Carbon Tax is Bad (3rd Draft)

 

Why does the Government speak as though Carbon Tax is a foregone conclusion?

This folly will only become enforceable law if good people stand by and do nothing.

This travesty may have passed through the House of Representatives on 12-Oct-2011. But we need to raise a hue and cry now in order to stop its passage through the Senate.

Failing that, we will have become part of the problem by accepting without questioning the motives of politicians who don’t declare (and possibly aren’t even aware of) government conflicts of interest with big business and corporate lobbyists.

Why is the Labor Party trying to ram through a law with such huge repercussions without long-term, large-scale, democratic adjudication and debate on the propriety of such a tax?

Recently, a trusted old friend of mine surprised me by saying that he supported Gillard’s proposed Carbon Tax legislation. I thought he knew better.  It really bothers me how intelligent people…

… could fall for this nonsense. Maybe, because he is a public servant working as a Regional Health Inspector, he felt overwhelmed by the need to be ‘green’. I don’t know.

Basic Beliefs

1.  This article is not about whether air pollution is “bad” or not. I say “Yea, Verily! Of course it’s bad” ….

2.  ( …and I cant stress this enough)  This article is not about whether global warming exists, and whether we should do something about it.  Again, I say: “Yes it appears to exist” … And …”Let’s!”  But let’s just be sure we both understand it better, and also target the true cause for it.

3.    My objections against a carbon tax are partly based on science, but primarily based on the fact that it is bad politics.

The so-called Carbon Debate raises a number of axes to grind, quite separate from those just listed.  So for the record, then, here is my little rant on why the Carbon Tax is bad. You may use it to enlighten your own misguided friends.

Dear,  …<Insert name of Your Favourite Gillard Carbon Tax Supporter here:>…

First;  Because it has been so since forever, I claim that every Man, Woman and Child should be entitled to freely use energy, and in particular fossil fuels, without reference to corporate intimidation or any form of regulatory control. Short of an World War III, there is just no compelling reason to mess with such a fundamental right. Just buy energy as/when you need it.  [….”Yes, I know this is a controversial declaration. But listen to the entire argument before switching your mind off. Okay?]

Second;  Be warned that as soon as Politicians, Banksters, Oil Producers etc. start indirectly controlling how / when people use their energy, true freedom will become crippled.

Third;  Let’s hypothesize:  If the world were on the brink of destruction, would you be happy to give some great dictator the right to tax you for functioning, eating or moving because they told you it was “for the greater good”.

… Well guess what, the world isn’t ending tomorrow…. But a carbon tax – if imposed – will effectively allow others (e.g. government, corporations, or the open market) to put a price on, and then tax you for essential freedoms like eating, moving, transporting, building, and warming yourself because ALL of these things rely on energy consumption and fossil fuels.  Are we such fearful children that we should relinquish such essentials to a “great protector” like the government.

…. Do you really think Julia Gillard, or any politician can be trusted with such a great responsibility in perpetuity ?   Hmm.. Maybe I should remind you …

Now, don’t get paranoid or anything. But what if the “great protector” was not what you thought they were? … And what if “the great fear” was not as scary or dangerous as what they said it was? … and what if the “doomsayers” had some more nefarious agenda than just “saving the world from pollution”.

In my view, this Carbon Tax system, which will then turn into an Emission Trading Scheme (ETS) after 2-3 years, is being set up for the wrong reasons. It is a grand charade. It is created by opportunists like the Gillard Government as an illicit revenue raiser because they can no longer pay for their ‘Tax and Spend’ policies. Alarmingly, this new law will cause a disintegration of basic legal and human rights. And ultimately (and here’s a shocker) – it will not save Australians nor will it save the world.

All I ask is that people think carefully, because otherwise you will probably put your trust in the wrong hands, and for the wrong reasons.  Now let’s see why …

—> Next up …    What exactly is “Carbon” ? [article cont’d] –>

What is Carbon?

The ubiquitous Carbon Gas in our environment is an element crucially necessary for life on this planet. We are surrounded by it. We breathe it out. We eat it. Hey, we ARE it!

Carbon (C), however, is not the most abundant atmospheric gas. That honour goes to Nitrogen (N) comprising 78%, and Oxygen (O2) comprising 21% of the total.  The 1% remaining balance of the atmosphere is made up of & Argon (0.93%), and Carbon Dioxide takes up the final 0.039%.

In fact, pure elemental carbon in the atmosphere is virtually non-existent. This 0.039% carbon referred to above (i.e. this last four-hundredths (400ths) of one (1) percent fraction of the atmosphere) is chemically compound bonded to other elements. It is therefore actually found as Carbon Dioxide (CO2), Methane (CH4), Nitrous Oxide (N2O), Chlorofluorocarbons (CFC’s), Hydrofluorocarbons (HFC’s) etc.

Furthermore, living things and no-longer-living things in the biosphere are technically not made of pure “Carbon” either. They are not made of graphite or diamond. They are instead made of complex biochemical molecules containing Hydrogen, Carbon and Oxygen (or “organic Hydro-Carbons”).

So, to recap: Only negligible proportions of the atmosphere contain pure carbon gas, and atmospheric carbon essentially only exists in compound form at less than 400ths of 1 percent of the total atmosphere.

Isn’t it interesting that; In order to set up a new Tax, the government doesn’t refer to it’s correct name of “Carbon Compound Emissions”.  Instead, (until very recently) they prefer the dumbed-down label of just calling it all ” ‘Carbon’ Tax”. **

Some might consider this to be a mere “innocent mis-labeling” or “abbreviation” by the government. It is not. The devil is always in the detail.

In fact, such mis-labeling is an extremely dangerous thing to do.  Why? Because it’s like the government is saying :

“On this earth, every lump of wood living or dead, or piece of coal, every drop of oil, every ameoba, flower, fish, insect, animal, piece of poop or methane fart is actually a ‘Diamond’ … We now own and control all ‘diamonds’ … And we now make laws in perpetuity about how you can own and use all diamonds.”

In this instance, we can see that incorrect naming obscures truth. It causes broad public ignorance of exactly who and what is the culprit / cause of global warming. For those who choose not to analyse as closely as You or I, it also promotes ignorance, mis-interpretation, and mis-direction.

I say: If you want to set up a ‘Global Warming Tax’, they should call it that.  Public perceptions, and earth-shattering law reforms that result from such perceptions must not be allowed to stray too far from the fundamental reasons for imposing a new tax NOR from the underlying science justifying the imposition. Lest (for the civil libertarians amongst us) this mis-naming becomes a breeding ground for dis-information and manipulation by those with vested interests.

* * [ Dr. Barry Jones, (a Carbon Tax supporter) in his recent commentary on ABC Radio show “Okham’s Razor”, noted that the Gillard government recently started changing their semantic emphasis from a “Carbon Tax” to a “Clean Energy Future”. Whilst this name-change effectively “re-brands” the Carbon Tax, it also blurs the original stated purpose of reducing global warming as allegedly caused by ‘Greenhouse emissions’.]

—> Next up …    Does the “Carbon Cycle” relate to a “Carbon Tax” ? [article cont’d] –>

The ‘Carbon Cycle’ has no use for a ‘Carbon Tax’

The Carbon Cycle refers to the way all carbonaceous materials on the planet rotate. For instance, plants pull in CO2, get eaten by animals, (and fishes) which then die, decay, might become coal/or oil, and then get stored and/or eventually re-emitted as CO2 ready to be absorbed by plants again.

