back to article torpedoes personal carbon credit plans

The British government has come out firmly against plans for personal carbon trading, diplomatically saying the idea is "ahead of its time", would cost too much to implement, probably wouldn't see widespread participation, and anyway wouldn't deliver much in the way of benefits. The decision comes with the release today of a …


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  1. Steve

    It's not April 1st, is it?

    I've never heard such a load of old cobblers in my life. It's only the hard core tree-huggers who would be able to read this nonsense without laughing out loud, just about everyone else would be rolling on the floor.

    But would be a huge boost to the IT industry, lots more jobs for the boys......and since when did this government back away from wacko super-expensive IT projects? ID cards, anyone?

    Must dash now, I have a tree to plant....or maybe I should mount a windmill on my forehead?


  2. Chris G

    More legislation?

    My first thought is, has anyone calculated the carbon cost to the country of implementing this scheme? the manufacture of the cards, the advertising and propaganda that goes with these things, the extra civil? servants and the tea making, paper generating and CD losing efforts that go with them. Not to mention the carbon involved in delivering all these cards across the nation with the information on how to reduce your carbon foot print and how to trade off your savings.

    The second thing is that the majority of people just won't be bothered and will ignore the whole thing unless the gov comes up with some kind of detector van to frighten them into producing less carbon.

    Lastly for those of us who can afford it ( the owners of gas guzzling 4X4s for example) , they won't give a shit anyway.

    British government has completely lost sight of how to govern and how to create a population that cares about their environment and I am not just talking green here environment is everything around you not only the green bits that treehuggers talk about. The real answers to environmental and social problems are based in educating the people in the long term not passing yet another set of laws to MAKE everybody do what's right. in this instance they are absolutely right, this is a long way ahead of it's time and very impractical.

  3. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    Why didn't they give the real reason?

    That the science behind the attempts by the Greens to set up a fascist state is now being comprehensively disproven, and all the scientific establishment are milling around, wondering how they can explain to their grant providers that they've been fiddling the figures for the past ten years, while still keeping the money rolling in.

    Their latest one is that the Earth has been cooling since 2000 and is going to cool for the next ten years but after that it might warm up again! If the politicians buy this it might let them back out gracefully, hoping that everyone will have forgotten the Global Warming scare by 2020. After all, who remembers the 'Ice Age' scare that went round the western world in 1970?

    Thumbs down because of what this fiasco has done to the scientific method, which has served us so well from 1800 to 1960....

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    The big power hog is the cannot be arsed attitude

    The biggest power hog in Britain remains the badly built and immensely wasteful housing infrastructure. Anything built before 2005 vents heat in all directions and nobody except foreigners is bothered to fix it. I live in a typical suburban middle class neigbourhood with 1960-es housing. So guess what - the only 4 people out of 100+ on my street that could be bothered to retrofit cavity wall insulations were a Pole, Bulgarian, a Frenchman and a British pensioner who has spent most of his working life abroad. The remaining 96 "proper brits" do not give a flying f*** about that energy efficiency fad. And that is in the supposedly educated and affluent "green" Cambridge.

    All that it would take to improve the energy efficiency of Britain by 20%+ is to make compliance to building standards (including insulation) a mandatory condition for house sale with all houses that cannot be fixed demolished and rebuilt (preserving the front facade if needed). This will also fix the speculatory nature of the housing market and many other things. Unfortunately this is least likely to happen. All 3 major political parties are being fed by "loans" and "gifts" from real estate developers.

    Though shalt not bite the hand that feeds you.

  5. Anonymous Coward

    Stuff is king

    As Dieter Helm et al (via David MacKay's blog, below) have pointed out, the largest component of our carbon footprint is hardware that we buy, not direct energy consumption, so perhaps that plasma screen isn't such a great idea (surprise, surprise)...

    MacKay's book on sustainability and energy budgets (draft pdf on his website) is very much worth a look as well.

  6. Tom
    Thumb Down

    personal carbon credits

    Are a scam to let people with money continue as they are without feeling guilty. There is a company called "cleanairpass" in Canada that will sell you a pass for your 13 mpg SUV magically making it carbon neutral. Why change, buy some carbon credits and let some one else worry about it.

