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Propaganda and perfidy

AIMN commenter Phi recently said “I’d also like to see some writing in 2015 on the topic of propaganda and its deviant sibling ‘marketing’ since they have become so pervasive as to be almost invisible.”

Almost on cue, Möbius Ecko drew our attention to an article in The Australian which stated:

“THE carbon tax cost $5310 for every tonne of emissions abated during its two years of operation, new government analysis shows.

Environment Minister Greg Hunt leapt on numbers in Australia’s National Greenhouse Gas Inventory declaring the carbon tax an expensive failure.

He said the 2.9 million tonnes in carbon dioxide emissions reductions during the carbon tax’s operation came at a cost of $15.4 billion in gross carbon tax revenue, or $5310 a tonne.

When the land sector is included, as is the case under Kyoto accounting, Australia’s emissions fell from 567.1mt in 2012-13 to 563.5mt, a drop of 3.6mt. Between 2011-12 and 2013-14, emissions fell 0.5 per cent or 2.9mt.”

Let’s have a closer look at this.

“Land sector” refers to deforestation and reforestation activities. Under the Kyoto Protocol, deforestation is defined as the direct, human-induced removal of forest cover on land that was forest on 1 January 1990. Emissions result when cleared vegetation is burned or left to decay, and as soil carbon levels decline over time.

Net emissions due to deforestation had been declining since 2005 but increased in the last two years. Annual emissions over 2013-14 are estimated to be 37.8 Mt CO2-e, 3.9% higher than the previous year.

Under the Kyoto Protocol, the afforestation and reforestation sector covers new commercial and environmental forest plantations by direct human action on land not forested in 1989. Net emissions are typically negative, as sequestration of carbon in biomass of growing trees outweighs emissions from harvesting activities.

On an annual basis, net sequestration was lower by 13.3% to -16.8 Mt CO2-e over 2013-14. The main cause for the decline in afforestation and reforestation credits in 2013-14 is a decline in sequestration rates due to the post 1990 plantation estate reaching harvestable age.

In other words, over the last two years we have been cutting down too many trees. Imagine how much worse it would be if Hunt got his way about logging Tasmanian World Heritage forests.

As the carbon tax did not affect the forestry industry, it should hardly be included in calculations as to whether the tax has been effective.

The Clean Energy Regulator published a list of 293 companies and organisations that were liable to pay a charge of $23 for every tonne of carbon dioxide they emitted (or the equivalent amount from greenhouse gases such as methane and nitrous oxide)

In reality many of these companies are subsidiaries of much larger corporations so this probably overstates the extent of the impact. For example, BHP Billiton has at least eight subsidiaries listed as separate liable entitites, AGL has six and the relatively small Energy Developments Limited (EDL) lists five.

The companies that were liable, many of whom received up to 94.5% free permits in 2012-13, belonged to the following categories:

1) Chemicals

2) Building and construction materials

3) Paper and packaging

4) Food processing

5) Glass packaging

6) Manufacturing general

7) Mining and waste services

8) Oil and gas

9) Petroleum refining

10) Metals processing

11) Mining

12) Coal Mining (Held liable because methane is inadvertently released in extracting the coal. They are not held liable for emissions associated with combustion of the coal)

13) Gas distribution (held liable for any leakage of methane from pipelines)

14) Power generation and gas retail

15) Waste disposal (mainly local government councils responsible for managing local rubbish tips)

Excluding land sector, annual emissions for 2013-14 are estimated to be 542.6 Mt CO2-e3. This represents a 1.4% decline in emissions when compared with the previous year.

Over 2013-14, annual emissions from electricity generation fell by 4.0%. This was partially attributed to a decrease in demand in the National Electricity Market (NEM), 2.6% lower than the previous year, registering the lowest level seen since Tasmania joined the NEM in 2006.

Changes in the fuel mix used to generate electricity have also contributed to the recent decline in emissions. Over the year to June 2014, generation in the NEM from black coal decreased by 5.1%, brown coal generation decreased by 3.0% and gas generation decreased by 1.2%. Hydroelectric generation grew by 1.8% and generation from wind and other renewables continues to grow, increasing by 27.5%, from a small base.

Australia cut carbon dioxide emissions from its electricity sector by as much as 17 million tonnes because of the carbon price and would have curbed more had industry expected the price to be permanent, according to an Australian National University study.

The ANU report, which used official market data to the end of June, found the drop in power demand attributed to the carbon price was between 2.5 and 4.2 terawatt-hours per year, or about 1.3 to 2.3 per cent of the National Electricity Market serving about 80 per cent of Australia’s population.

Emissions-intensive brown and black coal-fired power generators cut output, with about 4 gigawatts of capacity taken offline. The emissions intensity of NEM supply dropped between 16 and 28 kilograms of carbon dioxide per megawatt-hour of supply, underscoring the role of carbon pricing rather than slumping demand in curbing pollution, the paper said.

However, investors’ doubts that the carbon tax would last – fostered in part by then opposition leader Tony Abbott’s “blood oath” to repeal it if the Coalition took office – meant high-emissions generators were mothballed rather than permanently closed.

“We’d expect the impact of the carbon price would have been larger, perhaps far larger, if there had been an expectation that the carbon price would have continued,” Professor Jotzo said.

The repeal of the carbon tax will see a partial reversal of emissions reductions, particularly on the supply side as generators switch back to coal. Rising gas prices, unrelated to carbon pricing, will add to demand for coal-fired power generation.

The other factors that Mr Hunt ignores are that the population has grown by about 780,000 and the economy by about 6% in the last two years yet we have had an overall reduction in emissions – not a decline in the increase – a real decrease despite our growth.

Yes, I think we can chalk this one up to propaganda and marketing along with so many other examples of Liberal Party perfidy outlined in this excellent article by Greg Jericho which should be compulsory reading for all maths teachers and students on how to make misleading graphs.

PS: Whilst on the subject of perfidy, the latest MYEFO predicts the free trade agreement with Japan will reduce revenue by nearly $1.6 billion over the forward estimates.

 

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106 comments

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  1. revolutionarycitizen

    The problem with drawing straight lines is the fact that they often ignore the totality of the situation.

    A 1.4% drop in emissions is in-line with the decline in demand of electricity and the decline in industrial activity coupled with alterations in other emissions generating sectors of the economy.

    So to say that the carbon tax caused a decline in emissions it could be argued using straight line logic that it is also responsible for the decline in industrial activity and electricity demand too.

    The most damning critique of the carbon tax is that it had no effect on world climate, would never have an effect on world climate and may have done nothing more than accelerate a process by which would have naturally delivered reductions in emissions, the de-industrialization of Australia and the devastating effect that will have on the economy.

  2. Kaye Lee

    “The emissions intensity of NEM supply dropped between 16 and 28 kilograms of carbon dioxide per megawatt-hour of supply, underscoring the role of carbon pricing rather than slumping demand in curbing pollution, the paper said.”

    or did you want to ignore that aspect? Demand fell by 2.6%, emissions fell by 4%

    And could you explain why investment and confidence are taking a nose dive and unemployment is increasing since we repealed the carbon and mining taxes and threatened to give up the RET?

    overall, total business investment fell 7.1% over the 12 months to June.

  3. Kaye Lee

    “alterations in other emissions generating sectors of the economy”

    Would that be using cleaner methods to generate electricity and wasn’t that the whole point? They used less dirty coal.

  4. joffa230

    What do you expect from hunt. Isn’t he the minister who wants to save the walrus population in Antarctica and save the Tasmanian tiger from extinction?

  5. rangermike1

    Greg Hunt would have as much an idea of saving the Planet, as would the Japanese hunters saving our whales. Every word spoken by the LNP is inversely proportional to what they said was the truth. I am simply amazed that Greg Hunt can turn a computer “on”, let alone look up “Wiki”.

  6. Kaye Lee

    Greg Hunt does his little boy sad dog eyes and tells us oh so sincerely that Direct Action will succeed in reaching the 5 per cent reduction target.

    Mr Hunt insisted the policy would meet its aims and it was “flat, plain wrong and incorrect” to suggest the program could not continue beyond 2020.

    “Well, this is a scheme which is designed to last for 20 years, for 30 years,” Mr Hunt said.

    “It is absolutely capable of providing for the long term.”

    So why did Malcolm Turnbull say ”The big difference between our [climate change] policy … is that it is not designed to go any further than 2020. So it is not a long-term policy”?

    RepuTex executive director energy and emissions markets Hugh Grossman said the ERF would not achieve the necessary level of abatement, leaving Australia short of its target.

    “On its own, we project that the ERF will fall short of Australia’s commitment to reduce emissions by 5 per cent on 2000 levels by 2020, with the fund forecast to purchase 20-30 per cent of Australia’s total greenhouse gas abatement challenge, or between 80 and 130 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions abatement.

    “This is equivalent to a shortfall of over 300 million tonnes for Australia to meet its 5 per cent emissions reduction target of 421 million tonnes by 2020.’’

