Well, the twattishness hasn’t stopped this year then, has it?

The idea is much more important.

That idea is that a great deal must change. That is the essence of the Green New Deal.

In the face of climate crisis – and Australia appears to be at the forefront of the immediate, or at least newsworthy, crisis right now – the idea that we can carry in as before is notjust absurd, but is profoundly dangerous.

OK, so let’s deal with climate change then.

Second, there is no market solution to this crisis: markets cannot cope with externalities of this sort.

Twat.

As Nordhaus, Stern, Weizman, Quiggin, Tol and every other economist who has even looked at the problem insist, only markets can deal with such externalities. We add a Pigou Tax and then leave markets be to chew through the problem.

But then of course Snippa disagrees with the entirety of the economics profession – for he doesn’t know any economics.

44 thoughts on “Well, the twattishness hasn’t stopped this year then, has it?”

  1. If you think a Pigou taxx is the answer, you don’t understand the question.

    And what’s an economics professional, anyway?

  2. Do the Australian fires have anything to do with climate change? Sounds like something that should at least be demonstrated

  3. ‘That idea is that a great deal must change. That is the essence of the Green New Deal.’

    Evidence for change is not evidence for Green New Deal.

    And fuhgodsake, Timmer, a Pigou tax in England won’t do a damn thing about China and India.

    UK produces 0.04% of carbon dioxide emissions. Go ahead, kill your economy over it.

  4. The Mail splashes today with WILLIAM: 10 YEARS TO SAVE WORLD

    Palace officials say he hopes to build a unique coalition of scientists, economists, activists, leaders, governments, businesses, philanthropists, cities and countries.

    It looks as though the Prince has decided to make 2020 the year in which he becomes irredeemably woke and tedious. What on earth are “activists” doing in that list anyway?

    David Attenborough is giving his backing – hooray!

  5. What do economists have to say about creating industries and regulations designed to address issues that are made up? Anything about opportunity cost maybe?

  6. ‘Palace officials say he hopes to build a unique coalition of scientists, economists, activists, leaders, governments, businesses, philanthropists, cities and countries.’

    What a unique idea! Wait . . . what? This s#|+ has been going on for 30 years.

    What is this here ‘unique coalition’ going to do? Convince us that socialism is the only way? Get us to drink the Jonestown punch?

  7. Does this mean that we can expect more of the “ground-breaking” performance art of the Extinction Rebellion variety?

  8. Sadly his Grandma seems now to have drunk the kool-aid (we call it gin over here).

    As for Pigou taxes, or most taxes for that matter, you can guarantee they’ll be spent on the wrong stuff. And this time there aren’t any externalities – the climate is what it is, only tangentially related to our modern society.

  9. I am sure it’s only twenty years since William’s dad told us we had five years to save the world.

    Remind me again how that worked out?

  10. Time the Ozzies resorted to precolonial land management andburnt off the underbrush before the fuel load creates catastrophic runaway fires. Ditto California. You know let the people protect their property at their own expense.

  11. Dennis, Climate-Change Denying Fruitcake

    How can a Pigou Tax deal with an externality that does not exist?

    +1

    Timmy, you cannot “solve” a political problem (as opposed to an economic or scientific problem) via economics. Richard Murphy doesn’t address the so-called problem in either economic or scientific terms… he addresses it in terms of politics:

    Second, there is no market solution to this crisis: markets cannot cope with externalities of this sort.

    Until you grasp this, you will continue to address the wrong problem with the wrong solution.

    This is not about saving the planet. It is about controlling the planet. The difference is important.

  12. From the same reply by Spud to a critical post ….

    “And as a matter of fact I do not demand my name anywhere, so what you claim is simply wrong…

    some say [Corbyn] would not have got into power without me,”

    He’s so self-effacing

    The man who claims to have invented everything in tax and economics, saved the world and put Corbyn in power….

  13. “Sadly his Grandma seems now to have drunk the kool-aid”

    This is an existential threat to the monarchy. The royals hitching their wagon to Climate Change™, or any other pop culture meme, makes them vulnerable to the whims of politics. Can a second rate American actress bring down the monarchy? Who would have ever thought it could be so easy?

    Get woke, go broke.

  14. Tim. A simple question. The externalities of climate change. Define & cost them. All of them. Adverse effects are positive numbers. Beneficial, negative numbers. And not orders of magnitude approximations. Expressed as dollars/tonne of C, nearest dollar. And not some number the IPCC has dreamed up by smelling its own farts.
    And that’s the problem with a Pigou Tax. To set a rate you do have to cost the externalities. You need some solid, real numbers. And there aren’t any. There’s a complete inability to connect a specific amount of CO2 in the atmosphere to a specific amount of climate change. So the Tax would be set politically. To suit politicians. So it’s not a Pigou Tax at all. It’s just a tax. Why do you wish to give politicians another opportunity to tax?

  15. Well, the twattishness hasn’t stopped this year then, has it?

    Seems not, you still believe in sacrificial offerings to the climate gods and fairies

    OK, so let’s deal with climate change then.

