You shut your goddamn carbon-taxin’ mouth (original comment thread)

This is the comment thread from my original site, before it died under the weight of traffic. When I moved the post, a new thread started up. Not sure if there’s a way to meld them together again, so this is here for anyone’s reference if they posted or had a conversation going.

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449 Responses to You shut your goddamn carbon-taxin’ mouth (original comment thread)

  1. kninja says:

    well fucking said

  2. Anth says:

    now solar energy is just a theory too. Like gravity, or Adelaide.

    Pure gold.

  3. Hugo` says:

    dope scribbling – poetic justice! fan, like, etc. will read more

  4. Gio says:

    Brilliant !!! best piece of writing reguarding this whole topic ! u rok !

  5. Ik says:

    Nice 🙂

  6. Andrew Clark says:

    Well written, but your argument comparing it to speeding and red light fines isn’t well thought out.

    I imagine the same people rallying against the carbon tax consider red light cameras to be revenue raising traps set up by the government to fleece Johnny Idrivealittlebitinnatentiveattimes… Likewise for speed cameras and police enforcing speed limits. Apparently it’s all a scam and has nothing to do with following the basic rules of the system to make it work…

    • geoff lemon says:

      People definitely think the way those fines are dished out are bullshit, and they’re right (placing cameras at the bottom of hills on roads with no fatality history, etc). But I think most would agree the guy doing 105 through a 60 zone does deserve to get smacked with a fine. The papers certainly beat that aspect up when someone gets busted. They just don’t want fines for the guy doing 63.

      • Ammusionist says:

        True enough – When I’ve passed a speed trap, I don’t flash my lights at other motorists to warn them. If they’re speeding they need to learn to slow down. My kids play around these streets as well as theirs.

        • wocket says:

          ha, I randomly flash my lights at speeding cars and see them put on the breraks quicksmart and give me a little wave. More than one way to get ’em to slow down.

          • Matthew says:

            Thankyou citizens police officer wocket. Please keep doing your bit to make sure people stay paranoid and frightened. Did you consider that flashing your lights is illegal and distracting to drivers who should be concerntrating on driving and not looking for speed cameras?

        • Matthew says:

          Yes. Thank goodness someone is thinking about the children.
          Why are your children playing on roads busy enough to warrant having speed cameras on them anyway?
          Your tatic has worked with me. I’ve learnt my lesson from speeding. I don’t drive anymore. The road system is clogged full of people who’ve been scared into losing the ability to drive efficiently. Now I ride a bike everywhere and just put up with the risk of being run over by some spastic who can’t drive, it’s less painful that way.

          • kd says:

            See, this whole “cars get more rights than people” thing gives me the shits. It’s what leads to the 4wd driving P platers idling their engines before pulling off waking me up at 4:30am on their way to work down the coal mines.

          • Katy says:

            Matthew, did you get flashed while you were speeding by any chance?

          • Lazarus says:

            RAOTFPMSL you may be my next paragon there

        • Matthew says:

          Yes. Thank goodness someone is thinking about the children.
          Why are your children playing on roads busy enough to warrant having speed cameras on them anyway?
          Your tatic has worked with me. I’ve learnt my lesson from speeding. I don’t drive anymore.
          The road system is clogged full of people who’ve been scared into losing the ability (or will) to drive efficiently. Now I ride a bike everywhere and just put up with the risk of being run over by some spastic who can’t drive, it’s less painful that way.

    • Mike Wilkinson says:

      I’d really appreciate it if you COULD explain how speed cams are not just revenue raisers.
      I don’t accept them as policing… every camera has a sign after it that states “Speed Cameras Save Lives”… errrr! How?
      Police with their bums in patrol cars and on motorcycles save lives… they pull over speeding drivers and either caution them or fine them or arrest them.
      That IS pol;icing!
      Now… tell me you have never inadvertently found yourself speeding…. Your smugness is sickening.

      • Brett says:

        Why do you care if there is a speed camera on every street. I wouldn’t care if they came out and said “Hey – it’s a revenue raiser” – just drive under the speed limit, and you won’t get pinged. It’s idiot tax pure and simple.

        • Joe says:

          If the speed limit is 60 you should be able to drive at 60. But with the 3km/h tolerance and speed cameras everywhere you really have to drive at 55 to be safe. See the problem?

          • Anthony says:

            I find it funny that you’re using the same argument as the people that whinge about $10 a week. “Oh no! 5km slower?! I may as well just die!”

      • james says:

        Yes, because it’s perfectly financially feasible to have police patrol every street simultaneously just to look out for irresponsible drivers!

        Drivers have no responsibility to consider their environment and the potential that speeding has for harm. In fact, drivers have no idea that speeding is even potentially dangerous, because it isn’t reinforced every night on the evening news.

        If they get caught speeding by a static camera that has warning signs for hundreds of metres around it, they should definitely cry foul that they are the victims of revenue raising goverment departments, and never acknowledge that they could just drive 10km/h slower.

    • Xavier says:

      I think it’s not so much the fact that speed cameras are used, its where they’re placed and why. I’ve also heard that overseas, portable signs advise drivers of upcoming speed cameras, encouraging safer driving but still punishing those who speed regardless. In Perth, at least, they do their best to hide them in the backs of unmarked vehicles, in bushes, in blind spots and so on. That strikes me as sneaky.

  7. Tim says:

    There is also an easy way to minimise your personal exposure to the carbon tax: use less energy.
    It’s (partly) designed to give people a gentle nudge to change their behaviour. If you don’t change your behaviour and it costs you more, you’ve only got yourself to blame. Walk or cycle to the shops. Sell your V8 or 4WD and buy a smaller car. Drive slower. Turn your heating down a couple of degrees and wear more clothes. Use the air-conditioning less. Grow your own vegetables. Buy less shit you don’t need. Install one of these:
    And certainly don’t complain about being a few cents per week out of pocket. That’s just petty and greedy.

    • T says:

      Well said

    • Jezzalenko says:

      Not that appealing to be honest. I like to have a 4wd that is used sometimes to tow around my toys that rarely get used so dont emit any ‘carbon’ just sitting there. But there is no system in place to make it more appealing to buy a moped and be ultra fuel efficient in my personal travels when public transport doesnt fulfill my requirmements and only use the 4wd on weekends. I still pay the same rego/insurance whether I use it 2 days a week or 7.

      • James Ray says:

        The fact that you use it less is equally bad as there is so much embodied energy in 4WDs so it is a huge waste in extracting the materials needed for it, producing and distributing.

        • carl says:

          you could just rent that 4WD when you need it, but no you need to have your own and never use it, like everything else in your house

          • Jezzalenko says:

            Wow, you guys arent from earth are you.

            First: to rent a 4wd every weekend I would be well on my way to owning one, something that already exists and I wouldnt be feeding any markets to increase production.

            Second: So much embodied energy in a used 4wd it makes your knees tremble (In scary voice) So what are your thoughts on Hybrid cars and the extremely high amounts of ’embodied’ energy that literally negate their production vs ‘gree’ savings delivered in its life

            Third: To go on with the wasted energy saying a car that has the potential to sit there 5 days out of 7, if there was a scheme to make it viable, is a burden on the environment. What about public transport services that go relatively unused day in day out but still run just incase someone uses it. Buses that would use in excess of 20L/100km’s that transport 5-10 people for the most part when outside of peak times. Empty trains powered by coal fired power stations how are these any better than a car sitting there, already produced used and onto a second owner…

            P.S. Carl, fyi, my first TV I ever bought while still living at home 5 years ago is doing fine in my current houses lounge room and wont be replaced until it gives up on me. Don’t make assumptions, makes you look like a twat 😉

          • kd says:

            Mate, you’d be amazed at what I can do with my tiny one litre car.

      • Lauren says:

        If you still pay the same insurance whether you drive your car every day or just on weekends, you need to shop around.

        Who knows, you may just end up breaking even on that $520 a year that you’ll be taxed…

      • Elisa says:

        Everyone seems to have the same thinking about public transport. That it’s not fulfilling their requirements. I can’t possibly know yours exactly, but I’m betting it’s time, money and convenience. When you consider that it’s circa $150 bucks a week to keep a new car on the road (yes) the money argument is out the window. Time is one thing, except that most of us could be using it for our facebooking, calling friends or just reading the paper. Then convenience – no, it doesn’t go from your doorway to your work, but will people generally bother to drive half way, park and get the train/bus? Not usually. In for a penny, in for a pound. Truth of it is that people just like driving cars. They need to be far less comfortable before people will switch – perhaps the fuel cost and congestion will eventually force the issue. Fingers crossed.

    • Phil says:

      Although I agree with some of what u have said think before you type in future as Obviously you live in the a city and have the mindset of a city person…..The world ends at the end of the metro area no one would live outside all the conveniences of a shop on every corner a bus every 30 minutes and a train every 30 minutes to take me to wherever I want to go at any time….That is the Badlands…well wake up, People do live in the “Badlands” those people are the ones who grow the food you eat everyday and those people would find it a bit difficult to ride a Bike or walk the 50-100klm to town to get their milk. They dont have the luxury of a bustop on the corner…only 2 buses a day if they are lucky Take the kids to school in the morning and bring them home in the afternoon they also dont have the luxury of a Train to catch tho they may have a Rail line close by but no passenger trains anymore as they have been cut to keep the city folk happy and on time. They pay more for the fuel they put in their nasty 4wd than city folk do also they get real MUD on their 4WD’s as well but alas again they do not have the luxury of unlimited water to wash their vehicles as they have to catch the water off their roof and put it in a Tank and then sparingly use it for nescessary things like washing and drinking.

      • BlueMage says:

        Cry me a river. I lived on the Atherton tablelands for most of my life. And you know what? The “hard country living” line is bullshit. Unless you go REAL FUCKING REMOTE (and I’m talking Chillagoe-remote) a) it doesn’t hold up and b) you still don’t need that 4WD.

        And don’t talk to me about protection from animals either – a full sized roo or a cow will fuck up a Landcruiser only marginally less than a sedan.

        • Matthew says:

          Try getting to school or work from Warrandyte, or some other suburban PT black hole.
          If we want to keep this lovely comfortable lifestyle and not live like Ma and Pa kettle for the sake of it, we need to admit that some people rely on cars and don’t have a reasonable alternative.
          It is all irrelevant anyway. Hydrocarbon fuel will remain affordable for now. Eventually economics will force people to utilise more efficient and cheaper electric motors on cars that use cheaper and cleaner fuel sources to power them.
          Problem somewhat solved.
          Everyone get off your high horses (unless it’s your only form of transport.)

          • Lazarus says:

            Matthew, Back when i lived at Zig Zag rd eltham as a youth, say 12-18 It was a weekly excersize for most who had kids going to warrandite, donvale, templestowe or wherever. too POOL their recources, Dad and 2 buds drove through templestowe down thompsons road onto the freeway and into town everyday, sometimes i would travel with them. It would take 2 hours, dad starting work at 9. The journey started at 7. And we had fun, their socialisation was also their information filter, like a constant check-state of human existance.

            Are we the borg?

            Somewhere a general sense off community is lost. I have a Cognitive disability yet i can see the chronic lack of interactive empathy we have become in maybe 30 years.

            1984 and i was bought a old valiant wagon for my 18’th with the condition i took over moms school run. I got my tank filled each week, Valiant wagon back then, i think from memorie 38 gallons, if so 150 litres. I never wanted for gas. And i loved my new JOB. For a job provided for my by the community around me it was. “Retarded” “asperger” whatever! As i am all peers knew i drove with their children on board exactly as i was taught to get my licence. J turn at the bottom of my driveway at 37 zig zag, you can look if you want, i wave from adelaide now. I could end up with 3 or 4 in the back, Force Majour i would say if pulled by the police, not being a hoon of doom. The one time the sarge took a real exception, he took it up with my parents, the retard was part of a community, no modern plausable denyability.

            Or client confidentality we call it also!!!

            Was also kool, everybody knew car coming get out of the way for steph is coming to show off in his asperger ego-centric way, But i can admit this “a”.

            One of the nuts that used to time trail Gumtree eltham also, we monotored it using CB’s and the cops knew we were doing it safe, told to stop, but not booked and turned into income streams.

            Look around you at the Paradigm shift, (change in social example)

            Anomie is our collective insanity. !0000 days from 1984, i ask you what is our collective score?

        • reville Saw says:

          atherton tablelands? give me a break! thats as tame as it gets. u dont even qualify

      • J.B. says:

        Aussies living in the country may have to use 4WDs to get around and they may have to drive absurd distances for their basic necessities, but what’s been said about not being affected if you don’t earn a heap still holds true. Do you earn over a hundred grand a year? I bloody well wish I did and I’d be happy to pay an extra ten dollars a week for the privilege; I’m earning in the region of 50k/year, live bang in the middle of the city, and am putting my wife through college. My salary is easily enough to live well on even with half of it going to rent, so I’ve got the money to spare for a carbon tax.

        It’d be nice if the money from the tax went to building government-owned renewable energy plants, though. There’s not exactly much choice when it comes to energy providers nowadays; the only thing that’ll drive cheaper, cleaner power is the force of the market.

      • Steph says:

        Obviously some people need to use 4WDs, utilities are called utilities for a reason. I don’t think the point of this article was to attack ‘country folk’ (as one I feel I can comment) but actually more an attack on those who live to excess. They EXPECT to be able to have ten TVs, two cars, a boat and a house with a $500,000 plus mortage. The people who CAN catch a train or bus but refuse to, the people who COULD walk or ride a bike to work but don’t.

        The point was that we take so much for granted, we don’t appreciate the ample food supplies we have nor the farmers who go through years of drought and uncertainty in order to provide us with that food. We don’t appreciate that we have fresh water and power 24 hours a day. I don’t think there was an inherent “city view” here, in fact the article basically agrees with your last few sentences.

      • Tim says:

        Yep I live in the city, like most of the people having a whinge. I have been to the country though, and I’ve got family who work in agriculture so I am sympathetic.

        The fact that many country people do need to drive, and don’t have as many transport options as city people, is why petrol isn’t included in the carbon tax. It’s also why I didn’t suggest everyone needs to give up driving – because that would be a stupid and unworkable idea, even for most city slickers.

        That doesn’t mean you don’t still have plenty of ways to reduce your energy usage, and I’m sure there are plenty of country people driving massive cars that could easily downsize and not lose out. Not everyone who lives in regional Australia works on a farm and needs a vehicle that can tow a tractor out of a ditch.

        And let’s face it we’re not talking about much money. The rising global crude oil price (constrained by supply and with peak oil approaching) will have much more impact on petrol prices than a carbon tax ever will. This is why we should be glad that some of the revenue from the carbon tax is being put into developing alternative fuel sources that can break our reliance on foreign oil and dirty coal.

        That’s enough for this comment.

        • Jezzalenko says:

          To go back to earlier comments public transport for me is great, I have a bustop out the front of my house that gets me to a traino in 10mins, that train gets me to the city center in 10-15. To get to work from there I need to then catch a 30min train ride back out of the city, then walk about 3 km’s, there probably is a bus but would take longer given the road system. That trip however takes 25minutes to drive, 30 in heavy traffic. Time with family/friends doesnt make up for the warm fuzy feeling I get catching public transport, and no, facebook time with them does NOT count. Also, if I was to jump on the bus with 2 rifles as I head to the shoting range, I would find myself locked up and missing my firearm license pretty quick, and the bus wont drive me across fields to go spotlight shooting. The bus also wont drop my boat in the water and come get me when I am done fishing. And a Getz wont be pulling it out of the water, let alone legally tow it anytime soon either….

          And what light car is rated to tow 3.5T?? I would love to see farmers towing heavy trailers around with a Toyota echo. To think a farmer is going to drive echo around then go drive a few hundred k’s to the nearst Hertz rent-a-car to grab a landcruiser for the next two days as he carts some gear around to various paddocks for whatever reason.

          Some peoples lives involve more than heading to a shoppping center and shopping for fun, or sitting mindlessly on the internet or gaming on a console to amuse themselves for their time off. People do enjoy the great outdoors, and unfortunately the only way to get out there and enjoy it is to be a horrible person a drive a 4wd to get there (safely/comfortably)

          My income, I was on 135k working away from home doing 2 and 1 on site before I had a back injury 7 months ago, currently trying to find a new job. Some will say yeah what the heck am I complaining about this extra bit of tax for. When your in that position its a little bit different, your away from home and all the good stuff that yours taxs pay for for 15 days (due to how the roster actually works). You dont use any roads, dont use anything that isnt paid for by the mining company. You then come back home for your 6 nights sleep in your own bed. No one forces me to do it, it comes with the choice in job and the good bits outweighed the bad bits. But when you come round to tax time and you do return and notice you have paid near on 35k a year tax, and someone wants to throw another 500 ontop it is a little upsetting. As that 35k of tax was usable to myself through government paid for infrastructure and services for a whopping 1/3 of the year. Does that extra 500 feel fair?? No.

          Peak oil has come and gone, but there is a hell of alot more out there yet to be discovered, even what has been discovered proves to be the largest oil find to date, its just a pity its underneath the Rocky mountains, but tis there, we just have to get it out.

          Im going to hit post then reread this. Then have a massive face-palm moment as I notice all my spelling mistakes and see what sort of weird tangent I have gone off on.

          • Peter John says:

            If you don’t have an immediate facepalm moment, then please save your comment for the future when you (hopefully) get a little bit more perspective. The lifestyle that is afforded you by your salary is in the top 5% in the world. To complain about a $500 increase (which is less than 0.4% of your taxable income) is highly questionable. That fact that you have the freedom to own rifles and a boat and an occasionally-used 4WD and go for excursions in public areas shooting at or hooking critters to eat or flay….. well…. do I even need to finish the sentence. Holy hell man, read the article again – I don’t think you were paying attention.

            Also, peak oil isn’t just about total reserves, it is about how quickly we can suck it out of the ground. In fact, in 2010, the world used 5 million barrels of oil per day MORE than was produced. If you don’t understand the implications, then please do some reading on the subject. You may eventually see the wisdom in renewable energy.

