Australia ends “useless and destructive” carbon tax

17 Jul


I first heard about this on PBS’/Deutsche Welle World Journal. You never hear this kind of stuff on the American networks. 

Nothing like this will happen in California as long as we are stuck with the Democratic Party. California has become a sink hole for the liberal politician who knows just how to squeeze the public teat. 

Here in Chico, it would be nice if we could get some city representation that worked toward practical goals that resulted in a lower cost of living and more jobs for constituents, instead of jumping on every feel-good salary scheme that comes down the pike. I’d like  to see some bluster behind a letter to Jerry Brown and other state heads, telling them their taxes and their onerous regulations are killing jobs and ruining families. Like Tony Abbott said, these taxes hurt families, and they don’t help the environment. 

That’s something I’d like to see from one of our city council candidates – a letter to the governor, asking for some relief from these onerous taxes and regulations. What I think I will hear first is a call for an increase in the sales tax to fund more police. We’ll have to see what happens. 





25 Responses to “Australia ends “useless and destructive” carbon tax”

  1. Mark July 18, 2014 at 11:30 am #

    It might be useless, except for the fact that Australia is in a decade long drought brought about by human induced climate change, which would seem to mean fewer jobs and a higher cost of living for those Australians now safe from excessive regulation.

    • Juanita Sumner July 18, 2014 at 12:39 pm #

      Here’s where you and I disagree – that the climate change is brought about by humans.

      Go to the southern Sierra. They say LA stole the water from Mono – no Mark, Uplift stole the water from Mono. Uplift trapped water in the Sierra, and it was frozen into glaciers. Those glaciers slowly melted over thousands of years, forming Mono and many other lakes that were dry before white people came to Eastern California. The glaciers were not replenished, there is some kind of “snow shadow”. So, as they melted, the water source disappeared. Mono was like a puddle, waiting to dry up after a flood.

      Nature is so complex Mark, you know that. Carbon tax is just a revenue grab, a taking.

      You seem to be at war against the human race Mark.

      • Mark July 18, 2014 at 1:33 pm #

        I will stick with the scientists on this one, and disagree with you on climate change. And uplift does not trap glaciers, sorry. Since you like to personify, you seem to be at war with the planet.

      • Juanita Sumner July 19, 2014 at 5:08 am #

        as usual, you’re the expert, nobody else knows anything. “The scientists”? You mean, the other people who agree with you because it furthers their political scheme?

        I went to college too Mark, I graduated summa cum laude, almost 4.0. You’re not the only college graduate around here. Just because you have a classroom full of captives who are forced to suck up to you for a grade doesn’t make you an expert on anything.

        I’m at war with the planet? You are living a lie Mark, you’re all talk and no action. My family lives what you talk about. But, our kids can’t get jobs here – know about any jobs, Mark? Anything besides scraping slop off plates in trendy restaurants? Cleaning student’s garbage out of abandoned apartments? What jobs has sustainability produced in our town Old Buddy, ask your scientist friends that.

  2. Mark July 19, 2014 at 5:48 am #

    I agree with the scientists. They don’t agree with me. 98% say it is true. I believe them.
    You are right about jobs, however. The only local sustainability jobs created in any number have been in local food production. The folks at GRUB have started two farms and a couple dozen former students have found work, but that doesn’t really help your kids or mine. My oldest has already left town.

    • Juanita Sumner July 19, 2014 at 12:54 pm #

      I would be interested in hearing what kind of work GRUB provides, and what kind of wages they are paying.

      A few years back, ex Chamber CEO Jim Goodwin said our housing is too expensive for most employers, they can’t pay the kind of wages that it takes to buy a $400,000 house. Even those little crappers at Doe Mill are going for over $200,000.

      About a year ago I sat in on a conversation Downtown in which the owner of Wizard Manufacturing asked the Finance Committee what they could do to keep wages down. That sounds evil, but I know what he meant – how can he hire people at the wages it takes to live in Chico? It’s not just housing – groceries are up, everything’s up, and it’s not the price of gas. Public salaries have driven up the cost of everything.

      What could the city do to keep the cost of living down and attract more employers? Besides cutting their own salaries and living within the budget instead of shaking residents down for extra revenues, they could just get out of the development business. The city made it’s attempt at buying land for low-income housing – why did they pay so much over market for the ridiculously undesirable properties they bought? Why does it cost $7 million dollars for land to build low-income housing? During the boom, they kept saying they wanted housing for “starter families” – why did they approve variances to the code for high-end stuff like Sorrento and Riviera Court, allowing the developers to go sub-code to blow out the square footage? And RECO didn’t do anything to help first time buyers – it eliminates the “fixer-upper.” The seller has to do so much stuff to a house before selling that it just adds to the price and hassle for the buyer. Nothing the city of Chico has done to manipulate the housing market has been good, it’s had exactly the opposite effect – driven prices up and quality down.

