The major component of the contribution we (as a species) make to global warming is in the terms of Carbon.
It seems we add a load of Carbon Dioxide CO2 daily into the atmosphere of around 90 tonnes, which dissipates slowly back to earth. Forests absorb Carbon Dioxide and return the Carbon the the soil in terms of Plant Growth and return Oxygen to the air. As we reduce our forests so we reduce their capacity to deal with it. Most Carbon Dioxide comes from Manufacturing, Transport and Power Generation
Methane CH4 is another carbon compound and most of this comes from Agriculture. Changes in Agricultural practice has vastly increased the level of Methane production, most especially cause by the use of fertilizers rather than Crop Rotation.
Back Carbon of course is fine particles of Carbon in the atmosphere and the big contributor here is power generation, and effectively any process involved in the burning of coal or timber.
HaloCarbons are some of the most toxic things we emit and really should be subject to other legislation, and generally have been, though clearly there is some more work to be done.
It is the predominance of Carbon in all these compounds that leads to the idea of a “Price on Carbon” or a Carbon Tax. The idea is that if we recognize that there is a true social cost to pollution, and can find a way to express that cost economically, then we are providing an incentive to those who pollute to stop doing it. If by reducing Carbon emissions you are able to reduce the tax burdon you wear you have the potential to gain an economic advantage in the marketplace.
One of the concerns I have about this is that he moment you have a Carbon Tax you have a source of revenue for the Government, and a bureaucracy to sustain it. This does not make a lot of sense, the only thing that makes sense is that this revenue be used to invest in a cleaner future and repair damage in whatever ways are possible.
The total emissions seem to be about 200 tonnes a day globally. Australia accounts for about 2% of this, or about 4 tonnes a day. Julia believe that we will be able to carve this back to about 3.75 tonnes a day without having people make substantial changes.
As I see it, there is a lack of genuine political will to undertake the changes that are really likely to be required. And the Government needs to acknowledge that the Government is a big polluter. Coal Fired Power Stations, a commitment to the Coal Industry, no requirement on the part of those who but our Coal that they will deal with it cleanly, and a lack of will to bear the costs. The prime motivation for the Gillard Led proposed Carbon Tax is because the Greens made her do it, or there was no deal and that would have meant no Gillard Government.
So, because she has had her hand forced, she is between a rock and a hard place, The Greens want … or, Wilkie wants … or, Windsor wants … or, Oakshot wants … or, Causcus wants … or, Rudd wants … or, and effectively with the opinion polls now well and truly down the toilet she is one bi-election from disaster. Does this mean that any Labor member or the Lower House in any medical emergency will be kept on life support.
Surely the better proposition is to put the case clearly before the people, reasoned and argued for both sides and let the people make a decision. Then we have a decision, a mandate, and a government with the moral authority to act. The mechanism to achieve this is called a referendum, if if Bob doesn’t like that then he does not like democracy