Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Taxation as a means of environmental and climate change control

Taxation as a means of environmental and climate change control 

There is a need for a more vigorous reform of taxation that may affect consumer behaviour in consumption habits and welfare.

To this end I have been looking at lots of various options from carbon taxes pollution taxes, welfare systems and come to the conclusion that most fail in the long term as they do not address the fact that we are fundamentally consuming to much at all levels of the chain, from manufacture through to consumption and along with that the waste that occurs at all levels also, and not forgetting overall damage caused by all this activity. 

So the proposal I suggest is relatively simple , but obviously not in the detail as any change is always bedevilled with the detail. so in broad terms only I suggest three fundamental changes. 

1 Scrap all existing taxes and replace with a Natural Resource Tax, NRT, collected as near to source as possible , like oil at the well head, coal at the mine , aggregates  at the quarry , land at the land owner, water by those who extract or use it  like the utilities and fisherman and those who put waste into the water chain, and for air by those who directly pollute , but this may be part of the tax , say on oil or coal , otherwise there is a double tax being applied. The amount of tax collected would meet the whole budget of the state to include security,education health , welfare infrastructure  etc, and possible debt reduction.  This tax then is not avoided, by anyone and would be paid direct to the state. The NRT would be based on the actual and potential damage these resources do to the planets eco and life support systems.

2 Raise a death tax without loopholes to stop excessive personal wealth being transferred from generation to the next generation, with the aim of reducing the rich poor divide.

3 As part of taxation reform and therefore making the consumer at all levels of the chain responsible for change, by the products they consume and use, they effect the levels of damage and pollution to the planets ecosystems, I believe we have to empower the individual to promote their own well being and health by introducing a Basic Income , which would provide for Pension, Health and Benefits, which would then controlled by the individual and not by the state.  This Basic Income awarded to all citizens of the state is in recognition of the changing world we all live in and it is not always the individuals fault that they have not the power to obtain work and be a useful citizen within the community, The fast changes in technology and shifts of production globally now has huge effects on the employment possibilities in any area, and unless there is a real shift in the way work is allocated there will always be a huge divide  like in Chicago  and Brexit happening in the UK and generally between the rich and poor. This basic income will help to overcome the worse effects.

I believe this is a far more credible way forward with the use of carrots and sticks to achieve a result we all want. Also as the taxes are fewer and more comprehensive in the way they are collected, I believe the total tax take could be reduced compared to now  when all the aspects are taken into account, for example , easier accounting for business, reduced tax accountancy needed, Less ability to evade taxes at a personal level. Perhaps this wont work in the US but after the Apple and Trump etc  debacles over taxation then it might bring new vigour to the debate.

I appreciate that within the Natural Resources movement there is reticence to more taxes of this sort , but I believe if we are really to tackle Climate change and go anywhere near to meeting the Paris COP21 agreement to increased levels of CO2 to 1.5% then real fundamental change has to occur at all levels of the debate, not just directly on CO2 emission although the most important but all the other aspects from soil carbon levels, eating habits and methane controls etc. and based on the long term effects of all the processes used. 

This fundamental tax change will I believe have the ability to meet all the needs of the present and future generations  of this planet , not just for mankind but also for all the planets life  and ecosystems that supports it.  

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Carbon Capture only delays the release of it into the atmosphere !

Carbon Capture only delays the release of it into the atmosphere !

Carbon capture will only delay the inevitable  of final release into the atmosphere by natural leakage or by accident.

Carbon capture gives us the chance to continue with the present pollution of the air we all breath , and  unless we capture all the pollutants from the stacks, we still will have other ill health pollutants that are released into the atmosphere.

Carbon Capture just leads us all into a false sense of security that we have and are doing the right thing, but in reality we are encouraging an even worse scenario , whereby we are still using fossil fuels and not doing anything serious about the long term problem nationally or globally.

By our actions we are also encouraging the Chinese, India  and others to continue with coal believing if its OK for the UK it must be OK for the rest of us. It also allows us to believe we have achieved a long lasting solution , and is distracting us all to do far more radical change , whilst we can afford it.

