Letter to the editor

Taxing mothers’ milk and our daily bread

quill pen

To the Editor
Climate Conversation

13th September 2012

Two lies are used to promote the world’s highest carbon tax – the lie that carbon dioxide is “pollution” and the lie claiming that Australians are “the world’s biggest carbon polluters”.

Calling carbon dioxide “pollution” makes no more sense than calling mothers’ milk “poison”. Yet Australia’s Climate Commissioners continue to propagate this outrageous lie.

Carbon dioxide is “mothers’ milk” to all plants, and plants are “the daily bread” to all animals. Life is a carbon cycle. No life could exist on Earth without adequate carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Current levels are well below those optimal for life, and below levels which have prevailed for most of Earth’s history. If there is a crisis regarding CO2, it is the question: “where has it all gone?”

And to say that Australians are the world’s biggest carbon polluters (per capita) is lying with statistics.

Australia is one of the world’s biggest exporters of minerals, energy, food and fibres. This is done on a huge continent with massive transport distances using a small workforce. Are the boffins suggesting that we should reduce our emissions per capita by employing 10,000 foreign labourers with shovels and wheel-barrows instead of one Australian on an electric dragline, one on an electric shovel, one on a diesel truck, and two driving an electric train?

Our government is punishing us for our efficiency. Carbon tax liability, if any, should fall on those who consume the resources. Those who produce the surplus for consumption by others are the heroes of society – even our federal government cannot redistribute wealth unless someone first produces a surplus to redistribute.

The economy and the climate have been cooling for years – it is stupid to keep carrying dead weights like the carbon tax, or subsidising expensive toys like green power.

Viv Forbes


forbes [at] carbon-sense [dot] com

Views: 372

8 Thoughts on “Letter to the editor

  1. Your point about carbon activism punishing Australia for its efficiency is a very good one, Viv. I hadn’t seen that before.

  2. Richard C (NZ) on 13/09/2012 at 5:28 pm said:

    Two lies ….. carbon dioxide is “pollution”,,,,,,and ……Australians are….. “carbon polluters”.

    Not reserved for Australia Viv,

    “The Bill before Parliament fundamentally undermines the Emissions Trading Scheme by continuing to subsidise polluters at the expense of taxpayers” – Grant Robertson, NZ Labour Party Environment Spokesperson


    “Without a direct cost, there will be no transition to a low carbon economy, smooth or otherwise. Major polluters will still be paying for just 5 per cent of their emissions in 2050.” – Jan Wright, NZ Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment


  3. Gary Kerkin on 14/09/2012 at 8:31 am said:

    “Without a direct cost, there will be no transition to a low carbon economy, smooth or otherwise. Major polluters will still be paying for just 5 per cent of their emissions in 2050.” – Jan Wright, NZ Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment

    I heard her on Morning Report a few days back and thought that if she believes that shifting the burden from taxpayers to major “polluters” she is seriously deluded. I wonder if she has thought how those major “polluters” will recover their costs and who will be paying?

    • She gives the impression of a distinct lack of knowledge of reality. She obviously knows little about the environment she’s meant to monitor.

    • Stanley on 15/09/2012 at 6:45 pm said:

      Ms Wright doesn’t seem to grasp that the Kyoto Protocol obligations were a one-off phenomenon with a 5-year lifespan. They resulted from a ‘grand bargain’ between USA and EU 15 years ago, when emissions were seen to be an exclusively rich-country problem.

      The irony of it all was that EU already had its post-1990 credits in the bank, and USA never attempted to ratify or honour the obligation.

      Mandatory GHG reductions, backed by financial penalties, will never be accepted again. They are history.

  4. Robin Pittwood on 14/09/2012 at 12:34 pm said:

    Well there’s not much point in taxing the inefficient because there’s next to nothing left over (ie profit) to pay the tax with.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 15/09/2012 at 9:10 am said:

      “…not much point in taxing the inefficient”

      Thing is Robin, the emitters in the electricity generation sector are efficient before the tax but it’s the tax that produces the inefficiency.

      I’m talking about CCGT and coal-fired generators for example. These are best run as a constant base load without ramping up and down causing unnecessary wear and maintenance costs but when wind is given the luxury of gaining priority by offering supply at 0$/MWh then the gas and coal operators have no choice but to conform to the inefficiency of that regime.

      The wind is there only because of the economic inefficiency caused by the tax which is loaded on to gas, coal and geothermal – not because of its natural competitiveness.

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