Feeds

Are you ready for WW2-style energy rationing?

Bring your own gas mask

Top three mobile application threats

Firstly, there's double counting. The EU's ETS scheme aspires to do same thing. It already covers half of the UK's fossil fuel energy consumption, and domestic electricity use and aviation will soon be added to ETS.

Which means UK citizens will be paying for their energy using three currencies - a "real" one (sterling) and two "virtual" ones, one operated by the EU (ETS), the other by the state (PCA). It's a bureaucrat's paradise - but this doesn't dampen the Committee's enthusiasm. The more schemes, the merrier - lest anyone be left in the dark, unlit by the bright light of "awareness". As the committee puts it, -

"The fact that there would be double counting in some parts of the carbon chain is not in dispute". However: "Double counting would not reduce the effectiveness of personal carbon trading or detract from the other advantages of the whole concept."

Rationing, it seems, is invincible.

Secondly, and this is ducked completely, a market requires willing buyers and sellers. But if further emission rights are not available, as the rationers insist, then the market only has sellers. So, who's the buyer? Will the state step in and reward eco-virtue? If so, it can do so much more cheaply by issuing rebates rather than it can by creating a spurious market, with the billions of pounds of administrative expenses that go with maintaining the fiction.

Then there's public transport. Should individuals be penalized for long commutes, when the energy emissions are not significant (and the bus or train would run anyway)? Perhaps, the MPs say, but their focus is on marketing rather than justifying the proposal.

"It is important that the public are not faced with a mixed signal," they say.

"Although the surrender of allowances for public transport would be minimal in comparison to the purchase of road fuels, a public transport system that was entirely exempt from personal carbon allowances would provide a far clearer incentive for individuals to leave their cars at home."

And most importantly, the rationing evangelists admit, is that the public doesn't want it.

The past few weeks have seen a deep backlash against "green" taxes, with this week's fuel protest the most visible manifestation.

"A period of significant recession would dampen enthusiasm for most environmental measures, and that personal carbon trading would not be exempt from this trend," they concede.

However prettily the MPs would like to dress up rationing, it's fundamentally a form of social coercion designed to make people less comfortable than they were before. Wartime rationing needs a war-sized scare, and with the climate stubbornly refusing to conform to the computer models (which predict catastrophe) that looks like an impossible prospect. ®

Related link

Environment Audit Committee on Rationing

SANS - Survey on application security programs

More from The Register

next story
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Whoever you vote for, Google gets in
Report uncovers giant octopus squid of lobbying influence
Lavabit loses contempt of court appeal over protecting Snowden, customers
Judges rule complaints about government power are too little, too late
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Don't let no-hire pact suit witnesses call Steve Jobs a bullyboy, plead Apple and Google
'Irrelevant' character evidence should be excluded – lawyers
EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database
System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection
Putin tells Snowden: Russia conducts no US-style mass surveillance
Gov't is too broke for that, Russian prez says
Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ
Robert Hannigan to replace Sir Iain Lobban in the autumn
Alphadex fires back at British Gas with overcharging allegation
Brit colo outfit says it paid for 347KVA, has been charged for 1940KVA
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.