Carbon tax did it

Hey, stop blaming the Abbott Government for the things falling apart on their watch. It’s not their fault. They’re trying to fix the place, but Labor’s carbon tax makes that impossible. And Labor just refuses to let them repeal the carbon tax and solve all the nation’s problems.

I’m putting up a handy thread here for us all to record shemozzles as they continue to happen under this new adult government so we can remember what could have been saved or fixed if only Labor had voted to repeal the carbon tax. (NOTE: comments including a link to where the people involved in the debacle in question expressly contradict claims the carbon tax had anything to do with it WILL BE DELETED WITH PREJUDICE.)

UPDATE: Companies that have noticed the carbon tax having negligible effect on their business, contrary to the government’s claims, FOR GOD SAKE KEEP THAT TO YOURSELVES. Learn from the story of Qantas and its insolently disobedient board, that made the foolish mistake of contradicting the government and is now unconvincingly scrambling to make it up to them. Don’t let that happen to you. Blame the carbon tax early and often.

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61 responses to “Carbon tax did it

  1. zaratoothbrush

    The carbon tax turned me into a newt!


    I got better.

  2. Ah yes, the mighty carbon tax.

    In the beginning, there was a plan, and the plan was put into being, but as the plan progressed (?) there were signs (ah yes, a sign) that things may or may not be, well, .. that is, . . . . umm . . . ahh . . . . .

    Maybe this cartoon could explain it better. . . . .

    http://cartoonmick.wordpress.com/editorial-political/#jp-carousel-494

    Cheers
    Mick

  3. Carbon pricing is well known to be the most cost effective way to mitigate climate change.

    The reasonable response to “the former government’s carbon price wasn’t going to have a big enough impact” is “fine then, keep it and halve the number of permits allocated”, not “so we should abolish it.”

  4. pappinbarafox

    Jordan, you don’t quite understand. Your argument lacks logic. We do not need a carbon tax (not price please) to mitigate climate change because there is no climate change. We know this because there is no global warming driving climate change. Indeed the last 10 years have seen a global cooling. And there is no anthropogenic thingy. Check the numbers.

  5. We do not need a carbon tax (not price please)

    Do you understand the difference?

    We know this because there is no global warming driving climate change. Indeed the last 10 years have seen a global cooling.

    “If nothing else works, a total pig-headed unwillingness to look facts in the face will see us through.”

    And there is no anthropogenic thingy. Check the numbers.

    Yes, it’s a magic atmosphere thingy that can take any thingies we throw at it without any consequences at all.

  6. zaratoothbrush

    We know this because there is no global warming driving climate change. Indeed the last 10 years have seen a global cooling.

    This is satire, right?

  7. “And there is no anthropogenic thingy. Check the numbers.”

    Yes, there is no anthropogenic thingy. No one’s ever seen one, despite the reports and film of one wearing a watch.

    We’ve checked the numbers and on that we can agree.

  8. That guy that got deaded on Manus….a carbon tax fell on him.

  9. narcoticmusing

    Maybe if we shot at global warming we could fix it. It hasn’t killed us yet, so perhaps a pre-emptive strike?

  10. Splatterbottom

    The carbon tax has been vindicated – we’ve had no warming for 15 years, praise Gaia.

    Everyone knows that pushing up the price of electricity and transport will not affect the economy. And the benefits are incalculable. The reduction in rapes and murders will be huge thanks to the carbon tax.

  11. zaratoothbrush

    You’ll need to add another year to your silly mantra if you’re to appear at all sane, SB. It’s been sixteen years now since the hottest El Nino year in memory made this fiddlesticks look at all plausible. And of course, the climate has warmed since then, even though sixteen years is still not long enough to establish a cast iron trend, given the noise and complexity of the climate system. You can find the explanation here, and here, presented by actual scientists doing actual science – you know, in peer-reviewed, high ranking science journals, not the free-for-all dance of wilful incompetence over at the denialist blogosphere.

  12. zaratoothbrush

    Oops, the second here is here. Sorry.

  13. narcoticmusing

    Well, SB, I have to pick a bone with the 15 year thing. It is kind of a convenient number. If you look over the last 30, 50, 100 years – the trend is pretty significant. Temperatures started to be recorded in a relatively reliable way around the 1880s – since then, there has been a very strong upwards trend – with a significant and notable upwards trend subsequent to the 2nd industrial revolution. So, if I was a gambler, I’d take into account that 10-15 years is a blip on the graph, it is not indicative of a trend, at least not yet.

