Oct 302008

ETS modelling is out and the coalition opposition says it’s flawed.

A standard response from a predictable opposition which is operating on the premise of opposing anything which originates from the government, because it’s the opposition and that’s what opposition parties do. Andrew Robb claims the Treasury modelling is flawed, but can’t say why. Where’s the benefit for Australia in claiming something is terribly flawed without stating why and nominating a suitable fix?
Robb claims the modelling doesn’t factor in the current economic fracas. Neither it should. The fiscal crisis is a one off (hopefully) and like a bad debt in business, cannot be accounted for to the ‘N’th degree. Provision can be made, but how long is that piece of string and just when will the next global economic crisis take place? How wide spread is it likely to be? What an appalling rationale for claiming flawed economic modelling.
Industry doesn’t like the result because it impacts on industry. Surprise! Surprise! $23/tonne as a carbon price is a “hell of a whack”. The current EU carbon price is the equivalent of A$44.83. Now that’s a hell of a whack. Perhaps Ausralia’s ETS should start off where current trading nations are currently? Enter into a marketplace which is already working? Of course, industry would whinge and complain even more so.
Household energy costs will rise by an estimated $7/week or $84 per quarter. Change all the light bulbs to fluros, don’t leave them on un-necessarily, hang the washing out in the backyard instead of using the clothes dryer and shut down computers which aren’t being used. In this household that’s bound to save a lot more than $84 off every power bill even now. Malcolm Turnbull advocates waiting. let’s wait and see what the new US President does, he says. Let’s wait to see what the Democrat Congress does. (why I don’t understand because the American Congress has been controlled by the Democratic Party for nearly twelve months now) He says we should also wait to see whether China, India, Brazil, and who knows how many other nations, join a form of global ETS. While we’re waiting, nothing happens. Actually that’s incorrect. The contribution to adverse climate change from humanities industrialisation would continue apace, making a later start to any carbon abatement scheme all the more difficult to implement or effectively combat climate change with. But hey, all of us alive today will be dead and drifting on a carbon-laden breeze by the time the planet really wakes up to the fact that any abatement battle needed to start decades previous.
The reports are in, the modelling’s been done. I say we continue forward and establish an emissions trading scheme as planned. No amount of modelling can possibly predict exactly how any such scheme should or will function, until it’s in place and working. The EU’s early efforts testify to that. At least Australia has the benefit of that reality to plan from. To paraphrase Daryl Somers’ Northern Territory commercial from the eighties….if we never, never go, we’ll never, never know.

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