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« Greens to gross-out over Gaia gains | Main | Roger's obsession with fairness and impartiality »
Tuesday
May192015

Sex and the Guardian

As sure as the sun rises every morning, the Guardian's front page will be a mass of distortions, misdirections and misconceptions. Today's effort is about fossil fuels again, and claims that they are "subsidised" to the tune of $10m a minute. Read a little further, and you discover that when they say "subsidy" they mean something rather different.

The vast sum is largely due to polluters not paying the costs imposed on governments by the burning of coal, oil and gas. These include the harm caused to local populations by air pollution as well as to people across the globe affected by the floods, droughts and storms being driven by climate change.

In similar fashion, you can be fairly sure that when the Guardian says "black" it means what people usually refer to as "white", "yes" probably means "no", and that when a Guardian journalist tells you that he "didn't have sex with that woman" the truth is probably entirely indecent.

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Reader Comments (55)

It's the IMF - the Interntaional Monetary Fund.

Guardian is just reporting the IMF's estimate.

May 19, 2015 at 8:44 AM | Unregistered CommenterGubulgaria

Once again I am rendered speechless — a situation I never encountered until I met Climate Change (there's an advertising slogan in there somewhere!).
I mean, just how bizarre can you get????

May 19, 2015 at 8:44 AM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

The last example is clearly incorrect. No self respecting woman would ever have sex with a Guardian journalist.

May 19, 2015 at 9:08 AM | Unregistered CommenterJohn B

The Guardian claims:

"Fossil fuel companies are benefitting from global subsidies of $5.3tn (£3.4tn) a year, equivalent to $10m a minute every day, according to a startling new estimate by the International Monetary Fund. "

That's not true. The IMF introduction to the paper carries this, prominent, disclaimer:

"This Working Paper should not be reported as representing the views of the IMF. The views expressed in this Working Paper are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent those of the IMF or IMF policy. Working Papers describe research in progress by the author(s) and are published to elicit comments and to further debate"

Reading the paper (which can be freely downloaded) as far as the first paragraphs of the Introduction we soon arrive at these two claims:

"Energy subsidies discourage needed investments in energy efficiency, renewables, and energy infrastructure, and increase the vulnerability of countries to volatile international energy prices."

"Energy subsidies are a highly inefficient way to provide support to low-income households since most of the benefits from energy subsidies are typically captured by rich households."

For the first of these claims I see no evidence in this country of a reluctance to invest in energy efficiency improvements - a glance at the government statistics on household insulation standards shows substantial progress in this area - loft insulation, draught exclusion, double glazing, cavity wall insulation, etc. Nor do I see any evidence whatsoever of a reluctance to invest in renewables. I wonder if the authors might consider why that is? Could it be the massive subsidies given to renewables?

And I agree entirely with the second paragraph, because regressive subsidy of renewables has helped the land-owning, owner-occupier population to take full advantage of ROCs and FITs schemes in an orgy of regressive taxation. After all, the Church of England, with solar panels on church rooves, knows all about that.

This is cheap, lazy journalism as practised by a master of that art.

May 19, 2015 at 9:08 AM | Unregistered CommenterCapell

No, it is Stern ja Guardian.

May 19, 2015 at 9:19 AM | Unregistered CommenterHugh

Treating negative externalities as a subsidy seems perfectly reasonable. Say a factory makes widgets but the chimneys emit lots of pollution. Economically the firm is shifting some of its cost of production to society as the production process uses the clean air resource it doesn't pay for, returning polluted air, which creates a potential health risk to anyone who breathes it.

If the factory paid the full cost of production, it would return clean air to the atmosphere. Instead, if society wants clean air, it has to pay to clean it. The pollution represents a shift of some production costs to society. The factory isn't paying the full cost of producing widgets, the price charged for widgets is artificially low - subsidised.

As mentioned above this is the IMF report, not the Guardian's work.

Also, regarding energy efficiency measures and renewable energy - I thought the UK was pretty near the bottom of European tables?

May 19, 2015 at 9:26 AM | Unregistered CommenterMannOver

Bish,

Some time ago I went looking for number of subsidies per amount of elektricity produced. I finally found this report:

http://www.iisd.org/gsi/sites/default/files/power_gen_subsidies.pdf

In their figure 6.1, page 24, this number (US dollarcent per kWh) is shown for fossil fuels, renewables and nuclear. It turns out that renewables are heavily subsidized per unit or electricity that is produced, whereas fossil fuels and renewables are not.

