Bolt’s car­bon tax ‘ facts’ are fic­tion

Townsville Bulletin - - OPINION -

AN­DREW Bolt’s col­umn on Thurs­day about car­bon trad­ing was mostly wrong de­spite re­peat­ing the word “fact”.

In lim­ited space, let me ad­dress the one “fact” I am most qual­i­fied to com­ment on.

“This car­bon tax will cost money and kill jobs, par­tic­u­larly in busi­nesses that use a lot of elec­tric­ity, such as smelters”. Fair guess, but wrong. Fact. Car­bon in the at­mos- phere will cause acid in the sea, that will harm the Reef and po­ten­tially cost thou­sands of jobs.

Al­ter­na­tively there could be thou­sands of jobs cre­ated in tech­nolo­gies such as so­lar, wind, car­bon cap­ture and nu­clear.

Bolt cites smelters. The big­gest killer of jobs in power- in­ten­sive in­dus­try is Aus­tralia’s naive pol­icy of energy par­ity pric­ing. If we, like the US and Arab states in­sisted the lo­cal mar­ket be filled first we could af­ford heavy in­dus­try. Com­pared to this the ef­fect of a car­bon mar­ket is ir­rel­e­vant.

Pol­lu­tion is a large cost to so­ci­ety, from zinc dust on the Strand and car­bon to toxic fumes from Yabulu, and only putting a price on it will cause the pol­luters to seek cleaner al­ter­na­tives.

DR AN­DREW KER­ANS,

Mag­netic Is­land.

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