Thursday, August 11, 2011

Chim chiminey Chim chiminey Chim chim cher-ee!

‘The two staple taxes were the land-tax and the hearth-tax (καπνικόν, meaning, literally, a tax on chimney smoke)’ (Arnold Toynbee, Constantine Porphyrogenitus and his World)

I came yesterday the closest I have yet to supporting a carbon tax. 

The good people on the radio were talking about ‘fly-in, fly-out’ workers. Apparently there are regular flights now from Melbourne to Karratha so people can live in Melbourne and work in Karratha. I thought: ‘that is insane’. How can it be that this phenomenon of ‘fly-in, fly-out’ has taken off in exactly the same decade in which we have been hyperventilating about anthropogenic global warming?  This seemed fundamentally unserious. Then I recovered a bit, and  was thinking: ‘maybe it isn’t that bad, if I had a full cost/benefit analysis, probably the environmental impact of building all the necessary infrastructure in Western Australia would be greater than flying workers across the country’ - when the interviewee who was telling us about these trends admitted that he lived in Melbourne but did a lot of work in Sydney, flying there about once a week. People! We have the interwebz. There is no need for you to go anywhere.  Stay home!

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