  7. Anonymous Coward


    What you have to realise is that schemes like this - and many other 'environmental' causes like the one about unplugging equipment - aren't really about helping the environment.

    Environmental issues are just what the people behind these ideas have currently latched onto as an excuse.

    They're really about introducing a feeling of guilt.

    Or removing the availability of 'luxuries' from the general populace.

    Or enforcing an equal level of misery on the entire population.

    The personal carbon allowance is a good example of the latter. Of course, it wouldn't have any real effect on the supposed target issue, but it would be a great way of forcing people to restrict their lifestyle to some nominal level that someone has determined meets their personal ideal.

    Though of course there would be exceptions - can you see politicians, the wealthy, green campaigners or others really being included? They'd either have some sort of opt out, or as with most of the current schemes they just have enough money to ignore the inconvenience that the plebs have to suffer.

    Personally if this sort of thing ever came into being I'd do exactly the same as most others - I'd work around the system. People would spring into existence from nowhere and I'd transfer their allowance to me. I'd fiddle with the accounts system directly. I'd use the black market, as happened with rationing. Or I'd just use my other set of nationality documents and as a 'foreign tourist' I'd just avoid the allowance system altogether - sort of a carbon allowance non-dom!

    Whatever the case, you just know that as with all the other concepts that have appeared from these idiots the one thing that wouldn't happen is the original intended outcome. As with the various targets systems that were introduced people rarely follow the plan and find the quick & simple route to achieve the goal - with results that are usually the opposite of the intention.

    With luck this idea, and all the other similar concepts (e.g. road charging, ID cards) will disappear never to be seen again. Though somehow I expect all we've had is a reprieve and all this stuff is inevitable.

    (And while we're on the subject, can whoever commissioned and made those 'Act on CO2' adverts be made to cease their personal carbon production? If I want to see shameless propaganda other people have made much better attempts)

  8. Mark Jan
    Paris Hilton

    Cows, methane, CO2, bullocks and bollocks

    At last the government reaches a sensible decision regarding global warming / climate change / the earth is actually currently cooling -oh dear, that doesn't fit our agenda or the models we're using / call it what you will depending on the circumstances and just so long as we can tax it.

    Paris because even she knows it's all bollocks, and she knows her bollocks.

  9. Anonymous Coward

    Bootnote orders of magnitude.

    We had a "what can we do to be greener" ideas fest at work, and lots of people submitted the idea of turning off the desktop power strips at night because of the little red light on them. Yes, the built-in neon or LED indicator in the "on-off" switch was consuming all that power (erm <1mW) and we'd save the company a fortune in turning them off. Except we wouldn't of course. Actually the increased duty on the power on/off switches would probably result in more of those failing and needing replacement - more costs and more carbon from manufacturing.

    But try explaining that to a bunch of project managers and spreadsheet trolls.

  10. Anonymous Coward

    Rich divide

    This divide is getting more obvious every year, the regressive taxation and fines control the poor while the Richest can continue as they please.

    Congestion charging, parking costs, fuel, tax bands for emissions and engine sizes, parking fines, the Rich don't care about the costs involved and get to drive and park where they like, through any "control zones".

    While the poor are forced onto public transport or asked not to drive in cities, not to park anywhere central, not to congest the roads for the Rich. Fined a huge amount more of any income for simple mistakes such as overhanging a space, speeding 4mph, littering accidental or deliberate.

    The poor should have the same freedom to move about as the Rich, restrictions should not be monetary but based on an induvidual, otherwise make the fines relative so parking costs £1, congestion charging 50p, people can be equal and environmental issues don't have to join item taxation in becoming regressive to the point of revolt. Carbon trading is ignorant as the Rich will act as they please.

    If we are going to have carbon controls lets make it for everyone , not dependent on how much money you made.

    Carbon Carousel fraud would have been as luctrative as the VAT so about one Billion pounds a year lost?

  11. kissingthecarpet

    More Hot Air

    It is slightly amusing to see many commenters trying to agree with DEFRA that personal carbon trading is a bad idea, when they obviously would much rather DISagree with them, so much so that it appears that they are pretending that personal carbon trading IS going ahead for most of the comment.

