This is a guest post from Scaper..
“GREEN groups want emissions trading ditched in favour of direct and immediate action to tackle climate change.”
I believe Wong’s ETS is badly designed, it will subsidise big polluters and the citizens will bare the brunt although the government will compensate us to a certain degree which indicates a tax churn!
Lets try to move beyond the usual debate of if there is or is not AGW and look at the alternative policy outlined in the link…”Plan B.”
Green Groups have outlined eight points to their plan.
1- phasing out coal-fired power stations during the coming decade;
2- green makeovers for millions of homes;
3- mandatory fuel efficiency standards for cars;
4- more and cheaper public transport;
5- more cycle paths, more car pooling;
6- an end to urban sprawl;
7- generating 40 per cent of energy from renewable sources by 2020;
8- ending the logging of old-growth forests.
Lets concentrate on just a couple of points in this post as there is too much to cover in one thread.
2- I believe green makeovers for millions of homes would be the starting point but how could this be achieved? Obviously new housing should include solar hot water, panels, water harvesting and storage, insulation and design to make better use of the northerly aspect to reduce heating in winter.
But for any marked improvement there has to be a retrograde fitout of existing buildings which will involve serious dollars and should the government be solely responsible for covering the cost or should there be a somewhat sharing of costs in the form of tax credits redeemed say over a five year period?
This is a sticking point, in the foreseeable future the government has less room to move fiscally because of incurred debt so the revenue stream is limited, maybe some form of tax is required opposed to an ETS that will be totally dedicated to subsidisation of retrograding of houses opposed to going into general revenue which usually is utilised for other policy decisions, this has to be a stand alone fund.
Maybe a rollback of middle class welfare might just fill the revenue gap to achieve this end?
7-Generating 40 per cent of energy from renewable sources by 2020 is possible if point 2 is successful but there will be a substantial requirement for base load electricity to run industry and the like so the alternatives are wind, tidal, nuclear and geothermal.
Wind turbines are expensive to produce, a visual eyesore and produce electricity in variable quantities depending on conditions.
Tidal is still in its infancy but has potential in the future.
Nuclear due to its reputation is political suicide and the waste is an issue in itself.
Geothermal seems to be the best long term option but the optimum hot rock zones are in remote locations in South Australia and the Northern Territory which presents logistical problems to hook into respective power grids.
I’ve omitted clean coal technology as I’m very sceptical that this can be achieved at this juncture but if it is worthy of discussion then include it.
I believe we have to clean up our act and work towards sustainability regardless if there was global warming or not so this is not an issue on this thread.