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Federal

Mar 7, 2011

The brains behind the anti-carbon tax rallies

A disgruntled greens loans and home insulation assessor, a former Victorian public servant turned climate sceptic and a Sydney pacemaker king are the shadowy figures behind a national series of rallies planned to shoot down Julia Gillard's carbon tax.

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A disgruntled green loans assessor, a former Victorian public servant turned climate sceptic and a Sydney pacemaker king are the figures behind a national series of rallies planned to shoot down Julia Gillard’s carbon tax.

Liberal Party-linked figures Jacques Laxale, Michael Cejnar and Colin Ely have all emerged as linchpins for the nationwide March 23 “No Carbon Tax” protests, which is hoping to drag thousands of everyday Australians on to the street following Tony Abbott’s clarion call for a “people’s revolt”.

Laxale, the designated spokesperson for the Consumers and Taxpayers Association — which until last week had three members — has been a dominant spokesperson on right-wing talkback radio over the last week cooking up support for the show of genuine grassroots people power.

He told Crikey he’d lost $3,000 through the axed Green Loans program and home insulation scheme anjd that both initiatives were an “absolute frigging disgrace”. Laxale’s insulation company is listed in this response from the commonwealth Fair Work Ombudsman to a question stemming from last year’s Budget Estimates process as one of the 7,556 businesses registered under the Home Insulation Program. Energised by his losses, he later joined anti-government rallies against Building the Education Revolution.

Laxale said he was “still in the building game” and has also been working as a part-time disability carer. The plucky Sydneysider has emerged as prime talent on 2GB presenter Chris Smith’s afternoons program, phoning in with updates and sprays against “Joo-liar”. A clearly chuffed Smith has agreed to host a live broadcast at Parliament House in the manner pioneered by Alan Jones during Murray Darling Basin fracas (Laxale said Jones has also been asked to descend on Canberra, but this is yet to be confirmed).

Dr Cejnar was mentioned in glowing terms in federal parliament last year by the former Liberal member for Ryan Michael Johnson, who said the good doctor had contacted him during the Liberals’ 2009 leadership ballot to urge a vote for Tony Abbott, later supplying him with a extra-large No Carbon Tax t-shirt. The No Carbon Tax website is registered to Cejnar through his company Micropace. Micropace, according to its website, is the US market leader in electrophysiology stimulators.

Cejnar and crew are prominent commenters on blogs and websites linked to anti-Islam Senator Cory Bernardi, including the notorious Menzies House site, edited by former leading Young Liberal Tim Andrews. Other online vanguards like stopgillardscarbontax.com and dontcopit.com have popped up to add fuel to the populist fire.

But it seems that Cejnar and Laxale could be struggling to match the levels of grassroots support seen during the 2007 WorkChoices protests or even a casual gathering of Socialist Alternative on the corner of Melbourne’s Bourke and Swanston Streets on a Friday night. The southern city’s protest is yet to be formally listed on the No Carbon Tax site and the Brisbane and Adelaide chapters are missing contact details.

Crikey can reveal that the Melbourne offensive is being spruiked by Colin Ely, a savvy climate sceptic who was ejected from a meeting of public servants in Melbourne’s Treasury Theatre last year by protective services officers. Ely has been busy sending around emails to the leaders of business lobby groups, the text of which makes for interesting reading. Renegade Liberal MLC Bernie Finn, Institute of Public Affairs kingpin Alan Moran and Institute for Private Enterprise director Des Moore are all set to appear as speakers. Writes Ely:

“Dear Mr ******

I am part of a group which is co-ordinating the Victorian arm of a series of nationwide, non-partisam protests against JooLIAR’s proposed Carbon Tax. These protests are being held on Wed 23/3 across all States. If ******* is going to be in Melbourne on that day, we would like to cordially invite *** to be one of our speakers. Other confirmed speakers so far are Bernie Finn MLC, Member for Western Metropolitan Region, Alan Moran, Director, Deregulation Unit, Institute for Public Administration and Des Moore, former Deputy Secretary of treasury and currently Director of the Institute for Private Enterprise. We are meeting at Federation Square at 10:30 and marching to Parliament House, Spring St.”

