Caroline Lucas

Talking about those numbers showing the CO2 emissions of shipping:

From a technical point of view, this means it is crucial that there be limits on the number of emission rights the shipping sector is permitted to buy from other industries – to prevent it simply carrying on with business as usual, on the back of progress made in other sectors.

She still doesn\’t get it, does she?

And, more generally, it does also ultimately mean looking at the amount and the manner in which we consume. Is it really the best use of fuel and emissions to ferry 13,000 containers of toys, food, clothes and televisions from China to Europe each month on the Emma Maersk and others like her, for example? These are issues to be explored in a hearing I will host for MEPs next month, and I look forward to seeing the same level of debate develop over shipping as we have at long last reached on aviation – hopefully, to be followed up rapidly with rather more effective action than has been generated there.

Aren\’t we lucky to have a Ph.D. in Elizabethan Literature discussing such economic matters for us?

The entire point of tradeable permits (or carbon taxes, if you prefer) is that we reduce emissions in whichever sector we can reduce them most cheaply, allowing us to go on with those emittive activities which we value more. And the determinantors of which activities we value more are we, the consumers. That\’s actually what the whole system is supposed to do: reduce emissions at the least cost to human happiness, that happiness determined by the people doing the happying.

So let us set up something of a straw man. We need to reduce emissions by 90%. Shipping currently is 4.5% of the total, aviation about the same. Call it 10% all in. OK, if we, in our actions as consumers, decide that we\’ll do away with al other emissions and keep the shippingand aviation, as those are the most valuable things to us,. that\’s just fine. Mission accomplished, eh?

Now of course, that is ridiculous, we wouldn\’t actually want to do that: but it is were the logic of permits leads: set the limit and then let the market work out for you which are the activities most valued and thus the ones which get to carry on.

10 comments on “Caroline Lucas

  1. “Is it really the best use of fuel and emissions to ferry 13,000 containers of toys, food, clothes and televisions from China to Europe each month…”

    If people want to buy them….yes! What’s she suggesting, that we have some kind of government department deciding what is ‘suitable for import’…?

  2. Caroline Lucas on the recent company led education and training schemes:

    “…receiving academic qualifications from the Government’s new private scheme could put students into a narrow trade with few opportunities to progress, as the accreditation could potentially be worthless outside of that specific workplace. Different companies have vastly different standards and work practices, so it is difficult to see if and how these branded ‘certificates’ would cross over between occupations.”

    All said without a trace of irony about her own qualifications. Now tell me Caroline what was the Elizabethan perspective on nuclear waste disposal….

  3. It’s a bit unfair to pick on Caroline Lucas in particular. We can posit with a fair degree of certainty that her level of general intelligence is significantly above average. She knows this to be the case. She (and others like her) has spent her life thinking about things and then propounding theses based on her cogitation. It is easy to make the horrid mis-step from there to the idea that if only people such as she sat down and thought very hard for a bit, they’d crack all of life’s problems. It is, as Hayek put it, the Fatal Conceit.

  4. Doesn’t 90% of world trade travel by sea? And accounts for 4.5% of emmissions?

    They really are running out of things to pick on!

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