35 thoughts on “Monday message board

  1. My taxes at work.

    The cane toad has been designated a cultural icon.

    I think this is far overdue recognition of the cane toad. Nature evolves by suvival and the cane toad has survived and is now placing an evolutionary stress on other aspects of nature.

    I am sure that others will be extreme conservatives (rather than the admittedly the extreme) radical approach I am promoting.

    I see a connection between the ideas behind ‘native plants’, ‘exotic species’, ‘the need to preserve the unique flora and fauna of Australia’ etc, etc with the red-necks approach to immigration and multi-cultural development.

  2. Climate change mitigation to cost a grand total of US$1 trillion:

    Or 2-3% total, one eyars growth from here to 2050. Remarkably similar to other figures deevloped in Australia.

    Sounds like a pretty good deal – lets do it!

    Oh but wait, there’s a problem: “But if this is to be achieved, it will take further concerted action by governments, businesses and individuals over a broad range of measures…”

    And if you’re looking for responsive concerted action, John Howard’s not your goto, is he?

  3. Chris Shannon;

    This gives your house heritage status as a shrine of Icons.

    Please be sure to ask permission of the relevant authorities before you sweep the under the house.

  4. yes indeed, if only I had a mango tree to complement the Hills Hoist. I have a passionfruit vine on a trellis too but sadly, I believe it was passed over in the icon stakes. Does bat poo on the weatherboards count? It should – it doesn’t get more Qld than that!!! Sort of seriously, I love living in Qld but do wonder if we need some artsy ponces to tell us why its good…….

  5. Chris,

    the radio interview on Countrywide if I remember correctly is a little gem. There was a talkback element, then the Chair of the Commission came on. In defence it was the result of a survey (So Queemslanders may have been taking the P) but when the questioning went into the definition of anIcon said Chair got very huffy and more or less put the phone down. It may be podcast if you want a gentle smile.

  6. I remember as a boy in Qld. going out into the yard with a bucket and club and killing maybe 20 toads in an evening. I also remember sitting with my father on the verandah potting fruit bats by moonlight with a 12-gauge. The urge to destroy runs deep in the Qld. psyche.

  7. Gordon;

    it is obvious that you were carrying out these actions to protect Autralian native fauna and flora (fruit bats are notorious overbreeders).

    Provided my assumption is correct it is OK to inflict harm (Even on Humans eg those shot for poaching elephants).

    Has the state snactioned open season on cane toads had any measurable effect on there adaption to Australia?

  8. Chris –

    I reckon if you collect them in a sugar bag and hang them from the nearest bush nut [unaccountably referred to as macadamia in the icon list] tree you’ll be forgiven.

  9. The risk of carbon taxes or carbon trading schemes being exploited by opportunistic right-wing regimes to reduce the progressivity of the tax system is illustrated by the current debate among the British Conservatives. This article from The Independent (3/10/06) says:”The Tories plan to offer cuts in income tax at the next general election financed by higher taxation on behaviour that damages the environment.

    Although David Cameron is refusing to bow to growing pressure from Tory right-wingers to make an immediate promise of tax cuts, the leadership intends to include such a pledge in the party manifesto…The Tories have already pledged to increase the proportion of tax revenue raised by environmental taxes, which may include a rise in petrol duty and higher road tax on gas-guzzling cars.

    They hope to raise enough money to fund limited reductions in personal taxes, which could be targeted at the low paid in an attempt to underline Mr Cameron’s message that the party now represents “the many not the few”. A cut in business taxes is also likely…

    John Redwood, the chairman of the Thatcherite No Turning Back Group, launched a pamphlet reinforcing the case for tax cuts.

    Mr Redwood insisted there were no splits with the leadership over tax, but his pamphlet openly challenged the leadership strategy, saying: “Lower taxes are not a desirable extra you can add when everything is going fine. Lower tax rates are the way to get everything going well.”