    …by ignoring, adapting and taking advantage of it as we and every living thing has always done

    @rhoda klapp, Emil, Gamecock

    +1

    @Denis

    +10

    Happy New Year to any other Survivors of UK Under Sea in 2020
    The Stupidest Time in Human History

  16. I’m happy to live in a world where Tom still bats for team CO₂ taxation – recently promoted from Division 2 ( uniform ) to Division 1 ( escalating as extant assets wear out ).
    The logic seems impeccable to me. For sure you have to accept that nature will change the climate whether we like it or not, and overlaid on that is mankind’s activities which could reduce or exacerbate natural effects depending on which parameter you choose.
    Some, but not all of the exacerbation will be harmful economically – seal level rise which wipes out coastal cities in 400 years isn’t a problem as buildings fall over anyway and are replaced at faster rates. Wiping out coastal cities in 100 years when buildings are expected to last 200 is going to cost. So work that out, and restrain the production of CO₂ accordingly so we still get the benefits of economic activity when they outweigh the costs of the tax.
    Government wasting money collected in taxes isn’t a reason to oppose this. You could give the money away if you like, heck even give it to foreigners, you’ve still delivered the Pigouvian effect.
    You want good government that reduces bad taxes across the rest of the economy – that’s a good aim – but not a reason to oppose good taxes. Imv, of course.

  17. Because by setting that one price – $80 a tonne CO2-e Stern says – we can say see, we’ve solved it. Which would be vastly less damaging than the idiocies they’re perpetrating right now.

  18. As a first step can we just keep highlighting that the high priests at the IPCC themselves admit there is no proven connection between Climate Change and ‘extreme weather events’. The disingenuous politicians keep trying to claim it, but there is no scientific backing. Otherwise, every single weather event is produced as ‘proof’.

  19. some say [Corbyn] would not have got into power without me

    I seem to have missed something very important recently…what was it?

  20. Tim, do you really, really believe that? The tax would require lots of bureaucracy, with the inevitable scope for fiddling, to properly charge the CO2 producers (or users, who?). And you really think that’ll be the end of the fuss?

  21. No Tim, the idiocy must continue until it has become obvious to all that the whole thing is just not true. It is a hobgoblin. A bandwagon shared by those who see the ‘climate catatrophe’ as an opportunity to take central control of..well..everything. By hair shirts fanatics who see nowt but gloom and doom wherever they look all the time and by green fanatics who see the human race as a problem in itself, and the white bit of it as even worse, and the industrialised bit as worse still and think ‘the planet’ would be better without us, or maybe with only a few selected proper-thinking sympathetic people such as..themselves.

    Only by attaining peak idiocy can we face actual reality, which is that nothing much is happening and if it does we can adapt.

    Those people who support climate crisis are not looking for a comfortable market solution. You haven’t got a chance of selling it for that reason. It is not solving the problem they have set, the requirement to answer the questions of control, doom and misanthropy.

  22. Bloke in North Dorset

    What Bongo says.

    A couple of handy charts because the big danger in all this is that politicians listen to the catastrophists and do something stupid:

    Are global fossil CO₂ emissions tracking the high-end of past scenarios?

    Perhaps “middle-of-the-road” is the best answer (?) & this would be somewhat expected as scenarios are “reset” every few years based on recent trends…

    Figure updated from https://rdcu.be/brDGx

    To meet catastrophists predictions we’d have to undo everything that’s been done plus switch to all the dirtiest coal for all energy production. I saw one comment that there isn’t enough coal to delver that prediction.

    Societies are very good adapting to extreme weather events, once they’re rich:

    Thanks to
    @BjornLomborg
    find below a well researched list of why there ISN’T a “Climate Emergency”… so who is feeding Greta and William with Climate Alarmism when the fact is the World is doing just fine…

    Both hat tip @mattwridley

  23. The choice shouldn’t be between idiocies and even worse idiocies, it should be between common sense, positive options. Those of us who don’t believe that humans are causing significant climate change and certainly cannot control the climate need to keep arguing for strong economic growth, poverty eradication and adaptation to whatever nature throws at us. We should not be accepting policies on the basis that the chosen policy is less idiotic than the alternatives being proposed by people who are the enemies of capitalism and Western Civilisation.

  24. And politics doesn’t work that way. The way to beat St Greta is to say “Yes Dear, so this is what we do about it”.

  25. That’s not how we brought up our four teenagers.

    One lesson of politics is that appeasement in the face of the unreasonable never works, any concessions are seen as weakness and simply encourage more demands.

  26. The price of gasoline in the U.S. is 8x what it was 30 years ago. We use vastly more than we did 30 years ago. When the price started going up sharply, use went down. But over a few short years, usage rebounded.

    There is no price elasticity for gasoline. People will pay what it takes to get it. They love the transport freedom it gives them.

    “Because by setting that one price – $80 a tonne CO2-e Stern says – we can say see, we’ve solved it.”

    Surreal. We have actual, empirical data which shows this is wrong.

    BWTM: Petrol in Europe is vastly more expensive than in the U.S. Yet Europeans still use plenty.

