Blog author: jcouretas
by on Wednesday, July 26, 2006

It’s a deceptively simple idea. Everyone would be allocated an identical annual carbon allowance, stored as points on an electronic swipe-card. Points would be deducted for every purchase of non-renewable energy. People who did not use their full allocation, such as people who do not own a car, would be able to sell their surplus carbon points into a central bank. High energy users could then buy them – motorists who used their allocation would still be able to buy petrol, with the carbon points drawn from the bank and the cost added to their fuel bills. To reduce total UK emissions, the overall number of points would shrink each year.

Tech Central calls this "This Year’s Dumbest Political Idea…." More analysis along these lines here.

The Chimp seems interested in it, though. And hey – maybe we could just skip the "electronic swipe-card" and go straight to the microchip.

No plastic to dispose of.

UPDATE: This writer misses the whole "identical carbon allowance" thing, but has another ethical problem with carbon rationing by way of a national identity register.

I am totally opposed to ID cards and am involved in the campaign. However, I am also deeply concerned about climate change and cannot see any solution to it, other than carbon rationing, that is both effective and equitable. The survival of human existence is clearly an issue besides which even the disasters likely to arise from ID cards will pale into insignificance.

Fascinating statement. "anon" seems to fear that people will be more afraid of climate change than of giving up their individual and economic freedoms. Evangelicals generally see the reign of anti-christ as an economically-dominated one, but what if carbon credits become the currency of the day? Is the climate "crisis" (real or imagined) driving us inexorably in this direction?

OK, all you Actonites out there: What’s the Christian response? How would you address anon’s concerns?

UPDATE: Ok, how about a CO2 credit lottery? That makes just as much sense.


  • Treehugger

    From an idealistic perspective, unless you subscribe to inequality, every individual on this planet is entitled to his or her fair share of its natural resources, not distorted by location, birth or nationality.
    Trying to get people in the developed world to reduce their individual energy consumption to a sustainable level whilst constraining the appetite of the rest of the world’s population is the next challenge

  • Gregory Fegel

    I think that the CO2-caused Global Warming theory is false and unproven junk science.

    But let’s suppose for a moment that the CO2 equals Global Warming equation is real. The wealthy elitists James Hansen, Al Gore, Tony Blair, Barack Obama, and the other high-profile cheerleaders for CO2 reduction are asking the poor and middle classes to suffer the consequences of a radical shutdown of global commerce and energy production in order to ‘save the planet’ from Global Warming. They want to make serfs of the masses of working people, while a privileged elite will be permitted to continue living in high style with a much larger ‘carbon footprint’ than the un-entitled lower classes.

    We should never let that happen. The only way that ‘carbon rationing’ should be allowed is by assigning the exact same carbon limit to all people everywhere. Al Gore, Barack Obama, a London cabbie, and a Kalahari Bushman should all be assigned exactly the same number of ‘carbon credits’, period. Let them trade their credits with each other, but everyone should be restricted to the same limited ‘carbon credit’ allowance. The long-term ultimate effect of this would be an economic leveling of society; essentially global Communism. Under such a system, no one would be able to accumulate an excess of personal property or wealth because they could never accumulate enough ‘carbon credits’ to do so.

    When Hansen, Gore, Blair, and Obama give up their patrician incomes and lifestyles and restrict their own ‘carbon footprint’ to the level of the common labourer or office worker, I will begin to believe that they are sincere about preventing Global Warming. Their obvious unwillingness to do what they are asking the rest of us to do proves that they are not sincere. They want the common people to sacrifice their lives to prevent Global Warming, while the wealthy retain their high-carbon consuming and producing privileges.

    We cannot permit a privileged elite to enjoy a ‘high-carbon’ lifestyle while the poor are restricted by law to a ‘low-carbon’ lifestyle. Any effort by any government to impose carbon rationing with preferential treatment to any class of people should be seen as sufficient reason for an all-out French-style revolution in which the majority population dispossess the elitists of their wealth, their positions of power, and their privilege. In a world that is constantly threatened by Global Warming, we cannot allow a greedy few to consume or produce in excess of the average ‘carbon footprint’ of the world’s population as a whole.

    Barack Obama keeps the temperature at 78 degrees Fahrenheit in the Oval Office while telling the rest of us to turn our thermostats down. James Hansen has received grants amounting to hundreds of thousands of dollars to promote the Global Warming theory. Al Gore has invested heavily in the ‘carbon trading’ brokerage business . All of these men jet around the world, live in oversized houses, and ride in limousines. If the common people are to be required by law to reduce our ‘carbon footprint’, we need to demand that our leaders and the wealthy elite be restricted to exactly the same carbon allowance as everyone else.

    We are not all together in the fight against Global Warming unless everyone is required to make the same sacrifices by sharing an equal ‘carbon footprint’ and an equal ‘carbon ration’, which should be assigned equally to every living person in the entire world. We need to hold the elitists’ feet to the fire and require them to make exactly the same sacrifices as the rest of humanity.

    Individual carbon limits and carbon rationing? Bring them on. Viva la Revolucion!

    Gregory Fegel

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