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Tag Archives: Direct Action Plan

Good luck in Paris

good luck

 

On 19 June 2013, Greg Hunt said on Sky News:

“We agree on the national targets to reduce our emissions by five per cent by 2020. We also agree on the renewable energy target. And one of the things we don’t want to do is to become a party where there is this wild sovereign risk where you are, where businesses take steps to their detriment on the basis of a pledge and a policy of Government.”

In July 2013 at the Clean Energy Week conference Labor’s Yvette D’Ath explicitly challenged the Coalition’s representative at the conference, Simon Birmingham, to stop talking about a 20 per cent target and make it clear whether it would keep the target at 41,000GWh.

Birmingham responded without fluffing around, stating that the Coalition supported the RET as currently legislated with its fixed 41,000GWh target.

While Hunt now does a Pyne by saying when they committed to a 20% Renewable Energy Target before the election what they really meant was…..followed by some fancy backpedalling… his own Department website still states

“The large-scale targets ramp up until 2020 when the target will be 41,000 gigawatt-hours of renewable electricity generation.”

When pressed about the 41,000 target in an interview on Rupert Murdoch’s Sky News on August 28 2014 Hunt said

“Look, with respect, our promise – is that our policy was for a 20 per cent, for a 20 per cent Renewable Energy Target, but that there would be a review which had to come, by law, under the ALP’s own law, it was due to come this year.”

He seems to ignore the fact that the “law” states quite clearly that it is the Climate Change Authority that must conduct the review, not a hand-picked panel of climate sceptics and fossil fuel lobbyists.

The Warburton Report also clearly states

The expanded RET scheme, which commenced in January 2010, is designed to ensure at least 20 per cent of Australia’s electricity comes from renewable sources by 2020. To achieve this, the legislation contains annual targets for large-scale renewable generation, expressed in gigawatt hours (GWh) that rise each year to 41,000 GWh in 2020.

Whilst coming up with the predictable recommendation that “In the presence of lower cost alternatives, the costs imposed by the RET are not justifiable,” they could not hide the facts.

“Analyses suggest that, overall, the RET is exerting some downward pressure on wholesale electricity prices. This is not surprising given that the RET is increasing the supply of electricity when electricity demand has been falling.

The direct costs of the RET currently increase retail electricity bills for households by around four per cent, but modelling suggests that the net impact of the RET over time is relatively small.

The Panel found that the RET has broadly met its objectives. It has encouraged significant additional renewable electricity generation, with output from large-scale renewable generators having almost doubled as a result of the scheme. Installations of small-scale systems have exceeded expectations, with output from these systems already exceeding levels anticipated for 2020. To date, the RET has delivered a modest level of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2-e) emissions reductions. Commonwealth, state and territory environmental regulation provides a framework for ensuring that the RET promotes the use of ecologically sustainable renewable energy sources.

Over the past five years demand for electricity has been significantly lower than forecast and electricity demand in 2020 is now expected to be much lower than when the current RET was adopted. At the same time the cost of renewable technologies has fallen, particularly for rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) systems. These factors mean that the RET could achieve a 26 per cent share of electricity from renewable sources by 2020.”

Perhaps the real reason for the panel’s recommendations is revealed by the statement that the renewable energy target results in “a transfer of wealth among participants in the electricity market” and we can’t have that now can we. If anyone’s going to get wealthy here it must be the coal miners, not those wind farm people who are making us all sick.

And so much for the One Million Solar Roofs. When asked about this, the Minister’s office said “the Government will take due care and consideration in the design and implementation of any further large initiatives to support solar energy”. Coalition speak for another broken election promise.

The Energy White Paper simultaneously delivers the message that we must privatise to increase competition and keep prices down whilst decrying the competition provided by the renewable energy sector because the increased supply has driven down prices.

The Direct Action Plan has become pointless with toothless safeguard mechanisms to punish polluters who increase emissions.

“Direct Action has no point if it does not have an effective safeguards mechanism and what the government has released seems like a try-on,” Nick Xenophon said. “It goes against what they promised me in the discussions before the vote. I was assured this safeguards mechanism would have real teeth. There is no point in the government spending $2.55bn if there is no requirement to cap or reduce emissions from industry.”

It is becoming increasingly impossible to believe this government has any intention of accepting the burden of addressing emissions reduction. Good luck in Paris is all I can say.

Law & Order, Mars and Why Tony Abbott is Right To Put Science Under The Industry Portfolio.

