Tuesday, 07 June 2011

Poll: Australian “Carbon Tax” Wildly Unpopular

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The Australian federal government’s effort to levy a tax on carbon-dioxide emissions to battle supposed “climate change” is facing massive resistance from voters, despite a flurry of pro-carbon-tax propaganda and government-funded reports touting alleged benefits of the scheme while downplaying its harmful effects.

A poll taken earlier this month revealed that almost 60 percent of Australians opposed the so-called “carbon tax.” Just 28 percent were in favor of the scheme, with the rest undecided. Close to 75 percent of those polled believed the government’s plan would leave them worse off financially while offering little or no benefit to the environment.

"The problem for the government is that most voters believe the personal cost outweighs the environmental benefits," explained pollster David Briggs of Galaxy polls, which conducted the survey for the News Limited media firm. Results were released on June 6 following intense protests by pro- and anti-carbon-tax forces across Australia.

Critics point out that the scheme would increase the cost of energy — and by extension, everything else — while sending jobs abroad. Poor people would obviously be the worst hit. Other opponents also contend that man-made global-warming theories are a “hoax.” Supporters, meanwhile, claim that carbon dioxide released by human activity must be curtailed to “save the climate.”

Opposition to the carbon tax in Australia is particularly intense because Prime Minister Julia Gillard of the “democratic socialist” Labor Party promised before the elections not to push the scheme. But after assuming power, she betrayed voters and is now — in her words — “determined” to impose the CO2 regime on the population.

“If you care about the environment, then you want to price carbon and that's precisely what we'll do," she told Parliament after an anti-carbon-tax protest in the capital attracted people from all across the country. "We will get on with the job of leading this nation to a clean energy future." After the carbon tax, Gillard hopes to saddle the nation with a “cap-and-trade” regime by 2015.

Following the Prime Minister’s about-face, however, voters and activists were outraged — less than a quarter of Australians believe she has a “mandate” to implement the plan. Meanwhile, two-thirds of Australians now want a new election held, according to the Galaxy poll. Gillard is steadfastly refusing. But Australians are not backing down.

"The Australian public have not had a chance to vote or have a say on the issue," complained Chris Johnson of the Consumers and Taxpayers Association, which helped organize protests outside of Parliament and across the nation.

Johnson also demanded that a new election be held before the scheduled 2013 vote. The ruling Labor government, however, responded by labeling the protesters “extremists” and “deniers.”

There is no early election planned thus far. But even other politicians are backing the calls for a new vote. "The prime minister does have a legitimacy problem and she should do the right thing by the Australian people and not introduce this tax without seeking a mandate for it at an election," Opposition Leader Tony Abbott said in a radio interview on June 6.

Pro-carbon-tax agitators, meanwhile, are being organized by a George Soros-funded outfit called GetUp! Created by the World Bank and United Nations insider — and financed  heavily by unions — the leftist group is also deeply tied to the socialist Australian Fabian Society. Seizing on a recent government study about global warming from the “Department of Climate Change,” alarmists are rallying around the claim that some roads could be washed away if “high-end” estimates of sea-level rises over the next 100 years become a reality. The government also claimed on June 7 that the tax would somehow create jobs.

But while government spokespeople, pro-carbon tax activists, and establishment media outlets such as the Associated Press continue referring to carbon dioxide as harmful “pollution,” the reality is not quite so simple. CO2 is actually exhaled during human breathing and is an essential component of all plant life.

Plus, man-made emissions of the crucial molecule represent a mere fraction of all carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. The vast majority of it is released by natural sources such as volcanoes, fires, decomposition, the ocean, and more. And on top of that, water vapor — not CO2accounts for nearly all of the so-called “greenhouse effect.” Human greenhouse-gas contributions to the atmosphere currently make up less than 0.3 percent of the total.

But oil companies and wealthy insiders such as the Rockefeller family and George Soros have been funding the global warming-alarmism machine for years. And with power-hungry governments — which have an obvious vested interest in higher taxes — financing and commissioning most “climate research,” it’s hardly surprising that some scientists on the state dole would claim that a “carbon tax” is appropriate.

Countless climate scandals have emerged in recent years, however, making a mockery of many alarmist “scientists,” governments, and, particularly, the United Nations. As with other faulty theories, the climate-change bandwagon appears to be slowly self-destructing, according to analysts. Desperate grasps such as Australia’s proposal still emerge occasionally despite overwhelming public opposition, but they’re becoming increasingly rare.

A recently developed regional “cap and trade” system in the northeastern United States, for example, already appears to be crumbling. New Jersey announced just last month that it was leaving the "failed" carbon regime for good. Even the government of France scrapped its carbon tax last year. And polls consistently show belief in man-made climate-change theories plummeting around the world; a recent poll revealed that barely a third of Americans believe the theories.     

Under the current proposal in Australia, the carbon-tax regime would be erected by July 1 of next year. The potential so-called “price” of emitting CO2 is still in flux, but will likely start off below $30 — for now.

The plan is expected to continue facing stiff opposition from the public, businesses, taxpayers, and lawmakers. But the ruling government and its apologists are already waging a fierce public-relations campaign to promote the scheme and minimize its myriad negative effects. Whether it will succeed remains to be seen.

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