Carbon Tax Response

I feel as though I should make some comment on the carbon tax, given that it’s undoubtedly one of the most significant reforms in Australia’s history, and has strong implications for science and technology. Trouble is I can’t think of much to say that hasn’t been said better by more qualified people.

Nevertheless, just in case you’ve stumbled on my blog without reading much else let me at least say this:

* It’s probably too little, too late. If we’d done this 20 years ago when it was first talked about, and some European nations did, Australia would be a healthier, wealthier nation with carbon emissions probably half what they are now and a huge industry exporting solar technology. As it is the chances to catch the rest of the world are slim, and we’ll have on our conscience an excessive contribution to damaging the planet to an extent unprecedented since the dinosaurs.

* The compensation of the coal industry, and the level of compensation for the steel industry is a joke.

* The package is probably the best that could be achieved under the circumstances, given the mix of denialist dinosaurs and gutless cowards afraid of every opinion poll that make up a significant portion of this government.

* It is much, much better than the CPRS. Anyone accusing the Greens of hypocrisy for supporting this and blocking the CPRS should be ashamed of themselves. One can certainly argue that the CPRS, bad as it was, should have been passed, but the notion that refusing to accept a bad proposal while supporting a better one is morally inconsistent is simply ridiculous.

*The ARENA proposal for funding renewable energy is the best part of the whole thing and gives us a chance, small but real, of doing our bit towards what is required to save the biosphere from near-total collapse. If this was a Hollywood movie, this would be the moment where the hero or heroine realise that things are not completely hopeless, and if they do absolutely everything right, and get extreemely lucky, they may just make it out alive.

* Watch this video. Drink the beauty. Read the end. Consider what those people sacrificed and remember that anyone opposing the passage of this legislation believes that none of this is wroth $10 a week, compensated for everyone in the population who actually needs it.

About Stephen Luntz

I am a science journalist, specialising in Australian and New Zealand research across all fields of science. My book, Forensics, Fossils and Fruitbats: A Field Guide to Australian Scientists is out now through CSIRO Publishing. I am also a professional returning officer for non-government organisations. I'm very politically active, but generally try to restrict this blog to scientific matters.
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