Greenhouse articles 1996 - 2017:

Climate target is foolhardy

The Australian 18th February, 2010

As a face-saver to December's collapse of the world climate negotiations, governments agreed to the Copenhagen Accord. This had vague provisions to pursue measures to limit global temperature increases to 2C. The accord offered no guidance as to how this might be achieved but did say it would involve 

Flexibility a key in emission reduction policy

The Herald Sun 6th February, 2010

This week in Canberra the Government and Opposition issued rival plans for handling emissions of greenhouse gases. The policies from both sides are targeted at reducing emissions by 5 per cent by 2020. This really means a reduction of 27 per cent in 2020 emissions per head, because the target base is the 

Lack of Global Agreement Offers a Chance to Cut Our Losses

The Australian 21st January, 2010

Most politicians across the world recognise that measures to reduce CO2 emissions impose costs on their economies, whether they employ a carbon tax, cap-and-trade or regulatory approach. Failure at Copenhagen showed politicians recognise such costs exceed the benefits.

Let he who is without climate sin...

ABC Unleashed 11th December, 2009

Barry Jones accuses climate sceptics of using ad hominem attacks yet embarks on the most remarkable such tactics himself. Out-hyping all who came before him, not only does he associate sceptics with those who deny the holocaust, AIDS and the link between smoking and lung cancer, but for good measure adds 

Too much pain, too little to gain

The Australian 25th November, 2009

The government says its emissions trading scheme tax will bring no risk to the economy. Indeed, Kevin Rudd constantly harps about savings of 15 per cent if we move early to implement the tax. In fact, there is a considerable risk to the economy from the ETS tax and any alternative measures designed to force 

Carbon emissions tax will choke economy

The Herald Sun 14th November, 2009

Greenhouse issues are dominating the economic debate. Most people want to protect the environment and have been told that the tax from the Emissions Trading Scheme will only have minor consequences. In fact, the ETS tax designed to choke-off carbon emissions will have a devastating effect on the 

Carbon tax will light a slow fuse

The Australian 3rd November, 2009

A form of carbon tax such as the emissions trading scheme cannot reduce global emissions unless there is agreement for a similar level of tax across all economies. That aside, the government's immediate issues are how to spend the money the tax raises, including how to avoid compensating the privatised 

Government fails credibility test on climate change

Herald Sun 17th October, 2009

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Off target

ABC Unleashed 21st August, 2009

The 20 per cent Renewable Energy Target (RET), passed in the Senate yesterday, represents a triumph for vested interests in creating negative value. It guarantees that high cost, inefficient windmills will be built by forcing electricity suppliers (and therefore consumers) to pay a premium on electricity supply, 

The Emissions Trading Scheme

Letter to Penny Wong, 18 August 2009

The Institute of Public Affairs has been researching the economic impact of climate change policies since the early 1990s. The Institute of Public Affairs has a research track record in the climate change field of two decades. As you decide on Australia's climate change policies you should consider the following 

Haste makes waste in the carbon countdown

The Saturday Herald Sun 8th August, 2009

Countdown For Climate Change Vote is the banner on the ALP web site. It explains that only five days remain before Parliament's climate change vote. Canberra's Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS) would eventually require 90 per cent of electricity to be derived from renewable sources, with perhaps 

Softly, softly

Quadrant Online 8th August, 2009

The goal of international agreements being considered on climate change is to stabilise the world’s human-caused carbon dioxide emissions. This ambition is barely conceivable. For the main gas, carbon dioxide, it would require emissions to be set at an average global level of about three tonnes per capita. 

G8: up in smoke

ABC Unleashed 10th July, 2009

There was a large dose of whimsy in the G8 leaders getting together in Berlusconi's Italy last week. Not only did it place the host's colourful private life at the centre of the world's stage but it was further enlivened by the world leaders' decision to adopt targets for emission levels 40 years into the future.

Coal's detractors ignore hard facts

Australian Financial Review 2nd July, 2009

Even though the US House of Representatives passed the Waxman-Markey cap-and-trade emission restraint bill last week, it has to pass the more formidable hurdle of the Senate before it can become law. The bill requires a 20 per cent reduction in US emissions by 2020 and an 83 per cent reduction by 2050.