Mankind is fooling ourselves into doing something which is irreversible, that is continue burning and wasting energy on a huge scale, when in reality we should be concentrating on energy conservation at all levels. The more money in the economy the more energy is spent and the relationship is fixed, Money is the storage of energy and when spent energy is released in direct proportion to its amount.

To take control over energy use we must control our fiscal expenditure also. and it is in this area that most political will must be encouraged to change the systems of taxation especially that will yield the most favourable results.


WE all still crave for goods and services we are told we need through fancy packaging and advertising, which often do not meet our real expectation when unwrapped, we still reinvent the same things over and over again with little change in the goods themselves , certainly not in terms of longevity as most are unable to be repaired and most are not serviced once a new model is brought out.
What has to be done far more effectively is analysis that determines the what is best in the long term for the planet and not just the short term gain for mankind.

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Clean energy won’t save us – only a new economic system can by Jason Hickel the guardian

 Clean energy won’t save us – only a new economic system can
Jason Hickel
It’s time to pour our creative energies into imagining a new global economy. Infinite growth is a dangerous illusion.
Earlier this year media outlets around the world announced that February had broken global temperature records by a shocking amount. March broke all the records too. In June, our screens were covered with surreal images of flooding in Paris, the Seine bursting its banks and flowing into the streets. In London, floods sent water pouring into the tube system right in the heart of Covent Garden. Roads in south-east London became rivers two metres deep.

With such extreme events becoming more commonplace, few deny climate change any longer. Finally, a consensus is crystallising around one all-important fact: fossil fuels are killing us. We need to switch to clean energy, and fast.

This growing awareness about the dangers of fossil fuels represents a crucial shift in our consciousness. But I can’t help but fear we’ve missed the point. As important as clean energy might be, the science is clear: it won’t save us from climate change.

What would we do with 100% clean energy? Exactly what we’re doing with fossil fuels
Let’s imagine, just for argument’s sake, that we are able to get off fossil fuels and switch to 100% clean energy. There is no question this would be a vital step in the right direction, but even this best-case scenario wouldn’t be enough to avert climate catastrophe.

Why? Because the burning of fossil fuels only accounts for about 70% of all anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. The remaining 30% comes from a number of causes. Deforestation is a big one. So is industrial agriculture, which degrades the soils to the point where they leach CO2. Then there’s industrial livestock farming which produces 90m tonnes of methane per year and most of the world’s anthropogenic nitrous oxide. Both of these gases are vastly more potent than CO2 when it comes to global warming. Livestock farming alone contributes more to global warming than all the cars, trains, planes and ships in the world. Industrial production of cement, steel, and plastic forms another major source of greenhouse gases, and then there are our landfills, which pump out huge amounts of methane – 16% of the world’s total.

 Jeffrey’s Bay wind farm in South Africa
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 Jeffrey’s Bay wind farm in South Africa. Photograph: Nic Bothma/EPA
When it comes to climate change, the problem is not just the type of energy we are using, it’s what we’re doing with it. What would we do with 100% clean energy? Exactly what we are doing with fossil fuels: raze more forests, build more meat farms, expand industrial agriculture, produce more cement, and fill more landfill sites, all of which will pump deadly amounts of greenhouse gas into the air. We will do these things because our economic system demands endless compound growth, and for some reason we have not thought to question this.

 Forget 'developing' poor countries, it's time to 'de-develop' rich countries
Jason Hickel
 Read more
Think of it this way. That 30% chunk of greenhouse gases that comes from non-fossil fuel sources isn’t static. It is adding more to the atmosphere each year. Scientists project that our tropical forests will be completely destroyed by 2050, releasing a 200bn tonne carbon bomb into the air. The world’s topsoils could be depleted within just 60 years, releasing more still. Emissions from the cement industry are growing at more than 9% per year. And our landfills are multiplying at an eye-watering pace: by 2100 we will be producing 11m tonnes of solid waste per day, three times more than we do now. Switching to clean energy will do nothing to slow this down.

