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Suppressed viewpoints on climate change

August 5th, 2008

There’s a lot of complaints about how some viewpoints in the climate change debate are being suppressed. As Tim Dunlop notes, most of them come from a group which gets lots of press attention (in fact, far more than its support among the public, let alone among climate scientists, would justify). But there is one viewpoint that seems almost completely suppressed. Like other Australians, the vast majority of supporters of the Coalition parties accept the scientific evidence and support action to mitigate climate change but I can’t think of a single member of the rightwing commentariat who does so with any enthusiasm. (The closest in the print media is John Hewson, who has a fortnightly column in the Fin. He’s good on climate change, but I wouldn’t regard him as a full-time member fo the commentariat). Among rightwing bloggers, the orthodoxy is similarly monolithic. The only exceptions of whom I’m aware are Harry Clarke and Opinion Dominion.

(Note: I’ve changed some terminology in response to comments)/

  1. jquiggin
    August 9th, 2008 at 20:36 | #1

    #49 For heaven’s sake, observa, read the post. You’re not a brave heretic as you present yourself. You’re following, sheeplike, the opinions on scientific issues ladled out to you by politically likeminded pundits. This is about as sensible as taking your political views from your favorite actor or popstar.

  2. Ian Gould
    August 9th, 2008 at 21:19 | #2

    Observa, meaningful water trading on the Murray Darling was blocked for a decade by the same economic troglodyte who blocked emissiosn trading – the same guy who keep tryign to canonise.

    The most bizarre aspect of this is that since Labor was elcted you’ve been screaming hysterically for them to start buying water permits – which is now happening. )Althoguh oddly you never seemed to criticise Howard for failing to do so.)

    This is the epitome of a Coasian appraoch to resource management.

    The fact that you don’t seem to grasp this together with your blatant partisan bias leads me to conclude youi haven’t the faintest idea what you’re talking about.

  3. Ian Gould
    August 9th, 2008 at 21:31 | #3

    How about link to a directly relevant story:

    “AS THE Bush administration enters its final months, the US Climate Change Science Program has issued a report concluding that computer models do effectively simulate climate. It also accepts that the models show human activity was responsible for the rapid warming of the 20th century.

    The report is the 10th of 21 due to be issued by the body, which the sceptical Bush administration set up late in 2002 to review the validity of climate-change science before making policy decisions. At the time, environmentalists accused the administration of using the programme as a way to drag its feet on the issue.

    The evidence is pretty convincing that the models give a good simulation of climate,” lead author David Bader of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California told reporters last week. He concedes that the report did not examine predictions of future climate change. Nor did it address policy issues, which will be left to the next administration.”

    http://environment.newscientist.com/article/mg19926683.300-humans-cause-climate-change-us-body-accepts.html?DCMP=ILC-hmts&nsref=news5_head_mg19926683.300

    Got that, Observa? The group set up by the denailosts in the Republican Party to try and pick holes in the climate science couldn’t find any.

    I guess that’s becasue they used actual science not conspiracy theories and half-witted flourishing of any popular press article which could kinda-sort be interpretted to contradict the science if you looked at it just right.

  4. observa
    August 10th, 2008 at 12:23 | #4

    My overall point is, even if we all accept CO2 based AGW as gospel, the current conventional wisdom of an international ETS antidote is flawed beyond redemption. For starters the jurisdictional problems dwarf that of the MDB, which has the best jurisdictional scenario right now and yet with all that where is the future? I’m certainly not canonising past Govts for their inaction on the MDB, but simply asking those who talked big, to walk their talk now. They have the undying faith in cap and trade policy, so show us the proof domestically. Having said that I’m no fan of that approach you’ll notice, because I’m advocating resource taxing generally and if that were the case, we’ve seen how a resource tax of say 3-5c/Kl on water would likely wipe out the profitability of rice, cotton and flood irrigation pasture. A gradual shift to increased resource taxing would achieve the required direction, just as we’ve seen the recent results with rising market prices for oil. To get the resource price shifts we need to impact fairly and evenly on all users, we will have to lower other forms of taxation and if the carbon taxing in particular is to really bite and consequently lower our material use of the environment, then shares will have to be an important consideration. Hence my take on the imperative for an ANWT with sanctuary for holding it in natural environmental form for all, now and for the future. ie Gaia’s countervailing market power cf your ETS incentive to bowl it over for ethanol and biodiesel you well intentioned dummies.

