Welcome to the future

Next week, Sally Neuman is going on holiday. But instead of jetting off to a Mediterranean beach or heading to an idyllic cottage in the UK countryside, she is going to stay with her daughter in London for four days.

Neuman, an NHS worker on the Isle of Wight, is planning to take her young granddaughter to a few museums. But mostly, after 16 months of working flat out during the pandemic, she is simply looking forward to a change of scene.

“I haven’t been away since 2018, and I’d love to get a real break, to relax by a pool. But a proper holiday is out of the question,” she said.

“Prices in the UK have jumped, and the costs and risks of going abroad are too high. I don’t know of any frontline colleagues who are getting on a plane because no one can afford to isolate on the way back if the rules change.”

It’s not, therefore, actually Covid which is making those holidays expensive. It’s government policy about Covid which is.

We can argue that those policies are junk, that they’re righteous, but we do have to start from the point that it’s the policies.

As to that future, welcome to it. A large chunk of the climate change spasm is an insistence that the proles shouldn’t be allowed to do things like jet off for a week by a pool. And we’re going to change the rules so that the peasants can’t.

22 thoughts on “Welcome to the future”

  1. The Meissen Bison

    As far as the climate stuff goes, the Telegraph is leading today on the story that the govt has woken up to the fact that the peasants might get cross if told to rip out their boilers and buy hydrogen cars.

    There is a progressively inverse relationship between the intellectual and moral calibre of people going in for politics and the degree to which they believe that the state should interfere in people’s lives.

  2. Bloke in North Korea (Germany Province)

    Probably a good time as one assumes the array of posh central London hotels are short of trade right now.

    BTW, the unpredictability of the rules also changes the calculus for a lot of the “outer party” – that outer party that the private jet “reset” elite inner party will need to take with them.

  3. Can anyone answer this technical question: if a Carbon tax was introduced in a fiscally neutral scheme, would people not be able to spend the extra income – from the reduced amounts they would be paying on other taxes – to afford the higher fuel and electricity prices? I know it’s not that simple, but it seems to me that you’d need a complicated model of different groups and their net reaction, but I don’t see how you can calculate appropriate Carbon tax to hit a specific CO2 reduction target with any certainty.

  4. I don’t see how you can calculate appropriate Carbon tax to hit a specific CO2 reduction target with any certainty

    You can’t. Stern’s handwaving is just so much guesswork and subjectivity. And it distorts the market, whatever our host says – the government has a big thumb on the scales that operate in a well-functioning market.

  5. You cannot design a carbon tax to hit a specific CO2 emissions level. This is something noted in the basic underlying discussions.

    Cap and trade – per permits, licences, whatever – hits (well, to the extent that they work) an emissions target. But we don’t know the price at which they will do so.

    A carbon tax gives us the price but we’ve no idea – really, none – what the emissions level will be afterwards.

    However, we know – OK, the claim is that we do – what the future damage from emissions now will be. We also agree that the aim of society is to maximise human utility over time. So, we set the tax now at the level of those future damages. That optimises benefits now against future damages, damage now against future benefits.

    The “correct” emissions level is the one that happens after that carbon tax. If people continue to say bugger the future then that’s just what people do.

    A carbon tax cannot hit an emissions target. Cap and trade (etc) cannot tell us the price of hitting a target. A general assumption is run with the price, not the target.

  6. “after 16 months of working flat out during the pandemic”: she must have worked in a rather particular part of the NHS.

  7. All of our lives are likely to be very miserable if we just accept the states plans like a bunch of wankers.

    So no LD this winter and don’t close your business. Whatever bullshit Bogus Johnson tries to throw. The cowardly UK public have swallowed the virus/vax shite as it hasn’t yet hit most too badly. Apart from LD and NHS victims. But the greenfreak show is thieving and pain fron the start. So fight back or be flopped lower than whaleshit. That is the only choice.

  8. @dearieme,
    Don’t be cruel to the poor lady. The mop handles can be very heavy, and all the rehearsals for the tik tok dances? She must be knackered. It’s not her I feel sorry for in not being able to go abroad. It’s her daughter who has to put up with the silly moo for 4 days.

