Tuesday, March 13, 2007

It's the law

...or at least it soon will be. Today the British government publishes its Climate Change Bill which is expected to set 5-year targets for carbon dioxide emissions. This comes after a weekend when the Conservative opposition were making it clear how green they were. Bit of a balancing act - they want to restrict air travel, but they don't want to upset families who might vote for them so maybe they will target the frequent fliers. Gordon Brown has also set out his stall in a speech, making it clear that he's green and voter-friendly at the same time.

The bill has already attracted criticism. Why have 5-year targets and not annual targets? If things are as desperate as the press and politicians tell us surely we should be watching the situation week by week. It's easy to be cynical and assume that climate change is just another bandwagon and a convenient excuse for raising more tax.

My own view is that the whole thing is far too simplistic. The unspoken message is that if we cut carbon dioxide we will stop global warming, avoid climate change and everything will go on as normal. In fact, the only effect we may have is to make future climate change less bad than it might otherwise have been. If we cut carbon dioxide by cutting our fossil fuel consumption we will also cut production of the other nitrous and sulphurous pollutants than no-one ever mentions, so that might be a hidden bonus.

The real threat of course is Peak Oil. As production volumes decline we will be forced to use less, travel less and consume less, but we could never tell that to the voters. As conventional oil declines it's likely that we will start exploiting oil from coal, shale or tar sands. And when we do that you can forget carbon dioxide limits or pollution controls!

2 comments:

Daniel said...

I find the big picture quite overwhelming. What I do is work towards changing it one car at a time, but immediately.

I sell a product called Ethos Fuel Reformulator which cuts particulates, carbon monoxide, nitrous oxides, and others by around 30%. It also improves fuel economy by 7-19%.

Of course it is not the only product on the market which makes these kind of claims but it has passed testing by Fox and NBC TV, and it is in use by the second-biggest waste trucking company in the States, PetroEcuador, and by Chinese govt clearing Olympic cities' air.

There are videos of the TV tests at www.whatcanonedo.com

It would be great if there was an independent testing review of all products in this field, like Which magazine or some ethical scientific body.

Anyway, EthosFR is not petroleum-based, is non-toxic, and combusts totally itself, while preventing incomplete combustion of fuel and resulting engine inefficiency and exhaust pollution.

Anthony Day said...

Daniel is right - there are several of these fuel economisers around and if they work their effect on fuel usage and emissions are very significant. I agree that we need an independent testing body for products like this. I haven't used the products yet because my car is still under manufacturer's warranty and I'm afraid of doing damage that the manufacturer would refuse to repair on the grounds that I hadn't been using approved fuel.