Is Our Perspective On Carbon Tax Increases Sometimes Warped?

One of the main points of contention about the proposed carbon tax is the amount of money it will cost individuals once those big-business expenses are passed on to consumers. Few people are enthusiastic about paying even a cent more in tax, but the reactions to this week's announcement do sometimes seem out of proportion to the amounts involved.

Picture by Leo Newball

Blogger Heathen Scripture makes that point with respect to a potential rise in the cost of airfares:

Qantas “said it would need to fully pass on the carbon price to customers, with the price of a single domestic flight ticket to increase on average by about $3.50.” Three dollars. Fifty cents. They currently charge you more than that for a bottle of water. They charge $7.50 to buy a ticket online, $8 for a cup of noodles, $25 to use their check-in counter, and $6 to board the plane first.

In the general context of rising airline charges, $3.50 is indeed pretty much small change, and I honestly can't imagine anyone rejecting a flight because the price went up by that amount. What extra amount of additional tax would actually prove detrimental to you, as distinct from being an unwelcome inconvenience? Share your thoughts in the comments.

You shut your goddamn carbon-taxin’ mouth [Heathen Prophet]


Comments

    The amount Angus, is not the point.

    The point is that the government is taking this action with no mandate. That they are breaking a basic tenet of Westminster democracies in not tying the hands of subsequent governments. That they are doing it alone, with no other nation having anywhere near such a system. That it will cost jobs, industries and communities (e.g Whyalla) for no measurable environmental benefit whatso ever. And worst still, it's been done by a government that couldn't organise a pissup at a pub with a fistful of fifties.

      According to the government there are plenty of countries Internationally with comparable systems...
      I have nothing to back up their claims, but I don't particularly care.. I'm a supporter and a believer and I generally think even for people who don't believe in Anthropogenic Climate Change that reducing the amount of Coal we burn is going to be an awesomely good thing for public health!

      And frankly, given the alternative, Tony Abbott and his "let the taxpayer pay for improvements to Industry's bottom line" Carbon solution, I think this is a MUCH better solution that rewards companies who have already started down the road of reducing their Environmental impact.

        The government had a mandate previously with an emission trading scheme but Tony Abbot did not honour that. You cannot really blame them to go for it now.

        All these things about prices will go really high is, IMO, just self-fulfilling prophecy. Price may be a little bit higher but if the media and one side of politics keep saying that it will be really high, business will just jack the prices up more than necessary to meet people's expectation and make a few dollars along the way.

      Other nations do have similar systems in place including India and China.

      It doesn't take much research to notice that there are other countries who have adopted or will soon adopt similar systems.

      Mandate . . . Schmandate! You must have missed the mandate for climate change action the government got from the 2007 election. I don't recall anyone saying that they had abandoned action on climate change at the 2010 election. I cannot believe the people can get so fixated on the fax the PM said there would be no carbon tax and now there is to be a transitionary one. The real question is whether the government's strategy is a good thing for the future of the country.

      The majority of people in the US didn't want slavery to stop but the government made the decision as it was morally the right thing to do!

        But think about the slave industry! All those slave traders are going to be out of work! The economy will COLLAPSE!! People will go to China to get their slaves!

      carbon dioxide is NOT a pollutant... it is the life force of the planet.... we are carbon based life forms that exhale carbon dioxide which the plants then feed off, and in return they give us oxygen. has the whole country gone insane!?!... we learned this in primary school people!!... have we become that ignorant as a nation??

      get it through your heads people!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    this touches another big question with the carbon tax - will it make any difference environmentally, or will big companies keep the same level of pollution output and just pass the charge on, when the extra charge is a pultry $3.50 per airline ticket that consumers won't bat an eyelid at paying?

      Isn't there that story about how the airline removed one olive from each salad and saved billions?

    Its not so much the increase, its just the fact this isn't going to help.... its just extra money for the gov to spend badly....

    All its going to do is put more pressure on the larger polluting business to move oversea's to stay competitive on a global scale.