    This all reminds me of the quite amusing response when many in the US desperately wanted to point to the polar vortex as proof of no climate change. When one such reporter asked a very well qualified climate scientist to explain the really cold polar vortex in the context of global warming. He replied that there was a very technical name given to these periods of cooling; we call it winter.

    Notwithstanding that the polar vortex might actually be further proof of global warming as the vortex tends to weaken when there has been sustained polar melts…
    http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/2014/01/06/what-is-this-polar-vortex-that-is-freezing-the-u-s/

  14. Splatterbottom

    Zara, John “97%” Cook has little credibility outside AGW true believer circles. “Actual science” does not really describe his statistical manipulations. One thing you can be sure of is that on any issue he comes down firmly on the alarmist side. “The ocean ate my homework” is just the latest excuse for the utter failure of climate models.

    “Temperatures started to be recorded in a relatively reliable way around the 1880s – since then, there has been a very strong upwards trend”

    Narcotic, the interesting thing about the warming trend following the Little Ice Age is that the majority of it occurred in times when anthropogenic CO2 emissions were insufficient to have any impact. Ever wondered about that? Or why the Medieval Warm period was hotter than now?

    “the polar vortex might actually be further proof of global warming”

    Or it might not. So what is your point?

  15. zaratoothbrush

    The MWP? Really? What an obstinate old fool – I hope his children learn to forgive him one day.

  16. narcoticmusing

    SB, let’s say for arguments sake, there is no climate change. I clearly disagree with that proposition, but for the sake of it, lets go with it. Surely, there is still a sound, economical and responsible imperative to not be beholden to fossil fuels? Surely renewable energy makes sense and it would be wise to incentivise it? Surely the ‘direct action plan’ is asking for billions of tax dollars to be funnelled into something which is just a massive hit to the revenue and expenditure balance – surely a market based model to incentivise renewable energy and disincentivise fossil fuels is merited?

    If we just consider for a moment the emissions that are being produced – even if we ignore CO2 for arguments sake – the poisonous shit that is pumped out day by day is astonishing. Just look at Morwell at the moment, they are getting to witness the taste of such emissions in a concentrated way. Sure, without concentrated dosages the carbon monoxide that is a concern in Morwell will not really matter (smoking a cigarette would expose you to more); however, the other crap that is pumped out has cumulative effects and there is really poor data out there on the long term impacts: heavy metals; benzene; etc. It is the localised emissions that are dangerous there – not merely what Australia contributes in proportion to the world.

    Even if you are right and there is no global warming, we will we simply look back and say, if only we’d cut our local CO2 emissions we’d have cut the rest of the shit back too. It’ll be Hardy all over again and I bet the companies that made all that $ will bail just like Hardy did.

  17. zaratoothbrush

    Burt narc, climate change is real. We both know that, because we’re rational adults who trust science, which is the only institution the world has seen that can reliably and repeatedly generate knowledge, and which actually refrains from coming to a conclusion when it cannot be certain that that knowledge isn’t wrong. You’re trying to reason with someone who’s determined not to see reason. It doesn’t matter what you say, he’s not going to treat it with the slightest respect. However, if you insist, I wish you luck.

  18. Splatterbottom

    Narcotic, the market will take care of fossil fuels in the long run. In the meantime Australia should get rid of the mandated Green energy requirements and the carbon tax and instead build more coal fired power stations. That, and ending union standover tactics in the workplace will revive Australian industry. Otherwise we should prepare to become an economic back-water as soon as the mining boom is over.

    Zara is right to raise the issue of ‘science’. Unfortunately climate ‘science’ is not scientific at all. It is politicsed psuedo-science. Real science involves testing of hypotheses and predictions. In climate science the ‘scientists’ hide their data and models precisely so they cannot be checked by critics. That alone is reason enough to ignore their ‘findings’.

    Further, if predictions based on a theory fail, then the theory is rejected and a new theory developed. The climate models have utterly failed to predict the lack of global warming in the last 15 years. Paradoxically, the response of the IPCC ‘scientists’ is to become more certain of their theory.

    If you look at particular instances of scientific incompetence and malpractice it only gets worse. The Hockey Stick, the ‘hide the decline’ saga, the recent work of Cook and Lewendowsky, Steig’s antarctic study, the Yamal controversy for example.

    Science itself is a method of making hypotheses and testing them. In climate science, where not all the relevant factors are understood, the ability of scientists to produce a model which can make accurate predictions seems a long way off. Hence the utter failure of Climate models. This is not a simple matter precisely because there a so many variables and we haven’t even identified them all much less understood their interaction with each other or their impact on climate.