    Also (@AC), why would any non-Stalinist, economically neo-liberal government want everyone to feel guilty about buying things & spending their (taxed) money on more (taxed) things. Surely a "Brave New World" style society fits the bill far better, but then Orwellian seems to be the only literary dystopia that the media at large has heard of (or perhaps feels comfortable discussing).

    This government has been a huge let down from day one, but that's what you get when the tabloid press are in power - the lowest common denominator.

  12. Jim

    Well Done Lewis

    You hit virtually every possible negative stereotype of the environmentalist in that piece, your mum must be so proud that you can avoid balance so effectively.

    Plasma TV is ok? Because it only uses 0.25% of its 'on' power while 'off'. Hmm, so you don't turn your TV on much then? You quote a plasma at 400W, I have a nice projector that gives a very watchable 200" 16:9 picture for a mere 170W and a CRT would be about half that (obviously not at that size). But of course it is very important to have a thinner TV (apparently).

    It is interesting that you point out how an individual would find restrictions to basic needs. Suppose it never crossed your mind that the credit level would be set so that basic needs plus a few luxuries would be covered. Hell, if they go about it the way they did with business you wouldn't even a notice a limit to your activities and have some spare credit to sell to boot. Thus making the whole scheme a waste of time, the noting of which being the starting point of your article.

  13. Anonymous Coward

    Re: The big power hog is the cannot be arsed attitude


    You are an idiot. I also suspect I can smell a Marxist, though I can't tell if it's of the red or green variety.

    Apart from the financial cost of implementing this, the environmental cost would be huge. Fabricating building materials, particularly concrete, cement and bricks has a much higher impact than the ongoing use of an 'inefficient' house.

    There are also good reasons why changes in the building regulations aren't applied retrospectively - things built to different editions of the regulations are generally completely different, as ideas/fashions change, and you can't modify things to match the current edition.

    That's also avoiding the minor issue of the regulations often being complete bollocks, particularly the ones driven by environmental issues or by certain protectionist policies. Indeed one of the main reasons the regulations change is to fix the cockups in the previous issue. This is bad enough if you're just building stuff, but to suggest you should have to demolish your house because someone has decided that floor slab insulation methods should be different goes a little too far.

    You seem to think that all 'efficiency' ideas are good. They aren't. Modifications to insulation (eg. retrofit cavity insulation), better window seals etc. etc. will often introduce secondary problems e.g poor ventilation or damp transference across the cavity. And you'll also often find that the 'efficiency' saving is exceeded by the cost of implementation in money, energy and materials.

    There's also the minor problem of some useful designs and techniques not being usable because they aren't included in the regulations. The only solution is the official solution, similar to a lot of 'green' policies.

    Finally, you state 'Unfortunately this is least likely to happen. All 3 major political parties are being fed by "loans" and "gifts" from real estate developers'. Now if the developers were really pushing the agenda then surely they'd support the replacement/upgrading of inefficient houses with new ones as this is where they make their money, not from maintaining the existing housing stock as-is. Then again, logic has never really been a strong point in environmentalist arguments.

    This sort of mentality really annoys me. You have some vague idea of a problem, but you have no idea of whether it really is a problem, or whether your suggested cure is actually worse than whatever problem you think exists.

    But at least it's consistent with the rest of the eco-bollocks we have to put up with.

  14. Anonymous John

    " torpedoes personal carbon credit plans"`

    Does anyone know the carbon footprint of a torpedo?

  15. Jim


    "Environmental issues are just what the people behind these ideas have currently latched onto as an excuse."

    I agree that the solutions being put forward, particularly by government, are designed to increase the proposer's income rather than solve any real problem. But are you saying that there are no actual environmental issues? As for the rest of your post, maybe that is why the government realised it would be a serious waste of money, eh?

    I find the whole 'guilt' thing quite interesting. The concept of an individual's right to be guilt-free appears to be a construct of corporations, keeping the consumer from questioning whether they really need all the crap they are endlesly told to surround themselves with.

