Unless we do something about global warming now, the result is going to be a disaster.

I'm talking about climate change, 5 degrees warming in a single year, deserts, sea level rise, and 90% loss of the human population.

Is it real?

Can we stop it once it has started?

I remember being in assembly at Hamilton Boy's High School back in 1969 when The Bird (Mr Baigent the Headmaster) told the 1200 assembled boys, "and my son is off (up?, over?) in Hawaii studying the size of raindrops. Well, you have never heard such huge laugh from so many for so long. I almost felt sorry for the man, but he was just too short for that, but I was thinking, well at least now somebody is establishing a base line for the climate. It is now 40 years on, and what have we done for climate change in that time? Little or nothing. I'm talking about halting and reversing the trend of burning more and more fossil fuel each year.

It would be relatively easy to switch to solar energy, but governments have to take the problem seriously and legislate.

They need to immediately, this year put a 10% tax on petrol.

Why, because it would provide a disincentive to using petrol, and the money could be used to fund an alternative, such as solar panels producing electricity.

My proposal is even more radical. I realize that it is not possible to impose a 10% increase in fuel prices without increasing wages. People are already spending ever cent, especially when they work for minimum wages. An immediate 25c per hour wage increase will not do it, because although that is $10 per week for the worker working 40 hours per week, tax of 17% or 20% plus GST of 15% or 17% means that there is still an income gap. There will have to be at least another 25c increase, no later than 1st July 2011, if the first 25c comes in from 1st April this year.

My idea to make a credit of $500 available to all ratepayers so they can buy solar panels or sell their credits to those who do want to install them, includes a proposal in the first year to simply give ratepayers a $500 credit on rates, (from the petrol/carbon tax), because things are so tight financially. Politicians still don't understand it, even though there has been a revolution in Egypt.

Old people are having their life savings stolen, there is high unemployment, and paying the rates is not possible if you have a fixed, shrinking income, and prices are rising, along with electricity, food and everything else.

Global warming is just another luxury we can't think about.


 To those who say the answer to global warming is not a carbon tax, let me just say that if global warming is real, and it is caused by burning fossil fuels such as petrol, it has been going on at an increasing rate for the last 40 years since I was just new to high school, and it isn't going to go away in the next 40.

If we put a 10% tax on petrol right now we could in 12 months pay every rate payer (land owner) $500, which they could use to buy a solar panel.

They could, alternatively, sell their $500 credit (for $400 if they wished) to somebody else who could buy a $500 solar panel with it. Panel have to be manufactured in India and China to make them affordable, but if a house could generate $1,000 worth of electricity each year (4,000 units, or 11 units per day) it would be worthwhile.

We don't even know with any certainty, how much electricity a $500 solar panel could generate. It it was manufactured in China, it could be worth $5,000 due to exchange rate gains.

A $500 solar water collector can easily produce enough hot water to save 20 units of electricity a day, on average throughout the whole year. This is worth about $5 per day, if the household uses that much hot water a day, presuming the price of electricity is about 25c a unit. It actually costs only 3c to generate.

It can be demonstrated however that a tax which pays back to those who use electricity, from those who use petrol, will encourage people to substitute electricity from the sun for electricity from other forms, especially fossil fuels, if it is managed correctly.

It can be seen that even if the $500 is spent on petrol which contains 10% ethanol made from plants, a small saving of fossil fuel is being made.

The $500 credit is arrived at by assuming that with a 10% tax on fuel, somebody will use $5000 worth at the pump, to earn $500 in tax. That is very roughly $100 worth per week. While I would use perhaps $20 worth per week, some fuel would be used in bringing my groceries to the supermarket, my mail and newspaper to my house, my clothes to the shop, and so on. Even if everybody received $500 rebate, the amount of tax levied on a 10% fuel tax would be far in excess of that figure.


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Corporate lobbying

One oil company alone – Exxon-Mobil – spent $19 million on promoting scepticism about global warming in order to water down any legislation on carbon emissions. A group of banks, headed by Goldman Sachs, has in a similar way fended off tighter controls on derivatives trading, one of the main causes of the 2008 global financial collapse. This is just the tip of the iceberg. With plenty of parties, politicians and ex-politicians for sale to the highest corporate bidder, what does this tell us about how we are governed? How can people begin to claim power back from the masters of spin, PR and brown paper envelopes? This issue of the New Internationalist exposes the murky world of corporate lobbying – and suggests what can be done about it.

 Greens Wrong with Extravagant Climate Change Claims

Claims by Russell Norman in a media release today that the Government is not planning to reduce emissions with its proposed 2050 target are just plain wrong, Climate Change Minister Nick Smith says.

“Dr Norman says the 50% reduction by 2050 is meaningless and actually amounts to an increase because of the distinction in the detailed consultation paper of base line being a gross figure and the target in 2050 being a net figure,” Dr Smith said.

“He claims the difference between 1990 net emissions and 1990 gross emissions was 31 million tonnes when the difference is less than one million tonnes. Ironically if we use the net 1990 figure the 2050 target would actually be greater and less stringent.



 The figure could be further refined as saying it was up to $2,500 per hectare, with property value of up to a certain figure, say $1,000,000 per half hectare. You could call this a tree credit. The reason being that land and building owners are the people in a position to substitute solar energy for other types of electricity in their buildings. In addition, land owners with mature trees, such as farmers with a stand of trees on an estate could also benefit, by receiving the payment as a reward.

If the tax were applied equally to coal and natural gas, at the equivalent rate as to 98 octane petrol, on a tax per BTU (British Thermal Unit) then a lot more money could be applied to finding immediate alternatives to fossil fuels.

This solution is immediate, and it should have been applied on the 1st of January 2007 or before that even. The fact that politicians such as the Climate Change Minister, Hon. Nick Smith M.P. still have not made up their minds says more about their ability to think and to reason than anything else.



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