The Green’s carbon tax

June 2nd, 2014 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

The have proposed scrapping, the , replacing it with a , and compensating for the with a reduction in income and company tax.

Overall the policy appears to be credible, and has some merit to it. Let’s first look at the pros and cons of an ETS vs a carbon tax. Of course some people will say we should have neither, but they can go scream loudly somewhere else.

The ETS basically lets the market set the price of carbon. The idea is that as emissions rise, the price rises, and the greater the economic incentive to move to less carbon intensive activities – and the greater the incentive for tree planting etc which reduces net emissions.

But here’s the problem. With the global failure to get an agreement post-Kyoto on emissions reductions, the price of carbon has fallen significantly. Also the GFC lead to a decrease in global economic activity and emissions. So it is a fair criticism of the ETS that it no longer provides much of an incentive to reduce emissions. This is not a fault of the NZ Government, but of the reality of the international economy.

The current price is around $5 per tonne.

The Greens are proposing a simple tax at $25 per tonne, with agricultural emissions at $12.50 per tonne. This has the advantage of certainity. It will provide more of an incentive in the short term. However if there is a future global agreement, then a simple carbon tax may end up providing less of a price signal than an ETS. Also the ETS allows the allocation of free units to reduce over time, which can be an effective way to reduce emissions.

It is positive that the Greens are not proposing a carbon tax as a way to just increase revenue for the Government. Their proposed tax cuts of no tax on the first $2,000 of income and a one cent reduction in company tax to 27% is welcome and does make the package relatively cost neutral.

My concern is that Governments in the future would increase the level of the carbon tax, with no corresponding income or company tax reductions. So would the level of the tax be something that only Parliament can change (like most taxes) or something that the Greens would allow the Government to alter in future.

The other issue is the wisdom of taxing agriculture when no other country does this, and in the absence of an international agreement or any significant way to reduce emissions short of just having fewer cows. I think at some stage agricultural emissions should be priced, but if we are the only country in the world doing so – then we may just export jobs and income to other countries.

But overall the proposed carbon tax does have some merits over the current ETS. If NZ does proceed with one, then there is a good way to set the price which may please both sceptics and non-sceptics. Tie the level of the tax to the mean global temperature. That way the level of the tax only increases if the mean global temperature increases. That way future Governments can’t use it as a cash cow.

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79 Responses to “The Green’s carbon tax”

  1. Manolo (13,514 comments) says:

    But overall the proposed carbon tax does have some merits over the current ETS.

    @DPF: A Labour Lite supporter would say that, wouldn’t he?

    The truth of the matter is neither of those taxes deserve to even exist. It is another mechanism for Key, Smith and now the Greens to get more of our money. Shame on the people proposing it!

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  2. Sir Cullen's Sidekick (828 comments) says:

    Thanks for agreeing to destroy NZ business DPF. While NZ, which is a rounding error in the global emission totals, destroys its business with meaningless schemes like ETS and Carbon tax, major polluters like India, China and USA for that matter move on. Why $25? Tax them to death with a $50 price. What is so magical about $25 figure?

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  3. 103PapPap (129 comments) says:

    I note that ‘lady’ cattle (cows) are taxed but not male cattle. How sexist from the green party!

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  4. Redbaiter (7,974 comments) says:

    “But overall the proposed carbon tax does have some merits over the current ETS.”

    Tony Abbot won election by promising to get rid of the carbon tax in Australia.

    Shame about NZ’s National Party.

    Just won’t take a stand on one damn thing that matters.

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  5. Sir Cullen's Sidekick (828 comments) says:

    @Manola – I agree with you. Both ETS and Carbon taxes are nutty schemes. Oz is paying a huge price for that. Let us tax the business out of this country and we can all then catch fish, drink coconut water, kiss the snails and happily live ever after. After all Chuck Noland on Cast Away showed how we can survive….

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  6. WineOh (590 comments) says:

    This will force successful manufacturing industries offshore, while we subsidise inefficient pet projects from the Greens.

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  7. Mark (1,416 comments) says:

    Why would any party put in place a regime that potentially puts 10% of our dairy farmers at risk when they are the industry that we all live off the back of. Staggeringly stupid policy from the greens

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  8. Southern Raider (1,730 comments) says:

    Norman has come out and stated we have too many cows and this is a typical communist response.

    Who has decided we have too many cows? Where is the long term economic impact report of targeting our biggest export earner?

    Yes our waterways are a disgrace. As I’ve said before National needs to pull their finger out and come out with a crushing blow policy on waterways. How fuckin hard can it be? Just announce the Govt, MPI, Federated Farmers and Fonterra in conjunction with University Research will invest $500M over next 3 years.

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  9. All_on_Red (1,487 comments) says:

    You’re very wrong about this one DPF. This area does seem to be a blind spot for you. Isn’t it about time you took an objective look at the science?

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  10. Ben2001 (20 comments) says:

    So costs to business increase and presumably those costs are passed on to consumers far exceeding any tax cuts. And for what? So we can feel virtuous as temperature and sea levels continue to climb. The idea is as idiotic as the system of indulgences used by the church in the Middle Ages. Fornicate to your heart’s content and ‘buy off’ the sin with cash.

    The policy is typical of everything proposed by the Greens; it will cost everyone a great deal of money whilst achieving absolutely nothing.

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  11. OTGO (521 comments) says:

    People used to say, “they’ll be taxing the air that we breathe next”. And now they do. The socialists have won.

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  12. Redbaiter (7,974 comments) says:

    Anyone else detecting a strategy shift within National suggesting they could be warming to the idea of an alliance with the watermelons?

    Sid Holland must be spinning in his grave at where John Key has taken his party.

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  13. All_on_Red (1,487 comments) says:

    “Yes our waterways are a disgrace”

    So we keep hearing. What I wonder about is where are all these areas which are polluted? Because shouldn’t people be naming them and then the farmers or industries responsible being prosecuted and the damage repaired?
    It’s odd we never hear of that happening compared to all the times we hear about pollution. I come from Hawke Bay. With four rivers in the Bay I am as keen as everyone else to have clean water. If I saw pollution, I’m going to report it. The laws are there to deal with it.
    The great and the good like that trougher Anne Salmond and other activists who have travelled the country say it’s polluted. Well where’s the fucking list?

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  14. Sir Cullen's Sidekick (828 comments) says:

    If anybody trusts the Greens for their skills in their numbers (including the “Carbon Tax champion DPF”) need to get their mental state checked by some specialists.

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  15. wiseowl (815 comments) says:

    Manolo is right.
    No need for any taxes.
    These global warming, climate change scamsters have a lot to answer for.

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  16. simpleton1 (158 comments) says:

    An exemption for farming?
    How does that work?

    A lot of inputs such as diesel, cartage, electricity, etc etc,. will all be taxed at $25 per carbon as the farmer pays for such costs.
    Will he then be able to claim back the $12.50 differential for the business.?

    Then is the cow and sheep charged at the $12.50 per tonne as assessed for carbon production.?
    Will grass that grows that absorbs carbon be in credit?

    How do you work out silage and hay that stores carbon ,, possibly for a couple of years?
    Trees planted in esplanade strips will be given carbon credits, but what happens when they fall over and rot. Will they then be assessed as contributing carbon.

    It will mean major employment for people well studied in business, administrative, consultancy degrees and etc., and architects for environmentally green building offices for such an expanding bureaucratic empire.

    Just where does this carbon tax/ets stop, when there are far more important things even in the environment and rma to be sorted out

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  17. Komata (1,140 comments) says:

    Mark

    Re: ‘Staggeringly stupid policy from the greens’

    No, if you subscribe the the belief that gaia is incapable of looking after itself, and that all and any things which are ‘destroying’ that entity, are bad, then what the gweens are suggesting makes perfect, logical sense. That people will be hurt economically and might possibly even die as a result of these policies is simply irrelevant, and ‘collateral’ damage. In the gaia-centred world that the gweens inhabit, nothing else matters, although curiously, the proponents of such policies do seem to make sure that they are ‘well provided for’ with the comforts and facilities associated with 21st-century western civilisation and culture; it’s ‘the uneducated’ who must be made to pay (aka be ‘punished’), for the ‘damage they’ve caused’.

    As I said, to the proponents of such ideas. it makes perfect sense…

    BTW: You DO realise I trust, that the UN itself endorses such policies, so therefore they MUST be right?

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  18. Viking2 (11,244 comments) says:

    Well once a socialist forever a socialist.

    Here is what Gregg Muir of Tru Test says to you.
    Now they are at the sharp edge of the cow thing. Worth noting.

    Quote
    And it is the dairy boom that has fuelled Tru-Test’s growth.

    Muir does not agree with milk sceptics who believe New Zealand’s economy is dangerously dominated by dairy.

    Rather, he believes our grass-growing climate and geography means the opposite is true.

    “I have the reverse view that New Zealand should become more deeply engaged in the dairy industry, because this is where we have genuine competitive advantage,” he says.

    “There’s more demand than production for as far as the eye can see. I don’t think anyone that’s immersed in the dairy industry will see production overtake demand in their working lifetimes.”

    Muir concedes water use and effluent run-off are issues facing the sector, but is optimistic the application of technology will mitigate these problems.

    “In five years these issues will be less contentious than they are now because we’ll be able to make farming much more sustainable,” he says.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/10103318/Muir-a-magpie-manager-for-farm-tech-firm

    Its long past time we ditched this appalling rort on the world. No one has yet proven there is a problem.
    Now that will stuff this debate for sure.

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  19. Manolo (13,514 comments) says:

    I shall ask DPF to tell me, to educate me, on how the ETS has worked for and favoured NZ? What has it done to improve the lives of its citizens? As far as I know it has added to the price of petrol, electricity and the overall cost of living.

    Tell us please, what did we gain by adopting the National Party ETS tax? I know Key and Smith are quite proud, but what else?

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  20. Viking2 (11,244 comments) says:

    Redbaiter (6,772 comments) says:
    June 2nd, 2014 at 11:19 am

    Anyone else detecting a strategy shift within National suggesting they could be warming to the idea of an alliance with the watermelons?

    Sid Holland must be spinning in his grave at where John Key has taken his party.
    ============================
    Well if the Idiot from Nelson gets his way, and he seems to all the time, then that will be what will happen. Norman was making soothing noises yesterday that seemed to be aimed in that direction.
    Somehow I think the sooner the Nats bite the dust the better.

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  21. Viking2 (11,244 comments) says:

    Manolo (12,895 comments) says:
    June 2nd, 2014 at 11:25 am

    I shall ask DPF to tell me, to educate me, on how the ETS has worked for and favoured NZ? What has it done to improve the lives of its citizens? As far as I know it has added to the price of petrol, electricity and the overall cost of living.

    Tell us please, what did we gain by adopting the National Party ETS tax? I know Key and Smith are quite proud, but what else?
    =====================
    Well so far its been a rip off of the taxpayer. The big companies have bought dubious carbon credits from oversea’s and then onsold them to the govt at inflated prices. Now that’s good for our balance sheet NOT.

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  22. Sir Cullen's Sidekick (828 comments) says:

    Two new election policies from the Greens, both attacked by the Government, yet Labour’s refusing to comment on either.

    The Greens are promising free healthcare up to the age of 18, and a new carbon tax on big emitters, with tax cuts for individuals and businesses.

    But likely Government partner Labour has zero response: a spokesman says they only comment on National’s policies these days.

    National, on the other hand, is holding nothing back – saying the healthcare policy will be costly, while a carbon tax is off the planet. – By: Laura McQuillan, Latest Political News | Monday June 2 2014 9:34

    Looks like Messiah is going to go with Greens implementing their policy. A vote for Labour is a vote for driving business out of this country.

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  23. GPids (18 comments) says:

    This policy raises more questions than answers in my opinion:
    At least they have the sense to exempt sheep and beef farmers from this but what about deer, cropping and horticulture farms? Are they to be taxed at 12.5% too?
    As it is, this policy will hike up the price of all dairy products in the supermarket.
    You also have to look at this in conjunction with the Green’s other policies – they want resource rentals on irrigation, they want a CGT and they also support the regional councils around NZ that are looking at imposing nutrient limits in catchments.
    I would love to see these costs all factored into a budget on a typical dairy farm. That would be a good indicator as to what this would cost the NZ dairy industry.