Scientifically, the complex co-dependencies and interplay between carbon compounds on earth (not to mention bio-chemical interactions between atmospheric, terrestrial, marine, and subterranean ecosystems) still requires an enormous amount of research before they are fully understood.

The spanner in the works here, (and by imputation the alleged cause of the global warming) is the influence of man.

By digging up and intensively consuming coal and oil since the 18th Century, man is using up deposits of hydrocarbons that have been laid-down for millions of years. Prior to the Industrial Revolution, the atmosphere contained around 280 parts per million (ppm) whereas today, Carbon-based emissions comprise up to 390 ppm.

The Carbon Cycle is intricately tied to human actions. We have had thousands of square kilometers of trees cut down in Australia over the last 200 years. And the Lungs of the Planet (the Amazon), alarmingly, continues to be eroded by subsistence agriculture.  We have a growing world population of meat-eaters (too many cows and pigs). And we have an insistence by corporations world-wide to stick with fossil fuels as the only viable energy source. Primarily because that’s all that the energy companies will offer.

The planetary Carbon Cycle can only be controlled or regulated by massive global re-forestation programs, and replacing all past used coal & oil back into the ground as used since the 18th Century, and filtering the earth’s oceans to extract carbon compounds absorbed in the top layers of seawater.

The problem is not that you cut down a tree, nor that you burn coal or oil to heat yourself. Nor is it that excess carbon compounds are produced by chemically breaking down organic materials like grass through the gut of a cow. The solution to the problem is not replacing that tree. Not using fossil fuels. And having less cows.

At this point in history, human technology is hopelessly inadequate to be able to physically regulate the massive Carbon Cycle of this planet. We can only chip away at the edges over time. The monopoly by fossil fuel providers might even make you think the notion is preposterous or hopeless. But if people comprehend the bigger picture, then it becomes apparent that the only sensible action legislators can do, (assuming CO2 emissions are a proven cause of global warming) is to directly hinder the proliferation of fossil fuel usage, and to strenuously promotecutting-edge new science and renewable energy sources.

Problematically, carbon tax proponents blame global warming almost exclusively upon human carbon-based emissions. So its now time for us to look into the alleged link between CO2 emissions and the so-called Greenhouse Effect.

—> Next up …    The infamous “Greenhouse Effect”  [article cont’d] –>

The Greenhouse Effect:  Science from the olden days

In order to support her Carbon Tax, Gillard appears to rely primarily on the commentary of Dr. Barry Jones. What he said in his commentary (hyperlink above), she virtually parrots in her congratulatory speeches.

Her choice is based on the fallacy of an Argument from Authority.  After all, why is Jones any better expert than other scientists?  To make things worse, Jones himself – in turn – relies quite openly and unashamedly on “old science”.

Here below, my own research uncovers that the ‘old science’ arguments used to substantiate global warming as being due to gases like CO2 in the atmosphere” are sketchy and by no means definitive.

For proponents like Dr. Jones, the conclusive proof of a connection between Carbon and a Greenhouse effect derives from two concepts.

One is that carbon gases both absorb and re-emit heat energy in the infra-red spectrum when their electrons change their energy states around the atom. And

Two is that infra-red heat energy then stays in the atmosphere longer through an alleged Greenhouse Effect

Interestingly, for Dr. Jones (or Ms. Gillard), they don’t seem to appreciate the flawed scientific foundation on which they base their new law. For example  :–

1.   The science on which it is based was conceived between 100-170 years ago, when the discipline of “spectroscopy” comprised basically observing the colour changes in heated materials and comparing it to the effects on theoretical materials called “Blackbodies”. The “spectroscopy” of that time bore very little relation to the accurate moderate discipline of photon emission spectroscopy.

2.    The development of the science of heat transfer by Fourier (1827) and Tyndall (1861) (upon which Arrhenius based his findings) relied on an old-time fictional conception of “Aethereal Heat Transfer”.  Or alternately, that energy transferred from one body/particle to another by direct contact.  At that time, neither Fourier, Tyndall nor Arrhenius barely understood modern conceptions of Electro-Magnetic Radiation, photon energy, and its links to electrons orbiting around atoms.  (Please note: Photons and electrons hadn’t even been discovered until at least 16 years after Arrhenius  in 1912 when Rutherford and Bohr developed their prototype atomic theory – See my own article “A Bunch of Quantum” in this here blog).

3.   Svant Arrhenius (who created the formula for Greenhouse ΔF = α ln(C/C0) , and who also coined the term “Greenhouse Effect” in 1896) was criticized even back then for inaccuracy in his empirical measurements of energy absorption/emission rates of CO2.

4.   Greenhouse Theory doesn’t take into account more recent research which shows that the old studies done in 1827 (Fourier), made absolutely NO distinction between kinetic and radiative modes of heat transfer across a thermal contact. What this means is that whilst Arrhenius et al may have obtained allegedly accurate correlations between their experimental and measured data, they rally had no conception of the underlying physics of atoms, photons, electrons, and energy transfer that they were dealing with. I.e. they may as well have “fluked” the perceived accuracy of their data.

5.   The original french writings of Fourier in 1827 included mis-translations by Burgess in 1837. Later, these two scientists were again mis-interpreted and generalized by Tyndall in 1861.  And then, finally, inaccurate measurements of CO2 absorption rates were mis-applied in at least two ways by Arrhenius in 1896. Such that he :-

(a)  improperly ignored the free-flow of atmospheric gases, as though the atmosphere was somehow hard-capped (like a glass greenhouse) and therefore disallowed heat energy dissipation back into space; and

(b)  essentially ‘created energy from nothing’ by ‘double-counting’ the heat which is transferred from the atmosphere INTO-and-then-OUT-of the earth’s surface, thereby violating of both Kirchoff”s Law of Thermal Radiation and the First Law of Thermodynamics.

Putting these all “flawed scientific foundations” together, we can conclude that although these old scientists may have correlated somewhat accurate results in small scale experiments, the extrapolation of their findings into the large-scale complex atmospheric systems is essentially based on pure hypothesis.

—> Next up …    The Modern views of Climatology  [article cont’d] –>

Global Warming – Modern science vs. politics

Global Temperature vs. Amount of CO2

Of course, global warming exists and is incontrovertible.   Or more accurately, we should say, “Global Temperature Variations” exist.  So let’s not hide behind our finger, here. We can see from the incline gradient in the first graph below (The 5 Million Year chart), taken from ocean core samples, that warming has increased over geological time.

But let’s get some perspective here. My position on Carbon Tax does not deny global warming. All I’m saying is that, looking at the big picture, perhaps its a little infantile and panicky for the Australian government to suddenly be bulldozing through such draconian carbon tax laws.

According to the Encyclopaedia of Earth, correlations have been found between the concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and mean/average global temperatures over the last 300,000 years. I.e. As it gets warmer, there’s more CO2 released into the air.

What does this mean?  Well, whilst some scientists might automatically put the cart before the horse and say that the CO2 caused the temperature increase, proper scientific method requires that you must also not preclude that CO2 levels may simply drop because temperatures dropped (ie. less vegetation due to an ice age, etc.).

Does it not make sense that if temperatures dropped (let’s say because the sun decided to go into a cold spell solar hibernation for a few hundred (or few thousand years), then forests and carbon based life forms would tend to emit less gas as they grow, procreate, spawn, rot etc.?  Especially if they are under a few miles of snow and ice due to an Ice Age?

