Sunday, October 29, 2006

Countering Global Warming

There is undoubtedly an emerging problem with the climate changing. This may have severe consequences for us. One might take a risk and say the combination of general warming combined with the melting ice flows stopping the Gulf Stream will cancel one another out but it would be rather naive to think that such a benign scenario will actually come to pass. Given this, there is some onus on us to do something. If we can lower British emissions significantly we can act as a beacon to others and encourage much greater polluters such as the Chinese to improve.

How to do this is undoubtedly tricky. I agree with the George Osborne when he talks about switching the burden of taxation to discourage things which are bad such as burning fuel uneconomically and encouraging things which are good such as saving and income. I worry when Gordon Brown and David Milliband start talking about green taxes as they seem intent just on finding ways to raise yet more money to waste on their hopeless initatives and spin.

We need to think what being more green means in Rogate and Milland. The vast majority of us have cars and use them a lot. Being green should not mean not having cars (though do we really need at least two per family ?), being forced to use highly polluting buses, or having to drive at low speeds. It may mean running our cars on different fuels, fitting solar panels to our roofs and planting more trees (or even buying up a few acres of the Amazon if trees can be retained there for less money than it would take us to plant them here). There are lots of good things we can do to improve our treatment of the environment for the sake of our grandchildren without making our own lives intolerable. Lets hope politicans let us do this rather than mandating backwards, state centric solutions.


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