Kiwi Carbon Haze- from the Wall St Journal

To the annals of global warming lunacy, add this gem from New Zealand:
According to a parliamentary committee, Kiwis should accept lower standards
of living to protect the national image abroad.

The findings of the "Emissions Trading Review Committee" aren't binding, but
they tell much about how deep today's green religion runs. New Zealand has a
nominally conservative government run by Prime Minister John Key. But even
Mr. Key won't consider completely disavowing environmental taxes in the form
of cap and trade—he just wants to soften them. He ordered a parliamentary
committee last year to figure out how.

Their report, issued last week, doesn't question disputed United Nations
climate-change assumptions, nor explain the cost to the average Kiwi of
taxing every corner of the economy—especially agriculture, the country's
biggest export. The authors brush aside that New Zealand only emits 0.2% of
global emissions, calling it "small" but "not insignificant." Thus
Wellington should "act now" to reduce emissions "to protect our
international reputation, particularly in the areas of trade and tourism."

This is green PR gone wild. New Zealand already boasted one of the world's
most pristine environments before it passed cap and trade last year. The
law, if anything, has made the country less green, not more so. As soon as
the former Labour government started talked about global-warming
initiatives, foresters started chopping down trees to reduce their carbon
footprint—and cost of buying emissions permits in the future. Over the past
few years, New Zealand has experienced severe deforestation. Economic
activity in the sector has plateaued.

Then there is the broader cost to macroeconomic growth, which isn't
marginal. The New Zealand Institute of Economic Research, an independent
consultancy, estimated last year that the cap-and-trade scheme could cost as
much as 3,000 New Zealand dollars ($2,500) in reduced income annually for
the average family. But the truth is that no one really knows what the
ultimate impact will be, given that New Zealand, by rendering its industries
less competitive, will make it permanently harder for them to compete at
home and abroad.

The best advertisement for New Zealand isn't to support ideas that make the
country poorer. Instead, Mr. Key's government would do better by focusing on
encouraging strong economic growth to support a vibrant, entrepreneurial
society. That way, tourists may want to come to New Zealand and stay.

Printed in The Wall Street Journal Asia, page 11