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EYE-BALL Opinion on – Climate Change 2012 – The Carbon Tax …

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Title:
Climate Change 2012 – The Carbon Tax …
An OECD report on the Environment released on the 15th Mar indicated just how serious the World is becoming on the issue of ‘Climate Change‘ – the report can be read in full on-line here– a highlight section is posted below for context and information …

Environment: Act now or face costly consequences, warns OECD

OECD – Paris, 15 March 2012

As countries struggle with the immediate challenges of stretched public finances and high unemployment, they must not neglect the longer term. Action needs to be taken now to prevent irreversible damage to the environment.

“Greener sources of growth can help governments today as they tackle these pressing challenges. Greening agriculture, water and energy supply and manufacturing will be critical by 2050 to meet the needs of over 9 billion people.” said OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría.

The OECD Environmental Outlook to 2050: The Consequences of Inaction presents the latest projections of socio-economic trends over the next four decades, and their implications for four key areas of concern: climate change, biodiversity, water and the health impacts of environmental pollution. Despite the recent recession, the global economy is projected to nearly quadruple to 2050. Rising living standards will be accompanied by ever growing demands for energy, food and natural resources – and more pollution.

The costs of inaction could be colossal, both in economic and human terms. Without new policies:

  • World energy demand in 2050 will be 80% higher, with most of the growth to come from emerging economies (for North America about +15%, for OECD Europe +28%, for Japan +2.5, for Mexico +112%) and still 85% reliant on fossil fuel-based energy. This could lead to a 50% increase in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions globally and worsening air pollution.
  • Urban air pollution is set to become the top environmental cause of mortality worldwide by 2050, ahead of dirty water and lack of sanitation. The number of premature deaths from exposure to particulate air pollutants leading to respiratory failure could double from current levels to 3.6 million every year globally, with most occurring in China and India. Because of their ageing and urbanised populations, OECD countries are likely to have one of the highest rate of premature death from ground-level ozone in 2050, second only to India.

Chart on: Premature deaths from ground-level ozone: Number of deaths per million inhabitants …


Source: OECD (2012), OECD Environmental Outlook to 2050; Baseline, output from IMAGE suite of models. Access to the underlying data in Excel

  • On land, global biodiversity is projected to decline by a further 10%, with significant losses in Asia, Europe and Southern Africa. Areas of mature forests are projected to shrink by 13%. About one-third of biodiversity in rivers and lakes worldwide has already been lost, and further losses are projected to 2050.
  • Global water demand will increase by some 55%, due to growing demand from manufacturing (+400%), thermal power plants (+140%) and domestic use (+130%). These competing demands will put water use by farmers at risk. 2.3 billion more people than today –over 40% of the global population – will be living in river basins under severe water stress, especially in North and South Africa, and South and Central Asia.

These projections highlight the urgent need for new thinking. Failing that, the erosion of our environmental capital will increase the risk of irreversible changes that could jeopardise two centuries of rising living standards.

“We have already witnessed the collapse of some fisheries due to overfishing, with significant impacts on coastal communities, and severe water shortages are a looming threat to agriculture. These enormous environmental challenges cannot be addressed in isolation. They must be managed in the context of other global challenges, such as food and energy security, and poverty alleviation.” says Gurría.

Well-designed policies to tackle environmental problems can also help to address other environmental challenges, and contribute to growth and development. Tackling local air pollution contributes not only to cutting GHG emissions but also to reducing the economic burden of chronic and costly health problems. Moreover, climate policies help protect biodiversity, for example by reducing emissions from deforestation.
To avert the grim future painted by the Environmental Outlook to 2050, the report recommends a cocktail of policy solutions: using environmental taxes and emissions trading schemes to make pollution more costly than greener alternatives; valuing and pricing natural assets and ecosystem services like clean air, water and biodiversity for their true worth; removing environmentally harmful subsidies to fossil fuels or wasteful irrigation schemes; and encouraging green innovation by making polluting production and consumption modes more expensive while providing public support for basic R&D.

