Australian Carbon Tax and My New Favourite Aussie Pollie

I had a good idea of what I was going to do for today’s post when I was walking around the Harbour Town shopping complex over at the Gold Coast last weekend. You see, books here in Australia are quite expensive, but just as in the UK, we have cheap book shops too.

Book saleFive dollars a book seemed pretty cheap to me, so I went in to take a look. I found these two gems…..

booksClearly a Street Atlas of South Yorks, including Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield, along with a publication detailing the Top Stocks of 2008, are the sort of reference books anyone living in Australia 2011 would find hard to live without.

I expect to see an “all books for a dollar” closing down sale sometime soon.

You see, I thought that was funny. It’s not. This is.

Carbon Tax.

First, carbon.

From Wikipedia

Carbon is the 15th most abundant element in the Earth’s crust and the fourth most abundant element in the universe by mass after hydrogen, helium, and oxygen. It is present in all known life forms, and in the human body carbon is the second most abundant element by mass (about 18.5%) after oxygen. This abundance, together with the unique diversity of organic compounds and their unusual polymer-forming ability at the temperatures commonly encountered on Earth, make this element the chemical basis of all known life.

Now tax.

From me…..

Tax is the most abundant element removed from the wallets of all good and hard-working people around the Earth and the entire universe and cheeses people off far more than all the hydrogen, helium and oxygen put together. It is present in all known life forms, goods, services, whether organic or not making it the financial pain in the butt of all known life.

Now lets put the two together….

Carbon Tax

So what can be worse than tax? Yes, carbon tax! How can you tax the chemical basis of all known life? The whole thing is a sick joke, we’re all going to be ripped off and there’s a politician here in Australia who wholeheartedly agrees. And how!

You’ve surely read my post Australian politics explained, so you know the role of Senate within the Australian political system. Well, meet Senator Mary Jo Fisher. But first, a little background.

Carbon Tax in Australia

Julia Gillard, our current Prime Minister of Australia, said before her election “There will be no carbon tax under the government I lead”. Well guess what? Now she wants to introduce a carbon tax. It’s causing a whopping great hullabaloo here in Oz.

So a few days ago Senator Mary Jo Fisher stepped up to the podium to have her say. This may well be the greatest political speech since Churchill’s beaches gig. But where Sir Winston’s speech was inspirational, this speech is more akin to Python-esque ridicule. John Cleese would have been proud.

Senator Mary Jo Fisher has now overtaken Bob Katter as my favourite Australian pollie. Please, enjoy this wonderful speech, stick with it, it warms up. It also explains carbon tax perfectly…….

Yes, a tax is a tax is a tax. Hokey pokey! Go get ’em girl. Don’t you wish you had politicians like this in your country?

To find out the real ugly truth about the people behind this con, take a look at my post called The great carbon tax swindle!

My thanks to regular reader Jonno for for sending me the link to the YouTube.

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{ 12 comments… add one }
  • Mr. Beebs September 14, 2011, 4:06 pm | Link

    That’s a hilarious presentation, but the situation is anything but hilarious.

    The carbon tax is the most insidious tax ever devised because it can be expanded over time to tax Australians on almost EVERYTHING you do, because almost everything you do releases carbon. You drive to work to earn money to feed your family and you use gas that was made by a process that releases carbon. You have a barbeque in your back yard and you release carbon. You breathe and you are releasing carbon.

    They’ll start the tax really low on the wealthier individuals and corporations and then extend it to everyone over time and keep raising it up.

    And if any part of your tax is being paid to the United Nations, then you are paying taxes to a foreign body and draining your country’s wealth.

    The concept as your government is selling it sounds really good, but do you really think that you will have control over how that money is spent? Do you feel like you have control now on how your government spends the tax money they already collect? Instead keep your money in your country and use it to make your country better.

    Instead of a carbon tax that can be ambiguously applied to almost everything, how about paying a tree planting tax (trees remove carbon from the air) or a tax to pay for government investment in alternate energies to develop clean fuel technology and its implementation in your society?

    I have no Australian agenda because I am an American, but I cringe when I see this happening to any country.

    Kill this carbon tax any way you can before it’s too late!!!

