Thursday, February 26, 2009

Individual action and carbon emmissions

From getup

Dear friend,

We thought long and hard about sending you this email, because we like to promote the idea that our individual actions make a difference. But we have to be honest about the Government's current climate policy.

Under their current proposal, action you take at home to reduce energy - like changing to efficient light bulbs and appliances or installing solar hot water - will not reduce Australia's total greenhouse emissions further than the Government's weak target of 5-15%. It will even make it cheaper for industry to increase their own emissions.

I may have got into this in detail in my other posts, but I think I am hearing the penny drop for climate activists. I reiterate what I said in other posts, that individual actions, even without the Rudd proposal mentioned above, do not proportionally reduce overall emmissions, because of the rebound effect and that individual actions tend to absolve guilt without being optimised for a nation-wide reduction of any amount.

However, like with water allocations, reducing carbon emmissions further comes down to a simple buying of emmission allocations, and then not using them. It actually sounds simpler than worrying about whether your net emmissions are going up because you use the money you saved on electricity to buy toys for your kids (WHICH ONE IS MORE CARBON INTENSIVE???) I think that in a decade, if the Murray floods again, and the Government has bought all these water allocations, it could make a mint selling them again.


I am a cartoon hobbit said...

I reckon we should introduce vote trading. When an election is called, each citizen is issued with a vote, which they can use or sell or give away as they like. Anyone concerned about the oversupply of democracy can then just buy up votes and not use them.

I am a cartoon hobbit said...

This would be a handy way to increase people's engagement with democracy- if you live in a safe seat, instead of your vote being worthless, you can simply sell it to someone living in a marginal seat ;)

Just another alias of the former Dr Clam said...

"...We thought long and hard about sending you this email..."

Hmm, sounds like Viagra spammers to me...