2011-05-26 11:07:50Haydn Washington & John Cook take on Sydney talk back radio
John Cook


Welcome feedback on this extended session where Haydn and I take on callers. First caller was a geologist, bringing up the 'past climate change' canard! Hope my answer does it justice:


BTW, some background, Haydn took a wrong turn getting to the ABC studio so we were late and rushed into the recording studio as James Valentine was introducing us. Not an auspicious start to the interview but the adrenaline rush did wake us up, get the blood pumping!

2011-05-26 11:37:38
James Wight


Contrary to what Haydn says (12:54), the CPRS was not revenue-neutral, and none of the money would have gone to renewables. In fact the revenue was divided up as follows:

  • 41% household compensation
  • 27% trade-exposed industry compensation
  • 20% fuel price rise compensation
  • 10% manufacturers compensation
  • 5% power companies compensation

And I disagree with Hadyn's opinion that the CPRS was worth passing despite its flaws. Its design would have locked in unlimited fossil fuel burning for another decade:

  • The target was merely 5% by 2020.
  • The carbon price would have been too low to drive investments in renewable energy.
  • The levels of compensation would effectively have meant no significant carbon price on trade-exposed industries, while power companies would have been paid to continue burning fossil fuels.
  • Without a price floor, it would not have provided price certainty.
  • Unlimited international offsets would have meant no reductions in domestic emissions relative to the baseline until 2035.
2011-05-26 11:55:29
Rob Painting

John, the caller talking about biogenic aerosols over the Amazon was correct. Pollen, fungal spores and various organic gases etc, do act as cloud seeding particles, and the removal of rainforest will reduce the amount of biogenically induced rainfall. Currently the burning of rainforest in the dry season (to clear land for farming) creates larger particles which actually suppress dry season rainfall. 

You didn't have a hostile host, but a great job neverthless!

2011-05-26 22:09:23
Paul D


That was very good John.
Some balanced and reasonable discussion there.