Hang the fuckers

Have you seen this shit?

This bill puts in place measures to attract the £110 billion investment which is needed to replace current generating capacity and upgrade the grid by 2020, and to cope with a rising demand for electricity.

And if we did it by building gas fired plants it would cost £13 billion. Plus the occasional small earthquake in Blackpool.

Seriously, we\’ve got to kill these people.

They\’re doing it all entirely the wrong way around.

Stick on a carbon tax and let the market work everything elese out.

Admittedly, no one goes into politics to ever solve any problem other than what can I as a politician fuck up by having power over but that doesn\’t mean we should lay down and take this bollocks.

As our weirder greenie friends keep telling us, the legalisation of hemp is indeed the solution. Some decent 10 foot lengths of the stuff.

Jeebus C on a sodding pogo stick how did we end up with this load of idiocy as public policy?

37 thoughts on “Hang the fuckers”

  1. £110bn would surely be enough to restart large scale coal mining and a new generation of carbon capture & storage coal power stations. Employment boost, energy security and greenery in one.

  2. Shale gas needs to be exploited without the govmnt. They have control over the energy sector (and many others)because everybody thinks that they do.

    The situation needs to be explained to the public and then shale gas drilling and power plant construction begins. A new private grid will need to be constructed to supply elec to customers at much lower rates. I am sure there will be no shortage of people wanting cheap elec. The state will try to call this “crime” or “economic terrorism” because its orders are being ignored. If the states rip-off and eco-madness has been explained carefully, it is unlikely that the govmnt will get much support. Their only recourse then will be coercive violence. At that point people will have to decide if they want a real future for themselves and their kids, one in which live keeps getting better or if they will submit to a long poverty stricken decline under the heel of the state and its allies/henchmen. If we do nothing to stop them they will do what they like.

  3. Tim:
    At which point, you’re pinning the whole of our energy security on a pipedream which may well prove to be bollocks-all (in which case, playing nicey with Russia is our only option).

    Yes, the local-micro-environmental objections to fracking are balls, but we don’t know how much shale gas there is or how viable it’ll be. Scientists have had a century and a half of estimating oil reserves, and even those are often shaky; this is a completely new science with estimates regularly varying by whole orders of magnitude.

    However, we do know for absolute certain that every energy company currently trying to sell its shale gas projects will be using the most grossly optimistic estimate of reserves that it can quote without anyone going to jail, because incentives. And so that if we rely on their estimates, we’re more likely to end up with too little gas than anything else.

    AFAICS, as long as the energy bill actually delivers energy security, 7% of one year’s income (which is what GBP110bn is) is well worth it for the whole “lights stay on and the Brits don’t freeze” thing.

    Botzarelli:
    Trouble is similar: CCS for macro scale coal plants hasn’t yet worked, or even come particularly close.

  4. Great idea; government micro-management of energy supplies; what can possibly go wrong? Because the last 5 years have shown us what a wonderful idea the socialisation of business risk is.

    I would say “Will the last person to leave the country turn off the lights”, but I’m pretty confident the electricity will already be off.

  5. Peter MacFarlane

    Steady on Tim, steady.

    But then – you’re right: British energy “policy” is copper-bottomed ocean-going weapons-grade lunacy.

    Perhaps we really should kill them all.

  6. what is this “energy security” argument? is it the same as “food security”? And we all know how insane that is, John B.

  7. G.O.M. I think the point with hemp is that it doesn’t really break the skin (that much anyway) so is less messy although I am told they would need to wear nappies to make leaning up a little easier.

    Also piano wire is very springy and so there are Health and Safety issues, and finally hep benefits from EU subsidies, which would no doubt please Mr Clegg as he dangles there.

  8. Stick on a carbon tax and let the market work everything elese out.

    And this, Tim, is where, despite all your good intentions, you suddenly lurch into being an idiot. “Stick on a carbon tax”? Stick it on yourself Tim, or up yourself, which ever is the more uncomfortable.

    You know the thing. You’re either with free markets or with the terrorists/paedophiles/whoever else is sufficiently evil. You can be in favour of capitalism, or in favour of Pigou’s voodoo, but you can’t be in favour of both. It’s that simple. Really it is.

