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Carbon tax nonsense

By Jennifer Marohasy - posted Friday, 6 May 2011


Growing up in Brisbane thirty years ago I attended People for Nuclear Disarmament rallies and was part of the protest when Joh Bjelke-Petersen was awarded an honorary doctorate. This Saturday I will be returning to Brisbane to be a part of the No Carbon Tax Rally.

Politics is very different now. Some of my old Moreton Island Protection Committee friends have gone on to successful careers within the environment movement where it is now possible to have a well-paid and respectable job for life.

They have become part of the establishment, while the No Carbon Tax Rally will be attended by what the same establishment increasingly and unfairly label "misfits and oddballs".

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It is certainly unfashionable to be a global warming sceptic but that doesn't make it wrong. Indeed while global warming may now be considered the great moral issue of our time, in another thirty years the current obsession with carbon dioxide may be recognised as misguided.

During the recent protracted drought when Wivenhoe Dam was at 17 per cent capacity and falling, Tim Flannery wrote in New Scientist that because of global warming the dams would never fill again - not even when it rained. I can understand why governments concerned by such advice tried to introduce an emissions trading scheme.

But since, the drought has broken, and the dams have filled – in the case of Wivenhoe to overflowing.

But instead of reassessing the evidence, the Prime Minister Julia Gillard, has appointed Professor Flannery, the very man who claimed the drought would last forever, to head up a new Climate Commission.

Reminiscent of the Joh Bjelke-Petersen days, governments are again treating the Australian public as fools. The ideology is still extreme and based on nonsense – just different.

We live in a land of drought or flooding rains and so governments need to take natural climate cycles seriously and to recognise that the bigger our cities, the greater the risk of running out of water or being washed away – unless we plan appropriately.

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Banning certain categories of light-bulb, or even introducing a carbon tax, is not going to return the Australian climate to some sort of benevolent natural state.

So I am travelling to Brisbane to be a part of the No Carbon Tax Rally on Saturday.

It is my opportunity to very publically show my concern for current government climate policy.

I would like government to stop treating climate as a slogan and cast around a little wider for advice including by listening to the many well qualified meteorologists, hydrologists and paleoclimatologists whose more accurate forecasts have so far been ignored – because they don't believe carbon dioxide is a major driver of climate change.

The proposed tax will not stop climate change and the way it is currently being formulated it will not even reduce carbon dioxide emissions. See you at the rally!

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This article was first published in The Courier Mail on May 5, 2011.



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About the Author

Jennifer Marohasy is a senior fellow with the Institute for Public Affairs.

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