    Add to this the moral hazards inherent in the politics of this. It is career limiting for a scientist to even question the current orthodoxy when the very essence of science is the challenging the prevailing orthodoxy. When one hundred scientists published a book purporting to show Einstein was wrong he wryly replied with the question “Why one hundred? If I am wrong, one would suffice”.

    Climate science has more in common with cold fusion theory – there may be something there, but the initial theory has been unable to be replicated. In some experiments some things happen which are consistent with the theory, but generally not. Until a lot more work is done, the theory has little credibility.

    On the other hand there are many areas of science which have a long history of having predictions vindicated. Even this does not mean that the relevant theory is proven or that it will not be supplanted by a more comprehensive theory, as happened in Newtonian physics.

    Climate science is still in its infancy. Sadly its growth is being stunted by the unwillingness of its proponents to open up their work to critical scrutiny and by the politicisation of the theory.

  19. SB, shouldn’t the onus be on those who demand the right to belch ever-increasing quantities of CO2 into the atmosphere we all share that they WON’T bugger up the climate of the only inhabitable planet we know of? Shouldn’t we err on the side of caution?

  20. Depends on what you mean by ‘caution’ Lefty.

    If the proposed actions will have the effect of damaging industry or retarding economic progress then perhaps the cautionary principle requires that we not take those actions?

    After all if I propose that you need to be shot dead otherwise the world will end would the cautionary principle require that I shoot you just in case, or that I refrain from shooting you?

    (BTW I am obviously not proposing or endorsing your being shot).

  21. zaratoothbrush

    Blather, rinse, repeat.

    What’s he dredging up now? Hide the decline? Well of course!

    He seriously thinks he believes this shit. Pathetic.

  22. Splatterbottom

    Jeremy: “B, shouldn’t the onus be on those who demand the right to belch ever-increasing quantities of CO2 into the atmosphere we all share that they WON’T bugger up the climate of the only inhabitable planet we know of? Shouldn’t we err on the side of caution?”

    The short answer is no. Maybe you should ask Richard Branson why he is still in the aviation business. Obviously the likes of Al Gore, James Cameron and all the other hypocritical lefties and all the fools who fly around the world to climate conferences think not. Or they would curb their jet-setting lifestyles or at least hold their talkfests by video-conference. If they aren’t even prepared to do that why would anyone give them a second thought? (You did catch the bits in the climategate emails where the ‘scientists’ were very keen on the travel perks – eg: “I’m away all next week – with Mike. PaleoENSO meeting in Tahiti – you can’t turn those sorts of meetings down!”“)

    If you reacted to every hypothesis in that fashion we’d die of our own precautions. Why not prepare for the coming ice age as we near the end of the present interglacial?

    And how on earth is the Carbon Tax a precaution against anything? Even if you believe in AGW, the Carbon Tax is incapable of achieving any impact on global temperature.

    As the case for AGW is slowly unraveling, the proponents grow ever more shrill, fascist even, like the Greens’ Clive “suspend democracy” Hamilton.

    The fortunate thing is that there are a number of older scientists and retired academics who do not need to fear for their careers or who are safe from retribution and who are not afraid to raise questions. No matter how much the fascists try, at least some academics with intellectual integrity will not be shut-up.

    Judy Curry recently commented as follows:

    “I’ve fallen on my dagger (not the full sword), in that my challenge to the consensus has precluded any further professional recognition and a career as a university administrator. That said, I have tenure, and am senior enough to be able retire if things genuinely were to get awful for me. I am very very worried about younger scientists, and I hear from a number of them that have these concerns.”

    That is the real lesson of AGW and why it will be studied in the future – how science has been railroaded by a politicised cabal, how they persecuted dissenters and how they ruined the reputation of science.

  23. zaratoothbrush

    It is career limiting for a scientist to even question the current orthodoxy

    This is nothing but the assertion of a lie, plain and simple. You live in a fantasy world.

  24. My point being that the cautionary principle only works if the cost of taking action is relatively minor compared to the potential cost of not taking action.

    I take out car insurance on the basis of the cautionary principle – even though I don’t think I’m likely to have a crash – because the cost is minor. However if it cost $10,000 a year I probably wouldn’t, and if it cost $50,000 a year then I definitely wouldn’t. You can’t argue that we should do something incredibly costly now simply because it might help prevent some uncertain future event that may or may not be even more costly.

    There’s no proof yet that climate change is going to cause a catastrophic outcome – in fact the evidence to date suggests that our scientists (and the media that reports on them) are prone to significantly over-stating the likely consequences of climate change.

