Thursday, August 19, 2010

A Farewell to Reality

Dig this.
New Zealand’s sheep farmers are flocking to a government carbon trading program that pays more to plant trees than sell wool and mutton.

The system, begun in 2008 and the only one of its kind outside Europe, awards farmers credits that are sold to offset greenhouse gas emissions. The project may earn them about NZ$600 a hectare ($172 per acre) a year on land unprofitable for grazing animals, said David Evison, a senior lecturer at the University of Canterbury’s New Zealand School of Forestry.
We're building a world on empty sanctimony.

Bonus question: Where did the government get that money to pay those carbon offset credits?


Aon said...

Well, in July this year they added a 2.5 cent/litre tax to fuel to cover it.

So the answer is: "From the poor benighted citizenry."

tim eisele said...

Or "From the same place that they got the money for the agricultural subsidies that encouraged the farmers to clear marginal land for ill-advised agriculture in the first place"

Aon said...

Sorry, Tim, but that one doesn't fly.

After the 'Rogernomics' of the 1980s NZ stopped paying subsidies to farmers. I'm pretty sure the SMPs (supplementary minimum price) subsidies stopped completely in 1984, though it may have been earlier.

When it comes to farm produce, New Zealand can certainly show America a thing or two about free markets. Which is probably why they are such a big exporter of sheep meat and milk products.

K T Cat said...

The knowledge of my readers never ceases to amaze me.

Aon said...

The free market at work:

The Federation of Islamic Associations of New Zealand signed the first annual contract with the Meat Producers Board (later the Meat Industry Association) in 1984 to provide certification for Muslim halal slaughtermen. From these beginnings, New Zealand has become the world’s largest exporter of halal-slaughtered sheep meat. It also exports halal-slaughtered beef.

Also, do a google on Rogernomics. That was NZ going from an almost fully regulated, centrally planned and state dominated regime to as close to a full libertarian regime as you'd have seen in recent years, short of the Lebanese or Somali anarchy.

Australia didn't really go along with it as much as the Kiwis. Nowadays Australia has much higher wages than NZ and NZ has started turning back into a more regulated country (to the extent this year of deciding that Taxis will be compelled to have cameras in them, regardless of the owner's views).

I guess that's why they call it a revolution. It just keeps going around and around.

Aon said...

Just spotted some more useless info ;-)

The world's largest exporter of dairy products is New Zealand,[23] and dairy products are the largest export earner for the country.[24] Fonterra is the fifth-largest dairy company in the world and New Zealand's largest company by turnover,

NZ, pop ~ 4 million produces 17.3 billion kgs milk solids/ year. Unsubsidised.

USA pop ~306 million produces 79.3, with subsidies.

And I've driven from one side of NZ to the other in under 2 hours (through one of the wider bits).