      I'd like to see how they generate our electricity or mine our coal from overseas...

        Not so bad down here in Tassie, we have these great big bloody dams called Hydro-electric systems... works wonders for generating electricity with much pollution.

    I welcome a carbon tax even though I bring home $575 a week after tax and have a dependent who really only funds their car; all else (food, rent, bills, etc) is my responsibility.
    It's not easy, but I would even happily give back all low-income compensation if I knew it would be directly invested in clean alternative fuels.

    The ones we use now are not sustainable, so burning through our resources, and then waiting until they're gone before changing anything... It waill already be too late - we'll be back to horse and cart, Candles, campfire cooking.

    The people complaining now that they can't afford to put petrol in their car now will be the same ones complaining when there's a food crisis. One that could be prevented if we invest in sustainable energy NOW.

      The hypocrisy is that the government is allowing corporations to rip apart fertile farm land in this country in the search for gas and huge profits - so they can get out of debt, partially due to the idiocy of this carbon tax that is not affordable.

      This in itself will cause the food crisis you feel renewable energy source will prevent, because the land will be destroyed and the water will be polluted with mining waste.

        Do you have any facts to back this up or is this like asking someone why they wear a hat made out of tin foil?

          I'd say he is referring to the coal-seam gas companies, and how some irreputable ones are essentially ravaging farmlands by polluting the artesian basin with 'dirty water' used in the exploration process.

            Jack is correct. Energy companies (some of them totally foreign owned too) are buying up our prime agricultural land without question.

    The problem is not with the amount. It's the fact that it's a tax that will never go away based on an unproven theory.

      Actually it will go away... All you have to do is stop producing carbon and it's gone! That's the point!

    It's not the amount, but the objective. The purpose is to reduce global warming and climate change, and this tax will not produce any scientifically meaningful or significant result. And thus, why wield a big stick when it will achieve nothing? Push the polluters offshore where their emissions will be the same or worse, loose a heap of jobs with it, and increase prices. For what tangible benefit?

    China and India will very shortly surpass AUS in emissions per head, and continue to grow exponentially very quickly! It is these emerging industrial nations that the UN and the world is concerned about.

    A far better way to impact our climate and reduce emissions would be to pass a law requiring minimum social and economic requirements on imported parts, goods, and services. Ensure the factories producing and supplying these products meet a minimum environmental scoring (low emissions, etc.) and a minimum social scoring (appropriate minimum wage for their country, sick benefits, etc.). Sure, this will drive up the prices of our goods, but slowing the rampant consumerism that we are currently experiencing will be a good thing, as well as the very measurable and significant impact of curbing emissions and global warming. Not to mention an added benefit of creating a level playing field where locally produced parts, goods, and services are not competing against much imported competition with much less requirements.

    Voila! A real commitment and impact on climate change with a global vision.

      I think sending people to inspect and grade every factory in the world might increase the cost of living here a tad more than the carbon tax will adn significantly reduce choice - After all, we can't trust them to rate themselves, and most factories simply wouldn't bother for a market our size.

      I personally have no problem with the carbon tax in theory. It essentially makes greener techniques more financially viable than they are now, and gives larger companies a new point to cut costs where they previously wouldn't. I do have a slight issue with the new tax being applied to 'only the 500 worst companies', since it seems a bit arbitrary.

      Agreed...
      Imports need to be included in Carbon Pricing, unless they came from a nation with an equivalent system..

    I think the big thing is that people don't seem to realise that the intent of the tax is to make companies and individuals change their behaviour. You know, do things to avoid those added costs, like not taking unnecessary flights, or purchasing local produce. Reduce the demand for high-imprint products so that companies are encouraged to focus on greener options.

    I could see that $3.50 being painful for lower-income families, when it starts adding up... but a) they aren't likely to be taking a bunch of flights and b) that's what the tax cuts, etc. are for.

    I don't have much luck getting comments published on lifehacker (they're not as verbose as below) ... but here's my 2 cents worth ...

