Australia: ‘Tea Party’ Style Campaign Against Carbon Tax

Millicent wind farm, South Australia at sunrise. Image by Flickr user Bush Philosopher - Dave Clarke (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).

Millicent wind farm, South Australia at sunrise. Image by Flickr user Bush Philosopher – Dave Clarke (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).

If the Oz blogosphere is any indication, the next Australian Federal election will be a referendum on a proposed climate tax. And the issue has already become nasty and personal:

Prime Minister Julia Gillard endured a fiery morning on talkback radio today as she came out swinging in the political war over her plans to put a price on Australia's carbon emissions.

Yesterday Ms Gillard announced the scheme would start from July 2012 but did not say how much carbon would cost and gave no firm date for it to become a fully fledged emissions trading scheme.
Gillard comes out swinging in carbon war

Simon at Australian Climate Madness is no fan of climate action. He focused on a broken election promise from 2010 accusing the PM of being a liar:

Climate Madness of the Year. Julia Gillard, who lied to the Australian people before the last election that there would be no carbon tax, has today announced just such a tax as part of a price on carbon. As readers of this blog will know, a price on carbon will do nothing whatsoever for the climate, and will simply damage Australia's standard of living and economy. In other words, it is a pointless environmental gesture designed to appease the extremist Greens, on whom Gillard is so dependent.
Abbott: “people's revolt” against carbon tax

At Embrace Australia Robert Pearce presented a very different view of global warming and the need for action:

Despite the cost that will go hand in hand with the carbon tax, Mr Abbot seems oblivious to the long term necessity of a carbon based tax in order to steer the economy toward a low carbon future and to reward those who make inroads to this future and to punish those who disregard the planet’s future.
Gillard Under Fire For Proposal Of Carbon Tax

Former South African Ozzie Saffa describes his blog as ‘my tribute to South Africa; the fall of the USA and Europe; race relations; the future of Australia; Islamisation of the world; and the global warming farce.’ The attack on the carbon tax was reminiscent of the U.S. Tea Party rhetoric against Barack Obama:

Australia is angry – Australia is angry that its clueless socialist Labor government is running the country into the ground.

… any way you look at it, it is robbing the rich/middle classes (non- welfare claimers) to pay for the poor and who already suck off the welfare teat. Classic Socialism 101
Julia Gillard's carbon tax a betrayal

Gary Sauer-Thompson's Public Opinion bemoans the politicisation of the issue:

It is also unclear whether this agreement will be designed to reduce Australia’s contribution to climate change, or whether it’s a political fix that postpones the issue of emissions trading yet again. At this stage I'm inclined towards a political fix scenario until events indicate otherwise.

In this round the fight will be about politics — not policy, not evidence, and not science. The Coalition, the big polluters, mining industry and the conservative media will fight this policy to the death.
ALP bites the bullet on climate change?

Grog’s Gamut aka Greg Jericho had a detailed analysis of the political positions of the leaders:

The biggest fight of this political generation starts today. Both Abbott and Gillard love to fight, the problem for Abbott is that for the last 6 months Gillard seemed to have nothing to fight for. She now does. She looked confident at the press conference, and looked like she welcomed the fight in parliament.

On the day she became PM she said to Abbott, “Game on”.

It sure is now.
On the QT: Abbott sings the song of angry men; Gillard’s the Master of the House

Rightjab, a regular online critic of Islam, is also enraged by climate action:

This will make no difference to global temperatures. But the government will control every aspect of our lives.
Orwellian Orstralia

Harry Clarke who writes On economics, politics & other things gave measured support to the announcement rather than an emotive response:

I am pleased that the Australian Government will introduce a carbon tax of sorts from July next year – a common guess is that it will be about $26 per tonne CO2 although the size of the tax has not yet been announced. Then an emissions trading scheme in 3-5 years after that. The little information available on these pricing plans is provided by Peter Martin here. The ‘on-again’, ‘off-again’ attempts to price carbon in Australia make me more than a little cautious but certainly this is the best news for years. From what I can read, Tony Abbott has committed to oppose the measure now but not yet agreed to revoke it if he should gain power at the next election – it is easy to understand this since the Liberal Party do not have anything approximating a credible policy on climate. Julia Gillard and the Labor Party now face the task of selling the proposed measures to the Australian people.
Carbon pricing for Australia

Café Whispers is a group blog where I sometimes post. Nasking did not hold back in his criticism of the Opposition leader Tony Abbott:

It seems to this blogger he’s an attention seeker with the morality of an infant at times…who speaks trolleyfulls of drivel…a desperate contortionist negabore who has become a blott on the political landscape…a barbed wire hurdle for the public who want reform that is for the public good…a liability for a Coalition that have been severely divided by his fear-mongering, dog whistling, say NO to everything, mouth before wicket approach.

He was one of many to ridicule Abbott’s attempts at Churchillian hyperbole:

“We will fight this every second of every minute of every hour of every day of every week of every month,”

(When not doing Churchill impressions for the mirror…fighting on the beaches…and cycling like a manic on steroids)
Abbott’s Drivel Continues

Menzies House, ‘the leading Australian community for conservative, centre-right and libertarian thinkers and activists’, is named after another famous conservative Prime Minister, Australia’s Liberal Prime Minister Sir Robert Menzies. It has started a new online presence to ramp up the campaign:

Menzies House is proud to annouce its latest project –

We all know that this carbon tax is nothing more than a shameless grab for cash by the Gillard-Brown government. It will do nothing to help the environment, and will seriously hurt Australian families and businesses.

It will damage the economy, cost jobs, and force households to pay hundreds of dollars in extra taxes.
New MH Project: Stop Gillard's Carbon Tax

I wonder what lover of the Queen's English, Bob Menzies, would have made of the ‘annouce’ typo.

1 comment

  • Phil Cowan

    I am with Gary Sauer-Thompson in bemoaning not only the politicisation of the issue, but also the way it has been reduced to attacks on individuals. I understand that the motives behind the political comments at times needs to be exposed as they often hide the real issues/facts that need to be debated to understand the correct course of action.

    Anyway if anyone can direct me to an objective web site that has comprehensive factual arguments regarding climate change it would be appreciated.

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