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  24. Other_Andy (2,486 comments) says:

    “Overall the policy appears to be credible, and has some merit to it.”

    really?
    What is credible about a tax on a trace gas?
    Why would you tax a totally beneficial trace gas?
    What will it accomplish?

    “Of course some people will say we should have neither, but they can go scream loudly somewhere else.”

    Why not silence them by comparing them to holocaust deniers?

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  25. dishy (230 comments) says:

    ETS? Carbon tax? Bring back our girls? Futile, but (apparently) good for the conscience.

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  26. Ross12 (1,254 comments) says:

    How does taxing a business , accepting the business will pass on the extra cost to consumers and that same business is given a 1% drop in tax rate give any incentive for that business to change anything ?? ( Don’t forget all that business’s competitors will be in the same situation).
    All this would do get the creative accountants going into over drive to find the loop holes.

    The other matter is if you look at all the surveys , worldwide, climate change/global warming is way down near the bottom of the list of worries for the average voter.

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  27. gravedodger (1,528 comments) says:

    Good points @GPids 11 35, but this very bad dream that the host here finds so warm fuzzy and cuddly is only a first serve and we all know great players win many points with their second serve.
    Anyone with an IQ larger than their shoe size even in centimeters who thinks the radical left and communist dominated greens will stop at those slightly attractive to dreamers start points for a NEW TAX are demented.

    What a gold mine for tax harvesting for tax churn bribe opportunities and all predicated on a Myth that the carbon cycle that has sustained life since the big bang is suddenly a bad thing and must be eradicated.

    A billion here another billion there and very soon you are talking real money.

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  28. greenjacket (434 comments) says:

    By imposing a tax on dairy production in NZ, it will force dairy production to go overseas. In NZ dairy production is pastoral, but overseas dairy production is mainly done in feedlots, which have a GHG emission level magnitude higher than pastoral production. So the Green policy will actually result in an INCREASE in global GHG levels!

    Let’s be clear about this policy. It has NOTHING to do with the environment – in fact the Greens policy would lead to a rise in global GHG emissions. It is because the Greens hate industry.
    The Green are dangerous fanatics, so absorbed in their own utopian Gaia fantasy, that they actually WANT to destroy industry.

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  29. Bruce Hamilton (60 comments) says:

    First, this isn’t a carbon tax, it’s a greenhouse gas emissions tax, referenced to CO2. Such emissions include non-carbon molecules, such as nitrous oxide ( N2O ). The mass of the gas emitted is multiplied by a “global warming potential” factor, with CO2 as the reference.

    Currently, the 100 year GWP factor for methane in NZ emissions is 21 ( from the IPCC 2nd assessment ), however the 2013 IPCC has changed the methane 100 year GWP to 34. Should that value be adopted in the future, the tax on methane ( a major component of agricultural emissions ) will instantly leap by 50+%. By using the calculated GHG emissions, the Greens have effectively penalised agriculture for gaseous emissions that are difficult to control ( eg methane from burping and farting livestock and the methane and nitrous oxide from changed land use ). Reducing the tax to $12.5/tonne from $25/tonne for agriculture still doesn’t make the tax any more sensible. The $950 million revenue will not reduce emissions, but does give the Greens money to waste on other programs.

    If they had used fossil carbon as the measurement ( eg $25/tonne carbon ), as the NZ use of fossil carbon ( from imports/production of fossil fuels ) is around 10 million tonnes of carbon, the available revenue for them would only be about $250 million, but modern agriculture would not stung with a penalty they can’t currently avoid.

    Taxing fossil carbon would encourage individuals to quickly change consumption behaviour as overseas technology is quickly offering viable choices as other nations seek to reduce fossil fuel consumption. We don’t need 1000 – 2000 kg vehicles to transport 100 – 200 kg of humanity. Internal combustion engines are improving in efficiency, vehicles are becoming lighter, and battery technology is also reducing the size and cost of EVs. Home design, insulation, and appliances are also improving efficiency.

    Taxing fossil carbon could reduce use more quickly than silly GHG-emission based penalties for agricultural and industrial practices that currently only have medieval alternatives. Replacing the ETS with dubious GHG-based emission penalties will quickly harm NZ industrial and agricultural competitiveness with minimal benefit to the environment.

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  30. Unity (392 comments) says:

    The ETS changed nothing whatsoever apart from costing a huge amount. Anyone who believes the IPCC on anthopogenic climate change needs their heads read. It is not caused by man but the solar system. As for taxing dairy farmers – only an idiot would even think of doing this. It would cause so much financial harm. Yes, we do need to clean up our waterways and that’s about the only thing I would concede for our country and we are already onto that one. We are far too small to make any difference to anything to do with climate. Carbon dioxide is a plant food and very necessary. If Australia (a big country) has scrapped their tax then surely it’s ridiculous for us (a tiny country by comparison) to impose one. Tony Abbot obviously has common sense which is sorely lacking here. Our politicians do the bidding of the UN and couldn’t give a jot otherwise.

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  31. Peter (1,662 comments) says:

    It has no merit at all.

    It won’t change the temperature.

    That’s the point, isn’t it, rather than empty posturing and petty taxation on the dairy industry?

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  32. wat dabney (3,716 comments) says:

    As for taxing dairy farmers – only an idiot would even think of doing this.

    We are talking about people who would sooner reign in Hell than serve in Heaven.

    The Greens will engineer economic disaster if they conclude it is their best interest. As the Green movement has demonstrated repeatedly over the years they don’t care who they hurt or how many poor blacks they kill.

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  33. Viking2 (11,244 comments) says:

    Waning interest
    Despite the rising rhetoric from those passionate about the subject (on both sides), we seem to be less interested now than 5+ years ago about ‘global warming’ and ‘climate change’. You can use the Google Trends service as one way of gauging practical interest (people wanting to know more) and this is what it shows for New Zealand:

    Go here to see the graph.http://www.interest.co.nz/sites/default/files/embedded_images/image/interest-in-global-warming.gif

    It is fascinating that most of the search interest comes from Otago and Wellington, and not from the big population centres in Auckland and Christchurch. People in the Bay of Plenty seem to care much less. The national pattern is similar to that you can find for most other countries.