      • scot says:

        Petrol is not subject to the carbon tax. Neither is diesel.

        Besides, market factors driving up the cost of fuel would vastly – VASTLY – outweigh the effect of a $23/tonne tax on petrol. Six fucking paltry cents a litre is completely dwarfed by the outstripping of world supply by world demand.

        • reville Saw says:

          or by the existing 38c/L tax on fuel. assuming it weighs same as water, and itd be more. fuel already has a tax of $380/T

    • Tim says:

      ‘If you don’t change your behaviour and it costs you more, you’ve only got yourself to blame.’

      Now THAT’S the smartest thing anyone’s said yet…

  8. Dave says:

    Fantastic! All too scarily right!

  9. Tim says:

    The irony of millionaire mining bosses, liberal politicians and highly-paid newspaper columnists suddenly playing “champions of the poor and dispossessed” is almost worth the price of admission, though.

  10. James says:

    There is also another easy way to minimise your personal exposure to the carbon tax. Vote Gillard out of government at the next election, and between now and then, bitch as much as you can.

    • Alan Logan says:

      Obvious Troll, is obvious.

    • Andy says:

      1) Abbott won’t be Coaltion leader by the next election- he’s fucked now. 2) Even if he was, no government ever repeals a tax- it just doesn’t happen. So bitch as much as you want, and freely excercise your vote, it won’t do anything for you except show you up as naive, gullible, and stung once again in the long run!

  11. 5oh19 says:

    I may have to misquote your repeatedly. You have a great turn of phrase.

  12. Lucy says:

    Can this please be broadcast nationally?

    Well said.

  13. Steve says:

    Nice rant, but how is taxing the emission of a colourless, odourless gas that makes up less than 4% of atmospheric content, of which Australia contributes less than 1.4% of total emissions.

    Lets also look at the government’s track record of investment in low or zero emission power generation. They actively oppose any nuclear power generation, and no ‘renewable’ (lets ignore that renewable energy is against the laws of physics, repeatable is a better term) energy source is able to provide base load for the country. With that in mind, what can we expect the government to spend the tax dollars on? Breeder bonues and $900 handouts for no apparent reason.

    This tax, like the grand internet filter idea before it is not going to fix the problem, and this is before we get into the exemptions and compensation involved. With those two items on the agenda it will not change people’s habits.

    So why have the tax at all? It does not make or taxation system simpler. It will cost people money. It does not solve a problem.

    • Marc says:

      Firstly, “colourless, odourless gas”, what has that got to do with it’s effect on our planets atmosphere? You might want to come up with a better argument on that front.
      Also, your comment about renewable sorry “repeatable” energy being unable to provide base load power is incorrect, solar power stations in the US and Europe can provide power 24/7 by using heat storage.

      Lastly, the whole idea of this tax is not to solve the problem in one go, it’s about taking a step in the right direction, and yes it will cost people money, but it’s going to cost our great grandchildren more than money if we don’t start changing the way we use energy.

      • Steve says:

        I’m referring to the media and government beat up of carbon dioxide as pollution and displaying various images of structures spewing either steam or smoke from chimneys. Because of this people believe that this is what the Carbon Tax aims to prevent. Not the emission of the “colourless, odourless gas”.

        Granted thermal storage is a viable future solution, but with current technology is most costly in terms of capital and land usage than an equivalent fossil fuel or nuclear fired generator. That, and it is still theoretical that it will be able to power a country’s entire power load.

        Lastly, the idea of a government’s budget is to fund infrastructure and future projects, including future energy sources. This government is unable to do that and whenever it wants more money it’s first reponse is to tax the people. See also: Flood Levy.

        They have had the option of investing in alternate power for all the years in office, but I’m yet to see any large scale plans to provide alternate energy production (that our great grandchildren will need). State governments aren’t immune from this either.

        • MonkeyCousin says:

          solar thermal power with storage is currently generating utility-scale spark in Spain. and if you think it occupies similar area to coal, then I guess you forgot the open-cut part.

        • Kerry says:

          You’re right, carbon dioxide is a colourless, odorless gas. But carbon is a generic term for other carbon products as well as other pollutants.

          For instance, there’s methane, CH4 – released especially during coal mining.

          During combustion of coal, flyash is an end product and it may consist of particulate matter including quantities from trace amounts to several percent of arsenic, beryllium, boron, cadmium, chromium, chromium VI, cobalt, lead, manganese, mercury, molybdenum, selenium, strontium, thallium, and vanadium, along with dioxins and PAH compounds.

          These burn at different colours which when combined produce the dark pall you see spewing out of coal-fired power station chimneys.

          So the use of pictures of the stuff spewing out of chimneys is not a media beat up, but now that you know about pollution, perhaps you can begin to educate the masses.

      • Edward says:

        Marc, just to correct your concept on baseload power, this is the amount of power to supply the basic needs of a region, not the duration of time that the plant can output power.

        The example power plant you mentioned (the Gemasolar plant in Spain) only generates around 20MW. You will need more than 10 of these power plants to replace (for example) the capacity of the Torrens Island Coal Plant in Adelaide (rated at 216MW).

        So, actually, there is a big problem with providing renewable baseload power generation in terms of amount of space required to generate energy and efficiency, as well as R&D costs etc.

        So there are lots of problems to be looked at in terms of replacing current baseload generation. In my opinion, the R&D sector is an area where a significant amount of carbon tax money needs to be spent. We aren’t going to solve tomorrow’s problems with today’s approaches, but tomorrow’s technology will drive tomorrow’s economy. By developing tomorrow’s technology, we could create a strong vibrant economy as well.

        • Andy says:

          “So, actually, there is a big problem with providing renewable baseload power generation in terms of amount of space required to generate energy and efficiency, as well as R&D costs etc.”

          You do know we’re talking about Australia here, right? This fucking big country the size of most continents with more fucking space than it knows what to do with? As far as I recall, nobody’s suggested putting the solar plants in Point Piper. Or is the issue that the sun doesn’t shine enough in Australia?

          • Steve says:

            The issue is transportation loss. The further you transport electricity along current methods, the greater loss to heat there is. Hence generation plants need to be within a useful distance of the end user.

          • Grumpy says:

            Problem solved, one just needs to install said plant at posterior of said Point Piper resident. (apologies to Point Piper residents who do have a grasp of physics and realise the sun does not shine out of ones arse)

          • Matt says:

            Andy, your misunderstanding of solar is incredible, a single solar power plant to replace ONE brown coal fired power plant in the La Trobe Valley will cost around $80billion ($15mill/MW compared to $1mil/MW for coal and 3 to 6mill/MW for wind), will take up so much space it will make maintenance so overwhelming it’s not worth doing as well as the fact it would have to be so far out of town that the infrastructure required to 1. get there and 2. get power out would be worth the same cost as a new gas fired power plant closer to towns anyway. You going to give tradies a prius to put their tools in to maintain that powerplant that can be seen from the moon?

            Whilst i agree with the fact that $10 a week is bugger all, the fact is this will escalate rapdily when Swan realises the grants he gives out to make anything viable will be a drop in the ocean compared to the costs involved. We need to change our angle to nuclear. Now that would cut a shitload of emissions, plus as you say, we have a shitload of space to put the waste (which aint all that much). Just get over the fear, Nuclear can be safe with currently available and widely used technology. Simple.

      • scot says:

        Yeah, what with this “colourless and odourless” climate denialist talking point? VX (nerve agent) is “colourless and odourless”. It’s what makes it such an fearful weapon.

    • Andrew says:

      Lucy slams her bedroom door. It’s just not fair. She didn’t clean her room and now her mum is taking money out of her allowance. HER allowance. Lucy can’t be bothered cleaning, it’s easier to play with her dolls when they’re already out. Maybe she could just take some of her brother’s allowance for letting him use her computer. Or maybe she can get out of cleaning because she already did all her homework. Instead of making the house a nicer place to live in, Lucy brainstorms ways to shirk her responsibility.

      Now Let’s pretend Lucy is a big carbon polluter. The Carbon price forces her to change her ways.

      • Steve says:

        Let’s think about unintended consequences. Lucy runs away in a fit of rage and becomes a missing person.

        Let’s pretend Lucy is a big carbon polluter. Lucy moves part of her operation and jobs to India.

        Let’s not pretend that Lucy is a big carbon polluter because Lucy does not have any customers for her products and services. Lucy doesn’t have the means to pass on her costs.

        • Greg Wilkins says:

          Lucy moves to India, only to discover that they have a tax on coal!!!! OMG!!!!

          Lucy moves back to Australia and passes on the price increase to her customers. They are a little pissed at this and switch to an alternative company that uses clean energy.

          Lucy loses marketshare, so she applies to the governments programs to help with transitional costs to switch her own doll factory to clean energy. Lucy wins her market share back!

        • Andy says:

          Yeah, but no. Lucy can’t do that because she’s generating power, for christ’s sake. She has to have her whole operation in Australia, and can’t move.

          • Jared says:

            So Lucy should’ve factored in environmental and political risk before buying those government assets that she thought were a licence to print money…

        • Lulu says:

          Problem with that – Lucy can’t be an energy provider for Australia in India. Likewise Lucy can’t dig up Australian coal in India.

    • Belinda says:

      You’re right mate, lets not do anything at all. Why bother, if we make the smallest difference in the amount of pollution- its a waste of time and money.
      Wake up to yourself, I wonder what the grand kids of your grand kids would say when they look back at articles and comments like this (opposing the carbon tax, not this particular article which is gold) and what they would think of us and our attitude towards the environment.

      • Steve says:

        I’m not advocating doing nothing. I’m suggesting that rather than implement another complex tax (the stick), positive alternatives such as budgetting the creation of clean energy production plants (the carrot) would be better idea.

        Until energy consumers have clean alternatives it’s doubtful whatever we do will restrict our habits.

        Another human need is food, if the only source of food available to you is meat pies will continue to purchase the pies (as long as you can afford them) or starve?

        • Alex says:

          Hey Steve, alternative energy sources are already available, most energy providers allow customers the option of paying a little bit more money for 100% clean energy, or having a fraction of their energy being green.

          Also the current Government provided rebates for Solar Panels, another way they have tried to provide people with access to clean energy.

          The current policy also involves the creation of Gas fired powered plants (read cleaner) to replace the most dirty Coal fired power-plants within Australia.

          The proposed policy is a step in the right direction, the government has tried the carrot, now it’s going to see if the stick, as you put it, works?

          • Steve says:

            That’s a few good points Alex, however most energy providers would not cope if every user demanded alternate sources of power. The extra cost is also prohibitive on many households. Obviously that carrot wasn’t good enough.

            Likewise with the solar rebate, which (correct me if I’m wrong) no longer exists. The initial outlay was too high for most families to budget onto an existing home. The ones who could afford it are the ones who least require the lower cost of their power bills, though from an environmental perspective it was a win

            One of the best parts of the policy is the replacement of coal fired plants, but replacing them with gas fired plants still leaves us dependent on non-replaceable power sources.

            Why not invest in solar, solar-thermal, or the more efficient thorium reactor technologies? Why engage in a half-arsed measure similar to restricting the carbon tax to the top 500, and excluding petroleum production?

            The tax itself seems to be an odd starting point for the stated goals, it reeks of little more than a symbolic gesture.

          • Ross says:

            With the solar rebate, our household electricity bill was 10 bucks over summer, and that was with the air conditioner on a lot more than we’d used in previous years.

            All houses in Australia should have solar panels incorporated into their design.

        • Mel says:

          This article was extremely entertaining I believe Steve makes the most intelligent points on the topic I have seen on this page. Belinda on the other hand should obtain an education before making useless comment that simply regurgitates media cliche.

        • David Young says:

          Steve, it *is* the carrot. It’s a ramp-up to an emissions trading scheme, a carbon marketplace. You pollute less, you pay less.

          The stick is when somebody tells you what car you can drive, or penalizes you with fines or electricity cut off when you hit a predetermined limit.

          How exactly would you reward people for *not* using fossil energy? How many carrots do I get for not driving to work? Would it be the same number if I didn’t have a job? What if I moved closer to my job? How many carrots for not burning a fire in my backyard or leaving a hot water tap running 24/7? Point is, you can’t count non-usage unless you’re comparing people to some template of “the ideal person”. Wouldn’t that be infinitely more oppressive than simply paying for what you use, like for most things?

          As for the proposed complete government takeover of the entire energy sector, that would be a much bigger tax burden & shock to today’s marketplace.

          There are heaps of alternatives to wasting cheap fossil energy like we do now. Take a look at basically every other country. The reason you see only “meat pies” is because alternatives are priced out of business.

          • Steve says:

            “The reason you see only “meat pies” is because alternatives are priced out of business.”

            I agree completely. As the tax is aimed at companies, so should the carrot be. It wasn’t long ago that power generation companies were under government ownership. Much like Telstra this privatisation hasn’t led to many technological advancements in either field.

            The theory we’re looking at here is that market demands will force private companies to produce a better product. Unfortunately it’s a captive market, we can’t buy our power from the Danish off-shore wind farm.

            So why can’t the carrot be either the government altering market by flooding it with cheap clean energy, or providing subsidies for the now private companies to do the same?

            This article raises a few questions in the same vein.

        • Drew says:

          Hi Steve,

          It seems you have strong feelings about all this and I think that’s great. It’s brilliant to see people engaging in the debate.

          I’m a physicist at the University of Queensland, currently working in renewable energy research. Specifically, our group is focused on developing renewable fuels from solar energy. The development and scale-up of renewables hinges on one thing: economic competitiveness with the incumbent fossil energy systems. Almost without exception, every group working in the field is focused on one thing: developing systems that bring more energy to market for less money. It’s all about the price. Making renewables competitive with fossil fuels is not easy because the latter are essentially a savings account of ‘ancient renewable energy’ that we can dig out of the ground cheaply and easily. Lots of smart people are trying very hard to make renewables competitive with fossil energy; the trouble is, it’s just really, really hard to do that. Throwing more money into R&D will help but there is no guarantee that it will result in competitiveness with fossil energy (genuine clean alternatives, as you say).

          Economic mechanisms like carbon taxation are designed to help level the playing field. Carbon taxes have been working successfully in European countries for about 20 years now, lowing emissions *without damaging international economic competitiveness*. The proof is in the pudding. There are sound economic reasons that such schemes have been chosen over incentive schemes. Perhaps the most important is that a problem as big as transitioning to a new energy economy needs the help of the free market. We can’t afford to try to pick winning technologies in advance. *No one* knows any single best solution to the global energy problem, so mandates from central planners are not going to fix it. If the government says, “Hey, solar guys, have 20 billion dollars and fix our problems!”, then we’ll have committed to something, which might not be the smartest option. What if, even after all that money, the solar guys still can’t manage to be competitive with coal? Nothing will change and we will keep emitting at accelerating rates. There are two sides to making renewables more competitive with fossil energy; one is continuing to fund investment in innovation (and believe me, we’re trying hard here!), the other is to level the playing field by making fossil energy more expensive deliberately. Sane long-term economic analyses show invariably that the cost of doing something now, even when it doesn’t seem urgently necessary, is much less than the cost of doing something later, when it’s very clear that we should have gotten started sooner. As several commenters on this thread have mentioned, it is likely that global fossil energy supply will soon be outstripped by demand, at which point good old fashioned neoclassical economics dictates that energy prices will rise rapidly. Whatever we can do before then might help to lessen the pain slightly at that point.

    • Kirk says:

      Steve you mean 0.0004% or 400ppm (parts per million) dont you? Reagardless your argument is completely irrelevant. The concentration of CFC’s in the upper atmosphere is now around 2000ppt (parts per trillion) or 0.000000002%, yet has caused massive damage to the ozone layer.
      Electricity generation from biomass and geothermal both provide base load generation and are “repeatable”.
      But you are 100% correct, with all the compensation and industry support, I dont think this tax will change anything.

    • leon says:

      i agree with what marc said i would just like to also add that renewable energy doesn’t not break any laws of physics. it simply means that the source from which the energy came is renewable (wont run out). i think you where trying to refear to the law of free energy :energy can not be created or destroyed. it can only be transferred into different energy states. which is exactly what every power station does renewable or not. wind energy into electrical energy. the stored energy in coal into electrical energy.

      • Steve says:

        Electrical energy into light, heat or kinetic energy, which is then transferred into what? It is not captured in any way and for it’s purpose that energy is lost to us.

        I’ll argue semantics, we do not renew the source of coal, nor do we renew the finite amount of energy the sun produces as light and heat. We simply repeat the process of gathering energy from it’s source.

        • David Young says:

          “Renewable” doesn’t mean collecting energy and recycling it; it means using sources that are being continuously produced naturally by solar or planetary forces: solar, hydro, wind, geothermal, tide.

          Fossil fuels like coal, oil, & natural gas take millions of years to be naturally produced; once we use them that’s it. Nuclear fission is the odd one out; it’s not renewable but it’s nothing like a fossil either in terms of supply/waste properties.

        • BlueMage says:

          Let’s be honest Steve – 5 billion years, give or take, is close enough to “forever” for most calculations, right?

        • Anthony says:

          “Much like Telstra this privatisation hasn’t led to many technological advancements in either field.”

          You’re kidding right? Telstra/Telecom was rubbish when it was a government owned Monopoly. (It’s still rubbish today but that’s another story)

          Probably wrote that resonse from your 20Mbps DSL connection that you pay less than $50 a month for, that wouldn’t be the case if Telstra still ran the show, you’d be waiting for Mum to get off the phone so you could dial back in.

        • Drew says:

          This is a semantic point only. No one need waste time arguing over this. Strictly speaking, the important physical quantity to consider in energy supply systems is entropy, not energy. Every day, the Earth radiates as much energy into space as it absorbs from the sun. It must do this in order to maintain thermal equillibrium. The difference between the incoming and outgoing radiation is that the latter has more entropy (it is ‘heat’ rather than ‘light’). That makes it less useful for doing work, and so less useful for powering machines. Nature figured this out a long time ago, which is why plants photosynthesise using energy incident from the sun, not heat radiated back from the ground below them.

