He wants $$$$$
In his usual rambling fashion, Kim hinted that land use policies could be improved a bit – and chided unnamed local officials for not following central policy properly – but he held Communist central planning and ideology largely blameless for North Korea’s food crisis. Instead, he blamed climate change, and by extension the rest of the world for not doing enough to address it.
In other words: his communist dictatorship is a failure. He could buy food for the starving people, but he spends it on the military while letting his people starve. There is no reason that N Korea could not be as equally prosperous as S Korea if it were not for the failures of the communist dictatorship.
North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un called for “urgent action” on climate change at a meeting of his Politburo on Thursday, blaming “disastrous weather” brought on by climate change for North Korea’s food shortages.
According to North Korea’s state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), Kim’s address to the Politburo put land management, food shortages, and the “global health crisis” at the top of the agenda.
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Australian businesses are about to be whacked with a carbon tax
ABC climate fanatic Ian Verrender is telling us we been screwed and there’s nothing we can do about it. It’s not like warming loons ever give up on the warming scam which they are pushing relentlessly.
It was an off-the-cuff comment after a few drinks, delivered with a belly laugh from a then-senior minister a few years back.
“The difference between Labor’s policy and ours is that Julia Gillard introduced a scheme where big polluters paid Australian taxpayers. Tony changed it so that Australian taxpayers pay big polluters,” the minister said.
That policy, of course, was the carbon tax.
Introduced in 2012 by the Gillard government, it was dumped by the Abbott government as soon as it came to power and replaced with a more than $3 billion taxpayer subsidy, doled out to applicants that promised to cut carbon emissions.
It’d be funny if it wasn’t so tragic.
But the joke now is on us and the tragedy is that it will cost us dearly.
Australian businesses are about to be whacked with a carbon tax.
Not by Canberra, but by Brussels and Washington with the increasing possibility that Ottawa, Tokyo and even London may follow suit, free trade agreements aside.
In the third turn of the wheel, Australian polluters will end up paying foreign taxpayers just for the privilege of exporting their goods.
It’s a development that will hurt profits, cost jobs, and hit our export volumes and ultimately the tax take of our own government.
En masse, much of the developed world has begun mulling the idea of putting a price on carbon emissions.
They’ve also woken to the idea that there’s no point introducing a carbon price at home if renegades like Australia don’t follow suit.
So, to level the field, goods from any country without a carbon price, such as Australia, will be hit with a carbon tax.
Where did this come from?
It’s all happened within the space of a few weeks.
One minute, the European Union was announcing its Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism and the next, the United States began making similar noises.
Trade Minister Dan Tehan was aghast.
“Australia is very concerned that the EU’s Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism is just a new form of protectionism that will undermine global free trade and impact Australian exporters and jobs,” he said.
The only problem with that argument is that Australia explored the very same option back in 2012 during the carbon tax’s brief life.
It was recognised then that corporations may simply shift production offshore to avoid the impost.
Oddly, despite the rapid deterioration in relations between Canberra and Beijing, our largest trading partner may end up as one of our biggest allies in this brewing storm.
For while Beijing just last Friday launched the world’s largest carbon market, many believe that at best it will be ineffective and, at worst, a sham.
Its national carbon market has far too many credits, so its carbon price is way too low — around one 10th the EU carbon price.
Not only that, big energy users like steel are excluded.
Unless prices rise dramatically, there is little likelihood of any shift in behaviour or impact on emissions and the fear is that the entire strategy is little more than an artifice.
Why price carbon anyway?
Many decisions in our life come down to price.
Even when money isn’t involved, we often calculate whether the benefits of embarking on a certain course of action outweigh the potential costs.
When it comes to public policy, we learned long ago that if you want to change behaviour, say to limit the health impact of smoking, one of the easiest ways to do that is to tax goods and services — in the case of smoking, tobacco.
The higher the tax, the fewer individuals will smoke, and the less likely people will take up smoking at all.
That has a double impact on government finances.
The government brings in more revenue, at least until people give up.
More importantly, the health system costs less to run, as a harmful health factor is eliminated.
In the early 1980s, when scientists first twigged that carbon emissions were harming the environment, a group of American economists from Harvard argued that climate change was a cost that was not being recognised.
Not only was it barely visible, the real damage was only likely to be seen in generations to come, way beyond the normal investment horizon.
Back then, they argued that a tax on carbon emissions from all sources was the most efficient way to deal with the problem and, for a while, Washington was in agreement.
It didn’t take long, however, for the fossil fuel industry to take up arms against the proposal.
That’s when Republicans shifted stance.
Instead of a tax, they preferred a complex market-based trading system that put a price on carbon.
The end result is that the US has never introduced a national system although various US states have carbon prices.
That’s all about to change.
Here at home, there was agreement on both sides of the House that a carbon price was needed.
In 1997, then-prime minister John Howard grappled with ways to deal with carbon emissions but took almost a decade before he finally announced an emissions trading scheme in 2006.
Kevin Rudd was elected in 2007 on a platform of addressing climate change but his emissions trading scheme initiative disintegrated under the weight of political bickering between his government, the Coalition and the Greens.
From then on, climate change became toxic as then-opposition leader Tony Abbott flicked the switch from science to ideology.