Crikey understands that the invitee in question recoiled in horror and its CEO won’t be attending.

Meanwhile, activist group GetUp! are apparently launching their own counter-protests, amid suggestions that the no carbon crew are being directed by forces within the Liberal Party and are therefore nothing more than astroturf.

Ely would seem to be an expert in the field, having previously run a home garden maintenance business. According to his website. “If you want your lawn mowed or your garden looked after”, Colin is the man to call.

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64 thoughts on “The brains behind the anti-carbon tax rallies

  1. klewso

    More “Elusive Brethren”?

  2. paddy

    [“If you want your lawn mowed or your garden looked after”, Colin is the man to call.]
    LOL Sorry Colin, our astroturf never needs mowing. (It’s so CC friendly, it doesn’t even need watering.) 😀

  3. David

    …would you buy a used car from this man (Ely and what an appropriate name :lol:)

  4. Son of foro

    2GB is crap. Climate change is real.

  5. Astro

    GetUp, they have been quiet since spruiking Gillard and El President Brown before the election

  6. Astro

    @ Son of Foro

    I saw in the paper that 2GB rates amost double (in audience number) the nearest station from 6am – 3pm, so something is right and its networked along the eastern seaboard.

  7. Bubs

    If you have a look at the legal disclaimer on the No Carbon Tax site it reads:

    All facts and information included at this site have been checked to the best of our inexpert ability and no other standard. We make no warranty as to the veracity of this information. People seeking to rely on any of this information should undertake their own verification.

    Does anyone else read that as – “Follow me oh flock, blindly off the cliff in intellectual treason”?

  8. TIMFROMTHETOPEND

    What a pointless article! Dont give up your day job.

  9. Apathy

    When is a Tax not a Great Big New Tax? When it’s a Coalition tax.

    Just like his maternity leave tax and the numerous levies under the previous government, apparently when the Coalition do it, it’s done righteously with God by their side. Have a squiz at the Coalition’s ‘Direct Action Plan.’ I only got to page 2 and low and behold it’s estimated that it will cost is $3.6 billion. So unless the Coalition has some secret stash hidden under the bed of every member, that cash is going to have to come from somewhere. If I was a betting man I reckon that $3.6 billion coming from Joe Blow the Taxpayer would be the shortest prized favourite in recent times. They can dress it up how ever they like but at the end of the day, to quote Mr Happy Clapper himself, “If it sounds like a tax and smells like a tax”…quack, quack.

  10. Lunchboxx77

    @Astro Getup are organising a rally of their own to counter the “Peoples Revolt.”

    To those in Melbourne who are interested, here’s the details –

    When: This Saturday 12th of March
    Where: Outside of Julia Gillard’s federal offices at Treasury Place
    Time: 11am.

  11. shepherdmarilyn

    Have you noticed that since the airing of Paul Lockyer’s gut wrenching doco on the effects of the flood on the Grantham Valley that the whiners have shut up, the tax will pass the senate and no-one will say another word about it.

    If these louts want to keep paying to suck up poison then let them but why should the rest of us.

  12. Malcolm Street

    Apathy – thanks for answering my big question about the DirectAction plan – where is the money to come from? It must cost something otherwise you wouldn’t need it.

    Timfromthetopend – it’s an excellent article giving us the background to the next “grass roots” action that Abbott wants. You haven’t gone troppo by any chance?

  13. SusieQ

    Anyone would think the sky was about to fall in with a carbon tax – having said that, Labour are hopeless at selling policy – they announced this, right when we were all focused on the earthquake in NZ (how deliberate was that???), no detail, no nothing – they’ve left themselves wide open to be attacked on this.
    I’m so tired with the confected outrage of the ‘shock jocks’ – anything for ratings.

  14. Jim Reiher

    When naturally conservative people are called on to rally and protest, the result will be minimal. They dont usually do that sort of “lefty progressive” thing. And to actually do so, indirectly gives traction to others who protest for their left or progressive causes. How can you ridicule others in future, who protest in the streets, if you yourself have done so for your own cause?

    But maybe Abbott will inspire a new attitude amongst right wingers and climate denialists… maybe – and maybe lots will turn out and be street protesting! Personally, I suspect this will be quite a flop. But maybe that is just my wishful thinking!

