0.4 percent of a wrecking ball makes …

… a ball bearing perhaps?

0.4 percentage points is the estimate of the CPI impact of the carbon price, published in the Herald Sun (hardly likely to understate it). In the attempt to stop this catastrophe, the Australian political right has trashed its intellectual credibility, embraced lurid conspiracy theories, reduced its leading publications to laughing stocks, and promulgated a string of easily falsified talking points, each one more absurd than the last. So, now that their predictions of doom have come to this, what will be their response? My guess is that they will double down – Catallaxy and Andrew Bolt are already on the job.

Of course, a price of $23/tonne is just the thin end of the wedge. Most estimates suggest that we need a price somewhere in the range $50-100/tonne to produce a long run shift to a low-carbon economy. That might amount to a price increase of 2 or 3 per cent – about the same as the GST.

165 thoughts on “0.4 percent of a wrecking ball makes …

  1. That is not the right question, Jim Rose.

    The correct question is “which carbon consumption penalty scheme will achieve zero emissions energy at the lowest cost”?

  2. ^ correct

    Zero emissions is a frighteningly long way off, but we can at least begin the transition, and Pigovian taxes are one of tools in the armoury.

  3. Maybe this venn diagram is more useful for stereotyping Jim Rose? He doesn’t seem to have any particular area of interest in his quest for some attention and human interaction. So he is just a generalist, an opportunist ready to take any little piece of information that might support his narrow mindset, and try it on as a way of discomforting those of us who can’t see how good the numbers are if only the people would behave properly?


  4. @Bring back Birdy at Catallaxy

    Many many thanks Catallaxy – I knew there was some reason I watched this thred…. To get a cathartic belly laugh after much eye rolling.

    While my favorite of the two JD probably sees himself as Reagan, I would like to believe he is more likely channelling Xenu. The required ‘hat’ is a marvel – I want one – as long as it is nuclear powered.

  5. Some body is awake. Just got this from consumer watch body ….:

    “”CHOICE is working with community and business groups to seek urgent energy reforms that will help ease the burden on households and businesses.

    Electricity prices have risen by over 50 per cent in the past five years, and further rises are expected largely due to increasing network ‘poles and wires’ costs and coal and gas prices.

    In the wake of these electricity price rises, we’ve teamed up with the Australian Industry Group, Brotherhood of St Laurence and the Energy Efficiency Council to commission a wide-ranging report of realistic options to reduce prices.

    The independent report, Policy options for maximising downward pressure on electricity prices, was prepared by respected energy consultancy Oakley Greenwood, and released on 29 October.”
    According to the report, the cost of building new ‘poles and wires’ network infrastructure was responsible for around 50 per cent of electricity price rises over the last five years, and network costs now account for around 40 per cent of household electricity bills.

    Replacing ageing poles and wires, on its own, accounted for less than half of this cost. Without decisive action to ensure the networks are as cost-efficient as possible, network costs will push up electricity prices even further.

    One way to help networks become more efficient is to reduce ‘super peak’ demand, which occurs on just a few days a year, normally during very hot or cold days.

    Around 25 per cent of electricity bills are driven by these ‘super peaks’, because we built infrastructure to meet peak demand and generation is more expensive during peaks. If we reduce super peaks it will help to make electricity affordable, while ensuring that the network is still reliable and households receive the energy services they need.

    However, network costs aren’t the only driver of future electricity price rises. Over the next decade the prices electricity generators pay for gas and coal are also predicted to increase, in turn pushing up electricity prices.

    This means it is essential to help energy users get more out of each dollar that they spend on electricity. Boosting energy efficiency will help households stay comfortable while cutting electricity bills.””


  6. @Bring back Birdy at Catallaxy The standard view of deliberation is group discussion leads to better outcomes, if only because competing views are stated and exchanged.

    Cass Sunstein has argued:
    • that there are limitless news and information options and, more significantly, the limitless options for avoiding it.

    • Gravitating toward those newspapers, blogs, podcasts and other media that reinforce their own views, citizens carefully filter out opposing or alternative viewpoints to create an ideologically exclusive “Daily Me.”

    • The sense of personal empowerment consumers gain-and subsequently equate with “freedom”-only fuels the “echo chamber” effect, which replaces a sense of democratic unity with accelerating polarization. We risk enclave deliberation

    Debate risks group polarisation members of a deliberating group predictably move toward a more extreme point in the direction indicated by the members’ predeliberation tendencies!

    Denouncing anyone who disagrees is similar to the role of the mind guard in group-think to secure the Daily Me.

    If the righteous majority silences or ignores its opponents, it will never have to defend its belief and over time it will forget the arguments for it.

    As well as losing its grasp of the arguments for its belief, Mill adds that the majority will in due course even lose a sense of the real meaning and substance of its belief. What earlier may have been a vital belief will be reduced in time to a series of phrases retained by rote. The belief will be held as a dead dogma rather than as a living truth.

  7. How high would a carbon price have to be for us to become carbon neutral? Well, as our gracious host mentioned, most estimates are in the $50-$100 range. But personally I am more optimistic. One reason is because I think these estimates have missed the recent plummet in solar PV costs. Another reason is that I think we can remove carbon from the atmosphere at a reasonably low cost. A third reason is there is plenty of room for improved efficiency. And finally I’m sure there will be continued improvements in the cost of solar, wind, and other low emission sources of energy, and also improvements in transportation. We’ve already seen in Australia how rooftop solar, improved efficiency, and a low carbon price have reduced demand for grid electricity resulted in the shutdown of gigawatts of coal power and the shelving of plans for new gas capacity. So I think that maybe a carbon price as low as $35 a tonne could be sufficient. Note I am not saying that $35 a tonne will be enough, I am saying it may be enough if we’re lucky. I do expect estimates to be revised downwards, even though they may not be revised that low.

  8. If the righteous majority silences or ignores its opponents, it will never have to defend its belief and over time it will forget the arguments for it.

    Gimme a break. By far the most serious example of censorship on climate science came from the Bush clique.

    As the Christian Science Monitor reported in 2007, the George W. Bush administration attempted to control which climate scientists could speak with reporters. It also edited scientists’ congressional testimony on climate science.


    Which category of trollery does JR’s absurd implication fit into?

  9. Is the descriptor “Bone-headed stupidity” appropriate as a classification here? It is such a vast category, that it doesn’t help people hone in on what they might be looking for.

    Besides, at this point of the climate change debate, I no longer think stupidity is the problem. I think you need a new label for such items titled “Exposing blantant lies”.

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