    • BobinOz September 14, 2011, 7:15 pm | Link

      Hear hear! I’m with you Mr Beebs. All countries everywhere should appose this tax. It’s a con, pure and simple.

  • Kelly Liddle July 4, 2011, 2:54 am | Link

    The following study done by myself and assisted by a scientist is only to demonstrate that the warming can be mostly if not all explained by thermal emmissions or basically a large scale heat island study using energy use data. This is not intended to give any exact warming extent as average values are used and wind land cover etc are not taken into account (this is virtually impossible despite the claims of organisations such as NASA or CSIRO) Also the energy use is not constant and will have greater effects when weather is cold and heating is more widely used.

    The energy use we shall use is the total annual use of fossil fuels and nuclear. These 2 energy sources are being released by humans.

    Numbers used for calculations.

    Area m2 is square metres

    USA 9626091000000 m2

    China 9596960000000 m2

    France 547030000000 m2

    Germany 357021000000 m2

    United Kingdom 244820000000 m2

    Planet Surface 510066000000000 m2

    (Source : http://www.worldatlas.com)

    Annual energy use based on energy use in 2009. Includes fossil fuels and nuclear energy. Does not include others such as wind solar biofuels geothermal or hydro.

    Mtoe is Million tonnes or oil equivalent.

    USA 2119.8 Mtoe

    China 2037.7 Mtoe

    France 228.8 Mtoe

    Germany 285.6 Mtoe

    United Kingdom 197.7 Mtoe

    World 10424 Mtoe

    (Source : Statistical review of world energy full report 2010 (Beyond Petroleum))

    The following formula was used. It basically is working out the amount of energy in continuous watt output per hour per metre squared and then calculating out the expected change in temperature by using the average input of energy from the sun using Albedo and Suns energy per square according to NASA. This is not intended to give any accurate prediction but just a general prediction.

    Mtoe* 11.63*1 000 000 000 000 (conversion of Mtoe to Watts)*0.7 (energy available as thermal energy)/365/24(conversion to Watt output per hour)/land area in square metres(to give energy output per square metre per hour)*Kelvin 287/342/.703(to give estimated temperature change where Kelvin 287 is earth average temperature 342 is available energy from sun and 0.703 is the amount available to the troposphere after the albedo)

    After doing these calculations if the air never left the country and everything else such as albedo remained constant mentioned these would be the approximate temperature changes.

    USA 0.24 degrees increase
    China 0.23 ,,
    France 0.46 ,,
    Germany 0.88 ,,
    United Kingdom 0.89 ,,
    World 0.0224 ,,

    Conclusions: If a climate model printout has not taken this into account the printouts highest value shall be the greater of the recycling price to the use as a biofuel (but watch out for the thermal emissions). Most fuel use is over land and in the northern hemisphere so this is where the expected highest results are likely. Anecdotely this could be the effect in the antarctic peninsular but it is very difficult to get any fuel use figures. If this is the case the increases are likely to be in summer as this is when the scientists travel there.
    Best idea is no tax

    Thermal emissions warming.

    Note; The energy available is a very conservative estimation based on average power station efficiency and vehicle efficiency and uses eg. domestic use of energy is far higher with average households spending over 50% of energy dirrectly for heating (hot water cooking and space heating). The amount of energy from sun will not be accurate as the albedo and latitudes on the earth could have a big effect.

    • BobinOz July 4, 2011, 2:19 pm | Link

      Hi Kelly

      Thank you for your thorough research and for presenting to us here. I’m not sure I understood it all, but I did understand this bit…..

      “Best idea is no tax”

      And that’s the bit I liked the most.

      On the news here yesterday our Prime Minister declared that carbon tax would not affect the price of petrol for “most” drivers. The exception being transport companies or something. The Greens, who appear to be wielding far too much power in Australian Government these days, are not happy with that and have apparently won some kind of concession that will see petrol prices go up anyway. On top of that, they want to close down the entire coal industry here in Australia which would slash GDP by up to $36 billion a year.

      Is Australian doomed?

  • Gordon June 7, 2011, 10:56 pm | Link

    Hi all , I happened to be researching sea level rise data early this morning , and came across a CSIRO web page ( CSIRO is the pre-eminent scientific research body in Australia ) – http://www.cmar.csiro.au/sealevel/

    Scroll down the page to the chart which shows sea level rise going back to 1880 , when the industrial revolution was in its infancy and population was a small fraction of today .