  7. rangermike1

    @ joffa230. Hi Mate, don’t you know that the Tassie Tiger and Walruses both live in the Antarctica. The Idjit is just that, an Idjit.
    How did Hunt get his Job ?

  8. rangermike1

    Hi Kaye Lee, Sorry to be repetitive but didn’t Hunt and Hockey go to the same school where Maths and Geography were not taught as Subjects ? Hunt never knew where Australia was placed and its selling of coal as an export. Hockey lacked mathematical skills, as someone called Tony pinched his abacus. As their careers that followed were stuffed, now to is Australia.

  9. Blanik

    How did any of them get their job?

    Ah, that’s right, somehow they were voted there by the good people of this place ‘girt by sea’. Shaking Head!

  10. revolutionarycitizen

    “Would that be using cleaner methods to generate electricity and wasn’t that the whole point? They used less dirty coal.”

    Not exactly, alterations as in moving production elsewhere. (Which has been a continuous theme in the Australian economy for decades, so I don’t see the carbon tax being to blame for that)

    Which underscored my point regarding the dangers of drawing straight lines, because with or without the carbon tax Australia’s emissions would have declined anyway as de-industrialisation continued and other sectors continued with the efficiency savings which have been the root cause of the decline in electricity demand for a number of years. The horrendous price increases in electricity prior to the carbon tax becoming law had done much of the heavy lifting in driving companies to become more efficient energy users.

    I was pointing out the dangers of drawing simple conclusions, because, the opponents of the carbon tax are going to say that the tax did cause the decline in industrial activity and demand for electricity because its effect on the price, thus justifying the removal of the tax.

    Business sentiment and investment is falling because the mineral boom is over, the enormous capital inflows from abroad are falling away and it has left the underlying domestic business sector as it has always been since the last recession, run by brainless business school graduates who’ve not had any good ideas beyond digging holes for over 20 years. (A generalisation I know, but, had the Australian business sector been run by smart people they’d have realised real reform happens at business level rather than waiting for the government to take the lead)

    There is also the regulatory environment in Australia, taxes, wages, fees, duties, charges, distance, lack of domestic market for product, lack of support for new industries, lack of employable workforce, lack of domestic capital, the unwillingness of domestic capital pools to invest in anything other than shares, the cost of importing technology, lack of expertise in certain fields, an unwillingness for government to focus on relations with Europe and on and on, just some of the reasons our economy is quite quickly going to revert to a 2nd tier backwater soon enough.

  11. Harquebus

    Already too late. Methane is bubbling from the Arctic and seeping from its tundra. It is most likely that this phenomenon will accelerate. This means that we are going to die slow and horrible deaths.
    There will be no escape. The poopaganda machine has pooped on us all.

  12. Phi

    @reolutionarycitizen

    You say: “The most damning critique of the carbon tax is that it had no effect on world climate, would never have an effect on world climate and may have done nothing more than accelerate a process by which would have naturally delivered reductions in emissions, the de-industrialization of Australia and the devastating effect that will have on the economy.”

    “No effect on world climate” what do mean by ‘effect’ and how did you come to that conclusion?
    “Would never have an effect on world climate” ditto?
    “Devastating effect…on the economy” Really? As Pauline would would say “Please explain”

    Maybe some discussion needed in AIMN on the ‘art’ of hyperbole?

  13. Kaye Lee

    “There is also the regulatory environment in Australia, taxes, wages,…blah blah”

    The Heritage Foundation, a conservative US think tank, has once again named Australia as third freest nation in which to do business, putting us behind Hong Kong and Singapore, and above New Zealand and Taiwan in fourth and fifth place.

    ”With an economy that benefits from sound fundamentals including monetary stability, low public debt, and a vibrant employment market, Australia has weathered the global economic uncertainty well,” the Foundation said.

    ”Openness to global trade and investment is firmly institutionalised, supported by a relatively efficient entrepreneurial framework and a well-functioning independent judiciary.”

    …….
    In 2006, Liberal Treasurer Peter Costello requested a rundown on how Australia’s tax system compares with those in other countries. The report (co-authored by Peter Hendy, now a Liberal MP), concluded simply: ‘Australia is a low-tax country’. It pointed out that we have no wealth, estate, inheritance or gift taxes. For individuals, the report found that we have one of the lowest income tax burdens in the developed world.

    Since then, federal Labor delivered significant personal income tax cuts. When Peter Costello was describing us as a low-tax country, our tax to GDP ratio was 24 percent. After six years of Labor, our national tax to GDP ratio is 23 percent. Add in state and local governments, and the tax ratio is around 33 percent of national income. To put this into perspective, the total tax take in New Zealand and the United Kingdom exceeds 40 percent of GDP. And both countries have conservative governments in charge.

    ………….

    For the year to June, the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ wage price index rose 2.6%, which is well below the inflation rate of 3%.
    The seasonally adjusted annual figure was the equal lowest result since the ABS started issuing the data in 1997.

    ………..

    Productivity again showed a nice improvement. The annual growth of gross value added per hour worked in the market sector (which is all sectors except health, education and the public administration sector) grew 3.3%, the best result for two years.

    The five-year growth rate – which is a more sensible way to look at the issue of long-term productivity growth – has it running at 12.8%, just down from the 13% recorded in the March quarter. This is as good as it has been in a decade.

    ………..

    In the past year real net national disposable income grew just 1.7% overall and a mere 0.1% in per capita terms. While this is an improvement from the past year, it is massively down on the 25-year average of a 2% per capita annual increase.

    The whole economy may be growing at a nice average rate, but with incomes barely growing at all, it’s not surprising if people don’t feel as though the economy is completely healthy.

  14. revolutionarycitizen

    “No effect on world climate” what do mean by ‘effect’ and how did you come to that conclusion?

    Because the amount of emissions that Australia itself generates is around 1.5% of the total human derived emissions, which sound like a good chunk until you consider that of all emissions humans are responsible for as little as 3%. So, a 1.4% decrease in 1.5% of 3% is meaningless and the effect it would have on the atmosphere would be so minute it wouldn’t register.

    “Would never have an effect on world climate” ditto?

    Because Australia just doesn’t create enough emissions to have a measurable effect, and any negligible decrease our emissions mean nothing when you factor in the reality that China and India’s growth in emissions haven’t peaked yet and in China’s case won’t peak for another 15 years. Australia was already reducing its emissions without a carbon price and would have continued to do so regardless, making the carbon price an expensive irrelevance.

    “Devastating effect…on the economy” Really? As Pauline would would say “Please explain”

    Simply, economies that do not engage in industry don’t work, the de-industrialisation of Australia will see us have the same economic model as Europe, and look how well it has turned out for them.

  15. revolutionarycitizen

    “The whole economy may be growing at a nice average rate, but with incomes barely growing at all, it’s not surprising if people don’t feel as though the economy is completely healthy.”

    On paper it is growing at a healthy rate, but in reality it is the growth of one sector that is creating that growth. The economy isn’t healthy and anyone who says other-wise is a fool.

    “For the year to June, the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ wage price index rose 2.6%, which is well below the inflation rate of 3%.
    The seasonally adjusted annual figure was the equal lowest result since the ABS started issuing the data in 1997.”

    Wage growth ceased in real terms in December 2012, which roughly coincides with the peak of the mining boom. If you subtracted wages growth in the mining sector and the public service sector from the over-all I dare say that wages in the rest of the economy either remained totally flat or went backwards over the past five years.

    There is a difference between being open to investment and having a regulatory framework that fosters business growth. Australia suffers from three layers of bureaucratic interference in business, each with a unique array of regulatory missions and each with its own set of pricing structures. You could argue that the regulatory environment in Europe is worse, however, there are over 500,000,000 people in that common market to absorb the cost, that just doesn’t exist in Australia. And that makes everything a matter of one compounding the other.

    The tax to GDP ratio doesn’t tell the whole story, simply because of what it counts and what it doesn’t. If total government revenues grow faster than GDP the amount of money as a percentage taken out of the economy by government is increasing, not decreasing. The fact that the government has been increasing its monetary intake from the economy at twice the rate the economy can generate it has undoubtedly hurt business, and the rest of us in the process.

    And without some serious systemic changes business will continue to look elsewhere to do business.

  16. Annie B

    To nobody in particular —-

    As I am not a scientiest, I cannot attest to the facts, figures and comparisons between carbon dioxide ( coal produces co2 at an alarming rate ) … other fossil fuel contributions, and methane.

    The problem of emissions, is far reaching – and much wider than we might expect. I do not have the time ( at this moment ) to research or find a site where all comparisons are shown – perhaps in graph form.

    The carbon tax however, was an incentive to coal producers, and other fossil fuel emitters – including massive machinery used in mining etc., to sharpen up their footwork, and find a way to reduce the emissions – or pay big time. That’s as I understand it ( not being a scientist !! ).

    ——-

    What about the poor old ruminants in the field ? Do we do away with them ? ( I am not joking ) …. because if we do, there goes a huge percentage of our food product and production.

