Sunday, June 26, 2011

The damage done by the carbon mob

I am giggling slightly about today's tale of China holding up a HUGE order for Europe's biggest airliner, on the grounds that they don't like the EU's carbon tax on use of the European airspace. The tax will come into effect next January.

The EU has been allowed to get away with taxing things that aren't theirs for too long. The unelected gougers that inhabit Brussels seem to think they own the world. Because they are essentially not answerable to anyone, there is no one to throw the out of office for raising taxes that shouldn't be raised. "No taxation without representation" is quite a good principle, which has been discarded in the name of European unity.

Their desire to tax things carboniferous, all done with the finest of motives, namely to save us from ourselves, is having an effect on all of us. Our National Treasury wants to introduce a carbon tax. Part of the thinking behind their proposal is that some nations are likely to introduce sanctions unless we have a carbon tax. Some nations? Sure - all the European nations. Their trade is suffering because they have to pay a carbon tax. Why should they make themselves uncompetitive and us more competitive? Their answer - we should be equally uncompetitive.

Never mind that all these good intentions achieve absolutely nothing. Look, for a moment, at the world's use of fossil fuels. Since 1998 it has increased by 34%. 1998 is a good year to start - because that was the year the Kyoto Protocol, designed to limit carbon emissions, came into being. Limit? Carbon emissions have increased faster than ever.

Even worse is the fact that the good intentions are having some awfully bad effects. In their desire to reduce reliance on fossil fuels, some first-world countries are encouraging the use of biofuels. They are even subsidizing biofuel production.

The food production of the world is growing faster than the population. This would be marvellous, except for the fact that the food available to feed people is actually decreasing. The result is a global surge in the price of food. We first saw this back in 2007-8. Most rational people thought the message had gotten through to Governments - do NOT subsidize biofuels.

It seems us rational people were optimists - Governments are more stupid than we thought. The subsidies continue, and food becomes much more expensive as a result. Everything that grows is being turned into alcohol - wheat, maize, rice, sugar, sorghum, even casava.

The real problem, however, is the thesis that carbon dioxide is bad for us. So ingrained has this thesis become, that excessive carbon emissions are now thought to be worse than starvation. The carbon mob are actually responsible for global malnutrition, thanks to their misplaced desire to save the planet.

Perhaps the cancellation of a megaorder for planes will finally be sufficient for them to wake up to reality - but I doubt it.

No comments: