A 5 billion dollar package to repair climate change damage? Current events here in Australia seem a little ironic to me. Here is why.
13 long years of drought in Australia kinda clinched the existence of climate change for many people, as has the flooding rains the followed. The heating of the oceans are causing so many different effects on the climactic system that Gaia has thrown everything into a spin. 2010 was, on average, the 3rd hottest year globally since records existed. Australia had one of its coldest years on record, and in the eastern part and some of the west, one of its wettest. The extreme weather events that the climatologist predicted would happen are now happening with regular occurrence not only our country, but globally. To put the icing on the cake, two tropical cyclones are heading towards Queensland as I write, probably making landfall within a week of each other.
Sounds like a strong response is required to cut our carbon emissions are in order, just like our learned scientists have been screaming at us to do quickly. Will we ever see this happen? I don’t believe so.
So what has been our Government’s response to this climate devastation? Well, a simple one really. Lets cut funding to climate projects, like large scale renewable energy, clean car fund, and even Carbon capture and storage (yes, even clean coal gets the cut). WTF??? Are they on some kind of hallucinogenic drug? Are they missing the forest for the trees (albeit, the cut down ones that they give the logging industry permission to cut down in swathes). Climatologist have a majority consensus regarding Climate Change. Sure not all of them, but the vast majority and that we should have acted at the turn of the century to prevent what is now occurring. So why should we pay for a levy, when the Hon. Julia Gillard PM, decides to cut Climate Change programs, to pay for Climate Change effects? So is a tax in disguise the answer to Climate Change? How stupid, short sighted and very, very ironic.
A levy (tax) for 12 months to pay for the damage caused by the flooding in three states of the country? Personally I am all for a levy to help pay my part, but without the cuts to climate change mitigation projects. However, it seems that it may not even be legal as I found this tit bit posted as a comment under a news article;
“Has anyone looked at the legality of such a tax? Under section 51(2) and 99 of the constitution, the commonwealth would be unable to impose income tax at different rates in different states. Under section 51(2) the parliament has power to tax but so as not to discriminate between states or parts of states. Under section 99 the commonwealth shall not, by any law or regulation of trade, commerce or revenue, give preference to one state or any part there of over another state or any part thereof. All for supporting the flood victims but lets not disregard the constitution in the process!! – boulder”
It doesn’t sound legal to me either but I am not a constitutional QC, so maybe that is why they are calling it a levy and not a temporary tax. A tax on the few with exemptions for certain parts of the population. It doesn’t seem fair.
Perhaps I could write a movie about a man who lost his wife and children due to Climate Change, and takes the law into his own hands to revenge Climate Change deniers in Parliament. The movie could be called “The Greater Good”. Mind you, the man would have to take out most of the Parliament for the effect to be any good. Not that I am advocating a Guy Faulks like event. Far from it. It just irritates me that either our politicians have not connected the dots, or have and are just ignoring the evidence. What happens when the next climate disaster occurs? Do we just get a continuous levy imposed aka tax. Why aren’t the industries that pollute pay more? That’s right, they have the ample funds to lobby the government for a cut in company tax, and to delay an inevitable carbon tax on the worst of them. Yet again the people pay for companies outright greed.
I believe that We will need to be in a Climate Change Disaster movie before Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott believe or act upon Climate Change decisively. What will it take?
Kathy P. says
It’s the same here in the US. Actually worse. The so-called conservatives (actually right-wing extremists) are all climate-change deniers simply because they hate Al Gore. Asinine.
A lot of people are trying to make changes on a personal and local level, and the states still have rebate programs designed to encourage energy efficient upgrades, but the Federal ones have all but disappeared after they extended the tax break for billionaires. We need a real energy policy but we’ll never get it, not under the current corrupt system.
Of course, our Congress is a wholly owned subsidiary of Big Oil, Big Coal, Big Pharma, and Big Ag, so it’s not surprising. Even the US Supreme Court now answers to their corporate masters.
You do realise you just insulted all of the ostriches.
I can guarantee you that when I heard how the dimwit was getting the money, I didn’t say ‘that’s a shame’. It was pure french.
You know the really sad part, we only have ourselves to blame, well the idiots who put her into power. Mind you the alternative gives me the heebie geegies.
And WTF are they going to do next month, when another part of the country gets wiped out from a different natural distaster??
And I suppose they want to rebuild in the same areas, that are flood prone? I realise these are people’s homes & work places, and I feel for them, so much, with all their loss, but are we not just setting ourselves up for more of the same heartache?
Michael from Canberra says
I’m with you Gavin.
The government seems to have deliberately avoided the opportunity to publically link the flooding events to climate change. If such ignorance wasn’t frustrating enough, the few programs which were working to counter the effects are being scrapped as though they were merely extravagant luxuries.
Having said that, I never agreed with the cash for clunkers program, I thought it was a policy designed to appeal to the mass uninformed, but if you had any understanding of the concept around embodied energy you’d quickly realise it was a sham and I’m almost happy to see it gone. It makes me furious to see funds diverted from viable solar energy programs though. Such shame.
While I acknowledge a need to get started quickly, I would hope that we aren’t rebuilding to the same specification as before, so that we finish just in time for it to be swept away by the next flood that will inevitably come our way, and with increasing frequency. I would also be interested in understanding what is the plan for avoiding contractors from criminally capitalising on the rush of new work orders, like we had observed with the school halls program??? Execution of these things hasn’t been among our government’s strong points…
Scrapping the climate change projects is bewildering.
Much shaking of head, tense mumblings and the odd WTF?
I agree that cutting funding to climate projects is ridiculous. There’s a petition here for those concerned
Although I am all for a tax to help pay for the flood disaster. And a scale where the richest pay more is entirely fair.
How infuriating for you all! Cuts to climate projects are the last thing you need. I scratch my head. My heart goes out to everyone who was affected by the flooding. Here in Canada, I am equally frustrated with the government, as it pertains the the oil sands mega project in Alberta, and the lack of any desire to cut emissions because of it. I just used my blog to vent as well! It seems like we have different situations, but the exact same story with the response from our governments. I wish you luck!
Well, scrapping the cash-for-clunkers scheme was a good idea, and I think CCS is snake oil so I don’t care if the research into it isn’t subsidised.
The political blog I read opined that it was an excuse to remove embarrassing things from the list of to-dos. Despite this, I am still not entirely convinced that they will come good on an ETS in a hurry.
Refuse to pay income tax. Heck – why not? Argue that there soon won’t be a planet, so you’ve decided to refuse to pay tax to those who have decided to, by their negligence, trash the earth.
See what happens 🙂 At the least, you’ll be made an example of and raise awareness!