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Australian Climate Madness

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Terry McCrann - climate sense

Writing in The Australian, Terry McCrann opens his article with the exact point I have made directly to Penny Wong - why does the Government refer to the harmless trace gas carbon dioxide as "carbon pollution"? The answer, clearly, is because it helps to massage public opinion into thinking that the "carbon pollution reduction scheme" is there to reduce belching soot from industrial chimneys.
What's in a name? The lie. For the truth is that it is not a Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme, but a Carbon Dioxide -- pollution or not -- reduction scheme.

Just a minor difference? An understandable, even appropriate, abbreviation? No way. The difference is huge and quite deliberate. It's not even "justified" on the basis of a snappy acronym. CPRS or CDPRS -- neither has the vowel necessary for snappiness.

There's no question the continual harping on "carbon pollution" is intended to send a subliminal impression. We're getting rid of all those little bits of black stuff floating around in the air. And who can possibly be against that?

He then goes on to expose the utter ridiculousness of the Treasury's ETS modelling for all to see:
The most ludicrous aspect of [Treasury official David] Gruen's rationalisation is that cutting emissions is "just like tariff cuts which move the economy towards its true competitive advantage".

I've pointed out that it is in fact the exact opposite; it is like embracing tariff increases. Cutting tariffs removed an artificial cost on the economy; the CPRS will impose an artificial cost on the economy.

The response is that, ah, I don't understand "externalities". That you have to properly price the external costs -- climate change. I understand them only too well -- I suggest, on the evidence, somewhat better than Gruen.
...
We cut our emissions to zero and what happens to the (supposed) cost? Nothing. We still incur it. Cutting our emissions to zero can have no impact on our climate. Irrespective of what the rest of the world does.

Read it here.

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