Dumping the Carbon Tax without Dumping Anything

THE Coalition’s attacks on the carbon tax have been more about broken promises than policy, allowing Kevin Rudd to ‘dump the tax’ without actually dumping anything, writes Chris Berg…

WHEN Julia Gillard promised in 2010 that there would be no carbon tax under a government she led – but that her government would pursue an emissions trading scheme – she probably thought it would defuse a toxic debate and help secure victory.

Like so many of Labor’s ploys in that election, it was far too clever by half. Tony Abbott dined off Gillard’s no-tax promise for three years.

Now it’s Kevin Rudd’s time to dine. On Sunday we learned that he wants to transition from a fixed-price carbon tax to a full-blown floating-price emissions trading scheme one year ahead of schedule. Kevin Rudd laughs

Here’s the riddle: why?

It seems strange to bring this up now. Over the last year or so, anger about the carbon tax has dissipated. Australians like the status quo. The GST swung elections back in its day. It destroyed leaders. John Hewson was one victim. The Howard government almost lost in 1998 because of its proposed great big new tax on everything. But now the GST is completely settled.

Furthermore, Rudd’s fiddling with the carbon scheme isn’t costless. It creates a $4 billion hole in next year’s budget. It exposes the government to charges of policy disarray. The way it was announced (a bare leak to the Sunday papers) recalls one of the worst habits of Rudd’s first outing as prime minister – the obsession with impressive sounding but light on detail ‘announceables’.

But we forget how Gillard’s 2010 bungle completely realigned the debate over Australian climate change mitigation policy. Three years later, her broken promise allows Labor to market Rudd’s minor scheduling change as “dumping the carbon tax”. Even better, they don’t have to actually dump anything.

The distinction between ‘tax’ and ‘trading scheme’ has always been a triumph of semantics over clarity. An emissions trading scheme is a tax. It just happens to be a very complicated one. Just like a simple carbon tax, it prices an externality – pollution. The trick is that firms are allowed to trade their tax liabilities with each other. But that doesn’t make it any less a tax.

(Here’s the Oxford dictionary definition of ‘tax’ if you’re sceptical: ‘a compulsory contribution to state revenue … added to the cost of some goods, services, and transactions’. Under a floating scheme, the added compulsory cost would be the European price of around $6 a tonne. The current fixed Australian price is about $25 a tonne.)

Gillard’s broken carbon tax promise has ruled the debate over climate change policy in these last three years. Before the promise, Tony Abbott was calling Kevin Rudd’s emissions trading scheme ‘a great big new tax on everything’. Afterwards he targeted Julia Gillard’s ‘bad tax based on a lie’.

There is a subtle but important difference in these talking points. The focus on the lie eases political pressure off the policy itself.

Thanks to the Coalition’s rhetorical realignment, it is the carbon tax that is remembered as Gillard’s folly, not the entirety of the climate change program.

Long forgotten is the protracted and contentious debate about mechanisms and international agreements and subsidies and targets and the assumptions of Treasury modelling and the Garnaut Report.

We haven’t heard much about all this in recent years. Australia’s climate mitigation programs include everything from industry subsidies to renewable energy targets to efficiency regulations. Thanks to the broken promise, the whole debate was anthropomorphised. Climate policy was given human form by Julia Gillard and her tax.

Now Gillard is gone and it has all become a bit confused.

Kevin Rudd plans to recoup the $4 billion in lost revenue by cutting climate-related industry assistance, tightening tax concessions for salary-sacrificed cars, and imposing a further efficiency dividend on the public service.

Take the efficiency dividend with a grain of salt – it’s the magic beans of public finance.

But cutting industry assistance is a great idea. Rudd should have taken the opportunity to go further. The Productivity Commission counted $5.1 billion in direct budget support for private industry in 2011-12. If you want to reduces expenditure, surely that’s the first place to look.

Unfortunately, the Opposition is lumbered with an absurdly expensive, ludicrously inefficient and gimmicky hodgepodge of climate change policies clumped under the banner of Direct Action.

The Coalition’s shadow climate minister, Greg Hunt, insists his plan is the true ‘market solution’ to climate change, but has not been able to convince anybody of that.

We shouldn’t place too much faith in market mechanisms. Tony Abbott was mocked for his comments about invisibility yesterday but his basic point was right. An emissions trading scheme is not a real market. It is a highly regulated approximation of a market, where supply and demand are artificially created by the government to meet a political goal. (I detailed this argument in the Drum in 2011.) Of course, Abbott’s attack on artificially created markets should apply double to his Direct Action program.

In retrospect, it seems obvious the Coalition’s plan has been propped up by the unpopularity of Gillard’s no carbon tax promise.

As has the whole climate change policy debate. Not for the better.”


