Carbon tax conundrum

Trans Tasman explains the implications of the Green Party carbon tax policy and the conundrum it poses for Labour:

. . . Dairy farmers who are currently exempt from the ETS will pay a reduced rate of $12.50 a tonne for their pollution. Beef and sheep farmers will be exempt. A BERL economic report released with the policy indicates the average dairy farmer would take a 12.5% hit to their income, and should the milk price fall to around $7kg M/S, about 10% of dairy farmers would be vulnerable. Implementation of the policy would hinge on post-election backing from Labour, which appears at best lukewarm – David Cunliffe is already distancing himself from the policy saying it is Green policy to be negotiated after the election. NZ First leader Winston Peters says he does not support a carbon tax. So it leaves confusion in voters’ minds whether a carbon tax would be a goer.

A policy with such serious implications as this isn’t one that ought to be left to post-election negotiations.

Whether or not Labour would countenance the tax could well influence voters – but maybe that’s why Cunliffe won’t make a stand.

What Peters says he supports and what he would actually support, given the chance, aren’t necessarily the same thing.

But it does confirm the Greens, in placing such a high priority on climate change protection (even though NZ is only responsible for 0.14% of global emissions), want to drive fossil fuel producers out of business, and halt the expansion of dairying. And if Labour has to cosy up closer to the Greens to ensure it looks like a Govt-in-waiting, how will this play out in electorates like the West Coast (where mining is a core industry) or New Plymouth where Andrew Little, with leadership ambitions, will be trying to show he can win a seat? . . .

A party trying to gain only a relatively small proportion of the party vote can afford policies which impact badly on certain areas.

Those trying to win electorates too are much more aware of the negative impact policies which might be attractive in theory have on real people in practice in real life.




28 Responses to Carbon tax conundrum

  1. farmerbraun says:

    Maybe someone from the Greens can give us the details of how this policy will encourage dairy farmers to reduce their losses of nitrogen to waterways. There seems to be agreement that we should at least hold if not reduce these levels in at least some waterways where toxic effects are established.

    I think that with over 90% of the world’s CO2 emissions not subject to any regulation, we can forget about any effect on climate assuming that the CO2 effect is more than trivial (just for the sake of argument , that is)


  2. Captain Fantastic says:

    The fact that nonsense like this gains any traction at all exposes the reality of the economic & political dumbing down of New Zealanders and the latent hatred and jealousy that urban Kiwis have for farmers. It has always been there, only it bubbles to the surface from time to time.


  3. farmerbraun says:

    “economic & political dumbing down of New Zealanders and the latent hatred and jealousy that urban Kiwis have for farmers.”

    You could put it all down to plain ignorance , in which case a lack of education in science might be the root cause.


  4. Mr E says:

    The BERL report is a shocker in my opinion. It is based on historical economics and has cherry picked years with high financial returns.

    And sadly all this taxing will do is reduce productivity. The opposite of what has been proven as the solution to reducing carbon emissions.

    The policy is illogical in my opinion. The Greens have gone way off track – believing that taxing is a solution for carbon emissions.

    This is currently not a Green party I can support.


  5. Dave Kennedy says:

    Here is a useful link to a dairy farmer who supports the tax.


  6. Andrei says:

    If anyone seriously believes that levying a tax can control the climate they are probably too stupid to vote.

    I mean that is really dumb


  7. TraceyS says:

    Anyone who believes that climate control is the fundamental purpose of such a tax is very naive. It will be interesting to see if the Labour Party fall into this category.

    The purpose of the tax is to control growth. Limiting growth will save the planet you know Andrei.


  8. Dave Kennedy says:

    And yet where a carbon tax has been initiated similar to what the Greens propose it has been a spectacular success:
    By continuing as we are our emissions are projected to increase by 50% in the next ten years and New Zealand is one of the worst emitters of GHG per capita in the world.


  9. Andrei says:

    People should worry about things that matter Tracey but they don’t 😦


  10. TraceyS says:


    “…after a breakthrough election in 2001 (12.39%), the [Green] party’s vote share has declined (2005 – 9.17%, 2009 – 8.09%)”

    In 2013 it fell further to 8.13%. Sound familiar?,_2013

    If the carbon tax has been such a roaring success, why don’t people in British Columbia love the Green Party?


  11. TraceyS says:

    Andrei, because all this other stuff is entertaining. That’s all it is. Entertainment as a way of distraction.


  12. Dave Kennedy says:

    “If the carbon tax has been such a roaring success, why don’t people in British Columbia love the Green Party?”

    It wasn’t the Green Party that introduced it, it was the conservative premier at the time. A carbon tax stacks up economically it is not something that just greens support.


