Australia today became the first country to dismantle an effective carbon market, taking a “monumentally reckless backward leap” that is an “economic attack on future generations” (and part of a wider pattern of this Federal Government’s attacks on the environment).
As one scientist, Professor Roger Jones from Victoria University, stated at The Conversation, the repeal of the carbon tax represents:
“The perfect storm of stupidity. It’s hard to imagine a more effective combination of poor reasoning and bad policy-making, a complete disregard of the science of climate change and its impacts, bad economics and mistrust of market forces.”
And Hugh Outhred, Senior Visiting Fellow, School of Electrical Engineering and Telecommunications, at the University of New South Wales, said:
“The Coalition’s plan to replace a “polluter pays” policy with a “pay the polluter” policy will exacerbate the budget imbalance while being simply inadequate for the task, while emissions trading schemes are too complex and too subject to gaming to earn public trust.”
No doubt this picture below of Federal Ministers (including the Health Minister) celebrating the House of Representatives vote last month will go down in history as symbolic for all the wrong reasons.
Caption that image
At the time this photo was taken, Croakey contributors were asked to suggest their own captions for the picture.
Their responses, below, give an indication of how many in the health sector must be viewing today’s repeal of the carbon tax.
Ric Day, Professor of Clinical Pharmacology, University of New South Wales
The picture made me feel ill when I saw it. My feeling was ‘despair’.
GP Tim Senior
“…and then when you wondered what was wrong with a modest price signal in health, I just couldn’t stop laughing”
“See. If you don’t believe in climate change, it just doesn’t happen.”
“Wikipedia will remember us as a reforming government, acting to protect the long term interests of future Australian generations.”
Awful pictures, though. Will be printed in future history textbooks I hope.
Dr Marie Bismark, Senior Research Fellow, University of Melbourne
“Can’t wait to get home and tell my grandchildren what I did to their future today!”
Public policy analyst John Menadue
Bugger the planet
Professor Mary Chiarella, University of Sydney
How clever are we? We got our way in spite of the evidence
Group hugs while we can still breathe
Dr Leslie Cannold, Research & Communications Consultant
Whoopee, we’ll never save the planet now!
Grab your fiddle, lads!
They’re going down with the ship, now!
Dr Jon Wardle, Research Fellow, UTS
Selling out our children’s future is so much fun, let’s see if we can do it via health & education too!
Professor Alan Rosen, psychiatrist
“Ring-a-ring of rosies……..We all fall down!” (in the long run)
Ross Greens, health communications
Gimme a C!
Gimme an O!
Gimme an A!
Gimme an L!
What does it spell? COAL!!
Professor Stephen Leeder, University of Sydney
What a relief, Neville! Peace in our time!
Congrats on another Mission Accomplished! You did good with this; I’ll fix Gore. (Yrs) GWB
GP Dr Aaron Hollins
“Ha Ha, they bought it, now for the No Action bill”
Pyne says: “another reason to be thankful kids don’t vote!” And he would add later on “Now just need to make a university degree a compulsory pre-requisite for voting – those poor people have no chance!” with Dutton piping in “you know we could make ‘em pay to vote, like they will have to pay for a GP!” and the congratulatory back-slapping continues as they pile into their individual Commonwealth cars to take them home ( making sure their drivers don’t drive past any unsightly blights on the landscape like wind farms).
“I’ll call Gina to let her know the good news”
“Another victory for the Minister for Science…Oh wait.. Ha Ha Ha”
Ode to Carbon tax repeal (apologies to Keats – To Autumn)
With a sweet voting; to set polluting more,
And still more, later flowers die, poor bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For Climate Change has o’er-brimm’d their clammy cells.
Professor Simon Chapman, University of Sydney
Those Bangladeshi’s better start their swimming lessons!
Miriam Hertzfeld, campaigner for action on the social determinants of health
Give away: Free hugs for climate change deniers
Vern Hughes, the National Campaign for Consumer-Centred Health Care
The left’s support for a carbon tax handed the Coalition an easy vote-winner. Even the smarter thinkers in the Greens know this, and tried to avoid having a carbon tax. All it did was hand government to Tony Abbott.
So my caption would read:
“Three cheers for the Left for handing us a carbon tax to repeal. They gave us government-on-a-plate.”
Associate Professor Michael Robertson, University of Sydney
“Democracy is a system of government designed to subject the intelligent minority to the will of the stupid” (Nietzsche)
“Democracy ensures people get the governments they deserve” (Shaw)
Rural GP, Dr Sue Page
Ring a Rosie, with us all falling down
Professor Colin Butler, University of Canberra
Something along the line of “proof that we once lived in trees”
5 wise monkeys
the chimps that went feral
an embarrassment of primates
Dr Chris Jordens, University of Sydney
Alternative captions for ‘Yay pollution’ …
Dr Brad Farrant, University of Western Australia
I quite like what Jim Chalmers MP (Member for Rankin) wrote – “Have you ever seen a group of people more delighted with themselves to sell out future generations? Hooray for carbon pollution! Hooray for trashing the environment! Hooray for turning our backs on a clean energy economy!”
Dr Andrew Gunn, University of Queensland
We might be doomed, but that habitat was fun while it lasted.
Eliza Metcalfe, health communications
Marieke Hardy’s comment on this photo on Twitter was a winner for me – Nero fiddles.
I hope no-one can see my face so history doesn’t make me look as stupid as the others
Professor Lesley Barclay, Professor and Director, University Centre for Rural Health
Celebrating the perfect storms to come
Aaron Schultz, public health campaigner
Another one bites the dust!
Dr Peter Parry, child & adolescent psychiatrist
I sold my waterfront property too!
Professor Gillian Shenfield, clinical pharmacologist
Now we can light our bonfire!
And some more captions from the Twitterverse:
Perhaps we now need to start a caption competition for this image from the Senate today:
But it’s no comment from the AMA
It’s noteworthy that the AMA did not want to comment on the carbon tax’s repeal – in stark contrast to the leadership shown by the British Medical Association’s support for divestment.
While the IPA indulged in some chest-beating…
… many others were expressing dismay.
In this clip, citizens are urged to take a stand by representatives of public health, unions, environmental groups, civil society, and church leaders.