    The problem for me is the setting of the entire tax as the latest in a long line of "family friendly" or "family orientated" tax and other policy legislative decisions by the ALP.

    I appreciate that the cost of the carbon tax per se is relatively minimal. But as a single Australian gay man I have had to bear quite a substantial amount of mounting minimal costs.

    As a single gay man I have been frequently asked to pay more tax, give up access to adult entertainment, restrict any smoking/drug taking/alcohol use I may otherwise choose, give up hopes of affordable housing, sacrifice marriage equality and a whole range of other things all for the sake of an ALP concept of "family" (not the "environment" I might add - the closest we get is for "our" "children's children").

    So for me - it's not the minor inconvenience of $3.50 for an airline flight; it's the values behind the policy. It's logic sits within the idea that it is acceptable to ask me to sacrifice all these things (my labour, freedom of choice, hopes for basic shelter, simple human dignity) to preserve and protect "families" and so that they might be spared from making the same or shared sacrifices.

      I gotta say I feel your pain too. As a DINK couple me and my wife pay through the nose and its starting to really annoy me. Especially as it looks like I'll be carrying a Boomer generation that didn't plan well for retirement or care about any generation past theirs. For 'flower children' they certainly grew up to be selfish.

      I'm just wondering how this tax effects a single gay man differently to a single straight man.

        It's relevant to his other points.

    i read an article last week which had 3 of australia's cities in the 'most expensive cities in the world' list... (#6 - sydney, #8 - melbourne, #14 - Brisbane)
    http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/brisbane-rated-14th-most-expensive-city-in-global-cost-of-living-survey/story-e6freoof-1226090215998

    now add the cumulative costs of effected industries to your weekly budget!

    fair-go?

      Did you even read Angus's link? It's $10 a week for people earning over $100k.

      According to readers of the Herald Sun, this is pretty much our new poverty line. What a flapping joke, you guys don't understand government policy, but happily just echo the contrary because it's what your mates are doing.

      We've not only become a society ignorant of its effect on the natural world, we're selfish as hell too.

    The only people that will be paying more money are people who make over ~$50,000 pa and hence can afford it.

    The carbon tax influence on the money in your pocket will be either insignificant or a positive one.

    The carbon tax will produce jobs in green industries and reduce the demand behind products and activities that pollute. Practices which in-turn contributing to cancer from polluted water and air. Furthermore these practices produce global warming which will destroy our only home in a several decades.

    Anyone trying to spout lies about global warming not being true are quite simply idiots. Walking into a university and say that to anyone, they will laugh in your uneducated face. Try telling people who live on the Tuvalu Islands that global warming is fake and that their homes must be flooding because the island is sinking because the sea levels can't be rising because global warming is bullshit.

      Your last lines made me laugh. And then I got sad. :(

    the fact that people are talking about it means its working. its increasing awareness and generating discussion. no tax will ever fix the worlds problems directly just like that, but sometimes its just one step in the right direction. im sick of people in australia complaining about stuff like this all the time. we live in the best place in the universe, get used to it or go to america where you can consume to your hearts desire.

    It's not so much about trying to get individual consumers to stop taking so many flights, it's about the top 500 emitters finding ways to reduce their emissions - for example, a competitor to qantas might invest in more efficient engines or plane designs knowing they won't have to buy as many permits for their emissions, and then they can sell their ticket at a lower price.

    The thing everyone needs to remember is that Tony Abbot has the SAME 2020 emissions reduction target as the Government! The only choice Australia has is between a high or low cost way of achieving the 2020 target.

    Productivity Commission (Carbon Emission Policies
    in Key Economies) - "Emissions trading schemes were found to be relatively cost effective, while policies encouraging small-scale renewable generation and biofuels have generated little abatement for substantially higher cost."

    Answer - ETS.

      +1 for the first use of an actual source in this discussion ;)

      Another person who struggles with reading news from the other side of politics?

