No fair dinkum in Australia's carbon tax today

Letter to the Editor (or an opinion piece)

Watts Up With That?

8th November 2011 (Australia time)

 

Back towards the Dark Ages

The passage of the carbon tax bills today is no reason for celebration. It is a step back towards the dark ages.

Just a few generations ago, humans lived in a “green” world. There was no coal, oil or gas providing light, heat, transport and traction power.

In this green utopia, wood provided heat for cooking fires and forests were felled for charcoal for primitive metallurgy; farmers used wooden ploughs and harvested grain with sickles and flails; the nights were lit using candles and whale oil; rich people used wind and water power to grind cereals; horses and bullocks moved coaches, wagons and troops; there was no refrigeration and salt was the only preservative for meat.

Towns were tiny as the whole family was needed to work the farm. For most people, the daylight hours were filled with heavy labour to produce, preserve and transport food. There was no surplus to support opera, bureaucracy or academia.

Humanity was relieved from this life of unrelenting toil by carbon energy – steam engines and electricity, machines, tractors, cars, ships and planes. Prosperity and longevity soared.

Today the pagan green religion celebrates the first step in their long campaign to destroy industrial society and reduce population.

They should be careful what they wish for.

For example, just a few more bitter winters in Britain will see their wind powered lights going out.

A British observer once said of the Whitlam government: “Any fool can bugger up Britain, but it takes real genius to bugger up Australia” “.

Parliament today showed the sort of genius needed to dim the lights in the lucky country.

Viv Forbes,

Rosewood    Qld   Australia

forbes@carbon-sense.com

I am happy for my email address to be published.

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Werner Brozek

“Just a few generations ago, humans lived in a “green” world.”
How true!
 
Subject: The Green Thing
In the line at the store, the cashier told the older woman that she
should bring her own grocery bag because plastic bags weren’t good
for the environment.
The woman apologized to him and explained, “We didn’t have the
green thing back in my day.”
The clerk responded, “That’s our problem today. The former
generation did not care enough to save our environment.”
He was right, that generation didn’t have the green thing in its
day.
Back then, they returned their milk bottles, soda bottles and beer
bottles to the store. The store sent them back to the plant to
be washed and sterilized and refilled, so it could use the same
bottles over and over. So they really were recycled.
But they didn’t have the green thing back in that customer’s day.
In her day, they walked up stairs, because they didn’t have an
escalator in every store and office building. They walked to the
grocery store and didn’t climb into a 300-horsepower machine every
time they had to go two blocks.
But she was right. They didn’t have the green thing in her day.
Back then, they washed the baby’s diapers because they didn’t have
the throw-away kind. They dried clothes on a line, not in an energy
gobbling machine burning up 220 volts – wind and solar power really
did dry the clothes. Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their
brothers or sisters, not always brand-new clothing.
But that old lady is right, they didn’t have the green thing back
in her day.
Back then, they had one TV, or radio, in the house – not a TV in
every room. And the TV had a small screen the size of a
handkerchief, not a screen the size of the state of Montana. In the
kitchen, they blended and stirred by hand because they didn’t have
electric machines to do everything for you.
When they packaged a fragile item to send in the mail, they used a
wadded up old newspaper to cushion it, not Styrofoam or plastic
bubble wrap.
Back then, they didn’t fire up an engine and burn gasoline just to
cut the lawn. They used a push mower that ran on human power. They
exercised by working so they didn’t need to go to a health club to
run on treadmills that operate on electricity.
But she’s right, they didn’t have the green thing back then.
They drank from a fountain when they were thirsty instead of using
a cup or a plastic bottle every time they had a drink of water.
They refilled their writing pens with ink instead of buying a new
pen, and they replaced the razor blades in a razor instead of
throwing away the whole razor just because the blade got dull.
But they didn’t have the green thing back then.
Back then, people took the streetcar or a bus and kids rode their
bikes to school or rode the school bus instead of turning their
moms into a 24-hour taxi service. They had one electrical outlet in
a room, not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances.
And they didn’t need a computerized gadget to receive a signal
beamed from satellites 2,000 miles out in space in order to find
the nearest pizza joint.
But isn’t it sad the current generation laments how wasteful the
old folks were just because they didn’t have the green thing back
then?