    And now it is being rolled out once again to counter the AGW hypothesis, a hypothesis that could have serious consequences on corporations. Remember that when the US claims that ratifying Kyoto would cost $115bn per year to the US economy, that figure comes from corporate profits not your pocket. The corporations ARE the economy (stupid).

    It is not a right to drive an SUV or have A/C or watch TV or even have your own washing machine. But it is very nice to have all these things. If you realise that then fine. If you think you are entitled to any of these things and anyone who gets in the way is taking away your presonal freedoms then you are just a product of the corporate machine and have already given up your freedoms - have an ID card...

    Anyway, that's my take (it's just a ride). Flame away...

  16. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge

    If you feel Carbon Credits are pointless...

    You might want to buy a Carbon Debit from here: .

    They guarantee to kill a tree and send an e-mail to Al Gore saying they did it for each £10 contribution. And you get a cool t-shirt!

    A sunny smile, 'cos Global Warming (if it existed) would be good for the bikini business....

  17. ImaGnuber

    OK Will Flame Away

    "keeping the consumer from questioning whether they really need all the crap they are endlesly told to surround themselves with."

    I love this condescending attitude. Yup, people are idiots who will do whatever any advertiser tells them to do. Obviously they need to be micromanaged to save them from themselves (and dragging down serious non-susceptible people like our 'Jim'?).

    Perhaps what we really need is someone to get the save-the-planet folks to question 'all the crap theories they are endlessly told to surround themselves with'.

  18. Peter



    Look on the bright side - at least none of the comments so far are trotting out the idea that anyone researching the issues are protecting their research grants. There has been a little known rush of energy executives leaving their jobs to take up research grants into environmental issues, so great are the rewards.

  19. Adam Foxton


    I don't know about you, but as someone who works full time- I'm out of the house 10-12hours a day just with work- and sleeps, my TV isn't on that much.

    And assuming 1W for 8 hours (while I'm at work), that's... ooh... all of 2 moderate AA batteries' power. Not exactly a lot- in fact assuming that the PC you're writing this message on is using 400W (tower, peripherals, monitor, modem, discounting the bits of the internet infrastructure you're using) that's a whole 72 seconds of power for your computer.

    You'd have saved more power NOT writing those messages than I would have by not putting my TV off rather than on standby. And-interestingly- I'd "spend" more energy waiting for it to turn on and off all the time over a day than I would by leaving it on standby.

    Also, your projector's bulb will pretty quickly burn out with decent use and need replacing. Which means manufacturing and shipping costs, transport to/from the shop, or running that PC of yours for longer.

    The energy wasted trying to eek a few hundred mWh of power back from consumers would be far better spent removing wasteful legislation and letting traffic flow better around cities. Hell, with the amount of money spent by whining pseudo-greens (how much CO2 was given out getting to that whale to record it's song, BTW?) so far we'd have been able to give everyone in the UK an A4 sized solar panel- enough to power my gadget-laden house's devices (when on standby) with room for expansion.

    Guilt sucks- people hate feeling guilty. And when you're bombarded with 100 trillion things to be guilty about every day it also loses its effect.

    As a suggestion to the gov't if they're reading: why not just tax the individual barrels of oil produced in the UK a dollar or two each, then rid yourself of the other arbitrary taxes? The highest users (hence highest polluters, I guess) would pay lots, the lowest users would pay proportionally less. And it'd cover petrol, diesel, aircraft fuel, oil, gas, electricity, power for services, and all sorts. Then use that tax money to construct- and encourage the private construction of- less polluting renewable energy sources.

    Normal man-in-the-street would see taxes falling and vote for you, power generation people would mysteriously find ways of making themselves cleaner, and more nuke plants would be created, meaning less fissile materials floating about for military uses. And the wells currently marked out for carbon sequestering could be used for storing nuclear waste- it'd be hundreds of meters below the sea, stuck in apparently gastight conditions, and would be so much more dense than oil that we could get the last few drops out of the well before it became uneconomical. And it'd never bubble to the surface if there was a crack, unlike CO2.

    The consumers are already paying a green tax of sorts. You leave your TV on standby, you get billed a little at the end of the month for that TV being left on standby by your electric company. Leave it on with brightness turned up to full and speakers blaring all day every day and you'll get a bloody huge bill.

