Carbon and salt

22 07 2008

Peter Martin (Canberra Times) uses an analogy today to compare compensating heavy industry CO2 with the (thankfully imaginary) government compensating tobacco companies for restricting smoking.

Like me, he finds the idea laughable:

In her green paper, Climate Change Minister Penny Wong justifies the idea this way: ”If the change in regulatory arrangements was unanticipated and implemented without compensation, and investors viewed this as evidence that the Government was likely to change the regulatory regime in future in an unpredictable way, then investors might regard Australia’s electricity market as a riskier investment proposition.”

Try submitting that sentence to the laugh test. That is, try to read it out loud without laughing.

The truth is that when it finally makes a decision on the type of emissions trading system that Australia will have from 2010, Parliament will have ended, not added to, the uncertainty that has been making Australia’s electricity market a risky investment proposition.

More news on carbon in the Age today, revealing the government’s stance on desalination plants.  Surely we’ve a way to go with industry cutting back water use before we resort to these big, energy hungry, centralised monsters.  I tend to think they eliminate positive feedback loops with regard to our water use and further the notion of living beyond our ecological means.


Rudd proves image matters more than deeds

21 07 2008

How disappointing to learn of the Rudd government undermining its carbon trading scheme by exempting big polluters.  Hopefully most of the electorate realises that the more sectors are exempt, the greater the burden on the rest of us.

There’s something quite absurd, dare I say laughable about the idea.  The scheme’s purpose is to reduce dangerous emissions but we let the cement, aluminium and coal industries off the hook.  We’re scared of increased prices on petrol so we subsidise it.

It confirms my suspicion that Rudd doesn’t truly believe in this cause (or any cause).  The carbon mafia are victorious – for now.  Such a compromise is unacceptable given the high stakes of this policy area.