This article, written by Chris Berg, was first published at The Drum and is republished here with permission. Chris Berg is a Research Fellow with the Institute of Public Affairs. His most recent book is In Defence of Freedom of Speech: from Ancient Greece to Andrew Bolt. Follow him on Twitter @chrisberg.

44 Responses to Dumping the Carbon Tax without Dumping Anything

  1. el gordo July 16, 2013 at 10:59 pm #

    This great moral challenge of our time was a ‘beat up’ and getting rid of the carbon tax for the ETS is a blatant bribe. Realpolitik is a disgrace.

    Perhaps Kev is weighing up the value of the ‘precautionary principle’.

  2. Neville July 17, 2013 at 8:04 am #

    The trouble is Chris and Jennifer obviously want Abbott and the coalition to lose the next election’
    Jennifer even respects Krudd for his stand. Of all the people in OZ to respect Krudd would have to be near the end of the line as far as I’m concerned.

    This bloke is a hopeless fraud and has wrecked everything he’s touched since he first became PM in 2007.
    Even his own party had to kick him out within his first term of govt. I think this was the first time in OZ history that this occured.

    But it seems that there are many admirers of Kevin out there ( not just Jennifer) and he’s been brought back to save Labor from a landslide.
    To have to rely on this dope is beyond belief and just shows the depths to which we have sunk over the last few years.

    Unfortunately because of blatant stupidity within the MSM and the electorate Abbott has to have an AGW policy or he can’t win the coming election. Just check the polling.

    Obviously Jennifer and Chris don’t understand any of this and would prefer a pure as snow coalition to lose the election as long as they stand on principle???

    But even that is wrong because many in both the Libs and Nats believe we should be pricing Co2, in some form.
    The direct action plan is the best of a bad lot and can be dropped quickly if the opportunity arises.
    But it seems Jennifer and Chris want Abbott to put his head in the noose, just so long as Rudd has a good win and the Coalition a principled????? loss. That’s their principle not the Coalitions.
    Unbelievable nonsense from people who should know better.

  3. Denis Webb July 17, 2013 at 8:27 am #

    Jen is just pointing out that Tony Abbott has stuffed up big time on this issue. She has also, in the previous post, suggest a solution. Yeah, his strategists should consider reading Carter’s new book.

  4. Luke July 17, 2013 at 8:27 am #

    It’s just the madness of crowds. Policy is irrelevant.

    A certain percentage (enough) like Kevin – they put him in there – he’s a nerd and plays it – fair share of the sauce bottle, funny bowling, cut my face when shaving etc. He might have floated up his staff every day, not consulted anyone, ripped into a hostie on Kev 001, and went to a strip club in New York but who cares. They’ve heard all that.

    He’s their guy and they’re putting the band back together.

    Did we mention THE BOATS ! the beloved topic of western Sydney by those themselves who arrived on a BOAT – did we mention the BOATS !

    We hated that ranga – what was her name? Don’t like that Abbott guy – it’s the sneer and his blue tie. Don’t listen to what he says. And Kev’s ties aren’t blue – they’re more an aquamarine.

    Hey and Kev (our guy) is getting rid of the carbon tax and putting in an ETS (sounds good) – what is it? But it sounds better and high tech. What’s the difference between the ETS and the NBN? But who cares. We just like the guy.

    And he said he was sorry about the pink batts, so we’ve forgotten about that. People need to move on. But NOT moving forward.

    It’s presidential. Put Malcolm in if you want to win. Don’t like Gillard. Don’t like Abbott. Do like Kev and Malcolm (who could have been a great Labor leader).

    Did we mention THE BOATS !

    Nobody really cares about policy do they? You believe intuitively that if you empathise with the guy (gal) they will fix all your problems for you. Even THE BOATS.

  5. Neville July 17, 2013 at 8:51 am #

    Luke I think you’ve got that spot on, very good post. Don’t ask me to explain it because just about every point doesn’t pass any test. But unfortunately that’s about the sum of it.

    So Denis lets use common sense and look at your post. Abbott won the leadership by ONE vote against Turnbull.
    Sort of leaves a lot of Libs who were keen to price co2 don’t you think. So how could he then come out of that room and announce that pricing co2 is BS?

    But more importantly he can’t change now because the MSM would roast him alive, as well as many people on his own side and he would definitely lose the next election.

    A great idea if you’re like Jen and Chris and want Labor to win, but very dopey if you’re Tony Abbott trying to win.

  6. jennifer July 17, 2013 at 9:05 am #


    It is a blatant lie for you to suggest that Chris and I would like Labor to win the election. I would like you to desist from making false claims about my motivations. That I find your claims offensive is neither here nor there, but they are false and misleading.

    Then again, clearly you have no problems with lies, indeed you are happy for Tony Abbott to live a lie as long as he wins the election.

