Carbon Tax Debate Frustrations

Here’s a quick post to see if anyone out there can actually enlighten me as to how the carbon tax will actually reduce emissions; I’ve been seeing a lot of angry debate on twitter lately, and went in search of some numbers;

One very loud twitter personality keeps making the point that electricity will rise in price by about 2c per kwh under the carbon tax. The assumption, I am guessing, is that because power is then more expensive, people will use less of it; In theory, they’d be inclined to use about 2% less (as its about a 2% price rise if that figure is right). My thought is that, on one hand, people are not going to turn their heaters off in winter or their air con off in summer, and they aren’t going to shut down their fridge or hand wash their clothes, they’re just going to pay the tax. And even if they cut usage a bit, how much difference will that really make, considering demand continues to grow and the power continues to come from polluting sources?

So, my thought was, the best plan is to replace polluting sources of power with non polluting sources. So we will all switch over to green power for our electricity right? Wrong. The cost to move to green power is about 3 times the cost of the tax, so there is zero incentive for anyone to switch, and most people, struggling to pay their bills already, won’t.

Perhaps you can comment and give me an idea of how this tax will achieve it’s aim, and reduce pollution? I’d rather the feds just spent some of the billions they’ve wasted on hand outs on building some solar thermal power stations.

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