Coal barons should help pay for catastrophes - Brown
Sunday 16th January 2011
The full tax on excess profits by the coal mining industry, as recommended by Treasury, should be imposed with half set aside for future natural catastrophes in Australia, Greens Leader Bob Brown said in Hobart today.
"It is unfair that the cost is put on all taxpayers, not the culprits," Senator Brown said.
"Burning coal is a major cause of global warming. This industry, which is 75% owned outside Australia, should help pay the cost of the predicted more severe and more frequent floods, droughts and bushfires in coming decades. As well, 700,000 seaside properties in Australia face rising sea levels."
"A Goldman Sachs study found that the reduction in the mining super tax agreed by the current Labor government (the coalition opposes the mining tax) would cost Australians $35 billion in forgone revenue to 2019-20."
"Scientists agree that current floods come from record-high temperatures of Australian oceans this season."
"We also ask insurers to show some compassion to Queensland's flood victims, and to others who face loss as wild weather besets the country. Many people believe they have flood cover and, if not, the fine print should have been disclosed to them."
17 January 2011
The Role of Global Warming
After the hottest and wettest year in recorded history, the seas off
northern Australia are also currently warmer than ever before. This
heat has led to increased evaporation and so, rainfall.
Sceptics and defenders of the coal industry may dispute this scientific
data, but they don't. Instead, they are arguing that there should be no
debate - not, at least, until some undefined time in the future when the
cataclysm has passed and its injuries are behind us.
A week after the "inland tsunami" struck the Toowoomba region, with the
flood crest having passed in Brisbane, and Rockhampton beginning to
recover, Australia's newspapers are now carrying letters expressing
frustration at the absence of debate on the causes of the floods across
the nation and, indeed, in Brazil, Sri Lanka and Pakistan.
Like the drought, heatwaves and bushfires these floods are predictable
calamities and worse is in store as the planet is heated by human
We may collectively choose to do nothing about the rapidly increasing of
burning of coal, here and overseas, from coal being mined in Australia
by wealthy corporations largely owned overseas. However, that choice
should not be made without informed debate. If there is a later time
better for this crucial debate to begin, let the critics name it.
Australian Greens Leader