    The latest Roy Morgan poll on what New Zealanders think are the current ‘important issues’ supports the declining interest.

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  34. All_on_Red (1,487 comments) says:

    Unity
    Oz didn’t scrap the Tax because of scientific reasons ( mores the shame) but because it made many industries uncompetitive and they shut down. Others held on but could nt grow. The resulting unemployment was significant and is one of the underlying reasons why it’s high today.
    So whither goes youth unemployment and household incomes? Why do the Greens hate the poor and middle class so much? As they are the one who will suffer from this. It’s no good having your tax reduced if you have no income to tax!
    Of course the mad thing is, is that it will have no effect on ” climate change” at all as the science shows us there is no increase in extreme weather . Source IPCC AR 5 which says ” low confidence”

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  35. CharlieBrown (921 comments) says:

    A Carbon tax in NZ is just a symbolic gesture. Unfortunately the reality is will be shooting ourselves in the foot and possibly making global net emisions increase. From what I’ve read, NZ is perhaps the most carbon efficient producer of aggriculture, and the products we export doesn’t sit there in limbo doing nothing, it gets used. So if this tax causes our aggricultural production to decrease then global market forces say that another country that is less carbon efficient and has no carbon taxes will fill the void. The net effect is Global emissions have increased, even if NZ has reduced its proportion. The same applies to all products NZ produce that get affected by a carbon tax.

    If those pussy european countries want to decrease emisions they should open up free trade to the developing world on condition of using a carbon offsetting program. A move that would surely work.

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  36. simpleton1 (158 comments) says:

    Already a hidden cost to the country is the current ets/carbon tax system.
    Where can we find how these these things hidden costs that apply to electricity, fuel, that directly costs us as in per person, per family, per farm . I really do not want another bureaucracy to know all about this. Much simpler, Just join Australia and say “NO” to this nonsense.

    Then in flow on effects such as cartage that can for example then feed on in rates on property, as road maintenance in particular then councils then charge higher rates for less work done.

    An old farming calculator is like adding another lot of so many months rates to farms from when the ets proposal first started.
    http://www.carbonfarming.org.nz/calculators/
    The calculator I think does an easing in phase, for the beginning I think, before it was dropped..,fortunately,, though still paying on many inputs such as electricity and fuel then cartage, rates, etc.

    Since 1 January 2012, the agricultural sector has faced reporting obligations on its biological emissions under the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS). Currently there is no legislated date for when biological agricultural emissions will face costs under the ETS. ……
    Currently, the participants for agriculture in the ETS are meat processors, dairy processors, fertiliser manufacturers and importers, and live animal exporters. Some exceptions apply……
    The Government intends to move the reporting of biological emissions to farm level as soon as practicable and will continue to explore options on how this can be done. ……..
    http://www.climatechange.govt.nz/emissions-trading-scheme/participating/agriculture/obligations/

    Can we escape this tangled web of indoctrination, and concentrate on what is right and correct, for life, business and government, for the people of New Zealand.

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  37. Redbaiter (7,974 comments) says:

    Can we escape this tangled web of indoctrination, and concentrate on what is right and correct, for life, business and government, for the people of New Zealand.

    Only if we destroy those who enable it, starting with the National Party who are rotten to the core and have betrayed every principle the party once stood for.

    Stop voting for appeasers and enablers.

    John Key himself a few days ago described the National party as “Progressive”.

    In case you didn’t see that for what it is, its giving the finger to his critics from the right.

    That National won’t respond to such criticism shows the only plan they have is knee jerk reaction to left wing criticism.

    Keep voting for National and you’re just enabling the left to enslave you.

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  38. stephieboy (2,497 comments) says:

    I think the key to Environmental protection, is as well as existing regulations, equally important – Education,Education,Education.
    That ETS has always been a no brainer to me ending up hurting much more the less well off.

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  39. Redbaiter (7,974 comments) says:

    “I think the key to Environmental protection, is as well as existing regulations, equally important – Education,Education,Education.”

    Spoken like a good little believer of the Hitler Jugen.

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  40. simpleton1 (158 comments) says:

    I can not believe that it is cold in Auckland as just claimed per radio news.

    Just face up to it, global warming is here, like there would be “Snow will just be a thing of the past” written in the year 2000
    http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/snowfalls-are-now-just-a-thing-of-the-past-724017.html
    I would have to presume that no heating what so ever was used at the Greens Conference.

    Perhaps electricity supply for Auckland should be curbed, in the winter, as none would be needed for heating, as it is getting warmer. That will save more water to flow from the lakes and so naturally go down the rivers, particularly aiding the fish in the summer.. Oops, do not use your air conditioner in summer though, as the fish need the water too.

    Oh do not start on me that it is just weather, and not climate change, as I see so many things are pointed out to me, so regularly that all these weather conditions point to global warming, then in that colder is warmer, change ,etc

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  41. Rowan (2,005 comments) says:

    Australia under Tony Abbott are scraping the carbon tax introduced by Julia Gillard, we should learn from there mistakes before repeating the same failed scheme here. Another reason not to vote for the greens!

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  42. Ross12 (1,254 comments) says:

    I wonder whether Dr Norman will propose an extra tax on his mate KDC and the IP policies based on these figures ??

    http://www.tech-pundit.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/Cloud_Begins_With_Coal.pdf?c761ac

    The information economy is a blue-whale economy with its energy uses mostly out of sight.
    Based on a mid-range estimate, the world’s Information-Communications-Technologies (ICT) ecosystem uses about 1,500 TWh of electricity annually, equal to all the electric generation of Japan and Germany combined — as much electricity as was used for global illumination in 1985.
    The ICT ecosystem now approaches 10% of world electricity generation.
    Or in other energy terms – the zettabyte era already uses about 50% more energy than global aviation. This recent study (August 2013) by Digital Power Group includes interesting facts about the use of electricity by smart phones and tablets. “

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  43. skyblue (203 comments) says:

    DPF – on this whole taxation of emissions issue your stance is that of a moron.
    ETS/Carbon Tax etc ARE not required in any form whatsoever. It is a socialist scam to rid the middle claases of THEIR income.