“I have a great idea for reducing the crime rate!”
“What is it?”
“Well, when someone is caught breaking the law, rather than wasting a lot of money on a trial and jailing them – which is also very expensive – we just give them a large amount of money and tell them not do it again!”
“But wouldn’t that lead to people breaking the law and handing themselves in, just to get the money?”
“Oh the money wouldn’t go to everyone. Just the big criminals.”
“All right, once they’ve got the money what’s the penalty if they break the law again?”
“None.”
“None?”
“Yep, we’re more into carrots than sticks.”
“That’s the silliest thing I’ve ever heard!”
“Ok, well what about my idea for reducing our carbon emissions?”
“You mean the one where you pay the biggest polluters to reduce their emissions and if they don’t you just say that’s ok?”
“Yep.”
“Oh, that’s fine. That sounds like an excellent idea.”
Mm, we don’t seem to be hearing a lot about Tony Abbott’s Direct Action Plan. You know, the one that’s supposed to replace the Carbon Tax. A Google search reveals several mentions but the only recent one is in an editorial from that foreign owned newspaper, “The Australian” which begins with the rather contradictory concept.
“AUSTRALIA’s ill-fated carbon tax has proved to be a more successful tool of political rather than carbon abatement, felling spectacularly the party leaderships of Brendan Nelson, Malcolm Turnbull, Kevin Rudd, and Julia Gillard. Well intentioned in theory, it was in practice a hopelessly premature step for a country that emits around 1.5 per cent of global carbon dioxide and whose competitiveness had long rested on cheap energy. The tax boosted power prices for households and business without altering the carbon intensity of their energy supply. It has hastened the deindustrialisation of Australia’s economy, including the collapse of the aluminium and car industries, without a scintilla of verifiable impact on global carbon emissions, let alone the climate.”
I can’t see how the deindustrialisation of Australia’s economy hasn’t led to some fall in our emissions. And considering we were told by other members of Murdoch Misinformation Media about pensioners sitting in the dark with the heater off because they couldn’t afford electricity any more, it seems hard to believe that bigger users hadn’t found ways to improve their energy efficiency. But it’s good to know that our competitiveness rests on cheap energy and not cheap wages, as has been suggested by the IPA. (Or rather cheap minimum wages. I haven’t heard anyone from the IPA suggesting that Tim Wilson’s $300,000 is an excessive amount. Or even using it as example of a waste of taxpayers’ money.)
Still when the paper talks about “verifiable”, it’s important to remember that they’re not using that in a scientific way, because a debate like this is too important to be left to scientists. We need input from every day people. Like the Senator from Kentucky (Brandon Smith) that was suggesting that climate change wasn’t man-made because there are no coal mines on Mars, and:
“I don’t want to get into the debate about climate change. But I will just simply point out that I think that in academia we all agree that the temperature on Mars is exactly as it is here. Nobody will dispute that.”
Well, a scientist might, but we know that they’re just a minority group and the silent majority are sick and tired of pandering to minority groups. So “verifiable” in this sense has nothing to do with science. It simply means that something can be found in one of their newspapers about a reduction in Australia’s emissions. And, of course, it can’t .
As for what the editorial said about Direct Action:
“And Environment Minister Greg Hunt has the hazardous task of overseeing its untried replacement, an unloved $2.5 billion direct action fund cobbled together to burnish the Coalition’s climate credentials in early 2010. Ensuring this money leads to genuine carbon abatement rather than becoming yet another form of industry assistance — subsidising green projects that would have proceeded anyway — will be challenging.”
So, even the usual cheerleaders of the Abbott Government are calling direct action “unloved”. Poor thing. We should remember it on Valentine’s Day and send it a card and some flowers.
And I would, except I don’t know where to send them because it doesn’t exist yet.
Ah well, maybe by 14th February!

David vs Goliath – Maules Creek vs Big Coal

The destruction of the Maules Creek community by Big Coal is enormous. Kate O’Callaghan writes about the level of this impact and how the community is fighting back.

Last Saturday, four members of a group of 13 medical professionals and students were arrested after joining an anti-mining protest at Maules Creek. Spending more than four hours chained together at the site, the so-called Medics Against Coal felt compelled to act. In March, 92 year old World War II digger Bill Ryan was one of 60 people arrested at the blockade, disrupting construction by sitting on machinery. According to Bill, “I’ll continue to protest for as long as I can walk.”What’s going on at Maules Creek that’s driving so many everyday Australians to put their bodies on the line?