  13. Dave Kennedy says:

    Andrei, I sort of agree with you, but the human casualties that will result from uncontrolled climate change will be immense. The numbers directly affected by severe weather events, rising sea levels and loss of food production will be enormous.


  14. Dave Kennedy says:

    If we don’t do our bit regarding our GHG emissions it is a little like not doing our share in overseas aid because we are too small to make a large impact, I find that morally unacceptable.


  15. jabba says:

    I would suggest that the industries in NZ that will be smashed by the Greens will possibly be closed down and the products they make will be imported by countries that are the real polluters .. but that’s ok aye Dave?


  16. Andrei says:

    Dave Kennedy – “Climate Change” is the least of our worries. Even if it is working the way that is claimed we will have hundreds of years to adapt.

    Meanwhile New Zealand is sitting on a bomb in the central North Island that could go off at any time with little to no warning wiping out virtually everyone in the NI.

    What can we do?

    We don’t trouble ourselves about it because there is nothing that can be done and the chances are it wont go off in our lifetimes or that of our children.

    As Tracey said the “climate change” debate is a distraction, it is useful to distract us from the evil that is done by our masters


  17. Andrei says:

    Greens – the party of death.


  18. TraceyS says:

    Dave at 12:30 pm. You did not answer my question which was “if the carbon tax has been such a roaring success, why don’t people in British Columbia love the Green Party?”

    The greens worldwide are the leaders of such movements. You’d no doubt take that ground wouldn’t you? If they are not, then who is? Who should we be giving the ‘credit’ to? Conservatives?

    If you do not know why only 8% of people in British Columbia vote for the Greens then I fear that your NZ equivalent is stuffed. Or to use the lingo of the day, unsustainable.

    Actually, I don’t fear it. According to your example of BC the Greens could fade out and their agenda very successfully taken up by the conservatives!


  19. TraceyS says:

    A good way to keep the numbers of us down under the guise of another reason, Andrei.

    “Decriminalisation will reduce the stigma and judgement that surrounds abortion…”

    What rubbish! Abortions are common. How many people would even know that it’s illegal. I didn’t.

    Stigma and judgement of the self, the kind the law has no influence over, is referenced from within. From one’s own values system.


  20. Andrei says:

    Tracey the Greens priorities are strange and that’s a fact.

    They worry about whales
    and protect little snails
    but its open season on the vulnerable human baby in the womb.


  21. farmerbraun says:

    That’s a long bow Tracey 🙂
    Cannabis use has increased and so has world population.


  22. TraceyS says:

    “Between 1989 and 2005, average sperm counts fell by a third in the study of 26,000 men, increasing their risk of infertility. The amount of healthy sperm was also reduced, by a similar proportion.

    The findings confirm research over the past 20 years that has shown sperm counts declining in many countries across the world.”

    Population growth rates are slowing:


  23. TraceyS says:

    “Fitzsimons, a sustainability expert, spoke of how continued growth on the current economic model is not possible. “Our earth is full, and there isn’t another one to move to”, she said.”


  24. farmerbraun says:

    From your link :_

    “”Now, there can be little doubt that it is real, so it is a time for action.
    Something in our modern lifestyle, diet or environment is causing this and it is getting progressively worse.

    We still do not know which are the most important factors but the most likely are … a high-fat diet and environmental chemical exposures.””

    It still looks like a long bow to me.


  25. farmerbraun says:

    “The cost of not doing this is for our country and our world to arrive at one or more of the physical limits without being prepared for the outcomes. The effect of this scenario would be uncontrolled chaos.

    But, she argued, life can still be good if we plan for a steady state economy.”

    Is she arguing for more government, or simply for the dissemination of information?

    It is well-known that population is expected to peak at about 8-9 billion around 2050 , maybe later. It is then expected to fall. Those concerned are free to commence their planning from now . What’s the problem?


  26. TraceyS says:

    Those articles precede the marijuana one which is very recent. It is an evolving area of research and there is probably not one single cause.


  27. TraceyS says:

    Honestly, farmerbraun, I think what she’s arguing for is rationing of resources when stating that “the current economic model is not possible” going forward. That could certainly mean more government intervention. If the Greens get any power you can be sure they won’t use it to hand out leaflets.

    But anyway, why worry about things like resource depletion and reducing greenhouse gas emissions if world population is going to fall from 2050? Managing decline is hard enough without managing it before you need to. For example, did it help NZ going into the 2008 recession before the rest of the World?

    I cannot imagine what it would be like if every world market was in decline and I have no wish to find out sooner than necessary. In the meantime I’m happy to make hay while the sun shines and to raise my smart, savvy kids free from guilt that they are anything but good for this planet.


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