Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Australia to be decarbontaxified

First, a technical poll. Odiogo was producing the "listen now" button under the titles that could "read" the texts. Snap previews were thumbnails of the linked to page that appeared whenever you hovered over a link.

Which evaporated widgets do you miss? free polls 

Results: At some moment, up to 97% of voters ("consensus") said "good riddance to both". I still tend to think that the Odiogo's users were importantly hurt and apologize to them. [...]

Congratulations to all conservative Australians and those who were not friends of the carbon tax (AUS $23 per ton of CO2 equivalent on selected sources).

The younger ones aren't Tony Abbott's mistresses; they're daughters.

Remarkably enough, the (so far) modest new tax became a key political question in Australia. It's arguably the main reason why the Labor Party experienced the worst results in 80 years.

The importance of the carbon tax is self-evident after the elections as the first steps of the winners of the election are going to be (and already are) steps to fire redundant personnel whose task was to contaminate the Australian legislative and fiscal landscape by the new tax and its assorted tentacles and testicles. Some pundits claim that it won't be easy to repeal the tax but I would bet it may be done.

Australia is open for business again.

This Rudd's and Gillard's loss leads us to ask the question: Is it still beneficial for politicians to support the climate change scam and the policies that have been recommended by the perpetrators of this scam?

An obvious answer is No. With such an answer, one must immediately ask another question: So if it is so suicidal for politicians in democracies to support such things, why were many of them so clearly in favor of such an ideology and such policies just a few years ago?

Well, I think that this issue has several important aspects.

One aspect is that years ago, the climate change propaganda was just a talk. It was a fabricated threat that allowed the policitians to promote themselves to the saviors of the world and ethically clean superheroes (in the eyes of the gullible, intellectually challenged but sometimes idealist voters). Just like Adolf Hitler was saying that his nation and race may suffer if the voters don't allow him to fight against the Jews, cosmopolitans, and left-wing folks of all unpopular types, the champions of the climate alarm among politicians pretended that the voters' support for them was needed to save the Milky Way or at least life on Earth.

But the talk wasn't enough. Some fans of this talk unsurprisingly insisted that the words should be replaced by acts. The initially moderate but annoying carbon tax in Australia was a clear example of the harassment that the climate change ideology directs against companies, their employees, their business partners, their consumers. Billions of Australian dollars were being stolen from the Australian citizens' pockets and directly thrown to the trash bin for (literally) microkelvins of global cooling that were claimed to be a "good thing".

Of course that voters don't have to possess a PhD to realize that this is really insane. The Labor Party got an opportunity to learn a lesson. I would say that Julia Gillard must be either really stupid or an unfixable brainwashed idealist or both if she couldn't foresee that her support for the hated tax would sink her ship in politics. Kevin Rudd was lukewarm about the carbon tax and he was returned behind the Labor steering wheel earlier in this year but it was already too late.

A question is whether similar developments would take place in countries different than Australia.

This is a question that has no beef in the Czech Republic where "climate change" is a non-issue in one way or another. No parties in the Parliament consider the "fight against climate change" to be among important political tasks. Everyone is only thinking whether one should please or ignore the bureaucrats in the Brussels. And everyone realized that some policies we were "encouraged" to adopt were crazily uneconomic – although some Czech politicians have surely shown way too much "surplus activity", more than what was actually needed (Czechia became Europe's #3 photovoltaic power in the absolute numbers, despite its medium size); indeed, Czechs aren't curious about too much idealistic talk which is why the path from words to deeds is usually much shorter than it is elsewhere. And some of the politicians have even earned lots of money from the photovoltaic boom and perhaps from insider information, too. My optimistic understanding of some news is that the prosecutors and regulators are going after the neck of many of such people (solar barons etc.).

But I am asking about the U.S. and countries in Western Europe where political correctness rules (or ruled) and where "climate change" made it to a political issue. Would a major U.S. party record its worst showing in the elections for 80 years after it would introduce a similar carbon tax?