Let’s now further extrapolate this point; If Carbon Tax Proponents assume a Global Warming effect occurs when there is too much CO2 in the atmosphere causing overheating, then conversely,less CO2 would cause the earth to go into an Ice Age.  Right? …. So during an Ice Age, there’s less CO2 in the atmosphere. Ok?

So … Doesn’t this mean there’s now no way to warm up the planet through CO2 alone, since there aren’t enough forests or animals emitting copious quantities of the gas ?   If that’s the case, how on earth IS the Earth ever going to re-start the warming process again (via a CO2-generated Greenhouse Effect) to re-warm the planet ?

Based on this rationale, ONLY a big outside influence (like a solar maximum or perihelion) will change the status quo. CO2 would therefore seem to be a consequence, not an primary driver/initiator of global warming.

For me, this simple Catch-22 argument is a big nail in the coffin for Carbon Tax Proponents trying to demonize CO2 as being a primary cause for any runaway global warming effect. Shortly below, we will look away from CO2, and examine in greater detail some of the other (far more potent) external causes of global warming.

The Misrepresenting of “33 degrees cooler/warmer”

For the record, the claim that the planet would be 33 degrees cooler without a greenhouse effect is based on the calculation of the temperature of

” Remember now, Gillard herself won’t have time to do the research herself. So she relies on her experts like Dr. Barry Jones who is boldly proclaimed as a “National Treasure”.

In his “Okham’s Razor” commentary, Dr. Jones claims that “the mean temperature of earth would be about 33 degrees Celsius colder” due to the existence of Greenhouse Gases [see Timecode 03 Min. :02 Sec].   Dr. Jones cites the 150 year old work of John Tindall, and then simply lumps together “Water Vapour, CO2, Methane, Nitrous Oxide, and Ozone” as all being “Atmospheric gases that all absorb and emit radiation within the thermal infra-red range.” [see Timecode 02 Min. :31 Sec].
   <– Click to play

This walloping generalization by Jones truly sits at the heart of the confusion propagated by Carbon Tax enthusiasts.

Individually, these “Greenhouse Gases” are not all created equal.  Each of these different gases affect atmospheric temperatures in hugely different ways, and to enormously different degrees.

Water vapour, for instance, absorbs, retains and transfers heat through entirely different physical and chemical mechanisms than does CO2.   Water  alters temperature via Reflection of sunlight (tops of clouds), via Convection, via Evaporative Heat Transfer, via Indirect Effect on Vegetation, via Chemical Interaction, via Osmosis, via inter-molecular friction, via Opacity or Transparency of Cloud Cover etc. These processes and mechanisms are NOT the same thing as “infra-red thermal radiation”.

Nevertheless, Dr. Jones unashamedly attributes this entire 33 degrees Celsius atmospheric temperature difference to so called “Greenhouse Gases” when (in the mind of the vast majority of the population) the phrase “Greenhouse gases” only refer to Carbon-based gases.

This misrepresentation is widened even further when Dr. Jones fails (or is unable to) distinguish exactly (a) how little of this 33 degrees is due to only carbon-based gases like CO2, and (b) how much atmospheric heat can be trapped by water vapour alone.

Given the timing of Dr. Jones ABC.NET.AU commentary on Carbon Tax, it’s clear that his words are meant as a political treatise, but it is masquerading as a scientific statement. Especially so, given that it is published in the Science Section of the ABC Website.

For example, Jones makes such declarations as “…The consumer pays for the coal, but takes no responsibility for the cost of disposing…”  [see Timecode 05 Min. :30 Sec].     But hang on … didn’t he already just say that consumers already paid for it ?

… And later [at Timecode 05 Min. :55 Sec]  he says: “…This is treated as a ‘free good’ by the purchaser/user; A spectacular example of market failure … the downstream impact of consumption … is a long term contribution to atmospheric pollution … taking decades …[or longer] … to disperse.”     Whoops, hang on again : If the right to burn coal has been a “free” since time immemorial, then who the hell are You (the government) to now suddenly impose a tax upon me for this behaviour ?

It is patently misleading to the public at large.  After all, not everybody agrees with the Australian Labor Party (A.L.P.) doctrines.  But here we have (former) Labor politician Dr. Jones pre-adopting a socialist agenda for his entire commentary.  This is already at odds with – I estimate – at least 50% of the population who didn’t vote Labor at the last election.

Dr. Jones’ ultimate sin here, is that he fails to be truly objective, and fails to fully clarify that  —

–  CO2 and Carbon are only a miniscule component of the worldwide “Greenhouse Effect”
–  dozens of far more potent effects causing this 33 degree temperature differential than CO2,
–  that 95% of the “Greenhouse Effect” is actually due to Water Vapour
   
He actually fails to define “Greenhouse Effect” as being   –
 
– solely due to CO2 (and infra-red radiation emission), OR
– solely due to Water Vapour (H2O), OR
– solely due to intermolecular collisions (friction) between all atmospheric gases, OR
– some combination of the thermal reactions due to all the above effects.

I strongly invite the reader to check out the following excellent articles, and some booksdebunking CO2 as being the cause of Global Warming :

—> Next up …    The primary causes of global temperature change  [article cont’d] –>

The Many Causes of Global Warming

There are numerous discrete causes giving rise to Global Warming (and cooling) effects other than CO2This Hyperlink takes you to an article  listing EIGHTEEN (18) Climate Change Causes (or “drivers”).

Some of the more obscure of these include Planetary Orbital Eccentricity, Cosmic Rays, Earth’s Tilt, Ocean Currents and Extraterrestrial Impacts. The most important ones such as Water Vapour and Vulcanism and Sun’s Varying Heat and Magnetic Intensity, are dealt with in detail below.

First off, it’s mportant to understand that many of these “drivers” inter-relate with each other. For example, cooling oceans will absorb more CO2. Warming will release CO2 from the oceans like a warming carbonated soft drink. Magnetic and Solar variations cause volcanoes. These in turn can also release more CO2.

Let’s now look closely at how global warming can be affected by some the various drivers. By doing so, we should note that the majority of Carbon Tax supporters seem to selectively ignore the importance of these other affects as they try to freight-train the passage of their flawed legislation.

Affect 1:

Elemental Carbon atoms in the atmosphere absorb light photons of energy in the daytime just the same as any other gases such as Nitrogen or Oxygen or Argon. Atoms also become agitated in sunlight, and may also generate heat in different atmospheric layers through friction.

Then, at night time, carbon atoms re-emits that absorbed photon energy as infra-red radiation.

Note: the Carbon Atom re-emits photon heat / light at virtually the same rate of re-emission as the more abundant gases of Nitrogen and Oxygen. They don’t retain or release their energy any differently. Only the wavelengths of emitted photons differ.

If re-emission of heat energy in all carbon-based gases is the same as nitrogen or oxygen, and carbon gases are only 1/400th of 1 percent compared to other gases in the atmosphere, why is carbon being targeted by law-makers?

Well clearly it is the assumption that because carbon-based gases capture and re-emit infra-red photons, this heat energy allegedly builds-up in the atmosphere like a blanket, causing global warming more readily than other wavelengths of light received from the sun.

Affect 2:

Another plausible hypothesis is that the Greenhouse Effect is either magnified or reduced based on the sun’s light being reflected or refracted by dirt or smog particulates in the atmosphere. This “light blocking” (also known as “albedo“) could be from any source including natural environmental causes, natural wildfires causing smoke, and even chemical or other particles from uncontrolled human air polluters.

