Carbon Tax as a Failed European Policy

IF a new federal tax of $11.6 billion represents economic reform, then the Australian political culture has changed fundamentally, and economic reform means roughly the opposite of what it meant under Bob Hawke, Paul Keating and John Howard.

“First, rectify the names,” as Confucius said. The complete inversion of the language of economic reform under the Gillard government, especially in relation to the proposed carbon tax, is a clue to the much more fundamental question at hand.

Australia faces a profound and defining strategic choice. The carbon tax is part of that choice…

Read the entire article by Greg Sheridan here:

[Labor’s Euro vision provides the smoke and mirrors for a carbon tax, Greg Sheridan, Foreign editor
From:The Australian, June 18, 20111, 2:00AM ]

50 Responses to Carbon Tax as a Failed European Policy

  1. TonyfromOz June 19, 2011 at 3:51 pm #

    This is an excellent article from Greg Sheridan.

    What worries me the most is that there will be an imposition of a cost on emissions, be that in the form of this original ‘Price on Carbon’, or the end result, an ETS, my main concern being that the money raised will not be solely used to reduce those emissions.
    As Sheridan says:

    ‘If the carbon tax passes at $26 a tonne, the federal government will have a magnificent new gusher of money to spend, for redistribution, social policy, whatever.’
    End quote.

    At the start, it will be made to look almost acceptable by giving back a large part of what is raised to the financially less well of areas of the general populace, there will be concessions made to Industry Sectors that has always supported Labor, their Union workers in Mining and in the major Steel industry, and other area as well.

    The main stated aim is at what it calls ‘the big emitters’, mainly that power supply sector, who will receive less consideration than those other areas, because that’s where the bulk of the money will be coming from.

    Once it is imposed, and there is a perception that it may not be so bad, a perception that will be played ‘to the max’ by the Government, I can see the rolling back of those concessions to those areas.

    Either way, from introduction to that later rolling back of concessions, I can see that the money raised will be used for purposes other than actually introducing measures at all levels to cut back on those emissions, and the vast income to be generated from this will be used to bolster the Government’s bottom line, and for other policies, as Sheridan says, and here you might think ‘pre election giveaways’ as a prime example.

    As to the comparison with the EU and the U.S. the U.S. attempted to introduce an ETS with its now comprehensively failed ‘American Power Act’, and even with Democrat control in both Hoses prior to the last Midterm election, the Bill was not even submitted. Admitted the US is now trying to get it done with Regulation through their EPA, but again, that is also facing stern opposition at all levels.


  2. Ian Thomson June 19, 2011 at 5:09 pm #

    Well well . And in The Australian. Yes it is sort of all about money, not true science.
    However ,if we are going to start looking out at how the rest of the world operates , who else in the “First World” ,relies on mining to pay the bills ?
    In what other resource rich, ‘first world’ country do the locals pay 11 or 1200 percent more for a local resource – (say gas) than an overseas importer ?
    Go Bob Katter !

    I know a bit about Constitutional Law in general. But like the recent NSW bunch of crooks, has the whole system been so far watered down, that an unrepresentative Govt can make radical change- without being called to account by the Crown ,on behalf of the people ?

    I think this Nation may be approaching a bit of a nexus . Is it to be a hole in the ground, or a vibrant, carbon producing, product producing, employer of it’s own people ?

    Was the decision by the ricegrowers the beginning of a new belief that this country can own it’s own resources ?

    There, that’s off my chest.

  3. Neville June 19, 2011 at 6:54 pm #

    A very good column by Sheridan, I must admit it opened my eyes to a few issues I wasn’t aware of, number 1 being the tiny $2.5billion raised by the EU ETS in the first 6 years of operation.

    I think Tony did a very good summation of the column, but I would like to ask Ian where he found the dollar comparison between the gas exported and the gas used domestically.

    Are you sure the difference is as great as a 1100% or 1200% mark up? If it is then this fact should be hammered home to every Aussie electorate to further damage these useless halfwits in Canberra as soon as possible.

  4. Ian Thomson June 19, 2011 at 8:03 pm #

    Hi Neville,
    Just spoke to my mate in Deniliquin, over a dollar a litre . NW shelf gas is contracted at about 2c in China, I believe.
    Want to build a factory over there? No planning problems etc and a tax break .
    Selling out the nation and the people ,then sell it back.

  5. spangled drongo June 19, 2011 at 8:40 pm #

    And we could be powering our transport on CNG with a 20% emission reduction.

    But the last thing people should have is cheap energy.

    Isn’t that why we’re getting a carbon tax?