  7. Luke July 17, 2013 at 9:25 am #

    Jen – encourage you to put up what a comprehensive wise climate policy would be (weather, seasonal climate, climate trends/change, risk and hazards).

    Maybe we can even (choke) agree on some things for a change? Including Neville !

    Don’t we need alternatives and positive ones. Isn’t really the point is that Abbott is afraid (or unable) to shape a serious alternative policy.

    The polling would tell them that although the carbon tax is on the nose they also don’t want to get wedged by being labelled deniers. So they can follow the encounter group panels or show some leadership !

  8. Ian Thomson July 17, 2013 at 9:47 am #

    We need that LIKE button Luke .
    And Neville , I suspect that the polling might just have some surprises hidden in what is not asked.
    Is it possible that there is a quiet distrust out there of both major colours ?
    CSG, for instance, has the potential to see them both off. The hatred is quietly festering out there.

    Leaving the vote until October means the winter power bill will be in as well.
    It means that all the people in the Goulburn valley will have noticed no fruit trees blossoming.
    There is potential for Kevin to get the same treatment that Little Johnny got when the polls told him he was God Chosen. Keating charged around the Nation ,just like Kevvy is , followed by the same doting press gallery , but people quietly went off and chucked him out.

    There is a possibility that if Tony was honest and straight up about a couple of things, he may just claw back a little respect for a major party.
    Luke and Jen are right about Kevs beliefs , even those who believe he is deluded still respect his devotion to his cause. Whereas Tony’s credibility has always been a target.

  9. Johnathan Wilkes July 17, 2013 at 10:29 am #

    Ian Thomson

    “even those who believe he is deluded still respect his devotion to his cause. Whereas Tony’s credibility has always been a target.”

    Ian, my dislike of TA is well documented, but for God’s sake, what would this ’cause’ be that K Rudd is devoted to?

    As far as I can see it’s only a devotion to himself and hunger for revenge and power at all cost.

    He is like a weather wane, his policies suit the audience. Devotion to the cause!

    Greatest moral challenge etc.
    Don’t make me laugh.

  10. spangled drongo July 17, 2013 at 11:22 am #

    “but for God’s sake, what would this ’cause’ be that K Rudd is devoted to?”

    JW, his supporters think it is progressivism but for Kevin it is purely personal. Lets hope we do develop an immunity before it’s too late:


  11. Robert July 17, 2013 at 12:12 pm #

    The best approach is the Chinese one. Make all kinds of concessions, commitments, policies regarding the the Great Uncontrollable called climate, but make them modest projections which never actually come about. There will be a slight delay, but we take the matter very seriously etc etc. Then you just get on with life.

    Unlike China, we should take Conservation much, much more seriously, with no fudging. (By Conservation, I don’t mean DECLARING and NEGLECTING stuff, I mean MANAGING stuff.)

  12. John Sayers July 17, 2013 at 12:43 pm #

    “indeed you are happy for Tony Abbott to live a lie as long as he wins the election.”

    Abbott resigned from the Turnbull front bench in Nov 2009 over Turnbull’s support for an ETS – it’s on the record, it’s listed in Wiki. He then in Dec 2009 went on to win the leadership because of it. Clearly he is a climate change sceptic as is at least the 51% that supported him.

    Abbott, March 19, 2010:

    THINK about it: the non-delivery of an invisible product to no one and Mr Rudd thinks he’s an economic genius

    Abbott doesn’t want to fight this election on climate change and he’d be silly to do so.

    The ETS is still a big new tax in fact it has the potential to become a bigger new tax and whilst Rudd thinks he’s swept the Carbon Tax under the carpet, he hasn’t because it’s still in effect until July 1 2014 and the new senators from the half senate election required to vote in his change won’t sit until July 1, the day he wants the change, so he’ll have no legislation passed by then. So his claim of stopping the carbon tax is a lie.

    Abbott is going to fight the election on the economy, which is showing signs of deteriorating as our dollar drops, our unemployment rises, more industries close and move overseas and Kev’s cancelling the fringe benefits on employee company cars hits businesses, employees and the car fleet manufacturing industry and it’s offshoots.

    He’s also going to fight the election on honesty and consistency in policy and changing his policy on climate change would contradict that.

    Yes Luke – there’s a group of ignorant swinging voters out there but the longer Kevin sticks his Norman Gunston face on TV and in the press the more they remember why he was dumped by the nation and his own party. He’s not governing, he’s campaigning and aussies don’t like long campaigns.

    Graham Richardson said on 2GB yesterday that Labor can’t win this election – Labor has to win seats to win yet the coalition will pickup Windsor’s, Oakeshott’s and Thompson’s seats for starters. The latest Essential poll still had it 52 – 48 and Sportsbet still has it $1.40 – $2.83.