In clear air, 100% of the heat/light energy comes in from the sun through space, but the randomly re-emitted infra-red heat either goes down towards the earth’s surface (50%) or back into space (50%).

However like on the planet Venus – where the non-transparent or ‘dirty’ air in the atmosphere is unable to re-radiate back into space – only the top reaches of the atmosphere that can still see space will radiate their 50% upwards. The rest of the atmosphere below conceivably retains infra-red heat energy in the atmosphere and radiates (on average) much less back into space. This is a classic Greenhouse Effect described by good science.

Consequently, this effect is like a smothering blanket which raises average global atmospheric temperatures.

On the other hand, scientists have also shown that opaque ash, smoke and dirt particles can have a cooling effect on global atmospheric temperatures.

Cooling actually tends to occur for 1 to 3 years after huge volcanic eruptions.  For example, Mt. Pinatubo in the Phillipines in 1993 threw up about 20 million tons of sulphur dioxide into the stratosphere. Temperatures dropped by 0.8 degrees Celsius. Scientists realized that this effect wasn’t caused by the volcanic dust and ash itself, which tended to take around 6 months to settle back to earth, but by the sulphur dioxide, which takes about 3 years to dissipate.  Sulphur dioxide bonds to water molecules in the atmosphere creating an optically dense haze that actually increases the reflection of solar radiation, and thereby actually causing a cooling effect.

Clearly, the interaction of cooling and warming of the atmosphere is far more complex than being a correlation of atmospheric CO2.

Whilst we are on the topic albedo (not “libido“) let’s not mistake a dirty atmosphere for a carbon saturated atmosphere.

Even if microscopic man-made smoke, ash, smog particulates might contain some carbon compounds (and/or other chemicals), this shouldn’t be mistaken for “carbon” per se. The ash itself does not absorb interact with infra-red radiation in the same way as CO2 gas. In any event, every year, volcanic eruptions of ash like those in Chile and Iceland, cause billions of tons of emissions. Only a small amount of which is carbon.

Importantly, we must understand that these eruptions dwarf total human carbon emissions by many orders of magnitude. Volcanoes have a much greater effect on atmospheric temperatures than does carbon or CO2. Does the Australian Parliament want to make a law against volcanoes too?

Affect 3:

Water vapour: The big dog in Greenhouse.

Water vapour (H2O) exists in either simple gas form or in the form of sun-blocking clouds over water or land. This accounts for between 35 and 95% of the greenhouse effect (fluctuating daily) by itself.

In Wikipedia’s comprehensive article on water vapour, it states that “Gaseous water represents a small but environmentally significant constituent of the atmosphere. The percentage water vapor in surface air varies from a trace in desert regions to about 4% over oceans“.

Remember; CO2 remains globally consistent at less than 1/400th of 1 percent.  Therefore water vapour, as a gas, influences climate change and temperature to a much greater degree than carbon gas (C) or by the Carbon Dioxide (CO2) emissions by humans.

I will give two lay examples of how water vapour interferes with air temperatures.

One:  As you go higher in the atmosphere, it is drier, there are less clouds, and less water vapour, which in turn means it is colder because heat can’t be trapped.

Two: Next time you are in the desert, and notice that the temperature fluctuates wildly between 50°C in the heat of the day, to a freezing -5°C below zero at night, just think to yourself: …. “Is there as much CO2 in the desert atmosphere as there is in the more temperate zones?”  (Answer: “Generally, Yes.”) … “And if so, what is the only difference between Here and The Desert that might create a ‘warming blanket effect’?” (Answer: Clouds and Water Vapour).

All it takes to affect air temperature is some slight change in the total average distribution of water vapour in the atmosphere. For example, criteria like ocean temperatures, evaporation levels from rainforests, altitude, chemicals and particulates in the atmosphere that attract water molecules. (Note: CO2 does not electrostatically attract water molecules).  The delicate balances between these last-mentioned criteria have orders of magnitude greater influence on global air temperatures than do CO2 levels.

Click this link for a great read on how Carbon Tax advocates mis-quote the science to give the impression that the Greenhouse Effect is all about CO2 rather than Water Vapor. Or conversely, they claim that CO2 is a “forcing” effect in the troposphere which adds additional heat into the system, whilst at the same time they claim with little scientific backup, that the Big Dog of water vapour is a purely benign “feedback effect”. I.e. “Too much water in the air will quickly rain out, not enough and the abundant ocean surface will provide the difference via evaporation.” In other words, they claim that the net average effect of water vapour is zero because of its transience.

A very important aspect of the Water Cycle is that, in many ways, water vapour and cloud cover creates a quickly self-healing system in many ways. For example, if there are more impurities / burnt ash or smoke (man-made carbon compounds) in the atmosphere, more clouds are produced because water droplets condense and form more readily around air impurities. These in turn reflect more sun back to space causing cooling. OR they retain more heat energy in the atmosphere like a blanket. At the same time, however, more clouds produce more rain. And more rain then clears the air of particulates and cools the land and air through evaporation and radiation of the heat.

Remember, of course, that excessive man-made smoke based on burning fossil fuels, is not what’s being targeted by a Carbon Tax. The Carbon Tax is not supposed to be targeting smog and pollution. If it was, they would call it a “Pollution Tax”. What they are specifically and misguidedly targeting here is Carbon (i.e.Affect 1, above), and expressly ignoring pollution as a cause of climate change and global warming.

So… if Affect 1 or 2 or 3 as listed above are part-way correct as being some of the scientific reasons for global warming  (and they are), why is the governmenttelling you that “carbon emissions” are the main cause of global warming or average temperature increase”

note: 99% of the air is IR transparent !!

(because H2O doesn’t absorb photons in the infra-red band).

smaller white icecaps reflecting less sunlight back to space raising average air temperatures

—> Next up …    How to distinguish “Greenhouse Emissions” from plain old methane [article cont’d] –>

Choose your words carefully, Grasshopper

Unfortunately, with all the supporting propaganda of vested interest groups, it can be very difficult to dispel public ignorance of the science underlying “Global Warming” and the “Greenhouse Effect”.

People continue to generalize “Carbon Bonded Compound Gases” as being merely “Carbon“.

People similarly generalize the science underlying the “Carbon Cycle” as relating to the “Greenhouse Effect“.

Moreover, they promote fallacy by claiming that “Greenhouse Theory” is primarily a by-product of “CO2 Emissions“.

Frustratingly, even today, many people misunderstand the differences between the “Greenhouse Effect” and “Ozone Layer Depletion“, and how each of them relate to “Global Warming” or “CO2 Emissions“.

The wholesale ignorance on labeling in this area is endemic. Every wrong label that’s used with vested intent by a politician, or media commentator spawns a new fallacy. Thereby heaping more confusion and indifference upon the lay person. Eventually, of course, the average citizen capitulates and accepts the “official version” spawned by ‘supposedly trusted leaders’ who in fact know little more than the next Joe Blow.  Do you think the same thing didn’t happen in the past? Just look at the question of fluoridation of our drinking water.

Needless to say, EACH of the “Greenhouse” phrases highlighted above mean different things. Each phrase also involves its own compartmentalized scientific disciplines. So if you hear anybody using these phrases interchangeably, your ears and your common sense need to prick up sharply.