  15. drmick

    I believe the practice of giving the outline and not giving details is called kite flying.
    The Labor machine has added a new dimension to this by kite flying in a minefield. They need a communicator, preferably one with a soul.

  16. freecountry

    None of which means a thing, by the way, about whether the carbon tax as envisaged is a useful way of reducing pollution. Just as the snake-oil-marketing credentials of NSW Greens candidate for Balmain Jamie Parker (( smh.com.au/nsw/state-election-2011/snake-oil-and-the-battle-for-balmain-20110305-1bipr.html )) proves nothing one way or the other about the Greens’ policies for NSW.

  17. WTF

    Have to agree with a previous post, what the hell is happening to Crikey? This is shiet!

  18. Phil Kyson

    Still looking for the brains? I wish the rightards of this planet would get some. Maybe their god can help them out, Opps that’s right there isn’t one!
    Yeah, what is happening to Crikey? Now is it your journo’s looking for spots with NewsCorp or the owners looking for a buyer?

  19. Mick S

    This form of protest is commonly referred to as an “Astroturf” protest.

    It pretends to be grassroots, but closer inspection reveals it to be totally fake.

  20. freecountry

    SusieQ – I think the poor marketing of the carbon tax was caused by the shock resignation of Chief Scientist Penny Sackett, announced on 18 Feb. The Climate Change Committee probably needed a few more months to mull over the policy and the marketing, but the embarrassment of losing a Chief Scientist whom Julia Gillard had never met, and who hadn’t even been invited to contribute to the Copenhagen Summit, caused Gillard to make a panicked early announcement.

  21. Astro

    @ Free Country

    I think also, Gillard made a commitment to Bob Brown to secure government, that she would announce a Carbon Tax by the end of February (6 months after election).

  22. bluepoppy

    Let me get this straight. These galahs were willing to cash in on the Green Loans Scheme and the insulation stimulus but have now suddenly become climate change sceptics because they were out of pocket. A shaky foundation to build your values on what…

  23. Tom Hawkins

    [Ely would seem to be an expert in the field, having previously run a home garden maintenance business. According to his website. “If you want your lawn mowed or your garden looked after”, Colin is the man to call.]

    I recognise that bloke. He mows my lawns. I’ve just sacked him.

  24. Lorry

    I thought all you crikey lefties were into free speech, obviously when it suits you. I hope this group of people get lots of community support, j-U-LIAR needs to understand that not everyone subscribes to her religion and she is a minority that holds no mandate for anything.

  25. Cuppa

    POLLUTION NOT TAXATION!

  26. Cuppa

    Informative article. Thanks Crikey.

  27. Jim Reiher

    Lorry: Julia and Tony both – neither got a mandate to rule by themselves with just their party (or in Tony’s case: his coalition).

    Neither. Last time we had a real vote neither could run the country by themselves. And poll after poll will come and go… but we wont see anything other than the current minority govt till the next general election.

    by the way: of course we lefties believe in free speech. People can rally and march and all that. We lefties are just a bit nervous when the emotive speech of the would be PM seems to be drawing out the very worst in some nutters…. death threats, violent language… that sort of thing. But hey… keep voting for him if you want: its a free country. And go march as well. Show your colours and bravely declare what you believe in.

  28. tentomushi1

    I cannot encourage people enough to download the “information” booklets from the No Carbon Tax site. They are a scream, it is like watching a paper version of ACA.
    The very informative “What is a scientist, what is a non-scientist” on page 13 was just gold.
    Gee I wish I could write fiction like that.

  29. LizzieA01

    I like the fact that the No Carbon Tax website was last updated on Sunday 12th March at 4pm… I wish I could teleport into the future like that! Perhaps they could let us know how the rally goes in the week before the event.

  30. Cuppa

    LizzieA01 wrote:

    [I like the fact that the No Carbon Tax website was last updated on Sunday 12th March at 4pm]

    Gee, if they’re loose with that bit of information …

  31. freecountry

    Apathy – The Coalition’s “Direct Action” plan leaves much to be desired, but so does the carbon tax idea if it’s based on production rather than consumption. The cost of a production-based carbon tax will be far greater than the revenue, so there won’t be enough money to “compensate” low income households unless they dip into other revenue. The compensation would be effective if the tax was consumption-based and if the revenue were recycled into company tax cuts, but all indications are that they’re not going to do that.