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  44. stephieboy (2,497 comments) says:

    Rebaiter, tell us about your about your own personal experience of enslavement as per your 12.35pm post .?Yes, I might of stated the Education bit rather stridently , but unless paranoid ( lke yourself possibly ), I had in mind things like anti smoking and drink driving education situations.
    I trust you don’t feel personally enslaved ( or paranoid again ) by those examples.?

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  45. OneTrack (2,782 comments) says:

    “Of course some people will say we should have neither, …”

    Hey, that’s me :-). Since the whole new invented scientific paradigm called the “consensus method”(tm) seems to be falling apart at the seams, sabotaging our economy just so that some luddites can “feel better” and some politicians can show they are “doing something”, doesn’t seem an optimal approach to me.

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  46. Ross Nixon (611 comments) says:

    It amazes me how otherwise intelligent people can be so gullible, falling for the ‘climate change’ hoax.
    All I see from the small coterie of hand-picked ‘scientists’ that form the alleged 97%, is lie after lie after lie, failed model after failed model after failed model, refusal to face facts, repetition of debunked lies, abuse and censorship of anyone who dares question them, and scare tactics to wear down the ill-informed public.
    The world is doomed!

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  47. OneTrack (2,782 comments) says:

    Especially when said luddites show their concern for the climate by flying a sympathetic actor from the US to New Zealand so she can sit in the crowd at their conference. So the planet needs to reduce frivolous things such a flying in jet aeroplanes, but, once again, it is ok when the greens do it? Hope they paid their carbon tax. Oh, thats right, it was paid for by the long suffering taxpayers from the productive sector. You didn’t need that operation anyway. Hypocrisy = green.

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  48. OneTrack (2,782 comments) says:

    “Their proposed tax cuts of no tax on the first $2,000 of income and a one cent reduction in company tax to 27% is welcome and does make the package relatively cost neutral.”

    So what, exactly, is the carbon tax going to add to just petrol for a start. $1 a litre? $5 a litre?

    And no tax of the first $2000 sounds like sfa compared to the potential costs of a green government. What are the personal tax rates that a watermelon government will introduce, and where will those rates cut in.

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  49. OneTrack (2,782 comments) says:

    NZ Power was supposed to save the long-suffering power consumer $300 per annum on their power bill ( as long as they didn’t use too much, of course).

    How much will the Carbon Tax add to that same power bill?

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  50. Manolo (13,514 comments) says:

    The ETS changed nothing whatsoever apart from costing a huge amount. Anyone who believes the IPCC on anthopogenic climate change needs their heads read.

    Tell that to John Key, Nick Smith, and DPF, all firm supporters of the ETS tax.

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  51. Don the Kiwi (1,642 comments) says:

    I’m SCREAMING LOUDLY somewhere else. :-)

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  52. flipper (3,816 comments) says:

    DPF says (amongst things which actually do make sense)….

    **””But here’s the problem. With the global failure to get an agreement post-Kyoto on emissions reductions, the price of carbon has fallen significantly. Also the GFC lead to a decrease in global economic activity and emissions. So it is a fair criticism of the ETS that it no longer provides much of an incentive to reduce emissions. This is not a fault of the NZ Government, but of the reality of the international economy….”

    Let us be clear on the following:

    1. There never was any prospect of there being a post Kyoto scam extension
    2. There is :
    a. No evidence of any global warming, but some area changes due to demographics etc
    b. No evidence of any potentially disastrous increases in sea levels
    c. No evidence that CO2 (as opposed to soot and nasties) is detrimental
    d. No evidence that any global warming would be other than beneficial
    c. That man can control a changing (evolving ) climate.
    3. Europe is in the worst economic condition since the end of WW2 solely as a consequence of the EU driven climate fiasco
    4. The NZ ETS introduced by Clark was a disaster in waiting. That passed under Key was marginally less so.
    5. The NZ Government’s position was driven by poor MFAT and other advice, and is now seen for what it was /is – horseshit
    6. The only justification for its (the modified ETS) continuance in its present form is that it helps reduce Govt debt.
    7. With every year that passes, the scam becomes more obvious.
    8. With every year that passes those adherents to IPCC dogma and that cult are seen as silly.

    One day, in the next five or so years, even our good friend DPF will recognise the truths set out herein. :-)

    It therefore behoves each of us to ensure that labour/greens/ nutcases NEVER get an opportunity to take us down the EU road to economic purgatory.

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  53. FeralScrote (116 comments) says:

    John Armstrong in the Herald this morn has obviously forgotten to take his dementia medicine.
    Any political party that desperate to hold the reins of power as the Greens appear to be,should be automatically disqualified from contention in the minds of any rational voter.
    The ridiculous proposed carbon tax will wipe out any gains from dumping the ETS,even the advanced cognitive dissonance of the average green voter must be ringing alarm bells.

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  54. Pita (372 comments) says:

    The ETS is no more than a slush fund, a sop to the UN to demonstrate our commitment to combating Global warm…Climate chan…climate interuption.

    Only somebody with the intellectual capacity of say…Lucy Lawless… might believe that it was anything other than a tax.

    For those uf us who can remember; before the last elections the Labour Party were preparing to plunder the ETS account to finance their election bribes… For others…like Lucy Lawless…take a few moments to look it up and refresh your memories.

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  55. KevOB (265 comments) says:

    No warming in nearly 20 years and we need a carbon tax? The price of carbon dropped to a point where the bank market promoters found it uneconomic to trade.

    What have we got against carbon? its an element and all our life forms are based on it. Even the bacteria in the ground produce it, more than us and cows. Combined with oxygen and sunlight its a feedstock food for plants and vegetation.

    This anti-carbon agenda is being driven by tired communist greenies who need to have something to control: but that’s not us.

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  56. srylands (392 comments) says:

    “Tie the level of the tax to the mean global temperature. That way the level of the tax only increases if the mean global temperature increases.”

    That is really silly. Unlike most of the commentators on this blog, I think that there is considerable evidence for climate change being caused by GHG emissions. However, mitigation is very costly. It needs to be efficient, and part of a global effort involving the major emitters. New Zealand adopting a unilateral carbon tax set at an arbitrary level is economic vandalism.

    To repeat the comment I made on General Debate yesterday, we are being asked by the Greens to pay 5x the market price for emissions reductions. That cost is real. It may raise revenue, but it is wealth destroying because it imposes a tax on our most efficient producers.

