rhills wrote: Not only do I agree with your analysis of this problem, but I also strongly agree with your proposal. As a child I was brain-washed by the Catholic brethren until my late teens when I had a St Paul of Antioch - style thunderbolt of enlightenment. So, while I am anti-Catholic-establishment
Thank you for your kind observations.
Like many Roman Catholics you have been affected by the trend over the last 50 years of Catholic teaching being too much Catholic and too little Christian! This is symptomatic of an institutionalised, over academic, priesthood. The ABC's Compass recently screened a program observing the numbers of priests, travelling Europe, US, Australia etc, from Africa, Asia, and South America, as Missionaries to help arrest the decline of faith in the west!!
So, what do you think is a valid model?
I also have a problem with the inefficiency of Government, but I have a bigger problem with the current process that's simply not producing a solution quickly enough IMHO. Of course, if your belief is, like that of too many in our corridors of power, there is no problem, then there's not much point debating this further.
The problem as I see it is that the price we pay for energy today simply does not factor in the future cost of our using that energy. What incentive is there currently in our Capitalist system to factor this in? Is there a way of making this happen without government regulation?
I agree that the planet has a real problem. Even before the concept of global warming we have a problem with pollution, waste disposal, diminishing fish stocks, poor urban development, etc, etc,
We have reached a point where can't continue to burn the remaining precious oil stocks for energy production.
I agree with you that the most effective way, in fact the only effective way, to make a real difference, is within the free enterprise capitalist system.
Of course governments have a role to play. Quite properly, governments are regulators.
It's a governments duty to provide infester. Not the business of operating infrastructure, but as the client, spending taxpayer funds, governments have a duty to get the best product and value.
On the subject of Carbon Emissions, I believe in the Boris Johnson approach, Let technology fix what can be fixed, and offset what can't.
We have to accept that it's simply unrealistic and impractical to stop the use of coal as a major source of energy. Undesirable as this may be, no amount of wishing will provide 87% of the worlds people with a clean green alternative source of power within the foreseeable future.
It's not a question of morality, but simple logistic's.
Having said that, we still have the problem of CO2!
Will a carbon tax really work? Not really, and since the cost will increase everyones power bills, especially the underprivileged, it is undesirable. ETS, more equitable, but hugely inefficient and unwieldy. No one can really decide how it works. In the end in just becomes another impost or tax.
In Australia's case, like most nations we are a major Coal user. Australia is also a major coal exporter.
We not only have to offset our own usage, but if we are responsible, we should offset the effect of the coal we export.
How to accomplish these objectives without, either ruining the economy, or causing endless grief to the taxpayer?
In my opinion, the answer for Australia is the federal government should authorise a $300 billion, 90 year, negotiable (bearer) bond issue!
This fund would be a Government Statutory Authority, and be empowered to invest the money on the development of vast national infrastructure projects. Among these projects would be to turn the northern flood rivers back south (pipeline) to the Murray/Darling basin.
The encouragement of regional development and Very Fast Trains, real water management,develop and utilise alternate energy technologies.
But most of all, create on marginal and sub marginal land, a massive and diverse forest complex.
Such a gigantic eco-system would do much to enhance the planets bio-sphere, compensate for CO2, and eventually provide an asset hundreds of times more valuable than the $300 billion.
All this, and it would cost the Taxpayer nothing, in fact we could lower taxes due to the prosperity created.
In would also ensure that in our great-grandchildrens day, Australia was the envy of the world.
Now that is a real moral example! Oh, and profitable too!
Of course thats just my opinion, but I can see how a politician of vision could sell it.