      Gillard wanted an ETS but her only chance of getting one hinged on a minor party who didn't want it...

      This carbon tax is a temporary measure on the road to an ETS anyway. Since you're an economist, you might want to get together with 85% of your kind and agree that Abbott's plan is bad economic policy!

      http://www.theage.com.au/business/economists-slam-abbotts-carbon-plans-20110713-1hd3d.html

        Sorry bugwan, I must not have been as clear as I should have, I agree with you and the surveyed economists on this one. An ETS should be the final goal, but it is smart to have a fixed price period at the start of the scheme for two reasons.

        One, prices in a new market may be volatile which may discourage investment because it would be impossible for businesses to plan effectively.

        Two, achieving our 2020 targets will be heavily reliant on the import of carbon reductions as part of an international ETS, a complex mechanism that will take a few years to develop.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunning%E2%80%93Kruger_effect

      To which you could add the tragedy of the commons.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tragedy_of_the_commons#Modern_commons

    I cant believe the amount of people who are acting like "Oh, we are not paying that much more really. I guess it will be ok."
    A few cents here, a couple of dollars there. . . no problem.

    You do realise that these announced increases and compensations are just to sucker in the general public?
    The compensations will cease in a couple of years.
    The price per tonne will increase a couple of dollars each year.
    The price per tonne will also increase further in line with inflation.
    Lets not forget the system rorting and public gouging that will go on too.

    I think a lot of people need to do some research on the true economical impact of the carbon tax and the banks and corporations who are in control of it.

    Educate yourselves people! It has nothing to do with the environment and global warming.

      We should all want to be wise and careful stewards of the beautiful planet we call home. But most of us realise that humans in general are not being good stewards. We are wasteful with our natural resources and have reduced biodiversity. Therefore, when we read about groups and organisations calling for a ‘green revolution’ and a new relationship between humanity and nature it is easy to agree with their ideas.

      However, certain aspects of the modern green movement that is permeating every segment of our society are not about protecting the environment. You don’t have to dig very deep to discover the true beliefs of the influential leaders who are using genuine concerns about the environment to promote an agenda of fear and control. Please carefully consider the implications of the opinions that they so openly and freely express:

      “We need to get some broad based support, to capture the public’s imagination…
      So we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements and make little mention of any doubts…
      Each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest.”
      - Prof. Stephen Schneider,
      Stanford Professor of Climatology,
      lead author of many IPCC reports

      “I believe it is appropriate to have an ‘over-representation’ of the facts on how dangerous it is, as a predicate for opening up the audience.”
      - Al Gore,
      Climate Change activist

      “The [climate] models are convenient fictions that provide something very useful.”
      - Dr David Frame,
      climate modeller, Oxford University

      “It doesn’t matter what is true, it only matters what people believe is true.”
      - Paul Watson,
      co-founder of Greenpeace

      “We are on the verge of a global transformation.
      All we need is the right major crisis…”
      - David Rockefeller,
      Club of Rome executive member

        I'm generally staying out of this, but I will point out that I could easily dig up similar material from the anti-green lobby. Selective quotes from individuals don't represent the scientific approach as a whole. (The dispute is over the best means to deal with rising temperatures and reliance on non-renewable resources, not really whether doing nothing is a wise idea.)

    The way i see it, no one likes it because its a tax, no one likes taxes But what about if it was called something like "Carbon funding readjustment scheme"? just ditch the tax name and most people wouldnt even see it as a tax.

      Damn right. I watched Senate Question Time the other day and all the Coalition howled 'Tax tax tax' whenever it was discussed. This is why Labor describes it more as a price on carbon pollution - because 'tax' suggests it is comparable to income tax, while it isn't, being only an impost directly placed on the top 500 polluters.

    Read this:
    http://hotair.com/archives/2011/05/15/former-alarmist-scientist-says-anthropogenic-global-warming-agw-based-on-false-science/

    Its not very long, but may help to change your minds.