Maules Creek is a picturesque agricultural community, situated north west of Tamworth in the agricultural belt of NSW. It lies in the foothills of Mt Kaputar National Park, with Leard State Forest to the south. In July 2013, Former Environment Minister Tony Burke fast tracked an approval for Whitehaven Coal to develop three open pit coal mines in the Leard Forest, thrusting the small farming region into an industrial zone.

The Leard Forest is 8000 hectares of bushland, named after the Laird family, who have been farming at Maules Creek for five generations. It was recently identified as a Tier 1 Biodiversity area by the NSW government, areas which ‘cannot sustain further biodiversity loss’. Leard Forest is home to some of the last standing and intact populations of critically endangered Box Gum Woodland, as well as numerous threatened species including the koala and masked owl. Tier 1 areas are not, however, protected from mining. Construction of the three mines will clear more than half the forest, roughly 5000 Ha, including over 500 Ha of White Box Gum woodland.

Whitehaven began construction on the Maules Creek mine in January of this year. The coal deposit is one of the largest in Australia, with 362Mt of recoverable resources. Once completed, the mine will operate 24 hours a day, loading coal onto trains to Newcastle where it will be exported to China, India and other coal hungry nations. The $767 million development is one of the largest taking place in the country, with first coal sales expected to occur in early 2015. The mine is expected to operate for 30 years.

B

Image courtesy of katesenviroblog.com.au

Apart from the immediate ecological destruction caused by clearing the forest, the community has raised other concerns. The adverse health impacts caused by coal dust is of major concern for the community. The dust will be inhaled, pollute the water supply and settle on agricultural lands. Doctors for the Environment have warned that, “Communities in which coal mining or burning occurs have been shown to suffer significant health impacts.

The mines will demand large quantities of water, placing a huge strain on the surrounding agricultural lands and causing a groundwater drawdown up to 10 metres. Greenpeace spokeswoman Julie Mackan is shocked, stating that “This mine has been granted 50 per cent of high-security water for this area which, I mean I’m sitting here looking at a country getting chewed up by drought, and I find that just extraordinary.”

The Leard Forest mine area holds many significant sites and artifacts for the local aboriginal community. Traditional owners the Gomeroi people are now prevented from entering the mine site, after a dispute with Whitehaven over their failure to preserve items of cultural significance and heritage.

The long term issue is the coal itself, which when burned will contribute to 30 million tonnes of CO2 per annum, a figure much greater than the total emissions of many developed nations. Considering the annual emissions will be greater than the entire savings from the government’s Direct Action Plan, this is major blow.

C

Image courtesy of katesenviroblog.com.au

Front Line Action on Coal began non-violent direct action at the Leard Forest in 2012, frustrated that the government had failed to protect the Maules Creek community from the destructive forces of Big Coal. Since then, they have seen the campaign grow dramatically and have been joined by a number of groups such as Lock the Gate, Greenpeace, 350.org and the Wildreness Society.

In March, the Forestry Corporation ordered the closure of the Leard Forest over public safety concerns resulting from protest activities. Assistant Commissioner Geoff McKechnie said that people, “accessing the roads, using their bodies as roadblocks, running on to roads, putting themselves under heavy vehicles . . . presents an extreme risk to people’s safety”.

Recently, serious questions have been raised with the misleading information behind Whitehaven’s environmental offsets. Offsetting is a measure that a company must take if it plans to cause ecological destruction. In Whitehaven’s case, they plan to destroy 5000 Ha of forest including 500 Ha of old growth, critically endangered White Box Gum. To offset this loss, they are required to create an equivalent area elsewhere, either through restoration or protection. Crucially, the offset area must contain the same habitat and species as the destroyed area.

According to their Ecology Fact Sheet, “Whitehaven has developed a comprehensive Biodiversity Offset Strategy to compensate for the impacts to native flora and fauna.” This has been strongly disputed by independent scientists and ecologists, who argue that up to 95% of Whitehaven’s offset mapping is wrong, containing very little of the threatened White Box Gum woodland.

Despite these major problems, a spokesman for Whitehaven Coal insists that the project is proceeding and protesters need to accept it. “The fact that Mine opponents do not like the outcome, or want to pursue a broader anti-coal agenda, does not entitle them to seek to interfere with its progress, and with the livelihoods of our workers and contractors”. With the government fighting with Goliath, it’s uncertain if David can ever win.

A job application to Clive Palmer

Clive Palmer (image by news.com.au)

Clive Palmer (image by news.com.au)

Dear Mr Clive Palmer,

May I call you Mr? It’s not Sir Clive yet is it? I’m sure it will be in the offing should you aspire to a knighthood – it’s Tony’s best reward for pre-eminent people like you.

