Nick Smith’s ETS is out of control. What was supposed to be a response to global warming has taken on a purpose that surpasses and replaces the original environmental reasons for which it was born.
Nick Smith stated in Parliament a while ago that foresters now have a property right to the carbon credits created by the Government ETS legislation and a Government can not take away a property right.
These property rights and the liability they create for the Government was given as the reason the Government gives for persisting with the July 1 phase in to the ETS of transport and electricity, despite Australia abandoning its scheme. They need the money to pay the foresters.
The foresters are not to blame here; they saw an opportunity and fought hard for these property rights. Not all are going to advantage from the scheme and in fact some are disadvantaged by it. For those who are receiving credits my only comment would be that they must have realised that these carbon credits only exist because of the theory of global warming and there is much scepticism about global warming and that there is much that is not currently known about it. For that reason there is a risk in relying on these credits. As knowledge increases the need for carbon credits will either be confirmed or dismissed. It was never certain that these carbon credits would need to exist into the future.
The Government created a property right though and it seems it will not take these away, that will be a relief to some foresters but it is bad news for everyone else. The ETS marches on because of this. On July 1 transport and electricity will be brought into the scheme to help fund the credits for the forest owners. This will create more property rights and these in turn will not be able to be taken away. Future implementations of the scheme will have to proceed as planned to pay for the costs imposed by the scheme and it will not be able to be stopped because of the property rights it keeps creating. This means that regardless of what ever is proven or disproved in the future about global warming and what ever realisations are ever made about the carbon neutrality of livestock emissions, nothing will change.
I wrote over a year ago that one day people will be paying taxes for their carbon emissions long past any memory of the theory of global warming. They will be paying a tax on carbon but they won’t know why they pay it. Some old timers might well remind them that the tax was originally introduced because the world used to believe carbon emissions were warming the world. That had long since been disproved but the tax remained.
Agriculture’s emissions will surely one day be shown to be as carbon neutral as I have been saying they are. But it won’t matter, the ETS and its money grab will go on long after this and long after global warming is proved to be the greatest scam ever. The farmer who thinks science and sense will prevail to save them from an unjust tax is wrong. Sense will prevail, livestock will be exonerated but this will not save them because by that time carbon taxing will be so ingrained in our economy, and property rights will exist all over the place, so much so that the ETS will never be able to be dismantled or even the injustice of taxing livestock emissions rectified.
The value of credits for foresters stands at 2 billion dollars for post 1990 forests. Only 20 million is for forests planted since the legislation was passed in 2008. Forests planted before 2008 were planted without any certainty of carbon credits. Yes they now have a property right but if the ETS was put off and they lost these credits they would not lose anything they were promised before they planted their trees. Foresters who planted since the legislation in 2008 were promised the credits before they planted and they could not morally be taken from them. They could be compensated the 20 million and that would be far cheaper than making NZ a world leader in taxing carbon and handicapping our people with an ETS. Australia abandoning its scheme has given the Government the perfect opportunity to ditch our scheme. If it costs 20 million to do that, it is a bargain. Extinguishing the existing property rights at this early stage of the ETS is the only option, compensation could be paid and we could all move on. It is inexplicable that this Government does not do this. This National Government is letting the monster loose to grow and grow; in doing so they are starting to resemble a monster themselves. The sort of monster we thought we’d got rid of at the last election.
If farmers want to avoid the injustice of paying a tax for emissions that everyone knows are harmless, livestock emissions have to be exonerated now, 2015 will be too late.
Please pass this on to your friends so that we can all work together to achieve this.