A tax will HURT future generations

They claim to be doing it for future generations. This tax is going to stop our evil emissions to save our climate so future generations will have a planet to live in. It is all about intergenerational equity. This is a dud term for one, it does not exist. Each generation has had it better than the last as our country has grown. However, this may change as the government puts our economy on a tight leash.

We are taught in school how the world is going to hell, man is to blame and how our politicians must tax us to preserve the world for when we are in charge. “We are doing this for you”, they tell us. They will thwart rising sea levels, mighty natural disasters and mass extinctions. However, the real risk to future generations is this carbon dioxide tax.

As a member of generation Y, I want to share in the same economic prosperity that our country has had since the gold rushes in the 1850s (a slight glitch during the depression). Yet, the leaders of today are trying to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, which is tied into economic growth. Apart from nuclear, this is the only effective way to produce energy and hence to power our economy. Weaning us off fossil fuels will restrain our development.

This is the future these incompetents in Canberra are taking us towards. This is what faces my generation and those that will follow (not to mention the immediate effects for all Australians). Give us an election Julia, do it for future generations.

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About Climate Nonconformist

Hi, I'm the climatenonconformist (not my real name), and I am a global warming skeptic, among the few in generation Y. With Australia facing the prospect of a carbon tax, we need to be asking the simple question; where is the evidence that our emissions are causing any dangerous warming?
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12 Responses to A tax will HURT future generations

  1. Scott says:

    Thumbs up mate! Looking at the mind numbing indoctrination you had to negotiate growing up, I am truly impressed (and hopeful). It’s nice to know mankind isn’t regressing. Keep it up.

  2. Pooshman says:

    Carbon emissions are indeed “tied into economic growth.” This is fairly self-evident; as businesses grow, they require more energy, meaning more coal is burned to supply it. To say that this and nuclear power are the only effective ways of producing energy is a bit sketchy. I would’ve liked to see a hyperlink or two in that sentence to back up such a zealous claim. Certainly coal is currently cheaper, but this is largely due to existing infrastructure; and nuclear, though effective, carries a significant risk, as Fukushima and Chernobyl show.
    The carbon tax will redirect funds that would otherwise reinforce the coal-burning status quo towards developing the infrastructure needed to implement cleaner, effective renewables (here’s an interesting article on the efficacy of solar power – http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michael-graham-richard/can-we-power-the-whole-wo_b_104355.html). Besides which, the number of business being taxed is quite conservative in itself; the government cut its target by half, and excluded a wide range of high-emission businesses, specifically to avoid the supposed economic decline you talk about.
    “Weaning us off fossil fuels” will allow us to stave off said decline by retaining coal power until we’re able to make the switch to renewables without causing excessive damage. I hope you reconsider your stance on the issue from an economic perspective, if not from a scientific one. (I’ll leave you with another link – http://www.skepticalscience.com/10-indicators-of-a-human-fingerprint-on-climate-change.html – to help with the science issue.)

    • Climate Nonconformist says:

      I didn’t say fossil fuels and nuclear are the only effective ways to produce energy. With the technology we currently have at our disposal, they are the only way to produce a base load. While there are risks assocciated with nuclear, they can be managed effectively. Given no deaths resulted from Fukushima, it is clear that the scare campaign that accompanied it was unwarranted and unneccessarily alarmist.

      You provide a link to a skeptical science post, which points out ten indicators of a human fingerprint. Four of these only prove that we are burning fossil fuels and adding carbon dioxide to the air (less oxyegen, increased carbon in corals, increased atmospheric CO2 and our CO2 emissions). This proves nothing with regards to the climate. Stratospheric cooling is not the sole signature of greenhouse warming, and given it stopped a decade ago (http://www.friendsofscience.org/assets/documents/FOS%20Essay/Climate_Change_Science.html#Stratosphere), it is more likely that ozone depletion caused this(the Montreal protocol was implemented around this time). Increased night time temperatures, again, are not the sole signature of greenhouse warming and urban development is a more likely candidate for this. Few skeptics dispute that we are adding to the greenhouse effect, so we would expect less IR radiation escaping to space and hence more re-radiated back to earth. The question is how this relates to temperature. The Harries paper is critiqued here (http://www.john-daly.com/smoking.htm). I won’t deal with the other two indicators because what is more important is the full signature.

