Archive for ‘Economics of Climate Change’

July 6, 2011

Truly hilarious survival guide to the carbon price apocalypse

Crikey’s Canberra correspondent Bernard Keane has written a genuinely laugh out loud and extraordinarily useful guide to the coming days and weeks of special pleading. Pure, unadulterated genius. It starts…

Out they’ve come over the last two days, lured by the imminent announcement of the carbon price details — more corporate shills, more politicians, more unionists, more polluters, with their hands stuck out, making that distinctive bleating noise of the rentseeker in full cry. It’s like a zombie film, with a shuffling, clumsy but somehow inescapable horde of the undead — braindead, more correctly — roaming the streets, demanding “compensation”.

Ralph Hillman rose at the Press Club a short while ago to repeat his long-discredited claims about the impact of a carbon price on the coal industry, a sector which faces only one real problem, how to count all the money that’s going to roll in from China in the next few years. Instead, Hillman wants handouts from taxpayers for an industry that is the chief dealer to the cheap energy and cheap steel junkies of the planet.

Andrew Wilkie has joined in. Having declined to participate in the Multi-Party Climate Change Committee, he’s now pulled the classic swing vote stunt of issuing demands right at the death. Wilkie has his own version of “think global, act local” by demanding special measures for his own electorate and its industry. Nicely played.

This stuff will be incessant for the rest of the week and then really ramp up next week, when the rentseekers who missed out will lift the pitch and volume of their bleating. To cut through all the propaganda, self-interested analysis and political race-calling, it might be useful to keep in mind some basic principles in judging Sunday’s announcement. These are some criteria by which to judge a carbon price scheme.

And continues here. OMG, ROFLMAO.

PS And (most of) the comments are worth a read to (up to 9.22pm, anyway) – astute stuff.

July 6, 2011

Youtube: IPCC scenarios for beginners

This 5 minutes of your life will feel a LOT longer. May also cure insomnia (I’ll leave the claims of cures for HIV to Christopher Monckton).
It would take a better youtube maker than I (currently am) to add zest to such a dry subject. The IPCC released a “Special Report on Emissions Scenarios” in 2000. I couldn’t find a video explanation of them on tinterwebs, so have made one. Here it is.

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July 6, 2011

Pro-carbon tax businesses sign statement

This from AAP via Indaily

MORE than 50 companies including GE, AGL and The Body Shop have signed a statement backing a price on carbon.

The federal government will on Sunday outline its emissions trading scheme (ETS), including a fixed price on carbon from July 1, 2012, household and industry assistance and funding for low emissions technology.

The companies representing the infrastructure, energy, technology and retail sectors say a carbon price, with “cost-effective complementary measures”, is critical to cutting emissions and ensuring Australia remains globally competitive as the rest of the world reduces emissions.

They have also launched a website, Businesses for a Clean Economy (, out of concern that many businesses are not getting a say in the carbon price debate.


June 29, 2011

AFR: “NAB chief backs Labor climate plan”

Brief clippings from today’s AFR…

Australian Financial Review 29 June 2011

NAB chief backs Labor climate plan

Marcus Priest and Andrew Cornell

Labor’s carbon price scheme has gained strong backing from National Australia Bank chief executive Cameron Clyne but the government has faltered in the sales pitch for its household compensation package.
As signs emerged that Labor will struggle to reach a deal on carbon with the Greens and key NSW independents within weeks, Mr Clyne said the government’s plan offered certainty to drive investment, rating it economically superior to the Coalition’s “direct action plan”….

His comments follow those of Westpac Banking Corp chief executive Gail Kelly, who said last month that a carbon price was an “important economic reform and the single most effective policy mechanism for addressing climate change and preparing Australia for the global low carbon operating environment.”

[for the record, Rio Tinto’s boss demurs]


MPCCC talks continue today, with Rob Oakeshott sticking around in Canberra rather than fly to Perth for a speaking gig at the Australian Mining and Exploration Companies thing in Perth (the one where brainac Christopher Monckton is sharing his latest pearls of wisdom).

“The major issues dividing the committee are over assistance to coal-fired power generators and coal-mines, but other crucial issues include setting emissions reduction targets when a fixed carbon price moves to an emissions trading scheme, as well as energy efficiency measures.”

Ross Garnaut shouting from sidelines that independent governance is crucial, and that the more compensation there is for coal-fired generators the less there is for tax cuts and innovation.