          It is true that renewable energy systems do not violate the law of energy conservation. No one is claiming that they do. What’s important about renewable energy systems is that they provide energy carriers (fuels, batteries), which can be repeatedly (to use your favoured word) regenerated on time scales significant to human life. Strictly speaking, fossil fuels are renewable/repeatable/whatever too. They are being generated right now at the bottom of peat bogs and sedimentary rock formations as we speak. The issue is time scale; they will never be renewed on time scales meaningful to humanity.

          Does this answer your concern?

    • Theodore says:

      You are a fool. True, Australia only contributes to 1.4% of total carbon emissions, but that is a distorted figure unless you measure this in terms of per capita in case you didn’t know. When comparing Australia to other countries using this scale you will find that we contribute much more to Carbon Emissions than most other countries, in fact out of the 214 countries which statistics were gathered from, Australia was placed 11th, putting us above the United States.

      As well as this, your argument regarding government spending is shallow and reflects your lack of intellect. The “$900 dollar handouts for no apparent reason,” or the stimulus package, as mind-blowing as it may be to you had a significant role in preventing Australia from undergoing a recession when almost all other developed countries did. Your knowledge on economics is clearly minimal as you fail to understand simple principles of supply and demand as well as injections and leakages into the economy.

      The tax may not change individual peoples’ habits, but it sure as hell will change the companies’ habits if they have any more brains than you to realise that they will need to undergo structural changes to reduce carbon emissions to minimise the cost of this tax.

      Your attempts to sound sophisticated and well educated are defeated by your blatant ignorance of the issues surrounding this tax. Your perspective is childish, complaining about the way the government taxes and what it spends its money on, they run the country a whole lot better than you would ever be able to, and nothing is ever perfect if you haven’t already realised, but we live in one of the best countries in the world and all you can do is complain. This tax is happening, and for a good reason too, so get over it and stop whining.

      • Steve says:

        If a government wastes ~7% of the funds allocated to a large project I believe all taxpayers have a right to complain about the way the money is spent. If this example (BER) is indicative of the rest of budget allocations would you not be concerned?

        Regarding habitual change of companies, their could be a number of options available to them. Firstly, there’s the nice alternative where their business model changes so they somehow reduce emissions. That’s our target. What happens when it is easier or cheaper to outsource operations to a different country, pass on incurred costs to customers, or simply downsize? Lack of currently available clean alternatives makes the latter scenarios more likely than the ideal in a business sense.

        Could explain how per capita is more important than total volume?

        • Steve says:

          Edit above: Could ‘you’ explain how per capita is more important than total volume?

          • blah! says:

            Per capita is more important, because despite what you may think about your entitlement Steve, you’re don’t actually have a god-given right to waste the world’s resources and destroy the environment. Per person, Australia is emitting almost 4 times as much carbon dioxide than China. We have some seriously wasteful and destructive lifestyles and we need to shape up.

          • Steve says:

            Great point. I was actually thinking about in terms of an increasing population having an effect on our total volume of emissions.

            I’m not sure China is the best example, as a developing nation they have shown the largest annual emissions increase.

            To a comparable first world western nation (the US) we compare very similarly. Presumably due to a larger demand for power per capita, and the type of power generation. So how does the tax help us shape up?

    • Sean says:

      I’ve got some water here, the arsenic trioxide is less than 4% of its total content. You can’t see it or smell it. Perfectly safe!

      • Steve says:

        Sean, you’re breathing and living right now, and presumably you anticipate you will be in 5 years time. We’re not at a point where the atmosphere will cause instant death, unlike your water.

        Relatively, carbon dioxide emissions are much less toxic than an arsenic trioxide solution which allows time for an environmental solution rather than an economic one.

        • Sean says:

          Well, it’s lucky nobody is actually saying the problem with carbon emissions is literally poisoning everyone, isn’t it? Where the hell did you get THAT red herring from?

        • Joel says:

          To be fair, CO2 itself is toxic to humans if in high quantities, even more so with CO.

          The impact of greenhouse gases is not a toxic effect but rather a greenhouse effect – providing additional absorption of light in the IR wavelengths (“heat”) and thus changing the balance of inbound energy from the sun to the outbound reradiation from the earth.

          The question amongst most climatologists is beyond the “is CO2 and other greenhouse gases good/bad”, but rather what’s the impact to this basic energy balance once you take into account the complex system that is earth, including its atmosphere.

          To claim any change in the amount negligible is an example of scientific illiteracy at its best.

        • Sean says:

          To clarify:

          The point is that absolute concentrations of a substance mean jack all. The key measure of concern is parts per million and the key concern is the impact of that change on radiative forcing.

          <i."a colourless, odourless gas that makes up less than 4% of atmospheric content" is not only not an argument, it’s shoes-on-nose retarded.

          • Steve says:

            To clarify: The colourless, odourless gas notion is to point out the tax is not aimed at the common media presentation of pollution.

            Follow my logic here on the red herring, carbon dioxide emissions are causing an unquantifiable change in the earth’s climate. Some assume this will bring on armageddon like circumstances, thus leading to the death of all mankind.

            Similarly if everyone drank the amount of arsenic you suggested, it would also lead to the death of all mankind. Albeit a lot quicker.

            Hence we have time to make well thought out decisions on the issue of emissions.

            Note: my maths was crap as Brett points out below.

    • Brett says:

      ” a colourless, odourless gas that makes up less than 4% of atmospheric content..” God I’m sick of reading garbage like this. Ozone concentrations in the ozone layer is 2 to 8 parts per MILLION and yet it protects all live on Earth from being fried.

      • Teeky says:

        “God I’m sick of reading garbage like this.”

        Try this response to those idiots:

        Would you like a couple of micrograms of polonium on your breakfast? It is less than 1 ppm for the average sized adult, so how could it possibly hurt anybody?

        Then explain to them what polonium is, that it is 250 000 times more toxic than hydrogen cyanide, that the LD50 is well under 1 microgram, that there is no antidote, and that death from that tiny dose of 2 micrograms will be very certain and very unpleasant and painful indeed.

        Then ask if they wish to repeat their foolish ignorant statements that ‘such a small amount couldn’t possibly do any harm’.

    • Joel says:

      Nuclear cannot exist within the framework of the Australian Energy Market without large and direct subsidisation from the government (see “picking winners” in the economics sphere) to hold the tab for indemnity (no insurer will underwrite the risk associated with reactors or nuclear waste management facilities that I’ve ever been able to find) and security (due to the risk profile the government will be required to fill this roll).

      Japan has seen TEPCO facing bankruptcy and requiring government assistance (corporate welfare?) in order to stave off such an event. Elsewhere, you can look to the deregulation and privatisation of the British electricity sector for another example where the private sector overwhelmingly rejected attempts by the Thatcher government to bundle the nuclear reactors in with 60% of the generation assets (as opposed to 40% in the other segment). Instead the public purse was required to secure, maintain, underwrite and eventually decommission those assets.

      I would love to know of a nation where private sector owns, operates, underwrites and is part of a competitive generation and retail segment in the electricity sector where their core assets are nuclear reactors.

      Risk profiling to date in many areas concludes nuclear is not an economically viable option.

      • Stikman says:

        Renewable energy cannot exist within the framework of the Australian Energy Market without large and direct subsidisation from the government

        Fixed that for you.

    • geoff lemon says:

      Pretty sure strychnine is colourless and odourless, isn’t it? So is Joe Hockey’s personality, but it’s still poison.

    • kd says:

      Oh dear, boring, repetitive, scientifically illiterate, irellevant and *wrong* climate delusional troll. Your main technique seems to be argument by irellevance, but mostly it looks to me like you’re one of these loser entitled delusionals.

    • Oliver says:

      Steve, do you know what the word renewable means? Humans burn coal faster than the Earth produces it, so our underground stocks of coal will never be renewed to pre-industrial revolution conditions, whereas resources like sunlight or the wind are produced far faster than they can be consumed, and are therefore constantly renewed to maximum supply. If you are concerned that sunlight may not be renewable, please talk to a scientist quickly! The climate could be in a deeper crisis than we realise!

      Seriously, though, if you’re going to ride the “Energy cannot be created or destroyed” horse, I should warn you that it is not a fast pony. The Sun will stop releasing energy into the solar system in about 3-4 billion years. In that sense solar energy is a finite resource which can never be renewed. Unfortunately, though, our Sun is not unique. The laws of entropy dictate that ALL of the energy in the universe will eventually dissipate into a thin, cold quantum gruel, and when the Big Rip happens and the baryons decay into quarks, there won’t be enough heat energy left in the universe to light a candle. That’s a long way off though. I say in the mean time we hold the planet together for as long as we can and hope for the best.

  14. sage says:

    yes yes yes yes yes.

  15. Maddie says:


    I must say, I hadn’t actually read up on the tax – I just planned to pay it and that’s that. This article really put everything in perspective for me.

    Honestly, people complaining about this sicken me.

    • Shane says:

      The whole point of the carbon tax Maddie is you and I don’t pay it. 500 companies, our worst polluters do. So the companies paying the tax can do one of 3 things, reduce their profits (which no company will chose to do), reduce their pollution by changing their ways or pass the costs back onto consumers. If they pass it onto consumers we can choose shop elsewhere.

      • Stikman says:

        Well I’ll just organise to get my electricity and gas from other suppliers here in WA then shall I. Can you give me the numbers of my alternative options? No?

        Economic theory rarely matches economic practice. That’s why, until recently, economics was a purely forensic science to study what had happened and why. It’s only very recently that it has been used to try and predict the future and not very successfully either I think we can say. Not too many economists predicted the GFC now, did they.

        • Juanita says:

          Are you fucking insane..? Of course they predicted it! You don’t have to be an economist to buy shares, jackass.

        • Santa says:

          Yeah, a bunch of people did dude. I had real estate finance lecturers back as far as early 2006 saying that the toxic sub-prime mortgages being issued in the US couldn’t continue forever.

          The issue is that a stack of people stood to make a lot of cash of deals that could potentially fall through. The payoffs were large enough to justify the risk, because for the most part, those doing the gambling didn’t stand to lose their own money.

          As you say, economics can only go so far. As a science, it does a reasonable job of explaining things after the fact. However, while not exact, it can use historical data to acknowledge that there have been similar conditions in the past and that we are heading for similar crashes.

      • Matthew says:

        The ACCC is going to crack down hard on anyone who wants to try and pass anything extra onto consumers with fines of up to $1 million improbable.

  16. Terry says:

    Well what a nice read giving a real slant on life down under…life is a sitution as that’s how we must deal with it, not life threating deal with it,is it your sitution or somebody else’s, if it’s theirs let it go.

  17. Fitzy says:

    Love your work. Not that I agree wholeheartedly because your whole premise swings on it actually being and remaining at a paltry $10 a week. The skeptic in me wants to believe that the billions they reap from the carbon tax will shovel money into the promised surplus hole and that if they can convince the great unwashed that it’s not really an extra tax but it’s like giving blood altruistically then we’ve got it made. I daren’t mention that many eminent people say that if Australia stopped all CO2 emissions immediately – it would make no difference to the planet. Nor should I mention that measurements over the decade ending 2008 (none newer released) not only showed no warming, but the last couple of years in that block showed a little cooling. Oh! … and the earth is flat too. :o)

    • Joel says:

      Most of that money has already been committed to funding the tax restructure.

    • Juanita says:

      Just because it is commonly referred to as global warming does not mean that the “climate change” the Earth is experiencing involves direct warming. Although, if you watch Al Gore’s ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ he has statistics on the Earth’s cO2 which is unbelievable. It’s called climate change because areas of the Earth heat up and cool down.. Did you really think that all of these natural disasters were just a coincidence? Puh-leeeeeeease.. Read a book for once, instead of relying upon biased media.

    • Leslie says:

      I daren’t mention that many eminent people say that if Australia stopped strangling all babies at birth immediately – it would make no difference to the planet.

  18. Fitzy says:

    …Oh! and on the speeding fines parallel with the fines being mainly for road safety purposes (not revenue as my inner voices tell me) why he asks rhetorically did they reduce the speed margin of error to a 2–3 km/h tolerance which is half a walking pace (men about 5.6 kph and women 4.8 kph) at any allowed speed? Because revenue was falling drastically as most people (who had been stung by a heavy fine or two) were now behaving themselves and they weren’t raking it in as easily. Love your work though – brilliant.

  19. JoBeeOne says:

    Well worth the read and refreshingly comments that don’t make me stupider for having read them.

  20. The Doctor says:

    That was freakin’ awesome. It made me wanna jump up and yell ‘fuck yeah!’

  21. Fitzy says:

    USE LESS ENERGY TO COMPENSATE? Good advice but. Unfortunately a very large proportion of your bills are minimum supply costs to which the volume used is added. However the volume charge is such a small proportion of the bill is such a small proportion, that cutting back makes buggar all difference. 🙂

  22. Richard says:

    No one whines about the flood levy, we accept it as we can see the damage caused. Knobs like Bolt can try as they might to muddy the science but regardless the carbon tax provides incentives for the economy to move away from polluting and generate cleaner energy. Australia produces 1.5% of total global carbon and the UK (3x larger) 1.7%! This is before we count the shit loads of coal we export! This is an opportunity for Australia to become a model country and deliver new solutions to global problems. Wouldn’t we rather export clean energy?

    • Carlie says:

      I dislike the flood levy, i mean, obviously something bad has happened but why didn’t the qld premier have the insurance other states do? Why doesn’t the aust government have a disaster fund saved already rather than dips into peoples pockets again? It’s not like the floods haven’t happened before. I’m not exact on this but don’t parts of qld get flooded nearly every year? If you lived in those areas wouldn’t you accept it as part of life and work around it, or move away if you couldn’t deal.

      • Kirstin says:

        It is more cost effective for Queensland to put aside money for use in a natural disaster, than it is to pay for insurance in such a disaster prone state. The problem is that no one foresaw 80% of the state flooding (with some of those areas flooding multiple times) followed by a category 5 cyclone, and not enough money was put aside to cover that much damage.

        I am biased, though, as my house was one of those flooded. I am most definitely pro-levy.

      • BlueMage says:

        The other thing is, yes, we plan for floods … but not one of that magnitude.

  23. Christine says:

    Once I got past your first sentence, everything else was perfect. I’m not going to harp on about it, but comparing the debate to ‘retards trying to fuck door knobs’ is pretty shit.

    • PKSmum says:

      Agree – my daughter does not deserve that. She is intellectually impaired and part of a family that fully supports the carbon tax. That paragraph is more offensive than Tony Abbott.

    • Joel says:


      • dan says:

        Agreed. I was reading the comments largely to see how long it would take someone to mention that first sentence. Lose it or change it and I’ll link to this otherwise excellent article.
        Or, at the very least, respond to those of us who have called you out on it.

    • Lazarus says:

      Perhaps the retarded are the ones who have lost their ability to think through things in a sane way. Thus retarded by way of inability to think outside a “WORK, CONSUME, BE HAPPY” mentality.

      The door knob is an icon for the quest for escape…

      And the reasons these doorknobs are being fucked is because, well, a retard is like a big child are they not.!

      F.U.C.K, Fornicate Unlawful Carnal Knowledge, though i think all those years have realy sodomised the skatt in everybodys skulls.

      As above, so below;- 10000 days from 1984, and i ask you as humainity, how have we scored?
      Etymon of lazy? Ask and im more then happy too tell you why!

  24. cjschris says:

    Finally! A place where people aren’t crazy!
    Agree thoroughly with this post.

  25. christie says:

    i never paid much attention to this whole carbon tax nonsense – it was exactly like you said: “a bunch of retards trying to fuck a doorknob.” finally someone is speaking some sense about the whole thing. thank you for your rational thoughts.

  26. Pete says:

    Good work, mate.
    Everyone around me knows I fucking hate politics, but that wasn’t half bad.

    And I realise you didn’t have much choice in the matter, but I particularly enjoyed the quote within a quote within a quote.
    Felt like Inception for journalists.

  27. adros47 says:

    Gee, if you’re going to assassinate Gillard, you may as well pop Julian Assange for good measure, shut down the evil carbon tax and buy Amanda Vanstone a hamburger and a milkshake with your saved $9.90.

  28. Rob says:

    Plenty of elements in your writing show a left-wing bias, so as a piece critical thought, it’s hard to take this too seriously; the same I might add, as it’s hard to take a totally right-wing biased piece seriously, too. But you seem to have a little left-wing choir here to preach to. Just don’t take their high-fives and goodonyamates as proof that you’re right in all areas. That’s my honest advice. Carry on.

    • Jane says:

      Fuck off

    • Daz says:

      Critical or not, all opinion is essentially subjective, so bias will always exist, so therefore your comment is redundant.

    • James says:

      Bias doesn’t make you wrong. Being left wing (or right wing) doesn’t make you wrong. Being wrong is when facts don’t correspond to reality and it can happen to anyone of any political stripe.

      If you really think the author’s got this one wrong, you ought to try and explain why rather than just observing that he’s writing from a certain political perspective on a political topic. That’s not nearly as clever as you think it is.

      Carry on.

      • Stikman says:

        Good point. You are wrong when the facts don’t correspond to reality.

        The reality is that $10 is the average (mean) cost. Like all things averages are designed to make things nice and easy to understand at the cost of hiding the truth. A $10 average could mean that 99 in 100 are paying $1 and the other sucker is paying $901 or any continuum along that line.

        To argue that anyone could deal with $10 is probably right, to imply that $10 is all anyone has to deal with is plain wrong. The facts don’t correspond with reality, ipso facto regardless of any political bias this article is just plain wrong.

        Dumb argument aimed at a dumb audience. And don’t they just love it.

        • db says:

          Your comment contains no supporting facts or coherent countering arguments, just weak mathematical supposition & FUD.

          Ipso facto, as Jane correctly pointed out earlier, “Fuck off.”