    I don’t buy into all this “it hasn’t warmed since 1998″ bullcrap, but I equally don’t buy into the idea that anyone on this planet can realistically predict what the consequences of our current warming phase will be. It seems to me that every time someone does make a prediction (melting glaciers, decimated coral reefs, no more rain, no more snow, increased cyclones, no more polar bears, warmer winters, colder winters etc) it turns out to be spectacularly wrong.

    It comes back to SB’s point above: “In climate science, where not all the relevant factors are understood, the ability of scientists to produce a model which can make accurate predictions seems a long way off. Hence the utter failure of Climate models. This is not a simple matter precisely because there a so many variables and we haven’t even identified them all much less understood their interaction with each other or their impact on climate.”

  25. If the proposed actions will have the effect of damaging industry or retarding economic progress then perhaps the cautionary principle requires that we not take those actions?

    Perhaps. If “retarding economic progress” or “damaging industry” are more serious than creating a runaway greenhouse effect that will make the planet unliveable.

    I have to say for my part I’d take the risk of possible retarded economic progress over the risk of an unliveable planet, but of course someone with completely deranged priorities might make the opposite choice.

    I’m glad you clarified that you don’t endorse me being shot.

  26. Zara – you may want to consider cutting back on the personal-abuse-in-place-of-argument thing you’ve got going here since it’s actually highlighting the truth of some of the points SB is making.

  27. The short answer is no. Maybe you should ask Richard Branson why he is still in the aviation business. Obviously the likes of Al Gore, James Cameron and all the other hypocritical lefties and all the fools who fly around the world to climate conferences think not.

    Ah, the classic line. If people call for something to happen on a society-wide level, they must personally live under those rules themselves OR THEY’RE HYPOCRITES AND CAN BE IGNORED. It’s like how everyone who supported the Iraq War immediately signed up themselves and served overseas.

    It’s a convenient line for conservatives, of course, since their fundamental principle is selfishness and that’s pretty easy to live up to. For those who endorse say humane treatment of refugees by government, it’s far less practical to, you know, run an onshore processing centre in their kitchen. Because in reality you can advocate for society to do something whilst not actually thinking individuals should try to make it up instead.

    If you reacted to every hypothesis in that fashion we’d die of our own precautions.

    Yeah, except that carbon pricing was hardly going to destroy us. It was going to push us to more sustainable forms of energy – some minor short-term pain for significant long-term gain.

    And how on earth is the Carbon Tax a precaution against anything? Even if you believe in AGW, the Carbon Tax is incapable of achieving any impact on global temperature.

    According to whom, Andrew “climate scientist” Bolt? Unless you believe that the atmosphere is MAGICAL it’s pretty unlikely that we can belch increasing amounts of CO2 into it with no effect on climate. And, unless you don’t think markets work at all, you can hardly pretend that carbon being more costly won’t discourage its use and encourage the use of alternatives.

    As the case for AGW is slowly unraveling, the proponents grow ever more shrill, fascist even, like the Greens’ Clive “suspend democracy” Hamilton.

    Um, I’m pretty sure Clive Hamilton is not a Greens anything. And the Greens never endorsed that remark. So nice try.

    No matter how much the fascists try, at least some academics with intellectual integrity will not be shut-up.

    Yes, as long as there are brave academics prepared to say stupid things for a vast amount of money from the very rich people and companies with a vested interest in the status quo…

  28. I have to say for my part I’d take the risk of possible retarded economic progress over the risk of an unliveable planet

    OK – so I take it you intend to never fly on an airplane ever again, yes?

    Given how potentially damaging such travel is (massive carbon footprint), and given your commitment to reducing the risk of an unliveable planet, then you would surely agree to forgo luxuries like the ability to visit other countries?

    After all – you wouldn’t want to be accused of having deranged priorities.

  29. OK – so I take it you intend to never fly on an airplane ever again, yes?

    No, because we’ve set up a world with no alternatives. I support pricing incentives to encourage the development of alternative modes of transport.

  30. No, because we’ve set up a world with no alternatives.

    Well that’s just a demonstrably false statement – of course there is an alternative: don’t travel overseas. Lots of people don’t.

    Is your right to travel vast distances in a short amount of time really so important that you would enforce it even at the cost of potentially destroying the future of our planet? Shouldn’t you “err on the side of caution”?

    Or is your advocacy for ‘sacrifice’ conditional on you not having to personally make any of those sacrifices?