    “Agriculture is responsible for an estimated 14 percent of the world’s greenhouse gases. A significant portion of these emissions come from methane, which, in terms of its contribution to global warming, is 23 times more powerful than carbon dioxide.

    http://animals.howstuffworks.com/mammals/methane-cow.htm

    Much interest is shown now in bio-diversity farming / agriculture – and it has a massive scope to explore. …. That might ( or might not ) solve a few of the problems.

    ——

    The cost to human life that deforestation has ( in the long run ) …. as forests / trees take in carbon dioxide and in turn emit oxygen into the atmosphere through photosynthesis ( more complicated a process than I thought ), so’s we can live and breathe. !!

    ——

    There is a theory ( perhaps only that ) but coming from the CSIRO I suspect it has credence, that co2 will contribute to the greening of desert areas. http://www.csiro.au/Portals/Media/Deserts-greening-from-rising-CO2.aspx

    All of the above leaves me rather perplexed …… but thought I’d chuck a few other notions around about ’emissions’ without daring to come to any conclusions.

    Anybody got any thoughts ?

  17. Kaye Lee

    From 2012…..

    “Australia is the world’s largest coal exporter. By adding emissions from exported coal to our domestic emissions, Australia’s carbon footprint trebles. Its coal exports alone currently contribute at least another 3.3% of global emissions.

    In aggregate, therefore, Australia is at present the source of at least 4.8% of total global emissions. That’s without considering natural gas exports.”

    Our exports of coal. gas, and uranium are all predicted to increase.

    As for man only being responsible for a small amount of GHG emission, have you ever used a burette. Everything stays the same until you reach that critical point which only takes one drop. We are messing with a system that was in balance but which is no longer in balance.

  18. revolutionarycitizen

    Australia is a large exporter of coal but we aren’t the largest producer of coal, China produces 46% of the world’s coal, and they’ve no plans to stop burning it any time soon.

    Also, even 4% of 3% is really insignificant as well.

    You will never do anything about CO2 unless you address the issue of CO2 consumption, the issue isn’t the amount going up but largely the decline in the amount coming back down. And a big cause of that is deforestation.

    And you’ll never do anything about global warming until you address ozone depletion and the effect of the cycles of the sun.

    And unless you’re willing to start breaking up cities you’ll never defeat the heat island effect, meaning our experience of the climate is only going to get hotter, regardless of anything else.

  19. corvus boreus

    RC,
    The rest of the carbon emissions(approx 95%) are within a relatively stable system.
    The 440 odd gt of annual emissions occurring through vegetation consumption, decomposition and respiration are balanced by around 440 gt annual vegetative sequestration of carbon.
    Similar balance occurs in the oceans with the approx 330 gt emitted yearly by consumption and decomposition of phytoplankton balanced by about 330 gt sequestered by photosynthesis.
    The extra 5(ish)% emitted by human activity is unable to be absorbed by terrestrial vegetation(exacerbated by global trends of deforestation and desertification) and the absorption of carbon into the oceans is increasing their acidity, thus diminishing their biota and biodiversity (although the jellyfish do not care).
    Approximately 60% of all human emissions remain as atmospheric carbon, which increases year by year(approx 315 ppm in 1955 to 398ppm in 2014). The leaders in the field and the vast body of other climate scientists believe further increase will cause increasing temperatures with serious-catastrophic consequences, and urge immediate action to reduce emissions.
    Some are choosing not to listen.

  20. revolutionarycitizen

    Corvus, I can guarantee you and anyone else that by 2050 after all the efforts made by the world to reduce emissions will have had zero effect on the climate, and by 2100 will have still had no effect on the climate.

    And that is because natural environment isn’t a stable system, it is a self-correcting system, but it isn’t stable, and the more the system is interfered with the more unstable it becomes until it reaches the point of self-correction. The absolute point of self-correction will be another ice-age, but we might be waiting a while for that.

    If we continue to replace the natural environment with our own physical environment the climate will continue to change regardless of atmospheric CO2.

    And it remains, that the best way to reduce atmospheric CO2 is not to slow down the rate of it going up, but accelerate that rate at which it comes back down. And since we can’t make the oceans bigger, the solution is to increase the size of the forests or land based vegetation mass, essentially what we want to do is rapidly increase the rate at which the carbon atom is transferred from being a part of a gas to being a part of a solid or liquid.

    You can produce all the CO2 you want, as long as you produce something that consumes it.

    Australia is perhaps best placed in the developed world to begin a process of accelerated carbon transfer, this can be done via irrigated forests taking the place of marginal farm lands extending out to the desert fringes where possible. Or even creating new islands off our coasts for new housing rather than reducing already existing forested lands. In-fact if we want a big Australia creating new land masses may actually be the only way it could be done logistically, and is definitely an option worth considering by government.

    I also support a move to greenhouse farming, which yields more per acre, also, there are now techniques where the CO2 levels in greenhouses are increased to aid plant growth, doing this on a large scale industry wide would be enormously beneficial to increasing CO2 consumption. And as a bonus we can actually reduce the total land area under farm whilst increasing out-put.

  21. Kaye Lee

    “the best way to reduce atmospheric CO2 is not to slow down the rate of it going up”

    You DO say the stupidest things rc. Oh yes you say them as if you know what you are talking about but statements like that show you really are just part of the propaganda and perfidy machine.

    But really…that one takes the cake. Not even YOU could believe that.

    “irrigated forests taking the place of marginal farm lands extending out to the desert fringes where possible”

    Right. There is not enough water for the farms to produce food but you want to irrigate a forest?

  22. John Fraser

    <

    "revolutionarycoward"

    "Marginal farm lands irrigated forests" ? ….. om one of the driest, hottest and flatest continents on planet Earth.

    "revolutionarycoward" prefers Australia to follow like sheep.

    Speaking of sheep …. I wonder if he has ever noticed that N.Z. outlawed nuclear ships from their ports in 1984.

    Under no circumstance should Australia be seen to be Green and healthy ….. the "revolutionarycoward" way.

    Sounds more like Abbotts "i'm a conservationist".

  23. revolutionarycitizen

    Kaye, it is simple mathematics, do you know for how long CO2 can remain in the atmosphere?

    Let’s just say it is a very very very long time…

    So, unless we bring it back down at a faster rate than it goes up, what’s up there is going to stay up there, and the rate of accumulation would only slow, not stop.

    Unless you’re suggesting we become a zero emissions economy…

    So, yes, unless we start bringing CO2 back down again making cuts to emissions won’t do a damned thing.

  24. Kaye Lee

    Tony Abbott recently described the people who take the chainsaws to Tasmania’s native forests as ”the ultimate conservationists”. You can go plant trees in the desert while Tony chops down the world heritage forests – a system in balance.

  25. Roswell

    RC, you’re looking at the real long-term. I don’t think we have that much time.

  26. corvus boreus

    RC,
    The (relative) stability I referred to is a dynamic kind. Self-correction occurs through evolutionary diversification when conditions alter(catastrophically or other).
    I agree that massive revegetation and a move towards true efficiency in food production is a must, but difficulties of such projects are huge, especially given the documented decline in general rates of vegetative growth in the last half century(cause unknown but possibly a decline in invertebrate and microbial associates). The schemes you mention would also need a major focused(and subsidised) effort in the field of R&D science, which does not seem to be a current policy priority.
    As for CO2, the role of atmospheric carbon in effecting earth temperature has been shown by both lab experiments and field measurements. The recent increases in temperature have triggered events causing feedback loops, such as the methane cladate releases caused by the melt of Arctic ‘permafrost’ and the huge die-back of northern hemisphere deciduous forests due to a massive increase in insect parasites and fungal pathogens.
    The alteration of the composition of our atmosphere(by human activity) is not the be-all/end-all of our biospheric problems, but neither is it insignificant.

  27. John Fraser

    <

    Oh coward you really are a pillock !

  28. Kaye Lee

    You make NO sense. OBVIOUSLY reducing emissions is essential. We will not be able to reduce emissions to zero any time soon but we MAY be able to cut them back to something the planet can handle. And yes I know how long CO2 hangs around so the sooner we start putting less of it up there the sooner we can start reducing it. Prevention is better than cure…and a shit load cheaper.

  29. revolutionarycitizen

    “Right. There is not enough water for the farms to produce food but you want to irrigate a forest?”

    Australia has invested billions in creating not only desalination plants that aren’t being used along with waste water recycling facilities that flush their treated water out to sea.

    There is plenty of water, simply harvesting our waste water could quite easily irrigate eucalyptus forests on massive scale given the low water requirements for such forests. Not at all difficult, expensive perhaps, but not at all difficult.

    (Also, we lack the water resources at times to adequately grow some of the largest live-stock herds in the world and sustain some of the largest export grain crops in the world and or cotton, much of which is superfluous to our requirement and exists only for export markets, shrinking those sectors may lead to short term losses, but they could be recouped later if we began harvesting trees that were grown in their place)

    John, hot and dry, is just how eucalyptus like it, plus many other native species of flora. Using irrigation derived from waste water would only allow for the process to accelerate.

    I am not sure what nuclear ships have to do with anything other than transporting your Rubles around?