    Surely then it's the energy generation/transmission people who should be legislated to make things greener rather than the consumer? And those who say Not In My Back Yard to Wind Farms, or "OMG! A beautiful display of Biritsh engineering (and employment) and far-sightedness will spoil the scenery in a bit of Scotland I've never been to!" should be ignored. Or burnt for power. Either's good.

    Apologies for length. I believe I may have started ranting a few thousand words back...

  20. Henry Wertz Gold badge

    Math is wrong on the plasma!

    A 2400W iron on for 1/3rd of an hour uses 800watt-hours of power. The plasma for 1 hour uses 400 watt-hours... In fact, you're using as much juice ironing for 20 minutes as watching the plasma for 2 hours.

    Honestly, saying using 400 watts of power for a TV is OK because other stuff uses more power is a surprisingly American attitude (note I am one so I should know.) I'm not going to tell people they shouldn't be able to have plasmas, but they are ridiculously power-inefficient. Way worse than the CRTs that people are abandoning due to inefficiency. As a consequence of the power usage, they also run hot -- it gets very hot where I live, besides the 0.4KWhs to run the TV I'd also be paying for additional air conditioning all summer long to cool the room back off.

    As for the actual article -- I agree. Keeping track of carbon credits is a silly way to go about this. I'd love to be super-efficient and make extra money. But, tracking all that would be very tricky. It's easier to get the same effect by just jacking up electricity, gasoline, etc. taxes, and possibly providing a low-income credit so those who can't afford to heat the home due to increases still can.

  21. Ishkandar
    Dead Vulture

    Re. Bootnote orders of magnitude.

    >>But try explaining that to a bunch of project managers and spreadsheet trolls.

    This is where real accountants should be involved !! The number of times that I have shot down in flames the "project managers and spreadsheet trolls" are beyond counting !! These creatures are so obsessed and fascinated by the figures in front of them that they cannot see the bigger picture. The cost of implementation, taken as a whole including the cost of manufacture,etc, is far, far higher than the actual figures produced by these creatures !!

    However, in the words of Sir Winston Churchill - there's lies, damn lies and statistics. And all that these creatures can see are the statistics !! Eliminating all government sponsors and/or funded white elephant projects will save more carbon emission than 100 years of ordinary peoples' living !!

    The cost of producing the materials for the Millenium Dome, oops sorry, O2 centre, is a case in point !! How much carbon was emitted in producing the concrete for that monstrosity ?? What is the carbon cost of all those NON-delivered and/or NON-working government IT projects, including the carbon and toxic cost of the hardware manufacturing *AND* disposal ??

    This icon represents the effects of the actions by the rabid tree-huggers backed by a headline-greedy government !!

  22. Ishkandar

    @Anonymous John - the carbon footprint of a torpedo

    Well, first there's the non-ferrous metal casing to prevent the leakage of any magnetic signature. Then there's the motor/drive system, usually but not always electric. This usually involves a lot of ferrous material for the coils for the motor. This is followed by the "propellant", usually electricity stored in a BIG battery. Could also be compressed air in the case of gas-powered torpedoes. And finally there's the warhead and charge; two separate things really. The warhead may or may not direct the torpedo to where it can trigger the charge to maximum effect and the charge is a highly energetic chemical that releases all its energy in a fraction of a second !!

    Altogether, it has a massive carbon footprint and makes the government effort resemble using an industrial steel-stamping press to crack a hazelnut !!

    NB: - I have not known of or heard of a kinetic torpedo to date. The naval equivalent of the APFSDS (Armour-Piercing, Fin Stabilised, Discarding Sabot) anti-tank rounds !! The carbon footprint of the depleted uranium used in those rounds will make the most anal-retentive environmentalist loosen up instantly !!

  23. Chris G

    Just a little question

    Lots of interesting comments above . But here's a question for the civil? servants; what is the carbon footprint in say, London, that relates to the traffic calming measures all over the place? How many cars, truck and buses are driving in a stop start fashion in low gear with high revs, the worst mode for any transport to operate in efficiently. Before I left London and the UK I had a `discussion´ with a very green and socialist aquaintance who live in South London, he hated all the nice cars and 4X4s that he didn't own and resented them flying past his home (he had no kids or pets at risk of being run over, only himself after a chilham full of skunk) so he was instrumental in the installation by the local council of a number of speed humps. Very green!

