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Bring on a Carbon Price

I’m looking forward to a price on carbon. I think believing all the disingenuous chicken little  twaddle put out by the least useful bits of capitalism is like believing the phone company spruiker.  People tell you all sorts of lies to sell you stuff. It’s like listening to the tobacco companies or asbestos manufacturers.

I have been lusting after this fridge for years, but I can’t afford it. With higher electricity prices, very efficient fridges will become much more popular, and the price of models like this will come down to where we can all afford it.

Cheaper energy efficient goods and appliances, which will reduce your total energy bill, even at higher prices, and the money collected from the tax given to you to help you buy them.  What’s not to like?

That’s essentially what the price on carbon is going to deliver, in all sorts of areas.  The technology is available for much more energy efficient TVs, computers, fridges, cooking appliances, washing machines, heaters – even for commercial equipment like coolrooms and bread ovens –  but up till now the money has been in selling coal, not saving it.

The price signal will also work to make locally grown food and locally produced goods, that don’t have huge transport costs factored in, more competitive with Chinese imports.  It will make the northern hemisphere cherries currently being sold in supermarkets more expensive, but while Coles might not like that, it’s a bonus for producers of local custard apples and strawberries.

It will allow entrepreneurs and inventors with great ideas for living well in a low carbon economy to compete with the vested interests that just want to keep pumping out the pollution and have someone else pay the cost.  It tilts the playing field up towards the future.

Bring on a Carbon Price!

{ 13 comments… add one }
  • Gavin July 12, 2011, 6:55 pm

    Here, here Linda. I agree 100%.

    Gav x

  • Jack from Bellingen Seedsavers July 13, 2011, 8:12 am

    Couldn’t agree more. My only concern is that the measures proposed are not drastic enough. Already we are set for a four degree warming.

    Given your thoughts on the transport of food unnecessarily I thought this article re the ‘industrial tomato’ might interest you, especially the ‘slavery’ aspect in the ‘land of the free’.

    http://www.grist.org/industrial-agriculture/2011-06-20-the-indignity-of-industrial-tomatoes-florida

  • Linda July 13, 2011, 8:36 am

    My concern too Jack. I’m just so pleased to see something happening about pricing carbon though that I’m celebrating. I firmly believe that once people see that the effects are all good we’ll be able to go further. Too little too late to head off the “dark ages” I believe we’re headed for, but hopefully enough to allow a renaissance in a thousand years or so, rather than trigger such mass changes that we’re headed for a new dominant species on the planet.

  • Kylie July 13, 2011, 9:30 am

    Hi Linda…Just new to your blog and absolutely loving it…I think the carbon tax is great move and have been waiting for it to happen for quite some time…It may not be drastic enough yet but it is a start and we can pressure the government to increase it in time….It also gives those who are interested in starting up businesses geared towards greener and cleaner energy an incentive…I also love the fact that those who are taking a non-renewable product from our soil and burning it off now have to pay to do it…..

  • Linda July 13, 2011, 10:36 am

    Why will everything go up? Nothing I produce will go up in price. There are no additional costs of production at all for me – not a cent. Even if petrol was included in the carbon pricing (and I think it should be), the extra costs would be so minimal. Hardly anything I buy will go up – there’s not much I buy that has embedded pollution – I buy local food, locally made clothes, solar power, solar hot water, firewood and gas heating and cooking… At the moment, energy efficient products are not mass produced so they’re dearer. The E-Day electric car that will go on sale next year will be $10,000, because it can be mass produced. Finally, I will be able to afford an electric car (one day).

    But just say you’re right, and the price of my fridge does go up, I’ll still get more than enough in compensation to pay for it, and my total power consumption will go down, and thus my bill (directly or indirectly). The increase that $23 a ton will bring on is so little, just one star’s worth of energy saving in a fridge will more than cover it. The whole system is an incentive to spend money on power saving equipment rather than on power.

    But then, just say you’re right again, and it ends up costing me money. A pollster asked me last year how much I’d be prepared to pay to stop climate change, and my answer was, whatever it takes. I’d much rather live under a bridge to prevent climate change than as a result of it!

    But then, just say you’re right again, and it costs me money and doesn’t save the planet. When I’m 80, will I look back and say, that $1000 I spent on trying to combat climate change back in 2011, I wish I hadn’t done that. Or will I say, I’m proud that I did what I could, even if it was futile. Sad it wasn’t enough, but at least I can face my grandkids, knowing that I didn’t put a new pair of shoes ahead of them.

    Enough money is really important to happiness, but beyond “enough”, being able to go see the Barrier Reef, camp at the beach, eat healthily and well, see crimson rosellas in the callistemons, feel secure from disasters, love my kids, do work that is worthwhile, feel like I did the best I could – these are the things that are important.

  • Gavin July 13, 2011, 10:49 am

    Linda,

    As always, love you words and values! A convincing, risk based approach at why we need to pay for climate change abatement.

    Gav x

  • nadeeka July 13, 2011, 2:27 pm

    Just so very glad that you did this post!
    Let me repeat what you said…
    “Bring on a Carbon Price!”!!

  • Nanette July 14, 2011, 8:07 am

    I agree, I’m happy to see the carbon tax too. I couldn’t have put the reasons into words like you’ve done, but I know it’s a good start, it’s got people talking about climate change in a different way, hopefully people will think about ways they can change, or at the least question how they’re living.

    Like you, I’ve answered that pollster’s question too with “whatever it takes” and I feel like I’m doing the best I can right now as well as continuing to take stock and keep questioning the way I live.

  • Linda July 14, 2011, 9:57 am

    Thank you all for commenting. I angsted a bit about this post, wondering if this was the time or place for it, or if I was getting on my high horse. But it’s nice to be in such company!

  • dixiebelle July 14, 2011, 1:41 pm

    Sorry I didn’t reply yesterday when I read it, but great post… sharing it on FB!

  • Mrs Horty July 16, 2011, 9:07 pm

    Unreal to read comments from others that agree that the carbon tax is a step forward 🙂

  • kim July 26, 2011, 7:41 am

    A brave and wonderful post, Linda. I agree with you, I don’t mind paying a little extra so that my grandchildren to come have a planet to play on. We are living in a time of change and luckily we have the power to make good changes through the way we vote and the way we shop.
    kim
    http://thelittleblackcowblog.blogspot.com

  • Melanie @ Frugal Kiwi August 7, 2011, 8:25 am

    That is a VERY nice fridge. I can see why you’d lust after it. Our DIY chest fridge isn’t as fancy, but it was cheap and easy for us to get up and running. Since you’ve been on solar for so long I’m sure you know all about them, but some of your readers might not.

    We went from paying about $420/year in electricity here in NZ to run our fridge down to about $20. In terms of kwhs, we dropped from 4.8 per day with an old fridge/freezer to around 0.2! If anyone wants to know more, feel free to check out http://frugalkiwi.co.nz/2011/06/energy-efficient-diy-chest-refrigerator/

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