So, if the crux of the carbon tax is the existence of “Global Warming”, then the key phrase you need to understand is the so-called “Greenhouse Effect”.  This can be very simply understood as the “average increase in global atmospheric air temperature“. In other words, it’s a scientific description based on the presumption that ‘more heat’ is trapped in the atmospheric envelope. The concept holds that (if heat cannot escape normally) there will be a rise in average temperatures in that envelope.

Take a moment. Re-read the above paragraph. Let’s make completely sure we understand the idea fully. From that point, we can visit some of the linguistic abominations that certain people (but not proper scientists) use and mis-use when talking about this area of science.

By way of example, let’s look in detail at an often-used MIS-used phrase “Greenhouse Emissions” to see what it might actually mean :–

 Science shows us that  “Carbon” is NOT the same thing as  “Carbon Compounds”
 But we can safely say  “Carbon Compounds” are a component of  “Carbon Compound Emissions”
 But, it’s only a term of art to equate “Carbon Compound Emissions” as being the same thing as  “Greenhouse Emissions”
 And, there’s no conclusive proof that  “Greenhouse Emissions” are even a partial cause of  “The Greenhouse Effect”
 Ergo, it’s a fallacy to say  “The Greenhouse Effect” is mainly caused by  “Carbon”, or “Carbon Compounds”, or “Carbon Compound Emissions”, or “Greenhouse Emissions”

So, using pure logic, phrases like “Greenhouse Emissions” actually means —

” … some (presumed) ‘Emission’ that causes a (presumed) ‘Greenhouse Effect’, but (definitely) not pure ‘Carbon’, and (presumably) not ‘Carbon Compounds’, nor ‘Carbon Compound Emissions’ 

 …  OR, alternatively, the phrase “Greenhouse Emissions” means absolutely nothing.

And so, gentle reader, what you have just read is the absolute highest level of meaning that is available to the utterance “Greenhouse Emissions” and its equally ridiculous cousin “Greenhouse Gas Emissions”.  These phrases are completely meaningless within any rigorous true scientific study that emphasizes carbon as being a primary cause for global warming.

These are the kinds of linguistic, logical fallacies (flaws in logic) that cause idiots like our parliamentarians to make conceptual leaps between “Carbon Taxes” and “Greenhouse Emissions” without having a real clue about what they are trying to legislate.

—> Next up …    Who is the real culprit in this Carbon Debate ?  [article cont’d] –>

SO WAKE UP! Carbon itself is not the culprit

If not Carbon, then what is to blame? Well that’s simple :

Its over-population of course. You Ninny! It’s destruction of the rainforests. Its rampant consumerism. Its the unfettered and completely misguided belief by nations and economies that growthconsumption and materialistic expansion is the goal for all mankind. Why else would China (according to a 2008 article in the Wall Street Journal) be building and opening one new coal-fired power station every ten days?

Oh!, And just because I appear to challenge the very foundations of everyday economics here, doesn’t mean I am automatically talking about pie in the sky solutions.

The science and the economics are not really all that complicated. It’s more about vested interests and vested ignorances not wanting to look at dealing with the real problems.

Even thought politicians might argue their political interests semi-eloquently, and even talk about long-term economic ramifications, these issues are usually only red herrings to avoid dealing with real science. Instead, politicians mis-interpret, mis-use, and mis-direct what little science they actually know, so as to justify sham policies.

Listening to the parliamentary debates over recent weeks, and worse-still, listening to Gillard sycophantically praising the “trust in science” whilst awarding the science prize (on 12-Oct-2011) on the same day as having passed the Carbon Tax through the Lower House, you could be forgiven for thinking Labor were “supporters of science”. In truth, politicians themselves actually know very little about the competing science.  Just because one might listen to a Barry Jones commentary does not automatically make them an expert on global warming.

True Scientific Method does not suffer fools with their platitudes. Science not only needs to be done, but it needs to be fully updated and understood before it is implemented as law. To become more knowledgeable, you must trawl through the guts of scientific research papers for yourself. Fighting your own ignorance and boredom all the way. Perhaps then, even if you end up not being correct, you can at least say that your scientific opinions are truly your own.

Carbon Capture, Management and Storage Schemes

For the time being, for the die-hards who wouldn’t know a linguistic fallacy if it poked them in the ire [no spelling error here]. And haven’t done their own scientific research. But still seem prepared to trust (their) leaders with the “benefit of the doubt” just because these politicians give the impression they are ‘legislating to fix the world’.

Whilst I, personally don’t trust that it’s a primary cause of global warming, nor do I maintain that the reasons for there being no decent alternatives to  fossil fuels are in the hands of the masses,  Let’s now indulge the (false) premise that it’s okay to target Carbon as a solution to global warming. Shall we? After all, some readers will ultimately believe

  • they are powerless to change government policy no matter what the truth might be, or
  • maybe they feel they must jump at every opportunity for a ‘fix’ even if that fix is tainted, or
  • maybe there just isn’t enough evidence in the world to prove to them that other causes of global warming have exponentially greater affect on global warming than “Carbon” … so taxing carbon is the only option.

So anyway – for them – let’s proceed on the hypothesis that “carbon” emitters should be taxed.

I propose we look at how the mainstream carbon emission demonizers (Like the European Union) currently view “the carbon problem” and its “solutions”. For example, they suggest directly that CO2 causes global warming, AND that there are solutions to global warming in directly managing excessive carbon emissions.

NOTE: Whilst the above video gives some background on the CO2 problem, it’s reliance on Carbon Capture and Sequestration (or “CCS” for short) technology – (which is the storing away/ burying of used carbon) is tragically and fundamentally flawed.   Because:

1.      As you might guess, I strongly disagree with the premise that we must remain dependent on fossil fuels and then use CCS to ‘fix’ it.  As a solution, it is mainstream thinking, and it’s surprisingly unimaginative.

2.    Moreover, as a plan for our future, it is unreliable. The corporations on whom we rely to do CCS are too heavily vested in the fossil fuel industry. Their motive is profit. Pure and simple. You’ll wait forever for CCS to be implemented, then you’ll need even more complex/creative tax schemes to monetize the incentive for corporations to use CCS effectively. More tax! More legislation!  

3.    CCS doesn’t address the disease itself (global warming). Let’s be blunt, all it does is give a partial solution to some of the alleged symptoms.

3.   CCS has a major drawback.  (Not addressed by the video).  CCS technology is in itself energy intensive. That is, it creates more fossil fuel wastage to condense and then pump that “waste carbon” back into the ground. Are we happy to use more fossil fuels for that task, as well ?

In any event, even if we are not 100% certain of the effectiveness of Carbon Capture / Sequestration, there is no reason we cant use it in the meantime to repair a good proportion of toxicity caused by carbon emissions. We just have to be sure that the scientific research backing-up any such technologically-based solution is sound and reliable from a holistic point of view. i.e. That the studies consider all possible effects of interfering with the delicate balance of (say) the Carbon Cycle in the ecosphere.

Unfortunately, at this time, world-wide corporate willingness to spend their profits on carbon capture and reduction is very low. They have no obligation to do so, and in many countries, companies usually operate on the fringe of “what they can get away with” rather than “what is right“. Companies are much like young spoilt children given more and more power as they grow. Without discipline and rules, companies act entirely amorally and in self-interest.

If you really want to see large companies spending money to reduce their pollution, then just outlaw pollution with increasing severity over time, and then just stand back and watch them develop new clean energy alternatives.