  24. Ishkandar

    The obvious point that everyone missed

    What is this mythical "Average Person" (lets not be sexist - can be he/she/it) ?? A 80 cm tall, 30 kg kid or a 180 cm tall, 200 kg lard-arse ?? How do you calculate the food consumption of the "Average Person" and how does that relate to the (lesser) consumption of the kid or the (hugely greater) consumption of the lard-arse ?? What is the power consumption (and therefore, carbon footprint) for transporting each of the above over the same distance in the same vehicle ??

    Should the kid over-eat and get obese or should the gross (both senses of this word) person starve ?? The list of questions is endless but I hope you get my drift !!

    Answers on the back of a non-recycled postage stamp, please !!

  25. Paul

    pick an IT project, any IT project.... a game for all the family

    "Implementing personal carbon trading would involve significant costs. It would require IT and banking systems, payment infrastructure, and secondary markets... In addition to the implementation, there would be ongoing costs for administration, verification, auditing and enforcement... "

    Replace "personal carbon trading" with, for example "the National Identity Scheme" and the statement remains true.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Irrational traders...

    >installing a rooftop wind turbine, which would reduce carbon emissions

    >at a cost of £400 per tonne of CO2

    The problem with irrational traders isn't that people build windmills, that would remove them from the market. It's that they'd buy up more credits than they need forcing up the price thus stopping little old ladies keeping their crumbling victorian mansion warm.

    The whole scheme is actually just a tax anyhow, you can do all this stuff with existing tax rules. How about crank up the tax rate (energy VAT & fuel duty) to penalise CO2 and balance it for poorer people by raising the tax free band of income tax.

    Might give us more of an incentive to get out of bed in the morning as well.

  27. Slaine

    What do you call a politician with brain damage? - Normal!

    ...diplomatically saying "the idea is "ahead of its time", would cost too much to implement, probably wouldn't see widespread participation, and anyway wouldn't deliver much in the way of benefits" ... just like the 2012 Olymics then.

    Question... what carbon footprint might one trigger by napalming Parliament whilst in full session? I don't actually *know* the answer but I'd *love* to find out and personally I'm prepared to take that risk.

  28. Anonymous Coward

    great story describing a typically 'great british idea'

    This el-reg story would have been great on a 'friday'!

    Yes ofcourse, stupidity is an internationally well distributed resource, this particular idea might not even be british. However - here in the UK we are usually exceptionally good at taking half baked ideas, energetically giving them a unique local british twist and then brainlessly implementing them in an excessively poorly fashion.

    There is a history of ideas (let just assume that they were well ment) which have been ill-conveived and badly implemented in the UK. This one is another one in a long que - fortunately not implemented this time around. We have not been so fortunate with other great ideas in the past. There is a lot of for and against in many propositions and unfortunately both sides of the arguments usually see the world as black and white (from their perspective ofcourse) - discussions are significantly different from those we can see in other european countries. Maybe while we are more educated than many - we are less well educated (more ignorant) and governed by masses who either believe that technology and science 'can do no wrong' or those on the opposite side that are persistent luddites and environmental romantics (but just as ignorant). Both sides governed by opinions and other virtually unsubstantiated bollocks - but usually with very few or no arguments to be seen anywhere. The environmental discussion is only one of many. Other 'great discussions' are those about flood defences, for and against genetically manipulated grain, superbugs (cleanliness in hospitals) and education (level of degree vs quality of degree).

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I already pay "carbon tax"

    In the form of absurdly high taxes on gas, electric and petrol. As far as I am concerned the taxes I pay are then to be used by the government* to offset the damage to the environment caused by the carbon produced.

    Therefore I am quite happy to fire up the heating or drive 200 yards to the shop, secure in the knowledge that by using more energy I am paying disproportionately more taxes which the government then uses to save the planet.

    *What? The government doesn't actually use the tax to offset la la I can't hear you.

