- You’d hope there might be some informed debate about whether this prediction is realistic?
- You’d hope someone would ask whether £184 billion would be better spent on improving people’s lives in other ways (take the Bjorn Lomborg proposal that clean water would do more for the world's poor than tackling climate change)?
- You’d hope someone would say, even if this IS correct, there is little point the UK acting alone when it is responsible for under 2% of greenhouse gases (though shutting down completely would make a difference), so why cripple your economy until you’ve convinced China, India and the US to do the same?
No – almost all of the media has presented one view, a sheepish following of the report.
UK Environment Minister David Milliband has hopped on the bandwagon proposing new taxes such as:
- Annual rises in fuel tax;
- Taxes on incandescent light bulbs;
- Taxes on flights to EU countries.
The fuel tax proposal is particularly cheeky, saying that if oil prices drop then fuel tax should increase to make up the difference!! So if oil is plentiful and cheap, the UK will pay more and more in tax. None of the proposals have any assessment as to the net effect on the economy, on the environment and on demand for air travel, driving etc. It is, essentially, a left wing manifesto of ecological taxation.
So what does Her Majesty's loyal opposition say? The BBC reports David Cameron AGREES and so do the Lib Dems. Wonderful! So no debate on such a radical issue. Not even questioning why the UK should tax itself silly in a way that makes no difference at all to climate change. It is like stopping one person pissing in the pool while the others continue unabated.