May I congratulate and commiserate with you on your entry into the sordid world of politics. I have watched your campaign and realised that you are a man who wants to get things done, a trait I admire. You have also said things that echoed with me like being a representative for the little people, the people without a voice. Some other things, not so much, but it would be a bad move for me to begin an application with criticism.

Your Senators now carry a grave responsibility – just ask Tony Windsor and Rob Oakeshott about that. With the balance of power they need to be familiar with every bill and every amendment. It’s a huge workload. I saw that Tony Abbott refused your request for extra personnel to help with the legislative workload, which is what prompted me to apply to help out. I will work for free for a period and if Tony changes his mind about that, and you find my work valuable, then a small stipend would be most helpful.

Obviously the carbon tax is a big issue that will require your attention in the immediate future. I have taken the opportunity to provide a brief summary for the Senators’ perusal with attached links should they require further reading. I am also happy to answer any questions should you or any of your iron force have one.

CARBON TAX

1. At the World Economic Forum in Davos, World Bank President Jim Yong Kim called for a price on carbon, requiring companies to disclose their climate risk exposure, and greater investment in green bonds in the fight against climate change.

2. The planet is “perilously close” to a climate change tipping point, and requires urgent cooperation between countries, cities and business, International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde has said. Addressing an audience in London, Lagarde said reducing subsidies for fossil fuels and pricing carbon pollution should be priorities for governments around the world.

“Overcoming climate change is obviously a gigantic project with a multitude of moving parts. I would just like to mention one component of it—making sure that people pay for the damage they cause. We are subsidizing the very behaviour that is destroying our planet, and on an enormous scale. Both direct subsidies and the loss of tax revenue from fossil fuels ate up almost $2 trillion in 2011—this is about the same as the total GDP of countries like Italy or Russia.”

3. John Kerry has described the UN’s latest report on the science of climate change as “chilling” and warns of a “potential catastrophe” without urgent action. The US Secretary of State made the remarks at the annual Munich Security Conference held at the weekend, citing terrorism, radical sectarianism, food security, water availability, and climate change as the “great tests of our time.”

Kerry also highlighted the potential financial benefits of moving to a low carbon economy, pointing to the $6 trillion energy market that will gain an extra five billion users by 2050. “It is the mother of all markets, and only a few visionaries are doing what is necessary to reach out and touch it and grab it and command its future,” he said.

Kerry warned of an “absence of collective leadership” from politicians where the environment is concerned. “We have enormous challenges. None of them are unsolvable. “That’s the agony of this moment for all of us. There are answers to all of these things, but there seems to be an absence of will, an absence of collective leadership,” he said.

4. Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of the UN climate secretariat, said that it was amoral for people to look at climate change from a politically partisan perspective, because of its impact on future generations.

Figueres said that examples of recent extreme weather around the world were a sign climate change was here now. “If you take them individually you can say maybe it’s a fluke. The problem is it’s not a fluke and you can’t take them individually. What it’s doing is giving us a pattern of abnormality that’s becoming the norm. These very strange extreme weather events are going to continue in their frequency and their severity … It’s not that climate change is going to be here in the future, we are experiencing climate change.”

5. The independent Climate Change Authority, which advises on climate change action around the world, called for Australia to lift its emissions reductions goal from 5 per cent to 19 per cent to take into account international moves, Australia’s fair share and the urgency of the climate change threat.

Professor Garnaut believes the ultimate cost to the budget of the Abbott government’s climate policy could be much greater than $4 billion a year, given many countries are committing to more ambitious emissions reduction targets.

6. Senate Committee: Direct Action

Recommendation 1

2.63 The committee recommends that the Australian Government immediately adopt the emissions reduction targets outlined by the Climate Change Authority in its final report released on 27 February 2014. Namely that Australia’s 2020 minimum emissions reduction target be set at 15% below 2000 levels and that Australia’s carryover from the first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol be used to raise the 2020 emissions reduction target by 4%, giving a total 2020 target of 19%.

Recommendation 5

3.143 The committee recommends that the transition of the fixed carbon price to a fully flexible price under an emissions trading scheme with the price determined by the market occur on 1 July 2014.

Recommendation 10

5.129 The committee recommends that the Emissions Reduction Fund not be substituted for the carbon pricing mechanism.

7. Growing numbers of investors and now being attracted by three key benefits of wind farms:

•Social Responsibility: Investing in clean renewable energy is socially responsible

•Lower Risk: Now that thousands of wind farms exist globally, construction and operational risks are very low.

