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Climate change “action”

June 22, 2012

Some people are worried about climate change. Many of these people believe that the solution to climate change is to throw politicians and bureaucrats at the problem, and maybe have a conference about setting up the terms of reference for a steering committee that will investigate the rules for a community forum that elects a board to appoint a working group to write a discussion paper.

Take THAT you evil climate.

For the proponents of climate change “action”, I have some good news. Not only will Australia have the world’s biggest carbon “tax”, but we also have a few government programs working to save the penguins from sun-stroke. Did I say “a few”? Let’s have a closer look…

Australian Climate Change Science Program
Australian Greenhouse Emissions Information System—AGEIS
Australian National Registry of Emissions Units (ANREU)
Bilateral Climate Change Partnership Program
Biodiversity Fund
Carbon Farming Futures
Carbon Farming Initiative
Carbon Farming Initiative non-Kyoto carbon fund
Carbon Farming Skills
Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum (CSLF)
Caring for our coasts
Charities Maritime and Aviation Support Program
Clean Energy Finance Corporation
Clean Energy Skills
Climate Change Adaptation Program
Climate Change Authority
Climate Change Grant Program
Coal mining assistance
Coastal Adaptation Decision Pathways projects
Commercial Building Disclosure
Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO)
Community Energy Efficiency Program
Energy Efficiency in Government Operations (EEGO)
Energy Efficiency Information Grants
Energy Savings Initiative
Energy Security Fund
Energy Security Package
Global Carbon Monitoring System
Green Lease Schedule
Green Loans and Green Start programs
Greenhouse Friendly™
Home Insulation Safety Plan
Indigenous Carbon Farming Fund
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
International Climate Change Adaptation Initiative
International Forest Carbon Initiative
Jobs and Competitiveness Program
Kyoto Protocol
Land Sector Measures
LivingGreener
Local Adaptation Pathways Program
Low Carbon Australia
Low Carbon Communities
Low Income Energy Efficiency Program
Multi-Party Climate Change Committee
National Australian Built Environment Rating System (NABERS)
National Authority for the Clean Development Mechanism and Joint Implementation
National Building Framework
National Carbon Accounting System
National Carbon Accounting Toolbox
National Carbon Offset Standard
National Climate Change Adaptation Framework
National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility
National Construction Code
National Greenhouse Accounts
National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting
National Solar Schools Program
National Strategy on Energy Efficiency (NSEE)
Nationwide Home Energy Rating Scheme (NatHERS)
OSCAR
Regional Natural Resources Management (NRM) Planning for Climate Change Fund
Renewable Energy Bonus Scheme—Solar Hot Water Rebate
Renewable Energy Target
Renewable Remote Power Generation Program
Residential Building Disclosure
Roundtables on Climate Change
Select Council on Climate Change
Solar Cities
Solar Photovoltaic Inspection Program
Tax breaks for green buildings
Tax deductions for carbon sink forests
United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
Your Home

Phew!

The climate crusaders must be overjoyed at how much government action we have — with more schemes, programs, funds, frameworks, measures, targets, roundtables, packages, and authorities than you would think possible. I’m sure there are a few public servants who are happy about the facilities, standards, initiatives, councils, operations, systems and protocols too.

But while the climate extremists and rent-seekers should be happy to see such a bloated government, hard-working productive people may not enjoy the fact that they are paying extra taxes to fund this never-ending growth of government spending.

  1. BilB
    June 23, 2012 at 12:34 am | #1

    The good news for you, John Humphries, is that you can look forward to doubling the length of that list of carbon related alternative employment initiatives. As a Libertarian (Director of the Australian Libertarian Society) you no doubt prefer global free markets, closed borders, no unions, flat taxation, and only just enough government to serve your personal momentary needs. Unfortunately the proven consequence of that misguided Libertarian dream is massive wealth disparity, fortress communities, warlords, and anarchy, for which the only positive aspects are population minimisation and reduced resource demand. This “enticing” Libertarian vision can, today, be experienced in many African countries. However, here in Australia there are, fortunately, enough other self interested people who can see how the Libertarian view of the world is not in …. their ….. interests. So, as we do have global free markets which sap away employment opportunities, along successful Libertarians determined to minimise their labour cost exposure in command of our mineral resources, the significant and more populous others have devised an “alternative emploment” environment in order to stay dry and fed.

    When one compares Libertarian Africa with government saturated Australia there is a curious observation to be made. The non Libertarian model is infact extremely successful. So successful that people have surplus time on their hands to ponder how to maintain that success and the environment that makes it possible. And what they have come up with is that list above. Good…..isn’t it. The other positive outcome from our current self preserving carbon focus is a very welcome additional and alternaitve employment theme driven by the need to change our national carbon footprint, and this is made possible by the people in your above “Climate Change Action” list of enabling organisations.

    I think that in time you will come to appreciate and be enthusiastic for the determined efforts of our new Climate Change Action force.