June 28, 2011

Labour starts throwing the money around…

This from AAP, via InDaily

The federal government’s much awaited carbon tax compensation package will include an additional payment to 110,000 households that rely on essential medical equipment at home.

These people have high electricity costs due to their use of equipment, such as a dialysis machine or other life support devices at home.

They will receive a special annual cash payment that will fully cover the average price increase of electricity from the carbon price, in addition to all other household assistance they are eligible for.

The medical equipment payment did not exist under Labor’s shelved carbon pollution reduction scheme (CPRS).


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June 23, 2011

Global warming beyond doubt says… ex-head of Australian Coal Association

So, the evil conspiracy to hoax everyone about so-called climate change has found a new stooge! Ian Dunlop, noted communist and luddite and, um, former chairman of the Australian Coal Association, and former chief executive of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
He’s got a stonking opinion piece in the 23/6/2011 Australian Financial Review, that should be compulsory reading… Emphasis added.

Global warming is about risk and uncertainty. It is beyond reasonable doubt that the world is warming and that human carbon emissions are a major contributor. The risks of destabilising the climatic equilibrium, under which humanity as we know it has developed through the 11,000 years of the Holocene period, are now escalating rapidly.
The glaring omission in current national discourse is any mention of these risks.
The credible climate scientists have been sounding urgent warnings for some time. There is virtually no one addressing the real risks. The science on an issue this complex will not be settled for a long time, but that requires even greater prudence in managing risk and uncertainty, particularly where climatic changes may be sudden and irreversible….

To propose a strategy of either denial or wait, see and adapt – in light of current empirical evidence and the balance of expert advice – is a serious breach of fiduciary responsibility, both corporately and nationally; a breach only too evident in the business approach to carbon pricing.

June 21, 2011

Carbon tax would need to be $60 per tonne…

This from those noted communists and techno-phobes at the Australian Financial Review (21 June 2011)

$60 will cut it: energy experts
by Matthew Dunckley

Energy experts have warned that a carbon price must be higher than that already flagged by the government to produce the desired shift in the shape of Australia’s energy generation.
The federal government is in negotiations with the independents and the Greens to strike the price that the nation’s top greenhouse gas emitters will pay, but the government has already indicated the starting price will be much less than $40 per tonne.
Creative Energy Solutions director Carl Daley said if the government still wanted to achieve a 5 per cent cut in emissions by 2020 compared to 2000 levels, as signalled under the junked carbon pollution reduction scheme, it would need to put a much higher price on carbon.

Pigs will fly.

June 16, 2011

The MPCCC game of chicken continues…

From the front page of the Australian Financial Review 15 June
“The Gillard government is threatening to jettison negotiations with the Greens and key independents over a carbon price if it fails to secure compensation for the highest emitting coalmines and coal-fired generators.”

Uhuh. A credible threat? Gillard may be toast, but she’s toast sooner if the carbon price don’t get through. We will see if the Greens and indies blink…

Further down in the story, by Marcus Priest and Peter Kerr “Labor hauls Greens over the coals” we learn that modelling about job losses which was of course much-trumpetted by the Murdoch press may not have been quite so worthy of the acres of newsprint it got. It was done by ACIL-Tasman (creators of useful-to-the-rich factoids) for those cuddly Australian Coal Association types. According to the Fin, investment analysts questioned the modelling, saying it was “based upon no government assistance being provided.”
And the Grattan Institute said the report did not take into account the likelihood of offsetting rises in coal prices if there was a noticeable withdrawal of Australian production.
The Fin then quotes Grattan ceo John Daley thusly –
“The study is based on unreliable data, its findings are contrary to data published by coal producers themselves, the study ignores the dynamics between Australian production and global prices, and the study fails to mention that even if it is right, there is unlikely to be any net change in Australian unemployment.”

Doubtless Andrew Bolt is, as I type this, busily pointing the ratshittness of the ACIL-Tasman report to his legions of followers, and asking them to reflect on how much of what they read in the Murdoch press is pure spin and bollocks… … tumbleweed….

UPDATE 22 June: The Australian Coal Association has started its campaign. Rob Oakeshott is muttering about a carbon price of $15 or so.

June 12, 2011

Bluffer’s Guide – Who’s agin a Carbon Tax?

The latest bluffer’s guide



June 9, 2011

Repost: “Don’t preach to the converted on carbon tax: it’s the money vote that matters”

From “The Conversation” website.