Speech to the Senate
Carbon Farming Initiative Bill
Parliament House, Canberra
31 October, 2014
Bob Day AO
Senator for South Australia
Thank you Mr President.
This year the world will enjoy its greatest grain crop on record. Let me say that again. This year the world will enjoy its greatest grain crop on record. After the world food security crisis of 2007 which saw civil unrest in some countries, it is fantastic to see that in just 7 years we are producing record amounts of food for a growing world population. The US Department of Agriculture recently raised global crop predictions for corn, soy and wheat. Yet the World Bank indicates that over the last 10 reporting years, the percentage of agricultural land worldwide has not changed.
So what is driving this world food production boom?
Mr President, plants are thriving on the extra carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. A recent study showed that climate modellers over-estimated the amount of carbon dioxide that would remain in the atmosphere. Lo and behold, they have now discovered that plants are soaking up the additional carbon dioxide and growing more vigorously. Plants and trees and crops will absorb 130 billion tonnes more carbon dioxide this century than expected. It’s called the ‘carbon dioxide fertilisation effect’. This is not just a benefit to food crops- it is a boon to native vegetation, from the ancient forests to desert scrub that environmental activists have been trying to preserve for decades. Then there is the latest science on how the oceans are absorbing carbon dioxide with plankton growing faster than previously thought.
So why is this Government spending billions of dollars to reduce this airborne saviour of vegetation and food crops?
I am stunned by the number of politicians who are either ignorant or wilfully misleading the public on this topic. A whole political industry has developed around new arcane language to describe what we have known for centuries about producing food and improving our environment. A whole false economy has developed, fuelled by taxpayer funding through an Emissions Reduction Fund, An Emissions Trading Scheme, Renewable Energy Targets, The Renewable Energy Agency, The Climate Change Authority, Climate Change Departments and more. This Bill seeks to subsidise activities because they have so-called ‘co-benefits’ – well, if there are benefits in activities that also arguably help the environment, people should be doing them anyway without massive taxpayer subsidies – just as landfill operators have been doing – and I commend them for doing so over the years – in capturing gas emissions from landfills, until the rent seeking, carpet-bagging, bootlegging crony capitalists jumped on the climate change bandwagon to suck money from the taxpayer.
With the carbon tax, families felt and could clearly see for the first time the direct impact on their personal budgets from spending money to reduce carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. This Emissions Reduction Fund is no different, but by sleight of hand people will be less able to see how their taxes will need to stay higher than they should be in order to pay for this scheme.
Taking money from low-income families and spending it on dodgy activities with a spurious scientific basis punishes the poor, rewards the rent-seekers and churns money in taxes, grants and rebates.
Mr President, Australia can not afford this Emissions Reduction Fund during what the Government has told us is a budget emergency.
While many families struggle with the cost of living, while mums and dads struggle to find jobs to make ends meet, the Government spends their money appeasing high-income elites enthralled by this latest cause and championed by celebrities, self-promoting ‘experts’ and certain elements of the media.
Rent-seekers like wind tower companies and solar panel manufacturers get paid handsomely and advocates in the climate change industry are living very nicely off the system flying around in private jets irrespective of whether these schemes improve the environment or human living conditions.
$2.5bn of taxpayers money spent on reducing carbon dioxide to stop so-called global warming while Arctic and Antarctic sea ice is growing. Growing, not shrinking. It’s bizarre!
I am dismayed that honest, intelligent people in this place can sit mute and watch this blatant trashing of both science and economics.
Mr President, I have a science background but any high school student can tell you that carbon dioxide is not a pollutant. CO2 in the atmosphere is not pollution!
Now I know there are colleagues in this chamber who agree with me on all this but feel they must toe a party line but I for one am not so constrained and perhaps I speak for them also in saying that I will not sit mute and support this nonsense.
Minister Cormann told this place just two days ago, and I quote:
“Coal is good. Coal is good. It is at the heart of our economic prosperity here in Australia and around the world. It has helped lift living standards for people right across the world. It will continue to help lift living standards around the world.”
If that is so, if colleagues believe in all good conscience that this Bill is wrong, then I urge them to speak up – don’t be scientific girly men!
I oppose the Bill.
The Case for Repeal
We support the immediate repeal of the carbon tax. This tax was introduced by stealth, and the justification for its introduction is spurious. It should be repealed or made ineffective immediately.
We are told its purpose is to “reduce carbon pollution” – just three words, each of which is based on a lie.
