Fossil of the Day
December 1, 2013 6:54 PM   Subscribe

What would you do with an extra $550 a week? Australia is set to become the first government to repeal laws that put a price on carbon, and will instead begin directly paying polluters to stop, polluting. Called "Direct Action", Australia's freshly minted conservative government claims the scheme "will reduce Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions and deliver improvements to our environment" Others think not The government also claims that the world is moving away from market based schemes to direct action schemes, but this claim seems uncertain. The government has also moved to close the Climate Change Authority as well as The Clean Energy Finance Corporation What is Direct Action and how does it differ from an emissions trading scheme? Australia's new Prime Minister has had varying points of view on the science of climate change, and the nations recent attendance at the recent climate change talks in Poland offer a glimpse.
posted by mattoxic (31 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
 
The carbon tax that now gets passed on to customers will not be repealed by the electricity providers. Nobody is getting $137.40 off their quarterly power bill - why would they? This dark alley circus clown motherfucker is the worst thing to happen to this country since I've been alive, and that includes Yahoo Serious.
posted by turbid dahlia at 7:16 PM on December 1, 2013 [14 favorites]


In case anybody is wondering, this is 100% about politics, and 0% about sensible policy.

While in opposition, the currently ruling Liberal-National Party coalition stymied the proposed Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) & forced the Labor government at the time into introducing a Carbon Tax as a compromise.

They & their spruikers in the conservative media then whinged until the cows came home about the Carbon Tax, and made it one of the main criticisms of the Labor government & one of the main election issues - conveniently ignoring the fact that the coalition were the principal reasons why the Carbon Tax had to be introduced, instead of the preferable, free market ETS.

Having thus distanced themselves from both an ETS & a Carbon Tax, the coalition have painted themselves into a corner: they cannot support either of those kinds of schemes, for fear of looking like flip-floppers.

So they are forced to go with this "Direct Action" policy, in spite of it being contrary to the free market principles they supposedly believe in, and in spite of a near-consensus amongst economists that it's the worst possible model of the three.
posted by UbuRoivas at 7:17 PM on December 1, 2013 [9 favorites]


That's $550 a year not a week isn't it or I have a misunderstood something?
posted by adamt at 7:23 PM on December 1, 2013


Watching the primary video, it really feels like someone had a lesson on subliminal messaging and took it to extremes.

ABOLISH THE CARBON TAX .... ABOLISH THE CARBON TAX .... ABOLISH THE CARBON TAX
posted by Static Vagabond at 7:23 PM on December 1, 2013


That's $550 a year not a week isn't it or I have a misunderstood something?

You've probably misunderestimated the amount of A/C required to keep McMansions cool.
posted by UbuRoivas at 7:24 PM on December 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


I've been entertained by today's school funding backflip. It would've been to keep claiming a mandate on climate change while ignoring a mandate on maintaining the Gonski model.
posted by jjderooy at 8:06 PM on December 1, 2013


If market incentives are dead and regulation is not an option, how then do we limit the amount of carbon emitted into our atmosphere?

Ooooohhh.

I weep for my children's world.

posted by salishsea at 8:19 PM on December 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


dark alley circus clown motherfucker

so stealing this
posted by obiwanwasabi at 8:40 PM on December 1, 2013 [4 favorites]


Everything remains a great big 'should.' Somebody should do something, something should be done, I should do something. Nothing happens when it should, only when it 'must'-- as we all know from experience, what with the shower as it is.

what i am saying is that the bathroom is getting pretty gross
posted by TwelveTwo at 8:42 PM on December 1, 2013


It's comforting to know that global warming denial is not just an American phenomenon. Wait..
posted by stbalbach at 8:49 PM on December 1, 2013


and that includes Yahoo Serious.

Shit just got dinkum.
posted by No-sword at 8:52 PM on December 1, 2013 [5 favorites]


Real nice environment you've got there. Be a shame if somebody polluted it...
posted by Kevin Street at 9:12 PM on December 1, 2013


What utterly shits me is that Labor handed these troglodytes power, and now they are claiming a mandate. Fucking Rudd. The whole fucking mess is -and it is - is due to that fucking narcissistic wanker's ego. I don't think I have ever been so, so utterly dismayed at the political "leadership" in this country. And I grew up under Joh, moved to Melbourne just in time for Kennett.
posted by mattoxic at 9:12 PM on December 1, 2013 [8 favorites]


the whole fucking mess is -and it is - is due to that fucking narcissistic wanker's ego.

The blame lies with the whole party; Gillard and Swan - and the entire right - all pushed with him to back down on it. Only Wong and Tanner argued against.