      We need better leadership Downtown. We need people who put jobs ahead of plastic bag bans. I find it ironic that the bag ban will actually be good for Roplast – a business located in Oroville.

      • Mark July 19, 2014 at 6:06 pm #

        GRUB are farmers. They pay enough to live, but not enough to afford insurance or buy a house. I admit it is not an impressive reply to your question of “what jobs has sustainability produced.”

      • Juanita Sumner July 20, 2014 at 6:19 am #

        Well, thanks for being honest. When you say “live,” I’m not sure what you mean. Can they even afford to be on a lease? What if they get injured and have to go to the ER?

        When my husband hired a “helper,” we knew we had to have him on the books, but we didn’t know how to do the paper work, so we went through a temp agency. At the time, minimum wage was around $5/hour – he asked for $8/hour – enough to afford our helper a nice room in a house, meals, and a small savings account for emergencies. He was saving up to get his own license, and eventually did. $8/hour seemed appropriate given his position – shadow my husband, learn, carry heavy stuff, pick up trash at the end of the job. We had to pay him a total of $17/hour so that he could take home about $7.50 – about $1.50 went to the agency, the rest went to the government. This made it so expensive to use him my husband could only use him on big jobs. Meanwhile, there were contractors all around him using undocumented workers, paying them under the table. They were taking home as much or more than Sonny.

        Of course the other $10, we told Sonny, would insure that he had social security, etc. He was an educated person, he understood that. Obamacare would have put us out of business, thank goodness we already quit. When we had the occasional injury – usually cuts from sharp knives or tack strip – Andy just took them to Immediate Care and paid for it. Once Andy was doing a floor at Chico State, and he slipped in his own “floor patch” – this stuff that is spread to fill the pocks and uneven spots in a concrete floor. He hit his head so hard the floor patch went through his hat. A friend who had stopped by drove him to IC, but he was alert enough to tell our friend, “stop at the bank, I’m going to need at least $200 cash.” Because my husband was a contractor, Chico State had no liability, paid nothing. And contractors don’t get SSI or workman’s comp.

        When those employee expenses became too much for my husband’s old bitch employer, she made all her flooring installers get their own licenses so she wouldn’t have to cover them anymore. Think about that – contractors not only have to have liability insurance for their customers, they have to cover their own healthcare (and retirement!), and then they have to cover employees. Of course, that is passed on to the customer, who looks at the estimate and says, “sheesh, we don’t need new flooring.”

        My grandpa was a farmer – he provided two meals! And paid well, or he wouldn’t be able to get anybody. Employers need to be responsible and provide good wages – but that’s not the trend with public employers these days. You might have heard, CARD is cutting their lower paid employees to 27 hours or less to avoid having to pay Obamacare. I have to wonder, how many employees the city keeps “part time” for the same reason. This is bad for our local economy – these people have no disposable income. It’s not just that we pay for all that while CARD management makes $100,000+ salaries, it’s that it lowers the quality of life for every body but the management elite.

        Of course, private employers don’t have the guaranteed revenues that CARD has – our property taxes. They are at the mercy of the market. When I think of the burden they have with all the payroll taxes (a tax an employer pays just for the privilege of having employees) and other fees, I can’t believe a town like Chico would add “green business” regulations and stick businesses with all this “green house gas study” nonsense. How much $taff time has gone into that – are you keeping track? I know you’re not posting any meetings or any records of meetings – have you been meeting behind closed doors with your committees? We’d all like to know what’s going on with the STF Mark, how about some Sunshine?

        I feel just having a “Sustainability Task Force” is business unfriendly. You might as well stand out on Hwy 99 or post a big sign on your roof – “EMPLOYERS, KEEP MOVING, WE DON’T LIKE YOUR KIND AROUND HERE…YOU GREENHOUSE GAS PRODUCING BASTARDS!”

      • Juanita Sumner July 20, 2014 at 8:13 am #

        Mark sent me this reply:

        I could not reply directly to your request for transparency.


    • bob July 19, 2014 at 2:11 pm #

      98%, eh? Well, that’s bogus. But one thing is certain and that is that public “servants” like you are on the global warming gravy train.

