Saturday, July 19, 2014

Saturday Night Videos

Director's Cut - N.a.u.g.h.t.y. B.o.y. Ft. S.a.m. R.o.m.a.n.s. - H.o.m.e from Ian Pons Jewell on Vimeo.

Avoidance from erica rot on Vimeo.

Paul McCartney "Early Days" from VINCENT HAYCOCK on Vimeo.

Blind Guy from BRIGADE on Vimeo.

ROADS from Keith Rivers on Vimeo.

HOTEL NOWHERE – KAMTCHATKA from Desillusion Magazine on Vimeo.

Emoji Among Us: The Documentary from Dissolve on Vimeo.

In Havana from Ezaram Vambe on Vimeo.
Cazzette - Sleepless (Director's Cut) from Peter Huang on Vimeo.

Distance Over Time from SpindleProductions on Vimeo.

California homeowners warned about brown lawns

California homeowners warned about brown lawns
Michael Korte and his wife Laura Whitney, pose outside their home lawn in Glendora, Calif., Thursday, July 17, 2014. The Southern California couple who scaled back watering due to drought received a letter from the city of Glendora warning that they could face fines if they don't get their brown lawn green again. They are told if they don't revive the lawn they could be hit with up to $500 in fines and possible criminal action. City Manager Chris Jeffers says the couple has not been cited and called it a friendly letter prompted by a neighbor's complaint. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Laura Whitney and her husband, Michael Korte, don't know whether they're being good citizens during a drought or scofflaws.
On the same day the state approved mandatory outdoor watering restrictions with the threat of $500 fines, the Southern California couple received a letter from their city threatening a $500 penalty for not watering their brown lawn.
It's brown because of their conservation, which, besides a twice-a-week lawn watering regimen, includes shorter showers and larger loads of laundry.
They're encouraged by the state's new drought-busting, public service slogan: Brown is the new green.
The city of Glendora sees it differently.
"Despite the water conservation efforts, we wish to remind you that limited watering is still required to keep landscaping looking healthy and green," says the letter, which gives Korte and Whitney 60 days to restore their lawn.
They're among residents caught in the middle of conflicting government messages as the need for conservation clashes with the need to preserve attractive neighborhoods.
"My friends in Los Angeles got these letters warning they could be fined if they water, and I got a letter warning that I could be fined for not watering," Whitney said. "I felt like I was in an alternate universe."
Despite the drought, Californians have increased their water use by 1 percent in May compared with previous years, according to a state survey of water providers. To combat perceived complacency, the state water board voted this week to require water agencies to adopt emergency drought plans and authorized fines of up to $500 a day for water wasters.

The board's chairwoman, Felicia Marcus, said "a brown lawn should be a badge of honor because it shows you care about your community." But several homeowners are reporting that a dried-up lawn instead attracts the wrath of their community.
Homeowners associations can't punish residents for scaling back on landscaping under an executive order signed by Gov. Jerry Brown in April and a bill awaiting his signature. While both measures are silent on fines imposed by local governments, the governor's office condemned moves that punish drought-conscious Californians.
"These efforts to conserve should not be undermined by the short-sighted actions of a few local jurisdictions, who chose to ignore the statewide crisis we face, the farmers and farmworkers losing their livelihoods, the communities facing drinking water shortages and the state's shrinking reservoirs," said Amy Norris, a spokeswoman for the California Environmental Protection Agency, in a written statement.

Local officials say conserving water and maintaining healthy landscaping are not mutually exclusive goals. They caution that even in times of water shortages, residents shouldn't have free rein to drive down property values, and they can use drought-resistant landscaping or turf removal programs to meet local standards.

"During a drought or non-drought, residents have the right to maintain their landscaping the way they want to, so long as it's aesthetically pleasing and it's not blighted," said Al Baker, president of the California Association of Code Enforcement Officers.

Anaheim resident Sandra Tran, 47, said she started installing drought-resistant landscaping after receiving violation notices from Orange County Public Works. She spent more than $600 on the changes as the agency mandated she water and maintain her yard in "a healthy green condition."