  30. Elmer Phud

    re: Power hog

    I live in an old Victorian house, I would love to do what I could to stop my money drifting off out of leaky windows and walls but even HM Gov don't seem to be arsed in helping me to do that. I can't afford to pay for all that's required and I certainly can't pay to move ( and produce even more carbon crap for new materials etc.) and there's no grants to be had, not even for loft insulation - unless I'm old or 'socially deprived' in some way.

    In the meantime we are still paying a huge rising and endless amount for the endless decommissioning of old nuclear power stations, the bonuses for the private companies to do this and will be paying private companies to make a profit on new ones.

    HM Gov (no matter which bunch of tossers are in power) punish us for small misdemeanours while charging us for their fuck-ups which lead to them ending up as executtive board members for the companies that are either 'advising' or selling the stuff.

    The power hogs are the ones in power, not us who somehow have to move or become homeless to satisfy some twat's ideals.

  31. This post has been deleted by its author

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "It is not a right to drive an SUV or have A/C or watch TV or even have your own washing machine. But it is very nice to have all these things. If you realise that then fine. If you think you are entitled to any of these things and anyone who gets in the way is taking away your presonal freedoms then you are just a product of the corporate machine and have already given up your freedoms - have an ID card..."

    Acctualy I don't think I am entitled to my washing machien, I NEED it. If I dont wash my clothes I dont keep my job (My boss happens to be a little pickey about people not smelling to high heven) And no, I dont have time to go to the laundret etc as I am out of the house 12h per day. It is a fundamental need of the western socioty we live in that there are basic social norms and requierments. Now, if you can change the world we live in to get rid of the current need for long hours then I would happery give up these basics, but for now I do NEED it.

    Also, I think a good way to reduce carbon use is to add some carrot to the stick.

    E.G. along side putting a tax on big cars, reduce tax (as using the 5% VAT rate) on small cars and motorbikes (and 0% on zero or very low carbon transport, such as bikes and anything acheving, say, 90 MPG).

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    >0% on zero or very low carbon transport

    Vehicles producing up to 100g/km are road tax free, it's then a sliding scale as emissions increase.

    So actually, it's already there. There's also the very obvious one with fuel duty that the less you use the less you pay.

  34. michael

    plasma and irons

    the point of the comparasion was that pepol should not demonise screens they do not use hogs of power they use very little if you want to look for power hogs look at things with large moters and heating elements in them it is jujst plasmas are a sine of decedence and we must COSERVE PEPOL BURN THE DEVLISH PLASMA BURN!!!!!

  35. Anonymous Coward

    now they say I have to stink too, to reduce our 2% of CO2?

    I did my carbon calculation on and for the the total CO2 is 6.25. As there are 3 of us, I assume (using some simple maths) my personal CO2 is 2.08. I don't drive a car, I don't even use buses and shop by only buying stuff that I can carry home. I've done what i can feasibly do. I object to being told that I shouldn't have a bath (maybe we could go back to the old days where this only happened once a year). If you look at our beloved PM for example: am I alone in thinking that he is a scruffy bugger? He can't even tie his tie properly, looks like he drops half his lunch on his shirt, etc etc. They (govt) are the ones who advocated mass expansion of the internet, (they seem to have forgotten that it NEEDS electricity to work) now with online banking, tax returns, and other e-govt nonsense (surely less of this would reduce CO2?), then they say don't use it. I realise that it gives a lot of people work, but if GB and his cohorts can't or won't make up their minds, where does that leave us punters? Anyway, it's almost lunchtime, so I'm off to have a bite of air to keep me going for the rest of the day. There's a few weeds over the road, so if i'm peckish, I'll have a go at them. Anyone know of a vacant cave I can move into?

    Coat cos it could do with a (hand)wash....the puddles have evaporated due to the warm weather.

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Solar Panels

    The government should be encouraging people to use less energy or generate their own by providing grants for solar panels.

    Better still, why not construct some massive solar panel farms in the countryside, out of the way.

  37. Michael

    @What do you call a politician with brain damage? - Normal!

    Does this mean if you have two jags , live in central london(nr downing street), and have no means of actually generating o2, you have to stop breathing or something? Maybe the penny dropped early on that one.

