Balance of Power Aussie Senators Clash over WHY a Carbon Tax is Bad

Malcolm Roberts, One Nation (Left), David Leyonhjelm (Liberal Democrats) Right

Malcolm Roberts, One Nation (Left), David Leyonhjelm (Liberal Democrats) Right

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

It is a good day to be an Aussie climate skeptic. Two key small party senators, part of a group which holds the balance of power in Australia’s divided Federal senate, both agree a carbon tax is a bad idea, but for different reasons.

Senators clash over climate change

In an early forecast of the new Senate climate, a pair of crossbenchers have clashed over the best approach to take to environmental policy – though both agree tax isn’t the way.

One Nation’s Malcolm Roberts says he’ll only support policies based on empirical evidence, and he doesn’t believe the evidence shows any need to tax carbon dioxide.

Liberal Democrats senator David Leyonhjelm says his small-government party just doesn’t believe there should be more taxes, on anything.

‘Our policy is we’re politicians or political people, we stay out of the scientific debate,’ Senator Leyonhjelm told ABC TV on Sunday

‘Excuse me just a minute, David,’ Senator Roberts replied.

‘That’s disappointing to hear that you’re going to make policy without basing it on data.’

Senator Leyonhjelm retorted: ‘There’s plenty of data to show high taxes and costs on business are bad for the economy. That’s all the data I need.

Read more: http://www.skynews.com.au/news/politics/federal/2016/08/07/senators-clash-over-climate-change.html

Senator Malcolm Roberts has a long track record of climate skepticism. He was just elected as number two on the Pauline Hansen One Nation team, a small but growing conservative party which vigorously opposes uncontrolled immigration and climate boondoggles.

David Leyonhjelm is the leader of the Australian Liberal Democrats, a hardline small government Libertarian party. The Libertarians take a more neutral view on energy policy, but they vigorously oppose government interference in free markets, and oppose any extension of government power.

Just before the most recent election, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull described the leader of the most important group of small party Conservatives, the One Nation team, as being “not welcome” in Australia politics.

Any attempt to pass major climate funding bills is going to turn into an absolute circus. The mainstream Australian Federal Coalition Government just barely scraped a majority in the representatives, thanks to an exceptionally weak campaign, and relies on conservative leaning minority parties for support in the Federal Senate – most of whom are hostile to carbon pricing.

Despite battered Aussie PM and former Goldman Sachs Chair Malcolm Turnbull’s track record of enthusiasm for renewables, it seems likely that in this term of government at least, the Aussie PM simply has no room to manoeuvre on climate issues.

Update (EW) – Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull was incorrectly described as a current chairman of Goldman Sachs

Update 2 (EW) – Video of the climate exchange between Leyonhjelm and Roberts. (h/t clipe)

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63 thoughts on “Balance of Power Aussie Senators Clash over WHY a Carbon Tax is Bad

  1. Turnbull won’t want to be seen to be needing Greens support to pass legislation, so best course for him will be to leave the crimate change rubbish in his filing drawer for the next 3 years.

    • Turnbull has already implemented an emissions trading scheme on the top 500 companies in Australia. He is as asinine as the greens in thinking those costs don’t eventually percolate down to consumers.
      He has rebooted the Renewable Energy Scheme, on which and the Environment Minister worked passionately according to the Minister Greg Hunt. Not a word about the absolute embarassment about the South Australian power failures and costs and the threat to pull down the power grids of the whole of Eastern Australia.
      He could not wait to sign the Paris Agreement.
      He will do an Obama and try to sneak, slip, slide in any ruinous green scheme he can while he can.
      Being an ex-lawyer, you would think he had some regard for facts and truth, but apparently not. Apparently, all you have to say is Precautionary Principle and his brain goes into melt down.

      • “Being an ex-lawyer, you would think he had some regard for facts and truth”
        why would him being an ex-lawyer make you think that.. just the opposite.. whatever can be twisted to suit.

      • “Turnbull has already implemented an emissions trading scheme on the top 500 companies in Australia.”
        The only ones making money on this type of trade are the carbon traders, such as big Banks, Hedge Fund managers and so on. Loser: The hard working, tax paying middle class. The “poor’ will receive more funding and the wealthy still buy stuff. .

      • Facts are for twisting and truth is for molding and shaping in the win-the-day formula approach.