Yet as Tran drives home from work, she sees signs flashing on the freeway urging her to conserve water.

"It's almost crazy because one agency is telling you one thing and another is forcing you to do the opposite," she said.

Democratic Assemblywoman Cheryl Brown introduced a bill that would have prohibited local governments from imposing fines, but she dropped AB1636 after cities in her district promised not to penalize homeowners for brown lawns during a drought emergency.
Brown was shocked when she heard the practice continued elsewhere in the state, and said she would consider reviving her bill in 2015.

"It seems to me those cities aren't using common sense," Brown said. "It's too bad you need a law."

EDITOR'S NOTE: I wonder if they will attach liens to homes if the homeowner refuses to pay the (ahem "graft") fine?  If so maybe we will hear about judicial foreclosures for watering.   Doesn't sound like the "home of the free" to me.

Police Shoot, Kill 80-Year-Old Man In His Own Bed, Don't Find the Drugs They Were Looking For

Quotes on Power

The Feds Want to Take Your Car!

The Feds Want to Take Your Car!          
from Randal O'Toole's Transportation Newsletter #24  15 July 2014


The war against the automobile is being waged on three fronts:

1. Congress to Pass Short-Term Fix to Highway Fund 2. Metropolitan Planning Organizations Write So-Called Sustainability Plans 3. Cities and Transit Agencies Plan Obsolete Rail Transit Systems 4. Preserving the American Dream Conference 

1. Congress to Pass Short-Term Fix to Highway Fund

Congressional authority to collect the federal gasoline tax expires
on September 1 and, more important to some, the Highway Trust Fund is expected to run out of money at about the same time. The media has inundated the public with dire warnings of what will happen if the trust fund is exhausted and how our highways are crumbling and need federal funding.

In fact, our highways are in good shape: the number of bridges that are structurally deficient has declined by 50 percent since 1990 and the average smoothness of pavement has improved each year. The trust fund is running out of money because of overspending, not underfunding: Congress has diverted at least 20 percent of gas taxes to non-highway programs and mandated spending even if revenues weren't sufficient to cover those costs.

A proposal to increase gas taxes by 12 cents a gallon was enthusiastically endorsed by Democrats in Congress who want more money to spend, but was entirely unnecessary for America's highways or transportation in general. Fortunately, it appears this proposal will not pass. Instead, Congress appears likely to pass a very short-term bill that will replenish the trust fund and reauthorize the gas tax for less than a year. That means we can expect this debate to pop up again next Spring.

Unstated is that both parties hope to make gains in the 2014 elections, and if one house or other switches party whichever one that is in power thinks it will be able to do what it wants in 2015. If instead the Republicans continue to hold the House and the Democrats hold the Senate, then next year will see the same near-gridlock as this year.


2. Metropolitan Planning Organizations Write So-Called Sustainability Plans

Early in Obama's first term, the secretaries of Transportation and Housing & Urban Development and the director of the Environmental Protection Agency agreed to jointly require that metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) write "smart-growth" plans for their regions. This would be done through the regional transportation plans that MPOs are required to update every five years.

To promote this idea, in 2010 and 2011 the administration gave $165 million in "sustainability planning" grants, ranging from $225,000 to $5 million, to 58 cities, states, and--mainly--MPOs. Now the plans funded by these grants, and similar plans in other cities, are being released, and they all call for the same pack-and-stack policy: invest in transit rather than highways and somehow require that most if not all new housing and other development take place in transit corridors. Plan Bay Area (for the San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose region) and Plan Lafayette (for a Louisiana city of 100,000) both followed this pattern. Now the Twin Cities Thrive 2040 plan and Chattanooga's Thrive 2055 plan appear on the road to following the same pattern as well.

To justify these one-size-fits-all plans, several of the planning agencies have hired Arthur Nelson, a University of Utah planning professor who claims that Americans want to move into smaller homes and estimates the U.S. will have 20 million surplus single-family homes by 2025. His analysis are shallow and poorly documented. Over the past few months, I've had a running debate with Twin Cities planners who support the region's plans to concentrate most new housing in transit-oriented developments. I encourage people in other regions to engage their MPOs in similar debates and will be glad to help.


