The carbon tax bill:

Brett de Courcy Harris writes: Re. “Green day: the real architects behind the carbon tax bill” (yesterday, item 1). I have been involved in lobbying the government for a real change towards reducing carbon emissions for years. I have given up in the past couple of years because I am amazed at the stupidity of the government in trying to introduce such legislation without the right “talk” and the opposition right-wing backlash that is occurring through false claims of increase costs.

A simple idea to shut the opposition up and to make massive cuts easily, is to do a comparison carbon tax.

Easily put, an example is: coal mining companies are grouped together. They are taxed at, say $100 per tonne of CO2 emissions, they then get the tax back on how many tonnes of coal mined. So 100% money into the tax scheme, 100% back. The company that mines the most with the least emissions will profit the most. The company that uses the most emissions per tonne of coal mined will lose the most money. Heavy and mining industries make up half of our emissions.

That means the companies will turn on each other and not the government. Competition against the tax will be eliminated, and the Joe Bloggs of this world will not wonder if any tax will force them to pay through the nose.

It can work with any company type, even energy producers of a certain type, or even manufacturers.

Humphrey Hollins writes: Whether one believes in climate change or not, the effects of this seasons flooding in Cambodia and Thailand is traumatic for the locals.

So many people have drowned in Cambodia and Thailand but the worst is yet to come. I  live in the Mekong Delta, south of Phnom Penh, and so many people have lost their rice crops, the food that should have sustained them for the next year. Animals — chickens, pigs and even ducks — are dying are dying due to respiratory diseases. When it is wet and cold, animals catch cold just as we do.

The waters will recede over the next month but this means that the mosquitoes will breed and dengue fever will stalk the land.

The subsistence farmers will need to borrow money in order to plant a dry-season rice crop, money costs 12% a month from the money lenders and a land title must be tendered. The money lenders are always winners in these situations.

On the eve of the passing of carbon tax legislation I would urge Australians to think for just a minute about the possible victims of climate change like poor Thai and Cambodian subsistence farmers and their children.

Australian News Channel:

Mark Furness, Australian News Channel, writes: Re. “Media briefs: Linnell goes vertical … Gittens makes sense … Mia mum on News” (yMonday, item 18). Glenn Dyer in Crikey claimed:

“Of course, if Sky News, which is controlled by News Limited (which owns The Australian) wins the DFAT contract for The Australia Network….”

Sky News is not controlled by News Limited. For the record, Australian News Channel Pty Ltd (ANC) is a joint venture company owned and controlled equally by each of Seven West Media; Nine Digital, a division of Nine Entertainment Company; and British Sky Broadcasting.

ANC owns and operates the Sky News group of channels in Australia and NZ and produces the not-for-profit public affairs channel A-PAC.

Turnbull’s NBN twilight zone:

David Havyatt writes: Re. “Turnbull’s NBN twilight zone — give the man a cigar (Cuban of course)” (yesterday, item 10). Stilgherrian asserts that “Turnbull has perfectly good rational and easy-to-explain criticisms that Conroy can’t answer. Wouldn’t it be cheaper to build the NBN in two waves? Fibre to the node first, then fibre to the premises later as needed?”

Except that Conroy can easily answer the build FTTN first piece.  The excerpts released from the Expert Panel on the original NBN proposal reveal that the experts concluded that it isn’t actually cheaper to build it that way.

A lot of the investment in building the nodes themselves is a wasted investment when you do go fibre to the premises.

Peter Fray

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