  13. Neville July 17, 2013 at 1:08 pm #

    Jennifer if Abbott followed your advice he certainly couldn’t become PM. You and Chris are either incredibly naive or you must want Labor to win. Very simple maths once again and very simple logic and reasoning.

    The bloke you respect so much and all the labor hypocrites couldn’t care less about co2 emissions or haven’t you noticed?

    If they did they would channel the Greens and demand a big cut back in exports of coal, gas and iron ore. This is where the big tonnages and emissions really are and the really big increases are in the future.

    I believe that Abbott is a sceptic about much of the CAGW nonsense but as I’ve explained he won by only one vote for Liberal leader.
    He doesn’t have a solid enough base within his party or the electorate to pursue your chosen path but some how this makes him a liar?

    Tell me why should Abbott be the only fool in politics just to satisfy you and Chris? You and Chris may be great at your professions but you would both make lousy politicians.

    You seem to respect these hypocrites for screaming pollution in OZ (over our thimble full ) while encouraging and promoting more co2 emissions overseas? Just good business I suppose.

    There is so much muddled thinking about this issue that I sometimes wonder what we can do to better explain these simple facts.

  14. Johnathan Wilkes July 17, 2013 at 1:14 pm #

    Yes John,
    this “indeed you are happy for Tony Abbott to live a lie as long as he wins the election.”
    question struck me as a bit strange too.

    Winning an election by JG on a proven lie is OK for some it seems.

    And please none of this “yes but she meant something else” I know it’s being spun now like a top
    to excuse her but I have a good memory and can also google. that famous utterance was even repeated by W Swan the next day deriding the opposition for spreading falsehoods.

    What about the carbon tax not being an impediment to business and
    no great burden on families just a mere few weeks ago, only to suddenly become the exact opposite,
    so much so that Mr Rudd had to act to save us all?

    What about his policy to change the border protection laws but never admitting to being the architect of it himself, now saying that something must be done about it, and running around frantically to sign up PNG to an offshore processing centre, something they were vehemently against before?.

    The list of lies and deceits backflips goes on and on.

    To blame one side but not the other for not being pure lily white and that they should stand on principle and lose for ever is a partisan attitude.

    If one is a partisan for one side, no matter of the merit of the argument put forward
    that argument must be greatly discounted.

  15. John Sayers July 17, 2013 at 2:38 pm #

    Larry Pickering has a rant over climate change:


  16. sp July 17, 2013 at 2:40 pm #

    The great lie is it is still being referred to as CARBON POLLUTION – only more lies can follow from that.

    Despite being electorally dangerous, I do wish TA / Libs would come clean and simply cancel the whole AGW scam.

    Let meteorologists go back to doing “weather”, and scientists back to science. The so called climatologists can simply go where they like and do what they like using their own time and own money.

    “Climate” and CARBON has been cleverly mixed into the environment, conservation, population growth, sustainability, water, etc. Angels dancing on the head of a needle!!!

    In my opinion we dont need mention climate or carbon to be careful with the environment or plan for the future – only pragmatic risk management.

    I thoughth I was happy to see JG go – now not so sure – have to look / listen to Krudd again – please call an election – while there are some good people in Labor, I have concluded the entire must go, along with the Greens, for this country to get moving again.

  17. Luke July 17, 2013 at 2:41 pm #

    Facts and policy are irrelevant. 5% of swinging voters need to change their mind.

    Kev’s a nerd. Their nerd. They voted for him. Someone took him away. They want him back. They want the people’s choice back.

    And they like him. Coz they like him they believe he will make them happy.

    There’s whole political theory books on this stuff. Doesn’t matter what you smarties know – it’s how the 5% feel about it. That’s “feel”.

    That’s all it is. (oh and did we mention THE BOATS).

  18. Neville July 17, 2013 at 2:50 pm #

    Bolt got deputy PM Albanese to admit that the floating co2 price was projected by treasury to reach $38 in just 6 years or 2019.

    This is a projection made just two months ago. Why bother to invest money in this country just to see it all wrecked in just a few years?

    Of course it may be only $10 or $15, but the mad left in the EU are doing everything possible to increase the price substantially.
    The Greens want a price of $70 so we can cut carbon pollution??? and arrest climate change????. I know barking mad, but true all the same.

  19. Ian Thomson July 17, 2013 at 3:22 pm #

    Hi Johnathan Wilkes,
    The fact that Kev is a one minute policy try on is undisputed, but nobody can dispute his devotion to the Gods of Climate Change. He will twist and turn , but the challenge of a lifetime is still gleaming in his little eyes.
    However Luke is probably closer to the truth about the electorate.
    If peoples statements to me are anything to go by, the informal vote will be the biggest in history.

  20. Neville July 17, 2013 at 3:37 pm #

    Lomborg exposes the electric car nonsense. He also claims they are more polluting for the environment.