      Had a read, not particularly convincing, going after one facet of models and using that as a reason to ignore other evidence...

      Sceptical science rebuts most denialist arguments well:

      http://www.skepticalscience.com/argument.php

      Yet another random nobody claiming to have skills they don't have:

      "According to his own resume, Evans has not published a single peer-reviewed research paper on the subject of climate change. Evans published only a single paper in 1987 in his career and it is unrelated to climate change."

      "From 1999 to 2006 Evans worked for the Australian Greenhouse Office designing a carbon accounting system that is used by the Australian Government to calculate its land-use carbon accounts for the Kyoto Protocol. While Evans says (pdf) that "[he] know[s] a heck of a lot about modeling and computers," he states clearly that he is "not a climate modeler.""

      http://www.desmogblog.com/who-is-rocket-scientist-david-evans

        But you believe Al Gore who has zero credentials?

      As I see it warcroft, you have one scientist, Andrew Bolt and the mining industry on your side.

      I have every respected scientific organisation and every government on mine... No changing of minds here I'm afraid.

        As I see it you have one non qualified speaker, Al Gore, and a bunch of climate scientists whos only funding comes from the government.
        A government that is paying them to find a link between CO2 and global warming.
        If the climate scientists came out and said "Hey, its ok, there is no link, all is fine" then the government would cut their funding because the research would be no longer needed.

        Find me a climate scientist who believes in AGW and is not funded by the government.

          That's a ludicrous argument. In the modern world (and certainly in Australia), the majority funding for scientific research of all kinds comes from government. And what evidence do you have that any government is funding research with that specific goal in mind? Are you seriously suggesting (for example) that temperature records have been kept over long periods of time purely so today's government could introduce a carbon tax?

          I could equally ask you to find me a climate scientist (who has published actual research) who doesn't accept the premise of global warming and who isn't funded by industry. But I don't think even the first stage is likely.

          And that's not even covering your wild all-encompassing presumption that the aim of science is to emerge with a specific premise, rather than examining available evidence and seeing theories change or get discarded according to the evidence.

            Arstechnica have a good article debunking the conspiracy theory that climate scientists are doing their research to get rich:

            "If climate scientists are in it for the money, they're doing it wrong":
            http://arstechnica.com/science/news/2011/02/if-climate-scientists-push-the-consensus-its-not-for-the-money.ars

            http://blog.heartland.org/2011/07/you-call-this-consensus-on-climate-change/

              Ok, you've won me over now.... with a blogger. From 'The Heartland Institute'. Who believe the free market can solve all social problems. Who think economics alone has the answer to our problems.

              The author also thinks that the US government spends too much on healthcare.

              Excuse me while I swallow the little bit of vomit in my mouth...

                I like the way you bring up irrelevant issues to discredit the topic.

                  You say Al Gore has no credentials, your source has even less credibility than that. I'd say that is quite relevant.

    This really just steps up your assessmentof the big plasma, the fuel burner in the drive, the light you left on in your parent's home and the spade in the garden that you don't know the sharp end of.

    C'mon - it's not about the tax , it's about readjustment. What did you buy today that you could have tried harder to bo better? The Climate sceptics are a thin veneer for other interest$

    I get absolutely furious at all the BS that is spouted around this carbon tax when people seem to pull these arguments from no where and won’t research the detail or counter arguments. So I’m going to try to quell some of the RUBBISH STATEMENTS that have been posted above.

    1) No other nation has such a system
    This is absolute utter rubbish. Europe has had their emission trading scheme (ETS) in place since 2005. New Zealand has had its ETS since 2008-9. Japan has their own emissions trading scheme. The US is also looking into in its 2010 US federal budget to introduce a cap and trade scheme similar to the one we have proposed.
    The point is to reduce emissions on a global basis. Having this system in place will mean that businesses in Australia will be able to offset their emissions overseas and purchase eligible credits from sustainable projects in other developing countries. If they want to reduce these costs and remain competitive, they will have to become more environmentally friendly! Which is the whole idea! There will be a global carbon market eventually and it is setting us up for the future to be able to compete on an international basis. Imagine if we waited and there wasn’t a transition period for businesses to adjust to the price.

