Feeds

UK.gov torpedoes personal carbon credit plans

'Not a universally desirable outcome' - no, really?

Mobile application security vulnerability report

Most people probably wouldn't bother, and the billions spent on smartcards, readers, markets, etc, would be largely wasted.

Then, the few people who were interested and carried on doing the scheme would probably not be rational traders. For instance, a right-on environment lover would very probably be an obsessive carbo-smartcard user, trying as hard as possible to reduce his or her personal carbon burden and be the most virtuous kid on the block. Such a person might well reach the point at which they could only use less carbon by installing a rooftop wind turbine, which would reduce carbon emissions at a cost of £400 per tonne of CO2 not emitted.

A fanatic might go ahead and do that; but in fact this would not be helpful. In terms of the personal carbon market it would represent "irrational trading".

A far better thing to do, from the point of both the UK economy and the environment, would be to bribe one's neighbours not to drive to the shops but take the bus instead. This might cost £20 per tonne of CO2 saved, so the righteous green hardliner could either save a lot more carbon by bribing more neighbours, or save the same as the microgeneration kit would have and still have cash to spend - perhaps on something carbon-righteous like a new plasma TV (no, really*, plasma TVs are OK).

In this way the UK would still save carbon but wouldn't economically cripple itself buying fantastically inefficient rooftop windmills.

Of course, the truly carbo-virtuous might have trouble getting anyone to talk to them about taking the bus to the shops, having skipped so many baths and put unwashed clothes back on so many times*.

Another weakness of the carbon-trading scheme is that it would probably fail to penalise many of these supposedly "low-carbon" individuals for the high greenhouse burden associated with their probable diet of lentils, soybeans and similar pulses. (It is of course well known that methane, an inevitable byproduct of such culinary habits, is a far more potent greehouse gas than CO2 itself. And yes, we know that eating meat means cows farting all over the shop - no need to write in. Our own diet is largely composed of highly carbon efficient biofuel-like liquid food).

All in all, the gov seem to have got this one right. Read much more from DEFRA here, if you've a mind to. ®

Bootnote

*There is a perception at the moment that reducing carbon burden in the home might be a matter of switching tellies off standby or generally eschewing the use of evil "gadgets".

A nice big plasma TV on standby uses less than 1 watt of 'leccy. In use, this rises to 400-odd watts. A fairly ordinary steam iron often draws 2,400 watts; you'd save as much juice by not doing 20 minutes of ironing as by switching your TV off at the wall for a month. The washing machine probably runs at 3kW. Skip three loads of laundry, keep your telly on standby for a year and you've still used less electricity. Etc, etc.

The big power hogs in your home - and thus the big carbon squirters, unless you live in nuclear-powered France and don't use gas - are the bath or shower, the washing machine, the heating, the fridge, and the cooker. You can probably chill out about the gadgets.

Mobile application security vulnerability report

More from The Register

next story
UK.gov's Open Source switch WON'T get rid of Microsoft, y'know
What do you mean, we've ditched Redmond in favour of IBM?!
UK government officially adopts Open Document Format
Microsoft insurgency fails, earns snarky remark from UK digital services head
Major problems beset UK ISP filth filters: But it's OK, nobody uses them
It's almost as though pr0n was actually rather popular
US Social Security 'wasted $300 million on an IT BOONDOGGLE'
Scrutiny committee bods probe derailed database project
HP, Microsoft prove it again: Big Business doesn't create jobs
SMEs get lip service - what they need is dinner at the Club
ITC: Seagate and LSI can infringe Realtek patents because Realtek isn't in the US
Land of the (get off scot) free, when it's a foreign owner
Arrr: Freetard-bothering Digital Economy Act tied up, thrown in the hold
Ministry of Fun confirms: Yes, we're busy doing nothing
Australia floats website blocks and ISP liability to stop copyright thieves
Big Content could get the right to order ISPs to stop traffic
Help yourself to anyone's photos FOR FREE, suggests UK.gov
Copyright law reforms will keep m'learned friends busy
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.