  9. @Ian B – what the fuck are you about?

    Tim is absolutely right about the Pigou tax, the point being it is the least market-distorting way to deal with a supposed externality -oops I forgot, Don’t feed the trolls.

    Can we hang them instead?

  10. Viscerally, because they’re very rich people, they don’t feel threatened by their own legislation.

    Cameron, Osborne, Clegg, do they care if their quarterly electricity bill is £5,000?

    No.

    But what they don’t realise is that if you force us all to have electric cars that can’t be recharged and if we have a 2 day week because of energy shortages or if only the rich and famous can have the necessary petrol powered generators to maintain their lifestyle, then there will indeed be a revolution and blood will be shed.

    The British are always slow to react, but deprive us of the goggle box for a week or so and no mercy will be shown.

  11. Ian,

    Markets (free, regulated or controlled) does not equal ownership (capitalist, private, feudal or state).

    Please. One of the few advantages that libertarianism has, this side of the Atlantic, is that we are not immediately associated with the frothing at the mouth USian idiotarians who left minarchism long behind but managed to keep their religious bigotry.

  12. SE, I don’t know what you mean about the religious bigotry, let alone AC1 and his “freudian projection”.

    Pigovian taxes are a typical statist fantasy, another of their imaginary levers. A tax on carbon? It’s a tax on everything, but applied regressively and in practise it is a license for poor people to go without while rich people destroy the planet[1], because they can afford to.

    I said before here, I’ll say it again. Libertarians seek lower taxes. Left wingers seek progressive taxes (shift the tax burden onto the rich). Right wingers seek regressive taxes (low income/inheritance taxes, high sales and sin taxes). Progressives seek both. Taxing carbon is the most regressive tax one can imagine.

    Thus we get supposedly pro-market writers throwing a screaming fit at the idea of taxing bankers, then calling for taxing everybody else for daring to use carbon.

    “Least market distorting way”? My fucking smelly arse. Let’s see what’s wrong with Pigovian taxes:

    1) It is inherently impossible to calculate the value of the externality.

    2) The value of the externality, even if it were calculable, is different to the correct tax level for deterrence. Choose one.

    3) Even if you can do either of them, the victims of the externality don’t get compensated. The government gets the money.

    In other words, it can’t be done, and even if it can be done, it won’t work. Instead, it is just a high falutin’ excuse for screwing everyone for taxes.

    It is worth remembering that Pigou and the other Cantabridgians were not free marketeers. They were establishment men who wanted an economics describing their Victorian model world, in which respectable captains of industry work together with the government to manage society, so they produced an economics of statist corporatism, strongly based on Victorian moral ideals- the implementation of sin taxes on the Lloyd George model to control the appetites of the proles being a major plank of that. In other words, the English “classical” school of economics from Smith onwards is not a free market school, it is a state-managed markets school, and its conclusions conform to that ideology; they are not an attempt at a value-free economic science. The final result, of course, was Keynes. A greater condemnation is hard to imagine.

    [1} I am presuming for the sake of argument that CO2 emissions are going to cause an environmental catastrophe unless drastically reined in.

  13. Ian, you’re right. Everyone only half pregnant doesn’t solve anything.
    JohnB, you’re wrong. The shales were laid down at the same geologic time so can be compared. Gas in the US has already halved in price due to the supply glut.

  14. SE, I don’t know what you mean about the religious bigotry,

    USian libertarians monotonously start from the Xian fundamentalist pov. Even their cheer-pensioner is religiously (lit) opposed to abortion.

  15. “Stick on a carbon tax and let the market work everything elese out.”

    Reason this is foolish number 23:

    It’s an economic (intellectual) suggestion to a political (pragmatic) body. Taxes are set by politicians, and UK politicians will be well aware of the vote grabbing success (_not_) of the carbon tax about to be imposed in Australia.

    Number 24:

    “Stick” on a tax – and good luck getting rid of it.

