With this background, one can now analyse the lies of commission and commission of the Australian Government’s 20-page document “What a carbon price means for you”.
1. “Clean energy future” (pages 1, 2, 3, 5, 11, 19, 20 and as a footnote or heading on all odd-numbered pages) – in reality the CTETSIA plan will not even deliver a clean-er energy future. Thus Australia’s Domestic plus Exported GHG pollution was 1,012 Mt CO2-e (2000 under the Coalition ), and 1,415 Mt CO2-e (in 2009 under Labor) but is predicted to be 1,803 Mt CO2-e in 2020 under the CTETSIA Plan according to Treasury modelling. More means less? Dirty means clean? Dirtier means cleaner?
2. “The carbon price package will ensure that by the end of the decade Australia will cut 160 million tonnes of pollution from the atmosphere each year” (pages 3, 6) – in reality, according to Treasury modeling, in 2020 Australia’s annual Domestic GHG pollution will be 679 Mt CO2-e (Business As Usual) or 621 Mt CO2-e (with a Carbon Price) and can only attain the promised “5% off 2000 level by 2020” value of 466 Mt CO2-e by the artifice of purchasing 155 Mt CO2-e of Internationally-sourced abatement credits. This assertion of “160 million tones of pollution” saved each year is scientifically illiterate, false and a profound deception.
3. “Putting a price on carbon is a big change for Australia – but it will help protect the economy, environment and future generations” (p3) – but not according to the Treasury , ABARE and the UDS EIA data which say that under this Plan Australia in 2020 will DOUBLE its Domestic plus Exported GHG pollution relative to that in 2000. More is less? Dirtier is cleaner?
4. “Why is Australia cutting its carbon pollution?” (p4) – it is not as explained above.
5. “We produce significantly more pollution per person than India and China” (p5) – this is dishonest understatement. Australia’s annual per capita GHG pollution in 2009 was 1,415 Mt CO2-e CO2-e/22 million people = 64.3 tonnes CO2-e per person per year i.e. 64.3/2.2 = 29.2 times more than India (2.2) and 64.3/5.5 = 11.7 more than China (5.5). The genocidal, racist first PM of Australia Edmund Barton stated in 1901 that “The doctrine of the equality of man was never intended to apply to the equality of an Englishman and the Chinaman”. In 1947 the racist former Labor leader Arthur Calwell notoriously stated that “Two Wongs don’t make a White”. However politically correct racist (PC racist) Labor today says that 11 Chinese aren’t equivalent to 1 White Australian when it comes to per capita GHG pollution of the one common atmosphere of the world.
6. “Australia’s carbon pollution is high because …” (p5) – the explanation completely ignores Australia’s huge exported GHG pollution that (in Mt CO2-e) was 522/1,102 = 47.4% of the total in 2000, and 815/1,415 = 57.6% of the total in 2009 and is predicted to be 1,182/1,803 = 65.6% of the total in 2020. An immense lying by omission.
7. “The Australian Government has a comprehensive plan to build a clean energy future ..” (p5) – but in detailing the plan no mention is made of Australia’s huge and expanding Exported GHG pollution (see point #6 above) or the $12 billion in annual subsidies for fossil fuel burning in Australia (see ACF, “Australia spends $11 billion more on encouraging pollution than on cleaning it up”, 1 March 2011). If the Gillard Labor were serious about “tackling climate change” it would immediately cancel fossil fuel export licences and cease subsidies for fossil fuel – but of course it won’t because, as the Australian Treasury analysis reveals, it has no intention of “tackling climate change”.
8. “The Government has set a further target of cutting pollution to 80 percent below 2000 levels by 2050” (p5) – yet this assertion ignores the enormous growth in Exported GHG pollution from coal exports (growing at 2.6% yearly) and LNG exports (growing at 9% yearly) (see ABARE estimations: Australian energy, National and state projections to 2029-30, ABARE Research Report 06.26). Further, the Australian Government has lied about cutting GHG pollution by 2020 – in fact Australia’s Domestic plus Exported GHG pollution will DOUBLE in 2020 relative to that in 2000. Quadruple by 2040?
9. “Experts say the Government’s plan to move to a clean energy future will: – significantly cut pollution” (p6) – but not according to the data from the Treasury , ABARE and the UDS EIA experts which say that under this Plan Australia in 2020 will DOUBLE its Domestic plus Exported GHG pollution relative to that in 2000. More is less? Dirtier is cleaner?
10. “A carbon price is the cheapest and most effective way to cut pollution. Economic experts around the world recognize that putting a price on carbon is the most environmentally effective and cheapest way to cut pollution” (p6) – but not according to the data from the Treasury , ABARE and the US EIA experts which say that under this Plan Australia in 2020 will DOUBLE its Domestic plus Exported GHG pollution relative to that in 2000. More is less? Dirtier is cleaner? Further, top climate scientists and economists have slammed the ETS as empirically ineffective, disastrously counterproductive and utterly fraudulent Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) (Source).
