I have been a bit remiss in posting recently, after seeing how every Google Search request causes another Polar Bear to die, I thought it important to limit my internetwebthingy exposure.
However, I have (during this period of enforced abstinance) been developing the most awesome theory of collective action, which in one foul swoop, delivers immediate answers to the Carbon Crisis, the Jobs Crisis, and the World Financial Melt-Down.
I call it the Carbon Rationing Assessment Protocol scheme.
Here's how it works, and if anyone can see any down-side, or poke any holes in it, please let me know ASAP. I'm sniffing huge grant money, here....
A simple and elegant scheme to achieve three major societal goals:
1. Effective reduction of carbon pollution, as opposed to “cap and trade” schemes which do not effectively reduce anything;
2. Creation of numerous new full-time employment opportunities; and
3. Insulating deserving, low-carbon citizens from the global financial fall-out, as well as the costs of Carbon Equilisation.
It is what I call my Carbon Rationing Assessment Protocol, and how it works is simple (and elegant!).
Firstly, consider your Medicare card. Everybody has one, and it is a de-facto identity card (just don’t tell anyone, mmmmm’O.K.?)
The Medicare card is the key to my Carbon Rationing Assessment Protocol scheme. Obviously a lot of research is needed (jobs! jobs! jobs!), but the Medicare card represents the members of your direct family.
If you are single, there is one name on the card, and it (should) doesn’t appear on any other Medicare card. If you are a couple, then you each get a card, with different suffix numbers beside your prime number. And so on.
The key part of the Carbon Rationing Assessment Protocol scheme is to allocate a specific tonnage of Carbon pollution to each individual person, irrespective of age, race or creed. Let’s say 50 tonnes per annum, per person. Research = jobs! jobs! jobs!, as you know.
A family of four would then have access to 200 tonnes of Carbon Credits (“CC”s) per annum.
Every retailer would be required to provide a “carbon footprint” (“CF”) of each article sold. Californian Naval Oranges might have a CF of 520g per Kg (as they are an imported luxury item), whilst local sour Valencia oranges may have a CF of only 120g per Kg.
Just imagine the job creation in Coles/Woolworths/Aldi just to set up and maintain the CF ratings! New Laws = jobs! jobs! jobs!, you know!
When you get to the checkout, every item’s CF is added up, and you swipe your Medicare card, and select the person or persons who are going to be deducted the CC’s for this shopping trip, which might amount to 3 tonnes.
You then go to fill up your Prius on the way home, and when you go in to pay for the 50 litres of petrol, you have to hand over your Medicare card. This is an easy calculation, because it is pure mathematics. Every litre of petrol generates 2.34 kilograms of Carbon Pollution (“CP”). Ching! Ching! Select someone from your Medicare card to be deducted 117 Kg of CC’s.
You get home, and find your electricity bill in the mailbox. It will no doubt already have some assessment of your CF. Ching! Ching! Another 4 tonnes goes from a family member’s CC account.
There’s a knock on the door. “Hello, we are from the Government, and we are here to assess the Carbon Footprint of your house, which will help the Earth.” (jobs! jobs! jobs!, don’t forget!)
These people crawl around your house, measuring the square meterage of concrete, the number of bricks, the amount of mortar, and come up with an expected life of 50 years, and a CF figure of the construction of the house (we all know how cement production is really, really carbon pollution intensive). Therefore, if the CF of the construction of your house was 3,950 tonnes, then its yearly amortisation over its expected life is 79 tonnes per annum. Ching! Ching!
Therefore, when you get your rates notice, or the environmental charge is passed on by your Landlord, you have to deduct 79 tonnes from someone’s Medicare CC account.
You buy a new Prius, because it is 0.034% more energy efficient than last year’s model. It has another impossible to remove sticker on its windscreen which shows its CF. You don’t pay the full CF of 687 tonnes, but you pay a pro-rata with your registration for every year you own it, for a fully amortised expected life-span of 20 years, so Ching! Ching! goes another 34.35 tonnes from someone’s account.
So, well and good, you can see the enormous jobs growth potential, as every single thing has to be measured for its Carbon Footprint, and charged accordingly, on a “user pays” basis.
Now, here comes the elegant beauty of my Carbon Rationing Assessment Protocol scheme:
Suppose someone voluntarily reduces their family’s CF, by:
(a) living in a mobile home, caravan park, or even more laudable, a recycled 40’ transport container.;
(b) is not connected to the power grid, and has cold showers once a fortnight, cooks Spam and marshmallows on a dung (and you know where that comes from!) fire;
(c) owns a 20+ year old shitbox, which is not even registered anyway; and
(d) refuses to work, thus eliminating the carbon pollution of travelling to and from work, washing and ironing clothes, and spending money on holidays (because every day is a holiday!).
They will receive exactly the same Carbon Rationing Assessment Protocol value, of 50 tonnes per person, so with the eight kids (but no “partner” of sufficient duration to appear on a Medicare card) this will allow a CC account of 450 tonnes per annum.
As a result of their voluntary reduction of the family’s CF, it is expected (lots more research needed here = jobs! jobs! jobs!) that they will have a CC credit at the end of the year of, say, 350 tonnes.
What they can do is trot along to their local Medicare office at the end of the year, and put their excess CC’s up for sale, through the under-utilised Medicare computer system, or else through a private broker (jobs! jobs! jobs!) who might pay them a reduced market price to provide immediate payment and gratification.
Finally, someone who exceeds their family’s CC limit, will be unable to purchase any food, petrol, electricity, or anything like that, so they will either (a) starve in darkness whilst being evicted from their house, or (b) buy CC’s from someone who has put their excess CC’s on the market, at whatever the market rates might be (jobs! jobs! jobs!).
It would take an enormous effort to administer all of this (jobs! jobs! jobs!), but at the end of the day, it would be an elegant, simple, an equitable means of ensuring that everyone paid fairly and squarely for their carbon pollution.