A Leftist who opposes a carbon tax

Comment from Australia

AMERICAN Michael Shellenberger may be a left-wing but he is anti-carbon tax and a nuclear power champion. He is in Adelaide for the 2011 Festival of Ideas to tell us to put our faith in the human race to develop new technologies to combat climate change.

Mr Shellenberger yesterday outlined his philosophy on how the world and Australia should tackle climate change. He said the Federal Government's controversial carbon tax bill - to be introduced to Parliament this week - was not the solution.

"Our basic view is the most important thing is to make clean energy cheaper through technological innovation," the 40-year-old said. "Our proposal is to put a small fee on coal production, that no one will notice, but will create enough money to fund those new technologies to reduce the cost of clean energy." Mr Shellenberger also believes nuclear power has a big future in this country.

"It is definitely an option for Australia in the future. "You have uranium mining, great universities (to train technicians and scientists) and can move to fourth generation nuclear plants which don't have the same (safety) challenges older plants have and can be as cheap a power source as coal," he said.

Mr Shellenberger, who was named one of Time magazine's 2008 Heroes of the Environment, is one of 80 international and local speakers challenging perceptions and sparking debate among audiences at this year's ideas fest.

Mr Shellenberger will host a talk titled A New Politics for a New Century with Ted Nordhaus, his co-founder of the Breakthrough Institute, at Elder Hall from 1.15pm.

The US experts will explore how to achieve a future where the world's population can live a secure, free, prosperous and fulfilling lives on an "ecologically vibrant planet".


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