You shut your goddamn carbon-taxin’ mouth

Three days on from Julia Gillard’s policy announcement, and the most striking characteristic of the carbon tax debate is just how closely it resembles a dozen morons trying to fuck a doorknob. The only apparent solution is a massive airdop of Xanax into our reservoirs, because really, everyone needs a few deep breaths and a spell in the quiet corner.

Sure, the weeks leading up have all been hysteria: Tony Abbott marching that bulldog grimace up and down the length of the country, like a Cassandra made of old leather and stunted dreams, cawing grim warnings of imminent ruin and destruction at the gates of Troy. But you might have expected, once the details had been released, there would arrive a little more perspective.

Nothing doing.

Far from being objective carriers of information, media outlets have been trying to manufacture furore. “Families earning more than $110k will feel the pain of the carbon tax,” warned the Herald-Sun, straightfaced. “Households face a $9.90 a week jump in the cost of living.”


Cry me the motherfucking Nile.

Households on less than that income would be even less affected. Those in the upper range would have their ten bucks a week at least partly compensated, while others would be fully or over-compensated.

The tax, after all, was not on people, but on 500 high-polluting companies. The compensation was to guard against costs those companies might pass on to their customers.

So, no big deal, I said to myself when the details were announced. Surely this’ll all blow over. And then, found myself more than a little surprised when a Herald-Sun commenter (one step above YouTube on the food-chain, I’ll admit) said “Somebody needs to assassinate Julia Gillard NOW before she totally destroys our way of life.”

Just… hold up a minute. Ten bucks a week? Our way of life? Aside from incitement to murder a head of government being ever so slightly illegal (and something the Hun mods should probably have picked up on), the response just doesn’t make any sense. Here is legislation that might make some things marginally more expensive. Probably not much. It isn’t going to drive industries offshore, because things like power generation and mining Australian resources kind of have to be done in Australia.

And yet the hysteria, even when not reaching Lee Harvey Oswald levels, has been constant throughout, led by the paper who defines ten bucks a week out of a hundred grand as “feeling the pain”.

“Social demographer David Chalke said the tax threatened values at the core of Australian society. ‘To an extent it will make people question, “is it really worth the bother?” They’ll smell in this something of a class war,’ Mr Chalke said.”

Ten bucks a week. Core values. Class war. Then, “Generous payments to those on low incomes and higher taxes for high income earners would anger hard-working Aussies.” Because, people on less than $110,000 don’t have to work hard. That’s why they get paid less! Scrubbing toilets is easy and only takes five minutes, while high-level boardroom execs spend 20-hour days chained to some kind of awful lunch machine being beaten with lobster foam.

I also enjoyed “On 3AW yesterday, Treasurer Wayne Swan was unable to say how the carbon tax would affect a Falcon. He also couldn’t say what the price change for a can of tomatoes would be.” The random grocery quiz had undone the Treasurer yet again. “Wait, wait, wait, got one…uh… large box of Libra Fleur? Nope. Uh, Sara Lee Chocolate Bavarian? Hah, you got nothin’, Swanny!”

Then there were the numerous headlines about airfares set to “soar” (geddit!). Well-meaning travellers were interviewed saying higher airfares would make it much harder to afford family holidays. Tres sad, especially when Qantas “said it would need to fully pass on the carbon price to customers, with the price of a single domestic flight ticket to increase on average by about $3.50.”

Three dollars. Fifty cents. They currently charge you more than that for a bottle of water. They charge $7.50 to buy a ticket online, $8 for a cup of noodles, $25 to use their check-in counter, and $6 to board the plane first. The best comment left after that article was, “So people won’t be able to buy a newspaper for the boarding lounge anymore? Good.”

So let’s never hear any talk of ABC bias ever again, because the Sun has well and truly picked its horse on this one. Any online article on the tax was headlined by a video of the lovely Andrew Bolt, telling us it was “the greatest act of national suicide we’ve ever seen.” Funny, I thought that was when they gave him a TV show. There was also a great line about “so-called solar energy” – because now solar energy is just a theory too. Like gravity, or Adelaide.

I am a sometime journalist. In that sense, the staff in the Herald and Weekly Times building are my colleagues. This makes me feel a bit like whorehouse linen. No doubt they all say they’re just doing their jobs, looking for opportunities. Nonetheless, they’re still actively promoting harm for the sake of attracting an audience. Concentration camp guards are just doing their jobs, too.

And with that level of reporting, the effort from their readers is no surprise. “Co2 is not a pollutant. It is vital for life on Earth. Without it, trees will die,” said John. Get that man on the climate panel.

“How much will Australia’s temperatures decline once the tax is implemented?” asked Marty. Well, Marty, the atmosphere takes notes about where its constituent particles come from, so we’ll get a full report from the Hole in the Ozone Layer each quarter. He wears a jaunty hat, and gives every boy and girl a delicious melanoma.

The dumbshititis was also evident in the audience of the Prime Ministerial Q and A on Monday, where the average question could be summarised as, “I’m a person, and I don’t like paying money. Can I not ever pay money for things?” My favourite line, from a surgical swab of a man towards the end of the show, was that because he earned too much to be eligible for low-income handouts, “I feel I’ll be taxed into poverty.”

This taps into a very prominent feature of our political landscape: the constant line from Tony Abbott that Australian families are hurting, that Aussies are doing it tough, that life is somehow getting harder, that the cost of living is on the rise.

Shenanigans, Tony. Let’s get one thing very clear. Australians, en masse, are enjoying a better standard of living than has ever been enjoyed in this country’s history.

And not just marginally, but by a huge degree. Really, along with a few other developed countries, we are enjoying a better standard of living than any group of people has in human existence. We have every kind of food and beverage from around the world deliverable to our doors. We have technological advances that make a decade ago look archaic. We have goods and luxuries of every conceivable kind; cheap and accessible. We have more and better options with transport, entertainment, comfort, place and style of residence. We have the most advanced medicine and best life expectancy of all time.

While there is still poverty in Australia, it does not even touch the kinds of poverty experienced in most countries on earth. Support systems and sufficient wealth exist to cover at least basic needs. The small proportion of genuinely homeless usually have other factors that keep them away from those systems. Being poor in Australia means living in a crappy house, in a crappy area. Maybe a commission flat. It means living on welfare, getting by week to week, not having any money for nice things. It might mean the kids have to go to their friend’s house to play X-Box, or that they don’t get sweet Christmas presents. It sucks, but it’s safe. It’s solid. It keeps you alive. It’s a level of stability and security that half the world would kill for, and even the basic amenities of a commission flat are amenities that half the world doesn’t have.

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 powerpoint. They can make it through the night.

And those poor aside, the rest of the country is doing very fucking nicely indeed, thanks very much. Reading these stories of parents bitching about working long hours to afford their private school fees just makes me want to give their little tow-headed spawn a spew bath. The lack of perspective is astonishing. Their kids are safe and fed and healthy and getting every opportunity to do whatever they want with their lives. They’re not getting sent out to suck tourist dick for enough US dollars to get their siblings through the week.

It should make us ashamed that there are people with good earnings ready to claim victim status on national television over a worst-case scenario of five hundred bucks a year. This is what is driving people into a panicky rage. Five hundred dollars, if you can afford it. Less if you can’t. If you run a red light camera in Victoria it’s $300. Do 40 ks over the limit, $510. If we get fines, we bitch about it, but inherently accept the rationale: the fine is levied as a penalty by someone endangering others in the society. It’s the basic structure of how a society works. We all agree to abide by certain rules as a form of insurance, to make sure that we’re not on the receiving end of the negative consequences of lawlessness. When people refuse to abide by those rules, they’re variously censured by or removed from that society.

If we obtain energy by burning irreplaceable fuel, and the consequences threaten the safety of our society, then surely we should pay a penalty for that (adding to a fund to guard against those consequences). The rule is basic: you make the mess, you clean it up. Ten bucks a week is a sweet deal.

But in being part of the luckiest couple of generations of people to yet walk the earth, most of us still like to imagine we’ve got it tough. It’s that same sense of entitlement that I was discussing regarding Raquel a couple of weeks ago. When you grow up with a certain standard of living, you come to regard it as the natural state of affairs. If someone threatens that state, they are depriving you of what is fundamentally yours. To your mind, you have a right to live like this, purely because you’re lucky enough to have lived like this.

Well, you don’t. So if you claim you can’t afford ten bucks a week, I call Shenanigans, with a healthy dash of You’re a Dick. One dinner at the Flower Drum would make up your year’s liability in one hit. Genuinely struggling people will get compo anyway. But even they could afford it if they had to. Buy one less deck of Holiday 50s a week. Buy two less beers. Leave off the Foxtel subscription. Wear a franger, save half a mil. What the fuck ever. Remember that you live in a country where drinkable water comes out of a tap inside your goddamn house, and where the power runs 24 hours a day. This in itself is a goddamn privilege, and if you are going to bitch and moan about having to pay for that privilege, you can fuck off and die in a ditch.

Because you do not have a right to this way of life. No-one does. We just have the extreme good fortune of enjoying it, and that won’t last forever. We should appreciate it while we can.

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. Part of me would love to see these squawking indignant right-to-luxury dickwipes learning how to live in the dust, scraping out dried plants from the earth and hoarding their remnants from the Beforetime. It’ll be a sight if it happens. Dirty red skies will rise up from the ground each morning like a curse. The only creatures that seem to thrive, the cockroaches and carrion birds, will swarm black against the sand and the sunset, rasping dry songs with their throats and with their legs. The water will be gone. The world will not remember ice floes. And for her sins, for ten dollars a week from each and every one of us, Julia Gillard will hang from the garret at the gates of Troy.

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796 Responses to You shut your goddamn carbon-taxin’ mouth

  1. Val Lewis says:

    How wonderful. If there were only some better way than the passing of this blog to others who agree with us anyway, to get this out to the great washed and unwashed. People need to get real.

    • Simon says:

      That was my first thought. How do we get this out there. Thats the problem with the media. The old saying Good news never made a paper sell springs to mind.

      • drew says:

        I still find it hard to believe that some people voted for Gillard ONLY because she favoured some other method (other than using a carbon tax) of putting a price on carbon for the purposes of an ETS…

        I voted for Gillard because she wanted to push on with an ETS – the method of pricing carbon (using a tax or other) for me was irrelvant.

        • James says:

          um… no you didn’t, you voted for Krudd, which was also a mistake, gillard is a mere pupet to the looby groups and independants. sooner we get to elect a prime minister for ourselves, the better in my opinion.

          As far as this carbon tax goes, If and when it comes in I’m going to have to take a long hard look at my small buisness. Allready it’s a very competative market and almost not profitable enough to be worth the effort, if it turns out that the tax on fuel can’t be passed on to the trade ( I average 1600Kms a week) I will be forced to shut down.

          Ten dollars a week? I bet ten bux and my lefty that it’ll cost ALOT more than that. Add to this that it’s an indexed tax, what’s it gonna be worth in 5 yrs, ADD TO THAT that it’s a TAX ON A TAX (gst). We allready pay gst on federal excise, but no1’s talking about that.

          If you think the price of fuel won’t increase for the private users, you’ve got rocks in your head also, the oil co’s will gouge some mor out of it for sure, don’t believe me? check on the price of a barrel of crude today and the pump price and compare it to 2000, but no1’s talking about that.

          Some of you should look at the plan by Beyond Zero Emmisions in partnership with the University of Melbourne and several other CLIMATE SCIENTISTS not professors of ecconomics (good old Ross G.) entailing how through the use of EXISTING TECHNOLOGY that’s proven and scalable Australia could be carbon neutral if not carbon negative by 2020 at NO MORE COST than “buisness as usual” and maintanence costs of our current energy systems.

          This new tax, will only serve to redistribute the weath by costing the average Australian more, and putting more money in the gov’s pockets.

          • Dan says:

            We vote for a local member, not the prime minister. The PM’s just the leader of the party. That’s the Westminster system. Awkward, but that’s the way it is. Good luck with your business. Your planet will thank you for your cooperation.

          • sharon says:

            yep!! thats right -we can save the planet with no cost to anyone!! business as usual!! you wish!!

          • Curdles says:

            I agree that this tax is just another way that the government can line their pockets with taxpayers money, but I think the article is missing the real point. A carbon tax is not going to make a lick of difference to “climate change” (cause it’s not global warming anymore) Not when countries like China and India are exponentially increasing their consumption of “dirty” energy, which is happily supplied by Australia.
            This tax will hurt Australia economically by costing jobs, and pushing big business off shore and overseas where carbon is not taxed.

          • geoff lemon says:

            Same tired arguments getting run around for the umpteenth time. Read the Q and A, then get back to me.

          • and i bet twenty bucks and my right buttock that you’re an idiot and you have no idea what the hell you’re on about

          • Dan says:

            Get yourself a more efficient form of transport – maybe a used model if cash us tight?
            The purpose of this tax is to force investment into the technologies that you are talking about for those who have not opted to do it voluntarily.

          • John Newton says:

            BTW – it’s emissions -apart from that I looked at Beyond Zero Emissions and I doubt very much it was saying anything that you appear to be saying James. Do you not realise that the idea of the carbon tax is – simply put – to tax the heavy polluters to fund among other things research into the kinds of renewable energies discussed on Beyond Zero emissions. James, you won’t even notice it old son.

          • John Edwards says:

            The day that australians did this will be the worst day in history for Australia. We will have truly gone down the road to americanisation, and then it will be “God help us all”.

      • Chris says:

        Er.. Why is Dr Eslake surprised this package is a political compromise? And surely noone missed those parts that were pre-announced by the Senator Milne of the Greens? However who’s he kidding that the $23-$25 tax is going to get us to the 2020 target without continuing interventions. Also, the raising of the tax-free threshold came from the Henry review! (And family aspects of tax can address people with kids vs. others.)

        • Paul says:

          So chris what about all the other stuff in the henry review?

          I do NOT think cherry picking the bits that you think the greens will like and keep supporting you is good policy, but then again i’m not Julia.

          • Chris says:

            I’m not sure what else in the Henry review you think would pertain to this compensation package without confusing the issues. But great if you can persuade Dr No to put policy over politics so the government needs The Greens less, and so every t_x reform doesn’t see the staging of that Fear-Letter-Word fanfare campaign and require sweetening from the budget so there’s no losers.
            Journalists & media-owners aside, Australia surely wishes every luck to anyone can affect such change in our political culture. Just putting a 24hr delay on the once-was-Question-Time cameras would be a decent start.

    • Really wonderful ,It’s everyone’s responsibility to do his/h er share to spread the words.

  2. uhhuh says:

    that apostrophe in the article title is REALLY screwing up the whole copy/paste linking thing :\

    • Geoff Lemon says:

      Just link to the base domain. There’s only one post on this temp site.

      • patriciawa says:

        Sorry Geoff – base domain? I’m an L Plate blogger. Interesting that you could read a comment as it came up. How do you do that?

        • geoff lemon says:

          As in, the base domain is the domain of the blog (, which features everything on the blog in order. It would lead to this article without needing the specific URL for the article itself ( Because this article is the latest, it will come up first. But, when I post something else, the base domain will show you that first. So if you’re linking, perhaps use the full URL.

          All the comments come through my dashboard for approval, so I can reply to them there, and then approve the comment and the reply in one hit.

          Gotta get your L plates somewhere 🙂

  3. Action4Australia says:

    Well said, however you realise by calling your blog “Heathen Scripture” (although I get – and like – the reference to writings for the underclass) devout high-profile God-botherers like Kevin Rudd and Tiny Rabbit wont read it ;D

    • Margaret England says:

      Hmm……….I’d change the “Heathen Scripture” title. As a Christian I agree entirely with what you say but your title will cause some to hit the delete button without reading the contents.

      • M. Haggman says:

        The sort of person who ‘hits the delete button’ based on the title of this blog isn’t exactly the sort of person to be swayed by words and logic, so no harm done, I suspect.

  4. You must be so proud…all those extra readers – this post got shared a LOT on FB. Fantastic post. Although I do have to agree with the don’t-like-retard-comment commenters. Everything else – great!

    • Jenniferjuju says:

      I agree with you Rhiannonsaxon. Although a great article i dont like the retard comment – hits a bit too close to home. I have posted and forwarded this to everyone i know! The response has been ” where can we read more articles like this one

      • geoff lemon says:

        There is a toned-down version of the piece over at The Drum if you need a safe copy to forward. And… I guess here would be the place to read more stuff like this. There’s a new piece due Monday morning.

        • Chris says:

          Wondering if that article was knocked back by News Ltd? Or was it not worth trying from a personal safety PoV (tho a pseudonym is just choosing few more words)? ;(

        • tq says:

          I think I’m in love! …. with your brain, Geoff! I adored this article [saw it first on the Drum]. Sock it to ’em!! It’s high time someone skewered the selfishness and myopia of too many Australians, who as you say are enjoying a fabulous standard of living by pure LUCK.

  5. paul says:

    well aren’t you a self indignant little thing?

    If i may i’d like to ask a couple of questions.

    1. did anyone vote for a carbon tax (my memory recalls a politition clearly stating there would not be a carbon tax), be honest NO
    2. if Julie got an extra couple of seats (or really one in melbourne) would we have a carbon tax? again NO
    3. will this little $10 a week (which will rise) reduce global emitions? NO
    4. assuming you are honest and answer 3, NO. then what will be the effect of another tax on Australia? Well for one thing it wont improve the environment, but the greens will be happy!

    • Geoff Lemon says:

      No Paul, the billions that will be put into renewable energy R&D is not going to help the environment one little bit.

      I actually don’t give a shit what people voted for. Leaders should be doing the right thing. It’s not always the popular thing. And anything that involves selfish dickwads having to put their hands in their pockets is very rarely a popular thing. Taking the first tentative step towards establishing that pollution is not ok, and that it should be wound down, is an entirely positive move. People will have to adjust to it? That’s ok. It’s what people do best, when they really have to.

      • jabba says:

        No-one’s died yet due to the GST.

        • Polly says:

          How do you know, jabba?We who had to take it on board sometimes have to work out, meds or electricity bill, heating or insurance? You have no idea how it affected us down the bottom end of the pond….When we got a help with ‘rebate’ it no where near covers even just the GST!!! Bloody thing! It was not just on goods ( fair enough) but on SERVICES where it was NOT before….you have no idea!!

          • GD says:

            I’m guessing if you still have access to the internet, there’s additional discretionary cuts you can make to cover your heating bill.

          • Platts says:

            I have neither heating nor insurance – actually, I have access to heating but refuse to use it because it’s such a waste of resources, and blankets and clothes work well. My income is low enough to be elible for Centrelink payments, but I live very well, because, as Geoff was suggesting, we live in one of the richest countries on Earth, in the richest time ever. If you’re struggling with your bills, maybe just take a step back, employ a bit of perspective and see what is really important.

            The main thing I am disappointed with in the carbon tax is that individuals are being so overcompensated, rather than using that money on things that would actually make a difference to our environmental issues – like more investment in renewable energy – because if we fail to look after our environment, then we fail to look after ourselves, and then what is the point of having a few extra dollars in our pockets?

      • Matthew says:

        I agree with you that leaders should be doing the right thing, however the purpose of a democracy is that the people are the ones who vote people into power. A leader going to an election and saying “there will be no carbon tax” (or something similar) and then implementing one is DISHONEST. Saying “this is the right thing for you” and that “circumstances have changed” is simply trying to justify the deception.
        The fact that this may be the right thing to do in some people’s eyes is irrelevant – if Julia Gillard and the Labor/Green government believe that this is truly the right thing to do then they should’ve taken this issue to an election and given the Australian people the right to decide.

        • geoff lemon says:

          Gillard said that if Labor was voted in, they wouldn’t introduce a tax. And they wouldn’t have, out of fear of the backlash they’re now getting. But Labor wasn’t voted in, it formed government with several other MPs. Meaning the agenda for the next term of government has to be formed by compromise, and can’t mirror the main party’s platform. They compromised, and we’re actually getting a brave policy decision instead of more pacify-the-selfish, avoid-conflict bullshit. We should be very, very glad of that.

          • Matthew says:

            Compromise is also an issue which both the mainstream media and the opposition are getting their hands on here. Consider that the prevailing thinking is that it is the Greens (who received only a small percentage of the overall national vote) setting the vote, and not the majority of the nation, and it’s fairly clear as to why Labor are tanking in the polls. If the majority of our country do not want to have a carbon tax (and it seems like a majority don’t) then what gives the government the right to implement it?

            Fortunately for Gillard, Labor and the Greens, the Australian public is ridiculously apathetic when it comes to protesting and this will probably go through, however it would be interesting to see if the Australian public did start to protest and did get active…would Gillard fold if hundreds of thousands or millions got out into the streets to state their point of view?

          • geoff lemon says:

            Because the majority of the public aren’t the ones whose jobs it is to do the research and make the decisions. Gillard’s not coming round to my house telling me how to write a cricket column. And I don’t have the same breadth or depth of information on these issues as she does. That’s her job, and that’s why we have representatives: to make decisions while the rest of us have shit to do. It doesn’t mean we shouldn’t have input, and we do, but I don’t want the average fish and chip shop owner having final call on policy decisions when their research consists of some shit they heard on the radio news.

            As for the “small percentage of the overall vote”, I think it was something like 13 percent – more than one in ten a pretty substantial minority. I don’t think the Nationals polled any better than that. Yet no-one questions the validity of their coalition with the Libs, or that without them the Libs could never win government, even while Abbott spits “coalition” at Labor and the Greens like it’s a dirty word.

          • Matthew says:

            Thanks for the numbers Geoff, I didn’t have them at hand re: voting numbers at the last election. 13 percent is significant yes (about 1 in 8) however if the latest polling figures are to be believed, over 60 percent of the population are against a carbon tax.
            Certainly, we don’t go telling people how to do their jobs, however just because there is science behind a position should not remove the population’s right to make a decision about their future. If the Australian public want to have a carbon tax (or ETS, or another system) put into place, then it should be voted on. A government which goes into an election and then deceptively changes position is not right. (and yes, I’m well aware that previous governments have been deceptive in the past, but there should be honesty and integrity in politics)

            As for Abbott’s disgust of the Labor/Green “coalition”, it pales in comparison to the latest round of politicians “playing the man” in recent times. Sometimes our pollies remind me of three-year olds.

          • Rachael says:

            Actually, I think three year olds make more sense. 😀

          • Bill says:

            Where’s the deception? They aren’t governing in their own right, so they have to compromise on some issues, and, naturally, that might mean breaking some election promises. That’s the reality of minority government. And if there’s a betrayal here, it’s a pretty trivial one. Labor went into the election supporting a price on carbon. The people had their say on a carbon price when they voted them in. Structurally, the only difference between the scheme that Labor wanted and the scheme that they could get through this parliament is the length of the fixed price period – 3 years of a ‘carbon tax’ before the transition to an ETS in this scheme, versus 1 year under the CPRS. It’s hard to see how anyone but a rabid fan of market-based solutions could be outraged by that. Of course, a rabid fan of market-based solutions would also run screaming from Abbott’s carbon plan.

          • Mark Tyrrell says:

            1 they didn’t get voted in
            2 You dont think saying there will be no carbon tax, and then bringing one in is a deception ?????

          • geoff lemon says:

            When you form a minority government, you agree to a compromise position between all parties. There’ll always be some shifts in position, that’s actually how democracy is supposed to work. Give and take. Labor couldn’t have predicted running a hung parliament (remember at the time how stunned everyone was? Never happened in our entire history? Et cetera…)

          • I think part of the point Geoff was making was that the Labor government that went to the polls is not the government that took power. You can’t cry ‘deception!’ and throw allegations around about the abandonment of policy and just ignore that this is not *actually* the same group of people who promised there would not be a carbon tax. Our government is comprised of two parties and a handful of independents, not just the Labor party. If Labor did not work with the other members of their coalition they would be in breech of the agreements they made to take government.

            A government’s job is not simply to do as the people instruct: it is also to look after the people’s best interests with the information available to them. In this instance, the scientific evidence for the necessity of climate change action a.s.a.p. is overwhelming, and this is one of those situations where our government needs to step in and act. Compare to child protection law: we don’t allow children to vote because they do not have the necessary faculties to process the information to make informed decisions, so we make policy on their behalf. No-one objects to this. For the average Australian to claim to know more about climate change than the Prime Minister who is in direct conversation with the scientists and economists working to build policy is just… silly and arrogant, to be honest. If you are diagnosed with cancer, you see a doctor, you (generally) don’t uninformed independent decisions: you get the advice of doctors and experts. The environment is just as drastic a concern, with actually far greater consequences for the wrong decision, and not everyone has the expertise. This is why we have government.

            Yes, I am comparing the average Australian to a child. No, I am not saying the average Australian is immature or incapable, it’s just that it simply isn’t possible for every Australian to have the expertise to make this decisions. However, to drive the point home, you might like to consider that the people global warming will affect in the long run actually are children, and are not yet legally allowed to vote.

          • Greg says:

            I’m not so sure that 60 percent of the population are against a carbon tax. 60% might be against this scheme because it funnels too much money into coal and back into people pockets and not nearly enough for the environment. I don’t think you can generalise from the reaction to this plan that the people who oppose this plan also oppose a carbon tax. I don’t support this scheme but I do support a carbon tax (or I would prefer a carbon levy like the medicare levy or the flood levy).

          • Meg says:

            so…what do we do then, if the public should vote on every friggin policy? Just start a parliament ‘facebook’ group with a few polls and let the masses decide, without the benefit of information AND expertise to make those decisions?
            No, luckily we have a democratic system where YOU get to choose the *individual person* who will represent you and your neighbours in parliament. The most popular choice gets a seat in parliament. If there are a lot of parlimentary seats held by *individual persons* belonging to the same political party then that’s a majority government, if there isn’t then we have what we have – which is STILL a representative government that was CHOSEN by the people of australia to represent their interests.
            Lucky we have them too, becuase if we didn’t have them to act as our agents in making laws, we’d all be too busy making stupid decisions to actually get out there and generate emissions for the good of the economy.

          • Meg says:

            PS: that was in reply to Matthew…but it’s not showing in the right spot?

          • Rick says:

            Good call on the figures Geoff – and love the rant
            The other thing which is conveniently ignored is exactly how many parties are combined in the so called Liberal-Natioinal party coalition.
            Here are the figures on first preferences for the 2010 election:
            ALP – 37.99%
            Libs – 30.46% (hmm, that will be less than the ALP – who knew?)
            Greens – 11.76%
            Lib/Nat party of QLD – 9.12% (my, aren’t they a stable little bunch of happy campers?)
            Nationals – 3.73% (gosh, is that all?)
            Country Liberals – 0.31% (who??)
            So the minority Labor government is dealing with the Greens (as well as the independents) – the party which had the third strongest mandate in that election in order to produce action on climate change – sounds like a mandate to me. The coalition mish-mash of four or more parties is about as stable as a lump of potassium on your desk, but they have the convenient name ‘coalition’ which somehow implies they all love each other.
            It’s time the fucktards who claim to understand politics and yet still claim the minority government has no right to make decisions learnt a teensy little bit about the reality of a minortiy government – which at the time ToNO Abbott was more than willing to form and said he would do anything to form.

          • Martin says:

            Yes but I think it would be easy to argue an over representation of the minority parties. Considering the above statistics, ALP polled more than 3X the amount the Greens did while campaigning on a no carbon tax platform. Shouldn’t ALP have more than 3X the say than the greens on policy?
            There is no justification of going back on an pre-election promise (as this deceptively influences votes in an election) for what is such a major issue. We have not seen a similar amount of compromise from the Greens.

            Also using first preference statistics for justification of deception is a little shaky, not everyone (such as me) votes for a party with their first preference and instead chooses to put a party vote second.

          • sonny says:

            well put
            time the nationals ditch the Liberals by the way

          • shaka says:

            Matthew, regardless of the good point you make in regards to democracy, the ethics of representation, and the responsibility of Prime Minister to make decisions based on what will make the population happy, I can’t help but interject with the fact that the Environment is a non-negotiable and overwhelming presence in our life, and the movement towards a more eco-friendly ideology in our government, regardless of apparently ‘popular’ sentiment – which I can’t help but feel has been skewed by the medias representation of the apparently justifiable abuse thrown at Gillard for ‘lying/going back on her word/being an unethical politician’ – and Abbot’s rhetoric about what ‘most Australians want’. I hate to sound Orwellian, but at times it feels as if those who spout such rhetoric as ‘I never heard of a tax that could save the environment’ on 7 News need to be re-educated in terms of ecology, etc, but also needs to be shut the hell up: by creating and encouraging a horde of misinformed protestors, we’re not achieving anything – if one is incapable of analysing the issues at hand to the point that Lemon has, ie, realising the $10 is NOTHING, then do they have the right to say how the country is run?

            (Nb:I’m currently in class, so forgive me if I make any fallacious statements or generalisations.

          • Thomas says:

            Nope, no right at all. In fact anyone with an opinion should be rounded up for summary combustion. How dare they not be as informed as you!

            Lucky you’ve apologised for sounding Orwellian.

            Whilst you’re re-educating those not quite as smart as you ‘in terms of ecology’ how a tax will stop global warming dead in its tracks – perhaps they can return the favor showing you how to place a full stop?

            PS: Listen harder in class – trust me you’ll need too.

