1: SET LEGALLY BINDING ANNUAL CO2 REDUCTION TARGETS
New law to commit the Government to reducing CO2 every year by a fixed amount - say, 3 per cent - audited by an independent body. A radical programme would then have to be implemented to meet the target.
As a consumer this means nothing to me. Hard to comment. But I don't like targets. That smacks of more people using money talking and not doing. Or doing what meets targets, which often means the opposite of what's best to achieve the result we really are after.
2: DECENTRALISE THE ENERGY SUPPLY SYSTEM
Do away with the vast power stations serving the national grid: think microgeneration. Give every city, every town, every village, its own power station, fitted with a combined heat and power (CHP) system, which cuts CO2
This... I like. So long as the funding to make it work is sensible and not for everyone's benefit except the consumers.
3: ALL NEW BUILDINGS TO BE CO2-FREE
Put a power station in every basement: change building regulations to make all new buildings provide their own power, with solar panels, mini-wind turbines and CHP systems to soak up wasted heat.
Sure, why not? The future starts now.
4: INSIST ON USE OF ENERGY-EFFICIENT LIGHT BULBS
Ban standard light bulbs all over Britain and force us to use energy-saving bulbs instead, which soak up less than a quarter of the electricity. Hugely symbolic gesture which would save enormous quantities of CO2.
How did this get here? I don't like the word ban. And has anyone figured out how most of us afford to restock our existing fittings to take the new bulbs? Better to figure out ways to make the new bulbs fit our fittings and then price them attractively enough to make their use within our budgets.
5: BOOST NEGLECTED RENEWABLES; SOLAR, WAVE, TIDE POWER
Start giving proper funding and backing to renewable energy other than wind: solar power, and power from the waves and tides. These have vast potential to supply CO2-free electricity, yet are underdeveloped.
Yes!!!! I am not a big fan of wind yet. The numbers don't add up, unless you're a German contractor with an MEP meeting you for lunch.
6: FOCUS AGAIN ON OFFSHORE WIND POWER
Renew the impetus behind wind farms based in the sea with 1bn of subsidy: after a good start, development is slowing, because of technical and financial difficulties, yet we have unparalleled offshore wind resources.
OK, offshore. But still, so long as the ROI makes sense to more than a turbine guy's pension plan.
7: GET RADICAL WITH ENERGY EFFICIENCY
Make sure every house in Britain that can be properly insulated is insulated; bring in much more rigorous labelling that can enable any consumer to see how much energy is used by a product.
Ooooook. Insulation is no-brainer. Labelling... hmmn. If our expereince is any guide, labelling is not likely to make a big difference. Looked at a fag packet lately? More money being wafted away on 'campaigns'.
8: TACKLE THE GAS GUZZLERS
Raise vehicle excise duty (VED) on cars such as 4x4s; make it more than ?1,000 per vehicle and set it to rise further. If you want to be radical, insist on a health warning on the side: This Vehicle Damages The Environment.
Why 4x4's? This smacks of city folk (who tend to write for newspapers) applying their urban experiences and prejudices without thinking it through. We're also now in social engineering territory again. Be careful, guys.
9: CURB THE GROWTH IN CHEAP FLIGHTS
Raise air passenger duty to end the cheap flight bonanza, as CO2 emissions from aircraft are the most rapidly rising in Britain and also the most damaging: they go straight into the stratosphere. A vote loser and a tough choice.
Got the last bit right. Same problem as the car fuel one above. Price use down and you're an elitist. By why just cheap flights? Does rather smack of one still wanting one's skiing and safari trips around the globe, but just don't feel the plebs should get to go to visit Granny in Glasgow at half the price the train costs.
10: HAVE A LATE-NIGHT TALK WITH GEORGE BUSH
Do anything you can to get George Bush to change his mind about climate change. The world needs America, the biggest CO2 emitter, to lead the fight against global warming. The President is denying the evidence.
Sure. But when do we talk to the Chinese? I guess it's rude to mention until after the Olympics at least. And who'll be popping over there, I wonder?
It's easy to snipe. And all these are really no-brainers. But the probelm is that everyone who is making the most noise seem blind to the fact that they are usually applying their own limited agendas. And I'm convinced the vast majority of the population are feeling a little bit less than enaged by these rather highbrow notions.
As an example, the paper's Green Goddess column was featured in a link to the article above. I'm afraid that I only got as far as her taking a taxi from her London pied-a-terre to visit her bike-riding eco-consultant or somesuch, before I had to return to my world.