          • Jeff Whitehead says:

            We need to go back to using the soil, rivers and seas to dump pollution into too. Saves costs and improves the economic world for our grand children. The cost of dealing with any pollution is making us all poorer and poorer and poorer.

            I trust everything Tony tells me and trust him implacably. He is honest and is causing panic for a good reason and that is, he wants to and needs to be Prime Minister and Joe to be the treasurer.

        • dan says:

          You’re absolutely correct to point out that $10 is an average, and that the increased costs of living among those 100 people may be quite unevenly distributed. I think statistics reporting should far more often include error margins rather than just stating an average. In this case, however…

          The increased cost of living comes from taxed polluters passing on their costs under the carbon tax to the consumer, right? So if some people experience a greater rise in their cost of living than others, it’s because they’re purchasing more products from companies that choose to pass on their tax costs rather than change their production practices.

          The simple solution for the ‘other sucker’ is to do a little research into what products he buys, and how much of the carbon tax they’re inheriting from their manufacturers. If 99 people in 100 can work out how to spend only $1 more per week, it can’t be all that difficult.
          (I recognise that your model is deliberately exaggerated to illustrate your point and that you probably imagine a less extreme, but still significant, distribution of cost of living increases. However my argument applies just as well to any situation where some people are paying more than the average and others are paying less.)

        • David says:

          $9.90 is the average predicted amount the polluters will pass on to you. You can give them more if you like. The government is going to lower your taxes. Complain all you want, but I bet you won’t give the money back. And while you argue and bitch and whine that the carbon tax is not perfect, that won’t stop it working. Go back to your team of scientists and come up with a better proposal. THEN come back here and keep whining.

    • Joel says:

      Well, to be fair, with a comment section here you could cite the areas you believe require review for bias? For added marks, cite potential conservative bias too.

    • Steph says:

      If being biased towards the left wing means actually understanding how sodding lucky I am to live in a country with street lamps and felafel at 3am then sign me up for bias-ists anonymous.

      Hello, my name is Steph… and I try to consider the wider impacts of my actions.

  29. Sarah says:


  30. Sparky says:

    How will history judge those that are in support of more pollution as opposed to someone like Julia who is actually doing something about it.

    I cannot believe some peopole are so retarded in this country. I just hope they don’t try to fuck my doorknob.


    • dan says:

      People are retarded in this country for the same reasons they are in any country. Genetic disorder, brain injury, problems during pregnancy, the list is long and tragic.
      Of course I’m being facetious and know exactly what you mean. I even agree with you.
      But saying ‘retarded’ when you mean “ignorant” or “foolish” is ignorant and foolish.

      • Di says:

        Thank you on behalf of all the special needs people both young and old! The term “retard’ is both ignorant and offensive – and I agree foolish! Sensitive to special needs, yes! Please don’t denegrate them to boost your own ego!

  31. Alister says:

    epic win. that is all.

  32. Marc says:

    Brilliant! So true about the Herald Sun, I was looking at a poll on the carbon tax on the sun’s website and it had to be rigged, 68% people believe global warming is a myth! really? I find that very hard to swallow.
    I’m so glad someone has put my thoughts on this topic to words.
    People are complaining they can’t afford it, the truth is they can’t afford not to! I pity the world our future generations will inhabit due to our selfish consumerism.

    • djga says:

      Probably more a fact that people who hold that marginalist view feel strongly enough to vote, those who don’t hold that view dismiss it for the crap that it is and don’t vote.

    • Sally says:

      I find it pretty easy to believe 68% of Herald Sun readers believe it is a myth

    • geoff lemon says:

      68 percent of people who already read that paper and are inclined to vote in online polls think that it doesn’t exist. I don’t think you’ll find that’s a nationally representative sample.

  33. doctrinal says:

    Interesting points, but there is more to the tax to just $9.90 extra a week. Such is a microcosm within a macro economic ecosystem. I fully understand the argument to benefit the environment, but I do agree the tax money is used to share th…e wealth amongst the political parties and to create 300 jobs at QLD solar plants, among other initiatives. Car manufacturers will have to pay (according to size/proportion) an average/additional $30M a year with the carbon tax, for example, of which, with this specific point, what will happen to the overtime and regular hours, and the jobs at those plants? What will employers think about this? Thereby, the $9.90 extra a week, which will be a direct compounding pressure for these potential affected workers.

  34. Richard says:

    Yes all very funny and witty Josh. But you miss the point of a lot of the resistance to the tax by the proverbial country mile. This is only the start. It is ultimately designed to remove coal refining and its use as energy out of the Australian economy. It will impact directly on the mining sector and indirectly mostly on the manufacturing sector, particularly in areas dependent on power as a material input in the production process. A forecast 10-20% increase in energy cost in industries or sectors where this is a large proportion of production input will reduce our competitiveness; and this is only the start. The Greens have already highlighted they want $60-100 a tonne levied on emissions. That’s a minimum 3 times the rate at which this tax starts. It will mean major restructuring of the economy from mining and manufacturing areas (which a heavily dependent on human capital) to so-called green industries (where there are far fewer jobs – some figures suggest only 100,000 such jobs will be created in the next decade). Net impact, there will be a loss of employment.

    • Shane says:

      That is going happen anyway. The world is moving away from carbon based energy not just use. We need to do it to stay in the ballgame.

      Australia is a net exporter of energy by way of coal. In fact it is one of our biggest exports. But look at the investment in green technology the chinese are undertaking. They are the biggest producers of solar, wind and hyrdo power in the world and they technology and capabilities are increasing at a massive rate.

      If we want to maintain our position as energy exporters we need to bite the bullet and start investing in green enegry capabilities. If we stay focused on carbon energy the day will arrive when no-one wants to buy it anymore and then see how our economy looks then.

    • Joel says:

      Actually, the retirement of coal refinement won’t happen so much with changes in the Australian scene but rather the demand from overseas.

  35. Tallulah says:

    Brilliant. I loved every word.

  36. AzMoo says:

    Rob >
    Why don’t you tell us what you think is wrong?

  37. Duncan says:

    dumbshititis – I just learnt a new word. Luv your work Geoff!

  38. jabba says:

    Anyone calls me part of a “Left-Wing Choir” to my face, I’ll kick them so hard in the stones, their grandkids’ll be born without scrotums.

  39. adam0 says:

    if you actually think it wil lonly cost you $10.00 a week then you are as gullible as the 33% of people who actually still listen to Julia. the $10.00 a week lie is about as truthful as the comment “i will never implement a carbon tax whilst i am leader”. It is just a big fat lie. As an example, do you think that the farmer, the delivery driver, the restaurant will all together only increase their charges by the 0.07% we are mystically told they will , it will be more like each one will add on their dollar… by the time it gets to you the product will cost $4.00 more….FOR EVERYTHING……
    i do not have any problem with tackiling climate change, but the system implemented WILL seriously put Australia behind the eight ball globally…….and the ONLY thing we can do is wait and see and in 3 years tell you, you were wrong….when it is all to late.

    • Mocca says:

      Hey, Joe Hockey, don’t you have some work to do?

    • Autocrat says:

      You stupid shithead – the article is aimed directly at slackjaws like you. Naturally, you didn’t notice that.

    • Cassandra says:

      John Howard was never going to implement a GST either, and Abbott was part of his team when he did. Funny how Abbott seems to forget that when he takes the moral high ground now…

  40. Madeline says:

    Hell. Yes. Fantastic stuff.

  41. Lucy says:

    COULD NOT AGREE MORE. Thankyou for this fantastic response. Great to see some sanity in the midst of all the crazy people.

    To commenters who are still blubbering on about this cost… do you REMEMBER when the GST came in? EVERYTHING now costs 10% more than it did pre-gst, and that cash ain’t even for a good cause! And you don’t hear anyone whinging about it 11 years later.

    Just have a nap and when you wake up we’ll all be paying carbon tax – and guess what, most of us won’t even notice the difference.

    • Fred says:

      NO IT DOESN’T here is a history of the Australian Tax system
      Pg 20 They REMOVED wholesale tax which had tax rates of betwwen 12 and 45 percent in 1999, to a rate across the board of 10 percent!

      • Simon says:

        Thank God……a little “truth” amongst the endless streams of bullshit being trotted out.

      • adam says:

        There was zero taxes on services prior to GST. Therefore, everytime you catch a bus, get a taxi, catch a train, see a tax adviser, pay a plumber, it is costing you +10%.

        And with products that were previously taxed at high rates such as motor vehicles and alcohol, special new taxes were then introduced to prevent the cost from reducing…

        And even from your own documented source, indirect taxes (sales taxes) were running at approx 5% of GDP prior to GST being introduced. After introduction, these indirect taxes jumped to over 7% of GDP. The only other times it hit such heights was during the recession of the ’80s and around WWII.

        So new tax, higher proportion of GDP, removal of some taxes, but much less than that imposed, and everyday services now increase by +10%. Hard to avoid that GST as opposed to carbon pricing where behavioral change by companies paying it can help avoid it.

  42. Belinda says:

    Hopefully this article gets read by all the idiots bitching and moaning about this tax. Not only am I sick to death of hearing about it, and all the moron’s who push their uneducated opinions and repeat and babble on about what “Tony Abbott says” makes me want to hurt them. Especially love the dig at Andrew Bolt. Excellent journalism Geoff. Thankyou!

  43. azram says:

    I was a little bothered by your first sentence, until I realised it was just a clever grabber. Great article.

  44. Skinky B says:

    Gawd yes – the most sensible commentary on the whole debate I’ve seen/heard yet.
    Thanks 🙂

  45. Dom Carroll says:

    I love you.

  46. tony abbott says:

    This article is a lemon. You clearly have no idea what this is all about do you?

    You may want to read up on how this is simply a change by the govt to increase income tax. This has nothing to do with climate change and will in no way change the behavior of australians, this is simply an exercise in raising income tax rates and conveniently using the cover of global warming/climate change fear to do so.

  47. Marie says:

    So I agree mostly with this piece, but I think it would be silly to suggest that there will be a rise in just$9.90 p/w. I think we will be hit when we buy food, clothing etc. But I do get angry when it was dismissed that there was no real poverty experienced in Australia. This simply isn’t true, there are many remote aboriginal communities that are well below the poverty line, so the remark was incredibly insulting and careless. Congrats on putting all the negative hype into perspective that will hopefully open some people’s minds.

    • geoff lemon says:

      There are plenty of communities that are below the poverty line, and some very remote communities (at a sliver of the total population) have very poor standards of living. That doesn’t change my contention that below the poverty line in Australia does not equal below the poverty line in Calcutta or Pyongyang. There still aren’t people dying for want of food or water, however remote they are.

  48. scott says:

    Nice work, Belinda. I’m assuming what you mean is that someone that disagrees with your viewpoint must be uneducated? Could it be possible, just remotely, that somewhere, somebody may infact oppose the Carbon Tax and….. heavens above…. be educated also?

    I’m not arguing for or against here, but there is most certainly more than a hint of dismissive ignorance from some pro-tax circles. The reality is that we don’t know if this tax is a step in the ‘right direction’. We don’t know if the tax will remain at $9.90 a week for the average family or be reaching 5 times that by the end of the decade. We don’t know what figures the government have based their estimates on and we certainly cant know if they will remain true to their word. We don’t know if it will force industry to develop cleaner energy production techniques and neither can we be sure that it will result in humans consuming less energy. My point – not all opposers are uneducated, fanatical lunatics, in the same way all supporters are not tree hugging, clog wearing hippies. The stereotypes simply don’t help.

    There is merit to both sides of argument. It would be educated to consider both.

    • Amy says:

      Just to add my $0.02, I don’t think this article implies that someone disagreeing with the Carbon Tax is uneducated; rather it is a rebuttal to some of the more uneducated comments that have been unearthed in the hysteria in the last few days.

    • David Young says:

      Yeah complaining vaguely about your unfounded fears, offering no alternatives = uneducated. That is *precisely* what we’re talking about. Thanks for representing the opposition.

    • Capo says:

      You *imply* that you are an educated contributor. The $9.90 figure was stated in the anti-Gillard media for households on $110K. Hardly the “average family” as you would have it, who’s median income is more like $37K.

      “We don’t know if it will force industry to develop cleaner energy production techniques…”

      Is it too far a leap to realise that a company which rises its prices to cover this tax will *likey* be shunned by consumers, who will opt for the innovative competitor who has invested in lower-emission alternatives, and so avoids the tax, within the same industry?

      Your point?

    • geoff lemon says:

      Scott, the tax won’t exist at the end of the decade. It gets phased out by 2015. I think we’re safe.

  49. plan7starsatellite10 says:

    I think I love you

  50. Gerontius says:

    While I customarily deplore profanity, I think in this case it is justified. There is a time when the only adjective one can use is “fucking dumbshititis”!
    The article should be compulsory reading for all Australians; well, at least 68% of them.

  51. Jess says:

    As a member of a household earning more than $110,000 per year I have to say … you are my new hero. Well said!

  52. Oliver says:

    Ah, to have something of this ilk published in a newspaper.

    An argument that seals the debate for me goes something like this:

    What happens if we do act on climate change? Some people might lose their jobs. Some things might cost more. And if climate change turns out not to have been a problem, we didn’t pollute and consume as freely as we would have liked.

    What happens if we don’t act on climate change? There is a serious chance that billions of people will be displaced and some countries will be entirely submerged.

    Where are all the risk managers and why aren’t they screaming from the roof tops? Forget left-wing or right-wing agenda arguments as they simply don’t apply.

  53. Darragh says:

    Great stuff. More enlightening content in this article than anything I’ve read thus far.

    In order to prepare myself for the carbon tax, I vow to save money by never buying any News Limited publication ever again.

  54. Thank you thank you thank you.

  55. Regan says:

    But if my utilities get shut off how will I charge my iPhone.

    • Lazarus says:

      Like the Old hippy that says ‘ i dont want no nuclear power plant man, i just need my electric gitar and a power point to plug it into”

      cept now as a son of said hippy, i have to ponder if dad was wrong about new- clear power. Ah, hindsight is always a luck-true-rye we can i’ll afford.

  56. Harley says:

    BRILLIANT! Couldn’t agree more and couldn’t have said it better, although I did mention in a status update today that I hoped the 60% who disagreed with the carbon tax died first when the world as we know it know comes to an end.

  57. Mike Lynch says:

    YES. Thank you for that.

  58. dave says:

    very well said

  59. Finally something sensible among the “great big bad scary new TAX!!” headlines.

    If I hear one more whinger cry about how hard everything is….everyone has their difficulties, except they aren’t that bad over here for the most part!

    I’d be very curious to know how much it costs taxpayers for Abbott to go racing round the country stirring up fear and outrage.

    Someone needs to explain the word “compensation” to these idiots, because all the Daily Bogan and Herald Scum have to do is write “tax” and miss out the “compensation” part and all their silly little readers are screeching about calling an election.

    Dumbshititis pretty much says it all.

    • Simon says:

      How much compensation does a self funded retiree who has been paying tax their whole lives get ?

      Zero, zilch, donut.

      • geoff lemon says:

        How many tonnes of pollution has a retiree created during their decades of living through the most emission-intensive decades in history? Zero zero zero zero zero with a number in front. Gotta pay the bill sometime.

        • Brenton says:

          That, sir, is an arrogant, unnecessary slight on someone who has done the hard yards for over 40 years, contributed taxes for that time to allow us to have the lifestyle we enjoy. Your bias aside, this comment borders on militancy and shows the lack of forethought that you and people like Greens apologists display when writing opinion pieces like this.

          A little respect for your fellow citizen might not go astray. The arrogance shown of recent times, especially by the Greens towards Australians has been particularly distasteful and I suspect that the next election will display the electorate’s distain for it.

          • adam says:

            Militancy? Did you read the same comment I did?

            Perhaps you missed the irony of using the initial posters language, but changed the words to represent the environmental effects that have been caused over the past 100 years while many generations profited by not incorporating the cost of these effects into their life?

            A little respect for your fellow citizen might not go astray. The arrogance shown of recent times, especially by the Liberals towards Australians has been particularly distasteful and I suspect that the next election will display the electorate’s distain (sic) for it.

  60. Zoe says:

    As if we could make the necessay changes for free. I made the unfortunate decision of watching Kerry-Ann this morn and she had a gen y and a babyboomer on and when they both came out in support of the tax she cut them off with an anti-carbon-tax rant then cut to an ad break.

  61. Ben says:

    500 companies with an initial $100m outlay to comply with the scheme.
    500 x 100,000,000 = $50,000,000,000 spent before any tax money is even collected.
    Could use that money to build algae plants next to all the coal plants, collect the CO2 and convert it into bio fuel. Algae stock can be used to replace everything from diesel to jet fuel. I’m sure that there would be money left over to start building solar arrays in the desert, etc. to eventually replace the coal plants and no need to import expensive crude.

    Algae also absorbs NO2 and SO2.

  62. Aaron says:

    Brilliant article. To those of you quoting numbers on CO2 emissions and if Australia stops polluting it will effect nothing. Your an ignorant idiot! Read between the lines, a push to fix a planet that is so obviously changing at a dangerous rate needs to start somewhere and this tax (such a scary word) is the early beginnings. And when the east coast of Australia is under water we can look back and say “WOW! that fear mongering moron Abbott fooled us all. You cheeky bugger Tony.”

  63. smithe says:


    About time someone stuck-it to the $150K plus whining classes.

    I blame this stupid sense of entitlement on Howard and his years of pork. After years of this is it any wonder the old spirit of Aussie self-reliance, community and pride has been utterly destroyed.

    And these are the same tossers who get all misty-eyed about “scarifice” on ANZAC day. I reckon a real ANZAC (if any were still around) wouldn’t piss on them.

  64. Mike O'Connell says:

    That is one of the best articles I have seen written. Congratulations. I only wish that it would be more widely published. I’ll bet the MSM don’t have the guts to publicise it.
    Thanks again for a wonderful contribution.

  65. a female human says:

    I wish I could marry your brain to mine and they could have little brain babies which would take over the world and run it right.

