Who pays for climate change, polluters or taxpayers?

Written By: - Date published: 9:53 am, May 26th, 2010 - 63 comments
Categories: climate change, ETS - Tags:

The Right seems to have this weird notion that if you don’t spend money on something the cost just disappears. In fact, it’s just borne elsewhere.

ACC is the obvious example. National has cut compensation for sexual abuse victims and others. Does this make the costs they face disappear? No. Instead, the cost is borne privately, rather than collectively – if the victim can afford the treatment they need, otherwise they are just left to suffer.

The Emissions Trading Scheme is another example. We hear a lot about how the ETS is increasing power and fuel prices. Yup, it’s true, it’s putting a price on emitting gases that are causing climate change. By paying to reduce emissions now we should reduce the costs of emissions later.

But the fact is that carbon polluters will not be paying the whole price of their emissions. National’s gutted ETS means that polluters only pay half the cost. Does that make the rest of the cost disappear? No, of course not. We, the taxpayers, pick up the rest of the tab.

Over the next five years the government has made provision to give away $3.176 billion worth of carbon credits to carbon polluters.

We pay for the need to reduce greenhouse emissions one way or the other. Either the polluters pay or the taxpayers pay. So, there’s no point complaining about the cost of the ETS on power and fuel. What we should be more pissed off about is that we are being expected to bear half the cost as taxpayers.

We have to pay, the question is whether we put the cost on pollution to discourage pollution or we just lump it on taxpayers.

63 comments on “Who pays for climate change, polluters or taxpayers?”

  1. It is the worst of all worlds. The incentive for polluters to reduce or develop clean sources of power is muted and the Government pays huge amounts of money overseas.

    The Act/Federated Farmers campaign is in danger of succeeding precisely because the revised scheme is so half assed.

    Makes you wonder if this is not a deliberate ploy by the Government.

  2. ianmac 2

    Seems a bit strange that dairy farmers are complaining that under ETS they wil have an added cost of a few hundred dollars while at the same time being told to expect an increase of income of as much as $900,000.Perhaps they could spend some on a Fart Tax to find ways to reduce emissions.

    • Lanthanide 2.1

      1. The figure on National Radio this morning is that it would take the profit from 100,000 cows (and some millions of sheep) to pay for the increased costs from the ETS. In other words, profit they would’ve received, but that goes to pay for carbon instead.
      2. It isn’t an increase of $900,000, but an increase to $920,000 for the average dairy farm as a result of milk price increases. Not nearly the same thing at all.

      • ianmac 2.1.1

        Since you have corrected my faulty hearing, is that $920,000 net income or an increase in gross income? An increase to what? ( I am trying.)

        • Alwyn

          The figure was the average gross income for a dairy farm.
          It is NOT net income. It is NOT an increase in gross income.
          Mind you I don’t think anyone could really show you the “average” dairy farm.

  3. uke 3

    It was interesting on the RNZ news bulletins yesterday. They immediately followed the Act and FF complaints about ETS costs for farmers with news that the Fonterra payout had just gone up, to possibly record levels.

    Do the complainers not realise how bad this looks?

    Essentially, dairy farmers are earning their payout through a legalised despoliation of the environment – a mortgaging of the future – and why shouldn’t THEY have to pay NOW?

    • Lanthanide 3.1

      The problem is apparently that many farms are having debt problems, as a result of the property price speculation. So while, say, back in 2000-2004 or so, record milk solids prices would be pure profit, now instead a lot of that money is simply being paid to the bank to cover the mortgage and other loans. In effect, the minimum milk price that a farm can profitably operate has been raised, so record milk prices aren’t actually generating significantly more profit margin than moderate prices would have in the past.

      Of course this isn’t true for all farms, I’m sure there’re a lot out there that have very minimal debt and will be raking in the cash.

      captcha: circumstances

      • Draco T Bastard 3.1.1

        And that’s our problem how? They (farmers and banks) gambled, they lost.

        • nzfp

          Oh that’s right Draco lives in the States, he doesn’t live in New Zealand so it’s not your problem. I live here, I was born here, my ancestors were born here. This land is my pleasure or my problem, I borrowed it from my grandchildren. It is the responsibility of the New Zealand citizens who call this land home (ahakoa no whea ratou – whereever they’re from originally). Banks are corporations, non-living entities with a single purpose to generate as much profit as possible for the share holders – unlike the stake holders who are the rest of us. The Banks do not care for the land. They use their privatised power to create credit to blow asset bubbles. The power to do this must be restored to the democratically elected government, this is called economic democracy. Until you come to understand these concepts Draco – you are the problem!

          • Draco T Bastard

            I was referring to the farmers and banks losing out. I thought that was fairly obvious.

            • nzfp

              You just don’t get it – because you are an ignorant right wing fascist! Read my original comment again here. Then read my response to Cactus Kate here and then start reading some books before you open your g-d damn ignorant mouth again! The Banks haven’t lost a g-d damn thing and when the farmers lose we all lose – especially when the farm is sold to a foreign holding company (Crafar Farm, Natural Dairy Holding company).

              You and Nick S are a joke!

              • Zorr

                And farmers care for the land how?

                I can’t really argue against your venom there because it is a waste of energy but I thought it would be fairly obvious that dairy farming is an incredibly resource intensive exercise and not caring for the land in any way. The farmers were as much implicit in the asset bubble as it was their greed that allowed the bubble to grow so big as they were making gambles on the fact that the value would continue to increase and they would be able to make enough money off the land bought to make the payments.

