Tell me you’re joking Helen

24 03 2008

Helen Ridout AIG CEO

From the Canberra times, I recently learnt of the sums of money that might be raised by Australia’s planned carbon trading scheme. Unbelievably (but predictably), business is asking for some special treatment.

Carbon trading to reap billions

By Andrew Fraser Political Correspondent

Cutting greenhouse-gas emissions is set to reap a bonanza of up to $20billion for Commonwealth coffers.In a policy brief out today, the Climate Institute says that, based on economic modelling, an emissions-trading system could yield a dividend of between $7 billion and $20 billion for the nation’s revenue in as few as 12 years.

It comes on the same day as the lead government adviser on climate change, Professor Ross Garnaut, brings out his second discussion paper and as the Australian Industry Group’s budget submission calls for a $3 billion tax break for business to deal with the Government’s climate-change policies.


The Australian Industry Group Budget submission says the Government should phase in a reduction in company tax to 25 per cent from 30 per cent by 2010 to help business adjust to climate change.Chief executive Heather Ridout said, “Australian business wants to be part of a global solution to the threats posed by climate change and supports progress on giving shape to a domestic Emissions Trading Scheme.”

However, the scheme will leave many businesses and their employees in trade-exposed industries operating at a disadvantage relative to competitors abroad and it will require a massive investment effort by the business community as products and processes are re-evaluated and re-engineered.”

But Helen, the thing is, heavily polluting industries don’t need to be propped up, with their money returned in the form of subsidies or tax breaks. They need,….well,….to be hunted down and submerged in an icy stream until the last bubbles of life leave their grey-blue, motionless lips. Simple really.

I’m particularly enamoured of the devious (if clumsy) euphemism: “trade-exposed industries operating at a disadvantage relative to competitors abroad”. One could imagine she might be talking about the sale in land mines or narcotics with such a clever phrase. Remember, inflicting some discomfort on carbon emitters isn’t a problem – its the whole bloody point!

Anything that slows industries’ conversion to renewable energy generation and utilisation as well as sustainable production, is wasting precious time that this particular planet can ill afford.


Oh.. that’s where all my plastic s#*t ends up !

10 03 2008

I’ve found ‘away’.

I’ve mentioned before that David Suzuki’s phrase there is no ‘AWAY’  !” has stuck with me over the decades (as in ‘I threw it away‘). Well.. he’s wrong. I’ve finally found ‘away’. It’s a place in the Pacific Ocean where frightening quantities of plastic detritus circulate, and will probably continue to do so well after our bones turn to dust.

Plastic contamination in the world’s oceans is worse than previously imagined and no amount of technology can clean it up, according to Charles Moore. The oceanographer returned February 23 from a five-week odyssey in the Pacific Ocean with samples showing 48 parts plastic for every part of plankton…

Read the rest over at CNET green tech.