  21. Johnathan Wilkes July 17, 2013 at 3:50 pm #

    as you said, electric car ‘nonsense’
    every time this electric car issue comes up in conversation with proponents of it, the one thing they can’t answer is where the electricity is going to come from.

    Renewables can hardly supply our current energy needs, imagine replacing all the fossil fuel used by cars?

    Math is not their strong point.

  22. Luke July 17, 2013 at 4:53 pm #

    Is this what is happening?

    Low information rationality

    Popkin’s analysis is based on one main premise: voters use low information rationality gained in their daily lives, through the media and through personal interactions, to evaluate candidates and facilitate electoral choices.

    Fascinating ….. a sample below

    Drunkard’s Search: The term is based on the image of a drunk looking for his lost car keys where the streetlight is shining, even though that’s not where he lost them; he looks there because that’s where the light is. People are more likely to use one-dimensional searches, such as focusing on a single attribute about a candidate, or using the front runner’s characteristics as a measurement of other candidates.



  23. John Sayers July 17, 2013 at 4:57 pm #

    Going to electric cars doesn’t necessarily mean abandoning fossil fuel, we should increase it – why do we get off peak power for our hot water? – because the power companies have to get rid of excess power generated at night. It would be efficient to recharge cars at that time. It would also be much more efficient to distribute energy via the grid than via thousands of petrol tankers as we do now.

    The Volt got a canning on Joanne’s site this week but it was interesting that the link she gave to support her theory was faulty yet no one pointed it out. i.e no one read how the figures were obtained. She also claimed it was a hybrid so people compared it to the Prius, myself included yet on further research it’s nothing like the prius.

    The Volt is the first version of a full electric car with a petrol generator unlike the Prius, Honda and other hybrids that just add an electric motor to a petrol engine or the Nissan Leaf and the Teslar which are entirely electric and you are stuffed when the batteries run down. You can’t recharge a Prius and it’s battery will only take you 2 km. It’s expensive and takes a long time to recharge a Teslar. The Volt has a 1.4L petrol engine as a generator and 111KW electric motor and is powered by the electric motor all the time, one reviewer said there are actually 2 electric motors in tandem.

    Running off the generator it’s fuel efficiency is around 4.1/100km and with a full tank of petrol (35.5L) and a fully charged battery you can travel 600km. That’s very good for a car based on the Holden Cruze body and carries the additional weight of it’s batteries. You can run it entirely on electric and travel up to 85km on a charge ( test showed around 70 – 80 depending on driving conditions) which is enough for a city user to go to work and back daily recharging at night in 6 hours via a standard 10amp power outlet and never having to use the petrol generator. You can install a special 15amp power outlet and charge in 4 hours. Better still you can install solar panels on your business and recharge off them during the day whilst at work. The reviewers say it’s an impressive car to drive, smooth, adequate power, extremely quiet and fitted out like a luxury car interior. Electric warmed seats, you can actually warm up the car whilst it’s in the garage connected to the power, you just click a switch on the key – great feature for north american customers who live in the snow country – BTW – the Volt is fully imported from the US – it’s not made here.

    Sure it’s expensive but so where plasma TV screens when they were $10,000. There are many people who have installed solar but really get no advantage from it as they aren’t paying the rebates offered when they originally started the scheme. For the retired (huge market soon) this would allow the pensioner to run his car entirely off his solar panels. A 3.5kW solar system @15 amps would recharge a car in 4 hours. They’ve just gotta get the cost of the car down.

    Lomborg says the CO2 produced to manufacture a conventional car is 14,000 pounds compared to an electric is 30,000. Here he’s comparing a Telsar or Nissan, NOT the volt which is a careful balance of the two.
    He concludes with

    “The electric car might be great in a couple of decades but as a way to tackle global warming now it does virtually nothing.”

    Exactly – if you don’t care about global warming and you want more research into electric motors and batteries what better way of getting it than supporting the people at the coal face actually doing it.

    Holden admits it’s expensive and it’s not for everyone and they don’t expect massive sales but as they say “The Volt is like IPhone 1 – we are now at IPhone 5.”

  24. el gordo July 17, 2013 at 5:26 pm #

    The psychology of voter intent is interesting stuff, Luke.

    I read somewhere that people are influenced by the weather on polling day too, so maybe Kev shouldn’t run in August. With snow all about they might think an invisible trace gas is innocent of the charge laid against it and punish the incumbent.

  25. Ian Thomson July 17, 2013 at 5:39 pm #

    Hey Luke ,
    Have you read about the 10% thing , which has been studied and proved.
    If 10% of a sample ( say country, or committee ), believe implicitly that something is true ,it will rule policy and public opinion. Even those who do not believe , will go with it.
    They must be true, not convertible believers, but they influence ones with no knowledge into agreeing. Etc etc.
    Could maybe find a link to the study, it does add up.
    Scary that it is only 10%.

