Here’s a graph showing something about Australian, Chinese and Indian emissions (thanks to Tom Quirk). At a glance you might think we are up there with the best of them (doing our bit to fertilize the flora of the planet, and to regreen the deserts). Alas, the Australian tally (the green triangles) represents the total emissions of Australia. The lines depicting Chinese and Indian emissions just show their annual increases.
UPDATE: TonyfromOz points out the Y-axis scale is missing three zero’s. Data source: CDIAC (Thanks Anton).
It appears the new coal fired power stations and cars coming on line in the breakneck-evolution-of-China produced twice the emissions of the entire continent of Australia.
Remember our aim to reduce our national output by 5% or so by 2020. Thanks to the Renewable Energy Target, the Clean Energy Fund, the Remote Indigenous Energy Program, the Low Income Energy Efficiency Program, the Living Greener program, the Regional Natural Resource Management Planning, the Light Vehicle CO2 Emissions Standards, the Household Assistance Package, and not to mention another 36 programs I could have listed as well as the Emissions Trading Scheme (aka Carbon Tax), or the Climate Commission, and a multitude of state based schemes, the Australian citizens will spend billions to reduce that string of green triangles by an amount less than the error bars on a graph of Chinese emissions.*
Roughly speaking (and there’s not much point in being accurate), a 5% reduction in Australian emissions undoes the effect of one week of development in China.
Ask not the value for money you receive. Rest assured that by spending this money Australians are ensuring jobs for Chinese factory workers (albeit possibly in sweatshop conditions) and Australian bureaucrats (who bid against each other for Canberra real estate). We are making sure that if competitive solar energy is possible, someone somewhere will find that and then charge us royalties to buy those products back off them.
This is your brain on big-government funding.
Alas it is not your bank balance.
*You have to imagine the error bars on this graph. This is Chinese data after all. Look at the noise. There ought to be error bars on the error bars.