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Don't subsidise solar panels in northern Europe


    Germany gives grants for solar panels. I understand the scheme has been very successful and many German houses now have them. Unfortunately they don't create as much electricity as they could as Germany doesn't have as much sunshine as southern Europe, Africa, etc.

    Second problem: because Germany takes so much of world supply, prices have risen meaning those that could use them effectively can afford fewer of them.

    Far better to fund panels in sunnier places in the first place rather than distorting the market elsewhere.


  39. Spleen

    Efficient markets

    Economists go nuts for cap-and-trade because it sounds like a government intervention that could actually be "efficient" (which has a precise meaning in economics but basically means "not as shit as everything else the government does"), more so than a clumsy tax or quota. The problem is that expecting a bureaucracy to create an efficient market is like expecting a man blind from birth to paint a work of art. You can hand him the paintbrush and tell him how painting works, but there's a huge sight-shaped gap in his understanding you can never fill. Permanently blind people don't "get" vision and bureaucracies don't "get" markets.

    The practical result of which is that for every problem of a cap and trade system you can forsee, e.g: the cap will be set at the wrong level because of incompetence and/or lobbying (as happened with the EU Emissions Trading System), people will hack the cards, if the system has any "bite" then people will avoid it by going to black markets - there will be ten problems that you don't forsee.

  40. Anonymous Coward

    @ Paul

    Well, yeah; but then DEFRA isn't quite as stupid, nor nearly as powerful as the Home and Cabinet Offices put together.

  41. SpitefulGOD
    Gates Halo


    Should this scheme be given the go ahead I wouldn't be surprised if none of the profits made went towards a single green project. Instead they plough the money into the giant bosoms in which all taxes go so that the lazy commoners will suckle upon it through the teats of the welfare state.

    Of which living in the stinkhole of Blackburn, not having my rubbish collected for the second week thanks to the bin mans stike, will I recieve a rebate, nay and groin kicks aplenty.

    Stupid Government, when will a natural disaster swallow the horrid isle.

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    not always a good idea

    "Such a person might well reach the point at which they could only use less carbon by installing a rooftop wind turbine, which would reduce carbon emissions at a cost of £400 per tonne of CO2 not emitted." may sound like a good idea on surface, but doesn't usually take into effect equal trade with the local power supplier, danger to repair personnel when there's a local outage (think, I'm generating power back into the network from my wind turbine while the repair person up the pole thinks the local is dead...ouch!), the "carbon cost" of the wind turbine and it's components and wiring and control circuitry... You get the picture. Sounds good but not terribly realistic.

  43. Robert
    Thumb Down

    a nice profit for someone

    "The amount received from selling all allowances immediately would be almost the same as the expected net present value of surrendering them steadily throughout the year."

    No it won't be - lots of (probably poor) people will think 'ooh, free cash' and sell their credits straight away...

    Then if the credits are genuinely limited, clever people will buy them on the cheap in April, then wait till February or March to sell them at a nice profit as pensioners and the vulnerable start to feel the cold.

  44. Herby

    180 cm tall, 200 kg lard-arse (miscalculation?)

    While 180cm is reasonable (about 5 feet 10 inches), to my mind 200kg (over 400lbs) is a bit much (I hope so, but they can be spotted in the wild sometimes). I suspect that 100kg is more like it (around 220lbs) which is close to my weight. I have an excuse, I'm 6 foot 4 inches.

    As for carbon footprints, and their trading, I see a BOFH episode here. Simon would be proud to sell the credits, and use the funds to go to the pub.

    Of course, there is the underlying question: What is the carbon footprint of accounting for carbon footprints.

  45. Ishkandar


    If you looked at some of the (special forces ??) personnel on parade in London last week, you'd soon realise that 100kg is nothing especially when considering their muscle mass !! Large lads, them !!

    >>What is the carbon footprint of accounting for carbon footprints. - more than the original carbon footprint !!

    @Slaine >>what carbon footprint might one trigger by napalming Parliament whilst in full session? - DON'T !! Please DON'T !! The carbon emission is as nothing compared to the toxic waste spewed into the air !! London will be uninhabitable for a thousand years !!

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