    The cost to consumers of the compensation shortfall, and the downgrades in revenues from other taxes, could well cost a lot more than funding the Coalition’s “Direct Action” plan which is based on tendering out emission reductions.

  32. William Logan

    The problem with the Coalitions direct action plan is that it is staggeringly unlikely that it will be directed to anything which ordinary people might consider “direct action”.

    Direct action would be subsidizing solar thermal power stations, wind farms and electricity grid upgrades to support distributed production. Maybe standardizing an electric vehicle charging station design for Australia so car manufacturers can target them in the near future and they can be rolled out in CBDs, or actually committing to electrically powered long-haul freight rail in Australia.

    The reality, has been and is likely to be, investment in “clean coal” technology and hand outs to steel producers for emissions reductions, which are unlikely to be held to be binding or dependent on results, and are likely to turn into government subsidy for efficiency upgrades – which is something we can expect those industry’s to do anyway.

    That Tony Abbott doesn’t believe in climate change is also fundamental problem as well – if you don’t think there’s a problem, then there is absolutely no reason to try and achieve anything in the first place – and we’ve had no inkling that he particularly cares about Australia’s oil dependence (which is a serious issue – at the civil war in Libya shows – and would address the very concerning issue of peak oil).

    Add to that the side problem: sans a market mechanism, direct action can end up costing *a lot* more then other types of emissions abatement scheme. Germany may be a success story in it’s solar industry, but they’re paying a hell of a lot more then they really need to be per tonne CO2 abated.

  33. freecountry

    That depends on whether money is committed based on promised emission reductions, or if an advance is paid up front and the rest is contingent on measured results. Don’t be too quick to dismiss “direct action” programs; every time we build a public railway or hospital, that’s “direct action”.

    An ideal carbon mitigation policy–both effective and affordable–would combine the best elements of the Greens carbon tax policy, the Coalition’s “direct action” policy, the GST, Penny Wong’s ETS, and Wayne Swan’s company-tax recycling from his original RSPT plan.

    1. We would start with a CO2-emission consumption tax, which would as much as possible simulate the GST consumption tax but be based on end-user emissions consumption rather than end-user price like the GST. Production of exports would be zero-rated.

    2. The revenue would be used to offset reductions in the company tax rate across the board. (Company tax, like carbon tax, costs consumers a lot more money in foregone price competition and wages than it raises in revenue, so you can swap one for the other without significantly changing the aggregate cost of living.)

    3. Parallel to this, a “direct action” scheme for tendering out emission reduction programs at taxpayer expense, as proposed by the Coalition, would operate as a prelude to the carbon-permit generating side of a future international ETS.

    4. When a significant number of our trading partners can be persuaded to join in an international ETS, we would have all the pieces in place. Emission reduction programs would now generate permits instead of being paid in cash, and the economic Law of Comparative Advantage would enable participating countries to get far more emission reductions for every dollar invested than they ever could each acting alone.

  34. Strife

    I suspected this all along. It would be interesting to find out how many of the people that ripped the home insulation scheme were Liberal voters. I remember during the election within minutes of Julia announcing “cash for clunkers” Tony Abbotts Facebook page had Liberals discussing how they could rip it off. It didn’t take them long to figure out the best way was to buy a $100 rust bucket out of the paper and trade it in for the $2000.

    This is why the good ideas dont work.

  35. JT

    I like it how in that e-mail, Ely describes the protests as “non-partisam (sic)”, but only two words later comes out with the “JooLIAR” epithet and then goes on to mention that the speakers are Des Moore, Alan Moran and Bernie Finn.

  36. Cuppa

    How Carbon Tax Works

    Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, Question Time, House of Representatives, 03 March 2011
    ________

    Ms GILLARD–”Let me explain in detail our mechanism for pricing carbon. The first proposition is an incredibly simple one. At the moment carbon pollution can be released into the atmosphere for free. There is no disincentive for doing that. We will put a price on carbon, a price on every unit of carbon pollution. It will be paid for by businesses and as a result, because our business community is smart and adaptable and innovative, they will work out ways of pursuing their business and generating less carbon pollution. They will work out ways of making sure they pay less of a price when carbon is priced.