The subsidies considered are further separated into financial subsidies (to lower the price of elektricity), investments in R&D and external costs. Turns out that renewables are heavily supported with what people in the street would consider a subsidy whereas the "subsidies" for fossil fuels are predominantly related to externalities. And the high external costs are largely related to estimates of damage by climate change.

HB

May 19, 2015 at 9:29 AM | Unregistered CommenterHonest Broker

The Grauniad story story was regurgitated without question by the BBC this morning.
Similarly the RTCC climate activists are doing the same thing, completely ignoring the
"This Working Paper should not be reported as representing the views of the IMF" disclaimer.

If you actually look at the report, it says
"Most energy subsidies arise from the failure to adequately charge for the cost of domestic environmental damage"

In other words, these are not 'subsidies' at all.

May 19, 2015 at 9:30 AM | Registered CommenterPaul Matthews

Lord Stern, who else? He who wrote that little tome, the much haled & soon forgotten Stern Report, just for his little pal & play friend Tony (I must be worth more than £60M in taxpayer grants & greenie funding scams by now) Blair, another bloodsucking lawyer! Was delighted to hear on the news today that subsidied for windfarms are to be cut/abolished, did I mishear folks?

May 19, 2015 at 9:42 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlan the Brit

Perhaps the Grauniad would care to write a complementary piece about the number of premature deaths caused directly by the world's population forgoing the use of fossil fuels.

May 19, 2015 at 9:43 AM | Unregistered CommenterJoe Public

Some tweets from academics -

Reiner Grundmann: The Guardian challenged by the definition of subsidy?

Richard Tol: 'When I use a word,’ H̶u̶m̶p̶t̶y̶ ̶D̶u̶m̶p̶t̶y̶ Gruaniad said in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean'

Roger Pielke: unconventional to redefine an externality as a "subsidy" that can be added to consumer energy price supports

May 19, 2015 at 9:43 AM | Registered CommenterPaul Matthews

Interesting that both Gubulgaria and MannOver failed to notice the IMF have specifically said this is not representative of their opinion. Lack of care to detail seems to be a warmist trait.

May 19, 2015 at 9:43 AM | Unregistered CommenterTheBigYinJames

Capell on May 19, 2015 at 9:08 AM

The reported progress on cavity wall insulation (CWI) may be wishful thinking. It is being investigated by Jeff Howell:
http://www.askjeff.co.uk/about-jeff/

He has written an article about his findings. The bottom line is that CWI helps the government meet its Kyoto targets, so any reported failures in CWI installations will cause problems to it as well as causing 'financial strains' within the industry.

Cavity-wall insulation crisis may hit three million homes
New analysis has produced shocking conclusions about just how effective insulation really is

"The UK Government claims it is currently well on track to meet its Kyoto targets by 2020, and CWI plays a big part in that estimate. But, supposing it were to emerge that half of the houses included in the Government’s calculations had not been properly insulated at all? Supposing a proper investigation were to reveal that the UK had been wrongly claiming, say, two million tonnes of carbon savings, for each of the past 10 years? And all because of wrongly-installed cavity wall insulation?
Apart from the obvious political embarrassment, the UK could find itself up before the European Court of Justice, which has the power to impose large fines.
If I were the minister at DECC responsible for overseeing this policy, I imagine I’d stick to my story of less than one per cent CWI failures, too."

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/property/11485758/Cavity-wall-insulation-crisis-may-hit-three-million-homes.html

It's looks like another example of misreporting the data! Who could have imagined?

May 19, 2015 at 9:49 AM | Registered CommenterRobert Christopher

That the IMF and the Guardian should be such bare faced liars is no shock but I'm always curious as to how they think they can get away with it. What do they hope to achieve with this sillyness? Are they intent on ruining what little credibility they retain?

May 19, 2015 at 9:51 AM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

The claimed $10m a minute harm seems to be insignificant compared to the benefit that billions of people have enjoyed from the use of fossil fuels and the ensuing industrial revolution.

The proven greening of the planet from the CO2 emissions is real, whereas the harm to the climate from CO2 is purely hypothetical and a cost cannot be placed on a hypothetical harm.

May 19, 2015 at 9:57 AM | Registered CommenterPhillip Bratby

How much does the Guardian owes all of us for having to put up with their nonsense?