If we keep growing at 3% a year, that means that every 20 years we need to double the size of the global economy
The climate movement made an enormous mistake. We focused all our attention on fossil fuels, when we should have been pointing to something much deeper: the basic logic of our economic operating system. After all, we’re only using fossil fuels in the first place to fuel the broader imperative of GDP growth.

The root problem is the fact that our economic system demands ever-increasing levels of extraction, production and consumption. Our politicians tell us that we need to keep the global economy growing at more than 3% each year – the minimum necessary for large firms to make aggregate profits. That means every 20 years we need to double the size of the global economy – double the cars, double the fishing, double the mining, double the McFlurries and double the iPads. And then double them again over the next 20 years from their already doubled state.

 Toy car factory in China
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 Current projections show that by 2040 we will more than double the world’s shipping miles, air miles, and trucking miles. Photograph: Feature China/Barcroft Images
Our more optimistic pundits claim that technological innovations will help us to de-couple economic growth from material throughput. But sadly there is no evidence that this is happening. Global material extraction and consumption has grown by 94% since 1980, and is still going up. Current projections show that by 2040 we will more than double the world’s shipping miles, air miles, and trucking miles – along with all the material stuff that those vehicles transport – almost exactly in keeping with the rate of GDP growth.

 The pope v the UN: who will save the world first?
Jason Hickel, Martin Kirk, Joe Brewer
 Read more
Clean energy, important as it is, won’t save us from this nightmare. But rethinking our economic system might. GDP growth has been sold to us as the only way to create a better world. But we now have robust evidence that it doesn’t make us any happier, it doesn’t reduce poverty, and its “externalities” produce all sorts of social ills: debt, overwork, inequality, and climate change. We need to abandon GDP growth as our primary measure of progress, and we need to do this immediately – as part and parcel of the climate agreement that will be ratified in Morocco later this year.

It’s time to pour our creative power into imagining a new global economy – one that maximises human wellbeing while actively shrinking our ecological footprint. This is not an impossible task. A number of countries have already managed to achieve high levels of human development with very low levels of consumption. In fact Daniel O’Neill, an economist at the University of Leeds, has demonstrated that even material de-growth is not incompatible with high levels of human well-being.

Our focus on fossil fuels has lulled us into thinking we can continue with the status quo so long as we switch to clean energy, but this is a dangerously simplistic assumption. If we want to stave off the coming crisis, we need to confront its underlying cause.

Join our community of development professionals and humanitarians. Follow @GuardianGDP on Twitter.

Monday, 4 July 2016

EU, Farmers , What next

EU, Farmers , What next 
Surly there is only one way forward for the farming industry to show its commitment to the long term future, That is to take full responsibility of the health of the land they have custodianship over. It is my belief we have to devolve power to the individual , and it then they who make the decisions on their future , not politicians who change with the wind.
We must however make everyone accountable for their actions and instead of providing subsidies , why not remove all taxes affecting farming and introduce a Natural Resource Tax based on how the land is managed , the more eco friendly the land use the lower the tax, like organics, mixed forestry etc and higher taxes for more concrete, pesticide use and poor productivity. how about all farm building must have solar panels on them ? not just a token amount , and a tax for solar forms for desertification of the land underneath? What a waste of good land? etc etc
Everyone seems to agree in principle to lowing fossil fuel use as we see with COP21, but action is very low on all sectors. 
Climate Change H as not been caused just in the past 40 years , indeed it is the accumulation of hundreds of years of stripping the world bare of it resources, particularly forests and we often complain of the rain forests of the amazon , but we are equally guilty of forest destruction in the UK, where forests were the priciple coverage of all land.
As farmers we have the obligation to make best use of the land we have at our disposal, and as some land is often marginal is our duty to plant and actively encourage biodiversity there while maximising output from the remaining land in such a way as to improve and make any techniques sustainable in the short and long term
Farmers and indeed all landowners have this responsibility and it should be incumbent on them that penalty should be paid when this is not done , I suggest we call this a Natural Resource Tax , payable dependant upon certain criteria being met about how sustainable the soil is being maintained.
The EU referendum has now given us the opportunity to take control in our own hands , and I call on all farmers to really think hard about how viable their operation is without damage to the planet, we are like the fossil fuel industries , we extract from the land with help of sun water and air , all of which are free, and we then pollute with all the waste the industries cause to the planet , indeed Agriculture also employees the services of fossil fuels for all its action and we must rapidly develop wholesale new techniques that reduce the pollution footprint of farming upon the planet.
It is not until we are faced with this new EU scenario have we as farmers been able to really think out of the box , as the industry , as does all businesses follow where the easy money is , and if we can get it from grants from government or the EU we will always say yes please, but that is not always the best long term way forward.
All business must show its metal, and the farming industry must lead the way, as the industry often states.

Monday, 27 June 2016

Brexit Voters

Brexit Voters

I wish to bring to your attention , the number of people who voted "Leave" and are now regretting their decision so soon after the vote.
I believe we do have to listen to the 'people', and it is only right to act upon their concerns , but the referendum was not a plain sailing affair before , with highly charged arguments on both sides, but with few facts on exactly how, whichever result occurred, would affect us both economically, socially and in wellbeing, no-one really new the possible consequences. It is only now after the event of voting to leave are some real sense of what it may mean is starting to hit home both to politicians like yourself and the public at large.

It is my belief that we all must learn from this populist vote , but it does not and should not mean the government from all sides of the house shirk their responsibility for ensuring that the governance of its people should be hijacked into a serious reversal of policy and agendas which have been sought over many years with all nations within the EU to provide a base for long-term security and wellness for all peoples not just the British.

As a Remain voter, and a committed European  I would like to ask you to vote to stay within the EU , and work from within for the changes that the Leavers like yourself, have been asking for. Indeed If you feel so passionate about the success of leaving almost at any cost, I would suggest that you place yourself on the Leadership list in the forthcoming election.

Indeed I am calling your bluff, Act upon your beliefs and be true to yourself  and not be one of the rabble who just follow and often lie to further their own careers. You do have the experience of government and have had roles that will be of great use to you as PM.

I , however would like you to use your compassion and knowledge, to highlight the vast difference between the other EU states and the UK and  find out why we have potholes in all our roads and none in Holland, Safe cycle and footpaths  to enable the fragile elderly to be a part of society and not locked into their own homes as prisoners. Why is it we have the poorest housing stock in Northern Europe , with resulting homelessness and loss of pride and respect for our neighbours and indeed family and friends! Why indeed are we the poor man of Europe , not in financial terms but in real social and wellbeing terms?
WE must learn from the lessons of the past and of the Referendum , so we can all prosper for the future and help reduce the wealth gap, and plan for the future with the planets ecosystems at the heart, so we can all have a long and sustainable future.

Real fundamental changes will have to occur, and pretending we can just tweak here and there, will only do much more damage to mankind and the planet.

Climate change and environmental destruction has to be addressed alongside and indeed as an integral part of any reforms, If these are not a part of the solution we will be seen as a country which not only renege on COP21 but  a far great crime of enhancing the climatic changes that are now taking such dramatic effects all over the globe and our reputation of being a leader nations to one of causing the problems, The difference between the two side is very small, but with huge consequences if the wrong one is chosen.

Friday, 17 June 2016

ZEROCO2: Is it possible to build a zero-carbon economy?

ZEROCO2: Is it possible to build a zero-carbon economy?

Having just read this , I totally agree with you that a new model on empowering the consumers into consuming locally generated electricity and a a whole new network of re-distributive power-lines has to be set up. This not only allows for electricity to be generated and used locally , but also for the surplus to be distributed most effectively without going to the the centre first , and losing power along the way.

This priciple is at the heart of what we have to achieve globally , not only in the electrical power generation field , but in the whole approach to the economic model of the planet. It is vital that we all as consumers take the responsibility on and prepare ourselves to pay for the fundamental change necessary to achieve a fundamentally more sustainable way of living and using energy.
Money I believe is just a form of locked up energy , just waiting to be unleashed in the form of all the goods and services we all use , enjoy and consume.

