Industrial Relations

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It’s time to say NO to renewable energy targets

‘How will you be able to look your grandchildren in the eye and tell them you didn’t do anything about climate change?’ If you’ve engaged in any kind of climate change or energy policy debate, you will have no doubt heard this question asked. The point of course being that the only moral course of action is to reduce our use of fossil fuels drastically by switching to renewable energy post-haste. If you disagree with this outlook you are a ‘denier’, ‘dinosaur’ or a fossil fuel shill. The reality though is that forcing us onto unreliable renewable energy sources before they are viable is expensive, destructive and morally bereft.

Apart from financing climate change initiatives globally, Australia has committed to the RET which aims for 23.5% of our national energy production to be renewable by 2020 and represents a doubling of our current levels of renewable energy production. Bill Shorten’s Read the rest

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Bootleggers, Baptists and baggage: who benefits from plastic bag bans?

The State of Queensland recently instituted a ban on single-use plastic bags at retail outlets. Woolworths is a first mover in removing all plastic bags from its own shops. Unsurprisingly many Queenslanders are frustrated with this move, and yet few Queenslanders are surprised that the State government has done yet another stupid thing.

But why do things like this happen in the first place? Why do widely unpopular, stupid regulations seem to get through the political process that is meant to represent the populace at large?

The first thing that must be noted is that many of these regulations impose diffuse costs (a small cost on absolutely everyone) yet have concentrated benefits (a few big winners). This means that there is less incentive for individuals who have to bear the costs to lobby against such regulations, and more incentive for those few big winners to lobby for them.

But Read the rest

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