Renewable energy plan just a lot of hot air

Herald Sun 7th March, 2009

Twelve years ago, as a sop to wind farm lobbyists and green activists, the Howard government announced a "2 per cent renewable energy requirement". This compels electricity retailers to incorporate high-cost wind and solar generated electricity within supplies. Vested interests ratcheted up the renewable share 

Greenhouse guess: tax vs. trade

ABC Unleashed 2nd March, 2009

Politicians have converted the global warming policy chess match into a poker game with a constantly revised bidding currency, comprising tradable emission rights, carbon taxes and a range of other measures. Carbon taxes, and tradable rights to emit carbon, like the proposed Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), are 

Emissions retreat just so Napoleon

The Australian 6th May, 2009

Despite the Government announcing it has backed away from early action to reduce carbon emissions, the Prime Minister's website continues to say, "The cost of inaction on climate change will be much greater than the cost of taking action now." Like others working for Kevin Rudd, his website managers can't ke

Government needs face saver more than CPRS

Herald Sun 2nd May, 2009

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Pulping reality

ABC Unleashed 13th January, 2009

Developing a pulp mill in Tasmania has been a 25 year saga that remains unfinished. Back in 1983, the Wesley Vale proposal launched the career of Christine Milne and placed the green movement at the political centre of power. That proposal was founded on a peerless set of environmental guidelines that had be

Dreaming of a different kind of White Paper

Herald Sun 27th December, 2008

With a pre-Christmas White Paper, the Federal Government transformed the global warming debate's focus into the introduction of a comprehensive new carbon tax. To neutralise the adverse public image of taxes, this has a fancy new name -- the emissions trading scheme (ETS).

Wong right to put off our targets

The Australian 2nd December, 2008

Much to the chagrin of greenies, Penny Wong is delaying issuing Australia's emission reduction targets until after this month's Poznan meeting on climate change, and any targets in the forthcoming Australian white paper will not be definitive.

Climate Change: China's approach

Occasional Paper, November 2008

China's rapid industrialisation had by 2006 led it to becoming the world's largest emitter of CO2e, surpassing the US with 18 per cent of the world's total emissions. In per capita terms, China remains a low emitter with 4 tonnes per capita (cf. US 20 tonnes, Australia 16 tonnes, OECD average 11.5 tonnes).

Change of climate an ill wind for carbon tax

Herald Sun 4th October, 2008

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Small voice with big ambitions

The Age 26th September, 2008

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Climate mettle about to be tested

The Australian 1st August, 2008

An emissions trading scheme has not even started but the Government's hostility to carbon emissions is already choking off the supply of electricity, leading to an inevitable rise in prices. Coal is used to generate 90 per cent of Australia's electricity, but no business can fund new coal-fired power plants under the 

Prepare for dim, costly future

The Age 4th July, 2008

Climate Change Minister Penny Wong accused the Opposition of not knowing whether it was Arthur or Martha on climate change. As the realities of a carbon tax sink in, there are politicians on both sides having second thoughts. The International Energy Agency recently estimated that 1.1% of annual global output 

Cost of carbon cuts hidden in dark plume

Herald Sun 28th June, 2008

REDUCING emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) presents the most difficult and costly task Australia has contemplated. Most CO2 is a by-product of fossil fuels -- coal, oil and gas. Next week Ross Garnaut's climate change review is to deliver a draft report to the Federal Government. The review's initial papers favour 

Horrendous price on the cards for greenhouse plan

The Age 17th June, 2008

The main game in emission policy awaits the Garnaut report and perhaps the "strategic review" of the Government's climate change policies being conducted by Citigroup consultant Roger Wilkins. Timetables are being refined but by the end of the year the Government will have the advice it does not want to hear -

Why a solar system still lacks power

The Age 14th May, 2008

In the range of energy supply systems designed to reduce greenhouse gases, the most expensive is photovoltaic cells, or solar panels. Engineering firm SKM has estimated that rooftop solar power is eight to 12 times more costly than regular electricity. The panels also cost three to five times more

Economic models in dark on carbon

The Age 8th May, 2008

There are many dimensions to the factors pressing for action to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Among them are genuine concerns that mankind may be causing climate shifts, and the subsequent commercial pressures applied by those, largely in the alternative energy camp, who see the prospect of canalising 

The alternative that dare not speak its name

The Australian 6th May, 2008

Ross Garnaut issued his interim report on climate change in February and is due to issue a draft report next month. Conspicuously absent from the February report is the N-word. Nuclear power is not even canvassed in passing or dismissed as being high cost, politically unpalatable or dangerous.