3. Cities and Transit Agencies Plan Obsolete Rail Transit Systems

Except in extremely dense urban areas--and New York City is the only one this dense in the United States--urban rail transit is obsolete, and will become even more obviously obsolete as driverless cars enter the market in a few years. Yet cities and transit agencies all over the country are pressing to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on streetcars and billions on light rail.

Austin, Tx and St. Petersburg, FL will vote on light rail this November. San Antonio, Anaheim, St. Paul, Santa Ana, CA, and Arlington, VA are among the many cities pushing to fund and build streetcar lines under the mistaken belief that an 8-mph, low-capacity streetcar alone will somehow generate billions of dollars worth of economic development, and San Antonio may vote on this in November.

Watch my page  on Cato's web site or my blog  for a soon-to-be-released paper on why rapid buses can do better than light rail at a lower cost.



Friday, July 18, 2014

Friday Night Music Jerry Mungo "In the Summertime" Mix

License-plate readers let police collect millions of records on drivers. Watch out for MERA!

License-plate readers let police collect millions of records on drivers
license plate reader
A license-plate reader mounted on a San Leandro Police Department car can log thousands of plates in an eight-hour patrol shift. “It works 100 times better than driving around looking for license plates with our eyes,” says police Lt. Randall Brandt.
[Editor's Note: I saw a similar device on top of a San Rafael cruiser in December 2013. I assume this technology will be part of the equipment upgrades for the new 50 million dollar  MERA (Marin Emergency Radio network upgrade that is expect to be on the November 2014 ballot.] 

When the city of San Leandro, Calif., purchased a license-plate reader for its police department in 2008, computer security consultant Michael Katz-Lacabe asked the city for a record of every time the scanners had photographed his car.

The results shocked him. The paperback-size device, installed on the outside of police cars, can log thousands of license plates in an eight-hour patrol shift. Katz-Lacabe said it had photographed his two cars on 112 occasions, including one image from 2009 that shows him and his daughters stepping out of his Toyota Prius in their driveway.

That photograph, Katz-Lacabe said, made him “frightened and concerned about the magnitude of police surveillance and data collection.” The single patrol car in San Leandro equipped with a plate reader had logged his car once a week on average, photographing his license plate and documenting the time and location. At a rapid pace, and mostly hidden from the public, police agencies throughout California have been collecting millions of records on drivers and feeding them to intelligence fusion centers operated by local, state and federal law enforcement.
An image captured by a license-plate reader in 2009 shows Katz-Lacabe and his daughters stepping out of a car in their driveway. The photograph made Katz-Lacabe “frightened and concerned about the magnitude of police surveillance and data collection,” he says.
With heightened concern over secret intelligence operations at the National Security Agency, the localized effort to track drivers highlights the extent to which the government has committed to collecting large amounts of data on people who have done nothing wrong.
A year ago, the Northern California Regional Intelligence Center – one of dozens of law enforcement intelligence-sharing centers set up after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 – signed a $340,000 agreement with the Silicon Valley firm Palantir to construct a database of license-plate records flowing in from police using the devices across 14 counties, documents and interviews show.The extent of the center’s data collection has never been revealed.

Neither has the involvement of Palantir, a Silicon Valley firm with extensive ties to the Pentagon and intelligence agencies. The CIA’s venture capital fund, In-Q-Tel, has invested $2 million in the firm. The jurisdictions supplying license-plate data to the intelligence center stretch from Monterey County to the Oregon border.

According to contract documents, the database will be capable of handling at least 100 million records and be accessible to local and state law enforcement across the region. Law enforcement agencies throughout Northern California will be able to access the data, as will state and federal authorities. In the Bay Area, at least 32 government agencies use license-plate readers. The city of Piedmont decided to install them along the border with Oakland, and the Marin County enclave of Tiburon placed plate scanners and cameras on two roads leading into and out of town.

