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Good morning and welcome to winter

You can put my absence over the last couple of weeks down to a combination of a lack of time and a lack of effort…so anyway, I’m back, and I missed me so I’m going to assume that you did too. But enough about me.

The title on this post “welcome to winter” makes me wonder, how much colder can it get? Today, the next couple of days, and even the last few days are quite balmy compared to the cold temperatures we have been experiencing of late. We had that extraordinary run of temperatures down in the negatives at the start of May, including the day on which it got as low an -6.9°C. In fact, I count 18 days which had a negative overnight temperature and 21 days which were below Canberra’s May average overnight low of 3.2°C. The days were also quite cold, with 16 days having a maximum temperature at or below the May average maximum of 15.5°C.

So, in many ways, it felt like winter came quite early this year. No surprise then, to see this [1]:

Canberra has recorded the coldest autumn in 27 years, while the month of May has been the coldest since 1975 according to meteorologists from The Weather Channel.

The average minimum temperature over autumn of 5.7 degrees is a full degree below the historical average, and daytime maximums have also been half a degree cooler than average.

(h/t Canberra Times’ Hamish Boland-Rudder)

While it is true that weather is not climate is not weather, at some point the average of the weather becomes the climate, and while it is also true that we are only now coming out of a La Nina cycle which one would expect would bring some colder temperatures, the fact remains that we just had a pretty cold autumn, which does fly in the face of the current “the world is getting so hot that we have to tax the air” line emanating from the government.

In the aforementioned article, Ms. Roze from The Weather Channel does go on to say that our winter will probably not be colder than average, in fact she expects it to be ever so slightly warmer than average based on current ocean temperature (read: end of La Nina) trends.

Looking at longer trends and, well, shock horror! Canberra and most of south-eastern Australia hasn’t warmed in the last century [2].

This all goes to prove something which has been blatantly obvious for longer than I care to count. The notion that humans have caused warming of the planet through carbon dioxide emissions, when it is so clear that natural cycles produce such great variations in the temperature from one year to the next, is downright arrogant. Even more so when you consider that, historically, carbon dioxide levels have followed temperature, not led it. It is even more arrogant, even ludicrous, to suggest that a tax on this carbon dioxide will reduce the temperature.

Oh, and did I mention that the government’s climate expert chief architect of socialist reform Ross Garnaut played the government’s hand yesterday. The carbon dioxide tax is not about the temperature at all, rather it is a giant redistributionist scheme [3]:

Under his plan to distribute carbon tax revenue, Professor Garnaut recommended 55 per cent be given to households, about $6.3 billion under a $26-a-tonne carbon price that raised $11.5bn. Thirty-five per cent of compensation ($3.9bn) would be devoted to business assistance and 10 per cent ($1.5bn) to innovation, of which $750 million is already contained in the forward estimates.

So, 90% of the tax will be given back to the people, and only ten percent of it goes in to the stuff which the government claims will help to keep the temperature under control…make that five percent, because five percent is already in the forward estimates and is presumably coming from somewhere else in the great money cycle of the government, which leaves five percent of the tax unaccounted for. That almost certainly means that it goes towards “administration”, better known as “flying politicians and public servants to pointless conferences about mythical-man-made-warming on carbon dioxide emitting aeroplanes”.

And if you still need convincing that this tax has nothing to do with climate change and everything to do with social change (to borrow a line from Jim Ball [4]), we can go back to the article:

the tax-free threshold for low-income earners would rise almost $9000 to $25,000 under recommendations now being considered by the Gillard government.

Julia Gillard’s chief climate change adviser, Ross Garnaut, who handed his final report to the government yesterday, has called for compensation to be provided only to those on incomes up to $80,000, while higher income earners would have their tax rates or thresholds altered to ensure they did not receive any benefits from the increase in the tax-free threshold.

(h/t The Australian’s Sid Maher).

Or to put it simply, the “poor”, those earning under $80,000, pay less tax and get more handouts from the government, while the “rich”, those earning over $80,000, foot the bill. It’s called socialism, and it doesn’t work. It stifles productivity through the entitlement mentality, meaning that less wealth gets produced overall, resulting in less tax revenue and the collapse of the whole system.

If the government really feels the urge to play with the tax system, then something they can do which would have a positive impact is the abolition of automatic income tax deductions. That way, rather than having your income tax automatically deducted so that you don’t really notice that it’s gone, you get to keep the money and do with it as you please throughout the year, increasing the amount of money which is flowing through the free market and the amount of productivity which it creates. At the end of the financial year, you simply fill out your tax return as normal, and pay whatever amount of tax you owe. It would be advisable for you to set some or all of this money aside during the year in a savings account or similar, much like many people do for their other bills…but this allows you to earn extra income from interest, which is derived from the money the banks make in investing your money in the free market economy.

This would, of course, also abolish the tax refund, but this is a good thing because that “refund” is really your money which the government has been hanging on to for the better part of a year. This would also have the benefit of making the government more accountable, as they would no longer have rivers of gold pouring in to their coffers every week. Instead, they would have to budget around when money would actually arrive for them to spend, much like the rest of us do. Ultimately, they would probably receive more tax revenue as a result of increased private sector activity due to this scheme, but rather than being able to waste it as soon as it comes in, they would have to carefully plan how to spend it…who knows, it might even make them spend it on stuff we actually want. Now that would be a change.