  66. Kale says:

    I’m always disappointed when the author of the article beats me to to first Godwin. Otherwise it’s what needs to be said.

    • geoff lemon says:

      Hey, I didn’t specify who was running them. The first concentration camps popped up in the Boer War. I think it was 1902.

  67. Dr Nic says:

    I’ll happily add a very hearty “fuck yeah” to this.

  68. jcroc says:

    That was stellar!

  69. Pingback: Is Our Perspective On Carbon Tax Increases Sometimes Warped? | Lifehacker Australia

  70. Ryan says:

    Australia, please read this.

  71. James Ray says:


  72. Cassandra says:

    I agree with everything you said, except the bit about Tony Abbott being like a Cassandra. I get the reference, but still can’t help but feel like I’ve been tainted by association! :p

  73. Jon McLeod says:

    Brilliant! The most acute, perceptive, articulate thing I’ve read all week! Keep it up. Are you tweeting links to this?

  74. threethirty says:

    holy fuck you are long winded

  75. Sadhbh says:

    I am torn between laughing my head off and paying enough money to Triple M to have them read this live on air.

  76. Sharon says:

    THANK you! Finally, someone put it in print. Yes, yes and yes. Let’s all put our tiny little brains in gear, people, and not buy the standard political and media BS.

  77. Agree with the direction of this but absolutely appalled by your reference to
    ‘ a dozen retards trying to fuck a doorknob.’

    Puts you right up there with all the misogynists, sexists, racists, homophobes etc – all those who stereotype and make fun of those less fortunate or are just different.

    Time you went and did some volunteer work at your local disability center to get an education and discover your sensitive side.

    the dictionary definition…
    ‘a mentally handicapped person (often used as a general term of abuse).

    • geoff lemon says:

      Steve, thanks for the comment. I have to say I was waiting for someone to jump on this one. There’s also not much I can do about it.

      When I use the word ‘retard’ I mean an idiot, a mule, or a drunk. I’m not making fun of anyone except for idiots, who I believe are still fair game. You’re free to dislike the word or not use it, but not to decide that your definition is also my definition.

      I’m aware of its other uses, happily far less prevalent than they once were. Those aren’t my uses. My turn of phrase may be abrasive, and you might find it off-putting. A lot of people would find all kinds of my phrases off-putting. But I can’t actually take all of them into account.

      Were I writing in a professional capacity, I’d be more circumspect. But this is my personal website, where I write in my own style. That style can be a bit rough, as can my conversations. No-one is obliged to participate in them.

      Believe me, I take no joy in upsetting anyone aside from the targets of my criticism. But I also don’t apologise for writing things that people may object to. Nor do I suggest that they shouldn’t make objections. Yours and those of a few others are respectfully noted.

      • PKSmum says:

        Sorry, not good enough.

        That is like writing “a dozen gays trying to fuck a doorknob” and then saying, “oh no, by ‘gays’ I meant people who are ‘happy'”.

        As you would be aware, most people associate the term ‘retard’ with diagnosed intellectual disability. So essentially what you said was “watching a dozen people diagnosed with intellectual disabilities trying to fuck a doorknob” When you picture that, it is no different to what you would picture having read your original version. It IS offensive.

        The R word is not on.
        It is hurtful and horrible.
        Don’t use it again – the rest of your article suggests you are better than that.

        I’m sure others share your views on the carbon tax. I will be sharing their writings, but I won’t be sharing this.

        • Tim Somerville says:

          I can quite readily associate the use of phrase to visualise Andrew Bolt, Alan Jones, Rupert Murdoch, Christopher Pyne etc trying to fuck a doorknob…didn’t necessarily at all directly imply disabled people…

        • geoff lemon says:

          No, it’s not like that at all. You can decide you’re not ok with my style, but you can’t decide what my intention was. Trying to say what “most people” think is impossible. Some people find my tone objectionable, some enjoy it. I’m happy for you to make your call either way, but that doesn’t mean I need to adapt it to suit.

          • PKSmum says:

            It is not your style, it’s your words. I actually enjoy your style, but you are honestly trying to defend “retards fucking a doorknob”. Seriously?
            Such a shame you can’t just remove that part of an otherwise brilliant article. As it is right at the start, it shows on FB next to the link so hundreds of people are having that awful phrase pop up on their news feeds.
            Why not just man-up, admit your error and fix it? Otherwise, your article will be known more for that horrid phrase than any of the brilliance that follows and that is unfortunate.

          • geoff lemon says:

            The words I use create the tone, is what I mean. There are plenty of hyperbolic and exaggerated phrases in this piece. “…fuck off and die in a ditch” is one. People could object to that. I still wouldn’t change it. The phrase you’re objecting to is brusque and crass, but I don’t think it has the implication that you see in it. You think it does. And that’s your call. Yes, it comes up in people’s feeds, and no, some won’t like it. But at the same time, it’s exactly the reason why a lot of people have clicked through and read it, instead of glazing over at the first mention of ‘carbon tax’ and looking at lolcats. As I said, I’m not setting out to offend people. But I accept the risk of offending them.

      • dan says:

        To many people, the word ‘retard’ means something other than it means to you.
        If I mean lovely, charming person when I say “nigger”, and the black person I use it on isn’t aware that that’s my definition, who has made the error of communication? Who is responsible for the offense felt by the person I have addressed?
        It would be a mild inconvenience for you and others to train yourselves to use another word in place of retard. It is a source of great discomfort and emotional pain for the people who have to live with the realities of intellectual disability on a day to day basis.

        From a more pragmatic point of view…
        The fact that a friend of mine, who has a child with a mental handicap, sometimes reads the links I post to facebook prevents me from linking to this otherwise excellent blog post.
        An underlying theme of your article is social responsibility in the face of the climate crisis. Given the need for your side of the Carbon Tax debate to be heard to balance the bias in the media, plus the fact that your words express it very well, perhaps you have a responsibility to do what you can (without compromising the integrity of the article) to ensure that your post is read by as many people as possible.

        • geoff lemon says:

          Dan, I (honestly do) appreciate your point of view, and that you’ve taken the time to explain it without pushing the outrage button. I just don’t inherently agree with it. ‘Nigger’ is not a sufficiently ambiguous term to warrant the comparison. The way I consider the term ‘retard’ is very different to the way you perceive it. That’s a disagreement we can live with.

          While I’m fully aware some people won’t like or pass on this piece because of it, I’m also aware that having an uncompromising opening salvo is a big part of having other people read this and pass it on. Today, many thousands of people have done just that. And the brusque style in which I write, which is always potentially going to offend some people, is consistent in this piece as it is with others on this site. If that costs some readers, I’ll accept that, because it’s also precisely the thing that a lot of my readers come here for.

          In any case, I am toning down a version of this for The Drum, and as you can imagine, that opening stanza will have to be re-thought. So perhaps I can direct you there if that plan goes ahead. G.

      • Fran Barlow says:

        Sorry Geoff, but I’m amongst those bothered by your use of this term. I really did otherwise enjoy your article, and your substantive points are apt, but this did spoil it for me.

        I don’t doubt you intended no offence to those with intellectual disability, but the reality is that you are not the sole or even principal determiner of the meaning of your texts. Your text occurs in a cultural context. It’s part of the currency of public discourse, and trading in the blurry line between intellectual disability and ethical turpitude is something those who are thoughtful should avoid.

        We are better than the right, precisely because we grasp our place in the human community and our footprint, whereas they do not, and insist it’s all about them.

        • geoff lemon says:

          Thanks for the thoughtful reply, Fran, there are some things there to think about. My position to this point is that there’s an element of my writing which is risky / profane / confrontational / pick your adjective. Any of those risky points could and do offend people. In the end, I can’t actually run a risk analysis on every dubious simile or vernacular turn of phrase. A lot of things could be treading that line. I have to accept that my choices will alienate some people and attract others. So I go with my first instinct and rarely self-censor. The phrase in question is one I do use, with no offence intended except to those at whom I’m directing it. It seemed apt here, so I used it. If it bothers you, that does actually bother me, but it doesn’t mean it was the wrong thing to do.

    • Tim Somerville says:

      it’s possible to “retard” things…I can “retard” the inflow of air into a carburetor…
      in the same way a lot of people are retarding their flow of information in this Carbon “debate”
      calling an otherwise mentally competent person a retard is primarily calling them stupid. No shortage of those people in this country.

      • PKSmum says:

        By all means, use ‘to retard’ (verb), but please avoid ‘a retard’ (noun). I think the difference is clear.
        Equating intellectual impairment with stupidity is a bit off. I would consider stupidity to be having intellectual capacity but being too lazy to use it – which does, indeed, describe many afraid of the carbon tax.
        Black people ask that you don’t use “nigger”, families of people with disabilities ask that you don’t use “retard”. Is it really so much to ask?

        • Lazarus says:

          SEE BELOW< A RETARD < who is sick of your plausable denyability systems, they are convieniant for you, but have retarded me…

  78. Thank you for saying this so fucking eloquently. We need more of this hypocrisy hussling journalism to counter the bullshit from the other side of the fence. Kudos.

  79. Molokov says:

    Brilliant writing.

    Pity that the only people who really need to understand the points you’re making won’t be able to understand the points you’re making because they’re too stupid or too stubborn to listen to reason (or comprehend words like ‘censure’).

  80. Skott says:

    Absolute best piece of journalism on this issue i have seen bar none ….. Very funny but so so true from beginning to end …. and it is extremely sad that the more fortunate in society who do earn the $100,000 + per year are the ones whinging but i suppose the big screen TV,s , pool filters , fully air conditioned houses do have a larger electricity bill 🙂 then the normal Aussie house…..

  81. Simon Reidy says:

    Best article I’ve read on the carbon tax yet. In future I shall point all right wing morons screaming “what’s the point?” to this page for some education!

  82. ro says:

    mate, hats off to you. i feel exactly the same.

  83. PKSmum says:

    I agree with almost every singe point in this argument but that first paragraph prevents me from sharing this in social media. My daughter is physically and intellectually impaired and your choice of analogy in that first paragraph makes me more sick than climate change deniers do. Sad, because I am completely on your side. Sure, attack people who are afraid of the Carbon Tax big bad wolf, but your unthinking attack on the disabled is very hurtful. Please think before using the word “retard” in future – especially before using it in such an awful way. It is not funny and it is not on.

    • geoff lemon says:

      Thanks for the comment, PKSMum. I replied to a similar one a few comments above this, so I’ll let that stand for this too.

    • Lazarus says:

      SEE BELOW and way above also for some life story your deluded by your plausable denyability systems, they are convieniant for you, but have retarded me…

      I was once social healed by a labor goverment in the 90’s In retrospect my experiance as an asperger leaves me angry with your post, let me try to explain in the following way.

      (To the tune of :- Pink ((With The Indigo Girls), Mr President)

      Mr Howard.

      Dear Mr Howard, come power walk with me,
      Let’s just pretend you can show some responsibility.
      I’d like to show you your system is one of insanity.

      What would you feel to walk down a Daw Park back street,
      Feel the glass and syringes crush under your feet.
      A 6-year-old runs around from your baby bonus shroud,

      Are you proud?

      Do you feel at all or is your mind an iron cage.
      Do you understand at all human psycho emotional rage?
      Your plan to bring middle class wealth high,
      Some souls like gold melted down to die!

      In your capitalist lie.

      (musical interlude, child wailing, people fighting, glass smashing, a car drops a burn out)

      Dear Mr Howard,…….
      Were you a lonely boy!
      Were you a lonely boy?
      Are you a lonely boy!
      Are you a lonely boy?

      How can you say, “we helped the unemployed”,
      I see the simple ones go from plain dumb, to psycho annoyed!
      Sitting in two by four-meter cells.
      Their minds slowly are becoming inner hells!

      What kind of PM would create so much madness in this way.
      Trying to put some simpletons’ life into an iron cage.
      So they can take away Eight dollars in a hard worked day,
      Yet some know how much you “normal’s” ARE TUCKING AWAY.

      Can you feel at all or is your heart an iron cage.
      Can you understand at all human psycho emotional rage?
      As your party spun it’s plausible deny-ability lies,
      Some souls like gold melted down to suicide!

      Let me tell you about hard work,,,
      Closing down institutions for the government of the day…

      Let me tell you about hard work…
      We made so many promises to these perpetual children everyday…

      Let me tell you about hard work…
      You made our words lies to create an income stream to buy the votes your way…

      Let me tell you about hard work…
      Hard work…
      Hard work…

      You don’t know a thing about how a heart works, a mind works, a soul works..

      Multi-channel surround sound, Psychotic anomie violence and strife, this is just my life…

      Dear Mr Howard, come share my engine of insanity…

      A parody for my anomie… Stephen Lazarus Graysun…

      My experiance since the howard goverment is compairable to being placed in a wheel chair at the top of the stairs saying your life is down there.

      Belive me, if you lived through the 70’s and 80’s you would join me in saying, fuck plausable denyability. Where i am and where you are was divided by this device. and now we squabble of what little there is after it gets through the government to us filter, all that infrastructure called the DEN, but your daughter will fare considerabily better then me, she gets pity. Me i got Valorisation.

      Your RETARDED FRIEND IN EVERY WAY society can, AND then some by political correctness. All it did was create a system off mooch house anns by proxy. How to spellit, fucks me. LAZARUS

      You retard yourselves so you can get a fix it seems honestly,

      I have read enough, will be linked in time thanks Geoff, love seeing this collection of group mind, takes some time to get a blog alive i see,, Blessed be

      BAhh curses to the mammonites, WORK CONSUME BE HAPPY, DIE!

  84. Sarah says:

    I don’t mind having to pay a carbon tax. But where does the money go? I understand that polluters have to pay it and hence will clean up their act to save money, but once the government gets the money, has there been a clear discussion on what the money will be used for? All I hear are the words “working families” and “sustainable” over and over again, without any actual content.

    • David Young says:

      You don’t pay it, polluters do. And the money comes to people earning under 120k, in the form of tax breaks.

    • geoff lemon says:

      It’s pretty clearly laid out Sarah, sometimes you just have to find the policy and read up on it. There should be PDFs online with all the details. About half the money raised goes to household compensation, and the rest goes to setting up or supporting various renewable energy schemes and a climate advisory body to manage the transition to renewables independently of government.

  85. James Ray says:

    Getting rid of the five cent coin will have more of an effect on the Australian economy than a price on pollution.

  86. Peter Davis says:


  87. Carlo Zeccola says:

    Get this man his own TV show on a Sunday.

  88. djga says:

    I earn too much to get any compensation. My wife earns enough to only get a little bit of compensation. This will cost us about $600/year. I figure that for a household with $180K gross income that if I can save the planet for a measly $600/year I want to know why we didn’t start ages ago.

  89. Geoff says:

    Nice work fella, thanks for a refreshingly frank overview. Keep up the rage!

  90. Nigel Bell says:

    … I would love – just love – to hear that said in Parliament… not in church’not in church, the old dears might be somewhat taken a’back…
    … spot on… and the very antithesis of Jones, and Bolt, and McCrann, and Milne, and the rest of the ‘intellectual excrement’ foisted on Australia as ‘Media darlings’…

    … (Alan Jones – the gay man, arrested for doing naughty things in a public lav in London, and yet willing to stand foursquare behind Joh-For-PM and its decidedly anti-homosexual policy platforms)…
    … (and Glenn Milne? on ABC’s The Drum? is this towards ‘balancing’ Philip Adams on Radio National?)…

    … CO2 hysteria? anti-science/pro-creationist, anti-regulatory/pro-‘free’ market humdrum…

  91. H2 fanboy says:

    My God that was a good read! (And I don’t even believe in God – but don’t tell the lapsed Monk)!

    I have a Smart Meter now we’ve finished renovations. 8 cents per kilowatt hour at night, and 42 cents per kilowatt hour during the day. That’s called a “price incentive”!!! Just like a carbon tax….

    While I can’t shut everything down during the day, guess when we program the dishwasher and the washing machine to run?

    The sooner we get to run on alternatives like hydrogen, the better. By the way, BMW has had a fleet of 7-series cars running on hydrogen for about 15 years now. V12 engines running hydrogen. FIFTEEN YEARS!! Honda have a hydrogen fuel cell-powered car.

    Why do you think companies like BMW, Honda, Siemens and hundreds of others are developing these new technologies? “BP” now promote themselves as “Beyond Petroleum”.

    Again, a great read – distribute it as widely as you can – please!!

  92. Ras says:

    Good article, however the use of the word ‘retard’ is hurtful to a large, vunerable and often voiceless section of our society. It made me sad to realise that people are still using this cruel word. Try to make your point by hanging shit on people who can fight back.

  93. Brendan of Wollongong NSW says:

    Bravo! This deserves to be sent en masse as a form letter to the offices of Tony Abbott, Barnarby Joyce and any other hysterical, coal-bludging, public purse leeches who are busily doing their darndest to drag this debate and country down to the lowest – and by the way, evidently wrong – common yokel denominator.

  94. mic says:

    Pure gold.

    Best article I’ve ever read anywhere on anything.

    Will be back for more.

  95. Mils says:

    Well said!!!! I love it

  96. Jack says:

    Hey Geoff

    Good work. This is relevant though:
    Otherwise, keep up the inflammatory work!

  97. Lisa Joy says:

    You are awesome.
    I want to marry you and have heathen babies!

  98. Richard Ferrara says:

    Right, so the one thing people are missing here, the whole point of the carbon tax…. to reduce emissions right? How is taxing companies, which will pass the cost on to consumers, which the government sort of not really compensates for fix that?

    Answer, it wont. It will feather the governments nest with a new tax, emissions will stay the same as the high income earners are out of pocket and they don’t give a shit if $10 a week is taken out, hence no change in their lifestyle (or everyone else’s, as they are compensated) and hence no reduction in emissions.

    • Bill Shields says:

      Exactly right, good to see someone here has a grasp of the economic realities.