Green growth policies are already in place in many countries. For example, Mexico’s new pilot programme gives direct cash transfers to farmers instead of subsidising the electricity they use to pump irrigation water, thus removing the price distortion that encouraged over-use of groundwater. The UK government has earmarked GBP 3 billion for the new UK Green Investment Bank; this should leverage an additional GBP 15 billion of private investment in green energy and recycling by 2015. The US government has been working to phase out preferential tax provisions worth about USD 4 billion per annum that continue to support the production of fossil energy. Capitalising on its knowledge-base and environmental technologies, city of Kitakyushu in Japan is working with businesses to enhance its competitiveness as a “green city” for low-carbon growth. Governments, businesses, consumers all have a part to play to move towards greener growth.

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To read the research material behind this report and look at the graphic representation of the predicted – “Premature deaths from ground-level ozone” above – the ‘climate change’ debate has gone to new levels.

A year ago I did a lot of  lot of research on this subject when the Carbon Tax debate was at fever pitch.  All to try to prove my belief in the ‘climate change’ theory.  The conclusion was confusing – and forced a review causing my view to alter.  I did believed in climate change – wrote a documentary paper in 1995 about it – and after this research I have become a skeptic – all based on the collective data out there from both sides that was just too difficult to form any conclusive opinion that sat well within my logical and reasoning mindset.

The one thing I always believe in was that CARBON is good for the planet – nothing survives without carbon as a baseline ingredient … so to my way of thinking to place a tax on carbon, of to give the perception that teh Carbon Tax is a tax on carbon –  was just plain stupid and wrong.  It mislead the Nation.

It was like taxing water – which we do at Local Council level with Water rates etc … or the sunlight – sun, water, and carbon are the three things that make this planet work – how long before the Federal get in the act and tax Water – or Sunlight – if this Carbon Tax gets a foot hold.

I get the motive behind the Carbon tax – to reign in the growth of ‘fossil fuel’ pollutants being pumped into the atmosphere – the scientist say that the parts per million of Carbon is what is driving driving warmer climates … I just don’t believe taxing Carbon is an effective answer to fixing the problem.

If you think this through – the polluters pay the tax for their carbon emissions – they pass that cost on to the consumer – the Government collects the tax that the consumer is paying for and reimburses the consumer – the Government takes a cut from the transaction swap – there is only one winner in that proposal – the Government tax collections …

The polluters continue to pump pollutants into the atmosphere – the consumer continues to use the electricity – and prices and usage will continue to rise – that means more pollutants – where is the resultant impact on reduced  pollutants impacting on the ‘climate change’  the tax was supposed to stop?

There has to be a better way to ‘green’ the planet.

They did it with the aerosol and refrigeration contaminants when the ‘ozone’ layer was threatened – why not just impose a conversion date on reducing the pollutants through better filtration or other conversion means …

The Carbon Tax is not all about Carbon – that is the crap in its selling …

Everything we grow and eat needs carbon – with no cap on a world population, food growth is needed and carbon will help that – there has to be a better way than creating a tax that only suits the Government’s need for additional revenues – remember the fuel levy and how it was to be used for roads – it is all now just a part of the consolidated revenues and spend everywhere …

The forensic measurement over a 100 years of climate data against historical research data from the ‘Ice-age’, and the carbon imprint throughout that time frame is like predicting when the sun will stop generating heat … yes we know our weather patterns are out of kilter – in the southern hemisphere summer feels more like Jan-Mar as opposed to the official Dec-Feb quarter – winters seem to be milder closer to the Tropic of Capricorn – storms seem to be more fierce – but in a lifetime – we have seen similar periods or extremes that more than once in that lifetime.

Looking at the ‘Premature deaths from ground-level ozone’ chart in the OECD article above – if you were to compare these deaths with say – starvation deaths happening now – or the current daily disease deaths in Africa and other third world Nations – these predicted deaths are minute compared with the loss of live here and now that could be prevented with a will to do so.

I think the bigger picture is lost in the ‘greens’ futuristic probable when compared with the current and undeniable plausible …

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To have your say where it counts: – contact your Local Federal Representative and have your say – please use the links below to find your Local Member and let them know how you feel about this or any other topic that you feel strongly about – or you can just post a comment below and let off some steam. [Links updated 23rd Feb 4:00pm Sydney Time due to Federal Government page move.]