- “Reduce”: The effect of Australia’s carbon tax on the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is so tiny as to be undetectable and any miniscule reduction would be totally swamped in the far bigger natural seasonal variations of carbon dioxide levels. The effect on global climate, if any, would also be too small to be measured and of no benefit to the climate or life on Earth.
- “Carbon”: It is NOT a tax on carbon. Carbon is a solid – either soft and black like graphite and soot, or crystalline, hard and beautiful like diamond. It is definitely not the colourless gas created when carbon is burned. The “carbon” tax falls mainly on carbon dioxide, a colourless, harmless natural gas which has always been present in Earth’s atmosphere, usually in far greater amounts than at present. The use of “carbon” when referring to “carbon dioxide” is a deliberate deception. It would be like calling liquid water by the name “hydrogen”, a major element in the water molecule which is a dangerous explosive flammable gas. Based on the carbon example, a tax on water vapour (another “greenhouse gas) would probably be called “The Hydrogen Tax” by government propagandists.
- “Pollution”: Carbon dioxide is not a pollutant, and should never have been called one. It is the essential gas-of-life for all plants and they support all animals on Earth. It is no more a pollutant than oxygen, which is the gas-of-life for animals, or water vapour which is essential for all life. All three gases have effects on earth’s surface temperature, and on surface life, and such effects are usually highly beneficial. Additional carbon dioxide has been improving and will continue to improve the growth rate and drought tolerance of all plants on earth. Far from polluting the Earth, extra carbon dioxide has been greening the globe for decades.
There has been no attempt at an independent cost benefit analysis to justify the tax.
More, as well as:
- John Howard Joins the Deniers (well almost)
- The Many Benefits of CO2
- Keeping a Sense of Perspective on Global Warming
- Funds Flow in, in Enormous Dollops
Read the full report: http://carbon-sense.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/cold-turkey2.pdf [PDF, 140KB]
Keywords: Carbon Tax, deceptive advertising, cost-benefits, enquiry into the science, pollution, National Pollution Inventory Scheme, Kyoto Agreement, price surveillance, IPCC, Climate Change Authority, Direct Action, renewable energy targets.
Media Statement by Viv Forbes
Chairman, The Carbon Sense Coalition.
Any quotes taken directly from this statement may be attributed to Mr Forbes
The Carbon Sense Coalition today called on the federal government to reduce the burden of the Climate Industry on all taxpayers and consumers.
The Chairman of Carbon Sense, Mr Viv Forbes, said that the biggest national scandal today was how the whole government apparatus, including the nationalised research and media industries and parts of the opposition, was totally captive to a religious belief that a destructive war on carbon energy will somehow provide benefits to some future generation of Australians by cooling the climate and preventing extreme weather events.
“This is a delusion.”
It was the great Milton Friedman who said “There is only one tax on the people and that is government spending”.
Cutting expenditure, not re-arranging expenditure, must be the total focus of this budget.
And the first candidate for spending cuts must be the totally useless Climate Change Industry.
Every department, program, research grant, travel grant or salary with climate, warming, carbon, sustainability, renewable, sequestration, clean coal, ethanol or IPCC in its title or mission statement should be abolished forthwith together with its staffing. This list must include but not be restricted to:
The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (Arena) and its dependants, saving about $3.2 billion.
The Clean Energy Finance Corporation, saving about $10 billion.
The Emerging Renewables Program, saving about $126 million.
The Clean Technology Innovation Program, saving about $200 million.
Subsidies to Coal-fired electricity generators, saving about $5.5 billion. (This has to be the ultimate madness – the government levies a crippling carbon tax on coal-fired electricity generation to force them to close and then pays huge subsidies to the same generators to delay their closure).
All Climate Change “Research” focussed on carbon dioxide, saving about $300 million.
“Contracts for Closure” – payments to ensure closure of some electricity generators (unbelievable – surely the carbon tax will do this).
The Coal Sector Jobs Package – payments to coal mines to offset the cost of the carbon tax- just abolish the tax.
Coal Sector Assistance Package – Subsidies to some Coal Mines (another stupidity – repaying some of the carbon tax they took in the first place).
Everything funded under the Clean Energy Future Plan.
All renewable energy subsidies.
The Low Emissions Technology Demonstration Fund.
The Ethanol Production Grants Program – a subsidy per litre of ethanol produced.
All climate change officials, lawyers, inspectors and auditors everywhere, maybe 13,000 of them saving, say, $2 billion per year.
The offices of the Climate Commissioner and the Clean Energy Regulator – whatever they cost is wasted money.
The whole Carbon Capture and Storage empire – The National Low Emissions Coal Initiative, the CCS Flagships Program, the National Carbon Dioxide Infrastructure Plan, and the Carbon Capture and Storage Institute.
Support for all the International Climate Forums and Conferences via APEC, CEM, G20, IEA, IEF, IPEEC, IRENA, IPCC and all the travel costs associated with attendance.
All handouts under the Green Precincts Fund – $15M spent to date.
All government advertising, market research, media monitoring, media advisers and logo designers promoting the carbon tax, the Department of Climate Change, smart meters or other climate and green energy initiatives.
Donations to Green Friends such as the Climate Institute, the Australian Conservation Council, Climate Works Australia, Green Cross Australia, and the ACTU – $3 million spent already.
To “balance” all of these reduced expenditures the government must also abolish the carbon tax and all fuel taxes not related directly to public road usage and applied to road construction and maintenance.
Note: The above list probably includes errors, double counting and omissions, but such is the confusion and proliferation of the alphabet soup of what poses as “Climate Policy” that it is doubtful if anyone could prepare an accurate and comprehensive list. The only feasible solution is to start cutting, biggest first. None of them will be missed, except with relief by taxpayers and consumers.
Chairman, The Carbon Sense Coalition
Rosewood Qld Australia
What Happens during a Blackout – an assessment of the consequences of a prolonged and wide-ranging Power Outage in Germany
Infrastructures such as a reliable energy supply, functioning water-supply and wastewater-disposal systems, efficient modes of transport and transport routes and also information technology and telecommunications technology that can be accessed at all times represent the lifeblood of high-technology industrialised nations. The Committee on Education, Research and Technology Assessment therefore commissioned the Office of Technology Assessment at the German Bundestag (TAB) to investigate the possible effects of a prolonged and widespread power blackout on highly critical infrastructures such as drinking water, wastewater, information and communications systems, financial services and health services, especially against a backdrop where the blackout has a cascading effect spanning state and national boundaries.
In Germany, several recent natural disasters and technical malfunctions (Elbe and Oder floods in 2002/2005, power blackout in the Münsterland in 2005, the Kyrill storm in 2007) have highlighted the population’s dependence on such (critical) infrastructures. Supply bottlenecks, public safety problems and disruptions to road and rail transport have revealed the vulnerability of modern societies and made extreme demands on health, emergency and rescue services.
Since almost all critical infrastructures rely heavily on a power supply, a scenario of a widespread and prolonged power blackout involving massive disruption to supplies, economic damage and risks to public safety is a very serious matter. In 2004 the National Crisis Management Exercise (LÜKEX) highlighted the problematic consequences and chains of consequences and also the enormous difficulties faced by federal structures in managing such a crisis and threat situation that strikes without any advance warning.
As far as can be seen, however, the possible consequences of such an event have not yet been subject to an in-depth, systematic analysis in the literature or in official documents.
The analyses conducted by the TAB reveal that the consequences of such a power blackout could at least be akin to a national disaster. All internal and external civil protection forces would need to be mobilised in order to at least mitigate the effects.
The TAB report indicates how the resilience of critical infrastructures could be strengthened and how possible courses of action within the national system for disaster management could be improved. The report thus makes a valuable contribution towards heightening awareness of this issue within industry and society and offers the committees of the German Bundestag a sound basis for further consideration.
The Committee on Education, Research and Technology Assessment The German Bundestag retains the copyright to this publication. Reproduction is authorised, except for commercial purposes, but full acknowledgement is requested.
Report: http://www.tab-beim-bundestag.de/en/pdf/publications/books/petermann-etal-2011-141.pdf [PDF, 7.4MB]
“Germany and the European Union have taken a pioneering role on climate protection, under the mistaken assumption that other countries would follow our example. That’s the wrong strategy. Making this kind of advanced effort weakens our bargaining position. Instead of building wind turbines, we should build higher dikes.”
– German government advisor Kai Konrad
Australian Senate passes Carbon Tax Bill – Nov 8 2011.
– a date that will be remembered as Carbon Fools Day.
Just a year ago, Australia joined the ranks of Carbon Fools by passing the Carbon Tax Bill (actually 18 separate bills called the “Clean Energy Bills”.) Now the same fools who introduced it are among the front rank of volunteers for carbon suicide by trumpeting their intention to sign Kyoto 2.