May 19, 2015 at 10:08 AM | Unregistered CommenterBrute

Same old same old. Invent external environmental costs due to CO2 and then call it a subsidy if you aren't punishing somebody as a result.

I don't mind greens punishing themselves, if that's the bag they're into. I just wish they would leave the rest of us out of their BDSM games.

May 19, 2015 at 10:10 AM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

Inventing negative externalities for fossil energy sources is immensely imaginative, subjective, value-laden, and useful, as is the inventing of them for so called 'sustainable' energy sources.
=============

May 19, 2015 at 10:34 AM | Unregistered Commenterkim

More poop + scoot, calibrated to simultaneously wind up the deniers and affirm the mantras chanted by the faithful congregation.

It would not be of consequence if it were the Jehovah's Witnesses quarterly newsletter -> but these berks are "pre-moderating" BBC news , current affairs and features output - whereupon sly gits like our friends in the Environment and Science "correspondent" cadres dutifully (and in many cases enthusiastically) repeat, embellish and conflate to jam this garbage down the throats of the population - smug with the confidence that they are presently beyond having to defend, explain or evidence their output.

If you've an appetite for industrial / weapons grade smug take a look at Rusbridger + chums recent moronic blatherings - if the subject were any other they'd be lampooned and ridiculed into anonymous exile somewhere - as it is - the investment of a large part of our "establishment" in the folly seems to immunise these people from that public ridicule.

what are the numbers? 75% of the average Brit's news comes from the BBC and what .... 75% of BBC stories are copied and pasted from the Guardian ?

May 19, 2015 at 10:48 AM | Registered Commentertomo

Surprisingly, The Guardian hasn't deleted my off-message comment. That is a sign of some progress to wards journalism.
I wrote:
18 May 2015 22:03
In response to Gordish

No, it hasn't. This is not the view of the IMF. The Guardian has made a boo boo.
Following the first link leads to:


Disclaimer: This Working Paper should not be reported as representing the views of the IMF. The views expressed in this Working Paper are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent those of the IMF or IMF policy. Working Papers describe research in progress by the author(s) and are published to elicit comments and to further debate.

Basically, the authors guessed that there were negative externalities and put a ludicrously high cost associated with them.
They unfortunately forgot to consider positive externalities - a grave mistake. Fossil fuels have led to more benefits to mankind than any other technology in history. Most people alive today would not have been born without them. They have made slavery largely uneconomic. They have allowed education for the poor, freed women from domestic drudgery and given light to let children study after dusk.

And they have replaced cooking fires with centralised electricity generation. Cooking fires which causes far more deaths from air quality.

So the paper is junk. And the Guardian should apologise for missing that.

May 19, 2015 at 10:58 AM | Registered CommenterM Courtney

Get your "The Guardian - Wrong about everything, all the time" T-shirt here..

http://www.moretvicar.com/products/the-guardian-mens-white-t-shirt

They seem to have had a major nervous breakdown recently on the climate change front. Poor dears. That with Labour getting clobbered, they may be beyond help.

May 19, 2015 at 10:59 AM | Unregistered CommenterJeremy Poynton

I tried debating but in that eco-echo chamber, it's a tall order.

By their logic can we also assume alcohol and tobacco industries are 'subsidised' by the failure of the NHS to invoice them for cleaning up the consequences of their products? Likewise the motor industry isn't billed, either for their emissions or by plod for clearing up daily RTA's. Subsidy junkies!

Simply because the Guardian chooses to arbitrarily redefine something doesn't make their new definition true, unless of course, you're a True Believer.

May 19, 2015 at 11:09 AM | Unregistered Commentercheshirered

I blame it on a shortage of dictionaries. Subsidy = a sum of money PAID by A to B.

Not paying something is not a subsidy, otherwise if VAT were lowered from 20% to 15%, consumers would be receiving a subsidy.

If locals suffer from pollution from a nearby power plant, for example, what is the trade off of this cost against the benefit they derive from having cheap electricity? Close the plant and be pollution free and electricity free. Solved.

If locals are being bothered by pollution from the nearby activity, they could move. Why should I 'subsidise' them by paying a penalty so they can live nearby rather than moving?

May 19, 2015 at 11:17 AM | Unregistered CommenterJohn B

Jeremy Poynton

"nervous breakdown" kind of infers they were rational at some stage - I don't see the evidence for that. There is an appetite for doctrine + catechism in the cult, independent analysis and investigation is haram ... I'm surprised they haven't adopted a set form of attire...

