Barking mad — a nation howling at fireflies
You don’t need to study any numbers to know it doesn’t add up. The statistical chicanery in a patchwork tax, with a complex compo plan, and offsets, subsidies, and a$10 billion renewable energy* Christmas wish list is as complex as a climate model. But this time no one is saying “it’s settled”, and is seriously expecting to get their extra 20 cents a week.
Lost among the bedazzling array of numbers are one pair of figures that put the central dumbness of this plan on display.
Australians will pay about $10 billion* a year in carbon fees, overachieving their European competitors who only paid $2.6 billion over, wait for it, six whole years. On a per capita basis the numbers are stark. While Europeans chip in 96 cents a year, Australian’s will be told to pay $500.
The bottom line — figure this — is that we as a nation have “decided” to voluntarily^ pay somewhere from 2 – 5 times as much for our energy, and there are no cheap “technologies” on the horizon unless someone somewhere discovers them (and they’ve been looking for decades). Julia Gillard tried to compare this to other major economic moves like floating the dollar. But those big moves had selling points known as “benefits”.
Let’s list all the advantages, both of them, from this masochistic macroeconomics move:
- It will reduce global man made human emissions for the next eight years from 64,000 mt to just 63,840 mt (roughly). (I can’t see people opting to pay much for that).
- It will rocket Australia to the top spot on the IPCC’s Miss-Popularity National Rankings.
Yes, we have earned the death-defying Kamikazee-Sovereign-Economy award for 2011. (Competition closed early. There’s no point waiting til Dec 31. ) This will come in handy for some ALP personnel wishing to move onto UN unelected positions after the next election, but otherwise be generally a source of mirth for non-Australians.
The Australian share market took the news of the economic suicide gracefully, losing only $7 billion dollars in the first day. (And that tallies up only the top 25 companies which are going to cop the big carbon-speeding-ticket.)
Julie Novak explains the rise of the Carbonocrats (also known as the Green Police).
Michael Stutchbury, Economics Editor, The Australian, thinks it will be a miracle if the package survives.
Labor’s support falls again in the polls. And while I’ve generously pro rata’d the total revenue estimate to be $10b, Wong guessed $18 b, Pyne guessed $21 b and apparently, the number is really $25 billion. Who knew? Not the ALP finance minister eh?.
Don’t forget to keep reminding those Labor Marginal Seats of their new favourite piece of legislation. There are groups forming in Greenway and La Trobe, so let us know if you want to join them, or start a new group elsewhere.
Me, I just wish we were spending $25 billion on medical research instead. What would you rather have? A cure for cancer or second hand windmill made in China?
* (The massive $10b renewable energy plan is now known as the Brown Bank).
** The Minerals Council calculated the tithe collected in the name of carbon would be around $11 b per annum at $25/ton, which translates to about $10 b at $23/t.
^ Voluntary: as in upon threat of incarceration.