    2) Prices will rise as a result of the carbon tax
    The point raised in the article above nearly disproves this point. Yes, SOME prices may rise but the difference will be marginal and this is the cost you must pay for an environmentally UNfriendly action. But lets put the rises in costs in perspective.
    Take a cement producer who has been classified as one of Australia’s highest emitting industries. They will be receiving 94.5% of their carbon credits for the first five years. That means they will have to pay $3-4million a year for their emissions. Not only is this only about 3% of their earnings, to cover this cost, they only have to rise prices by about 0.5% which is a lot less than some of the more recent price rises due to other circumstances. So it is likely to be easily achievable.
    The 5 year period will give the companies time to adjust their processes to become more environmentally friendly and reduce this cost in other ways.

    3) It is not pushing companies to move overseas.
    As stated above the government remains very supportive of jobs and helping these companies transition to more efficient and cleaner processes. They are providing up to 94.5% of credit free to the highest emitters for a five year period. They must give these companies 3 years notice before they change this level. It is a great opportunity for these companies to improve themselves and do something right by the community. The new investment in these processes will also have a positive effect on the economy and create even more jobs.
    Frankly, I think the companies have gotten off fairly easily! People might just have to realise that goods which remain extremely detrimental to the environment will just cost more! But in the meantime, the government is helping these companies transition over time and it will force companies to reduce emissions to survive.

    4) The land will be destroyed (Graham brought this up)
    None of what you said makes any sense Graham. Go read it again mate. When a company puts in wind turbines or any sort of renewable energy facility, they must complete an environmental impact statement to say that these facilities will not be detrimental to the environment. This includes plans for how it will be dismantled or closed and plans for bush or land regeneration and the proper disposal of waste. Not only are these facilities a lot greener than coal. They don’t require nearly as much “ripping” up of the ground as you refer to mate to mine out all of this coal.
    Secondly, taking wind farms as an example, many farmers are actually making a bunch of cash by allowing energy companies to install these turbines on their land. It is not affecting their farming processes or productivity and they are making a nice little piece of profit by leasing out a small plot of land.

    5) Unproven theory??
    You are seriously saying climate change is unproven? Besides their successful predictions, climate scientists have been assembling a “body of evidence that has been growing significantly with each year. Data from tree rings, ice cores and coral reefs taken with instrumental observations of air and ocean temperatures, sea ice melt and greenhouse gas concentrations have all emerged in support of climate change theory. And better still, they’ve PROVEN that humans are having a significant impact on the climate. It’s not just following a general trend but we are actually having a detrimental effect on the climate.

    6) Tarriff on imported good and services will push up prices.
    The costs of assessing the “green” nature of imported goods would be absolutely ridiculous. The ETS will allow carbon credits to be traded on a global scale and promote infrastructure and green projects which are able to sell these credits for a profit. The ETS has been proven to be the most effective way of reducing emissions on a global basis.
    Chucking a tariff on goods imported into Australia? Want to know what that will do? Stop goods coming into Australia because exporters from overseas won’t want to pay the tariff. It will limit the supply of goods and if you’ve (hopefully) done any sort of economics you will realise that when supply is limited prices will rise.

    7) Only applying the tax to 500 companies.

    The reason it is applied to only the top 500 emitters is simple, they make up the majority of Australia’s emissions. These is where the biggest reductions need to be achieved. It is not hurting small business who do not emit large amounts and is intended to also minimise the effects on house holds. Households emissions as a percentage of Australia’s total emissions is actually very small. The majority comes from energy generators, large industrial and infrastructure companies and transport.

    8) Families are worse off
    A third of families are actually better off under the carbon tax. They are also the poorest and most worse off third in this nation. I thought Australia was about giving these battlers a fair go.