  26. Luke July 17, 2013 at 5:59 pm #

    Well that’s the point I’m making here – you have rusted on LNP, Labor and Green voters.

    However – 10% swingers will decide the outcome.

    AND if their vote is based on lower information rationality – you can present all the facts and figures you like – they don’t get through. Don’t like to think this is true but check out Rudd’s popularity – he’s a rock star.

    And a big nerd – totally nerdesque – so if you’re a disaffected nerd out there and don’t fit in – he’s your guy.

    You cheered went he got busted at the strip club. You understood when he had a swear fest in front of the camera. You get it ! You’re angry too.

    He goes into interminable bureaucrat speak which nobody understands – but it sounds really nerdy and you love it (even though you didn’t understand).

    He did the Kokoda track, sleeps in the street, argues with Campbell Newman about his local school and he’s even from Nambour – like where is that?

    What’s an ETS anyhow – does my head in – if Kev says we need one – well that’s good enough for me – I just like the guy ! And Albo will sort the rest out with the Cabinet – is that some of furniture?

  27. Luke July 17, 2013 at 6:01 pm #

    Sorry forgot to mention THE BOATS !

  28. John Sayers July 17, 2013 at 7:46 pm #

    I’m sorry but I disagree Luke – yes there is the dumb swinging voters but when Labor was 29% v liberal 47% that’s not your swinging voters, that’s rusted on Labor changing their mind.

    They all celebrated when Julia went because they hated her and Rudd created a rebound – but now they are starting to realise why they hated Rudd. He was all talk and no action – now he’s doing action they are going to balk at – having their company car rebate taken away – being conned into thinking the carbon tax is gone when the MSM is telling them it hasn’t – more and more boats arriving and more people drowning.

    Wait and see, it’s still 52:48.

  29. cohenite July 17, 2013 at 7:47 pm #

    Mesmerising luke; a literal template of the superior citizen who can condescend about the superficiality of the punter being hoodwinked by Rudd’s deceits and the vacuum which is Rudd’s nature while implying that such qualities [sic] in Rudd which deceive the punter are good because they will allow some deeper, more profound purpose in Rudd to be revealed once he has politicised the populace into supporting him.

    What a dope you are; there is nothing more to Rudd; he is not a nerd; there is nothing technical happening in his mind; he is an ego, and that is his purpose.

    What a heritage the alp have left this country; Gillard who should be jailed and Rudd who should be institutionalised.

  30. spangled drongo July 17, 2013 at 8:24 pm #

    “well that’s good enough for me – I just like the guy !”

    Yeah Luke, wadda guy!

    I just love hearing from all my mates who voted for him in ’07 who now realise how they were conned.

    Like the dills who voted for Gough in ’72.

    Didn’t Einstein say that doing the same thing over again and expecting a different result is the definition of insanity?


  31. cohenite July 17, 2013 at 9:18 pm #

    The other idiocy luke has been gloating about is da boats; Pickering has good advice:

