Environmental Trade Wars

The European Union and China are in dispute about photo-voltaic panels made in China and sold in the EU. The EU complains that the panels, which produce electricity during daylight, are being dumped ion the European market, being sold at prices that are significantly below cost and proposes to impose a duty of 47% on imported panels from China. China protests its innocence to the dumping charge and claims that any duty would hurt consumers.

As often happens in these cases the parties are arguing over the wrong thing. It is likely that China is dumping panels in Europe, but the issue should not be the price, which admittedly hurts the EU’s own manufacturing industries, but the way in which the panels are produced. Instead of an import duty affecting all panels imported, the EU should create a duty that relates to the way in which the panels are produced, rather than the fact that they are produced.

China is now burning huge amounts of coal for its growing industry. The burning of coal creates huge environmental damage, which is not outweighed by the environmental savings that China’s panels bring. In most EU countries photo-voltaic panels are heavily subsidised by taxpayers and it is wrong for taxpayers to subsidise any product that is manufactured in an environmentally unfriendly way.

It would not be too complex to assess, by specific audit, the environmental cost of producing a photo-voltaic panel and gear the duty to that cost. The more carbon dioxide and aerosols emitted in the total manufacturing process of any product made in China, the more the import duty should be.
There is no point in EU taxpayers subsidising a product that is made in ways that damage the environment even if that product is supposed to help the environment, and who knows, if an environmental tax is levied on goods made in China, it might well create a level manufacturing playing field which could see the return of manufacturing industry throughout many nations in the European Union, including the United Kingdom.

One Response

  1. To a scientist the money system should appear absurd; and yet nowhere in the world is there a technologically controlled system of production and distribution in operation. The economics of the USSR and China, no matter what their social philosophy, are based on the same ancient barter system. Technically speaking, there is no such concept as value. There is velocity, mass, temperature, chemical composition, which can only be measured and expressed quantitatively. But product value today is expressed in money language, and is based on its availability.

    There is no country on this planet that produces its physical wealth by human work alone. This is why primitive societies usually exist on a starvation subsistence level. Poverty can only be solved by the utilization of energy extraneous to the human organism, by the exploitation of energy sources external to man. Applied technology provides the opposite of the world of toil, increasing its production and wealth by exploiting human labour less and less.

    The dignity of human labour and the virtue of work is of no concern to the advance of technology. It will change our values radically because it treats man as a collective social animal and an energy-consuming machine, not as the legal, ethical, or spiritual concept that was conceived during aeons of human sweat and poverty.

    Our destiny lies with the wind, with coal, gas, oil, hydro-electric power — with geothermal, solar and nuclear energy. How many scientists have we heard speak of this? The Philosophers and movie producers are too busy selling pseudo-science, filling minds with mumbo-jumbo about mythical alien beings, while there is so little public knowledge or support of what science and technology can really do for us.

    Why poverty? Our automobile industry is so highly automated and efficient that, on a part time basis, it could produce more cars than the market can absorb. If the production of shelter for our people were approached in the same way, we could provide millions of homes easily and these homes would be far superior to the most expensive homes existing today. Our production potential in the automobile and housing industries is mentioned only to illustrate our gargantuan capability. In reality, the day of the privately owned motor car and single family dwelling is over. Mass transportation and housing will be an important factor in the design of future cities.

    We invoke a mysterious “law of supply and demand” which we have never found in any book and has never been demonstrated to be a fact, yet it has worked for some time, but more often than not. It is frightening to think that there is nobody at the helm, there is no intelligence, no guidance; there isn’t a manufacturer in the United States today who would run a factory that way. There are no plans for tomorrow, there are no objectives, there is no design of transportation systems, there is no functional control of architectural design, and there is certainly no economic control.

    There has never been a “normal” time; the dollar and the times fluctuate from boom to bust, while social security, unemployment, and the welfare system are utilized as patchwork efforts to support the flimsy structure.

    And there is a frantic urgency and fear of other systems in other parts of the world, leading to the building of a vast military machine, which in turn supports employment and keeps the money whipping round happily.

    The times take a heavy toll on the individual organisms in our society. Emotional breakdowns are on the increase. Pills, tranquilizers, and medications of all sorts are being prescribed in all directions, loosely and promiscuously. Crime and violence are the poor man;s technique for solving his problems in the distribution of abundance. If it doesn’t come to you, if the opportunity is not there, then take.

    The poor get poorer because the poor raise their children in helplessness and can hardly afford to maintain them through the higher education system if they are so motivated, which is rare. Rich kids are going to school on Daddy’s money and will eventually inherit Daddy’s business or fall into a soft cushiony job, little realizing that all the riches in this system mean nothing. In a sense, they are as poor as the poor man because they are sharing the very insecurity of it all.

    We are all aware of this. We have heard it time and time again, in book after book, pamphlet after pamphlet, in the newspapers, in the magazines, and on television. What is the solution? Just as factories, and offices, and businesses are organized in a hierarchical manner, so the nation must be. There is no democracy in a business firm. The workers do not tell the managers or the chief engineer how to operate; there is responsibility from the top down, based on authority, skill, and qualification.

    Knowledge means power. All the knowledge of today, all of our ability to translate organic fuels into energy lies with our engineers, our technologists, and our technical personnel. These are the people who are actually running the United States, but are not afforded any credit or power by the superstructure above them made up of politicians, businessmen, millionaires, and the like, who couldn’t for one moment survive without the help of this essential second level of technical skill.

    Unfortunately, many scientists and engineers are little concerned with social matters. They are the most socially unaware people in our society. happy to keep their noses in their research for a mere pittance and not be bothered or involved with any of the complex affairs of mankind. Little do they realize how important they are. One of the faults is that social affairs are not considered science, but if our scientists turned their techniques, their methods, and their energies towards a solution of human problems then we would have something.

    Economics, so called, is based on vague and absurd hypotheses. Sociology is just as useless a solution of our problems. Finance and business deals with money which, as a medium of exchange, has long been outmoded by our ability to produce and distribute goods to our citizens.

    In order to survive in this system we have to “play the game”. If we are not ruthless or willing to compromise principle, honesty, and integrity even a little, the chances are good that we will not go far. Unfortunately, this philosophy has pervaded the ranks of the many scientists who are busily running around selling their wares to a gullible public. We have here one of the tragedies of our times — scientists who don’t know where their priorities should be.

    The planets resorces should never be allowed to be owned by anyone but the people themselves, for those scientist to use wisely, then with this model in play the corporate mind killing theives, who steal the whole’s fortune would be rendered innoperable and a kind of working, technological healing process could begin, before the ready energy has been wasted fighting for it, this is what is happening and is unsane to say the least.

    There are such people less factories around today, in Japan one has no electric lighting inside and a skeleton crew create things in the dark which appear in the light at the end of the tunnel so to say.

    The scientist, engineers and inventors could quite easily down certain tools in non compliances of kinds and start the balls rolling, then other true morality models could follow suit, until those immune to suit behind corporate legal minds and money were rendered obsolete through isolation starvation techniques, liken to a medieval castle siege.

    In such a project money would be obsolete and there would be only people and materials needed, what we have always ever needed. The minds that think otherwise are viral entities upon the natural and body computers trying to be free from the cancer within.

    If we could recognise our natural potential, Tulsa as the song says, is only 24 hours away from a global cooperative that would eventually even itself out, where each person was doing something for themselves and a greater good without money, we are the true monetary moguls in blood and bone.

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