    When you think about having to reduce other forms of taxes to increase resource taxing then naturally you have to turn your thoughts to all the current negatives. That’s why I say ditch them all, particularly income and company tax to maximise the price of plundering new resources. We’ve all seen the problems of housing affordability with the current income tax mess. The looming threat of SWFs and transfer pricing with our natural resources? Income tax avoidance and evasion and at the risk of offending you all with another link, what about that neutrality problem folks? http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,24086963-601,00.html
    all of which my reform blueprint has licked you’ll notice, but feel free to critique it and improve upon it. What about your international ETS add-on eh? You know, the incremental add-on that hasn’t worked so far, but just as soon as we can get it right and set an exemplar for all those Chinese and Indians, etc. Yeah, riiiiight! Tell it to the grandkids, along with that epic tale about how you cap and traded water in the MDB.

    Meanwhile back in Oz we have the Govt recognisising the need to reduce company tax. How on earth could you do that without dropping income tax scales? We’ve all seen how negative gearing and capital gains tax interacts to produce that housing affordability problem and now our govt wants to subsidise landlords to ameliorate that. You know it makes sense folks! Reduce company tax with those high personal MTRs and what will result? Well it will be like the Hilton hotel chain. Everything from the wages of the cleaners to their CF globes, tap washers, gardeners, etc is all tax deductible anf GST input tax credited. Notice the same could apply to the family company with the family home for high nett wealth taxpayers. The family biz company buys the few million dollar home with the interest deductible, along with the rates, insurance, window and pool cleaner, the tennis court and grounds maintenance, painter, CF globes and tap washers, so long as the family supposedly pay ‘arms length’ market rates, so as not to fall foul of fringe benefits taxes. Now that will no doubt be on the low side of the market rates spectrum and as all the residents of Kew, North Shore, etc do same, what will happen to market rates of all these mansions? Look Mr ATO assessor, ask all my neighbours in the street what market rents they’re paying and you’ll easily see my McMansion rent is arms length too and I’ve got all the receipts for the expenses. More of the same and you can’t touch any real capital gain until they sell, which is another huge problem with sticky capital nowadays, with stamp duty tacked on the sale for good measure. All this and I’m supposed to believe in racing off to join the vision splendid, grand plan to save the planet from a fate worse than starvation. I’m not buying such Utopian, diversionary nonsense.

  5. August 28th, 2008 at 15:57 | #5

    Tony Jones and Andrew Bolt should quit playing around and just start a program together and hasn’t Andrew’s profile soared simply by saying “nay”

  6. scott
    August 28th, 2008 at 21:14 | #6

    My overall point is, even if we all accept CO2 based AGW as gospel, the current conventional wisdom of an international ETS antidote is flawed beyond redemption.

    I thought the idea behind an ETS was domestic, not international. ie make your national industry so averse to the idea of emitting that they give up emitting altogether.

    If this is the case, I guess it highlights the importance of a cost effective design and administration, as really the ETS achieves nothing in itself but a deterrence.

    I suppose there is the possibility an ETS might have role to play in diverting revenue to people and industry that could use it positively, but I think I agree with you observa that this type of design is pretty open to be pilfered.

    This is why I asked JQ once on here what his thoughts were on “offset” payments as a feature of an ETS (I never got a reply). If people really could take carbon out of the atmosphere for a price, what would a successful business model look like?

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