“The Coalition’s green policies are “incoherent and failing to achieve objectives”, says the manufacturers’ trade body, because the bureaucracy involved in complying with the regulations was time-consuming, inefficient and costly. No wonder really, as it’s the result of a bigger problem: the Man in Whitehall is trying to beat climate change by planning the economy.”
He is demanding to know which type of energy is produced, how much we use, whether we recycle and how we recycle – reporting it to five different schemes – and creating a blizzard of paperwork while he’s at it.
Believing that economies can be planned is an error that loomed large in the 20th century. It simply something that can’t be done – the Soviet Union showed us that. The problem is known as the socialist calculation problem (something that it isn’t possible to solve). There are simply too many variables to process – even for extremely powerful computers. That is, even on the most generous of assumptions (a small economy with not many different things in it and computers vastly better than what we have now) it would take longer than a year to calculate a plan for that year – sounds a little pointless, doesn’t it?
But bizarrely, this is exactly what the government is trying to do in the name of greenery. They’re attempting to plan in detail great swathes of the economy. It cannot work in theory, let alone when run by the muppets who work for the government.
The solution is something much simpler: a carbon tax. It will change everyone’s incentives and we’ll get to the optimal carbon emissions state easily.