Let's cool it in heat of great debate

The Herald Sun 8th March, 2008

Hundreds of prominent scientists this week attended a conference in New York hosted by the US Heartland Institute. The scientists rejected claims that we are seeing catastrophic human-induced global warming. They concluded that the earth may be undergoing a period of modest warming but that it and 

Despite the Bali show-and-tell, carbon targets continue to be futile

IPA Review, March 2008

I f burning fossil fuels is the major cause of global warming then the prospects of preventing it are slender. Fast growing developing countries currently have relatively low levels of carbon emissions. However, their economic growth is highly dependent on fossil fuels and this presents seemingly insuperable 

Mission Impossible

Online Opinion 25th February, 2008

Professor Ross Garnaut is looking to the world stabilising emission levels at year 2000 levels "soon after 2020". Following this he sees a need for halving them by 2050 and reducing them to less than a quarter of 2000 levels by 2100. He also considers that emissions must be based on some level of equality on a per 

However you cut it, carbon dioxide is a fact of modern life

The Age 7th February, 2008

As Professor Garnaut examines ways forward in reducing Australia's carbon dioxide emissions, he will become aware of the enormity of the global task If burning fossil fuels causes global warming the prospects of preventing it are slender.

Garret cops a bagging over eco-priorities

The Age 25th January, 2008

Denied responsibility over the great economic issues like carbon emissions and pulp mills, or those with vast diplomatic ramifications like Japanese whaling, our neophyte Environment Minister, Peter Garrett, has turned his attention to plastic bags. Showing no bashfulness in employing the ABC's

Carbon copies the order of the day

The Age 20th November, 2007

Over the weekend, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued its "synthesis" report of the previous major papers released this year. Though Opposition Leader Kevin Rudd put ratification of the Kyoto Protocol as main priority, the differences on carbon emissions policies between the 

Shade of green could spoil Labor's colour

Herald Sun 3rd November, 2007

Opposition leader Kevin Rudd and his party's environment spokesman, Peter Garrett, first said Labor would agree to Australia reducing greenhouse gas emissions even if the king-hitting emitters such as China and India didn't join.

The dangers of a pulp mill celebrity status

The Age 6th September, 2007

It seems a distant memory but new projects once excited emotions of support. People tended to recognise them as bringing greater wealth, better jobs and spin-off benefits across the community. Gunns' Tasmanian pulp mill epitomises a regrettable change. Here is a project that introduces a state- of-the-art 

Garrett needs to burn more midnight oil

The Age 23rd August, 2007

The Labor Party has discovered a new, seemingly costless way of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Opposition environment spokesman Peter Garrett wants to phase out electricity suppliers' ability to offer off-peak power. This would mean dearer electricity, reduced demand and lower levels of carbon 

Go easy on regulation in carbon fight

Australian Financial Review 10th May, 2007

Australian spending and regulatory measures for greenhouse mitigation fall under two categories: subsidies by governments for carbon dioxide reductions and direct regulations. In the budget, the $8000 subsidy for solar panels, costing $150 million a year for a very expensive

Carbon tax or trade? It's all academic

The Age 29th March, 2007

The clamour for measures to prevent global warming is becoming more insistent. It is fashionable that nature is reflected in John Howard's Australian of the Year committee picking evangelical scientist Tim Flannery.

Principles trampled underfoot

Australian Financial Review 6th February, 2007

Many politicians have made vigorous statements about the need for carbon taxes or setting tradeable rights to emit carbon dioxide. The West Australian government is the latest, foreshadowing a new carbon tax of $25 a tonne. This is below the $134 a tonne the UK Stern report estimated would be necessary.

The Government's courting of greens is starting to show

The Age 18th January, 2007

This week's rare power outage in Victoria and the fact that it was controlled quickly demonstrates the resilience of the electricity supply system we have.

Automatic trigger mechanisms caused by smoke closed down the line from the Snowy. This left a 20 per cent hole in supplies at a time when a heatwave 

All hail to the new godless religion: environmentalism

The Age 24th November, 2006

Labor is indignant that the Liberals are apparently siphoning green voters away from them. They even look likely to lose a seat as a result and, more worrying, the Greens party looks set to win the balance of power in the Upper House. Both major parties are dancing around the edge of the ardent followers of 

Question mark over Stern treatment

The Herald Sun 4th November, 2006

This week the British Government published the Stern report on the economics of climate change. The report re-interprets some scientific measures of global warming and takes a stab at estimating some of the costs and benefits of taking action. It calls for a vast increase in regulations and taxes to reduce 

The alternatives are too costly

The Age 2nd November, 2006

Ross Garnaut issued his interim report on climate change in February and is due to issue a draft report next month. Conspicuously absent from the February report is the N-word. Nuclear power is not even canvassed in passing or dismissed as being high cost, politically unpalatable or dangerous.

