Taxing Carbon Down Under
Written By: Mike Straub
Australia: the land of the Outback, koala bears, kangaroos… and soon to be a trendsetter with the adoption of a Carbon Tax?
Australia is on the verge of introducing a controversial carbon tax, penalizing organizations’ burning of fossil fuels in proportion to its carbon content. Prime Minster Julia Gillard firmly believes a tax would cut carbon in huge quantities and still allow the economy to grow. Speaking to an audience in Perth, Gillard said, “If we can cut carbon pollution by 160 million tons, still have more jobs, and still have economic growth … why wouldn’t you do it?”
Opponents such as airlines and power companies are already planning to pass the additional costs onto consumers, arguing the economic climate is too fragile to use a tax to initiate change. With global markets in turmoil, some believe cheap energy is more important than clean energy, but does there have to be a tradeoff between cost and clean energy?
Fortunately, a solution exists that may provide an answer. Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion provides energy without producing carbon or increasing the tax burden on citizens. The clean water produced by the OTEC process translates into potable water for drinking, fish farming, and chilled soil agriculture – every OTEC plant creates its own mini economy wherever built. Most importantly, parts of Australia are ideal destinations for OTEC, surrounded by warm tropical waters needed for energy creation.
With the tax sure to become a reality, Australia provides an amazing opportunity for alternative solutions. The vast Australian outback provides a prime location for solar and other renewable energies. But for Aussies in large coastal cities, the ocean provides a path to their energy future.