•Longevity: Long term demand for renewable energy will increase driven by declining fossil fuel sources and carbon reduction policies.

8. National solar provider Energy Matters has released consumer insights that rank cities for solar viability and also reveal the true investment potential of solar power in comparison to shares, property, gold, global fixed interest or even fine art.

The figures will startle many; with it outperforming all other investment options using current ASX figures and other key organisations that rate investment opportunities.

The consumer insights also revealed Townsville in Queensland was Australia’s top address for solar, giving its residents a healthy return of investment of 21.8% per year. Other mainland capital cities included Brisbane (annual return of investment of 20.2%), Adelaide (19.1%), Sydney (18.9%), Perth 17.8%) and Melbourne (13.2%).

9. The solar PV industry employed about 13,600 as of late 2013, and the number will sink this year to about 12,300 across about 4300 businesses as state-based subsidies are wound back, according to a report for the REC Agents Association, a body representing firms that create and trade in renewable energy certificates.

The solar workforce, though, would dive immediately by 2000 if the government were to end support for the industry by scrapping the RET, with the total number of jobs lost or foregone swelling to 6750 by 2018, analysis of the research by industry group SolarBusinessServices found.

10. China is spending billions to control air pollution, banning imports of low-grade coal, launching carbon-trading markets, exploring shale gas, getting more efficient, and building the crap out of renewables. And remember, it has its own coal mines. They just couldn’t keep up with the boom. Now that things are leveling off, domestic Chinese coal will get cheaper, they’ll buy more of it at home, and there will be less market for imports.

Since China was the main driver, its rapid deceleration will serve as a drag on the whole seaborne coal market. Goldman Sachs analysts “expect average annual growth (in demand) to decline to 1% in 2013-17 from 7% in 2007-12.”

No less an investor than the mighty Warren Buffett has proclaimed that the decline of coal in the U.S. will be gradual but inevitable. Given flat demand for electricity, cheap natural gas, burgeoning renewables, rising efficiency, and future carbon regulations, new coal-fired power plants are a bad bet, which is why they aren’t getting built.

11. Economists are convinced that carbon pricing will yield the greatest environmental bang-for-buck at the lowest economic cost.

Recommendations:

  1. Get rid of your investments in coal and invest in renewable energy

  2. Move to a floating price ETS on July 1 either this year or next (preferably next)

  3. Increase our emission reduction target to 19% and confirm our renewable energy target of 20% by 2020

  4. Under no circumstances allow Tony Abbott to waste taxpayer money on that silly Emissions Reduction Fund bribery to polluters

  5. Give me a job

I hope this has been of use to you and your Senators in getting up to speed on the issue. I look forward to hearing from you in the near future to discuss terms of employment.

Yours faithfully

Kaye Lee

Dame-in-waiting

PS I looked into your idea about reducing natural greenhouse gas emissions but have been unable to think of a way to stop respiration, evaporation, organic rotting, volcanoes or farting, but I will keep working on it. By the by, cutting down trees is not a good start.

Heaven help us before Hell becomes the inevitable destination

In May 2007, the Prime Ministerial Task Group on Emissions Trading presented John Howard with a report that had “been informed by the views of a wide range of stakeholders”. They considered 216 submissions from interested parties and held discussions with 180 groups and individuals both in Australia and overseas. Dr Peter Shergold, Chair of the Task Force, said the broad-ranging expertise of government, industry, and environmental organisations had been of significant benefit to their deliberations.

In an introductory letter to Howard, Dr Shergold said:

“We hope that this report can contribute to the development of policy which will further strengthen Australia’s considerable record of achievement in addressing climate change at the domestic and international levels. Our conclusions have been framed to position Australia to take a lead in reducing greenhouse gas emissions while maintaining economic growth and safeguarding our competitive advantage.”

The report was extensive and came to the following conclusion:

“The members of the Task Group have come to a shared conclusion: the adoption of a longer-term emissions constraint and the introduction of an Australian emissions trading scheme offers the least-cost way of reducing the output of greenhouse gases domestically and would make a substantive contribution to a comprehensive solution internationally.

The Task Group believes the key to success is to begin at once, but to proceed with care on the basis of considered and informed decisions.”

