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Australia Unveils Carbon Pricing Package

Australians remain divided after Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s announcement of a Clean Energy package with a carbon price of $A 23 per tonne and an emissions trading scheme from 2015. Crikey had an early summary, and the rest of the local blogosphere was also quick off the mark.

Jeremy Sear of An Onymous Lefty laid on his customary sarcasm in ‘THE CARBON TAX THAT WILL DOOM US ALL‘. His target was Tony Abbott, the leader of the Opposition Coalition parties that strongly oppose the plan:

Worst of all, how unfair is it for the government to finally release the details of the carbon price package and undermine Tony Abbott’s ability to completely make stuff up about it?

PM Gillard launches the Clean Energy Future website. Photo: Clean Energy Future

PM Gillard launches the Clean Energy Future website. Photo: Clean Energy Future

In the post ‘Australia will tax its carbon emissions‘ on his self-titled blog, Harry Clarke was bubbly:

Of course I knew the announcement was coming but to find out the details of the proposal –in the link – and to hear such a clear and eloquent defence of the proposal from both was exciting. It is a political statement as well as an important application of the principle that markets are the best way of addressing carbon pollution problems. After a series of meandering twists Labor has finally got to the point it should have been at a year ago. Congratulations to all those who contributed to this outcome.

Open Your Eyes found lots to rail against in its ‘Editorial‘:

Bureaucracy will flourish as reams of pencil pushers calculate a web of tax and rebates.

That Goldman Sachs and their friends in the banking work will ultimately profit massively as the scheme moves into carbon trading, which is due to commence within 3 years, and if ultimately brought in worldwide will lead to the creation of a market, according to the Wall Street Journal to be worth $US 3 trillion per year.

And that despite all the tax, the impoverishment for most, and profit for a few, the world’s climate will not be affected a jot.

Chris White from Blogging from a life-long unionist is an advocate of a carbon tax, but wanted more action from his own political party:

It is a historic step forward for Australia to be finally taking action to price carbon. The time for talking is over as the damaging impacts of global warming become ever more apparent. By acting to reduce emissions, the politics of delay and denial will become a historic relic.

However the long delay in acting makes our challenge today bigger and more urgent than ever. The aspirations of the carbon pricing scheme are low in comparison with what the science community tells us we need to do to avoid great damage to Australia’s economy, our environment, and the way we live.

Clean Energy Future website

Clean Energy Future website

Climate Change Denier pounced on the real culprit in Australia the only country in the world with an economy-wide carbon tax:

And the rest of the world does not care.

…So how does our 160 million tonnes reduction compare to China’s annual production of CO2? China produces 7,031 million tonnes of CO2 per annum. Thats 2.2 per cent of Chinas output. So if China increases it output by the same amount it did in 2010, by ten percent, the 160 million tonnes of Carbon Dioxide saved by Australia will be replaced by China in 3 months.

Billions of dollars in extra burdens on Australian workers, industry and consumers to be replaced by China in three months.

The hashtag #CP topped the Australian Twitter trending topics. There was lots of retweeting including this one by @dannolan who was busy during and after the media conference with quite a turn of phrase:

You can't spell ‘carbon tax’ without SOCIALIST EUGENICS-LADEN MALTHUSIAN DEATH-PACT #cp

@GeordieGuy added a personal touch:

My son is due in November. There's still an outside chance I'll get to dive the Great Barrier Reef with him. #cp #cef

The cynics were out after Gillard’s hour long media event. @therevmountain was typical:

“PM, can you tell me your message again, but in a soundbite?” #cp

Former Davis Cup tennis player @JohnAlexanderMP, turned conservative parliamentarian, stuck to the party script:

So Aust companies can now move offshore, pay less to locals, avoid paying #carbontax and sell credits back into our market. Great reform #cp

@zinders echoed Gillard’s mention of a former British Conservative PM:

“The danger of global warming is… real enough for us to make changes and sacrifices” Thatcher, 1990 http://bit.ly/bDBNzG #cp #auspol

@SimonCopland seemed surprised at the Prime Minister’s performance:

Wow, Gillard is actually selling this quite well. #cp

More analysis and reactions will follow when the dust settles, although that could be years away.

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