So it has taken me a while to get around to reading the wonderful document which was released by your friend Peta’s husband. The one entitled “The Coalitions Direct Action Plan Policy”. It is very long and has few pictures.
Still, I sat down and waded through it and I have some questions for you.
So, on Page 2, the one after the colourful front page with the big letters and the pretty leaves, you state that, “Direct action on soil carbons will be the major plank of our strategy, supported by other direct action measures that will reduce CO2 emissions by 5 per cent by 2020 based on 1990 levels.”
Now that is exactly the same as the Government “Price on Carbon” will achieve. Not an absolute decrease in CO2 emissions but a reduction of 5% based on 1990 figures. Which effectively means an absolute INCREASE in CO2 emissions. Yet you talk about that absolute increase as being the preserve of the Government’s scheme.
Q1; Why do you never say that your scheme does exactly the same?
Just down from the already quoted words are these, “we will support 140 million tonnes of abatement per annum by 2020 to meet our 5 per cent target. This is a once in a century replenishment of our soil carbon.”
Q2; Does this mean that, having reduced CO2 by 140M tonnes by 2020, nothing further will be done for another 100 years?
I won’t go into the 126,000 full time jobs (page 5) which you say will go because you obviously haven’t finished with this fact. Had you finished, there would also be an estimate of how many NEW jobs will be created in a carbon-reduced Australia. I await those figures with interest.
Further on, (page14) you say, “In order to achieve a five per cent reduction in CO2 emissions by 2020, the Fund will support direct action to hold our national CO2 emissions to a target of approximately 525 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent per annum by 2020. This will match Labor’s five per cent emissions reductions target”.
Again, I won’t ask for an explanation of “CO2 equivalent”. That would cause our heads to explode.
What I do want to ask about though, skipping over all that boring financial stuff and pie in the sky hopeful stuff from pages 15 through 28 (although the chart on page 23 looks impressive. What does it mean?) because you keep telling us that those alternative sources of energy will never succeed as base-load sources of power. And you really want me to believe you, so I will.
On page 29 you talk of planting 20 million trees. “Based on industry estimates, the planting of 20 million trees will require approximately 200 to 400 square kilometres of land area depending on the intensity, and can be delivered at a cost of around $5 per tree.55 While this program will include large scale plantings in regional areas it will also include urban street planting and highways.”
You seem to indicate that the “Green Army” will be able to plant these trees and that this will provide some 15,000 jobs. Now, like you, I don’t like to read much but I did a bit of Googling on my ultra very-fast quick copper-wired internet with around 2mbs downloads. I found on Wikipedia, the average British Columbian planter plants 1 600 trees per day.
I really stretched myself then and made a Microsoft Office Excel spreadsheet to work out the next figure and it was that with 15,000 planters, there is less than one day’s work for each to plant those 20 million trees. Of course it could be that you are planning to use 10,000 of those Green Army guys to grow the trees to planting stage and use just 5,000 planters for three days. However you do it, it will be an impressive boost to our plant stocks.
Q3; How often will those trees need replanting or is this also a “once in a Century” Effort?
Finally, I took the time to have a quick glance at the ABC report on your “Green Army” speech.
“It would be Australia’s first deployment of large numbers of people on behalf of the environment and the first time we have approached environmental remediation with the same seriousness and the same level of organisation that we have brought, say, to dealing with bushfires or other local and regional emergencies,” you said.
Now question 4 may sound a little silly but I will ask it anyway.
Q4; Will the members of this “Standing Green Army be Public Servants? If so, will they be State or Commonwealth Public Servants? And so subject to the cuts and sackings you, and your fellow State Premiers will find so necessary to hide your Shadow Treasurer’s $84 Billion Black Hole?
Sorry, that seems to be two questions in one.
But please try to answer it. Or them. Or at least appear interested.