Eleven Counter Arguments For Nutty Nick

Nick Smith came back from the Cancun Climate meet well schooled in arguments for taxing carbon dioxide. Not that there is much need for them here. The National Party has actually done the Labour Party’s bidding on the ETS, and the Greens only criticised on the basis that National hadn’t done enough. Apart from a bit of mumbling from Rod Hide, Smith has never (in parliament) really had to deal with any strong opposition to his plans.

Now another socialist loony across the Tasman, in a casual betrayal of election promises, is taking Australia down the long and winding carbon trading/tax road. Julia Gillard’s Multi-Party Committee on Climate Change (MCCC), as part of its last pre-Christmas conference, enunciated eleven key principles to be applied in deciding the details of their planned new carbon dioxide tax. Upon reading them you will notice similarities with Smith’s arguments here in NZ. “Investment Certainty” and “Support for International Objectives” are two of his favourites. So the counter points are something for Smith as well as Gillard.

The counter points have been made by Professor Bob Carter in Australian magazine “Quadrant”. Professor Carter is a founding member of NZ’s Climate Science Coalition. He is also is an adjunct research professor in the Marine Geophysical Laboratory at James Cook University, Queensland and the University of Adelaide South Australia, Australia. He is a geologist specializing in palaeontology, stratigraphy, marine geology, and environmental science. Carter is a former Director of Australia’s Secretariat for the Ocean Drilling Program. He is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand.

His biography is here.

Here (in bold) are the eleven principles developed by Gillard’s cronies, accompanied by Professor Carter’s comments. Brilliant stuff that punches Nutty Nick from one side of the ring to the other.

Environmental effectiveness. The reality is that cutting Australia’s carbon dioxide emissions, even altogether, will confer no measurable environmental benefit. Computer models suggest that a cut in emissions of, say, 20% by 2050 will (hypothetically) prevent warming by less than one-thousandth of a degree. By definition, then, a carbon dioxide tax is ineffective.

Economic efficiency. No economic need, let alone efficiency, is sensibly met by taxing an environmentally beneficial trace gas.

Budget neutrality. Whose budget? The imposition of a tax of, say, $30/tonne will impose on every Australian household increased costs estimated at more than $2,000 per year.

Competitiveness of Australian industries. The introduction of a carbon dioxide tax is intended to, and will, significantly increase the cost of energy generation. Obviously, the resultant increase in business costs will reduce the competitiveness of Australian industry against overseas counterparts in countries (most) that have no similar tax.

Energy security. In fact, energy security is sharply compromised by the very policies that the committee is espousing. Which are to continue to discriminate against coal, uranium and hydropower as energy sources, thereby taking out of play three of the only four currently practical sources of baseload power generation. Restricting the nation’s options in this way leaves only gas and oil for baseload generation, reduces energy security dramatically and is irresponsible.

Investment certainty. Industry frequently calls for policy certainty regarding future investment in power generation. Terry McCrann (journalist) was amongst the first to point out that such certainty would be most easily and cost-effectively assured by declaring a carbon dioxide tax of $0/tonne.

Fairness for households. The committee must surely be kidding. Any form of carbon dioxide taxation will inescapably cause increased costs for households, especially those of poorer socio-economic status. Mark well, the most disadvantaged Australians are going to pay, and that quite irrespective of any subsidy measures that the government may trumpet.

Flexibility to changing international circumstances. International circumstances have indeed changed recently, and the failure of nations to reach a global climate agreement at either the Copenhagen or Cancun conferences has been greeted in Australia with zero flexibility. Our policymakers and climate alarm lobbyists, now led by an unoriginal Mr Combet, have simply reiterated their earlier, failed policies of taxing carbon dioxide. The most important circumstance to be aware of now, of course, is that once such a tax is introduced it will be almost impossible to remove – despite its being unnecessary, inefficient and ultimately futile.

Administrative simplicity. Dream on. Remember, a Canberra-based committee is designing this unnecessary new tax.

Accountability. Of whom, and for what? If blame is to be sheeted home for the faulty scientific advice that has led to the current global warming policy fiasco, then CSIRO, BOM, the Department of Climate Change and major university climate research groups would be good places to start to look for culprits.