    9) Values behind the policy
    The values behind the policy are about doing what is right for the world and the environment to survive. Fundamentally surely you would understand this?
    In the same way that the price of cigarettes is going up which I think someone mentioned above. Cigarettes are actually a HUGE cost to the government. The amount they have to spend on public health on lung cancer and smoking related illnesses is astronomical. And guess where that money comes from? The taxpayer! Correct. So in putting up the price of cigarettes up as a disincentive for people to buy them and to smoke and to end up in hospital. It is actually doing the taxpayer a favour.

    10) The carbon tax will destroy jobs
    The government continues to support jobs with free permits, helping companies to transition and providing monetary assistance. New jobs will also be created with green industries as Anon covered below.

    11) Its not the most cost effective way.
    Tony Abbott wants to implement small scale renewable generation schemes to combat climate change. First off, he doesn’t even believe in climate change, but that is besides the point. As stated earlier, small scale projects will have little impact on the overall emissions if they are implemented by households and only end up costing families more. The scheme forces companies to change their processes and these are the ones who are having the biggest impact on our environment. I am no expect but clearly, as stated above, the independent productivity commission put it best.
    “Emissions trading schemes were found to be relatively cost effective, while policies encouraging small-scale renewable generation and biofuels have generated little abatement for substantially higher cost.”

      Scott, I was referring to any renewable energy projects, as they are not profitable (yet) and do not as we so far know, destroy the land or water. What I was referring to the gas exploration projects and how it will impact our farming and food production land. Queensland Farmers are fighting to stop this.

        Sorry - late night response. I was NOT referring to renewable energy projects, was what I meant to say.

          Hi Graham, I am unaware of the full impacts of searching for Gas on farmers land. However, in my understanding, some of these projects have been extremely profitable for the likes of Origin Energy. The emissions they produce from such LNG generators are tiny compared with the likes of coal and at least it is a step in the right direction. That is in my honest opinion. Not saying that it is perfect but it is a better solution than say a dirty coal plant.

        THanks Scott, i was going to comment, but you saved me the trouble. +1

    The tax stems from the THEORY that an increase in carbon dioxide causes global warming.
    If people bother to do some research themselves they will find that the theory is flawed and the simulations/models are wrong, as admitted countless times by climate scientists.

    Somewhere along the line Carbon Dioxide became bad.
    The word 'Dioxide' was dropped and it became just 'Carbon'.
    Now, as Juliar likes to sprout, the tax is to stop 'Carbon Pollution'. Not once referring to it as Carbon Dioxide.
    People have been brainwashed into believing that Carbon Dioxide is a pollutant. Even worse is now people believe Carbon is a pollutant!

    And get this. . .
    Now Bob Brown is pushing for further developments into new Carbon Capture Storage methods.
    It involves separating Carbon Dioxide from other gasses as they leave the coal plant chimneys (those 'other gasses' being water vapour). The CO2 is then sealed in large containers and stored at some isolated remote location.
    Its being treated like nuclear waste! Its crazy!

    The whole thing is a farce! And it makes me furious that people are buying into it.

      Dont get me wrong. . . Im 100% for reducing polution, as Im sure 99% of the worlds population is. But Carbon Dioxide is not a pollutant.

      How many times over the years have people said "Gee, next the government will tax the air we breath."
      Well, guess what?
      What we use to say as a sarcastic comment about the governments endless taxing has actually come true.

        Depends on your definition of pollutant. Does it make things worse when there is more of it. Yes.

        Also I am incredibly sick of people taking the fact science admits it hasn't learnt everything yet and twisting that to read 'all science is wrong and doesn't know what its talking about".

        Most climate skeptics I've heard talk tend to fall into the same category I place psychics and homeopaths into. They understand a miniscule amount of scientific information and terms then cherry pick the bits they think back them up even when the evidence they present only proves them even more wrong and uneducated.

        More frustration than the invisible ghost of a teenage boy the girls changeroom.