      • Mark July 19, 2014 at 6:03 pm #

        Hi Bob,

        I have no idea who you are, and evidently you do not know me. I just teach the concepts. I don’t develop them, or profit from them. Here is the research on the 97%. We can continue the conversation if you have anything of substance to add.

        I recognize that the WSJ challenged the figure. Here is the author’s rebuttal.


      • bob July 20, 2014 at 9:57 am #

        “I just teach the concepts. I don’t develop them, or profit from them.”

        So you say you are employed to spread the “concepts” yet you say you don’t profit from it? Of course you profit from it. And you are on the “Sustainability” Task Force that will decide how we are allowed to live our lives. Who pays your salary, retirement, benefits, etc.? Who pays for the policies you enact?

        Even if the majority of “scientists” believe something that doesn’t make it true. At one point the conventional wisdom was that the Earth was flat. Also, science has become corrupt. No one in academia is going to get tenure, funding, etc. if they present any evidence that goes against the conventional “wisdom.”

        Click to access 10-2012_myth_of_the_98_percent.pdf

        This climate change alarmism is about money and control, not science. The Goldman Sachs white shoe boys and Al Gore stand to make billions off of carbon credit trading. Companies like GE stand to make billions with equipment they will make that companies will be forced to buy due to new regulations. The standard of living of the peons will fall even further as energy costs increase and the peons have their lives further controlled by what type of energy they will be allowed to use and how they will be allowed to use it.

        Ask yourself if agw is for real how come people like Al Gore and Ahnode Schwarzenwhatever have huge carbon footprints? (They own multiple mansions, fly the world in private jets and have fleets of gas guzzlers.)

        But people of your ilk may fail. Australia isn’t going along with this. None of the BRIC countries are. And the European countries are balking. (The Europeans have found that solar, wind, etc. is uneconomical and have pulled many of their subsidies.)

        The only governments forcing carbon tax are California and Quebec. Obama may lose in his attempt to by-pass the people and Congress and have the EPA force this down our throats.

        “But there is a new 97 percent number concerning the latest U.N. report that goes unmentioned. John Droz, a physicist and mathematician, who heads up the Alliance for Wise Energy Decisions (AWED), has just released an independent study that shows 97 percent of the computer models attached to the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) overestimate the amount of carbon dioxide induced warming. Droz’s study probes into the draft version of the U.N.’s Fifth Assessment, which was released in September.
        For starters, the global average surface temperature increase in the latter half of the 20th Century is only about half of what the U.N. foresaw. And as has been frequently discussed, there has not been any significant increase in surface temperatures since about 1998.

        Believers in anthropogenic global warming usually respond to this development by claiming that while the surface climate has not become warmer in many years, the average temperature of the Earth’s deep oceans has increased during the same time-period.

        Unfortunately for these claims, however, they tend to be based overwhelmingly upon comparisons of the recent and accurate ocean measurements from the international Argo project with unreliable historical data gathered in the past by navy ships from various countries.”

  3. Mark July 20, 2014 at 7:02 pm #


    I don’t profit from teaching students that Europeans settled the New World with the help of biological co-invaders anymore than when I tell them that current civilization is reaching peak everything. I get paid by the state of California (wages, benefits, and retirement) to teach the classes and the subjects that I am assigned. While I don’t deny that I am on a gravy train, it has nothing to do with climate change.

    I agree that our understanding of the Earth changes over time. In the 1600’s most people thought the world was flat. In the 1960’s, few believed in plate tectonics. I would simply point out that the conventional wisdom of the past thousand years is that humans could not possibly impact something as big as the Earth, let alone alter the basic chemistry of the atmosphere; but now scientists are finding out that we can and that we are.

    I also agree that the tenure system tends to put blinders on academics as they move through the system. Thomas Kuhn wrote about the resistance to plate tectonics in his book “The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.” In my opinion, however, the real rogues in climate science are those who claim the changes will happen much faster and with greater impacts than predicted by the IPCC, not those who say it is not happening at all. I also respect your distrust of Goldman Sachs and General Electric and I can’t imagine how to keep them from skimming off the top of any arrangement.

    I also agree that Al and Arnold are clearly not leading by example, but they are politicians, so do really expect different behavior? To be fair, I personally find it hard to keep reducing my carbon footprint. I live in an energy intensive culture. It is going to be hard to move away from that in meaningful ways, as the STF is discovering.

    • bob July 21, 2014 at 9:35 am #

      Well, then Mark, we don’t disagree on everything!

      I agree in sustainablility, just not the way STF goes about it.

      I would urge you to check out

      This sounds encouraging but I have my doubts. I know both big and small companies who have poured hundreds of millions into creating ethanol from algae and other sources but they went out of business or did not make a profit so they scaled back operations.

