Submission on the clean energy bill
On behalf of all rational people in Australia, I object to the “Clean Energy Bill” because it is rank national insanity.
Namely: It’s too large compared to the rest of the world; it’s guaranteed by laws of science to make us poorer; it’s based on a religious dissertation put out by an unaudited foreign committee — and won’t make a jot of difference to the environment (except to encourage bird-blending whale-killing wind-farms and distract us from real environmental problems).
It’s too big
Australians will pay $391 each in the first year — compared $1.50 each for citizens of the EU, and that’s the cumulative total spread over the last five years. Really. And despite that pathetically small per capita charge, 900 scientific peer reviewed papers and 31,500 scientists agree that even the people of the EU have paid too much.
It’s guaranteed to make us poorer
Please explain to us again how we will get richer by using energy sources that are two to ten times more expensive? Australia gets 94% of its national energy from fossil fuels. Our top grossing export is coal. As a nation we will make less and do less overall. We know that lower productivity is inevitable: It’s practically a law of science. There is nothing on the planet or in the universe that achieves more work with less energy.
“In physics, work is the amount of energy transferred to a body by a force…”
There’s the caveat that having more energy doesn’t guarantee that the work done is useful: stupidity, vandals, and arsonists get more done with more energy too. But there it is. If you assume the nation called Australia produces things that humanity wants, we will do less of that with the Clean Energy Bill. It’s not theoretical. It’s as guaranteed as gravity.
If solar was more efficient, we wouldn’t need a Clean Energy Bill, everyone would just use solar.
If we want solar to be more efficient, the answer is to research it, not to pay for inefficient panels made by Chinese manufacturers and hope that someone else does the research (and then if they do, pay them the profits for the research we should have done ourselves). This way, we are paying for the research ten times over, through the creation of a fake market, but we won’t own the results.
The nation can never be compensated
The guaranteed loss of productivity and jobs and lifestyle can’t be “compensated” on a national scale. There are no measurable benefits from the policy succeeding. It’s not like we can keep extra farmland in production if we stop the seas from rising a measly 2mm. Nor will we save people from heat deaths through a national sacrifice that keeps us 0.00 degrees cooler.
The impact will be $1,600 per year for a family of four. People claim there is compensation, but for the nation as a whole there is no productivity gain therefore, the cost of $1,600 per family must be paid for by someone somewhere. The government can’t make energy from thin air. Your house will not be warmed by compensation.
If the government shuffles money to some families, it is at the expense of others. If the people who pay are the effective ones, the ones who make goods and employ people, they’ll have less power and influence to direct our economy. There is no escaping from the reality that if the nation emits less CO2 we will be poorer — less able to afford health care, environmental programs, or aid to foreigners. That reality can only change when there is an alternative. Why not focus on developing the alternative without crippling the economy?
If we want to help the environment, we need to stop bollocksing up the science
I’d be all for it if someone could make a reasonable case for the benefits.
For starters, they might find one single peer reviewed paper reporting empirical evidence that our emissions of CO2 would lead to major warming, or that the minor warming it may cause was anything other than beneficial.
This issue is too important not to take decisive action — our democracy, economy, and environment depend on it.
Instead of rushing through major changes to our national economy we need to get the science right. We need to audit the scientific institutions and foreign reports. Then we need to raise the standard of public debate so the people can choose the best policy. It’s urgent and inescapable that we need a nothing less than a televised series of debates. The case for and against by the best on both sides, with graphs, photos, interviews and whatever it takes. The nation deserves nothing less. The tax will cost billions. You’d think we could afford to spend $50 million on the debates, and $50 million on the vote. If the evidence is overwhelming and the skeptics are deniers, it’ll be easy to settle this won’t it?
What are they afraid of?
We can’t afford to get this policy wrong.
Perth Western Australia
Andrew McRae put in a serious submission worth a read.
h/t popeye in comments for the whale killing link.