    One irony (and there are many) is that the lost dairy production will simply be made up by competitors who are marginally less efficient than New Zealand. That’s right. The net impact of the Green policy could very well INCREASE global greenhouse emissions as dairy production moves to less efficient producers, with higher emissions per kg of milk solids.

    Great result Mr Norman.

    Back to DPF’s idea of linking the tax to global temperature. That is a dumb idea. The time lags are too long.

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  57. marcw (237 comments) says:

    I hope that the low paid and ‘poor’ people in NZ realise that the impact of an carbon tax will fall mainly on them – resulting higher prices (as admitted). And since more than 45% of the lowest income people in NZ effectively pay no tax, an exemption on their first $2000 of income will equal diddly squat as a counter measure. Great! Increased prices and no compensation… what could possibly go wrong?

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  58. rouppe (940 comments) says:

    and the greater the incentive for tree planting etc which reduces net emissions.

    The current ETS has completely gutted new forest plantings. Deeming all sequestered carbon as released on harvest is stupid when you also hear that wood fires are carbon neutral, and when wood framed houses come from those same forests

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  59. dime (9,646 comments) says:

    “Of course some people will say we should have neither, but they can go scream loudly somewhere else.”

    um ok :( bye

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  60. Peter (1,662 comments) says:

    Glad to see near 100% disdain in reaction to another climate fraud tax.

    Nice :)

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  61. xy (167 comments) says:

    Nice post, DPF. Do your commentariat fill you with despair sometimes?

    Personally I’d love to see a Green/National coalition in the longterm.

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  62. Fletch (6,126 comments) says:

    Ian Wishart has written a column fisking Russell Norman’s speech points.

    NORMAN: I’d like to briefly touch on some of the latest climate impacts around the world.
    Because I know how easy it is to lose track. The effects of a warming planet can begin, after a while, to seem like a bizarre sci-fi film playing on repeat in the background of daily life.
    The sheer scale and cost of what’s occurring is difficult to comprehend. From the tropics to the poles, from the mountains to the sea, from the poorest countries to the richest, climate change is tightening its grip.

    The last few years are perhaps best summarised as a series of “is this really happening” moments. Antarctic ice loss being one such moment. We recently learnt that parts of the ice sheet have begun an irreversible slide into the sea. 160 billion tonnes of ice is being lost every year – twice as much as when the Continent was last surveyed. Antarctica is literally shedding ice.

    The resulting sea level rise doesn’t bear thinking about.

    The impact on coastal communities, of which New Zealand has many, is likely to be catastrophic.

    WISHART: Russel, you are trying to induce newspaper, radio and TV journalists to make fools of themselves in the eyes of their educated readers/viewers, because the latter group know the science and they facepalm every time a gullible journalist falls for rhetoric over facts. Why don’t we read the peer reviewed science together. Here’s what climate scientists have discovered about West Antarctic ice melt:[1]

    “The record shows that this region has warmed since the late 1950s, at a similar magnitude to that observed in the Antarctic Peninsula and central West Antarctica; however, this warming trend is not unique. More dramatic isotopic warming (and cooling) trends occurred in the mid-nineteenth and eighteenth centuries, suggesting that at present, the effect of anthropogenic climate drivers at this location has not exceeded the natural range of climate variability in the context of the past ~300 years.”

    Key phrases? How about “this warming trend is not unique” and the effect of human CO2 emissions has “not exceeded the natural range of climate variability”? Those two points demonstrate to any journalist or objective observer that there is nothing, absolutely nothing, special or unprecedented about Antarctic melt to date.

    That finding is backed up by yet another this year, which reports warming cycles in Antarctica like the current one have occurred five times in the past 350 years alone:

    “The data suggest that during the past 350 years such events have taken place at least five times.”[2]

    What part of ‘irreversible’ do the Greens fail to understand? It has warmed and cooled again at least five times recently, none of which had anything to do with CO2.

    Perhaps the Green Party’s ‘science advisors’ have not told you Russel, but I will: the part of Antarctica losing the most glacial ice of all – in fact it is the biggest single contributor to sea level increase in the world – is the Pine Island Glacier. It’s a monster throwing massive amounts of ice into the ocean. But guess what, it has nothing to do with CO2 and much more to do with an erupting volcanic chain underneath it:

    “A very basic condition – how hot is it under the glaciers – has changed with this finding,” says Sridhar Anandakrishnan, a glaciologist at Pennsylvania State University in University Park. “Anyone who wants to model the ice flow of West Antarctica in future must take this into account.”[3]

    It doesn’t take a rocket scientist (or maybe it does) to figure out that if you have one of Antarctica’s biggest volcanoes sitting under the fastest-moving glacier, the two events ‘may’ be linked.

    A further clue to this is that scientists know that whatever triggered Pine Island Glacier’s race for the sea, it happened during a time of global cooling more than 40 years ago, long before greenhouse gases were an issue, and it was big enough to unhook the glacier from a ridge holding it in place:

    “We do not know what kick-started the initial retreat from the ridge, but we do know that it started some time prior to 1970.”[4]

    To reiterate Russel, the UN IPCC says it can only find human impact traces on the climate post 1970. Nothing we did was big enough to dislodge Pine Island glacier prior to that. Whatever is causing that glacial melt, it was natural, not human caused.

    Which is pretty much what honest ice researchers will concede, if you actually ask them:

    “I have a problem with the widespread implication (in the popular press) that the West Antarctic collapse can be attributed to anthropogenic climate change,” said Mike Wolovik, a graduate researcher at Lamont-Doherty who studies ice sheet dynamics. “The marine ice sheet instability is an inherent part of ice sheet dynamics that doesn’t require any human forcing to operate. When the papers say that collapse is underway, and likely to last for several hundred years, that’s a reasonable and plausible conclusion.” But, he said, the link between CO2 levels and the loss of ice in West Antarctica “is pretty tenuous.”[5]

    But don’t you worry Russel, my friends in the media will probably believe you regardless, and not ask any hard questions.