    “Then they will enter into contracts, they will make investments on the basis of understanding the rules and understanding that carbon will be priced. And as they go about making those transitions, innovating, making the new investments of the future, we will work with those businesses in transition to a clean economy.

    “Having priced carbon and seen that innovation, yes, there will be pricing impacts; that is absolutely right. That is the whole point: to make goods that are generated with more carbon pollution relatively more expensive than goods that are generated with less carbon pollution. But because we are a Labor government this will be done in a fair way. We will assist households as we transition with this new carbon price.

    “What that means is that people will walk into a shop with money in their pocket, the government having provided them with assistance. They will see the price signals on the shelves in front of them—things with less pollution, less expensive; things with more pollution, more expensive—and they too will adapt and change. They will choose the lower pollution products, which is exactly what we want them to do. Between the business investment and innovation, between households who have been assisted in a fair way by a Labor government responding to price signals, we will see a transition to a cleaner economy, to a low-pollution economy.”

    ________

  37. freecountry

    Yeah, dumb, and full of mistruths (but I’m sure she believes they’re true) such as “it will be paid for by business” and “because we are a Labor government this will be done in a fair way.”

    How about, “because we are a Labor government this will be done in a DUMB way.” If they wanted to do it in a SMART way, they would follow at least some of the structure I wrote above, and Gillard would say something like this:

    [“We know some people have been impatient about reforms coming out of the Henry Tax Review. But these things can’t be rushed, and I always did say I we would be a government of evidence-based policy.

    “We are going to reduce the company tax rate, as promised last year, originally as part of the mining tax reform. But don’t start celebrating yet. We are going to offset the tax cut with a carbon tax.

    “As the Henry Review showed, the current rate of company tax causes some economic distortions, which end up costing consumers more than the revenue it gains. But also as the Henry Review showed, not all tax distortions are bad. Some, like cigarette tax, have net benefits for society by discouraging things that do harm. So if we’re going to have tax distortions as the cost of our revenue, we might as well have those distortions working for us to make the future cleaner.

    “Before the last election, I promised there would be no carbon tax in this term of government. Australian voters seem to have disapproved of this, and we lost many votes to the Greens party. As a result, although the opposition did not win any mandate for its policies, neither did we win a full mandate for ours. This government now consists of Labor, three Independents, and one Green. That meant a different mandate in some ways than the one we had sought at the election.”

    “We are still planning the details of the carbon tax, and we will be discussing these in parliament. The Coalition also has some good ideas for carbon mitigation and we will be open to incorporate their suggestions into the final plan. We will report to you the full plan on (DATE)”]

  38. Son of foro

    “I saw in the paper that 2GB rates amost double (in audience number) the nearest station from 6am – 3pm, so something is right and its networked along the eastern seaboard.”

    Well, sure, the squares look at their AM radio ratings and claim it as proof that they’re speaking for the people. And the longhairs take it to the streets in big numbers and claim it as proof that they’re speaking for the people. I guess that’s why we have elections.

  39. Astro

    @ Son of Foro

    Maybe you should setup your own radio station and see how many punter listen to you. Failing that get a gig at another and take your chance.

    Better still, take Marilyn out and visit more people outside the inner city areas

  40. MLF

    Intellect vs emotion – which one will win every time? Thats why 2gb and their I’ll are successful. Thats why Abbott is going to win this one too.

  41. Barry 09

    Don’t Feed the Troll.

  42. thermophysics

    Can one of you enlighten me as to when CO2 became a pollutant? It’s not damaging enough that the IPCC has all but destroyed the reputation and trust in science by posing a ‘theory’ as ‘fact’ regarding anthropogenic global warming. Now a tax is imminent based on that ‘theory’. I wonder if the IPCC can use their computer model to forecast the effects this tax will have on alleviating climate change.

  43. Fran Barlow

    [Can one of you enlighten me as to when CO2 became a pollutant?]

    Arguably about 1880 or possobly a little earlier. Hope that helps.