It's bigger than any individual, left or right - it's a looming social problem and when you compare the speed and efficiency of the Montreal Protocol, it shows just how much regulatory capture has eroded our democracy in thirty odd years.
posted by smoke at 9:55 PM on December 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


But I suspect if Rudd hadn't sniped at her during the 2010 poll then she would have led a majority government. The veil of illegitimacy would have been lifted, knifing Rudd would not have featured and we would have all sat down and had a nice old people's forum to discuss the ETS - then done nothing.
posted by mattoxic at 10:00 PM on December 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


If they had a majority, the Greens would not have been able to force a carbon tax and she would have stuck with her original promise. If we're going to play the hypotheticals game, then if they hadn't rolled Rudd they would have had a majority under him, too.

There have been few heroes in the Labor party in the last seven years.
posted by smoke at 10:30 PM on December 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


I really wonder how Rudd would have campaigned in 2010. No workchoices, no Howard and a tired out of touch government. Probably like he did in 2013. Full of bon mots, NT tax zones, and selfies. Lost or a hung parliament I reckon.
posted by mattoxic at 10:46 PM on December 1, 2013


I'm no fan of the Labor party, but I tend to keep my ire reserved for the Liberals. Incompetence isn't as enraging as utter malignancy, for me.
Everything they've done since getting into power has been reported in these shocked tones, as if this isn't exactly the terribleness they've been promising and promoting for eons. And it seems a near-daily occurrence that I am reminded of how embarrassing it is to have that goon as our Prime Minister.
posted by gadge emeritus at 11:02 PM on December 1, 2013 [3 favorites]


I keep wondering what I can actually do about this malarkey. By the time it gets to the next election, a lot of things could be significantly more stuffed than they are: NBN, Gonski, National Health Reform, asylum seeker policy and climate change.

But if we get to the next election and Labor are still in a mess, or the mining boom finally dies and recession properly takes hold, or Labor have gotten themselves together but only to become a slightly less rabid bunch of idiots than Tony & co, then we're can be even more stuffed than we are.

So I'm getting around to the idea that I have to stop waiting for sensible political leadership and that I instead have to start my own type of direct action by persuading as many people as I can that they need to lose their apathy and stop buying into the fear and self-interest.

All I've done so far is write this, though.
posted by pulposus at 12:52 AM on December 2, 2013 [3 favorites]


the coalition were the principal reasons why the Carbon Tax had to be introduced, instead of the preferable, free market ETS

Especially when given the state of the EU's ETS, I personally rate a Government-set permit price as the superior policy because it's administratively simpler, far more predictable for businesses to plan around, and harder for the financial sector to rort.

But everything Australia's currently doing on emissions policy pales into insignificance next to the increasingly obscene amounts of coal we dig up and ship offshore to be burnt elsewhere. The extent to which both the major parties are locked into pushing coal exports so shits me; it's a clear demonstration that nobody in top level policy making on "either side" actually does take global warming seriously.

Because here's the thing: emissions, per se, are not the problem. Neither is the amount of carbon in circulation in the ecological carbon cycle. The problem is the fossil carbon we're continually adding to that cycle; carbon that's been out of play for literally hundreds of millions of years. If we don't stop doing that, we're fucked. It's no good looking at furnaces that burn the shit and wrinkling our tiny brows in concern as some miraculous and unexpected chemical process makes carbon dioxide somehow come out of the flues; we need to stop digging it up. Because when we dig it up, one way or another it's going to end up in circulation for the next few tens of thousands of years.

So personally I'm for a carbon extraction tax, not an emissions tax. There are way fewer coal and oil and gas producers than consumers, and measuring what comes out of a mine is easier than measuring what comes out of a flue. If they can sell it, we can tax it.

If people manage to find a way to sequester carbon for geologically significant periods I'm all for granting tax credits for that. None of this planting trees and soil carbon bullshit should get credits though, in my opinion; short-to-medium-term carbon sinks like that are going to do nothing the ocean isn't doing already.

The really shitty part about Australia locking itself into coal exports is that Australia soaks up more usable solar radiation per square metre per year than just about anywhere. If we played our cards right, we could be the Saudi of solar-powered hydrogen exporters. But there's about as much chance of that happening as there is of Christopher Pyne growing a clue on education i.e. nil.

Incompetence isn't as enraging as utter malignancy, for me.
Everything they've done since getting into power has been reported in these shocked tones, as if this isn't exactly the terribleness they've been promising and promoting for eons.


If you can work out some reliable method for preventing chickens voting for Colonel Sanders, I'm all ears*.

*unlike our present Prime Minister, who doesn't actually have big ears at all; they just look that way because his mind's so narrow.
posted by flabdablet at 5:42 AM on December 2, 2013 [6 favorites]


But I suspect if Rudd hadn't sniped at her during the 2010 poll then she would have led a majority government. The veil of illegitimacy would have been lifted,

No, she was never going to be legit.
One does not stab a sitting prime minister in the back.
We're all still dark about '75.


