With final approval of the Senate on July 17, Australia officially became the first developed nation to repeal its deeply controversial tax on emissions of carbon dioxide, dealing a major setback to proponents of increasingly discredited man-made “global warming” theories. Climate realists worldwide celebrated the historic development, while enraged global-warming theorists furiously lashed out at Australian lawmakers. Analysts also noted that the repeal, shepherded through by conservative Prime Minister Tony Abbott, could be a foreshadowing of much bigger problems for the widely criticized United Nations anti-CO2 crusade.
Of course, the new Australian leader actually rose to power in a landslide last year by promising the public that he would repeal the economy-crushing tax on CO2 emissions. Despite opposition from climate alarmists in the Labour Party and other smaller parties — extreme Greens Party boss Christine Milne even claimed Australia would become a “global pariah” — Abbott was finally able to fulfill what analysts said was his most important campaign pledge. Because his conservative-leaning Liberal Party does not control the Senate, however, the Australian prime minister relied on support of other parties to secure the historic 39 to 32 victory.
The tax on CO2 emissions was originally adopted by the Labour Party-led government in 2011, which broke its promise not to impose it. After the scheme sparked soaring costs of living and record business failures, the Australian public turned overwhelmingly against it, with Abbott offering a “pledge in blood” to kill the tax. Those promises led his party to a massive victory in last year’s legislative elections. However, because the Senate was not under conservative control, two previous efforts since then to ax the tax had failed. On July 17, though, with support from three senators in businessman Clive Palmer’s party, Abbott succeeded in pushing the measure through following a successful vote in the House of Representatives last week.
“Today the tax that you voted to get rid of is finally gone; a useless destructive tax which damaged jobs, which hurt families’ cost of living and which didn't actually help the environment is finally gone,” declared Abbott in a news conference after the historic Senate vote, drawing praise from across Australia and around the world. Calling the carbon scheme a “9 percent impost on power prices, a $9 billion handbrake on our economy,” the prime minister estimated that the repeal would save Australian voters and businesses more than $8 billion per year. That works out to over $500 for the average household, he added.
If the tax had not been killed, it was set to increase dramatically, dealing another major blow to embattled consumers and the economy. In 2015, the anti-carbon plot was even supposed to become a full-fledged cap-and-trade regime, where “permits” to emit CO2 could be bought and sold in a “carbon market.” However, the entire idea behind the plot is becoming increasingly controversial even among climate alarmists — especially as horrifying atrocities against poor people across Africa and Latin America linked to UN and World Bank “carbon offset” schemes began making headlines in recent years.
At the global level, Australian authorities under Abbott’s leadership have also bucked the UN and its sought-after carbon regime, too. Last year, Canberra, the capital of Australia, even declared that the nation would not accept any more UN “socialism masquerading as environmentalism.” That means, among other measures: no more funding for international climate hysteria and no more taxes supposedly aimed at controlling alleged “global warming,” officials said. Australian leaders also vowed not to accept any more planetary “agreements” or wealth-redistribution schemes, though some officials are reportedly wavering.
Opposition lawmakers were outraged by the decision to rein in the taxpayer-funded climate hysteria and the devastating policies it spawned. Some even essentially claimed that the sky would fall. “This is a fundamental moment in Australia's history,” Labour Party Senator Lisa Singh warned ahead of the vote. “We are about to devastate the future of this country.” It was not immediately clear how removing a tax on what scientists call the “gas of life” would “devastate” the country.
In fact, even if the man-made global-warming theories were grounded in reality, human emissions of CO2 represent a fraction of one percent of all greenhouse gases present naturally in the atmosphere — and Australia’s contribution to that is negligible at best at about one percent.
But in truth, the warming claims are dubious at best; 73 out of 73 UN “climate models” forecasting warming as CO2 increased have been proven embarrassingly incorrect by the observable evidence: No rise in global temperatures for 18 years and counting, record levels of sea ice, and much more. Virtually every alarmist prediction that could be disproven has been.
Nonetheless, taxpayer- and crony-capitalist funded global warmists whose jobs depend on keeping the hysteria alive were furious. “We are taking a monumentally reckless backward leap even as other countries are stepping up to climate action,” Climate Institute boss John Connor claimed in an interview with the New York Times. “Australia’s economy is much more carbon-intensive than the U.S. economy.” Other alarmists made similar claims.
The emerging super-state regime in Brussels ruling over the formerly sovereign nations of Europe also expressed its displeasure. “The European Union regrets the repeal of Australia's carbon pricing mechanism just as new carbon pricing initiatives are emerging all around the world,” complained EU “climate” czar Connie Hedegaard in a statement. “The EU is convinced that pricing carbon is not only the most cost-effective way to reduce emissions, but also the tool to make the economic paradigm shift the world needs.”
Another UN would-be climate controller Christiana Figueres has previously lashed out at self-government in the United States for preventing what she claims to view as urgent measures to control alleged “global warming.” Instead, she praised the brutal Communist Chinese regime’s system, which she said was “doing it right.” Of course, China is among the most polluted nations on Earth — real pollution, not CO2, which is exhaled by humans and essential to plant life — in addition to being ruled by one of the most oppressive and murderous autocracies in human history.
Outside of extreme environmentalist groups and power-hungry politicians, though, citizens and industry in Australia were more than pleased with the death of the carbon tax. “Today's repeal of the carbon pricing mechanism is significant as it removes a cost facing Australian LNG (liquefied natural gas) exporters competing in global markets; one that does not exist for our international competitors,” explained David Byers, chief of the Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association. Mining interests, small business, grocers, and more also celebrated the repeal, saying it would help boost Australia’s economy and global competitiveness.
While Australia moves to restore sanity, the Obama administration has gone radically in the other direction. When a Democrat-controlled Congress refused to impose an unconstitutional, economy-crushing carbon regime on the United States, the executive branch simply imposed one by decree through the Environmental Protection Agency. Top Obama officials have claimed that there is “zero” chance of Congress being able to stop it, but state governments and U.S. lawmakers are already fighting back against the plot.
Around the world, Canada and Japan have also both attracted the ire of what critics refer to as the “climate cult” for refusing to cooperate fully with UN carbon scheming. In Europe, however, the increasingly power-hungry EU continues to operate an anti-CO2 regime. The UN, meanwhile, is hoping to secure a draconian planetary carbon regime at a global-warming summit scheduled for next year in Paris. However, critics and experts have warned that the proposed plot would be devastating to humanity — and especially the poor.
While the Obama administration and the UN continue hyping their climate theories, the supposed “science” underpinning them has literally melted. All over the world, scientists are jumping off the alarmist bandwagon, and now, it appears that governments are, too. Still, the UN has expressed confidence in securing a global climate regime to shackle humanity with next year. Americans who believe in real science, national sovereignty, free markets, and liberty must redouble their efforts to stop it.
Alex Newman, a foreign correspondent for The New American, is currently based in Europe. He can be reached at