Support for Australia’s international objectives. Australian objectives presumably should not include economic and political stupidity in the face of the collapsed talkfests at Copenhagen and Cancun. The idea that overseas nations will discriminate against Australia unless we implement anti-carbon dioxide measures is well worn out, and has anyway always been a juvenile argument. Nations take hard decisions in accordance with their sovereign economic interests, irrespective of Green lobby group dreaming.

The full Quadrant article is here.

9 thoughts on “Eleven Counter Arguments For Nutty Nick

  1. I went to one of the pre ram-it-home meetings (E.T.S). Smith refused to allow an audience show of hands for or against. Everybody knows it’s based on fairy-tales and there is no up-side. Makes me wonder if the 100Days idea is gaining any ground.


  2. Well Red

    is it finally sinking in that nations are not run by politicians who in fact do the bidding of the IMF, WTO, international bankers and G12, to mention a few.

    The US is now taking on GST. I do have a thought.

    With the ETS implimented, what is the need for environmental councils. They became redundant over night. Or should have.


  3. “Apart from a bit of mumbling from Rod Hide, Smith has never (in parliament) really had to deal with any strong opposition to his plans.”

    RB, I think you are being a little hard on ACT. I have not the time to search Hansard but John Boscawen spook out strongly in Parliament opposing the ETS. Not surprisingly MSM particularly, print little about it.

    ACT is the only party opposed to this scam. ACT may or may not be in Parliament after the election. If voters are more interested in a couple of overseas trips Rodney took – albeit within the rules – than important issues like the ETS and foreshore and seabed legislation then these issues will no longer be challenged.

    People can comment on blog anonymously or do something financially or time wise. ACT and the Coastal Coalition can certainly use financially support. ACT can use some foot soldiers to counter the negative types who want to complain about ACT’s low poll rating rather say what can I do to help.

    Have a look at ipredict. The chance of a knight in shining armour coming along and stating a new right of centre party are pretty slim.

    There is a better than even chance that ACT will still be in Parliament after the election. That is not the problem. The problem is they will not have the numbers to make a real difference.

    How many contributors to this blog are prepared to actually do something other than blog anonymously?


  4. Yep credit where it’s due Red. Hide may have been doing the mumbling in Parliament, but Boscawen went from one end of the country to the other, several times over, holding public meetings discussing this crime against logic. The man put in hundreds, if not thousands, of hours trying to rouse kiwis from their welfare-induced coma on this issue.


  5. Well guys, I take your defence of ACT on board, and I did actually reflect on the accuracy of what I had written. Its why I said “in parliament” and why I said specifically Nick Smith. If you guys believe John Boscawen argued points similar to the above directly to Nick Smith in parliament then fine.

    Like you Chuck, I don’t have the time to look through Hansard, but I have done some research and the only person I could find making any kind of sustained and long term attack on Smith was Russell Norman. As I said, from the wrong direction.

    I am aware that there has been a lot of opposition outside parliament. I don’t know how much of this Smith was aware of or took on board. If you know that Rod Hide made similar points to Smith strongly in parliament (as well as Boscawen) then fine.

    I am not actually aware these days of exactly where ACT stand on the ETS. They seem to be keeping a very low profile. Its all been about Rodney’s overseas trips, his marriage, Auckland City Council, the internal problems, David Garret, Roger Douglas and Heather Roy.

    ACT really need to figure out a strategy to counter negative media coverage. I see the scum were at it again the last few days trying to beat up the story on the rape comparison. “Outrage” they say, but they don’t say that those expressing the outrage were far left loons intensely opposed to ACT (on campus) because of their support for voluntary student unionism.


  6. Not defending ACT mate, I just wanted to point out the massive amount of work Boscawen did trying to roust the sheeple. And you’re absolutely right; their message is confused (at best) and they’re a basket-case internally.


  7. Chuck, if I was going to give my vote to any of NZ’s current parties, I would give it to ACT. They have some good people but they could have a lot better people. I don’t know of Boscawen’s efforts in parliament to dissuade the idiot Smith from his current course of action. I’m prepared to accept it was more than most. That said, given their limited role, (because of Key taking in the Maori Party) how much effect can they really have?


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