  44. CML

    A few years ago, hundreds of thousands of people (me included) hit the streets to campaign against our entry into the Iraq war. That worked well, didn’t it?!! If Howard could ignore the wishes of the majority of the people at that time, and get away with it, then PM Gillard should be able to do likewise. Except in this case, she is right, and I predict that the number of people marching against a price on carbon will be miniscule by comparison. Thanks Crikey for alerting us to the fact that this is nothing more than a “Liberal love-in”!!

  45. Johnfromplanetearth

    Juli-ar’s evil alliance with Bob Brown will see her out of a job the the end of the year!
    It’s a tax, it’s a Carbon dioxide tax, it is a tax that has no other purpose than to see the Government back in surplus, it has nothing to do with Climate Change, pollutants or anything similar, it is simply another money grab by an evil Government. While Jul-iar is over there kicking footballs around the oval office and trying to convince Obama how good vegemite really is, Australians have given Jul-iar the flick and her latest poll reveals she will be kicking footballs around an Altona paddock by herself by next season!
    As a former Labor voter for over 20 years i am ashamed i ever had any allegiance to these bastards at any time in my life. If you vote Green then you need to check yourself into the bin, because you’re nuts!

  46. Astro

    Interesting that PM Gillard’s polls nose dive and President Brown’s increasse. Well done President Brown, you have PM Gillard taking all the heat. That Sir, is a master at work. Well done

  47. Astro

    Interesting that PM Gillard’s polls nose dive and President Brown’s increasse. Well done President Brown, you have PM Gillard taking all the heat. That Sir, is a master at work. Well done

  48. Son of foro

    “see how many punter listen to you”

    Your pointless attempt to rile me from a neutral position is touching in its childishness, much like a chromer begging for money in a crowded shopping centre. Although congratulations: your inability to distinguish between singular and plural is inadvertently accurate, even if my mum wouldn’t tune in for all of the time I was on air.

    Now back to your Tang, I hear two out of three consumers prefer it over bile.

  49. Astro

    @ Johnfromplanetearth

    Correct. I think the penny is finally dropping. How long will the faceless men give Gillard? Thats the question. Will there be a Judas in the coalition, that will make a deal with Windsor and Oakeshott for them to be come Coalition leader and then PM. Interesting times

    But terrible for the Australian economy and our international competitiveness.

  50. drmick

    The mental health problem in this country is much worse than originally thought if anyone gives what Ely and his mates are given any credibility at all.

    Are these correspondents real or are they some of the few literate ratbag sycophants of throwback radio.

    Back to your circus clown, Chardonnay and Prozac and whatever planet you are from.

  51. freecountry

    You’ve all got this backwards. Coalition supporters should be giving Gillard enough rope to hang herself, because come the 2013 election, emissions will be still following the upward trend line, not down. Greens supporters should be up in arms about this, for the same reason. This is just CPRS with more populism thrown in. It’s a gimmick, a flux capacitor, a magic car fuel pill, it’s wealth redistribution disguised as a “market price signal,” and it will not work as advertised.

  52. John

    Gillard’s last pathetic effort to raise funds is to tax the air we breath. Unbelievable. Mark her government and Green controllers: GONE AT THE NEXT ELECTION

  53. Liamj

    It is nice to see the IPA and Libs supporting entrepreneurship, but i’m not sure the astroturf industry here will work as well as it has (for the Koch brothers) in the US. Business is business tho: while i’m not a fossilised old fool with too much time and festering grievances against women, children, pets, foriegners and Gallileo, i’m happy to bleat fear-mongering cliches up hill and down dale, i’m photogenic, i can fake a posh accent just like Plimer, and all at a very reasonable price.

  54. Fran Barlow

    The point of winning government is not to get a second or a third or a fourth term. That would be a textbook example of corrupt motive. The point is to get things done that:

    a) are worthwhile

    AND

    b) meet the expectations of the majority of people who voted for you or are sympathetic

    If in doing that, you get tossed at the next election, then that’s regrettable but in the end, your party retains its credibility with its support base, because you can claim to have been succesful. It stands for some set of ideas and it can come back.

    An ALP that stands for nothing not approved by the Murdochracy, the Liberals or the voters of Lindsay is simply not worth having.