One aspect of the Coalition’s Direct Action Plan is an Emission Reduction Fund where polluters are subsidised for specific reduction projects. This possibility was examined in the report with the following observations:

  • Project-specific approaches can involve high administrative overheads for both government and project proponents.
  • Financing subsidies and specific project-based interventions also impose costs on society from their use of taxation. If these approaches were to be used extensively to achieve large-scale abatement, the economy would suffer losses in economic and administrative efficiency. In contrast, market-based approaches to emissions abatement involve the explicit pricing of emissions, allowing the market to determine the cheapest source of emissions reduction.
  • Market-based approaches have the potential to deliver least-cost abatement by providing incentives for firms to reduce emissions where this is cheapest, while allowing the continuation of emissions where they are most costly to reduce.
  • Market-based approaches also provide a strong ongoing incentive for investment in technology research, development and deployment, and in business efforts to improve energy efficiency.
  • An emissions price provides incentives for the discovery and deployment of least-cost abatement opportunities. The damage caused by a unit of emissions is the same no matter where it comes from, so a uniform carbon price across the economy can harness abatement opportunities where they are cheapest.
  • Emissions pricing provides ongoing incentives to all firms and individuals to abate. Market participants have an incentive to abate whenever a unit of abatement is cheaper than the emissions price, which leads to the efficient exploitation of all abatement opportunities.
  • The process of ‘creative destruction’, with opportunities for the emergence of new industries as new technologies and production techniques supplant existing methods, is one of the key ways in which market-based approaches bring broader benefits to society.

One of the task force’s key messages was

A desirable model for reducing emissions at least cost incorporates emissions trading with a price cap in the initial phase of a scheme – this combines the best features of a carbon tax with emissions trading.”

In other words, John Howard’s own advisers preferred the system we currently have in place. Many reports and submissions were given to the government confirming this.

“Harness the power of the market – the greatest benefit of emissions trading is the ability of the market to find the lowest cost solution. It follows from this that scheme[s] should have a minimum of rules that limit the type or level of abatement. The underlying principle should be to treat all opportunities equally based on their mitigation impact.”

Australian Plantation Products and Paper Industry Council submission to the Task Group

“Where the use of environmental goods and services is not valued properly, users of the resources have little incentive to recognise the costs of the environmental degradation they impose …. Instead, the focus inappropriately shifts only to the financial growth foregone from addressing [and preventing] the environmental damage.”

Australian Government Intergenerational Report (2007, p. 71)

In July 2008 the Wilkins Review, done by the Department of Finance and Deregulation, looked at failures of direct action style schemes which had been implemented in Australia, such as the failed Greenhouse Gas Abatement Scheme, and warned “project based abatement is difficult to achieve through a grants program – further demonstrating why the ETS is a superior approach to achieving large scale abatement.”

In the seven years since the report was published the overwhelming majority of scientific research has confirmed that climate is changing and AGW is playing a significant role in that change. In fact, the only debate seems to be on the time frame and severity of the catastrophe and even that is rapidly vanishing. Consensus is, and has been for a long time, that immediate action must be taken on a global scale.

Another major strategy of the Coalition’s DAP is soil carbon sequestration. Their policy document states that

“The single largest opportunity for CO2 emissions reduction in Australia is through bio-sequestration in general and, in particular, the replenishment of our soil carbons. It is also the lowest cost CO2 emissions reduction available in Australia on a large scale.”

However the CSIRO, in a submission to the Senate inquiry into DAP said that

“Soil carbon in agricultural zones is likely to provide low levels of greenhouse gas abatement. Saturation of carbon sinks (the maturation of forests and the restoration of soil carbon levels) means that per annum abatement from the land sector will decline in the decades after project establishment.”

Perhaps this explains Tony’s desire to log our old growth forests?

Economist Professor Ross Garnaut told the inquiry that abolishing carbon pricing could cost the federal budget at least $4 billion a year within five years, if the Abbott government wants to reduce emissions in line with Australia’s international commitments.

In his submission Professor Garnaut said direct action was vague and failed public interest analysis tests and that the government’s Green Paper on the Emissions Reduction Fund aimed at replacing the Rudd-Gillard climate policies ”is a shooting of the breeze”, merely raising a few questions that it failed to answer.

”It is an unusual document, lacking any semblance of the framework of public interest analysis that is characteristic of Australian policy-related papers of modern times”

The government’s continued appointment of climate change sceptics to advisory roles shows its intention to ignore all scientific, economic and industry advice to pursue its big business agenda. They are prepared to sacrifice our future for the very short term advantage that exploiting our resources may give us. They seem determined to set the train to destruction into motion and disable the brakes.

Heaven help us before Hell becomes the inevitable destination.

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