AUSTRALIA SCRAPS THE LOT
When Tony Abbott swept to power, September 7, the defeat of preceding prime minister Kevin Rudd was politely described as “not a rout” by climate-correct media outlets such as Britain's 'Guardian', but Abbot lost no time in taking down and trashing the mix-and-mingle of climate policies and programs thrown together by Rudd's Labour Party. Labour ran a negative campaign alleging that Abbott would bring in European-style austerity via budget spending cuts. Abbott parried this by targeting cuts in the swath of costly-but-ineffective anti-global warming and pro-low carbon programs, created by Labour, as one of his first moves if he won power.
Under the Rudd-appointed Climate Change Commission headed by Rudd's longtime ally, Ross Garnault, Australia had veered to extremes of climate correct. The Garnault proposals, including cap and trade and ever-rising carbon taxes were lauded by the self-appointed global guardians of climate-correct and taxing everybody to “mitigate” supposed climate change, such as Britain's 'Guardian', and of course the iconic Nobel Peace prizewinner duo of Al Gore and Rajendra Pachauri.
During a heated election run-up TV debate, in which Abbott called carbon taxes and emissions trading “absolute crap”, he also said: "This is not a true market. Just ask yourself what an emissions trading scheme is all about," adding: "It's a so-called market for the non-delivery of an invisible substance to no-one”.
Australia's CO2 credits trading scheme, modeled on Europe's flailing ETS, with no surprise, will be the very first to be dumped. On 8 September, flush from victory at the polls, Abbott announced: “Obviously, a very early item of government business is scrapping the carbon tax”. His party's analysts estimate the scheme had ballooned into a $6 billion-a-year boondoggle, since its start in 2008 following Garnault's report on the claimed climate crisis facing Australia.
Speaking to ABC News in July, Abbott's future Environment minister Greg Hunt called the scheme a 'classic Rudd government con' saying: "This is a classic Kevin Rudd con, because whether it's called a carbon tax or whether it's called an ETS, it's still a carbon tax and it's still intended to go up to $38”, by or before 2020. Garnault's commission of 2008 include recommendations of constantly raising carbon taxes to finally reach $100 (1 Australian dollar is 92 US cents) per tonne of CO2, the amount emitted by burning about 2.5 barrel of oil.
This would be equal to adding a new tax of around $40 on every single barrel of oil, or oil equivalent fossil energy used in Australia.
For the banksters, brokers and traders playing carbon markets – where they exist – we can be sure that the bigger the tax paid by users and consumers of energy, the richer the picking are for them. Like any other “asset play” greed got in the way, forcing the pace of bankster pressure on the crony political elite to constantly increase carbon taxes “to save the planet”. Shutting down businesses and throwing people of work is “saving the planet”.
In the European case, its corruption-riddled ETS (Emissions Trading Scheme), which started in 2005, has since late 2012 been on life support – due to wanton over emission, or issue, of emissions credits.
European bureaucrats, pressured by the so-called “financial community”, led by the major banks milking ETS – Barclays, Deutsche Bank and Societe Generale – issued so many tradable credits, that their unit value collapsed. They became worthless chaff, like Russian pre-revolutionary bonds and warrants – handy for making lampshades and nothing else.
Since early 2013, European bureaucrats, national governments and the “financial community” have been scrambling to “rescue ETS”, but over-issuance of credits, declining or stagnant use of energy, the delocalization of European industry outside Europe, to not pay emissions credits, the growth of green energy, and energy efficiency improvements have converged to destroy the credibility of ETS.
Australia's copycat ETS, which had a five-year total lifespan of 2008-2013, was merely a bad copy of ETS at the wrong time – due to the same factors.
So-called “monetizing carbon” is the goal of setting carbon taxes, tradable credits, cap-and-trade regimes - and anything else banksters and traders can play with, and gouge profits from, but it always has an economic cost. The pretence that carbon taxes will reduce “carbon effluent in the atmosphere”, and play a high-level environment responsible role for the future, was always contradicted by what it meant in the real world. Forcing everybody to pay more for energy – so that a few can profit from driving energy prices always higher. In several countries – including European countries such as the UK and Germany – one direct result of “carbon correct” is to force power producers to import more coal or burn more locally produced coal. This is simply to stay in business, because coal energy is the cheapest of all, made even more competitive because emissions credits are nearly worthless, and do not raise coal-based power prices to anywhere near the price of power from other fuels. In 2012, European coal-based power increased at rates as high as 15% depending on country.
With no surprise, the global warming debate has morphed into a heretic-hunting, propagandized illiberal environment. For a long while it was blasphemy for anyone to dare questioning the IPCC's Hockey Stick version of climate science. Building from the early 2000's, climate-correct was forced through all mainstream media outlets – in the developed countries, only - as the elite policy consensus to “decarbonize the economy” sailed along on a magic carpet of hype. Politicians who seemed not to understand their clownishness and pomposity, like Australia's Mr. Rudd even claimed that climate change was “the great moral challenge of our times”. To be sure, their fat cat salaries and perks shielded their precious selves from energy costs gouged ever upward in the real world, feeding off their hypocritical, pompous, and lying propaganda, but the economic damage was impossible to ignore.
When the end comes for climate-correct, there is no trace of the Climate Crazies with paint on their faces who danced and gurgled at those multi-million-dollar UN conferences on the climate “crisis”, while their heroes like Kevin Rudd primped and preened in front of a dangled microphone.
In Australia's case, Tony Abbott had on many occasions attacked the insane absurdity of “fighting” the emission of greenhouse gases by taxing anybody at all who uses energy. Cap and trade, he said, was economic pain with no environmental gain, for a nation that accounts for 1.4% of world emissions of greenhouse gases. Now that Australia has come to its senses, Japan and Canada have abandoned carbon taxes, and Europe's ETS is on life support, this only leaves Mr Barack Obama's attempts to breathe some hot air back into the cold corpse of climate correct among the Western developed countries. Since the effort is led by Obama himself – this will help seal his fate as one of the worst and weakest US presidents in decades – even compared to George W. Bush !
By Andrew McKillop
Former chief policy analyst, Division A Policy, DG XVII Energy, European Commission. Andrew McKillop Biographic Highlights
Co-author 'The Doomsday Machine', Palgrave Macmillan USA, 2012
Andrew McKillop has more than 30 years experience in the energy, economic and finance domains. Trained at London UK’s University College, he has had specially long experience of energy policy, project administration and the development and financing of alternate energy. This included his role of in-house Expert on Policy and Programming at the DG XVII-Energy of the European Commission, Director of Information of the OAPEC technology transfer subsidiary, AREC and researcher for UN agencies including the ILO.
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