    The need to achieve rational policy in GHG abatement is, when you get right down to it, a struggle to protect humanity’s interest in something to which every human now and forever has a claim — ecosystem services. This is not something those of us who stand with working humanity can address with equanimity. If we lose now, we must win next time. And if we lose then too we must win the time after that. And before we grow too old to raise our hands and voices in protest we must pass the baton to those fit to carry it forward. We can surrender only at the point when we can declare our own humanity to be worthless.

    At no point need we or can we concern ourselves with the vicissitudes and machinations of the right-wing parties — because that is potentially a lethal waste of time for working humanity.

  55. Apathy

    Freecountry – Yes both plans need a lot of work before they see the light of day. My point was about why the media doesn’t call Tony on the Great Big New Tax line. It’s funny how right wingers complain about the ABC, Crikey, etc giving the govt a free ride but I never hear them complain when it works the other way. I think they both get favourable treatment from certain sections of the media and that’s just life. I did a post last night giving a big spray to Shock Jocks but it got pulled. I am really annoyed with them at the moment and it might have been a bit harsh but then again Crikey might be human like everyone else and is scared of the Shock Jocks too. Anyhow, whatever.

    As I have said before, I think they have framed the debate wrong. Personally I think whether you believe in climate change or not is a bit of a mute point. At the end of the day I believe that there should be a price on pollution. Whether that be smog, waste or whatever, pollution costs the economy and people need to pay. Being a little L (a rare spicies these days), my preference is a market based consumption model. User pays and the price is based on market forces however that may work.

  56. freecountry

    Well it’s funny, when the carbon tax was first announced I was enthusiastic. I wrote that this was a good thing, and that Gillard could “outflank the Coalition” by just offsetting it with a company tax cut. The net effect on capital investment in Australia, and the net cost to most Australian consumers, would have been roughly zero.

    Since then she has announced it will be a Greens neo-bolshevik wealth redistribution claim, the Greens have been adamant they will insist on taxing coal exports, Labor has said absolutely nothing to indicate if they understand that’s the wrong way to tax emissions … They are giving reality to what started as an absurd whistle-call: against all my expectations and against all economic sense, they really are turning this into a great big new tax.

    Capital won’t avoid the cost of using coal by paying the cost of not using coal; it will simply avoid the problem altogether by going elsewhere. This could have been avoided if Gillard had resisted the temptation to make premature promises about “compensation” and simply waited the details had been nutted out with some input from real economists.

  57. Phil Kyson

    Thanks Fran, finally some brains and intelligence in this debate. I do not understand why the Government doesn’t put their case, there’s no hard sell needed, just common sense. Are the governing pollies in Canberra so sheltered they don’t know the wrong message and the lies of the rightards are what most Australians get shoved down their throats. It seems the only thing needed for the triumph of evil is News Ltd and a couple shock jocks and of course ignorance.

  58. thermophysics

    Arguably about 1880 or possobly a little earlier. Hope that helps.

    I cannot find any referrence to co2 being classified as a pollutant in 1880, do you have a link? Or anything that can substantiate this?

  59. Barry

    Thermophysics. I find it hard to believe you know any Physics. I did do a physics degree and CO2 is a well-known greenhouse gas in that it reflects low frequency infra-red, therefore keeping the planet warmer than it might be. This is widely documented and, yes, it was proven in the 19th century. As far as I am aware this fact is not in dispute but it’s hard to get it across to those who have hands over their ears. More CO2=hotter planet. We’re more than 50% higher now.
    I find it strange that climate sceptics cannot believe what the vast majority of climate scientists are saying and that they want it proved to them, presumably from physics first principles. Why do so many unqualified people with closed minds get equal time with scientists in this country?
    BTW, the point of a price is to stop people putting CO2 in the atmosphere. Carbon that had been taken out of the atmosphere and safely stored in the ground (giving us the conditions to develop what we have) until we dug it up and burned it! We need to stop burning coal but this does NOT mean that we live in caves. Australia has vast resrources of renewable energy and we have the technology to use it. We’re just being lazy and dumb.

  60. Lorraine

    I’ll bet he wears white loafers, looks like a wannabe porn star

  61. Limited News

    “Joo-LIAR”

    Is that a dog-whistle to anti-semites?!

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