Clayton’s Climate Plan

A Plan You Have When You’re Not Having A Plan

That catch copy for Claytons’ non-alcoholic wine from the early 1980s is the gift that keeps on giving. It’s been used ironically in many instances, but never has it been more appropriate than now with the Coalition unveiling their climate fund plan.

If elected to government, the opposition would spend $3.2 billion of taxpayers’ money over four years on incentive payments to industry to reduce emissions.

“Our policy will be simpler, cheaper and more effective than the government’s,” Mr Abbott said.

“This is because it relies on incentives not penalties.”

Mr Abbott said the incentive payments would be given to big polluters if they reduce emissions from existing rates. Industry that rises above the current rate of emissions would be fined an undisclosed amount.

“Business as usual will not be penalised,” Mr Abbott said.

The scheme is geared to reaching a 5 per cent emissions reduction cut by 2020 on 2000 levels, the same as currently proposed by the government.

But Mr Abbott told reporters in Canberra the opposition was still committed to reaching the Government’s tougher targets of 15 and 25 per cent if certain conditions are met in a global agreement, which Mr Abbott believes is unlikely.

The Coalition policy is not costed for a 15 or 25 per cent emissions cut.

So let’s get this straight. Mr. Abbott is saying they will dangle a 3.2billion dollar carrot to polluters to stop polluting. That money will come from the money from tax payers – us. Doesn’t that mean big business is being paid by all of us not to pollute? Isn’t this a method of privatising profits and socialising the debts and losses and expenses? This is like a golden-parachute-deal for the polluters to just do what they like.

It’s bullshit to even call it a incentive and penalty system when they won’t even tell us what the penalties for not cleaning up their acts might be. Are they talking firing squads at dawn or are they talking the electric chair for the CEOs and their families or what? Genital mutilation by a blind Indian surgeon? It’s most probably a slap on the wrist and nothing more.

The next question that begs to be answered is how the hell they intend to raise this extra $3.2billion to do this carrot&stick thing? Yesterday Mr. Rudd claimed it would need a mega-tax to fund it, which looked like a big scare-mongering claim, but when you look at what’s being proposed, you have to conclude that it can’t be any other way.

What’s really galling is that there’s no sense in this plan whereby the Coalition is actually serious about solving the problem, especially if it’s not costed for a 15 or 25 per cent emission cut.

I guess the good news is that if they have some kind of policy then Mr. Abbott can’t be accused of being a climate change denier.

Here’s some more detail.

“Our policy will be simpler, cheaper and more effective than the government’s,” he told reporters in Canberra today, adding it would rely on incentives, not penalties.

He committed the coalition to the same carbon reduction targets as the government, but at a much lower cost.

Mr Abbott said the criteria by which the coalition would judge the bids for spending would fall into four categories.

It must involve a reduction in emissions and it must improve the environment.

“Third, there must be no increase in cost to consumers,” he said.

“[Prime Minister Kevin] Rudd has been out there this morning saying our policy is no good because it doesn’t involve compensation.

“Well you don’t need compensation if you aren’t slugging consumers with high prices.”

Finally, there must be no cost to jobs.

Why does this remind me of the way Screen Australia is run? So they drum up 3.2billion in extra taxation, and then open shop saying they’re ready to spend money if the applicant matches the 4 criteria. Then they go on to not spend the money on the grounds that none of the applicants met the 4 criteria because basically, it would be impossible not to pas on some costs to the consumer. But the 3.2billion fund itself would represent money the consumer’s already spent to see something done – but all the same it won’t get done because the Coalition government would slap down applicants. Sound familiar?

But wait, there’s more:

Mr Abbott stressed his proposal was a market-based system based on rewards, not penalties.

“We will go to the market and say give us your lowest cost environmental improvements and reductions in emissions,” he said.

“This is a market-based system all right, it’s just not the giant money-go-round market-based system that the government wants to put in place.”

Mr Abbott said the Coalition’s climate scheme was “quintessentially Australian.

“It’s about solar and it’s about soil,” he said, adding it would be “careful, costed and capped”.

“There can be no cost blow-out in this policy.”

Famous last words, I say.

Deniers And “Sceptics”

One of the uglier bits of public discourse lately has resulted from the climate scientists who haven’t exactly been saints. The big claim is that if these scientists lied about their work, then there must be enormous lies in the body of work that supports Global Warming.

I think the term “Sceptic” is quite an unnecessary compliment to climate sceptics. These people are not sceptics in the proper sense. A proper sceptic would reserve judgment on the basis of what they can’t know. The most strident Climate Sceptics seem to claim the unknowable are incomplete nature of science is ergo proof that there is no Climate Change/Global Warming.

Lord Monckton who visited Australia this month is a typical case in point.

Lord Monckton claims climate change isn’t a problem for the planet and carbon dioxide emissions don’t contribute significantly to global warming.

He claims world temperatures will rise by just half a degree Celsius by the end of the decade, compared with UN scientists’ prediction of a 3.5-degree rise.

He said millions of dollars were being made by “climate change profiteers”.

“The ETS which I understand your Government is proposing to introduce is unnecessary,” he said.

“It will simply be the largest tax increase in the history of Australia.

“All that will happen is that bankers and politicians will become even richer than they are.”

That first claim won’t be right because he’s fudging numbers to make sure it’s much lower.

To address the second claim, millions of dollars might be made by climate change profiteers, but that fact in of itself doesn’t prove (or disprove) Climate Change/Global Warming. If we take the market-is-right approach, then it has to be said that the fact that they can make millions suggests there’s a market for their services – which means something is going on. That something just might be Climate Change/Global Warming.

The third claim ETS the Federal Government is introducing being unnecessary is incorrect. If the global temperature rises even by the amount Monckton is conceding, then there is Global Warming. Which means there should be an apparatus to put a price on Carbon emissions. but these are the kinds of stupid, non-sequiteurs that get argued by the so-called Sceptic.

This week, Paul Sheehan obviously went to one of Monckton’s lectures, sponsored by a pair of mining engineers. He’s quoting Monckton’s alleged ‘bombs’.

A lot of the 10 points are cherry-picked facts to suit the argument of those who oppose doing anything. The degree to which they’re cherry-picked says more about Monckton’s acumen as a spokesperson for the Climate Change Deniers.

The basic truth about Climate Change “sceptics” is that they’re simply contrarian right wingers trying to fight a rear-guard action against re-addressing how we go about doing industry and business.Any time you meet a climate change ‘sceptic’, you find out they have outrageous right wing views. They’re not ‘sceptics’. They’re backsliders against science, that’s what they are.

They might think it’s a noble fight – but then so did the flat-earthers, Geo-Centrists and Creationists. As intellectual pastimes go, it’s pretty intellectually bankrupt, but I guess we’re going to have to spend hours and hours talking them through the wrongness of their thinking, only to hit a point of faith with these idiots, where they refuse to countenance the bleeding obvious.

God help us all.

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