Barack Obama and Julia Gillard are founding members of the Carbon Fools Club, and have learned tricks from one another on how to betray the electorate without getting punished.
Before the election Gillard said “There will be no carbon tax under the government I lead”. Her Treasurer confirmed the promise. After the election, she changed her mind and introduced it. Now she is proceeding to bribe enough of the electorate into acceptance of the betrayal.
When I was a kid, Mum did the washing in a copper of boiling water over an open fire in the back yard. We collected the wood from the back paddock with a horse and dray. It was all very “green” (but we thought it was just hard yakka).
Greens want us to return to this primitive method for generating heat, and even electricity.
It is sensible for industrial plants such as sugar mills to burn readily available organic waste such as bagasse to generate power. But to deliberately build power stations to run on wood chips is a step back to the BC (before coal) era when forests were clear-felled to produce fuel and charcoal to feed boilers and furnaces.
Coal is an energy-dense fuel, and often has huge deposits in a concentrated area. Long-life power stations can be built close to the coal deposits, thus minimising transport costs and land disturbance.
Wood, however, has very low energy density and biomass energy is always spread over large areas of land. The fuel gathering operation must move every day, with enormous waste of transport energy and displacement of plants and animals.
Burning coal or burning biomass produces exactly the same harmless combustion gases, and a switch of fuels will have no measurable effect on climate.
Even more stupid than wood power are Green dreams to feed power stations with low grade fuels such as wheat stubble or fowl manure. The collection and transport costs for such inferior fuels will exceed the value of electricity produced. It also robs the bio-sphere of valuable mulch, fertiliser and humus.
Burning biomass to generate electricity is Green madness. Speculators should be free to fritter their own funds on such nonsense but public subsidies, carbon credits and market mandates should not be used to support them.
Here is a new slogan for true environmentalists: “Don’t Burn the Bio-sphere”.
Read how one foolish island nation plans to burn its food (coconuts) in diesel generators:
- Why Bury the Essentials of Life in Carbon Cemeteries?
- Abolish the Two Big Climate Taxes
- The Real Agenda: Agenda 21
- Nothing New about Extreme Weather
- Has the LNP forgotten the battlers?
See: http://carbon-sense.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/burning-the-biosphere.pdf [PDF, 219 KB]
Keywords: Green Energy, biomass, wood power, biofuel, CCS (carbon capture & sequestration), climate taxes, electricity costs, carbon tax, renewable energy targets, Agenda 21, extreme weather.
The Carbon Sense Coalition calls on the Australian government to stop forcing the community to waste valuable savings and resources on building useless solar energy plants.
The Chairman of Carbon Sense, Mr Viv Forbes, said solar energy was expensive, unreliable and unnecessary.
“Nowhere in the world has solar energy proved a sensible investment of tax payer funds. Green dreamers and speculators should be free to build the own monuments to the sun god, but ordinary mortals should not be forced to pay for their fetish.
“Examples of solar stupidity abound.
“Generating electricity from solar panels in cold, cloudy Northern Europe is like growing paw-paws in Iceland – it can be done, but who would be so silly as to try?
“Germany was silly enough to try. Germany gets about an hour of useful sunshine per day in winter – solar power is weakest just when they need it most. But they have installed about half of the world’s solar panels. Germany’s Q-Cells, once the world’s biggest manufacturer of solar panels, just went broke. So did four other German solar companies.
“Sunny California also tried, but despite a half billion dollar loan from US tax payers, solar panel manufacturer Solyndra went broke. Solar Trust of America, recently offered $2 billion in loan guarantees by US tax payers, has also filed for bankruptcy.
“All the European PIIGS have tried – and the waste of taxpayer funds on failing green energy schemes is a major reason for their parlous financial state.
“The only sensible participant in the solar industry is China – they make panels very cheaply using coal or nuclear power and sell them to green dreamers.
“The reason green energy creates so much red ink is pretty obvious – it just needs one day’s observation of the sun.
“Full strength solar energy is available around midday for maybe 8 hours each day, providing the skies are clear, and there is no dust on the panels, and you are in a tropical zone. For the other 16 hours of the day, most electricity must come from reliable energy sources like gas, hydro, coal or nuclear. This about doubles capital and operating costs for no increase in output.
“With all this compelling evidence of the failures of solar electricity, why is the Australian government frittering $1.5 billion on green toys like the Moree and Chinchilla Solar farms?
“Green gambling is for private speculators not for captive tax payers or electricity consumers.”
