy, yet far more likely that it appeared. It is also the reason why continued direct personal pressure on your local representatives and candidates is so necessary if we are to keep the tax. Ultimately, politicians have no choice but to bow to public pressure. If we are to keep the tax, we also need to keep the public debate going and progress it as far as possible prior to the upcoming federal election. With the public finally focussed on the economics of climate change rather than the science, there has never been a better opportunity to get the message out that a carbon tax is the cheapest, simplest and most flexible way to reduce emissions.

Read more about the economic arguments in favour of a carbon tax here.

http://www.ozpolitic.com/green-tax-shift/green-tax-shift.html
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« Last Edit: Apr 13th, 2013 at 11:00am by freediver »  

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Re: public debate on the economics of climate change
Reply #1 - Apr 13th, 2013 at 11:22am
 
Dream on.
It's gone. Done and dusted.

Time to acknowledge reality.
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freediver
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Re: public debate on the economics of climate change
Reply #2 - Apr 13th, 2013 at 4:30pm
 
Search for your local representative in federal parliament here.

http://www.aph.gov.au/Senators_and_Members/Members

Please contact your senators also.

http://www.aph.gov.au/Senators_and_Members/Senators
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Re: public debate on the economics of climate change
Reply #3 - Apr 14th, 2013 at 10:33pm
 
I posted previously that the u.k has actually increased emissions under its carbon tax/ ets when you include imports. Yet your still in favour of a tax that drives manufacturing offshore AND increases emissions?
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Re: public debate on the economics of climate change
Reply #4 - Apr 15th, 2013 at 2:02pm
 
The UK is developing sources of renewable energy and is an active negotiator in forwarding the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The aim of the UNFCCC is to progress a global response to greenhouse emission reduction and 195 nations are now parties to the convention.

The UNFCCC will address the UK's imported emissions in the nations where they originate.
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Re: public debate on the economics of climate change
Reply #5 - Apr 15th, 2013 at 2:58pm
 
FD I still do not understand where MONEY will change a thing???

why would it be any different to solving poverty. starvation. childbirth deaths,..alcoholism...drugs..


when did money ever make a difference..

slap bang weve got a CARBON TAX.... so what? whats changed? except the cost of living going up.

and centrelink payments [compensation pmts]the govt can ill afford...
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Re: public debate on the economics of climate change
Reply #6 - Apr 15th, 2013 at 6:53pm
 
The carbon tax is just a convenient political weapon of the Eco-socialist movement.

Wealth & income redistribution is what they aim for.

They aren't serious about anthropogenic global warming just hamstringing big corporates. Sad
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freediver
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Re: public debate on the economics of climate change
Reply #7 - Apr 15th, 2013 at 7:19pm
 
Quote:
I posted previously that the u.k has actually increased emissions under its carbon tax/ ets when you include imports. Yet your still in favour of a tax that drives manufacturing offshore AND increases emissions?


I think the tax should be global. But whether you are talking globally or locally, a tax is still the best option. Just because it is a lot harder to join the dots does not mean that wasting billions on alternatives like direct action isn't going to send business overseas also.

We will not be purchasing our electricity overseas. We will not go on holiday and stock up on petrol. We only plan to cut our emissions by 5% unilaterally, regardless of which party is running the show. No one here is suggesting a carbon tax that makes big cuts to our emissions in the absence of international agreements. This is a deliberate furphy from conservative propagandists.

Quote:
FD I still do not understand where MONEY will change a thing???


It's called market forces. Like it or not, you respond to them. Money talks. BS walks.

Quote:
why would it be any different to solving poverty. starvation. childbirth deaths,..alcoholism...drugs..


Actually, more rational economics would go a long way to solving some of those - poverty in particular. We waste an awful lot of our own money in order to screw over third world farmers so they can't compete with ours. The US and Europe are even worse.

Quote:
slap bang weve got a CARBON TAX.... so what? whats changed?


For starters, our emissions have dropped. Many people's income tax has dropped.

Quote:
The carbon tax is just a convenient political weapon of the Eco-socialist movement.


Irony. You accuse me of socialism while rejecting market forces and demanding direct government intervention with billions of dollars wasted.
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The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man - George Bernard Shaw
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Re: public debate on the economics of climate change
Reply #8 - Apr 15th, 2013 at 8:44pm
 
freediver wrote on Apr 15th, 2013 at 7:19pm:
You accuse me of socialism


When did I do that?  Undecided Do you find socialism offensive FD?

freediver wrote on Apr 15th, 2013 at 7:19pm:
while rejecting market forces and demanding direct government intervention with billions of dollars wasted


Again, when?  Huh

freediver wrote on Apr 15th, 2013 at 7:19pm:
For starters, our emissions have dropped. Many people's income tax has dropped.


Well if you retard economic activity emissions will drop.

The GFC is the best thing that ever happened for eco-socialists FD....it out performs the carbon tax for cutting emissions just as the GFC masks the inflationary effect of the carbon tax.....
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freediver
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Re: public debate on the economics of climate change
Reply #9 - Apr 15th, 2013 at 9:22pm
 
Quote:
Again, when?


Sorry. I assumed you supported Abbott's program of government intervention. Do you?
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The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man - George Bernard Shaw
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Swagman
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Re: public debate on the economics of climate change
Reply #10 - Apr 16th, 2013 at 9:14am
 
I support fiscally responsible & rational direct action but not at the expense of our nation's competitive advantages.

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Re: public debate on the economics of climate change
Reply #11 - Apr 16th, 2013 at 10:11am
 
Swagman, What is "direct action" ?
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Re: public debate on the economics of climate change
Reply #12 - Apr 16th, 2013 at 4:46pm
 
Doctor Jolly wrote on Apr 16th, 2013 at 10:11am:
Swagman, What is "direct action" ?


Plant a tree.  That's direct action.

Paint your roof white.  That's direct action.

Build a nuclear power station.  That's direct action. Grin
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freediver
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Re: public debate on the economics of climate change
Reply #13 - Apr 16th, 2013 at 6:31pm
 
Swagman wrote on Apr 16th, 2013 at 9:14am:
I support fiscally responsible & rational direct action but not at the expense of our nation's competitive advantages.



Do you support Abbott's plan?

If a tax achieved the same thing for less total cost, would you support it then?

What cost to our competitiveness would you tolerate?
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The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man - George Bernard Shaw
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