  6. spangled drongo June 19, 2011 at 8:55 pm #

    When labor is finished subsidising everyone who votes for them off the face of the earth, Abbott may not have such a convincing argument and that is what these mindless plotters are hoping for:

  7. Neville June 19, 2011 at 9:58 pm #

    Thanks for that Ian, but how do we find the official price paid by the importers I wonder.

    Btw the price paid for gas in Mildura Vic is around 75c a litre.

  8. Ian Thomson June 19, 2011 at 11:56 pm #

    Neville, the ‘at the pump’ price of gas is lower than the delivered bulk industrial type. The suppliers try to make out they are different products . The forklift can’t tell the difference .

  9. Ian Thomson June 19, 2011 at 11:58 pm #

    Sorry, should point out that Deniliquin has no piped gas.

  10. A C Osborn June 20, 2011 at 4:14 am #

    Jeniffer, can you find the time to have a look at this article on Garnaut’s comparison of Norway’s energy policy and their CO2 output.
    Garnaut has got it completely wrong.

    h/t to Scarlet Pumpernickel on WUWT.

  11. val majkus June 20, 2011 at 6:43 am #
    Should there be a national plebiscite on whether to impose a carbon tax?

    vote now!

  12. el gordo June 20, 2011 at 7:23 am #

    Over 90% think there should be a plebiscite.

    Wonder what the result would be if they ran the poll in The Age?

  13. Neville June 20, 2011 at 7:59 am #

    I wonder whether Luke would like to see a vote on a co2 tax?
    He claims he is against the tax so surely he would like to see it put to a vote and he would presumably then vote against the introduction of such a tax?
    If not why not? Poor old Gav’s away with the fairies and can’t even calculate simple primary school sums,so we’ll give him a miss.

  14. Luke June 20, 2011 at 9:07 am #

    Neville – yes – as long as there’s a series of 3 one hour debates as an information backdrop.

    I imagine the proposition for a carbon tax put as plebiscte vote would be defeated. However that doesn’t mean AGW – energy supply long term isn’t an issue.

    Can’t see Labor offering a vote though as they now are committed to crashing through to keep face.

  15. Ian Thomson June 20, 2011 at 9:55 am #

    Re gas in China .
    January 2011, the factory price was capped for local and imported natural gas, to halt inflation.

    0.23 yuan (around 3cents ) per cubic metre was it then. That is the best I have found.
    As a comparison to our gas, the supposed Ogres in Iran charged Jon Faine,( the broadcaster ), just over $2 in total for 140 litres of premium diesel, who are the disadvantaged citizens ?

    Were our farmers, manufacturers and transport operators receiving their birthright this country would be building assets before the holes in the ground are all empty.
    Not to mention supplying high quality manufactured good to the rest of the world and our own groceries.

  16. Brian H June 20, 2011 at 1:20 pm #

    “my main concern being that the money raised will not be solely used to reduce those emissions.”
    Bah. That’s a Kool-Aid drinker talking. Reducing CO2 emissions is counter-productive to begin with, so there is no point in either raising the money or spending it as intended.

    You know what they say about fools and their funds.

  17. spangled drongo June 20, 2011 at 1:51 pm #

    Brian, and once that gusher flows, no politician can cap the well.

    “Can’t see Labor offering a vote though as they now are committed to crashing through to keep face.”

    Labor’s attitude is expected [though not excusable] seeing as they are blatantly happy to tell outright lies to retain power but the complete hypocrisy comes from Windsor who claims that the plebicite should be at the next election. [and there I was thinking that he may yet redeem himself]

  18. el gordo June 20, 2011 at 2:06 pm #

    The plebiscite ‘would lose if the question was put to the public,’ said Senator Brown.

    No idea where he’s getting his advice, certainly isn’t reading the Hun.

  19. spangled drongo June 20, 2011 at 2:13 pm #

    Y’d reckon if he had any semblance of truth and honesty in him he’d insist that the plebicite went ahead.

  20. ianl8888 June 20, 2011 at 4:24 pm #


    “complete hypocrisy comes from Windsor who claims that the plebicite should be at the next election. [and there I was thinking that he may yet redeem himself]”

    I pointed that out three or four weeks ago – Windsor & Oakeshott will do nothing substantive to bring Gillard down, since they are likely to lose their seats in the ensuing messy election (having double-crossed their electorates big-time) and thus their place in the “anals” of history

    Yes … they are that cynical and vain (although Windsor is the more cynical and Oakeshott the more vain), both of them. I’m sorry for your rather naive optimism, but the only hope of an early election is for some ALP Member in a relatively marginal seat to have the temerity to fall of his twig

  21. el gordo June 20, 2011 at 6:09 pm #

    Here’s some interesting and timely stats.