May 19, 2015 at 11:19 AM | Registered Commentertomo

Robert Christopher,

I don't disagree with your comments about cavity wall insulation. The government statistic I saw merely stated what percentage of houses that can have cavity wall insulation applied was quite high. In London, many cavity walls can't take insulation because the air gap is too small. And again, this is less cost effective that insulation applied to lofts and also draught exclusion measures. But short of applying external wall insulation (which is expensive in itself, may have impacts on the structure of the building (e.g. do the roof eaves need to be extended, handling rainwater drainage, etc) and the appearance of the building, what else can you do? Pull the house down? My point is that most of the cheap, low lying fruit of house insulation (and for that matter, appliance efficiency) has been plucked.

May 19, 2015 at 11:21 AM | Unregistered CommenterCapell

Whales have J D Rockefeller to thank for replacing sperm oil with petroleum.

May 19, 2015 at 11:27 AM | Unregistered Commenterrogue

Jeremy Poynton;
Thanks for the T-shirt link, I shall wear mine with pride. That said I enjoy reading the old Grauniad, though I no longer post comments on climate at their site, after awhile the response from their "house counter trolls", AKA the "headcutters" get predictably way too boring, also bizarre and inconsistent moderation. Ask Richard Betts and Tamsin Edwards on that one! Plenty of good science sites though for an intelligent discussion.
Hopefully we will see a decoupling of the BBC/Guardian cosy /financial mindset with the abolition of the iniquitous licence fee which is a pure anachronism in our modern "streaming" digital age.

May 19, 2015 at 11:27 AM | Unregistered Commenterfernfreak

I don't suppose anybody has calculated the number of deaths per year, that result from failed Green dogma.

Depending on how well read this Guardian article is, and taking into account the cumulative effects, should this be calculated as a 10 Death Article, 100 Death Article, 1000 Death Article or should we just say an article leading to an Incalculable Number of Deaths, in standard, blurred mathmatical fashion, so beloved of Greens.

May 19, 2015 at 11:44 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

It works like this

"Every time you turn on your television a baby penguin dies"
"How do you know that?"
"I have a model that says so"

May 19, 2015 at 11:50 AM | Unregistered CommenterGeckko

In the above, change my second sentence to

"The government statistic I saw merely stated that of the houses where cavity wall insulation could be applied, a high percentage already had such insulation"

May 19, 2015 at 11:51 AM | Unregistered CommenterCapell

Honest Broker
Should

In their figure 6.1, page 24, this number (US dollarcent per kWh) is shown for fossil fuels, renewables and nuclear. It turns out that renewables are heavily subsidized per unit or electricity that is produced, whereas fossil fuels and renewables are not.

read
In their figure 6.1, page 24, this number (US dollarcent per kWh) is shown for fossil fuels, renewables and nuclear. It turns out that renewables are heavily subsidized per unit or electricity that is produced, whereas fossil fuels and nuclear are not.

although the statement in the document you linked doesn't say there aren't subsidies, just they can't find any. WHich suggests that there are no massive subsidies in the CAP sense of the word as no one can find any evidence.

May 19, 2015 at 12:05 PM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

The scientific line is that it is plausible there may be increases in wild weather from climate change but it is not detectable in the data yet and that vague hand-wave only implies a potential augmentation of unspecified (but presumably small) magnitude, not all weather! Of course if there has been no warming / climate change for almost 20 years then nobody can attribute any effect whatsoever from a missing cause. So there is zero science behind that claim.

As for the speculative health costs from fossil fuel pollution; well it sure is a lot cheaper to let folk die from a lack of heat, power and food but there may also be a big increase in interim health care for the sturdier folk that take longer to die.

May 19, 2015 at 12:06 PM | Unregistered CommenterJamesG

I'm too old, and brought up in the UK, to know what a 'negative externality' is, and my spell checker doesn't like it either. Is it anything like wind farmers not paying to clean up this sort of mess from the production of the rare earth metals needed for their magnets?

