Australia is about to introduce a tax on carbon emissions. So far the USA has resisted the idea.
Do you have a position on the concept of a carbon-based tax and do you think it can make a difference?
To me, any sort of Emissions Trading Scheme (often called a carbon tax) is a complete nonsense.
If the objective is to encourage replacement technologies, then there should be encouragement of replacement technologies, but that is not happening.
Oil is the perfect capitalist energy source. It is centralised (pumped from a small pipe), can easily be controlled centrally, and can be dominated by monopolies, to the detriment of everyone else.
It costs about US$0.30 (30 cents – full capitalised cost) to get a barrel of Saudi oil to the port. Everything between that and the sale price (about US$100) is profit – about 30,000 percent.
Does anyone honestly think that the sort of money being made by that profit margin, and the political influence it can buy, is ever going to allow anything to seriously threaten that monopoly.
Carbon trading schemes only embed in oil based technologies with a new set of vested interests (those interested in carbon sinks). There is very little effect on developing effective replacement technologies.
It is just another example of where the whole concept of market based systems fails to meet the interests of humanity as a whole.
People are now creating artificial shortages of things, just to keep the monetary value high.
It is a relatively simple job to make energy free for all, yet there is no incentive within our current systems to do so, because too many people are making too much money from the inflated prices being paid for oil.
So to my mind, any sort of carbon tax, or carbon trading scheme, is just a ploy to put yet more money in the hands of the already fabulously wealthy oil cartels, and has little or nothing to do with effectively dealing with the threat posed by global emission of CO2, and the global destruction wrought by a world economy which is based in planet-finance, and is completely disconnected from the ecological reality that actually sustains us (rather that the myth of money that deludes most of us).