  22. val majkus June 20, 2011 at 6:47 pm #

    el gordo totally agree with you
    the national interest has gone by the board and now it’s self interest with the Greens, Labor and THOSE 2 independents

  23. val majkus June 20, 2011 at 8:51 pm #

    TonyfromOz has a fabulous and timely new post
    Solar Power Australia
    TonyfromOz | 06/20/2011 at 6:30 am | Tags: Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, Carbon Dioxide Tax, Concentrating Solar Power, Pricing Carbon, Solar Power Generation | Categories: Australia, Climate Change, Fraud/Waste, Politics, Propaganda | URL:

  24. val majkus June 20, 2011 at 9:35 pm #

    and what does Tony say?
    The site for this new Solar Plant is in Chinchilla Queensland, hey, out where the Sun shines all the time, eh!
    There are three quite obvious questions that stand out to me with respect to this announcement, and I’m surprised no one bothered to ask them.
    1. If this plant can only produce 250MW of power in total, and here, let’s actually quote that higher figure of that 250MW, why did no one put two and two together and correlate it back to large scale coal fired plants, say like Bayswater which can actually deliver its power for the full 24/7/365, and then add up two and two with respect to the cost of 11 equivalent plants just to replace that one coal fired plant. Hint as to the answer. $13.2 Billion.
    2. If the only way this plant can go ahead is for Governments to kick in nearly half the up front cost, doesn’t this amount to subsidies, and how does that equate to Bob Brown’s ‘heavily’ subsidised coal fired power, as he refers to it.
    3. This one question I would have thought was the most obvious question of all. If this plant is a hybrid of Solar and Natural Gas Fired Power, and if Natural Gas fired power produces CO2 emissions, then this plant also becomes subject to any ‘Price on Carbon’ or CO2 Tax, or an ETS.
    So, when you see the Prime Minister announce on virtually every newscast on TV and radio that this is the way forward for Australia, all is not as it seems on the surface.

  25. hunter June 22, 2011 at 2:17 am #

    Australia also got caught up in the eugenics mania of 100 years ago.
    The damage, thanks to the basically civilized and reasonable nature of Australians, was less than it could have been.
    Eugenics was pushed through by the same sor to falleged intellectual elits as are shoving through AGW policies today.
    Eugenics is easily seen as the wrong minded failure it was. AGW will be seen no differently in the future.
    Keep resisting this clearly flawed and destructive social movement. Even if they get a few laws passed, the climate will not care, and the people, when they finally get to speak, will crush this pile of garbage and toss it out.
    Even scumbags like Luke realize it is something that owuld not pass an honest vote.
    That vote will come.
    Push hard and it will come sooner than later.

  26. Neville June 22, 2011 at 8:32 am #

    Good stuff Hunter, but I can’t help worrying about the gigantic mess that will be left by Labor for the next govt to clean up.

    Of course the co2 tax is a total waste of time and money and won’t change the climate by a whisker. Simple maths can prove this easily but nobody wants to even try to understand or even observe this simple truth.

    It will be all pain for zero gain and will leave a heap of smelly, expensive crap that will take years to fix and help to export more of our jobs and industry overseas.

  27. val majkus June 22, 2011 at 9:18 am #

    Another day another poll

    do you want a referendum on the ‘carbon tax’


    Peer review is a wondrous thing

  28. Luke June 22, 2011 at 9:43 am #

    “Eugenics” ROFL – – why Hunter is a mental case….. Drop off – no actually don’t – keep going – be as rabid as possible. Be frothingly mad and stupid as you can.

    Reality – if carbon tax is implemented Abbot won’t reverse it. He’s actually glad Julia is doing it. And Julia wishes that the independents would vote it down so she can say she tried.

  29. Robert June 22, 2011 at 10:20 am #

    We need to keep in mind that taxes are hard things to abolish. Four states in Australia, as far as I know, have something called a payroll tax. It is impossible to imagine a worse imposition. The much needed GST should have led to the immediate and permanent abolition of this obscenity. Instead, state governments reduce the obscenity by 1/4 of a percent by way of “inducement” or “reform”. One does not slightly reduce the size of a fresh turd on a plate at dinner time by one quarter of one percent. One discards the turd immediately. And yet, under governments of all sorts, payroll tax remains. If I were a reforming conservative Premier of NSW, I would find it too hard to remove payroll tax.

    Abbot may hope to reverse a carbon dioxide tax (if that is what Luke means by carbon tax), but it would be a very difficult thing to do. When Abbott looks at the books upon winning government, “abolish” will become “reduction” or “phase-out”…and who could blame him?

