Monday, June 02, 2014

Support for the Greens carbon tax surprises

The Taxpayer's Union has come out in support of a carbon tax that is revenue neutral. On balance they find it preferable to the Emissions Trading Scheme.

I wonder why we need either.

The only answer (for believers in anthropogenic global warming) is that NZ can make a difference by once again leading the world; that we can and must save the planet; that the price we pay will be worth it when we write our country's name into the history books.  It's seductive for some.

And an unrealistic romantic notion for others.

NZ didn't lead the world when it introduced the Old Age Pension. And it barely led the world when giving women the vote (as a very young country NZ didn't face the inertia inherent in long-established parliamentary institutions but the suffragette activity was rife elsewhere). The 1938 Social Security Act happened around the same time as the Beveridge reforms in the UK and was pre-dated by the US Social Security Act of 1935. Recognition for Maori inclusion in mainstream legislative entitlements - and later, new benefits driven partially by Maori activism - occurred while awareness of civil rights grew in the US. Etc.

There is contagion between continents. Social, economic and now environmental issues beset and bother the developed world at pretty much the same time. They did a hundred years ago even without the immediacy of communication.

So kidding ourselves that Kiwis are going to once more set a precedent that cannot conscionably be ignored by countries emitting mega-multiplied emissions, is just pie in the sky.


Anonymous said...

The only answer (for believers in anthropological global warming) is that NZ can make a difference by once again leading the world;

No, that's not the answer. The answer is that Europe will start establishing trade barriers if we do not have some such scheme in place.

Now a pragmatic answer to that is: who cares about Europe, it's falling apart, taking a hard turn to the right, and we only trade with China anyway and China doesn't give a damn.

But there are better arguments for some form of Carbon scheme in a small trading national than the moral high ground.

NZ didn't lead the world... Old Age Pension.... giving women the vote ... 1938 Social Security Act. Recognition for Maori .. new benefits driven by Maori [terrorism].

of course, all of these things are bad, right?

Lindsay Mitchell said...

Australia is our major trading partner and they rejected a carbon tax.

Whether those "things" are good or bad isn't relevant to the point I was making.

Anonymous said...

I wonder what the first lemming says to itself?


Jeremy Laurenson