Thursday, November 09, 2006

Global Warming - tax more to solve all?

The environment has certainly taken centre stage over recent weeks with the publication of The Stern Review. The key findings stipulate that we must act now or it'll be too late, perhaps not surprising given that this was a government-backed report. Despite this it is fair to say that the planet is warming up and looking into ways to reduce pollution should be made.

However, this environmentalist frenzy is resulting in some significant oversights. The scientific community that has serious doubts about human's effect on global temperatures is surprisingly strong. Even if the predictions of The Stern Review prove to be true the simple 'tax more will solve all' approach is doomed to fail. Any carbon reduction here will be more than offset by China alone. And what about when African countries begin to experience significant economic growth? It certainly won't be done using wind turbines.

Then there's the motorist. Measures to prevent fuel prices from falling, ridiculous costs to park outside our own homes, and an additional charge imposed for every mile we drive. And yet simple emissions-saving solutions such as car sharing are continually ignored and under-funded, despite the fact that for every additional driver that car shares emissions produced are reduced by half. Maybe the lack of government support for car sharing stems from the fact that it doesn't involve further taxation... the environment only matters when there's the prospect of higher taxes. Or is that just us being cynical?