Decarbonizing Down Under
Congratulations, I think, to Tony Abbott’s new Australian Goverment which has gone ahead with publishing its bills to abolish the country’s carbon tax, which was introduced only last year by the outgoing left-wing administration, and not because I am in favor of global warming, although it will improve the climate in Northen Europe, but because taxing large polluters is not an effective way of tackling the problem, as the European Union is finding out with its Emissions Trading Scheme, which is on life support and will likely collapse altogether. Like “ticket” taxes, most carbon taxes are convenient ways for governments to extract money from large companies under the hypocritical pretence of doing good. In Australia’s case, the money was used as a pre-electoral bribe (it didn’t work). So how should we control emissions? It doesn’t seem to be a very hard problem: most countries have introduced or gone along with requirements to reduce particulate and greenhouse gas emissions in vehicle exhausts. No taxes are required for that, or similar schemes which have been or could be introduced for aircraft, power station and chemical plant emissions. If you break the law you go to prison!