Carbon capers

It’s imminent (in the fullness of time) 

Undecided about climate change? Not too sure whether the six lead-writers of the UN’s IPCC 2007 Climate Report got it right, or the 30,000 scientists around the world who have raised big doubts, might be closer to the mark? Fear not. The clincher is at hand. Charles Manson, of the 1969 Sharon Tate murders fame, has come out in favour of human-induced climate change— or as he likes to put it, global warming. And he’s not happy about what’s going on; not one bit! 

London’s Daily Mail reports that Manson, in an exclusive interview with Vanity Fair (Spanish edition), stated: 

Everyone’s God and if we don’t wake up to that there’s going to be no weather because our polar caps are melting because we’re doing bad things to the atmosphere. 

Another announcement this week was that the climate-alarmist’s prediction “that by the year 2010 there would be 50,000,000 climate refugees” invading those countries with high places — all seeking refuge from the rising oceans — was wrong. It didn’t happen. The oceans didn’t rise. The 50,000,000 climate refugees didn’t come. Also foretold was that the Great Barrier Reef only had two years before it was too late, which from memory, was about three or four year ago. Gosh! This Prophet business isn’t for sissies.

Again, the destruction of the Murray River and everything associated with it, was imminent. So was the melting of the polar icecaps. So were the polar bears — their extinction was “imminent”. (Oops! Sorry, we’ve just found 25,000 missing bears.) 

One of the best tricks when you hear the word “imminent”, in relation to climate-alarmism, is to add the qualifier “in the fullness of time”. Remember Tim Flannery’s immortal quote: 

If the world as a whole cut all emissions tomorrow, the average temperature of the planet’s not going to drop for several hundred years, perhaps over 1000 years. 

Now you see the beauty of “in the fullness of time” when dealing with climate change predictions. Professor Tim would have been on much safer ground saying the destruction of our planet “is imminent, in the fullness of time”. Adding precise dates or time-frames can be a tricky when you are propheteering in the science business. 

Another pair of Prophets are our own prime minister Julia Gillard and her climate minister Greg Combet. They are prophesying that their proposed carbon tax will cut the nations’ use of carbon dioxide generating activities to 5% below 2000 by the year 2020. Now even our local wombats know that a tax doesn’t ever stop things. A tax makes things happen. The big trick with taxes, if you are a clever, tax-avoiding little wombat, is to make sure someone else pay it — while you reap the benefits yourself. Take the latest little carbon caper fresh from the UK. 

According to Richard North, a dedicated Climategate watcher, some UK electricity generating companies have their noses firmly in the carbon caper feed-bag and are chomping away. Apparently the carbon-prize so far is 100 million UK pounds (A$153,000,000). From the first of this month International Power reduced the output from their Teesside power station from 1875 megawatts to 45 megawatts. They are now importing power from a French nuclear power company, to service their customers. By doing this they can pocket the ‘carbon credits’ they had received from the government of the UK to run Teesside. The carbon credits can now be sold on the European carbon market. 

So what is happening is that International Power gets carbon credits to run a power station, which it doesn’t do; then buys cheap power from France, which it resells to it customers at a non-reduced price; then sells its carbon credits and pockets the money. It also sacks 100 workers which the British government then has to support on the dole. But the interesting thing is that the people who will buy the British carbon-credits from International Power will be the likes of German airline Lufthansa, which has to buy carbon credits under the European carbon scheme (ETS). So their passengers will be paying for the credits that International Power have sold to Lufthansa which it got free from the UK government. Get it? 

Welcome to the new world of carbonomics. 

Why should this interest Australians? Well Qantas (domestic) and Virgin Blue will almost, without doubt, be hit by the proposed Gillard/Combet carbon tax. Unlike most other industries, the airline business cannot use anything other than fossil fuel in their engines. No one in the government has mentioned that air-travel costs will rise as part of the carbon-tax regime. When the ETS arrives our airlines will have to buy carbon credits from countries like Russia who will sell credits from their Siberian forests — forests that they had no intension of ever cutting down. Ah! The beauty of carbonomics. 

Just how Julia Gillard thinks that her carbon tax will change the habits of ‘big dirty polluters’ like airlines, is a mystery. The carbon tax won’t and can’t change their habits, or their engines, or the fuel that they use. 

The only way airlines can actually meet their share of the proposed 5% below 2000 Co2 reduction, is to fly less flights. But of course what the government is planning is for those companies like airlines, that can’t change their fuel, is to tax them. Take companies, like steel and cement manufacturers, that can’t change their production methods — these companies will be forced to either buy off-shore carbon credits, shift off-shore themselves or shut down. 

A clear example of how the new carbon tax and the ETS is going to ‘spring clean’ this country’s large carbon intensive industries, is the closure of the Shell refinery at Clyde in NSW. Shell will now import a sizable chunk of Australia’s petrol requirements from Singapore. Anyone who thinks that this decision hasn’t been influenced by the “imminent” new mining supertax or the “imminent” carbon tax, isn’t concentrating. 

In a country that is increasing its supply to the world of fossil fuels such as coal, coal-seam gas and LNG, for its government to be seriously suggesting that a carbon tax on domestic usage is a positive step towards reducing CO2 in the world’s atmosphere is a joke, a lie, a deception. 

It isn’t going to happen!


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