The carbon tax was passed today by the House of Representatives in Australia.
Today in Federal Parliament, the Lower House passed the "Carbon Tax" bill by a narrow majority and after 35 parliamentary enquiries over many years. It still has to be passed by the Senate but this is putting Australia onto a new road which will mean in the first year carbon here will cost $23 per ton and increase in following years.
The minority Federal Labor Government has offset the tax with sweeteners to the electorate including lowering the tax-free threshold for low income earners which will mean that one million more poorer Australians will not pay tax.
The Conservative Opposition Leader and former Rhodes Scholar and holder of an Oxford Blue for boxing, Tony Abbott has bet his political career on the opposition of the tax and its unravelling when he believes he will win government in the next election in about two years. However, the momentum of change will be so powerful by then it is unlikely he will be able to turn back the clock.
Australia is the largest exporter of coal in the world but the largest polluters in the country will be paying the tax which it is hoped will encourage a whole range of innovations in industry and in society in general.
The Great Barrier Reef which is under threat from global warming and the acidification of the ocean will benefit too and it is to be hoped that the initiative of a populace of 22million people may have a much wider impact on global consciousness. This is not to say that we are alone in this venture as many other countries are enacting similar bills but it is to he hoped that this will set off a new attitude to carbon in other nations.
Australia has always punched above its weight in world affairs, the military and in sport and as a nation of fun loving people, we hope that this measure may go some way to improving the lot of our planet to the benefit of its inhabitants now and in generations to come. We hope that this tax will result in a new cleaner economy with new jobs.
Unless we take these measures on a national scale the medical consequences in years to come will eclipse anything which has occurred in wars and pandemics in ages past.
The Industrial Revolution which was dependent on carbon is ending. If it does not, we end with it.