Link to Previous EYE-BALL Posts.

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The EYE-BALL Opinion …

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  1. March 16, 2012 at 10:57 am

    The CARBON equation is transferance – from in the ground to to atmosphere back to the trees – its a cycle – water and sunlight is used and needed for this all to happen – it’s as natural as babies being born …

    For much of the World population to be convinced on the Climate Change debate – scientist need to find a way to explain the above –

    If the debate is that too much carbon in the atmosphere – the 390 parts per million research and other stress levels need to be tested to find out what the variables really are – saying that a level is dangerous and changing the wolrd and how it finctions on a hypothetical seems a drastic measure and spend if in 40 years we all discover it was not carbon that was the casue …

    What about rediation flares from the sun, the pumping of swerage ito oceans, the culling of forests, volcanic activity, what how are they going to teach our cthildren all about this –

    The Governments answer – wack a tax on it and hope it goes away … this in the 21st century – just how smart are we …

  2. oztruth
    March 16, 2012 at 11:16 pm

    We are at the stage where the people are so submissive that 1 of the 4 building blocks of life can be taxed without opposition. Tax sunlight for all they care. Just keep dancing with the stars flowing.

  3. Herman
    March 19, 2012 at 9:45 am

    Burning fossil fuels is a big part of the equation. Yes Carbon is a cycle. Photosynthesis takes carbon from the atmosphere and stores it as a starch in living matter. That starch becomes many things in the food chain, forests, in time coal, oil and so on. When living matter dies and decays it becomes a source of atmospheric carbon. Surprisingly grasslands absorbs about 3 times the carbon compared to forest. A forest is itself a sub culture. Decaying leaves are part of the eco system giving off carbon while the growth component absorbs atmospheric carbon. With grasslands we don’t observe the death of grass and therefore decay. Too often cloven footed animals eat that grass, and then those same dirty rotters belch and fart methane (CH4). If I mow my lawn, and leave the clippings to rot, when that material breaks down it too gives off atmospheric carbon. Hence Logan Council atempts to capture that methane of all landfill to power turbines. Well done Logan City Council.

    What is hard to dismiss is that in 140 years of steam power and petrol cars we have exhausted massive quantities of oil and coal. A debate about how much doesn’t help. We have used all the easily got at oil, and export coal as if there is no tomorrow. We can not guess at a healthy level of atmospheric carbon, but do see that global warming will hurt human inhabitation of life as we know it. We admit by burning fossil fuels we are quickly adding atmospheric carbon and altering nature’s balance. We can’t rationally say much more than that.

    This as always leads to an attitudinal change. Cars and heavy vehicles are causing so much of what we observe. Yet we intend to tax power stations and convert them to gas and don’t consider cars and heavy vehicles. Next time we drive maybe 1km to collect the kids from school or drop them at sport or other, will we consider there are alternatives. Walking. Take the push bike. When we drive the car a couple of kms to Westfield to go shopping do we consider the alternatives. The person with little time can not shop in small quantities regularly to avoid excessive carry and so on and so forth. It is a lifestyle choice. We struggle to carry 10 to 15kg, because society has changed.

    We also accept that much change is in the name of progress. We do have increased productivity and more consumption. Any other debate is tangential and not addressing perceived global warming.

    What has occurred in the last 5 years to decade is just the beginning of changing attitudes. We all still want big powerful cars. We turn on lights without thinking. We drive everywhere without considering public transport or walking. Our rail infrastructure is such that road transport is dominant over rail. We have no idea what aviation fuel does to our stratosphere. We all dream of overseas and exotic travel. We are not talking about armageddon just a proper evaluation of what we take for granted. This carbon tax is ham fisted, and not really addressing some of the deeper issues. At best it is a start. At worst it will destroy many small business.

    By the end of winter we will realise the cost of home heating and unnecessary electrical consumption. Recently near Rodd Point at the back of Leichhardt I noticed a pathway lit with solar lighting. That solar lighting is relatively cheaper and easier than attempting to cable a very picturesque part of Sydney Harbour. It makes it safer. It has so many benefits I can’t imagine a negative. These are the benefits of this type of progress.

    As so often I simply advocate greater debate, therefore awareness, therefore rationality.

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