Saturday, 20 August 2011

Post#178 Vive le Carbone!!! And Death to the Carbon Tax!!!

The craic is that the Australian Labor Party is gone for all money at the next Australian Federal Election. The carbon tax is the main drag anchor on the ALP's chances and is the most obvious of the self-inflicted wounds they're carrying. The decision to call an early election in 2010 and the various follies of their first term had already reduced the ALP to reliance upon a trio of independent members. Messrs Oakeshott, Wilkie and Windsor have been able to wring some results from the ALP for their personal causes but it seems implausible that any of them would die in a ditch for the carbon tax. Like the Greens, they really have nowhere else to go. Their bridges are all now thoroughly burnt with the Coalition. That's what puzzles me most about the course of this government. It's obvious that the kudos of global warming as a matter of public importance has slipped. Whatever the truth of the matter, it's blown out as a political motivator.

Any community has a limited capacity to stay fired up about anything and the height of public hysteria about an issue is the immediate prelude to a cooling-off. This would probably differ if the issue was an enormous asteroid on a course to imminent collision with the Earth, but when it's a slow-burner in the background, people adjust to live with it. The importance of an issue is not in contention, it's simply that anything other than an adrenalin-provoking terror loses its force. AIDS is a good example of this. It's just as lethal as it always was but has faded into the background. You could scan quite a lot of media without ever noticing its existence. Global warming is now also a mature crisis and has had its glory days. Anyone attempting to persuade people to take pain to deal with it is going to have to make a damn good case. The ALP has done nothing of the kind. The decision to adopt the carbon tax has been made without the legwork necessary to demonstrate any merit.

There's a simple test for this policy which I've proposed before:

First: Demonstrate that it's possible to disconnect ourselves from the carbon  fuels that we rely upon and how.

Second: Work out a fair time to allow for conversion to the new energy source/s.

Finally, ask why we need a tax to achieve it. The answer will always be that if the first two can be done, the answer to this question is that we don't.

If the answer to the first question is that it isn't technologically feasible, no amount of taxing will make it happen.

I recently wrote "Return to Sender" on the government's carbon tax propaganda pamphlet and posted it back to them. Apparently many others are doing the same. Someone else applied a traditional recycling technique as shown in the photograph below:

 The ALP deserves the odium they've incurred. They'll deserve the kick when they get it.