Law enforcement agencies throughout the region also have adopted the technology. Police in Daly City, Milpitas and San Francisco have signed agreements to provide data from plate readers to the Northern California Regional Intelligence Center [Editor's Note: Marin County Law Enforcement is a part of this network]. A Piedmont document indicates that city is also participating, along with Oakland, Walnut Creek, Alameda and the California Highway Patrol. Katz-Lacabe said he believes the records of his movements are too revealing for someone who has done nothing wrong.

With the technology, he said, “you can tell who your friends are, who you hang out with, where you go to church, whether you’ve been to a political meeting.” Lt. Randall Brandt of the San Leandro police said, “It’s new technology, we’re learning as we go, but it works 100 times better than driving around looking for license plates with our eyes.” The intelligence center database will store license-plate records for up to two years, regardless of data retention limits set by local police departments.

Many cities use license-plate readers to enforce parking restrictions or identify motorists who run red lights. Police in New York City have used the readers to catch car thieves and scan parking lots to identify motorists with open warrants.

In California, Long Beach police detectives used scanner data to arrest five people in a 2010 homicide. Plate readers in Tiburon identified celebrity chef Guy Fieri’s yellow Lamborghini in March 2011, which allegedly had been stolen from a San Francisco dealership by a teenager who embarked on a crime spree two years ago and now faces attempted murder charges. Sid Heal, a retired commander with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, oversaw the adoption of plate readers in his agency in the mid-2000s. Heal recalled the dramatic uptick the plate readers made in the auto theft unit’s productivity. “We found 10 stolen vehicles on the first weekend in 2005 with our antitheft teams,” Heal said. “I had a hit within 45 minutes.” Before, Heal said, police had to call license plates in to a dispatcher and wait to have the car verified as stolen. Plate readers, Heal said, “are lightning fast in comparison” and allow officers to run up to 1,200 plates an hour, as opposed to 20 to 50 plates per day previously.

But Jennifer Lynch, a staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, said the Northern California database raises significant privacy concerns. “Because so many people in the Bay Area are mobile, it makes it that much more possible to track people from county to county,” Lynch said.In May, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, along with the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California, sued the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s and Los Angeles Police departments for a week of data gathered and retained in a multiagency network.

For now, it’s unknown which agency administers the Los Angeles database, how many agencies contribute or have access to the database, how many records the system retains or how long they are kept. In San Diego, 13 federal and local law enforcement agencies have compiled more than 36 million license-plate scans in a regional database since 2010 with the help of federal homeland security grants.

The San Diego Association of Governments maintains the database. Unlike the Northern California database, which retains the data for between one and two years, the San Diego system retains license-plate information indefinitely. “License-plate data is clearly identifiable to specific individuals,” said Lee Tien, a senior staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation. “This is like having your barcode tracked.”

Few limits on license-plate data

License-plate readers are not subject to the same legal restrictions as GPS devices that can be used to track an individual's movements. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously last year that lengthy GPS tracking constitutes a Fourth Amendment search and may require a warrant. But plate readers might not fall under such rulings if police successfully argue that motorists have no “reasonable expectation of privacy” while driving on public roads.

Then-California state Sen. Joe Simitian, D-Palo Alto, introduced a bill last year that would have required California police to purge license-plate data after 60 days and applied that rule to companies that collect such data. Law enforcement and private businesses involved in the technology resisted, and the bill died“Do we really want to maintain a database that tracks personal movements of law-abiding citizens in perpetuity? That’s the fundamental question here,” said Simitian, now a Santa Clara County supervisor. “Larger and larger amounts of data collected over longer periods of time provide a very detailed look at the personal movements of private citizens.”

While some law enforcement agencies, like the California Highway Patrol, have their own data retention guidelines for license-plate scanners, Simitian said there still is no larger policy that protects the privacy of Californians on the road. “Public safety and privacy protection are not mutually exclusive,” he said. “There's a balance to be struck, and most people understand that.” Heal, the retired sheriff’s commander, said that absent clear legal limits on license-plate readers, law enforcement agencies will continue to expand their ability to gather such information. “A lot of the guidance on this technology – the court doctrine – is nonexistent,” Heal said. “Until that guidance comes, law enforcement is in an exploratory mode.”

