Thursday, July 20, 2006

Milliband's hair-brained carbon scheme

In a move that is clearly an attempt to "out green" Cameron, David Milliband has floated the utterly ridiculous idea of individual carbon allowances using smartcard technology. Apparently he said: "Imagine a country where carbon becomes a new currency. We carry bank cards that store both pounds and carbon points. When we buy electricity, gas and fuel, we use our carbon points, as well as pounds...People on low incomes are likely to benefit as they will be able to sell their excess allowances... People on higher incomes tend to have higher carbon emissions due to higher car ownership and usage, air travel and tourism, and larger homes."

What about large families on low income David? Are you going to give carbon allowances to children from birth, or will it only count when you become 18? Have you any credibility in being able to architect, build and code the colossal IT system behind such a scheme? What of information security David? Combine this with Oyster, CCTV, ID cards and you complete the full circle of surveillance where virtually everything we do is monitored by the state in some way.

What the hell has happened to liberty in this country?


Serf said...

Bear in mind, that should you wish to go down the road of carbon emissions trading, you could include individuals without them even knowing. By including for example petrol in the trading scheme, oil companies could buy emission rights for all the product they sell. It would be a lot easier and less intrusive.

This whole argument shows how dangerous technology is in the hands of people who believe the State knows best.

Anonymous said...

"What about large families on low incomes" - well, what happens to them now? They suffer more than smaller or richer families, and the state intervenes through various welfare programmes to help them improve their financial situation. Better economic circumstances could help them buy excess carbon credits, or a similar model of carbon welfare could operate here (logistical queries notwithstanding). And it wouldn't need to be monitored by the state any more than normal economic commerce is.

Given that most right wingers tend to support the idea of states trading carbon, given the ability of the market to drive optimal outcomes, where's the philosophical objection to driving this down to an individual level?

dizzy said...

I don't consider the market soltuion a philosophical tenat of being on the right, so the premise, for me at least, isn't valid. My concern iprimarily is from a practical and information security one. I'm a proper techie geek me.

Anonymous said...

superb a liquid futures market will grow from it as we begin to trade carbon points before conception/birth .brilliant,

Will fat people get more as they need bigger cars?