The circuit breaker

The Greens have proposed a carbon tax as an interim measure to begin cutting carbon emissions. Although there are strong reasons to favor an emissions trading scheme over a carbon tax in the long run, I think it’s time to look seriously at this option. Here a few points in no particular order.

* since the price of carbon is initially capped under the CPRS, it’s just like a carbon tax in the short run
* the way to dispel public fear of a new tax is to bring it in. Look at capital gains tax and GST, both the subjects of highly successful election scare campaigns (in 1980 and 1993 resp) and both now uncontroversial.
* the capture of the political right by delusionism is now irreversible, as can be seen from the embrace of the obviously loony Lord Monckton. There’s no chance, now or in the foreseeable future of a deal with these guys. In particular, the version of the CPRS negotiated with Turnbull and briefly supported by the majority of Coalition members is unsalvageable in every respect. There’s no way the deal can be modified enough to get Liberal support now, and on the other hand it’s too much of a dog’s breakfast to take to a double dissolution.
* The Greens will almost certainly regain the balance of power in the Senate after the next election. Much as the government dislikes it, they are going to have to rely primarily on deals with the Greens to get legislation through in future. They might as well start dealing now.

In general terms, the government lost control of the debate with the defeat of the Turnbull compromise ETS last year, and has done nothing to regain it. Turning up with the same discredited compromise in February makes no sense at all. This is a time for firm action, not more delay.

150 thoughts on “The circuit breaker

  1. Pilmer’s back ground is as a geologist. If he had any authority, wouldn’t in be in peak oil instead. Given his links to mining, his views are conflicted in both areas!

  2. My god – what has happened in here?

    I was put in the sin bin with Philo and Alicia (who somehow didnt notice)…and now…every denialist rationalist loony indoctrinated by catelpsy is bumbling around in here like zombies, crashing into each other and dragging down the whole tone of the discussion…

    Its a mess!

  3. @Alice
    One post per thread per day Alice, that is what the boss said :). I prefer you to tame your slinging at me please, I am always courteous even towards people who I feel are misguided. I trust you will provide me with the same courtesy? Thanks :).

    I still can’t get passed how the Earth existed with many tens or hundreds of times concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere while simultaneously being cold enough to yield an ice age.

    I really do question the causality of CO2 concentration and warming. Not only do I know that there is no causation, it has been proven by individuals like Plimer and Monckton that there is situations where there has been no correlation either! So the presence of CO2 in the atmosphere has no correlation and not even any causation with global temperatures over the long term. The 180 year blip that we have measured through is far from geologically significant, keep in mind.

    Rather remarkable.

  4. @Rationalist
    Rationalist – now be rational and locate precisely where I addressed any post to you recently?. Your name belongs generically to the english language and last I heard…no-one has any private intellectual property rights over its use including you…so no slinging there….Id put in a smiley but Ive forgotten how. Two little posts = one big one. Be fair ratio!

  5. Rationalist:

    I still can’t get passed how the Earth existed with many tens or hundreds of times concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere while simultaneously being cold enough to yield an ice age.

    Show me where in this graph the CO2 concentration was “hundreds of times” what it is now.

    Once you’ve done that, show us your data that shows CO2 “hundreds of times” what it is now at the same time as an ice age.

    Rationalist’s problem is that when he doesn’t understand what the vast majority of scientists are saying, he doesn’t do what a reasonable person does and try to find out more about the science, he assumes he’s right and the vast majority of scientists working in the field are wrong. With an arrogant attitude like that, it’s probably not surprising that he/she calls himself/herself “Rationalist”. Rationalist? Sure. If you say so.

    Not only do I know that there is no causation, it has been proven by individuals like Plimer and Monckton

    Ahahaha. Not only is Rationalist arrogant, he’s also gullible. I pointed out on this very page (comment #24) where Plimer has been shown to be a scientific fraud and completely avoided defending his fraud.

    Don’t expect to be taken seriously in climate science if you cite Plimer and Monckton.

  6. Chris O’Neill, “Don’t expect to be taken seriously ” as there is one fact that can’t be ignored “deliberately” or not; and that is you are an idiot . But that is not relevant here because consensus is the order of the day and facts are ignored….

    There use to be a consensus among the majority of scientists that the world was flat. Just because “the vast majority of scientists working in the field” and idiots like Chris though that it was, didn’t make it so.

  7. @Tony G

    They weren’t scientists. That was an era before science.

    Of course, scientists can be wrong. But, if I have to place a bet on the opinion of ignorant thought disordered evidence denying speculators and fantasists or on the consensus assessment of scientists within their fields of expertise, you should know who I and most others choose.

  8. What’s the evidence of AGW?

    The evidence is at the end of your nose. If you don’t experience and understand that it just proves you are already half-dead sensuously, the first and most important port of call for “scientific” understanding of what is going on in the world and what is washing over your body and shaping its consciousness and awareness.

    Your loss. Your corruption. Your irrelevance to the rest of us.

  9. @Rationalist

    I really do question the causality of CO2 concentration and warming. Not only do I know that there is no causation, it has been proven by individuals like Plimer and Monckton that there is situations where there has been no correlation either! So the presence of CO2 in the atmosphere has no correlation and not even any causation with global temperatures over the long term. The 180 year blip that we have measured through is far from geologically significant, keep in mind.