The case of the Western Europe is problematic because some carbon schemes are already in place and it is not really clear which parties and politicians are behind them. They were introduced sort of "outside democracy", by the group think of some abstract politicians who live outside the real world, especially by "EU-wide" politicians who weren't really elected by anyone. This is a big problem.

It doesn't mean that there are no Western European parties that are pretty clearly against the carbon taxation and similar (cap and trade etc.) schemes; just watch UKIP's Nigel Farage's today's speech on the AGW hysteria in the EU Parliament above. The real problem is that the parties that are responsible for such schemes aren't known and the introduction of such schemes was pretty much sold as an inevitable thing that people couldn't express their opinions about. So the situation in many countries of the EU is muddy. Needless to say, this mud is correlated with the gradual evaporation of democracy at the EU level.

Although there are many hints that the bulk of the EU is abandoning the anti-carbon hysteria in its energy policymaking (and some countries are likely to follow the U.S. in the fracking boom), it's still plausible that the carbon cap-and-trade schemes in Europe will not only survive but they may be escalated, too. Well, in that case, Europe as a political entity deserves to weaken, die, and be overtaken by another power that doesn't suffer from the disease.

Incidentally, Abbott wants to abolish the carbon tax and has a mandate to do so. Still, Australia has signed some international treaties about CO2 reduction. As far as the commitments go, he will reduce a hundred or so of offices (!) tasked to do such things to 3 offices. The tax should be superseded by "direct action" which will organize "reverse auctions" in which CO2 emitters will compete for direct subsidies. I do believe that this is a less harmful, less intrusive way to allocate the resources to fulfill the (nonsensical) commitments from the international treaties and actually guarantee that some of the money will be used to reduce the emissions.

Also, while it's true that the money for these projects will be paid by "similar people" at the end, regardless of the different laws (pretty much all the citizens, especially those for whom fuel etc. represents a higher percentage of spending, e.g. poor people), the different Abbott's algorithm to allocate the resources has a refreshingly novel ethical dimension. It's the Australian government, not Australian citizens and companies, that signed nonsensical treaties about the CO2 reduction (stupid treaties that only bring disadvantages and no advantages to Australia) so it should obviously be the government, and not the innocent companies or consumers, that has to pay for such plans – that has to pay for its mistakes. The payment of the projects through subsidies will also make it much clearer how much money has actually been spent for this "cause".


  1. Unfortunately there are too many victims of this particular disease within the new (yet to be sworn in) government. They (too) are largely just a bunch of political opportunists with not much insight into 'very little' (or very few and extremely narrow aspects of What Is going on). :-(

  2. LOL, you would be happy in the Czech Republic, fitting among the folks of your age who also love to complain about politics and politicians of all flavors.

  3. Isn't Abbott a bit short for such a big country?
    We've just had two smallish presidents and... it's just not good for the country ;-)

  4. I liked Berlusconi's insisting on his not being a dwarf because he was taller than Sarkozy as well as Putin.

    If you really need tall leaders, you will have to swallow a moderate leftwinger and move to Czechia. Here's how we can bully Russia:

    Zeman is 192 cm tall. I've met him - his height really does look a bit excessive.

  5. Lol! The Slovak prime minister is a hot dog :-D... At least he had the decency of doing it in a BMW.

  6. Luboš,

    I always thought you are a believer in 'human ingenuity' and eternal progress. I see you cannot foresee a happy future without carbon dioxide.

    But it is OK - global cooling is here, as Mr. Nigel Farage would explain you, since arctic ice is growing again... :-)


  7. :)
    Grump guilty as charged.

  8. Coalition MP Dr Dennis Jensen, a vocal climate sceptic with a master's degree in physics and a PhD in material science wants to be science minister in Australia.

    Read more:

    Let's hope the climate change sceptic community can rally behind him and encourage Tony Abbott to give him the porfolio.

    A chance at real science in Australia again.

  9. I guess a happy future can only be with melting ice for you Alexander ? ;-)

  10. No Shannon, wrong again. For me happy future would be is people actually start to behave according to its name - i.e. Homo sapiens. That's not happening.