Gandhi on Disobedience to Evil

2013 State of the Valley Conference - "Regionalism" Building a Bureaucratic Empire without YOU.

We know our human history.  Countless times, people have claimed to have a "better way".  All the people need to do is trust the wisdom of the leaders and obey.  It never ends well.

What is wrong with "liberty and justice, for all"?

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Australia Becomes First Developed Nation to Repeal Carbon Tax

Australia Becomes First Developed Nation to Repeal Carbon Tax from

Tony Abbott Pledged to Get Rid of the Tax Last Year

Australia has repealed pro-environment carbon laws that put a price on greenhouse gas emissions, the first time a developed nation has made such a U-turn. The WSJ's Ramy Inocencio speaks with Canberra reporter Rob Taylor to gauge the reaction.
CANBERRA, Australia—After almost a decade of heated political debate, Australia has become the world's first developed nation to repeal carbon laws that put a price on greenhouse-gas emissions.
In a vote that could highlight the difficulty in implementing additional measures to reduce carbon emissions ahead of global climate talks next year in Paris, Australia's Senate on Thursday voted 39-32 to repeal a politically divisive carbon emissions price that contributed to the fall from power of three Australian leaders since it was first suggested in 2007.
Australia, the world's 12th largest economy, is one of the world's largest per capita greenhouse gas emitters due to its reliance on coal-burning power stations to power homes and industry. In 2011, daily emissions per head amounted to 49.3 kilograms (108 pounds), almost four times higher than the global average of 12.8 kilograms, and slightly ahead of the U.S. figure of 48.2 kilograms.
The former Labor government, while introducing a price on carbon, said the move would help slash emissions by 160 million metric tons by 2020. It offered voters billions of dollars in compensation through tax breaks and welfare payments for increased costs stemming from one of the most dramatic reforms ever attempted in the energy-reliant economy.
But after the global financial crisis took hold in 2008, followed by the end of a decadelong mining boom in 2012 that slowed growth and employment in the A$1.5 trillion (US$1.4 trillion) economy, Australian voters turned against climate laws—recognized by the International Energy Agency as model legislation for developed countries—blaming them for rising energy bills and living costs.
The World Bank in May produced a State and Trends of Carbon Pricing report counting carbon pricing programs in 40 nations and 20 regions worth a collective US$30 billion, while also singling out repeal plans in Australia as one of the biggest international threats to the rollout of similar programs elsewhere, given its example.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott, who made a pre-election "pledge in blood" to voters and business to prioritize growth above climate shift, delivered on his promise after independent senators with deciding votes in the upper house sided with his conservatives, following a power shift this month that ended years of domination by the pro-environment Greens party.
"Today the tax that you voted to get rid of is finally gone, a useless destructive tax which damaged jobs, which hurt families' cost of living and which didn't actually help the environment is finally gone," a jubilant Mr. Abbott told voters in a news conference after the Senate's decision.
He said the carbon price was acting as a A$9 billion a year handbrake on the economy, which was adjusting to the end of a record mining investment boom that helped shield Australia through much of the recent global economic downturn.
Without matching emissions policies in other industrialized countries, Mr. Abbott had said earlier the tax was an unfair shackle on local companies and individuals, unequaled except in Europe, where an emissions market has operated since 2005.
Labor and Green opponents of the government said the repeal would make the country an international "pariah" on efforts to combat climate change.
"This is a fundamental moment in Australia's history. We are about to devastate the future of this country," said Labor Senator Lisa Singh in an impassioned speech warning the government that climate warming would impact most on future generations.
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott. Associated Press