—> Next up …    Is it possible to break reliance on fossil fuels ?  [article cont’d] –>

The end of fossil fuel reliance

This particular topic truly excites and fascinates me. And I dont want to steal thunder from some new articles I am writing for your entertainment. So all I will say for now is:

There are certain proven (but as-yet unknown) technologies that can offer truly free energy.  Once companies (and even You as the reader) finally open eyes to real energy alternatives, carbon emission problems (and taxes) can be ignored and even laughed at.

Here is a hint of what I mean by “free energy” :

For now, I will just say, there are literally thousands of ignored Free Energy technologies out there.Why are they being ignored?

… Reader;  Stop! Wait! … Just ask yourself that last question again. But this time ask it this way:  “Why do I remain ignorant of these possibilities?

For later … if you have time, just go to Youtube and search for “Free Energy”. Or you can just check out some of these sample links)

Fusion: http://www.ted.com/talks/steven_cowley_fusion_is_energy_s_future.html
Cold Fusion:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vt2JqEmaUGc
Hydrogen Powered Vehicles:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BX2RxlXCZKA 
Magnetic Energy: http://youtu.be/Nbr9ZMp5nE4
Orion Project:  http://youtu.be/DtWPBiQqF2o)

—> Next up …    Can we end pollution as well ?  [article cont’d] –>

Can we do anything about pollution (not just carbon)?

As a participant and student of the Real World, the reader shouldpresume that real solutions must start with HIM or HER. Really; There’s no point wasting your effort reading this blog,then not making some hard decisions by the end.

My Dear Pupil [see the ‘Curriculum’ menu above as to why I call you that]; I don’t write this article as some objective treatise, nor disembodied dry set of facts because I wish to appeal merely to your objective intellect. If you want that, then perhaps you should go read a Text Book or a Murdoch Rag for amusement.

What I’m talking about here is grass-roots change. Attitude change. Apathy disintegration. Civil participation. Awareness, debate and action as caring individuals, and as members integrated into a world community.

When everybody ‘gets’ that concept, we wont have heap legislation upon legislation to change things, because it won’t be “somebody else’s problem“. Change for the better will happen automatigically.

And just because you might not feel like changing the world by yourself now, that’s all right. Nobody can do things properly alone. Others must concur and support.

So go forth. Look for like-minded others. Explain that you are passionate about the issue. And then agree / explain to your peers that You are doing something about it now. Whatever you actually do is up to You, of course. I’m not fussed. But anything that engages your cause is far better than nothing. Maybe write to a federal politician. Letter to the editor. Call up a Talk Radio show. Watch less garbage on TV. Ride a bike. Take a bus. Get some solar panels. Grow a veggie patch. Whatever!

As Ferdinand Foch once said: “The most powerful weapon on Earth is the human soul on fire.”

—> Next up …    The Carbon Tax law… And its diminishing returns  [article cont’d] –>

Are more laws the answer ?

If we as Australians have no choice but to suffer the impost of being suffocated with more legislation, we might as well do so by creatingdirect targeted laws and schemes that are effective for the long-term.

Don’t – I say – try to mess with delicate environmental balances of natural elements in the hope that this will somehow indirectly have the side-effect of environmental protection.

This is exactly what I argued to my dear old friend <P…..>:

“For Pity’s Sake…” (I said), “…You claim to be a conservationist at heart. But don’t think, for a minute, think that carbon sequestration, control, or regulation is going to directly grow one more tree, nor will it lower the water table in regional Australia. If you want to do that, then legislate for people to go out and plant some darn trees !

What about international laws? Do you really think that making a law to tax carbon in the Australian Parliament will help a subsistence farmer in the Amazon forest cutting down trees to grow cash crops like tobacco? Or perhaps you don’t believe that the coal or timber industry in Australia would’t simply “rationalize” and “out-source” their carbon tax losses by moving to an underdeveloped country to take advantage of the tax haven. Exploiting more poor people whilst doing so.  [Gasp! Would corporations really do that?]

What about the bogus psychology?  The reasoning for introducing a carbon tax is based on flawed psychology. It suggests that using a negative financial incentives will somehowmagically create positive indirect financial action by polluters to find other carbon emission solutions. This simply offends common sense, and is completely contrary to human nature.  Remember; companies are like spoilt children.

“Hey little Johnny, I will take away one lolly from you for each hour you watch TV.”

Do you now expect little Johnny to go build a movie studio?

What about clerical administering of a Carbon Tax?  If this carbon tax law is passed, some will feel smug about having “done something”, but the rest of us will end up exhausted and jaded by the daily expense, obligation, accounting and administration of a useless Carbon Tax, and its farcical (temporary ?) tax rebates to ‘compensate us’ for the impost.

What kind of law is better than a carbon tax law?  If more legislation were the answer, then perhaps it would be more useful to make direct laws against the corporate industry heavyweights who are unchecked in creating pollution. For example, specific anti-pollution laws can be made to to accurately target companies who pollute.

What about ethics in corporate practice?  Here is a revolutionary thought:  Why not enact new sections in the Corporations Law to promote ethics in corporate governance.  (that is, the ways that companies operate and organise themselves). For example, the Australian Corporations Act of 2001 requires, in Section 180, that

“a company director or other officer exercise their powers and discharge their duties with care and diligence” 

(see also for fuller explanation: http://www.lawhandbook.sa.gov.au/ch04s01s03s02.php )

Do you really want to set the cat amongst the pigeons?  Ok. Then why don’t you add the one little word “ethics,” just before the word “care” in the above excerpt from the legislation.  Then stand back and watch the courts start spewing out decisions on what that word ethics means since it will then be mandatory..

The imposition of If companies were corporate governance to fully take ETHICAL considerations into account in their decision making processes. Companies can still make their profit. They just don’t have to rape the world while doing it.

I believe that since the underlying motive for most company’s existence is ultimately profit, and virtually every law enacted in the western world appears to validate this “exploitative modus operandi”, then it will take more than just a piddling carbon tax in Australia to “negatively incentivize” companies to limit their toxic emissions. What they really need is direct legalprohibition.

Just use Okham’s Razor. It will tell you that the simplest explanation and solution is usually the most effective.

Just like the G.S.T; its all about the money. The Carbon Tax is just a masquerade for trying to monetize the whole issue.  If this legislation gets passed, we will all shuffle-off into a scary indeterminate future.

For goodness’ sake, we don’t have to create an effective blanket prohibition on every free human being who eats, breaths, moves and poops. People have still gotta do those things no matter what.  But large corporations? No. They don’t need to act like a cancer and exploit everything out of their pure impersonal greed.

Why are corporations being given “incentives” to reduce carbon emissions (for whenever they feel like exercising those incentives at their own discretion) whilst You and Me, and everybody else pays Carbon Tax up-front in the cost of increased energy bills NOW whilst being given ludicrous back-door Rebates at the end of the Tax Year as an offset?  And remember, you Nincompoop, any such rebate will only be coming out of Your taxes to begin with!  Any corporation that continues to sell essential services like food, energy, or transport, will simply raise its prices (it wont go out of business). It will simply create an inflationary spiral that will disadvantage the poor who already have trouble paying for these services.

And don’t think for a minute that the thin end of the wedge where politicians claim “Carbon Tax will ONLY affect the big manufacturers” will keep the little guy like us safe). The endgame is to turn us all into modern serfs. Let me know if you think that hasn’t already happened.