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/moslive/article-1350811/In-China-true-cost-Britains-clean-green-wind-power-experiment-Pollution-disastrous-scale.html

May 19, 2015 at 12:17 PM | Unregistered CommenterChGr53

Capell
Many renovated traditional stone built, thick walled houses in this part of France have internal insulation on the walls. Something like these products, I have no knowledge of how good these particular offerings are.
http://www.ecotherm.co.uk/our_products/cavity_wall_insulation_which_provides_maximum_insulation_with_the_minimum_of_thickness/eco-liner.aspx


or

http://www.thegreenage.co.uk/tech/solid-wall-insulation/

and this multi-layer foil insulation is said to be good for space saving

http://www.solarcrest.co.uk/foil-insulation.asp

May 19, 2015 at 12:22 PM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

It gets worse, MannOver (9:26 AM): said widget manufacturer will be employing people, all of whom will be adding their own pollution, thereby incurring extra costs to society. Not only that, but the customers of the widget-maker will also be creating some pollution in the purchase, transport, use, and eventual disposal, of these widgets. Obviously, this manufacturer should be made to pay in full for reduction – or, even better, utter removal – of all this pollution that they are responsible for, both in heavier taxation and legal responsibilities for the costs in amelioration. That this removal of these “hidden subsidies” will create such a financial load that it will probably lead to the closure of the widget factory has to make it a win/win situation. I mean, who needs locally-produced widgets when the Chinese can make them so much cheaper?

May 19, 2015 at 1:14 PM | Registered CommenterRadical Rodent

Paul Homewood had a good article on subsidies: https://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2014/11/14/harrabins-latest-propaganda-piece/
Negative externalities, whatever that means, are included while positive ones are ignored. Zero rating fuel to help the poor is a subsidy, too. VAT should be 20%. The difference is "a subsidy".
Even if the total tax burden on a fuel means that more tax is being paid than something else you are entitled to investigate all the tax layers separately and if, say, VAT is less than normal but excise duty more than compensates, the VAT reduction can still be claimed as a subsidy.

Basically, the accounting method is the most one-sided, skewed and biased process that they can make it. The useful idiots just lap it up.

May 19, 2015 at 1:26 PM | Unregistered Commentergraphicconception

On twitter, Howard Goodall wonders how much government subsidy there is for junk food manufacturers like McDonalds and KFC.

May 19, 2015 at 1:26 PM | Registered CommenterPaul Matthews

RR

Exactly. MannOver fails to see the obvious economic reality - the cost of said widgets reflects the market's desire to have widgets produced at the cost which gives rise to the sale price. If said cost includes emitting less than sparkling air then that's what the market wants.

If however a campaign or trend started where customers where willing to pay more for a cleaner widget then the factory woul use that higher price to cover the cost of cleaning its emissions.

Or the market could just buy them from China. Out of sight and all that.

May 19, 2015 at 2:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterMicky H Corbett

"Negative externalities" and "outdoor lavatories" can be interchangeable, and sometimes, even make more sense, when reading Green Luvvie approved propaganda.

May 19, 2015 at 2:32 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

There seems to be the conflation of two ideas here. Pollution, whether of the air, water or whatever is a real and quantifiable cost, and there is much regulation to prevent or penalise those who do pollute; climate change damage is far more nebulous, with all sorts of imponderables and unknown areas, if it exists at all. Many well meaning people will rightly deplore the first and sign up to campaigns against it, and are thus suckered into the second. That is often how green campaigns work, it seems to me.

May 19, 2015 at 3:31 PM | Unregistered Commentermike fowle

It must take a lot of energy to change the climate, on a planet the size of earth. Could we harness it somehow to fight the climate change, that is not happening? Or would that be illogical given the science fiction that drives climate change?

May 19, 2015 at 4:00 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

The nonsensical 'subsidy' claims are gaining traction among environmentalists. I refute them by offering to subsidise them ten times what their target du jour gets subsidised, if they'll subsidise me the way renewables get subsidised.
I've never had anyone take me up on it, I wonder why?
That the 'attack' of subsidy claims appeals to them is undoubtedly true; I've seen it applied to the timber industry, fossil fuels, and ore mining so far. And the claims are uniformly absurd. Why do they disseminate them to their followers so unblushingly? Apparently because none of them ever learned to fact-check. One of my favourite examples is as follows: Apparently mining industries that provide employee parking at the mine heads are 'subsidised' by not being charged fringe benefits tax the way businesses that provide parking in the inner city get taxed. And the 'subsidy' of 'not being charged income tax on losses' is another classic of green 'economics.'
I've started making a particular point repeatedly, lately. It's that 'This critique resembles a 6 year old child retorting to his father "No, YOU'RE too young to drive a car."
The reason I say it so often is that I see that style of argument so often. Just because Greens are stung by a criticism does NOT mean that turning the criticism around is just as effective against their critics. it must be fact based. And that's the part they seem to fail to understand.

