Tuesday, 10 November 2015

India Is Right To Tell Greenpeace Where To Go

I was delighted to read today that India has told Greenpeace exactly where to go in meddling in its economic growth. I’m not even going to make a big deal as to whether India has de-registered Greenpeace because of fraud or mendaciously inaccurate reporting.

No, what’s most important here is that India is a developing economy that trails far behind the most advanced countries in the world – and still has millions of people in poverty. It is not a country that should have its economic growth impeded by special interest groups that don’t understand that countries like India need to become increasingly more industrial to provide the jobs to get more and more of its citizens out of poverty.

And as I argued in this article for the Adam Smith Institute:

"Although Pigouvian taxes bring in revenue for politicians short-term (for a few decades maybe), the long-term indicators are that the market left to run by itself will naturally make us greener anyway. The reason being: businesses are already looking for the most efficient means of supplying customers using as little energy as possible, because in a highly competitive market it is in their interest to do so to remain profitable. The goal to reduce energy output can, and has, come in various ways: replacement of human energy for machines, replacement of metal-based technology for higher intensity resources or carbon-cased materials, replacement of paper for digital devices, and so forth – and these are improvements in production that naturally improve business’s cost-effectiveness.

Consequently, compared with how the market engenders continually increased efficiency, emission taxes probably will turn out to have had only a much more negligible effect on lower energy output and more efficient use of resources than the free market, because the market is driven by efficiency far more than politicians with political interest. If there is a race to make us greener, politicians are more like the tortoise and the market is more like the hare."