Tuesday, May 27, 2008

My personal carbon usage

Mulling over the latest idiocy policy pronouncements on Personal Carbon Credits from our glorious leaders in Westminster it struck me that I might have a problem given some of my hobbies as well as commuting costs. Now, I'm a great believer in polluter pays and Pigou Taxes that cover the external costs but I really don't like this idea and I reckon there is another motive. But before I expand on that lets look at how this will work.

Its just cost me £90 to fill my car. I suppose my carbon usage for that one will be easy - the petrol station will have my registration number and being linked in to the Vehicle Licensing Centre computer my carbon usage can be very quickly calculated.

I play a lot of golf and I suppose the carbon usage of charging the battery for my electric trolley will be counted against my house usage, which will have been surveyed by some licensing authority who will decide on how efficient it is and award credits. But a golf course needs lots of machinery for grass cutting etc, how will those credits be allocated? Do I get a proportion based on how many times I play? What happens when I visit another club to play? It sounds like we need a central database to figure this out, probably on a rolling mean like a telecoms network Long Running Incremental Cost (LRIC) model.

Next, I am an occasional dinghy sailor. Now you might think that this is easy because we use wind power, but you would be wrong. We need safety boats and committee boats and a boat that cuts back weeds. Again, how do I pay for my portion of these? And do I pick them up if I am on safety duty or when I'm racing? Also, like many sailors I often take my boat off to other places where they have safety boats and committee boats. Looks like another database.

This evening I went water skiing and that is horrendous, more databases? What about the gym, all those machines, swimming pools, saunas etc, another database.

Given all these activities I probably consume more calories than the average person - more databases? I haven't even got to holidays (where I do most of the above activities) or other any other activities like going to the pub.

Anyway, this isn't about bragging about everything I do, its about how my enjoyment is going to be seriously curtailed, but more importantly to demonstrate that the only way this will work is if bureaucrats can snoop in to every single corner of our lives to measure and allocate carbon credits to it.

Now you can see why MP's, Guardainstats and BBC luminaries think its a good idea, they're all such a bunch of control freaks that they can't bare the rest of us enjoying ourselves and doing as we please and this lets them take control of us. Bastards.

The there's this:

But Mr Benn said there were problems with the plan: "It's got potential but, in essence, it's ahead of its time, the cost of implementing it would be quite high, and there are a lot of practical problems to overcome."

The practical problem you will need to overcome, Mr Benn is that if you will be dangling from the end of a rope if you even think about implementing this and that twat Monbiot will be next to you as well:
Environmentalist George Monbiot applauded the scheme. "It's more progressive than taxation, it tends to redistribute wealth from the rich to the poor; it's transparent; it's easy for everyone to understand, you all get the same carbon ration.

"It also contains an inbuilt incentive for people to think about their energy use and to think about how they are going to stay within their carbon ration."

No, George, it will make me think about the enjoyment I will get from stringing up you Benn and the rest of your ilk.


Mark Wadsworth said...

I think, under these circumstances, hanging is totally inappropriate. Wouldn't dousing them with petrol (leaded, if still available) and throwing on a match would be the punishment that best fits the crime?

Dr Dan said...

One of the many things wrong with the Carbon Credits scheme is that it assumes compliance on the part of the public, and honesty on everyone's part.

The easy way to get around it would be identity duplication, theft and falsification. The one thing this Government are really, really crap at is pretty much anything to do with computers, and the costs of running the Carbon Trading scheme would very quickly exceed the minor and dubious benefits from it.

The other thing to consider is just how inventive people can be if there's money to be made from something. At present, fuel isn't really worth smuggling in quantity because the mark-up isn't big enough, though running cars on illicit red diesel is commonplace. If you artificially limit fuel stocks, then you create a smugglers' paradise.

The Great Simpleton said...


How about torching them while they are hanging from the lamppost?

Dr Dan,

Good points. Fags and booze are a classic example. Even during the war when things were dire there was still a black market, despite the possiblibility of prison.