    Calling for a switch from corporate taxes to green taxes, he said: “I think there is a case for having a more vigorous green policy. If that generates revenue, it is one way of making tax reductions on enterprise.”

    The pamphlet said there was scope for introducing a general carbon trading scheme to replace existing green taxes such as air passenger duty, landfill tax, the climate change levy and the aggregates levy. It predicted that Tory reforms would focus on the abolition of capital gains tax and inheritance tax.”

  10. The green taxes will be a bit hard on those who do not pay income tax or inheritance tax or capital gains tax.

    Perhaps the best hope of minimising the fall in livng standards for such people is from lower costs of living likely to result from lower corporate taxes.

    Although one must not forget that poor people are likely to suffer the effects of climate change to a disproportiant extent and thus will gain more from the reduction in climate change effects induced by the taxes.

    If all else fails the poor are not a significant voting block or important in more than one or two marginal seats so you do not have to address the problem in real world politics.

  11. I went to the Icons launch last Thursday. As the guys from the Bendigo Bank announced each Icon, everyone clapped, sighed and looked around to see who was laughing.

  12. Megan;

    now I know the Queenslanders took the P when answering the survey.

    Iit has reminded me to check up on a competition run by a London authority to name a bridge going to the new Wembley Stadium. A message went round the internet for Australians to vote for an Australian Rugby player. Never have seen the result but then we have yet to complete the stadium.

  13. “Has the state snactioned open season on cane toads had any measurable effect on there adaption to Australia?”

    No. It might be time for a full-on assault using bundy-steeped lamingtons………………

  14. Yep. They could speed things up if they called it the Wendell Sailor Bridge

    Remember that bogus lobby (instigated by the Courier-Mail) to name the Green Bridge, the Go-Betweens bridge?

  15. Oh but the second link – scaremongering bollocks.

    Any nuclear power plant built in Australia would not be to a 1950s design. Nuke designers have come a long way since then. I do not think raising the bogeyman of a nuclear accident is a fair and rational way to win an anti-nukes argument, and it can be demolished fairly easily. If you want to talk about wastes, well that’s a different story…

    The PwC report I linked at the start does include nuclear as part of the carbon constrained future economy.

  16. Simonjm;

    i knew USA inventiveness would come up with a solution.

    You are so old hat looking at nuclear fission. Nuclear fusion from China is the next big thing


    The only thing we will have to worry about are the neutrinos. There is no practical way of shielding people from them. Still do not worry about them.

  17. Oh come on taust, how gullible are you? Fusion has been 20 years away for about 40 years!

  18. Wilful

    Yes the Ed Mazria ties in nicely with the UK thinktank that I posted in an earlier thread who thought that this is doable concentrating on the building sector, though I don’t think the UK building capital turnover would be anywhere near the US.

    I did differentiate between the major and minor accidents and I do acknowledge that new designs would have higher requirements, the point is still valid though given

    “The root cause of these continued safety shutdowns is a combination of inadequate attention to safety by plant owners and lax oversight by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).�

    which isn’t directly tied to the age of the plants.

    Taust getting a plasma does not a fusion reaction make; it is just one part and they have a LONG way to go.

  19. Simojm and wilful;

    You deniers of science.

    I remember back in probably 1957 when the UK Atomic Energy Commission announced a successful fusion reaction in an apparatus called Zeta. They only suppressed further development work because it would have put big oil out of business.

    The Chinese will not be open to that sort of influence. 100 million degrees for three seconds and with power coming out!

    Australia should JV with the Chinese. It is the only way to protect ourselves from the downfall of our coal industry. Why are we wasting money on any other R&D? Let us put all our eggs in this basket.

  20. I realised that renewing all our building stock will mean the destruction of all our heritage buildings.

    Still I suppose given that Australia has so little impact on climate change we wil be able to negotiate a special dispensation.

    Pity about all those óld’building in Europe they will have to go.

