The Campaign against Climate Change has been running a very thought-provoking extending compendium of ideas on how to reduce British Carbon Emissions by ten percent by (the end of) 2010, to which you are all welcome to contribute :-
My own, maybe a little tongue-in-cheek, ideas are as follows. Please let me know if you have other ideas you want to promote. You know how to reach my by now, eh ?
1. Invest £10 million in research reports and Press Releases from institutes and universities about the dangers of in-car and in-plane airborne pollution : including petrochemical and plastics toxins, organic chemicals, minute exhaust particles, and bacterial/viral colonies in air conditioning. Also summaries of research on the concentrations of asthma-provoking air pollution from cars around schools, hospitals and shopping centres. If people knew how bad cars and aeroplanes were for their health, I’m sure they’d think twice about driving and flying.
2. Start telling the truth about the Recession-cum-Depression in the public arena – that should put paid to a number of Carbon-intensive industrial and development enterprises – as people get real about the permanently collapsed Economy.
3. Mount a “boycott and divestment” campaign against Banks that invest in Carbon. Take your money, savings, pensions, shares out of financial bodies and companies that invest in Coal, Oil, Natural Gas, Carbon Capture and Nuclear. Put your money into groups that invest in Renewable Energy technologies. By the time your children retire, the only Energy left will be Renewable, so it’s time to re-direct the family fortunes now !
4. Enforce the Energy Companies to issue a zero-cost low-use tariff on Natural Gas and Electricity. In other words, if customers use less than a certain amount of Natural Gas and Electricity at home, they don’t pay for their supply. Reward the Energy Companies for reaching targets – numbers of customers on the zero-cost low-use tariff.
5. Make Bed and Breakfast enterprises tax-free in the United Kingdom for British people. In other words, do not tax B&B owners if they offer rooms to British citizens. This should encourage rising levels of “staycations” – holidaying in the home country. It could also solve the homelessness and unemployment problems as a by-product.
6. Make public announcements that all household wastes will be used to make electricity and biogas, requiring the immediate modification of all water and sewage treatment works. Set up collections of all organic/biological waste, including cooked food, to be brought to these digestion plants as additional feedstock.
7. Legislate for the cancellation of business rates in all Local Authorities for social enterprises running community kitchens, local food growing, bicycle repair and maintenance workshops, renewable energy businesses and insulation projects.
8. Train a network of Carbon Buddies, people who will implement enforced cycling and walking therapy for the obese, and accompany people on “cycle trains” and “walking buses” that travel by timetable from area to area.
9. Order companies to insulate their buildings and keep premises between 16 and 21 degrees C using as much renewable power as possible to do so (especially for cooling).
10. Mandate for all Local Authorities to build community water-free and energy-free toilet facilities, with rainwater-harvested, solar-heated public showers.
11. Order Local Authorities to implement Combined Heat and Power projects, or face fines for Energy waste.
12. Enforce low Carbon travel plans for each public body and company.
13. Order all supermarkets to close their freezers and reduce the lighting. And source 30% of their food locally.
14. Prohibit the sale of high Energy products (anything rated B or above in the A to G scale).
15. Offer “No Fly” awards for companies who put in place policies and programmes to halt business air travel.
16. Mandate all schools, hospitals, public libraries to have insulation and natural ventilation plans.
17. Require all Local Authorities to run a “Lights Out at Night” programme with staff with powers to enforce. Get Boris Johnson to cut the power to the London Underground advertising screens at night.
18. Make each Local Authority responsible for setting up a centre of expertise on insulation, renewable energy and Low Carbon living. With real money and jobs attached.
19. Report on how each household can install thick fleece curtains in Winter, and provide a service for Winter curtaining in each Local Authority.
20. Make it illegal to demand people to travel more than 20 miles by car a day for work. Companies should be encouraged to part-finance all the new public transport, shuttle services and ad hoc arrangements that will be needed to implement this law. Exceptions would include some health workers, and disabled workers who would need to be provided with zero Carbon vehicles to travel to and from and for work. Exceptions would also include food and goods transporters, until they transfer all freight to trains, sea and canal.
21. Create generous tax conditions for those companies that deliver by extremely Low Carbon transport such as horse and cart, dog rolling sled and bicycle trailer. If necessary, create special lanes on roads to enable this. Bring in a “Twenty’s Plenty” speed limit in all residential areas.
If you get the chance to listen, here’s what George Monbiot prescribes for immediate and significant Carbon Cuts :-
“#19: Climate Safety : Most Popular, Specials, The 300-350 Show on May 7, 2009 : The 300-350 Show #19: Download : climate-safety : Featuring: (*) George Monbiot (The Guardian); (*) Caroline Lucas MEP (Green Party); (*) Jeremy Leggett (Solar Century); (*) Leila Deen (activist) : The new series of “The 300-350 Show” kicks of with a recording of the presentations given at the launch of the “Climate Safety” report last Autumn. The Public Interest Centre’s “Climate Safety” report gives a clear and simple summary of the latest science, and shows how our current handling of the problem has exposed us to serious and growing risks. With Arctic sea ice melting away faster than anyone had predicted, the climate seems more sensitive than almost anyone thought, placing us in the middle of a climate emergency that cannot be ignored or brushed aside. The report delivers a clear message that to have any chance of maintaining a safe climate, we must rapidly decarbonise our society, preserve global sinks, and address the problem with an unprecedented degree of seriousness. Even with a commitment to 80% carbon cuts by 2050, “Climate Safety” warns that our current policy response does not match up to the scale of the challenge. At this launch event, recorded last Autumn, the panelists discuss how we can get beyond “politics-as-usual” and achieve a full, emergency response. Many thanks to film-maker Beth Stratford for the use of her sound recordings.”