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View Diary: SOS: Framing the Climate Protection Act Now (11 comments)

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  •  Please Note Australia's Experience - (0+ / 0-)

    Ten years ago, the Australian Labor Party - either alone or in coalition with the Greens - held power at the federal level and every state government.  Over the past three years they have lost power in 4 states - the Queensland rout was one of the worst losses of a sitting government in Australian history - and at the federal elections last fall.  The other two states will be holding elections this spring.  Labor is practically certain to lose Tasmania and will have an uphill battle in South Australia.

    Why do I talk about Australia?  Because the carbon pricing legislation proved disastrous.  Although the carbon tax was not the only issue at stake - it was a flashpoint.  The public supports climate action in general terms; yet, when specific legislation comes about with cost parameters - and there are always cost parameters - then that support is considerably weaker.

    In places with carbon legislation - such as Australia and Germany among others - electricity prices have escalated dramatically.  One would think that price increases would have been more readily accepted in Australia given its dazzling economic growth in the past decade - - but no.  And in Germany electricity prices have doubled while wages and employment have stagnated.  For most other European countries facing increased electricity prices, the economic conditions for working people are far, far worse.

    The take-away for me is that poorly-considered carbon legislation can have dramatic political side effects - giving center-right and right-wing parties political traction and governing majorities.  Thus, the impacts reverberate far beyond climate issues.

    •  Check the latest weather reports from Australia! (0+ / 0-)

      Right now Australia is experiencing the worst drought they have ever had, including enormous fires. Someone down there should be making the point that this level of drought and these fires are unquestionably a result of climate change and much worse for business and tourism than any carbon tax every invented! Maybe the Aussies didn't think through how to compensate for the rise in carbon prices before they passed a tax, particularly in terms of rebates to consumers. Moreover, I see no proof that a downturn in the Australian economy can be laid entirely at the door of a carbon tax.

      •  Regardless of the Weather in Australia - (0+ / 0-)

        Labor / Greens have been swept out of office.
        Not only will that impact future environmental legislation, but it will also affect immigration, social programs, education, wages, and workplace safety issues to mention only a few things.

        PS - The Australian plan was complicated, but did supposedly have a rebate program.  Oddly enough, polls show that most voters want to end the carbon tax but keep the rebates.  Call them low-information voters - the rebates are paid for by the tax - yet, many do not get this basic point.  That's what you have to work with as a baseline.

        •  Re carbon "tax" in Australia, & love of "rebate!" (1+ / 0-)
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          johnnygunn

          Johnnygunn, your reply contains a fascinating nugget of vital info--Australian voters hate the "tax" but want to keep the "rebate." Exactly--this is a framing problem, which too many economic policy experts don't grock! Framing is about reaching "low information voters" with a message they can get. Because it's the low information voters that can really mess you up, as the climate change deniers manipulate them with very savvy framing.

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