An Ode to a Carbon Tax

The time has come: another election;
policies bow before rabid inflection.
Ignore the nation’s high emissions;
focus on bickering politicians.
The old debates are re-invented;
haunting like zombies resurrected.

Time-tested slogans are here again:
“Labor wants a carbon tax! The pain
Economical, will be stupendous.
They’ll make us all vegans – horrendous.
No more will you drive with a smile.
The greenies hate your lifestyle!”

Labor responds, protesting, aghast:
“We would never – ‘tis of the past
No Carbon Tax is our solemn oath
We too march for ‘jobs and growth’.
We won’t reduce production of coal:
short term profit’s a bipartisan goal.”

So what, you might ask, is this carbon tax?
A much-maligned policy, everyone attacks.
But wait a moment – what is so bad?
‘The polluter should pay’ is hardly mad.
Let costs reflect the true price
(More effective than saying ‘be nice’).

‘Tis better to properly align incentives
Than merely to hurl trite invectives
‘Tis simple – demand and supply
The profit motive for good will apply
‘Tis a nifty idea – internalise externalities
Pay a bit more, curb climate fatalities

And if you’re concerned about cost of living
(Though not reflected in your charitable giving)
Well, let’s have revenue neutrality
We can do it with some egality
The government needs money anyway
Why not tax carbon – instead of pay?

So to carbon taxes this ode I write
A useful tool in the climate fight
Sure, they’re not a panacea
But shouldn’t arouse such fear
If only politicians were prodded off their asses
And focused on reducing greenhouse gases