  21. We’re not all Rednecks up here. Just like all Mexicans aren’t Wetbacks. Though I’d like to send a few of them back. They keep complaining about the humidity, and insist on turning the air conditioning down to 20 deg C. Gotta keep creating those greenhouse gases. But then again, if we sent them back they’d be turning on their heaters in winter. Anyone would think that they were trying to turn Melbourne into the Brisbane of the South.

  22. green taxes and regressivity

    On the ‘Top Gear’ TV program the hosts bantered with an audience member about a heating oil rebate program. The cost of such ‘energy welfare’ could itself encourage conservation eg home insulation. It may not be economic doom.

  23. The risk of carbon taxes or carbon trading schemes being exploited by opportunistic right-wing regimes to reduce the progressivity of the tax system is illustrated by the current debate among the British Conservatives. This article from The Independent (3/10/06) says:�The Tories plan to offer cuts in income tax at the next general election financed by higher taxation on behaviour that damages the environment.

    It’s called making the best of a bad situation.

    Or perhaps it just proves that every cloud has a silver lining.

    The great thing about Carbon taxes is that if they are effective then we would get tax cuts every year.

    With personal income tax collecting about A$100 billion per annum I wonder how high carbon taxes would need to be to replace income taxes entirely. I’d think I could bring myself to vote for carbon taxes if it meant abolishing income tax.

    Maybe the Greens can use this to pitch for the right wing vote. However they would first need to decide if they are mostly green or mostly red.

  24. Actually a quick back of the envelope calculation suggest that a Carbon tax of about $1000 per tonne should allow us to abolish income tax. Assuming of course that you don’t make the tax analysis dynamic (ie no change in consumer behaviour).

    Thats about $1 per kilogram. Or for coal based electricity about $1 per KWh.

  25. It really is not much say about $1. on a litre of petrol. Who will get the first dispensation from the tax. We could not charge it on our export industries.

    So given the exclusions change in behviour etc say $2 per litre of petrol.

    I think the greens opposed the GST. It would l be interesting to see their response to a carbon tax. I suppose that is why they support market based solutions like carbon trading ie its OK when big bad oil impose the tax.

  26. Some rogue states are more equal than others. Yahoo news reveals we are in bed with the murderous Myanmar military regime:

    “Australia trains Burma in counter-terror

    “Australia is giving counter-terrorist instruction to officials in Burma as part of a regional training scheme.

    “Officials from the controversial nation are attending courses at the Australian-run Jakarta Centre for Law Enforcement Cooperation in Indonesia, The Australian newspaper reports.

    “The centre is substantially funded by Australian aid and jointly run by Australian Federal Police and Indonesian national police.

    “Officials from Burma’s ruling military junta receive training in major investigation management, post-blast incident management, and the international management of serious crime.

    “The immigration department has also provided immigration intelligence training, while the Australian Nuclear Science Technology Organisation has provided assistance on detection of illegal nuclear materials use and radioactivity monitoring.

    “AUSTRAC – the cash transactions reporting agency – has helped train Burmese officials on how to track terrorist financing.

    “A Foreign Affairs spokesman said the training was consistent with Australia’s policy of limited engagement with the ruling junta, and was part of programs offered to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), of which Burma was a member.

    “But the stance contradicts the policy of isolation and sanctions adopted by the US and Europe, prompted by the continued house arrest of dissident opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi and Burma’s more recent bid for nuclear weapons technology.â€?

    I particularly liked “controversial nation”.

  27. I like Shiller very much, but I can’t see him getting up this time. I’ll tip Paul Romer.

  28. I suppose Terje wants to hire his own police to watch his house when he is away, arm himself in case he is attacked in the carpark, pay full fare whenever he goes to the doctor or dentist, pay for the road to his front door, tip the mailman for delivering his mail (substantially, to try to prevent him from selling the mail to an identity fraudster), take his turn in defending local reservoirs from water thieves (or pay substantial danegeld to them) and so on and on. Ah, the wonders of unrestricted libertarianism. Sort of like Mad Max 2.

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