      The carbon tax must encourage those top 500 companies to research and develop new non-polluting energy and manufacturing processes. If we tell those companies we will compensate most Australian for any passed on price increases and those higher income earner whose demand curve is inelastic, and therefore won’t change their spending habits anyway. We are achieving nothing, other than a new tax.

      There is some good news that the government will spend some of the Tax on energy research, although we have yet to see what this may achieve.

      Reducing pollution is clearly a worthwhile outcome but if we are going to have a tax it would be nice if it was going to work.

      • geoff lemon says:

        Actually, you’re creating a huge profit incentive: even if they pass on the costs to consumers, there’s the chance for them to make much more money by finding more carbon-efficient ways to do things. Businesses are always looking for ways to cut costs. If carbon is a cost, they’ll rationalise its usage.

    • David says:

      Answer. They’ll switch to cleaner energy and pocket the savings from the tax as well. Do you really think they’ll happily pay the tax? If they can switch to clean energy they make even more money! They dodge the tax AND the aussie suckers pay their inflated prices. More record profits, more million dollar exec bonuses, and more whining about how they have to increase prices because they’re dodging a tax. But maybe you are right… maybe we should just ask them nicely.

    • Me says:

      You: “Wotcha doin?”
      Me: “Building a structure to keep the rain out.”
      You: “Why are you pouring foundations? Thats never going to keep the rain out!”
      Me: “Well… you need to start with… ”
      You: “Admit it, the foundations wont keep the rain out!”
      Me: ” Ok, the foundations alone wont keep the rain out but…”
      You: “Ha, gotcha! See it doesn’t work, you’re wrong, I’m right, your dumb and I’m sooo clever.”
      Me: “…righto, Einstein. ”
      You: “Wotcha doin?”
      Me: “…Building a structure to keep the rain out.”
      You: “Why are you pouring foundations? Thats never going to keep the rain out!”
      Me: “…Well… you need to start somew… ”
      You: “Admit it, the foundations wont keep the rain out”
      Me: ” (sigh) Ok, the foundations alone wont keep the fucking rain out but…”
      You: “Ha, gotcha! See it doesn’t work, you’re wrong, I’m right, your dumb and I’m sooo clever.”
      Me: “…umm actually… just SHUT THE FUCK UP!”
      You: “Wotcha doin?”
      etc etc

  99. Pete Darwin says:

    Hammer. Nail. Hit on head!

  100. doomas says:


    Why don’t we use the desert to put a big, fuck off solar plant up?
    It ain’t any good for much else..

    Also, why does the writer of this piece not have his own current affairs program? move over Tracy Grimshaw(you stupid, fucking, heinous bitch!)

  101. Anga says:

    The Herald Sun, the thinking man’s paper……brilliant and informative piece of writing.

    Extremely well put together comments also, thanks guys. Those hippies have been banging on about climate change since the early 70s I’m told! Crazy cats! Positive our government is leading the way on doing something, i think governments have to impose tax, you can’t rely on good will and education.

    Industries and businessmen have some golden opportunities to “do good”, or get around the tax. Regulations on who measures these companies for carbon emission should be imposed, strong unwavering sets of rules built on honesty and integrity.

    But i expect to see some overnight millionaire’s spring up from the tax, it will trigger investment for reducing carbon emissions in the private sector, a whole new industry! Exciting times.

  102. Eva J. says:

    Carbon Tax? Yeah, I’ll wear that. i’d even wear it without any compensation. I have absolutly NO problem with paying tax that is going to lead to renewable energy.
    I agree that the whole outcry on the subject about an extra tax is stupid, childish and unthoughout by many. what’s wrong with renewable energy?? well for a start, most people complain when they get told someone is going to put a dirty great big wind turbine in their back yard…. just as much as they complain when someone wants to drop gas wells next to their home, or put a coal mine in 10 kilometers from their homes. it’s funny how these people are usually the ones that also complain about paying more tax..
    I am astounded though, to hear, that the writer of this artice thinks that people in australia don’t go hungry and can get running water and electricity. This just simply isn’t true. yes, if you’re lucky you might be able to get a commission flat, or a temporary shelter, Maybe, but you won’t get any furniture – not even a yoga matt to sleep on. When was the last time you or one of your friends had to get a food voucher? do you know they are only around $50 per family, once every six months? do you know it takes up to two weeks for centerlink to grant a crisis payment?
    comparing australia to somewhere like africa for standards of living is crazy, simply because there are more people per head in this country who can afford to do something in our own backyard to help these people, as well as giving their wealth over seas. do you really need 4 pairs of runners? i can name at least 20 Australians who would be grateful just for one pair without holes, that didn’t come from st.vinnies.
    But, I digress. If the writier of this artice, and the majority of the general public, wishes to overlook poverty in australia, i can live with that.

    I do however very much agree that people who have a $25,000 plus income should at least help pay to look after our environment for ten dollars a week, and stop moaning. I’d rather be paying ten dollars a week to look after the environment, than paying $100 a week each on the black market for clean water, clean air, and a couple of candles in 20 years time.

    • geoff lemon says:

      When was the last case you heard of in which someone actually starved to death in Australia? Name it.

  103. virtualkat says:

    You’ve said everything i’ve been thinking and ranted about in the past week/year…only with less swearing! brilliant, love it, will keep reading 🙂

  104. Damien Buckley says:

    This is without doubt THE best article I’ve read on the Carbon Tax, period. Congrats for saying what the rest of us wanted to.

  105. Greg says:

    You should this to the Drum. (Probably need to do a find replace on the swearing first)

    It would improve the quality of the articles there about one thousand fold.

  106. chris says:

    All I can say is that this rant is no better than the rants of those you door knob fucking idiots you mention in the opening paragraphs.


  107. Jen says:

    I love you. Please marry me.

  108. Anonymous says:

    Absolutely spot on. People oppose the carbon tax for the sake of it being a tax. Their income and quality of life has been constantly improving and as soon as anyone takes any money away from them, they think the world is over. As you said, they should be thankful they live in this society, and if it wasn’t for government and tax, we wouldn’t have all these facilities. Even if climate change is false, we have to switch to renewables at some point. Oil and coal won’t last forever.

    • Steve says:

      So, you’re cool with the government having 95% of your earnings?

      The income has increased as has the cost of living. We earn more, but it also costs us more to live here.

      People oppose the carbon tax for a number of reasons, I’ll fire off a couple:

      1. It’s another tax. In an already very complex tax system. It does not simplify this system so there are no efficiencies gained by spending less time being tax compliant.

      2. There’s no proof that it will achieve it’s intended result. A long term goal is an emissions trading scheme, which hasn’t worked has hoped in the EU.

      3. The government has a track record on not delivering exactly what it states it will and also acting quickly and rashly. Both of these end up with unintended consequences, usually undesirable.

      • geoff lemon says:

        Like the man(?) said – gotta switch to renewables eventually. And please don’t bitch about your cost of living when you’re safe and warm at night with breakfast in the fridge.

      • David says:

        1. It’s a tax on the big polluters. They can easily afford it. But because they’re greedy they’ll find a way around it. The government has given them a big door that says, go green.
        2. There is ample proof. Australia is following tried and true result established by countries a lot smarter than us.
        3. The government has delivered excellent results on many initiatives, despite the papers reporting only the few mistakes made. It is a blessing that a government can act quickly before an issue becomes a disaster. Unintended consequences are part of life, sometimes good. Learn to deal with change or live with disappointment. Those are your only two options.

        • Fran Barlow says:

          And iut’s not even a tax, but an enablings instrument for an emissions trading scheme.

          Hint: taxes don’t buy you tradeable securities; taxes are not the same as charges for service (emitting effluent is a valuable service)

  109. I'm Rich says:

    hey dipshit, if you love paying the tax so much, why dont you pay it for everyone else who didnt ask nor wanted the tax aye? If im going to pay the tax, then i will make sure to leave my tap running, lights and air con on, drive EVERYWHERE to make every cent of that ten bucks worth all the extra carbon im going to make and more.

    • David says:

      What, like you do already? Believe me loser, we are paying for the likes of you already.

    • scrim says:

      *head asplodes*

      The $10/week is not a flat rate imposed on everyone, it is an ***average*** increase in the cost of living, but will vary depending on how carbon intensive your lifestyle and purchases are.

      If you do what you say you will do, then you will be paying a lot more than $10/week…

    • Fran Barlow says:

      Go ahead punk … make my day … 🙂

  110. Mr Abbott says:

    Brilliant – thank you for saying the bleeding obvious. To those who don’t like the tax because….because Julia lied…um….jobs will go orf shore, China’s dirtier than us, but… but Julia isn’t selling the message properly and her nose is too pointy, she has no mandate blah, blah….stop whining about it. Just admit it. YOU. DONT. WANT. TO. PAY. Tell that to your grandkids.

  111. Adrienne says:

    Agree with every single word!

  112. xavierc says:

    Perfectly put. I think we need a bit more from the “shut the fuck up” camp. And quite frankly, the government should be doing their share of it (we all know the Whitlam government would have).

    The “sky is falling” performance by Abbott and his cronies is almost reminiscent of the Tories’ claims in regard to the Reform Act of 1832. They maintained society would crumble and it would lead to riots and revolution (despite it being exaggerated scaremongering, there was actually reason to put forward this argument). Turns out that reform was the beginnings of what we today call “modern democracy.” Abbott and his shock jock posse have got people believing a very slight increase in the cost of living for the sake of converting our economy from non-renewable to renewable resources (an economic decision, not a misty-eyed moral one) will bring society down.

    The GST caused a rise in the cost of living, and things were tougher then (I know, I was poor then and am poor now and I can say personally I am a lot better off now than under the Howard regime) – this latest rise in the cost of living is going to be compensated for someone’s god’s sake!

    Another extreme comment I saw on the news the other night that you may have missed was when one dipshit (as you so accurately describe them) asked Joe Hackey at a carbon-tax fear meeting: “What is the Coalition going to do to try and stop the people of Australia taking up arms against their government the way the Americans took arms up against their government 200 years ago?” This guy not only didn’t know his history but he also thinks Australia is on the brink of revolution!

  113. The most gratifying read I’ve had in a long fucking time.

  114. Nev says:

    Brilliant. Says it all. Aussie God damn whiners have made me embarrassed to be Australian this week and made me want to shake Julia’s hand and say thankyou for having guts to take on the stupidity.

  115. Jodi Magi says:

    Well said sir! – And here I was thinking I was alone (or amongst 38% of the population). Keep it up please?

  116. IanM says:

    Well China, we hope you appreciate us Australians flailing ourselves, while we ship you the cheap coal to continue doing real damage. I guess Western democracy today is all about taxing those that will never vote for you and giving handouts to those that may be inclined. Athens today, a glimpse of our future!

    • geoff lemon says:

      China is investing more time and effort into renewables than we’re going to achieve in another twenty years, at the rate we’re going. And we pollute several times more per head than they do. Take responsibility for yourself.

  117. Katharine says:

    Word up on the use of the R word full stop, it weakens this entire article. Its not like we are fucking over sensitive but us people with developmental disabilities who get called Retards were kind of over it in the eighties, it just isn’t acceptable anymore. Katharine – Autistic Self Advocacy Network Australia

    • geoff lemon says:

      Thanks for the comment. I’ve replied to a few similar:

      • Fez says:

        I liked the article Geoff.

        But please don’t use the word ‘retard’. I know you’ve tried to stand up for your use of it, but just type ‘retard+word’ into Google and you’ll see how hard people are working to fight against this word. Your attitude towards people’s complaints is disappointing. To be honest I skimmed over the first paragraph of your article so I missed the phrase and was only alerted to it in the comments. Now I feel that the article is tainted. I’m not saying you should remove the word or anything, but just please seriously consider another choice of word next time?

  118. Geraldine Splinky says:

    The sad thing is, you actually believe it will be $10 a week.

    • geoff lemon says:

      The sad thing is, if it goes up to $15, or $20, you’ll cry about how tough your life is. See the comment about the ditch.

      Did you know the tax phases out in 2015? Chill the fuck out.

  119. Evan says:

    Well In a democracy your granted the right to express your opinion as you so obnoxiously have done, but if you want to judge poeple and dictate to them why they are so privledged and to shut the fuck up and cop it sweet, you can shove your leftist idealisms back up your ass and fuck off to north Korea where you can expierience what being dictated to is really like…fucken dueche bag!!!!

    • geoff lemon says:

      I would have thought douchebags would know how to spell ‘douchebag’.

      “You’re free to express your opinion, but having done so, you should now be sent to North Korea to live under a dictatorship.” Great work there, champ.

  120. number86 says:

    I agree with what everyone else said.

  121. Peter says:

    @Katherine, stop being a PC pussy bitch 🙂

  122. SB says:

    Is this guy for real… Obviously does not live in the real world. If you tax all the “Big Comapnies” Don’t you think they won;t pass on the cost… Julia Gillard is just a liar. The Labour gov has done nothing to help the Australian Public…
    Will you ever trust person who says they wont do something and then does the exact opposite.
    Julias gov has put more Co2 in the atmospher with the burning down of home with the Insulation debalrcle, and wasted so much mney with thise Million dollar sun shades at school they could have paid for this withour taxiing the life out of ALL australians… You really think this is going to be $10 a week… Tell em there jokin…. You right twit.

    • geoff lemon says:

      This is the most hilariously inarticulate thing I’ve ever read. I can’t believe we wasted good nurses on birthing you.

    • David says:

      SB. If they go green, they pass on the cost AND dodge the tax. Or maybe the big companies are as smart as you are…

      • Lulu says:

        Julia promised that she wouldn’t introduce a carbon tax if she was elected. She was not elected. We do not have a Labor government, and the million times the media write that we have a Labor government does not change that. We have a coalition government. Julia promised an ETS, but her partners in government, being the Greens and the independents, did not support that. Julia has to plait with the rope she has, a rope that the Australian voters gave her.

        • geoff lemon says:

          Huh. Actually, those are some really fucking good points that hadn’t occurred to me. Thanks for the illumination.

  123. col says:

    Nice rant…some good points there…I guess it will take time for the rabble to come around…

    Interestingly in recent news reports in Melbourne many motorists have been interviewed for various reasons about problems, traffic congestion, fuel prices and of course the then impending carbon tax being one topic and it was interesting to see that every driver questioned was sitting in a car complaining but was alone….a car with the capacity to carry another 4 or 5 other people and they vented frustrations about their predicament…what tossers!!!! I am a public transport user…

  124. Anthony says:

    I, too, love Sara Lee Chocolate Bavarian.

  125. Anonymous says:

    Well said..

    The thing that bothers me is when high salary earners complain about how tough working life is.. I earn a reasonably high wage for working in a comfy air conditioned office and I love every moment of it.. most people I work with do very little to warrent what they get, and the same is true across all industries..

    If you can’t find happiness with what you have you won’t find it with an extra $10.00 a week.

  126. Steve brindley says:

    Very elloquent but sounds like the rant of any angry Uni student with no responsibilities or life experience. I have looked forward to the day when we would have a labour government with the greens in control. However they have fucked it up. A tax on polluters which will be passed on to consumers is not the way ! And who will pay? Me. Single divorced with a dependent child. Not part of the white anglo-Saxon middle class ‘family that aust govts seem to think we all. belong too! Or the mythical little Aussie battler. Give me strength! The major polluters have said they will pass the tax onto you and me . I will never vote labor or greens again!

    • geoff lemon says:

      Steve, did you even read the article? Look for the part starting “if you are going to bitch and moan…”

    • David says:

      Great idea. You pay those companies and blame the government. Send back your increased tax return- that’ll teach the government. Better yet- give it to the polluters to help them resist cleaning up. Or you could not buy your kid maccers- that’ll save a tenner and be good for them. If a tenner is such a hassle for you, you obviously handle your money like your relationships.

  127. Purgatio says:

    I always remember the famous remark that the only true unlimited in universe is human ignorance. Sometimes I am pushed by it to the level that I feel there is no hope in anything. And then out of the blue comes an article like this that proves me wrong and gives me a little optimism about future of this world for a while.

  128. Alana Sheri says:

    Right on…

  129. TAW says:

    Geoff Lemon you’re the bleeding orifice of common sense this country needs lol.

    • Lazarus says:

      ahh, so indicitive of how the “Warm fuzzie” today is given by way of cold pricklys.

      ANOMIE, plain anomie. anomie an¢e­me,
      noun (in society or in an individual) a condition of hopelessness caused or characterized by breakdown of rules of conduct and loss of belief and sense of purpose.
      Also an’omy.
      anomic (e­nom¢ik) adjective.
      [French, from Greek anomia, or -ie lawlessness, from a- (privative) and nomos law]

      (c) Larousse plc. All rights reserved

  130. Leah says:

    Awesome, loved reading in print what my partner and I say to each other every day. Nice to know we’re not the only ones wondering why everyone else seems to have gone mad!

  131. Harley Stumm says:

    What a fabulous argument, a fabulous piece of writing, and a fabulous laugh. Thank you.

  132. Kathryn says:

    If I was still young enough, and if I was a man, and if you were a woman, I’d be asking you to have my babies – since that’s not happening, can you please just accept my sincere thanks for your superior journalistic abilities?

  133. Amelia says:

    Hey Geoff, I’ve been in hospital for the last three weeks and a bit out of touch, but this is still aligned perfectly with how I feel.

    Basically, people are fucking dumb, selfish and annoying. $10 a week is nothing and it’s not even going to be noticeable. No-one will take away one of your beers, even.

    The interesting issue is why media panic like this still exists, because it seems like we’ve got to an age where the average consumer of mainstream news sources is becoming reasonably savvy to it.

    I’m not going to have a full time wage for a while and I still don’t have any qualms about this tax, I’d still pay it without questioning it, really. But I’ve just had major surgery so perhaps I’m just not so bothered by these kind of ideas that people are so hysterical about.

    It’s important for people to identify and recognise media panic. It’s also generally really amusing, and your article is going to be so wonderful in retrospect when everyone just gets the fuck on with life and it doesn’t make a burp’s difference to anyone’s lifestyle at all.