    Sheep? Unless you’re planning on farming the moon just about all forms of agriculture have been tried at some point in the past 5,000 years or so.

    As for not being seen to be green? What on Earth are you talking about? I propose giving more land back to the environment and you’re saying that isn’t green? Sir, you logic is drunk and is in need of retiring to a warm bed…

  30. Kaye Lee

    rc,

    According to the scientists who know a lot more than you or me we will need mitigation and adaptation. I read about a greenhouse using desalinated sea water and solar panels. We will need all sorts of innovation like that but it is very expensive and the longer we delay reducing emissions the more expensive mitigation will become. You know this but you refuse to accept it because you have this crap in your head that reducing carbon emissions will make our country uncompetitive. What is far more likely is that we will have sanctions placed on us for not pulling our weight.

    If you want me to in any way take you seriously then admit we MUST reduce emissions. Then I will happily listen to your ideas.

  31. revolutionarycitizen

    You make NO sense. OBVIOUSLY reducing emissions is essential. We will not be able to reduce emissions to zero any time soon but we MAY be able to cut them back to something the planet can handle. And yes I know how long CO2 hangs around so the sooner we start putting less of it up there the sooner we can start reducing it. Prevention is better than cure…and a shit load cheaper.

    Firstly, not it isn’t, you can increase emissions if you like, if you’re then prepared to accelerate sequestration you can have emissions as high as you like. And no, prevention isn’t cheaper, in-fact humans have already spent many trillions of dollars in prevention and haven’t yet made any real dent in emissions, in-fact emissions have gone up rather than down.

    That is because, to a large extent the Europeans decided to go first, spend trillions of dollars on emissions reductions, but, without anyone else playing along all they managed to do was move their emissions from well regulated Europe, to non-regulated China and other third world countries which now do the emission on Europe’s behalf. In-fact each European is now responsible for more emissions now than they ever have been, and have been making themselves the poorer for it.

    By using efficiency and accelerated sequestration Europe could have made its emissions cuts for a fraction of the price, and retained its job creating industries.

  32. John Fraser

    <

    “revolutionarycoward”

    Do you have any idea how long a tree takes to grow ?

    Do you have any idea of the cost of desalinated water ?

    Do you have any idea how stupid you are ?

    Why not just stick with being a coward and present your ideas to Bolt or Pickering.

  33. Kaye Lee

    To reduce emissions by 160 million tonnes of CO2e in 2020 it would require planting trees over an area of 265,600 square kilometres or far more than the size of Victoria. The trees would also require 96,944 gigalitres (GL) of water per year. The controversial draft Murray Darling Basin plan released last year planned to buy back water entitlements by 3,500 GL. This means the trees planted as a carbon sink would require more than 27 times the water proposed to be cut from the Murray Darling Basin.

  34. revolutionarycitizen

    Should we reduce emissions? Sure, from a human health stand-point the cleaner the air the better for us. And to its credit the developed world had been making tremendous advances in reducing all forms of emissions. All the AGW scare has done to this point is move those emissions to places where it became cheaper to release them, mostly, China and the third world, which destroyed the advances being made and ensured emissions in all forms ballooned.

    Australia had been reducing its emissions long before the carbon tax, and Australia was becoming more and more noncompetitive during the same period. The effects of the carbon tax itself were simply another cost on top of numerous other related environmental costs business’ had to pay, and for many it may have been the straw that broke the camel’s back.

    And allowing China a free kick to increase its emissions until 2030 and applauding them for it adds insult to injury.

    Mathematically speaking, as long as you can keep more coming down than the amount going up, the amount going up is irrelevant.

    Australia could have quite easily and reasonably cheaply adjusted its agricultural sectors over the past two decades to be able to facilitate accelerated sequestration and Australian industry could have used the same time to be ahead of the game when it came to its emissions. And none of that would have required a tax or trade system, just clear policy from government.

    The biggest criticism of the carbon tax is, well, was that it was an enormous wealth redistributing tax, having it linked to enormous welfare payments destroyed its credibility.

  35. John Fraser

    <

    Of on another tangent …. coward.

    Don’t your Green credentials add up.

    coward.

  36. corvus boreus

    Meanwhile, as we dream of planting sesquillions of trees in marginal areas with labour and water intensive techniques , to alleviate the problems of deforestation, slashed ‘green tape’ means that the forest(Leards) containing over 90% of the remaining White box gum (a hot & dry loving species of euc) forest is being halved in size and split down the middle(fragmented), destroyed(releasing CO2 to warm the planet) so we can dig up coal for export (releasing CO2 and warm the planet).
    We could only(possibly) contemplate an unrestricted continuance or increase in levels of emissions if global reforestation was a majority occurrence. It is not.
    Perhaps we should convince the patient to stop with the flaying self-mutilation before we start contemplating skin-grafts.

  37. Kaye Lee

    “The biggest criticism of the carbon tax is, well, was that it was an enormous wealth redistributing tax”

    I wonder what you call the ERF where we take money from the workers to give billions to the big businesses worst polluters to pay for their factory upgrades. I guess that’s the kind of wealth transferral you like eh rc.

  38. revolutionarycitizen

    Do you have any idea how long a tree takes to grow ?

    How fast they grow is irrelevant as long as they’re growing, it is the growing part you need for sequestration to actually work.

    Do you have any idea of the cost of desalinated water ?

    We’re already paying for it, whether we drink it or not, Australia is paying billions for the desalination plants it already has.

    And unless you’re claiming it won’t rain again there is only a need to provide the initial water supply for the young trees to take root, and then allowing for natural rain falls to take over. We could also use these forests as a water dump for treated waste water we flush out to sea.

    Kaye, I doubt your math is right. Even if it wasn’t, again, it will rain so there is no requirement to supply the entirety of the water. Also, considering the amount we’ve cut down, replanting Victoria is a good start.

  39. revolutionarycitizen

    “I wonder what you call the ERF where we take money from the workers to give billions to the big businesses worst polluters to pay for their factory upgrades. I guess that’s the kind of wealth transferral you like eh rc.”

    Find one word I have ever written in defence of the direct action policy.

  40. Annie B

    Interesting stuff here …. although there is not much any of us can do about ’emissions’ …. at this point in time. ……. Only science will come up with some solution …. I believe.

    Kaye ……. ( January 2, 2015 at 6:59 pm )

    Fuzzgutz TRIED to reclaim a large chunk of the Tasmanian wilderness, to log and ‘make houses out of ‘ … OMG …

    That’s pretty much what he said ” we need housing, not more forests ” .. … ( not verbatim ).

    But did anyone allow that to happen ……… a big NOOO !! World Heritage told Abbott literally to go ‘jam it’ ……. even the loggers and logging companies were in agreement to leave the wilderness there alone. And all hail to them.

    So he didn’t succeed with one of his insane ideas. …. THAT got pushed way out onto the back burner, never to be spoken of again.

    —–

    Corvus B ……… ( January 2, 2015 at 7:01 pm ) …….

    That comment ( to the degree I understood it – which was reasonable ) ….. was great. ….

    Spot on. … Particularly ” Self-correction occurs through evolutionary diversification when conditions alter (catastrophically or other). ”

    The world has gone through catastrophic and other climatic events from day 1. ( & from the time that records in some form were kept ) ??? ….. the first creature ( hominoidea or homo sapiens ) who made fire were the first to bung all this crap into our atmosphere. In a miniscule way then, admittedly, but every journey begins with one step.

    No doubt scientists have been studying history in their attempts to come to some conclusions, as to how to save our planet from further wreckage.

    Science will find answers – it always does. ( providing nasty money hungry bustards don’t try to squash their findings, because it might interfere with ‘profits’ of one kind or another !! ) ………

    Just sayin’ ……….

  41. corvus boreus

    The speed of growth is very relevant; plant growth is based upon the building block of carbon, therefore the faster the rate of growth, the greater the rate of sequestration(grasses can generally process carbon 25% faster, but lack biomass and ability to form canopy strata).
    The majority of desalinisation and water-treatment plants are on the eastern seaboard, which is also the area where we have the greatest concentrations of population and industry(not so much space left), and there seems to be a dominant national reluctance to retain what canopy vegetation remains on our coastal strip, let alone a political and public acceptance of the need for large areas of coastal land to be set aside for environmental outcomes. That leaves the vastness of the inland, with the attendant logistical nightmares of transferring monstrous quantities of water across the divide, as well as the problems of soil fertility, species suitability and lack of natural rainfall.
    All very pie in the sky stuff to someone who actively works in environmental restoration and is practically schooled in the realities of trying to grow new forests to mreplace the ones that have been destroyed.

  42. John Fraser

    <

    This is what the "revolutionarycoward" said earlier :

    "this can be done via irrigated forests taking the place of marginal farm lands extending out to the desert fringes where possible. "

    This is what the coward is saying 1 hour and three quarters later :

    "And unless you’re claiming it won’t rain again there is only a need to provide the initial water supply for the young trees to take root, and then allowing for natural rain falls to take over. We could also use these forests as a water dump for treated waste water we flush out to sea."

