Friday, 13 September 2013

Tony, maybe a tax for Global Cooling?

Global warming. The biggest non-event since the millennium Y2K bug. On 1 July 2013, the price of carbon in Australia increased from $23 per tonne to $24.15 per tonne. New Zealand's current carbon price is $4 per tonne and was as low as $1.80 in March this year. Europe's price per tonne is roughly $6 and it is approximately $12 per tonne under the Californian Trading Scheme.

Australia emits roughly 1.5% of the world's emissions. 1.5%! Why are we paying significantly more per tonne than Europe, California and New Zealand? In fact, why are we paying at all?

How often have we heard statements such as; "It is very likely that the emission of greenhouse gases is the main cause of global temperature rises", or, "It is projected that glaciers will melt by...", or, "We predict that sea levels will rise by...".

Well, let's not predict. Let's look at the stats. Late last year the British Met Office released data showing no statistical significant global warming in the last 16 years. Another data set from the Remote Sensing System's Microwave Sounding Units even show a slight cooling since 1997. NASA has confirmed a 'pause' in warming in the last 16 years and thinks it could actually be closer to the last 30 years. The chairwoman of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology, Judith Curry, is on record saying "the data confirms the existence of a pause in the warming." Professor Richard Lindzen, a leading expert in climate change science, has claimed there has been no statistically significant warming since 1995.

And now the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is predicting a period of global cooling, that may even last until mid this century. Hans Von Storch, a lead author of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, admits there's been a warming pause for 15 years and states "if things continue as they have been, in five years, at the latest, we will need to acknowledge that something is fundamentally wrong with our climate models".

Five years ago our Chief Climate Commissioner, Tim Flannery,  warned that there could be no ice in the Arctic by 2013. He wasn't alone with this prediction, however, the  level of ice in the Arctic has increased by 60% in the last year alone. The size of the Arctic ice sheet that has increased in the last year is half the size of Europe.

What about the Victorian Government's multi-billion dollar desalination plant that "had" to be built because it was never going to rain again due to climate change? The plant was built, the rain bucketed down and now the desal plant is sitting idle while taxpayers' water bills have spiked to cover the costs (I'm not enjoying showering every third day!).

We haven't seen an increase in hurricanes and wild storms and other weather related disasters as predicted by many global warming activists.

It is my understanding that the effect of carbon emissions on global temperatures has only been recorded for something like 120 years. Some people say even less. So even if  global temperatures have increased in that period, is there not a chance it is part of a giant weather cycle? Regardless of whether or not temperatures had increased over a period of time, they haven't for a sustained period of time and temperatures are being predicted to cool. So why are we paying an increasing carbon price?

The sooner the Abbott government repeals the carbon tax the better. 

All the best,

Dom Meese


  1. (1) Australia's price is substantially higher because at the time of drafting the initial environmental trading scheme (i.e., the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme) the permits were trading at about $25 (AUD equivalent) in Europe. It was expected, as the number of permits available decreased, that the price would only increase. The reason for the fixed introductory price before moving towards a pure cap-and-trade scheme was to provide certainty for businesses in decision-making.

    (2) Yes. Australia's emissions are fleeting on a global scale. For example, there is currently more brown coal power plants in production in China which will generate more emissions than all of Australia combined. Our emissions are a drop in the ocean. However, if the science is correct and the outcomes are truly diabolical, can we afford not to act. Is it better for the science to be wrong and we produce efficient, carbon neutral products; or would you rather the science be true and for the generations for years to come to have to fix our mess? Hardly fair.

    (3) The outlawing of Carbon Fluro-Carbons (CFCs) has seen significant improvements in the repair of the ozone layer. Gases being emitted into the atmosphere have shown they can cause damage...

    (4) Whether a tax is the correct method of drawing attention to an issue has always been something that has grapled the minds of economists. Market efficiency says no; but if the market refuses to acknowledge a problem (or a potential problem) then it is encumbent on governments to regulate. The ultimate solution is multilateral-agreements and sharing of IP... but the probability of that happening in our lives is slim (at best).

  2. (1) This is correct. However, why set a carbon price at the same level as Europe? Do we emit the same level as Europe? Why set it at all until we know for sure that carbon emissions are definitely the cause for global warming. There is no definitive proof that this is the case and the IPCC are now saying they are 95% sure carbon emissions are the cause of warming.
    (2) “If” the science is correct. In my opinion the more appropriate question is; “Can we afford to act and slug business with a tax on an unproven theory?” If the science is proven wrong, all the money and time spent on producing efficient, carbon neutral products is arguably a waste of time. I’d say hitting businesses with a useless tax is hardly fair.
    (3) This is good news. Do you think it is better to outlaw CFCs rather than hit businesses with a tax on carbon?
    (4) As I've said above, I don’t think imposing a tax on a potential problem is the right thing to do. It’s like saying a residential landlord should start charging a higher rent because he thinks there might be a future rent demand squeeze. Surely you wait until the problem is real?

    Appreciate the comments though. Keep them coming!