    You seem to be basing your predictions on a couple of alarmist papers published last month, but the UN IPCC in its latest AR5 report actually says the Antarctic appears to be reducing sea level increase rather than causing it:

    “Taking all these considerations together, we have medium confidence in model projections of a future Antarctic SMB (surface mass balance) increase, implying a negative contribution to GMSL rise (see also Sections 13.4.4.1, 13.5.3 and 14.8.15).”

    Then there’s your assertion about 160 billion tonnes of ice loss from Antarctica each year and that this is much higher than usual. Let’s look at that shall we. AR5 is highly sceptical (low confidence) of your claim:

    “There is low confidence that the rate of Antarctic ice loss has increased over the last two decades (Chen et al., 2009; Velicogna, 2009; Rignot et al., 2011c; Shepherd et al., 2012); (4.4.2.3)”

    “As with Antarctic sea ice, changes in Antarctic ice sheets have complex causes (Section 4.4.3). The observational record of Antarctic mass loss is short and the internal variability of the ice sheet is poorly understood. Due to a low level of scientific understanding there is low confidence in attributing the causes of the observed loss of mass from the Antarctic ice sheet since 1993. Possible future instabilities in the west Antarctic ice sheet cannot be ruled out, but projection of future climate changes over West Antarctica remains subject to considerable uncertainty (Steig and Orsi, 2013).” (10.5.2.1)

    Again, Russel, you might be able to convince Lucy Lawless and a couple of gullible reporters, but the sorry truth is that even the UN IPCC is not making the wild claims you have in your Climate Change policy speech.

    In fact, unlike you, the IPCC is not even prepared to attribute any Antarctic ice loss to human-caused climate change:

    “Due to a low level of scientific understanding there is low confidence in attributing the causes of the observed loss of mass from the Antarctic ice sheet over the past two decades. {4.3, 10.5}”

    As for the 160 billion tonnes figure, that’s a guesstimate based on Europe’s Cryosat overflights and which was misreported by the BBC and the American media. Other studies are showing big gains overall for Antarctica and a negative impact on sea level increase:

    “The gain of almost 350 Gt (gigatons or billions of tons) from 2009 to 2011 is equivalent to a decrease in global mean sea level at a rate of 0.32 mm/yr over this three-year period.”[6]

    You invite the media and the public to be scared about the resulting sea level rise, but that raises another reality check – if rising CO2 levels were genuinely causing ice to melt irreversibly around the world, sea level would be going up rapidly. Bad news for your argument – it ain’t:

    “We use 1277 tide gauge records since 1807 to provide an improved global sea level reconstruction and analyse the evolution of sea level trend and acceleration.”

    “The new reconstruction suggests a linear trend of 1.9 ± 0.3 mm·yr- 1 during the 20th century, with 1.8 ± 0.5 mm·yr- 1 since 1970.”[7]

    In other words, sea level increase rates have not really changed over the past 100 years, no matter how many breathless reports on the TV news try and tell us otherwise.

    Your 160 billion ton figures came from media mis-reporting of a couple of recent studies, which noted that Antarctica’s contribution to sea level increase had doubled from 0.19mm a year to 0.45mm a year. If that melt rate is correct, and it doubles again to 0.9mm a year, that’s a massive sea level rise of oh, I don’t know, nine centimetres over a century. In a world where tides rise and fall by six metres or more twice daily in many areas, I challenge you to pinpoint a 9cm rise in sea level.

    There’s more at the link –

    http://www.investigatemagazine.co.nz/Investigate/12771/totalitaria-author-ian-wishart-debates-greens-leader-russel-norman-climate-change/

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  63. Other_Andy (2,486 comments) says:

    “I think that there is considerable evidence for climate change being caused by GHG emissions.”

    No there isn’t.

    There is however considerable evidence for climate change NOT being caused by GHG emissions.

    After 1998, global emissions accelerated as a result of unprecedented global economic growth. The models predicted accelerating temperature rise.
    Actual event was warming stopped and has gone down in the last decade.

    The models predicted warming would be characterized by a temperature hotspot.
    Actual data has found no atmospheric hotspot.

    The models said the rapid warming would make hurricanes more frequent and extreme.
    Actual data shows the quietest hurricane period on record.

    The models predict that sea level rise would accelerate.
    20 years of actual satellite data show no such trend.

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  64. Maggy Wassilieff (310 comments) says:

    @ rouppe… one can only wonder as to what is going to happen to the forestry land that is currently being harvested.

    I don’t think much of it will be suitable for dairy cows!!!

    There’s a wall of wood coming down my local roads. I only hope that there’s some fast -growing plants that can colonise the harvested slopes if the owners aren’t going to replant.

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  65. simpleton1 (158 comments) says:

    Re-planting forestry land is up to the owner.
    Subsidies or incentives under the name of “carbon” by government should not be involved in what is basically a business decision.

    Naturally I would figure that replanting may be a tax deductible income expense , and be able to be placed against the spike in income from harvesting the trees as also the ongoing pruning in other years.

    Just why should forestry be able to claim so called credits. The final value of a tree/log/timber is what the owner investor should be weighing up. They either take a loss, which could also be tax deductible or less income to be taxed, or they make a good profit that is taxed.

    That way the investor will be searching for where the best returns are, research the type of tree, grass or return to native vegetation, or weeds. Why should others have to pay/taxed to have it replanted with all the attendant profits going to the individual/corporation.

    Have you any idea of the rules and regulations from Kyoto that encourage forestry corporations, but make is so difficult for farmers, and small land owners to meet the pay out conditions of the supposed carbon credits.

    Never worry something will grow there, as where in one area I have observed weeds /natural regrowth does grow very fast.

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  66. Maggy Wassilieff (310 comments) says:

    @ simpleton…. I’m not in favour of any C credits/penalties involved with land use. I’m only interested in sustainable land-use. Yes, of course natural regrowth will occur over much of NZ’s land….. (that was the subject of my Ph.D over 30 yrs ago). We’re great at growing forests… so why stuff up a sustainable industry (exotic forestry) with C credit manipulations? There’s more to forests/ wood production than just C capture and release.

    However, I’ve shifted to erosion-prone country (East Coast). I don’t want to be around if cyclones come belting down again on poorly managed land.

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  67. All_on_Red (1,487 comments) says:

    Other Andy
    I’ve read a bit of your stuff on other blogs. Why don’t you do a guest post for DPF complete with citations?
    Might open his eyes.

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  68. Sir Cullen's Sidekick (828 comments) says:

    Folks – Don’t forget the $2M slush fund kept aside by the Greenies for the “Environment Commissioner”. While this post is to resurrect my great aunt Jeanette Fitzimons, looks like our dear DPF could be a potential candidate for that with his support for carbon tax!!!

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  69. graham71 (12 comments) says:

    The most polluted stream in mid canterbury is mill creak which flows though Ashburton not a cow in sight
    The award for the most polluted stream in canterbury is a tie
    Between the avon and the heathcote
    Again no cows at fault
    You go up and down this country it’s the same everywhere
    The polluted streams are caused by people and city’s
    Yet we farmers get all the blame

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  70. Other_Andy (2,486 comments) says:

    All_on_Red at 4:48 pm

    Thanks Red, I am flattered.
    However, there are websites that do a far better job with authors that are far more knowledgeable than me.

    Anthony Watts – http://wattsupwiththat.com/
    Jo Nova – http://joannenova.com.au/
    Judith Curry – http://judithcurry.com/

    And lots more…

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  71. Slipster (87 comments) says:

    “Of course some people will say we should have neither, but they can go scream loudly somewhere else.”
    ====
    Don’t you think you are more than a bit rude there DPF?

    People disagreeing with your “right-on” view on this issue have every bit as much right to “scream” about that as you or your beloved Greens. More right in fact, as they are protesting against a very real daylight robbery as opposed to the mythical “consensus”.

    So yes, regardless of whether you like it of not, BOTH taxes shoud be scrapped. Now!

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  72. ben (2,414 comments) says:

    Where did the $25 come from? Is it connected to the value of the externality? Would be nice if it was, as opposed to, say, the maximum amount that is politically achievable as a first step. The Greens do say “initial” price so $25 is the opening bid. As you’d expect from a former Marxist not particularly convinced of the merits of free people organising themselves without his direct oversight.

    I continue to be surprised that climate policy does not make any party pushing it unelectable given 99.8% of the benefits at the margin accrue to non-NZers, and taxes cost jobs. The obvious fact that NZ’s climate policy has around zero relationship with the global climate, so that we will be affected in exactly the same way by climate change with NZ ETS/carbon taxes as without, but we’ll have lower employment and lower productivity/wages (unavoidable with higher taxes – no free lunches here, sorry), has apparently escaped at least 11% of the population.

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  73. Slipster (87 comments) says:

    @greenjacket: “The Green are dangerous fanatics, so absorbed in their own utopian Gaia fantasy, that they actually WANT to destroy industry.”
    =====
    They make no secret of that. It’s pretty much their official policy.

    On top of that, both their electorate and, especially, activists don’t depend on jobs & employment (for obvious reasons). Benefits and assorted hand-outs on the other hand, are the ever-popular carrot to use but … that needs money. Hence the policies. No different from any other hard-Left madmen.

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  74. SPC (5,472 comments) says:

    ben, the U.S. government recently estimated this present value to be $20 per ton, and the International Monetary Fund has suggested using a value of $25 per ton.

    http://object.cato.org/sites/cato.org/files/serials/files/regulation/2013/6/regulation-v36n2-1-1.pdf

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  75. Manolo (13,514 comments) says:

    I am still waiting for our host’s defense of the indefensible.

    C’mon DPF, give us the reasons for your support of this tax on productive New Zealand. Why do you agree with the Greens on the need for such tax, ETS or Carbon?

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  76. unaha-closp (1,137 comments) says:

    The Greens (and DPF) are bad for the planet.

    Making aluminium in NZ is low carbon impact, planet leading good. The Greens (and DPF) want to make it unprofitable to do so. Aluminium will still be made. It will be made in a more planet killing way elsewhere.

    Dairy production in NZ is in the upper 20% in terms of good for the planet. The Greens (and DPF) want to make it unprofitable to do so. Cows will still be milked, but it will be elsewhere and in a more planet killing way.

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  77. Manolo (13,514 comments) says:

    A sight to behold and an unholy alliance on the subject of taxes: the Greens and DPF agree in the spirit on the need to have an ETS and Carbon taxes.

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  78. Bloggeur (1 comment) says:

    It’s a good idea.
    But it has to be adjustable because if it doesn’t need to be adjusted, it doesn’t add up. That’s to say, there’s a mild paradox at the heart of the scheme: at current carbon usage, tax revenue from the carbon tax more-or-less matches the tax cuts. But if carbon use stays at the current rate the whole scheme is a failure- it’s meant to decrease consumption. The more successful it is (at reducing consumption) the less tax is taken in – so the tax cuts on the other side simply add to the deficit.
    This hardly sinks it- less carbon in the sky and ocean is the good that it aims for.
    But it does mean it should- if it works- need tweaking; either the tax rebates come off, or the rate per ton increases, or we accept some other form of taxation to meet the shortfall.

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  79. Richard Treadgold (2 comments) says:

    Tie the level of the tax to the mean global temperature.

    This sensible suggestion may send readers to check the global temperatures over the last, say, 20 years. What a thought! Check the temperatures! Yeah, we could do that! Wow! Why didn’t we think of it earlier?

    They will find, no matter which of the five specialised global surface temperature records they look at, no increase for almost the last 20 years. Now, it could increase again any day now, so I’m not going to be so arrogant as to say that global warming has stopped, but it certainly isn’t going up very rapidly, and if it doesn’t start shortly to rattle its dags, as it were, it will never make the predicted values for the end of the century. So there’s not exactly a crisis.

    Of course some people will say we should have neither, but they can go scream loudly somewhere else.

    It was one of the greens’ best-ever ‘debating’ tricks to start describing their opponents as senseless, irrational and beyond reasoning with. It makes their arguments tediously repetitive but it’s easy on the intellect, poor things.

    Nonetheless, the fact is that there’s been no global warming for anybody presently in high school. How do you ignore that? Couple that with the fact that there’s no mechanism for the atmosphere to warm the ocean, and you must agree that only the sun can do that. There’s no place in it for our emissions.

    Sorry to harp on about it, but what is your evidence for any kind of carbon tax or ETS? You really must provide some.

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