  11. A happy future without carbon dioxide? I wonder what your diet is like Alexander, since you obviously must hate vegetables and fruit.

  12. I think Canada's conservative prime minister Stephen Harper is about equal to Zemen in height.

  13. LOL, a self-confident and (according to degrees) competent man, and if he were elected, already the basic things he says about science and consensus would be worth it, although I don't know how good he would be at the rest of it. ;-) This would be the radical change of the vocabulary that's needed among similar officials.

  14. Alexander is a multi-vegetarian who doesn't eat meat or plant products. The food he eats isn't constructed from CO2 but from NH3 and H2S, nitrogen and sulfur replaces carbon. His food is deliciously aromatic.

  15. LOL, I must defend the pride of my nation here. Harper definitely is not. He is 188 cm tall.

    Those 4-5 cm make a difference.

  16. I was basing my information on this:

  17. Good or bad Homo sapiens?

  18. Dear Lucretius, your reference is perfectly compatible with my sources. It's from 2010 when Zeman was still just a pensioner in the countryside - he was elected in 2013.

    Your reference says Harper is 6 feet 3 inches which is 190.5 cm.

    Google shows Zeman's height for this simple query, at least here:

  19. Lucretius.

    If there were something like 100 000 000 people on this planet instead of 7 billion, climate change and virtually all environmental problems would be trivial non-issues.

    Funny thing is, that those same people who deny global population problem (there can be 50 blns of us and happy - read e.g. Luboš's blog) also deny most of environmental problems.

    It is NOT me who is ignoring problems we have created on this once lovely planet.

    I love meat - therefore I see our numbers as a problem. People have to eat.


  20. The reason why I deny all such problems is that such problems don't exist.

    When the world population reaches 100 billion and if people will produce the same CO2 per capita as today, the CO2 concentration will converge towards some stable value about 1,000-2,000 ppm and it will still be a non-problem. Direct health impact of this concentration of CO2 is still "harmless", it's better for plants, and due to the logarithmic dependence of the greenhouse effect on the concentration, the warming from such a value will be something like 1.5 deg C instead of the current 0.7 deg C from the man-made CO2 addition - still a completely negligible amount.

    I have already offered lots of calculations showing that 100 billion people may be fed just with foreseeable improvements in the agricultural technologies - 20 billion is possible without any progress whatsoever.

    When you eat meat, you are being hypocritical because the cattle produces CO2 and grew its muscles from eating plants which grew out of CO2. You should despise all these things and starve to death; there is no other ethical food option for you, Alexander.

  21. So there are 6.9 billion people too many on this planet. How do you propose to get rid of the surplus, Alex?

  22. So how tall are his daughters?


    I lurve tall women ;)

  23. To the dissenter Alexander Ac I would say do not worry too much about the climate change and the population explosion. There is usually nothing that can be done about these things until it is too late. Sooner or later the apocalypse and cold fusion amongst other weird things will turn up so relax the future is not necessarily what you might think. Eat whatever you think is okay but don't get too fat.

  24. Luboš, I still believe you are intelligent and moreover o physicist. If so, read e.g. this piece from your colleague, a physicist Tom Murphy:

  25. LOL. Not sure but Zeman's daughter Katerina has moderate numbers

    Age: 24 years, 92-66-92 cm. height: 165 cm, weight: 54 kg. dress: 34, shoes: 37. ;-)

  26. Interesting chap - and a proof that when it comes to other questions, physicists are as diverse people as other groups of people and include even lunatics who want to eliminate 98% of mankind.

  27. Interesting thoughts, Tom. "Any publicity is good publicity" may work at many places but I don't see how that could be relevant for battles between 2 established parties in a stabilized country.

    My point is that the boss of the Labor Party is guaranteed to be known to the populace even if she doesn't try. So to stay in politics, the only goal seems to be to increase the percentage of those who like you among those who know you (which is almost everyone).