Mike from Canmore

Back then they didn’t have cars they had horses. Horses which left their feces on the road, provided the perfect incubation for disease carrying flies. It was then washed down the sewage and often straight into fresh water without any treatment whatsoever.
Too bad we stopped being green and got cars.

Gail Combs

You are correct to remind us of how brutal and short life was for the majority of people living in the 1800’s. I read some where they want to reduce us to 20% of the CO2 used today.
This is my analysis of that misbegotten idea based on life in the USA.
The average energy use for the USA is 335.9 million BTUs per person. (Total population: 246,081,000) http://www.nuicc.info/?page_id=1467
In 1949, U.S. energy use per person stood at 215 million Btu. So this is still too high. epb.lbl.gov/homepages/rick_diamond/LBNL55011-trends.pdf
The U.S. in 1800 had a per-capita energy consumption of about 90 million Btu. Twice the target energy consumption of 45 million Btu. (Total population: 5,308,483) http://www.bu.edu/pardee/files/2010/11/12-PP-Nov2010.pdf
If the USA reduces its energy consumption by 80% it equals 45.18 million Btu. per person IF THE POPULATION WAS THE SAME.
Given the increase in technology and hydro power lets use the 1800 consumption level of about 90 million Btu.
What does that mean? The site http://inventors.about.com/library/inventors/blfarm4.htm helps us figure that out.
Farmers made up about 90% of labor force  in 1790 and 69% of labor force in 1800. (2.6% in 1990) About 250-300 labor-hours required to produce 100 bushels (5 acres) of wheat with walking plow, brush harrow, hand broadcast of seed, sickle, and flail in 1830. This is the same thing you talk of in your article. In 1987 with modern equipment it took 2-3/4 labor-hours to produce the same amount, 100 bushels.
1810-30 saw the transfer of “manufacturing” from the farm and home to the shop and factory. It wasn’t until the 1840’s that we saw factory made farm machinery, labor saving devices and chemical fertilizers became common. It was in the 1860’s Kerosene lamps became popular.
Also up until the 1850’s dung and wood were the major source of energy. http://dieoff.org/page199_files/image002.gif
In other words for the USA to use HALF the energy per person for that was used in 1800 we must abandon ALL factories and 90% of the population must return to subsistence farming using animals. Remember in 1800 there was only 2% of the current population. Solar and Wind just are not going to produce enough power to keep us in anything but a few lights and if we are lucky a refrigerator. FACTORIES use an huge amount of power and that is why cotton mills and other primitive factories were built on rivers.
Graph of Ag energy imputs: http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2011/10/archibald_oildown_fig9.png
Anyone who tries to tell you differently is talking baffle gab because at present less than 9% of the US labor force is in manufacturing. The USA shipped its factories to China.
The only other option for energy is Nuclear because Solar and wind are not going to do anything but transfer money into the Scammers pockets. Carbon credits are also a scam, a very nasty scam.
see: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/09/25/they-had-to-burn-the-village-to-save-it-from-global-warming/
AFRICA OWES Australia: http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2011/10/31/japanese-satellites-say-3rd-world-owes-co2-reparations-to-the-west/

It does not sound as if it was a great deal of fun in the Little Ice Age either.
http://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2011/11/01/what-was-life-like-in-the-little-ice-age/

Fred from Canuckistan

lots of people in Connecticut are living in Earth Day meets Groundhog Day right now.
Wonder how happy they are to be living “green” ?

