Tuesday 28 Sep 2021 | 21:14 | SYDNEY
Tuesday 28 Sep 2021 | 21:14 | SYDNEY

Where 'Say Yes' falls short


Sam Roggeveen


31 May 2011 15:37

In response to Stephen Grenville and those who commented on my post on Twitter and Facebook, let me clarify my position: I'm persuaded that some kind of carbon tax or trading scheme is desirable.

That's not because an Australian scheme will appreciably reduce the world's carbon emissions or that such a scheme can eventually slot into a global carbon trading regime, a prospect that seems to me unlikely and perhaps even undesirable. My sense is that, if the global warming problem is going to be solved or even just tolerably managed, it will happen because of technology, not due to heroic political action on a global scale. A carbon tax seems like a fair an equitable way to fund basic research on energy efficiency and alternative energy.

My beef with the 'Say Yes' campaign is purely presentational: the line about 'making big companies pay' made it sound as if the carbon tax is a punitive measure against evil capitalists. That's why I said it felt 'retro', as if it was inspired by an economic class distinction between workers and bosses which is now unfamiliar to middle-class Australians.

It's (slightly) reminiscent of that old Simpsons parody of communist kid's cartoons, 'Eastern Europe's favourite cat & mouse team, Worker and Parasite!'. I second Krusty's reaction: