THANK God at least one person in Bill Shorten’s team knows Labor has gone mad with global warming and must be stopped.
That’s obvious from that anonymous person’s decision to leak Labor’s plans for a new carbon tax to the Herald Sun.
This paper was never likely to treat the plans gently and indeed ran them on Wednesday with an illustration of Shorten, the Opposition Leader, as a zombie crawling from the grave of Labor’s last carbon tax.
The leaker’s aim was plain: to either destroy the embattled Shorten or to embarrass Labor into dropping a tax that will cost it any change of winning next year’s election.
Disloyal, maybe. But at least someone in Labor still has brains and bad luck for Labor it’s not Shorten.
Because here is what you won’t hear from the ABC and many other media outlets. Labor under Shorten is proposing a new carbon tax that would hurt workers and consumers yet do nothing to stop global warming, which actually stopped nearly two decades ago anyway.
It is a non-solution to what increasingly seems a non-problem. All pain, no gain. A vote loser, not a planet saver. I know many scientists, academics, teachers, journalists, politicians and environmentalists are telling you different as they jingle the coins in their pockets and keep their own doubts private.
But consider these plain facts.
Fact: Labor was destroyed when the Gillard government imposed a carbon tax. So why is Labor taking a second drink of that poison?
Fact: Whatever Labor calls the emissions trading scheme it now plans, that, too, is a tax — an extra cost imposed by government on the price of your electricity, affecting everyone.
Fact: This carbon tax will cost money and kill jobs, particularly in businesses that use a lot of electricity, such as smelters.
Fact: This tax, like Labor’s last carbon tax, will make no measurable difference to global warming. An Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change lead author, Roger Jones, calculated that current Labor and Liberal plans to cut emissions would lower the world’s expected temperature by no more than 0.0037 degrees, even after using the most generous and disputed assumptions.
Fact: Global warming has paused or stopped, with no real rise in atmospheric temperature for some 18 years, according to authoritative satellite data from both the Remote Sensing Systems and the University of Alabama at Huntsville.
Fact: Catastrophes predicted by global warming scientists have not occurred. Even the IPCC confirms we have not had worse or more cyclones, nor a worldwide increase in droughts. The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation reports rising crop harvests over the past two decades. An Auckland University study found 80 per cent of low-lying islands such as Tuvalu and Kiribati are not drowning, but “have either remained about the same or, in fact, gotten larger”.
Fact: A warmer planet could be healthier. As The Lancet recently reported, 6.5 per cent of deaths in Australia are caused by cold weather, but only 0.5 per cent from hot.
Fact: The Brisbane and Sydney dams that former chief climate commissioner Tim Flannery warned could be emptied by global warming by 2010 are today 98 per cent and 92 per cent full respectively. Why trust anything else these guys claim?
Fact: Researchers at Northumbria University last week predicted that by 2030 we’d suffer not from global warming but a mini ice age, thanks to a fall in solar activity.
That said, it’s true that man’s emissions are likely to have a warming effect. True again, the world over the past century has warmed by perhaps 0.7 degrees, some of which is credibly blamed on humans.
But after that the debate begins. How much effect have humans really had? Has warming now stopped? Would more warming actually be good? Is spending trillions of dollars to make almost no measurable difference in temperature smart?
Yet on one point there can be no debate between rational people: Labor’s planned carbon tax will hurt Australians and devastate Labor without improving our climate.
So why is Labor planning something so mad?
Blame two things. First, the death grip global warming now has over Labor, a party that needed this strident new religion to fill the gap in its soul caused by the death of socialism.
And blame the weak leadership of Bill Shorten, a man of no convictions or authority who did not dare kill, bury and cremate the policy that most destroyed Labor last time.
But eventually every vacuum is filled. Some Labor leaker has now stepped up to try to destroy a malignant policy that Shorten let fester.