“Today the pagan green religion celebrates the first step in their long campaign to destroy industrial society and reduce population.”
What bugs me is that one could conceivably make the same sort of argument here in the U.S. regarding wind and solar. The state and federal governments, with their financial support, mandates, feed-in tariffs, etc. for wind and solar, are (IMHO) based on the notion that these alternative energy sources can somehow replace fossil fuels and nuclear as base load sources of electrical energy someday. To what extent are the environmental ideologists pushing wind and solar in an effort to make us a more energy scarce society and force us to economically and (to an extent) technologically regress back to something resembling the Middle Ages? Do they see such regression of American society as environmental progress? Admittedly, we are as a society a long way from actually seeing this happen. Nuclear and fossil fuel power plants are still be built here in the U.S. to keep up with energy demand.
But with that said, I, like most, have worked hard all my life to earn the standard of living I currently enjoy, and it is upsetting to see an ideological movement that seeks to wage war against it — especially when it has the ears of the politicians. Wealth along with technological and economic progress can all go hand-in-hand with environmental protection based on sound science rather than on ideology.
I can only hope that we as a nation will always understand that.

Curiousgeorge

Nice letter, Viv. 🙂 Kinda makes one want to go “occupy” something. 😉

As I read this the remark made at a meeting to discuss traffic problems (and the anti-car Greens in the room were really pushing for outright bans in large areas of cities in the UK) the remark was made by one of them that “if only the car hadn’t been invented, we’d still have clean fresh air in the cities and we could still be using horses.” One of the engineers in the meeting looked up, carefully removed his glasses and said quietly, “And we’d all still be knee deep in horse sh*t and the flies and stench would knock you out in the suburbs.”
It sort of killed the debate.
I suspect Ms Gilliard, an immigrant from Wales, may find herself invited to return to her homeland once the full impact of these taxes begin to bite. Only I think she’ll be doing it on a surfboard if she’s lucky.

Mike Smith

It should be said that… many of us AGW skeptics are generally supportive of many “green” policies. For example, we’re in favor of many reasonable recycling measures, reducing water pollution as well as particulate pollution in the air.
We do have a problem with predictions of catastrophe that are not supported by actual data (versus fictional models) and without establishing causation to a degree of certainty commensurate with the costs of the proposed mitigation. Specifically, we are not persuaded that CO2 is the big bugaboo and we not support ridiculous carbon taxes.
Skeptics care about our environment too.

Mike from Canmore says: November 7, 2011 at 11:11 am
Horses which left their feces on the road, provided the perfect incubation for disease carrying flies.

Oh yes I remember the late 1950s… 🙂
Mrs Diamond used to run out into the road every morning to collect the manure left behind by the milkman’s horse… it provided the perfect fertilizer for her garden – especially the roses…
So I guess we were recycling manure, way back then, before we took the medication and turned an antiseptic green.

Gail Combs

Mike from Canmore says:
November 7, 2011 at 11:11 am
Back then they didn’t have cars they had horses. Horses which left their feces on the road, provided the perfect incubation for disease carrying flies. It was then washed down the sewage and often straight into fresh water without any treatment whatsoever….
______________________________
That is alright the Greenies have replaced the horses with beavers who are invested with Giardia and resist normal water treatment. see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giardiasis
Besides the horses were the least of it. (The horse manure was usually shipped out to the farms by the way) Hay & grain to the cities and manure for the fields back to the farms. The big problem was the human waste products in the rivers and streams.

The Gray Monk says: November 7, 2011 at 11:54 am
I suspect Ms Gilliard, an immigrant from Wales, may find herself invited to return to her homeland….
She might have a problem finding Wales… they turned off the lights in Wales in the 1970s.

Paul Coppin

“Gail Combs says:
November 7, 2011 at 11:18 am
You are correct to remind us of how brutal and short life was for the majority of people living in the 1800′s. I read some where they want to reduce us to 20% of the CO2 used today.”

1800s? If you’re talking about Werner’s post, try 1956, not 1856. Werner’s post is a perfect description of my childhood, a most delightful time. Canmore Mike’s was a couple months earlier.

Bruce

Back in the day … windmills were used for pumping water and griding grain … not slaughtering birds and bats by the millions (which leaves billions of mosquitoes alive to spread disease).

@ Werner Brozek
Brilliant!