      If it was greenhouse warming, we would expect the upper troposphere to warm 2-3 times as fast as the surface and it wil be more pronounced in the tropics. This ‘hotspot’ is not there. You can cherry-pick as many indicators of human influence as you want, but you cannot ignore the missing hotspot. Without the full signature, we cannot blame the observed warming on CO2. (http://sciencespeak.com/MissingSignature.pdf)

      • Pooshman says:

        “Apart from nuclear, [fossil fuels are] the only effective way to produce energy and hence to power our economy.” A bit of a misleading sentence, though I now know your meaning. “They are the only way to produce a base load.” Yes… at the moment. “Weaning us off” fossil fuels works in terms of limiting economic damage AND electrical supply loss. Here’s an interesting article as to why nuclear power isn’t as good as you might think it is, for economic and environmental reasons. http://scitizen.com/future-energies/what-s-really-wrong-with-nuclear-power-_a-14-1256.html Also note that however little solar power we have at the moment, it’s more than the nuclear power we have, ie. none. (And while Fukushima didn’t directly kill anyone, you may have noticed its effects on Japanese exports and tourism aren’t exactly positive.)

        And now the fun bit. ;D Your link regarding stratospheric cooling is very interesting. Though cooling does appear to have ceased, stratospheric temperatures are still up to 0.6°C below average. Not to mention, atmospheric layers above the stratosphere seem to be cooling too. http://www.wunderground.com/resources/climate/strato_cooling.asp If these effects are negligible as you imply, well – “stratospheric cooling is not the sole signature of greenhouse warming” – a double-edged sword of a statement, that is!

        “Urban development is a more likely candidate” for diurnal temperature increases. This paper – http://www.met.sjsu.edu/~wittaya/journals/diurnalTempRange.pdf – says the point is somewhat moot; whereas this one – http://www.knmi.nl/publications/fulltexts/2005jd0062903.pdf – excluded “stations that were likely to be affected by urbanization … although recent studies show that urbanization effects have had little effect on large-scale temperature trends.” Both papers found evidence for diurnal temperature increases.

        Unfortunately for me, I have to pay to see the original Harries paper, so I’m stuck with the evidence mentioned in this critique. The error in the Figure 3 is regrettable, but focusing on Figure 1 (the “main event,” you could say), I am disappointed by Mr Daly’s lack of, well, science. He talks about the difference in CO2 emissions without mentioning exact numbers, only using vague blanket terms, doesn’t translate “brightness temperature” into more, well, understandable terms, and outright fails to mention the effects of the differences found. This article – http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/society-and-culture/you-are-just-plain-wrong-about-climate-change-mr-jones-20110601-1ffhd.html – demonstrates how small amounts of CO2 can have huge effects. I’d appreciate it if Mr Daly read it.

        As for tropospheric cooling – we seem to have found conflicting evidence for this. I’ll direct your attention to this page – http://www.skepticalscience.com/satellite-measurements-warming-troposphere-intermediate.htm – about how compensation for errors in previous data have indicated tropospheric cooling, and another report demonstrating tropospheric height and temperature changes – http://www.math.nyu.edu/~gerber/pages/documents/santer_etal-science-2003.pdf. You claim “the full signature” is all that matters. The “full signature” is a composite of all the smaller signatures, which I believe are shown to exist by a significant body of evidence.

        … and here was I, preparing for an economic argument. ;D

      • Climate Nonconformist says:

        My views on nuclear are that they should be looked at as an option, not that they are god’s gift to humanity. I may have given this impression. There exists a nuclear-phobia that doesn’t really help the issue. It is interesting that you pin declines in Japanese tourism and exports to Fukushima. They also suffered an earthquake and a tsunami.

        I should rephrase my statement about stratospheric cooling. It represents only a part signature, not a different signature altogether, as I may have implied before.

        My point about night time temperatures is that they can’t be pinned specifically on carbon dioxide. Just about any non-solar warming will show this effect.

        I also have to pay to see the original Harries paper. I am not sure if you are aware, but Dr Daly is deseased (a fact Phil Jones found “cheering”). [http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/images/stories/papers/reprint/climategate_analysis.pdf]. The article you link to is exactly what I would expect from a fairfax publication, a smear piece on skeptics. The use of the term “denier” demonstrates this. I do hope that you do not approve of the term. While I agree that Alan Jones is overly simplistic on global warming and frequently emphasises weak points, that doesn’t delegitimise global warming skepticism in general. That is why the term “shock jock” is apt in his case. He does over emphasise the trace amounts of CO2 in the atmosphere and the 3% produced by humans (I accept that nature “deals with” nature’s 97% and hence that we are causing the post-industrial rise).

        We can argue the toss about the satelitte trends since 1979. There is an overall warming trend. The point is that it is no where near what the model have predicted, particularly in the last decade. The recent attempt by Kaufmann [http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/07/04/a-peer-reviewed-admission-that-global-surface-temperatures-did-not-rise-dr-david-whitehouse-on-the-pnas-paper-kaufmann-et-al-2011/] to explain this away with aerosols, demonstrates, in my opinion, the panic in the warmist community over this point.

