Re: [OPE-L] transition measures

From: Paul Cockshott (wpc@DCS.GLA.AC.UK)
Date: Tue Dec 05 2006 - 11:13:25 EST

The point about having tradable ration tokens is that they exert the
same market pressure as taxes on carbon fuels but:
1. The amount of carbon emission reduction can be controlled
2. The income effects are progressive.

If one already had a planned economy one would just put the need to
eliminate carbon emissions as an overriding concern into the plan, but
one would still have to end up with a distortion of prices from values
as a result.

Since the planning capacity is not initially there, I am arguing for
carbon rationing since that is administratively a lot simpler to manage.

-----Original Message-----
From: OPE-L [mailto:OPE-L@SUS.CSUCHICO.EDU] On Behalf Of ehrbar
Sent: 05 December 2006 14:56
Subject: Re: [OPE-L] transition measures


if I said it must be done in the next 10 years then I meant by this:
if it is not done in the next 10 years then there will be irreversible
changes to the environment which will make survival a struggle and may
lead to the extinction of the human race.  Some people say we don't
have 10 years and the point of no return has already passed.  The next
ten years is a historic window of opportunity which may not even exist.

To those who predict that the changes won't happen fast enough my
answer is: we truly do not know whether humankind will save itself
from extinction.  Never in history has there been such a challenge
before us.  This is an entirely new situation, therefore it is not
possible to know how things will evolve.  The science and the economic
resources to do it are available, and with the internet things may
change very quickly on a world wide scale, therefore it is not
entirely hopeless.  But my guess is that the chances that we will be
able to meet this challenge is perhaps 5 percent.

I am hoping that Paul's party will come out with a well thought-out
platform which is exemplary for other parties, so that similar
initiatives spring up over the whole world.  And I am hoping that
despite the unpopularity of some of the measures the voters will say:
this is the only way to do it, and vote for it.  You have to confront
the voters with unpopular measures in order to drive home the urgency
of the situation.  Yes I am thinking of an electoral route: this is
an issue which can decide elections.

To Paul:

I am not against rationing, I just think that higher petrol prices
have to be phased in as well, along with rationing.  Users of carbon
fuel have to pay for the damage they do to the environment and all of
us, so that economic resources can be channeled in the right
direction.  Yes I think we have to use the market as much as possible.
We do not have the time for the fundamental changes in behavior and
consciousness which would be necessary for a non-market truly
socialist solution.  We need a crash program which needs the quick
assent of the majority of the population.  This does not mean that
the class struggle is stopping.  Rather it takes different forms.
Monbiot's web site

which collects information how to distinguish greenwashers from
corporations which do things that are truly beneficial for the
environment is a good example of the direction we have to go.

Here is one last detail about this platform I forgot to say earlier:
It should be part of the platform that nuclear power is not an option.


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