Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Carbon Freedom

Many years ago, when I published a book on Climate Change and the Human Potential, I spoke about a time when the "powers that be" would not choose to move boldly towards a light based economy, but would choose to regulate the last days of carbon instead.

Recently, while discussing the extra cost of plug in hybrid vehicles, some one asked me if the savings from the 60 cent per gallon electric fuel would ever pay for the extra 3 to 4 thousand dollars that might be required to purchase such a dual fuel vehicle.

I answered that it might be possible that price would not be your only consideration.

I offered that I had seen reports from Europe about carbon allowances. With such allowances, price is not nearly as important as range. I explained that a hybrid vehicle might give you 50 miles to the gallon, but a plug in hybrid might give you 100 MPG for most of your driving needs.

Here is the story.

Britain Considers Energy Rationing to Meet Kyoto Obligations
By Mike Wendling Correspondent
June 21, 2005

British residents could face a form of energy rationing within the next decade under proposals currently being studied to reduce the U.K.'s carbon dioxide emissions to comply with the Kyoto Protocol.Under the proposals, known as Domestic Tradable Quotas (DTQs), every individual would be issued a "carbon card," from which points would be deducted every time the cardholder purchased fossil fuel, for example, by filling up a car or taking a flight.

Over time, the number of points allotted to each card would decline. High-energy users would be able to purchase points from low-energy users, with the end result being a trading market in carbon similar to the one already in place in the U.K. for industrial users.

A report set to be released this week by the Sustainable Development Commission, which advises Prime Minister Tony Blair on environmental issues, will recommend that by 2007, the British government should seriously consider introducing DTQs.

"Personal carbon allowances are a very attractive intellectual idea," he said. "The implementation would potentially be very expensive, but that shouldn't stop us from looking at the arguments," he said.

Morley said the government was also considering a straightforward carbon tax, and acknowledged that the complexity of a centrally run system could be a major barrier."There is a big job involved in explaining the idea of carbon allowances to the public (but) we shouldn't rule any idea out just on this basis," he said.

"Every individual, whether you're the Queen or someone living in a poor neighborhood, will get the same carbon allocation," said Kevin Anderson of the Tyndall Center at the University of Manchester.

Researchers also have suggested that the plan could be linked to the Blair administration's proposed mandatory ID card, a controversial bill that is scheduled to be reconsidered in Parliament later this month.

A proposal to issue every U.K. resident with a card containing biometric information such as fingerprints and an iris scan was opposed by the Conservative and Liberal Democrat parties in the last legislative term, and the bill failed after time ran out.

"There's clearly many other ways such a (carbon trading) scheme could be offered without adding the massive bureaucracy of an ID card system," said Michael Parker, spokesman for the NO2ID group.

However, the plan's proponents suggest that the rationing system could be implemented within the decade.

"I'm not a betting man, but I think this could realistically be up and running within four to ten years," Anderson said. "

Now, this may not be up and running because of Climate Change in the next four to ten years. But, it might be up and running because of Peak Oil in four to ten years. And, won't it be handy to blame that stupid Kyoto treaty that won't work anyway for all of the misery and for the hue and cry that it will bring.

On another very sad and distressing note, the former Foreign Secretary of Great Britain passed away of a heart attack while walking in Scotland. He had resigned over his party's leadership in the Iraq War invasion.

This is the equivalent of former Secretary of State Powell dropping dead while fishing on a boat in a lonely bay after disagreeing with the Bush Administration.

I've seen that movie.

And I think I've even seen the movie where you get gas tickets

or you get permission to drive somewhere.

Price controls, fuel rationing, and ID cards with biometrics,

with terrorist on every corner,

who hate our freedoms.

Maybe they'll stop hating us

when our freedoms are gone.

Freedom Fry anyone?

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Simply amazing, and truly remarkable that an official in England can be that honest about carbon alottments. He would be strangled and strung up in the country.

7:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


10:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am constantly impressed with the quality of work in this blog. Keep it up OZ..

10:33 AM  
Blogger oZ said...


Although I do get many positive comments, I always appreciate encouragement.

As Ronald Reagan said.

Less is not enough.

9:48 AM  

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