Monday, October 5, 2009

ETS - Earnest Trivial Self-flagellation

So, the Government is about to impose an Emissions Trading Scheme on us. That's just what New Zealand needs - another millstone around the necks of the few enterprising people who try to produce goods and services, and thereby create jobs and income, in this quaint little backwater we call home. Environment Minister Nick Smith says of the Government's proposed scheme that it "will be the first of any country outside of Europe and, as of 1 July 2010, will be the most comprehensive."

Leaving aside the fact that even the IPCC scientists are starting to admit that global warming is a myth (e.g. see, this scheme will do nothing to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions and it will cost New Zealanders more than $2B per year. That cost will be added to our already expensive power bills and the price of everything else we buy.

New Zealand produces 0.2% of the world's so-called greenhouse gas emissions. China produces about 20% and this is expected to double by 2050. China has been lauded in the international media recently for talking about self-imposed limits on emissions - but these are not absolute reductions, they are only talking about reducing the CO2 emissions per dollar of GDP. Given China is increasing its GDP by 8 - 10% per year, this still means a substantial increase in emissions. So any reduction we make is going to be trivial in comparison to the increase in emissions coming from China alone. At best, our savings will be a futile gesture. At worst, they will drag our country further towards the economic basketcase we appear so determined to become.

The ETS is nothing more than economic self-flagellation and, like the physical form, it may give us a feeling of righteousness, but our self-inflicted wounds will weaken us while China and other countries gain an economic advantage from our misplaced idealism.

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