Emissions Trading Scheme

Like many people I’d been watching the  political nightmare that was evolving in Copenhagen and wondering do the politicians even care about what they’re discussing or is it just political wrangling? Honestly, when has politics and the environment worked hand in hand – other than as a platform on which to get elected? Let’s face it, if they WERE meant to go together we’d have had the Green Party in power long ago.

As it turns out Copenhagen may have started out optimistically but after two weeks we ended up with a non-binding Accord that included the goal to limit global temperature rise to less than 2 degrees.  Whilst that’s a positive step, the point here is it’s non-binding.

I do believe climate change is real, but I also believe we live on an evolving planet. Not very long ago (in the timeline of evolution – not the timeline of man) Australia was totally rainforest. In a very short time span (relatively speaking) it is now 80% desert – none of which had anything to do with man’s activity.

Whilst I agree we have some impact particularly on the speed of evolution, and therefore have to take responsibility to preserve the planet (rather than trying to find us an alternative!) since we are the only animals capable of (so-called) intelligent thought, I think the whole thing is just a new way to get as much money as possible in whatever time we have left. Both sides of politics in Australia are hashing out their respective Emissions Trading Schemes – which amount to nothing more than a tax really.

The ETS is a good idea – in principle. Big polluters pay fines for their emissions and therefore you use the stick to get them to cut back. Fine in principle. But when you then allow them to pass on the fines to consumers how is that doing anything? There’s no deterrent. There’s no penalty. There’s no motivation to cut emissions because they’ll just use the consumer to pay their fines.

So nothing changes really other than the end-user paying out more to use the same product – and the government collecting the fine.

Isn’t it time to actually put aside the politics and the revenue-raising and get real about climate change?

Do Something’s chair Jon Dee has asked our politicians to ‘do something’ real about reducing carbon emissions. I’m sharing the 10 questions they asked of politicians because I think they are a useful test for everyone. Adopting these 10 actions could reduce the greenhouse emissions of the average person by at least 10% according to Mr Dee. How many are you doing now?

  1. Do you turn the plugs off on electrical appliances when they’re not in use?
  2. Are you using renewable Green Power in your own home? If so, what percentage?
  3. What kind of car do you drive? Is it a hybrid or fuel-efficient car? If not, when you get your next car will you commit to a more fuel-efficient model?
  4. Does your home have a solar or heat pump hot water system?
  5. Does your home have insulation?
  6. Do you adjust your thermostat to use less energy?
  7. Have you replaced all of your home’s incandescent globes with energy-saving globes?
  8. Do you have triple star efficient shower heads in your home?
  9. Do you recycle everything that RecyclingNearYou.com.au shows is recyclable in your local area?
  10. Do you carbon offset your aircraft flights?

Set yourself a target to reduce your own emissions while the governments of the world are busy arguing … we might just show them the way!

© Earth Goddess Wisdom – www.earthgoddesswisdom.com

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