The truth about the ‘carbon tax’

6 04 2014

The Australian Independent Media Network

carbontax Firstly, let’s remember that from June 2007 to December 2012,  before the introduction of carbon pricing, average electricity prices rose by 70 per cent , so the big hike we all endured had nothing to do with action on climate change. A 2012 report by the Productivity Commission found network services, or poles and wires, to be the single most costly component of electricity supply accounting for around 45 per cent of total electricity prices from 2007-2012.

Next, let’s get the terminology straight. We have a fixed price emissions trading scheme which was slated to move to a floating price in 2015 under Gillard, moved forward to 2014 under Rudd. This means that our current system has two months to run, after which time we were going to align with the EU market which is estimated to move to about $9 per tonne this year, a significant reduction from our…

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The truth will set you free….

6 04 2014

George_LakoffI had never heard of George Lakoff, until he got a mention in an AIMN article about the so called “pink batts fiasco”.  Lakoff, according to wikipedia, is “an American cognitive linguist, best known for his thesis that lives of individuals are significantly influenced by the central metaphors they use to explain complex phenomena.”  Lakoff described right-wing voters as being influenced by “strict father model” as central metaphor for such a complex phenomenon as the state and left-wing voters as being influenced by “nurturant parent model” as folk psychological metaphor for this complex phenomenon.  So is it any wonder that “the left” and “the right” don’t see eye to eye?  It even explains our right wing government calling asylum seekers “illegals”.  It also proves that their opposite Labor Party is just as right wing…….. and might explain why they are on the nose with the electorate who is now finding it difficult to differentiate between the two!

The reason I am now writing this post is that, having followed some of the links above, it has become obvious (belatedly?) just how critical language is when discussing political issues, especially ones dear to my heart like Climate Change……

As George Lakoff explains in his book ‘Don’t think of an elephant’ , progressives need to get over the myth of ‘Enlightenment’:

“The truth will set us free. If we just tell people the facts, since people are basically rational beings, they’ll all reach the right conclusions”.

I think it is stating the bleeding obvious that our government doesn’t listen to the truth.  But then, one person’s truth is another’s bullshit.  Therefore the solution to turning the bullshit into the truth is communications……  something my physicist son had drummed into him at University, and which he constantly tells me I am hopeless at!

don't think elephantIn Don’t think of an elephant  (which I have not read yet – I am now relying on what others are saying about the book until I do) Lakoff explains how conservatives think, and how to counter their arguments. He outlines in detail the traditional American values that progressives hold, but seem unable to articulate.  Lakoff also breaks down the ways in which conservatives have framed the issues, and provides examples of how progressives can reframe the debate.

Lakoff’s years of research and work with environmental and political leaders have been distilled into this essential guide, which shows progressives how to think in terms of values instead of programs, and why people vote, not truly understanding  their values and identities, and often against their best interests.

Don’t Think of An Elephant! is the antidote to the last forty years of conservative strategising and the right wing’s stranglehold on political dialogue in the United States, and I expect, Australia…..

Then we have this from the Guardian…:

The release of the latest report (PDF) from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is yet another sober warning on the perils humanity faces from global warming.

The threats seem written from the dystopian blockbuster Hunger Games: global food-stocks are at risk, melting sea ice, thawing permafrost, dying coral reefs, heat waves, mega-rains, and a death toll amongst the poor, weak and elderly. Except for one thing. The effects of climate change are happening now.

As Graham Readfern writes, we’ve heard it all before.


While we’re hurtling towards the worst case scenario, and recognising that the latest IPCC report just confirms what we’ve known since the first Assessment Report back in 1990, it’s worth asking whether the reports are helping or hindering action on climate change.

Recently, David Grimes wrote in The Guardian that “denying climate change isn’t scepticism – it’s motivated reasoning“. Describing the “boomerang effect” in an academic article by P. Hart and Erik Nisbet, the academics say that motivated reasoning explains why simply providing more and better facts based on science can actually increase polarisation on issues like climate change.

So there you have it.  The truth can only set you free, if you’re a left winger!  The fundamental tragedy about the twenty five years of IPCC warnings, and countless others from the CSIRO, Bureau of Meteorology and hundreds of other respected scientific institutions is that they’ve been ignored.  Facts simply aren’t enough, but they’re all that scientists can give us.