Sunday, December 06, 2009

Carbon pricing and the poor

Butterfly on the Mail board asks about the effect of carbon pricing on fuel poverty.

Dear Butterfly

It is impossible to take forever from a finite resource, and it is impossible to expand forever into a finite space.
All finite fuels will run out. They are not infinite.
Therefore we are heading for shortages, for sure.

So, irrespective of AGW, we need to transfer using the energy that the Sun gives us everyday, instead of using the energy that she Sun poured onto primaeval forests and swamps.
In a day we are burning stuff that took tens, maybe hundreds of thousands of years to burn. (Maybe someone out there has figures; I'm guessing)

So we have to kick the carbon habit, before it kicks us.

We Greens have been calling for 3 decades for humanity to kick the habit.

With every year that passes, it is going to become more difficult.

But we have to do it. There is no alternative, as our dear Margaret used to say.

This means that fuel will become more expensive.

As you say, the main concern must be to keep the seniors warm. Absolutely. I wrote a book in 1996, and fuel poverty is in there.

So, we insulate the houses of the elderly. Check their thyroids are functioning. And give them the warmth they need, subsidising as necessary. Oh, and give them lots more looking after, good neighbour schemes.

Because part of the solution is in the community. Looking after each other. Social isolation causes illness.

I'll leave it there for the minute.

Others will be chipping in soon with "what about underlying prices? Inflation?"



Stuart Jeffery said...

I'm sure someone has worked out proper deposit to burn time and finding the info on the interweb is difficult for some reason. Assuming though, oil was formed from deposits over say 70 million years and that we have used oil in increasing amounts over the past 150 years up to the current peak, it is easy to guess that we must be getting through around 1 million years worth every year at present???

DocRichard said...

Hi Stuart
Here's a ball park figure.
Carboniferous period lasted 60 million years.
Let's assume we have chewed our way through 1/6th of the total geologic resource.
That means that we have burned 1n 150 years carbon that took 10 million years to take out of the atmosphere.

Which means that in any one year we are burning carbon that took 64,000 years to be formed.

O dear. I think I need to go back to bed...