A science presenter, writer, speaker & former TV host; author of The Skeptic's Handbook (over 200,000 copies distributed & available in 15 languages).


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If Greens cared about CO2 they would dump renewable targets

Those who say they want a “free market” in carbon still don’t understand what a free market is.

RET’s or Renewable Energy Targets are screwed (in the head): If Tony Abbotts Direct Action plan was useless, RETS are five times more useless.

In Australia the Renewable Energy Target (RET) in theory, helps wind and solar,  so we lower CO2 emissions and cool the world, slow storms, things like that. But Tom Quirk calculates it costs $57 a ton (at best) for those “savings”. Since the Direct Action plan cost $11 a ton,  we could reduce five times as much CO2 if we blew up the RET scheme.

The secret is that the Abbott plan tackled CO2 directly rather than picking winners (see “competition”, “free markets” that sort of thing).  Predictably, the Greens hated it — who needs CO2 reduction if you can support big-government-loving industries instead? (Especially the kind who lobby for the side of politics that wants more bureaucrats, more handouts, and less independent competition?)

Those who say they want a “free market” in carbon still don’t understand what a free market is. It’s pretty simple, if they want a reduction in CO2, they need to pay for a [...]

Myths about Myths of the climate change debate (as made by the Sydney Morning Herald)

Looking for some mythical myths?

Sydney Morning Herald/Age serves their subscribers up a few. Apart from “Myth 1″ below, Adam Morton avoids answering the most important points skeptics are making, but offers up some secondary bit and pieces. He supplies vague wordy answers announcing definitive conclusions based on irrelevant, motherhood type reasoning, non-sequiteurs, and little research: it’s just what we’ve come to expect from a Fairfax “investigation”.

“Myth 1″: The new climate target will be difficult to meet

Adam’s has four arguments (3 irrelevant, 1 wrong) to convince us it will be easy. I’ve paraphrased the wordy stuff. His arguments are so weak, the marvel here is that our national conversation is so irrational. “Not even trying” as they say.

Lo, behold, it will be “easy” to cut our carbon emissions by 26%, because:

1. The last small target we set for 2020 of a “5%” cut was less than other countries are achieving.

Jo says: There’s a reason our target was smaller.  Australia’s population is growing faster (proportionally), our distances are larger, population density smaller, our largest export earner is “coal”, and some of our other exports have “energy” built in (so the carbon emissions occur in [...]

Australian target set at 26% reduction by 2030 — billions spent to reduce global CO2 emissions by 0.01%

The Australian Abbott government has announced the target of a 26% reduction in emissions of CO2 by 2030. This futile effort to change the weather is all cost and no benefit. It’s 26% reduction in 1.3% (Australia’s share) of  4% (human share) of total CO2 emissions globally. If we succeed there’ll be 0.01% less CO2 in the air (at best).

The only good thing is that the policy supposedly can be achieved without “without any need to purchase emissions reductions from overseas.” That means Australia won’t be feeding the global banker-broker machine and assorted “carbon market” bureaucrats — not until the Labor Party come to government, anyway. This is a big win, helping to slow the cycle of governments feeding vested interests who promote big-government.

For once the Greens had a realistic response, though they probably did not intend it that way:

“The Greens party room also discussed the government’s target. The party’s MPs agreed it was “an all-around science fail” and they “all nodded vigorously”, a senior source said.”

Because “carbon accounting” is a joke, measured in a dozen mindless ways, all sides are spinning this in equal and opposite directions. Black IS white simultaneously, and too [...]

The free market wins again – carbon auction price is $14 per ton — up to 300 times cheaper than Carbon Tax

Landfill gas

All the usual suspects declared it could never work. Instead, “Direct Action” is likely to be wildly cheaper and more effective (at reducing CO2). The catch is, it won’t reward friends of big-government and it won’t punish miners, manufacturers and small businesses –  which must be why climate activists don’t like it.

Results are just in from the first Abbott government Direct Action carbon auctions. The government offered to pay for carbon reduction, and held a reverse auction (where people who bid the lowest price would win). The average price came in at $14 a ton.

The Numbers: The Australian government will spend $660 million to reduce emissions by 47mT. These projects will run for about 7 years, and mean the government is on track to meet the target of 180mT reduction by 2020. — Details are at the Clean Energy Regulator.

It’s a lot less than the fantasy schemes that use wind and solar power, of which cost estimates vary partly because no one really knows what the lifespan and disposal costs are. One MIT study estimated the cost of abating carbon with wind was about $60 AUD per ton, and the cost of [...]