I just 'invested' half an hour answering a question posed by The
Times Online. Based on an article regarding the woeful response to a
BA initiative (basically voluntarily buying off your eco-guilt for
flying - check it out here:
they asked if airplane fuel should be taxed
(see here: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,564-1834561.00.html )
, to which I replied as follows:
"Probably, yes. This despite working for a 'change through incentive
rather than penalty-based methods’ planet-saving organisation. AND
being married to a Singaporean, and hence having 50% of annual family
obligations 12,000 miles away. IF (it's a biggie) climate change is
due to greenhouse gasses out of exhaust pipes, then no Prius purchase
will match the consequences of annual jaunts to Klosters or Barbados.
And of course those who do probably still will carry on doing so no
matter what (don’t see too many Notting Hillbilly, chattering class
eco-champions opting to camp in Kent or having their conferences in
Cardiff), and hence punts us straight into ‘them and us’ territory.
As does any fuel tax. Now, who is the politician – especially one who
is seeking re-election in a few summer holidays’ time - to tell us we
can’t fly unless we pay? Or stand up to the airline lobby and its
global employee base that faces serving only a minority elite. Fuel-
cell powered Jumbos anyone?"
It's why I like blogs. Even if they don't include me, or worse they
do and I miss it when they do (got a few better things to do than
live on every online forum in case I get featured), or much worse,
flamed by those who do have such time, at least I can get my point
'out there' on my own terms.
What's interesting is that in the short time between starting this
and looking back, the posts are up there and on balance agreeing with
It will be interesting to see how this pans out. Talking with Emma we
were projecting to a point where she would not be able to afford to
drive to work here (there is no alternative method) or I could not
visit my UK relatives in Scotland, simply because driving was priced
out of our reach and into the province of an elite.
So can taxing or levies on travel be the answer? It would seem to be
political suicide to try.
Then we debated a non-means-based method. How about we are allotted
so much leisure miles a year by road, sea, train and air? Madonna
gets the same as us. Her call on how she uses it. But then, how about
she really, really wants to go somewhere nice and hence gets to buy
our allotment off us? Woooo. Carbon-trading anyone? I am feeling a
headache coming on just trying to grasp with the social,
environmental and all other 'al' consequences. Good job a bunch of
selfish, self-interested empire builders are doing the thinking on
this for us.
Interesting notion. Soon we'll all be stuck in our villages and can
only communicate virtually unless permitted to travel by those who
know better. Glad we have swans outside our window. At least until
John Prescott concretes them over.