Same Song, Different Singer

Lately, it seems to be another day, another report/article comes out supporting the Gillard Government’s Carbon Tax.

This time around it is The Climate Institute, and their Climate of the Nation 2012 report.

According to this report, 28% of voters supported the Carbon Tax, with this figure jumping to 47% once it was explained to them that the tax revenue went to household assistance, business support and renewable energy.

Though I wonder what the figure would be if these people were also told the following:
* The Carbon Tax doesn’t target all industries, with the heaviest, agriculture being exempt
* The Carbon Tax doesn’t apply to imported goods, thereby making them cheaper when compared to a domestically produced item, putting pressure on our already struggling economy.
* That a majority of carbon credits that industry will have to buy  will come from overseas, also putting a strain on our economy.
* The household assistance package is distributed unfairly. If the looking after the environment is everyone’s responsibility, why should some be rewarded for it, and others penalised?
* That the Carbon Tax may not really change anyone’s behaviour. After all, they have already been compensated for any cost of living increase, so why should they do anything different?
* Or that a slaughterhouse in Queensland can simply close it’s doors for two weeks, and avoid a multi-million dollar Carbon Tax bill, which it’s competitors won’t have.

Once people have been told that, I doubt that apart from the most one eyed Labor or Greens supporter would come to realise that maybe the Carbon Tax isn’t as good as it is made out to be.

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Democracy. Is The Media Or The Miner A Greater Threat?

If you have been paying any sort of attention to the media or pub talk over the past week or so, you could easily be forgiven for think that we have a free and independent press in this country, and that a shareholder wanting to have a seat on the board is one of the greatest threats to democracy this country has ever seen.

Though is it really?

First of all, it shouldn’t be too strange to see that most of this is coming from the media itself, mimicked by boffins in government who like the things the way that they are. After all it is only the media themselves who believe that they are the Fourth Estate, boasting that the media’s function is to act as a guardian of the public interest and as a watchdog on the activities of government.

Putting aside any personal opinion that you may have of Gina Rinehart and her desire to get a seat or seats on the Fairfax board, lets look at this objectively and from another angle.

With the exception of the taxpayer funded ABC and SBS, and privately owned 9 Network, the other media outlets in this country are publicly listed companies. 11 out of 12 of Australia’s capital city daily newspapers are owned by either News Limited or Fairfax.

Why should we treated these media companies any differently than those other companies that are listed on the Australian Stock Exchange?

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If Nothing Changes, Nothing Changes.

Here we are, a week into the Gillard Government’s Carbon Tax, a week where both sides of the discussion added their thoughts as to why the scheme will or won’t work.

Among the many interesting articles and one that stood out the most, was this one by Dermot O’Gorman, which you can read here, the first two paragraphs are below.

I WAS at a barbecue recently when a friend came up and said: “I’ve got a bone to pick with you, mate. You know I’m all for doing our bit to tackle climate change, but why should Australians pay a carbon tax when the rest of the world is free to pollute?”

My friend almost choked on his steak when I told him that 31 European countries already have carbon pricing, including Norway, Denmark, Finland and Sweden, where carbon taxes have been in effect since the early 1990s.

Whilst it is written from the point of trying to convince us how other countries are jumping on the carbon tax/emission trading bandwagon, the first few words of the second sentence highlight why it is pointless, and won’t change our behaviour.

Dermot O’Gorman is the current Chief Executive Officer of WWF-Australia, the same group that launched the Earth Hour campaign, and here he is at a social gathering where one of his friends is eating meat.

The time that Mr O’Gorman wasted trying to convince his friend that the Gillard Government’s Carbon Tax is a good thing and what other countries are doing with regards to ‘clean energy’ could have been better spent explaining the environmental impact of of animal agriculture.

Any half baked environmentalist would be hard pressed to deny the impact that livestock have on our environment. The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization has come out saying that livestock are one of the biggest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions, exceeding that of transport. It has even been mentioned in an article about saving money on groceries, adding that it takes eight kilos of grain to produce a kilo of beef. Then there is the issue of fossil fuel and water use. It’s been estimated that it takes approx 1,800 gallons of water to produce a pound of beef, and 40 calories of fossil fuel energy to produce 1 calorie of feedlot beef.

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How Can A Tax Save The Environment?

“A carbon price is critical to addressing climate change,” Australian Greens Leader, Christine Milne.

This one simple sentence is enough to have the Clayton’s Environmentalists raising their glasses in agreeance and shouting “Here, Here”. Though will it really save the environment, and what other measures could the government have been taken?

First and foremost, making something more expensive will not stop people using it. All you have to do is have a look at the number of people who still drink and smoke, despite the regular price increases.

Putting a price on carbon will ultimately only benefit those who are trading in Carbon Credits.

It is widely acknowledged that Australia will not be able to keep up with the demand for carbon credits, which means that the short fall will have to come from overseas. How much pressure will this put on jobs, our economy, the ever-increasing cost of living, and national debt?

