The debate is over
This is a complex issue that we cannot afford to rush, despite Senator Wong's determination to push her plan through parliament by mid-year. Moving early on carbon reduction plays to the deep-green gallery that warns that the world is doomed without immediate action.
But there is no guarantee other countries will follow Australia's lead. US Energy Secretary Steven Chu has floated a carbon tax and if the Americans took this path, Australia would be stuck with an immediately obsolete model. A fixed carbon price would leave us exposed to fluctuating demand. The price of carbon in Europe has dropped from €30 a tonne to €10 over the past month.
Greens leader Bob Brown suggests the Government and Opposition can't make up their minds on targets or what the best system is. He has a point. Until both convincingly explain their schemes, and until we know how they will fit with what the rest of the world will do, it is folly to enact legislation.
Whilst this is all true, we are having the wrong debate. We shouldn't be tinkering with the niceties of whether a cap-and-trade system or a carbon tax is the better approach to "tackling climate change", or reducing "carbon pollution" as Penny Wong would say. We should be debating whether any such scheme is necessary at all. However, that debate appears to be over. The Government, the Opposition, the media - in fact virtually everybody - have been misled by the dire warnings of the hopelessly politicised IPCC, that without drastic CO2 reductions, the planet is headed for dangerous climate change. Only a few are now brave enough to stand up in the face of vicious ad hominem attacks of "denier", "flat earther", "climate criminal" etc. - Barnaby Joyce of the Nationals being one.
Australia, like the US and Europe will dive head first into an emissions reduction scheme which will make zero difference to the climate, but will do enormous damage to our economy and standard of living.
This is true Climate Madness.
Read it here.