          • James Fuller says:

            There have been rallies by climate change deniers and tax scaremongers – and they were overwhelmingly outnumbered by last minute reply rallies. And so far as ‘listening to the people’, I was in the 500,000 strong rally in Sydney (and more in other places) against the Iraq war. Howard certainly did not listen to thatt !

          • Skeet says:

            “They compromised, and we’re actually getting a brave policy decision instead of more pacify-the-selfish, avoid-conflict bullshit. We should be very, very glad of that.”

            Right on. This parliament has realised that is is unlikely to get another chance like this, so they are all (Labor, Independents, and Greens) making hay while the sun shines. And damn good thing too. They are getting more important stuff done in one parliament than most governments get done in a whole lifetime.

            Bring on more of this minority government, I say.

          • Adam says:

            This comment is laughable.

          • Martin says:

            She did say in any Government she led, not if Labor was elected in its own right. She is PM therefore is leading the government. We could all continue to expand on some of the other hypocrisy she has been spouting, but I don’t see how concentrating on these benefits a policy debate, because it isn’t like Abbot is immune to hypocrisy.

            I do wish this article was based on more facts instead of inferences. If you wish to make an article on inferences, build them on logical conclusions that you establish and justify before treating like facts.

            I would comment using my Facebook account etc, but am not giving WordPress permanent access any time to my data.

          • Martin says:

            Why is my reply not attached to the comment where I clicked the reply button? Or is impossible to do so to in some cases. Either way I was replying to the below post:

            “geoff lemon says:
            July 14, 2011 at 6:32 am

            Gillard said that if Labor was voted in, they wouldn’t introduce a tax. And they wouldn’t have, out of fear of the backlash they’re now getting. But Labor wasn’t voted in, it formed government with several other MPs. Meaning the agenda for the next term of government has to be formed by compromise, and can’t mirror the main party’s platform. They compromised, and we’re actually getting a brave policy decision instead of more pacify-the-selfish, avoid-conflict bullshit. We should be very, very glad of that.”

            Would the moderator please shift comment to be a reply of the post I have just quoted. If that can’t be done then don’t sweat.

          • white-whale says:

            Hear, hear
            Why don’t people recognise this?

          • Michelle says:

            Good point!

      • Steve says:

        Good on you Paul – COMPLETELY agree with your comments !!
        Firstly, this supposed $10 would soon turn to $20, $30 – $50 with the greed of the politicians and it will NOT make an iota of difference to the environment in the global scheme. OH, wait — the clear air will ONLY be available in Australia – no one else can have it !!!!

        • geoff lemon says:

          The scheme runs out in three years, doofus.

          • Adam says:

            @ geoff – why don’t you tell us what you think will happen to the people of Australia if all the coal mines are shut down. Its a major part of the Greens policy which you obviously believe in.

          • @Adam – Wrong, that is not The Greens’ policy. Their policy is that no new coal mines shall be opened.

        • Scott Kay says:

          I love that you simply assume the tax will rise. That is actually based on nothing. At all. I also love that the government is somehow GREEDY for trying to make a change to the environment, which we’ve all pillaged and raped, and yet we are not willing to pay $10 a week extra to try and make up for that. Who’s the greedy one?

          • wildkactus says:

            The tax will rise, its in the legislation 0.7% per year until the ETS is started, then the price per tonne will drop if the trend of the other ETS systems is followed, europe 17 to 9.50, US 24 – 11. the only system I have seen work is the one in brazil and it has more direct action then anything else, have a look at all the work done by Sao Paulo.

            the Idea behind the australian system is right but the implementation and the structure are wrong, do we really need to create 2 new departments in canberra (about 3000+ Jobs) to administer a sysem that could be run if structured right by about 10.

        • Kate says:

          If you recall, there was mass panic over the GST. It was going to go up every year…we were going to be beggared and broken by our government. Sound familiar? But wait….it’s still the same as it was when it was introduced….wow….
          Also this BS about we shouldn’t have to do it because no one else is. If no one starts with a move in the right direction on pollution and climate change, the whole world will just sit around say I’m not doing it till you are, nothing will get done, and the world goes to shit. Just take your little selfish brain and do some research on the climate change in sub-Saharan Africa over the last 20-30 years and try to tell yourself that there is no such thing as climate change. That this useless debating and panic over what in reality is very little money, from a wealthy country that can afford it, is actually worth the death, disease, and famine, the loss of villages and homes that have housed generations out of mind, all because the river dried up, and the land turned to dust. And maybe, if someone makes the first step, others will follow. And maybe, if we do it right, life will be that little bit better.

        • Jon says:

          That point about not doing anything in Australia because “it will NOT make an iota of difference to the environment in the global scheme” is just childish.
          Imagine this scenario: Your on a boat with 50 other people. You’ve got a bucket each. The boat is taking on water. If you start bailing water out of the boat, but no one else does, the boat is gonna sink – your one bucket is not enough. But if everyone says “I aint gonna bail water until everyone else is bailing water!” then no one is going to bail water and the boat will still sink. You’ve just got to pick up your bucket and start bailing and hope that the other 50 people are going to follow your lead.
          It’s a shitty situation, but adopting the childish attitude of: “Why should I do anything if no one else does” will not help us out of it.

          • rolls says:

            Agreed. So many other analogies available. For example, one that should resonate with Abbott’s devotees:

            You’re in Opposition with 67 other people. You’ve got a vote each. The Party is taking on the CPRS. If you back Tony Abbott in a leadership coup, but no one else does …

      • Erin says:

        What a rant.
        I expect you would say you don’t care what people vote for in a democracy.
        Even if the experts say this tax will make insignificant difference.
        Even if the experts say it’s not the best way to go about it.
        We should pay it anyway because we’re rich. Just throw our money at any effort even if won’t do anything, at least we’re getting a start. If it doesn’t work we’ll throw our money at the next mad scheme.
        I agree that something has to be done in this insane, war ridden, child starving and child abused world.
        This tax is not the answer. Please get a grip as you say others should and stop with idealistic(abusive) rhetoric.

        • Anna says:

          Would you care to offer an alternative then? Not to deal with insanity, war, starvation or child abuse, but to deal with climate change and reducing carbon emissions. If something must be done, and that something is not paying a tax, then please let’s hear the alternative.

          • thomas says:

            What is this tax effectively attempting to do Anna? Artificially trying to create clean energy solutions. Companies still burn coal, still pollute the atmosphere. Any costs incurred by the tax, is passed onto consumers. This is why low income earners receive compensation right? Other industries are also compensated.

            So we know that the companies will still pollute, and that a lot of the tax money will be given away. Is there a site or study that outlines how much will be left over to fund clean energy alternatives? I’d like to see it wouldn’t you?

            I doubt you’ll find anyone, any one person that is against the tax not wanting to see the environment and the atmosphere protected. It’s the tax itself.

            An alternative? How about an INCENTIVE. In lefty land this word is a no no. A word the likes of Geoff Lemon and his fans detest. They prefer to take what is not theirs ’cause it’s their right’. How about tax breaks for those that invest in clean energy – that cut emissions, that create green jobs, that educate and evaluate (not just tax and hope\gamble that an alternative comes along) Educate once a viable alternative is found and let the market decide. This is an alternative. To move forward, not backwards. Targets, bonuses for meeting performance indicators – you know, like every other modern business in the world.

            I guess its easier to say ‘Hey you’ve made money – gimme!’

            This tax is bogus, a money grab, a vote grab and smoke and mirrors nothing else. You’ve been duped.

      • Garry says:

        When the first dollar gets spent on renewable energy over and above what the Govt is currently spending then I might believe you otherwise this is essentially just a tax on air.
        The simple fact of the matter is this was voted against by the people of Australia (Gillard did emphatically say there would be no price on carbon under a Govt she was the leader of) but just a hand full Greens who polled just a handful of votes is now holding the entire country to ransom and making the Prime Minister look like a liar.
        As to not giving a shit as to what you voted for, serious!! you don’t understand the democratic process enough to know that the elected representatives are there to REPRESENT the will of the people, not enforce their own agenda on us.

        • geoff lemon says:

          The Greens got about 12 percent of the primary vote. Is more than one in ten people nationwide really a “handful” of votes? The Liberals managed 30 percent. Not actually that great a difference.

          Yes, representatives are there on behalf of the people, to do what’s best for the people. That’s not always the most popular choice. Especially when most of the people don’t know enough about it to make a qualified decision.

          • Paul says:


            Green circa 12%
            Nationals circa 10%
            donkey circa 5%

            Whats your point Geoff that green voters are twice as smart as donkey voters? of about the same as a bunch of farmers?

        • Scott Kay says:

          If the figures they are stating are true, the tax is on carbon emissions produced by big companies that make billions of dollars a year. That is hardly a tax on ‘air’. If the results are the equivalent of taking 45 million cars off the streets, then I’m for it REGARDLESS of what political lies have been made (For God’s sake you could apply that argument right back to the time politics started!)

          Forget the argument of ‘political lies’, look at the ISSUE. We need to solve it, and for $10 a week, I sure as hell am keen to make some sort of change, whether it be big or small. How spineless and horrible humans are, complaining more about a government telling a fib than about our planet being in legitimate strife. It sickens me to my core.

        • mikestasse says:

          For your information, I didn’t vote for Gillard BECAUSE she said there would be no C tax under her leadership. So I voted Green instead, and I go the desired result. I expect lots of people voted Green like this too…

        • Ron T says:

          A million and one things were said in the last election, we didn’t vote yes or no to every thing that was said or not said, I haven’t met one person who said they voted Labor because Gillard said she wouldn’t bring in a carbon tax – all I hear are hysterical conservatives who have never voted Labor in their lives ranting on about Labor voters being betrayed – thanks for your uninvited concern about my ‘betrayal’ but it’s something I think I can live with.

        • Dicko says:

          A supporter once called out, “Governor Stevenson, all thinking people are for you!” And Adlai Stevenson answered, “That’s not enough. I need a majority.”

        • I can’t seem to be able to leave a reply to Thomas so, Garry you score it. The Carbon tax is a tax on CO2 emissions and therefore increases the cost of emissions intensive goods and services. If you can’t afford the increased cost you addapt the way you do things. If your in business you invest in better technology, if you are at home you put on another jumper and turn the heater off. This is how we have responded to price pressures for hundreds of years. Get used to it.

      • Zack says:

        Yet there is ZERO proof any money provided for alternative energy resource will result in helping the environment. That in itself is a dream outcome, I feel it is presumptuous that you judge somebody for questioning this when in fact you have no evidence to show there will be positive results.

        Secondly, Australia is a small carbon contributor on a global scale. Any carbon reduction we manage has minimal effect (if any) in the grand scheme of things. So the masses want to know is the amount of money the government is taxing the country really worthwhile???

        I like you have no problem with the small $10 (or less) weekly payment. It is minuscule. BUT the government has shown us nothing that will prove the money being collected and allocated will be of any significant benefit to us as a country, where there are many other struggling areas (like schools, hospitals, transport, etc….etc…). Surely you must ask yourself that same question?? Or are you just more concerned with the ‘whingers’ complaining about the tax??

        • Scott Kay says:

          To be honest, people will always complain about being hard done by, but in reality, like the OP states, we have it so damn well already. $10 a week is no big ask, and by no means should be something to complain about, and it will also not in any way affect the money being spent on schools/health/etc. After all, it’s a tax on emissions, not a generic tax for misc things that are ambiguous. Stating something like ‘we don’t even have evidence to show this will work’ BEFORE even trying it, is just illogical. We’ll never know if we don’t try SOMETHING, and I am glad something is actually finally happening! Really, I trust a government to do the right thing over someone who has nowhere near the same knowledge and has only spent one millionth the time dealing with, and trying to solve, the issue.

          • Adam says:

            I think the tax is awful. It’s bureaucratic; it significantly increases the size of government and spending and churning; it will be gamed just as has happened in Europe; it will kill jobs because we’ll be far out in front of most other countries; it will do virtually nothing to reduce the rate of the world’s temperature increase, assuming all the government promises come to pass, a minuscule fraction of 1C at best. And it is the product of a fundamentally undemocratic con of the voters whereby the election-winning leader specifically promised one thing just before the election, then did the exact opposite, something no democrat should forgive, regardless of their views on the tax itself.

        • constix says:

          Hi little Zacki… out of 190 of so countries in the world… Australia is ranked the 20th highest emitting country. I see a pattern here, everyone posting negative comments on this blog seem to be uninformed tight asses… Also regardless how much money is spent by the government on R & D, it is still a massive incentive for larger carbon emitting companies to invest is cleaner energy.

        • Colin says:

          So why do all the most respected economists in Australia, (including business economists) think that this is a good scheme? Because it uses the simple laws of supply and demand: increase the price of one thing relative to another and more of the relatively cheaper thing is demanded and less of the relatively expensive thing id demanded. Allocation of resources then follows: more to that more highly demanded etc. Many other countries already have a carbon tax e.g. the Netherlands and other European countries. All other countries will follow soon enough. It’s called international diplomacy. France is already calling for tariffs against countries who do not have a carbon price and are thus unfairly advantaged. Many Australians simply don’t know what is going on in the rest of the world. It is so much easier to believe a short lie or distortion from Tony Abbott or Bolt or whoever. Saves all that mental pain of seeking the facts and thinking! Heaven forbid! What is the downside here? Less pollution, more renewables and all for a pretty small price! So Julia lied. Tony has backed at least 4 different positions on Carbon pricing. Which does he really believe? I think someone should ask him for a commitment to “never, ever” (remember that one?) introduce a carbon tax even if sea levels rise to flood
          Bondi. Let’s just get on with it!

          • Geoff Cruickshank says:

            France would say that, wouldn’t they. They export nuclear generated power and are pursuing their economic self interest.

        • Bernie says:

          Zack. Australia’s net contribution to global emissions is at the lower end? We might only produce 1.32% of emissions but we are ranked 16th in overall net emissions. This means there are about 180 countries in the world doing ‘better’ than us. Not only that, per capita (excluding statistical anomalies like Trinidad and Tobago and the Falkland Islands) we are the worst major country. In case Australians haven’t noticed, we all live on one planet shared by 6 billion (mostly non-Australian) people. Every single human should have the right to emit the same amount of CO2 to ‘enjoy’ the same standard of living. For the world’s destitute to reach our Utopian living standard the way we have, there wouldn’t be a skerrick of fossil fuel left to burn and passing aliens would look down at a charred, barren waste land.

        • henny penny says:

          Firstly, how do you know “there is ZERO proof any money provided for alternative energy resource will result in helping the environment”? There is a lot of proof that money provided for alternate resources will help the environment. According to the USA’s EPA (a government agency) coal in the USA produces about 1020 kg per MWh of carbon dioxide over there, and 758 kg per MWh of gas. (Apologies for not using an Australian example). comparison, solar, wind and geothermal have negligible emissions. If you do not believe carbon dioxide or other emissions are detrimental to the environment, I suggest you talk to any credible engineer you know. Not a politician, an engineer.
          (My source is :

          Secondly, if every small country refuses to cut carbon emissions, then we have little hope of stemming them. It must be a global effort, and right now Australia is actually doing less than many other countries.

        • If money is invested in an alternative energy resource, what do you think will happen if not help the environment? What proof do you want?
          The big company polluters may very well keep polluting at the same level, but now they will have to pay for it. And a lot more than my 2 lattes a week.
          And the complainers in this country and of this tax will actually help to make sure the government is accountable about this money – that’s the beauty of our democracy, we can complain

      • Oooo says:

        So Steve n other greedy fuckwits when everyone is choking on the air and plants don’t grow in the ground are u saying that 10 20 even 50 dollars a week wouldn’t have been a good idea? Your money won’t save u forever. Think about the future not the present.

      • Louise says:

        and scuse me mr paul, but did anyone vote for the gst? the tax we were never, ever, going to have?

        • Kate says:

          Howard clearly stated that if he was voted back in for another term the GST would be put into place. it was one of the few times I’ve seen a politician admit to something deleterious to getting a vote before an election. so yes. people did vote for the GST.

          • nevjousa says:

            I think it really important to remember, though, that in Australia, people do not vote for a particular prime minister or party, but rather, against the other party. At local, state and federal level, there is a consistent cycle of one party getting on the nose, a new government being elected, that government maintaining support for a while before getting on the nose, and repeat… perpetually.

          • drew says:

            But Howard didnt make any mention of workchoices.
            Why didnt Howard call a new election to get a mandate to introduce workchoices?

          • Paul says:

            Drew and what happened to Howard? I suggest the same will happen to the tree huggers

          • rolls says:

            How about for the Invasion of Iraq? Majority vote for that?

      • CateS says:

        well said 🙂

      • Matt says:

        Yes you’re a little clever, you rude little man and right to point out the ridiculous histeria, but that’s not where your opinions are a concern. Your ‘Leaders should be doing the right thing etc not what’s popular’ comments are the most worrying of all. This is a democracy, love it or hate it, it’s what Australia is, decisions made by our elected officials need to reflect the majority opinion of the time, especially on major policy issues. This government should have developed this ‘right’ policy, allowed the public to assess the policy and then taken it to an election – if they failed then they try again and try again if needed. I was no Johnny fan but he gave us all a say on the GST, we had multiple says on work choices. Love it or hate it, we all get a say. Or maybe you’d prefer to live under a Government or Leader that decides for us without elections, I wager it wouldn’t be too long until they’d be advertising those concentration camp guards jobs you refer too.
        Not that it matters in regards to my above point but I believe reducing pollution is right but I believe in the fundamentals of our democracy more.

        • geoff lemon says:

          Not saying people shouldn’t get a say, Matt. I’m saying they don’t get to decide on every piece of legislation. A tax reform whose effect will be +/- one percent or less on people’s incomes? Not significant enough to be the kind of thing one has to go to an election for.

          • Scott Kay says:

            Geoff’s rebuttal, totally backed. It’s such a non-issue to the average Australian, taking it to a vote in itself probably costs more in paperwork than the tax itself!

          • Paul says:

            Ahh Geoff you did very clearly say you didn’t care what other people want. You just want your own way and to hell with everyone else.

            I think you are still missing the point. Just because people disagree with a carbon tax doesn’t mean they don’t want to lower co2 output.

            Imho this tax will increase co2 which is why i am against it.

          • Greg says:

            Paul, you certainly are generating a lot of hot air.

        • constix says:

          Speaking of costing more in paper work, what are those ballot paper made of. kinda hypocritical. Also a good chuck of the population are reading the Sun and therefore will save themselves $10 by voting against because they are mislead. In my opinion the GREENS getting12% of the votes means that 12% of the country have broken from the pack and informed themselves. 50% of those Libral and Labour voters are dragging themselves to the polling booths to avoid a $25 fine and would have put more thought into betting on horses. The same people that will make an effort to vote NO to a carbon tax to save 10 bucks, but pay an extra $50 to get a remote control for their reverse cycle air conditioner because they don’t want to leave couch while their favorite reality TV show is on. Sorry Matt, I know it’s a democracy, but when you have selfish arsholes like yourself, who think democracy will still be around after the planet no longer chooses to be human friendly and a tainted media leading the heard astray then it’s a Dumbocracy.

        • Dicko says:

          I look forward to you getting consensus from the populace on how to deal with a your triple by-pass, and a triple by-pass is a picnic compared with the complexity of both climate science and behavioural economics. I’ll leave the former in the hands of the surgeons, and the latter in the hands of the scientists and economists thanks. And let’s introduce corporal punishment for the owners of dogs who shit on the nature strip too, this is after all a democracy and that would be very popular. Abolition of slavery did not have popular support, kristallnacht did. Life’s not quite as simple as you’d like to think Matt.

      • Angus McGuckian says:

        Im with you Geoff. Sometimes leaders need to make decisions and set directions that will not be popular. Being the leader of a country, despite how the media portrays it, is not a popularity contest. If it was, all we would ever get is the popular decisions and not the decisions that are right for us as whole. People are that short sited sometimes that they wont make the right decision for the long term…instead they will avoid the immediate pain of $10 a week.

      • Paul says:


        Firstly let me say that I am sure you did not delete my post yesterday by Saul Eslake on purpose because it does not agree with you, must have been too long for you to read. So here is a link,

        Plus you blind tree huggers might like to read an article today by David Bassanese on Page 25 of the AFR. I’ll give you a snippet or two.

        ‘But for those most concerned about global warming, the biggest dissapointment is the hugh reliance on reducing emission by simply buying the right to pollute from other countries’, or put another way according to treasury modelling around two thirds will be from other countries, mmmm doesn’t sound too green to me?

        But my favourite is ‘Locally produced emissions will still rise by 7.4% in the coming decade’

        Yes tree huggers that is from treasury (i assume that is credible enough for you), so we have a tax to reduce emissions but emission don’t actually go down. Now there a plan to get behind!

        • Paul, the reason Australias emissions are predicted to continue to rise is because our population is growing strongly. The idea of allowing rebates to be purchased, either from farmers planting trees or from Indonesians not cutting down their rainforests is because this provides a pressure valve to give our big emitters time to adapt.

    • The government is kind of like your parents as a teenager, if you like them all the time they’re probably not doing a very good job.

      Even if your 3rd question was answered in the negative, it would still create a situation where the concern for the environment was placed at the forefront of national thought and discussion.

      Fuck. This is who we’re dealing with.

      • paul says:

        so you put the (lets call it) $10 a week, or $500 a year in front of health? Cause last time i looked the Health (you could easilly replace with education if you like) isn;t looking fantastic

        • Margaret England says:

          Today I read that the federal government has put aside $500,000,000 for TAFE and universities. E health looks good and where I live medical centres are striving to give better service etc etc. Getting past the anti carbon tax nazis is the crucial issue, and whoever put forward the word assassination should be arrested for incitement to violence.

          • Tex says:

            I see. So “nazis” is okay, but “assassination” is not.

            Your post is indeed juvenile, and thus very apt for the intellectual level of this article.

        • Bob Smith says:

          I suggest you look at the health again (and education for that matter) again.
          Australia has one of the highest Human Development Indexes in the world – a figure designed to specifically take health and education into account.

          aside from that point being completely irrelevant, it’s wrong. try getting some actual facts… I thought you were against lying.

      • Nobody voted for or against a carbon tax directly. You vote for representatives that you hope will do the job in something like the way you want it done.

        The $500 a year is not “in front of health”. Reducing pollution improves health so you get a double benefit. You want to save money somewhere else to add to the health budget? What about the $222m extra the government has allocated to fucking chaplains in our public schools?

    • reckless says:

      Starting a comment with such a fucking condescending tone is no way to further a discussion.
      Continuing your comments with rehashed Herald Sun soundbites doesn’t help either.

      1. I don’t recall voting for GST. Your question is moot.
      2. A question without a provable hypothesis: pointless
      3. Actually, it will; some of the money will be going into renewable energy research. Finding alternate fuels is a HUGE step towards cutting back our emissions Saying that this won’t happen is a complete falsehood, regularly spouted by the usual abbott-head-up-arse wannabes.
      4. Assuming you can think for yourself and answer 3, YES, you’ll have to admit that $10 a week is a fucking pittance.

      It’s great to see Australia taking a stand instead of waiting for the US to hold their hand

      • vince says:

        agree. about time we pay for what we use.

      • Skeet says:

        “1. I don’t recall voting for GST.”

        And I sure as shit don’t remember voting for WorkChoices.

        Or as some wit called it, WorkYouSerfBastards.

      • paul says:

        Me condescending tone…did you read the original rant?

        1. you must me very young as I remember voting 10 years ago at a federal election where John Howard ran a campaign for the GST.
        2. So your are saying she would have lied regardless?
        3. tell me how many ‘green’ programs have been cut in the last 2 years.
        4. yes $10 is a FUCKING pittance, but tell that to the people who will loose their jobs when the business closes up and moves to china.

    • SueG says:

      We don’t vote for most of what we get from politicians and most of them backflip at some stage so why is Julie vilified for it? If the majority of Australians wanted nothing done on climate change then we would’ve voted liberal. We didn’t. We voted green so get over it.

      • Steve says:

        Who voted green Sue? If those voters who voted for the handful of green seats knew that they were going to be bent over and shafted, I can assure you they would NOT have given them the sympathy vote and thereby by default, giving them the position they are in now !!!!
        The saying “absolute power corrupts absolutely” rings so true to this current government and the Bob Brown cronies that they don’t know what to do with their deluded power and want to make this impact, irrespective of the consequences.
        All you politically correct, goodie2shoes, tree hugging “muthafuckas” should move the Tasmania and live in bliss with each other singing “kumbaya” and leave us alone !!

        • Kim Hawkins says:

          I voted for the ALP but, on the promise of being “bent over and shafted” (as you so delicately put it) I would definitely have voted Green! Despite him being one of the most principled politicians we have in this country, the lovely Mr Brown wouldn’t be my pick. Do I get to choose the ‘shafter’ under this arrangement that you’ve described?
          On a more serious note, Ms Gillard’s pre-election pledge about no carbon tax almost lost the ALP my vote and I only did so because I predicted a very close election and didn’t want to risk the embarrassment and disaster of TA becoming PM. I’m very pleased with Ms Gillard’s performance and wish her the very best.

        • Psychochook says:

          If someone was stupid enough to vote for a party without taking the time to know who they were voting for, choosing rather to cast their vote in some ridiculous way to register a protest then more fool them!
          I for one voted Greens because I knew that they were interested in actually taking steps towards fixing the damage we are making to the environment.

      • Zack says:

        Sue, everybody knows the Greens are in Labors pocket.

        So any vote for them was indirectly a vote for the Labor government. Or do you not pay attention to preferences when casting your vote?

        Its horrible to say but most Greens running have zero chance of winning their seat….so all the people thinking they are ‘helping the environment’ and ‘not giving their vote the the major two’ and vote Green instead are essential just voting for Labor anyway.

      • paul says:

        Ahh Sue thats the point. People voted for Julia after sha said there would be NO carbon tax. Therefore she should call an election and let people decide.

      • B.Tolputt says:

        “If those voters who voted for the handful of green seats knew that they were going to be bent over and shafted, I can assure you they would NOT have given them the sympathy vote and thereby by default, giving them the position they are in now !!!!”

        So now we’re mind reading Greens voters now? No-one would ever vote Green if they thought they’d follow through on their promises? Oh for crying out loud!!!

      • Sueg says:

        That was little g green not big G and I’m a big girl and can select my own preferences all by myself. Julia got in inspite of her no carbon tax statements not because of them.

      • Katie says:

        Ahh yes @Zack…those cheeky preferences…no one is on anyones pocket…labours preference was the greens last and if you actually cared about what went on you would vote below the line and then preferences would not matter…don’t have an opinion if you don’t have a clue.

      • Adam says:

        @ Sue G – Julia ‘Pinocchio’ Gillard works for The Zionist Rothschild Banking Mafia of London. The Geoff Lemon sheeple brigade can go and fuck themselves.

    • Horace Copes says:

      Paul, what sensible CEO of any company wouldn’t change their game-plan according to changing circumstances, new information, hell, even the sudden recognition that a different course of action than the one considered earlier might be for the best. Drop the bullshit about ‘Did anyone vote for a Carbon Tax’. Here’s a thought – millions like me didn’t but they’ll be glad to see the introduction of one. And to say it won’t improve the environment, what a moany-groany, whingy-whiny, petty, defeatist attitude. IT’S A FUCKING START!

      • paul says:

        Yes like Julia said the other night this WILL change direction. I work with a number of small manufacturing firms in western sydney that are struggling big time. The only real option we see for the future is to move the manufacturing off shore and have a H/O function in australia.

        Ok so the reason why it wont improve the environment is simple company x consumes 100mw of power today in australia, so when we move to china there is the shipping to and from plus lets assume the same amount of power. I’d call that worse

        • Chris says:

          But the reason manufacturing and many other sectors having such trouble is the high AUD. (Also for this decade at least, the carbon price is going to be a second-order issue compared with the other ongoing rises in power costs.) So the real solution is tackling the two-speed economy with a stronger MRRT and lowering company tax.

      • You know Paul, despite all the threats to move to China it’s really not that easy to dislodge a whole business and move to another country – so quit the dramatics alright? Unless the business you’re talking about is one of the big 500, I’ve yet to see any proof that putting a price signal on carbon pollution will destroy small business, kill Skippy, and wipe-out Big Macs. I see lots of nonsense hysteria and very little evidence to back it up. All the figures and economists completely contradict your stance, so maybe it’s time you considered changing your view to reflect the facts?

        • Scott Kay says:

          Also backed. There is so much commotion coming from the people that oppose this new tax, making gratuitous assumptions about companies moving country, governments deceiving us, assuming the tax will INCREASE over time. All assumptions. Iif you can go into the future and tell me this will happen, please inform me!

        • PreferFactsToFiction says:

          The EU has had an ETS (to which we will move) since 2005, and not one – not ONE business has moved offshore to higher polluting countries as a result.

        • Oliver says:

          I agree Vicki.
          Does China have massive coal reserves to reap? I don’t think so.
          They are on a good thing here in Australia the government bends over forwards to them with subsidies and it doesn’t take much off the top considering they are taking Billions off shore every year. Not to mention changing legislation to let the Coal Seam Gas Thieves do as they desire to the detriment of our fresh water.
          I too believe we are a lucky country Geoff. We got it good. The SBS program “Go back to where you came from” was an eye opener for me. If I was earning more than $110,000 a year I would shut my winging mouth about the $10 per week. I’m no where near that and I am fine with it.

    • Um. Have you completely forgotten the that wee little hung parliament? You know, the most controversial thing to happen in Australian politics since federation? Yes, Julia Gillard promised there would be no carbon tax under a Labor government. I remind you: we do not have a Labor government. We didn’t elect a Labor government. Because we didn’t elect anyone at all. The greatest swing was towards the greens. To me, this suggests a significant turn to environmental concerns in the Australian consciousness. The Labor-Green coalition (and you must remember it is a Coalition government, not a Labor government. God knows Labor would never do anything this actually progressive without a little genuine leftist kick-up-the-arse these days) have introduced a carbon tax.

      Get your head out of the Telegraph and around how politics actually works.

      • Abbott hater says:

        So true culture sniper!!! I had never thought of it that before!!! It shoots that argument out of the water hooray I found a blog that resonates!!!

    • Allan Lewis says:

      What a curious notion. Julia Gillard had to sell her soul to the Greens for their support to form a government, otherwise the Greens would have formed government with the Libs?

      Or that people, when faced with a choice between voting for the ALP who wouldn’t have a carbon tax and the Libs who also wouldn’t have a carbon tax, chose to vote for the ALP but would otherwise have voted for the Libs if the ALP did not promise no carbon tax?

      Are people who peddle these lines daft? Or is it me?

      • Abbott hater says:

        it just you !!

      • Katie says:

        Actually look back into the past media and you will find that Abbott has on numerous occasions supported the idea of an ITS…he just flip flops to what he thinks is popular or what he can bag the others out for doing…

    • Abbott hater says:

      Hey Paul,
      Do you remember John Howard saying there would “never, ever, be a GST”?, or maybe the premise for invading Iraq?? ie non existent WMD that John Howard knew were non existent!! If you expect any politician anywhere, ever, never go back on a promise or statement then you must be what is described in this blog as a dick-wipe!

      What I dont understand is that a good proportion of the people bleating about the impact of the carbon tax on their lifestyle are likely willing to fork out $500- $1000 per year for private health insurance that provides a rebate of maybe 30% (if your lucky) on the cost of a visit to the physio or chiro! Have you ever done your sums on this?? If you are healthy and actively maintain your health you might go to the physio 10 times a year. You’ll pay $60 a visit, your health fund (for which you have paid á $600 premium) will give you $20 back for each visit. So in reality you have actually paid $1000 for a service that would have cost only $600 if you didn’t have health insurance…so not only is there $400 spent on something we don’t need, you have also paid an opportunity cost for giving you $500 to NIB. eg, offsetting interest on your debts.

      Ahh but I here the howls of protest that the public hospital system is failing and provides crap service….what do you think our public health system might be like if that $500to $1000 you’re putting in the pockets of executives and shareholders of private health funds went to supplement the funding of public hospitals???? we’d all be very, very well looked after I suspect.

      SO back to the point…..If your willing to piss your money away on a private heath fund, what is so bad about paying $10 a week to help our children maintain the possibility of enjoying a similar standard of living that we now enjoy.

      • paul says:

        Yes john said no GST and guess what there was NOT a GST in that term of government! He went to the polls with a plan for a GST that was well debated at the time and guess what else, the PEOPLE voted for him to bring it in!

        Unlike you (supposedly) Green folk who don’t give a shit what anyone else wants as long as you get your own misguided way. As you and geoff have pointed out you ‘don’t give a shit what people voted for’, but curiously geoff also felt it worth noting that the greens got 12% of the primary vote…….. so I am not sure if it is important or not?

        • Scott Kay says:

          The problem here Paul, is your lack of suggestion as to what else we do. We have an ISSUE. We need it SOLVED. The best way to get it solved is to get it DONE. It was done, it was revealed, and we all knew it was going to happen. And the news revealed a minuscule $10 a week payout. You’d have a valid argument if that figure was $50+ a week, and people were genuinely hard done by with this tax and weren’t informed, but they aren’t. At all.

          People like you, are more concerned about a ‘lie’ that any other government in the history of this country (and probably every other country on the planet) would have been guilty for, than they are about actually SOLVING ISSUES. We don’t live in a country where our rulers are blood-frenzied, violent war criminals. I think our bigger worry of the two is the fact our environment is completely fucked to be honest with you.

        • Skeet says:

          Well, not really, Paul. As I recall, Howard gave us all of 6 weeks to debate his GST proposal, and then the majority of the voters in that election (50.98%, 2PP) gave their vote to Labor, ahead of the Coalition (49.02%, 2PP). But due to the quirks of the electoral system, Howard won a majority of seats. Now under that system he did win, so fair enough, but he and his policy can hardly be said to have received a clear mandate. (BTW, Howard himself once said that “the mandate theory of politics is dead”, while he was in opposition, of course.)

          More relevant is that in the 2004 election campaign not a single word was heard from Howard about WorkChoices. So where was that mandate? And at the next election he was very firmly thrown out, in no small part because of that policy. Similarly, Labor and its minority government partners will have to face the judgement of the electorate at the next election over this policy, among others. That is how it works in our system.

      • Kim Hawkins says:

        Loving your position on private health insurance. I am close to being one of the only people I know who has chosen NOT to have it and one of the reasons is exactly as you have described. I happily pay the Medicare Levy each year and object to this effective out-sourcing of so much of our public health system. More-over, I object that the transition was made by (you guessed it) a(nother) Liberal scare-mongering exercise.

        I wonder if you’d consider a screen-name change to something that doesn’t include the word ‘hate’?

        • Steph says:

          Yes! I pay my medicare levy and last year when I had surgery, I went to the doctors for free, had scans and ultrasounds free, had surgery and anesthetic free and went home and took cheaper medication from the PBS. I’m not even a low income earner. I can not believe that instead of paying the levy people will spend money on the cheapest available health care fund to save themselves $200. And then they find out that their cheapo health care doesn’t really give them rebates on anything, but hey, they’re still up $200.

          Just pay the extra little bit and enjoy one of the best health care systems in the world. Hell, if people stopped dodging the levy, more beds and less waiting time might even happen!

      • Goodlabna says:

        You are a dick. Does any of that bullshit make sense?

      • Sue Mac says:

        To Abbot Hater, If some of us did not pay for private health and all relied on the public system, the public system would be even more stressed. When I had an emergency situation, all was done through the public system, which I might add, was brilliant. So when they approached me said that if I was to claim on my health insurance rather than go as a public patient, I did. That allowed the hospital to get paid for thier care of me and so had more to spend elsewhere. Once the emergncy was over, I then went to the private hospital, covered by the health insurance again allowing someone else to use that public bed. It also allowed me more time in hospital and given that I live alone and would not have managed (with a spinal halo attached) I am thankful I had health insurance. I might add that now I live on a pension and sadly, I may not be able to continue with it.

    • thomas says:

      Self indignant is putting it mildly. I’d be astonished if the author was over 16.

      Your point 3 sums it up really. All this ‘debate’ for absolutely nothing.

      Could you add another point?
      5. If there is a compensation package to consumers due to companies raising costs; how does this force them to invest in renewable energy? Are they not just getting taxed then passing on costs?

      • geoff lemon says:

        Again with that phrase… what the living fuck does “self indignant” mean? Jesus, I’d much rather hang out with a smart 16 year old than a fully-grown deadshit. It’s hard to pull the superiority card when you can’t even manage your own language.

        • Thomas says:

          Geoff you’re so smart and cool! Look at you, blinded by your own hypocrisy! No cards pulled, the superiority is just a fact.

          Other little facts where you’d prefer to play the man:

          1. The carbon tax will make no change to the climate.
          2. The costs will be passed on to consumers and there will be zero guarantee companies will invest in cleaner energies.
          3. What is this new magical clean technology that will power cities and towns, your computer? And I suppose the workers that will lose their jobs via coal station closures will be merrily working away in these ‘not yet thought of plants’ without a worry in the world!

          Throw in a few ‘fucks’ and ‘shits’ and there you go; you’re self indignant!

        • Paul says:

          Thomas well put.

          Perhaps Geoff would like to explain how the government is goinfg to lower co2??? Because lets all not forget that the government is the biggest single polluter. Or what about all those cows farting all the time, perhaps the Greens would have us kill tham all to recude co2?

          • ANFO says:

            Cows fart Methane, it’s a much more significant greenhouse gas by volume.

            I’m with Geoff on the “let the sea rage and the sky burn”. Your $10 a week now will look pretty paltry when your coastal investment property gets pulverised by a storm surge…

            …. except of course that technology and progression is going to win this debate anyway and you people will look like idiots in 50 years, you are that eternal group that says any future tech will destroy the civilisation – cotton gins, steam trains, printing presses, colonising the New World, social welfare, foreign aid, semi-automated coal-fired power stations…

            … except no you won’t, in 2100 (and you’ll probably still be alive) you’ll be saying all the work that was done to mitigate climate change was wasted because the work that WAS done stopped the catastrophe happening in the first place, like the way Y2K was “all bullshit”…

    • “did anyone vote for a carbon tax”

      Yes. I voted Green. So did enough other people that neither Labor nor Coalition could form a majority in their own right.

      When that happens, somebody has to compromise, unless you like the idea of sitting around for three years without a government. A compromise means making trade-offs, and this is one of the trade-offs. People who voted Labor get about 90% of what they voted for. People who voted Green get about 10% of what they voted for (see: gay marriage, more ambitious CO2 reduction targets, etc etc).

      People who voted Coalition get… well, they get an object lesson in what happens when you vote for a party whose leader doesn’t understand how to compromise. If Tony Abbott REALLY thought the CO2 tax was as bad as all that, he could’ve offered to support Labor on supply/confidence motions/etc, in return for agreement not to institute a CO2 tax.

        • karen says:

          Yes, ‘bravo’ indeed! I think we should all take a deep breath and take note of a few facts about our place in this world, and consider just how lucky we are to live where we do, and also how blessed (ironically) we are, to live in a secular democracy. One of the great hallmarks of this system of government is religious freedom. Another is that we all get to have a say, but we vote as one body so no one person’s needs will ever be provided for. The end result will always be an amalgamation of everybody’s opinions, and they will come from all levels of society, and various levels of education. All of this is taken into account on voting day when we all get a say. And thank goodness this is the case because otherwise the power we currently enjoy would be elsewhere, in the hands of the church (and not necessarily one of your choosing) if we lived in a theocracy, in the hands of a few if our lot was an oligarchy, and the word ‘dictatorship’ speaks for itself.

          We are so lucky, and the small price we are asked to pay for this arrangement is an understanding that compromise is necessary. We vote as one body and we did vote for this situation. We need to take responsibility for that, and stop whinging. All of this “I didn’t vote for this…” and “I didn’t vote for that…” is like a dog chewing off its own foot. We did vote for this because we vote as one body and everybody is taken into account, for which I for one am grateful.

          As for the carbon tax and Ms Gillard’s alleged broken promise; if we as a body of voters took responsiibility equal to our rights we would see that we did not give her the power to fulfill that promise. To then turn on her and attack her character amongst other things for not being able to do so seems very childish to me. Politics is certainly not for the faint-hearted. If I were Ms Gillard I’d go home and cry me a river every night.

          As for the carbon tax itself, which is predominantly a benign tax designed to change, hopefully through education but otherwise via a big stick, our ways of thinking about the world we live in, in order to preserve it for future generations, is fine by me. Of course it will not change things overnight but it signifies a change in direction of intent. And we don’t have that much choice in the matter really. Finite resources are finite. They will come to an end and we have to find another way or face extinction, or our children’s children will. It is likely to be the right thing to do, and I am happy that things are going in that direction.

          I think we are in an historic period of change, and a carbon tax is possibly just the first step in a process that might take some time but will change our world for the better. Democracy is an unwieldy instrument but it is the best we have.

      • Paul says:

        Geoff thats your right to vote for who you want to represent you. My problem is what would you do if you voted for Geoff because he clearly stated he was all for a carbon tax and then after the election (in an effort to gain power) said mmmm nope don’t want one of those now, I’m gonna vote for a new brown coal power station?

        Because If Geoff has his way, you can go to hell he doesn’t care what you voted for, all that matters is what he wants!

    • NatoNoel says:

      Actually, Paul, we did – in 2007. What’s amazing is how in 4 short years we’ve gone from landslide Labour & optimism about changing because we shoukd to the politics of fear, self interest & greed.

    • Andy C says:

      I can understand where some people are coming from saying that they ‘didn’t vote for a carbon tax’, but surely polciy shouldn’t be run solely on the outcome of, essentially, a popularity contest held every three years? Think about it. Say you had some strange spots appear on your body, you saw 20 doctors and specialists. A few said there was nothing to worry about, but most – including skin specialists – said this is a problem, and you need to consider treatment. Your GP then draws up a treament plan. This costs $10 per week for meds. You then go out and ask 100 people on the street, if they think you should follow the treatment plan. 60 out of 100 say no, you’ll be fine, do nothing. Would you really ignore the advice of most of the medical specialists and doctors you saw, and choose to do nothing because 60% of the people you polled said not to worry about it?

      We shouldn’t run the country the same way either. Leadership should be about doing what is necessary, not what is popular.

      By the way, saying that Australia shouldn’t cut our emissions because the probelm is global makes no sense. It’s a GLOBAL problem, and by definition, that means we are included in iot. More so, given that we are amongst the highest GHG emitters per capita. And BTW, the US and China have both committed to programs for significant GHG emission reductions as well.

        • Scott Kay says:

          Laughable. Such a great logic to uphold: ‘This won’t change much, so let’s just keep ruining the environment because any effort is futile.’ Rubbish. That is an example of mankind’s inherent laziness to make a change to it’s collective habits. Also, keep in mind, as this continues, our abilities to come up with safer, more environmental ways to create energy, will increase greatly, because we have already started the groundwork to re-shuffle the billions of dollars the CEO’s of mining companies etc are making into something that is a little more beneficial for the human race. I’d rather benefit the human race, than a couple of fat bastards on thrones.

        • Alan says:

          Is Adam ironic or serious? Monckton ?deliberately? misquotes the IPCC’s predictions of CO2 increase over the medium future. I tried to give the Lord the benefit of the doubt for a while but a presumably intelligent man is making unintelligent inferences and I query his motives. I do hope Adam doesn’t fall into this category.

      • tq says:

        Hear hear, Andy C! Good analogy.

    • stuart says:

      1. We don’t vote for individual legislation at federal elections. We vote for people, who together form a government, and they have the majority. Therefore, they are entitled to pass legislation. It’s called democracy.
      2. Who’s Julie? You point is very unclear. Greens-bashing, or something?
      3. ‘No’ is correct in the short term. The point of the tax is to deter polluters from creating more pollution. But you acknowledge that it is a small amount.
      4. You’re seem to be restating point 3, and then, bizarrely, bagging another political party.

    • You expect us to believe someone who spells emissions “emitions” knows what they’re talking about?

    • Lock says:

      Re point 3. “will this little $10 a week (which will rise)*

      *citation needed.

      P.s. get a sense of humour.

    • Prissy says:

      I didn’t vote for a stimulus either but shit happens along the way. No one seriously believes that all pre election promises can be kept? Where’s the big hue and cry about the $800 Medicare surcharge people with no health insurance and earning over 80 grand have to pay? And how did all you nay sayers feel about protesting against a mining tax when you saw Gina Rinehart recently say she enjoyed making money as she heads towards being the richest person on the planet, not just Australia.

      • Steph says:

        Please don’t mention Gina Rinehart. I still vomit a little in my mouth when I picture her protesting on the back of that truck. Spare me!

    • Peter Andre says:

      If I may say, I think it’s safe to assume that a man who hasn’t mastered the difference between “loose” and “lose” and “your” and “you’re” probably hasn’t got a good grasp on the implications of Gillard’s policy.

      Cheap shot I know, but shit comments are opening themselves up for shit replies.

      And what’s an emition?

    • MC says:

      *politician *emissions

      I know these “shun” sounding ends to words can be tricky, but for someone so sure of the facts in other areas I didn’t think you would have needed my help…

    • Not Rupert says:

      I’ll attempt to be honest.
      Before the last election, the PM promised to pursue carbon pricing in this term of government.
      Now she’s being crucified by people who claim that she is guilty of high political crimes because she promised not to introduce a “carbon tax” before the last election, but now wants to introduce a fixed price mechanism for three years followed by an ETS.
      The “liar liar” line of argument necessarily supposes that the nation somehow voted against having any fixed price period in a carbon pricing mechanism (i.e. something that could be likened to a “tax”) – but that supposition is unfounded (and the reasoning behind its adoption is never explained).
      Rather, the observable facts are that the carbon pricing naysayers have failed to gain a majority in the lower house of Federal Parliament for two elections in a row.
      Hence (most of) their shrill, illogical, and impotent rage.

      • Scott Kay says:

        Haha, so true. Everyone knew it was coming. Years and years ago. In what form is irrelevant, especially when our current model hardly affects the individual anyway!

    • JOYCE says:

      Hallelujah!!! but don’t let the truth get in the way of a good left wing rant!!!! Leave them to it. This isn’t a tax for the good of the planet – this is a revenue raiser – nothing more or less

      • SW says:

        Yes! Joyce you have hit the nail on the head. I am actually frightened at how many otherwise-intelligent people have become completely brainwashed over this tax issue.

      • AdamForPeace says:

        It’ll need to be if we change our ways the health system is going to really need the cash.
        The same was said of the alcopop tax guess what it has done the job.

    • Jordan says:

      Answers to your questions Paul:
      1. You’re right, nobody did vote for a carbon tax. And if all government decisions were left to voters, there would be no tax at all, ever, and we would all live in happy houses made of lollipops and strawberries.
      2. Right, nope, it would be different. The fact that they had to negotiate with independents to come to an agreement means an extra level of scrutiny – Labor couldn’t just do whatever they wanted.
      3. You’re right again – No, $10 per week is not going to reducing carbon emissions. The tax is not being ‘spent’ on reducing carbon. The tax exists purely to discourage business from emitting carbon, and instead finding alternative/more efficient ways to do the things they do. In doing that, this will drive private investment and research into renewable energies. Imagine if we were world leaders in renewable energies when the rest of the world runs out of coal and oil!
      4. It’s not ‘another tax’. Its rearranging the entire system so that business is taxed more and you are taxed less. Businesses can avoid the tax altogether by moving to 100% green energy.

      • Thomas says:

        1. At least someone agrees nobody voted for it.
        2. Regardless, no one voted for it, so people are allowed to be angry. OK with you?
        3. That’s right, ‘$10 per week is not going to reduce carbon emissions.’ Say it again.
        4. Enlighten everyone Jordan, what is this magical green technology that will drive the city\town in which you live?

        Somebody has said that the EU ETS had no effect in terms of taking business offshore. EU ETS reports do reveal ‘ the main reasons for this competitive disadvantage are differences in labor and power costs.’ The reports reveal that any mechanisms in place have low or medium effect to combat this.

        We need to remain competitive. If the rest of the world does not move with us, the above quote is very scary.

        The government has asked for ‘Carbon Permits’ to be paid up front for 3 years. That equates for some companies, hundreds of millions. Up front hey – and you say the driver is not a revenue raiser but to ‘save the planet’ !

        Renewable energies should be market driven. Like everything else. You are being duped.

        • Jordan says:

          Fair enough, people are allowed to be angry about another tax. However as I mentioned, sometime governments have to make unpopular decisions. Most people think only about themselves in the here and now. Governments need to think about the future and the population as a whole. In any case, implementing major environmental change is always going to hurt people, and I think the government has done a good job at minimising the pain.

          “Renewable energies should be market driven.”
          That is exactly what the tax is encouraging. It is creating artificial demand for renewables, yes. Without any incentive there is no market for renewables. Coal is cheap, oil is cheap, so why not keep using it?

          The world will never move with us. If we keep that attitude, nobody will do anything ever, and nothing will happen.

          The ‘magical green technology’ may not exist yet. The reason being there isn’t enough demand for renewables, so the industry is still somewhat of a ‘new age’ idea, and most research is conducted by universities – not the private sector.

          The technology may already exist – we are already using solar, wind, and hydro in Australia – the solution may just be to make improvements to efficiency, and cost of production of said renewables.

          Either way, if there is no market demand for renewables – we will never find out.

          • Thomas says:

            ‘That is exactly what the tax is encouraging. It is creating artificial demand for renewables, yes.’

            This is what it is supposed to do yep.

            But again, how is this enforced? There is a compensation package which only reinforces that fact that a tax on the ‘top 500’ will only make them pass on the costs to consumers. So, if they recoup the money via a flow on cost to us…where is the incentive to research new technology?

            ‘The ‘magical green technology’ may not exist yet. The reason being there isn’t enough demand for renewables, so the industry is still somewhat of a ‘new age’ idea, and most research is conducted by universities – not the private sector.’

            You’ve just said there is no demand for a technology that does not exist. Who would have thought?.
            I’m thinking you’ll defend the indefensible regardless.

            The artificial demand is not the same as market driven consumer demand. It is not tangible, it cannot be measured (although they’ll pat you on the head and say the ‘models’ are accurate)

            It is the same as Keynesian economics, and the splashing of money propaganderised as the savor of the GFC – immeasurable and in no way able to be proven.

            ‘The technology may already exist – we are already using solar, wind, and hydro in Australia’

            I ask, what is the carbon footprint of creating these types of alternatives? How many solar panels would power Sydney CBD? How many hectares would need to be cleared? Same goes for wind? And Hydro? What are the costs, monetary and the costs to the environment?

            ‘In any case, implementing major environmental change is always going to hurt people’

            Hey look – as long you’re not one of those people working in a coal factory wondering where they’ll be in the next 2 years?

          • Jordan says:

            “Hey look – as long you’re not one of those people working in a coal factory wondering where they’ll be in the next 2 years?”

            Following that logic – everybody should have stopped buying flat screen TVs. Think of the poor workers in the CRT factories that closed down! I’m not saying we shouldn’t have compassion for those working in the coal factories, but technology and societies change and we can’t hold on to old technologies simply to save a few people’s jobs. If I was a skilled coal worker, I’d be looking for work in the $10bn+ renewables sector regardless of whether or not I was laid off. I think this perspective is a major problem in Australia – we have it too good and so everybody is afraid of change, thus halting progress – particularly in terms of technology.

            Sure, the costs will be passed down to consumers. But, businesses who take advantage of renewables will have a competitive advantage – they can charge the same amount as the others for their product without having to pay carbon tax. This is how business works – reducing costs to increase profit margin.

            “I ask, what is the carbon footprint of creating these types of alternatives? How many solar panels would power Sydney CBD? How many hectares would need to be cleared? Same goes for wind? And Hydro? What are the costs, monetary and the costs to the environment?”

            You’re absolutely right here, and this is a major challenge for renewable technologies. But given the funding, the opportunity and the demand – private research and investment will find a way. Besides, we are going to need a replacement for limited fossil fuels at some point in the future – better that we work it out now than in 50 or 100 years when our population has doubled – regardless of the global warming debate.

          • Thomas says:

            ‘Following that logic – everybody should have stopped buying flat screen TVs. Think of the poor workers in the CRT factories that closed down!’

            Sorry, I don’t think you’re following the logic at all.
            Again, like Geoff you live in a world where there is an alternate energy source to coal. In reality, there is not. So you’re analogies where a TANGIBLE market driven demand for a product is the same as a INTANGIBLE NON-EXISTENT technology is entirely moot.

            ‘This is how business works – reducing costs to increase profit margin.’

            It’s possible you don’t mean to sound patronising, or perhaps you run you’re own business, have an MBA or work closely with businesses and their energy consumption. This is a forced mechanism and there is no guarantee that investing these funds will bring a return on investment.

            To make it clear. When there is a DEMAND for alternate energy, then the investment should start. This is how the market works, not your toss the die and hope form of government intervention. This will create jobs, this will make money.

            Return on investment – that is how business works.

            There is nothing competitive about pushing up the costs of energy in this country. Or have you forgotten that Australia is propped up by exports?

          • Atticus says:

            Dear Thomas –

            I’m inclined to follow the advice of expert economists and scientists rather than crackpots like you and Tony Abbott. I couldn’t care less what Julia Gillard said at the last election, moral of this story is she is doing what the experts believe to be the right course of action- not some dimwitted chump who is concerned about 1 less mcdonalds meal per week. And as far as the coal workers are concerned, Julia Gillard has reiterated time and time again that there will not be the massive layoffs echoed by Tony Abbott’s soundbites. Even if there was, i’m inclined to think it’s called progress, we can’t rely on such filthy technology forever, and this tax and the follow up ETS will help us move forward with scientific innovation.

            Peace out bro-

          • Thomas says:

            Dear Atticus,

            I doubt you could name a scientist or economist or key points without googeling feverishly.

            Look bro, its cool and all wanting to save the environment, and its cool to dismiss the dim witted chumps (other opinions from other people), but without further adieu I’ll try to make it real easy, in a vain hope to relieve you of your supercilious tone;

            My concern is not 1 less happy meal a week, it’s jobs, it’s competitiveness. If you worked within small-medium business, you would know they’re struggling as is. Why add another layer of complexity when; THERE WILL BE NO MEASURABLE CHANGE IN THE GLOBAL TEMPERATURES. See if you can say that sentence again and let it sink in.

            ‘ i’m inclined to think it’s called progress’

            I would pay to see the look on your face if someone knocked on your door and made you redundant in the name of progress.

            ‘Julia Gillard has reiterated time and time again that there will not be the massive layoffs’

            Julia Gillard is closing coal factories in favor of technology that has not yet been created. Julia Gillard said there would be no carbon tax too. I know, its not the same because its a minority government and she always said she would bring one in – I mean it’s not like she could have said no….could she? Yes, she could have.

            But in Leftie land, no means yes, yes means no and saying something means something else entirely, as long as it means something that is meant to mean anything you want. Got it?

            This is what you are:


            I’m thinking by the writing style here that most people are under 25, and really have nothing to lose. The ‘saving the planet’ is a great thing and it’s come to the point where you’ll say anything to appease it. It’s not hard to believe really, in the dark ages they sold snake oil to cure any disease, 60 years ago Hitler convinced the German people to gas Jews, 40 years ago Pol Pot convinced his armies to kill his own people, and today the American Government has all but eroded habeas corpus in order to ‘protect’ the people.

            Perhaps I’ll eat my words when in ten years we’ll be powering our cars with banana peels.

          • Paul says:

            Thomas well put and Atticus, I am sure you and Geoff will get along very well. Next time throw a few extra fuckwit comments for good measure.

          • dispenser says:

            Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t the tax meant to only effect the top 500 companies, and the small-medium businesses?

    • drew says:

      Did anyone honestly vote for Gillard because she wanted some other method of putting a price on carbon for an ETS?
      I voted for Gillard because she said she was going to press on for an ETS.
      I wasnt too concerned how a price was going to be put on carbon – but i see the merits of Abbott’s argument (at the time) that the fairest, most economical way would be through a tax.

  6. Reece says:

    How will the tax stop the end of the world scenario you describe?

    • Ben says:

      In itself it won’t. To be honest it’s a token gesture. Any real difference requires a lot more effort than this. The extra tax shouldn’t be going to reward low-middle income earners for their carbon footprint, but 100% towards alternative energy research.

      But given how hard it is to get the public to get on board with even this tiny sacrifice, we have to start somewhere. It’s still better than doing nothing, and hopefully when the need becomes more dire, we will at least be heading in the right direction, even if too slowly.

      • PB says:

        It’s not really a token gesture. We contribute about 2%. That might not seem much, but it’s not token. It’s the old story of everyone doing their bit. Even the big polluters, China and the USA each only contribute 20% each. They can’t fix it by themselves. Every country has to cut back CO2 emissions. A few percent here, a few percent there. It all adds up.

      • Zack says:

        So PB….if we can somehow spend billions of dollars and cut our emissions in half (which is a dream and will never happen) we as a country will produce only 1% of the worlds carbon emissions.

        So 1% instead of 2% while China is rapidly increasing their emissions on a yearly basis….is that really worth the billions we are going to spend to lower our emissions when on a global scale it is absolutely insignificant? (Even you can’t deny it is insignificant)

        That is one expensive token gesture, that no country of note will even notice.

      • In a rush! says:

        Have a look at some of the international media coverage of the tax. It has been taken notice that the country that is one of the highest per capita emitters of CO2 is taking steps to reduce that. That is what this will do. It will prove that Australia, one of the countries that will be hit hardest by climate change, is doing something to stop it and will put us in the position to demand that of others.

        China is working hard to reduce it’s emissions and is working on filling out a policy that is way more ambitious than Australia (Google it. I’m running late for work).

        In the end, the resources we are using are finite. We will have to transition away from them at some point. If it wasn’t for the fact that industries like the coal and steel industry needed to be over-compensated and people weren’t willing to put some money into this, a lot more of this carbon tax money could have gone into R&D. When this switch happens, you want to be in the countries at the forefront of renewable research and manufacture. Hopefully this tax will help move us away from the black hole of innovation and declining manufacturing we are currently in.

        • JOYCE says:

          You are truly gullible– I have solar and wind power and I can tell you that if we have a couple of days of overcast weather and the wind blows TOO much – I have to crank up the PETROL POWERED generator. Just do everyone a favour and try to live with “alternate energy sources” – you can forget using your hair dryer, vacuum cleaner, coffee maker – shall I go on? Try and live the dream before you talk bullshit.

          • geoff lemon says:

            Because the tech you have now is as good as it’s going to get, right Joyce? I’ve got a feeling that ten years of intensive R&D might turn up some slightly better options.

          • Thomas says:

            Geoffs ‘got a feeling’ though Joyce.

            Geoffs got a feeling that in 10 years the cure will be found. The oxymoron of being so sure on a gamble.

            But hey, it’s not your job that’s up with the roll of the die is it Geoff?

            I love the pseudo intellectual in you Geoff. It’s the primary trait of the outraged leftie.

          • geoff lemon says:

            It’s a rhetorical device, young padawan. Are you telling me that a decade of well-funded research wouldn’t improve any given technology? We’ve gone from 600 MHz processors in Toshiba bricks to the iPhone 5 in that time.

            To be clear, the argument you’re backing is: “I currently own shithouse technology, therefore it follows that all technology of that kind is and will be shithouse forever.” There are a few structural instabilities with that one.

            And how is it less of a roll of the die to not do anything about carbon emissions, and just keep our fingers crossed that climate scientists are wrong?

          • Thomas says:

            Geoff, I don’t recall posting ‘doing nothing’.

            We’re talking about the Carbon Tax and what its effects will be.

            We know it will do nothing for the climate.

            We have no way of knowing if the money extracted by the tax will find a suitable alternative that leaves a smaller carbon footprint than coal and oil. Again, how many Wind Farms or Solar Panel farms will be needed to power the eastern seaboard? And what will be the effects on the environment?

            It is a gamble.

            Your technology analogy is truly ridiculous.
            It is like saying that they were writing iPhone apps back in 1995 when the hardware was not even conceived. That’s what you’re saying. Basing a tax around technology not even conceived.

            Doing nothing? No, private companies investing in other sources of energy? Absolutely. An ineffectual carbon tax that could potentially damage the economy and kill Australian jobs whilst doing zero for global warming? You would think the answer is crystalline…..

          • geoff lemon says:

            Or, a carbon tax that will force already insanely profitable industries to divert a pretty modest share of their yearly takings to a fund which will direct resources at cleaner technology. Depends how you want to look at it. New industries mean new opportunities and new jobs. Old industries get passed by. You don’t find a lot of people earning their bread by driving an ice-cart anymore, do you? Not a lot of cobblers or wainwrights going around. But there’s a fridge repairman, and a bunch of people working at Foot Locker. Times change. Fighting that, a clever man said is like stabbing a river to stop it from flooding.

          • Thomas says:

            ‘that will force already insanely profitable industries to divert a pretty modest share of their yearly takings to a fund’

            Ahh OK, so it IS about money and wealth distribution – why did you not just say so?

            Well, they’ll need a lot of money for R&D, seeing as the government is compensating low income earners, and protecting other industries.

            Again, I’m not sure this concept has hit home. Your analogies consider the fact that there is market driven demand. People don’t drive ice carts because the fridge was invented – a tangible device. Or am I wrong? Was a tax put on ice carts that eventually drove the invention of the fridge?

            As another poster has said, (bizarrely enough painting this as a positive) the carbon tax is an artificial mechanism. There is no guarantee there will be a alternate energy source to power our cities. For at least the third time – companies will pass the cost of the tax onto consumers, so there is no incentive to look for an alternate. And then to add to the craziness, the round robin of compensation. And for the umpteenth time – there will be NO discernible difference in global temperatures!

          • Paul says:

            Geoff Geoff Geoff. I thought in one of your earlier posts you said ‘its only for three years doofus’ (gee i hope i spelled that right, would have been easier if you just called him a fuckwit like the rest of the tree huggers here).

            But FINALLY you have come out of the closet and admitted this is ALL about MONEY!!!

            Thanks now i can leave!

            PS good luck at the next election, i think your gonna need it!

        • Thomas says:

          It absolutely is about money. Did not take much to get it out of him really. The bitter and twist of the left, the self righteous vacuous unknowingly providing a word melee with spiffled lip in front of his iMac.

          None of my points have been answered – and they won’t be by Geoff. This is what Geoff is:

          I’ve just read that people working in coal are already worried and getting ready to move into other industries because of an uncertain future. Scary. This will certainly drive up costs of petrol and electricity as well as the costs of labour. Fantastic. Small business will looooove that.

          But Geoffs got it in the bag, ’cause these (not yet invented) green technologies will provide safe harbor for those people ‘See you Padawan?’

          Questions for all the pro taxophiles here: How many of you work in an industry that relies heavily on coal, or a manufacturing industry that relies on cheap power to remain competitive?

          And really, if you wanted to make a difference, boycott. Don’t drive your car, grow your veges, don’t use petroleum based products (that’s makeup and lipstick for you girlies, and some of the guys I suppose) turn off the carbon spitting PC, have a rally at your uni and pull the plugs on all the PCs there. Don’t use your heater, don’t use your air conditioner, unplug it all if you really do believe. Why not? You’ve said our 0.00000014th of a degree will make a difference so why can’t you? I expect to see many many unwashed toothless non technology using carbon spewing organisms starting tomorrow. (that last bit means you probably shouldn’t breath out) I’ll turn around from my dual 24 inch LCD screens to my window, coffee in hand and marvel at living 5 mins from a major city under the clearest blue skies and the flurry of blue birds and parakeets, not a signal of doom in site.

          Crickets and tumbleweeds motherfuckers.

          • kd says:

            You could make a climate change denier / economic irrationalist’s bingo call card off Thomas’ post there. A mish-mash of half truths, out and out falsity and irellevance. Good work man!

          • Thomas says:

            No KD don’t deny climate change at all.

            Straight back at you; Excellent work on your rebut.

            Loved the part where you walked all over the half-truths in the post.


          • HOLD UP says:

            Hold up old timer you might blow a heart valve. Take a cup of tea and lie down, i can almost see you salivating from here.

      • Zack – you’re wrong. Lots of countries will take notice and the negotiators who are involved in the international attempt to get global action, have come out and said an Australian carbon price will significantly strengthen their hand and make a big difference. Germany’s chief climate advisor has said it will make a big difference and that Germany is looking forward to working more closely with Australia to grow the global clean energy economy. It’s not just about percentages of emissions – it’s also about leadership in the international community and positioning ourselves early to take advantage of our vast natural resources and make sure that when the clean energy economy fully arrives – we’re the ones reaping the benefits instead of being stuck with ancient dirty technologies when the rest of the world has gone clean. Plus, I’m sick of living with the disastrous environmental and health effects of dirty coal. Technology has moved on. We don’t use big clunky mobile phones anymore. Nor should we be beholden to ancient technologies when better and cleaner ways of doing business have arrived on the scene.

      • Not Rupert says:

        It’s not really “honest” (or accurate) to describe a carbon pricing mechanism as “token”.
        It is reasonable to conclude that a carbon pricing mechanism will reduce the competitive price advantage of fossil fuels and encourage innovation and adaptation which has the effect of reducing the emission of greenhouse gases. [Which explains most of the noise coming from the fossil-muppets]

      • Miki Shapiro says:

        Shame you have such a limited view of the picture.

        Denmark has a population of 5.5 million. Israel has just short of 7.
        They leveled their playing field in favor of green tech.
        This fact lent them to drive a new technology that could facilitate nation-wide adoption of electric vehicles.
        The technology made so much sense that CHINA announced it is adopting it, and the US is well on its way to do same.

        A small country can make a big difference, if people in that small country have incentive to start figuring out how to fix the right problem.

        And once you get a viable solution, replicating it elsewhere is the easy bit.

        The carbon tax just put the right problem in front of our smartest people.

    • seymorebutts87 says:

      You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr

      • Ben says:

        Zack seems to promote the “you go first” method, where everyone refuses to do anything until someone else has gone first.

        This system has been demonstrated in it’s full infuriating glory at Kyoto, and then at Copenhagen.

        Regardless of the actual tiny global percentage of our emissions, we can hardly tell China and others what to do unless we lead by example.

        And seriously … you think it’s expensive?

        It’s very easy to decry this solution for it’s imperfections, but I don’t see anyone proposing an alternative that’s any better!

        • Miki Shapiro says:

          Don’t think “Lead by example”.

          Everyone is so entrenched on this idea that “it HAS to cost money”, “it HAS to cost us pain”…
          This is an OPPORTUNITY. It’s a change that leads to new ideas, new companies, new solutions, and new wealth.

          Think “show it can turn a profit”.

          Because if you can, I assure you, China won’t need to be led.

      • golden goose eggs says:

        Hey, does anyone remember as a kid doing something crazy like jumping into a river from a very high railway bridge? I do. Even though we had checked the water for submerged rocks, snags and I remember looking down at the water far below with my arsehole puckering at the thought of leaping off. Thank god for my best mate…his balls were bigger than mine and he didn’t hesitate. After he hit the water a.d I saw he was ok

      • Adam says:

        the end.

  7. Horace Copes says:

    Over the last few days it’s felt like we’re on the verge of civil war – and over what – trying to clean up the air. Brilliant writing. Thank you.

  8. Moni says:

    Those genuinely struggling week to week, I’ve been finding, are the ones more likely to say they’d be content to wear the cost of restructuring to prepare for and potentially ameliorate climate change. Just more evidence, I guess, of how entitlement culture screws with your priorities.

    • Polly says:

      Yes Moni, like we on disability pension/carers allowance. We are pleased to do what has to be done when living from fortnight to fortnight means we have to sometimes rob peter to pay paul and paul is usually electricity bills.
      Love this piece and it gives me/us hope for the future of our grandchildren ( yet to be). Why are those on 100k + whingeing? Try living on $26k…..I am willing to swap AND pay FIFTY dollars a week more to carbon tax (ie Pollution tax)….Any takers???

      • paul says:

        because Polly its like saying the whole world is in a bath tub and people have been pissing in the water for a long time and we are now going to say ‘well were not going to piss in the water anymore and things will get better’, but the others are still pissing and pissing more and more.

        This is a GLOBAL issue and needs a GLOBAL answer

        • Oliver says:

          I want to get out of the bath Paul. Millions it seems like you want to soak it up.
          What’s the go with that?

      • Yes Paul – a global answer which last time I looked included us. If you’re waiting on someone else to take the leap before Australia – lots have already done so! We can be leaders, or we can be sheep. Clearly some of us believe a lot more in Australia’s leadership potential and abilities than you. This is a small, relatively cheap step for us to take to make sure we’re part of the solution. And international negotiators have already said it will greatly strengthen Australia’s hand as it plays its part in trying to reach a global consensus. I’m starting to think that those who roll out the ‘we can’t move alone’ line are actually not interested in the world moving at all.

      • Sam says:

        Every comment of yours paul has been closing down peoples arguments, yes this is not going to fix the world, yes its probably not going to make any difference in the grand scheme of things, but what would you sugest then. Bitching about how its the US and Chinas problem is pointless, I personally would much rather pay $10 a week in the hope that it makes even an ounce of difference and hope that other countries follow suit than sit back and pick apart other peoples ideas. Yes the health and school systems also need a lot more funding, I would be more than happy to chip in another 10 for each of those as well.

      • Nick says:

        Fuck Paul, do you feel vindicated now that you’ve sprayed your close minded ideas across this comment board?
        On the issue of this being a ‘GLOBAL’ problem, you’re dead right. But how do you convince the rest of the world to do anything when you lack the courage to lead—to do nothing yourself, whilst demanding that others change their ways. This legislation is extremely important at a global level; The Economist magazine this morning has not only backed this plan but clearly points out that the provinces in China that are looking at trialling the Chinese ETS and South Korea who are looking at legislating one will be closely watching the outcomes of our scheme. Now, South Korea and China are two massive manufacturing and export nations: you cannot possibly argue that pushing them towards action is not prudent global policy; even if it costs you and I $10p/week.
        Moreover, Australia may be a ‘small player’ in the world of global emissions, accounting for around 1.5% of global emissions; about the same as France, Briton, and South Korea; would you argue in a GLOBAL solution that they should abstain from action because they too are not a majority emitter? If that is the case then suddenly we have circa. 6% doing nothing; and so on and so forth.
        In sum; you’re arguments are repetitive rhetoric pulled from shock-jocks and News Ltd. columnists, and they are a misappropriation of fact. You claim to support the bigger picture – as seen above in your rant about this being a GLOBAL problem – but you completely fail to see the bigger picture of our domestic policy.
        I’m going to go out on a limb here: this ‘tax’ will reduce Australia’s emissions; it will give us far more potent bargaining power at future conferences like Durban; it will not ruin the economy, rather help develop new industries; and it will not break anyones bank. Like the GST, you won’t even notice it. But, the world will notice it; capital investment will notice it; power generators will notice it; airlines will notice it; and the decisions of the future will be shaped from today, from this piece of legislation.
        Stop being so selfish and exert a bit of prudence: the world certainly needs it right now.

        • Paul says:

          With comments like

          ‘fuck paul’ and ‘I’m going to go out on a limb here: this ‘tax’ will reduce Australia’s emissions’

          i’m not sure where to start and i don’t think you are either. But for the sake of giving you a ‘fair shake of the sauce bottle’ and not shutting you down, please feel free to share one or two reasons.

          • Nick says:

            I’ll share one: the EU ETS, the largest carbon pricing system in the world, has reduced Europe’s emissions since it was put into effect.
            Make that two: sweden has had an effective carbon tax since 1991, it has both reduced emissions and had no effect on domestic growth.

            From you, I would like to know your justification to the claim that the carbon tax is ‘a socalist tax redistribution’? —other than ‘Tony Abbott said it so it must be gospel truth’.

            I will also refrain from using profanities whilst entering into debate with you, I hope this makes your time on this comments board more enjoyable.

          • paul says:

            Nick, nsw reduced co2 last year without a tax, whats that all about?

            If Julia and Bob were serious about fixing the problem they would not be spruiking their poor people will be over compensated line, they would be spending the money on fixing the powerplants.

            If we agree that the Electricity power plants are the main contributors to co2, why not just invest, say the MRRT on fixing the older powerplants?

          • dispenser says:

            How exactly did New South Wales do it then?

          • Nick says:

            Paul, would you be able to point to the source of the data you have based your assertion on? From what I can see, the Dept. of Climate Change only has finalised state-level data up to 2009 [1], with this data we can see that from 2008 to 2009 C02 emissions when measured under the Kyoto Accounting Practices increased roughly 3.5%, in contrast the EU15 (that I referenced above) fell roughly 6.9% [2].

            As only 37.6% [3] of Australia’s emissions come from Water, Electricity and Gas I don’t see power generation as the silver bullet you make it out to be, however, in the interest of ‘shaking the sauce bottle’ I will honour your proposal a response.

            I believe your plans for the energy creation sector to be farcical because:
            a) Putting the burden only on the power sector is a slow and highly expensive way to abate emissions, it would require the sector to reduce it’s emissions by 160Mt CO2-e, or 75% of 2009 [4] levels to achieve Australia’s overall target of a 5% fall on 2000 levels, and;
            b) the MRRT really should be put into a sovereign wealth fund, not used to bolster the governments budget (it could be argued that the increase in minimum super is an as prudent move as a larger super sector does increase capital liquidity, but I would prefer the afore mentioned fund).

            Furthermore, there is an existing $10b fund on the table to assist in a move towards low emissions electricity generation, the problem is that base load power is very expensive to generate with little or now CO2 emissions at this moment, and really it could be argued that no one is quite sure how to handle it in Australia as yet: people are still advocating for Nuclear; some gas; some carbon capture; and so on. These debates will go on, but ultimately the market will choose and it will begin slowly but gather pace under a mechanism like the carbon tax.

            The reality of the situation is this: $240b [5] will need to be spent on our power generation over the next 2 decades [6], with or without a carbon price. The government cannot throw that sort of money at a sector just to reduce it’s emissions. Herein lies the core of your problem: you’re advocating, like direct action, the government pick ways to reduce emissions and throw money at it, a lot of money. The problem with this is that it lacks the price signal and thus the incentive for all emitting business to change its ways. Furthermore, it costs the government, and thus it’s constituents money. The reason why the compensation package is so important (aside from just compensating) is that it re-injects the money straight back into the economy again for the market to determine where it ends up.

            So again I leave with the same conclusion, an ETS or carbon pricing mechanism is the cheapest and most effective way to reduce emissions across the entire economy; it is an ingenious method and it confuses me greatly that people who used to advocate for free-markets and small-goverment now argue against a market mechanism—albeit with too much money landing in a “renewables fund”.

            fn1. Source:
            fn2. Source:
            fn3. Source:
            fn4. This was calculated using data from: and
            fn5. Source:

            fn6. This is also a good point to takeaway as well: we need to find $240b in private investment for our energy sector in the next 20 years; note that they are not the ones lobbying against the carbon tax, what they are pleading for is certainty. With the all the hyperbole and rhetoric currently in this debate it is no wonder electricity prices continue to soar, in fact, Tony Abbott is just as guilty here as his promise to repeal the tax (after having to call a double-dissolusion no less) is only exacerbating the uncertainty woes.

          • Chris says:

            Excellently elaborated Nick, Thank you for doing so.

  9. Jodie Tha Legend says:

    Oh, you restore my faith in humanity!!! Can we bottle your common sense? Until I read this I thought I was The Only One. So nice to know there are other rational people out there. Thank you.

  10. David Haines says:

    Fantastic Rant – great antidote to all the crap that the media has been serving up. Keep up the good work.

  11. Mike says:

    This post is more flawless than those diamonds the whinging elites of society will not have to give up thanks to the new tax.

    It’s nice to see that other people out there are putting things into perspective. Saying we’re lucky is a damn understatement.

  12. Luke Joseph says:

    You are completely amazing. I pray, I seriously pray daily that as GFC MK II comes rumbling through the western world it takes out Australia in a big way. The population complains about government having no direction – the government is a reflection of its people – a lost sea of whining, bitching, ungreatful, selfish children demanding to be protected from every possible ill that might come their way. It’s pathetic and embarassing. Not that Australia is alone in this, the welfare state through the west has reached a point where no single person wants to be held accountable for their life choices. Have three children when you can’t afford one? No problem, the government will pay. Want to smoke and get cancer? No problem, the government will fund your treatments. Want to afford a house that is above your station in life? Sure, here’s a first home owners grant. The carbon tax debate has just brought to the fore the underlying sense of entitlement that is weakening the nation and prohibiting our leaders from having any vision or being able to enact any serious reform.

    • Gav says:

      Personally, I don’t know why they didn’t just say “Hey, yep, this is a tax on people who pollute. But it’s going to generate a crap load of money for the government. We can spend this on nice things, like hospitals, and then you won’t have to pay so much tax”

    • paul says:

      ‘I seriously pray daily that as GFC MK II comes rumbling through the western world it takes out Australia in a big way’


    • Wendy Birrell says:

      Absolutely right Luke! People with missing pieces of ‘consequences’ brain cells and an over supply of ‘entitlement’ brain cells is exactly what we now have in bucketloads in Australia right now.

      Wendy Jean

    • Ashleigh says:

      No, the government does not pay, I pay! I have struggled and worked very hard to put myself in a good position and the government hands my money out hand over fist to poorly thought out causes. For once I want to see my money used wisely, if they used it to build a Nuclear power plant that effectively cut emissions, I would happily pay more to hold up manufacturing industries instead of losing it to less efficient countries.

      • So Ashleigh, you won’t mind if they build your beloved nuclear power plant in your back yard.

        • Paul says:


          I’m not happy to have a nuke in my back yard, but you seem to be ok with China building a few extra coal powerplants in our back yard. Oh and should i ask where you think the coal is comming from?

      • Ashleigh says:

        Not at all, I think Olympic Dam would be more suitable, its a solution we have available right now for base power loads with very little emission. It could take quiet a while before the money into R&D comes up with anything viable. Suggest a better constructive solution that will effectively reduce our environmental footprint without putting our manufacturing industry at risk and our economy basically solely relying on mining.

    • Marian Wright says:


  13. Locky says:

    This is the best climate change article I have ever read! Period!

    • Cassie ST says:


      I don’t recall this level of bile and idiocy when the “Never. Ever” GST debate was raging. That was for the most part about policy, and the fact Howard broke a promise, not told a lie. (Promise, lie – interchangable with pollies really, aren’t they?)

      If fear and loathing, smear and innuendo are that best that Abbott can do to show Australians that he’s a better Alternative PM, then the sheeple will get what they deserve.

      Frankly, I think that he, and the rest of the opposition coalition, are still acting like petulant school boys who are still spitting the dummy because the new kids on the block didn’t pick them to be on their footy team.

      And how delicious would policies from that coalition minority Govt combination have been if that was the current senario?!

      • paul says:

        Cassie the difference is when Howard changed his mind he went to the people and called an election on the issue so the people could have their say. Guess what we agreed to bring in the GST. Ahh Julia said NO tax and without asking the people who voted for her (and remember she is OUR representitive) changed her mind (imo the only reason she did it was for the power of being PM) but still will not go to an election so we the people can decide!

      • Can’t reply to Paul’s comment directly, so will add that though John Howard took the GST to an election – he actually received fewer votes than Labor at that election.

        Yes, he received more seats, but it was disingenuous to claim a mandate in the way he did.

      • B.Tolputt says:

        “Guess what we agreed to bring in the GST.”

        Actually, by the popular vote, we didn’t. More people voted directly against the Coalition than for them. Like Gillard’s current government, Howard led by the vagaries of how our system works, not because a majority of people said they wanted a Coalition government.

      • Gemma says:

        Howard had the decency to announce before he was elected that he would implement a GST. The people voted for him knowing that.

        • Skeet says:

          And he had the complete indecency to not mention a word about that truly shitty WorkChoices policy before the 2004 election. Any comment on that, Gemma?

      • Adam says:

        Paul, can you spell L-I-B-E-R-A-L-S-T-O-O-G-E ?

        Because I can smell one.

  14. silv3r89 says:

    The problem as I see it, is how do we know people will be covered enough with rising costs?

    I know you have it in your head that all Australians have a brilliant life, but my career often has me in contact with those worse off financially, and some really do struggle. Prices go up but their pay stays the same, more and more taxes are introduced, some won’t experience the advances of the technological age as their priorities are more on keeping the family fed then accessing the internet… This tax scares those people as they’re struggling now and if additional costs are greater then the compensation offered, it’ll be another step closer to the straw that broke the camel’s back. Oh and your fortunate homeless people? Can’t get proper assisstance as apparently they need a residential address to apply, one was telling me. I believe the percentage of unhelped homeless people here is very high.

    But it’s certainly a lucky country for those like you and I who can afford to have and drop all those things that some poorer folk wouldn’t even consider due to the costs involved.

    • Geoff Lemon says:

      And who are the ones doing all the bitching about the tax, Silv3r? The less well-off who’ll be better compensated? Not so much.

      • silv3r89 says:

        Actually, they talk about it a lot.
        You don’t see them doing so though as they don’t always share outlets like the internet.

        The reason I feel passionate about this issue is I talk with these people regularly, I see them stressing out as there’s little way for them to predict all the possible price increases. Some of them work, have families and there’s little if anything left over for even the small luxuries as it is.

    • Moni says:

      Silv3r, I have to argue on the points you’ve raised that, exactly, why I believe the considerations on this particular bill are the right ones are those reasons people in Australia find themselves struggling despite working hard. The considerations enfolded in this tax bill have great potential to address those issues in a positive way and steer the benefits into helping drive progressive steps in energy.
      The setting aside of a fund for less empowered consumers puts power in their hands, to drive the new energy market, they wouldn’t otherwise have. Its having lacked that power in the past that has created so much of what is troubling their lives right now. Businesses are reactive entities, in an ideal system they bend to market forces and the most important market force is the consumer. To cut to the chase, we have now, in energy, a system which wields inequitable power over the consumer market, the right bill for Australia is one that returns the balance of force back to the intended decision makers in a free market, the people, and this fund is a good start on that.

    • Tony says:

      What I don’t understand is how this new tax is going to be incentive enough for these large polluters to clean up their businesses? They will pass on all costs to all households and even with the rebates all people, rich or poor, large incomes or not, healthy bank balances or not will be extremely worse off. The flow on costs in all areas of everyday living will rise dramatically which will increase CPI which will increase interest rates which will lead to more mortgage and company loan repayment defaults and it will ruin this country economically – whether you are rich or poor! All emotion aside that’s the actual fact. It has absolutely nothing to do with the enviroment or the Greens or Gillards lies. So what’s the solution that won’t ruin the countries economy or everyones entitlement to be as succesful as they can be? Pretty easy really. Give tax reductions to these large polluters who decrease their carbon emissions with the premiss that these tax savings are passed back to their clients thus reducing the cost of living for everyone who is both poor and rich. And what about having a dramatically reduced tax rate for clean energy companies as an incentive for them to become dominant so they can give clean or at least cleaner energy like solar back to the everyday Australian? Wouldn’t this be a novel idea for a goverment ….or maybe all Goverments are used to taking rather than thinking? So rather than getting on your soap box and calling everyone names if they don’t agree with you why don’t we look at what options we actually do have to keep our earth alive? Incentives usually work better for everyone, rich or poor, cleaning toilets or having 20 boardroom lunches a week. Let’s save the world and be a great prosperous nation that leads by example!!

      • geoff lemon says:

        “ruin this country economically…” That’s the kind of overhyped stuff we love.

        If you give companies an area in which they can make savings, they’ll do it. Sure, they can pass the cost of the tax along. But then there’s a potential gap for them, where if they reduce pollution, they can start creaming that tax cost off the top. And find me one business that wasn’t interested in ways it could do things more cheaply?

      • Moni says:

        One obstacle to the idea of tax breaks for voluntary pollution reduction is that the capital cost of reducing emissions initially and over the shorter term is a disincentive. In the same scope of reference there are no disincentives to continue polluting at the same rate and the reality is this is the scope in which businesses must operate to remain viable. Over a longer term big tax breaks and shifting to renewable/cleaner energy sources can be a boon, but the shorter term results don’t look good on a ledger and that’s what corporations will tend to avoid. So this is why we need a disincentive for polluting that appears on the short to medium term forecast for business, because that is where the drive to adjust industrial practices is most great.

      • Me says:

        Tony, say you and I both make widgets. Say the way you manufacture widgets is environmentally friendly (i.e. low polluting) but more costly. I on the other hand produce widgets at lower cost, but at the expense of the environment. Because my widgets are cheaper I’m selling more than you. Let’s look at your proposal. If the Government gives me tax reductions for lowering the pollution I produce where does that leave you. I’m now paying less tax than you – and I might still be producing more pollition than you.
        Now look at how putting a price on the pollution would work. If I have to pay for the pollution I produce then my costs are going up, perhaps to such an extent that your widgets are now cheaper. So, people will start buying your widgets instead of mine. I also now have an incentive to reduce the pollution I produce. The more I reduce it the less I will have to pay. So putting a price on pollution has two effects: it gives me an incentive to reduce the pollution I produce and it makes your low pollution widgets more price attractive to the consumer. Now substitute electricity for widgets and green house gasses for pollution.
        Oh, and I haven’t seen much comment by anyone on the fact that there’s been no carbon price put on petrol. The thing is, there’s already a substantial tax on petrol – more than enough to send a price signal. There’s really no advantage to adding to it. Indeed a a study in the UK showed that if they wanted the price of fuel to adequately reflect it’s carbon contribution they would actually need to lower taxes on it.

        • Scott Kay says:

          Good point about the petrol. The fact they haven’t targeted petrol means it affects the little man even less. What more could people want from this? My biggest expense is petrol, and to know that isn’t getting a rise, is a great thing.

    • Derek Adams says:

      Regarding homeless people and not having a fixed address, I’m aware mail in the US and other countries have “general delivery” see . Centrelink generally want an address so they can send you pointless mail.

      If you think there’s someone who goes ‘nuh uh, that address is a post office’, that is unlikely, and if there were, you’d have to get past the apathy of those whom process the forms, who probably in all likelyhood wouldn’t care. but it’d be worth investigating for those people that you do know.

      But to put some further perspective on this, I live in a house where the COMBINED (2 of us) income is WELL under the minimum threshold for compensation. I would seriously love to be able to whinge the amount that I’m seeing here. We have high speed internet and rent and always aim (and succeed mostly) to get the best quality food.

      And I come here to read about people complaining about A POSSIBLE, WORST CASE SCENARIO of $500 a year when singularly they earn $100k+ a year?

      Whinging is a fucking sport in Australia.

    • Skeet says:

      “Prices go up but their pay stays the same, more and more taxes are introduced,”

      Inflation adjusted prices for many consumer goods are lower than ever (and the quality and functionality is higher than ever), taxes are very low historically.

  15. Andy says:

    Hell I wish I could go through life with the simplistic naivety you do Geoff. Envy you greatly.

    • guest says:

      you do, douche bag.