      • “Being an ex-lawyer, you would think he had some regard for facts and truth”
        Quote from a successful local defence solicitor to a friend of mine: “tell me the truth lad, and leave me to tell the lies”.

  2. It’s nice to know that Australia’s politics is every bit as screwed up as the US. Sometimes the right thing gets done for bad reasons, like not being able to agree on policy, which stops a bad policy from getting passed.

      • There would not even be an Australia or New Zealand if U.S. Marines and Navy had not stopped Japan in the south Pacific, and after the dock workers strike in New Zealand held up supplies. The Axis powers could have won with one more year to go into high production of special weapons. That one year did not happen by ending the America First movement based in Chicago at the time via Pearl Harbor.

  3. One Nation’s Policies: Affordable Energy

    One Nation will oppose all taxes levied on Carbon Dioxide, be it a flat Carbon Tax or a floating Emissions Trading Scheme and for the removal of all associated legislations.
    Cancel all agreements obliging Australia to pay for foreign Climate Action and payment to the United Nations and foreign institutions.Restore farming, fishing and manufacturing industries to again become competitive and thrive. Cut green tape. . . .
    Support reliable, low-cost power generation. This has previously been Australia’s strongest competitive advantage.
    Hold a Royal Commission (or similar) into the corruption of climate science and identify whether any individual or organisation has misled government to effect climate and energy policy.
    Establish an independent Australian science body replacing the UN IPCC to report on climate science. It will be the beyond politicisation and be the basis of Australian policy on insurance and response to weather events.
    Review the Bureau of Meteorology to ensure independence and accountability for weather and climate records including public justification of persistent upward adjustments to historical climate records.
    Review the CSIRO to ensure independence and accountability and determine whether funding has influenced the direction and results of CSIRO’s positions on the climate claims. Funding rom the U.N. in particular will be probed for an agenda not consistent for what is best for Australians.
    Ensure that all climate, energy and environmental policy decisions, requiring a scientific component, are based on the scientific method and empirical evidence. All decisions will be based on an economic, social and environmental assessment with environmental issues not automatically put ahead of humanity or economic realities.
    Remove from the education system the teaching of a biased and one-sided view of climate science. Teaching of climate science will begin in secondary school and will be based on the scientific method of scepticism until proven. . . etc.

    Burden of Proof demanded by Roberts
    Senator Roberts detailed his arguments to PM Gillard, laying out the burden of proof required to scientifically and legally recognize global warming aka “climate change”:
    Roberts Affidavit to Gillard

    FIAT JUSTITIA, RUAT COELUM
    Let Right Be Done, Though The Heavens Should Fall . . .
    Preamble: From what I, Malcolm-Ieuan: Roberts, have seen and in my experience, on the topic of human causation of global warming, also known as global ‘climate change’, people across Australia express a range of feelings including confusion, fear, guilt, frustration, resentment, anger, apathy and doubt. As a result of this and of political inconsistencies since 2006, people across Australia say their needs for truth, understanding, reassurance, security, confidence, hope and clarity are not being met. I share these unmet needs and after four years reading and researching claims of human causation of global warming, and after communicating directly with many politicians of all major Australian political parties I feel deeply concerned. It appears that politicians and associated advocates, particularly those receiving funding from government, appear to be failing their duty of care to the people of Australia. . . .
    27. I, Malcolm-Ieuan: Roberts., the living soul has not seen or been presented with any material facts or evidence that the corporation of government has not entered into contracts with advocates of the premise that humans cause global warming, to some predetermined end and believe none exists. . . .
    For these reasons I do not consent and cannot accept the “Carbon Tax” nor the terms and conditions as the bills imply as it is an issuance of a “false document” of “defective service”
    1. For the reason of, is this not an unjustifiable imposition of costs on me?
    2. For the reason of, is this not restricting my freed oms through arbitrary legislation?
    3. For the reason of, has the government not reversed its responsibility of serving the people and instead determined the people must serve the government.
    4.For the reason of, is this not injuring the people of the common wealth?
    5. For the reason of, the government not having consent of the people, are the proposed bills not an illegal and unlawful attempt to impose the tax? . . .
    Notice of Proof of Claim and Clarification: I seek clarification and proof of claim of all nine (9) items listed below, each point requiring lawful response.
    1) Prove up and show all material facts or evidence that global atmospheric temperature has been rising during the past twelve (12) years since 1998 and is continuing to rise.
    2) Prove up and show all material facts or evidence that in the open atmosphere, global carbon dioxide level determines global atmospheric temperature.
    3) Prove up and show material facts or evidence that human production of carbon dioxide determines global atmospheric carbon dioxide levels.
    4) Prove up and show all material facts or evidence that global atmospheric temperature rises are catastrophically harmful to humanity and to the Earth’s living natural environment comprising animal and plant species.
    5) Prove up and show all material facts or evidence that the United Nations Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change is actually a scientific organisation.
    6) Prove up and show all material facts or evidence contradicting statements in the body of the August, 2010 report from the Inter- Academy Council’s review of United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change processes and procedures showing that those processes and procedures cannot be relied upon.
    7) Prove up and show that the gas carbon dioxide, sometimes known as CO2, is a pollutant.
    8) Prove up and show all material facts or evidence that the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is not the source of information for the current government’s climate policy and the basis of its quest to legislated a “Carbon Tax”.
    9) Prove up and show all material facts or evidence that the Australian parliament has no need to convene an independent judicial inquiry into the science and politics of climate that is the basis of the “Carbon Tax” and that such inquiry should not require evidence be given under oath.

