Australia

Aug 11, 2014

Screw consultation, let’s just ban stuff: how to really fight climate change

We've tried giving business lobbyists and spinmeisters the chance to voice their concerns over environmental regulation. That didn't work. It's time to play hardball -- and businesses will gratefully fall in line.

Paddy Manning

Crikey business editor

Here’s an idea. If the business community and the conservative side of politics are never going to embrace market mechanisms to tackle climate change — what our PM has derisively termed a “so-called market in the non-delivery of an invisible substance to no one” — then let’s stop pandering to them and go back to banning stuff.

25 comments

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25 thoughts on “Screw consultation, let’s just ban stuff: how to really fight climate change

  1. Roger Clifton

    If we totally ban carbon, the next change of government will throw out the ban and we will be back to square one. The democratic solution is to tax it to billy-oh and reduce income tax in proportion. When the government changes, they can reduce carbon tax and increase income tax. Industry can then plan on a gradually increasing carbon tax.

    Levelling the playing field can be achieved if all carbon coming out of the ground is taxed at a low rate. Accountants hate the word “all”, because it leaves no loopholes to drive trucks through. However it does make it easier for them to claim a carbon rebate when their industry exports goods. Accountants can then look forward to sending goods overseas that have paid no income tax and no carbon tax. That should keep ’em happy.

  2. cartoonmick

    Yes Paddy, you’re so right in saying it’s capitalism Vs climate.
    It’s up to the politicians to ignore the Big Biz end of town and start listening to the Scientists.
    Where there’s a will there’s a way, as they say.
    It can be done with strong leadership in the right direction.

    Unfortunately, I feel that won’t ever happen until it’s too late in the day, when the rich end of town will be starving as much as the bottom feeders.

    Besides, when did Big Biz and the politicians know more about the climate than the scientists?

    Maybe this cartoon shows where we’re heading . . .

    http://cartoonmick.wordpress.com/editorial-political/#jp-carousel-775

    Cheers
    Mick

  3. Tamas Calderwood

    So in summary, Crikey business editor says to business: stuff ’em.

    This article reads like a green-left anti-capitalist rant.

    We aren’t facing a “climate emergency” Paddy. The world hasn’t warmed for at least 15 years. Nothing is going on with the climate. Take a chill-pill and relax, dude. Everything is going to be fine.

  4. Raaraa

    I might be going into tin foil hat territory here but, aside from the risks of death from dodgy pink batt installation, could some of the opposition to it come from people who actually want the consumers’ consumption of energy to remain high?

  5. Shaniq'ua Shardonn'ay

    @Tamas – tell that to the Insurance Industry. In fact Tamas how about you take your Home Insurer to court over increasing premiums due to them factoring in the risk of climate change. Get your skeptic friends together and do a class action. Put your time and money where your mouth is and get back to us when you’ve had your day in court.

  6. Bo Gainsbourg

    yep. Solar has more jobs than coal now anyway, and this would put that and new wind jobs on steroids. Gives business bucketloads of certainty. The public (remember them?) would understand it and support it. IPA would be happy as we’d be slashing subsidies to fossil fuel (surely!?) I like it.

  7. Mike R

    According to Tamas. Move on, nothing happening here.

    If you choose the conditions very carefully i.e .you choose dates to get the desired result over a relatively short term enough and only select the right dataset and also ignore ocean temperature increases you can indeed get Tamas’s answer.

    Even if you accept Tamas’s premise then , averages by nature ,conceal what is happening at local level such as in the Arctic (http://berkeleyearth.lbl.gov/regions/greenland ) where the chickens are already coming home to roost. Let alone some time in the future, when the chickens succumb to heat stroke and fall off their perches.

  8. Liamj

    If we’re going to go crazy and start making public policy in the public interest instead for the profits of predatory multinationals that happen to fund the IPA & employ old politicians, then how about government legislates to excuse itself from compensating farmers or other landholders from any climate extreme beyond the 150 record. Then we’d quickly see the real welfare bludgers come squealing to the negotiating table.

  9. David Hand

    These ideas look good but there are problems.

    1. Banning thermal coal is the best of the 4 ideas. Coal as a source of energy is declining and likely to continue so.

    2. We can only follow the USA from coal to gas with fracking. As every year 12 student in 2014 has become an instant expert about how bad fracking is, the lights of Melbourne will go out when the Latrobe Valley brown coal stops.

    3. It’s not climate sceptics that stop wind farms FFS. It’s nimbys concerned about falling property values if the turbines can be seen from their front door. Oh, and deep concern for the orange bellied parrot of course.

    4. The RET is a gift to corporate rent seekers like no other. If 40% of all power must be purchased from renewables, the high price is locked in by legislation and the corporate investors are laughing all the way to the bank while we all pay too much for electricity. Nuclear and Gas are untapped energy opportunities that are penalised through regulation.

  10. David Hand

    I don’t think so Raaraa.

    The pink batts fiasco was a complete stuff up in the way it was executed by the Rudd government, not a conspiracy to consume energy. It was a gift presented to Tony Abbott on a plate and he exploited it ruthlessly.

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