The Productivity Commission’s zeal for net-zero

It looks like a zero carbon economy is very much like the case for a universal basic income. The best way to talk yourself out of it is to simply read the material put out by its advocates.

In the case of universal basic income, a huge tax rise is required without making any one for whom the modern welfare state was designed to protect better off.

In the case of a zero carbon economy, the costs are enormous relative to any reasonable estimate of the costs of runaway climate change to New Zealand. Indeed the unreasonable and wild estimates are still less than the cost of a zero carbon economy.

croaking cassandra

Among those holding the reins of power –  and their supporters –  there appears to be an almost passionate commitment to a goal of eliminating (net) all greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.  So passionate as, it seems, to care very little about the consequences for New Zealanders.  And since some of the easiest and least costly (probably actually net beneficial) ways to make big inroads on New Zealand greenhouse gas emissions run head-on into other passionately-held ideological commitments, those options simply get ignored as well.  None of this seems based on any robust analysis, either of the specific issues facing New Zealand, nor of the way in which the substantial costs of adjustment would be likely to fall most heavily on the poorest in our society.  Some, who should know better, seem to want to pretend that a major coerced reorientation of our economy would actually be net beneficial (in…

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