JoNova

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


Handbooks


Advertising


Australian Speakers Agency



GoldNerds

The nerds have the numbers on precious metals investments on the ASX



The Skeptics Handbook

Think it has been debunked? See here.

The Skeptics Handbook II

Climate Money Paper



Archives

Books

World Bank likes Australia’s Emissions Trading Scheme — the “secret” ETS

According to the World Bank, Australia has implemented an ETS

It’s charades all round. Carbon markets are so dismal that the World Bank marks up the Australian ETS (which most Australians have never heard of) as “implemented”. Which makes it so much better than Canada’s which is “under consideration”. In fact the World Bank says Australia’s ETS covers half our emissions and 381 Megatons of CO2 or equivalent. Sounds “impressive”.

Strangely the Australian government hasn’t run an advertising campaign to brag about our landmark ETS legislation. I can’t think why? Perhaps it’s because Australian’s gave the largest victory in 20 years to a man who swore a blood oath against a carbon tax? Or maybe it’s the polls that show Australian’s don’t want to pay for renewables, 80% don’t donate to environmental causes, and 60% don’t want or don’t care about the Paris deal if they could get cheaper electricity.

Let’s poll Australians and ask ‘Do we have an ETS?” — maybe 80% would say “No”. Maybe ninety. But we do have one, waiting like a paper troll, ready to spring to life. It’s largely secret hidden legislation, buried under a title called the ERF Safeguard Mechanism — (don’t mention [...]

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 [...]

In the next 37 years, Labor will spend $60,000 per Australian to change the weather

Peter Lang adds up the numbers from the Treasury and leading economic commentators, and finds that decisions the Australian Labor Government has made will cost the equivalent of about $17,000 for every man, woman and child if paid in a lump sum now, or $58,000 if paid bit by bit over the next 37 years to 2050. And that’s just for the ETS, not for the RET and other measures.

By 2019 Alan Moran estimates each year citizens would have to fork out billions for Green Schemes; Labor policies tally to $22b, Coalition policies to $7b, Greens policies to $27b.

If men-in-black-suits turned up at Australian houses forcing citizens to sign cheques for $17,000 per person in order to change the weather on Earth 100 years from now, there would be a revolt in the streets. That’s $68k per household of four. (Is this how you would spend $68 grand?) But if the government disguises those charges in electricity bills, and hidden increases in the cost of every item that has to be moved, heated or cooled, then some 30-40% of the nation sees no reason not to vote for this. [...]

Garnaut: spend billions! Why? So they don’t say nasty things about us.

Photo: ABC

Gillard condemns us to the carbon tax plan (commencing 1 July 2012), and the future emissions trading plans (2015), setting Australia up to be the last dumb-patsy-standing as the rest of the world heads the other way and bails out of the carbon facade.

Australia must immediately pour billions into government coffers, and the man who can justify it all is Ross Garnaut.

For all the expense, the effort, and the pain, what reason did Garnaut put forward?

a/ It will reduce world temperatures. (No.)

b/ 20th century temperatures were perfect. (Says who?)

c/ Australia won’t be so “popular”. Correct answer!

That’s right, the prof of economics has studied it all, crunched the numbers, been paid a stack, and it boils down to “tut-tut-tut, nobody will like you if you don’t do what I say”. (Well, actually it is just foreign “intellectuals”that won’t like you — shucks!)

Garnaut the schoolyard prefect is telling us off. From The Australian:

“ Australia risks a backlash from the international community if it fails to make “proportionate” efforts to cut its carbon emissions.”

But wait, it gets worse, we might confuse them [...]

What’s the harm in acting anyway?

Saving energy or stopping pollution is a good thing. What’s the danger in acting now?

We can save energy and stop real pollution without setting up a whole financial bureaucratic system based on “thin air”. The wholly unnecessary trading system feeds the sharks of finance with more money and power. We waste blood, sweat and tears and encourage cheats. We reward fraud and foster corruption.

When we trade real things, people who cheat get caught easily. They can’t get away with it for long. But in the quasi world of meaningless permits-for-air, the only limit to cheating is “what they can get away with”.

For example: Carbon credits paid to China to build hydro dams end up helping bankers buy yachts, and feed the mafiosi in China. They evict homeowners, don’t pay them enough compensation, flood their valleys and commit these people to homelessness or more slavery to bankers through mortgages.

Sure, some useful outcomes might occur. But hoping we get lucky is not “planning”. It’s policy-by-accident. If solar energy, say, is a good idea all on its own, we don’t need to invent fake reasons to force people to use more of it.

We could for example tax [...]

The Climate Spectator joins the gravy train

Here we go again. I like Alan Kohler, the economic reporter on the nightly ABC news. He likes numbers, graphs and hard data. Yet here he is, setting up a new project which looks like it ‘s another climate clone site analyzing everything carbon-related in the harsh light of day except the assumption about climate “feedbacks” that the whole error cascade is based on. (This is the same assumption that the empirical evidence has shown was too high by a factor of six.) [See here for my latest demolition and here where a Dr of Paleoclimate comes unstuck.]

The Business Spectator wrote so sagely and incisively about the Super Profits Tax, I’d love to think they would apply the same sharp brainpower to the issue of climate. But Kohler writes:

“We were initially despondent when the CPRS was kicked into the long grass by Kevin Rudd,…”

Despondent? Imagine them saying “Interest rates were raised and we were despondent?”

But Kohler and the other economic commentators have been caught watching the money instead of the reasoning (they’re watching the wrong money too, here’s the money that speaks volumes). If upper tropospheric water vapor doesn’t increase as the world warms, the reason [...]