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Carbon Trading Wont Work!

By Norvan.Vogt - 5 July 2008 44

Carbon Trading is one of these things that economists love because it looks so clean and simple on the pages of a textbook. But in the real world it’s very hard to make it work like it should. If it’s not set up right, if it’s not policed right, then it can be worse than useless. The big companies get to pollute more AND charge us more, and the pollies get to tell us they’re fixing the greenhouse problem.

The government sets it up and polices it, big business buys carbon credits, and they both tell us they’re fixing the greenhouse problem but we’ll have to pay more for everything. Why should we trust them? I mean, we have got no way of knowing because we have to rely on the government to actually tell us how much CO2 has been reduced. The only “proof” we have that greenhouse emissions have been reduced is that everything gets more expensive! Carbon dioxide has no taste, no smell, you can’t see it and it’s mostly emitted a long way from where people live.

The problem with carbon trading is that it puts all the power and knowledge about how to reduce emissions into the hands of bureaucrats and big companies. They are asking us to trust them to reduce greenhouse gases, without giving us any proof back that they are actually doing it except increased prices. We know they can increase prices already for no reason, we don’t need another demonstration!

What I wasn’t to do is a community based solution for the ACT’s emissions, in which we give people real alternatives instead of just punishing them with higher prices for food and fuel. A scheme should give everyone direct ownership for reducing their emissions, by making it easy for them to make lifestyle decisions to produce less emissions. We keep getting told that this is a global problem for the whole of humanity; if that’s the case we need a scheme where we can all help, and not get screwed by businessmen. My  scheme would actually put responsibility for climate change into everyone’s hands, instead of just talking about it.

1.    Help to commercialise some of the great local technologies for low emission power generation, like the Lloyd Energy Systems solar storage system in Cooma, or the ANU “Big Dish” solar concentrator.
2.    Build a high quality public transport system for Canberra, that Canberrans will want to use  instead of their cars.
3.    Help businesses and homeowners to reduce emissions through technical support to change habits and fit energy efficient technologies.

What’s Your opinion?


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44 Responses to
Carbon Trading Wont Work!
Mælinar 10:39 pm 05 Jul 08

Bigred – Norvan Vogt is his real name. I’ll take the impetus on this one and instruct that if you want to know WHat sort of name is “Norvan” anyway? (Sic) then its obligatory to give over your own if you are hiding behind a non-de-plume.

Tit for Tat and all that … stuff.

bigred 10:04 pm 05 Jul 08

WHat sort of name is “Norvan” anyway?

imhotep 10:02 pm 05 Jul 08

Carbon trading is an attempt to put a ‘price’ on pollution.

All business is competitive, and no business will voluntarily take measures which will increase their costs: if they do, their competitors will slaughter them. (In addition, only a very small percentage of consumers are willing to actually PAY more for environmentally friendly products).

Experience has shown that emissions trading can be more successful than taxes or regulation in allowing producers to find the most efficient way of reducing their emissions (eg. Sulphur Dioxide in the US).

bigred 10:00 pm 05 Jul 08

Norvan, I look forward to seeing you at a shopping centre near me soon. Hey, what is your position on light rail?

zee 9:03 pm 05 Jul 08

Norvan “maths is hard” Vogt’s a candidate for office, and not just a garden variety bloviator?

Nice one Norv, I’ll make sure to put you further down the preference list…

smiling politely 8:08 pm 05 Jul 08

Putting aside the argument about a carbon emissions trading scheme for the moment (albeit with a brief hat-tip to Maelinar for his comment), I’m with Woody at comment 8 – candidature for the Community Alliance Party in the upcoming election (http://www.cap.org.au/candidates/molonglo/36-molonglo-candidates/55-norvan-vogt) should be declared in the post either upfront or at the end. Should be applied consistently otherwise it’ll just get more annoying the closer the election comes.

Felix the Cat 7:46 pm 05 Jul 08

Bundybear said :

Am I the only one, or does anyone else think carbon trading is just a huge scam. Big business gets permission to pollute at will, just buy enough offsets, which big business sets the price for. Haven’t we just set up another form of currency, and done nothing at all to reduce pollution.

