Only a few weeks after the release of the Draft Report of the seriously flawed, pro-coal, Australian Garnaut Climate Change Review (4 July, 2008; see my critique on Green Blog, “Pro-Coal, Australian Garnaut Climate Review Damns Coral, Australia & World”), the Australian Federal Government has released a so-called “Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme” Green Paper (16 July, 2008).
Unfortunately the Australian Federal Government Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS) Green Paper is FATALLY FLAWED and if adopted globally would be a DEATH SENTENCE for the planet’s biosphere.
Australia is referred to as “Downunder” by people in the Northern Hemisphere but in so many things Australian mainstream media and politicians turn the truth upside-down as well – and this is outrageously so in relation to man-made climate change. The Liberal-National Party Coalition State and Federal Oppositions and the Labor Party State and Federal Governments (these major parties being referred to collectively as the Lib-Labs) pay public lip-service to the problem of global warming but their de facto policies support Australia’s world-leading coal exports and Australia’s 92% fossil fuel-based power generation.
An extraordinary “black is white”, “no means yes”, “2 plus 2 does not equal 4”, Orwellian culture is entrenched in Australian public life, this leading to the description of hot, fly-ridden Australia as the Land of Flies, Lies and Slies (spin-based untruths).
This Orwellian absurdity has reached globally-significant proportions with this Australian Government “Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme” Green Paper which in REALITY means that Australia’s ACTUAL greenhouse gas pollution is set to DOUBLE by 2050.
In addition to this Orwellian absurdity of a “pollution reduction” scheme that actually DOUBLES greenhouse gas pollution by 2050, the Australian Government Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS) “looks the other way” and “ignores the elephant the corner” in numerous other ways. The Australian Government Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme:
(a) massively ignores leading scientific and economic advice on the urgent need stop greenhouse gas (GHG) pollution and indeed to REDUCE atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) from 387 ppm (parts per million) to a safe level of no more than 350 ppm;
(b) ignores two thirds of Australia-responsible greenhouse gas emission sources, notably coal exports (43% of the total Domestic plus Exported emissions), agriculture (9%), land-use and forestry (4%) and (effectively, via subsidies) transport (8%);
(c) adopts a “cap and trade” Emissions Trading Scheme with an atmospheric CO2 concentration “cap” above 450 ppm (450-500 ppm will kill world coral reefs including Australia’s Great Barrier Reef);
(d) ignores the reality that the “true cost” of coal burning-based power generation (taking the environmental and human impacts into account) is about 4-5 times the “market cost”;
(e) ignores the reality that coal burning kills about 5,000 Australians every year at a risk avoidance-based valuation (EU) of $5 million per person x 5,000 persons = $25 billion per year;
(f) ignores the horrendous realities that Australia’s annual per capita CO2 pollution (27 tonnes CO2 per person per year domestically but 47 tonnes CO2 per person per year including CO2 from coal exports) is 10 times worse than that of China and the World and 40 times worse than that of India;
(g) hands nearly all of the collected pollution licence fees back to polluters, “dirty energy” users and the poor – rather than using it to urgently construct clean energy power stations using current technologies that can ALREADY provide power at a cost LOWER than the “true cost” of coal-based electricity (taking environmental and human costs into account).
Using US Energy Information Administration data, and ignoring huge new Australian coal export infrastructure developments, Australia’s total Domestic and Exported CO2 emissions from fossil fuel burning in millions of tonnes (Mt) are expected to climb from 698 Mt (2000) and 910 Mt (2007) to 1,277 Mt (2020, no mitigation) or 1,165 Mt (2020, based on the Australian Government’s promised “20% renewable by 2020”; an INCREASE of 67% over 2000) and thence to 1,371 Mt (2050, based on the Australian Government’s promised “60% reduction of 2000 Domestic pollution by 2050”; an INCREASE of 96% over 2000 CO2 pollution ).
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