When Julia Gillard or other carbon tax advocates are asked the question; ‘how much warming will it forestall by 20xx?’, you can’t get a straight answer. It will be dismissed as the “Andrew Bolt question”, or as irrelevant because all countries have to play their part (even though most aren’t). But it is one of the most important question that can be asked of any policy decision, ‘what are the benefits?’ The benefits can be measured in two ways; in the carbon dioxide emissions prevented, or the warming prevented. When it comes to the advantages as far as temperature goes, Gillard will ignore this issue, but when it comes to absolute emissions reductions, she is only too happy to explain the benefits. She talks of the 160 million tonnes which won’t be emitted, the equivalent of 45 million cars. It sounds impressive but relative to the rest of the world, is insignificant (5% of our 1.5% contribution to global emissions).
Why does Gillard discuss the benefits of a carbon tax in emissions reductions rather than temperature forestalled, regarding this point as unimportant? The answer of course is obvious, the values we’re talking about are immeasurable.