    If people call for something to happen on a society-wide level, they must personally live under those rules themselves OR THEY’RE HYPOCRITES AND CAN BE IGNORED.”

    That’s not what SB or I have argued. A better summary would be: “If someone indicates that they believe in an impending catastrophic disaster and advocates on that basis for painful and worldwide economic sacrifice, but then refuses to make any meaningful personal sacrifice, then it’s safe to assume they’re not really that worried about the impending disaster.”

  31. There would be hypocrisy if they were seeking to be excluded from the “painful and worldwide economic sacrifice”. No hypocrisy in living in the system as it exists, like everyone else gets to.

    I don’t agree that travel is not important and should not be encouraged. I think we can achieve the benefits of travel while reducing the impact on the environment by adopting price structures that encourage the development of more sustainable and less polluting alternatives. I’m not proposing individuals should live like hermits in the meantime.

  32. zaratoothbrush

    I’m sorry mondo, but I’m sick of people who so consistently evade accountability for their lies and delusions. When someone so unquestionably argues in bad faith, such as this man does so repeatedly, and simply ignores any pertinent criticism of his blather, I’m sorry, but I get pissed off. As for abuse, are you kidding me? The guy’s full of it, he constantly sprays abuse – of course not directly to Jeremy or other commenters, but to faceless, anonymous “lefties”, “hypocrites and fools” (see above), all manner of repugnant failures of humanity. This is abuse, and there’s a constant stream of it on this blog, which for some reason goes unmoderated. I’m sick of the bile, sick of lies, and evasion of criticism of theses lies and delusions. I don’t understand why he’s tolerated, but people who can’t take the toxicity and evasion any more are chided for abuse. Fuck it.

  33. And there’s the rub – you’re not seeking to be excluded from the economic sacrifice per se, you’re just proposing sacrifices that won’t really impact you personally.

    You’re not going to lose your job as a result of carbon pricing – but others will. You’re not going to suffer much from a couple of hundred extra dollars on your electricity bill, but others will.

    I guess my point is this: it is only “deranged” to suggest that economic growth should be given priority over action against climate change from the perspective of someone (like you) who sees a lack of national economic growth as something that’s unlikely to significantly impact their standard of living. It’s easy for you to “err on the side of caution” because you aren’t going to wear much of the cost of doing so.

    You should realise though that those who actually will wear the cost may view the cautionary principle as applying entirely the other way around.

  34. Zara – SB doesn’t lie or argue in bad faith or ignore pertinent criticism, he just holds a worldview significantly different to you (and he argues for it as passionately as you do yours). It is foolish to believe that people who disagree with you are liars, or are dishonestly pretending to disagree with you even though they really know that you’re right.

    None of us will find the truth if we allow ourselves to believe that holding an opposing viewpoint to our own is indicative of some sort of massive character flaw. My journey has led me to conclude that ‘the Right’ (for lack of a better term) argues from genuinely held belief that often has more than a little wisdom to it – even if I disagree with many of their prescriptions for change.

    SB’s not a bad fellow – he’s just one of those annoying guys who often thinks you’re wrong and has no compunction about telling you so.

    If you and I were honest with ourselves I think we’d admit to being exactly the same.

  35. zaratoothbrush

    None of us will find the truth if we allow ourselves to believe that holding an opposing viewpoint to our own is indicative of some sort of massive character flaw

    You have a real nerve saying this to me.

    As long I have been reading this blog, this has been SB’s central line of attack

    Take your spineless, pious, conciliatory mendacity and stick it where the sun don’t shine.

  36. Who are these people “actually wearing the cost”, Mondo? Those in certain specific non-sustainable industries like coal mining?

    The point of the carbon price policy was that the money collected was invested in different jobs in the renewable energy sector. I certainly agree the government shouldn’t be encouraging the phasing out of specific jobs without (a) a reason and (b) a plan to help those people move to new jobs.

    Funny that you and SB aren’t concerned about the jobs in the renewable energy sector that will be lost from Abbott’s repeal of the carbon price.

  37. You have a real nerve saying this to me.

    Indeed – you’ll find I am full of nerve. It’s what makes me so interesting.

    Take your spineless, pious, conciliatory mendacity and stick it where the sun don’t shine.

    Ho hum – you fall so easily back into the groove of spewing abuse in place of reason Zara. Perhaps it’s time to face the truth that you’re nowhere near as smart or open minded as you think you are?

  38. Splatterbottom

    Just a few points:
    Zara: “What’s he dredging up now? Hide the decline? Well of course!”

