Riddle me this: The Abbott government repealed the carbon tax but kept the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Act, which is the auditing basis for it. Now why would anyone do that if they were getting rid of the tax? In a government that supposedly striving valiantly to reduce red tape, this act takes thousands of accountants to administer. Australia likely has more accountants doings carbon-emission reports than combat troops. The palaver on the site refers to the Clean Energy Regulator. Read it and weep.
More recently the Abbott government committed to a 26% reduction in Australia’s CO2 emissions. How is that different to having a carbon tax? They had a warmist economist by the name of Warwick McKibben say it was only going to shrink the economy by $600 million (0.002% of GDP), and that growth would then continue at 2.5% to eternity. Australia spends about $80 billion a year on energy, so that reduction would save us $20 billion a year. If it really was only going to cost us $600 million to save $20 billion we would be doing it already.
The carbon tax lives, they just changed the name. This was the biggest con of the whole two inglorious Abbott years.
Energy costs are 40% of operating costs for most mining projects and agriculture. Just a little increase in costs and a lot of operations will become non-competitive and close. The 26% reduction we were headed to under Abbott would crush the economy — and we are still headed to it. The difference between now and then is that Abbott said buying indulgences to emit unclean energy has to be kept in Australia, so the money stays here. Turnbull will say that the indulgences can be bought from overseas, making it a big, international wealth-redistribution exercise.
My own modelling says that the 26% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions that the Abbott government announced will shrink the economy by 20%, plus or minus. It is a hard modelling exercise, with big, non-linear responses. Iron-ore mining and wheat-growing will shut down with knock-on effects throughout the economy. But they won’t be the only industries to be wiped out.
Regarding stopping those boats, that was a triumph only because our expectations are so low. Under Rudd/Gillard, the Navy was turned into a taxi service for the illegals. They were scraping them almost off the beaches of Java. The Armidale Class patrol boats are now worn out from doing it. The Navy came up with the plan for stopping them and implemented it. For conservatives, our new treasurer is most likely going to end up like John Roberts on the US Supreme Court. He was a tabula rasa before his appointment because there was nothing on him in the public domain. He turned out to be a lefty. As with Roberts, if there is a lack of conservative thought in Morrison’s on-the-record utterances, assume the worst.
David Archibald’s next book is Australia’s Defence 2016 and Beyond (Connor Court).