Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The carbon price explained - NOT!

The other day I picked up a Greens brochure "The carbon price explained". The subheading was "a cleaner healthier Australia for our children."

The whole pamphlet (about 3 double-sided A4 pages' worth) is a comprehensive defense of the carbon price package against accusations it won't do anything, that poor people will pay more, or that climate isn't a serious threat. We could debate whether all of the defenses are completely accurate, but insofar as it's a defence against Abbott's climate-denier madness, it's understandable.

But there is not one word that admits that the carbon price package is extremely weak and won't actually see Australia "Moving to 100% Renewable Energy" as it says on one page. You only need to glance at the Greens' own principles and goals in their climate policies  to see the inadequacy of the carbon price.

It may be that the Greens realise the weaknesses, but want to defend the carbon price package in order to improve it. No doubt they will admit to climate activists that it's not good enough. But unless they can tell that truth to the general public, in brochures such as this one, they are undermining the basis of support for the climate activist movement in that same general public. 

They are in effect telling people, as no doubt Labor wants them to, that the bill is past us and climate action is being looked after by the government and we should support it.

The ALP is in such a shambles, it needs the Greens. They can give it a thin veneer of progressive respectability, a function played in other arenas (and earlier times) by the ALP Left and the unions. 

Sadly, this does not help us to mobilise the population to stop climate change. In fact, the Greens are now facing a very serious risk they will become part of the problem; the brochure I've used as an example here has already crossed that line.


  1. Ben, is the brochure available on the web anywhere? I would be most interested to see it.

  2. Saying anything against a brochure which supports fighting climate change with carbon pricing places you squarely in the climate denial camp.

    So, how you liking it on the denier side?

  3. Still hoping for constructive debate on this point, here's an article on the same theme at Green Left:
    "Labor rolled the Greens on the carbon price"


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