    Hide the decline is a form of scientific malpractice involving the truncation of graphs which would otherwise cast doubt on the validity of the data, in this case by pointing to what is known the divergence problem. The “trick” as the AGW scientists call it is that the truncation is neither referenced nor explained in the paper. AGW supporter and Professor of Physics at UC Berkeley, Richard Muller, pointed out that the practice is unscientific. He has said that he will not again read papers by authors who have employed “Mike’s Nature trick” as Phil Jones called it.

    I happen to agree with Muller. Your shrill response fails to address the issue and is useful only to highlight your approach to such issues which is to ignore rational argument and instead to shriek ignorant epithets.

    Jeremy: “Yes, as long as there are brave academics prepared to say stupid things for a vast amount of money from the very rich people and companies with a vested interest in the status quo…”

    This type of insane abuse is what so often passes for reasoned argument in AGW La-la Land. It is nothing but vile slander of the people I linked to in my earlier posts, Judy Curry and Don Aitkin. Of course the chances of you apologising are vanishingly small. As with Zara’s comment, your statement is not a logical argument and serves only to highlight the depraved irrationality employed by AGW ranters in defense of their cause.

    Jeremy: “I’m pretty sure Clive Hamilton is not a Greens anything”.

    Clive was the Greens candidate for Higgins not so long ago, shortly before he made the statement. He was also fond of saying that the the Greens were the party of Plato, which, if you know anything about Plato’s preferred mode of government, is (a) not a compliment, at least in the eyes of people who value democracy; and (b) quite possibly an accurate statement.

  39. Who are these people “actually wearing the cost”, Mondo? Those in certain specific non-sustainable industries like coal mining?

    Well yes – that’s certainly one category of ‘cost wearers’. Telling someone that they need to lose their job in order to save the planet is a pretty rough thing to do. Especially when the effect of their job loss will be largely symbolic (in that it’s unlikely to make any difference to the global climate whatsoever).

    If you were told that Australia was going to abolish lawyering as a profession but “don’t worry – the government will re-train you to do something else” I suspect you would be less than sanguine about it.

    Funny that you and SB aren’t concerned about the jobs in the renewable energy sector that will be lost from Abbott’s repeal of the carbon price.

    That’s a fair call, although it’s only true up to a point. I actually do support action to combat AGW, including investing in the renewable energy sector (I’m a subscriber to Lomborg’s theories).

  40. “spewing abuse in place of reason”…mondo…as usual…going on and on and on about “reason” but actually not using any, ever. partisan right wing rubbish masquerading as the sensible mainstream view.

  41. zaratoothbrush

    We’ll of course I’m going to spew abuse at you mondo, when you completely ignore the argument I made in favour of the most pious, unctuous tone trolling. With all possible due respect, please, please, please go fuck yourself.

  42. narcoticmusing

    “Narcotic, the market will take care of fossil fuels in the long run”

    Really SB? Like the market has dealt well with any issues that destroy the commons? C’mon SB, you may or may not have liked Hardin, but the man had a point. The market is self interested because the players are. None of the players in the market play by the market rules – they only point to the market rules when someone tries to restrain their unlimited thirst for more. It costs the players nothing to add more crap into the commons. We are the ones that pay for the land after it has been raped and pillaged. Not the James Hardy’s of this world.

  43. narcoticmusing

    “In climate science, where not all the relevant factors are understood, the ability of scientists to produce a model which can make accurate predictions seems a long way off.”

    So… even though we know benzene kills, that we don’t really understand how it kills, particularly when it is released into the atmosphere, we should just not worry about it. We don’t know how most carcinogens work either, but when we find a stupidly strong correlation between that chemical and cancer rates, we generally figure it is more profitable to be wrong without cancer, then claiming you are right on your deathbed.

  44. narcoticmusing

    Interesting points, Mondo – however, I’d argue we do this all the time, particularly when it is something that protects large amounts of the population.

    We happily allow a lot of seriously important things to be stopped in order to gain some other benefit. It is part of the bargain. We cannot predict dangerousness yet we happily put in place preventative detention. Julian Knight, for example, just had legislation passed unopposed through Parliament just to prevent him every ‘escaping’ prison. Where was the great moral outrage? Instead there were cheers. I’ll even admit that I may not have cheered but I certainly did not have the moral horror I perhaps should have, given we cannot predict dangerousness and Knight has been assessed as being pretty damn safe.