R. Gates

Mike Smith says:
November 7, 2011 at 11:54 am
It should be said that… many of us AGW skeptics are generally supportive of many “green” policies. For example, we’re in favor of many reasonable recycling measures, reducing water pollution as well as particulate pollution in the air.
We do have a problem with predictions of catastrophe that are not supported by actual data (versus fictional models) and without establishing causation to a degree of certainty commensurate with the costs of the proposed mitigation. Specifically, we are not persuaded that CO2 is the big bugaboo and we not support ridiculous carbon taxes.
Skeptics care about our environment too.
______
Well said Mike, and I would add that many “warmists” like myself, who believe that there is some level of AGW occurring, are not “catastrophists” in the sense of thinking it means some horrible future is in store because of this. There are many “warmists” who also are not in favor of carbon taxes, and other sweeping legislative and economic burdens to the average person. And certainly moderate “warmists” such as myself are very skeptical and even downright opposed to any sort of geoengineering efforts. I am convinced that there are a great many of those who are moderates, and don’t tend to the extremes at either end, and whether we are in the “warmist’ camp or “skeptical” camp, what makes us similar is the voice of moderation. Where can we find this true moderate voice in politics?

A modest proposal:
Aussieland has 3 X 10^6 square miles. If the population density of Assieland were the same as say, Italy, there would be 1.8 BILLION people in Aussieland.
I think we should have a “prisoner exchange”. I.e., we’ll (USA) take all the folks from Assieland who think the “majority and rulling class” are NUTS!
In tern the 33% of the US Population (Essentially the East Coast and West coast, or about 100,000,000 people we’ll ship to ASSIELAND. Now, consider the following. The SUN (plenty in Australia) and wind (plent on the coasts) will provide MORE than enough for the extra guests/new comers. There will be no problems, because…after all, by recyling the beer, they’ll have plent of water (just a litle salty). And, the extra sewage will help fertillize the land. Now this would really be an UNFAIR exchange. But, I’m willing to bet that a variety of conservative, hard working, non-eco freak French, British and Germans would be happy to move in to replace the 100,000,000 who have gone to live in “heaven” in Aussieland.
What a wonderful idea! The 100,000,000 all speak some form of “English”. The French and Germans moving to the USA all speak ESL already. (Although the French will only admit it, when they have to buy food or drink…) and eventually we could clear France, Germany and Britain of all their “eco freaks” too. The Russians, Indians, Chinese, Japanese and Indonesians would not have to change a wit. They are happy, know how to burn their fossil fuels, and would probably appreciate being able to dump a few of their “radicals” into Aussieland, sort of like the British dumping their criminals there, 150 years ago. Now we really wouldn’t have to worry about any “reciminations” from this scheme, as the Assielanders would not:
1. Maintain an Army (or Navy!)
2. Buy any food from outside of Aussieland (Genetically modified, you know!)
3. Trouble us by “flying out” (too much carbon footprint, except…of course, for their “elite”, but that would be less than 0.1% of the population, and they could rationalize that whatever fuels they burn, it’s done in “good faith” and for the “benefit of the masses”.
Peace, tranquility, harmony..and a true “New World Order”..who could ask for anything more. (PS-
if you get some our “Portland” Occupy Wall Street folks, we’ll supply the “lice powder” for free, and make sure they are “de-loused” before we send them.)
Max

jack morrow

Werner Brozek says:Nov 7 1100am
Great reply Werner. I remember getting Dad buying our first gas powered lawn mower back in the mid fifties. What a treat for me not to have to push that darn mower.
Speaking of horses, I love westerns, but have you ever seen a western with horse crap on the streets? No, and if you know a little about horses, most horses would not be at the tie rack when you came back to them because of the way movies show the folks tying them up. The town would be full of wondering horses. Ha.