To achieve ZeroCO2  we need to radically change far more than at present, all forecasts show that increasing CO2 emissions will continue until 2025 at least, maybe longer, as much of our heating and transportation needs have not even been really change as yet.What we are doing is making the new technologies far more efficient, but have done little to replace the older technologies fast enough, especially housing and  transport.

Our problem with Surplus CO2 not only rests with power generation industries but also to agriculture , forestry, and all land use, and in this area where forests have been lost not just recently , but over the past centuries , these need to be replaced and whole new swaths of forest that will indeed transform the countryside and many lives , especially hill farming .

It is with with in mind that I have been suggesting a total reformation of the tax system, by empowering the individual and also making them directly responsible for the pollution they cause, by transferring all taxes onto All Natural Resources, based upon how polluting there use is to the planet in terms of climate change but also on the destruction of ecosystems and ecology upon the earth , not just mankind.

Thursday, 7 April 2016

In or out of the EU

The EU is our partner, and has been for millenia, the barriers of trade and freedom of movement has been a relatively recent affair and has been hardened with  population growth.  whether migrant or domestic, and the lack of care by successive governments on maintaining a good level of service in all the main areas of their responsibility, being housing, education, health, and of course benefits.

It is our disproportionate distribution of taxes to these elements and more such as defence, transport, and internal security, that has plagued us in recent times. It is our fixation on maintaining a  supposed low taxation policy to attract foreign business and trade into the UK. On the one hand we are saying we want businesses and workers from abroad to increase our efficiency and keep prices low so we can the export or buy the product ourselves or to support a low cost health service. Then on the other hand we seem not prepared to spend enough on training and retraining of our own potential workforce to do the work all these others are doing on the so called cheap, so as a few of us can reap high profit margins.

This dilemma is one that has to be resolved not just in the UK but globally , as it is causing so much heartache for so many, It is in fact a continuation of the slave trade but in a different guise. This new guise of slave working in the uk as health workers , farm harvest workers, builders etc, most have the advantage of being well educated , but see that the only way to better themselves is to take the plunge and risk everything and work their socks off in the hope that one day they will have enough money to return home and build a house and support their family , or to stay hear and own a bushiness they have worked hard to build up.
This is really no different to the vast numbers we had in the 1960's from India , Pakistan, and other commonwealth countries, to run our health service and railways then.

When will we not only respect them as equals in pay and conditions but also it welcome them all with open arms and make them our real friends and co-patriots in forging a new society for all.

The one most single problem we have with migrants is that we do not understand them , we are not helping ourselves to welcome them enough and not doing enough to educate them and indeed our own citizens in training  to not only be a part of our society and friends  but also to educate for life and professional skills  to enable them and us equally to succeed in the real challenges that face us all in the near and distant future.

We are very lucky in the UK that our borders have not really changed over the millenia, and this makes us a very stable society, but as we see with Syria at present and the vast movement of populations towards Europe as a whole, we are all going to be impacted to a greater or lesser extent in the future. We are lucky also not to have experienced war  on our own soil in any real significant way , like that in Europe, The UK has a long history , and one that has not always been generous to the ones we governed   but have have understood the lessons , but it is easy to revert back to old ideas when enough has passed and old bad habits can easily return to haunt us all.

Being Married to a Dutch national, and raised my children  who now are flying the nest to explore the world themselves , and as a lot of families now have a multicultural background, it seem obscene to be trying to force a reverse policy and reintroduce such draconian measure separating our brothers and sisters apart.

If we are so hell bent of separation and division , I Just wonder how we will survive , are we going to be like Germany was in the period between the wars when then were isolated and built a whole new nation from within and only to then find they needed the rest of the world to  trade and do business with  and the had to go to war to get it! Are we really going to repeat history  with more slaves to do our work!

WE are an intelligent Nation with Brilliant ideas, but often fail in the implementation and action except when in a crisis, but there are times that even the crisis can overtake us  and with the global Village falling apart, I fear this may just be a straw to many for the  global donkey to carry, especially when we see what all the other nation s are up globally also. WE need our influence of stability and steadfastness not only to help us in the future but probably more importantly to help harmonise the rest of the world into a more long lasting and sustainable society that we can all live in harmony with each other and at one with the planet.