November 14, 2006

George Monbiot on the Stern Report

The UK is responsible for 2% of global emissions, but that doesn't stop Monbiot wanting to change society. Just a few examples.

We have individual carbon allowances as proposed by David Miliband -
Every citizen is given a free annual quota of carbon dioxide. He or she spends it by buying gas and electricity, petrol and train and plane tickets. If they run out, they must buy the rest from someone who has used less than his or her quota. This accounts for about 40% of the carbon dioxide we produce. The remainder is auctioned off to companies. It's a simpler and fairer approach than either green taxation or the EU's emissions trading scheme, and it also provides people with a powerful incentive to demand low-carbon technologies. Timescale: a full scheme in place by January 2009.
He also proposes to "ban the sale of incandescent lightbulbs, patio heaters, garden floodlights and other wasteful and unnecessary technologies". And -
Promote the development of a new national coach network. City-centre coach stations are shut down and moved to motorway junctions. Urban public transport networks are extended to meet them. The coaches travel on dedicated lanes and never leave the motorways. Journeys by public transport then become as fast as journeys by car, while saving 90% of emissions. It is self-financing, through the sale of the land now used for coach stations. Timescale: commences in 2008; completed by 2020.
But ... a full journey takes you from where you are to where you want to be. The coaches won't do that and won't leave just when you want them to, so they won't be "as fast as journeys by car". Maybe there's an argument for them, but this is not it.

Oh yes, and the government should "legislate for the closure of all out-of-town superstores, and their replacement with a warehouse and delivery system".

Just a few examples of what one greenie proposes in order to achieve an almost unmeasurably small change in carbon emissions.

You misguidedly want a green revolution? Is this the society you want?

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