Robert Blair

Anthony,
As much as we love you and all down under, you have completely mis-used the local idiom.
“Fair dinkum” is an adjective or adverb. It makes no sense unless you specify the person or thing that is being (or not being) fair dinkum. Although you could say something is “Not fair dinkum” you just can’t say “no fair dinkum”.
“Fair dinkum” means real, genuine, not fake. It has nothing to do with fair or balanced.
Examples:
“The hockey stick is not bullshit – it is fair dinkum”
“Michael Mann is a fair dinkum bloke, no flies on him.”
Often Australians will simply say “Fair Dinkum” as a shorthand for “I’m not bullshitting you, I’m being fair dinkum”. Which is, of course, a signal that they are most likely bullshitting.
And finally, and I’m being fair dinkum here, Australians are incapable of pedantry.
REPLY: I researched this prior to making the title, and the letter writer, Viv Forbes seemed to like it, as he sent a note of thanks and “good job”. – Anthony

BargHumer

@Werner Brozek
Superb! A contribution well worth saving and sharing with friends.

acementhead

REPLY: I researched this prior to making the title, and the letter writer, Viv Forbes seemed to like it, as she sent a note of thanks and “good job”. – Anthony
Maybe she noticed the treatment that a friendly poster received for trying to be helpful with language?
When I was at school I was interested in only science, science and more science(and a little bit of maths). My English teachers were in despair. I now realise that to get a message across accuracy in language is just as important as accuracy in data and thinking. Nick Stokes uses accurate language. You should too – it makes your message more believable. Sceptics need to be sceptical.
Example of TERRIBLE language that Americans love to use “I could care less.”
Accuracy in language is good, not bad, as hoi poloi would have us believe. It displays good thinking not the evil “elitism” that all are so keen to avoid.
Oh and Fred* agrees with me too.
* Fred Reed of course.
This post written in English.

And to bugger up California it takes the best legislature that money can buy.

3x2

Gail Combs says:
November 7, 2011 at 11:18 am
You are correct to remind us of how brutal and short life was for the majority of people living in the 1800′s. I read some where they want to reduce us to 20% of the CO2 used today.

And for a considerable part of the 1900’s and, in the UK at least, the 2000’s. I have a pet green activist (UK) who seems to think that the population of the UK should be around 2 million if we are to avoid planetary meltdown (whatever that is). He won’t say how this 58 million reduction will be achieved but seems to believe he will be one of the chosen few. I keep warning him that large, brutal individuals with weapons are more likely to make up the final contestants but he seems to think otherwise. Oh well.

TepidTom

Viv Forbes is a he.
[Thanks, fixed. ~dbs, mod.]

Steven Hill

Stop working today and get on Welfare, go GREEN
Live in Sod houses, go GREEN
Walk everywhere, go GREEN
Filter River Water to drink, go GREEN
Fish for food, go GREEN (PS, eat it raw)
Vote for Obama, go large government, go GREEN

pat

The urbanites always think they will be the last to go. That the flyovers and country peasants will suffer for them. I don’t think so.

Curt

acementhead:
The next time you go on a rant about proper English usage, it would be a good idea to eliminate spelling, grammar, and usage errors in the rant itself. If I had turned anything like that into one of my (American) English teachers, it would have come back as a mass of red ink.
By the way, “I could care less” is a sarcastic expression (although not everyone who uses it realizes that). It grew out of the Jewish community in America — other English-speaking countries don’t have that to any significant extent, so sometimes we have to translate for our brethren in the Anglosphere.

People back then used to do a lot of Clubbing too, not the dancing kind the seal clubbing kind and any other kind of clubbing that evolved hitting an animal over the head with a heavy stick, and they used to make a good living at it.
@R. Gates You come across very well, I’m sure you would stand up for those with a skeptical view of the AGW hypothesis even if you didn’t agree with them.

Ian

In response to another article (CO2 emissions by the elderly) I commented WUWT is becoming a pro-sceptic gossip column. This trivial article does nothing to dissuade me from that view. It might have been more in the spirit of the “old” WUWT if the comments of a possible future PM of Australia. Malcolm Turnbull, excoriating climate sceptics and referring to the BEST reports from Richard Muller as a basis for this. He is a recent and possible future leader of the Liberals who, at the moment, are not only opposing a carbon tax in Australia but state they will remove it when/if they get into power. Not under Malcolm Turnbull they won’t

Robert Blair

acementhead,
The correction was for usage of local Australian patois, which non-Australians would not be expected to know. Viv Forbes, like most Australians, would not even think of correcting a murrican on that point.