I find it quite preposterous that this and clumsily try save mankind by legislating to fix any problems relating to “carbon” and all is many derivatives  The fact is, you should not just make a law like this “hoping” it will change things. You should be skeptical all the way. If

For instance, there is some good science indicating that the upper ocean layers are being saturated with too much carbon absorption. E.g. It causes algal blooms, affects light filtration into the water, changes sea level temperature gradients, affects food chains etc. etc. Let’s not dispute this effect for now because CO2 levels have, indeed, risen.

Sure, these may well be real environmental problems, but they are more likely problems of toxic buildup of CO2, like the problem of CFC’s, or toxic overuse of pesticides and fertilizers.  And of course, we can consider some possible solutions for carbon toxicity imbalances below. But note carefully, this is not the particular stated problem of “global warming” nor “climate change” supposedly being targeted by Carbon Tax legislation.

This unnecessary targeting and specifically regulating elemental Carbon is NOT the scientific key to a solution. It is merely a red herring. It is like putting a tax on Oxygen because we have to breathe it.

—> Next up …    The summary of why a Tax on Carbon is bad ?  [article cont’d] –>

So what actually makes a Carbon Tax “bad”

  1. Inflation.
  2. Convoluted legislation that doesn’t directly address polluters. Just monetizes the process.
  3. Expensive to administer
  4. Creates an extra-judicial enforcement agency (Carbon Cops) to enforce it. No warrants. No appeal process.
  5. Cost passed on – in every respect – to the ultimate consumers. Oil & Gas Cartels pay nothing.
  6. Gillard government is desperate. Pins all their hope on it as a revenue raiser like GST to pay for overspending.
  7. Tries to control / target Carbon. Not polluters.
  8. Science shows that carbon is a symptom of the disease of pollution. NOT the disease itself.
  9. Scientific studies are being used only selectively to link Carbon to Atmospheric Global Warming.
  10. In physics, carbon gas atoms absorb & re-emit photons the same as Oxygen and Nitrogen.
  11. No guarantee that any other country will adopt this type of scheme.
  12. Scheme has no immediate results. Reliant on the good graces / ingenuity of polluters “in the long run”.
  13. Australia only produces 1% of world’s total carbon emissions. Negligible effect on world carbon emissions.
  14. Major polluters like China and India will continue growing without restrictions.

In the years to come – as the environment quickly accelerates to hell in a hand-basket – the citizens of Australia will be like mules still carrying this unnecessary legislative baggage. Our society groaning under the burden of yet another government department existing merely to justify itself.

Moreover, THIS new government department will come fully equipped with a huge budget from its own revenue raising, and intact with its own police and investigation agency. The Carbon Cops.  Who will have power to act with impunity to enforce the legislation, and with no apparent need for judicial warrants or right of appeal.  Hmm … Isn’t that how huge secretive organisations like the F.B.I and the C.I.A. grew and evolved in the U.S?

What are the alternatives to a carbon tax

So, is it your opinion that this a Carbon Tax is the most directeffective, and only availablesolution for saving the environment? Are you willing to bet the farm on that?

Perhaps we should not make laws to directly stop polluters, then?

Let’s also not make any laws to curtail the huge mining industry that sells coal. Because of course that makes the coal price less competitive.

There should also be no laws to force manufacturers to install scrubbers into their chimney stacks, or to ensure that ALL effluent released from industry into the environment is properly disposed of and completely non-toxic.

Certainly, then, it is pointless to make laws to promote science education that can later be used to fund research and development into alternate fuel sources like hydrogen powered cars, or making nuclear energy safer?

What about closer to home. We’d better make sure there are no laws to force you not to use coal or wood in your barbecue, but to instead use natural gas that burns clean.

And naturally, (get ready for a laugh) you could never outlaw Christmas in favour of “Let’s All Plant A Tree Day”, because it is impossible to stop this annual juggernaught of consumerism that has completely obscured its original christian ideals, and has instead turned into a bloated festival for buying materialist rubbish from China that nobody really needs. Just like Valentines Day, the Easter Bunny, Fathers, Mothers and Ground Hog Days. These have all been completely hijacked by corporations.

Why is the focus on taxing carbon, then?

Let’s use some lateral thinking, now.  When in doubt, follow the money.

Don’t be fooled. The carbon tax isn’t about fixing the planet, and it’s not about reducing global warming, either. And whilst they call it a “tax” because the government is administering it, it’s really just a Charge on Energy usage. Perhaps you might find it helpful to think of it as a “Tax/Charge on your behaviour, and everything you do/use”.

Just like western society’s mindless acceptance of the fluoridation of our drinking water. There has GOT to be some other reason for doing it than just reducing our dental bills.  (But that subject is for another blog article in due course).

If taxing carbon was a direct, effective solution to global climate change, and controlling polluters  (which is the alleged goal), then perhaps there would be reason to support it. As it is, the new Carbon Tax doesn’t create any direct restriction whatsoever on using Carbon (i.e. Fossil Fuels). All it does is give the perception of “doing something”,  plus the unproven future claim that it will “stop polluters”. And it will cause greater inflation so as to make Australia’s exports less attractive.

Question:  Who owns and controls the Coal, Oil and Gas in the world? Answer: the Big Energy Cartels and conglomerates. Forget that have different names Caltex, ShellOil, BP, PetroBras. They are a monopoly by any other name run by the same elites. They control and distribute the fundamental essential service, that nobody can do without. Their prime ingredient; Carbon.

Question: Is there any real large-scale viable alternative to fossil fuels on the planet? (And this is crucially important). Answer:  No.

Question: Who uses all this Energy? Answer: Well, that would be worldwide Manufacturing Industry, the Freight Transport Industry, the Electricity Generation Industries and finally You and Me.

Question: So who pays for using all this energy? Answer: (Now this is a bit trickier. So listen carefully). The manufacturing industry (even the bigger companies) won’t really go out of business, they’ll adapt. They might pay initially, but in due course they simply increase their prices, and then make You, the consumer, pay. They, too, may be a form of monopoly. But they aren’t the real bad guys.

So; You pay. I pay. The manufacturers pay. The transporters pay. The electricity generators pay.  Can you see what’s wrong with this picture?  The only ones who don’t pay are the Cartels who pull the stuff out of the ground in the first place. Is anybody even considering to Tax these faceless benefactors? Nope. They’re too big. They’re international, and even small nations are afraid to piss them off.

So, what’s the real reason they are taxing carbon?

If the Labor Party had the gumption to call a spade a spade, they would tell you why rather than wasting their breath trying to convince us all that taxing carbon will stop polluters in their tracks.  It’s because they are running out of money. The cupboard is bare. The coffers are empty. Any budget surplus is long gone years ago, and Australia’s economy is currently in excess of $100Billion dollars in debt.

And there you have it. Gillard’s Carbon Tax is there to create back-door revenue raising to pay for an over-sized government which demands over-spending. And because they’re still in power, they need to justify their policies and their ongoing spending.

Let me not buy into bi-partisan politics here. I am not interested in trampling the toes of any Labor Party die-hard. I’m just stating the facts. Big Government means Big Spending. Which, in turn, means more need for tax. It’s that simple.  Also, I’m not going to be side-tracked into debates over whether Australia is or should be a socialist capitalist state. Those historical definitions are meaningless in today’s complex social-economies anyway. This article is just about why the carbon tax is a bad idea in and of itself.

Is there any wider agenda than mere revenue-raising?