    Note the trend line .

    Much is said on that page and others within that site about CO2 being the root cause of climate change , the graph seems to indicate that human activity is , at best , just a part of that.

    Sea level rise has two components , thermal expansion and land mass ice melt .

    Scientists ( and others ) worry that the CO2 levels will result in a ” positive feedback loop ” i.e. the warming trend will result in evermore greenhouse emissions through mechanisms like frozen tundra melting in the Northern hemisphere ( Siberia et al ) resulting in methane emissions which have a hugely greater greenhouse effect than CO2 .

    They may well be correct , the planet could well be heading for another tropical phase , after all , the last ice age ended about 10,000 years ago , ( humans didn’t cause that ) .

    Sea level was roughly 120 metres lower than it is today during that ice age and marine fossils are found on relatively high ground from previous warm periods.

    I don’t doubt that climate change is occurring , I just doubt that it is “largely human caused” or that there is much we can do about it other than adapt to it. The graph DOES show a steepening of the curve over the last decades which might indicate a positive feedback loop ,

    I think the whole premise of a carbon tax is a lie , it should properly be known as the tax supported and promoted by the “We All Now Know Emissions Really Suck” brigade of political circles , otherwise known by the acronym (edit) well, you all know what an acronym is, give it a go.

    As I said earlier , I do support sustainability and renewables , but I don’t support a new tax based on a lie or untruth .

    • BobinOz June 8, 2011, 10:15 pm | Link

      Hi Gordon

      As you can see, I’ve edited part of your post due to my very strict guidelines on the use of certain words (whether or not they are separated by full stops) as this is a family blog. Peep’s will just have to work out that acronym for themselves.

      What I should have done was to delete the comment in its entirety, not because I disagree, but because it covers most of the ground I intend to look at in my post this coming Friday.

      Are you psychic? In my draft (which resides in my head) I already have the words “you can’t blame the ice age on us, we weren’t there!”

      DANG!

      So now I’ll have a sleepless couple of nights trying to work out whether I can still run with that line or not.

      Anyway, good to see you are on the right side with this carbon tax debate Gordon, I think Friday’s post might be of great interest to you.

      Cheers

      Bob

  • Emerson June 6, 2011, 9:51 am | Link

    Does anyone know when Australia first heard about the carbon tax and when it first came out in the papers…..????

    • BobinOz June 6, 2011, 1:54 pm | Link

      I don’t know, but according to Wikipedia “In 2007, the Productivity Commission suggested that a carbon tax should be implemented”. So they have clearly been talking about it for a while before that.

  • Cristian March 7, 2011, 8:18 pm | Link

    Yeah! It’s good to know that people are paying huge taxes. I love the way they tax everything they can. Taxing your wage, taxing your property, taxing again your wage when you buy anything, by VAT, taxing you for the fuel tanker’s road to fueling station, taxing you for the fuel you buy, taxing you again for the fuel you burn; you have to pay for the road tax, but when you are crossing a bridge you have to pay again (and usually the bridge looks like a minefield)… Every time I open the T.V. I hear about another tax that needs to be implemented.
    As I mentioned before I want to see results and improvements made using money taxed.
    Right now, the population does not react when they hear about a new tax. I believe we react when they say something about increasing the wages or pensions; usually we laugh at good jokes. They’ve drove us nuts!
    A few days ago I’ve heard the best joke: After an increase of 0.1%, the financial crisis is gone! During this period they’ve increased the VAT from 19% to 24%, they’ve lowered pensions and wages and about 20% of public workers like customs, police, nurses (we don’t have many private hospitals) etc. have been fired.

    We need more mad (courageous) politicians that say the true!

    Above that, we haven’t escaped the winter: this week will be snowing and will be cold (I’ll send to you some snow and some cold air in a plastic bag if you miss them). I need hot weather!

    I really like your point of view Gordon. But as you can see, nobody appears on T.V. talking about those things.
    As you have read a few lines above, we don’t have funny jokes in schedule (from about 20 years, since they shot Ceausescu, everything good decreases, and everything bad increases; people are starting to understand that was a bad move to kill him, and the riot was meant to change only few things into better, not to destroy everything). One romanian rapper said: “Is curious, scandalous, don’t be so furious / Life is a bad joke, don’t take it serious.”

