I had a piece in the Herald Sun on Friday further addressing the fraudulent and income sapping climate change issue.
The “greatest moral challenge of our time”, is how Kevin Rudd referred to climate change, which was allegedly resulting from human emissions of carbon dioxide.
The issue became prominent during the 1990s and reached a crescendo with the Kyoto Agreement in 1997 when countries solemnly promised to reduce (or, in Australia’s case, only slightly increase) their emissions. Of course, whenever those pledges proved inconvenient they were promptly jettisoned.
The rest of the world was claimed to be acting with great urgency to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide – the Commonwealth Treasury Secretary said national schemes were in place covering 83 per cent of world emissions. But this turned out to comprise just the EU and Australia, responsible for only a 12 per cent share of emissions that was declining as a result of the punitive regulatory measures causing losses of industry competitiveness. In Australia’s case electricity costs moved from among the lowest to among the highest in the world.
A year ago Australia had four different sorts of measures designed to force reductions in carbon dioxide emissions.
We had the carbon tax, which alone added 17 per cent to households’ prices but is now repealed.
We also had budget spending, including the subsidies through the “Clean Energy Finance Corporation”, running at $4 Billion a year; these are being reduced and replaced by a far less costly Direct Action Plan, and even that may not pass the Senate.
Then there are regulations designed to force us into lower energy housing and to use lower energy fridges and other appliances. As with all regulations, irrespective of government intent, once in place these are almost impossible to remove.
Finally we had various government renewable energy requirements, including the Commonwealth’s Renewable Energy Target (RET), which added 12 per cent to the price. Most state government requirements are being reduced and the Commonwealth scheme is under review. The original Commonwealth scheme was put in place by John Howard, in what he has since described as his worst ever policy enactment. Labor increased the scheme’s size fivefold as well as introducing the carbon tax and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation slush fund for carbon-light investments.
Australia has a number of taxpayer financed institutions promoting climate change alarmism. These are assisted by renewable energy businesses lobbyists supported agencies looking to preserve renewable subsidies. Two recent government reports estimate those subsidies will cost the economy $29-$37 billion, which is up there with total government spending on transport infrastructure.
Climate change alarmism started to unravel during the farcical 2009 meeting in Copenhagen, which was to build on the Kyoto Treaty. In that year, Australia’s Chief Scientist, Professor Penny Sackett, said we had only five years to stop catastrophic global warming. But for the past 17 years, though every heat wave, cold spell, drought and hurricane has been blamed on human induced climate change, aggregate world climate data shows no trend.
We may now be approaching the end game on climate change measures. There have been just too many unfulfilled catastrophes.
Even so, the vested interests in subsidised energy remain powerful and retain the capacity to keep on hitting firms and households alike with measures that add needless costs.