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Thursday, 16 February 2012
Page: 1722

Mr SIMPKINS (Cowan) (12:39): The Australian people continue to be concerned about the Labor-Green government's carbon tax and they have every right to be concerned. An economy-wide carbon tax that exceeds the plans of every other economy in the world is reckless and destructive for Australian jobs and interests. The carbon tax was, as we know, specifically ruled out by the current Prime Minister and the Treasurer before the 2010 election and then deceitfully brought back after all the deals were done with the Greens and the Independents. It remains a disgrace and a blight on the democratic principles of our nation. Unfortunately the carbon tax deceit is an all-too-familiar hallmark of this Prime Minister and this government, all pretty much par for the course. They will be long remembered for these low standards.

I have spoken before about the carbon tax and I am not afraid to say that I am no adherent to the theory of anthropogenic global warming. I have made that point many times before in the parliament. Unlike those on the other side, I am not prepared to listen to the Prime Minister, the former Prime Minister and others whose justifications for the carbon tax betrayal are based upon the assertions that the science is settled or other great lines that begin with, 'All credible scientists agree' when the statements are just not true.

Recently Fritz Vahrenholt, a German electricity utility executive, holder of a doctorate of chemistry and author of Diekalte Sonne, said in an interview with Der Spiegel that the official United Nations forecasts on the severity of climate change are overstated and supported by weak science. Dr Vahrenholt has been noted as a real champion of renewable energy, so he does deserve to be listened to. In an interview, he states:

I want new scientific findings to be included in the climate debate. It would then become clear that the simple equation that CO2 and other man-made greenhouse gases are almost exclusively responsible for climate change is unsustainable. It has not gotten any warmer on this planet in almost 14 years, despite continued increases in CO2 emissions. Established climate science has to come up with an answer to that.

He went on to say:

In my experience as an energy expert, I learned that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is more of a political than a scientific body. As a reporteur on renewable energy, I witnessed how thin the factual basis is for predictions that are made at the IPCC.

For the IPCC and the politicians it influences, CO2 is practically the only factor. The importance of the sun for the climate is systematically underestimated, and the importance of CO2 is systematically overestimated. As a result, all climate predictions are based on the wrong underlying facts.

The Labor government is claiming that a carbon tax will reduce carbon output. As I have said previously, we know that carbon dioxide makes up around 395 parts per million in the atmosphere. But 97 per cent of that is naturally occurring, so human produced CO2 accounts for just three parts per million in the atmosphere or just 0.00001185 per cent of the atmosphere. But that is not the bottom line for this country, because Australia produces just 1.8 per cent of that figure. That means Australian production of CO2 amounts to 0.0000002133 per cent of the atmosphere. That is the figure against which this failure of a government wants to apply a multi-billion-dollar tax, to reduce that figure by just five per cent. This Labor government's multi-billion-dollar tax will result in the reduction of CO2 in the atmosphere by 0.000000010665 per cent. This is just another example of the failure of a policy that will do nothing for the environment and will only damage this country and reduce the standard of living for Australians.

Obviously the Greens and many in the Labor Party are true believers and very keen to redistribute the wealth of this country and not just attack the big employers in Australia but ensure that the downstream effects of the carbon tax will impact through every house, all for absolutely no effect on the environment of the world. In fact, the world's biggest carbon tax reaching across our economy will have no impact. What it will impact upon is the jobs of Australians and the competitive standing of so many of our industries. It will make it harder for businesses to expand or to continue to operate at current levels, making them more likely to lay off workers as they struggle to compete. Again, there will be no impact on the world's climate, nothing at all.

It is all very well for this government to seek to indoctrinate children through a grant to the children's TV program dirtgirlworld via state owned media, but North Korean tactics do not make up for the reality that human induced global warming is not a proven theory and that many questions remain unanswered, or perhaps they are unanswerable. I remind the government that Australians are not stupid. They are smart and they question the differences between what they see happening in the real world and what is pushed out to them in slick and emotive advertising campaigns by this low-credibility and untrustworthy government.