Alarm on global warming just a load of hot air

The Age 8th September, 2006

Alarmist stories about greenhouse gases causing catastrophic warming continue to be aired in the media. Notwithstanding the lack of evidence, global warming is even being blamed for hurricanes and an apocryphal disappearance of polar bears. Yet, the only solid measure of the warming, the NASA satellite 

Wind in sails of a new chorus of claims

Australian Financial Review 27th April, 2006

The first cancellation of a project as a result of environmental activism took place 30 years ago. The previously unknown snail darter was judged to be under threat and would face extermination if the then 95 per cent completed Tellico Dam in Tennessee were commissioned.

Some holes in the greenhouse debate

Australian Financial Review 18th April, 2006

Jon Stanford's "Carbon signal now firmly on the agenda" (Opinion, April 12) and the Allen Consulting report on which it is based illustrates some of the deficiencies of the debate on greenhouse economics.

Quixotic tax tilting at windmills

The Age 3rd February, 2006

In the Victorian Government's pre-Christmas issues paper, "Driving investment in renewable energy in Victoria", ministers John Thwaites and Theo Theophanous said "the Victorian Government has already committed to" two new renewable energy polices. These were that:

Cool down on warming

Herald Sun 14th January, 2006

In Sydney this week a meeting was held on climate change. Participants were from the six Asia-Pacific nations which together will account for 70 per cent of the world's carbon dioxide emissions. Four of the six nations represented at the meeting -- Australia, the United States, China and India -- have rejected 

Wind subsidies stifle economic growth

Australian Financial Review 17th November, 2005

Bob Grant, chief executive of wind energy producer Pacific Hydro, ("All energy industries depend on crutch", Australian Financial Review, November 15) maintains that wind power to be viable needs only the sort of government support that he says conventional fuels have enjoyed.

Carbon taxes: an expensive solution for Australia

Online Opinion 11th November, 2005

Australian electricity generation is 90 per cent coal. Because it is inexpensive and located conveniently to major electricity loads, now that market systems have replaced the centrally controlled direction, Australia's power costs are among the lowest in the world.

The high cost of Green fear

The Herald Sun 24th June, 2005

A month ago, NSW Premier Bob Carr uncorked the bottle holding the nuclear power genie. This week, Marcus Godhino used these pages to try to replace it. His daily double was on climate change and nuclear phobia. Bob Carr had a road to Damascus conversion. This silently acknowledged that his policies have 

Hunter the big loser in carbon-trading move

Newcastle Herald 13th April, 2005

NSW Premier Bob Carr has spearheaded a move by Australian State Governments to introduce a system of carbon trading. This aims to implement a more aggressive reduction in carbon dioxide emission than that favoured by the Commonwealth.

Carbon quotas pose threat

The Herald Sun 9th April, 2005

The European Union has begun a carbon dioxide trading market that sees its 12,000 electricity generation plants and major factories have been given an annual quota of carbon dioxide units. Fossil fuel burning electricity generators are allowed to produce more energy so long as they don't increase their output

The earth's power and might

Online Opinion 20th January, 2005

The Boxing Day tsunami death toll has now risen to 230,000. Apart from cyclones, it constitutes the worst loss of human life in a single day as a result of war or natural causes. The atomic bombing of Hiroshima brought 66,000 dead. The most destructive tsunami and earthquakes have been centred on

Cost of Kyoto is still rising

Herald Sun 11th December, 2004

Last Tuesday, as the Victorian Government was launching its Greenhouse Challenge for Energy, the Economic Adviser to Russian President Putin was delivering addresses on the issue in Melbourne. Dr Illarionov minced no words in decrying the Kyoto greenhouse agreement, even though Russia recently agr

Emission Controls Just Hot Air

Australian Financial Review 2nd December, 2004

Don Henry ('We're no joyless mob') claims that the Australian Conservation Foundation is not against economic growth. He says the ACF wants growth that makes use of less land, water and energy. In other words he favours planned growth in areas that he and his apparatchiks prefer rather than development th