Exactly!

So a business manufacturing product X produces Y amount of “carbon” then they have to pay the gumbymint a certain amount of carbon tax (what’s the bet that GST is applied to this as well!) so the cost of making those goods goes up and we have to pay the extra $$ if we want to purchase said goods. Then the Reserve Bank big wigs have a meeting and decide that inflation is outta control because every business has put their prices up due to carbon tax and then interest rates rise and we are all forced to live in the back of our Prius'(Prii?). Meanwhile the planet is self destructing because the amount of carbon being produced hasn’t actually been reduced. Then the gumbymint will have to close some more schools because it’s too hot to breed and there are no kids, plus who can afford to send their kids to school anyway after paying extra for all their goods, not to mention the buses don’t go anywhere near the few schools that remain open so the kids can’t go anyway even if the parents could afford to send them.

Woody Mann-Caruso 7:39 pm 05 Jul 08

Did you bother to pay for this thinly veiled political advertising?

heinous 7:12 pm 05 Jul 08

If CO2 has brought us nice temperate winters like this one, then I say bring it on!

Bundybear 7:10 pm 05 Jul 08

Am I the only one, or does anyone else think carbon trading is just a huge scam. Big business gets permission to pollute at will, just buy enough offsets, which big business sets the price for. Haven’t we just set up another form of currency, and done nothing at all to reduce pollution.

Mælinar 6:37 pm 05 Jul 08

I mean, we have got no way of knowing because we have to rely on the government to actually tell us how much CO2 has been reduced. – Atmospheric CO2 is being monitored by more organisations than just the Government. Therefore any ‘evidence’ the Government presents, will face quite critical peer review.

Do your own Googling.

Since that takes the lynchpin out of the rest of your argument, I’ll pause there and let you reattempt that one.

zee 6:33 pm 05 Jul 08

Monetary policy is one of these things that economists love because it looks so clean and simple on the pages of a textbook. But in the real world it’s very hard to make it work like it should. If it’s not set up right, if it’s not policed right, then it can be worse than useless. The big banks get to make more profit AND charge us more, and the pollies get to tell us they’re fixing the inflation problem.

The reserve bank sets it up and polices it, big banks buy credits, and they both tell us they’re fixing the inflation problem but we still have to pay more for everything. Why should we trust them? I mean, we have got no way of knowing because we have to rely on the government to actually tell us how much inflation has been reduced. The only “proof” we have that monetary supply has been reduced is that everything gets more expensive more slowly! Interest rates have no taste, no smell, you can’t see it and it’s mostly decided a long way from where people live.

You get my point. Blah blah, repeat ad nauseum for every complex policy issue. And OMGZ, we have to trust beauraucrats and big companies! Jesus, do you wet yourself everytime you drive over a bridge or go up in a tall building or ride in an aero-plane? Your life is on the line there and you’re in contraptions made by business and regulated by… OMGZ, bureaucrats!

“My scheme would actually put responsibility for climate change into everyone’s hands”

I have been trying to invent teh awesomest solar panel all week and so has everyone in my street, we all took time off work to do it. Jock next door knew it was something about silicon and chips but buggered if we can get this pile of sand to do much more than get hot in the sun and crapped in by the Joneses’ cats. No wait, I’ve got an idea… what if we banded together and formed a ‘government’ and paid some taxes and got them to get in some professionals to tackle this full-time for us? Seems to me we elected this mob to do just that eh?

Weaselburger 5:36 pm 05 Jul 08

Of Course it’s about tax, the more money the govt has the more boneheads they can afford to employ to think of more ways to tax us…………..

and that’s called progress!!!!!!!!!

seekay 4:23 pm 05 Jul 08

Lovely to see some techie conspiracy theorising.

Swaggie 12:56 pm 05 Jul 08

I think every one knows what you’ve written, its just a variation on the Authorities solution to everything – tax it! And as for bureaucrats trying to regulate Multinationals…ha ha yer having a larf mate. If we had a ballsy Gvmt prepared to invest in making new technology WORK then I’d applaud them but all they can do is tax us under some sexy name and it’s problem solved.

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