    One may become media's ally - a propaganda machine's friend - but she's stupid if she doesn't realize that the elections are finally not decided by what is written in the media but what the voters think. It may sometimes be pushed in the direction that the media want and this correlation may be there but the correlation is far from perfect and in many cases, there are much more robust ways to predict what the people will choose.

  28. The listen now was nice and funny.

    Preview was useless and often rend4ered nothing but a blank page or soomething like that.

  29. Ha ha, what a great photograph. 'course, Alex is nothing like those Evangelicals preaching that "the end is nigh". His mission is not to save lost souls, it's to take as many people down with him as he can as he drowns in his malaise.

    Hence I approve of the beatings administered to Alex and propose they be made a regular feature.

    Time for some Leonard Cohen.

  30. "Needless to say, this mud is correlated with the gradual evaporation of democracy at the EU level." — Luboš

    Christ! Luboš, for a chap with your phenomenal mental power that one's a real corker!

    So, please just let me hold your hand and take you through this very, very slowly, one small step at a time in my best kiddy-friendly manner but without in any way patronising you. :)

    STEP 1. The EU has NEVER had a basis in democracy. [Proof: ∄ an EU demos. ⟩ :)]

    STEP 2. It is worse than that though — it was intentionally DESIGNED to be anti-democratic.

    STEP 3. The only way "democracy at the EU level" could gradually evaporate is if the anti-democratic basis became even more anti-democratic.

    OH WAIT! I see what you mean now. Starting with a huge democratic deficit, the deficit is gradually increasing and the thing is becoming even more totalitarian. Yep, I go along with that.

    My mistake. Profuse apologies for misunderstanding you. :)

    I did misunderstand you, didn't I? ;) :)

    On a separate matter, notice how that squeaky-voiced greasy little maoist runtard, barroso, now claims it's "99% of scientists" who believe in shit-for-brains CAGW, not just klimate 'scientists', and given that the eco-fanatics have only ever claimed it is 97% of the latter who are in favour of their settled CAGW alarmism that means an even more unbelievable number of scientists in general have recently been converted to their cause. The lying skunk.

    Incidentally, Nigel Farage is always great entertainment value but he is not serious about getting us out of the EU since not only has he has no coherent plan as to how to set about it, he is actively against the only sensible route for exit, namely by invoking Article 50 of the EU Constitution (now called the "Lisbon Treaty", the constitution in all but name, following the original draft's rejection by various participating countries but one that allowed the conniving politicos to force exactly the same thing through under a different guise against the expressed wishes of the peoples by applying a light legalistic cosmetic — the UK Quislings happily went along with the charade, natch).

    I take a balanced view of the way we should proceed in this matter. The EU is a nation-destroying cancer, and as such it needs to be eradicated. I'm no longer fussy about how that's to be done. Indeed, as matter of good taste and with a decent disrespect for civil society™ [AAAARRRGGHH!] I certainly wouldn't get in his way if some kind soul unleashed Anders Behring Breivik on them. So, with luck happy days to come. May the EU scum and their fellow travellers long endure long excruciating pain* in retribution for the crimes they have committed against the nations of Europe and then for good measure burn in Hell for eternity. Fcuk the EU. End it now.

    Pax vobiscum. Proceed with my blessing. †

    * For the benefit of Murcans among yous: yes, that does mean plenty of "cruel and unusual". Sometimes the old ways are best. I would like to see Bliar, in particular, hanged, drawn and quartered, and then blood-eagled, with his head hacked off and stuck on a spike at Traitors' Gate until it rots.

  31. Sorry for the misleading formulation. I meant that democracy was disappearing on the European continent because of the gradual drift of power from the nations to the EU level.

  32. Excellent comprehension. Go to the top of the class!

    Oh, I see your already there, and have been for a long time. OK then...

    Erm ... I'm stuck ...

