This is quite lovely

Carbon pricing is not the most effective way to reduce emissions

Matthew Hewit says:
July 6 2019 at 11:52 am
We need to ensure more realistic fossil fuel prices that include the cost to the environment, and that are high enough to tackle climate change by creating economic incentives to drive efficiency and bring alternative fuels to market. This will provide funding for other green programmes and safety nets to those vulnerable to higher prices via rapidly rising carbon taxes and revenue from carbon trading.

Richard Murphy says:
July 6 2019 at 12:03 pm
We need the alternatives before the pricing

Otherwise we will get a quite reasonable backlash

Matthew Hewit says:
July 6 2019 at 12:19 pm
I was quoting from the Green New Deal report of 2008.

Richard Murphy says:
July 6 2019 at 4:49 pm
So? You think opinion does not move on?

How else does progress happen?

Well done that man.

18 thoughts on “This is quite lovely”

  1. ‘high enough to tackle climate change by creating economic incentives to drive efficiency and bring alternative fuels to market.’



  2. Some levity

    Weekend Humour

    Kenya flight ‘stowaway’ body found in Clapham garden

    A suspected stowaway who is believed to have fallen from the landing gear of a flight into Heathrow Airport has been found dead in a London garden.

    Apparently Spurs scouts have descended on the Clapham back garden to see if the Kenyan stowaway is available for next season. A source said: “He’s quick down the wing, comes without baggage and will make a big impact when he arrives.”

    Source: arrse

  3. Just did some arithmetic…

    When we drive back from Colorado to Austin area, we sometimes take the route from Lubbock to Coleman. That passes through Sweetwater, which has rank upon serried rank of wind turbines.

    Turns out that within about 100 miles radius of Sweetwater, there are 4000 or so of the things, apparently about 1.5 MW each; couldn’t find definitive pricing but an English website estimates 2.5M pounds each.

    So even without the long distance HT lines to take the electrons away to somewhere useful, someone’s spent 10 billion dollars.

    In Texas, a state full of nasty white supremacist Trump-voting Evul Republicans.

    And that’s not even the biggest collection of windfarms in the USA.

    And if you check US generated power trends, you can see that despite population growing since 2004, energy generation has reduced.

    OMG! Where are all the “Thatcher closed down the mines” protesters???

    Yep; looks like it’s all under control.

    (Haven’t bothered to provide links – easily Googlable)

  4. Richard is actually right, opinion does move on. It’s moved from just taking your cash to now telling you a Citroen Berlingo, a one week holiday in Wales and a 4-bedroom end of terrace shall be the limit of your extravagance.

  5. Since petrol and diesel road fuel is already taxed at about 300%, aren’t we paying for our alleged CO2 sins already? As for the supposed alternatives, the plug in hybrid seems to be the least awful but the claim that such cars are less harmful to the environment than conventional cars is based on ignorance. Also, if there ever was a mass changeover to mains electricity to power road transport, wouldn’t the government end up taxing that?

  6. A point I’ve been making for well over a decade now. The correct carbon tax would involve taking about 12 p a litre *off* petrol and diesel. Ading similar amounts to other sectors of the economy, true.

    Actually, looking at the Stern Review’s numbers, the UK already pays the correct carbon tax. It’s just incorrectly distributed.

  7. Actually, looking at the Stern Review’s numbers, the UK already pays the correct carbon tax. It’s just incorrectly distributed.

    Well yes, but more than that.

    The (alleged) problem being addressed – ie harmful CO2 levels – is a planetary one?

    If, on a planetary basis, it’s not materially being applied at all, then the tax being charged in the UK is not doing any real lifting? In fact, it’s just making us poorer and less competitive? I’m curious as to what Mr Pigou considered the benefit of that might be to the unilateralists?

  8. the tax being charged in the UK is not doing any real lifting?

    It is doing the exact thing it was designed to do – raise revenue for the State, which can then be lavished on the employment of more useless middle-class parasites who think earning a living by doing something useful in return for money is vulgar.

  9. Noel

    Are we sure about the Berlingo? I think that might have gone to the recent ex-wife, leaving the Potato with his c15 year old Volvo

  10. Yes, PF, Rob. It’s just a tax.

    The climate change schtick is just to get people to accept the tax. And a whole lot more.

    The Pigou flaw is that the revenue goes to the state, not to those harmed. The elegant attempt to set the tax just right is a joke; it’s just a tax. The other flaw is that it uses governments’ legitimate authority to tax to raise revenue to control people’s behavior. Government has authority to make laws to affect people’s behavior. Using the tax system thusly destroys the legitimacy of the government.

  11. There is no need to mitigate CO2.

    We need more than we currently have.

    The world won’t heat up but it will get greener.

    Therefore there is no argument for a Pigou tax.

    Tim, stop arguning for a sin tax on something desirable for humanity.

    You are on the wrong side of the street.

    And the wheels are starting to come off the scam:

  12. @Pcar
    A Carbon Tax is indeed lunacy. But it’s the sort of lunacy only an economist could suffer from.
    Economists talk about the Laffer Curve. The peak of which is the maximum tax can be extracted from an economy. But there’s also another curve. Let’s call it the Healey Curve, in honour of the Chancellor who would tax the rich until the pips squeaked. The Healey Curve maps how much a government can tax & still get elected. The peaks of the two curves need not coincide. Rarely do.
    Governments have an insatiable appetite for taxes. Taxes, after all, buy votes. Generally the peak of the Healey Curve will be lower than the peak of the Laffer Curve because taxpayers are reluctant to pay them.
    Now the theory of the Carbon Tax says it should be tax neutral. A Carbon Tax substitutes for taxes somewhere else in the economy. But this is government we’re talking about here. Government doesn’t give a f**k about the economy apart from how it affects its prospect of getting elected. The only important thing for government is the Healey Curve. So give it a tax it can convince the taxpayer it is virtuous to pay, it will use it to increase the total tax take. Quite possibly pushing the peak of the Healey Curve higher then the peak of the Laffer Curve & destroying the economy in the process.
    A Carbon Tax is a very stupid idea outside economists’ heads & in the real world..

  13. Elegantly put, bis.

    More simply, government would take all our money – 100% tax rate – if we let them. They are constantly looking for ways to convince us that we should allow them to take more of our money.* When the global warming schtick started in the 1980s, politicians saw immediately they could use it against us. To get us to accept new taxes and a whole lot more. Hard core communists even see it as the Common Cause to unite the world under a single government. The hole people will dig and fill back up as their reason for living.

    *And give them more power over us, but that’s another story.

  14. Regarding the politics I vaguely recall seeing something a while ago that all politicians that had introduced a carbon tax had lost subsequent elections and that politically it was a vote killer.
    Canadian elections coming this year and Trudeau has been trying to force the Provinces to adopt carbon taxes so hopefully one more nail in the coffin for him.

  15. BiS: and it ties in with the inability of politicians to think of anything other than maximising tax take. Work out how to get the maximum amount of money, then work out what to lavish it on.

    Government should run the other way around, work out what you want to do, and how much it costs, *then* work out where to get the money from.

  16. I can name four governments that survived the application of a CO2 tax, or some variant.
    UK – Conservatives in 1997
    UK – Labour in 2001
    Sweden in 1994 and 2002
    Elections – they are always about something else. The economy usually.

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