          I could say the exact same thing about warmists.

      You do realise that when a scientist calls something a theory, it isn't just a reasoned guess. A scientific theory is something that has been tested, that can be used to make predictions, provides models for the things that we've observed. Gravity is also a theory.

      Really, you lose any credibility whatsoever when trying to argue against something because it is "only a theory".

      And the "Juliar" jab is pretty juvenile too.

    I find it likely that if we continue to increase our CO2 output then the probability of serious consequences (such as rising sea levels and desertification) and the current system takes money away from polluters and aims to provide it back to those that will suffer from an increase in costs.

    The Register has a glowing review of Labor's new tax:
    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/07/11/carbon_tax_in_australia/

    You are right that carbon dioxide is a naturally occurring substance. And yes it is involved with the natural "carbon" cycle and absorbed by trees. The problem is that with the industrial revolution the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has increased and the natural sinks can not absorb all of this naturally occurring gas. It stays in the atmosphere to capture heat. This is what is contributing to the change in temperatures. Call it natural, call it a pollutant or whatever you want. But a small permanent change in the earths climate can have devastating effects with the likes of drought, floods, storms, hurricanes. The ETS is smart and sensible way of limiting the amount of CO2 that is emitted into the atmosphere by making the act of doing so expensive. Those activities which contribute to capturing or reducing this level, through planting trees or generating renewable energy will be rewarded for their efforts. The whole thing is quite simple. Why can't people understand?

      What you are saying is from the very basic beginnings of the climate change 'education'. The sort of stuff they tell you in high school.
      When you read into the facts you see its much more complicated than that. That premise just doesnt hold any substance now.

        I thought I would try to explain it in simple terms so that your simple mind could understand. How about you stop being so hypocritical of what you deem are "greedy" governments and corporations and not complain when the government tries to take some spare change from you for the greater good.

        You also complain that these companies make too much profits off processes that are harmful to the environment. Yes that is true perhaps. Well the carbon tax is looking to punish those that operate in this area. I thought you would be supportive of such a thing??

        Also you complain that the lower socio-economic people were to suffer during the GFC and while under this carbon tax, a third of Australia's population that are on the lowest income are actually better off. But you still complain! Think your arguments through mate and stop being so selfish.

        It's actually a good thing the government is trying to do in getting these businesses to change their processes and rewarding those that are good for the environment.

    Well atleast this will teach big company CEOs, CFOs and MOFOs to earn a little less per year !

    I think the Carbon Tax is the BEST thing ever !

      Corporations, like any business, is all about profits. Higher profits year after year.
      You seriously believe corporations are going to accept lower profits and lower pay checks so they can pay a carbon tax?
      Even during the global financial crisis they were still generating huge profits and record high pay checks. . . while the rest of us in the real world were made to suffer.

        Your comment makes it sound like you don't understand the carbon tax at all. The whole idea is to drive change by affecting corporations' decisions. It will work *because* they are all about profits.

    No government has ever had a mandate & no you can't argue 1998 was for the GST. 1998 was Labor wasn't up to it. It had nothing to do with the GST.
    Under a recent government, we had one side with all the power and they just rammed legislation through the parliament regardless of the consequences and that lead to high court challenges.
    This balance of power parliament has to negotiate every piece of legislation and represent nearly every constituency. Despite media reports it is doing well so far. If only every parliament had a balance of power.

    Now to the point of this article and QANTAS - flights are cheaper than they've ever been but they're still too expensive and only the business people and the young and naive about money take these flights.

    Overall the point of the Carbon Price that works effectively like a tax for three years to change behaviour. It will change behaviour.

    Ultimately. . . regardless what you Julia tax fans want and say the fact is you are in the tiny minority who want this tax and who believe it will benefit Australia.

    As for believing in AGW. . . you too are also now in the minority.
    Go read the results of the news poll which went live right after the carbon tax announcement.

      Amazing what an onslaught of misinformation can do.

        Or maybe people are starting to realise the truth.

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