Planned Growth a Proven Failure

Australian Financial Review 31st May, 2004

Yesterday's NSW wholesale electricity prices were over one hundred fold the average---a reminder of the sensitivity of the nation's supply and demand balance. Canberra has sought the Industry Commission's advice on government measures to promote energy efficiency. While we can never have a surfeit of 

Flaws in anti-FTA Stand

Australian Financial Review 25th May, 2004

Peter Garrett lets his cat out of the bag (AFR , 20 May, 'Environment pays dearly for free trade'). He opposes the free trade treaty with the US because it will enrich us and in the process cause us to use more water, energy and land. There's an irony in being lectured on the evils of wealth by a

Green 'Truth' Just a Load of Hot Air

Courier Mail 1st October, 2003

The publication of Bjorn Lomborg's meticulously researched tome The Skeptical Environmentalist in 1998 shocked the environmental movement. Supported by 2930 footnotes and a bibliography that extended to 70 pages, Lomborg clinically examined the grand environmental issues of the day against the scientific

No Answer in the Wind

Herald Sun 22nd February, 2003

Sponsors of wind power are keen to promote it as not only clean and green but the modern way to meet our electricity requirements. Governments, businesses and trendy unionists are all dazzled by the development, profits, and jobs that wind generators seem to offer. And every week brings new propos

States Bark Up the Wrong Tree on Kyoto

Australian Financial Review 29th January, 2003

The greenhouse gas emissions market is where agenda-driven environmentalists hook-up with vested interests in creating opportunities for trading rights. Sarojini Krishnapillai of the Australian Conservation Foundation dangles a $750 carrot of billion emissions market he says will be lost to Australia unless we ra

Green Power Riddled by Perilous Politics and Specious Economics

The Age 18th November, 2002

The politics of energy is a heady brew. Two weeks ago, Candy Broad, the Energy Minister, announced measures designed to suppress electricity price rises. At the same time she called for additional use of high cost renewable energy which would boost electricity costs.

Climate Case not Proved

Herald Sun 24th August, 2002

Some 60,000 delegates from all over the world are now converging on Johannesburg to take part in a grand environment summit. Australia's Environment Minister is taking a taxpayer financed party of 50. Johannesburg will provide an opportunity for busybodies to swarm and attack the US (and Australia) for not

Power Without Reason

Herald Sun 1st June, 2002

The Kyoto climate control agreement is back in the news. Under this agreement, countries tentatively agreed to limit emissions of greenhouse gases (mainly carbon dioxide). The aim is to combat a forecast man-induced trend to increased global temperatures.

Can development be environmentally sustainable?

Online Opinion 1st March, 2002

Sustainable development as a term came into its own with the 1987 publication of the Brundtland Report. Brundtland herself was a Norwegian Socialist, and the report itself showed that influence. For example, reminiscent of earlier, flawed analysis by the Club of Rome, the report looked to replace existing energy 

Green Power Will Cost Us

Herald Sun 13th October, 2001

The ALP's policy decision to ratify the Kyoto Convention on greenhouse would deliver a cruel blow to the Victorian electricity industry and to the Latrobe Valley. At Kyoto, Australia agreed to limit its carbon dioxide emissions in 2010 to 8 per cent above the 1990 level. Already we are over 20 per cent

Will the Greens Close Down New Zealand?

IPA Review, September 2001

REVERING FALSE GODS The New Zealand Government may be on the verge of worshipping the Green Baal and throttling the nation’s agriculture by banning biotechnology. The implications of this are particularly profound for Australia. We share many regulatory, political and commercial institutions with New Zeal

Bush Gives Howard a Green Light

Australian Financial Review 2nd April, 2001

The Commonwealth Government has a ready opportunity to fill the $185 million hole in its budget as a result of the backdown on beer excise. President Bush's rejection of a greenhouse treaty offers Australia a heaven-sent opportunity to avoid needless expenditure. Following the US decision, the Government

Greenhouse tax would galvanise fuel industry

Australian Financial Review 16th September, 1999

Last month a position paper of the coal based electricity generators opposed ratifying the Kyoto greenhouse gas agreement and carbon taxes. Coal accounts for three quarters of electricity generation. In the past, the different carbon content of fuels has divided the power industry: a carbon tax advantages black co

Trade may pay a high price for green activism

The Age 8th July, 1996

The Hilmer reforms to competition policy seek to expunge State protectionism and preference for government-owned bodies. At the heart of this reform program is freedom of trade in electricity. This is being undermined by NSW legislation which, under the banner of greenhouse gas reductions, will severely i