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The message below from myself as Director of the Institute for Private Enterprise and from Case Smit as Director, the Galileo Movement was sent to Prime Minister Abbott yesterday. It asks him to establish an inquiry into the costs and benefits of the policies designed to reduce emissions. A copy of the message has also been sent to other parliamentary members of the Coalition.

Viewable here also is my letter published in the Australian Financial Review suggesting that, when the G20 meets in November, Chairman Abbott should propose such a cost/benefit inquiry by the G20.

Des Moore

Proposed Cost/Benefit Inquiry on Emissions Reduction Policies

The Hon. Tony Abbott MP,

A petition from Australian citizens was presented in Parliament last week, requesting an inquiry into the costs of government expenditures and policies covering a wide range of activities designed to reduce Australia’s carbon dioxide emissions.  This inquiry must also enumerate the benefits that are being provided from these expenditures.

Some estimates put the costs at around $15billion p.a., but no definitive figures have been published.  Is it not perfectly reasonable for Australia’s taxpayers to be told in a clear, factual way, what benefits they are gaining from expenditures of the taxes they pay?

In its recent report, the Productivity Commission urges the Government to “introduce stringent cost-benefit analysis” for projects; which is precisely what the petition requests.  Even the Chair of the Climate Change Authority questions whether the Government’s actions are in the best interest of the community –although he mistakenly seeks much greater reductions in emissions.

Many Australians believe that “taking action on climate” is akin to H.C.Andersen’s story about the emperor’s new clothes.  We are being told that taking “action on climate change” now, will prevent  a “catastrophic” increase in global temperature sometime in the increasingly distant future.  Are Australia’s efforts of any value when China, India, Germany, Japan and other countries are actually increasing their carbon dioxide emissions and when there is virtually no chance of reaching a substantive global agreement on reductions?  Would Australia simply be helping to fund the emperor’s (invisible) new clothes?

Many of Australia’s genuinely independent scientists judge the analysis and data published by the IPCC, and largely adopted by the Bureau of Meteorology and the CSIRO without question, are grossly misleading.  Even the American Physical Society has started to formally examine alternative views.  To sort out the differences between the various views, the requested inquiry would justify being in the form of a Royal Commission to ensure that evidence is given under oath.

We urge you to take the requested action and not to let the petition gather dust in the Minister for the Environment’s office, as it has the potential to save the Government many billions of dollars and to alleviate current adverse effects on our economy.

Des Moore, former Deputy Secretary of the Treasury

Case Smit, Director, Galileo Movement.

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