    “The glib one-liners are wearing thin. The exaggerating, fabricating, terminating, excruciating, fornicating Rudd can be better attacked using plain logic. Abbott will never be known as a cool communicator but he is capable of a lot better than this.
    His TV ads so far are a waste of money and appear to be designed by an apolitical creative director desperately in need of direction.
    The quality of Abbott’s advice is approaching that of Gillard’s in that the likable side of their personalities has never surfaced.
    John McTernan killed Julia Gillard stone dead simply because he did not understand what Australians respond to. Even Bogans don’t respond to repetitious one-line platitudes.
    Gillard’s class and gender wars were atrocious but it was McTernan’s job to sell her and whatever she had in her suitcase. He predictably failed miserably.
    McTernan was born into those hideous British class divisions that still thrive there but were discarded here 50 years ago. Egalitarianism is our go and class differentiation of any kind is cause for ridicule.
    Kevin Rudd is the most able-to-be-attacked politician in years and, correctly advised, Tony Abbott should tear him limb from limb but there is no structure to his attack. He is stuck in response mode.
    Bruce Hawker, Rudd’s political strategist, is a wily old boy who already has Abbott on the back foot reacting negatively to puerile debate offers. That’s exactly what Hawker wanted; to paint Abbott as a chickenshit, negative wimp.
    Abbott must take the high ground, he is dealing with political experts who will do anything to divert the debate from Rudd’s Achilles heel… illegal boat arrivals.
    I suggested months ago that boats would be the over-riding election issue. The pre-Abbott rush to our shores is well underway but, as yet, Abbott hasn’t laid a glove on Rudd who stands naked and exposed with blood dripping from each of his fleshy female hands.
    Incredibly, Rudd has grasped the initiative with the claim that Indonesia is refusing to allow Abbott to defend our borders.
    What Abbott assumed would be the biggest shot in his locker, the Carbon Tax, has already been dishonestly, yet cleverly, blunted by Hawker.
    I mentioned last week that unfortunately it’s the Bogans who will decide this election and Rudd knows where each of them lives. He has them on twitter and email and is able to make them feel important… and they are very important.
    Conservatives are not adept at handling Bogans but they better learn how to, and quickly. It’s not hard, they’re just people who normally vote Labor but this time they want the boats stopped and there lies a cavernous opening for Abbott… and he hasn’t seen it yet.
    His innocuous response to the latest drownings is to demand Rudd recall Parliament. Well, that ain’t going to happen. Rudd won’t risk being mauled by the Greens in a hung Parliament where Independents and a volatile backbench want his blood.
    Regardless, legislation is not needed to stop the boats and even if it was needed it wouldn’t pass the Senate anyway. What’s needed is a leader who will publicly challenge Indonesia’s disregard for our borders.
    Rudd knows he must clear the boats from his election platform. He will do anything to avoid risking a Gillard type annihilation. And he can do it while his Party’s partners in crime, the Greens, are in recess.
    If Abbott blinks again and allows Rudd a forerunning role he will again find himself on the back foot.
    This time with boats… and that’s bloody unthinkable.
    At least 14 seats are there for the taking. Whoever has the balls to publicly confront Indonesia (and Indonesia will undoubtedly back down) will win those seats and Government.
    Now there’s an opportunity for a bright young lad to repair shattered Aussie pride lost to the broken borders policy of a culpable Rudd.
    So, Tony Abbott, where are you?”

    What a calamity for this country; on the one hand we have the labour and green parties who know no restraint or barriers but are devoid of purpose; on the other we have the coalition who at least recognise the problems but are constrained by, what, etiquette, good manners, lack of ticker, fear of the msm.

    In that respect I tend to agree with Jennifer; Abbott needs to say AGW is crap. And offer Salby the main job at csiro and Carter at BOM; Jo and Jennifer can run the science department at the abc.

  32. John Sayers July 17, 2013 at 10:15 pm #

    cohenite, you seem to forget that Abbott f**ked Rudd the first time, he did the same to Julia, he’ll do the same to Rudd in round two.
    Don’t underestimate his wacky persona – he’s no fool and acting desperately now could blow it. He’s fully aware of the games from Rudd that’s he’s up against.

    Please, give the man some credit.

    Your suggestion

    “Abbott needs to say AGW is crap. And offer Salby the main job at csiro and Carter at BOM; Jo and Jennifer can run the science department at the abc.”

    is just idiotic.

    No one knows who the hell Salby or Carter are!! let alone Jo and Jen. Nor do they care.

    I thought you were smarter than that!

  33. John Sayers July 17, 2013 at 10:21 pm #

    BTW I posted a reply on Larry’s site but it disappeared into the off topic chat page it’s become.

  34. Peter Lang July 17, 2013 at 10:32 pm #

    Carbon pricing, either carbon tax or ETS, will not survive. It will not survive in Australia or anywhere. It cannot succeed unless there is a global pricing system and that is highly unlikely. This explains why: http://www.quadrant.org.au/pages/style-guide

    Carbon pricing, despite being theoretically attractive, is the wrong solution. The solution that will succeed is technological, not carbon pricing. I explain how here:

    Decarbonising the global economy requires an economically rational approach:

    and here:

    Alternative to carbon pricing – Reduce existing market distortions

  35. John Sayers July 17, 2013 at 10:49 pm #

    Why do we need to decarbonise our economy Peter?

    What’s wrong with burning good old coal in modern supercritical coal fired power stations fitted with scrubbers that remove 99% of particulate matter, SO2 and emits only CO2?

  36. Peter Lang July 17, 2013 at 10:51 pm #

    According to Treasury figures the ETS would cost about $1,35 trillion (undiscounted) or $400 billion (dicsounted) to 2050: http://jennifermarohasy.com/2012/06/what-the-carbon-tax-and-ets-will-really-cost-peter-lang/

    If there is no global carbon pricing scheme there will be no benefits for this expenditure. It is most unlikely there will be a global carbon carbon pricing scheme as renowned world expert on carbon pricing, Professor Richard Tol, explains here: http://www.voxeu.org/article/global-climate-talks-if-17th-you-don-t-succeed.

    Therefore, the $1.35 trillion ($400 billion discounted) is wasted money. It would be much better spent on the adaptation policies advocated by Bob Carter and supported by Jennifer Marohasy.

    To put the $400 billion in perspective it is about $13,000 for every man woman and child or about $26,000 per working person. That is what the ETS will cost us, according to Treasury figures, if it is not repealed.