King of Cool

Greg Combet wrote an article 07 Nov in “The Australian” Growth in world carbon trading is no fantasy.”
He asserts that Canada’s Foreign Minister John Baird got it wrong when he said:
“There is nothing to join. It is like a pyramid marketing scheme. You don’t have to actually sell the dog food, you just have to get 10 of your friends to do it and you’ll get royalties.”
In his article Combet denied that it is “half way between fraud and fantasy” as it had been described and tells us that:
“Despite recent falls in the carbon price, daily trading volumes continue at high levels, involving credible emission reduction units generated in a wide range of countries and traded by Japan, New Zealand, Norway, Russia and all the EU member states. In addition, South Korea, California and major Chinese provinces are scheduled to commence trading in the period 2012-2015.”
Why then Mr Combet on 02 Nov in Montreal Canada did ICAO decisively support Argentina, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chile, China, Columbia, Cuba, Egypt, Guatemala, India, Japan, Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, Nigeria, Paraguay, Peru, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, USA, Uganda and the United Arab Emirates in contesting the EU’s plan to impose their Emissions Trading Scheme on all International Airlines operating into Europe from 01 Jan 2012?
Only the EU countries voted against the declaration and Canada and Australia abstained.
I can understand why Canada abstained as they are seeking EU support in retaining ICAO headquarters in Montreal. And I can now see why Australia abstained because you believe carbon trading is no fantasy.
Well, Greg if you can demonstrate that before the next Australian Election you will not only be a genius you will be the Wizard of Oz.

davidmhoffer

Sparks;
@R. Gates You come across very well, I’m sure you would stand up for those with a skeptical view of the AGW hypothesis even if you didn’t agree with them.>>>
Boy oh boy, does he have you fooled.

Peter Miller

This must be Gough Whitlam’s proudest moment – is he still alive?
Australia has legislated for something goofier than even he could think up

Rosco

I started working for a government department – Post Master General – in 1972.
We didn’t have computers so we had to calculate pay sheets by hand using enormous sheets and a “slide rule”. We were paid in cash in those days.
The building had no elevator. The office wasn’t air conditioned. An air conditioned car was a luxury and rare. Public transport relied on open windows for ventilation. Mostly air conditioning was restricted to places like department stores. Schools and Universities weren’t air conditioned – at least the ones I attended. Brisbane can get pretty hot in our six month spring/summer.
Tradesmen used primitive tools.
I could go on.
I can’t wait for these spoilt “occupy” protestors and their green activists to see what life is like without modern energy driven convenience.

davidmhoffer

Werner Brozek;
Wow, excellent comment. Worth reading and worth repeating. Well done!
The sad fact is that the current generation seems to think that the world works by magic. Food just appears on grocery store shelves, lumber stores are filled to the brim with building materials, and clean water comes out of the tap, all by magic. Not only do they not appreciate the length of the supply chain, they also don’t appreciate that much of the cost of the goods they buy, is, in fact energy. Worse, that much of what they take for granted is impossible without fossil fuels. The phrase “an apple for the teacher” no longer makes sense because they don’t recall a time when fresh fruit was almost non existant in the winter because the means to transport it and deliver it fresh were near impossible. To part with a single apple, a treasure lode of vitamens that could make a substantive difference to one’s health, was a substantive gift in years gone by. Today we expect to see apples and strawberries and other fresh fruit all year round. Take away the fossil fuels and it will be there only a few months a year, much of it rotten, and it will cost 10 to 20 times as much.
The only thing worse than curing a disease that doesn’t exist is a cure that kills more patients than the disease possibly could even if it were real.

Kaboom

It will be a rude awakening when the Green realize they are the most expendable part of the population. And it may then only take a 10-15% reduction in headcount to make the turn back into the age of science and progress.

acementhead

Robert Blair says:
November 7, 2011 at 2:27 pm
acementhead,
The correction was for usage of local Australian patois, which non-Australians would not be expected to know. Viv Forbes, like most Australians, would not even think of correcting a murrican on that point.