    I may be doing Abbott an injustice, but his greatest quality is that he is not Julia Gillard. The Libs greatest quality is that they are not Labor. In power, they will face massive debt and spending demands.

    The time to stop a carbon dioxide tax is now, before implementation.

  30. el gordo June 22, 2011 at 3:00 pm #


    Abbott will reverse the tax as the physical environment cools, besides he already knows AGW is scientific ‘crap’ and political dead meat.

    Joolya’s stupidity has given Abbott a leg up, no doubt about that, but the comment ‘Julia wishes that the independents would vote it down so she can say she tried’ is news to me.

    That’s a novel idea worth chasing up.

  31. Mark June 22, 2011 at 7:08 pm #

    el gordo:

    Not so novel or difficult. In the best political tradition, an “inducement” could (hypothetically, of course) be offered to the Independents to express high dudgeon and righteous indignation at some aspect of the bill and vote it down.

    Simple, really.

  32. spangled drongo June 22, 2011 at 7:35 pm #

    Further to the “trust me , I’m a scientist” bovine waste in this report of Guano’s, er, Garnaut’s, comparing Australia to Norway and examined at “the conversation”. Norway gets 98% of its power from hydro:

    “The Norwegian carbon tax failed to produce a reduction in CO2 emissions even in a country with almost no hydrocarbon-based electricity generation.”

  33. Louis Hissink June 22, 2011 at 8:42 pm #


    “Reality – if carbon tax is implemented Abbot won’t reverse it. He’s actually glad Julia is doing it. And Julia wishes that the independents would vote it down so she can say she tried.”

    Which verfies the assumption that it is government versus the people.

    Whose side are you on Luke? The people, or your employer?

  34. Luke June 22, 2011 at 9:58 pm #

    Well you see Louis there’s these things called elections. Don’t verbal me mate.

  35. bazza June 22, 2011 at 10:07 pm #

    The policy analogy with Europe would have to be classed as pweak evidence, fallacious outside of even Newcastle. There is a better one much closer. Sure , it was an unhappy feat, but an emperor penguin ( unclothed we presume) had a fairy bad day and ended up across the Tasman, first landing of one in NZ in 40years or so, even before their only Rugby World Cup win. What on earth is happening. Only one explanation ( La Niña would be too easy) – it was voting with its flippers and hoping the price on carbon in NZ would cool it a bit. But why resort to analogy on a carbon price anyway. There is no argument against a market solution as least cost- to hold any other view is simply irrational.

  36. Louis Hissink June 23, 2011 at 7:43 pm #

    Gee Luke,

    You have single handedly alienated most of Jen’s readers with your mean-spirited comments here, judging by the lack of comments these last few days.

    Please note that Chris Monckton graciously apologised to Garnault, and then wondered whether we sceptics, who have been far more viciously libelled and slandered, might expect an apology from your lot.

    I doubt it; it’s why the Germans have the term “untermensch”

  37. el gordo June 23, 2011 at 9:26 pm #

    Not sure if Luke can be blamed for the ‘lack of comments these last few days.’

    It’s part of a deeper malaise.

  38. Luke June 23, 2011 at 10:32 pm #

    Bung it on Sinkers. Bung it on. He’s not sorry. He’s a serial offender. And after all the stuff that I’ve been called here over the years don’t be so pretentiously assumptive of any high moral ground. Go over to Nova’s or Bolt’s for a selection of debating tactics.

    And who cares – all a diversion from his cruddy septic sceptic science – do take the time to peruse

  39. el gordo June 23, 2011 at 11:06 pm #

    The Lord said he’s sorry for being tactless, but no apology from Delingpole for writing the longest sentence I’ve ever seen in a tabloid newspaper.

    ‘The Man Made Global Warming industry is a crock, a scam on an epic scale, fed by the world’s biggest outbreak of mass hysteria, stoked by politicians dying for an excuse to impose more tax and regulation on us while being seen to “care” about an issue of pressing urgency, fuelled by the shrill lies and tear-jerking propaganda of activists possessed of no understanding of the real world other than a chippy instinctive hatred of capitalism, given a veneer of scientific respectability by post-normal scientists who believe their job is to behave like politicians rather than dispassionate seekers-after-truth, cheered on by rent-seeking businesses, financed by the EU, the UN and the charitable foundations of the guilt-ridden rich, and promoted at every turn by schoolteachers, college lecturers, organic muesli packets, Walkers crisps, the BBC, CNBC, Al Gore, the Prince Of Wales, David Suzuki, the British Antarctic Survey, Barack Obama, David Cameron and Knut – the late, dyslexic-challenging, baby polar bear, formerly of Berlin Zoo.’

