Sunday, October 01, 2006

Green Taxes

It is widely understood that climate change is happening.

Some statistics

  • Global temperatures have risen by over 0.7C in the last 300 years - climate change is therefore already taking place. 0.5C of this warming occurred during the 20th century. Most of the warming was from 1910 to 1940 and from 1976 onwards
  • Four out of five of the warmest years ever recorded were in the 1990's
  • The total number of cold days (where the average temperature was under 0C) has fallen from between 15 and 20 per year prior to the twentieth century, to around 10 per year in recent years
  • Mountain glaciers in non polar regions have retreated significantly during the 20th century
There is much more information available on the web to backup and explain the current impact of these changes.

The root cause is still open to debate although I'm inclined to accept the view that the rise of our Industrial society is a significant contributary factor.

The Tory leader David Cameron has been talking about this to Andrew Marr on his Sunday breakfast show today. He was discussing proposed 'green taxes' and their potential to help reduce emissions from the UK.

The question is of course, will this make any significant impact on the rate of global climate change?

When you consider that China & India are currently two of the worlds biggest polluters with massve economies growing at an exponential rate, you have to wonder. They are building coal fired power stations at an astonishing rate and in due course will even pass the US and EU in their emissions.

Is this talk of green taxes more a case of being seen to take action without actually making a real difference?

What do you think?


Serf said...

Any excuse to tax.

Properly implemented, it could work well, but do we trust the politicians?

Anonymous said...

Pardon me - but did you even read the story whose link you've posted? In the charts provided, India is the least polluting among the top polluters. The USA has an annual output of over 10 times that of India.