May 19, 2015 at 4:07 PM | Unregistered CommenterLeo Morgan

"Ending the subsidies would also slash the number of premature deaths from outdoor air pollution by 50% – about 1.6 million lives a year."

Looks like a virtual body count is about to be started up.

May 19, 2015 at 4:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlan the Brit

Alan the Brit, if a virtual body count is to be started up, remember that in Green maths, you start with your biggest and scariest number, and work backwards, allowing for tripling at every step, because of unknown tipping points and knock-on effects.

May 19, 2015 at 6:12 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Subsidy?..........Trillions?.............and academic hyper extrapolation.

Anyone, even academic bods who resort to using such nebulous terminology as, "negative externalities" - immediately the hackles rise, for they attempt to veil the paucity of their stance, argument in the argot of pseudo intellectualism. If the argument or hypothesis stands alone, impregnable in truth - what need is there of embellishment and ornamentation?

You can read the same sort of incoherent indeterminate rambling in the works of Piketty. All you need to do and so they are taught, is just hang a few quasi scientific phrasing on some cobbled idea and very like a lot of modern art - even if it's total BS.... for some reason Tracy Emin springs to mind - some people will marvel at it and at it's 'complexity'. Evidently there's no accounting for taste and still less for common sense. Cripes some people, in fact lots of people - still think that Tony Blair was a great PM.

Not once have these bone heads seemed able to weigh the argument, because if there can be 'negative' externalities, it surely follows - is logical to presume that there can be POSITIVE externalities - funnily enough there is no mention of the positives.

And yet...........

It matters not, the public has seen another headline and the anti fossil fuel lobby moonbeam counter moves up a notch "score one!" , next whaddaya think.......................the Western Antarctic ice shelf is melting [wot again?].....................Finally, will they bring back the melting Himalayan glaciers myth? I wouldn't put it past them.

May 19, 2015 at 7:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterAthelstan.

Actually, Micky H (2:20 PM), I had thought that MannOver was being ironic; a bit like complaining about cigarette smoking, yet crowding around a bonfire, enjoying the “ambience”. It was only when reading others’ interpretations that he was being serious that realisation that supposition could be wrong began to dawn.

May 19, 2015 at 7:15 PM | Registered CommenterRadical Rodent

MannOver @ 9:26 AM: The problem with your assertion is that the main product of burning fossil fuels, apart from electricity and other forms of power, is CO2, which is actually a net beneficiary to the environment, and simply cannot be described as a pollutant. If we applied your logic, it would be the factories that burn fossil fuels (or use the electricity made by the power generators that burn them) that subsidise the environment and should be paid, making the the cost of a widget lower.

May 19, 2015 at 7:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterIlma

"costs imposed on governments"

That may be the stupidest phrase ever written.

May 19, 2015 at 7:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterGamecock

The Guardian regular pushes this story out , and there is very good reasons they do not give you the details of these 'subsides ' , becasue its not the 'evil west' that give the majority of them but countries in the Middle East , South American and Asia. And becasue most of the ones seen in the 'evil west ' are not subsides at all, but the type of funding or tax breaks available to all companies.

On this front CIF has constantly lied either by omission or out right false hoods, the reality is fossil fuels are net contributors to the tax take in the terms of 100 of billions , while much of this money goes on paying for the very things CIF claims to be so supportive off.

It is not a little ironic that should fossil fuel usage stop tomorrow, the governments loss of earners from the tax they take out of it , would have a serious and long term impact on many areas. Indeed it is the fact that its such an important money spinner that means that should EV's take off in a serious way they would have hit them with considerable tax hike to make up for the short full in the tax take from fuel , has they did with LPG.

May 19, 2015 at 8:26 PM | Unregistered Commenterknr

The externality costs are also very flakey - basically models all the way down. The prime externality is air poluttion from particulates. If you drill down to the WHO reports much of the modelling is based on biofuels (burning woid) and smoking, or largely urban Asian cities which are then aggragated across the globe base on satellite measurements of thing like Sahara dust blooms. The transport externalities are also nonsense because they ignore and existing transportation taxes or tolls, or taxes on insurance, or recovery of costs from insurance for accidents. This is even before looking at positive externalities. If the positives outweigh the negatives, then the logic of the argument would run that these are thing really worth subsidising with hard cash, not the imagined monies the authors use.

May 19, 2015 at 10:06 PM | Unregistered Commenterantman

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