    Number 25:

    A social engineering tax should be feedback linked to the heart of the social issue it’s aimed at. “Sticking” on a tax won’t do this. (Any “carbon” tax should be linked to a specific prediction by enviro-scientists of a unique indicator of man-made impact. Alleged impact increases – tax goes up. Alleged impact decreases – tax rebates ensue funded by house sales of enviro-scientists).

    Seriously, “let the market work everything elese out” is just Tim Worstall not being arsed to face the issue that anthropogenic global warming is an evil scam invented by leftards with the usual intention of stamping a boot on our face – forever.

    A carbon tax is just another size of boot.

  16. Like IanB, I fail to see the need for a Pigou tax. As an example, people whose homes may be damaged by earthquakes due to fracking can request that the mining companies pay for the extra cost of insuring their homes against earthquakes; any company refusing to pay this would suffer a PR disaster and the public would be perfectly at liberty to boyott them. In the current system this might lead to higher prices in the short o medium term, but a) in a properly competitive market it wouldn’t, and b) if people aren’t willing to pay to feel morally justified, then they don’t have a leg to stand on in using force in order to feel morally justified.

    That’s one possible way to resolve the dilemma without the use of force, there are probably many more that are far better than that one, and asserting the need for a Pigou tax is asserting that there is no non-violent way of solving the problem of externalities in a free market for energy.

    As a side note on “religious bigotry”, there’s nothing in the slightest wrong with letting your religion determine how you run your life, so long as doing so does not involve the use of force on others. Yes, Ron Paul does advocate use of force to prevent abortions, albeit at a state rather than federal level, but then he’s not an anarchist (or even really a minarchist, when you look at his spending plans beyond about three years in).

  17. “Even their cheer-pensioner is religiously (lit) opposed to abortion.”

    That’s because his religion based belief system advises him that unborn humans are murdered when they are aborted. Libertarians tend to be opposed to murder, especially when the state imposes upon all the sanction of it (i.e. “Obamacare”).

    I suspect he’s quite happy for women to do what they like with their own bodies…

  18. “Ron Paul does advocate use of force to prevent abortions…”

    Yes, because Ron Paul believes that abortions are a use of force upon humans. As in – murder.

  19. “…any company refusing to pay this would suffer a PR disaster and the public would be perfectly at liberty to boyott them.”

    Laugh out loud, as they abbreviate on the interweb. Rainbow unicorns, etc.

  20. The libertarian way to deal with global environmental damage is to sell the whole planet to the highest bidder. It will then be in the owner’s interest to look after it. They’ll compete with all the other planets people can live on, and the market will decide.

    Perhaps there’s some slight flaw in that approach, in which case Pigou taxes would seem to be a plausible alternative. If you don’t like them, what else have you got?

  21. PaulB – my understand that Pigou taxes are revenue-neutrl for a government, so would that lead to another massive gov IT project to redistribute the tax income?

  22. ” If you don’t like them, what else have you got?”

    Not buying into lying leftist, eco-freak bullshit in the first place.

  23. So Much For Subtlety

    Surreptitious Evil – “USian libertarians monotonously start from the Xian fundamentalist pov. Even their cheer-pensioner is religiously (lit) opposed to abortion.”

    Monotonously? Ron Paul may be the most high profile man to claim the libertarian mantle, but he is hardly the most prominent. He may be personally pro-life, but he is a States’ Rights supporter on abortion. He opposes the Federal Courts and government controlling the issue. He shows little signs of being religious to me and he claims it was his experience of delivering babies that made him pro-life. Ayn Rand comes closer. Jewish. Not religious. David Friedman wrote the most famous and well thought out books. Jewish. Both were fine with abortion as far as I know. Rand calling rights for foetuses “vicious nonsense”. Murray Rothbard, who is perhaps the most serious libertarian thinker, seems to have invented the “parasite” meme. The American Libertarian Party is pro-choice.

    So … monotonously?

  24. Diogenes: “energy security” = “the lights stay on, and we’re not dependent on either fighting wars in, or being blackmailed by, wartorn despotic regimes in order to achieve this”.

    Food security *in this sense* is also important. If we were sourcing 90% of our food requirements from Russia and Saudi Arabia, then I think even the most pro-market of us can see this might be a less-than-ideal situation.

