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Labor hope for fantasy 45% reduction in Australian emissions by … 2030

Australians keep voting against climate taxes, but in 2016 we’re having an election based on climate. (We get the choice of “Bad” or “Worse”. For the economy, it’s the TNT-plan or the Nuclear-bomb?)

The Liberals are offering the obscene cut of 26 – 28% from 2005 by 2030. As a nation dependent on fossil fuels, with no nuclear or no new hydro on offer, the target is ridiculous. With the most rapidly growing population in the West, and one of the most energy intensive export industries globally, it’s economically suicidal. The Labor Party have a fantasy that it should be 45%. (Why not 85%?)

As far as the election goes in 2016, our only hope is to elect minor party and independent Senators to stop our two main parties from  hobbling the nation. Start planning now.

According to the opposition spokesman Mark Butler on the 7:30 Report last night, the 45% fantasy will all be fine, because energy use and economic development will be “decoupled” (for the first time in human history) and new technology will save us. We’ll have profoundly different cars he says.

Look at what the last 15 years have done for cars…

Holden Commodore, 2000, 2015, carbon emissions

Imagine how different cars will be in 2030?

Hey, but the last 15 years have been pretty profound for the Volkswagen. ;- ) Back then, who would have predicted cars would be smart enough to cheat on lab tests?

If Butler means “electric cars” – he ought know that if they are recharged by coal-power, they’re worse for the environment, and each new car on our grid could cost $2000 per year more for the grid infrastructure. Not to mention that Australian’s don’t want them, with total sales over the last five years averaging to four whole electric cars each week across the entire nation.

Here’s that interview below; note that at no time does Mark Butler answer any question by bringing in actual scientific or engineering, points. Apparently the Labor Party picked the 45% target because a committee suggested it. When pushed to justify it, it turned out to be not a target, but just a “starting point”, which doesn’t need justification.

How will Australia achieve this mindblowing goal? Not with nuclear power, not by damning every river valley, and not by converting all our coal to ultra-super-critical hot burners. No mention of those. Instead we’ll do it on “hope”.

But there’s always the possibility we just keep burning all the coal anyway but ship trillions of dollars to foreign bankers for carbon credits to make us feel good about.  We can also ship our factories to China, and stop using air conditioners. But Butler didn’t mention that. Neither did Sabra Lane.

SABRA LANE: Based on the sorts of figures that were achieved under the carbon price when Labor was in Government, the carbon price came up to $23 a ton. Assuming that an Emissions Trading Scheme is part of your plan in achieving a 45 per cent cut in emissions, that would put the dollar cost at something like $200 a ton based on understandings by Warwick McKibben?

MARK BUTLER: That’s not right at all. Warwick McKibben did some modelling Tony Abbott’s Government. He modelled a range of targets frankly from doing pretty much nothing right up to 45 per cent cut, the sort of recommendation you saw on the Climate Change Authority’s report. Mr McKibben found by 2030 if you adopted a 45 per cent target there would only be a difference of about 0.3 per cent of GDP compared to the target Tony Abbott and now Malcolm Turnbull are taking to Paris. Really a very, very modest impact on the broader economy but what professor McKibben also found was that there would be a substantial positive impact on investment because obviously of the need to change to newer technology and invest much more in renewable energy.

SABRA LANE: The 45 per cent figure, as you say, comes from the Climate Change Authority report. It found even a cut of 30 per cent by 2025 would require a sharp reduction in emissions intensity of the Australian economy and would impose severe burdens on certain industries. What sorts of industries would close under your plan?

MARK BUTLER: Well, not necessarily any industries would close. A 45 per cent cut-

SABRA LANE: A 45 per cent cut is a huge cut and there would be some industries would be hugely impacted.

MARK BUTLER: Well 45 per cent is a starting point for our discussions but it is a substantial change to the way in which we do business over the course of 15 years but I think your viewers Sabra would see all around them incredible changes in technology happening, the way in which we produce electricity, the sorts of technology we use around the house and in many businesses and they’re starting to see the production of very, very different models of motor vehicles as well. I think most Australians understand that by 2030 the way in which we do so many things will be profoundly different to what we’ve become used to over recent decades and those substantial reductions in carbon pollution levels will be decoupled. The CSIRO only said in the last couple of weeks, will be decoupled increasingly from the path of economic growth.

Mark Butler is opposition spokesman for the Environment.

Car images Wikimedia:  VT Holden: VF Holden

How much has that fuel economy improved? In the year 2000 — Holden Commodore VT was a  V6 Automatic getting City / Highway: 12.0 / 7.2 (L/100km) The Holden Commodore 2015 specs claim fuel consumption combined is 9.7/100km.  (Can someone find me the equivalent “profoundly” different figures now?)

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