British Proposal Calls For Orwellian Personal Carbon Allowances

Britain’s broadsheet the Telegraph reports on a controversial proposal:

Everyone in Britain should have an annual carbon ration and be penalised if they use too much fuel, the head of the Environment Agency will say.

Lord Smith of Finsbury believes that implementing individual carbon allowances for every person will be the most effective way of meeting the targets for cutting greenhouse gas emissions.

It would involve people being issued with a unique number which they would hand over when purchasing products that contribute to their carbon footprint, such as fuel, airline tickets and electricity.

Like with a bank account, a statement would be sent out each month to help people keep track of what they are using. If their “carbon account” hits zero, they would have to pay to get more credits. Those who are frugal with their carbon usage will be able to sell their unused credits and make a profit.

Lord Smith will call for the scheme to be part of a “Green New Deal” to be introduced within 20 years when he addresses the agency’s annual conference on Monday. An Environment Agency spokesman said only those with “extravagant lifestyles” would be affected by the carbon allowances.

He said: “A lot of people who cycle will get money back. It will probably only be bankers and those with extravagant lifestyles who would lose out.”

However, some have criticised the move as “Orwellian” and say it will have a detrimental impact on business…


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7 Comments on "British Proposal Calls For Orwellian Personal Carbon Allowances"

  1. emperorreagan | Nov 13, 2009 at 11:27 am |

    All the carbon proposals have the same net effect of making the end user pay for pollution of the products they use. I think this implementation is probably a bad idea because it's cumbersome – I think a tax is the simplest way to introduce the cost of carbon into products. Carbon credits, exchanges, and the like just seem to be another scam for the financial industry to make money on nothing.

    I also think it should be generally extended to all forms of pollution, not just carbon, so the true costs of the products we use is no longer hidden by government subsidies to clean up after industry.

  2. tonyviner | Nov 13, 2009 at 11:40 am |

    You have to admire how every time something is meant to sound bad the word 'Orwellian' is tossed in front of it. Many things about government may indeed be Orwellian but this is not one of them, anything that could potentially help the environment should be considered as nothing more than that, 'something that could help the environment'. As for the detrimental impact on business, so what? Soon will come a point where profits are not as important as the physical world which we live and for many people it is as such now.

    • if you see a day when profit isnt the driving force of business you will see the end of innovation,
      rewards drive work, lessen the rewards and people will do just enough to get by, that is why socialism cant work, people will do just enough to avoid punishment.

      • tonyviner | Nov 13, 2009 at 5:38 pm |

        Who's to say that there cannot be rewards for doing good in a socialist society? The only reason that it won't work is because the people with the abilities will not make it work.

        • i wish it would work, but it relies on people being moral,
          paeple aren't, they are savage territorial animals with a thin coat of civilization on the surface.

  3. looks like another law that will only really effect the poor, the wealthy can buy their way out and the poor will be wondering which they can scrimp, fuel, heat, or lights.

  4. The environment is important, but anything can be taken too far. Worry more about polluting industries, and less about whether John Smith should be allowed to buy an occasional plane ticket for vacation. If they want to tax gasoline further, I could see that, but this is ridiculous.

    The UK is digging its grave deeper every day. Life will soon enough be so miserable, between the extremes of political correctness and the constant monitoring of people that anyone who can leave will. And should, or throw the bastards out of Parliament.

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