I really wonder how Rudd would have campaigned in 2010.
Awesomely.

He might be an awful person (might, probably) but he was a good campaigner. And he'd not have been tainted like he was in '13.
And he'd have been in his first term (with lots of Howardian cash handouts).

And then, as now, Abbott was pretty well hated across the everywhere.
posted by Mezentian at 6:44 AM on December 2, 2013


flabdablet- I've been to Gladstone and seen some of the the infrastructure that ships coal around the world. Here in Canada we are, many of us, trying to prevent similar construction of an infrastructure that would flood the global market in bitumen that, if extracted and consumed, and especially if consumed along side all the coal Canada and Australia and others mine and export, will lead to a future in which I truly do worry about my kids and the kids of the 7 billion others who aren't always able to post on Metafilter.

I am so with you.

And also, honestly, should we keep voting or what? Because in the last dozen or so elections at the federal and provincial level, my votes haven't mattered at all. I haven't yet backed a winning horse in my electoral districts, and when somehow magically the party i would like to see in power gets there, it's all shits and giggles for a while until they end up disappointing on this one issue. I'm hoping my daughter becomes a revolutionary. Seriously.
posted by salishsea at 10:51 AM on December 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


If everybody who is thinking of giving up voting in disgust votes Green instead, we might eventually blindside these pricks.

I don't think we need a revolution. I think we just need to stop voting for lizards.
posted by flabdablet at 5:59 PM on December 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


And also, honestly, should we keep voting or what?

Rupert Murdoch gave a sell-out address recently at Australia's Lowy Institute, no less, where he sang the praises of Australia's latest political choice to a packed house of somebodies. It was televised live. This man (who is a disgrace) was recently openly disgraced and here he is telling us we won't regret implementing his grand designs for Australia. Much too powerful.

Yes, keep voting.

There's a whole lot more we should stop doing before we stop voting. For instance: how large a critical mass over what space of time would it take a non-buying public to bring down the Murdoch empire?

(Politicians and journalists don't keep him in business.)
posted by de at 6:11 PM on December 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


And here's Andrew Bolt being dismayed by... bias

Free chuppachup to anyone who can read it to the end
posted by mattoxic at 6:59 PM on December 2, 2013


Bolt is the second most poisonous land snake in Australia, which makes him the third most poisonous snake in the world, did you know?
posted by turbid dahlia at 7:51 PM on December 2, 2013


From mattoxic's link:

ANDREW BOLT [to PM Tony Abbott]:

The attacks on you are astonishing. Have they forced you to change your media strategy, which until a week or two ago was to say little and let your deeds speak for themselves?


I can't stand to read any further, but can safely assume one of the upcoming questions will be "Your leadership seems to have the momentum of a runaway freight train. Why are you so popular?"
posted by UbuRoivas at 8:00 PM on December 2, 2013 [3 favorites]


Sources said there was strong support amongst Coalition MPs at the meeting for the criticism of the ABC and that one MP's interjection that former Liberal MP Sophie Mirabella be appointed managing director was warmly received

groan
posted by mattoxic at 9:06 PM on December 2, 2013


How daring. Who was that one interjecting MP? We need to get Cathy McGowan's campaign team over to that electorate quick smart. And by the way, what's happening with the Rudd induced by-election? The fossil will have to come out of his paternal office for Indigenous and women's affairs for that, and repeat those tricky policies we only think we heard. Awkward. Hockey will be cringing somewhere profusely sweating off his performance anxiety, rocking back and forth chanting 'Not by anybody' knowing full well it's only Abbott pulling at his short and curlies. Ha!
posted by de at 10:08 PM on December 2, 2013


Australia is set to become the first government to repeal laws that put a price on carbon

That couldn't possibly be right. Why, I've just heard Eric Abetz get up in the Senate and tell us all that this is an international trend!
posted by flabdablet at 10:32 PM on December 2, 2013


Here in Canada we are, many of us, trying to prevent similar construction of an infrastructure that would flood the global market in bitumen that, if extracted and consumed, and especially if consumed along side all the coal Canada and Australia and others mine and export, will lead to a future in which I truly do worry about my kids and the kids of the 7 billion others who aren't always able to post on Metafilter.

Assuming you mean the Alberta Tar Sands, your chances of ending that are slim. And, sadly, the most obvious wat is development of shale oil, which will drive down the price of oil, and shale the tar sands uneconomic. Which requires more fraccing.
posted by Mezentian at 6:40 AM on December 5, 2013


« Older Austerity: Still Bad?   |   Repulsors Revived Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments