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posted by janrinok on Friday July 18 2014, @04:12AM   Printer-friendly
from the let-the-taxpayer-pay dept.

Australia's Senate has voted to repeal the carbon tax, a levy on the biggest polluters passed by the previous Labor government. Prime Minister Tony Abbott, whose Liberal-National coalition beat Labor in an election last year, had made the repeal a central aim of his government.

Politicians have been locked in a fierce row about the tax for years. Labor says it helps to combat climate change, but the Liberals claim it penalises legitimate businesses. The Australian Senate voted by 39 to 32 votes to repeal the tax. Introduced in July 2012, it charges the 348 highest polluters A$ 23 (£ 13; US$ 22.60) for every tonne of greenhouse gases they produce.

The Climate Institute think-tank said in a statement that the move left Australia "bereft of credible climate policy".

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbot said the carbon tax had been "useless and destructive". He says he plans to replace it with a A$2.55bn taxpayer-funded plan under which industries will be paid to reduce emissions and use cleaner energy.

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Wildfires Play Bigger Role in Climate Change than Previously Thought 9 comments

It has long been known that biomass burning -- burning forests to create agricultural lands, burning savannah as a ritual , slash-and-burn agriculture and wildfires -- figures into both climate change and public health.

But until the release of a new study by Stanford University Civil and Environmental Engineering Professor Mark Z. Jacobson, the degree of that contribution had never been comprehensively quantified.

Jacobson's research, detailed in a paper published July 30 in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, is based on a three-dimensional computer model simulation of the impacts of biomass burning. His findings indicate that burning biomass is playing a much bigger role in climate change and human health issues than previously thought.

"We calculate that 5 to 10 percent of worldwide air pollution mortalities are due to biomass burning," Jacobson said. "That means that it causes the premature deaths of about 250,000 people each year."

Carbon, of course, is associated with global warming. Most carbon emissions linked to human activity are in the form of carbon dioxide gas (CO2), but other forms of carbon include the methane gas (CH4) and the particles generated by such fires -- the tiny bits of soot, called black carbon, and motes of associated substances known as brown carbon.

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  • (Score: 3) by RobotMonster on Friday July 18 2014, @06:12AM

    by RobotMonster (130) on Friday July 18 2014, @06:12AM (#70636) Journal

    This is from a government without a science minister.
    I guess it is to be expected when the Prime Minister is a Jesuit-educated creationist...
    Sigh.

    • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 18 2014, @06:51AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 18 2014, @06:51AM (#70650)

      Keep in mind that what he's done is move the taxation of pollutants from the producer of said pollutants to the taxpayer.

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by c0lo on Friday July 18 2014, @07:04AM

      by c0lo (156) on Friday July 18 2014, @07:04AM (#70653) Journal

      I guess it is to be expected when the Prime Minister is a Jesuit-educated creationist...

      Mate, I don't know about "Jesuit-educated creationist" ... You may call him a religious bigot, but maybe you'll have to drop the jesuit attribute, it doesn't fit with Abbot.

      You see, the jesuits have a good dose of social justice [bc.edu] in their ideology: none of this inside the socialize costs, privatize profit, everything else be damned attitude present in whatever Abbot does (including the interception of refugee boats in high seas and detaining them in secret [theaustralian.com.au] - even ignoring humanitarian considerations, that's borderline state-sponsored piracy).

      --
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
      • (Score: 2) by RobotMonster on Friday July 18 2014, @09:23AM

        by RobotMonster (130) on Friday July 18 2014, @09:23AM (#70703) Journal

        I didn't say he was a good student!
        However, he was educated at Jesuit schools.

        • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Friday July 18 2014, @09:29AM

          by c0lo (156) on Friday July 18 2014, @09:29AM (#70705) Journal

          I didn't say he was a good student!
          However, he was taught at Jesuit schools (, apparently with little result to his education)

          FTFY

          --
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
    • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 18 2014, @08:01AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 18 2014, @08:01AM (#70673)

      Wherever he learned creationism, he probably didn't learn it from the Jesuits. The Catholic Church generally doesn't believe in such nonsense, the Jesuits least of all. There was Father Pierre Teilhard de Chardin S.J., who among other things was among the palaeontologists who discovered Peking Man (they even called him the Jesuit who believed man descended from monkeys), and was influential in the Catholic Church's current general attitudes towards evolution and science in general. The official position of the Church today seems to be more that it isn't really that concerned with such questions of science. If science shows that evolution is how humans came to be, then they'll say that God used the mechanism of evolution to create humanity. They screwed up with Galileo five centuries ago and they seem determined not to make the same mistake again today. This is also why just about every Catholic school out there teaches evolution, just as secular schools do. You can be Catholic and believe in either evolution or creationism, but the latter is far from being a mainstream belief in Catholic circles the way it seems to be among Christian evangelicals.

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by marcello_dl on Friday July 18 2014, @08:39AM

      by marcello_dl (2685) on Friday July 18 2014, @08:39AM (#70683)

      How does this make a government more or less scientific?
      Politicians scientifically try to strengthen their own feud, that's all.
      Of course the combination of interests that put politicians in office makes sure their feud remains slave to their interests, so you see political fight, scandals and get the impression that the new boss is same as the old boss.
      Who cares what the decisions are about, if they benefit the environment or not.
      Don't forget that CO2 is just one aspect in the process called pollution, and that a nearly inhabitable planet is actually a wet dream for powerful enough people, because that means mandatory therapy for everyone, which is a level of control way beyond 1984's fantasies.

      • (Score: 5, Insightful) by RobotMonster on Friday July 18 2014, @09:14AM

        by RobotMonster (130) on Friday July 18 2014, @09:14AM (#70701) Journal

        How does this make a government more or less scientific?

        Doing away with the entire science ministry seems to be less scientific than having one.
        Shutting down the independent scientific bodies whose job it was to inform government on matters of science can hardly be argued to be a scientific approach.
        Your other points are valid, but this government is demonstrably anti-science.

    • (Score: 2, Interesting) by sjwt on Friday July 18 2014, @09:02AM

      by sjwt (2826) on Friday July 18 2014, @09:02AM (#70696)

      Lets add the follow up statements by one of these big polluters who stated that without the 'rebates' they get, they have had to downgrade there bottom line by $200Millon. Carbon tax was just a way to funnel more cash into the big business who have bought the unions and the labor party.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 18 2014, @08:39AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 18 2014, @08:39AM (#70682)

    Well, if they don't want to pay a tax for carbon, then just let them pay for the oxygen their burning consumes. After all, why should they get that oxygen for free? They don't demand that they get their fuel for free either, do they?

  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by bucc5062 on Friday July 18 2014, @11:12AM

    by bucc5062 (699) on Friday July 18 2014, @11:12AM (#70738)

    "Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbot said the carbon tax had been "useless and destructive". He says he plans to replace it with a A$2.55bn taxpayer-funded plan under which industries will be paid to reduce emissions and use cleaner energy."

    As I understand this, your PM, whom you all voted into office, just stated that he has repealed a bad law that charged polluting companies for (gasp) polluting the air and now will replace it wit a system that is paid by the tax payer to give money to business to "voluntarily" clean up there pollution.

    Yeah, nothing wrong with that....unless you are a brain dead Aussie who thought this guy was doing good for y'all. That makes the US look almost decent (and yes, that was an insult mate). I feel like we are all just booking passage in steerage on the Titanic and the crew are flaming idiots.

    --
    The more things change, the more they look the same
    • (Score: 2) by tibman on Friday July 18 2014, @02:37PM

      by tibman (134) Subscriber Badge on Friday July 18 2014, @02:37PM (#70809)

      The passengers certainly seem to be asleep.

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      SN won't survive on lurkers alone. Write comments.
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 21 2014, @02:49AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 21 2014, @02:49AM (#71684)

        That's because nobody's saying "Wake up sheeple!" anymore.

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by clone141166 on Friday July 18 2014, @03:06PM

      by clone141166 (59) on Friday July 18 2014, @03:06PM (#70830)

      We didn't *all* vote for him. Unlike the President of the USA, the only people who voted for Tony Abbott were a majority of the people in his particular electorate; an *extremely* tiny portion of the Australian population.

      Additionally not every policy enacted or redacted by the government is expressly the fault of the Prime Minister; the entire governing party should be held accountable. For some reason the Australian media just loves to hate on him, maybe because he makes it easy to do I guess.

      Imo a carbon tax isn't a solution; it's just another tax. The CO2 is still being emitted, it's just going to cost everyone more to emit it. Allocating money to attempt to actually *reduce* CO2 emissions is a better idea in principle. Though with Australian politics being the way it is, I'm sure either party is just as capable of failing to achieve anything meaningful in the end. So mostly either scheme is just going to end up as a lot of pointless red tape, at least this way there is one less tax involved.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 18 2014, @07:03PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 18 2014, @07:03PM (#70921)

        You say that taking away the carbon tax is a good thing because that means there is one less tax to pay (which was payed only by the "big polluters", don't forget). With the new system, the money of taxpayers (mostly common people) will be used to help the "big polluters" reduce their emissions.
        This sounds to me more like an indirect raise in taxes for the common people. They won't have to pay more taxes, but instead there will be less public money for other things (like for instance education or healthcare). So, what is actually happening is: polluting companies pay less, and common people pay more. Personally I don't think this is fair!

        I don't understand this idea that taxes are bad! Irresponsible spending of tax money is really bad! taxes... we wouldn't have any western societies without them!

        For instance, they could have used the money from the carbon tax to help reduce the emissions of CO2 in the first place. On the other side, "big polluters" could just have avoided paying the carbon tax by reducing their emissions....

        I really don't see any benefit from the new system.

      • (Score: 2) by Pav on Saturday July 19 2014, @01:44AM

        by Pav (114) on Saturday July 19 2014, @01:44AM (#71081)

        ...he's hugely unpopular as this 1,000,000 view viral video [youtube.com] (and the polls) attest. To give some idea of the gradual move to the right in the Australian political microcosm here is a recent RT interview with Malcolm Fraser, a previous Australian conservative Prime Minister - he held office during Ford, Carter and Reagans presidencies. He gives a sharp and insightful critique of current western policy regarding Ukraine while not giving Russia a free pass either.

        • (Score: 2) by Pav on Saturday July 19 2014, @11:53AM

          by Pav (114) on Saturday July 19 2014, @11:53AM (#71193)

          Oops... here's the link [youtube.com].