The carbon tax and plans for an eventual emissions market dominated Australian politics for years, gaining momentum in 2007, when former Labor Prime Minister Kevin Rudd called climate change "the greatest moral challenge of our time" and made signature of the Kyoto climate protocol one of his first political acts after winning power. Mr. Abbott defeated Mr. Rudd—then in his second stint as prime minister—10 months ago, in an election fought largely over the carbon price and its impact on energy costs.
The carbon tax has affected industries ranging from mining and energy to aviation, and was widely opposed by manufacturers and a majority of business representative groups including the country's main chamber of commerce.
David Byers, chief executive of the Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association, an industry group, said: "Today's repeal of the carbon pricing mechanism is significant as it removes a cost facing Australian LNG (liquefied natural gas) exporters competing in global markets; one that does not exist for our international competitors."
While BHP Billiton Ltd. BHP.AU +0.78% BHP Billiton Ltd. Australia: Sydney $38.55 +0.30 +0.78% July 17, 2014 5:13 pm Volume (Delayed 20m) : 8.55M P/E Ratio 13.41 Market Cap $122.85 Billion Dividend Yield 3.39% Rev. per Employee $1,417,630 07/17/14 Australia Repeals Carbon Tax 07/16/14 Woodside Revenue Leaps on High... 07/16/14 Rio Tinto Iron-Ore Output, Shi... More quote details and news » , the world's largest miner, said its management believed in having a price signal on carbon, the company has argued the current system wasn't competitive internationally.
"We have been very clear that we are strong supporters of both the repeal of the carbon tax and the mining tax," BHP Billiton Ltd. Chief Executive Andrew Mackenzie said in an interview. He said repealing the "misdesigned" carbon tax would be very important in increasing Australia's competitiveness at a time when companies selling exports have faced challenges including a historically high Australian currency.
J.P. Morgan JPM -0.26% JPMorgan Chase & Co. U.S.: NYSE $58.56 -0.15 -0.26% July 17, 2014 11:56 am Volume (Delayed 15m) : 4.96M P/E Ratio 15.03 Market Cap $222.20 Billion Dividend Yield 2.73% Rev. per Employee $410,954 07/17/14 Alibaba Plans IPO for After La... 07/17/14 Low Volumes Take Toll On Wall ... 07/17/14 Carrefour Sales Lifted by Low-... More quote details and news » last year estimated the removal of the carbon tax, together with the repeal of the government's mining levy, would boost its valuation on companies such as BHP and Rio Tinto RIO.LN -0.58% Rio Tinto PLC U.K.: London GBp3315.00 -19.50 -0.58% July 17, 2014 4:35 pm Volume (Delayed 15m) : 3.95M P/E Ratio 0.26 Market Cap GBp47.14 Billion Dividend Yield N/A Rev. per Employee GBp493,540 07/17/14 Australia Repeals Carbon Tax 07/17/14 China Merchants in Talks to Bu... 07/17/14 BHP Urges India to Scale Back ... More quote details and news » PLC by as much as 6%.
Energy provider AGL Energy Ltd. AGK.AU -5.51% AGL Energy Ltd. Australia: Sydney $14.91 -0.87 -5.51% July 17, 2014 4:20 pm Volume (Delayed 20m) : 6.15M P/E Ratio 29.11 Market Cap $8.83 Billion Dividend Yield 4.02% Rev. per Employee $4,407,450 More quote details and news » said the repeal would hurt earnings in the near term because transitional payments meant to help it cope with the impact of the carbon price on some of its coal-fired plants would cease, knocking A$186 million off its earnings before interest and tax.
But in a release to Australia's stock exchange Thursday morning, AGL said that in the long term, the repeal would have a "materially positive impact," along with associated measures still under consideration by the government to weaken a long-standing target for 20% of Australia's electricity needs to come from renewable sources by 2020, boosting coal-fired power.
Airline operators also said they had been hurt badly by the tax, at a time when intensifying competition in Australia's domestic travel market was already driving down ticket prices. Virgin Australia Holdings Ltd. VAH.AU 0.00% Virgin Australia Holdings Ltd. Australia: Sydney $0.41 0.00 0.00% July 17, 2014 4:10 pm Volume (Delayed 20m) : 2.10M P/E Ratio N/A Market Cap $1.42 Billion Dividend Yield N/A Rev. per Employee $446,370 07/17/14 Australia Repeals Carbon Tax 07/08/14 Global Partnerships Drive Etih... 07/08/14 Etihad Takes Off as Passenger ... More quote details and news » said it lost A$27 million in the six months through December 2013 due to the carbon tax, saying it couldn't pass costs on to passengers because of stiff market competition. It reported a first-half loss of A$83.7 million.