11. “The initial price for these permits will be $23 per tonne” (p7) – per tonne carbon one supposes was meant in this scientifically illiterate document. However what will be the concrete outcome of this carbon price in terms of GHG pollution? As outlined above, according to the Treasury modeling the Plan will simply DOUBLE Australia’s Domestic plus Exported GHG pollution (a bad outcome). According to the Labor Government the carbon price will promote a shift from coal burning to gas burning for electricity. However in Australia a coal to gas transition will double power sector-derived GHG pollution because methane leaks at about 3.3% and is 105 times worse than CO2 as a GHG on a 20 year timeframe with aerosol impacts included (a bad outcome). According to Beyond Zero Emissions a carbon price of about $70 per tonne carbon is required to promote wind energy and circa $200 per tonne carbon is required to promote uptake of concentrated solar thermal energy i.e. the $23 per tonne carbon will scupper 100% renewable energy by 2020 and promote a counterproductive coal to gas transition (a bad outcome).
12. “The economy will continue to grow as Australia embraces a clean energy future” (p7) – however the carbon pollution intensity of the economy will also grow with a shift from coal to the even more GHG-polluting gas (see point #11 above) and as GHG pollution from fossil fuel exports increase as a percentage of total GHG pollution from 47.4% (2000) and 57.6% (2009) to 65.6% (2020) (see point #6 above).
13. “Treasury modelling estimates that under a carbon price average incomes grow strongly” (p7) – but so too does Domestic plus Exported GHG pollution from 1,102 Mt CO2-e (2000) and 1,415 Mt CO2-e (2009) to 1,803 Mt CO2-e (2020).
14. “The carbon price will be paid by around 500 of Australia’s largest polluters” (p8) – this is an admission of profound dishonesty and offensive discrimination by the anti-science Australian Labor Government which proposes selectively taxing particular industries while ignoring Australia’s huge GHG pollution from deforestation, livestock production and fossil fuel exports.
15. “Millions of households will be better off” (p9) and “Tax cuts for millions of people” (p11) – half of “What a carbon price means for you” is devoted to shameless and dishonest appeal to the pecuniary greed of ordinary Australians. However what the document does not reveal is that the government will be giving with one hand and taking with the other. The revenue is expected to be $8 -$9 billion pa to 2014-2015 and fuel tax savings when implemented will save $0.6 billion pa. Household assistance will cost $4-$5 billion pa and industry assistance will cost about $3 billion pa. However a further $1 billion pa is required from general taxation-derived revenue to pay for the package. Out of this about $2 billion will go to fund renewable energy (for a detailed analysis see “Australia’s outrageously deficient carbon tax entrenches climate change inaction”, Green Blog, 12 July 2011).The document ignores $12 billion per year Government subsidies for fossil fuel burning that will largely remain untouched and ignores the huge cost to ordinary Australians (especially the young) from climate change inaction entrenched by the Labor Governments plan.
16. “People with essential equipment needs [will be helped] ” (p15) – this ignores the horrendous human cost of carbon burning in Australia. How many Australians die each year from the effects of pollutants from vehicles, coal burning for electricity and other carbon burning? Answer: about 2,200, 4,600 and 2,800, respectively. At a “value of a statistical life” (VOSL) of $7.6 million per person ($73 billion pa for Australian carbon burning-related deaths) and $9 billion pa in fossil fuel subsidies, the minimum Carbon Price to cover carbon burning-derived deaths and carbon burning subsidies is $554 per tonne of carbon as compared to the best political offer yet of $20 per tonne of carbon (see “Australian carbon-burning –related deaths and carbon burning subsidies => minimum carbon price of $544 per tonne carbon”, Yarra Valley Climate Action Group).
17. Completely missing from this profoundly flawed and dishonest document is any mention of: population (set to double in 20 years in the State of Victoria according to the Victorian State Labor Government’s 2010 White Paper); gas ( yet a coal to gas transition favoured by the Labor Government will effectively DOUBLE electricity sector GHG pollution); fossil fuel exports ( the GHG pollution from fossil fuel exports is currently over 58% of total GHG pollution); existing reverse carbon taxes ($12 billion per annum in subsidies for fossil fuel burning i.e. taxes on taxpayers on behalf of polluters); Australian deaths from fossil fuel and carbon burning (an estimated about 10,000 such deaths per annum); worsening climate genocide (10 billion people to die this century due to unaddressed , man-made climate change with Australia disproportionately complicit); and how Australia has ALREADY used up its “fair share” of the terminal 600 Gt CO2 global GHG pollution budget between 2010 and zero emissions in 2050.
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