        You argue that smaller signatures/part signatures confirm an anthropogenic influence. Yet, you do not mention the missing hotspot. Without it, the primary feedback which is used to determine high climate sensitivity by the IPCC (humidity), cannot exist.

      • Pooshman says:

        I didn’t get the impression you excessively loved nuclear energy, don’t worry. However, please don’t say I pinned Japan’s economic decline to Fukushima. I said “its effects … aren’t exactly positive.” I’m well aware there was an earthquake and tsunami, and that they weren’t boons to the economy. There wouldn’t have been Fukushima without them.

        My point exactly. Neither of us can win here: either you disprove stratospheric warming, and I say it’s only one part of a bigger picture; or I prove it, and you say its significance is minute.

        “If an increased greenhouse effect is causing global warming … the planet should warm faster at night than during the day.” Which we’re observing. You can argue that greenhouse gases aren’t the cause, but it is still symptomatic of climate change.

        Don’t worry, I know you’re not Alan Jones. To insinuate that you were was not my intention. I only linked you to that article for the science. As for the term ‘denier’ – I imagine you find it about as offensive as I find the condescending epithet ‘warmist.’

        It’s interesting that you dismiss a reasonable scientific hypothesis for the declining warming trend as “alarmist.” I would note, though, that the ‘hiatus from warming’ seems to be somewhat exaggerated in the first place. http://www.skepticalscience.com/global-warming-stopped-in-1998-intermediate.htm I’m not sure what model you refer to when you say that the earth isn’t warming to the predicted level, so I went and found some that look pretty good to me. http://www.skepticalscience.com/climate-models-intermediate.htm (I quite like Skeptical Science, can you tell? ;D)

        I’m sorry, but if by “missing hotspot,” you mean the troposphere, I provided two informative links about it.

      • Climate Nonconformist says:

        I am not sure how you derive offence from ‘warmist’. I use it only as a descriptive term. Nethertheless, if you have a problem with it, I will refrain from using it in future discussions.

        The Kaufmann paper is critiqued here. [http://judithcurry.com/2011/07/04/an-explanation-for-lack-of-warming-since-1998/]

        On climate models, they are tools to learn about the climate and shouldn’t be used for policy advise. The following is from Lord Monckton’s 2008 paper (I realise I may have opened a can of worms): [http://www.aps.org/units/fps/newsletters/200807/monckton.cfm]

        “The models heavily relied upon by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) had not projected this multidecadal stasis in “global warming”; nor (until trained ex post facto) the fall in TS from 1940-1975; nor 50 years’ cooling in Antarctica (Doran et al., 2002) and the Arctic (Soon, 2005); nor the absence of ocean warming since 2003 (Lyman et al., 2006; Gouretski&Koltermann, 2007); nor the onset, duration, or intensity of the Madden-Julian intraseasonal oscillation, the Quasi-Biennial Oscillation in the tropical stratosphere, El Nino/La Nina oscillations, the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation, or the Pacific Decadal Oscillation that has recently transited from its warming to its cooling phase (oceanic oscillations which, on their own, may account for all of the observed warmings and coolings over the past half-century: Tsoniset al., 2007); nor the magnitude nor duration of multi-century events such as the Mediaeval Warm Period or the Little Ice Age…”

        The statement about not being able to reproduce 20th century warming without CO2 is based on the exclusion principle [http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/06/08/alarmist-climate-science-and-the-principle-of-exclusion/] which is inappropriate for something as complicated as the climate.

        Yes, I can tell you like skeptical science. So does Lubos Motl. [http://www.australianclimatemadness.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/lubos_motl_skeptical_science.pdf]

        The hotspot doesn’t refer to tropospheric warming, but an increased rate with altitude (caused by the water vapour feedback), which isn’t observed in the climate.[http://icecap.us/images/uploads/DOUGLASPAPER.pdf]

      • Pooshman says:

        The critique of the Kaufmann paper is interesting. I disagreed with some aspects, but I don’t know how much I can keep talking about this particular paper without doing my own scientific analyses of the data… and believe me, I’m certainly not qualified to do that!