                The point that Draco was making (albeit a little poorly as he only posted a single sentence) was that when the land prices go up the majority of farmers, who are making their gains through capital investment paid off over time through hard labour, are facing higher prices for land that is, in turn, resulting in higher payments required to the banks. Lose for the farmers there. The banks lose out because when a farm finally goes under they are no longer receiving any of that income from those mortgage payments and are just left with the land on their books which has been horribly overpriced and, therefore, will have to be revalued at what is now usually a lower price. Lose for the banks.

                nzfp, I would suggest using a little more thought on your posts as you may have a point but it was lost in amongst the other 99% of the post which was spite.

      • nzfp 3.1.2

        I agree – “many farms are having debt problems” of course they are. The private banks that have privatised our money creation credit system have capitalised land speculation at zero risk to themselves for increased mortgage payments. The result is a hidden indirect tax on all products and services to service the bank interest on the mortgages. The consequence of which is the poor land husbandry of modern farmers who are attempting to cut as many corners as possible to generate profits to service their debts. Some of the need for profits will flow through as increased basic food stuff pricing (the hidden tax on consumption that my poor family suffers from in South Auckland) and environmental degradation.(the hidden tax my mokopuna will suffer from as they will have to shoulder the cost to repair the damage – if possible c.f. The Gulf of Mexico).

        But hey, put another carbon derivative exotic financial instrument tax on it, that should solve the problem!

  4. Gooner 4

    Your headline is so wrong this post is therefore based on a fallacy.

    Co2 is not a pollutant, at least not in its current atmospheric ppm. Even if it was, New Zealand’s Co2 is so small we cannot influence climate change, so there is no reason for “pollutants’ to pay, and there is certainly no reason for mums and dads, taxpayers, families and businesses to pay neither.

    This whole thing is abject nonsense, dressed up as caring for the environment.

    Why isn’t water vapour exhaled by humans taxed too? That’ll be next.


    • Bright Red 4.1

      gooner doesn’t believe that greenhouse emissions are causing climate change.

      gooner also believes that the moon landing was faked and that the CIA has bigfoot at Area 51.

  5. nzfp 5

    Well it’s absolutely no surprise that “the ETS is increasing power and fuel prices“! It is basic economics, land, labour and capital – classical economics as defined by David Ricardo, John Stuart Mills, Adam Smith, Karl Marx, Henry George and many many more. The ETS costs will be passed onto labour in much the same way as GST. Surprise!

    Great! Good one guys, now my whanau in South Auckland who were on the breadline before the tax cuts for the rich and the GST tax hikes will now pay an additional tax for all of the goods and services in the country that are a part of the energy consumption food chain – everything!

    IF you were genuinely concerned with “compensation for sexual abuse victims and others” or even social welfare for the newely GST impoverished you should have thought through the probable consequence of an Emissions Trading Scheme. What a farce, a waste of time, a waste of money and a complete fraud!

    IF you were genuinely concerned – as I, a Tangata Whenua and Kai Tiaki o te whenua o nga Tupuna most definitely am – with environmental degradation (I refuse to discuss the so called Anthropogenic Global Warming fraud) you should have looked at the cause and NOT the consequence! Instead you advocate a tax on labour that will further impoverish the poor and middle-class, my whanau, my whanaunga, my neighbours my country – for the benefit of the Banks and those in power who stand to get g-d damn filthy rich on the exotic C02 financial derivatives bubble, the probable consequence of a carbon trading scheme.

    IF you were genuinely looking for a solution and not simply jumping on the politicised bullshit post-science bandwagon who are pushing, promoting and advocating only one solution – C02 carbon trading – afterall There Is No Alternative, then you would have taken the time to understand that our neo-liberal monetarist globalised finacialised economy is wholly to blame for the predicament we are in.

    I blame the Banks for our environmental predicament and I blame every one of you AGW proponents for supporting their push for another Rich-Man tax on the poor. I am soo disgusted at Bankers like Key and at you so called humanist AGW proponents. You all disgust me because my whenua will still be despoiled as this tax will do nothing to solve the environmental crisis and my family will suffer while you pat yourselves on your backs about how you are saving the environment with another tax!

    But I’m not going to just stand here waving my fist in your faces in disgust! I’m going to show you a solution – again – as I do everytime I criticise this bullshit. The solution is for us as citizens to vote collectlvely with a conscience for a Government that will stop playing with indirect taxes on labour and accept that the nation (the Government and the Citizens) are responsible for the nations infrastructure – including energy. It is the responsibility of the Government through the RBNZ to fund all infrastructure projects along with research and development into clean energy alternatives. The Government must provide the funding directly – without borrowing, without taxes, without causing inflation by the hidden taxes of interest service to foreign Australian banks.

    Such policies have been advocated by Social Credit since the 1970’s, Labour and National have know of these Alternatives (c.f. TINA) since the 1970s yet Labour and NAtional have done nothing. That proves that Labour and National are not interested in social justice, environmental responsibility or economic democracy – why should they when they have pro-Bankers like Mike Moore, Roger Douglas, John Key, Bill English, Don Brash and so on and so on leading the Two Parties (c.f. TINA).

    You want a real solution, then read this article “Sustainable Energy Development: How Costs Can Be Cut In Half” written by Ellen Brown on November 5th, 2007. This article has been public for two and a half years – there is NO excuse for either Labour or National. In her article Brown asserts that:

    […] Governments have the sovereign right to create money and to lend it. […] Credit created by governments […] would have the advantage that it could be issued interest-free. Eliminating the cost of interest could cut production costs dramatically. Interest composes as much as 77% of the cost of capital-intensive goods and services such as public housing. […] If money for alternative energy projects were issued interest-free, projects that have been considered unsustainable because of the burden of interest could become not only self-sustaining but highly profitable for the funding governments. […] Government-issued money to fund public projects is not a new idea but has a long and successful history. […] A successful infrastructure program funded with interest-free “national credit” was also instituted in New Zealand after it elected its first Labor government in the 1930s. Credit issued by its nationalized central bank allowed New Zealand to thrive at a time when the rest of the world was struggling with poverty and lack of productivity. […]

    Labour has known that solutions such as those suggested by Social Credit, Ellen Brown and myself would work since the 1930’s. It is a Labour initiative – yet where is Labour now? My guess is that the Labour party is stuck too far up the rear-end of the Chicago School of neo-liberal economics to even read it’s own history. But don’t worry – they have great company with the National party after all, with the two party system: There Is No Alternative!

    If you want to solve the environmental crisis you need to start by redisigningand redeveloping the means we produce and deliever products and services such as energy and transportation. If you want to tax, then you need to tax resources and land as the cannot be passed onto labour. Until then you are literally pissing in the wind and wasting time and treasure.

    Am I pissed – damn right I am!

    • Draco T Bastard 5.1

      (I refuse to discuss the so called Anthropogenic Global Warming fraud)

      You know, I’d almost be willing to look at Social Credit (or whatever it calls itself these days) if it wasn’t their complete denial of science.

      • nzfp 5.1.1

        I could count on you to shill for the AGW C02 carbon derivative speculation crowd and to completely ignore the content in my message. Get past the fact I don’t believe in AGW, you know damn well I don’t, and read my message again. Read it again, visit the New Zealand Democrats for Social Credit website and discuss the solution!

        If you can’t get past by disbelief in faux post-science then you are part of the problem!

        Discuss the solution – can you think of a better solution, what’s your solution, how is it better then mine. What’s your solution to environmental responsibility. Do you care about the environment at all? Do you? Propose a solution and lets discuss it’s merits!

        • NickS

          Let’s put it bluntly.

          You’ve shown absolutely no understanding of even the basics of climate change, let alone understand how science works, to the point that not even lprent can be bothered with you. It’s like arguing with Dave Hawkins over evolution, aka an exercise in futility lest one is feeling trollish.

          And “post-science”, under who’s definition is climate change it and why not use the more standard tag of “pseudo-science”? Because it seems more like a post-modernist word salad phrase rather than an actual tool of philosophy of science, especially as it’s normative definition refers it seems to outside applications of research, rather than a non-scientific method, aka pseudo-science. But then, pretty terms that you don’t understand are so much fun for idiots with illusions of intelligence to use.

          • nzfp

            Nick S,
            Shilling for the AGW pro carbon tax crowd. What’s your solution? What’s wrong with my solution? What’s your opinion? Why is your solution better then mine?

            One sentence in my comment where I state I don’t believe in AGW and that’s all you focus on. You are the problem!

            What’s your solution Nick S. Lets discuss your solution? Do you have a solution?

          • lprent

            Also because I’m busy doing beta level bug-hunting at present, and can’t afford the time to comment.

            • nzfp

              And what will you be responding too exactly lprent? A solution to environmental degradation or my one sentence well-known disbelief in AGW? Do you have comments to add to my solution? Do you have a solution we can discuss? If you don’t then you will be adding nothing to the discussion and you are responsible for the financial stress my extended whanau and fellow citizens will be facing with this new tax hike, not to mention the continued degradation of our environment!

              As for your bugs, I hope you comment well, and I hope your IDE provides the tools to stop and step appropriately.

              • lprent

                What did my reply to Nick S say?

                Who uses IDE’s? Damn things are pretty useless for multi-process, multi-threaded, communicating client server apps. I seldom use breakpoints because that level of code is something that I don’t write.

              • nzfp

                OK, fair enough lprent.

                “Who uses IDE’s”

                That’s cos you’re old school – that’s not a criticism – it just is what it is.

                By the way – I’ve written a lot of J2EE messaging apps and multi threaded server applications – from the ground up – for the UK telco industry. So can honestly say I sympathise.

                • lprent

                  You miss my point – I used to use IDE’s extensively. Then the code I was working on got too complex for them to handle.

                  They’re only suitable for single process apps. When you have 3 or 4 processes interacting with each other (and for that matter disconnecting when they don’t get a response from a TCP or UDP packet while you’re debugging on a breakpoint) – they are bloody useless. Even in a single app, but multi-threaded, they tend to be of marginal use. Who hasn’t been single-stepping, walked over a kernel release point and suddenly been in a different thread.

                  For that matter as editors, you get the impression they just go for the lowest common denominator.

                  I’d suggest that if you like them still, then your apps are a bit simplistic (by my standards).

                  • nzfp

                    Whatever lprent
                    The UK telcos didn’t think they were simplistic and neither did the Israeli telco company that purchased them. I use IDE’s to structure my code, make it readable, to manage versioning and libraries among other things. I think it’s a shame that you would forgo those functions because breakpoints are no use. As for your comments – obviously i didn’t know you were bug checking TCP/UDP packets – you never mentioned that.

                    Maybe your code is complex because you’re not using an appropriate design pattern or more likely you are trying to account for fundamental use-cases that you didn’t take into account in your initial design phase and you have already built the core of your code. IDE’s help to manage tracking variables and constants too. I don’t mean to be disrespecteful lprent – but that is a real problem I’ve had to address with other peoples code and in my early days my own code.

                    I find that peer design helps to identify all possible use cases – including error trapping which leads to clean and simplistic applications. Do you have peers that you design with?

                    Ever heard Keep It Simple Stupid? That’s one advantage the object orient paradigm has if you are in a position to separte your project into objects. Separating your code into discrete objects makes it very easy to manage. You can build test rigs for each object and run test scenarios for regression testing changes, upgrades, improvements to your objects as part of your build phase, IDE’s are useful for this too.

                    However all this is useless if your original design is incorrect and you have already built the core of your code.

                    One telco communication server I built accounted for a multi-threaded environment. We didn’t enable more then one thread in the live environment until the telco requested it, when we did we crashed the telcos servers and they requested we drop the number of threads. They admitted their applications weren’t as capable as ours – I think that’s why the Israelis liked our applications.

                    But hey – I guess I don’t know what I’m doing. I guess my apps are simple, I certainly hope they are.

                    • lprent

                      My favourite editor (slickedit) does all of those things too apart from the debugging (only partially integrates with things like gdb). It also allows me to work across the OS’es that I have a copy of it for (Windows, Mac, and Linux). It hooks into SVN and CVS. It will work with most IDE project files (like VS’s) as well as generating cross-platform makes. Plugs into Eclipse and Visual Studio, although I haven’t had to do that.

                      The main reason for using an IDE is the integrated debugging, and as I said that has some pretty severe limits to its use when you’re doing client/server or multi-threaded.

                      Incidentally I get hauled into greenfield projects to simplify the project and get them working operationally – usually after they have successive failures. Thats where my operations research comes in really handy.

        • Bill


          Here you go.

          No need to ‘Reform the Money’.

          Probably too many positions will remain in such a scenario that would be ripe for capture by people seeking to be privileged elites of your reformed system, leading to many of the inequities present under capitalism being reasserted in one form or another.

          Keep it simple and elegant I say. And perhaps most importantly, not vulnerable to capture!

          • nzfp

            Hey Bill,
            Thank you for your comments. I must respectfully disagree – I believe we need some form of government to enforce contracts and mediate disputes as well as to provide FIAT credit – interest and debt free – for the general use of the public. I also don’t believe that commodities represent a currency, especially if private foreign banks control the commodities. The public credit Tally stick FIAT currency of pre Bank of England UK worked fine for over 700 years until it was replaced by private gold backed credit and the value of gold has shown to be held either by law (FIAT) as in the case of FDR and the depression or through private bank credit speculation as per the reported short positions of Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs.Monetary reform in conjunction with appropriate legislation would and could curb the worst excesses. However you have to hold a position that you can elect a worthy Government. Are you an anarchist liberatarian Bill?

            A Government can provide the credit to rebuild our infrastruture – restructure farm loans, open land for organic farming, open land for housing – public and private, create legislation to prevent assett bubbles such as those proposed by Australian economist Steve Keen and so on and so on…

            A Carbon tax – as supported and defended by AGW proponents such as Nick S and Draco T Bastard is an indirect tax on labour and will achieve nothing. A Carbon tax will be ineffectual next to the massive benefits of monetary reform – of which environmental sustainability is a side product.

            However Bill,
            That does not mean that I disagree entirely with the anarchist position or that I disagree with all or any of the anarchist propositions.

            • Bill

              I’ll go along with the proposition that a government can provide credit and so on and so forth. But is this government any different to the present parliamentary representation form of government that we have at present? I ask because there are massive questions of accountability and purpose if that is the case.

              Who occupies and manages the institutions that underpin and run in parallel to the government?

              Who or what controls the flow of information that government acts on?

              Who or what determines the rewards of the system and to who and why they are dispersed?

              Which is all to ask, who controls the processes of production and distribution? In whose interest are these processes likely to managed?

              See, at the end of the day if an utterly impartial government mechanism, that delivers as default, sustainable and equitable outcomes is a possibility ( and if you read through the materials in the link you will find a proposition for that that I, for one, can find no holes in) then surely that is preferable to running systems that are always going to be subject to individual or institutional whims and capture and to having their purpose perverted by those individuals or institutions as we have at present?

              Beyond all that and coming back to the present. Although I take climate collapse and our direct contribution to it as read, I am 100% with you on the stupidity of creating new markets for carbon or on attempting to tax it.

              • nzfp

                Q. Which is all to ask, who controls the processes of production and distribution? In whose interest are these processes likely to managed?

                Big Money, which is the basis for my assertion that we “need to start by redesigning and redeveloping the means we produce and deliever products and services such as energy and transportation”. However none of this is possible if the monetary system is not controlled by a democratically elected Government which is the primary but not the sole policy of the New Zealand Democrats for Social Credit. There may be other parties that have monetary reform policies but they do not include Labour or National.

                Q. “But is this government any different to the present parliamentary representation form of government that we have at present”

                Well the answer is in the assertion – it is fundamentally different – for one the Government as elected by the people controls the creation and distribution of credit – hence economic democracy. Governments demand oversight and accountability. Private Banks do not. Public credit is created for the good of the people without debt without tax, Bank credit is created as debt with interest. The flow on affect is that the Government does not need to tax labour. Any Government that is serious about monetary reform is serious about tax reform. Read the Social Credit tax policies to see what I mean.

                Again, you have to trust that a democraticaly elected Government can be responsible – Labour and National and Act have proven they are neither fiscally nor socially responsible. Which brings me back to another of my assertions that we as citizens need “to vote collectlvely with a conscience for a Government” that is responsible.

        • Draco T Bastard

          Yes, as I said, your complete, irrational, denial of science.

          BTW, I’ve read their website – they come across as a bunch just as delusional as NACT.

          • nzfp

            Well there you have it – Proof that Drace is a shill.

          • nzfp

            Your assertion that NZDSC is comparable to ACT and National demonstrates your political ignorance and naivety, it also demonstrates your economic ignorance. But back to the discussion, what is your solution Draco?

            What specifically do you find at fault with my solution?
            What is your solution?

            Care to discuss the solution?

            • Draco T Bastard

              If you’d been keeping up my solutions tend to be similar to yours.

              1.) Private banks shifted to being finance companies that work on a 0% reserve (ie, they don’t have one). If anyone wants to pull their money out they have to wait for either the loans that their money is presently tied up in to be paid up or some other money to come in to cover that loan. Not that anyone would be putting their money in a finance company anyway.
              2.) The RB prints money that is loaned out through the state bank (Kiwibank) at 0% interest both as business loans and housing loans. This sounds like FFA housing bubble waiting to happen but…
              3.) Rates (paid to the local council) to be set at a percentage of your income (I’m thinking ~3%) per holding. 10 holdings = 30% of you’re income. 100 = 300% of your income. The idea is to make it so that “owning” a property or two is still viable but owning more would be financial suicide.
              4.) You won’t own the property. What you will hold is a limited lease (it won’t be perpetual and, of course, you’d have to abide by the rules) with the value of the lease proportional to the amount of land. This will be paid to central government.
              5.) Royalties would still apply to the extraction of minerals from the land as well.
              6.) Universal income paid to everyone (man, woman, child) with the child’s going to the parents or guardian. There probably wouldn’t be any tax upon labour.

              As for environmental protection. I hold with strict limits on what we take from the environment. It should be enough that we can live well and it should allow the environment to renew itself at it’s own pace (ie, sustainable). I call it “living within the ecological limits.” No amount of playing with money will achieve this and that means rules and regulations and, most notably, a cap on population.

              As for me being a hard-right fascist – Yeah, Right.

              I also didn’t compare NZDSC with National and ACT – I said that they come across as delusional.

              A Carbon tax as supported and defended by AGW proponents such as Nick S and Draco T Bastard is an indirect tax on labour and will achieve nothing.

              And this is why. You support taxing resources. Well, carbon happens to be a resource but, according to you, taxing it won’t work. BTW, I used to support the ETS until I read how it will just become another money spinner for the banks. Eliminating that doesn’t leave us with much choice so it’d just have to be a tax.

              Get past the fact I don’t believe in AGW,

              Reality doesn’t give a fuck what you believe.

              Of course, I could be doing the NZDSC a disservice when I use you as an example of them… But, I have read their website.

              • nzfp

                @Draco T Bastard
                “If you’d been keeping up my solutions tend to be similar to yours.”
                But you can’t tell the difference between National/Act neo-liberal monetarist economics and Social Credit/Georgist/classical eonomics. You admitted it yourself HERE when you compared the New Zealand Democrats for Social Credit and National/Act in your comment:

                … they come across as a bunch just as delusional as NACT…

                Point 2: is done in the US state of North Dakota. Since 2000, the state’s GNP has grown 56%, personal income has grown 43%, and wages have grown 34%. The state not only has no funding issues, but this year it actually has a budget surplus of $1.2 billion, the largest it has ever had. Read more here
                We used to do it here, the US did it during the depression, Australia did it, Canada did it even the UK did it – fuck man read a history book!

                “Well, carbon happens to be a resource “
                But permission to pollute isn’t, it’s called a carbon tax yet it is an exchange set up to trade pollution permits, not resources.

                “Reality” look out the window and see the coldest winter in American history. Gorillas dying of cold in the middle of Africa. The entire Island of Great Britain covered in snow Yeah Global Warming … sure “Reality doesn’t give a fuck what you believe” either.

              • Draco T Bastard

                the state’s GNP has grown 56%, personal income has grown 43%, and wages have grown 34%.

                And it’s just as sustainable as the NACT economics – ie, it isn’t.

                look out the window and see the coldest winter in American history.

                Weather != Climate

              • nzfp

                Climate Change does not equal Anthropogenic Global Warming. You’re pushing AGW – show me the AGW, show it to the dead Gorillas – they didn’t die of being too warm in the middle of Africa. Show it to the people suffering the coldest winter in US history, Show it to the UK, Show it to Copenhagen where they were attempting to create a global C02 derivative pollution permit indirect tax on labour exchange – instead of economic reforms that would redesign our economies into sustainable systems. Show it to the IPCC who can’t find where the heat went. Like you said Reality doesn’t give a fuck what you believe.

                Climate has and always will change. G-d damn you are ignorant.

                • lprent

                  Show it to the IPCC who can’t find where the heat went.

                  Totally incorrect. The IPCC cannot prove where the heat is buffering (and for that matter the CO2) – which doesn’t mean to say that they don’t know. The IPCC is pretty damn conservative on the science. If they cannot prove something it doesn’t get into the first (science) part of the IPCC reports.

                  That means that you can view the IPCC reports as reflecting the best possible outcomes for climate changes and speed. Reality will be quite a lot worse.

              • lprent

                Mostly the gorillas died of being a convenient food source in an area torn by civil strife. But that hardly makes your point.

                I’d reiterate what Draco said and extend it…
                Weather != Climate

                Climate change can happen without human intervention. However that is not the case this last century where the pace of global* climate change has been a massively faster than anything that has been previously recorded in the geological record. There is a clear mechanism causing it, the increase in greenhouse gases. The is a clear isotopic signature for the largest of those increased gases showing where it is coming from.

                Everything else is wishful thinking by people who prefer not to understand earth sciences.

                * And I’m not talking about northern European unstable regional climate based on the gulf stream and polar airmasses. That is relatively insignificant for the rest of the world

                • nzfp

                  Missing Heat
                  Reuters: Earth’s missing heat could haunt us later: report

                  …The gap between what’s entering the climate system and what’s leaving is about 37 times the heat energy produced by all human activities, from driving cars and running power plants to burning wood.

                  Half of that gap is unaccounted for, Fasullo and his co-author Kevin Trenberth reported. It hasn’t left the climate system but it hasn’t been detected with satellites, ocean sensors or other technology…

                  Sounds like the heat is unaccounted for, they can’t detect it yet they know for certain it’s lurking somewhere.

                  According to NOAA
                  The Hill (05/17/10): NOAA: So far, 2010 warmest ever

                  …Combined global land and ocean surface temperatures for the first four months of 2010 were the warmest on record, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration….

                  Here are a list of news items from local news papers all in the last couple of weeks… It is well into Spring in the US not winter. There are far more like this all claiming record lows or unseasonal snows record long snow falls and so on…

                  Bloomberg (May 18, 2010): Four Gorillas Killed by Extreme Cold Weather in Rwanda, New Times Reports

                  Four gorillas found dead in Rwanda’s Karisimbi area probably died of extreme cold, the New Times reported, citing Rica Rwigamba, head of tourism at the Rwanda Development Board.

                  Extreme cold – not poaching. If it was poaching they would have been eaten.

                  sacabee (May 27, 2010): Persistent cold, wet weather delays crop harvests, worries farmers

                  …Keep your sweater and umbrella within reach.
                  The chilly weekend temperatures were among the coldest in more than a half-century from Redding to Stockton, the National Weather Service reported Sunday…

                  It is well past Spring.

                  Spokane Review (May 24, 2010): Record low of 32 set at Spokane airport today

                  …Cool spring weather continues across the Inland Northwest with a record low of 32 at Spokane International Airport this morning.

                  Forecasters said they do not see any kind of big warm up through this week….

                  Record Lows

                  Fox (5/18/2010): Global Cooling Is Coming — and Beware the Big Chill, Scientist Warns

                  … Contrary to the commonly held scientific conclusion that the Earth is getting warmer, Dr. Don Easterbrook, emeritus professor of geology at Western Washington University and author of more than 150 peer-reviewed papers, has unveiled evidence for his prediction that global cooling is coming soon.

                  “Rather than global warming at a rate of 1 F per decade, records of past natural cycles indicate there may be global cooling for the first few decades of the 21st century to about 2030,’ said Easterbrook …

                  37 times the heat energy produced by all human activities, maybe it was the sun after-all. Lets tax sunlight – an indirect tax on sunlight should do the trick. Bullshit.

                  Climate Change? Don’t be coy now – you’re talking Anthropogenic Global Warming based on human C02 emmissions – NOT Climate Change. Like I said Anthropogenic Global Warming is not Climate Change. Stop trying to rebrand.

                  • lprent

                    Ok – there is exactly one link in there that is concerned with climate, the last one. The first one leads nowhere. The rest are about local weather which is basically irrelevant in a discussion on global climate.

                    This would be the same Easterbrook who has almost certainly plagiarised someone elses work so he can fiddle unjustifiably with the numbers? He shifted the definition of ‘warming’ downwards, and who seems to have a fetish for discarding data that he doesn’t want to see? He also appears to be quite useless at photoshop..

                    See here, here and here.

                    Looks to me like yet another semi-retired scientist supplementing his pension ‘helping’ the Heartland Institute. I wonder how much ‘research’ that cost them?

                    Hardly a relevant source – that I did a brief scan of last week and came to the conclusion he wasn’t credible except to amateurs looking for a good fairy tale to believe in.

                    If you have no frigging idea about what you’re talking about, then why not say so?

                • nzfp

                  I am all for environmental sustainability and I will back anyone with a good plan that is equitable and honest. I’ve made that point very clear. But I cannot back a lie that cheats the weakest among us out of the little they have. Ever been to the site of economic stress caused domestic violence – you think the victims give a flying toss about Polar Bears?

      • nzfp 5.1.2

        Sorry Bill,
        The comment above this one was intended for Draco – not you.

  6. walter 6

    @gooner you say – “New Zealand’s Co2 is so small we cannot influence climate change, so there is no reason for “pollutants’ to pay” (I think you mean ‘polluters’)

    Please help me out – like New Zealand, I am very small. By your reasoning, if I piss in the river my small contribution will not influence the overall level of pollution in that river, so it’s okay, is that right?

    Of course I will expect others to stop their pissing in the river, but my little bit of piss is fine?

    • nzfp 6.1

      walter – what’s your solution? How do you propose to stop the pissing in the river? How are you going to balance your solution against the needs of the rest of the economy and the citizens? I have a solution, it’s in the comment above yours. You can read it here:nzfp 26 May 2010 at 11:39 am Would you care to discuss it?

      • walter 6.1.1

        1. The ETS is not my solution.
        2. I was addressing the suggestion that we should do nothing, not ‘what should we be doing’.

        • nzfp

          I’m not having a go at you mate. However I still believe that we need to address environmental degradation. The Gulf of Mexico proves my point – as does Chernobyl. I don’t believe hidden indirect tax hikes are the solution.

          I’m having a go at Nick S and Draco because they add nothing.

          I am curious to know why you would suggest we do nothing?

        • nzfp

          oops I see you are addressing gooner suggesting we do nothing. Much different – in that case what do you suggest?

  7. Cactus Kate 7

    If NZ is hell bent on signing the silly ETS then polluters should pay. I don’t think there can be a true right-winger who could argue otherwise.

    Farmers are not poor, it is a fallacy to say they all are and even if they were, they are still polluters under the silly ETS calcs so have to pay. Today’s indebt farmer over 30+ years will pocket a massive capital gain and live off their income in the meantime. An “average” farm producing that $1m of income may only have costs of as little as $300k (a case study I know of), leaving $700k clear profit before interest and then taxes on the net of that. Sure they have to pay interest and financing costs but then SO DOES EVERY BUSINESS and individual homeowners have to as well and they can’t get tax deductions by leveraging their farms inthe way today’s farmers do. Farmers can also offset alot of their personal expenditure through their farm accounts as well as the house they live in and the utilities in many cases.

    If you can tax deduct all your interest then why on earth don’t you borrow more and get your taxable income as low as possible to get more capital gain? Perhaps farmers should have thin cap limits for interest deductions?

    Farmers get their payout in capital gains, which are tax free. If ETS is passed and there are costs associated then it shouldn’t be the general taxpayer paying for farmers pollution – farmers should pay.

    This may increase the price of dairy products but with world pricing driving NZ’s cost of dairy, that will be the new market price ie. $1 paid for ETS will not equal $1 more in prices for dairy, $1 more ETS will mean $1 the taxpayer has to pay. The ETS as it stands will provide farmers with larger subsidies than Muldoon gave them.

    If National signs the ETS it should allocate the cost for it from the beginning where it belongs – with the polluters and not pander to the farming lobby.

    Farmers need to stop whinging that they are the backbone of the country and show some backbone themselves and stop bludging off the general taxpayer to subsidise their businesses which in the past at least 5 years have been very profitable. They can deduct interest often to such an extent they pay very little tax as it is.

    • nzfp 7.1

      “They can deduct interest often to such an extent they pay very little tax as it is.”

      But I as a tax payer don’t want to pay that interest and neither should you. A better approach would be for the Government to regulate so that Bankers cannot bid up the prices of land with land speculation to a point where almost all the farmers profits are capitalised as interest payments (at our expense) to the Banks. Instead the RBNZ via KiwiBank should be providing low interest (0-1%) loans to farmers and other critical New Zealand industries while regulating the maximum amount that can be borrowed as a function of the economic rent that can be extracted from the farm (or property) – for example 10x the profitiability of the farm at the time of sale. In conjunction with these policies the farmland itself should be taxed as a land tax. To control inflation the RBNZ could reduce the period for mortgages instead of increasing interest rates – the net effect would be to pull more money out of circulation as the amounts in repayments would increase – yet the mortgage period would decrease – a win/win for the landowners and the Government.

      The cumulative effect would be to reduce the cost of the land (land tax) reduce the amount borrowed with mortgages (economic rent regulation) and reduce the interest payments on the mortgages (KiwiBank/RBNZ funded 0/1% mortgages, flexible repayment periods). The follow on effect would be a more capitalised farming base that has lower debt, lower interest repayments, is more competitive internationally, more resiliant to financial cycles, lower domestic food prices and – most importantly – a farming community that does not need to cut corners (environmentally) to make a decent profit.

      Regulation and financial policy such as this would provide incentive to move away from unsustainable Big-Agri farming and back to local organic farming practices with real emphasis on animal and environmental husbandry.

      “Sure they have to pay interest and financing costs but then SO DOES EVERY BUSINESS”

      And so we all do – hence the need for monetary reform. A Government that can fund all of it’s social and national responsibilities does not need to tax it’s labour base. It could certainly reduce it’s tax base to SME Business and labour. Moving the tax burden from labour onto landowners in the form of Financial Transaction Taxes, Economic Rent Taxes, Land Taxes and Resource Rent Raxes would reduce and/or eliminate the need for GST, income tax and even small business corporate taxes while providing a fully funded welfare base, public housing, transport infrastructure and more.

      All of this has been known to both Labour and National since 1930 when Labour implemented – successfully – these policies. these are the same policies – if modernised – being proposed by the New Zealand Democrats for Social Credit today as they were proposed by social Credit in the 1970s. Contrary to economic and political ignorants like Draco T Bastard thses policies are polar opposites to the modern National, Act and even the Labour party.

      We all pay too much tax (except the g-d damn rich), we don’t need more taxes (such as an indirect tax on labour in the form of C02 carbon derivative speculation) in order to resolve our environmental problems.

      You want free energy, clean energy – lets fund the development of wave/wind/solar/cold fusion/ what ever directly from the RBNZ. The knock on effect of funding research projects such as these is that they become technology incubator for intellectual property that can marketed and sold overseas while providing employment in New Zealand.

      You need to increase employment, lets get the RBNZ to fund the develoment of a new electric high speed rail system from Cape Reinga to Invercargill and a new Transmission gully for Wellington.

      You need to provide more homes, lets get the RBNZ to fund the development of 5000 new state Houses that will compete with the Bill English Trust rental empire and lower rental prices (along with land taxes).

      You need to provided better health care – lets get the RBNZ to fund the building of 20 new hospitals and 150 new schools and universities. We can use Financial Transaction Taxes to pay the salaries of all of the new teachers, doctors, nurses, coaches etc…

      It goes on and on, this is the dream of the free market as proposed by David Ricardo, John Stuart Mill, Henry George and Clifford Hugh Douglas to name a few.

  8. Cactus Kate 8

    NZFP – why doesn’t Landcorp just buy up all the land in NZ and make farmers work for them. It seems a far easier solution than what you have posed! (sarcasm…)

    Farmers gross incomes are set by a volatile world market. That is NZ farmers do not pass on their savings to NZ consumers. The world market sets what New Zealand consumers pay therefore it seems silly to subsidise farmers for the ETS as it won’t make dairy cheaper in NZ unless the world market price drops. Technically the NZ farmers interest costs do not make for cheaper dairy in NZ unless the price of dairy in the world market is cheaper.

    Interest rates are also set in that market. I still have silly duffers ask me why NZ interest rates are so high and why NZ banks can’t loan NZ$ at the supposed rates offered for lending in the US.

    Farming is the residential property of business. The chosen child for tax and other advantages thrown at it on the basis it is big. How did it get big? Subsidies. I feel for other NZ businesses and industries without the same privileged status and feel that if farmers pollution will be paid for by the general population then tax rules should be redesigned so farmers actually pay their fair share because at the moment they do not.

  9. Jenny 9

    So the end consumers of electricity, us, are being made to pay the polluters to continue polluting.

    Market solutions to a problem caused by the market, will never protect the environment.

  10. nzfp 10

    “And farmers care for the land how?”

    They live on and from the land – what do you think. As for your loaded question, I answered it in a response to Cactus Kate HERE: 26 May 2010 at 3:22 pm specifically:

    … The follow on effect would be a more capitalised farming base that has lower debt, lower interest repayments, is more competitive internationally, more resiliant to financial cycles, lower domestic food prices and most importantly a farming community that does not need to cut corners (environmentally) to make a decent profit ….

    Read the rest of my comment to get the context, and then read Michael Rowbothams book “The Grip of Death: A Study of Modern Money, Debt Slavery and Destructive Economics” to understand why a debt economy forces farmers to engage in environmentally unsustainable farming practices. Once you understand this you will understand why an ETS is insufficient.

    “The farmers were as much implicit in the asset bubble”
    Everybody who buys land in New Zealand is part of the asset bubble. However you miss the point, the bubbles are blown by easy credit created by Banks from nothing and directed where it most favours their profits – mortgages. The Farmers like the rest of us are victims of the Bank credit fueled land value pyramid scheme.

    I addressed this argument in my response to Cactus Kate HERE: 26 May 2010 at 3:22 pm specifically:

    … the RBNZ via KiwiBank should be providing low interest (0-1%) loans to farmers and other critical New Zealand industries while regulating the maximum amount that can be borrowed as a function of the economic rent that can be extracted from the farm (or property) for example 10x the profitiability of the farm at the time of sale. In conjunction with these policies the farmland itself should be taxed as a land tax …

    “The banks lose out because when a farm finally goes under they are no longer receiving any of that income from those mortgage payments”
    But they still hold the property, which means they can still sell it to LandCorp or Natural Dairy Holdings and recover their losses – or they can sit on it and let the value increase and sell it later for a capital gain. Globalisation and Free Trade agreements allow foreign capital to gain access to our markets. Foreign capital has the same effect of bidding up asset prices – especially if LandCorp is competing with foreign finance. Until the monetary system is reformed along with appropriate taxes to prevent speculation there will continue to be asset bubbles – until debt saturation. I addressed this argument in the blockquote above.

    “The point that Draco was making (albeit a little poorly as he only posted a single sentence) “
    Was NO point at all because it was a single sentence. He was wasting space and adding nothing.

    “99% of the post which was spite”
    Actually about 50% of it was anger. The rest was identifying and addressing what I perceived to be the problem. Dickheads like Draco added nothing until this morning.

    I have very good reason to be angry – unlike trust fund baby university free-loaders like Nick S and fascist economic/political ignorants like Draco I had to work my way through Uni. I come from South Auckland and I can tell you that “Once Were Warriors” is alive and well. I have had the pleasure of wandering South Auckland streets skinny and hungry having not eaten and being over-joyed to find $5 dollars in the gutter that I could use to buy food for a couple of days. I know exactly what it’s like for people on the breadline. I know what it’s like to be hungry and I can imagine how horrible it must be for families under economic stress.

    This bullshit C02 carbon polluters trading scheme is just another indirect tax to be applied to the GST indirect tax and ACC levies and all the other bullshit this RightWinged National/Labour/Act government throws out to shift the tax burden from the rich to the poor. Those on the breadline living day to day hoping to find $5 bucks in the gutter will get it in the guts and those AGW proponents pushing cap-and-trade to save the environment are kicking them in the back because There Is No Alternative (bullshit)!

  11. Kevyn 11

    NZFP’s intitial quote is a classic outcome of sloppy research.

    Look at wider economic picture from that period and Ellen Brown’s conclusions become highly questionable.

    The wealthiest nations after WWII (PPPGDP per capita) were USA, Canada, New Zealand and Australia. These are the former colonies that profited from supplying Britain with the material resources needed to fight Nazi Germany. Notably the wealthiest European countries in that period were the “neutral” banking nations such as Switzerland and Luxembourg that funnelled investment capital to all of the combatant nations.

    The interest free credit issued by the NZRB was interest free only to the borrowers. The actual cost of providing that interest-free credit was100% inflation between 1935 and 1955, approximately equivalent to a 4% compounding interest rate.

  12. David 12

    “The IPCC cannot prove where the heat is buffering (and for that matter the CO2) which doesn’t mean to say that they don’t know”

    Classic. And there it is. Acknowledgement there is no proof.
    A similar argument is used about the existance of god. But AGW is of course not a religion. oh wait….

    • lprent 12.1

      They have proven that it is going somewhere – they just cannot prove where it is going.

      The difference between your two use cases, is that there is a active program to identify where the heat and CO2 is going, and the number of sensors in the sea is being boosted massively.

      I don’t know of a campaign to prove the existence (or not) of any god(s). Perhaps you’d like to enlighten us?

      However, you do seemed to have conclusively proved that you are a ill-informed scientifically illiterate pillock… We weren’t certain before if this was the case, we just knew that there was black hole of stupidity appearing and disappearing on occasion. But you have provided the evidence…

      • David 12.1.1

        “They have proven that it is going somewhere they just cannot prove where it is going.”

        hahahaha. It just gets better from you.
        Gee I’d be worried if you had ANY credibilty. But you dont.

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