    I am pretty sure that some of the point of a tax like this is to just casually remind me people of the issue at hand and hopefully inspire them to turn things off at power points and recycle and shit like that. It doesn’t ‘compensate’ anything but it’s worth doing anyway because not doing it kind of is just dumb, and makes you look like a bit of a dick.

    Anyway, +1.

  134. TAW says:

    “do you know it takes up to two weeks for centerlink to grant a crisis payment?”

    Centrelink recipient can get an INTEREST FREE loan up to 500$ and have it in the account of their choice the following day.

    • Lazarus says:

      umm as a pensioner, i know i can get 1046.85 as of yesterday 12/7 2011.

      6 month plan of repayment, but hey i can pay my rego for a year this way. And that is the main reason why it was intorduced, annual expenditure. $765 per fortnight- 330 rent, running expensies for car, “agorophobic” agro-phobic. I havnt been able to get on public transport for years, pretty much since 2001.

      Let you do the further math, not into being a victium here…

      Back in the 90’s it cost you, the tax payer about 1/4 million over 4 years to teach me to do this without puting it all through a spell chequer. And teach me to become staff, employed, Howard sacked me so he could recycle my disabilities in my intro-retrospection. Even still got a student suplement loan bill from 1993 when Hawke/Keating bought me a lap top, was still learning to use a pen. This i could do then. Born 1966…

      Should go and see if that money has gone in yet, my rego now 4 days over due.

      Big Sister, trys hard, but lost person focus. Understand how one can teach a Hellen Keller, and how one can keep a Kellen Keller retardedif they were to try!

      Asperger, word nut. OUT again, looks like i will read all this LOL

  135. Dan says:

    You lost me here:

    “and the most striking characteristic of the carbon tax debate is just how closely it resembles a dozen retards trying to fuck a doorknob.”

    Terrible call mate…..embarrassing.

    • geoff lemon says:

      Wait, I lost you in the first sentence, but you made it 250-deep into the comments section? Were you scrolling with your eyes closed?

      • Dan says:

        I read the comments to see the responses and not one of yours says sorry or even claims any responsibility for that appalling comparison Geoff. I liked this pathetic justification “You’re free to dislike the word or not use it, but not to decide that your definition is also my definition.”
        There is only one definition for it mate and as the Dad of a “retard” that died last year of her disabilities, its not only grossly offensive but also ignorant and immature.
        You should just apologise for it and quit while you’re behind.

        • David says:

          You’re not the only one offended. You are the only one who hasn’t read the article. If that’s all you want to take away from this, no one will stop you. Feel free not to visit sites you may find offensive.

          • Dan says:

            Who said I didn’t read the article? Or agree with everything but the first line? I just said he lost me after the first line.
            I read it, and agreed with most of it but remain absolutely appalled by the opening line. I can’t believe so many people skip over that opening sentence like its now part of common Vernacular

      • mr reading says:

        pick your battles, author. you can do better than ‘retards’ and you know it. don’t go playing the martyr for art – esp. when your art is ableist

        • Teeky says:

          “pick your battles, author.”

          Have to agree with that, Mr Lemon. I was not particularly offended by the word, I read it how you intended it. But I can understand that others were genuinely offended, and that it was not politically smart to use it. Now part of the discussion has been sidetracked into this issue and it is diluting out the impact of your main message. You are, of course, also giving free ammo to your critics among the carbon tax alarmists.

          Just say sorry, change it, and move on to the real issues. Good way to earn legit brownie points, and get your message out to a wider audience.

  136. Jenni says:

    … will you marry me? ❤

  137. tonekee says:

    Amen, brother. TESTIFY!

  138. Sharon says:


  139. mitch says:

    The very best article. The very best.

  140. Spawneytrogmouth says:

    Better than sex. Ta

  141. LostSteak says:

    Well said. I’m glad that there is some people out there who don’t buy in to this media BS and hysteria.

  142. Jamez Fron'deskias says:

    Bloody well said. The amount of people bitching over a lousy $10 a month is totally disgusting. Whats even more disgusting is that they bitch with a scotch or a beer in one hand and a cigarette in the other, after having eaten a restaurant meal!

  143. Half a brain says:

    Your description of yourself as a part time journalist is way overstating it I think, journalists with half a brain investigate facts, a tax based on a lie is still bullshit no matter how “privileged” people may think they are and either way, bringing in this kind of so called reform without going to an election is not democratic. By the sound of it you must be more privileged than most.

    • David says:

      Yeah, those bullshit lie taxes. You get that GST taken care of. You obviously did some good research there. And call an election. But don’t be bound by the result if you don’t like it. Call another one, and another, and another. That’s what democracy is all about- whining when you lose. And assuming you won’t vote for a liar- will you be voting Greens in future?

  144. Sam says:

    Enjoyed the article as it was quite commical. However it’s also flawed in many ways. What you didn’t touch on is the certain inflation that will occur from this carbon tax. Inflation that will raise interest rates. Interest rates which will hit the back pockets of, you guess it, every Australian. It will be more than $10/week coming out of your back pocket. Even if inflation causes interest rates to go up by 1% you can times that number by atleast 10. That will hurt the average australian a hell of a lot.

    • scot says:

      The GDP and inflationary aspects of the carbon price are absolutely minimal. 0.9% expected – the GST caused 2.5% and the sky did not fall in.

      The fact is if the mining boom continues at its current pace it will be adding multiples of that amount to the inflation figures through increased labour competition and other related effects.

    • David says:

      He also didn’t touch on the fact that most of the business industry want this because it helps them transition to clean energy and so compete globally. He didn’t touch on the fact that inflation has been happening since, geez, before Labor. He didn’t touch on the fact that the GST ripped extra billions out of the public, which we didn’t get back until Labor came to power. He did mention that Aussies can actually afford it, and more, without even coming close to starving homeless on the streets.

    • Adam Smith says:

      What about people who have savings, not debt? Surely not all Australians have a mortgage. Interest rate movements are a necessary device to help stabilise the economy.
      Also the RBA will not necessarily put up rates because of a single quarter spike in inflation. After the GST when prices all rose 10% the RBA took that into account. They aren’t dumb (I cannot back this up). Also they will realise that people are paying the carbon tax and will be less likely to spend on other items, which may help dampen the effects of the rise in inflation.

  145. Mate says:

    You cunts are full of shit

  146. GirlClumsy says:

    Hi there – I’ve seen a number of people link to your article today, and I just wanted to add my applause to the increasing volume of acclaim.

    I’m a Brisbane journalist, and the hand-wringing and

    I wrote something along vaguely similar lines back in January, when there was a “storm of protest” against the flood levy.

    People always talk about Australia as the nation that believes in a “fair go”. And I really believe one-on-one, we must still be that. But we’ve been corralled into this nasty group-think of “Where’s MY fair go?”, when the vast majority of us were born with it.

  147. Mate says:

    Realy full of shit

  148. Matt Cunseen says:

    I have 3 kids who earn $5 a week pocket money. When discussing this over dinner and how it might help make the planet a bit of a better place, they all offered to put their pocket money towards it. That is how much it will cost – nothing to us, but everything to our kids, who are willing to pay. This debate really is a nonsense. Listen to the kids.

  149. bec says:

    Thank you! It is so TRUE, some people completely lack perspective. Billions in our world have fuck all access to electricity and they will be the ones bearing the burden created by our rampant excesses. It’s a fucking justice issue. Wants getting confused once again with needs…

  150. Lulu says:

    I loved this article. I actually had this conversation with a friend today, who was upset at her tax increasing by $3.50 per week for the flood levy. I won’t be paying the flood levy myself since I don’t earn enough, tho I can definitely afford $3.50 per week especially since 80% of QLD flooded, some areas more than once, and then got blown away in a hurricane.
    A couple of points I’d like to make. Firstly, we are very worred about the effects of the carbon tax on the coal industry. I’d like to remind everybody that only 2 generations ago are whole economy was not reliant on minerals. Not very long ago our primary export was primary production – wheat, wool and such. In another 2 generations minerals won’t be our primary export, and this tax will help that process along.
    Secondly, the tax is only the first phase. In a short time we will move over to an emissions trading scheme. Under an ETS a whole new market will emerge, one that will favour rural areas. So there’s two areas of growth employment – carbon offset growth and renewable energy.
    The GST raised prices 10% across the board. We have instances where GST – federal tax – is levied on state taxes, but no one has a problem with that. Carbon tax will be the same, just a blip on the horizon. The people that are hysterically screaming now can more than afford any price increases, so I doubt the carbon tax will affect their spending habits anyway.

  151. Ry says:

    Hello there,
    I thoroughly enjoyed the article. Although I will have to pull you up on one point, Andrew Bolt doesn’t exist. I am yet to see any hard evidence that he exists. The only “proof” I have been shown is some shoddily put together documents, often misusing data and relying on incorrect statistics and gross generalisations.
    I don’t like being labelled an ‘Andrew Bolt denier’ because as I see it, how can you deny something that doesn’t exist?

    • Lazarus says:

      Honestly, the guard have left yet we are still in this con-sent-rationalisation-camp

      How about we take all the shit and put it in one place, catch the gas and make electricity. Wow, i wonder if we can do that. Methane, is that going to cause poloution as it burns?

      But how do we get companies to have such big ideas, encourage them by making it lucrative. OK it will take some doing. Might cost a little money in investment. But Hay are we not meant to invest in our future, so we dont end up with a fuckture?

      Now, companys may innovate, read invent, are we still the clever cunttree? Methinks, maybe, time will tell.

      “TAX”, brainwashed by Cognitave Behavioural Therepy, There so many were spun from having empathy to pompousity.

      Work Consume Be Happy, Die.

  152. Adam says:

    And now I know where all the fuckheads hang out online… Keep patting this wanker on the back and Im sure he will write another piece of shit article that you can all jerk off over. Fingers crossed the door knob fucks you in the mouth Lemon

  153. Zodiac says:

    I… I think I love you.

  154. Ash says:

    I wrote a rant along similar lines on my blog, and my friend sent me this link. I TOTALLY AGREE with you.

  155. Jimmy says:

    The way I see it, if there is a chance (and the science says there is a bit more than a chance) that not taking any action now will adversely affect my grandchildren’s lives, we have to do something. This tax is a step in the right direction. It’s something. Anyone opposed to action now is opposed to safeguarding the long term future of our energy, and I’m going take it as a personal insult against my future, and my descendants future.

    If someone turns around and says that they shouldn’t be paying for the mistakes of big polluters, then tell them that they have been taking the cheap energy and products from the polluters for their entire lives, and their parents entire lives, and its finally time to pay a realistic price for things. Fossil fuels are like crack-cocaine for our civilization, and we have been addicted to them for over 100 years. Kicking the addiction will take a lot of pain, but I’m willing to give a lot more than 10 bucks a week to get us off the stuff.

    If it turns out we scientists were all completely wrong and Armageddon wasn’t even going to happen, we can always turn back to the fossil fuels. They will still be there, read to pull out of the ground. They’ve been there for millions of years, they wont go stale after a few hundred more spent underground.

  156. BarnabyG says:

    I just printed this, framed it and put it on my wall. Thankyou for putting it in perspective. I don’t care what your view of the carbon tax debate is, you have GOT to be getting sick of the constant negativity in today’s politics. “This is a bad idea and will lead us into the firey gates of hell, or at least the first level of purgatory. Maybe not actually purgatory, but at least the outer suburbs of Elizabeth. Maybe Prospect. Well, fine, it isn’t really a problem, but you get my point, right? Bad idea!”

  157. SpellingMate says:

    Really* – lern 2 spel dude

  158. ek says:

    “Perversely, part of me wants to see what would happen if the sea levels rise a couple of metres, the coastal cities get swamped, the rainfall dries up, the power goes out, the militias take to the streets. ”

  159. Kate says:

    Thank you. thank you. thank you. I can’t believe what a whiny bunch of miserable greedy morons this country has turned into.

  160. Valli says:

    Just what we needed, a damn good pro-carbon price article to go viral. Geoff Lemon, you rock my socks 😀

  161. Phil says:

    You lose your cred a bit at the end there with the rant. People will be affected by the carbon tax, it will add cost in areas of expenditure that the middle and working classes have little control over – people must use energy to go about their lives, and this tax will have little effect on their usage of it. They will just incur a sunk cost in a very similar fashion to the GST, with very little relief from it. Dont play the fool by saying that the top 500 will get hit by this. They will not lose a cent.
    Which begs the question – why wasn’t the system administered as a component of the GST system? Why wasn’t any consideration taken into making carbon neutral energy sources GST exempt? The ATO will have create a whole new division to deal with this tax, rather than have it administered as a component of one of their existing tax regimes. A completely new piece of legislation will have to be created, consistent with what both sides of politics have been doing for the last ten years – giving their legislation a “tagline” so that it sells better (e.g. “A New Tax System Act”, “Fair Work Act” etc.).
    Let me let you in on a little secret about climate change theory that I learnt over 15 years ago as an environmental scientist – it certainly exists, but the anthropogenic component of it is negligible. However, as all self respecting environmental scientists would agree, to have a carbon neutral human population allows human growth to be sustainable. This way humans can have the freedom to consume and breed the way they please without causing unnecessary problems for the environment. When you take this away from humans, restrict their consumption habits and their right to procreate so that we can be carbon neutral, then you’ve missed the point I’m afraid.
    Technology is the only answer – they must provide incentives to create a cost effective carbon neutral solutions.

    • Stephen Wade says:

      1. He doesn’t say the top 500 will be ‘hit by this’, he says they will be taxed – and will likely pass on cost to the consumer.
      2. You seem to be suggesting that this should/could have been administered as a subsidy rather than as an additional tax. Generally governments don’t do things which will have the effect of immediately decreasing revenue, hopefully for obvious reasons.
      3. It’s illogical to say that the human component of climate change is negligible and then state that it is agreed that a carbon neutral human population allows for sustainable growth. You need to pick one or the other.

    • Teeky says:

      “Let me let you in on a little secret about climate change theory that I learnt over 15 years ago as an environmental scientist – it certainly exists, but the anthropogenic component of it is negligible”

      In the same way that 0.05% alcohol in the blood is negligible? That 25 micrograms of LSD25 is negligible? That… Ah fuck it.

      You might want to let the rest of the scientific community in on your “little secret”.

  162. Fuck. Where do I start. CARBON CARBON CARBON CARBON CARBON CARBON CARBON CARBON CARBON CARBON CARBON CARBON CARBON CARBON CARBON TAX TAX TAX TAX TAX TAX TAX TAX TAX. Fuck off… with this carbon bullshit. All of you listen for a change. Listen then I will listen to you. That is how a democracy works. Isn’t it?

    It still seems that we will consume just as much as before if the real problems of climate change are not addressed… STOP. STOP. I hate the word climate change. Can we please use “destruction of the environment” or “pollution”, just like we did in the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s and 90’s.

    It seems absurd to act the way we do. It is like treating an AID’s patient for a cold rather that the initial disease.

    I am no scientist and I don’t need science to tell me the world is dying. I just want some rational thought. I feel we are doomed. We all seem to like buying shit. We love it, but it just isn’t sustainable.

    Australia has to become a sustainable country. We have to start being accountable for our waste. Lets forget about the word carbon for a minute and talk about the word waste. We have to look at general waste and its production and distribution throughout society. We all have to be accountable for our environmental footprint and it isn’t really about being thoughtful and driving your car a little less or using solar fucking power. Every single thing we do impacts on the environment and we just have to be aware and start to give a total shit. I think that legislature is truly the right way forward, however we need to understand what we are talking about. We need to be all on the same level.

    The economists say the way forward is to reduce carbon emissions, but we have failed to hear, that we just need to consume less. We have to stop buying so much shit that uses so much resources and so much packaging. STOP BUYING ALL THE SHIT IN PACKAGING.

    We just have to be a bit more serious about recycling and the impact of our consumerist, wasteful culture. I also believe companies have to begin to reduce their waste and recycle more. The way to do this may be to impose a tax on the waste involved in producing the packaging. We have to get the factories to produce less waste. Less waste equals less carbon.

    Every product that has packaging that is thrown away after use should have a personal waste cost inbuilt into the product. Even if it can be recycled, it is still waste that need not be there in the first place. It is still something that is made that pollutes the environment.

    It is all about the supply chain by which you purchase the product.

    For example, you buy a box of “something” from the supermarket. There is the cost to the environment from the box, the plastic bag containing the “something” and the transportation costs of getting it to you. There is also the waste as the end result of eating or using the product.

    A lot of carbon goes into a making items in a factory, but you my as well call it waste. Human error and machine malfunctions account for a lot of the waste. This way of production is very wasteful and could be made to be better. If there were legislature to make industry pay more for waste, then they would have to try and reduce their waste. If they succeeded they wouldn’t use as much packaging and energy in production. Less carbon would therefore be produced.

    Fuck it. No one listens anyway. You’re all mostly insane as I am as well. I am all for charging for pollution. I am all for charging for every little fucking bit, just address the REAL problems.

    Fast food pollution forever,
    Mackridge Mountain

  163. Heath says:

    I’m one of the people who is supposed to hate this tax. I earn a shitload and my wife earns a slightly smaller shitload, so we’re not gonna see any compensation. Also, I work in the resources industry, so my company is apparently going to go elsewhere to extract the gas that’s under Queensland.

    Also, I don’t have kids. So what the fuck do I care about the livability of the future, right?

    Fortunately, I can read. And I read things other than Andrew Bolt’s blog. I can also see beyond my own wallet. I’m more than happy to forgo the cost of a couple of chocolate bars and cokes a week to encourage the change that is needed. Hell, maybe I’ll lose a few kilos into the bargain.

    One of the favourite comments I’ve seen on the whole “cost of living” whinge recently has been “you don’t have a high cost of living, you have a high cost of lifestyle”. Couldn’t agree more.

  164. Robster says:

    Food for thought: Australia’s carbon emissions in 2007 per person 17.9 tonnes per person and rising. China’s is 4.9 tonnes per person. Think about that before pointing the finger at China claiming they have to do something first.