    James Delingpole The Telegraph 18 June 2011

  40. Neville June 24, 2011 at 7:32 am #

    Goood stuff from Delingpole, I couldn’t care less how long his sentences are as long as it makes sense and that one certainly does make a lot of sense.

    I think Monckton went too far , but he’s apologised so he should be given credit for doing so.

    You never hear of apologies from the mad left when they regularly smash and bash police and others at their idiot demos and also when they make looney videos showing smirking teachers casually blowing up children for having the courage to doubt a very obvious fraud.

    But that’s what you become when you are fanatically certain of your mad religious cause, you can simulate mass killings just like your heroes Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, Castro etc, etc.

    At least Monckton didn’t dream of tatooing numbers on unbelievers arms, or tying them to stakes in the sea so they would eventually drown, or suggesting unbelievers gas themselves, or putting them on trial a la Nuremberg etc, etc.

    But don’t expect apologies from these religious nuts, their totalitarianism allows them the right to do what these crazies KNOW has to be done.

  41. Louis Hissink June 24, 2011 at 7:54 pm #


    Thanks for that; appreciated.

  42. hunter June 25, 2011 at 4:54 am #

    Do you know Australia’s own sad history irt eugenics?
    As for the comparison between eugenics and AGW, people vastly smarter and more accomplished than you noted the disturbing similarity years ago.
    Plesae do keep the jackass scoff and bray that is your only actual communication tool going on this. You convert people to skepticism with every donkey ‘hee-haw’ you belch out.

  43. el gordo June 25, 2011 at 8:49 am #

    Damn good article by Sheridan, let’s hope that his refreshingly honest approach is duplicated by other journalists.

  44. Louis Hissink June 25, 2011 at 8:55 am #

    The US Supreme Court has handed down an 8-0 decision in favour of climate scepticism, and advised that people should read Freeman Dyson’s opinions on the matter. In addition lefty-enviromentalist geologist, Peter Ravenscroft, has also published a damning rebuttal of the Carbon Climate Change belief. And Peter is a Queenslander as well!

    When the Greens start to criticise the Carbon Cult you just know the end is nigh for this idiotic belief.

  45. Luke June 25, 2011 at 11:29 am #

    Well hunter – it’s hard to convert fools to anything. Anyway Sinkers if he’s a Queenslander he must be OK then. ROFL. YABG (yet another bloody geologist)

  46. Luke June 25, 2011 at 11:33 am #

    Sinkers – well I thought I might Ravencroft’s piece. Got 4 lines and had a laughing fit. Mate honestly do you think this sort of paper is actually “good”. Sigh.

  47. Robert June 25, 2011 at 12:24 pm #

    Back on the subject of European policy, it’s surprising how environmentalism has managed to merge with traditional European manipulation and bungling. The French, with all their nuclear and hydro, saw clear advantage in subscribing to emissions schemes. The Germans, dreading their dependence on those Slavs, have concocted alternative energy plans; yet those initiatives have been distorted by their nature worship and lebensraum anxiety – hence, no nukes. The Spanish have filled the hillsides with turbines and cables, courtesy of an extravagant EU – EU being the Bruxellois expression for Other People’s Money – so they don’t have to buy from the extortionate French. Italy lives with mess and uncertainty, having based much of their policy on the sands of Libya. (But if you thinks Italians are light-hearted domani types who don’t get bothered, you haven’t met many Italians.)

    Many Europeans, who know that European unity and European political sophistication do not exist, think it would be wonderful to live in a new, resource-rich country, far from all the old nonsense, where human need is put before superstition, manipulation, suspicion and ancient grudges.

    It would be nice, wouldn’t it? Where could there be such a country?

  48. el gordo June 25, 2011 at 2:45 pm #

    …’wonderful to live in a new, resource-rich country, far from all the old nonsense…’

    We will take all those with the ability to fend for themselves (ie not penniless refugees) and if they can’t afford us they may want to try NZ (over the gap), they could do with some foreign currency after the ETS buggered them.

    Of course if the sun goes seriously on the blink we may have to increase our intake at a fairly rapid rate, so I’m thinking very fast train infrastructure to the bush.

  49. Louis Hissink June 25, 2011 at 5:33 pm #


    The irony is that Peter Ravenscroft is one of your lot – that’s the irony of it. This you might have discovered if you went beyond the 5th line in his summary.


  50. hunter June 25, 2011 at 10:10 pm #

    Why do we not poll the community and see who is the bigger fool?
    You, who apparently does not know history, care about facts, and lies to and about skeptics?
    Or me who points it out?

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