Fresh sand

The sandpit seems to be going well, so I’m starting a new one. Please continue any ongoing discussion in the old sandpit. Meanwhile, this is the place for new side-debates, matters arising, Strocchi-length theoretical expositions and so on.

115 thoughts on “Fresh sand

  1. el gordo

    Your link does suggest a meteoric origin for the Younger Dryas. It does not suggest a meteoric origin for anything to do with the Clovis culture or the North American megafauna extinction. It does not even discuss anthropogenic climate forcing.

  2. That’s true Alan, I was thinking aloud and failed to use a question mark. The debate about the cause of the Younger Dryas has been around for awhile and the science isn’t settled.

    The most popular theory is that the Atlantic conveyor belt choked, because of fresh water flushing.

  3. I cant recall where we were discussing the mindless privatisation machine of NSW and QLD state labor governments and the big coal sycophancy of state governments in general here in OZ but I just had to post this (so Im doing it fresh sands because I may be over the limit -of postings – not quitre sure – I havent counted tonight)…but this was written by 2020, otherwise known briefly as ABOM and then Kamaisskiing and probably lots of other noms …in Jan 2010

    “What a great move for the Labor govts in Oz to grant mining rights to the barbarians at BHP and the other Neanderthal low-IQ Big Miners over the most fertile arable land in both NSW and Qld, just at the time when sugar prices are at historic highs and every astute investor is screaming that farmland is a buy. If we had any brains we’d be hoarding our minerals until prices spiked in a decade, and we’d be focusing on innovation in solar power and recycling technologies instead of digging dirty ditches and selling our precious metals for worthless paper.

    But no, let’s sell everything we’ve got RIGHT NOW! What forethought, what genius, what planning, what brilliance! Well done, Rudd, well done Bligh, well done what’s-her-name-puppet-of-the-Labor-Right-in-NSW!

    This proves conclusively to me that (1) there is no God and (2) the NSW and Cth govts are infested with the dumbest people on this God-forsaken planet.”

    …writes some good stuff.

  4. After a long hiatus I am back to blogging.

    Many CEOs (and an opposition leader) have been ‘concerned’ about Australia moving on a carbon price before the rest of the world. Here is why it is far too late for Australia to ‘go-it-alone’ on a carbon price.

  5. ‘ …it is already too late for that. The risk is that lack of climate policy and high Australian per-capita emissions will lead to our industries being frozen out of markets in the future.’

    What industries?

  6. From Peter Woods exllent artcile:

    Japan already has a voluntary ETS in operation, and a mandatory ETS covering Tokyo.


    Although the United States has not yet passed national legislation, state-based approaches to carbon pricing are expanding

    A voluntary ETS? State based carbon pricing? Hardly the mark of cost that would wreck the economy? If Industries and states opt in, their shemes will not be ones that comparatively hurt them. They are taking advantage of the low hanging fruit and see the opportunity for first in innovation leadership.

    That said opt-in systems give rise to free loaders, we need carrot and stick to drive innovation.

  7. el gordo, the possibility of Australian industries facing some sort of trade restrictions in the future was raised by Nick Stern when he recently visited Australia. I suspect that industries that would be considered to be “trade exposed and emissions intensive” are the most likely to face this risk. This could include aluminium smelting, steel, cement, gas liquefacation and possibly beef.

    jakerman, I agree, we need carrots and sticks to drive innovation.

  8. A sound and saleable approach to CO2 emissions pricing entails the following features:

    1. Specification of the true community cost of emissions
    2. A clear path and timeline to reach the cost in 1.
    3. Revenue neutrality so that the revenue raised by the imposition of a carbon price is returned to those parts of the public on or below average income in either cash or services, less perhaps other costs associated with administering the system, building new energy systems, or other suitable mitigation measures that can be undertaken at the CO2 cost. Thus a mitigation measure that costs $23 per tonne or less would be permissible if that were the cost at the time. One that was above this price would not. This is a reality check.

    This is not only equitable, but undercuts arguments about the policy being a ruse to increase levies on the population.

    4. Simplicity of system design with minimal transaction costs

    It seems very clear that the true community cost of CO2 emissions is at least $AUS100 per tonne, and very probably more, as a matter of practice. It should be made clear to everyone that whatver suite of measures is adopted will lead within five years or so, to an effective price in this range.

    An early start could be made by removing subsidies for dirty fuel usage. Diesel fuel rebates and assistance with LPG conversion should be withdrawn. Last time I looked, diesel fuel rebates cost the taxpayer in the order of $AUS5bn, the vast majority of it to mining.

    One should also change the tax treatment of dirty energy so as to make it no longer tax deductible. Make companies pay for their dirty energy out of after tax income. If an energy source is cleaner than the common industry benchmark, then it is, to that extent, tax deductible. Thus if gas fired energy sources were 50% of the CO2 intensity of coal, then 50% of the cost would be deductible. If a biodiesel product had an LCA 5% of the net emissions of conventional diesel, 95% of that would be deductible. Ditto with a petrol product.

    This would imply a CO2 price of around $30 per tonne (though a lot more in the case of diesel?—?best guess about $144 per tonne)

    One suspects that this would force very substantial changes in the way business was done, especially given that we would be on a path to a figure about three times that cost.

    One could temporarily add a carbon tax in a couple of years time of about $20 per tonne and then ramp it up to $70 by 2015. If vehicles that could not be put onto the grid had been reconfigured to use biodiesel by then this would not affect their usage very much.

    A BTA could protect us against fugitive emissions chicanery, pending an ETS.

    Certainly, in the case of imports from developing countries, one could hypothecate this money to some sort of CDM or MDG project in a developing country in or near the place targeted by the BTA. We could ensure that children were getting education and families were getting support to cause their kids to be in school rather than work, and/or we could support low CO2 footprint industry there, or better housing.

    Alternatively, if one or more of our trading partners were willing to do a deal on a cross-jurisdictional ETS, we might simply make the cap reflect the commonly decided price.

    If much of our industry had retooled by then, Australia could not lose out of that.

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