Any extra cost incurred by the producer, due to the purchase of carbon credits, or fluctuations in the carbon price will be automatically passed on to the consumer. The consumer, having grown accustomed to their big screen TV, X-Box, and various other household appliances and already stretched to breaking point on their household budget will simply go without in other areas that aren’t as important.

Who knows, this could even include buying cheaper homebrand products at the supermarket, a majority of which are imported, or even resorting to junk and fast food in an effort to feed their family.

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The Big Announcement

By now most of the readers of this blog would be aware that in 2013 I will be throwing my hat in the the ring of election madness as a candidate for a Senate seat in Queensland.

Why after all these years of having a go at they way politicians govern, would I possibly want to become one of them?

The answer is simple really, though a little bit corny too. I am doing this for the people of Queensland, and Australia in general. We have all been mislead and hoodwinked by the current crop of politicians for far too long, and a complicit media further perpetuates the deception. So much for their position as the Fourth Estate.

I can no longer sit idly by commenting on things after have happened or raising awareness before they do. So now I am asking the people of Queensland to vote me into a Senate seat, and into a position to stop the continual deception from happening.

When we learn about politics and voting, at first we are taught to be cautious and be wary of what they say. Then as time goes by we start voting for the politicians based on the party they represent, not what they can do for the electorate. The level of caution that we first displayed, should be repeated every time that we put pencil to paper and vote for someone.

The political party game that is being played has let us all down at both the State and Commonwealth level, and has let us down in a big way.

We have seen a Carbon Tax/Emission Trading Scheme become law because the leader of the Federal Australian Labor Party made a deal with The Australian Greens to form a minority government. This is despite her promise to the Australian people that there would be no ETS in a government that she leads, and the fact that a majority of Australian’s actually voted against the ALP.
In Queensland we have seen the virtual annihilation of the ALP at the last State election, due in no part to the perceived arrogance and mistrust in the party’s former leader.
In NSW, legislation has been passed to allow shooting in National Parks after the government did a deal with the two members from The Shooter’s Party, to allow their privatisation bill to pass.

So why should Queenslanders vote for me?

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Time To Get Serious About Our Health

Australia is quickly becoming an obese, sugar and alcohol dependent nation.

Our deteriorating health is having a disastrous impact on all facets of life, and contributing to cost of living increases. Whether it be the annual private health insurance rate increase, reduction in quality of life, increases in diet related illnesses, along with the added pressure on our ailing health system.

The common cause of this increase in our national weight, can be laid solely at the feet or processed sugars and alcohol.

Something needs to be done now, whilst we as a nation are still in a position to reverse this trend. If we fail to act now, all we will be able to do in the future is struggle in vain to stem the tide.

For this reason, I propose the following:

Australia needs to implement a processed sugar levy.

This levy won’t change anyone’s behaviour, nor stop them buying sugary products. Though the public will believe it because of the spin and glossy brochures that will be sent out to everyone. To make it a little bit more palatable, the government will pretend to invest in alternative sugar sources, such as artificial sweeteners and other chemical compounds.

It will work in the following manner. In the first 2-3 years of its operation, approx 1/3 of businesses that produce a product that has sugar/alcohol in it will be subject to a 25% levy on the price of the final product. This levy will not apply to those products where the sugar is a result of it’s fruit content.

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Should The Environmental Movement Be Relabelled A Cult?

I am sure the title of this post is bound to elicit a number of emotional responses by itself, though what if there is some truth to it?

Taking the position of Devil’s Advocate for a moment, consider the following similarities that all cults have.

  • Rational thought is discouraged or forbidden
  • The cults manipulate guilt to their advantage
  • Cults are apocalyptic
  • There is a duality of “us” and “them”, where those who don’t follow the doctrine are bad
  • Motive Questioning. When sound evidence against the group is presented, members are taught to question the motivation of the presenter.
  • Finger Pointing. Creating a false sense of righteousness by pointing to the shortcomings of the outside world

When was the last time that you saw any sort of rational debate about environmental change? Those who disagree with the majority view are labelled as sceptics and ridiculed in the media. Take public opinion of Christopher Monckton and the condemnation and contempt that he was shown or even the smear campaign of an alleged hidden agenda.  David Bellamy is another example, once wildly respected, he is now shunned by his peers for casting doubt upon the effects of global warming.

We all know that we cannot trust the media or the government on a number of issues, yet we are blindly following along with the claims that they make, subscribing to any theories that they may have. It seems that as soon as the word environment or green is mentioned we all loose the ability to think independently and following along with the way that we are told to think.

Take the whole emission trading scheme for example. This has been accepted without question as being a solution to the worlds carbon emissions. Yet nothing is being done to actually stop the carbon being produced in the first place. In much the same way that raising the price of beer and cigarettes has not stopped people smoking or drinking, putting a price on carbon is not going to stop or restrict it being produced, especially when the end cost can be passed on to the consumer.

Environmental credentials are thrown around all over the place, with people and companies trying to out do each other in the environmental stakes. Politicians are even starting to use past environmental policy as proof that they are in a better position to lead the state/country compared to the other contenders, even though other policies may be less than desirable.

When did the environment become sacrosanct and those with differing thoughts labelled as heretics?