    This pillock thinks western suburbs are "marginal farmlands and desert fringes".

    Three quarters of Queensland has been in and out of drought declared for 20 years.

    god no wonder your such a coward.

  43. Kaye Lee

    Wikipedia tells me there will be fires as well

  44. John Fraser

    <

    I'm waiting for the coward to introduce Antarctic walruses into the conversation.

    Put them out on the Western plains.

  45. Kaye Lee

    Bring back the inland sea!

  46. John Fraser

    <

    Lasseter's Reef ?

    Could make "revolutionarycoward" a rich person.

  47. revolutionarycitizen

    Corvus, yes rate of growth is quite vital, however, theoretically algae to grow quick biomass as a means of sequestration isn’t a new idea. To do similar with vegetation would require very quick growing plants that can be easily grown repeatedly, hemp would be perfect for such a purpose, though good luck getting that past the powers-that-be.

    One is not suggesting that all the trees be planted in the one area, there are plenty of areas even within cities that could be made available for green space. Also, if we can build the world’s longest water pipeline to get water to Kalgoorlie getting the waste water from our cities to beyond the Great Dividing Range wouldn’t be at all difficult.

    I also didn’t say it would be easy or cheap, only possible.

    John, perhaps it is best if you stick to your Rubles, yes, Queensland has had issues with drought but last time I checked all the forests in Queensland are still alive and haven’t been reduced to dead space as of yet. Imagine that, native forests surviving native conditions, who would have thought!

    Kaye, yes, there will be fires, regardless, however, each new tree represents a net gain in sequestration. (regardless of where it is grown)

  48. John Fraser

    <

    The coward revolutionary

    Ha ha ha

    Considering three quarters of Queensland is and has been seriously drought affected for the last 20 years you should use your pensioner travel entitlement to see for yourself.

    In fact see if your pension travel entitlement can take you by bus around Australia and you will soon see that its the same.

    By the way are you even in Australia ?

    Pity you were such a coward and didn't even ask what the monetary challenge was …. I'm making more money every time the N.Z. $ heads to parity.

    But of course I moved money over there back in October 2013 and at that time I was at a party down at Umina and told quite a lot of people that that was what I thought and what I would be doing.

    And I can provide the documentation to The AIMN ….. as a neutral judge …. to back that up.

    What will you do ….. supply your pension card.

    Your such a coward.

    You should have looked a bit closer at me because I have made no secret of the fact that right up until Howards last election I voted for him …. and cleaned up …. but then I couldn't stomach the Liberals treatment of refugees so I moved my vote to the Greens.

    When Gillard went to the polls I voted for her and when shithead Rudd returned I turned back to The Greens.

    You're a hopeless loser "revolutionarycoward".

  49. revolutionarycitizen

    I have traveled extensively throughout Queensland, and the trees are still here. Surprisingly the forests of Queensland have adapted to drought cycles that have been common here for the past few thousand years.

    And you are welcome to buy all the Rubles you want John, I won’t stop you.

    And I couldn’t at all care less for whom you have voted for, makes no difference to me or anyone else for that matter.

    As for loser, well, think what you like, but I at the very least have the courage to not to hide behind someone else’s image and every day that Tony Abbott is Prime Minister I get the absolute joy of watching the left here in Australia lose their collective hive-mind. Every day for me is an absolute blessing, and I can thank Julia Gillard and Kevin Rudd for delivering Australia into the hands of Tony Abbott. I have won more than you could ever comprehend my dear Rubles buying friend…

  50. JohnB

    RC,
    Apart from the practical problems with attempting to grow the billions of trees required to have any measurable impact on fossil fuel emissions, like water availability, poor/barren soil, bushfires and heatwaves, droughts etc., it will not provide a remedy to the essential problem – by burning fossil fuels massive amounts of co2 previously safely stored for millenniums are transferred permanently into Earths active carbon cycle.

    “Forest carbon is different to fossil carbon – Climate change is caused by greenhouse gases, primarily CO2, accumulating in the atmosphere.
    There are two principal pools of carbon whose differences and very unique characteristics are frequently misunderstood:

    ■ The active carbon pool or “biosphere” is made up of all carbon that circulates between the atmosphere, land and oceans. Only carbon in this pool can actively contribute to climate change.

    ■ The passive carbon pool or “lithosphere” comprises carbon that has been buried underground for several million years (for example, as coal, oil or gas).
    Carbon in this pool does not contribute to climate change as long as it is not transferred to the active carbon pool……
    …. it is important not to increase the overall amount of carbon in the active pool because it is ultimately the size of this pool that is critical for climate change. The bigger the active carbon pool is, the more CO2 is in the atmosphere, contributing to climate change.
    Stopping the increase of carbon in the active pool can only be achieved by reducing and ultimately stopping the burning of fossil carbon. Burning fossil fuels almost irreversibly transfers carbon that was stored for millions of years in the passive carbon pool to the active carbon pool.
    As a consequence, there is more carbon available to be in the atmosphere, where it enhances the natural greenhouse effect and gives rise to climate change….”

    …It is important not to increase the overall amount of carbon in the active pool because it is ultimately the size of this pool that is critical for climate change. The bigger the active carbon pool is, the more CO2 is in the atmosphere, contributing to climate change.
    Stopping the increase of carbon in the active pool can only be achieved by reducing and ultimately stopping the burning of fossil carbon.
    Burning fossil fuels almost irreversibly transfers carbon that was stored for millions of years in the passive carbon pool to the active carbon pool.
    As a consequence, there is more carbon available to be in the atmosphere, where it enhances the natural greenhouse effect and gives rise to climate change.

    Conclusion:
    Burning fossil fuel instantly, and almost irreversibly, releases additional CO2 into the atmosphere.
    Forests, on the other hand, take up CO2 only slowly, and even then only a portion of fossil emissions can be taken up…”
    http://www.greenpeace.org/international/Global/international/briefings/forests/2013/Offsets-briefing-Flawed-Logic.pdf

    Yes, I know what you some will say – what would you expect from a Greenpeace report.
    Well here’s another source of scientific analysis of the proposition of offsetting co2 emissions with more trees:

    “… there are fundamental differences between ‘terrestrial’ and ‘fossil’ carbon pools and their impact on the climate. Emissions from fossil carbon are irreversible for all practical purposes as it will be millennia before fossil carbon released by human activity is removed from the terrestrial carbon cycle. Land-based carbon stocks such as forests, on the other hand, are highly reversible:
    their carbon is held for years or centuries at the most, and is easily returned to the atmosphere. In addition, while immense volumes of fossil carbon are held in the earth, there is a natural limit to the amount that can be held at any one time by terrestrial ecosystems…”
    http://www.fern.org/sites/fern.org/files/misleadingnumbers_full%20report.pdf

    We must stop burning fossil fuels! There is no alternative,

  51. John Fraser

    <

    Your not only a fool but a coward.

    Why did you bother commenting on "Democracy at work" if you " couldn’t at all care less for whom you have voted for".

    I put my name right there in front of everything I post.

    You are just a "revolutionarycoward".

    A one term "revolutionary" but a full term coward.

    Avatar …an icon or figure representing a particular person in a computer game, Internet forum, etc.

    No … nothing there about “revolutionarycoward” ….. humbly suggest you are wrong again and again … as Abbott would say.

  52. revolutionarycitizen

    John, I was addressing the issue of sequestration, for the simple reason that the increases in atmospheric CO2 won’t decline quick enough on their own. The only way to actively reduce the amount of atmospheric CO2 is to for a period of time rapidly accelerate sequestration through either afforestation, or any other means of rapidly growing biomass.

    My suggestion is not entirely practical, but, it will be necessary in the future to drastically increase the rates of afforestation the word over in order to restore a more natural level of atmospheric CO2. And that would have to be on top of not only stopping deforestation but making some real cuts to emissions in order to keep the rate of sequestration above the rate of emission for a certain period of time.

    Whether or not you believe in global warming or climate change or whatever you want to call it, the above represents the mathematical reality, without accelerated sequestration cutting emissions will only act to slow the rate of warming as theorized, not halt it.

  53. revolutionarycitizen

    John, for someone who has yet to win an argument you do throw around the word fool a lot, maybe you should spend your time researching rather than buying more Rubles.

    As for cowardice, someone who hides their identity behind Julia Gillard either doesn’t understand irony, or courage.

    And I can assure you John, my dear Rubles buying friend, the ALP won’t win in 2016 so you had better get used to having the adults in charge.

  54. DanDark

    revoltingcitizen said “I have won more than you could ever comprehend my dear Rubles buying friend…”

    Ahhhhh yeah yeah don’t be to cocky will you because Tony The Terminator will go and go down he will and sooner than you think
    So be ready wont you because I can see a big fall coming your way, a change of fortune LOL LOL LOL
    Now piss off back to your cave you LNP troll…You have made your point for hours and hours now.
    and its getting very boring SIGH……..

  55. John Fraser

    <

    ha ha ha ……. how long have you been pondering that one.

    Humbly suggest you do a recount on your meagre savings and do some polling at your local centrelink office.

