Yes, really, we should have a carbon tax

In fact, we should have had a carbon tax some time ago. This is not to say that all of the extreme predictions of the catastrophists are true. Rather, we know that the fools are going to do something here so let's do the one thing that would actually work. The proof of the carbon tax being:

Successive ministers and officials have kicked the issue of how to decarbonise heating down the road.

That’s partly because it has not yet become entirely clear which technological approach is best, be it electrification of heating, the use of greener gases such as hydrogen, district heating schemes, or some combination of all three.

We face uncertainty here, that proper, Knightian, uncertainty. This is not something where we can play the percentages nor the probabilities, we really just don't know. And we'll not know for some time therefore it is impossible to plan.

So, what should we do? Note that this isn't to agree that something must be done - we know that something will so that's what we're trying to influence. And if something is to be done in the face of this uncertainty, what is it?

We should get prices right - that's the carbon tax - and then sit back and see what happens. For once we have got prices right we can and should, as Hayek so often pointed out, use that great calculating machine of a market economy to tell us what the answer is.

As is so often true there are things just too important for us not to be using prices in markets to tell us what we should be doing.