The National Forum   Donate   Your Account   On Line Opinion   Forum   Blogs   Polling   About   
The Forum - On Line Opinion's article discussion area


RSS 2.0

Main Articles General

Sign In      Register

The Forum > Article Comments > Rewarding consumer behaviour > Comments

Rewarding consumer behaviour : Comments

By Kevin Cox, published 5/9/2006

It makes economic sense to invest in keeping the ice in place.

  1. Pages:
  2. Page 1
  3. All
The disconnect between benefits and costs of greenhouse abatement is nowhere more evident than in Queensland. As a major coal user and exporter it is bringing profits to the mining sector and ruin to inland agriculture. The denial is compounded with daft statements about technological salvation with clean coal and the effect of reduced tree clearing.

However I believe there are major issues with any system of carbon credits. Overseas experience suggests these credits are exaggerated and difficult to verify. Sometimes they embody a growth assumption such as new clean energy displacing existing coal use..don't think so. In the case of tree planting we should do it for other reasons like aesthetics, harvest, soil strengthening and so on. Not because some sharp financial operator will pay us a pittance.
Posted by Taswegian, Tuesday, 5 September 2006 1:20:35 PM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
Your recommendations sound good, Kevin but they won't work!

Governments of all persuasions have and will continue to bend over backwards to appease pollutant industries.

Governments are spending up big in advising the ordinary "Joe Blow" to limit his excesses to reduce greenhouse gases but fail to offer the same advice to industry.

Can you imagine a local government agency of a mining town suggesting to industry that if they are good boys they will obtain rewards? I think not! There is much more to gain in a fiscal sense by spewing out as many hazardous air pollutants as possible.

You will find that Joe Citizen is heavily regulated. Pollutant industries are "self regulated". Any attempt by government's environmental agencies, offering suggestions to industry, is mainly by persuasion and not through enforcement.

My other posts are on a similar vein by my repeated plea for Departments of Environment to enforce limits on all toxic emissions.

Cappings on emissions would not shut down industries but rather compel the rogue companies to upgrade pollutant prevention equipment, to ensure that its combustion technique is operating efficiently; to perform continuous analysis of emissions and to invest in other technologies to drastically reduce emissions.

As in some other countries, if companies fail to comply, then they would be required to cease operations until their technologies meet all regulatory requirements.

Departments of Environment are encouraging pollution by failing to advise parliaments of the need to incorporate enforcement within legislation or individual licences. Shamefully, they continue to defend rogue companies when a community member is sufficiently audacious to submit an official complaint!

Mr Howard has threatened Joe Citizen with increased electricity charges should incentives be put in place for reduced emissions which tells me that the status quo will remain with exploitation of the masses continuing.

"Persuasion" in industry has not worked, does not work and will not work in the future. "Persuasion" has been at the expense of environmental and human health and legislated enforcement is well overdue!
Posted by dickie, Saturday, 9 September 2006 4:51:24 PM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
The "carbon rewards" idea is a great idea - worth considering, but possibly tricky to implement.
Apart from the difficulties already being experienced, in the management of carbon trading, overseas, the "carbon rewards" idea seems to me to imply that people will voluntarily choose a less consumerist lifestyle. What a winderful sea-change that would be! But, unlikely , as the first, Second, and now Third Worlds are now completely enmeshed in consumerism as a way of life.
Still, all these strategies are worth pursuing. The one that looks so obvious to me, is the one that Australia ignores - legislation enabling people to install solar power systems, and to sell their surplus power back to the electriciy grid.
While other countries, with California in the lead, are taking up this system enthusiastically, sunny Australia, led by Bush and Howard, is listening to the frantic hype about nuclear power.
Christina Macpherson
Posted by ChristinaMac, Monday, 11 September 2006 12:14:49 PM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
Energy Rewards would be easy to implement and it could be introduced incrementally tomorrow. A possible first stage could be:

We already collect a large amount of tax on energy so people are used to fuel taxes. A State or Federal government could introduce it first on grids electricity as this is easy to collect because you tax the generators of electricity. It does not have to be a new tax but it could be a redefinition of an existing tax so it need not increase the total tax. Even if it was a new tax it would be a "redistribution" tax where the tax is transferred from one group of consumers to another so that the total net tax to consumers is zero. (This means it is legal for the States to impose it)

One measure of greenhouse friendly behaviour is to calculate the amount of household energy consumed per head. If this amount is less than a target amount then the household receives rewards. In an optin system this is easy to implement and to enforce compliance.

Projects on which to invest rewards could be things like the purchase of low consumption electric bulbs, solar hot water systems, solar arrays that can feed into grids, insulation. Subsidy systems are in place for many of these items so allowing rewards to be used as part of the purchase price is easy to do.

Because consumers "sign up" for rewards and because they are given automatically and because it would be an electronic system the administrative costs are low.

Would people "sign up". Of course they would because if they consumed less grids electricity they will get a reward - and feel good about it. Others who consume a lot would have a target to achieve and many would invest in energy saving devices or methods just to get the reward recognition.
Posted by Fickle Pickle, Tuesday, 12 September 2006 4:56:13 AM
Find out more about this user Visit this user's webpage Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
  1. Pages:
  2. Page 1
  3. All

About Us :: Search :: Discuss :: Feedback :: Legals :: Privacy