Thursday, January 15, 2009

Infuriated with the British Government

I am amazed frankly at their stupidity now, how they can't see that this will only put them in a worse light. The decision announced today is the most hypocritical so far. They are taxing the British motorist everywhere they can on the fuel 60% of what we pay is tax and they have increased the car taxation bands drastically charging more for cars that emit higher C02 emissions the larger cars have gone from £180 a yr to £440 and my wife’s tiny 1.25lt fiesta from £120 a yr to £145.

Yet today they announce that plans for a 3rd runway at one of the world’s largest airports Heathrow are approved. How can they support the environmental argument for the taxes the motorist pay suggesting when they pass this new runway to substantially increase aviation in the UK? Cars run on roads some on the CO2 they produce has the opportunity to be absorbed by trees and plants therefore and larger deposits or carbon fall on the roads. Planes fly in the stratosphere they only place that the emissions they produce therefore can go is into the atmosphere further contributing to global warming. They must be either extremely ignorant or stupid not to realise this. Planes may produce less CO2 than the nation of motorists do but the impact is so much greater because of the altitude at which they fly.

Further to this how do they expect to reach the reduction in CO2 targets that they have set now, its sheer lunacy. My other accusations at the government in this blog can be excused somewhat on the fact that it requires some in depth research to discover the paradoxes they can pose. This abomination however cannot, it is a clear cut case and even if they lay on more trains to the 3rd runway as they promise they are never going to counteract the damage they are doing, to the environment and themselves. As much as I have always voted and loyally supported labour this hypocrisy cannot be ignored this is one step too far they have infuriated the British public for too long.

The argument would be that this will create jobs but hello Mr Brown who is flying in a recession anyway, isn't this, another waste of money, to add to the Olympics which is of course also not going to help meeting our CO2 level targets?

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Does Global Recession = Consumption Recession?

I hope so.
No really its an interesting question, which would deserve several PhD studies of its own. If the global recession hits peoples spending power by the amount that it has in the last few months in the UK. Could it bring about a sustained or a least temporary drop in consumption.

Could and would people stop just replacing products because there is a new one available that has newer features? Would people once again treasure their old CRT TV’s and stop replacing them with the environmentally destructive LCD types (see earlier post energy efficiency or governmental deficiency) that don't last anywhere near as long. Would municipal recycling centres see a decline in the amount of products (many still working) being thrown away each week. Could we ever become a society again that sees benefits in repairing products rather than disposing of them. Or cherishing products that last a long time and caring for them in order to further extend their life, rather than despairing at an older product because it is now the wrong colour or does match a new appliance.

Could we return even partially to the consumer attitudes pre 1960's plastics mass production boom, before the days of built in obsolescence and the disposable society. A society that invests in products expecting them to last half a life time like my old iron.

I really do think that in order to significantly reduce the environmental impact that we are creating we really need to go backwards rather than forwards. Perhaps this recession is the opportunity we all need to significantly change our attitudes. Perhaps even during this down turn a product service sector may become a stronger possibility with consumers renting rather than buying appliances to allow for them to be returned to the OEM at the end of life for remanufacturing, well we can only hope

Yes this may appear insensitive with the current rate of redundancies being announced each day in the UK. But if we could go back to a time of repairing and maintaining products or offer product service sectors this will create a lot more jobs in each home country rather than the far east.

However I doubt it is even on the governments consideration list as they hand the greedy and incompetent banks more of ours the tax payers money today whilst the interest rates have again been lowered punishing those who were careful enough to save rather than contributing to this over consumption disaster in the first place. I probably should stop ranting about the government though soon as I've decided when I finish my PhD I'm going to do something about this mess and apply for a civil service position hopefully in the strategy board to influence government policy. But we will see...