Today I am Going to Fly

Some men are born posthumously. ~Nietzsche

Fallout from Kyoto

Posted by penuruloki on May 1, 2006

This isn’t a political blog, but I do care about politics, so I will feel obligated to comment from time to time.

This entry brought to you by the BBC, which reported today that energy firms could end up making up to £1 billion from trading carbon emmisions permits. The scheme was dreamed up as part of Kyoto, where a maximum number of “pollution permits” are issued, but can be bought or sold among firms. This puts a price on pollution to encourage firms to get cleaner, and provides a way out for firms who fall behind.

In practice, firms that use high carbon sources (like coal) are simply purchasing them from firms that have extra and raising electricity prices to compensate. The higher prices not only increase the profits for firms (like nuclear power producers) that don’t need to purchase the permits, they provide free money to the permit sellers, since they were _given_ the permits for free to begin with. So the net result of government policy is that consumers are facing higher bills to help stuff corporate pockets! The best part comes at the bottom of the article:

The UK government is failing in its carbon emissions targets. It planned to cut CO2 20% by 2010 to tackle climate change – described by Tony Blair as the biggest long-term challenge for mankind.

But under Labour emissions have gone up by more than 2%.”

I could continue by pointing out how Kyoto is failing, and ultimately encourages greater pollution rather than less, but I think the point has been made. At least our government has kept us out of that mess. Now if they could only get smarter about dealing with our gasoline supply, rather than running around and acting like liberals.

I’m all for saving the environment, but I see way too many people that think they can legislate pollution out of existance, like waving a magic wand. Life isn’t that simple, and if you want to accomplish anything on the subject, you first have to recognize reality, not dream up a utopia where all your schemes will work just because you want them to.


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