Climate change debate still makes no sense.

Listening to the continuing CPRS debate in federal parliament today, I am still baffled that so many people seem to be accepting the Labor party’s line on the subject. To me, it seems pretty obvious we need to do things that will reduce our carbon emissions.

So why is the Labor party hell bent on imposing a new tax, instead of reducing emissions? Take labor man John Quiggin for a great example of what I am talking about;

“More generally, since the opposition plan amounts to picking some winners, and throwing public money at them, it’s obvious from first principles that it must be more expensive than the government’s ETS.”

Not to me John; The governments proposed scheme levies a huge new tax, and also guarantees to give all the tax money back in compensation. It’s obvious to me that means a nett zero effect on the economy, and will mean a zero impact on emissions;

As I understand it, the opposition are suggesting we actually spend some money on projects and technologies that will actually reduce emissions. That seems like the way to go to me, lets see some government initiatives in Solar, Wind, Tidal, Nuclear and other low/non carbon emitting technologies. How about we do something about increasing the range of electric vehicles?

Seems simple enough to me, so get yourselves into the comments and tell me why I’m wrong. (or that I’m right, either way is good!)

2 Responses to “Climate change debate still makes no sense.”

  1. John Quiggin Says:

    Think it through. Suppose the government imposes a $20/packet tax on cigarettes, and gives all the money back to smokers and ex-smokers. Do you think there would be no effect on cigarette consumption?

    The only case where the compensation cancels the effects of the tax is when you have to keep polluting to get it. There are some bits of the CPRS that are like this, but mostly the compensation (both to households and big emitters) is paid regardless.

    Of course, there is no justification for compensating the owners of brown coal power stations and the like, but the main criticism to be made is that this is an unjustified waste of money

  2. Head Crank Says:

    Well John, you’re the professor, and I’m the mug punter, and I can accept that any time you start levying taxes and throwing money around, you are going to have some effect on something, but I just don’t see how the CPRS is going to do anything to lower emissions;

    If you aren’t building alternatives to carbon polluting industries, how in reality can you reduce that pollution? I still want my lights on at night, and my laptop on during the day to get cranky with. :-)

    Lets build more of these; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cloncurry_Solar_Power_Station to start with.

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