Bye Bye Carbon Tax

Australia has one of the largest per capital emissions of carbon dioxide in the world. In an effort to reduce emissions a past government enacted a highly controversial carbon tax. Its opposition claimed that the carbon tax would wreck the Australian economy. Of course that claim was nonsense; a single tax does not wreck economies but the overall effect of taxation on economies can make them prosper or decline. Continue reading

When it comes to the environment humanity has always implemented imperfect solutions.

David Cameron, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, has said that fracking will boost the United Kingdom’s economy. He thinks that the gas discovered will prove a cheap form of energy which will encourage businesses that need to use large amounts of energy to establish themselves or move to the United Kingdom. Continue reading

Freezing Energy Prices

The price of energy is a problem, partly because people in the United Kingdom are not used to paying high energy prices and partly because the price increases have continued while household incomes in real terms are falling. Continue reading

Mindless Renewable Energy Targets

In the almost mindless race to meet the United Kingdom’s emission targets the government has decided to subsidise, at taxpayer’s expense, the generation of electricity in a way which will mean the creation of far more greenhouse gas emissions. Continue reading

The Vicious Circle

We are, in terms of improving the environment, in a vicious circle. In order to prevent rapid climate change we must use much less fossil fuel and burn much less. That is quite simple, and there are no catches there. However, in order to be able to afford to use less fossil fuel we must invest much more in renewable energy of all kinds. The way the economies of the world are structured at present makes fossil fuel energy much less expensive than renewables because those using fossil fuel energy do not pay the full cost of fossil fuel use. They do not pay for measures to counter rapid climate change or the health costs of fossil fuel burning. Therefore to stop burning fossil fuel we have to get the money to afford renewables we wish to grow our economies. One of the main consequences of growing our economies is that we burn more fossil fuel. The more we burn the greater the climate change problem becomes. We cannot prevent climate change by burning more fossil fuel or even burning it at the same levels that we are burning today. That is the vicious circle that has trapped the whole world.

The Carbon Trust gets audited

The Carbon Trust has been audited by the Audit Commission and has passed its audition. The Trust spends around £100 million a year advising businesses on how to save carbon and it is reckoned that this expenditure on advice saves somewhere between 1.2 million tonnes and 2 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions each year. That is a large difference for an auditor to cope with, but the methodology of measuring emission savings is still not robust and will probably never be entirely satisfactory. Continue reading