      I’m not sure why this is. It seems non-petroleum based energy can’t be competitive on a large scale without taxpayer subsidies. However, big oil does receive subsidies too so I’m not sure if that’s the reason.

      I can’t do much more to cutback my carbon foot print. I live in about a 700 sq foot building, don’t use a heater, hand dry my clothes and use my AC as little as possible. I only drive about 2000 miles a year and that’s in a honda civic that gets 37 mpg on the highway.

      All I know is that cap-n-trade and other schemes are going to increase my cost of living and the fat cats will profite from it.

    • Juanita Sumner July 22, 2014 at 7:01 am #

      Mark, I was just going over the STF agenda for July 31 and have a couple of questions if you’d like to discuss them here.

      First, how do you measure GHG? How would you use sustainability indicators?

      As for the solid waste franchise – I keep asking staff and council, if they require every household to get trash service, they have to subsidize low-income households – how is this going to work out financially? Here’s a good one – right now, my tenant and I share a 96 gallon bin – for seven of us. At one meeting they discussed placing onerous fees on the 96 gallon bin, to encourage people to use a smaller bin. For my household, this means, we will switch from one 96 gallon bin to two 64 gallon bins. I know many people who share a bin with their neighbors, how is this going to work out? More bins is what I’m hearing, with more stops for the trucks. Can you get some answers for me – when I asked Chris Constantin he sent me an e-mail back saying Nakamura had instructed him not to answer me.

      Thanks, for any answer you can provide.

      • Mark July 22, 2014 at 7:48 am #

        Climate action planning is not rocket science, it is accounting. There is an Excel program that you plug in certain data like vehicle miles traveled and the program performs a function based on average MPG for your area (determined with DMV data) to give you a number of MTCO2E (metric ton of CO@ equivalent). Different greenhouses gasses (carbon dioxide, methane, etc) have different warming potentials so they are expressed as a constant.

        Currently, the City is using a simpler approximation by tracking only four GHG indicators electricity, natural gas, gasoline, and waste generation (which produces methane) for the sustainability indicators report. The latest report shows electricity use is up by 7.4% and natural gas use is up %14 so clearly addition action is needed if we want to reduce greenhouse gas production by 25% by 2020. While transportation associated emissions are down 4%, the plan says we should be seeing at 10% reduction at this point so even that indicator shows we are behind schedule for the planned reductions.

        Click to access 5-15-14Item4.2.pdf

        As for the franchise agreement, the STF passed a recommendation along the Council to remember the waste reduction measures in the CAP, but that is the extent of our involvement in that process. I doubt I could get answers faster than you on your specific questions.

        I hope that helps.

      • Juanita Sumner July 23, 2014 at 5:41 am #

        Thanks Mark,

        In other words, you are not measuring the actual gases in our air, but extrapolating based on assumptions about our habits. I don’t like that, it’s all guessing. And some of it gets rounded up and padded.

        You say electricity and gas use are up – you mean, by each person, or because there are more people here? Mine, personally, is down, so I have to ask. And how do you know that “transportation associated emissions are down” – is that an actual measurement?

        As for the franchise agreement – I read the recommendation for abandoning Neal Road landfill. This will require trucking our garbage out of the area at a higher cost. I also have to question the sustainability of trucking one town’s garbage to another town. Follow the main roads between O-ville and Marysville – you will see trash from trash trucks all up and down those roads.

        We need to make Neal Road better. I think we need new management out there. Right now, they are rubbing their hands together thinking about all the new revenues they will get when they shove mandatory trash service on everybody in town. They also talked about pricing the 96 gallon bin so onerously that people will be “motivated” to use the 64 gallon bin.

        Right now my family and many people we know share the 96 gallon bin with neighbors. I even have a friend who lives remote, and brings her trash to another friends’ house when she comes to town. How can this not be sustainable? But all the city and the haulers see is, we aren’t paying as much as we’d have to pay if we all had our own service.

        I’d like to see the STF work harder to serve the public. This franchise deal will not result in less trash going to any landfill, it will not increase the amount of recyclable material that goes back in the loop, it will only increase costs for consumers and revenues for the haulers and the city. The consultant said that if we wanted better service and affordable pricing for the consumer we needed to leave things the way they are.

  4. Mark July 23, 2014 at 8:27 am #


    While some folks measure the actual gasses in the air (Mauna Loa Observatory being the best) municipalities like Chico use approximations. It is not practical to put sensors up all over town because they would need to be on every emission source to know where the emission are coming from so we can reduce them.