  9. Dunno.. It’s been 2-ish decades since I’ve visited Skegness, but it wasn’t that bad..
    Peeps only tried to mug me twice and the local plod at the time was quite accommodating in ignoring the rather frazzled state of the alledged muggers. Even with me being officially a Furriner at the time.
    It’s amazing how much fun that place can be when the locals figure out you’ve got a license to break teeth… Almost like a dutch beach town, but with less germans, and more pensioner gambling halls bingo halls.

    The dilapidated state of the Pier added some nice Fin-de-Siecle cachet to it as well.

  10. I just won’t go on “holiday” then. I live in the south of England. I tried the whole thing of an English holiday and fuck that. What a gigantic waste of money. Crap weather, cold seas and surly locals.

    “but you can have scones and clotted cream”. Yeah, thanks. Lidl sell those.

  11. Stuff your carbon tax and your cap and trade. They cost a ton of money (or more accurately, cause a misallocation of resource).

    The only policy required, and it costs nothing, is my ‘You first’ doctrine. When the folks who push this crap give up their beachfront mansions, their private jets, their overseas holidays and all the other things which come with a modern industrialised society, then I might consider doing the same. If I think it’s worth it.

  12. I just won’t go on “holiday” then.

    If you have a nice garden and live not too far from decent countryside, staying at home in England is a pretty good option. Bad weather notwithstanding.

    The great thing about cheap flights and crap foreign hotels with crowded beaches is that hordes of scummy plebs depart these isles. The English countryside has been trashed lately, especially this year. You have to go much further out to get away from the morons and their garbage and their shit (literally).

  13. If people continue to say bugger the future then that’s just what people do.
    So Sir Nick fudged that: when the answer he calculated wasn’t the policy he wanted, he went back and forced the calculation to come out to his liking. He adopted an absurd discount rate and wave his hands about it by way of explanation.
    Scoundrel

  14. Bloke in North Dorset

    @PJF & BoM4

    One of these is probably the best thing we’ve bought when it comes to holidays:

    https://www.vantagemotorhomes.co.uk/model-range/6.36m/neo

    Goes just about anywhere and nowadays you’re not restricted to camp sites. Lots of pubs let you stay overnight for the price of a meal, and we’ve had some crackers, councils are allowing overnight stays in car parks fir a small fee and there’s plenty of places for “wild” camping. Some camp sites will allow you to dump black waste and refill water without having to to stay, at a reduced cost, so you don’t even have to go on site. (We usually do 3 wild to 1 campsite)

    It’s even better on the continent where most most villages and towns have an aire.

  15. “However, we know – OK, the claim is that we do – what the future damage from emissions now will be. We also agree that the aim of society is to maximise human utility over time. So, we set the tax now at the level of those future damages. That optimises benefits now against future damages, damage now against future benefits.”

    Fairies are also a thing with you, Tim?

  16. Carbon Tax isn’t just your lighting, heating, car and holiday jet.
    All your food, clothing, medicine, iPhones, beer, and drinking water is saturated full of fossil fuel usage.
    Fertiliser. Ploughing. Planting. Herbicides, Harvesting. Distribution and preservation.
    Even the feudal society of 1066 was dependent on peat, lignite and surface coal.

    Zero carbon means a population of less than 1% of today, living in stone age poverty.
    Cannot run even a bronze-age or iron-age economy on the remaining ores, all those applicable to primitive technology are long gone.

    The global elite think they will still be a ruling class. Idiots. They won’t be any better than any other stone-age weaklings and old men. Bit late to realise it, by then of course. But no one said they were very bright.

  17. Tim the Coder
    August 8, 2021 at 10:19 pm

    I agree Tim. I’m thinking about the resistance to applying Borlaug’s methods to Africa. But I’ve whinged about this before.

  18. I’m afraid that “cap and trade” and “carbon permits” seem awfully like the “Indulgencies” that the Church used to sell in medieval times… And probably about as effective.

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