    We are the 11th most polluting per capita nation followed by America. Ahead of us on the list are such countries as:
    1. Qatar
    2. Trinidad and Tobago
    3. United Arab Emirates
    4. Netherlands Antilles
    5. Bahrain
    6. Brunei
    7. Kuwait
    8. Luxembourg
    9. Aruba
    10. Falkland Islands

    Wait wait wait.
    THE FALKLAND ISLANDS!!! ARUBA!!!! LUXEMBOURG!!! TOBAGO!!!!! NETHERLANDS ANTILLES!! BRUNEI!!!????? I know they have their own governments so they qualify as countries on a technical level but we cant hide behind some islands to make us feel good.

    If it wasn’t for the middle east QATAR, UAE, BAHRAIN we would be at the top of the list of the worlds carbon polluters.

  165. Matty says:

    “Poor people in Australia do not starve to death. They don’t die of cold. There is clean water running in any public bathroom. If they’re ill, they can walk into a hospital and be treated. If they’re broke, they can get welfare. They can get roofs over their heads, even if they’re temporary. They have options. If the utilities are shut off, they can find a tap, or a power point. They can make it through the night. ”

    this is fucking crap …… go talk to Lifeline St Vinnies or any of the other charities that look after the homeless ….. better still get of you’re sweet arse and go help …. this way you’ll get to see what life is really about for the poor & homeless of this nation. We might might not have it as bad as some countries but there are plenty of people out there going hundred & that have no where safe or warm to sleep …. a lot of them have kids. Public housing is in very short supply, refuges have only limited spaces
    Get fucking real …. on this you’re got no idea what you’re fucking talking about

    • geoff lemon says:

      I’m not saying there aren’t homeless people in Australia. I’m saying those people make up a minute proportion of the population, compared to other countries, and as such, they have a much better chance of getting by.

      Tell me which parts of this aren’t true? Tell me where someone can’t find a bathroom in a shopping centre to get some water to drink? Or a skip with food in it? Or which cities don’t have public hospitals?

      And seriously, how many people have actually starved to death in Australia? Ever? Find me some.

  166. iLol says:

    I lol when I see repeated comments about speed cameras. FOCUS ON THE ISSUE.

  167. The Spindoctor says:

    Beautiful prose. You have put in words what I feel. The gradual elevation in anger and swearing is well executed. Next time I’m invited to lecture to students in journalism, I will bring this to class.

    On this topic, I read yesterday on the ABC’s website a panel beater from Ballarat saying ‘The nation can’t afford it’. WTF? Are you talking about Australia? One of the few fucking economies to escape recession during the WFC? The same country riding the mining boom? Which fucking country are you in? Oh, I forget you mentioned you have eight kids living at home. Of course this will be hard.

    Seriously, in the words of Chopper, this country needs a spoon of cement and harden the fuck up. And to see Angry Anderson screaming ‘Double Desolution’ to a bunch of nutters in Martin Place two weeks ago. The crowd had more years than IQ. Stop listening to 2GB and reading the Tele, drop a tablet and have a good lie down.

    Whinge, whinge, whinge. Bloody hell Australia. Switch off the beer fridge in the shed, turn off the second, third, fourth … flat screen TV, live within your freakin’ means and suck it up. At worst it’s $10 a week. Shit, I’ll pay $50 and cover four other whinging households.

    This is almost as bad as the bloody Tampa.

  168. Rupert says:

    Heathen Scripture – another reason for an intelligence test before allowing access to the internet. Maintain the pointless thoughtless hate. Your kids will park you somewhere you deserve. See, your choices will make them thick and selfish too.

  169. Thanks Geoff for another stellar piece. This blog is really becoming my major source of the news of Australia whilst i am not in the country. As I am one of those absurdly fortunate people who has taken the opportunity to travel the world (on a very modest budget however) I will gladly accept this tax on returning to Australia.

    In my travels I have now seen homeless sleeping directly onto ice in the streets of Krakow in deep winter. I’ve had a 15yr old Moroccan child decide he was going to follow me across the country traveling only to have to inform him later that it was unfortunately not possible due to him only having a total of 40 dirham (about $4.60) to his name (i felt like such a hypocrite), when i asked if his family could help him he told me they had sent him away because they couldn’t afford to keep him. this is a kid who speaks 3 languages fluently at 15 and yet can’t put together more than $10. I have now seen how people live a ridiculously minimal lifestyle in the middle of the Sahara. I’ve met vietnamese who make 1000 Dong (4c) on a good day and try to use that to support a large family in a harsh climate and an overpopulated country. I’ve seen first hand the inequalities of the world and the imbalance between nations and I haven’t even been to the worst spots. I always tried to do what little i could for the people that i actually met but it always felt so futile and small, i think a country like Australia could do more than the individual and it starts with changing our attitudes here and now. we need to be less selfish… me included.

    Now i am not meaning to preach or guilt trip everybody I just feel from having read Geoff’s article that this was an important driving focus that some of the people who have commented seem to have overlooked and i felt it necessary to try and illustrate the point from a first hand perspective. Regardless of what the bump is to your taxes, or whether you agree with the justifacation for the carbon tax you must be mindful of the fact is that you live in one of the most privlidged nations on the planet in this current world climate. our hardships are minimal and spread across very few, we have more space per capita than any other people alive and yet we feel like we have a right to deny everyone entrance to our country and bitch about it when they do get in. Our immigration laws are archaic and overly strict, our so called ‘solidarity’ is cracking as our own government fear mongers and runs more and more frequently into the moral grey area for the sole purpose of publicity. It sickens me to see how people are so resistant to give up something as small as $10/week for something so important as our planet… what better cause is there really? seriously, if you can give me one please do.

  170. Thank you, so well-said. Say it again!


  171. moar caek says:

    I don’t do old media anymore. not if there are commercials attached at least.
    sadly apparently billions do.
    humans are idiots eh?
    especially in large groups.
    reserve your choicest bile for those who profit from the generalised dumbing down of western culture.
    and as we surely know, those aren’t politicians.
    The more people think, the less they spend – Todd Sampson
    useless ignorant fucking Shoppers. a few generations now of vacuous consumers who will go where ever you tell them as long as you get the whistles and bells in the right sequence. consuming and excreting.
    maybe humanity could have spread life and intellect out into a barren Universe.
    but not while Rupert and his pals have the reins. It’s probably fair to just say “we’re fucked.” at this point and try not to make it any worse.
    turn some lights off.
    recycle yr milk bottles.
    that sort of thing.

  172. Chris Bell says:

    If only you could cry me a Fred Nile.

  173. Pamela S says:

    * Standing Ovation *

  174. Sj Finch says:

    Love everything about this article but that one word, dude. Jeez, just replace it with something else already. Change it to something that isn’t hateful, hurtful and prejudiced against a whole category of people. There are loads of other words that are as fiery as you want, but aren’t stupid and ignorant to use.

  175. Em Rusciano says:


  176. Em Rusciano says:

    I WAS SO EXCITED I MISSPELLED BRILLIANT. OH I’ll take the caps lock off now too.

  177. Nigel says:

    Abbott’s about as real as that loud-mouthed purser in the Poseidon adventure who refused to ‘climb to the bottom’ with Gene Hackman et al, and was thus responsible for the deaths of all the frightened sheep who didn’t.

  178. doug Steley says:

    A fucking Men !

    Come home from living a month in the Papua New Guinea highlands or some small island in Indonesia or a village in south east asia and walk into any supermarket in Australia.

    It is just unbelievable how rich and well off people are in this country yet they bitch and moan about how poor they are and how tough life is and how hard they have to work.

    Some years ago we hosted a child from Russia who was recovering from leukemia after Chernobyl, her comment that always stayed with me was “Australians have more food in their homes than we have in our shops”

    Stop bitching, enjoy how amazingly great your life is !

  179. Justin says:

    Well fucking done. Really, sincerely – fucking tearily – congratulations. I live in Germany, and your article is doing the rounds here (albeit mostly among fellow Australians). Great piece of writing and if it can get circulation, it has the potential to influence the debate in a way that commentators have dismally failed to do.

    P.S. You have inspired me to swear more in my own writing…

  180. doug Steley says:

    Perhaps if Gillard renamed it “the carbon big fluffy puppy” ?

    As soon as they hear the word TAX they fly into a panic and rage ! 🙂

  181. Pingback: Intellectually Taxing: how to combat climate change? | Marc Testart, Citizen

  182. Pingback: Intellectually Taxing: how to combat climate change? | Marc Testart, Citizen

  183. mr reading says:

    don’t be such a baby, asking for moderation of the herald sun comments and bemoaning a bias in a commercial paper.

    do you really think this fool is ‘inciting the murder of a head of government’ in his one liner? is somebody really going to read it and be inspired to kill j.g.? it’s a throwaway political comment on a political article. you’re exaggerating as much as he is. ill-informed or not, if someone removed it, others would cry censorship. don’t be such a doofus. let it go.

    in this very article, you compare hs employees to concentration camp guards, use ‘retards’ as a derogatory term and say you’d like to see australians upset about being taxed ‘fuck off and die in a ditch’.

    little baby, you are having your cake and eating it too. freedom of the press isn’t just for you. do better to understand the nature of the industry you’re in.

    • geoff lemon says:

      Macca, you got me. I was wrong. I’m just going to take all this down now, and sorry for bothering you.

  184. Anna says:

    Thankyou for writing exactly what I was thinking. I wish everyone could read this. You say everything so perfectly. It makes me happy that there are people like you out there, I just wish there was more…

  185. Ricardhino says:

    Your article is based on a false premise: Treasury’s modelling is bunk. The world economy is just about so slam into a brick fucking wall and all you can care about is some piss-pot scheme to tax a trace gas?

    Look man, carbon emissions are the least of our problems. The very least. Less than aboriginal alcoholism, less than the structural integrity of the Riverside Expressway, less than the fate of those Lipton ice bicycles council put everywhere.

    The economy is going into recession. And do you know why? Because Julia “fist my cunt” Gillard and Bob “clown my ass” Brown are a pair of socialists loons. That’s not hyberbole (or hyperbowl, if you prefer), its a dead set fact.

  186. Yang Wu says:

    you’re right, 10 bucks a week, that’s less than a cup of coffee a day, but you forgot one thing, I WANTED to get that cup of coffee, but I DONT WANT to pay more tax than I have already paid.

  187. Dean says:

    The only institution set to gain from carbon trading is the banks – didn’t you know they are all scrambling to set up carbon trading bureaus. Why? Because it is a multi billion $ business.

    How can we be blamed for global warming when the ice caps were melting at their highest rate over 10,000 years ago. WHEN THERE WAS NO POLLUTION! Yes there is climate change but it’s natutrally occuring.

    And if you believe Gillard’s pitch that it will only cost you $10 bucks a week, then you believe in the tooth fairy. Two words come to mind when I read this article; Naive and ill-informed. Perhaps as a journalist, you might want to do some more research, eevn if you are only at it par time.

    • Crepin says:

      I am so glad you have had your weather station running constantly over the past 10,000 years, keeping a careful eye on all of the ice caps. I agree that current weather patterns are well within acceptable and sustainable limits in terms of natural cycles, but I suggest you revise your science before using it to underpin your arguments.

  188. jeremy says:

    well said friend

  189. brando says:

    Wow. You summed this up so beautifully. You are an amazing writer & I’m going to pass this page on to everyone I know.

  190. Drew says:

    I am a straight man. I’m wondering, are you single?

  191. Jim medcraft says:

    You fucking rock!!!

  192. Crepin says:

    Just to clarify the science side of things in this debate, climate change is not something that we measure. Nor is it something we are certain of now, or will be certain of in 10 years time. Climate change, along with ‘global warming’ and other meteorological scenarios, is a projected outcome based on the ‘what if’ mentality that scientists take in order to get some ideas down on paper. This does not make it real or pressing. However, in spite of the climate change debate, pollution and energy efficiency ARE important issues of modern life in Australia that need to be addressed. I am not opposed to a Carbon Tax, or any other measure of reducing Carbon Emissions, but if we are honest with ourselves about the action that should be taken, then our attention really belongs to finding renewable and efficient energy sources. The environment is not just about a Carbon dioxide balance, that is one little part of the bigger picture. A part which does not even have a definite place of the ‘to do’ list, yet.

    All of this said, great article. I found this really put into perspective the economic and political side of the debate, which I had limited clarity for.

  193. william says:

    Brillant! I work in a cafe in Elizabeth bay and I swear to god I want to take a reality check bazooka to all of their heads.

  194. Harry says:

    Very interesting read, although a little long winded. Just a couple of thing I’d just like to bring up. Firstly, people are placing far too much emphasis on the Labor Party in regards to this taxation. This is more or less Green’s and Andrew Wilkie legislation. This tax would never have even been considered if the Greens and Independents hadn’t held the balance in the Parliament and Senate.

    Secondly, to think that this tax won’t change over the next 4 or so years is, in my opinion, a little naive. The Green’s have stated that they are hoping to use the tax as a springboard to more far reaching and extreme environmental legislation. They will push for petrol to be included in the tax in the next couple of years, and with the Parliament and Senate balanced as it is it is a distinct possibility that it will.

    That’s pretty much it. As I said an interesting read, and the first of yours I’ve read.

  195. M says:

    okay robin-fucking-hood, lets keep letting our government tax the rich to pay for the poor, even if ti starts at 10 dollars a week, then maybe the tax will become 15/20 what then. slowly lets desensitize the public until there is no more incentive to earn a good living because there will be some rich guy out there that we can tax to pay for everyone else. the real laugh is that australia affords everyone the luxury we now have because of capitalism, and without it we would be fucked. so whinge as you would but wait for those tax brackets to change until there is no one left to tax because it isnt worth earning a big income anymore.
    Let it be said that income however does not define the individual, but let it also be said that because i choose to buy a pair of jeans that doesn’t come from the army disposal store does not make me a fucking martyr for the tyranny that is the control of the government over every aspect of our lives.
    If you remove the opportunity for someone to break the law, then the law is redundant, and so is the individuals liberty, we pay if we break the law it is a choice, jsut like our government is. If you don’t like your government then do something about it rather than type up a letter from your laptop in a fucking Starbucks while you “culture jam” the mainstream by stealing their internet for the price of a fucking frappacino, recognise that in Australia opportunities are abundant and hard work and big incomes have made this country what it is that you feel you have the right about to whinge about justice and rights from your ivory tower. in short, get your own perspective maybe a less egotistical egalitarian point of view and recognise why society has prospered in this country to give you the platform to even voice your opinion.

    • geoff lemon says:

      Congratulations, sir/madam, you win the inaugural “Use of the Phrase ‘Ivory Tower’ Award” for this comment thread. Which comes with a lifetime “Guess We Don’t Have to Listen to You” subscription.

      What if the cost does go up to $15? Or $20? For a whole three years before it expires in 2015? What if it’s thirty dollars? What if you sit back and have a nice hot cup of harden the fuck up?

      I’d bring you one, but this Starbucks sucks.

      • Geoff Andrews says:

        Wow, Geoff, that M sure had a good point somewhere. I liked the bit about the government forcing (?) him to buy op shop jeans and of course he has a point about your clogging up the entire internet.
        However, I’m still working on the semiotics of:
        “If you remove the opportunity for someone to break the law, then the law is redundant, and so is the individuals liberty,”
        A good effort, M
        2/10 and resubmit (and for christ’s sake get your Caps Lock key fixed)

  196. Sally says:

    Fkn excellently put! Love ur work!!!

  197. Sonny says:

    I live in Adelaide – fuck you.

  198. Ross says:

    Hey, I couldnt read it all cause the carbon tax on all my shit is already too much. My mine site in Broome somewhere is costing me heaps. hang on gotta switch off my pooter cause its costing me shit loads too.

    Lucky homelss folk dont get carbon tax, useless fucking wankers should install heaters for them?

    Nup this is pivital like boat people attacking us in thousands a little back. I think you call it diiflection from the fact they dont know how to stay in government or make a policy to get a kleenex to wip e the snot off their chauffer? nd cutn youse my spell checker. carbon tax aye?

  199. Pingback: The Good Things in Life version 3.0 - Page 76

  200. Rob murray says:

    Bloody gold. I have to read the rubbish in the papers everyday, and watch smart people tiptoe around sceptic dipshits to avoid offending them. Well fuck it – shit, poorly thought out opinions offend me. We don’t help anyone when we call a spade an ‘interesting perspective on a garden fork’. A laughably stupid argument is exactly that. More please Geoff. Can we get you a segment on channel 9?

  201. Jilly Magee says:

    this is one of the best prosed blogs I have ever read, I bow down to your inspired words, sentences, format and structure, brilliance. And hear hear! I can’t believe the reaction of people, whom I used to consider sane, to this tax. I’ve worked in the tax policy field and making a good and fair tax is very hard, the input from the dependents and the greens and perhaps even lobby groups like GetUp has really seen this tax come out as a pretty bloody good deal – the increase in the tax free threshold is huge! Celebrate Australia, as Bob (sort of) said, you’re a bum if you don’t.

  202. MM says:

    Great read. (Nothing like an online cynical and witty blog written about a recent news interest to bring out the ‘experts’ from the woodwork. )

    I smirked, chortled and agreed with your sentiments.
    It reminded me of ‘2, The Ranting Gryphon’


  203. Cameron says:

    To the guy who made the argument about solar taking up too much space, have you not seen the middle of our county? Pretty sure we can find somewhere to put it.

  204. Sam says:

    Well fucking said. That’s one of the best articles I have ever read; thank fuck we have people like you out there to set the record straight.

  205. Taylor says:

    Thank you!

  206. monica says:

    i love you. this is the best article i have read on this topic. thank you.

    Reading all the stupid mindless comments about the carbon tax from o/s has had me so upset that I was trying to work out ways that i never had to return to the island after dumbageddon clearly wiped out the smart population. Now having read this, and am relaxed and looking forward to coming home…. and paying my tax. 🙂

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