Rob Buckingham's Blog

Australia’s carbon tax – A lot of hot air

Now, I’m not one of those Christians who think we shouldn’t care for the environment because one day God’s going to make a new earth.  That’s like saying “One day God’s going to give me a new body so why bother to look after the one I’ve got?”  We look after our bodies because we have to live in them right now – and that’s the same reason we should look after the earth! (See Genesis 2:15)

But not everyone is driven by this motivation of care.  Some people are motivated by fear – fear of the future if we don’t change our ways now.  Others are driven by a trendy political correctness –it’s cool to be Green!

Whatever our motivation we Aussies find ourselves in an invidious situation.  Whatever we do to care for the environment, especially to stem global warming, is going to make no difference whatsoever to planet Earth.  The truth is that if Australia shut down tomorrow it would have little or no effect on global warming – we are just too small to make a difference.  We only emit 1.5% of the world’s carbon dioxide whereas India and China together are responsible for 42% and the USA makes up a significant part of the rest.  Most of these countries don’t care what harm they do to the planet; they just want to be rich!

And so Australia introducing a carbon-trading scheme is like shooting ourselves in the foot. We need to care for the planet; but we also need to take into consideration how we penalize ourselves to make a difference that we alone cannot make.  We’ll pay more for food, power and petrol (if you think prices are high now – just wait!).  We need to have a balanced environmental approach that takes into account the health of Australia – its businesses and its people.

The other argument for a carbon tax is that Australia needs to set a “good example” so the rest of the world will follow.  But, will the rest of the world follow us? Me thinks not!  Last year:

• China released its own global warming strategy that refused to cut its total emissions.
• The Garnaut report highlighted that China’s emissions would more than likely treble by 2030 and make up 37% of global emissions, three times more than the United States (much of this because of the coal WE export to China – and this week our PM guaranteed that we would continue to export)
• India issued its National Action Plan on Climate Change stating that they would rather save their people from poverty than global warming – and who can blame them?

And so I come back to my original comments.  I am concerned about the environment – yes.  But I am also concerned that Australia is heading down a track that has the potential to cripple the country we love without making a scrap of difference to the global environment.  Costs will increase, thousands of jobs will be lost and many industries will simply relocate to another country to reduce their costs.  The result?  The same gases pumped into the atmosphere but from a different location!  All this just proves that Australia's proposed carbon tax is just a lot of hot air.

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