        I’ve come quite late to the Lord Monckton party, but I get the gist of it; as a leftie, I’m supposed to hate him, he’s not even a scientist, yada yada. I’ll reserve comment in that area, but direct your attention to some refutations of his refutations. http://www.stthomas.edu/engineering/jpabraham/ I’m not sure this covers everything from the quote you gave – for instance, the Madden-Julian intraseasonal oscillation (whatever that may be!) – but overall, I find it’s well-researched. As for using models for policy advice: would you recommend that economists stop using models before giving economic advice? And even if you doubt the accuracy of “the models,” surely acting to prevent a worst-case scenario is a good course of action…? (In the case of the carbon tax, I think yes; it’s not only environmentally good – though not to the degree I’d hoped – but economically sound by moving us towards renewable energy sources, cf. Orion’s post.)

        To say that CO2’s influence on the climate is based on the exclusion principle seems to me to be a somewhat specious claim. The article you linked me to makes its fair share of those. It jumps to the conclusion that the IPCC has “no empirical proof [of AGW]” based on a completely unrelated statement. It points out that there may be alternate explanations for climate change that we just don’t know about, but how vague is that? There may be alternate explanations for gravity, or evolution, or fluid mechanics, that we “still don’t know about or enough about.” As it stands, (I believe) we have a large enough body of evidence to support AGW – not just by excluding other things (although that is often a good crutch). At the very least, AGW is a possibility; and Orion’s point about the consequences of climate action, even if AGW isn’t true, stands.

        The counter-arguments against Sceptical Science are astoundingly comprehensive! I’m certainly not going to try to defend over 100 points. Having a look through, I agree with some, disagree with others, feel moot on more… I’ve noticed SS sometimes exaggerates its claims, but I think it does a good job linking its articles to peer-reviewed papers for you and I to look at.

        Again, I (somewhat ashamedly) admit that I am not a scientist, and this hotspot discussion is getting fairly intense. I’m going to bite the bullet and link you to another Skeptical Science article (but one that is less zealous than others) – http://www.skepticalscience.com/tropospheric-hot-spot-intermediate.htm – which claims that the hot spot is seen in short-term measurements, but not in the long-term. This is far from the “howzat” I was hoping for! But of note is the comment that “finding the hot spot doesn’t prove that humans are causing global warming.” One can tentatively claim on this basis that NOT finding the hot spot doesn’t disprove AGW. At the very least, I think we’re approaching another impasse.

      • Climate Nonconformist says:

        I have no idea what the Madden-Julian intraseasonal oscillation is either. I pulled out that quote to illustrate the limitations of models when it comes to hindcasting. The point over the little ice age and medieval warm period was more important.

        On renewables, I think the cost is too great at the moment. I think the best course of action is to fund research into increasing their efficiency and improving the cost, before going for large-scale implementation.

        You claim that the WUWT post assumes that the IPCC have no empirical evidence of AGW. I’m interested in what empirical evidence you think they have.

        On the hot spot, that is a tentative claim indeed. While a hotspot doesn’t neccessarily point to a human influence, a lack of it can suggest the opposite. Just as correlation doesn’t neccessarily imply causation, and a lack of correlation rules out causation. The claims over short-term appearances are interesting. This may mean that the hotspot is weak and nothing hence nothing to be concerned about.

  3. Orion says:

    “It is all about intergenerational equity. This is a dud term for one, it does not exist. Each generation has had it better than the last as our country has grown.”

    Duh, because each generation has tried to improve living standards in preparation for the next. We now see a new threat to our living standards. We act, not as forcefully or as soon as we should have. But act nonetheless.

    “…and how our politicians must tax us to preserve the world for when we are in charge.”

    This is patently ridiculous. No media or educational material that children or school aged teenagers are exposed to in school or popular culture extols the virtue of higher taxes or puts in a good word about politicians. In fact High school economics actually teaches an anti-tax position if anything. I don’t remember a carbon tax or any tax being advocated in Geography. And popular culture does nothing but dump on politicians and taxes whenever the subject is raised.

    “They will thwart rising sea levels, mighty natural disasters and mass extinctions.”

    Thwart? No. It’s too late for that now. Mitigate is the word tossed around nowadays. Pollies who say it can be stopped are engaging in wishful thinking or talking of targets far beyond political reality.

    ” However, the real risk to future generations is this carbon dioxide tax.”

    Oh yes. This brutal, carbon tax that could see some families paying a pittance in extra costs before compensation. A tax that no business is compelled to pass on (I mean f*** competition right? Who would keep their prices low to attract consumers? Also they can always cut costs by *gasp* Reducing emissions!). A tax that basically amounted to f*** all aside from a first step towards weaning Australia off of it’s coal dependency.
    http://www.smh.com.au/business/the-carbon-tax-sideshow-20110719-1hmpk.html
    ^ Sound investment advice about the carbon tax.
    “OZ estimates the impact at $7-$10 million a year. That would represent as much as 1.7 per cent of last year’s profit of $586 million (calendar 2010).”
    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/business/oz-minerals-spells-out-how-carbon-tax-will-cause-pain-20110719-1hn33.html#ixzz1SqfsjaUl
    ^ OH MY! 1.7% HOW WILL THEY MANAGE!?