    A coward and a fool are soon parted from reality.

  56. John Fraser

    <

    "revolutionarycowards" "trees for life" is the sort of thing they probably sing about at Andrews and Morrisons happy clapping Sundays.

    Such a clown.

  57. revolutionarycitizen

    Dan, I was not being cocky, merely stating a fact. Regardless of what you think of Tony Abbott, he proved much smarter than both Julia Gillard and Kevin Rudd turned out to be. And as for trolling, no such thing occurred, I merely pointed out the obvious and made a contribution, perhaps you could have tried that, before making your attempt to troll me…

    John, my dear Rubles buying friend, remember my prediction when you’re crying yourself to sleep when the ALP get trounced again in 2016.

  58. stephentardrew

    Dear Gombo in the sky above is there no end to this stupidity.

    This is literally going to burn me right up.

    Now could that be a bit of a problem?

    You know those science people are just a bunch of wingers with intellectual acumen to put most of us to shame.

    But oh dear we know best don’t we?

  59. John Fraser

    <

    @coward

    ha ha ha …. I will be celebrating with …. first Krug …. and then one of gin,rum or whiskey with tonic water.

    You will probably be buying fish and chips and licking your tears for refreshment.

  60. DanDark

    RC I couldn’t give a rats arse what you think,seriously who do you think you are
    You are an idiot on a spectacular scale and why people on here waste their time with trolls like you is beyond me,
    I have been on this site for some time now, I come on here because idiots like you are not usually hanging around spinning LNP shit for hours,
    But noooooo latelyTones is going down the shit shute and everyone knows it,
    sooo you come here to divert the conversation to take us back to a past that dosnt exist anymore.
    Get on the page, its called the 21st century you idiot….

    John F its hard to argue with stupid and revolting citizen is Stupid…

  61. revolutionarycitizen

    Dan, we were discussing the very real issues and solutions to global warming, nothing you have just said is even close to relevant to any of the posts I have made in relation to this article. Yet, you who have made no comments even remotely related to the article accuse me of being a troll. Perhaps it is you, Dan, who needs a mirror.

    And judging by your use of Her Majesty’s English it is you, Dan, who should be refraining from calling people names or questioning their intellect.

    If you wish to troll me, Dan, that is fine, I have more than enough wit and retort to deal with both you and your Rubles buying friend.

  62. DanDark

    Righteo My patience just run out with the troll
    Idiot this is Australia, ” Her Majestys English: really RC
    Its Strayya Mate, not the fecking UK and we talk Stralian, and if you don’t like it piss off to the Old mother Country
    if you are so passionate about her language Oi Oi Oi

    But anyways I will have the last laugh the next time you take a tumble down those steep stairs you will need to take very soon LOL LOL
    So if we don’t hear from you for a while, we will know why, you are suffering a few injuries from your tumble LOL LOL LOL

  63. corvus boreus

    RC,
    First up, I have witnessed the forests of SE Queensland (especially)become increasingly fragmented, diminished in health and shrunken in area compared to when I first saw them last century. This is a pattern I see repeated elsewhere.
    Reduction in size and integrity of forests reduces their resilience. Divide and conquer.
    If you were serious about practical measures to increase carbon sequestration you would start by lobbying loud to preserve what forests already exist as a foundation for expansion(basic principle).

    As for levels of atmospheric carbon, it is a logical fallacy to claim that levels of CO2 emission is separate to the level of necessity for sequestration. If you accept the science that increases in CO2 are problematic to the climate, and that storing the carbon in vegetation is a solution, the amount of CO2 pumped out defines the size of the problem, thus the level of solution required.

  64. Kaye Lee

    “Regardless of what you think of Tony Abbott, he proved much smarter than both Julia Gillard and Kevin Rudd turned out to be.”

    Are you for real?

    Tony to soldiers in Afghanistan: “shit happens”

    Tony about female candidate: “She’s feisty and got sex appeal”

    Tony about the First Fleet: “it’s British settlement that has most profoundly shaped the country that we are.”

    Tony when busted spying on Indonesian President’s wife: ‘Australia should not be expected to apologise for the steps we take to protect our country now, or in the past, any more than other governments should be expected to apologise for the similar steps they have taken,’

    Tony on climate change: “It’s absolute crap”, “coal will save humanity” , “loggers are the ultimate conservationists”, “the carbon tax is socialism masquerading as environmentalism”, “She’s talking through her hat”

    Tony on Scottish Independence: ‘As a friend of Britain, as an observer from afar, it’s hard to see how the world would be helped by an independent Scotland’.

    Tony to Klaus Schwab: “Have you run out of mountains yet?….Climbing mountains is a marvellous thing”

    Tony in Canada: “Canadia probably has more involvement in the affairs of Europe than Australia often does.’

    Tony about Putin: “I’m gonna shirt front him – you bet you are”

    Tony being Tony: “my position is that everyone has got to be on Team Australia”

    Tony told party colleagues the reason he was late to a meeting was that he had organised a last-minute trip to a cancer clinic to ‘justify billing taxpayers’ for the trip.

    I could go on…and on and on….but I am too embarrassed that this man is representing me and furious that he is making decisions which affect my life.

    Having known Tony at university, and observed with incredulity his rise in politics, I can assure you he is most definitely NOT the “suppository of all wisdom” and I cannot believe that Australians would be stupid enough to allow him to destroy our country and way of life for any longer than we have to.

    PS I should fess up…I am not really a beach 😉

  65. corvus boreus

    RC,
    You express a malicious pleasure at the rational despair intelligent people are suffering as they watch a superstitious and ignorant fool make stupid decisions based upon blinkered ideologies and corrupt interests.
    You have interspersed your half-baked massive bio/geo-engineering schemes to alleviate escalating biospheric problems with a chest-thumping endorsement of a person who derides the value of scientific endeavour and justifies an increase in the rate of environmental degradation with infantile sloganeering and biblical platitudes.
    You keep cooking up your grandiose terra-forming dreams and your idolatry of a stultideous failed priest espousing brown-bag tick and flick approval of destructive projects(open for business with green tape slashed!).
    I will continue to work establishing native vegetation to help rectify the damage done by vandalising profiteers given license by corrupt political ideologues, foisted on us by fools seemingly voting for the purpose of watching emotional pain based upon intellectual objection.
    The worth of your contribution is further diminished by your enthusiasm for a blatant representative of the fundamental problem.
    Joy of the day to you and your schadenfreude.

  66. Keith

    RC, the fossil fuels that we are using has been sequestered over millions of years; we are adding CO2 emissions to what the planet had previously been able to manage.

    As Harquebus says the methane being voided in the Arctic region is of the greatest concern. A number of scientists have certainly stated that we have a matter of decades before we become extinct through an increasing amount of methane voiding. The methane voiding has only been discovered a matter of decades ago in Siberia by Shakhova et al and the volume is increasing.
    Coal mining releases huge quantities of methane; a 2,500 square mile cloud of methane had been discovered off the SE of the US, at first scientists thought their instrumentation had gone awry ( http://www.desmogblog.com/2014/10/17/nasa-confirms-2500-square-mile-cloud-methane-floating-over-american-southwest ).

    A further study indicates we really need to be involved with a real attempt to mitigate against climate change shows how we have little time; or even none to do something real in relation to trying to stop runaway climate change ( http://phys.org/news/2014-12-methane-leaking-permafrost-offshore-siberia.html ).

    Anton Vaks, and an International group of scientists have studied the defining temperature that permafrost melts; through studying caves in permafrost areas, and areas where permafrost has been intermittent. They found that 1.5C was the temperature where melting of permafrost was happening.

    It is almost as though the methane blowouts in Siberia have gone off as a starter gun.

    If we want to have the human race survive we need to dispense with fossil fuels post haste.

    Predictions were made in the 1980s that climate change would be seen by the 2000s; but avarice, stupidity, politicisation, and denial by religious groups and paid Agencies and individuals have led us to the knife edge we are now on.

  67. John Fraser

    <

    "revolutionarycoward" has got me thinking that buying Russian roubles might not be a bad idea.

    Certainly better that putting money with Betfair on an Abbott win.

  68. Kaye Lee

    Let’s look at some figures here.

    Australia cut carbon dioxide emissions from its electricity sector by as much as 17 million tonnes because of the carbon price

    According to their Direct Action Plan the Coalition plans to offset emissions by 15 million tonnes from planting trees. To achieve this would require an area of 25,000 square kilometres and about 9,100 GL, two and a half times the amount of water proposed to be bought back by the Murray Darling Basin Plan.

    So we are going to plant lots of trees, use up lots of land and water, to achieve less than what the carbon tax did in two years in the electricity sector alone. And we will pay for this rather than having the polluters pay for the damage they do.

    Annual emissions from deforestation over 2013-14 are estimated to be 37.8 Mt CO2 so the Coalition’s tree planting is aiming to counter less than 40% of one year’s deforestation.