      Have you been anywhere people earn less than $10 a day? Its GRIM. We are living on their right to a better life. I met a doctor once, he told me he would have to save for 3 yrs to afford just the plane ticket to Australia.
      And now we are going to fuck the whole planet because we can’t afford to sacrifice our “quality of life” – well its actually our QUANTITY of life, there is little quality in the consumerist shit we spend our mining resources on.
      Go to Mackay, look at the fake boobs, tooth whitening, designer clothes, handbags, hotted up utes, jetskis, boats, plasma screen TV’s, awful tattoos.
      And yet for a fraction of that we can move to a whole new way of powering our society that at once reduces our consumption of the world, and gives hope to the billions around the world living in dire poverty because they can access the same technology FOR FREE as well!!!
      No – that doesn’t actually sound like a good investment, I’d rather have a latte and a muffin. Fuck you, and keep the change…

    • Steve says:

      Andy, completely agree. All these morons looking at the world through their rose coloured glasses and pretend to be SO concerned while having their thermostat set at 25 degrees to keep them warm in winter !!!

      • Sorry, Dude, are you actually claiming to know what temperature people have their heaters on? What an idiotic thing to say. If you’re not going to discuss politics by discussing, oh, POLITICS, why bother?

      • lockblocker says:

        hehehe mine is at 28

      • Abbott is a cock says:

        how many people in favour of a carbon tax actually use a heater?????

      • falcon says:

        I can’t believe we are fighting to save the planet for idiots like this! ” Part of me would love to see these squawking indignant right-to-luxury dickwipes learning how to live in the dust, scraping out dried plants from the earth and hoarding their remnants from the Beforetime.” Amen to that.

    • I use a heater and I’m happy to pay more to power it with Green electricity. So much for that stupid argument.

      It’s like the meat eater who berates a bunch of vegetarians because they eat eggs. Or a murder who claims good people can’t berate him for killing people because they’re not Jesus.

      Most stupid fucking argument in the world.

      • thomas says:

        ‘I use a heater and I’m happy to pay more to power it with Green electricity. So much for that stupid argument.’

        What is this ‘green electricity?’ Is it available in your neighborhood?

        ‘It’s like the meat eater who berates a bunch of vegetarians because they eat eggs.’

        I have never heard that before. Has anyone else?

        ‘Or a murder who claims good people can’t berate him for killing people because they’re not Jesus.’

        Never heard that one either.

        The fact is, with companies passing on the costs to the consumer there is zero incentive for your ‘green electricity’. And even then, what ‘green electricity’ can power whole cities? Power whole neighborhoods?

        I’m in love with this ‘Australians are so lucky and spoilt that they should pay more for an ineffectual carbon tax’. After all we have running water and 21st century amenities!!! This is SOCIALISM girls and boys, you know, that thing that history shows us is bad?

        I’m also curious, does writing ‘fucking’ in every sentence make you smarter these days?

        I’d say many of you wouldn’t be a day over 17.

        • “What is this ‘green electricity?’ Is it available in your neighborhood?”

          Yeh dude. It’s called 100% Green Power. Look it up.

          “I have never heard that before. Has anyone else?”

          Oh well, if Thomas hasn’t heard it then it mustn’t be true.

          “Never heard that one either.”

          You seriously didn’t get the analogy I was making there? Okay.

          “The fact is, with companies passing on the costs to the consumer there is zero incentive for your ‘green electricity’. And even then, what ‘green electricity’ can power whole cities? Power whole neighborhoods?”

          Once upon a time, we needed horses to pull carriages and people thought the Earth was flat. Would you use that as an excuse to argue that cars are pipe-dreams and we’d never make it to the moon. Seriously – buy yourself a new argument.

          “I’m also curious, does writing ‘fucking’ in every sentence make you smarter these days?”

          No but it’s seriously fucking satisfying.

          “I’d say many of you wouldn’t be a day over 17.”

          If it makes you feel better to believe that people with a different opinion must be inferior, then go for it mate. As for me, I know lots of intelligent, active, excellent 17 year olds so I don’t consider that an insult. In fact, at my age, that’s a serious bloody compliment.

          As for the socialism argument – some of us don’t find it quite such a terrifying idea as you, but nevertheless, that’s not the argument here. Australians are more than capable of affording $10 measly bucks a week and most won’t even have to pay that.

          Here it is – real simple like – so that you can understand.
          The top 500 polluting companies pay for the carbon emissions they emit to make their products and what have you. This puts a price signal on it that provides an incentive for them to clean up their act. Meanwhile, the money raised through the price gets used partly to protect consumers against those companies who try to pass their costs on and partly to invest in the newer, cleaner, 21st century technologies. It’s not the complete solution but it’s a start.

          Now if you don’t want to be part of the new century and you want instead to stay in the past, with 100 year old technology, protecting a handful of jobs that’s your prerogative.

          Me – I’m with those that want to embrace new technology, clean up our act, create thousands of new jobs, protect our environment and secure our economy for a sustainable future.


          • thomas says:

            Thanks Vicki for your reply.

            ‘Now if you don’t want to be part of the new century and you want instead to stay in the past, with 100 year old technology, protecting a handful of jobs that’s your prerogative.’

            No where did I say this. I did disagree with a tax on carbon however. Green jobs are not guaranteed with this tax. Protecting jobs is my prerogative also.

            Incentive to push companies into green technology is the way. Not taxing them. As someone who is politically correct and ‘does not mind socialism’ I would have thought you’d prefer positive reinforcement!

            ‘Meanwhile, the money raised through the price gets used partly to protect consumers against those companies who try to pass their costs on and partly to invest in the newer, cleaner, 21st century technologies. ‘

            I must burn my economics text books. I was told a lie. I was always told the demand for petrol and energy was price inelastic. This means petrol isn’t influenced by other factors. The demand for petrol is always there – regardless of prices. Trucks still need to deliver food, cities still need lights and I will still drive to work. The fact that Geoff Lemon screams ‘Its only $9.90!!!!!!’ just reinforces that fact. The whole idea of this tax is to change behavior. If the cost is so minuscule, whosa changin? It’s BS. He also says that companies are great at reducing costs. That is ok, but where is it enforced that they MUST invest in green technologies? They’ll do what they always have done. Streamline production, look for investment elsewhere and CUT JOBS.

            Give them an incentive to create green jobs, invest in green technology and reduce their carbon footprint in terms of tax breaks. You don’t get green, you don’t get a tax break.

            Some have screamed down at this saying ‘YEah just throw money at it!’ How is a tax break throwing money at it? You know, like mining companies money is somehow ‘their’ money. Incentive. More jobs, more money, more chance at clean energy.

            I apologise for the previous condescending post, the thing I find most curious about this argument is if you’re not for this tax you’re somehow living in the dark ages. or don’t care about the environment.

      • Julian Fyfe says:

        Right on Vicki! I am so tired of the whole ‘you can’t take a moral position because you’re own choices have apparent inconsistencies’ argument. It’s downright bunkum and should not be allowed in debate. Just because I want to take a stand about an issue does not mean I think I am holier than thou, I just want to make ethical choices, regardless of what others do. I want a price on carbon because currently society is not paying for the environmental cost of its consumption and services and carbon is the best proxy we have for that at the moment. I don’t think it’s unreasonable that I use a heater and think this. And maybe once the price comes in I may be forced to (further) streamline my heating habits, or maybe not, depending on my carbon footprint in other facets of life. The key is I will be able to make choices to go low-carbon (or not), unlike the GST that the venerable Paul seems to be a fan of under which the only option is to reduce consumption if you want to avoid the tax.

  16. choshaDebbie says:

    Great article!! And it’s not even $9.90 from each of us, but only each household.

  17. Dan says:

    If people stopped buying the Hun they’d have their $10 a week back with interest.

    Brilliant article, although the retard comment and concentration camp metaphor might alienate a couple of otherwise sympathetic ears. I’m not going to tell you how to suck eggs, though.

  18. Rob S says:

    There are many people with a huge sense of entitlement who are not going to listen when told they can offset the “cost” of the tax by forgoing some smokes, or dinner at the ‘Drum: their cancer sticks and wontons are /rights/, not privileges…
    To get truly meta on their arses, point out that they can save $500 on the next holiday in Bali if they buy tickets on Deal-o-the-Day. Sure, it’ll do your head in if you think it through, but they don’t! Watch them: it’s all “Ooh, shiny! I can save $100 on a spa treatment”. So excited by the chance to burn another hole in their Visa that all other thoughts vanish.
    Not sure the line about concentration camp guards helps you, but otherwise it rocks from start to finish.

    • Dicko says:

      The idea is to offset the cost by sealing a few drafts, and putting an awning over the window in summer, no need to even forgo the “smokes, or dinner “

  19. Oh gawd I’m in tears. So good.

  20. Pingback: You shut your goddamn carbon-taxin’ mouth (via Heathen Scripture (temp)) « Axeman's Ramblings…

  21. Rachael says:

    Thank you for cutting through all the bullshit that has been bandied about by the detractors (yes, I’m looking at YOU, Tony Abbott – who never offers anything of substance as an alternative solution, and who has spent his entire political career merely bagging the opposition). Australia is in desparate need of a different view point.
    What I am most disappointed in, is that most Australians have dug their heads in the sand and refuse to change for the better. Seriously – if we are one of the first to do something, we turn into chickenshit little cowards and whinge and moan about change being bad despite the consequences that not changing will bring, but if we were to be making this change after America and China were on board, then we would all be okay with it?? What the fuck?! Australians are now gutless fucking sheep clambouring up the arse of the Americans, instead of proactive, respectful people of the Earth who understand that we can’t keep taking and taking without there being some major consequences. I am ashamed of all you people that trashed this idea because you heard the word “tax” without doing your own research on where things are headed should we not make an effort now. I am ashamed of you all because you put yourselves and a couple of dollars ahead of a decent future for your children and grand-children.
    I’m going to put the link for this article in an email if you don’t mind, and bulk send it. People need a bit of blunt perspective. Thanks again for putting your thoughts into words far better than I could ever have done. Much appreciated.

  22. Moni says:

    The most priceless line from the guy on Q and A, incidentally, for me, was his response to the Web message from the Youth Action group. He said something like “well they’re not the ones paying for it” , I figure this goes to show just how tainted this whole issue has been by selective hearing, how has he missed the glaring central point that those kids ARE paying for it, that Tab is already maxed out, the collector is due soon and here’s a clue – the very point of pricing and taxing carbon pollution now is to SHARE the cost with them rather than leaving it all at the doorstep of their adult lives, they’re potentially paying a lot more than we ever can so just harden up jellyfish!

    • paul says:


      I also remember when i was 17 and i knew everything, the only problem was i got a little older and realised i didn’t know everything.

      You show me a parent who doesn’t want the best for their kids. So i say let those kids grow up and then they will realise there is NO point to this tax. Appart from a socalist tax redistribution.

  23. Nat says:

    Disappointing that someone so clever would use the word ‘retard’, I enjoyed the rest though.

  24. jabba says:

    “No-one voted for __________ (this tax / a GST / ‘a license to punt’ / plain cigarette packs / et al)”
    …That ol’ chestnut. I guess this was another of those ‘Non-Core’ promises, eh?No-one voted to bail out people and businesses who didn’t read their insurance PDS properly. No-one voted to commit expeditionary forces to Iraq. No-one voted to spend the surplus to insulate us from the GFC.
    As Geoff has elucidated numerous times – sometime during their tenure, the sitting GoAS (or any nation’s legislative and executive branches) need to make a ‘D’ on the big issues. Otherwise, we’d have a general election, or worse, a referendum every time something happened. That’s why we invented REPRESENTATIVE GOVERNMENT. Is it flawless? Fuck, no! But it’s a fuckload better than the others we’ve tried from time to time.
    Still not satisfied? Take your ‘faux-hawk’ and your Pure Blonde and sod off. (Not so funny when it’s backatchya, is it?)

    • paul says:


      tell me what do you do when your “representative government’ blatently says one thing (like no tax) and then does the other. This imho cuts to he core of democracy, kinda like me getting up and saying i will stop all polution and then saying ‘bazinga’

      • Don’t hear much about Work Choices from you in this context! Funny that! When were we told about that before the election?

      • Paul – Are you really that Naive as to believe that politicians don’t tell lies and that we actually live under a democracy. I would define most so called democratic governments as being more akin to Media-ocracy where people vote according the headline in their favorite newspaper (or in the case of Western Australia it’s only newspaper). As Rupert Murdoch was purported to have said to Bob Hawke “I can give you a headline or a bucket of shit, the choice is yours”. Maybe it’s no coincidence that most of your writing sounds as if it would be quite at home in The Sun newspaper or on Fox News. Finally I would just like to mention a quote from, I believe, Socrates “Pity the poor man who lives in a democracy, where any fools vote is equivalent to his own”.

      • Chris says:

        Everyone called the CPRS an Emission Trading Scheme, and it would have levied a set price for the first year. So expanding the introductory period to 3 years is no betrayal and I think that it’s just political hoopla fanned by the Opposition and sensationalist media. Betrayal would’ve been not getting in place a mechanism by which the market evolves to slowly change the technology that risks rapid changes in climate.

  25. Pingback: Must watch: Gillard's Press Club Address today

  26. stonkwell says:

    well written

  27. Shannon Green says:

    This little rant is a thought-provoking (and well-written) attack on our attitude towards our own quality of life, but really has nothing to do with the carbon tax. It is not an article on climate change, either. Rather than discussing the pros-and-cons of the tax, you have just used the “argument from perspective” to render the whole debate meaningless. You can do that to anything. In fact, if you’d said at the end, “And that’s why we don’t need a carbon tax”, the article probably would have made just as much sense.
    You’ve missed the core of the issue: the Government wishes to impose another tax. This, per se, is perfectly okay (it happens all the time) but only if the tax is going to be responsible for a measurable benefit to Australia. If (hypothetically) anthropomorphic climate change is found to be rubbish, or the tax won’t create a significant reduction in emissions, then perhaps it is unnecessary, and a lot of small unnecessary taxes are going to add up eventually. An unjustified tax is little more than thievery. Surely you can see why it could challenge ‘core values’?
    So, maybe this tax is affordable; maybe it won’t affect our already superior standard of living; and maybe others elsewhere in the world are much, much, worse off; but why is that a reason to impose it?

    • I thought the core of the issue was the rising temperature? Maybe I missed something.

      How much scientific evidence do you need to consider this tax ‘justified’?

      • Zack says:

        Scientific proof that the money that will be spent on cutting emissions WILL have a positive effect. At the moment people championing ‘for’ the tax can still not provide any hard figures to show exactly what our money will produce. Much like the people fighting against it can’t show it won’t help us.

        It is essentially a moot argument between the uninformed camps. Sadly I don’t see us having answers for what benefit the tax will have for another 3 years at least, for even the government doesn’t know.

        I have no problem with paying the tax. None at all.
        But I do have a problem with people belittling others for questioning the governments choices.

    • Dan says:

      Anthropogenic. Unless you mean that climate change will suddenly acquire a human personality.

    • Adam says:

      well said Shannon

      • Abbott is a cock says:

        Come on Zack, widen your persepective and draw a very obvious parallel….it has been proven beyond doubt that price increases on cigarettes are 100% correlated with reductions in smoking rates. Obviously it follows that placing a price on carbon pollution will reduce the rate/amount of carbon pollution.

        We will all have the power to reduce how much we pay for carbon pollution by reducing our consumption of discretionary and luxury goods and services according to our own wants and desires.

        You’ll only pay the full $9.90 if you earn a shed load of money or if your too damn lazy and arrogant to reduce your consumption….in fact with regard to reducing consumption…the GST should be increased to the point where all other taxes can be effectively abolished…. Now that would be an incentive for all those dick wads not to camp on the street in a line up for the latest model of iphone while their current phone is still functioning perfectly.

        Only then would we end this bullshit debate between people who are willing to risk our children’s potential to enjoy a life as good as ours, and those who are not.

    • It’s necessary to impose it because:

      a) the science is in on anthorpogenic global warming; it’s real and it’s pure stubbornness at this point to continue to deny it
      b) coal is bad for our health and environment anyway
      c) better, cleaner technologies exist that we should be embracing anyway
      d) the tax on companies will begin our move to a low-emissions economy
      e) the tax on companies will more than help us meet our short-term emissions reduction targets and set us up to meet our long term targets too
      f) we can begin developing a better energy system and start making a big change to a cleaner, greener economy and world for a relatively small cost
      g) if you don’t like the businesses who are passing their costs on to the consumer you can always bloody avoid them and buy from businesses that don’t.

      Your argument seems to be: “I consider this an unjustified tax because I don’t believe AGW is true which makes this an unjustified tax”. Nice circular logic.

      And claiming that taxing a pissy 500 companies somehow challenges our values is just rubbish and frankly is one of the more hysterical claims I’ve read in this whole silly debate.

      The facts are completely against you so what else you got?

  28. Polly Waffle says:

    Low emission = nuclear power. How can you be so ‘blind’ as the wise one would ask. I’d like to see the oceans rise too, maybe with some geo engineering this could be arranged. How do you think the UK is going to dramatically lower their emissions (said so smugly by Gillard) sunshine?? don’t think so. Waves?? don’t think so Wind??? don’t think so. Yeah yeah Germunzzs jus close nucleeer powa plantz, yes and France and the Czechs will make up the difference, in nuclear energy, you morons wake up and smell no emissions if you dare.

  29. Michaelvan says:

    Can’t agree with you more on this blog. All the hype and whinging we are hearing now leads you to think that Australians are either incredibly spoilt and selfish or incredibly stupid. We need a few more climate disasters in this country. Then the stupid and the selfish might rethink ….. but then most probably not!

  30. shaka says:

    Fantaaastic. Just bloody fantastic. Anyone else engaging in political rhetoric (aka bullshit) in the comments can get stuffed for starters.

  31. BigMuz says:

    The problem is that they exempted the worst polluters and so nullify the whole deal.

    Now we have a situation where about half of us don’t believe in AGW; of the believers about half of them don’t think this tax will help the environment.

    Anybody crying poor over a few bucks is missing the point. A shitty scheme like this that delivers no results isn’t worth anything to anybody.

  32. Jane says:

    Geoff Lemon for PM!

  33. Pingback: You shut your goddamn carbon-taxin’ mouth (via Heathen Scripture (temp)) | Top Left Hand Page

  34. Vincent says:

    When I turn 18, I think I’ll vote for you as Prime Minister of Australia. You okay with that?

  35. Gav says:

    And as for all the horsecrap about businesses putting up prices – there are very few if any companies in Australia that have supply-led pricing. If Arnotts could stick a couple of cents on Tim Tams and not reduce the demand, they would do.

    Pricing is supply and demand, if a company is a massive polluter, they probably shouldn’t advertise the fact by increasing prices from $4.99 to $5.01.

  36. Kate says:

    Before you wax lyrical about how easy it is to be poor in Australia, please get some facts. There are plenty of people who skip meals and sit in the cold in winter because they can’t afford to buy food and heat their houses. There are plenty of homeless people (including families) who are not mentally ill, as you imply.

    One of the reasons why it is so difficult, and why people don’t want to pay more tax, is the ridiculous cost of housing kin this country, which is partly fuelled by the impost of regressive negative gearing. We all pay, renters and first home buyers with mortgages, to benefit rich landlords and real estate agents. Another reason is that the dole is disgracefully low. The full amount of a weekly dole payment is less than the median rent of a one-bedroom flat in Sydney.
    There is a chronic and long-term shortage of public and social housing.

    The BSL and ACOSS websites both have useful resources on poverty in Australia.

    • shaka says:

      Kate, although one could say Geoff has waxed ever-so-slightly on the side of lyrical, as a member of a family that has been on the dole for 20 years, and will be centrelink supported for the next year at least, the fact that we can afford basic necessities such as food and water, healthcare, and a roof over our heads, as opposed to the thousands of people living on the streets in countries such as Africa, India, and even America indicates that we have a much higher standard of living. Sure, I can’t afford to go to the movies or go shopping every week, but I can pay the rent, my phone bill, buy groceries, etc. There is a wonderful support system in place here, our poor have access to far better facilities than in other countries.

      • Nice to see some people commenting on this who can count their blessings.

      • lockblocker says:

        try being Aboriginal – poverty takes on a whole new meaning, add the desert, no services, community violence and shame. fuck me has no one even considered that! fuckin racist coountry

        • tom says:

          hey mate. i tried to say that but it looks like my post was deleted. looks like someone doesn’t like hearing the truth…..

          • geoff lemon says:

            Well, that’s a shithouse insinuation. I’ve approved every comment except a handful that were about 1000 words long, or full of Caps Lock. Have a read up and down and you’ll hardly find any shortage of negativity. (And why would I block you but not the guy you’re replying to?)

          • geoff lemon says:

            Anyhow. If I can get at lockblocker’s point above: yeah, I’m well aware there are some shithouse conditions in remote settlements (latte-sipping tree-hugger, remember)… But one, you’re picking the only semi-plausible exception you can find in protest against an overwhelmingly true rule, which is just an irritating way to argue, and two, my point nonetheless applies in this case. Yes, conditions are shit. Even so, there is a level of resources available. Not great, but it’s there. I’m still waiting for some figures on how many people have starved to death in Australia, at least since Bourke and Wills.

      • paul says:


        feel free to thank us tax payers any time you like for your life style.

        • Julian Fyfe says:

          You Paul, are a dick. Do you know for sure that Shaka has only himself to blame for being on the dole? No? Then shut your mouth. Just because you have a job and pay tax now does not mean there will never be an occasion where you find yourself in a similar position. And what did you do to earn your job? Went to school, perhaps uni, followed the well-worn path? And no one has ever done you a favour right? You have never got something that you didn’t entirely earn yourself? Pull the other one. And while I’m at it, enjoy your GST.

      • Paul

        You’re a fucking maggot. Anyone who’s on the dole is automatically a bludger, eh? Get your head out of the Hun’s arse.

    • shaka says:

      Paul, I do every waking moment of my life. And I hope, one day, to join your ranks. Ahah. But seriously, thank you. Without you guys, I don’t know where I’d be. Definitely not at University.

    • Be says:

      Kate you may be right about the poor in Australia.. I am on the pension and it’s not easy, I am writing this in a cold house without the heating on, but I am grateful that I have food to eat and a roof over my head and the back up of medical help should I need it. We are truly lucky to live in this country. Please let us stop whinging about taxes, how the hell would we pay for all the good in this country with out it? schools, health care, infrasructure of all kinds. I’ve worked since I was 14 yrs of age, got a bit of free education thanks to Mr Whitlam and was bloody grateful for that too. I’m also sick of folk whinging about Julia. We didn’t vote for ‘god’ she’s just a human being with human failings but i do believe she is doing what she believes is the right thing by this tax. I’m with her on this we have to give it a go, and Yes we can afford it.

  37. David in Melbourne says:

    Great fucking article. I heard Mitchell this morning wailing about the economy. It’s not as good
    as we think. Well if you could bottle the fucking thing and sell it every other country, except maybe China, would be lined up around the block. His argument was that people don’t feel well off. No connection to him and the rest of the media and the opposition and the fucking government (do they know any basic politics), telling people that they are doing it hard. None at all.
    So the real story of what we have to do is lost. Stop making energy in ways that produce CO2.
    It’s a technical problem and we will have to solve it by trying again and again until we have it perfected. That’s how all this other technology was invented and then turned into a marketable product. The first to go is the coal fired electricity generators. Replace them and then move on to the next highest emitting and replace that. It will take some time but not that long if history is a guide.
    What no politician can say out loud is that coal in the ground, if we don’t want climate change, will never be burnt. The extra CO2 in the atmosphere will take 100,000 years to remove. So just burning it at a slower rate is no good. It will still accumulate no matter how much we put into energy efficiency.

    Strangely “The Australian” gets it. That’s why the editorial today rails against the renewable energy fund. What gets up their nose is that the coal industry boondoggle, CO2 sequestration, is not included. If sequestration had the slightest chance then the coal industry would be investing big money in it. Actually they have invested two tenths of fuck all of their own money but are constantly wanting the government to waste more money on it.

    Oh well, spleen now vented.

  38. Ann says:

    Excellent post! I’m so sick of hearing the outrageous nonsense spewing out of the media about how carbon tax is some kind of death knell to our way of life. Those people earning over $100,000 per year have no right to whine!

  39. Jane Li says:

    All major parties have committed to 5% reduction in carbon emmission by 2020. So Liberal Party could have replaced The Greens if they so wished for a compromise solution. They could have pushed for a lower price on carbon making it easier for business. We are going to cut emissions whoever is in government, and as Geoff points out the mandate for no carbon tax was not successful with Gillard only winning minority government , it will cost us either way…the devil should have only been in the detail or the wording. Abbot wants an emmission reduction fund, so “fund” I guess sounds better than a “tax” but perhaps will cost us more. Abbot though will prefer Gillard gets this through because come election time in 2 years Liberals will not have the hard work of selling their policy to the public. He really, really wants this to happen as it gets him votes and that is all that matetrs to him. The best outcome for Australia is least of his concerns.

    • I encourage you to have a read of this article before making such bold crystal-ball claims.

      • Jane Li says:

        What crystal ball claims? the article supports my view that liberal party Policy would be far worse. Turnbull says Driect Action Liberal plan will cost US THE TAXPAYER 18 billion in year 2020 alone. He is better with numbers than Tony who is only numerical interest is the polls. Carbon Tax is safe though, Abbot would never want to go to an election on his Fund plan. If he did they may need a double dissolution so a repeal and putting humpty back together again so will never happen. They are just using this for votes grabbing they want to keep the tax but for Labor to lose power. Treating us as fools and the people oblige. Of course, Andrew Bolt told them to.

  40. Planter says:

    Saw this online:
    In the last few days, the airwaves have been drenched in spin about the proposed price on carbon pollution. Are you looking to get the real story straight from the source? Do you have questions you’d like to ask the government? Then join us tonight online for a special live forum with the Prime Minister, along with leading climate climate scientists and clean energy experts.

    The forum runs tonight,Thursday July 14th: 5:45 – 7:15 PM AEST. And it’s all happening live online at:

    Throughout the forum, we’ll be taking questions for the PM and the other panelists live from Twitter. Tweet with the hashtag #climateforum11 to ask your question and join the conversation.

  41. PB says:

    Excellent comment Geoff.
    It is depressing to see just what a pathetic, inward looking, selfish nation we’ve become. I’m usually not one for self-hate, but I read the comments about this tax and wonder if this is the same country I was born in. Ten dollars a week for those on 110 k to actually help give our kids a habitable planet, and the squealing, the shrieks of outrage… Jeez…

  42. Ben Ross says:

    Assuming most of the comments here are made by Aussies, the main difference I can can tell being here in the States, is that at least you are all on terms with climate change actually occurring. Unlike half of the dimwit fucktards here in the States. So, cheers for your recognition at least. Unfortunately, we’re probably going to fuck the world up for everyone 😦

    • geoff lemon says:

      Actually about half of us are on terms with it. The rest go, “Yeah, but it’s fucking cold today. Global warming? More like SOCIALISM.”

      But yes, sorting out the States is going to be a fucker of a job.

  43. mikk says:

    Couldnt have put it better myself.

  44. Andy says:

    Welcome to the twilight zone of the ecotard

  45. sassydrcil says:


  46. Bellambita says:

    …Wishing the gazillion Gripers would realise that a good half of the point [of this carbon tax] is to get folks conserving power. If you don’t want to pay more: Consume/use Less. It’s simple! My family and I have been trying to conserve since the climate change concept truly sunk in around here a few years ago, yet we know there’s still lots more we can do. Many of us [first-worlders] need to stop feeling so entitled… It aint a god-given right to power our appliances, that there is a Privilege.
    If you’re worried about money, the future of this good place and yon ancestors…some good tips would be to: Eat as locally as you can, less out of season produce, less processed and imported foods, more ethical meats and proteins, try growing some herbs or vegies [you might get hooked], if at all practical, get some chooks [free eggs!], ride a bike instead now and then, watch less crap on tv, and you’ll save money, reduce your carbon footprint and feel… less grinchy? Happy, even?
    PS. Heathen Person – where ever you are, I like and love your work

  47. tim roehmig says:

    Fuckin’ ay. Great text Ry.

  48. Jayson says:

    Clearly you have had no involvement with persons whom are mentally challenged or you would not have make that comment in the first paragraph, and not suprisingly, your stupidity only increases from there on.
    Unfortunately freedom of speech gives fukwits like yourself to write and publish crap, as it has afforded me this right of reply.
    You have admitted that you are a ‘sometime journalist’ i can only invisage that this is what you do when you actually let go of your dick, provided you actually have one.
    The stupidity of this over zealous rant is hard to comprehend and i’m dissappointed that i wasted 15 minutes of my life on you.
    Clearly whatever income someone as stupid, if not stupider is paying you means that $10 per week increase to your cost of living is not an issue for you as it is for more than you can imagine how many Australian families.
    Unfortunately, as previously mentioned, i have wasted enough of my energy on an oxygen thief such as yourself.

    • geoff lemon says:

      Good of you to put in the extra effort to comment, then. God bless.

    • Michi says:

      This comment is completely immature.
      Along with the carbon tax, the government is going to raise the tax-free threshold from $6000 to over $18000 next year.
      If your income is low enough for $10 per week to cripple you, then being able to earn another $12000 without being taxed will more than make up for it.
      If I was homeless, with nowhere to go and no money to eat, whether I needed $300 per week or $310 per week to survive, it would be tragically difficult either way.

      • paul says:


        it already is circa 18k when you add in the lito. The only real change is the NEXT tax bracket, and thats the gotcha

    • Ben says:

      It took you 15 minutes to read that article? Or does that include the time it took you to type the 100 word (barely intelligible) comment as well?