    For example, we happily suspend habeas corpus and due process via Terrorism legislation. We happily suspend rights to liberty for criminals that are inconvenient for us. We happily place taxes on the poor and middle class to enable families to effectively pay little to no tax. We happily stand by and do nothing as the gap between the rich and poor grows ever wider.

    We all enjoy this sort of hypocrisy. The above might seem like a left wing shopping list of human rights violations, but neither ‘side’ is immune. Vegetarians preach about animal cruelty and then continue to consume dairy. They and vegans talk about concern for animals while ignoring the massive levels of damage to native species from crops, with certain crops far more destructive than others – such as soya bean.

    If we have a critical path – a threat that we can point to a key item – AND if limiting that item (say CO2 emissions) ALSO stops a range of seriously nasty carcinogens, then it goes some way to making the argument a little less hysterical. But no one seems to care about gases we can’t see, touch or smell. [sigh] much the same as not caring about the people we don’t see.

  45. narcoticmusing

    One last remark, just about the market, which we shouldn’t demonise completely as it is generated immense wealth and raised living standards incredibly. There is something the market is REALLY good at: adaptation. While Australia is bitching like a 5 year old, the rest of the globe is digging in to the new industry and adapting. So that economic retardation you were worried about – that will just be deferred to when we are completely dependent on everyone else because our resources are gone.

    Despite one of Australia’s greatest assets being its education system (that other countries have figured out, our tourism industry has figured out, and our export bottom line has figured out) we still prefer to just dig shit out of the ground like a child in a sand pit, rather than actually utilising all that education and making an industry the world is dependent on us for.

    [sarcasm warning] But fuck it eh? Lets just dig. Because that is endless. Yeah, totally not a retarded position.

  46. Zara – your argument was that you are sick of SB and consider him a troll, and I responded directly to it honestly, rationally and calmly.

    You now falsely claim that I didn’t respond to your argument at all, and you use that as an excuse to launch into further abuse. Ironic coming from a guy who was whining above about how he was a victim of “bile”, “lies”, “toxicity” and “evasions”.

    You are the very thing you claim to despise Zara – as should be obvious to all by this point. No wonder you’re so upset.

  47. So… even though we know benzene kills, that we don’t really understand how it kills, particularly when it is released into the atmosphere, we should just not worry about it.

    Not really a valid comparison narc.

    No-one knows what the consequences of a slowly heating climate will be – as evidenced by the reams of spectacularly wrong predictions made to date. If we did then we wouldn’t be having this discussion.

  48. Splatterbottom

    The American Physical Society is reviewing its 2007 Statement on Climate Change and has appointed a sub-committee of six climate scientists to advise it. This link is to a lengthy pdf which contains the initial presentations of the six scientists.

    It is a good portrayal of the scientific debates surrounding climate change and may interest to those of you who would like to move beyond epithets and slogans.

    (I have another comment in moderation. Moderation is the hallmark of my comments. :-) )

  49. > You are the very thing you claim to despise Zara – as should be obvious to all by this point. No wonder you’re so upset.

    Mondo, I applaud your studious effort to keep yourself above this kind of sanctimoniuos, snide abuse. I’m a bit dissapointed :)

    . . . and so, ad infintium.

  50. zaratoothbrush

    Oh you guys are just so charming. I’m sure you would rather have the distinguished Alden Pyle as a fellow commenter. Such a well behaved young man. And I’m sure he’d listen with fascination to mondo’s “understanding” of the Abbott government’s refugee torture policy as a “humanitarian” exercise.

  51. Splatterbottom

    “You are the very thing you claim to despise Zara – as should be obvious to all by this point. No wonder you’re so upset.”

    True that. No attempt to engage on substantive arguments. Just sneering stupidity on a stick.

  52. > Just sneering stupidity on a stick.

    . . . and so, ad infintium.

  53. For the record I don’t support the Labor/Liberal policy of maintaining offshore detention camps if they cannot do so under decent and humane conditions.

    The stories coming out of Manus are appalling – if we are going to detain people (for any reason) then it should be a non-negotiable requirement that our Government ensure the detainees are safe, secure and provided with a reasonable standard of amenities.

  54. “For the record I don’t support the Labor/Liberal policy of maintaining offshore detention camps if they cannot do so under decent and humane conditions.”

    Seriously, what did you expect? To act as a deterrent the conditions have to be worse than those of where they came from!

    I’ve always opposed offshore detention, it’s cruel and ridiculously expensive and doesn’t consider the root causes. It’s short sighted, knee jerk politics designed to attract the bigot vote. Sadly it worked.