  37. Peter Lang July 17, 2013 at 10:54 pm #

    John Sayers, can I urge you to please read the links I provided first, and then ask me questions. I can’t write all the arguments again here in comments, and address all the possible questions. So, people really do need to read the links and get the background first. Then we can have a more constructive discussion.

  38. John Sayers July 17, 2013 at 11:00 pm #

    Well Peter your first link to Quadrant gave me the Quadrant styles page, the other two were discussing methods of decarbonising. They all assume decarbonising is necessary.

    I asked a simple question – why do we need to decarbonise?

  39. Peter Lang July 18, 2013 at 9:11 am #

    John Sayers,

    Woops! My apologies to you and anyone else that actually clicked on the link to the Quadrant article. The correct link for the article: “No gain and lost of pain with the ETS” is:

    This article I referred you adresses your question in the first sentence:
    Decarbonising the global economy requires an economically rational approach:

    I am suggesting a policy approach that should satisfy all rational people.

    If you want to argue no policies for GHG mitigation are needed or should even be debated, that might be your approach, but it is not mine. I view such an approach as futile. Those who take that approach are dismissed as politically naive. The indisputable fact is there is a head of steam in the developed countries where a significant proportion of electors “just want their government to fix the climate problem”. That is a political reality. The political reality has to be dealt with.

    My suggestion is we should try to steer policies towards economically rational solutions. That is what the links I’ve provided advocate, IMO they offer a pragmatic solution.

    However, this is not something Australia can do much about. It is really up to the USA to lead the way. The US President could make it happen. There is no need for UN intervention and no need for any legally binding international agreements. No carbon pricing and no targets and timetables for emission reductions are needed. Decarbonisation of the global economy would just happen as a result of normal market forces if we removed the blocks that are preventing it from happening. It would happen much faster if the enviro NGO’s lead the way and converted their supporters to become enthusiastic advocates instead of persistently intransigent sabateurs.

  40. Robert July 18, 2013 at 9:39 am #

    I’m with John. Deal with real pollution but de-carbonise nothing. Of course, you might call me a de-carboniser in the sense that I believe in thrift. We should never waste a lump of coal by burning the stuff in aging plants any more than we should have a Commonwealth fleet of Ford Falcons made in 1970. Carbonise for fun and profit, but don’t fritter our lovely coal. As I’ve said before, it’s chocolate sunshine.

  41. cohenite July 18, 2013 at 10:00 am #



    “No one knows who the hell Salby or Carter are!! let alone Jo and Jen. Nor do they care.”

    Name who currently runs the csiro, or BOM, or the science department at the abc; without google, just off the top of your head. Public recognition is not a criteria for these jobs; but credibility, honesty etc should be. I’ll stick with my choices, what are yours?

    “I thought you were smarter than that!”

    I always disappoint.

  42. Luke July 18, 2013 at 10:38 am #

    Cohenite having a Walter Mitty moment.

  43. cohenite July 18, 2013 at 11:52 am #

    Au contraire luke, my Walter Mitty moment was above when I dreamt Gillard would go to jail and Rudd be institutionalised, knowing full well the crooks run the justice system and the lunatics are running the asylum.

  44. John Sayers July 18, 2013 at 1:43 pm #

    Cohenite – I was objecting to the “Abbott needs to say AGW is crap” part. Also for him, before an election, to start nominating heads of CSIRO and BoM etc would just confuse everyone and distract everyone from the main game, getting rid of Labor.

    Peter – I made the following post over at Joanne Nova’s site

    I am so sick of all this bullshit! – I asked a poster on Jennifer’s site “why do we need to decarbonise” after he posted all this babble about how best to reduce carbon in the economy!
    Carbon dioxide is NOT a pollutant, plants love it and satellites show that the biomass is increasing because of it – the Amazon is greener, the northern african greenery is extending north into the Sahara. Farmers are getting greater yields for less input, plants are using less water. So why do we have to stop burning fossil fuels, why do we need emission trading schemes, why do we need a climate change policy?
    Can’t we forget the past 10 years of bullshit ever happened and get on with our lives?

    I know it’s simpleton stuff but so far it has 12 thumbs up, the most of any post on that page, people agree with me – we are all frustrated with all this constant discussion about cutting emissions. Cut pollution, as Robert said, but we should be building new modern power stations and offering our manufacturers cheap power again, we should be smelting our own bauxite and Iron ore and value adding and selling it. Even Gina, Forester etc agree with that but no government will get behind them and initiate it because they are scared of the greenies and all this AGW scare.

    Hopefully if the coalition get in, and it appears they will, then they can instigate a new energy policy for Australia based on science and return the subject of our energy policy to rational and futuristic thinking instead of the greenie fantasy we have today.

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