    http://www.galileomovement.com.au/docs/AffidavitGillard.pdf
    Each point raised is well worth scientific consideration and open debate.

    • 5) Prove up and show all material facts or evidence that the United Nations Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change is actually a scientific organisation.

      What is a scientific organization?
      It could be argued that the IPCC does not claim to be a scientific organization.

      The IPCC embodies a unique opportunity to provide rigorous and balanced scientific information to decision-makers because of its scientific and intergovernmental nature. about

      A high school provides scientific information to students. Does that make it a scientific organization?

      • That is the point Roberts is making – that the government is relying on information from a political not a scientific organization. He is arguing that the government bears the burden of proof to prove that IPCC is a scientific organization providing objective information that can be relied on rather than a political organization.

      • A high school may provide scientific information, but the IPCC here is making a special claim to a “scientific…nature”.

      • Jon PM=Prime Minister. Prime Minister Julia Gillard, 27th PM of Australia. In 2010 Gillard ruled out a carbon tax. Then in 2011 she committed to a carbon tax! Opposition leader Tony Abbott described it as a “historic betrayal”, given Ms Gillard’s promise before the election that her Government would not implement a carbon tax.

    • I rented Village of the Damned from amazon just now. My kids wanted to know why I was watching this movie. I said, “Because it’s an analogy.”
      Thanks.

  4. Just what Australian politics needed. The sovereign citizen movement is here….
    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/one-nation-senatorelect-malcolm-roberts-wrote-bizarre-sovereign-citizen-letter-to-julia-gillard-20160804-gqlesa.html
    “I, Malcom-Ieuan: Roberts., the living soul has not seen or been presented with any material facts or evidence that the Commonwealth of Australia CIK# 000805157 is not a corporation registered on the United States of America sercurities exchange, is not a society and is not a trustee in the public trust, and believe that none exist.”
    Why do they always use such bizarre punctuation and twisted language?

  5. Malcolm Roberts has an engineering degree and has expertise in atmospheric gasses. Any commenters wishing to criticize him might want to bear this in mind.

    • Malcolm also worked and travelled widely across America and Canada, before returning to Australia where he rose quickly through management ranks to lead and turnaround underground coal mines, a coal processing plant and managed an ocean shiploader. He has also led the operational development of Australia’s largest and most complex underground coal project, setting many new industry firsts.
      Malcolm also holds a masters degree in business administration from the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business
      http://www.onenation.com.au/candidates/malcolmroberts
      The guy certainly knows what it takes to produce plenty of CO2. Beyond that he is a zealous, far right-wing nut-job, conspiracy theorist. Leyenhjelm is just a far right-wing nut-job.
      [You write that as if those were a bad thing. Compared, for example, to a zealous, far left-wing nut-job conspiracy theorist. .mod]

      • Tony – Your abusive illogical ad hominem attack indicates you have no evidence or arguments to rebut Robert’s systematic scientific and logical arguments.

      • “The guy certainly knows what it takes to produce plenty of CO2.”
        And plenty of CO2 is a good thing, tony. Only zealous, far left-wing “nut-jobs” think otherwise.

      • To the far-left, everyone else is far-right. “Far-right” is one of their favourite ad-hominems (and ad-hominem is their dominant form of argument. Every time you see someone described as “far-right” there is a high chance that they are somewhere near the “centre”.

      • Anyone describing David Leyenhjelm as “right” either knows nothing about what “right wing” is, nothing about Libertarians, or both. And can thus be entirely discounted.

      • Nothing wrong with Malcolm’s achievements per se, merely pointing out TedM’s mistake. [Just for clarification mod, do you think being any kind of zealous nut-job is good?]

  6. Tastes Great! …. Less Filling! … sorry, it was the first thing that came to mind when I read this post.

  7. Australia’s Green left biased media is almost frothing at the mouth as they attack Malcolm Roberts – how dare he question, we know better, just don’t ask us the GLW Media for facts as we believe anything after all this is the most scariest, the most challenging, the most evil thing that the world is facing, remember 99.9% or something some scientist said and all the other politicians went along with that so we don’t need any pirical pyrical oh whatever damn facts, we believe 100 per cent and anyone else is a rabid non-believer, so cop that Malcolm Roberts – such is the depth and power of the Australian media left these days, scientific illiterates..

  8. and australia is still the world’s largest exporter of coal.
    they are making very sure that coal gets burned
    i have no idea why this gets no mention…

      • i’d say ‘gimme and H! gimme a Y! gimme a P! gimme an O!
        gimme a C! gimme an R! gimme an I! gimme and S! gimme a Y!
        what’s that spell?! what’s that spell?! what’s that spell?!”
        cuz i’m irreverent that way.
        u like?

      • Brian – come back and tell all about it when the rolling blackouts start.
        You know- those blackouts from shutting down the coal fired power plants?
        You know- the coal mustn’t be burnt cuz it’s causing the climate disruption?
        You know- the coal that’s exported so other folks can enjoy power with no blackouts?
        You know- that coal that fills the coffers so the australian economy can survive when it’s on the ropes due to expensive and hypocritical narrative that coal is evil and must not be used for power at home?
        If that’s not hypocrisy- then make the most of it…lol

  9. They should stop; they’re both right. Carbon taxes are two – two – two bad ideas in one.
    [ /old advertising phrase. .mod]

  10. Whether it is called a carbon tax or not for a mann made up issue it is just the natural evolution of big
    government trying to justify fleecing tax payers to the point where ultimately the taxes no long buy services they increasingly go to feed the bureaucracy. The rich are left to buy services like security because the extremely poor can only be contained by violence and force .
    Look at South Africa and other countries where the poor were already the vast majority .
    The poor’s passport out is drugs , kidnapping ,robbery and for a few sports . Sort of like the USA .
    20 people in the USA have more combined wealth than 150 million people and now those people are buying the White House . When those armed citizens get PO’d enough it is not going to be pretty .
    Shove the carbon tax Australia while you have a chance .

  11. Economic revitalization would return power to the people. Then there are the population control protocols (e.g. one-child, selective-child) historically popular with environmentalists and other left-wing ideologues.

  12. tony mcleod August 7, 2016 at 6:18 pm said in reference to Malcolm Roberts:
    “The guy certainly knows what it takes to produce plenty of CO2. Beyond that he is a zealous, far right-wing nut-job, conspiracy theorist. Leyonhjelm is just a far right-wing nut-job.”
    Malcolm Roberts may be ‘zealous’, and he may be a bit to the right of his party, but you have to remember that a large part of the supporters of his party, “Pauline Hanson’s One Nation” deserted the centrist Liberal Party because they saw it as moving too far to the left – becoming a centre-left party. So that puts Malcolm perhaps a bit to the right of centre. Certainly not ‘far-right’. Of course, he may also be a ‘nut-job’ as well, but then some would describe many of the commenters on this blog as nut-jobs.
    David Leyonhjelm would be at home in the Libertarian Party of the USA. It is a small government version of the Australian Liberal Party. No way could anyone reasonably describe David as ‘far-right’. Nut-job, perhaps, but then pretty well anyone in politics must be a ‘nut-job’ else they wouldn’t be there. He puts forward reasoned arguments, and it is pleasing to have him re-elected to the Australian Parliament.

    • “Right-Wing Nut-Job” – Definition: anyone who uses the Web to disseminate facts about our leaders that they would prefer was not mentioned.

      • One give-away for a right-wing nut-job is: someone who doesn’t know the difference between a religion and an ethnic group but who would, out of fear and ignorance, racially vilify one and inadvertently the other.

    • Possibly true Dudley, I’d find myself agreeing with Leyonhjelm on some issues and yes he is a persuasive speaker. He is in a different class than Malcolm who definitely has a kangaroo loose in the top paddock. Anyone who praises Pauline that much has to have their judgement questioned.

      • tony mcleod August 8, 2016 at 4:27 am: “One give-away for a right-wing nut-job is: someone who doesn’t know the difference between a religion and an ethnic group but who would, out of fear and ignorance, racially vilify one and inadvertently the other.”
        Excerpt that is not happening. Trump knows the difference between a religion (Islam) and an ethnic group. He knows where the focus of the problem is.
        Trump does not want Muslims vetted, out of ignorance, but out of a firm understanding of the dangerous situation. He wants them vetted before they enter the U.S., in order to weed out the radical Islamists, as a means of protecting the American people from terrorism. Is that so unreasonable?
        Trump is not racially vilifying anyone. Muslims are not a race. Nor are Syrians a race to themselves. If a conservative does something the Left doesn’t like, it’s always “racism”. That’s their favorite charge.
        Trump is discriminating based on a fanatic religious ideology, Islamic Jihadism, that is harmful to Western society, and I fully support his plan. We don’t want radical Islamists in the United States.
        You don’t like Trump’s policy, so that makes him a rightwing nutjob in your opinion. It’s makes Trump the right man for the job in my opinion.

  13. “Just before the most recent election, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull described the leader of the most important group of small party Conservatives, the One Nation team, as being “not welcome” in Australia politics.”
    Ignoring that a fair proportion of Australians have that view of him and said so at the recent election!

  14. see theeuroprobe.org and type CO2 into search box.
    From: Watts Up With That? To: mickgreenhough@yahoo.co.uk Sent: Sunday, 7 August 2016, 23:18 Subject: [New post] Balance of Power Aussie Senators Clash over WHY a Carbon Tax is Bad #yiv0038875102 a:hover {color:red;}#yiv0038875102 a {text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;}#yiv0038875102 a.yiv0038875102primaryactionlink:link, #yiv0038875102 a.yiv0038875102primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;}#yiv0038875102 a.yiv0038875102primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv0038875102 a.yiv0038875102primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E;color:#fff;}#yiv0038875102 WordPress.com | Eric Worrall posted: “Guest essay by Eric WorrallIt is a good day to be an Aussie climate skeptic. Two key small party senators, part of a group which holds the balance of power in Australia’s divided Federal senate, both agree a carbon tax is a bad idea, but for diffe” | |

  15. They just need to find a few more old documents in China with dashed lines that encompass Australia and New Zealand. It’s not that far from the current dashed lines spanning the entire South China Sea.

  16. I thought “evidence” was an outdated term in the new world order of over reach and globalization.

  17. In the sense that taxation introduces ‘friction’ into an economy – the basic economic unit called the earner is deprived of hard-earned resources, resulting in effort being rendered non-productive – all taxation is detrimental to an economy.
    In the sense that a *carbon* tax – specifically a taxation on carbon-based energy – is almost perfectly regressive, affecting each individual in roughly equal amounts, and therefore affecting the less affluent proportionately more than anyone else, a carbon tax is socially destructive.
    The question is how much ‘detriment’ can the economy endure without collapsing.
    The problem is that when a tax-imposing entity is able to levy taxes ad libidum to fund all their desires to rule, and a plethora of separate taxes can be imposed for every definable aspect of daily life, the *collective* effect of myriad taxes can surreptitiously and inescapably drive the economy past the tipping point at which work no longer provides the average worker with sufficient means to comfortably survive.

  18. It’s too bad debt rating downgrades don’t count toward fighting BS climate change. They are doing a good job with that one.

  19. A carbon tax is more appropriately named KEEP THE POOR >>POOR TAX .
    If you manage to get yourself off welfare the left wing social engineers have a brand new tax to put you down . When introduced they will want to bury it in the energy bill so the energy companies can run cover for their new tax toy designed to siphon more cash out for the bureaucracy with absolutely no effect on the
    changing the direction of climate . It’s kind of a perfect government tax . Empty tax payers wallets ,
    have really stupid ones think they are saving the planet and provide absolutely no services other than the grant money pay back to the people running your Party . The rest you get to squander .
    You can’t say the pump and dump conmen pushing this complete BS aren’t clever .

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