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John Passant

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February 2010



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My interview Razor Sharp 18 February
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp on Tuesday 18 February. (0)

My interview Razor Sharp 11 February 2014
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp this morning. The Royal Commission, car industry and age of entitlement get a lot of the coverage. (0)

Razor Sharp 4 February 2014
Me on 4 February 2014 on Razor Sharp with Sharon Firebrace. (0)

Time for a House Un-Australian Activities Committee?
Tony Abbott thinks the Australian Broadcasting Corporation is Un-Australian. I am looking forward to his government setting up the House Un-Australian Activities Committee. (1)

Make Gina Rinehart work for her dole

Sick kids and paying upfront


Save Medicare

Demonstrate in defence of Medicare at Sydney Town Hall 1 pm Saturday 4 January (0)

Me on Razor Sharp this morning
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace this morning for Razor Sharp. It happens every Tuesday. (0)

I am not surprised
I think we are being unfair to this Abbott ‘no surprises’ Government. I am not surprised. (0)

Send Barnaby to Indonesia
It is a pity that Barnaby Joyce, a man of tact, diplomacy, nuance and subtlety, isn’t going to Indonesia to fix things up. I know I am disappointed that Barnaby is missing out on this great opportunity, and I am sure the Indonesians feel the same way. [Sarcasm alert.] (0)



Climate change: the snake oil salesmen of capitalism battle it out

Tony Abbott has concocted a climate change ‘direct-action’ plan that should appeal to every denier. Like Labor’s Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme it pretends to do something while refusing to attack the big polluters.

Abbott’s ‘plan’ doesn’t stop CO2 emissions; it encourages them. According to Government figures (suspect, but likely to have some truth in them), Abbott’s scheme will see emissions increase 13 percent on 2000 figures by 2020.

The Opposition Leader has proposed a $2.5 billion fund to give grants to business and farmers to ‘reduce’ emissions. 

And where would the money go?  To farmers for storing carbon in soil. To the polluters for converting brown coal fired power stations to gas.

In other words, the free marketeers in the Opposition would have a huge bureaucracy deciding who gets these grants and for what.

Have the stalinists taken them over?

There is nothing in the package about reducing emissions, because the climate deniers don’t believe in that.

What they do believe in is getting elected and they think the majority of Australians support action to address climate change.

So they have come up with the appearance of action. No wonder the polluters love it.

It gets better.

We are going to plant more trees, proclaims action man Tony.  Well, who could be against that? Except it’s only 20 million trees over the next ten years. That will have a marginal impact at best on reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

20 million trees over the next ten years is about one tree for every 4 sq kilometres of Australia a year. That’s not even replacement rate.

Forestry operations in Australia will destroy more than the 2 million trees each year that our Tone wants planted.

Business has been using offset schemes like this for a number of years to increase their emissions.

Abbott has also promised solar panels on one million roofs by 2020.  He will provide a rebate of $1000 to homeowners to do this.

That of course will increase the price of electricity on the poor and working class to compensate for the regressive rebate and the  regressive subsidies the States and Territories are implementing for solar panel generated electricity.

The whole Liberal scheme is a chimera.  It encourages and rewards business as usual activity, and only punishes with a feather those who emit above ‘normal’ levels.

How is Abbott going to pay for all of this?  He will cut public service jobs.  He will cut services like health and education so his farmer mates and the big polluters can continue on their merry way, with our money in their pockets.

But if Abbott is a snake oil salesman so too is Rudd. His Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme is a furphy.

Unlike the Stalinist environmentalists in the Opposition, Labor proposes a market based mechanism – a cap and trade scheme – to convince polluters over time to reduce their emissions.

Like the Liberals, Labor’s goal is a five percent reduction on 2000 levels by 2020.

The CPRS won’t achieve that, but even it it did, it is too little too late to address climate change.

Rudd’s scheme will cost about $120 billion over ten years, of which about half will go in compensation to the polluters and associated industries. And the banks will make a motza out of the trade in permits before the market collapses.

The irony here is that the ALP is proposing a market based solution while the Opposition is championing a state interventionist approach.

Neither will work.  Greenhouse gas emissions are systemic to capitalism.

Voters are worried about the impacts of climate change. That’s why both parties give the impression of action without addressing the fundamental problem – the relationship between profit and pollution. 

Neither snake oil salesman offers a solution. To abolish greenhouse gas emissions we need a movement committed to abolishing the profit motive as the driver of society.

Only working people can develop an alternative society in which the change over to renewable energy on a mass scale can occur through democratic planning at no cost to society or the workers who create its wealth.



Comment from Auntie Rhoberta
Time February 4, 2010 at 8:14 am

Scientific truth has no class. What of climate sensitivity? The science there is not settled, yet it lies at the core of the theory.

Comment from Chris Lawrence
Time February 5, 2010 at 2:57 am

Would you call the US stalinist? Look at how they dealth with the Great Depression and WWII. During an emergency, limits are placed on the free market. I don’t see why doing the same thing now is so controversial.

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Time February 9, 2010 at 7:55 pm

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