Back in 2016, the Norwegian government punched through a “Flight Passenger Fee” of 83 Norwegian kroner, roughly $10. This is essentially a bonus tax that anyone flying airplanes has to pay on their ticket. In the budget proposal of 2018 the administration wanted to change this flight tax slightly: Increasing the tax on all flights going outside of Europe by $24 and lower the tax on all European flights to 75 kronor (an adjustment of about $1 per bought ticket).
The voices against this didn’t sit idly, Freedom In Our Hands (Norwegian Green think-tank) spokesperson Bakken-Riise chipped in her 2 cents:
“Worst Case scenario, we get more emission because of a lack of political will to raise fees overall” – Anja Bakken Riise
Anja Bakken Riise quotes a possible increase of 5000kg in emission as a result of the flight fee getting lowered.
5000kg sounds like a really big and scary number, especially when you have no concept of the metrics involved in the calculation. I allowed myself to simplify this huge number: It is almost equal to one person flying from Norway to Thailand. Yes, you read that right, one person making that trip. Here is a calculation in english, which is also revealing how small this number is in reality.
There is also the weird notion that $1 more or less in fees would change consumer patterns for Norwegians – That dollar isn’t even 1/10th of average hourly wage and is a drop in the bucket when it comes to ticket prices for flights.
I am a pro-environment guy, but I prefer innovation over government regulations. Raising taxes hurts the poorest the most, I would rather make the green alternatives even cheaper instead – The carrot always tastes better than the whip.
Une Bastholm, Norwegian Green Party spokesperson, came out of left-field with a tweet commenting on the news:
There are several misleading things in this tweet, for one that the government introduced this fee now, which is a miss of 2 years, or that it would be bad for the environment – Taxes on their own doesn’t produce carbon dioxide. Une Bastholm made one refreshingly honest notion on the subject though:
“The Main problem with the flight tax is that the administration admit its only about raising money for the state, not about reducing Norwegians flight travels” – Une Bastholm
Chlorophyll Communists gets the concept of making X artificially expensive is one way to have less of X, but making Y cheaper to get more of Y, seem to be an innovation they haven’t understood yet. I have written on this topic before (The Green Party Paradox) and it is increasingly frustrating to see the same faulty logic again and again.
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