What !? You think the stated reason of needing more money to pay for unchecked government spending to too flimsy a reason to inflict this abomination on the people?  Maybe you’re right.

Let’s use some imagination.

Carbon Tax will create a price on Carbon. Right?  And by various estimates, it will start at between $23 and $35 per tonne. So. This will be a tradeable commodity, then. Floated on the international commodity markets. It will then be bought and sold just like a barrel of oil or a tonne of iron ore. That’s not so bad, is it?

It’s a little bit like putting a price (or tax) on the basis of what people do, when they expend fossil fuel energy. Which is essentially everything that people do.  It will put a carbon value on how people travel, move, what they eat, what they use electricity for, and what they own.  Hmm… That’s clever! It’s a tax (or a price) on behaviour.  So the richer you are, the better you can do things like travel, move, eat and buy.

And who stands to benefit from all your behaviour being taxed in the long term. Why, the energy industry, of course! It doesnt matter whether the price of this essential service (energy) fluctuates or not. Ultimately, there is no escape. You will buy from them whether you want to or not. From Big Oil. Big Gas. Big Mining. It’s a monopoly, even if they have numerous companies with different names. It’s still the energy industry controlling your every move.

And naturally. If you’ve got no money to buy these essential services because you come from an underdeveloped country or a lower income bracket (i.e. you’re poor). This hits you the hardest because, as a percentage of your total wealth, these essential services will eat a bigger slice of your available income than for someone with more money.  Well! Tsk. That’s just too bad, isn’t it?  Poor get poorer. Rich get richer. Way o’ the world! That’s what we have come to accept – by degrees – as our daily bread.

So, those would appear to be the long-term effects. I.e. Greater control (by amoral corporatists) of your daily activities.

What will the short term effect of a carbon tax be? Have you looked at the 25% increase in your Electricity & Gas bill in the last quarter? What about the price of a kilo of beef? A litre of petrol?

The big picture – modern serfdom

One recurring theme in law reform for over a thousand years has been the struggle between thosein power (Elites like the French Aristocracy, Kings, Feudal Lords and Barons) versus those who have no power (i.e. the Common Man).

Just over 900 years ago (in 1100 AD), the people of England got fed up with the King indiscriminately exercising his power to increase his wealth and subjugate the citizens of the realm. King Henry I therfore enacted the Charter of Liberties which specified particular areas wherein his powers would be limited.  125 years later in 1225 AD (thanks to Willinterpet for the errata) the Magna Carta was passed into law.  The Magna Carta (which still in force today) was enacted to effectively compel the Royals to submit to the will of the people.  This was the beginning of English “democracy” as we recognize it today.

At that time, the only ones really powerful enough to challenge the King (because they could afford mercinaries) were the rich Land Lords and Feudal Barons.  Unfortunately, this effectively just transferred power from a capricious King, to a bunch of capricious Robber Barons. Who then, in turn, inflicted serfdom upon the ignorant masses.

230 Years ago, the French Revolution was a struggle between the ruling Aristocracy and the Bourgeoisie. The people prevailed in that conflict. They essentially chopped off the heads of the ruling elite. A law was therefore enacted in 1789 called “Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen” to protect the people from abuse.

This conflict between the powers of a Ruling Elite, and the Common Man still continues even today. Only the names have changed, and everybody owns an iPod.

For our purposes, the feudal baron is the equivalent of a corporate C.E.O (or reclusive elite ‘old money’ families of Europe and the U.S who pull the strings of their C.E.O). The corporations are the vehicles by which the Common Man is “kept in his place”.  You may have guessed the next bit. Yep! You are the serf.

Perhaps, like many people, the Reader think this “control by corporate interests” is just benign. It’s just par for the course. It’s the cost of having all these modern conveniences.

Once the carbon tax is in place, it can be modified at any time to serve the interests of powerful international cartels.

Qu: Just who *IS* Julia Gillard so hell-bent on introducing the CT for?

So. She was NOT elected on the basis of this platform. She has NO electoral mandate from the Australian People to introduce it. And she lied in her pre-election speech in declaring she would never introduce it.

The Carbon Tax is NOT NECESSARY for the Australian People because –

–    It is a further erosion of civil liberties through the carbon cops. ….. It’s just one more enforcement organization like ASIC or …. that is being given full executive power to enforce questionable draconian legislation that is NEITHER regulated by proper judicial oversight, NOR subject to the same checks and balances that a public police force that has taken decades if not hundreds of years to evolve to an acceptable balance between criminal enforcement and civil liberties.  See article of Chris Berg.  http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/2821952.html

–    It opens the door to yet ANOTHER form of manipulable control over law, information and crucial human resources.* (See asterisked list below)

–    It is the creation of ANOTHER regulation which could be abused in wartime or marshal law situations

–    Based on the science of withholding/emission of heat by the Carbon Gas molecule (as compared to Oxygen or Nitrogen in the atmosphere) in the earth’s atmosphere. There is no proof that CARBON itself is a real cause of global warming. Point out to me exactly WHICH scientific study is definitive in saying it is the root cause. And I will show you the flaws and counter-arguments in it with any number of opposing scientific studies.

–    If you want a CLEAR direct way to affect the water table, OR the cutting down of forests in the Australian Bush you need DIRECT legislation for that. OR to stop huge chimneys belching out smog and pollution. DON’T just sit back and think that a generic carbon tax will fix those problems.

–    Australian carbon emissions (even if they WERE a problem which is not satisfactorily scientifically proven) constitute less than 1% of world emissions.

–    Australian Law is NOT a model for China and India in their legislative models. NO WAY will they follow our schemes. NO WAY, NOT EVER.

People in the modern West seem to live in a bubble in terms of their long-term foresight. Maybe they are too stressed after a hard days work, and acting as their own self-policing taxpayer that they have no heart left for proper open-minded debate.  They lovingly caress their iPhones and equate the onslaught of modern technology with the need to regulate the crap out of every aspect of modern daily life.

Ultimately, if the level of erosion of civil liberties continues for another decade or two at the rate that it has for the last two or three decades, then the continuing loss of rights and freedoms of the individual will make us all into the drones of George Orwell’s 1984.  We shall no longer recognize the loss of our own humanity because of our acceptance-by-small-degrees of a soma-induced (today we call it Prozac) stupor. We will truly be incapable of independent thought and independent criticism. Welcome to the Brave New World.

If you keep feeding the corporate beast, you will just give it more reasons to act out of selfish profit motives, and less out of ethical imperatives.  In my view, we must be vigilant and guard against the stealthy handover of hitherto unregulated human behaviours to corporate or government regulators. If we do not, then civilization will be doomed by its own corporate excesses.

Humans will become too dependent on MacDonalds to feed them. The Hollywood movie industry to create their dreams. Pharmaceutical companies to cure their ills. Mass media to entertain and inform them. Corporate morality to motivate them. Banks to generate their wealth. Oil companies to transport them. Pesticide companies to control their farmland and fresh foodstocks. Retail Supermarkets to fill their pantries. Consumer Electronics companies like Apple to kidnap their future technological aspirations. And Governments like Ours who carry aloft the false god of “Improving the Economy” as the foundation for creating new laws. … Unless of course …

… Ermm …. Oops. … Too late! We’re already there.

These are the facts as I see them.

– QuantumSniper

———-

1.   http://www.quadrant.org.au/blogs/doomed-planet/2009/12/why-barry-jones-is-wrong

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: