Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Basic Economics of Carbon Permits Versus Carbon Taxes

I think we need time out for a chalk talk.

The Basic Economics of Carbon Permits Versus Carbon Taxes


david said...

I don't think many people are missing the point here. I for one just think you're less likely to get a hard cap, and that the trade adds further incentives to game. You talk about the mobilization against a tax, which of course there will be (could be mitigated by tax shifting), but not the mobilization against the cap-- seems like the pristine vs politically ugly is just being reversed here.

On the investment side of things you mention at the end, we also face the problem of scale and time horizons, both of which militate towards large public investment as the most efficient way to reduce emissions

Robert said...

If the outcome made available by the investment is still perceived as "cheaper" (not merely less expensive but also crummier)then you just created infrastructure that no one wants to use. People won't act as if they are poorer unless they are poorer.

Myrtle Blackwood said...

Thanks for this, Peter.

The essential problem appears to relate to the current notions of property. Attempting to trade in the right to pollute the commons. Taxing those actions and products that do.

Perhaps the greatest difficulty is the lack of 'social capital'? The willingness of individuals, corporations and institutions to refrain from using their current licence to do what they wish?

Thank NAFTA and the WTO, thank the legal terms of the 'free trade' agreements. The decades of silence in the increasingly monopolised global corporate media on the discussion called 'limits to growth'. The stunted crippled party 'democracies'.

Whilst trillions are directed into the war against 'terrorism' how much money has gone into saving the planet from (and for) ourselves? Yet their are billions of human lives at stake.