I understood that, agree, and approve. I’m a Kiwi and have lived in Aus off and on for about a total of 6 years. Also traveled there at least 50 times times. I speak Strine.

LazyTeenager

Viv Forbes says
There was no surplus to support opera, bureaucracy or academia.
———-
This displays a total ignorance of history. We have civilization for 5000 years now.
This whole dark ages stuff is just bad storytelling. We went through this whole routine when a previous conservative government introduced a goods and services tax. Apparently this GST was supposed to end civilization as we know it and there was much wailing and gnashing of teeth. The world did not end and now nobody cares.
The history of it’s introduction is also much the same. The conservatives said they were not going to introduce a GST and then they were elected and then they introduced it. They lied, but conservatives did not care about honesty so much then.
The commonality of the carbon tax with the GST is also that when it was introduced other taxes were eliminated or reduced so the total tax take remained constant.
So the conclusion is obvious. The overall effect of a carbon tax will be small with winners and losers depending on economic circumstances. After people get used to it no one will notice.
The whole idea of some government plot to return us to the dark ages is just nonsense.

LazyTeenager

Gail Coombs says
This is my analysis of that misbegotten idea based on life in the USA.
——–
The flaw in your argument is that many countries other than the USA are able to achieve standards of living comparable to the USA without wasting so much energy. By a large margin. Those countries are not living in the dark ages.

Matt

R. Gates says:
Well said Mike, and I would add that many “warmists” like myself, who believe that there is some level of AGW occurring, are not “catastrophists” in the sense of thinking it means some horrible future is in store because of this. There are many “warmists” who also are not in favor of carbon taxes, and other sweeping legislative and economic burdens to the average person. And certainly moderate “warmists” such as myself are very skeptical and even downright opposed to any sort of geoengineering efforts. I am convinced that there are a great many of those who are moderates, and don’t tend to the extremes at either end, and whether we are in the “warmist’ camp or “skeptical” camp, what makes us similar is the voice of moderation. Where can we find this true moderate voice in politics?
————————————-
You can’t, at least not not in the U.S. The U.S. political system is often described as a two-party system, and functionally it is, but if you read the constitution there is no mention of political parties. Several of the founding fathers (Ben Franklin chief among them) published comments along the line that they saw political parties as being inherently anti-democratic. Based on this, I believe what was intended by the drafters of the constitution was not a two-party nor a one-party, nor even a multi-party political system but rather a no-party system.
It didn’t take long for political parites to form for the basis of pooling fund-raising and other resources and I don’t see a big problem if that had been as far as it went. However, somewhere along the line control of the election process itself got turned over to the political parties in such a way that the two majority parties are able to set the basic election rules in such a way that makes it impossible for minority parties to have any significant impact especially at the federal level. It is possible for a minority party to move up to being one of the majority parties in a land-slide style victory. However this would only move the surviving incumbent party to collude with the new party to lock out the old incumbent party from the process. This has happened a couple of times in U.S. history. Few Americans today remember that both of the current incumbent parties (Deemocrats and Republicans) were created as a result of a schism in a single predisessor party.
This extra-constitutional two party structure effectivelly gives undo power to the most extreme elements in both incumbent parties.
The only way I see to fix this is to somehow wrest controll of the election system back from the political parties and switch to non-partisan primaries for all state and federal offices. However, given that both of the incumbent parties seem to ignore the plain language of the constitution whenever it is inconvienient for them I don’t see any way this could be implemented.

Rosco says:
November 7, 2011 at 3:04 pm
“Tradesmen used primitive tools.”
My dad was an electrical engineer all his working life, I remember the tools he used, no cordless power tools back then, they used bit braces to drive in screws, It was all hand cranked.

