Worstall, Carbon Tax and Floating Polar Bear Syndrome

Tim Worstall is seemingly convinced that "the Man from Whitehall" could "solve" the climate "problem", if only he could exchange one centrally-planned, environmentally-ineffectual social nightmare for another

"Antarctica you say? Hmm."
Peter C. Glover
On 7 August 2012 09:58

Tim Worstall doesn’t argue the scientific case for global warming. He openly admits he doesn’t understand the issue on the grounds that he “isn’t a scientist” or climate expert. Unfortunately, neither are most of the ideologues running the discredited UN IPCC  “scientists” – nor is there any such thing as a ‘climate expert’.

And yet, based on the word of IPCC  and those associated with its position, Worstall concludes that global warming-climate change is a “problem” that we should be pouring mammoth sums into fighting, even though the empirical scientific data reveals plainly that there’s been no warming at all for 15 years.

His faith in the highly politicized outright intellectual skulduggery of the UN IPCC is, for one normally so astute, perplexing.

Even though climate study is still plainly in its infancy, with apocalyptic speculations constantly failing the test of empirical science, Worstall calls for state intervention that commits us all to paying a carbon “poll” tax instead of the current raft of green taxes.

Caron Taxomania: Stupidity-on-Steroids

In Debunking the Great Carbon Tax Hype I have already highlighted the core flaws in Worstall's campaign. Since then, however, in “Problems like climate change are just too important not to use markets to solve them”, he takes up the pen again, in an ironic argument that must call into question his free market “credentials”.

Worstall is basing his latest case on a statement from the manufacturers’ trade body that identifies coalition green policies as “incoherent and failing”. No problem there. They are.

But the statement goes on to allege that the “incoherence” is due to “time-consuming, inefficient and costly regulations” of bureaucratic arrangements. Worstall takes up the case asserting that the bigger problem still is that “the Man in Whitehall is trying to beat climate change by planning the economy.”

He goes on to say that by “demanding which type of energy is produced, how much we use, whether we recycle and how we recycle” bureaucracy is “creating a blizzard of paperwork”. 

Ah, so this is the reason the raft of green taxes is completely failing to impact CO2 emissions which in turn is failing to stop global warming...which...er...isn’t actually happening. Just cut the regulations and associated paperwork, simplify the tax system and, hey presto, the state will soon be merrily manipulating the climate.

Yes, Worstall does actually believe it is possible – and desirable! – for the state to achieve control of the climate. (Someone should tell the British Met Office, which can’t even tell us with any accuracy what the weather will be like in a few days time that the state could – given the right tax – achieve more accuracy.)

Not that he openly advocates Soviet Union-style central planning, you understand. He points out that planned economies – the “socialist calculation problem” – is a failed relic of the Worstallentieth century, there being “just too many variables to process – even for extremely powerful computers.”

Well I nearly fell off my chair laughing at the complete irony in Worstall’s case.

Just why he thinks that such a socially ubiquitous “poll” tax would be less of a bureaucratic nightmare, isn’t really clear.

Imagine the social fallout from a carbon tax that sets citizen against bureaucracy over an unproven and distinctly dodgy scientific case. Then we’d have (informing) neighbour against neighbour, the impact on heavy industry, the impact on jobs, the impact on...the list is endless. And all to “solve” a “problem” that is not only beyond Worstall’s understanding, but patently way beyond the current understanding of science.

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