    A Pigou tax on petrol will raise the price of petrol. That’s the only effect it will have.

    To which Socrates asked, “If a Pigou tax has no effect, is it really a Pigou tax?”

  27. Taking account of inflation, petrol costs the same today as it did in 1948. As people’s incomes are much higher today than they were in 1948, even taking into account inflation, that means that petrol has been getting cheaper and cheaper over the decades. For petrol to be the same “price” today as it was in 1948 it would need to be £5 per litre; taking into account today’s cars’ fuel efficiencies it would have to be £10 per litre.

  28. But Gamecock’s point is that there is no price elasticity in petrol/gasoline/diesel, so a putative Pigou tax will have no Pigovian effect. That probably applies to most sources of energy, and we are probably getting close to picking all the low-hanging fruit in terms of energy efficiency.

    If a ‘Carbon’ tax were used to build lots of nuclear power stations & boost the research into fusion (not via boondoggles like ITER), then it might have a purpose. However if it ever did get anywhere near energy supply then it would just be used to boost the subsidies on wind & solar. So sorry Tim, think about the unintended consequences.

  29. There’s a long term price elasticity of everything. Europeans have been paying higher petrol taxes for decades now. They drive smaller cars shorter distances. They live closer to work, travel less and less far for life, shopping and entertainment. Higher prices *work”.

  30. Dennis: Oppressor, Warmonger, Capitalist and Consumer of Petroleum Products

    Because by setting that one price – $80 a tonne CO2-e Stern says – we can say see, we’ve solved it.

    Their response? No, you haven’t. Timmy, they don’t advocate for reasonable, practical solutions (such as nuclear, as an example). What they advocate for is complete and total control of society. I say it again: You are offering the wrong solution because you are not addressing the correct problem. The problem (in their eyes) is how to control, and then re-make, society.

    And politics doesn’t work that way. The way to beat St Greta is to say “Yes Dear, so this is what we do about it”.

    Nonsense. What you are advocating is appeasement and nothing else. I can see you holding up a copy of the carbon tax in one hand and proudly declaring you’ve managed to achieve “carbon neutrality for our time”. Appeasing totalitarians in the last century didn’t work. Why do you insist on thinking it will work now?

  31. They drive smaller cars shorter distances. They live closer to work, travel less and less far for life, shopping and entertainment

    That’s got as much to do with the size structure and age of European cities and infrastructure. There aren’t many US cities with small wiggly roads going in random directions, and the last time I was in Siena, it was noticeable that the narrow streets were used by baby Fiats mostly by necessity. I’m sure that the fuel price pressure in Europe has had some effect on vehicle design, but arguably emission limits forced the change from carbs to fuel injection, which had the side-effect of improving fuel consumption.

  32. @Tim Worstall January 2, 2020 at 10:40 am

    -100

    Any tax will be in addition too the idiocies, not instead of the idiocies

    Remember APD’s objective? When it was achieved and still kept increasing Airlines & Airports challenged in court and lost – Gov’t changed definition

    Stop supporting more tax based on fake facts & project fear – fake facts not evidence

    @rhoda, BiND, DocBud

    +1

  33. @Tim Worstall January 2, 2020 at 10:55 am

    The way to beat St Greta is to say “Yes Dear, so this is what we do about it – ignore and carry on as usual as we can’t control climate any more than we can stop the tide coming in”

    FTFY

    @DocBud, Gamecock

    +1

    @Dennis

    +10

    @jgh

    Petrol, like food, clothes, TVs etc become cheaper in real terms as we increase efficiency and tech; electricity is going wrong way as gullible fools like Tim support reducing efficiency

    Increased efficiency does not mean tax it more

  34. “electricity is going wrong way”

    True. The impetus is to decentralize power production. The more government mucks it up, the more people will find ways to make their own. It will cost more. It will pollute more. It will be available.

    Buy stock in Generac.

  35. “seal level rise which wipes out coastal cities in 400 years isn’t a problem as buildings fall over anyway and are replaced at faster rates. Wiping out coastal cities in 100 years when buildings are expected to last 200 is going to cost. So work that out, and restrain the production of CO₂ accordingly so we still get the benefits of economic activity when they outweigh the costs of the tax.”

    Nonsense. The rate of rise of sea level is unchanged in over a hundred years.

    Changes in global mean temperature from 1979* to present plotted against changes in atmospheric CO2 show NO CORRELATION. None. Man made global warming is falsified.

    *Any GMT presented for before 1979 is fake. Any global ocean temperature reported to date is fake.

  36. @Gamecock

    +1 and +1

    Tim W needs to listen to pragmatists & realists (as he claims CT is) and those with BSc, BEng not BA or B Social Science

    Looks like* 2004 Pentagon & Guardian claim “UK will be Siberian Cold and under sea by 2020” was yet another fear-mongering lie

    * Looks like as not seen or heard we are and I’m not swimming or freezing

    @Worstall

    Sea level has been much higher and lower in past long before Ind Rev – Dogger Bank, GB-France land bridge

    When land bridge existed GB was populated, then depopulated repeatedly as climate changed long before Ind Rev

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