MorinMoss

@Rosco Many, if not most, of the “Occupy ….” protestors don’t have a pot to piss in, don’t have cars and, if you haven’t noticed, have been sleeping outdoors, some in the snow.
And most probably don’t have health care either, so they’re living much more like our forebears than most of us here.

davidmhoffer

LazyTeenager;
This whole dark ages stuff is just bad storytelling.>>>
It is? Kinda like your rendition of the GST story which you got totaly backwards? The Conservatives didn’t promise not to bring it in. They brought it in and were defeated in an election by the Liberals who promised that if elected they would repeal it. But after being elected they didn’t even try. One Liberal MP actually publicly said that she would resign if the GST wasn’t gone in a year. A year later she complained that she shouldn’t have to resign just because she promised she would. You’ve completely reversed the story and called the Conservatives dishonest for something that the Liberals did.
Similarly, you have got the “dark ages stuff” backwards. It wasn’t bad story telling. It was stories of bad things.

Robert of Ottawa

Curiousgeorge says at November 7, 2011 at 11:40 am
Nice letter, Viv. 🙂 Kinda makes one want to go “occupy” something. 😉

How about Occupy Greenpeace!

Curt says:
November 7, 2011 at 2:08 pm
acementhead:
“By the way, “I could care less” is a sarcastic expression (although not everyone who uses it realizes that). It grew out of the Jewish community in America — other English-speaking countries don’t have that to any significant extent, so sometimes we have to translate for our brethren in the Anglosphere.”
The phrase, “I could care less”, is basically meaningless used in its normal context, when the phrase, “I could not care less.” is so much more meaningful. The first is a common error, maybe mostly in the US. My liberal arts daughter gigs me for using it all the time.
How about the word, “irregardless”?

LazyTeenager says:
November 7, 2011 at 3:16 pm
davidmhoffer says:
November 7, 2011 at 4:22 pm
I just can’t let this pass,
Firstly, the Liberal party in Australia are the conservatives. Labor party are the lefties.
John Howard, the Liberal Prime Minister at the time (1998), had changed his mind and decided that a GST (Goods and Services Tax) would be good for the economy.
However, he took this to an election and scraped in by the skin of his teeth, hence gaining a mandate to introduce the tax (albeit much watered down by the Senate where the Democrats [further left than Labor] had the balance of power.)
Where the Carbon (dioxide) Tax differs is that the current Prime Minister Julia Gillard had said specifically “There will be no carbon tax under the government I lead.” just 2 days before the last election.

To appease the power sharing Greens (the election result was a hung parliament) Gillard went back on her word, decided to introduce the tax and swore black and blue that she had not lied.
here it is all recorded on film

General P.Malaise

just cut the power to those who voted for the imbeciles that did this …and don’t turn it back on ever. stop them form having babies too. Darwin didn’t count on this level of stupidity.

R. Gates

Matt says:
“The only way I see to fix this is to somehow wrest controll of the election system back from the political parties and switch to non-partisan primaries for all state and federal offices.”
——-
I agree completely, but the entrenchment of the big money two-party system that thrives on division among the people will be hard to unseat. Ultimately they won’t just hand it back but it will have to be reclaimed by “we the people”.

Fair dinkum cobber, change the title.
NO FAIR GO IN AUSTRALIAS CARBON TAX TODAY
And you would reply..
“Fair suck of the sauce bottle, I only spent one month down under.”
REPLY: Are you suggesting that I’m a drunk? – Anthony

Noelene

The Howard government(liberal,-mainly conservative) brought in the GST.He did say “there will never be a GST under my government”but then was convinced of the merits of a GST,and campaigned on introducing a GST,he took it to the people,he was given a mandate to introduce a GST by the people(it was close,he nearly lost,thanks to a hysterical media campaign),unlike Matilda(told such dreadful lies,made one gasp and stretch ones eyes)Gillard who maybe told the truth when she said “there will be no carbon tax under the Government I lead”It’s well known that Bob Brown(Green maniac) is actually leading the Government.
The GST was good for Australia,a lot of taxes were brought back to 10 percent mainly on electronics,I remember the price of computer parts,cameras,phones,televisions before the GST.I spend 150 dollars at the supermarket and the GST is about 4 dollars,nowhere near the prices the media claimed would be imposed on food.
I cannot see any benefits from a carbon tax,everything will rise,nothing will drop in price.