Penny Wong a Climate Change Skeptic?

Leading the charge in pushing for ALP’s “Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme” has been Minister for Climate Change and Water, Penny Wong. However, Penny’s real conviction (or lack thereof) on the matter may have been revealed by the following unlikely story:

Scientists have found camels to be the third-highest carbon-emitting animal per head on the planet, behind only cattle and buffalo. Culling the one million feral camels that currently roam the outback would be equivalent to taking 300,000 cars off the road in terms of the reduction to the country’s greenhouse gases.

Given that Australia’s feral camel population is already considered an environmental problem, you’d think this one would be a slam dunk, but the story continues:

But Climate Change Minister Penny Wong told The Australian there was little point doing anything about Australia’s feral camels as only the CO2 of the domesticated variety is counted under the Kyoto Protocol.

But what about the planet, Penny?

Forget the absurdity of not counting feral animals for a moment (though that is a story in itself), but if you sincerely believe that carbon is a serious pollutant, would you not wish to do something about it? Just because it doesn’t “count” towards the bureaucratic Kyoto protocol, surely it still counts towards carbon going into the atmosphere? The only logical conclusion from this is that she doesn’t really believe what she says – that she does not consider carbon to be a serious pollutant.

[Hat Tip: Andrew Bolt]


For those of you sensible enough not to read Crikey, I’m sorry to do this to you. If I was a stronger person I would also just stop reading neo-socialist commentary. But like a gawker at a car crash, I just can’t seem to look away.

Crikey’s main writer — Bernard Keane — has been telling us for months that expansionary fiscal policy works well, and that the ETS is good policy. I have occasionally sent him a quick e-mail pointing out some of his more egregious errors (not understanding how national accounts work, claiming that most economists prefer an ETS to a carbon tax) but he hasn’t responded or corrected them.

But today’s mistake deserves a special mention.

Flicking through the recently-released MYEFO (Commonwealth mini-budget) Keane claims that it “gives the lie to the absurd line from ETS opponents such as the Nationals that the CPRS is a giant tax.”

For Keane, the reason that the ETS isn’t a big tax is that the government is going to match the tax with higher level of government spending. In the world of neo-socialists, if you tax and spend then you haven’t really taxed. Wow.

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