  55. The conditions don’t need to be worse to act as a deterrent – a deterrent effect would be achieved if the camps simply operated to prevent asylum seekers from seeking asylum, and obtaining residence, in Australia. I expected our Government(s) to understand this.

    But clearly I was naive – not just in my expectations of our government, but also in my underestimation of the people smugglers (who quickly realised that once the camps were full their trade could continue as before).

    In the end it has been Abbott’s turn back policy that’s succeeded in ending the appalling boat person trade. Australia can finally return to a fair system where assistance is granted based on need and eligibility, rather than on who can scrape together the cash to pay someone to sneak them in the back door (or drown them in the attempt).

  56. Sorry, Mondo – what? The government deliberately conceals what they’re doing, who’s coming, and where – and you just accept their contention that the boats have “stopped”? You’ll note they don’t specifically claim no boats have been intercepted – ie, are still setting out to sea putting refugees at risk, before we turn them around on boats from which we’ve removed the safety equipment, for a second journey back again – just that they haven’t arrived here.

    But it was never the arrival here that was dangerous.

    Do you believe there’s a “budget emergency”, too?

  57. “But clearly I was naive ”

    I’d suggest that you still are:

    “In the end it has been Abbott’s turn back policy that’s succeeded in ending the appalling boat person trade. Australia can finally return to a fair system where assistance is granted based on need and eligibility, rather than on who can scrape together the cash to pay someone to sneak them in the back door (or drown them in the attempt).”

    The trade couldn’t have stopped if they’re still turning boats back. And as far as a fair system goes the govt has already overturned the 6 000 increase in the humanitarian intake they supported in opposition. When it comes to winning elections the ALP and LNP don’t care about a fair system, they care about the votes of the ignorant bigots which is bad news for asylum seekers.

    “The conditions don’t need to be worse to act as a deterrent”

    I disagree.

  58. mondo rock

    If the boats are no longer reaching Australia then it obviously won’t be long before they stop attempting the journey. And once they stop attempting the journey then we have halted the trade.

    We don’t need to argue about this – the reality of whether the boats have stopped or not will become plain enough within a short period of time. I have serious reservations about whether you will accept such an outcome as a good thing – especially since you have spent the last few years declaring that it was literally impossible to achieve – but I suppose that’s not really relevant.

    Re the “budget emergency” – I have no idea as I’m not an economist. I’ll happily leave that debate to the experts.

  59. I never said it was impossible to “stop the boats”. I said it was impossible without doing one of two things:
    1. providing a safe alternative (eg letting them get on planes); or
    2. treating them worse than the regimes they’re fleeing (eg letting them get attacked and killed by locals, and deliberately shoving them back out on the seas we claimed were so dangerous they justified harsh measures).

    The government’s trying option 2, to our country’s enduring shame.

    And option 2 of course, even if it were successful, would essentially be leaving vulnerable people in the danger they were originally trying to flee. Hardly saving their lives. Hardly a result we should want.

    Do you really have no idea about the “budget emergency” lie? The fact that the numbers were clear before the election when Abbott was making all these promises doesn’t alter your view? How about Abbott telling the Sydney Institute audience he was doing it so he could give them tax cuts in a few years. Do you seriously dispute the ongoing effect of the Costello tax cuts that created a structural deficit? You can’t possibly think discouraging people from getting primary care from doctors will be anything other than a cruel disaster that costs lives and – because treating conditions later is more complex and expensive – money. How about the brilliant thing where we tell people under 25 who can’t find a job that they have to try miraculously live on /even less than the already below-subsistence/ NewStart. All to fund a company tax cut, the mining tax cut, and the carbon tax cut.

  60. Since we can’t take in every refugee in the world we are always going to have to accept that some vulnerable people will be left in danger. If you think we should increase the number of refugees we lift out of that danger then by all means that’s a debate that Australia should have – I’m with you 100%.

    But surely the best way to increase our aid is to lift our cap and accept more through our established refugee intake system – the one where we actually fly refugees and their families here at no cost and in absolute safety – not to deliberately leave the door open for a dangerous and corrupt people smuggling trade. Isn’t that just common sense?

    (And, for the record, I don’t accept that transferring boat people out of their shithole boats into a relatively safe vessel and then forcing them back to Indonesia – the location they just left – is even remotely close to “treating them worse than the regimes they’re fleeing”.)

    Re the budget – I don’t dispute any of the things you’ve stated above, but I’ve dealt enough with Treasury over the last several years to know that the numbers are rarely ‘clear’. In any event I’m nowhere near well enough informed to legitimately engage with you on any of the claims you’re making above.

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