But why should we steer the economy away from carbon?

From The Economist just now. We live in the midst of such idiocy in almost every direction that it will be a miracle if we get through this without a major collapse, going well beyond a mere depression. You really have much to fear when it’s Daniel Andrews leading the way. Plus this:

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Our cover this week calls for a global effort to tackle climate change. Covid-19 creates a unique chance to steer the economy away from carbon at a much lower financial, social and political cost than before. Rock-bottom energy prices make it easier to cut subsidies for fossil fuels and to introduce a tax on carbon. The revenues from that tax can help repair battered government finances. The businesses at the heart of the fossil-fuel economy—oil and gas firms, steel producers, carmakers—are already going through the agony of shrinking their long-term capacity and employment. Getting economies back on their feet calls for investment in climate-friendly infrastructure that boosts growth and creates new jobs. Low interest rates make the bill smaller than ever. The world should seize the moment.

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39 Responses to But why should we steer the economy away from carbon?

  1. Getting economies back on their feet calls for investment in climate-friendly infrastructure that boosts growth and creates new jobs.

    And these are?

  2. cuckoo

    Report along these lines on the ABC last night. For expert comment they went to some dork from a ‘Carbon Zero’ activist group; then for a balancing comment, to some dork from The Australia Institute. No countervailing real world viewpoint was presented.

  3. FFS, if anything COVID should see the end of the Great Global Warming Swindle.

    Failed computer models, “experts” getting it completely wrong, also “experts” in the pay of Big Pharma, also “experts” working for the corrupt venal U.N, destroyed economies, no air travel, mass unemployment.

    COVID has all the same causes and outcomes of the GGWS (well, duh, it was dreamt up by the same people). A smart pollie would use COVID to kill ruinables and slash every penny to the climate fraudsters.

    Unfortunately, we have no smart pollies.

  4. Colonel Bunty Golightly

    Obviously driven by a vested interest. Anyone with a minuscule portion of the brain would realise that subsidies to RE far outweigh those to fossil fuel. They would also realise that a manufacturing country, which we need to become again to some extent, cannot operate on unicorn farts! However, as usual, self interest by industry and the political class will always trump Australia’s best interests. Grubby, parasitic maggots!

  5. Megan

    Did we not predict this exact load of old rubbish bro g dropped on us before we were even out of lockdown? When the fear factor is ramped up to 1000 by the parasites, rent seekers, pollimuppets, the lying and ideologically driven media, so called experts and sundry morons, the intellectually average fail to discern a problem.

    We are done for.

  6. Did we not predict this exact load of old rubbish bro g dropped on us…

    I think I mentioned this last week, with a link to one of Their ABC articles, as it became evident that the ‘climate crisis’ was once again going to be ramped up.

  7. candy

    More likely a resource tax is in the mix.

    I imagine PM Morrison and Josh F are debating the options. Something big. Maybe raising Medicare levy too, increasing tax on the big banks.

  8. I imagine PM Morrison and Josh F are debating the options.

    I imagine Morrison and Josh F cleaning the toilets in H block.
    It gives me a fleeting moment of pleasure.

  9. Spurgeon Monkfish III

    Rock-bottom energy prices make it easier to cut subsidies for fossil fuels and to introduce a tax on carbon.

    What bizarre parallel universe do these morons exist in? We’ll only ever achieve something approximate to “rock-bottom energy prices” in this country if subsidies for ruinables are abolished, all ruinables immediately cut from the grid and baseload sources massively increased.

    Anyone advocating “a tax on carbon” is either an idiot, a liar or a scamster (or all three).

    Saw Angus Taylor on Bolt last night – what a hugely unimpressive dolt.

  10. Mother Lode

    You would think they would be staying quiet about now because:

    > People already anxious about the plague will resent being hit with more disaster scenarios

    > People might make a comparison between the way the AGW disaster unfolds and the plague, and the plague putting AGW into perspective

    > People realising that economies are not infinitely resilient and suspect that the supposedly benign demands of the warmies will will have far more economically and socially deleterious impacts than they had previously been led to believe.

    Not things they ought to want.

  11. Spurgeon Monkfish III

    More likely a resource tax is in the mix.

    Yes, because that worked so well the last time we had one.

    Trigger Warning: Irredeemable imbeciles.

  12. thefrollickingmole

    Needs more cowbell…

    Switched to needs more subsidies.

  13. Dasher

    I heard a classic in an interview on RN by Fran Kelly and Angus Tayler to deal with energy which of course means climate change. Kelly asked Taylor why not just go with the tried and true solutions of wind, solar batteries and pumped hydro? apart from being the four worst possible ways to go without further crippling our economy the sheer ignorance that was on display……wind and solar will never cut it they require back up (pay twice), they are ery inefficient (just look at the daily stats out of SA) need massive subsidies, extremly low density ( use a massive amount of real estate )and long lines of communication and after about twenty years they need replacing leaving serious clean up issues, batteries are available but at an enormous price beyond all reasonable limits, and with serious issues around raw materials when one factors in worldwide use in EVs etc, pumped hydro is a back up to help reduce the shortcomings of wind and solar…you would not use it if you had proper 24/7 power . Taylor was kind to her …..but to be honest Taylors plan is another cop out. It simply won’t fly and we will be left with a bigger mess. Impossible to believe at a time when we are on out knees.

  14. stevem

    With the apparent threat of China on our iron and coal exports I can’t believe anybody would come up with an acceptable method to further hobble our 2 greatest export earners. Not even Albanese & co. would be that stupid.

  15. Charles Rasp

    Dear Economist Editor
    Very skillful writing, managing to make so many errors of fact and opinion in one paragraph.

    Our cover this week calls for a global effort to tackle climate change. So, you have news that China and India are fully on board, since they produce jointly about 40% of global CO2?

    Covid-19 creates a unique chance to steer the economy away from carbon at a much lower financial, social and political cost than before. So you admit that the crazy costs of RE in western economies are too high? Oh, science trigger warning: its carbon dioxide, not carbon (think diamonds, lead pencils) that is supposed to be the climate control knob.

    Rock-bottom energy prices make it easier to cut subsidies for fossil fuels and to introduce a tax on carbon. The revenues from that tax can help repair battered government finances. Subsidies for hydrocarbon fuels are totally insignificant (in most places zero) compared with the insane RE subsidies ($trillions) paid to companies and individuals. Rock-bottom prices are mainly due to Russia and Saudi over-producing to force USA oil out of the market, with lesser impact from COVID19-induced reduced consumption … as the pain spreads, hydrocarbon prices will recover. The effective carbon tax price will need to be ~$100/t CO2 …. three industries that will collapse immediately in Australia will be cement, steel, and aluminium, to be replaced by imports from China with consequent transfer of CO2 produced. The higher the tax, the worse the impact on Australian jobs and industry … how is that helpful to “battered government finances”?

    The businesses at the heart of the fossil-fuel economy—oil and gas firms, steel producers, carmakers—are already going through the agony of shrinking their long-term capacity and employment.

    Do you really think that the world will not need steel, vehicles, and hydrocarbons in 10, 20, 50 years time? Of course it will. Hydrocarbons are not going away, no matter what delusions you may harbour … US EIA estimates hydrocarbons will still be contributing ~75% of global energy consumption in 2040. These industries are here to stay (and grow, unless destroyed by foolish government actions).

    Getting economies back on their feet calls for investment in climate-friendly infrastructure that boosts growth and creates new jobs. Low interest rates make the bill smaller than ever. Subsidised industries do not create jobs. They take wealth, growth and jobs away from self-reliant industries, and transfer them to propped up, failing industries, like RE. Look at the wealth destruction in the EU, especially Germany, from unsustainable subsidisation of RE. And no matter how low the interest rates, the bill has to be paid.

    The world should seize the moment. Yes. Seize the moment to understand how failed science models are being used right now to badly manage the Wuhan virus, and how even worse models underpin the global warming scare campaign. It’s not too late to step back from the destruction that your policy prescriptions will invoke.

  16. min

    I was talking to a friend today who watched The planet of the Humans shown on Zoom to our group followed by discussion . She commented that film did not show how much energy production came from renewables I said it was made in America and our production here would be different I was told that the sun shone everywhere some time so we could compare outputs .
    She is a retired teacher who had been married to a man who put up first windfarm . This is what we are up against ,wealthy educated people who have NF I . I suggested she looked at AEMO , Germany’s problems with Energiewende and that southern hemisphere has less wind than northern. and what did you do when sun covered and no wind. Ignorant about capabilities of batteries also.

  17. BM

    Getting economies back on their feet calls for investment in climate-friendly infrastructure that boosts growth in national and international quangos and creates new jobs for all of my mates.

    Filled in the blanks for him.

    Also, I think you spelt “The Ecommunist” wrong!

  18. H B Bear

    The Ecommunist shows why it hasn’t been worth reading for a couple of decades.

  19. Seize the moment.
    Use covid dead bodies to stop climate change.

    This lunacy is not just in the media. Here for example is Antonio Guterres whose immense salary and benefits are paid for by our taxes, saying the same thing.

    “How far the termites have spread and how long and well they have dined.

    https://tambonthongchai.com/2020/04/29/numnut-un-bureaucrat/

  20. duncanm

    Seize what?

    Anthropogenic output (~30Gt/yr) is less than 5% of the total CO2 flux – 440Gt from vegetation and land, 330 from the ocean.

    We’re emitting about 6x what we did in 1960, and yet the rate of increase in atmospheric CO2 is only about double what it was 1960 (2ppm vs 1ppm/yr)

    The current crisis has dropped emissions by about 10% – so we’d need to reduce our emissions by about 60x what we’re currently experiencing with Covid to get back to 1960 levels, which would save us 1ppm/yr (if we believe the canard that increases are purely due to anthropogenic emissions).

    Excellent plan, that.

  21. duncanm

    min
    #3460772, posted on May 22, 2020 at 12:55 pm
    .. southern hemisphere has less wind than northern..

    not sure if that’s true — but having all our wind located in areas of ocean with depths of a thousand metres or more, thousands of miles from lane, may be a bit of an issue.

  22. duncanm

    Either the cover artist is having a lend, he’s straight off the green-left weekly intern program, or they really are telegraphing their intent.

    https://www.politicalanimalmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/image2-36-700×470.jpg

    google fu

  23. The other problem with “seize the moment” is that it will not work unless every nation seizes it at the same time. It’s the climate action catch-22
    pls see
    https://tambonthongchai.com/2020/05/22/climate-catch22/

  24. Spurgeon Monkfish III

    Kelly asked Taylor why not just go with the tried and true solutions of wind, solar batteries and pumped hydro?

    LOL – Bolt played that excruciating excerpt just before his interview with Taylor last night.

  25. Just Passing By

    When so many elites think like the Economist, even Liberal people, it’s hard not to think our civilization is doomed. Can we really survive such willful destruction of our economy at a time of crisis?

  26. GoWest

    Gosh the economy is stuffed up – lets do more of the same! Tax the banks – what is left of them! Not one original thought amoungst these media losers spinning claptrap for their overseas owners.

  27. Iampeter

    But why should we steer the economy away from carbon?

    Isn’t the more fundamental question why should we be steering the economy at all?

  28. John A

    Our cover this week calls for a global effort to tackle climate change.

    With an image which is deficient only in the hammer and sickle department.

  29. Rayvic

    “But why should we steer the economy away from carbon?”

    Good question, as there is no justification to do so on scientific or economic grounds.

  30. Sydney Boy

    Rock-bottom energy prices make it easier to cut subsidies for fossil fuels and to introduce a tax on carbon.

    People ACTUALLY believe fossil fuels (mining and when used for energy production) are subsidised in Australia.

  31. stevem

    People ACTUALLY believe fossil fuels are subsidised in Australia.

    Theories like that are created by the media who are either incompetent or liars. The most recent example of “coal subsidies” come from Adani. The Queensland government was going to “subsidise” the mine before the government tired (again) to nobble it. The subsidy was, however, a loan to Adani to help build hundreds of km of rail that would link into the Queensland rail system and be repaid.
    No vast grants or tax exemptions that other industries are routinely given to favor one state over another. No ongoing payments or royalty grace periods. Adani will be paying the resource tax as soon as the first shovel of coal comes up.

    Meanwhile ex”Liberal” leader ramps up with an article lambasting an insurance company for covering Adani.

  32. miltonf

    We dodged a bullet in 1993.

  33. miltonf

    Amazing that this shit bird magazine is actually profitable.

  34. Ben

    Governments ‘need’ more mo Ray.

    What’s a single tax, that covers everything the GST misses? Carbon tax.

    The irony of a magazine called ‘The Economist’ believing that a tax on everything will help businesses.

    Everything is bad.

  35. Squirrel

    This is the posturing/rent-seeking Left not wasting a crisis – some of them want to “lockdown” large parts of the earth’s surface, so we should be grateful if all they want to do is destroy the useful bits of our economy…..

  36. Nob

    Meh, I’ve been hearing this for decades.

    Low oil prices are a great excuse to switch to renewables.

    High oil prices are a great excuse to switch to renewables.

    We want your money.

  37. Bob

    It’s beautiful to see the climate-Nazis panicking. COVID wiped them off the map.
    As if they weren’t already on the nose. Who would ever want to get stuck next to one at the dinner table?
    Oh, the horror! (apologies to Apocalypse Now).
    Now they’re frantic. Everyone BORED TO DEATH with climate bores.
    Stand by for more hysterics, more “how dares you’s” (how dare youse! in Australia) and hissy-fits in an intergalactic scale. Before this “tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.” is over.

  38. Steve

    Dear Catallaxyfiles

    Is it possible with the economy having copped a size 12 inthe nether regions, that eco-zealots may stop the economy from restarting fully?

    When you look at the moronic 50 people limit in a cafe etc it reeks of capping cash flow and hence economic activity

    https://clubofrome.org/publication/the-limits-to-growth/

    Worth looking at…..

    We as a society need to push back hard on moronic govts and Thier globalist handlers and tell them to &$&#_$ off. so we can get everything going again.

    As long as the contrived boogey man if coronavirus hangs around, it’s a leash that can be used to strangle our society on any limp wristed whim the globalists care to exercise.

    Time to push back and reclaim all the freedoms that are rightfully ours.

    It’s now a full fight of the normal people vs the unhinged globalist psychopaths .

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