    You need to calm your nips. This is a minor tax reshuffle. Life will go on. You’ll notice a lack of economic collapse following the GST’s implementation.

    http://www.google.com/publicdata/explore?ds=d5bncppjof8f9_&met_y=ny_gdp_mktp_kd_zg&idim=country:AUS&dl=en&hl=en&q=australian+gdp+growth+graph#ctype=l&strail=false&nselm=h&met_y=ny_gdp_mktp_kd_zg&scale_y=lin&ind_y=false&rdim=country&idim=country:AUS:USA:JPN&tstart=553960800000&tend=1279807200000&hl=en&dl=en
    ^Sorry bout the big link. Anyway, you can see that the GST was implemented in 2000 and after that point our growth actually improved relative to the USA and Japan (our two biggest trading partners at the time) and (given the 2001 recession) the improvement in tax receipts left us in a better fiscal position.

    “As a member of generation Y, I want to share in the same economic prosperity that our country has had since the gold rushes in the 1850s (a slight glitch during the depression).”

    So you want some inter-generational equity? Anyway, prosperity=/=growth, not necessarily. You can have a lot more growth by using cheap s*** like coal that does a lot of damage because you save money in the short run, but then you get more growth because the time and labour spent cleaning it up adds to GDP as well! Yay! And that way all those coal workers can keep their jobs, wouldn’t want anyone losing their job, (what’s that? Structural unemployment? Never).

    You want prosperity? Well this carbon tax sure ain’t going to stop you. It’s a mild measure on carbon and will probably improve our economy by shifting some income downward from large polluters to low and middle income earners who will likely spend the money on something more productive than a new coal-fire power station (like consumer goods, seeing how retail demand really needs to pick up lately, weak consumer demand is the fastest way back to recession) and they’ll be more likely to spend it due to a higher marginal propensity to consume. Creating jobs and whatnot.

    “Weaning us off fossil fuels will restrain our development.”

    Oh and protip. Ever heard of Dutch Disease? It’s where a country leans way too hard on a resources boom, the resources boom drives up interest rates and exchange rates (ahem) and begins to crowd out other manufacturing exports, industries and sources of employment in a nation (ahem). It happened to us in the Gold Rush, it’s happening now with the resources boom. Coal is only a short term high for us, a shift to a low carbon economy is to prepare for future development.

    It’s true that the shift may cost us. But not acting will cost us much more in the economic long run. Doubly so if you believe even half of the economic effects of climate change estimated by the UN.

    It’s like a business I guess, when you can see obsolescence over the horizon, you gotta prepare. Change your business, upgrade, throw out the old, even though it’s still viable at the moment. Because you want to be ahead of the game while you’re still selling what you got. Not catching up when no one will buy your outdated fossils (pun!).

    “This is the future these incompetents in Canberra are taking us towards.”

    I wouldn’t call them incompetent. You ever get to talk to any? They’re pretty sharp. Go talk to your local MP about your concerns sometime. They can surprise you with their insight.

    “This is what faces my generation and those that will follow (not to mention the immediate effects for all Australians). Give us an election Julia, do it for future generations.”

    Yes election now! Before everyone realises the carbon tax is no big deal to them and actually benefits them!

    Note: I avoid the science. I don’t presume myself qualified to argue it. Also I find it pretty hard to question broad scientific consensus to a level of reasonable doubt that would restrain the economic necessity of action. I mean if we’re wrong and act then we lost a couple growth points and transitioned to a sustainable energy economy. If we’re right and do nothing then we face severe GDP damage and the necessity of mass migration as desert and tundras grow and recede respectively.

    • Climate Nonconformist says:

      I don’t doubt our politicians are intelligent. There are different forms of incompetence, such as being a weak leader.

      So you don’t think people have a right to vote on something as important as this. We were clearly mislead before the last election. You mentioned the GST. Well, John Howard did give us this right.

      I don’t presume myself an expert on the science either, but I have developed an interest in it and have sought to improve my knowledge. While ultimately, the debate will be settled by scientists, I don’t see how myself and other laymen should be barred from discussing the science.

      You say you find it hard to question scientific consensus. How about evaluating the evidence on both sides? If the government were to include skeptics in the climate commission instead of ignoring them, we could evaluate this evidence and use that to inform our policy decisons. The precautionary principle is not scientific and serves only to advocate ignorance.

  4. Pingback: Can we vote on this tax at some point? | Climate Nonconformist

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