Thursday, 12 November 2009

Planet Earth

In today's NZ Herald, Brian Fallow writes an enlightening column on New Zealand's commitment to reducing climate change.

The headline shouts that taxpayers will be stuck with 84% of the financial responsibility when the emissions trading scheme commences in 2011. In real terms this is billions of dollars a year, the exact amount is not clear yet. Like the numbers the whole scheme seems a little foggy (or smoggy, if you prefer). The intentions are admirable, but analogous to most big schemes directed by the government, it seems destined for the scrap heap.

I'm not wanting into wade in the whole Climate Change debate. My opinion is just that. No doubt I'll be on the earth for a few years to come, my children for a few more. I am concerned that any any scheme that involves borrowing money is not sustainable. It's inevitable that we need to take a long term view of pollution and our responsibilities as global citizens. What isn't so clear is why we need to spend taxpayers money, or worse borrowed money, to resolve the problem.

I say make the polluters pay. If the product or service emits heat or worse, burns stuff, tax it. If it's unhealthy, tax it again. If we're serious about reducing emissions then the cost must start with the polluters, otherwise our responsibilities will be paid for by future generations and that simply isn't fair.

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