    It’s simple mathematics (from simpletons)

  69. stephentardrew

    Climate change is the canary in the coal mine and we want to poison it before we have a chance to see the warning signs. Great logic by a race of stupid dunderheads. The way to improve logical and rational thinking is to destroy the human race so that when its too late we will wake up choking on our stupidity.

    Great strategy boys and girls.

  70. Keith

    For coal mining barons and their supporters it make no difference if their profits increase by billions of dollars, if ultimately the climate becomes untenable.

  71. Harry

    I really can’t be assed reading through all of the comments. However we can all agree the carbon tax, like the mining tax….were money grabs to paper over out of control spending right…only neither made a cent. No matter what numbers Kaye Lee spruiks she knows she is dressing them in false clothes.

    Mining was the hero and could be the hero again. You know the beauty of ripping through all that high grade iron ore that funded labors spending sprees? The only good stuff that is left is largely sitting under the water table….a water table so vast you could plant a gazillion trees and supply enough water to the Chinese for years. The miners can’t use the water and offer it around to all and sundry, cause they need to get rid of it …and no one else wants it. So what do they do? They grow hay. That’s right…hay. The rest they piss over the country side and suddenly a desert becomes an oasis. What a waste. …only needs a few sand filters, a dash of chlorine and it’s all potable. But no one wants it.

    Once again the miners are trying to save the country and all they get in return is taxes.

  72. JohnB

    Propaganda & perfidy vs public trust.

    After more than forty years as celebrated and progressive voice in broadcast news, veteran (and respected) journalist Bill Moyers has retired – his final TV presentation titled ‘The Children’s Climate Crusade’ is dedicated to demanding Government uphold its end of its ‘democratic contract’ with the people – responsibility and duty of public trust.

    While this approach may be US-centric, the issue of trust is universal across ‘democracies’.
    Without truth and trust we have perfidy and treachery.
    Is ‘commonwealth’ now just a meaningless word; since when did the word’s meaning change to corporatewealth?

    “There are laws of nature that we have to comply with,’ says legal scholar on final episode of Moyers & Company. ‘And those laws are supreme.’ …..”
    http://www.commondreams.org/news/2015/01/02/citing-next-generations-lawsuits-demand-courts-recognize-mind-blowing-climate

  73. eli nes

    Spot on kaye!! Shame it is too esoteric for shorten and plibersek. Even gillard couldn’t bring herself to say ‘price’ means polluters(many of whom don’t pay tax) pay depending on the level of pollution and ‘tax’ means wage earners pay the polluters depending on how much they say they have cut pollution. That is why I proposed a ‘price’ abbutt proposes a tax.

  74. Kaye Lee

    Harry,

    The government is relying on figures produced by the Bureau of Resources and Energy Economics (BREE) which predict continuing expansion of fossil fuel exports at least until 2050.

    This projection translates to Australia’s total energy production increasing from around 4% of global emissions today to 16% of the global budget in 2050 recommended by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) — and rising sharply

    It is not credible to expect Australia’s fossil resources to gain such international prominence when all producing countries will be under pressure from reducing demand. The proportions of domestic and exported emissions are irrelevant: all consumers will be shifting away from fossil fuels and this will impact on Australian producers and the wider economy.

    Each year the International Energy Agency (IEA) releases projections of global energy demand in its World Energy Outlook. This outlook provides energy trends for the next couple of decades according to national energy policies recently announced (new policies scenario), as well as energy trends in-line with global efforts to limit CO2 emissions to 450 parts per million (450 scenario), the concentration estimated by the IPCC to correspond with 2C warming.

    Both the IEA’s 2014 World Energy Outlook new policies scenario and the 450 scenario indicate substantially less demand for Australia fossil fuel resources than the BREE forecasts suggest.

    Comparing the BREE projections with those of the IEA’s 450 scenario, shortfalls in projected revenue could amount to AU$40 billion by 2020 and AU$100 billion by 2030 (in 2014 dollars).

    This does not include iron ore downgrades which have the industry reeling at the present time.

    China, Japan, Korea and India account for 80% of Australia’s fossil fuel exports.

    China is on the verge of “peak coal”, rebalancing the economy away from energy intensive industry and introducing a national emissions trading scheme.

    Japan is on an energy efficiency drive to reduce its fuel import bill.

    Korea has introduced a tax on coal of AU$18 per tonne and is finalising an emissions trading scheme.

    India has doubled its tax on coal which funds renewable energy projects and has signalled its intention to stop importing coal within 2-3 years.

    But I suppose you couldn’t be assed reading this.

  75. Harry

    Good point Eli. That’s why wage earners footed the bill through increased costs. …which in turn increased gst revenue.

    As they say Gillard never lied when she said “no carbon tax”…they just got the punctuation wrong…it was a “no carbon” tax.

  76. corvus boreus

    Harry,
    After you opened an assumption of my agreement with your stated falsehoods regarding the Carbon price and MMR tax, I almost made the decision not to be arsed with the rest of your drivel. I should have gone with this inclination. It would have saved me the irritating tedium of reading a post that was based upon either willful and appalling ignorance of the inevitable realities of water pollution that occurs with mining extraction processes, or deliberate lies.
    Feel free to drink arsenic, heavy metals and radio-active contaminants (with a dash of chlorine) if you honestly think such is potable fare.

  77. Harry

    You’re right Kaye Lee I can’t be assed reading that. I already know it says nothing…but that’s what we expect from you.

    How bout them iron ore miners. As RD pointed out….things largely take care of themselves in the long run and little cash grabs that do nothing won’t change a thing. So isn’t it wonderful that now the iron ore price has dropped all of labors reckless spending and efforts to block any savings has left us in the proverbial. Yet those iron ore miners are all suddenly Australia’s greatest farmers. From Gina, to twiggy, to Rio and soon BHP.

    These guys sure do know how to farm when the chips are down. Do we hate the farming industry yet? You know…the guys who you never hear from when times are good, with their 10 properties and 10 kids in high class boarding schools. Then when the rain stops it’s all hey Mr gov give me some hand outs the times they are a tough.

    Will you support their claims if the new force in farming want a little rain relief as well? Or will we start whinging bout them bloody cows that keep farting. …adding another 0.00005% of world CO2 emissions?

    Get over it. The carbon tax was a failure and all gains made were due to external factors and not the tax. Which made no money and made all of us poorer in the process. The Aus public didn’t want…didn’t need it….doesn’t miss it. Neither does the environment. It didn’t take any propaganda for that to happen.

    Guess what. It will never come back. Industry adapts rapidly when things are needed. Right now. They aren’t needed.

  78. John Fraser

    <

    " You know the beauty of ripping through all that high grade iron ore that funded labors spending sprees? The only good stuff that is left is largely sitting under the water table….a water table so vast you could plant a gazillion trees and supply enough water to the Chinese for years. "

    "Harry" is a complete idiot.

  79. corvus boreus

    Harry,
    If you cannot be arsed to read Kaye Lees contribution, which is an accurate recount of verified information, why should anyone else bother reading your semi-literate assertations(with unsupported generalisations and patent falsehoods), which seem to be based entirely upon the ‘authority’ of your own opinion?

  80. Kaye Lee

    “You’re right Kaye Lee I can’t be assed reading that”

    I am reminded of that time in kindergarten when Billy McDonald told on me for having my eyes open during prayers. Quick as a flash the teacher said “How do you know that?”

    I’ll just go and refresh my make-up and get back to the housework now.

  81. guest

    revolutionarycitizen is fighting bravely to support the Greg Hunt Direct Action plan.

    His/her main point of argument seems to be that there is no good reason for putting a price on carbon here in Oz because we are “small’ emitters of greenhouse gases. His argument seems to be of the kind which says: Why should I stop speeding when so many others are speeding. What difference would it make if I stopped speeding.

    But he/she does admit that there is a need to reduce emissions. And he/she has a plan, quite an extensive plan, but as has been pointed out, it would cost – and much more than the cost of a price on greenhouse gases.

    What he/she does not seem to allow is a combination of a price and amelioration projects of the kind he espouses. but speed is of the essence, and his plan requires and cooperation around the world – the same impediments faced by those supporting a price on carbon.

    In just 200 years the density of CO2 in the atmosphere has increased from c.280 ppm to 400+ ppm. – a level unprecedented “in at least the past 24 million years” (Tony Eggleton, “Climate Change”, CUP 2013, p.177).

    As well, in the past 60 years the Earth’s temperature has risen one degree C; “that is, 20 times faster than at any previous sustained rate of temperature change” (Eggleton, p.133).

    Revoluionarycitizen does not seem to comprehend the magnitude of the task. Massive schemes of the fantastic kind which would at best reduce emissions by 5% by 2020 are not likely to be very effective – and certainly not in the long term (which Hunt proposes).

    Revolutionarycitizen has chosen a forum which is not sympathetic to his/her views. The number of sites which might be sympathetic are shrinking in number rapidly, as seen in responses to Hunt’s plan and to Abbott’s boast of repealing the Carbon Tax expressed at the G20.

    Why he/she would espouse the Hunt scheme and deride a price on carbon seems to be entirely political.

  82. stephentardrew

    Great post Kaye.

    Excellent link JohnB: regarding “Citing Next Generations, Lawsuits Demand Courts Recognize ‘Mind-Blowing’ Climate Impacts” is an absolute necessity. It is time for the courts to become involved in protection of the environment on a global scale moving from political expediency to sound empirically based research that provides the necessary constraints upon energy extraction and pollution.

  83. John Fraser

    <

    If Russia has its "oligarchs" where does that place Gina ?

    Buying Russian roubles looks to be a good investment …… after all if, as "Harry" says …. Australia is sitting on "a water table so vast you could plant a gazillion trees", then look at all the trees that could be planted on snow (water) covered Russia.

    And all those mining riches and oil and LNG that Russia has.

    Without doubt the Russian rouble will rise again.

    I should send the "revolutionarycoward" a bottle of champers as thanks for his fiscal input.

    Better yet hook up the "revolutionary" coward with "Harry".

    I wonder if the extreme right wingers are devoid of any conversation and have decided to visit some reputable web sites ?

    To give a display of their stupidity.

    Although I don't understand why they would bother ….. its on display daily at the highest echelons.

  84. Kaye Lee

    Rewnowned scientists and Monckton fans Jo Nova and David Evans would welcome rc’s comments and embrace Harry’s economic research.

  85. John Fraser

    <

    @Guest

    The "revolutionarycoward" is busy standing on a bridge somewhere redirecting traffic.

    Sadly …. no one is following his direction.

    Although Hunt is keeping an eye out for the antarctic walrus.

  86. corvus boreus

    Revolutionarycitizen has the redeeming virtue that he often posts verifiable information to back his views and claims. Sometimes it is accurate information. He also takes the time and effort to read the contributions of others.
    Harry just brays advertorial slogans with his fingers in his ears.

  87. John Fraser

    <

    @corvus boreus

    Looking back at comments on this Article by the "revolutionarycoward" there is not one single solitary Link to back up …. either his platitudes or his ideological philosophy …… nada !

    If there was it would give me something to either agree with or debate.

  88. corvus boreus

    John F,
    Not often with links, nor usually with bibliographical references, but, for example, the stats RC quoted on human CO2 contributions (about 3%) were fundamentally correct, if contextually bereft.
    Harrys 0.00005% cowfart figure and woven tale of strawman-farmers with 10 properties with 10 spoilt kids is straight out of the “Alan Jones book of anally generated statistics and fictitious illustrations”.

  89. John Fraser

    <

    And it doesn't matter how many times the Teacher goes back to him to give her precious time to assist him he just keeps disrupting the "class" and stops the Teacher from doing more research and imparting more knowledge.

  90. John Fraser

    <

    @corvus boreus

    That statistic is so irrelevant it is meaningless …. or as you say bereft.

    The coward just navel gazes, chooses bits and pieces that fit his ideology and then hammers them together to suit.

    Tangents and side alleys.

    About as meaningful as this conversation you and I are having about the coward.

  91. DanDark

    Looks like more painting for me today, even in 42 degree heat, it’s seems more productive and painless than having to put up with the right wing nut jobs that have seem to taken over AIMN
    Their whole being on here is to distract from Tony and co and how bad it is now
    We know what’s wrong, it’s about getting to and fixing it, not this arguing over …. Percent of emissions blah blah

    When I was 5yrs old my old man was a shunter on the railways and lost his leg under a train on a wet cold slippery dark morning.
    The doctors and experts in the field didn’t just sit there and to argue how to fix it, they knew what to do and did it
    A wooden leg was made to fit him, was made by a specialist because they went to school and learnt all about how prothesis’s can fix the problem, to give a bloke 2 legs to walk on again, not just one to hop around on for the rest of his life, he was 25 when he lost his leg,

    We know what’s causing the problems the scientists and experts have told us, so to sit here all day and all night and too argue a proven fact is ridiculous to me……
    We need to just get on with getting rid of Tony and not be distracted by the mindless paid LNP trolls, let’s get practical the trolls might be entertaining and on occasion funny but they are distracting people from what needs to be said and done, they put me off from coming to AIMN now 🙁

  92. jexpat

    Reading (as much as any reasonable and honest person could stomach of) so called “revolutionary citizen’s” posts, one can’t help but appreciate the irony- as the opening quote of Kaye Lee’s piece states:

    “All his usual formalites of perfidy were observed with scrupulous technique.”

    And there have been an impressive array of them set out here- from the screen name and on up to and including the laughably bogus talking point about “the cycles of the sun.”

    Indeed, so impressive that we might be excused if we deemed it parody

  93. Harquebus

    Snacking down on bankers has already started.
    Google: mysterious banker deaths

    Renewable energy
    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/11/21/renewable_energy_simply_wont_work_google_renewables_engineers/

    This is how global warming affects the Arctic.
    http://www.apollo-gaia.org/ArcticDynamics.html
    Also, whereas the Arctic is an ocean surrounded by continents, the Antarctic is a continent surrounded by ocean.

    Population reduction is the only viable solution to curbing pollution and environmental destruction.
    Crude oil depletion will severely affect agriculture and is already affecting the global economy. Compound this with global warming and the human plague’s days are numbered.
    http://www.news.com.au/technology/environment/david-attenborough-why-humans-could-die-out/story-fnjww010-1227171301676

    “Instead of controlling the environment for the benefit of the population, maybe we should control the population to ensure the survival of our environment.” — Sir David Attenborough

  94. guest

    Harquebus, there is no silver bullet. Population will decline when there are societies which do not rely on large families to support the aged.That means we need to attend to the gap between rich and poor and the distribution of reources. It is a problem related to the number of refugees swarming the planet.

    The idea that population reduction is ‘the only viable solution’ suggests that such a solution will allow business-as-usual – and we know that is not true, despite what Coalition policies want us to believe.

  95. Annie B

    Well said ‘Guest’ …… sums up a great deal.

  96. Harquebus

    @guest

    Population reduction is not solution for BAU. It is necessary to maintain some kind of functioning society. The BAU destruction of our environment will cause much grief.

    In the inspired words of the late Gaylord Nelson, senator from Wisconsin and founder of Earth Day, “The economy is a wholly owned subsidiary of the environment, not the other way around.”

  97. AndrewL

    Revolutionary Citizen and Harry are probably one and the same hired IT Liberal staffmember allocated to push the corporate and neo-liberal agenda. The rants demonstrate the hallmark of a pro troll http://pastebin.com/irj4Fyd5

  98. mars08

    @AndrewL… he might not be the cuddly type… but Revolutionary Citizen is NOT a knuckle dragger. Give him some credit.

  99. Keith

    mars08, I think it is best to try and handle deniers/trolls as respectfully as possible, if they become abusive then it is a red flag to anybody reading the comments. They also present themselves as a means to sharpen our comments.
    If we challenge them with questions in relation to known facts often they cannot respond. If they don’t respond to the challenge, then ask the same questions with a comment that they had not answered the questions asked. It cuts both ways, but one thing very noticeable is that generally liberal thinking people have a greater knowledge base and understand matters better than those with a conservative view.

  100. Annie B

    @Keith ……

    I tend to agree. …. it is pointless abusing and accusing someone from ‘the other side’ … when in fact some of their comments can give rise to reasonable debate. …. After all a debating society always has two sides – the ‘Fors’ and ‘Againsts’ … and it becomes an ever decreasing vortex for the same side to keep arguing the same facts. ….

    I used to belong to a debating society, and there was never an actual debate taken on by the same side, split in two. e.g. the ‘For’ against the ‘For’. …. There were however, some ‘ interesting ‘ practice exercises when sides were swapped on the same subject !! 😉

    Having said that however, progessive commenters have to be selective, and there are some LNP nasties that get on here to derail and deflect only – with no valid commentary. They certainly can be ignored. …. and if abuse occurs, then they should be ( usually are ) tipped out.

    Conservatives, by the very meaning of the word, tend to have a shrouded and tightly wrapped up narrow view of much …. hard to break through those shells.

    Progessive / liberal thinkers, – as you said Keith, ” have a greater knowledge base and understanding. ”

  101. DerekB

    Curiously, this article fails to point out the biggest single flaw in Hunt’s calculation. The tax raised was NOT the cost of the abatement. The cost of abatement was what emitters spent in reducing emissions, and the more they worked at that the less the tax raised. Unless their management are financially incompetent, the actual cost would have been hardly more than $23/tonne.

  102. JohnB

    “…Abbott and Hockey have achieved what many thought impossible: a true consensus. Unfortunately for the coalition government, the consensus is entirely against them. The Abbott government’s agenda has been driven by three major claims, all of them economic in nature. Let’s see how economists view these three themes:

    1) There is a budget emergency
    Number of economists who agree: zero

    2) The federal government has a debt crisis
    Number of economists who agree: zero

    3) Carbon pricing is an economic wrecking ball
    Number of economists who agree: zero…”
    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/jul/23/tony-abbott-achieves-the-impossible-unity-among-economists?CMP=share_btn_fb
    Perfidious LNP/MSM propaganda.

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