    Cheers!

  • Gordon March 7, 2011, 8:04 pm | Link

    Cristian , your opening sentence reminded me of an old joke ,
    an American and a Russian are discussing rights and freedom of speech .
    American – ” In my country we can get a crowd together and protest against the U.S. Government ”

    Russian – ” Da , is same in my country , we also can form a crowd and protest against U.S. Government ” 🙂

    Regarding the carbon tax , that’s going to be a hard thing to sell , here’s why in my opinion .

    Firstly , even if climate change is largely anthropogenic ( human caused ) , it’s a long bow to draw to expect that imposing a tax on emissions in Australia ( 23 million people out of 6.5 Billion ) is going to amount to an ounce of difference . Especially while there will be no carbon tax on the coal that is exported to China , India and elsewhere.
    That is expected to be taxed at the user end.
    China is looking at a carbon “price” of 4 cents per tonne , compared to $26 here.

    The global warming brigade would have us believe that carbon emissions can be brought back to 1990 levels by 2050 even though the predicted world human population is set to rise to some 9 Billion over that same time frame , and the “tipping point” i.e. the point of no return will be avoided.
    They talk of “increasing ocean acidification” while the oceans are highly alkaline with a Ph of about 8 . ( It varies by locale )

    A warmer atmosphere can hold more moisture ( clouds and rain ) and a warmer surface adds to evaporation to feed the atmosphere . This last summer in Queensland has been very mild because of the overcast we’ve had from this La Nina’ WEATHER pattern . I emphasise that word because weather and climate are different animals.

    In the days of flight bans across continental U.S. post 9-11 , the temperature rose by an average 1 degree simply because of the lack of jet contrails , therefore clouds should act as a buffer , or moderating influence on the warming trend . More rainfall and atmospheric carbon dioxide provide better growing opportunities for reforestion , forests are carbon sinks ( or banks ) .

    Having said all that , I am certainly not against a cleaner , greener world , after all , the middle East oil will not last forever so we should all do what we reasonably can to reduce wasteful excesses ( ban on war , anyone ? )
    and I see a great future for renewables .

    I can envisage driving an electric / hybrid car , having solar hot water and solar panels / wind generator on the roof of my house. No problem with that.

    Just don’t try and tell me , Ms Gillard or Bob Brown that taxing me more will help me achieve those . The best person to spend my money wisely is me.

    Tip to all politicians , people respond better to carrots than to sticks .

    Rant over 🙂

    I started with a joke so I’ll finish with one –

    “President George W Bush had a plan. He says that if we need to, we can lower the temperature dramatically just by switching from Fahrenheit to Celsius”

  • BobinOz March 7, 2011, 7:27 pm | Link

    Yes, but here in Australia not only do we have freedom of speech, but freedom to dance too:-)

    As for tax on petrol, you’re not the only country to pay dearly. In the UK, under Gordon Brown a few years ago, the tax on petrol was 81.5%. Not sure what it is now, but I imagine still way above your levels.

    There, maybe that’s cheered you up a bit?

  • Cristian March 5, 2011, 1:54 am | Link

    I really like the freedom to speak, and the way she spoke. I don’t remember seeing something like this in the political world in Romania. Here, if anybody has an idea for a tax, everybody agrees. This is insane. I believe they tax us for the air we breath, and also for the effort we make (more O2 in, more CO2 out). I don’t mind if I’m paying taxes; I only want to see results: green spaces, good roads, good pensions, good services in hospital, no trash on streets etc. But here we pay taxes and those money vanish.
    Recently, the liter of diesel fuel reached 5,2 RON = 1.2 -1.3 Euro; more than 40% of petrol is extracted from our soils with very low price, but as you can see, we have higher prices than other countries in UE that don’t have any drop of petrol. People protested against this, by refusing to buy for a few days from a producer, and buy from the cheaper ones (the difference between most expensive one and cheaper one in 0.2RON; giving this small difference, it is clear that they have an agreement to keep the prices at this value). Over 60% of this price represents tax, so the Government likes higher prices and they do nothing to lower the prices.

    Cheers to you Bob and to Mary Jo Fisher!

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