My Word!

This is a first. George Monbiot has discovered some economics.

Cars manufactured this year will put out an average of around 160g/km, which means a saving of 48g/km. This translates – with a mean annual driving distance of 16,500km – into a cut of 792kg/car/year. Assuming that drivers are each paid £2,000, that\’s a cost of £2,525 for every tonne of CO2 avoided, divided by the average age of the cars on the road – 4.9 years. You\’d get almost as much value for money by reclassifying £10 notes as biomass and burning them in power stations.

The management consultancy McKinsey has calculated the costs of saving CO2 by other means. We could do it for £3.50 a tonne by investing in geothermal energy, or £9 if we put our money into nuclear power plants. Mini hydroelectric schemes would save money as well as carbon against normal electricity prices. So would energy efficiency: switching from incandescent lightbulbs to light-emitting diodes, for example, saves £80 for every tonne of CO2 you cut.

Absolutely correct. We want to do the cheapest emissions reductions first.

Now all we need him to understand is that we don\’t want to do emissions reductions if they cost more than the damage we save by not having the emissions. If we\’re to believe Stern that means we don\’t try anything that costs more than \$80 per tonne CO2 not emitted.

If we can bash that into him then we\’re really getting somewhere.

1. Jeff Wood says:

The whole global warming (not climate change – that is a given) scare is bollocks, but I like the idea of principles fixed by that bandwagon-jumper Stern being employed against the climate fascists.

2. That’s good maths, but has GB factored in the incremental extra CO2 and pollution caused by manufacturing a new car and scrapping an old one X number of years earlier than otherwise?

Where X is an unknown. Is the average age of cars on the road really less than five years?

3. Serf says:

Perhaps he will come to understand that a price on carbon would free him from having to decide for us how we live our lives.

On the other hand that would leave him nothing to live for.

4. Matthew says:

Oh dear wrote a long reply to Mark which got eaten up. Basically it seems a bit low, might be more like 7, but it is biased to less than half ‘typical’ lifespan (which is now perhapas 14-16 years) as new car sales tend to rise, so biasing it towards later model cars, and after about 4 years scrappage rates rise considerably as the cost of repairing accidents, especially if airbags deploy, becomes more than the cars value.

5. Hay maybe we should realise than Airborne plantfood is only 0.003% of the atmosphere and humans produce very little of that and live with the fact we have very little effect on the planet…

Oops I forgot CO2 is just an excuse to tax the living shit out of the proles.

6. MikeinAppalachia says:

The projected output of currently undeveloped mini-hydro schemes, on average, cannot compete with “normal” (nuke, coal, combined cycle gas) electric prices . With very low-interest fianancing and various subsidies, they may be able to do so on a 20-30 year average cost comparison. If such were so sited that they could be built and compete at current market prices, they would already be developed-absent some kind of “environmental” restraint.

7. Brian says:

What’s all this about light-emitting diodes?

Is he suggesting that the mercury-vapour light bulbs we have all been forced (voluntarily) to buy are in fact not good for the environment?

8. paul ilc says:

ACO
I think CO2 is 0.038%, not 0.003%, of the earth’s atmosphere. Not that that alters you basic point, of course.

9. Fred Z says:

It’s me here in Western Canada. Early March and minus fucking 28 degrees Celsius. Fuck Celsius, Fahrenheait, Monbiot, Gore and all the rest of them.

The globe is cooling and I am all in favour of global warming and shall burn everything in reach and if I catch either Monbiot or Gore shall be pleased to spend time in Gaol for common assault.

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