Why you can’t buy emissions on ebay…

6 07 2008

Tim Blair nails Emissions Trading:

Ask any proponent of an emissions trading scheme to explain why it’s such a great idea. Thirty minutes later you’ll know how it felt in the ‘70s to be lectured on the wonders of socialism by some elbow-patched academic beardo. Choose an older ETS proponent and it might be the same person.

Who the hell wants to trade emissions anyway? Nobody, which is why you don’t see stalls at Rozelle Markets selling garbage bags bulging with diesel fumes or some dirty hippie’s underpants (for those, you have to go to the Byron Bay Community Market on Butler St. First Sunday of every month).

Trade tends to work best when you’re exchanging things for which there is a natural and obvious supply and demand component. Someone who wants to sell a car finds someone who wants to buy a car. Someone who wants to sell a house meets someone who wants to buy a house. Someone who wants to drive a car sells his house so he can buy half a tank of petrol. And so on.

But if you’re trading emissions … you just wouldn’t, unless compelled by the government. Which takes us back to our friends in the ‘70s and their love of state-driven command economies.

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