    • Adam Frost
      June 23, 2012 at 1:09 am | #2

      “When one compares Libertarian Africa with government saturated Australia there is a curious observation to be made. The non Libertarian model is infact extremely successful.”

      Try telling that the the Africans living in the government saturated parts of Africa.

  2. Alister Cyril Blanc
    June 23, 2012 at 7:16 am | #3

    Criticising Africa like you did doesn’t only risk people reading you as being racist but also seems over confident about Australia’s economy. The African continent is actually seeing large pools of capital begin to enter the country more & more, with commerce increasing quite steadily. Some analysts from Standard Chartered, the largest Western bank operating in Asia are even expecting Africa to host some of the best opportunities for investment during the early part of the 21st century.

    Also, many countries with limited interference perform well. Take Cambodia, for example, where a government basically doesn’t exist yet growth remains remarkably noteworthy. Or alternatively consider Somalia, a relatively destitute area by Australia’s standards & still riddled with an unusually high level of crime, yet offering some of most competitive prices for mobile telecommunications on Earth. Why? There’s no government there fixing prices or backstopping monopolies so the telecommunication companies have accommodated the local demands for cheap prices through intense competition between themselves.

    Everyone realises the future is green, that, specifically, new forms of energy production far more sustainable than present types of energy offer us a brilliant chance at really massively lifting living standards across the board WHILST reducing pollution. That we can all agree is a positive aspiration to hold, but why must this necessitate increases in tax.

    Why not, BilB, allow researchers & developers of green technology the option to relocate into Australia and pay $0 in taxes: making Australia a global safe-haven for green research and development? An Asian Silicon Valley centred wholly around green technology?

  3. TerjeP
    June 23, 2012 at 11:15 am | #4

    That’s a long list John. It’s ironic that the Liberals are promising “direct action” as an alternative.

  4. June 24, 2012 at 4:06 am | #5

    BilB — you spelt my name wrong.

    What you describe as good news for me is not good news for me. I don’t think government make-work is a good thing, especially as it comes at the expense of actual productive work. All of these extra schemes just mean that honest hard-working people have to work harder to pay for unproductive people.

    You are right that i prefer global free markets, but the rest of your understanding of libertarianism is very confused. I want to see open borders, voluntary unions, and preferably no taxation. The accusation that I want freedom for “momentary needs” is absurd. Freedom is a permanent need of mine and all thinking people.

    The proven consequences of free-markets has been the amazing development of the west during the 19th century and of east asia in the 20th century. In contrast, the big-government approach taken by Africa, communist Eastern Europe & Russia, many places in South America, pre-1980 China and pre-1990 India, North Korea, etc have been a very sad failure.

    Do you know what changed in 1980 China and 1990 India which helped them to experience unprecedented economic growth? They embraces markets and trade. Nice eh?

    It is true that as wealth increases, then so too does wealth disparity. The minimum wealth will always be zero while the maximum wealth continues to increase. This is a good thing, and being upset about the success of others is one of the saddest parts of the leftist mentality. If you learn to be happy for the success of others, then you will be a happier (and nicer) person.

    Your comments about fortress communities and warlords are absurd. When you wrote “anarchy” you probably meant “chaos” but I’m not going to explain the difference to you now. Read “machinery of freedom” by David Friedman if you want to understand more about anarchy.

    I’m not sure if you have ever read anything about Africa, let alone been there, but it is borderline insane to pretend that they are generally libertarian. The closest examples we have had to libertarian societies were 19th century UK & US and 20th century Hong Kong. You can point to single-issue examples elsewhere, such as low taxes in Singapore (which has worked well) and drug decriminalization in Portugal (which has worked well). In contrast, African governments have been very active in controlling and distorting nearly all parts of their economy & society… just as you prefer.

    It is certainly true that western countries have seen significant growth in government over the last century. We have now implemented most of Mussolini’s ideas, which I’m sure makes you happy. However, it is wrong to say that the welfare state of the late 20th century caused the development of the west during the 19th century. I’m amazed you hold that position, and I urge you to think carefully about how time works.

    We are starting to see some of the costs of our welfare state now — such as the undermining of civil society and social capital, unsustainable budgets leading to debt & deficit problems, growing welfare dependence and the consequent decrease in individual dignity, and restrictions on innovation and economic evolution. These are not good things.

  5. DaveW
    June 26, 2012 at 1:45 am | #6

    You are certainly right. What a bloated list of climate funds. The best solution is to have a simple Carbon Tax and allow the market to decide what the best solution to the problem is rather than directing the economy to fix it.

    A straight tax is obviously the least intrusive policy in to the economy. Tax the externality that companies and individuals are pricing as free and leave the rest to market forces.

  6. Alister Cyril Blanc
    June 26, 2012 at 5:40 am | #7

    Rather than directing the economy with a carbon tax, why not advertise that any person or group researching & developing green technology (like, say, more efficient solar panels) will for the next 10 years pay $0 in tax to the government if they relocate to Australia?

    Why not create an Asian silicon valley centred wholly around researching & developing green technology by targeted tax cuts?

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