[PIIGS = Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece and Spain.]
Authorised by Viv Forbes
Viv Forbes is Chairman of the Carbon Sense Coalition which opposes waste of resources, opposes pollution, and promotes the rational and sustainable use of carbon energy and carbon food. www.carbon-sense.com
For those who wish to read more:
EU Climate Policy in Free Fall:
Solar Power Realities:
Germany’s Q-Cells files for bankruptcy:
German Solar on the Ropes:
German solar industry horrified as subsidies are questioned:
Solar Doomed: Every Solar Job in Germany Costs €250,000 to electricity consumers:
Solar Trust files for bankruptcy in California:
Austerity in Portugal threatens solar subsidies:
Near Bankrupt Italy faces huge solar subsidies bill:
Irish solar feed-in tariffs unsustainable:
Bankrupt Greece cuts Solar Subsidies:
Spain cuts Green Subsidies to help curb budget deficit:
Spain fails to control green subsidies:
Britain’s Solar Subsidies Fiasco:
Australian Government backs plans for world’s largest solar plants:
Greens boast of their role in gambling $1.5 billion of tax payer funds on solar toys:
Australian Flagship Solar Plants Stagnate:
Queensland Government ceases support for Chinchilla Solar Farm:
Delhi’s rooftop solar power policy a non-starter “not viable” and “not cost effective”:
Premier Wen Jiabao says China will put an end to blind expansion of solar and wind power:
CO2Australia boasts of planting three million carbon credit trees. This is “just the beginning” of a new bubble industry, the CO2.con.
This bubble is set to inflate rapidly. To offset just one day of Qantas operations, CO2 promoters must plant more than 200,000 trees in permanent forests covering 130 hectares. How much land is required to offset all Australian power stations, industry and transport?
Yes these trees will consume carbon dioxide. However CO2 levels today are well below what is ideal for plant growth. While they are growing strongly, these trees will suck the gas of life from the atmosphere, competing strongly with nearby crops and plant life for the traces of carbon dioxide remaining.
Then as the trees mature, growth stops. The aging forest just sits there, some trees growing, some dying and net carbon sequestration ceases. It becomes a sterile shrine to the green religion whose main impact on the biosphere is providing a haven for feral animals and noxious weeds.
Green spruikers claim that they only use land not suitable for anything else. Wrong! Every bit of Australia not covered by road, cities, parks or deserts can support crops, timber-getting or grazing animals. Carbon-credit forests gnaw away at this national land asset every year.
Moreover, CO2.con investors, like all speculators, want quick returns. Their quick return demands rapidly growing trees in arable country – deserts and salt pans are uneconomical. Thus the wheat/sheep belt is shrinking.
No one can demonstrate any climate or environmental benefit from the CO2.con.
Forcing consumers and taxpayers to fund this large scale permanent land sterilisation is clearly unsustainable. All Australians fund this destruction via increased prices for electricity, cement, steel, air tickets and rail fares, and reduced land for food production. The carbon tax will increase their burden.
Like all bubble industries, the CO2.con industry must end in tears, and the sooner it ends the better.
Read on for more, including:
- Vested Interests in the Climate Debate
- Solving Three Problems
- The Rice Video: Carbon Dioxide in perspective
- Flogging a Dead Horse
- Two Green Prophets Recant
See: http://carbon-sense.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/co2-dot-con.pdf [PDF, 171 KB]
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At presentation to a seminar at the British House of Commons recently, Professor Lindzen clarified what the debate over climate change is really about.
“It most certainly is not about whether climate is changing: it always is.
“It is not about whether CO2 is increasing: it clearly is.
“It is not about whether the increase in CO2, by itself, will lead to some warming: it should.
“The debate is simply over the matter of how much warming the increase in CO2 can lead to, and the connection of such warming to the innumerable claimed catastrophes. The evidence is that the increase in CO2 will lead to very little warming, and that the connection of this minimal warming (or even significant warming) to the purported catastrophes is also minimal. The arguments on which the catastrophic claims are made are extremely weak – and commonly acknowledged as such. They are sometimes overtly dishonest.
For the whole presentation see: http://carbon-sense.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/lindzen-reconsidering-the-climate-change-act.pdf [PDF, 1.7 MB]
For another summary see: http://blogs.independent.co.uk/2012/02/22/is-catastrophic-global-warming-like-the-millenium-bug-a-mistake/
Prof Lindzen is the Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Meteorology, Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences at MIT.