    Rather remarkable.

    It is remarkable is that the insights of one established fraud and one professional clown are cited as counter-evidence to the scientific consensus. At least it would be remarkable if it came from a serious person rather than a sad, bored adolescent with a hobby as an internet troll.

    Here’s some advice:

    You’re still young, young enough to embark on a career in climate science. You can begin your degree this coming semester. You can go on to do a PhD and research these very questions. In fact, with the right qualifications, you could bring down the international climate-science conspiracy from the inside.

    Then with your qualifications you could earn a huge salary as the prized and feted darling of the denialist speaking circuit. The fact that Pilmer and Monckton are the best that the denialist side has got proves the total lack of competition – the job is there for the taking, if you only have the initiative.

    (I’d do it myself, but I’m not really sure that the climate-scientist conspiracy actually exists).

  10. Gerald said;

    “cited as counter-evidence to the scientific consensus”
    There use to be a “scientific consensus”by the majority of scientists that the earth was flat, but the fact was (i.e the real evidence, counter or otherwise) that it wasn’t flat.

  11. Tony:

    There use to be a “scientific consensus”by the majority of scientists that the earth was flat, but the fact was (i.e the real evidence, counter or otherwise) that it wasn’t flat.

    No, there was never a scientific consensus that the Earth was flat.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Myth_of_the_Flat_Earth

    The Myth of the Flat Earth is the modern misconception that the prevailing cosmological view during the Middle Ages saw the Earth as flat, instead of spherical. During the early Middle Ages, many scholars maintained the spherical viewpoint first expressed by the Ancient Greeks. By the 14th century, belief in a flat earth among the educated was essentially dead. Flat-Earth models were in fact held at earlier (pre-medieval) times, before the spherical model became commonly accepted in Hellenistic astronomy.[1].

    According to Stephen Jay Gould, “there never was a period of “flat earth darkness” among scholars (regardless of how the public at large may have conceptualized our planet both then and now). Greek knowledge of sphericity never faded, and all major medieval scholars accepted the earth’s roundness as an established fact of cosmology.”[2] David Lindberg and Ronald Numbers also write: “there was scarcely a Christian scholar of the Middle Ages who did not acknowledge [Earth’s] sphericity and even know its approximate circumference.”[3]

    In 1945 the Historical Association listed “Columbus and the Flat Earth Conception” second of twenty in its first-published pamphlet on common errors in history….

    The people who thought that the Earth was flat (e.g. the ancient Egyptians) were not scientists.

    They had nothing approximating the scientific method.

    The reasons they had for believing the Earth was flat were not scientific.

    As soon as people started thinking about the question scientifically (in classical Greece), they worked out that it was round.

    Eratothenes even worked out the circumference of the Earth to within a small percentage of the correct answer, 2200 years ago.

    If you knew even a tiny bit about science, you could come up with a better example. But you can’t because you’re a total ignoramus.

  12. Chris O’Idiot, Re 36

    If you were not so patently an ‘idiot’ I would be able to call you a “fraudster”, a “hypocrite” or any of the many other derogative terms that fit your persona. Then again if you add “fraudster” and “hypocrite” to the patently obvious first fact, we have a consensus of facts. This is evidence of who you are, as opposed to that of a consensus of scientists that is just an opinion.

    BTW, do not send my above student essay to the IPCC as they might publish it as evidence.

  13. Gerald;

    “If you knew even a tiny bit about science”, you would blacklist Wikipedia from your web browser as it is total crap (biased crap at that).

  14. gerard:

    If you knew even a tiny bit about science, you could come up with a better example. But you can’t because you’re a total ignoramus.

    Yes, Tony G is a very ignorant person. Very arrogant too. He also likes to ignore scientific fraud.

  15. The wonderful thing about doofuses like Tony G is the way they sometimes stimulate responses from smarter and better read people like Gerard at #41. Thanks Tony!

    John Coochey: anyone who’s worked successfully as a bouncer has learned how to deal with clowns like Christopher Monckton. Responding to the nonsense they talk is, as presumably you must well know, not part of the way. You think he’s a legend and a luminary and a leader of men of course, just like the followers of the drunks in the pub. He’s not a scientist he’s a delusional narcissist with a Bachelor’s. Monckton has enough mathematical skill to create a bit of a puzzle, that’s all, he’s laughably out of his depth talking about the stuff he does but, then, his scientifically illiterate – and resolved to stay that way! – audiences aren’t about to deconstruct the gibberish he talks.

  16. @Tony G

    Wikipedia is an excellent start if you want to find something out. Where credible sources are referenced you are able to quickly check the credibility of an articles contents.

    Wikipedia is usually several cuts above typical denialist fantasy.

  17. @jquiggin & @carbonsink

    Hi. I’ve lifted several comments @carbonsink & myself made about Fee & Dividend and lower energy agriculture using trees. One of my post included some back of the envelope calculations on the effect of adding trees has on system yields. I want to preserve these, with the context.

    I’ve posted them on my own blog as a post called Fee & Dividend and the Trees

    John, if you object, please let my know.
    @carbonsink, I don’t have any direct way to check with you. If you object, please let me know, via John.

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