Lessons from La-La Land

Is the anthropogenic climate change controversy just an episode in an ongoing drama, and if so what is the main theme?

The Catallaxyfiles in RSPT in la la land review a number of biting newspaper editorials on the Resource Super Profits Tax (RSPT), providing a possible answer by replacing a few words.

Funny thing is, Garimpeiro does not think the government and its Treasury [IPCC] advisers actually know that they have been practising deceptions. It’s more a case of them not having an even basic understanding of the industry [climate system] they are tinkering with in a big way.

Which is scarier? They do know what they are doing but are being misleading and deceptive to achieve a given goal. Let’s call that the Nobel Lie Hypothesis. They don’t know what they are doing and are making it up as they go; the Incompetence Hypothesis.

Some of the themes that have occured to me are that climate change was a battle in the war against Green ideology. But I think Judith Sloan in the Age nailed it: Mining tax concoted in La-La Land.

The real message is don’t rely on boffins for advice on [climate, energy] taxation matters just because it looks politically attractive. The real world complications are immense and the predictions of the theory almost certainly will not be achieved in practice.

We never know the implications of the roles we play without the beneifit of hindsight. Me? I could say my scepticism has been guided purely by numeracy in analysing data, trusting logic, and testing, testing, testing. But I know there is an element of political bias too, but not necessarily on a left-right or green-brown axis.

That is, perhaps the grand theme we are seeing in the opposition to the ETS, renewable energy, anthropogenic climate change, etc. and made crystal clear in the super mining tax can be expressed in a cliched way as an expression of an older conflict — between a government by intellectuals for intellectuals, versus a government of the people, by the people, for the people.

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