  49. Jake says:

    I am not opposed to a carbon tax, or an ETS.

    But I am opposed to Greens voters.
    The wealthiest demographic of voters are Green voters- its easy to be “progressive” when you can afford it.
    They are also in the ‘young category’ of voters- Young people in Australia are the least likely to recycle, those over 65 the most likely. But young, wealthy, all consuming greens voters are the first to chastise others on the way they vote, without lifting a finger for the environment.

    • Danny says:

      Presumably then Jake it would be Greens voters who are compensated less or not at all under the Governments plan which would mean that Greens voters were in fact subsidising those who wished to be progressive in principle but were financially limited in doing so.

      • Dean says:

        Who are all these rich, young Greens voters?! Wealthiest demographic and youngest? I think you’ll find the wealthiest people in Australia are all over 50, but for perhaps a few entrepreneurs who are terribly unlikely to have voted for the Greens!

        I thought the Greens were the great unwashed?

    • paul says:


      Big Thumbs UP! gotta love those inner melbournians who voted green. I suspect they feel all warm driving their prius to work picking up a latte kidding themselves they are Green.

      This is not a tilt at Melbourne, I love the place.

    • Steph says:

      I vote Green. I’m a grandmother over 50. I work in the construction industry. My income is comfortable but not high. Seems you don’t know so much about us greenies after all.

    • How do you know we’re wealthy? I’m a greens voter and I don’t have loads of cash to throw at this and that. Get the facts before you accuse people of things mate. Complete nonsense. A lot of us have specifically refused to make big bucks working for polluting corporatesthat would buy us trips and brand clothes and houses BECAUSE we care about the environment.

      Caring for the environment doesn’t come with a price tag. I know lots of people of various degrees of poverty and wealth who want a more sustainable future for their kids. And most greens voters are doing masses in their personal lives and with local groups to protect the environment.

      Here’s a thought – maybe you should meet a few Greens voters before you decide you know everything about us, eh.

  50. Greg says:

    Excellent piece of perspective. I am having a similar debate with a friend on FB. I pointed out that a few nations boldly went and abolished other economic benefits like slavery and child labour before everyone else. Guess what arguments were used. It will destroy our economy. Our way of life will be threatened for ever. Sound familiar? And here’s the another thing let’s say in 50 years someone works out we were wrong and CO2 wasn’t going to cause warming. We will have all of that coal and oil and gas still in the ground for future generations to use if they require. Imagine that we actually left some resources for the use of future generations. What a heinous crime that would be!

    • Julian Fyfe says:

      Conserve resources? Future generations? That doesn’t make economic sense. How will our economy continue to grow if we put a dampener on demand?…Now where were my underpants?

  51. Dltay says:

    I don’t have a problem with paying the $10/week. I DO have a problem with all people earning over $110K being type cast as “high-level boardroom execs spend 20-hour days chained to some kind of awful lunch machine being beaten with lobster foam.” They work hard and make sacrifices.
    You have made some very valid arguments but statements like that make you appear childish and immature which makes others less inclined to listen and take the information on. Perhaps try to be less condesending in the future.

    • Skeet says:

      “They work hard and make sacrifices.”

      So do most of the rest of the community, one way or another, you ignorant arsehole. And they don’t get huge financial rewards for it, even though many of them do pretty damn important stuff, like wiping shit off old folks in nursing homes, taking care of abused children, doing 100 hour weeks in hospital emergency rooms, etc. Just coz the execs have managed to game the system to give themselves a large pay packet, does not mean they necessarily deserve it and others don’t. It is not always a just world, you know.

  52. Karli says:

    Amen to that. I couldn’t agree more.

  53. Ridsy says:

    I’m going to have to start drinking Tooheys Red.Save $9.90.

    I’m not overly worried about it either way.

    I don’t really think we need it in it’s current proposed structure. I do get the cranks that we provide resources to other countries that don’t seem to be pushing hard to tax carbon. But hey. Whateve way it rolls.

    What I mostly get the shits about is the public persona that Gillard, Abbott formerly Rudd adopt the minute they screw on their leadership head. If fucking soft, conceited, fake, hopeless and lacking in social skills.

    Leaders… yourself and remove that large hand (belinging to some other tool) from your rectums.

    If your going to sell me something good or bad…..sell it to me as YOU the person. The person you are at home. The person you became. Not you the fake bullshitting crap hole dickwad dork that you definately are.

    Be normal.

  54. Lachlan says:

    Ten points to gryffindor! I wish I’d written this.

  55. paz says:

    Hey, I loved this, and the points you made are very very valid. We really are taking this way of life for granted, and we’ll be the ones suffering the most when it comes to an end. I was born and grew up in Vanuatu and believe it or not, we could survive, heck and even enjoy happy lives, without TV’s, Cars and eating out every second night. I never got a game console as a kid…we went outside and made our own toys. All it asks us to do it save 10 bucks a week… that’s 3 coffees, 2 packets of tim tams, 2 beers….its not that big a deal. Life will go on, we’ll adapt, soon even forget that this tax is even there…And lets be honest, We Australian, who leave the largest carbon footprint per person (yeap, even more than your average american), need to pay back the rest of the world for our contribution global warming.

    Any chance you can re-write a slightly less…offensive version of this? I love the points you make, and I would love others to read it, but many of my friends would be turned off by the language used and the rant-like nature of it. But i know written more appropriately, it would have quite a positive influence on them.

    • geoff lemon says:

      Hey Paz, cheers for the comments, and enlightening ones to receive. I visited Vanuatu as a kid, spent some time on Pentecost Island, and can remember having a great time playing coconut football and climbing trees and not minding in the slightest that the generator shut off at 8 pm.

      There is a somewhat toned-down version of this over on the ABC site, The Drum, which will better suit some people.

  56. Pingback: Carbon tax – couldn’t have said it better myself… « rationalbrain

  57. Andy says:

    Never let the facts get in the way of pages of drivel. When you’ve got something useful to add, come back and post that.

  58. This is completely brilliant. I could not agree more. The best thing i’ve read about the carbon tax by far! Consider this the cyber equivalent of a round of applause, despite the fact that as one person typing at a computer, it’s probably the furthest thing from a round of applause as you can possibly get. but the sentiment is there…

  59. Matthew B. says:

    Its an absolute disgrace on two levels,

    1. The way the Liberal party/ mainstream media portray this whole global warming/carbon tax debate. Their lust for power and money override everything, and if the world burns, truly, they could not give a shit. Also, if it ever does get to that, rest assured, it will be these self-same filthy rich scum that will go on living, in their bunker/safe-house’s/arks that are being built at this very moment.
    2. I really don’t think that people are upset about the $10 a week. The actual problem is that a large proportion of people in this country seem to have the intelligence of a gnat, and form all of their opinion’s and understandings on what mainstream media tells them. I simply cannot believe that people actual listen to Alan Jones/Ray Hadely, watch channel 10 news/Bolt reports or read news papers like the Daily Telegraph (Akerman, Devine) and actually believe any of the biased, self promoting drivel that comes from them. How can they not see that the maintaining of the status-qua, the rich staying and getting richer, at ANY price, is their only true goal. Shhhs, its frustrating. Great article BTW.

    • Paul says:


      The actual problem is that a large proportion of people in this country seem to have the intelligence of a gnat

      so everyong who disagrees with you is a gnat?

  60. Mike says:

    Does this mean that people won’t be able to afford so many voting calls to X-Factor?

    “in being part of the luckiest couple of generations of people to yet walk the earth”
    I was at a dinner at a friend’s place when he was whining about something pointless. His mother turned to him and said “you’re a male born in Australia in the twentieth century – you’ve already won the lottery, now shut up”.

  61. Danny says:

    Geoffs article doesn’t need to be explicitly about carbon policy or indeed about taxation to be dramatically on point, largely because the poor polling from the public isn’t about either one of them either. It is also the lowest hanging fruit discriminator of personality politics that is at the heart of much of what is reported to be widespread dissent about the tax. People with no previous opinion in disagreement with the tax, that certainly have no intention of becoming more educated about it, using the easiest and laziest (so arguably the most Australian) way to decide whether they like the idea or not. The tacit complaint isn’t about the merits of the tax and its compensation (which appear to be both generous and unnecessary for a comfortable people at the same time) but rather that a tape was pulled with Julia saying that she wouldn’t do it. Are we really a country that is so incensed at the thought of a politician changing their mind (surely that was a first…) that we are willing to forgo the chance for world leading reform before we will give up two schooners a week? It seems the fate of our disappointingly anti-intellectual country to have those with no interest in policy or politics to be wheeled out in a debate every time there is a oratory misstep and even more disappointing that it comes at the cost of sound policy. Why does it take so much less effort for Alan Jones to swap ghost stories with Joe-I-can’t-afford-my-pay-tv-subscription-anymore than it does for J-Gill to convince Australians to have an informed opinion if they are going to air one at all. What I think when I read this article is how alarming it is that the escalating expectation of our countrymen and women has spread not only to what wealth we think we are entitled to but also how little effort we believe we can invest in our countries politics to get it.

  62. Ben says:

    Geoff, as much as I agree with the direction of your article, the word retard is grossly offensive. You’d add so much more credibility to your article and ideas if you did it in a less offensive way.

    • Weh Yeoh says:

      Geoff, there is nothing to be gained by using that word, but much to lose. In your last article, you defended it’s use by saying that you don’t mean it in the pejorative sense. That takes away from the whole concept of what an offensive word is. If other people find it offensive, then it is a little arrogant to dismiss that and say that your use is inoffensive.

      Please read this:

      • geoff lemon says:

        Thanks for the input, Weh Yoh. I got your message on Twitter, I believe? Meant to reply, but I got a bit lost in the stream of commentary.

        I didn’t say that it wasn’t a pejorative per se. I said that in my day-to-day understanding of the word, and in my usage of it here, it doesn’t refer to the disabled. I’m not being pejorative towards them, and it’s not pejorative by association with them. I don’t buy people saying I am when in fact I mean something else completely. I accept they might read it differently and feel offended, and as such, I had no objection to altering it for the version of this article on the ABC. So I’m not dismissing people who may be offended, but it’s a term that is possibly offensive depending on interpretation. And while some have been uncomfortable, the vast majority of readers have understood my usage. Over 70,000 people have read this now, and about 20 have complained, while at least the same number have singled out that line for particular praise. I’m ok with that split.

        • you say, “…in my usage of it here, it doesn’t refer to the disabled.” – how does it not?! Your post says “…how closely it resembles a dozen retards trying to fuck a doorknob.”

          …what DOES “retards” refer to in that context exactly? I’m interested to hear your explanation.

          – Erin (

          • geoff lemon says:

            Been over this. Retarded, at its root, means slow to receive or retain information. In the vernacular I’m familiar with, a retard is someone with poor comprehension, or backward views. Literally, their understanding or intelligence is retarded. Someone drunk is retarded, because their functionality has been slowed down. Yes, it has also been applied to disabled people, but that’s two usages from the same source, and I don’t hear that usage in my daily life. Just because one usage occurs to someone else doesn’t allow them to claim that I’m using the word as per their definition.

            I accept people having whatever response they have to what they read. But how they read doesn’t dictate what I said.

    • kd says:

      Yeah, probably would be better to replace “retard” with “drunk rugby players”

      • who cares if you hurt a few people, as long as most people aren’t offended? sorry, that argument doesn’t wash when you’re talking about minorities…Geoff, I like your writing but I think you should reflect on what you might feel if you were a person with an intellectual disability reading this article. And also, why would you be less respectful on your own blog than on an ABC article?

        • geoff lemon says:

          Simply that I’m not referring to the disabled. Never was. The word can mean that; it also has other currency. And one is not necessarily derived from the other. I changed it in the other version so that this debate wouldn’t distract people.

          There are a hundred things in my articles that could offend someone, and do offend people, that’s how I write. But they’re also often things that make those articles effective for other people. As in this case. I can’t actually compensate for every scenario. I know what my intention was, so I accept the result.

      • The Oxford English dictionary defines retard as to delay or slow, brackets, Progress or developments and retarded as underdeveloped. I think this aptly describes Liberal Party Policy and it’s makers. It can also apply to media commentators who advocate a return to the ‘old values’ and the time in the fifties when things were so much better without all those boat people, unless you count the ten pound poms, but they were white and christian so they don’t count. And before anyone starts on about the word pom, I was born and raised in the UK . Finally lets not have any discrimination, you could also have said “drunk AFL players.

  63. Danny says:

    Geoffs article doesn’t need to be explicitly about carbon policy or indeed about taxation to be dramatically on point, largely because the poor polling from the public isn’t about either one of them either. It is also the lowest hanging fruit discriminator of personality politics that is at the heart of much of what is reported to be widespread dissent about the tax. People with no previous opinion in disagreement with the tax, that certainly have no intention of becoming more educated about it, using the easiest and laziest (so arguably the most Australian) way to decide whether they like the idea or not. The tacit complaint isn’t about the merits of the tax and its compensation (which appear to be both generous and unnecessary for a comfortable people at the same time) but rather that a tape was pulled with Julia saying that she wouldn’t do it. Are we really a country that is so incensed at the thought of a politician changing their mind (surely that was a first…) that we are willing to forgo the chance for world leading reform before we will give up two schooners a week? It seems the fate of our disappointingly anti-intellectual country to have those with no interest in policy or politics to be wheeled out in a debate every time there is a oratory misstep and even more disappointing that it comes at the cost of sound policy. Why does it take for so much less effort Alan Jones to swap ghost stories with Joe-I-can’t-afford-my-pay-tv-subscription-anymore than it does for J-Gill to convince Australians to have an informed opinion if they are going to air one at all. What I think when I read this article is how alarming it is that the escalating expectation of our countrymen and women has spread not only to what wealth we think we are entitled to but also how little effort we believe we can invest in our countries politics to get it.

  64. Bill says:

    Thank heaven that someone can still THINK! Geoff, you’ve cheered me up after the days of emotional rubbish filling our TVs, radios and news(you’re kidding)papers.
    Unless more people like you keep shouting, Tony Abbott will be the next Prime Minister of Australia – and it will be a bigger tragedy than the Japanese tsunami. I have four teenagers in my family and my heart will hurt when the rat-faced climate change denier becomes PM. With a self-serving, spineless opportunist like him in the Lodge, and with Big Business holding his remote control, my kids won’t have a planet to encourage their kids to cherish and love.
    The science is clear Rat-Face: Global Warming IS happening and even the scientists can’t rule out a rapid acceleration in the rate of change.
    The 70’s Simon & Garfunkel song ‘The Boxer’ has it right: “All lies and jest, still a man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest.” Sadly, it seems the selfish are clamoring to believe any lies that convince them they don’t have to do anything and all will be fine.
    Is a bumper sticker with the words “Vote Abbott. Look after your own self-interest! What did future generations ever do for you?” too ironic to be understood perhaps?

    • Rachael says:

      I seriously want that bumper sticker. 😀

    • wendyjean says:

      People only hear what they want to hear and disregard the rest”. So true. I heard some people talking at the hairdressers today and all they did was whinge about the carbon tax and how they didn’t want to pay another tax and how it wasn’t proven yet, and how all the other countries were’nt doing it yet… and…and….! They have been listening to that moron jug eared Abbot with his ‘the sky is falling, the sky is falling’ shit for too long. HE probably doesn’t understand it – it would be beyond his brain capacity! Listen to Paul Keating on Lateline last night – very succinctly explained the carbon tax in 30 secs. Great article Geoff – am also going to mass email it out so people can stop with their stupid, ignorant statements.

  65. Havenr64 says:

    You won me through most of it, hey, Im not perfect either

  66. Eye on Safety says:

    I’ve almost given up listening to the radio or watching TV or reading the papers about this subject because it’s all just so much beat up purely for the sake of selling their product. It has nothing to do with honesty and informing.

    Good on Gillard for sticking to her guns about not having an early election – what I did hear this morning was the lady saying she wanted people to go to the polls in 2 years when all the bullshit had stopped hitting the fans, and therefore be able to vote in an informed manner on historical truth rather than the current fuzzy rhetoric that has overtaken the real issue.

    And good on Geoff for having the balls to say what so many of us have been thinking.

  67. Lachlan Ward says:

    HILARIOUS! I love a good bit of DBAD every now and then.

  68. Bickcam says:

    My mum is opposed to a carbon tax, I asked her why and she told me because prices will rise. However if prices do rise she can more than afford it she’s just rehashing all the bullshit she hears on the talkback program she listens to in the car. There’s so much scare-mongering going on it kills me, luckily my mum just needed to hear another side. For me I’m happy to pay for more money to go into renewable energy and you know what I wanted a mining tax, put the money into indigenous health and education and the environment, why not? The mining companies (83% foreign owned to boot) make a shitload raping the land and could afford to give back a little, they easily afforded multi-million $ ad campaigns to say they opposed a mining tax.

    Thank you for your wonderful rant it’s great to finally hear a point of view that hasn’t been formed by buying the bullshit that’s been peddled.

    P.S. It’s awesome knowing I’m not the only one who thinks Andrew Bolt is a dick.

  69. Jen says:

    And the poor shall inherit the earth because all those greedy pricks will be too soft to survive!

  70. Geoff,

    You make incredibly good points in an impassioned and entertaining way. I fully appreciate the efforts you’ve taken to make these points and articulate many things that I agree with.

    I only wish (and I don’t want to be lumped with the guy who complained of this somewhere above just because of this) that you’d take the time to think about why you need to use abelist language to talk about the carbon tax. You’re a writer, you have the intelligence and knowledge of the whole English language at your disposal and you chose to write that first sentence?

    I really don’t want to take away from the rest of what you’re saying. I just want to encourage thoughtfulness and respect in the way everyone uses language.

  71. Greg says:

    Well, as an opposer of the carbon tax I am insulted by your rant and insults. I don’t listen to Tony Rabbit so I don’t regurgitate his crap. My objections are based on my observations of what Julie has said. Yes, I am in the “worse off” category but I don’t mind putting money into the environment. I support clean and renewable energy generation and I am prepared to personally pay for it. I can afford it and it IS how I want my money spent. Bill me for my share of clean and renewable energy and I will gladly pay. It’s good for the environment, its good for the economy, it’s great for Australia!

    My problems with the proposed carbon scheme are these:

    1) I am anti coal but this scheme puts even more money into coal. Subsidies on coal are a huge barrier to entry for clean and renewable energy technology.

    2) Public transport costs will rise! I really think it’s time to make alternative transports like public transport more affordable. Discouraging a more environmentally friendly mode of transport is stupid. For the record, I use public transport, cycle and walk for transport. I very rarely drive anywhere.

    3) Most of the money is going back to voters, not to the environment. a) this doesn’t help the environment much and b) what motivates those “better off” people to change their behaviours if they are being overcompensated? The whole scheme starts to look like money redistribution – a cynical vote buying exercise?

    Don’t take my money and give it to coal and the “less well off”. Don’t discourage public transport use.

    I want my money to go to the environment. I want environmentally friendlier modes of transport made MORE attractive, not less. I want coal to be discouraged and transitioned out of the economy. And I am prepared to pay for it. Am I asking too much?

    • geoff lemon says:

      Greg, yours is about the first cogent anti-tax argument I’ve read. Thanks.

    • MikeL says:

      To address your third point, I doubt any action would ever be taken without compensating the people. Funnelling all the money to environmental causes would be too big a step for the majority of people to swallow. What this does do is put money in a place where entrepreneurs can access it, and create products that people will want to use, ie the social change will happen later.

      • Greg says:

        Not too sure about that. One simple idea is a carbon levy like the medicare levy. I would be happy to pay that as long as the dollars went into clean/renewable energy tech and not coal and vote buying. It’s equitable because the more you earn the more you pay.

        My biggest problem with this scheme is that far to little money is put in place for entrepreneurs to access. Also, too much money for coal. Don’t take my money and buy coal with it. Just don’t!

    • Daniel OGden says:

      For your third point, I think a main reason for taxing the largest polluters is a matter of motivation. As businesses, the major motivator for change is money.

      If the processes involved in a business’s core operations and is harmful to the environment, a great motivator to investigate and invest in change to these processes is taxing the more harmful one.

      In this way the tax is a deterrent for undesirable practices, and gives more reason for money to be put into research and mass production of other, more environmentally-friendly practices, which are currently the more expensive options. With mass production often comes lower prices, and for things like solar and wind power this could trigger enough of a drop in price for it to be a viable option.

      • Greg says:

        I know it sounds good on paper but take Synergy in Western Australia for example. Sure it will cost more for Synergy to produce electricity but so what? They pass the extra cost on to consumers who are happy to pay the extra because they are being compensated. What would motivate Synergy to move to (currently) expensive money clean/renewable energy technology? Nothing. There is no competition in electricity generation in Western Australia so there is no competitive advantage in moving to clean/renewable energy technology. The only solution is to make coal less economical and clean/renewable energy tech more economical. A simple way to do this is to move the subsidies currently given and planned under this scheme from coal to clean/renewable energy tech. Unfortunately this is NOT the plan under the currently proposed scheme.

        • Stephen Wade says:

          It should create an economic situation where it is less efficient to use carbon, i.e. it gives an advantage to companies willing to innovate and provide cheaper products to consumers. Like you, I don’t like the wealth redistribution aspect of the tax; but presumably this is necessary as there will be regressive effects of taxing carbon.

          • Greg_D says:

            But if companies have no competition and can simply pass on cost increases then there is no incentive to change. Customers can easily absorb the extra cost because of overcompensation.

            This is troubling to me. How could we provide economic incentives for a company with no competition to move from coal to clean/renewable technology? I think it would take a competing company with a competitive advantage from using clean/renewable technology. This scheme is simply not going to deliver this.

        • Chris says:

          Hi Greg, Is that still true once the ETS kicks in though? (which’s pretty quickly from a construction viewpoint) (And is there only one generation company in WA for now?)
          Certainly when it does, as it’s a planet-wide problem, it makes sense for us westerners to put in the difference so the powerstation needed now as a priority by a developing country is a low-carbon (not a cheaper carbon-intensive) one. We might hope it will work out as Australian technology, though our intransigence may have put pay to that. Note (West) Australia’s population growth will mean the building of new powerstations (though probably gas in the shortterm). Btw, when you talk about subsidising coal, presumably that relates to exported coal (I believe their competitiveness is only cost ~1%)?

  72. Bob Dobbs says:

    The sun is the greatest source of energy that powers planet Earth. Earth’s temperature correlates precisely to solar flare activity and the resulting radiation that hits Earth. Avoid the groupthink. Australia is less than 2% of world carbon emissions and if we ceased to exist the effect on carbon in the atmosphere would be negligible. China’s emissions are growing despite their green initiatives. Pollution of water sources and food production for a growing population on Earth are what we should be putting our energies into. The free market will find new energy sources as fossile fuels become scarcer, more expensive and ultimately run out.

  73. Gloworm says:

    Obfuscation and lies. If anyone gave one iota of a fuck about the environment there would be no kiloton of unsolicited junk mail disseminated daily in our letter boxes . Period. How hard can it be to annul this practice? No one gives a fuck. Pretenders.

  74. Trish English says:

    You are a fricking genius! I hang on your every word.

  75. Chairman of the Bored says:

    Yes but what about the zombies…?

  76. will says:

    Geoff Lemon, you have obviously never lived below the poverty line or on the streets! You have obviously never cleaned toilets for a living. and your telling us that white collar workers work harder than the blue!?! don’t insult the people who made it possible for you to work in your sweet air-conditioned building. bet you never bought a coffee for the cleaning lady? you obviously had a sliver-spoon upbringing. EVERY privilege we have in this country we have EARNED already and paid for in full many times over, yet they demand more from the average Joe every year, without justifying whats happening to OUR money. Governments raise tax and fees so readily but when it comes to wages they fail……and you think people are bitching? The government build roads that WE pay for and then charge US for the privilege of using them. And you think normal people are bitching? I do agree that alot of the crying is coming from well-to-do familys but your words paint everyone with the same brush in this case! Do you know how much it costs now to use public transport??? as opposed to 20 years ago. You actually think water is free??? then what are rates?!! nothing in this life is free already so don’t spout this holier-than-thou bullshit and go work a real job and join us in the real world! The government have lied before on television no less and you still believe them???
    Like a faliing student at school writing an ancient history report you have completely failed to back any of your “sweeping” statements with fact……much like our government.

    I got a good idea…….lets remove the perks that government officials get and THERE will be your carbon-tax covered!

    • MikeL says:

      I’m not sure you’re not trolling, because you don’t seem to have read his post fully, but I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt. The whole point is that we HAVEN’T actually earned our lifestyle. If you think hard work on your part or mine has anything to do with being able to access water for free, buy a bus ticket for a fraction of our daily income, or HAVE a cleaning lady, then you’re missing the point.

      • will says:

        And who is the one to tell us if we have or haven’t earnt our lifestyle? I do agree that it is mostly the rich and well-to-do complaining, but i am talking about normal hardworking Aussie’s. Do we have a better standard of living than has ever been enjoyed in this country’s history?? No we don’t, because even 20 years ago only one parent had to work to support a family and they could still afford to buy their own home, nowdays is this the case?!! No. It used to be that you could drop a bore for a one time only fee for the digging….but hey that’s illegal to do now too. Ultimately someone is always paying for “free” water, they are called tax payers. What pay bracket do you belong to cause i don’t know anyone who can afford a cleaning lady….i only know the cleaning ladies themselves. And the government say it’s only $10 more on the bill but you obviously didn’t know that the other countries that did take up a carbon tax (only one country in actual fact all others thought it was a waste of money and time) are only charging about $1.30 per week or year (whichever the case may be). Did you know that CO2 farming actually works. Did you know their is a difference between CO2 and pollution by standard scientific definition? So how does anyone get behind this idea? Australian’s HAVE earnt our lifestyle, starting with the blood of the Diggers during wars of old. Nothing in this world is free and the governments of the world make sure of that. So i ask you, how much do we (the average people) have to pay before we HAVE EARNT our rights and lifestyle? do some reaserch and you will see a carbon tax will do nothing but fill the governments coffers. and i oppose and challenge any who think its not the case!

        • geoff lemon says:

          “Australian’s HAVE earnt our lifestyle, starting with the blood of the Diggers during wars of old.”

          So far on this forum, Will, I’ve generally been courteous or dealt in good-natured insult. But this… this is of another level. Let’s just clarify. You, personally, deserve the standard of living you have because some other people, who were not you, were brutally killed nearly a century ago. You, by mere virtue of having been born on the same land-mass as them, get to lay claim to their exploits as though they were somehow your own. You, who has done nothing but soak up the lifestyle, can commandeer the sacrifice of people who marched out and died. “The blood of the diggers” is somehow your sacrifice too, you think, as you parasitically attach yourself to it. And god knows, the tens of millions from other countries who’ve died in war don’t deserve the same rewards that Aussie diggers do. Other people made sacrifices. Other people died. You did nothing. You stayed home and watched your TV.

          You’re a fucking disgrace.

          • will says:

            well i can plainly see you didn’t read the whole post Geoff, cause you obviously missed my point! and all you chose to do was pull a sentance out of context and have a personal attack. nice Ad Hominem mate! Who are you to assume that i claim anything except my basic freedoms and rights and to live out my life in peace.

            it’s people like you who disgrace the media and free press.

  77. Please don’t use terms like retard, learning-disabled and special – it might seem fun or irreverent or something, but just don’t do it – it’s mean and discriminatory. I admit that I’ve been guilty of it myself (although I would never write it) but once you actually think about the implications, it’s completely off. Would you call something ‘gay’ as a pejorative? Didn’t you follow that whole thing with Ramp Up and the ‘learning disabled’ tweet?

    • Dean says:

      What word is appropriate for lampooning these politicians who are behaving as if they have a severe learning difficulty then? There has to be a word for it, but the ‘official retards’ took all the good ones.

  78. Erin says:

    The attitude of “what difference will it make anyway, so why should we bother” argument is intellectually lazy and a cop-out. No one who uses this argument seems to be implying that we should be taking stronger action to make a bigger difference – Just that they’d rather we not do anything at all. If this is the general attitude of the population, what hope do we have? It’s also quite difficult to lobby and convince other nations they should follow suit if we haven’t taken any action ourselves. Whether our policies help to convince other nations to take some sort of action remains to be seen, but it comes back to the same point – If we don’t even try to do something positive then what hope is there? A part of me thinks that many of the people who have a major problem with the carbon tax think that action needs to be taken, but don’t think THEY should have to do anything about it. They’d rather just find excuses for sitting on their hands.

    • Greg says:

      What difference will it make anyway? Will in this case, move money around the economy. But imagine if one of the parties came up with a decent plan where the money actually went into developing and building clean/renewable energy tech. What difference would it make? Energy security (Aus could generate it’s own power and not rely on external sources), less pollution (the smoke from a coal powered power plant is polluting), less environmental impact as we transition from coal to clean/renewable energy tech, heaps of jobs in research and development, engineering and flow on industries, a boost to the economy, technology Aus can sell overseas, a nicer environment to live in… need I go on?

      Mind you, that relies on a scheme that raises money for the environment and then uses that money for the environment, not this pile of garbage that uses the money for coal and to buy votes. For someone who actually wants to personally contribute my own $$$ for action on the environment the current scheme/scam is bitterly disappointing.

