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The Carbon (dioxide) Tax: a religious perspective

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 Contents - Aug 2011AD2000 August 2011 - Buy a copy now
Homily: Benedict XVI: Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary - Pope Benedict XVI
The Carbon (dioxide) Tax: a religious perspective - Peter Finlayson
News: The Church Around the World
Britain's anti-Christian brave new world - AD2000 REPORT
Events: In defence of the authentic meaning of marriage - Canberra, 16 August 2011 - Babette Francis
Bishop Conley on the new Missal translation: 'The very words of God' - Bishop James Conley
Defending the Catholic Church against ill-informed attacks - Fr John Flynn LC
Obituary: John Wright (1923-2011): pillar of the Catholic faith - Michael Gilchrist
Exegesis: Genesis account of creation and fall: what does the Church teach? - John Young
Young adult Catholic ministry: further progress - Br Barry Coldrey
Letters: Archbishop Hickey - Frank Bellet
Letters: Unseen kindness - Anne Lastman
Letters: , - Arnold Jago
Letters: Catholic schools - Fr Brendan Dillon PP
Letters: No oxygen - Fr M. Durham
Letters: Rose-coloured glasses - Cathy Cleary
Letters: Christian heritage - Fr Bernard McGrath
Letters: Anglican ordinariate - Michael Apthorp
Books: PRODIGAL DAUGHTERS: Catholic women come home to the Church, ed. Donna Steichen - Michael Daniel (reviewer)
Books: STANDARD-BEARERS OF THE FAITH: Lives of the Saints for Young and Old - Terri Kelleher (reviewer)
Poetry: Consequences - Bruce Dawe
Books: Order books from
Reflection: The new evangelisation: 'missionary spirit' needed - Fr Dennis W. Byrnes

With the die now cast for the imposition of an onerous carbon tax on the Australian economy it is timely to consider how this senseless position was reached and forecast what lies ahead for an Australian society of 22 million souls.

While the more courageous scientific and economic lobbies are protesting the rationale for the tax, there should be no doubt now that it is being forced upon this nation for political reasons simply to safeguard the majority Greens-Labor-regional independents' alliance in the federal parliament.

For the present the Greens effectively control federal policy, especially on issues that really matter, with the carbon tax but the tip of an iceberg. Consequently, those complicit in their election have much to answer for.

That the alarmist measures are unnecessary and result from a systematic Green's-driven campaign is evident from the fact that science has yet not found a clear link between man-made CO2 and climate change. There has been no increase in global temperatures, as predicted by IPCC computer modelling, since 1998, nor has there been any decline in the arctic polar bear population, nor any abnormal rise in ocean levels, nor damage to the Great Barrier Reef, etc.

Furthermore, far from being a pollutant, CO2 is necessary for plant life with a scientifically-proven positive correlation between atmospheric CO2 concentration and plant growth. Indeed, the planet supported an abundant plant life during the Carboniferous era with CO2 concentrations more than five times today's levels of less than 400ppm.

That the tax is futile in terms of any global impact on emissions is self-evident from the fact that Australia's contribution to global emissions is negligible at under 2% and Australia has failed to influence the big emitters to follow suit.

In compensating households for the increase in their utilities' costs the government provides no incentive for domestic energy users to change their behaviour; in addition, some economists are predicting that the government will not be able to meet its compensation promises.

That the tax will have a serious negative impact at all levels of the economy is becoming clearer daily. At domestic level, the cost of living will increase due to the direct and indirect impact of the tax on processed consumer goods and utilities. Despite denials by the pro-tax lobby and policy-makers the impact on industry and commerce will be variably significant depending on their energy consumption.

Heavy industry and mining will likely be at a comparative disadvantage to their overseas competitors and forced to go offshore where emissions will continue, or shut down with consequent unemployment issues.

The seriousness of many social impacts is only slowly beginning to unfold as these are not immediately apparent and the wider community has not yet realised the serious longer term implications of the relentless Greens'-driven 'reforms'.

Moreover, the UN's 'Green'-motivated international agencies such as the UN Women's and radical feminist groups, with their anti-life (abortion, euthanasia, same-sex marriage and the like) policies are already disrupting traditional family life.

Greens' assault

With their electoral power now assured, and in accord with their Global Charter, the Greens will intensify their assault, firstly on Australian society, to ultimately create a biocentric world in which nature (landscape, plants, animals, insects) is superior to humanity and becomes the focus of humanity's development.

This means that resources and activity now used for the benefit of human society will be transferred to enhancing nature, including reversing the scientific advances that have fed, clothed and kept healthy an increasing, longer-living population.

The carbon tax is but a legal ploy for forcing our (mineral and energy) resources to remain untouched. It joins the long-time successful challenge by the Greens and other groups who demanded that water flow out to sea where its (edible) creatures could enjoy an unmolested existence!

Without coal, society will depend for its energy on renewable sources, which scientists have warned will be very expensive and cannot match fossil energy, thus enforcing a reduction in living standards. Energy-dependent industry will be forced to downsize with inevitable flow-on effects on economic development.

At the same time measures to lower national (and global) population will emerge to reduce the human 'polluters' to a level that will accommodate society within the limited resource and economic base permitted by a nature-oriented world. The Green's sustainable human population estimate for Australia is seven million.

The dilemma for many environmentally conscious Australians is that the anti-humanity focus of the Greens' policies is completely at odds with the Judaeo-Christian principles governing a balanced relationship between humanity and nature. Successive popes have stressed that nature is at the service of humanity which may use and develop its natural resources, always mindful of the obligation to safeguard nature for the benefit of future generations, while emphasising that nature must not be glorified.

The blame for the political rise of the Greens-dominated environmental lobby can include a sympathetic media, influenced by the clever Greens'-driven propaganda campaign that began fifty years ago, along with the failure of orthodox science to be more outspoken, especially those employed in the public sector.

In addition, according to anecdotal information, the religious education system, in encouraging an environmental consciousness, has failed to get the correct balance between a (Christian) humanity-centred and a (atheistic) biocentric focus, in accord with Christian principles. Sadly, a number of influential clergy and religious have also lost sight of a human development imperative within a theology of the environment.

Peter Finlayson is an active Catholic in the Ballarat Diocese and an agricultural scientist who has worked in many developing countries.

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Reprinted from AD2000 Vol 24 No 7 (August 2011), p. 3

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