Like most of us I do find this challenging. See if these help.
The last two are critical of the idea.
However, to anticipate the second promised post here, it does seem that while energy efficiency and alternative energies offer the best hopes for mitigating emissions, the best approach — and the most economically viable — is a combination of several approaches with putting some kind of cost or value on emissions being critical to the success of these other approaches.
There are some good articles in today’s Sydney Morning Herald. First, I find $50b bill for Abbott carbon plan very believable, even if the denials are no doubt winging through cyberspace and the media as I write**. (No doubt appropriate economic modelling will be trotted out on both sides in due course, even by those most prone to be sceptical about climate modelling.)
Second, Ross Gittins has nailed it again.
It’s strange to reject ”a big new tax” in favour of an approach that would need a huge increase in spending on subsidies and incentives.
TONY Abbott’s stated intention to have ”a strong and effective climate change policy” that doesn’t involve either an emissions trading scheme or a carbon tax is rife with internal contradictions.
For a start, it’s strange for a party of the right to reject the pro-market solution to climate change in favour of a much more intrusive, regulatory approach.
For another thing, it’s strange to reject ”a big new tax” in favour of an approach that, if it were to work, would require a huge increase in government spending on subsidies and incentives. If such an approach wasn’t to involve huge deficits and debt, or cuts in other government spending, it would require huge increases in ”old” taxes…
Update 1 pm
But hang on! Look at Malcolm Turnbull’s blog!
So as I am a humble backbencher I am sure he won’t complain if I tell a few home truths about the farce that the Coalition’s policy, or lack of policy, on climate change has descended into.
First, let’s get this straight. You cannot cut emissions without a cost. To replace dirty coal fired power stations with cleaner gas fired ones, or renewables like wind let alone nuclear power or even coal fired power with carbon capture and storage is all going to cost money.
To get farmers to change the way they manage their land, or plant trees and vegetation all costs money.
Somebody has to pay.
So any suggestion that you can dramatically cut emissions without any cost is, to use a favourite term of Mr Abbott, "bullshit." Moreover he knows it.
The whole argument for an emissions trading scheme as opposed to cutting emissions via a carbon tax or simply by regulation is that it is cheaper – in other words, electricity prices will rise by less to achieve the same level of emission reductions.
The term you will see used for this is "least cost abatement".
It is not possible to criticise the new Coalition policy on climate change because it does not exist. Mr Abbott apparently knows what he is against, but not what he is for….
And that’s just his first point.