  79. Michi says:

    I kind of wish that Tony Abbott could convince the government to actually have a plebiscite. Then instead of everyone assuming that their view is the majority view, there would be proof in the numbers.
    I am fairly sure that more people are supportive of the carbon tax than against, but I would love the official numbers to prove it. Then we could all keep calm and carry on.

  80. Rudolf_Belka says:

    This is good stuff, Geoff. I laughed and loved this article.

    Also checked out your spoken word poems (with me being a spoken word poet myself), Popular Culture Cup always give me a chuckle.

  81. CowGas :) says:

    Too long.
    Did not read.

  82. paul says:

    hmmm, 20 million people, $500 a year for the wealthy, that 0.000025 cents a year for each of you whingers if i personally redistributed it to anyone so hard done by that they’d like my share back. save it up for a few years and when you reach 10 cents (the 5c will be gone probably) send me a bill. in the meantime, stop breading. thanks, PAul 😉

  83. Danny says:

    A great piece, but there’s a problem. Even though it is ILLEGAL to dispute supposed global warming in many countries, the fact remains – it isn’t true. And, it doesn’t matter how loudly people say it is, none of the evidence or facts stack up.

    Anyone who has thought this through and actually researched it themselves and not just listened to the main media will know this. So, although I agree that even if it isn’t true we do need to look after our planet better, it does beg the question where is all the money going?

    I remember the fear campaign on tv in the 70’s and the oncoming new ice age we would be in the middle of by the year 2000. Now it’s global warming. In the meantime the sea and numerous volcano’s around the world are giving off so much … but what’s the point. So many people say global warming is true, it MUST be true, even though real scientists have proved that any sea temperature changes, for one example, take hundreds of years to happen. This one started before the industrial revolution.

    I agree the hysteria is nuts, but so is the general populations gullibility. Question is, what is all this misinformation hiding, all the smoke and mirrors to distract people from the BIG news?

    • MikeL says:

      Which scientists are you talking about? Reference to research please. We’re talking about the ones that publish in peer-reviewed journals. The ones that have the expression “The data is the data”.

    • Stephen Wade says:

      Please go back over your opinions on everything, and apply these rules;

      1. When the experts are agreed, the opposite opinion cannot be held to be certain.
      2. When they are not agreed, no opinion can be regarded as certain by a non-expert.
      3. When they all hold that no sufficient grounds for a positive opinion exist, the ordinary man would do well to suspend his judgment.

      (thanks to Bertrand Russell for these).

    • Skeet says:

      “I remember the fear campaign on tv in the 70′s and the oncoming new ice age we would be in the middle of by the year 2000.”

      Big fucking lie.

    • will says:

      Good to see that someone is using their brain and not just listening to public opinion.Good to see someone is actually doing the research before mouthing off.
      Good to see people are still asking questions and not taking what they hear as gospel.
      Preach it from the rooftops man

  84. geologygeek says:

    I was in Aus last week for a conference and was thoroughly blown away by media coverage of carbon taxing. Great post.

  85. Chaz says:

    Did any of you wingers or the shock jocks complain when the state governments increased the the landfill charges. It costs more to bury a tonne of relatively benign building rubble at a tip than what it will cost to dump a tonne of CO2 into the atmosphere.
    We are not compensated for the tip charges and the landfill is not heating up the planet and killing the oceans and the Barrier reef like CO2 is.
    A word of advice for the $110,000+ wingers. Put in some solar panels. You can afford it. Then you won’t pay a cent extra.

  86. Stefan says:

    Excellent and cogent stream of consciousness article. I struggle with legitimacy of commenters who either don’t know that our PM’s first name is Julia or use Julie in some purile attempt to link her name with the lie myth. As for not voting for a carbon tax; I didn’t vote for sending troops to Iraq etc. I didn’t vote for the storms that have made bananas a luxury. I didn’t vote for the GFC … I voted for a LOCAL representative who would hopefully represent my views as he/she RESPONDED to a variety of circumstances they confronted over their period in office. The fact that circumstances occured on poll eve simply means response and adaption started on day 1. I have a fearful sense of sexism underlying the Julia lied hysteria as opposed to the acceptance of Howard’s non-core promises; a woman shouldn’t be troubling herself with the rough and tumble if politics – it’s just not nice.

  87. Bard says:

    Hasn’t the Australian media pointed out that the Climate Scientists that were justifying the whole Global Warming thing were lying sacks of shit and were caught out as Fraudsters?

  88. paul says:

    billions into renewable R&D…. mmmm didnt they recently can a whole bunch of green programs? Oh so you are saying with a carbon tax they can bring them back?

    You don’t give a shit about democracy?! Interesting may i recommend a couple of countries, say in the middle east or perhaps you would prefer latin america?

    Your comments are typical of a tree hugging fool. Your just the man Bob’s been looking for.

    I dont think anyone is saying we need to reduce carbon emitions, but imho this is not the way when all it will do is force industry off shore, mmmm china sounds like a friendly CO2 pumping place?

    The ‘Right thing’, does that include Lying? Betrayal? Bribes to independants? Or are you referring to the blatent greed for power???

    • So all the Australian manufacturing Industry is going to move offshore, what a load of rubbish.
      Firstly there is no manufacturing industry to speak of in Australia, the majority of goods we buy are either made in China or Japan, they already happen to be offshore.
      Secondly To my knowledge The biggest polluters are the mining industry and the power companies so unless there is some plan I have yet to hear about which details how vast tracks of Australian mainland are somehow going to be detached and floated off somewhere overseas, well enough said about that idea. I also do not sea how any power company is going to find it more economical to run powerlines from another country to Australia, that’s assuming they can detach the whole coal mining industry and stick it in
      another country to run the power stations they will have to build there. Your real name isn’t Alan Jones by any chance as your writing seems to reflect the ignorant rhetoric that is his trademark.

      • Paul says:

        Thom, please read again

        ‘but imho this is not the way when all it will do is force industry off shore’. Note i did NOT say ALL! Very important.

        Thank you for raising POWER as in electricity that powers the tree huggers electric car etc.

        Now how EXACTLY is the carbon tax going to reduce Carbon from power stations?

        Are we going to turn off all the coal fired stations?

        As I understand it the Government has allocated money for the power companies to close and build better ones (don’t the states own most of the power stations?).

        As I understand it takes quite a while to build a power station and usually a good thing to build them near the energy source you intent to use (shhh don’t tell the folk in the latrobe).

        I guess you could always boat and truck gas from the north west shelf, or truck/train it from the new CSG mines in QLD. Ahh but that would involve those pesky mining companies….

        Ahh Well I guess we will have to do with wind and solar, just need to make sure the kids shower on hot/windy days.

  89. Kelly says:

    Part of me wants to stand up and rejoice at this article, the other part makes me want to curl up in a ball at the amount of dumb shits that surround me.

    Needless to say, loved this. Gain some fucking perspective people, Jesus.

  90. Question: If the government taxes polluters, who in turn put the price of stuff up, but the government reimburses us for this price rise isn’t the net effect of this to just increase inflation? Which leads me to my second question, if this does in fact increase inflation would this not lead to the Reserve bank simply raising interest rates to try and curb this inflation?

  91. Bryan says:

    but once the carbon tax moves to an emissions trading scheme in 3 years there will be no more compensation

    oh, and dont forget the polluting manufacturing industries that can move their production to China or India will go – glass, plastics, metals, so much for any workers in those fields

    when all the jobs have gone overseas, and retailing moving to overseas online buying, just who will be left earning an income and paying tax in Australia? the educational industry? no, the high dollar killed that, the tourism industry, no the high dollar has killed that

    if we destroy manufacturing in this country, just who is going to be left paying taxes to ensure our socialist lifestyle, with the free healthcare and generous pensions? with an aging population expecting to be looked after we are fucked

    thats why a carbon tax is bad, apart from the fact that it is going to do fuck all to reduce carbon dioxide emissions as the every growing population will quickly over take any small savings made by taxing our industry to deat

  92. Swampy says:

    When will people get over the ‘Julia lied’ bullshit? I don’t give a flying that she said there wouldn’t be a Carbon Tax and now there is one. The environment is more important than that little misdemeanour. Like she’s the first politician to stretch the truth? John Howard anyone or Tony Abbott, the most hypocritical and devious schemer around? Yet we have all these people saying ‘I don’t want to fix the environment because she said she wasn’t going to this time around.’ Get with it people! This is our generation’s last chance to pass anything of value onto the next and I for one will be telling my grandchildren for years to come who did and who didn’t act. Grow up Australia.

    • Greg says:

      That would be true if this scheme was about the environment. It isn’t. Far more money is being funneled into coal, steel and to buy votes than will actually end up developing/implementing technology that will help the environment. I do want to fix the environment. That is why I don’t support this scheme.

  93. Murray says:

    You sir are a scholar and a gentleman.
    Thank you for putting so succinctly and humorously my exact views on the matter.

    Do you have an RSS feed such that we can subscribe for further nourishment?

    • geoff lemon says:

      Thank-you Murray. I probably do have one… but this is a temporary site after my own site crashed under the data load of all this traffic. Actually RSS confuses me, I never use it. Is this what you need? ( heathenscripture) It may not work for now given the original domain is redirecting here, but it should be back up when I get a competent server.

      In the meantime, if you’re on facebook and do the ‘like’ thing with, you should get any new articles coming up in your FB feed.

  94. Scotty says:

    Wow. You nailed it. Fantastic article.

  95. Glenn Smith says:

    another over educated dole bludging socialist, wasted my time reading this cr.p

    • Another idiot who seems to have a phobia about so called dole bludgers. In case you hadn’t realized we live in a capitalist society and the unemployed are an integral part of the capitalist system. A pool of human resources is required so that in good economic times it can be drawn on without having to import that resource and equally the welfare system gives a safety net during bad economic times when that pool has to be added to.

  96. Tom says:

    People are against this simply because of the word ‘tax’, plain and simple. Abbott’s ‘direct action’ sounds better, so we assume it is better. As someone who has studied the various solutions in depth, I assure you all that it is more expensive, and less effective.

    “Australia’s emissions are insignificant globally, etc…” say many opponents. Take into consideration the following facts:
    1. We are the highest polluting country, per capita, in the world
    2. We are no. 14 in the world in terms of total emissions
    3. Many countries (mostly developing giants like India, China and Brazil) who oppose worldwide action in forums like Copenhagen, cite the failure of Western nations like us to take responsibility for the problem. Many of the emissions reduction commitments made around the world are conditional upon other countries acting as well. This scheme adds to the growing worldwide momentum in tackling the very complex problem of global warming.

    Therefore it will make a difference globally, and it will NOT make the sky fall in, as so many seem to think.

  97. dan says:

    if renewable energy is of such great importance, perhaps we could slash the public service and redirect those tax monies to fund their development- not to mention actually involve a larger section of those currently so strident about hobbling industries in which they have no direct for the sake of a belief for which they have only tenuous concrete evidence.

    as it stands, the carbon tax looks very much like class warfare from a resentful white collar sector on the cashed-up bogans in mining etc, although very few of them seem to realise that it’s the tax revenues generated by the so-called ‘carbon-intensive’ industries of the latter that underwrite the salaries of the former.

    as for the dedicated apocalyptic fruitcake activists that seem to be drawn to any idiotic cause that lets them feel like a small-time campus che guevera, they should enjoy their time in the limelight before the next election consigns them back to the lunatic fringe where they belong- unless the pressures of finishing school and actually taking fiscal responsibility for their lives catches them out first.

  98. Stef says:

    Wow, my eyes are opened, you guys are tots right!
    Putting a Tax on something really does help a problem, I mean, the constant increasing taxes on booze and cigarettes stopped everyone smoking and drinking didn’t it?…
    And the cost of these huge government taxes wasn’t past onto the consumers was it? Right??? The companies just paid them yeah?

  99. Mick says:

    I do not agree with the Carbon tax!
    Yes you say “it is only $10 a week and we will be compensated”
    You need to read the entire policy… The compensation is indexed to rise by CPI which is 1%-2% per year… BUT the carbon price per ton has no limit and can rise any given year by any amount… in 2014 we move to a full ETS… The ETS is tipped to raise the carbon price to between $40 and $50 per ton… So yes you are being compensated and by 2014 that would have only risen by about 2% with CPI… Yet the carbon price per ton would have risen by 100%… So yes thing will get more expensive in the future…

    This is why I hate Julia and do not trust her… she plugs on and on about “you will be compensated” and people say “it is only $10 per week” making opposes sound like cheapskates… but with the Carbon Price per ton having no limit it will turn into a very very nice cash cow for the Government when it enters into an ETS in 2014 and the profit will well outstrip the compo… Why do you think Wayne Swann says the budget will return to surplus in 2014-2015 even though this tax is creating a $6 billion black hole in it’s first year… they need to wait till the tax outsrips the compensation in 2014.

  100. asimplerefusal says:

    It’s quite scary to sit outside the majority dimensions and view the ignorance. I write on my blog about people’s casualness in swallowing whatever idea helps them justify what they are
    pre-disposed to – usually safety in cash. It could be self-perpetuated pessimism, but I see little good in my day to day life. I work in a govt. job were people are depressed and just hanging on to their contract to pay for all the shit they’ve purchased. I thought safety was a desirable thing, if you could see their frowns you would think twice. On Monday, I quit a 80,000 dollar a year job because I don’t want that amount of money if it means having to swallow that idea of the world. I may actually descend into poverty but I’d rather do that than turn into that dickhead that feels like he is being taxed into poverty. We always talk about creating a better future for our children. I’m behind any environmental initiative that will do that. But kids learn their greatest lesson through their parents and if I stay the way I am I would be the shittest parent. Sometimes changing yourself is the first step in changing the world.

  101. Ben says:

    i am amazed at how many right wing cocks reply on this post, go the Herald Sun or any of the news limited papers and let your fucking backward views know there!

  102. popcultured says:

    I completely support the carbon tax (and personally think it should be more pervasive) but I don’t like a lot of this article. Comments that suggest the poor should cut back on cigarette consumption or avoid having children (“wear a franger, save half a mil”) are misguided at best as well as being disgustingly bigoted. My biggest concern now is that this author is considered the shining light of reason in the whole carbon tax debate (now that about a dozen facebook friends have posted the link and claimed as much). I should have stopped in the first sentence when the author chose to malign people by referring to them with a pejorative term for the mentally disabled. The sentiment is right, and I understand and sympathise with the frustration. If the purpose of the article was to vent then well done, but unfortunately, like science, fact and reason, it won’t persuade anyone of the benefits of a carbon tax, which is a shame.

  103. patriciawa says:

    Brilliant, Geoff! I came here via unleashed in the hope you might see this because I wanted you to know you’d inspired me, which I’ve acknowledged at . Now that I know you’re here and I’ve read this richer and uncensored version I’ll link to this site as well as Unleashed, or perhaps instead of? Cheers!

  104. Paul says:


    Great piece, nailed everything worth discussing.

    Can I sound like a crusty old English teacher here? I’d love to show this to my mild mannered 72 year old mum and my 12 year old son, but the “blue” phrases and “adult concepts” mean they’ll miss out on a cracker piece.

    • geoff lemon says:

      Yes, it’s a bit of an issue, and I understand that. But then, a lot of people enjoy exactly that aspect, which is what makes them want to share the piece. Generally I just write the way I would talk to friends, and I do have a propensity for blue turns of phrase.

      But, in this case at least, I edited a toned-down version for the ABC. So this may be more suitable for your needs.

  105. Gerard says:

    I am ashamed Paul. Since when did Australia turn into a nation of pathetic whingers? “Poor little rich boy me! Why, oh why, do I have to suffer under this terrible wealth? It’s not fair that I’m so healthy and wealthy. Poor, poor little me.”

  106. Murray says:

    destroying the earth should not be free

  107. Steph says:

    Didn’t have time to read the comments but read the article with great relish. I agree with the price on carbon and am over the bullshit. So over it. This article articulates every damn thing I’m thinking. I’ll be quoting chunks [that’d be the chunks I don’t already quote cos they’ve been my view anyway] of it from this day forward.

  108. Mike G says:

    LOL so many mindless sheep in one comments thread…come back to us in 3 years when you realise the Carbon tax has acheived NOTHING but help create andother false economy for the rich to feed off. Will the initial TAX be a big hit to average aussie? probably not. Will it have any impact on the planets health? Unfortunately NO. Now could all you mindless sheep put you energy into some real issues? e.g. depletion of fish stocks, conservation of water etc.

  109. Mark says:

    Are you people serious!!!

    A few valid points here if I may..

    1. Gillard LIED to people and has no mandate for this tax
    2. If Australia stopped carbon emissions next week, it would make such a minute difference to the earth’s climate it would be undetectable
    3. We already pay enough tax, taxes should be falling not going up
    4. If Gillard and co. didnt waste so much money on pink insulation, school halls and recreating Telstra there would be more room to address “climate change” in the budget

    There is only one solution here, hold an election where you don’t lie to us all Gillard and see what the populous thinks of your stupid tax and your incompetent government!

    • geoff lemon says:

      All of your points have been shot down comprehensively elsewhere on this thread.

      1) Gillard formed a minority government, not a Labor government. Her own election platform had to be modified in negotiation with the others involved.
      2) Australia emits close to 2% of global emissions. Not insignificant. And if every similar country has the same attitude, there’s about half the world’s emissions that will never be reduced, because we’re all only one or two percent.
      3) Many people’s tax rate will fall with this initiative. Others it will go up half a percent. Fucking grow up. Small price to pay for one of the best countries on earth.
      4) If governments never spent money on anything, there’d be more money for other things. Tough. Shit needs to get done. Can’t just sit on a pile of money and hand out pork come election time.

      • Mark says:

        2% not insignificant? The $10 extra per week is about 3% of the average pension income, which is already being described as inadequate.

        • Jac says:

          Hi. Do some reading on the topic and you will find that the pension is being increased by far more than the amount the carbon tax flow-on effects are forecast to amount to. The people who will be “worse off” are those households whose incomes are over $150,000 a year.

          2% of pollution is significant, especially if you add up all the countries who contribute 2% of global carbon pollution. If Australia insists it’s our right to keep pissing in the global swimming pool because “one person won’t make that much difference”, then we can’t complain when everyone does it and the pool turns into a cesspool (which is essentially what’s happening). If, on the other hand, Australia stops pissing in the pool, we can add our voice to those of other countries who are doing the decent thing, and we can all ask that nobody piss in the pool any more.

          Okay, so we might be uncomfortable while we adjust to the new ways of handling our waste products, but the question here is this; do we want to continue to smugly make stealthy ‘warm spots’ in the pool while we try to ignore the increasing yellowness and stench of the liquid we are marinating in, or do we want to do the decent thing by everyone?

    • I see no valid reasons here whatsoever:-
      1. All politicians lie – get over it.
      2. If Australia lowers it’s emissions through the proposed tax it will give incentive to other countries to do likewise and we can use the moral highground to help persuade them. The longest journey starts with the first step and Australia has the opportuny to be a leader in taking that first step.

      • Also meant to rebut both number 3 and 4 but hit the wrong button so here goes:-
        3. The main reason we pay such an obscene amount of tax is because we are an extremely over governed country with a small population and a very large infrastructure, the money has to come from somewhere which means large taxes or a larger tax paying consumer and tax paying population.
        4. This last point is just plain ludicrous. How can governments not spend money on anything so they can spend it on something.

  110. Ben~ says:

    I couldn’t help but see this: ‘greed of the politicians’ up the top there.
    I am actually a little surprised. All I can smell is the greed of a few people that are too afriad to part with a few dollars for the greater good.
    Come on guys, that was said when we were moving to metric. The idea is, we choose a person that is going to represent us, that person then puts forward ideas that they think is the right thing. Now, let’s forget about this populist shit with the polls – if we bothered with them, we’d have capital punishment.

    Oh, and I don’t want to see the ‘ITS NOT GONNA DO ANYTHINGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG’ shit either
    The tax puts a bunch of cash into renewable energy research, the tax also pushes big polluters into renewable energy. The harder the tax is, the more likely it is that companies will switch to shiny new solar panels.
    The ‘it’s gonna go to 10 20 60 8-04 THEN THEYLL TAKE ALL MY HARD ERRRND MILLIONS’
    Yeah… No – stop with the fallacies too, they’re making homicide sound better and better.
    Another thing, the ‘Ju-liar’ thing. First of all, stand back and accept that we have a lovely woman in power, women do that sometimes, have power. I find it amazing to see that the people that call Gillard out for one thing are unnable to accept that Mr. Abbott ADMITTED that what he says may not be truthful – with or without script.

    Wow, I’m even a little shocked to see: “Your comments are typical of a tree hugging fool. Your just the man Bob’s been looking for.

    I dont think anyone is saying we need to reduce carbon emitions, but imho this is not the way when all it will do is force industry off shore, mmmm china sounds like a friendly CO2 pumping place?”

    Sorry, China pumps a large amount of CO2 because… Well… IT’S GOT A BILLION PEOPLE. They actually pollute a minute amount in comparison to us. “The US consumes 25 barrels of oil per year per person, against 15 barrels a year per person in Australia and three barrels a year per person in China”
    China is also investing quite a lot in renewable energy.
    Oh, and forget the ad hominem – we aren’t in primary school.

  111. This was amazing. I’m not even that interested in the topic and I read the entire thing. You’ve a way with words.

    I was working on a ‘Top 10 Blogs You Must Read’ post for my own site earlier today and I think somebody just got bumped.

  112. Michael says:

    Love it!

    Can you make this into a play, it’s so vivid and would work really well on a stage!

  113. Adam says:

    Geoff Lemon, you have made a few good points but you are naive. People are entitled to object to this regardless of where they source their information from.

    • geoff lemon says:

      People are entitled to have opinions whenever they want. But if their opinions are poorly informed, no-one has any obligation to take them into account. If a doctor tells me to get a lump removed and a plumber tells me it’ll be fine… mate, fuck the plumber.

  114. Tamara says:

    Thank god for articles like this Geoff. Finally someone cutting through the bullshit – I’m sick of the uneducated, ill informed opinions that seem to be formed in this country. Unbelievable how many people, especially parents, bemoan the state of the environment and what we’re doing to the planet for the future generations (ie. THEIR children), and yet expect them to pay an extra $9.90 a week – well, fuck that. What a nation of no hopers.

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  116. Mark Tyrrell says:

    The problem with your logic is that you are dumb enough to beleive it will only be $10 a week.

    • geoff lemon says:

      And you’re apparently dumb enough to believe that any higher rate will ruin us all. It’s a three-year program. Get over it.

      • Paul says:

        Geoff, i think you are confusing yourself is it 3 or 10? Or should i just ask what magically happens after 3 (or is that 10) all the tree huggers go away? All the co2 has been sent to china?

        please advise….

        • Tom says:

          No Paul, the Co2 is not sent to China. The ETS has a built in mechanism to review the compensation to potentially disadvantaged industries based on what action has been taken elsewhere in the world. Put simply: if the rest of te world continues to do nothing on climate change, the heavy polluting industries will not pay the majority of the tax. it’s idiot-proof

        • Tom says:

          No Paul, the Co2 is not sent to China. The ETS has a built in mechanism to review the compensation to potentially disadvantaged industries based on what action has been taken elsewhere in the world. Put simply: if the rest of the world continues to do nothing on climate change, the heavy polluting industries will not pay the majority of the tax. it’s idiot-proof

  117. scart69 says:

    Well said. Sick of the fucking whiners bitchin about their lifestyles & wallets while the planet slowly rolls off the edge of a cliff.
    Keep kickin

  118. Whatever says:

    Does everyone agree that Julia Gillard has the biggest earlobes on a human being

    • Anthony says:

      Nah – I work with someone who could easily take her on. Ear lobes are notorious in that – as with some women’s breasts, or love handles – they can be one of the last things to give in to weight loss.

  119. Pud says:

    Carbon dioxide levels at the highest levels in hundreds of thousands of years, yet this is the coldest winter in over 20 years. Also, our recent warmest year (either 1998 or 2010 depending on who you believe) was not as warm as it was at the height of the Medieval Warm Period when CO2 levels were much lower than now.
    Ipso facto: carbon dioxide cannot be causing any observed global warming we are seeing.
    The “noise” (or natural variation) in the year to year temperature has a greater influence than anything CO2 can cause. CO2 is little more than a bit player.
    A little CO2 warms a lot, but the incremental increase in warming CO2 can provide diminishes pretty rapidly after 100ppm and becomes almost negligent after 200ppm. The bands of EM radiation CO2 can abosorb are very narrow. It theoretically never reaches a full 100%, so increasing CO2 does increase the absorption of radiation, but at current levels, it is so close to 100% that it would be impossible to determine the increase, as the “noise” is too large.
    It would be like shining a single LED onto a brick wall in full sunlight and noticing the increase in brightness. Theoretically it would be brighter, but good luck measuring or noticing it.
    Yes: we should move to renewables as fossil fuels will one day run out – oil pretty soon.
    Yes: we should stop pollution – CO2 is not pollution.
    Yes: dole bludgers should be made to work for their money.
    But no: this carbon tax is pointless and unnecessary.

    • Stephen Wade says:

      One observation of air temperature in one country is not a good sample size to determine the heating of a climate system. The facts you state regarding CO2 and wavelength absorption also do not paint anything close to a complete picture about the effect of absorbing 100% of those wavelengths of light and dissipating some of that energy as heat into the system. We don’t know exactly what happens when these wavelengths of light are unable to escape the atmosphere over the next 50-100 years. You don’t need to worry about figuring these things out though, that is what scientists are busy doing! But do listen if they have done a lot more work on the problem than you have.

    • Tom says:

      1) Picking individual years doesn’t work, mostly because of the “noise” you refer to. Considering temperature rises over the longer term is more instructive. For instance the hottest decades on record are 1. the 2000’s, 2. the 1990’s, 3. the 80’s 4. the 70’s. Kinda shows what’s really going on, don’t you think?
      2) As a physicist, your argument about the effect of increased co2 levels doesn’t hold water.

  120. CSA says:

    I actually really disagreed with the tax until I read this! Great job.
    Now I feel bad for being a cash miserly dickwad.

  121. Martin says:

    Okay, the url that I get via your domain and navigating to this article and the one I was on before are the same. I am not sure why my reply didn’t attach (again) and replied to the article as a whole instead of to a specific reply. I.e.

    (what I wanted)
    Stuff here
    My reply
    More stuff here

    (what happened)
    Stuff here
    More stuff here
    My reply.

    Also feel free to delete this comment after reading as it makes no contribution to the debate above :).

  122. Stef says:

    Wow, my eyes are opened, you guys are tots right!
    Putting a Tax on something really does help a problem, I mean, the constant increasing taxes on booze and cigarettes stopped everyone smoking and drinking didn’t it?…
    And the cost of these huge government taxes wasn’t past onto the consumers was it? Right??? The companies just paid them yeah?

  123. Gemma says:

    Wake up genius…its not going to cost just $10 a week. That is just $10 a week on groceries! Is that all you spend your money on? Taxed industries will just pass on extra costs to you, and you will pay more for everything from food to transport to electricity, some Australian industries and jobs will go overseas. Energy is used in all products and services, the tax will make pretty much everything more expensive and will go up every year. A carbon-dioxide price in Australia is just going to move emissions to other countries that have no carbon prices as we export our coal to be burned elsewhere. What the worst part about it is this….this tax is a complete ruse. If it were genuinely going to affect carbon dioxide emissions (of which Australia contributes 1.2% of the world) then why have a complete fuel exemption? Fuel is responsible for 20% of the emissions! If the Greens really believed the world was going to be in a complete climate disaster, they why not build more dams? Nuclear energy?
    Call it what it really is…a tax to redistribute wealth and to generate a whole new government department to employ a whole lot more government workers to push papers around and get paid too much to do it.
    p.s. my favourite line in your article was in refernce to homeless people dont doing it so tough…they have access to a powerpoint…to plug in what dipshit?

  124. Marcus says:

    Great blog post. Mostly spot on. However there are some communities in Australia where there is genuine poverty and the quality of water is questionable. Some Aboriginal town camps and settlements are genuinely in “third world” type squalor.

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  126. hrgh says:

    There is a fallacy floating around about no-one voting for a price on carbon. It relies on the curious assumption that all Labor voters don’t want a price on carbon.

    Given that Kevin Rudd got voted in explicitly touting a price on carbon, and that we aren’t able to pick and choose the specific policies of the Party that we like best on the balance of many things, it is infantile to suggest that at the last election the Australian people rejected carbon pricing.

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  128. Todd says:

    This is the most comments I have ever seen on a blog.

  129. Daniel says:

    Haven’t had such a good laugh since Monday when I read Tim( we will be in perpetual drought )Flannerys puerile comments SUN 11/7 in support of his unpaid shareholding in GSD ( sorry he probably did “pay” by getting $90 million in govt. funds.- nothing like spending other peoples money)
    Not content with doing the Chicken Little act the Lemon’s whole argument is then changed to “its only $10 a week so suck it up” or as my mum would have said ‘finish your vegetables and think of the starving children of Africa”
    Not a fact in sight, just the usual religiously overtoned polemic we have come to expect from fanatics of this ilk who rabbit on about Global Warming, Ice Age, Carbon Pollution, Climate Change or whatever the latest mantra is.
    Fact. 1. The Climate will change regardless of what we say or do. Always has, always will. Mother Nature Rules Baby. so get rid of your arrogant view that YOU can do something about it.
    Fact 2. Pollution is the problem caused by man and doesn’t “change the climate” but certainly adversely affects our living environment.
    Fact 3. Population growth and the subsequent industrialisation of this increased population is the cause of the Pollution.
    As the Lemon likes simplistic examples I will give. him 2.
    Which of these people is doing something about Pollution.
    1. The lady I saw this morning walking along the creek beside a walking path in Coburg picking up rubbish and filling a plastic bag with it.
    2. The local Greens guru (election signs on the lawn etc) who takes her dogs over to the local park every day and ignores them until they drop their noisome mess (shit to you Lemon) next to kids play equipment and leaves it there. Won’t pick it up even when confronted but writes letters in the local rag that are eerily similar to the Lemon’s above polemic. She is saving the Planet while her dogs are shitting all over our local children in the park.