    Fortunately I just heard a knock at the door. Gotta dash. :)

  33. Of course overpopulation is the root of most of environmental chalenges and every man with at least three brain cell must see it. But I see no point discussing it on this blog where most readers have a specific "right-wing" ideological mindset focused on denial of everything they perceive as "left-wing" propaganda. I will not change their opions and they will not change mine so no point arguing

    Here is an extrapolation of world population growth

    Some resources are finite, environments have a certain carrying capacity - there are already some real problems - fresh water crisis, energy crisis, collapse of some ecosystems, extinction of species, pollution, deforestation, soil erosion (to every problem I could give references). I do not see these problems as apocalyptic (as presented in the straw man by lucretius) but the problems are there nonetheless. I see no easy solution. The growth cannot be stopped.

    I really like this visually beautiful movie about the global influence of homo sapiens on the planet

  34. Overpopulation where? In the Czech Republic (2012 population growth 0.2%)? In Poland (0%). In Japan (-0.2%)? China (0.5%) Where?

    In fact, a moderately well informed person should know that the main problems of the world today and the gravest dangers for the future of western civilisation (the only one I really care about) are exactly the opposite of the ones you mention: declining and ageing population, expanding social entitlements, declining creativity and IQ (that goes with ageing), expanding government budget deficits, broken pension systems, and growing immigration from unassimilable cultures.

    However, these are the kind of topics that can only be usefully discussed with people who have a certain minimum level of knowledge (beyond garbage found on the Internet) and sufficient intelligence. With practically every post of yours on every topic you demonstrate that you do satisfy any of these conditions.

    You can take this to mean that this is my last response to a post of yours.

  35. Lucretius, you really seem like a clever and educated person, but you lack something what I would call wisdom. You also react a little childish sometimes. (like your compulsion to comment that you write your last response to me, haha - like some teenager). Based on your comments here and my assessment of your personality based on your comments, I believe I could tell you why but I will not give you a mirror if you haven't asked for it since I have no intention playing some silly ego game with you (measure who can pee the farthest).

    Long ago, I noticed that there are 2 kinds of fundamentally different mentalities in the world. You can call them left-wing/right-wing. These two mentalities clash on many different issues and among others also in ecology - here the two mentalities are called cornucopians/malthusians
    There are extremes on both sides - on one side they are complete optimists denying any problems, on the other side are hardcore greens. I am leaning more to malhusians but do not share the extreme positions. Classical intelligence and education have nothing to do with it, it is some other personality or temperament trait. Einstein was obviously the left-wing, John von Neumann was the right-wing. Both were geniuses but with fundamentally different and incompatible world-views. I am much closer to Einstein than to von Neumann. Your kind considers people like me left-wing intellectuals who do not understand the world. My kind considers your kind to miss some fundamental emotions needed to relate properly to the world and to nature and hence you develop a little paranoid and emotionally cold worldview. So we really have nothing to say to each other. The problems you describe are real but there is no place to discuss it here and as I said, you need to wisdom to grasp them in the proper context

  36. Tony Abbott is actually about 180cm tall. The photo here is misleading -- his daughters are extremely tall women.

  37. Luboš, I can vouch for your assessment of the role the carbon tax played in the Australian election outcome. Australians never wanted a carbon tax. The carbon tax was introduced by Julia Gillard after explicitly declaring to the Australian people with now-infamous words during the 2010 federal election campaign that “there will be no carbon tax under a government I lead”. Ms. Gillard subsequently broke this promise to the Australian people when she made a dirty deal with the marginal left-wing Greens Party in order to form a minority government. It was surely one of the biggest subversions of the democratic process in Australian political history, and this was reflected in diabolical opinion polls which remained right up until she was forcibly removed by her own party.
    Understandably, I am delighted with this cathartic election outcome and with the sound judgement exercised by my fellow Australians. However, despite Tony Abbott’s clear mandate to repeal the carbon tax, the opposition Labor Party has declared it will fight his intention to do so. A shameful act indicative of a warped modus operandi that hopefully will ensure the Labor Party remains in opposition for the foreseeable future.

    Thankfully, the Labor Party defeat was so comprehensive that Abbot should have no problems passing his legislation through the senate to take effect on July 1 2014. We will finally be rid of this ill-begotten tax and Australia will once again be open for business.

  38. Whatever the truth is about his height he still looks like garden gnome.