  25. At which point, you’re pinning the whole of our energy security on a pipedream which may well prove to be bollocks-all (in which case, playing nicey with Russia is our only option).

    Shale gas is real enough. The only reason the majors are hanging back from piling in bit time is because of the political uncertainty of the developments, i.e. if the environmental lobby groups win out. Technically it can be done and companies are willing to develop the reserves on a large scale.

  26. the lights stay on, and we’re not dependent on either fighting wars in, or being blackmailed by, wartorn despotic regimes in order to achieve this

    This sounds good in theory but there is no precedent for this happening: even the Russian habit of switching off the gas to Ukraine is a power struggle which is more domestic infighting and akin to bog-standard corruption than Russia trying to exert political control over Europe. The real danger of relying on Russian gas is that they are likely to be too incompetent to deliver it.

  27. I’m still at a loss as to what my comment had to do with religious fundamentalism. And, as SMFS says, American libertarianism isn’t fundamentalist anyway- to reiterate, the most famous name is Ayn Rand, a committed atheist.

    As to energy and/or food “security”, I think we just need to recognise that Britain would not have a very high standard of living as an autarky. We’re just too small. I hope everyone likes turnip soup.

    PaulB, I can’t speak for other libertarians, or for right wingers at all, but I’ve stated often enough that in my view if carbon is a problem, solving it requires direct action on extraction, since that is the actual problem. Emissions are a red herring, but foolishly attempting to control that part of the carbon cycle seems to appeal to many groups of authoritarians as it allows the State to interfere comprehensively with everybody, as compared to tackling extraction, which would mean the State would only have to interfere with relatively few, large, mining and drilling concerns.

    If you don’t want more carbon in the air, you don’t dig it out of the ground. Regressive consumption taxes are not a good solution. They do however allow wealthy people to carry on polluting (marginal utility of money, etc) which is why, in my view, wealthy people are in favour of consumption tax based policies.

  28. If you don’t want more carbon in the air, you don’t dig it out of the ground.

    So what are you going to do, tax the oil companies? They do that already, with three effects:

    1. Projects become unviable (see Shtokman)
    2. Politicians cave in to pressure and/or realism and grant exemptions, which often involves a healthy kick-back of some kind for said politicians.
    3. Fuel prices go up globally as the price of crude increases.

    I’m not convinced any of these is something we want.

    Besides, which government is going to tax Saudi Aramco for extracting oil and selling it to Asian refineries?

  29. IanB: I’m not sure I follow you. Governments could tax the extraction of fossil fuels according to their carbon content, but that would put the price up, shifting the balance of consumption towards the wealthy. Or they could impose quotas on extraction (I’d expect libertarians to disapprove) but that would put the price up, shifting the balance of consumption towards the wealthy.

    Rich people get to consume more stuff. I thought right libertarians were in favour of that.

  30. No Tim (Newman), look, I don’t know why everybody’s so obsessed with taxes. Where the hell did I say I wanted to tax anybody?

  31. Paul, see my last reply, what I typed while you were typing yours.

    Try this: suppose you’ve got a rape problem in your society. Who would you tax? Rapists? Or would you say, actually this isn’t a tax issue? Libertarians believe that people have the right to earn as much as they can and spend it. They don’t believe in the right of the rich to harm other people.

  32. Ian, I still don’t get you. Whatever you do to restrict the supply or use of fossil fuels will increase energy prices, with the result that the rich will increasingly be able to consume more energy than the poor. It’s a feature of capitalism that resources get used disproportionately by the wealthy. The point of socialism is to seek to correct this misallocation.

  33. Indeed. So what this tells us is that policies designed to solve the problem by restricting fossil use are not ideal policies, and we ought to look for something better.

  34. The point of socialism is to seek to correct this misallocation.

    The effect of socialism is that resources are used disproportionally by the powerful. Who are, quite often, more corrupt and inept than were the wealthy in the societies they replaced. Even if they were feudal rather than capitalist. Which is, it has to be said, saying something fairly unpleasant about socialism.

    ‘Cause feudalism wasn’t very nice.

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