    The Gillard/Greens plan is a big number two’s example.

    We need the example number one solution – ground up action.

    • geoff lemon says:

      Exactly what facts did you want me to include, Daniel? This post wasn’t about “is climate change real”. It’s about the fucking ludicrous reaction of people this last week.

      Interesting, though, that factoring in scientific research is ‘arrogant’. I’m just going to go and pump cyanide into this lake. It’d be arrogant to assume I could have any effect on it.

      • Daniel says:

        Well Geoff lets start with your ludicrous notion that factoring in scientific research is arrogant (another of your. While Tim Fannery was predicting everlastating drought over the past 10 years I have been quoting Inigo Jones (he who “scientifically” discovered the El Nino /La Nina effect in the 1930’s – yes geoff in the 1930’s – and made predictions that included that Australia would start a drought in 2000 and it would break in 2010. I have been quoting him, not Flannery. IJ was spot on,(google him up if you want – its all there) Flannery could not have been more wrong. You are listening to the wrong scientists, a common mistake among those who always forget to ask the legal question – who benefits.
        IJ was a pure climate scientist – Flannery os protecting his $180,000pa sinecure plus whatever else he can scam out of the gullible (the king has no clothes Geoff – wise up)
        Now I am a Banker by profession and fully understand the GFC, causes effects and reasons. I loathe investment Bankers who took Billions with their shonky derivatives (scientific fact Geoff – US GDP $15trillion approx, value of derivatives in 2008 $600 trillion) yes that’s right Geoff 40 times the USGDP and these “investments” are still coming home to roost (see Greece, ireland, Spain Portugal and maybe even the USA). The $600 trillion has to washed out of the system and is nowhere near done yet. Why is this important? Why is it relevant?
        Because this Brown/Gillard/idiot proposal states (read the policy this is fact) that in 4 years we will allow companies to buy carbon credits internationally (despite the fact what no one else is usning them at present). Now what you need to understand Geoff ( and I fear that you do not have the intellectual openss of mind to do this) is that these CC ARE JUST ANOTHER DERIVATIVE. Robert Mugabe prints a piece of paper that says he has saved $1 billion dollars worth of CCs, it now suddenly has value under the Brown/Gillard proposal. So our elctricity companies send of ONE BILLION DOLLARS in real money (maybe out of your super fund Geoff) to buy Mugabe’s worthless piece of paer and Brown holds a press conference saying????? we have just saved the planet? we have reuced our Carbon footprint??? Says waht Geoff. Whatever he says he reduces emissions by not one iota BUT ON PAPER IT IS A RAGING SUCCESS> Do you understand Geoff. You are supporting smoke and mirrors which has the real potential to beggar the country. THE KING HAS NO CLOTHES GEOFF. We go broke and nothing real happens with emissions.
        Want more science. Try this one. In 1993 the electricity grid in Australia delivered 98% of power generated. Now don’t go the sleep here Geoff, I REALLY want you to follow this. Currently the national grid delivers around 70% of source power generated and it is still falling. WHY IS THIS SO? By the way, the difference between the 98% and the 70% is the carbon equivalent of the emissions every car in Australia (to use a simile that Gillard is fond of). It is so because that was the year that State governments started the paower privatisation that has continued to this day. And what is the first thing that private enterprise Managers who are paid huge bonuses for cutting costs do – they cut maintenance because its the eassiest to to do and won’t affect THEIR bonuses THIS YEAR – and thats as far as they think.
        So here is a simple scientific fact Geoff – it we insisted that all the power line grids – transformers, switch stations etc – was brought to maximum efficiency ie close to 100% we would reach our 2020 emissions target now WITHOUT DOING ANYTHING ELSE. Why won’t this happen. Because no one will make any money out it.
        Look at the facts Geoff and give up your religious fervour. The debate unfortunately is now purely religious and your polemic does nothing to move it to real science.

    • Charlotte says:

      This common skeptic argument is that climate has changed naturally in the past, long before SUVs and coal-fired power plants, so therefore humans cannot be causing global warming now is particularly perplexing to scientists. Interestingly, the peer-reviewed research into past climate change comes to the opposite conclusion. To understand this, first you have to ask why climate has changed in the past. It doesn’t happen by magic. Climate changes when it’s forced to change. When our planet suffers an energy imbalance and gains or loses heat, global temperature changes.

      There are a number of different forces which can influence the Earth’s climate. When the sun gets brighter, the planet receives more energy and warms. When volcanoes erupt, they emit particles into the atmosphere which reflect sunlight, and the planet cools. When there are more greenhouse gases in the atmosphere to trap heat, the planet warms. These effects are referred to as external forcings because by changing the planet’s energy balance, they force climate to change.

      It is obiously true that past climate change was caused by natural forcings. However, to argue that this means we can’t cause climate change is like arguing that humans can’t start bushfires because in the past they’ve happened naturally. Greenhouse gas increases have caused climate change many times in Earth’s history, and we are now adding greenhouse gases to the atmosphere at a increasingly rapid rate.

      Looking at the past gives us insight into how our climate responds to external forcings. Using ice cores, for instance, we can work out the degree of past temperature change, the level of solar activity, and the amount of greenhouse gases and volcanic dust in the atmosphere. From this, we can determine how temperature has changed due to past energy imbalances. What we have found, looking at many different periods and timescales in Earth’s history, is that when the Earth gains heat, positive feedbacks amplify the warming. This is why we’ve experienced such dramatic changes in temperature in the past. Our climate is highly sensitive to changes in heat. We can even quantify this: when you include positive feedbacks, a doubling of CO2 causes a warming of around 3°C.

      What does that mean for today? Rising greenhouse gas levels are an external forcing, which has caused climate changes many times in Earth’s history. They’re causing an energy imbalance and the planet is building up heat. From Earth’s history, we know that positive feedbacks will amplify the greenhouse warming. So past climate change doesn’t tell us that humans can’t influence climate; on the contrary, it tells us that climate is highly sensitive to the greenhouse warming we’re now causing.

    • Caroline says:

      Babies die all over the world, always have, always will. So that means we can let your baby die?

      Your logic makes no sense.

  130. I suppose the last time energy prices went up was when they stopped child labour in coal mines.

  131. r says:

    tis a witty article, and the middle classes should totally get a clue, but poverty in oz does actually mean choosing between heating and groceries some weeks. just sayin …. (even for those who don’t smoke, drink, or drug up)

    • geoff lemon says:

      It does. I’m not saying it doesn’t suck balls. It’s not easy. But… go to other countries and check out even what they regard as a reasonable standard of living. It’s astoundingly far off ours, and people here haven’t got a fucking clue.

  132. Thank you Geoff, particularly for the two quotes below which has pretty much made my week. Oh the joy of perspective! Taxed from 100k into poverty? What a tragic, tragic story.

    “I’m a person, and I don’t like paying money. Can I not ever pay money for things?” and “I feel I’ll be taxed into poverty.” Clear evidence of fuckwittery here.

  133. Thaiis says:

    Who was the Herald Sun journalist who you quote? And in which issue of the HS was it and bonus points if you can tell me the title of the article.

    • geoff lemon says:

      Which quote? There’s a bunch. They were all from online versions, I don’t think I could live with myself if I gave those guys any money.

      • Thaiis says:

        “Somebody needs to assassinate Julia Gillard NOW before she totally destroys our way of life.”
        I searched the Herald Sun website for that quote but couldn’t find it. Mind you, its a shit website. I wouldn’t take the Herald Sun if it was free. I must admit I felt dirty even searching their web site.

  134. Greg Wilkins says:

    the carbon price is not about “Spending Billions” to reduce carbon emissions. It’s about moving billions from one part of the economy to another. The Billions don’t then just vaporise, but are put to productive good in other parts of the economy.

  135. DrEvil says:

    Good subject matter. Nice read. Most arguments have points.
    Eventually, the arguments on carbon tax will ebb, & we will all live with huge carbon penalties, pointing the bone at polluters, & renewed righteous vigor to find clean energy.
    I’m generally opposed to any new tax – we have enough gov thievery & waste, but I’m mostly reluctant to place anything before a general trend to clean up the planet, even if it makes little difference now.
    We don’t make a choice about our obligations due to whatever other countries are doing or not doing – our choice should be the right thing by our planet & for our children, & that means we start the ball rolling to clean up before wasting any more time. Clock is ticking.
    It doesn’t matter if the tax will hurt you or won’t make any climate difference now, its the road we must now travel.
    Dream on about our lost way of life when we did not worry about global climate disaster, population overload, global food production etc., but harden the fuck up & pay up for pollution penalties.
    And get ready; the penalties are only small to start with but they will get very very heavy over the next decade & beyond.
    Lastly,… Julia lied? OMG are you serious? A politician lied? damm.

  136. Will says:

    What a wanker. Just because I don’t earn $100,000+ doesn’t mean I don’t work hard – I bust my balls at work, I just happen to work in an area that doesn’t turn over a big lot of cash.
    You sit there at your desk passing judgement onto people who feel ripped off by a dirty backstabbing bitch who we didn’t vote in, who promised as part of her campaign that she wouldn’t do what she’s now proposing to do simply because the tree hugging shit-for-brains Bob Brown wants it done and what Bob say’s – Juliar does..
    You sound like a spoilt little brat – you’ve got your cushy job and your money, you can obviously afford to throw some money away, so this does not effect you (so you think).

    Most of us aren’t in your position, we’re already on the knife’s edge, not because we’re lazy, but because our jobs don’t have the $ value attached to them. (Cops don’t earn $100k+ a year, are they lazy? What about school teachers?)
    If the cost of living goes up, more of us tip over the edge. Yes, they’re over compensating.. NOW. But when the tax is increased – when the costs are all passed onto us – we’ll end up paying more – then we’ll be up shit creek.

    Arrogant pricks like you make me sick – the ‘man made global warming’ argument is a load of shit anyway – it’s just a way for the government to screw us for more dollars, and take more control of the population – the globe has been in a cooling cycle for years – we don’t hear about that in the main stream media though, we just get told we’re all going to die while they show a ‘smoke stack’ from a power station (which is actually just blowing out steam) and put the frighteners on all the dumbshits who won’t do the research for themselves.

    • geoff lemon says:

      I really loved this comment. Let’s walk you through this.

      When I say people who earn less than 100k don’t work as hard, that’s called sarcasm. Sarcasm is when I say a thing which is not true, to point out how ridiculous that opinion is. You’ve just yelled at me for 500 words because we share the same opinion.

      As for my “cushy job and my money” – mate, I’m a freelance writer. How much cash do you think I rake in? Tip: I haven’t earned enough money to pay tax in five years. And that’s under the old thresholds.

      • will says:

        Maybe the reason you haven’t had to pay taxes is because you don’t live in australia you actually live in Buenos Aires. so my question: are you a australian citizen making comments about Australian issues? or are you a resident of Argentina giving his opinion just for something to do? did you mention to all your followers that you didn’t ACTUALLY live in this country???
        your bio Geoff Lemon…..

        • geoff lemon says:

          Oh Will, you investigative journalist. You warrior for truth and justice, you. Look, you found my bio from 2009. Champion sleuthing. If you keep Googling, you’ll find other versions of me out there too. Some live in Malaysia. Some work at a casino in Melbourne. Go back enough years, and some are 22 and at university. There’s a fucking Stargate in this internet thing, man!

          Also, how many Argentines do you think are called Geoffrey and speak vernacular Australian English, Miss Marple?

    • rfbm82 says:

      dude, you would want to be a hard worker with an IQ as low as yours! did you EVEN READ THE BLOG!??

    • jo says:

      Will, I’m sorry mate but were you dropped as a baby? maybe instead of ‘working hard’ you can take a little time out, go to adult ed and get a fucking education (even just learn to read) ….. it might make life a little easier champ!

  137. Marcus McLeod says:

    Hahh, it is right to complain about people whinging to politicians who don’t keep their promises. (I say that noting “It” shall refer to “the tax.”) Doesn’t matter about the issue. But taxes are good ones to trip them up on, anyone agrees to that. Whinging has no value in Australia, it is illegitimate and morally bankrupt and would never be heard at the footy, a barby or down the pub on Friday (I’ll be there soon).

    The question weighing on my well- welfarereimbursed and (therefore carbon-neutral if It (this tax) goes through) mind is, will It enrich anyone other than the system makers (banks and financiers) and have any effect on the other 99% of the earth’s pollutants? Not likely.
    Will It enable the government to throw money at renewable energy? Yes, of course, any Labor mates will get a good pat on the back and a handshake. Everyone line up with a plausible scheme, you’ll get rich. What’s that you say? It is just a system of control, and ties nothing in to guarantee of supply to grids, to preserving autonomy, to guaranteeing China and India and anyone else will stop using coal, that the huge barriers to entry in electricity infrastructure will ensure only electricity supply companies will benefit from our generosity? Will we be issued shares from them? Listen mate, no one likes a smart ass. Shut up, we’ll send round the barby P’lice.
    Will It result in introducing new technologies that the polluters themselves couldn’t finance themselves by going to a bank or floating bonds on the open market leveraging the huge chunk of our quarterly income guaranteed to end up in their bank in the form of electricity supply fees? No. Why not? No law forces them to directly do that. That kind iof efficiency would cause investor panic. The public must pay for the public’s greed, and I agree.
    Will It be extended to a bigger tax (yes, it is only 9.90 per week for now) like the $250 annual HECS fee introduced by Labor in 1986 that woudl never, ever grow by more than the CPI, but is now grown to $8,500 or thereabouts? Your conjecture is as good as mine, but I’d say It’s more than likely.

  138. rfbm82 says:

    100% spot on the money! So sick of self absorbed rightwing redneck fuckwits trying to drum up baseless opposition to what is overdue & absolutely necessary policy. A sad sad mentality has crept into this nation which would seem to be a hangover from the howard “battler” years. Wake up Australia!

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  140. Oh yeh. This blog rant gave me a big happy.

  141. Paul Jones says:

    From here on in I will dedicate my political career to the ending of domestic garbage removal, the removal of the rediculous rate levee for said garbage removal that does absolutely nothing to lighten the amount of garbage on our planet and to give back to the people a rate rebate and control over their own garbage. Do you realise that banana you are eating has a tax on the peal, that beer can is taxed for removal, I will get rid of all those rediculous taxes.
    Garbos – get a real job!

    Pablo Escobar

  142. E says:

    Thank you for putting in to words my thoughts on this topic. It’s great to finally see something in the public space that reflects what I think!

  143. Pingback: Shut your goddamn carbon-taxin’ mouth | Toby’s Far View

  144. BeeDreams says:

    Thank you. I’m so disheartened by all the selfish bullshit that’s being spouted by media, the opposition & people in general.

  145. Anna Welford says:

    Best. Article. Ever. My inner turmoil and disgust over the selfishness and ignorance of most of the commentary this week has been turned on its head by your choice turns of phrase. My personal favourite being “So if you claim you can’t afford ten bucks a week, I call Shenanigans, with a healthy dash of You’re a Dick”. Thank you Heathen Scripture – faith in humanity restored.

    And then swiftly thrown into disarray by some of the selfish ignoramuses that have commented here.

    But I’m going to have another glass of wine and read it again “$9.90. Cry me the motherfucking Nile” Ahhh, feel better again.

  146. Marella says:

    I know nothing about carbon credits but I think this description of Western wealth is priceless! I lived in Asia for 5 years, I have visited India where half the population literally doesn’t have a pot to piss in (they just go outside where ever they can find a spot), and when I hear people whinge about how poor they are I wonder what the hell they are talking about!

  147. Hedley Amos says:

    Why do we need a Carbon Tax at all. Just start shutting down the damn polluters. The cleaner power generators will pick up the slack. If you must hit us with a tax please make damn sure it is spent on confirmed CO2 reducing schemes. Sadly I don’t trust the polies or the treasury to spend one frikin cent of the proposed Carbon tax on emission reducing projects. Just like traffic infringement fines not being spent on reducing traffic black spots. It all ends up in some stupid advertising campaign trying to tell us how the government of the days is going to save us from ourselves. Use the Advertising money to replace the Carbon Tax and many of the other stupid taxes ordinary Australians have to pay for our frivolous life styles. Why waste money on advertising campaigns when all you have to do is let one of the news groups listen to your rant and they will publish it for FREE. If we really want to make an impact on Carbon emissions from power generators then spend the money on researching and developing Geo-thermal energy in Australia we have the hot spots just not the funding to make it happen, because they keep wasting our money on stupid ineffective home insulating schemes etc. If we must be taxed at least use it wisely please.

  148. Roy Billing says:

    Wonderful stuff Geoff. Amazing how the Murdoch press in Australia are still supporting Big Ears opposition to the Carbon Tax yet barely a mention of the biggest story around the globe, the UK phone hacking scandal. Keep up the good work.

  149. phil from canberra says:

    geoff, this is truly magnificent. i wish i could write like this.

  150. KDel says:

    Well done to the author of this article. Nicely written.

    I work as an analyst for a European hedge fund. Reading this article and the comments has been delightful. The pleasure is in the dramatic irony: although you don’t know it, you guys are about to get f*cked up the bum and you are arguing over a tiny detail that will rapidly pale into insignificance.

    Australia is at the peak of its property bubble. There is no disagreement on this outside of oz. The stages you will now pass through are well known and incredibly unpleasant. When your house prices pop, so will your stock market, your bank shares, your govt revenues. Unemployment will shoot up. China seems to have some way to go yet before it pops. When that happens, Australia’s income will rapidly diminish further.

    You are looking at double digit drops in income and living standards 20-30% is well possible. In a scramble to balance your national budget you will see many more new taxes, higher taxes and spending cuts.

    I understand you are paying labourers 100K a year for a 56hr week. Good luck with that.

    10 bucks a week! ahahahahahahaha.

    disclosure: I am shorting your big 4 banks.

    • Jac says:

      Off topic, I admit, but I am fascinated by assertions that property prices in .au are bound to fall. There is more demand than supply, and renters and home buyers have no option but to tolerate the current high prices, so what are you basing your assumptions on? Australia is not and has never been in the same absurdly fragile bad-debt situation that caused the US and parts of Europe to have their financial meltdowns. Why can’t you see that this is a very different kettle containing very different fish?

      Actually; the harder I look at this topic, the more it seems that the only people who are espousing the idea that a catastrophic fall in property prices will occur are the people and corporations who are hedging that this will indeed happen, so stand to profit from such a collapse. No wonder y’all are working so hard to talk the market down. You need it to collapse, and are probably beside yourself with frustration that three years after the GFC, Australia’s economy and real estate market is still thriving just fine. You poor thing.

      • KDel says:

        We need people with opinions like yours to take the other side of our trades. We need people who envy their friends who got rich by borrowing money to buy property and selling at a profit. We need those TV programs that explain you can’t lose on property. We need your blind avarice and desperation.

        Our opinion, based on analysing net migration, natural population increase, household size, and age demographics is that fundamental supply has exceeded demand increasingly over the past 15 yrs. However, speculative demand (people buying houses in the hope of selling them on for a profit) has mushroomed. Speculative demand disappears very rapidly with small falls in price as people get burned on their leveraged positions.

        We have looked at over a hundred house price crashes from around the world and Australia is textbook. I’m glad to hear you say that ‘Australia is different’. This is a key phrase usually announced near a bubble peak. Every country was different until its real estate market crashed and it became like everywhere else. Good luck with that trillion dollar national debt and your 50 billion dollar deficit. Good luck with your economy when you lose the tax income from your overpaid building workers and the taxes on property construction.

        There are some redeeming features: not much subprime and reasonably high interest rates but it won’t be enough to save you.

        Carbon tax is nothing compared to the pain your real estate bubble will cause when it pops and every year that the bubble continues just guarantees how much more severe the aftermath will be.

        G’day suckers!

        • Jac says:

          Hmm. I’m not nearly as well informed and educated as you are on the topic, but I’ve been hearing chicken-little crying “the Australian housing market sky is falling!” for years now, so forgive my cynicism.

          Property prices have flattened out over the last couple of years, and I hope and expect that over the next decade or so, the prices will hold approximately steady while the real value rises. I don’t see why the mooted bubble can’t just gradually deflate. In forming my opinion on this, I have only poked at a hotch-potch of sources (mostly ABS), and it appears from the data I’ve seen that the demand for housing is increasing faster than accommodation is becoming available. Building approvals have dropped off pretty heavily over the last twelve months, but population increases have not abated. Rental markets are painfully tight in most areas, too, aren’t they? There is no fresh lode of sub-prime nastiness hanging over the Australian economy as there was with the US and Europe et al. So what’s going to cause the market to collapse? What am I not seeing here? What other factors am I oblivious to?

          Given that people buying dwellings to rent them out can, given adequate capital, opt to positively gear their investments to generate an income stream regardless of whether the houses can be sold for a large profit or not, why would they choose to invest in something else? What else would they do with their money? Invest it in the oh-so-reliable share market?

          If it is inevitable that there must be a collapse of the Australian property market, there is a lack of awareness among the populace. Otherwise, people would not be investing so heavily in an overvalued property market. And this is where there is a commonality with the whole carbon tax/price thing.

          The impact of pricing carbon can only be modeled approximately, so the capacity to adapt on the fly has to be built in. I don’t think that the mechanism has been adequately explained to the populace. While I am not highly educated on the topic, I am bright (believe it or not) and I can see that making carbon pollution expensive makes measures to minimise the amount of carbon produced financially justifiable, so for profit-driven entities, necessary.

          Meanwhile, the property market may or may not collapse. You, from a perspective of intensely informed focus believe it will, I, from a perspective of relative ignorance still don’t see the logic in your argument, and I think that the property bubble vultures will still be circling five or ten years from now. Time will tell whether a multitude of catastrophes will happen; whether the housing market will fall, whether the seas will rise, whether Tony Abbott will get to be Prime Minister…

          Disclosure: I have purchased only my primary dwelling, and I pay far less in mortgage repayments than it would cost me to rent accommodation suitable to my needs. *shrug*

          In any case, only time will tell what the market will do.

          • kd says:

            I’m reading it as “because of the growing population, but the fact that prices are somewhat overinflated, house prices will stagnate” for the next few years. But my house (that I live in, not an investment) is on the market at the moment, and I want to buy some land and build myself an eco-house with the equity please…

          • KDel says:

            I could be wrong. Perhaps the Australian market will behave differently to other markets and we have misunderstood the data. Perhaps there will be some unforeseen events. However, I am more sure of our position on Australian real estate than I am of our other positions.

            “Given that people buying dwellings to rent them out can, given adequate capital, opt to positively gear their investments to generate an income stream regardless of whether the houses can be sold for a large profit or not, why would they choose to invest in something else? What else would they do with their money? Invest it in the oh-so-reliable share market?”

            This is the big attraction for average retail buyers: they are buying into an asset that has never reduced in price in living memory, they can gear their purchase when a bank would refuse a geared purchase of any other asset, the income will cover the interest -at first- regardless of capital values. Last of all it worked for their friends and their parents and it’s the most visible of status symbols. Australian housing has become a bubble asset because its price is based on its previous price growth and the willingness of the population to buy at any price. I understand that you disagree with our demand model but we also take into account price to income ratios and price vs long run rental value – each of which are at historic highs. Property yields in Australia tell us that everyone is expecting capital appreciation regardless of income. (Be careful about yields: net income from a property asset is often only half of gross income once depreciation, taxes, insurance etc are taken into account.)

            Your situation as a homeowner may be OK so long as you can maintain your income during a house price led crash and that you don’t have an interest-only mortgage. Rents also collapse during a house price bust. What I would expect to see in the first years of your crash is continuous falls of 1%-2% per month. For many people this will be equivalent to an equity loss greater than their annual take-home pay.

            You ask what will spur house prices to crash. As prices increase year on year at rates higher than wage growth and inflation, the inevitability of a fall increases and the size of the event needed to set it off reduces.

            I would advise Australians to sell their second houses now, not to buy if they haven’t done already and to rent instead. I would advise them to live close to work in a well insulated house and to buy bicycles! I would also advise you strongly to sell any Australian bank shares you own.

  151. Greg says:

    The worst thing about this whole sorry mess is that when Labor loses the next election, people will think it’s because Australians don’t care about the environment. I think that is absolutely not true. Although Labor lied and spun Howard’s election loss as being about Work Choices, exit polling at the time showed that a lot of people voted Labor because of the environment. Australians at the time were very concerned about the environment and wanted the Govt. to take action. Howard basically told the legitimately concerned Australians to get stuffed whereas good ol’ Ruddy promised he would do all sorts of things for the environment. Well, the rest is history. Rudds plan was so bad that even the Greens didn’t support it. Now Australians are outraged by a scheme to move money around the economy with the bulk of the money winding up with steel, coal or in voters pockets. So, did Australians stop caring about the environment? I doubt it. Do Australians want action on the environment? I think yes, they do. Do they support THIS particular scheme? Nope. Because it stinks. It’s a stupid scheme to cut emissions but under the scheme emissions will rise anyway. What’s the point? Of course the libs won’t do better. We are stuffed then. As long as successive Labor and Liberal Government pour increasingly large subsidies into coal, we will never get the clean/renewable energy technology we all need and deserve.

  152. Pud says:

    This whole thing makes me laugh. All your comments about selfishness are spot on. But it has nothing to do with the carbon tax. You seem to have confused the two issues.
    Geoff, you seem like an educated anarchist. I’d like to see you if society does fail. You look like a bloke who couldn’t even catch a fish, let alone cook it!
    If you want carbon dioxide reductions; just wait a few years. Oil will run out sooner than people realise. Carbon dioxide output will reduce then.
    Buddy, you need to get a job, get married, have some kids, get a mortgage and your views will change. You’ll be the one with multiple TVs (why can’t the kids have one each to explore their inner-selves and not have to fight over just one?), with pay-tv subscriptions (so your daughter can watch animal planet (she wants to be a vet), your son can watch fuel (he likes the bmx), your missus can watch the food channel and you the footy), private health insurance, a family car, etc, etc, etc, and all that material shit you seem to hate.
    This is all the mundane stuff of living and raising a family you don’t mention in your article, because, for all your edu-ma-cation, you don’t know it and you don’t live it. You don’t know how a carbon tax will affect the people out there. You treat their fear with distain; that is why there is so much anger toward people like you who support the carbon tax in their condescending way.
    The rest of the world is doing it tough are they? Well, why do you go over there, form a few trade unions and bargain for a fair days wage for a fair days work? Go on, off you go.
    One day, you will grow up (hopefully) and you’ll look at your words and feel embarressed.

    • That’s all very nice, but you don’t need a TV to become a vet. Nor do you need it to watch the food channel. You can get a recipe book or send your daughter to volunteer at a vet clinic. Oh my god, would you look at that – an education, real life experience and some goddam fresh air.

      You don’t need one television set for each person. In fact, why don’t you turn them all off and have some quality family time.

      There’s necessary things – like keeping your family fed and healthy; and then there’s just the junk you buy that you don’t need. I don’t have sympathy for a four-TV set family who cries poor. That’s just rubbish.

      And lets not get carried away. You’re probably one of those families who’ll be more than fairly compensated for any price rises. And you still have the power of choice to decide who you get your energy from. E.g. AGL supports the carbon price. So buy your energy from them maybe. But whatever you do – quit lecturing the rest of us because you have a family.

      We also know what it’s like to have to take care of ourselves and the people we love.

      We treat your fear with disdain because it’s not based on anything resembling the facts. And rather than bother to find out if your fear is justified you get buy the spin, you buy the fear-mongering, you fall for lowest-common-denominator messages and get angry instead.

    • scotty says:

      This is a satirical post right? If not how could you expect anything in response but disdain?
      Do you really think your family needs four televisions and a subscription to foxtel? And that watching ‘Animal Planet’ is necessary for a kid who wants to be a vet? If you actually believe you need these things what you really need is to get out a little more- and see what doing it tough is like. You have a distorted perspective on what ‘needs’ are and an epic sense of self entitlement. Imagine if you had only one television? And you and your family could watch only one channel at a time? Oh the injustice!

  153. R.Ross says:

    I want to know who wrote this. Brilliant.

  154. R.Ross says:

    Martin, many Australian governments have not had a mandate per se:. The Labor government was voted in because it was able to form government. On many occasions we have had Coalition governments where Labor received a majority of the vote but did not get the seats. Trying to de-legitimise the Gillard government would mean de-legitimising countless past governments of both sides.

  155. Greg_D says:

    geoff lemon you are brilliant! Not because I agree with you but because you wrote a blog that attracted so many comments. Well done!

  156. Bebob says: