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tigtog (aka Viv) is the founder of this blog. She lives in Sydney, Australia: husband, 2 kids, cat, house, garden, just enough wine-racks and (sigh) far too few bookshelves.

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8 responses to “How the carbon price works”

  1. Jo Tamar

    “It makes me wonder whether they think we’d be better off without traffic rules.”

    Wouldn’t we?

    I mean: they do, don’t they?


  2. vesta44

    Those are the people who don’t believe in climate change, and don’t think that anything we do causes it, so anything we do to reduce pollution isn’t going to stop/slow down climate change in their eyes. By the time they realize that climate change is real, it will be too late for them to change and adapt to a greener way of life (cynical beeyotch that I am, I see them as being in the majority and ruining the earth for those of us willing to change/adapt/go green). We’re seeing that here in the USA with the Republicans ripping the guts out of the EPA and not wanting to fund infrastructure such as water plants for clean water (most of our water plants are so out-dated it’s a wonder any of our water is safe to drink).
    What they don’t realize is that if their constituents don’t have a clean earth on which to live, work, play, eat, etc, neither do they, no matter how much money they have (and money isn’t going to be able to buy what doesn’t exist anymore).

  3. FMark

    I think the causation, at least in some of the further-right quarters, might work in the opposite directly vesta44. The loudmouth libertarians core and the current Australian opposition party are wedded to the idea that regulation in general and taxes in particular are evil, whether for ideological or political pragmatic reasons. Any market failure that requires a regulatory response – such as global warming – consequently poses a threat to such a worldview. Rather than reacting rationally and altering their position on regulation and taxation it is much more convenient to denied away the “problem” of global warming.

  4. Meg Thornton

    Apparently, some folks think that governments should never, ever aim to change people’s behaviour: that legislating and regulating systems of incentives and disincentives is beyond the pale, or at least the scope, of the proper government role.

    Oddly enough, there seems to be a rather strong overlap between these people and the ones who would like to see the return of corporal and capital punishment. Funny, that.

  5. tigtog

    Too true, Meg – and well noticed. I’m sure that there’s a strong overlap with those who approve of detention camps for asylum seekers because they “send a message” too.

    The counterargument will be that because the carbon price is indeed a price, rather than another form of disincentive, that the government is supposed to let the market sort it out.

    Because (of course) we are all living in cloud-cuckoo Invisible Hand land, where all consumers know all background information about every single choice competing for their dollar, and where everybody (including corporations) are Rational Actors (i.e. no such thing as Greed, Secrecy or Deliberate MisInformation exists). Y’know,Galt’s Gulch.

  6. blue milk

    Great re-posting of that Hansard speech. I can hardly bear to discuss this issue because of all the economic ignorance around and about.. but these things need to be said and said again or we will never turn the ignorance around.

  7. Sahben

    They will choose the lower pollution products, which is exactly what we want them to do.

    Really? somehow I doubt it, most labels one reads on almost anything is simply not true it seems, made in australia? oh yeh, the jar maybe, heart tick? yep, cos they paid for it is all. Write ‘lite’ on the label and give a donation to the heart foundation and you have your heart tick. It’s all so much bulldust!

    There will be so much blurp on products it’ll be like reading a novel and no-one will even bother. And the consumer will pay for it all.

    If they want to cut global warming ban cars, speedboats, recreational motorized boats, trucks, planes and those great big 4wd’s that both country and city people think are so neccesary these days.

    Taxing everything that moves helps the climate not one iota.

  8. tigtog

    It’s very clearly explained that the lower pollution products will be cheaper, not that they will have stuff on the label, and that is why people will choose them.

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