Wesfarmers Ltd. WES.AU +0.60% Wesfarmers Ltd. Australia: Sydney $43.29 +0.26 +0.60% July 17, 2014 5:05 pm Volume (Delayed 20m) : 1.69M P/E Ratio 20.67 Market Cap $49.20 Billion Dividend Yield 3.93% Rev. per Employee $303,290 07/17/14 Australia Repeals Carbon Tax 07/14/14 Australia's Coles Introduces M... 05/22/14 Treasury Wine Rejects KKR Offe... More quote details and news » Chief Executive Richard Goyder said companies would "act within their own operations to deal" with reductions in carbon emissions. Australia's Wesfarmers runs Coles, one of the country's biggest supermarket chains, as well as mining and chemicals operations.
"Business is very, very aware of this as an issue and individual businesses like the one I run have their own strategies in place to reduce their emissions regardless…of a carbon tax," Mr. Goyder told reporters at the B20 Summit in Sydney.
Smoke billows out of a chimney stack in Port Kembla, south of Sydney. Associated Press
Mr. Abbott has promised repeal will save voters and business around A$9 billion a year, although his government also risks a political backlash, having promised yearly savings to households of more than A$500, which economists and market analysts believe unlikely due to rising energy bills.
But his repeal may reverberate internationally ahead of global climate talks next year, when major economies like China, India and the U.S. will consider global greenhouse targets beyond 2030 that climate scientists say will be necessary to limit global temperature rises to two degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) above 19th century levels, even as many nations grapple with how to boost manufacturing and spur sluggish economies.
A 2009 climate meeting in Copenhagen ended in disagreement between the U.S. and China over how to deal with emissions, prompting some critics to give it the disparaging sobriquet "Brokenhagen."
The Brookings Institution has previously described Australia as an "important laboratory and learning opportunity" for U.S. thinking about climate change and energy policy, as it was one of the first major countries outside Europe to adopt a carbon price. The country was also comparable in many ways to the U.S., with similarly energy-intensive lifestyles, industries and per capita greenhouse gas emissions.
Emissions programs are already in place in Europe and parts of the U.S. and Canada, as well as Japan and Australia's trans-Tasman neighbor New Zealand. South Korea is expected to begin emissions trading next year, while China is proceeding with pilot schemes in seven locations. Europe's emissions market covers 31 countries and 40% of total greenhouse gas output inside the bloc.
Britain in 2008 also committed to slashing emissions by at least 80% by 2050 when measured against 1990 levels, while the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has finalized regulations that aim to deliver carbon pollution cuts of 30% from power plants by 2030 when compared with 2005 levels, giving teeth to U.S. President Barack Obama's promise to tackle climate shift through mechanisms putting a price on carbon.
But there have been backward moves as well. Japan last year retreated on pledges to cut greenhouse emissions, blaming the shutdown of its nuclear plants in the wake of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster for a decision to release 3% more greenhouse emissions by 2020 instead of a 25% cut on 1990 levels previously promised. Closing down nuclear power forced the world's fifth-biggest emitter to rely on fossil fuels for electricity generation.
Canada withdrew from the Kyoto protocol in 2011, with the conservative government saying the agreement would unfairly penalize its fossil fuel-reliant economy for failing to meet a promised 6% cut. Mr. Abbott, who shares the Canadian government's conservative ideology, said during a recent visit to Ottawa and the U.S. that climate change was "not the only or even the most important problem that the world faces".
"There is no question there is fragile trust and ambition around the world," said John Connor, chief executive of Australia's Climate Institute think tank. "At international climate talks last year in Warsaw Japan, Canada and Australia were standouts in going backward, and so steps like this do matter."
Editor's Note: Soon the house of cards built upon phony statistics, lies and political maneuvering will come crashing down and ideas like "Smart Growth" will be consigned to the trash heap of history.  Killing the economy hurts people and hurts the planet.  The carbon tax is thought to be the ultimate weapon of environmentalist to use as a hammer to shape the world the way THEY want.