COMMENT: If talk was hot air then this Government would need to be part of the Emissions Trading Scheme and being paying large penalties for destroying the planet.
The deal has been struck, sort of, whereby agriculture gets dragged into our Emissions Trading Scheme. That's the good news, if you think making business more expensive by piling on more costs is good news.
The rest of the news is that farmers will escape paying 95 per cent of the charges, which means they will pay, for example, 0.01 cents per kilo of milk solids. In other words having them in isn't a lot different to not having them in, if in fact what you want to do is achieve something as opposed to making a lot of noise about it.
Part of the reason agriculture has been exempt is because measuring is hard. And because agriculture accounts for the bulk of our emissions as a country, and as a result of that penalising them too heavily simply means we kill our golden goose in terms of foreign income.
Which is the overarching problem around climate change and the myriad of ideas, meetings, and hot air the evangelicals dream up: there is always an economic cost. And generally the economic cost and the associated politics of it all is why your Kyoto and Paris agreements end up basically getting ignored.
The farmers wanted to run their own scheme which the ICCC, the government's body on this, doesn't like. And they don't like it because like all governments of this particular bent they are control freaks. They want you in their tent, not yours, where they can pull the levers.
Which is where this thing is ultimately going. It's like tax or tolls, once you get the sign off, they do nothing but increase or go up.
And so it will be with farmers. Now that they have a sweetheart deal at 95 per cent, that number will only ever go down.
Getting them to sign isn't the end goal, making them pay like everyone else is. And because this whole thing is run by zealots, the fact that will lead them to going out of business is of no great concern.
What is of great concern is having to be seen as part of the new world movement of zero net emissions, all cars off the road, combustion engines banned, everyone on bikes, fossil fuels eradicated, and for the extreme end of the believers, us in cloth sacks behind donkeys ploughing our allotments full of organic veggies.
Given we are so tiny and insignificant, even if all this got enacted tomorrow, it would still not make one jot of difference to the planet. China, India, and America are your issues not us.
But once again ideology isn't about common sense or the bottom line - and that is why it is so dangerous.