So, bloke travels by ship from Europe to Canada, then train across to Vancouver. To, obviously, save carbon emissions.

Carbon emissions (according to weight of passenger)
Flight Frankfurt-Vancouver: 1.3 tonnes*
Cargo ship Hamburg-Halifax (via Antwerp & Liverpool): 5.3kg**
Trains Halifax-Vancouver: 204.2kg***
Total CO2 Hamburg to Vancouver: 209.5kg

Well, yes. Except the not-air route took 20 days. And Canadians emit 20 tonnes CO2 per annum. 20,000/365×20 would appear to entirely eat up those notional emissions savings.

Perhaps I’m not being entirely fair but still…..

It’s also vastly more expensive. Thus valuing a tonne of CO2 at something like $1,000 or more, which is grossly over the top.

10 thoughts on “Amusing”

  1. By a rough mental guess I use 2 tons of CO2 driving my car, per annum. I pay £770 per tonne of petrol,duty plus VAT which makes probably two point something tonnes of CO2. There ain’t no way in hell you can sell your pigou tax at a lower level than that as solving the (imaginary) carbon problem. Politically it won’t wash.

  2. 1.3 tonnes? Sounds high.

    Quick google suggests 90kg Co2/hr ->
    10hr flight time Frankfurt -> Vancouver
    = ca. 900kg CO2. Quite a difference.

    Your other points are, of course, valid. I’d add the hourly rate of 20 days doing f-all too, though. Can’t imagine the 4G reception is great mid-Atlantic or in the vast expanse of Canada.

  3. @rhoda – you also pay insurance premium tax (thanks, Ken Clarke) and your ‘tax disc’ if you’re good – which I’m sure you are!

  4. This guy must be retired or seriously rich. No one who is working can spend 20 days travelling like this. It looks like an upper middle class lifestyle choice is being presented as a principled environmentalist position.

  5. People seem to forget cars emit more than just CO2 as pollutants. In fact it is the particulates (particularly from diesel) that are apparently the worse judging from the current complaints. The taxes on petrol presumably cover all these different externalities and aren’t just tied to the CO2 emissions so can be expected to be higher than a pure CO2 pingou tax.

  6. @The Mole: Is a “pingou tax” a tax on small penguins?

    Apols for the pickiness, but when something amuses, it amuses.

  7. Raffles,

    I’ve seen ludicrous things like 170 kg CO2 per seat for a 100 mile flight versus 0.4 kg CO2 for the same distance by train (Zurich to Lugano, if you’re interested). Now, Zurich to Lugano is going to be relatively carbon intensive. It’s very short, but has to go to a high cruising altitude because the Alps are in the way, but the aircraft that flies that route, a Saab 2000 with a 2,800 kilometre maximum range, doesn’t actually have the fuel capacity to pump out that amount of CO2 per seat, even if you fill it to the brim and burn every drop of fuel.

    And sure, Swiss trains are ecologically powered by nukes and hydro, but 400 grams for 100 seat miles? I bet lots of things are being left out of that calculation.

  8. @The Mole

    As do EVs, where’s the any tax let alone Pigouvian tax on them?

    @Tim W

    Cease promoting your “Carbon” aka CO2 tax, much more than enough fuel, apd, ved taxes/duties already cover it

    If anyone really wants to reduce CO2 emissions they should stop breathing

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