    Currently, the City looks to see how much total electricity the community is using because the earlier detailed inventory found electricity use is a primary source of greenhouse gasses. When the report says electricity us is up, it means total energy use. Energy use is up 7.4% but I do not think the population has grown by 7.4% so it may be that individual use is up as well.

    It is important to note that the goal is to reduce total GHG emissions, even as the population increases.

    The STF is working hard to serve the public by completing the Climate Action Plan. We are on a very short leash. The CAP states having a franchise agreement would reduce GHG emission, but it is not one of the large reductions that we are focusing on, so we simply passed on a recommendation to the Mayor. I recognize that this topic is very important to you, but it is not within our scope of work since the actual franchise agreement is being handled by a different committee. Sorry I can’t be of more help.

    • Juanita Sumner July 23, 2014 at 9:17 am #

      This is very depressing. Like my husband says, we are being punished as a community for the actions of a few gluttons. No matter what we do, we are screwed with higher rates. The wealthy can afford to pay the rates, so we live with their excess while we are priced out of the city limits.

      CAP states having a FA would reduce GHG – that’s all speculation. I’m sick of the speculation.

      • Mark July 23, 2014 at 11:48 am #

        On page 35 of the CAP, the authors speculate that a franchise agreement would reduce GHG emissions by 683 MtCO2e. By comparison, they speculate that the City could reduce GHG emissions by 875 MtCO2e by expanding the number of hybrid vehicles, 1856 MtCO2e by promoting car share programs, and 4,846 MtCO2e by improving the bus system.

      • Juanita Sumner July 23, 2014 at 3:17 pm #

        Wow, that’s even more depressing. All based on speculation, and then they choose the option that costs the citizens money instead of saving the citizens money.

        You know they are doing this franchise for the money, it’s just blatant.

        Of course I certainly don’t blame you, except that these studies just seem to perpetuate the nonsense. Of course I want better air quality, I want better water and a better quality of life. I know we all need to pitch in, but I’m tired of living under increasing pressure to give up but pay more – it’s got to stop.

  5. bob July 23, 2014 at 4:08 pm #

    You know they are doing this franchise for the money, it’s just blatant.

    Isn’t that the way it always works? And this Global Warming business…er…sorry now it’s Climate Change is no different.

    From the top of the food chain down it all works the same. From the Goldman Sachs White Shoe Boys and Algore right down to a little town like Chico our rulers are all trying to make a buck off it. The government at all levels stand to make tens of billions in new taxes and fees and Wall Street and big corporations like GE stand to make tens of billions, too.

    And guess who gets to pay for it all? We the peons. They just think we’ll bend over and grab our ankles because we always do.

  6. bob July 23, 2014 at 6:37 pm #

    You know Juanita because of AB 32 and what people like Mark and the rest of the STFU are forcing on us, our utility bills will go up, gas prices will go up and pretty much anything in Colliefornia (as Ahnode calls it) that uses energy will go up. And that means higher prices for everything and job losses, especially painful in an already economically depressed area like Butte County.

    And all for a theory. And all of the following have to be true for the theory to work:

    The planet’s temperature is rising and will continue to rise in the future. (And remember this is a claim made by people who can’t give us an accurate weather forecast a week or more out.)

    This temperature rise will have dire results.

    Humans using carbon base fuels are the cause of the problem (or a big enough cause of the problem to have the dire results).

    Colliefornia and Quebec can reduce carbon base fuel use enough to prevent the dire results. (Currently the only governments forcing what is in effect a carbon tax.)

    All of these things must be true to justify the coming severe economic pain caused by this.

    You have to be brainwashed to believe all that. Of course if you stand to benefit economically by all this (those on the global warming gravy train), it’s easy to be brainwashed!

    • Juanita Sumner July 24, 2014 at 4:56 am #

      I don’t want to pick on Mark personally, but all this is just the basis on which PG&E and Cal Water screw us for more money for electricity produced with our natural resources and water pumped from the ground under our feet.

      Mark, I am tired of people like you trying to tell me how much electricity, gas and water I can use. The utility companies have achieved lower usage by jacking up the price, and it’s gone way beyond reason. I’m tired of having to go without so others can have more.

      Mark, you sit in climate controlled classrooms all day, I pay for that. I pay for the water that flushes the toilets at Chico State. I pay for the ac down at city hall – take a sweater to meetings folks, it gets cold in those meeting rooms under the ac vents. But I’ve got some creep watching my meters, telling me if I use over a certain amount the unit price doubles. That’s profiteering, I’d even use the word racket.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: