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TEQs update - 8 Dec 2011 - Fighting for a better future, ...
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Shaun Chamberlin



Joined: 04 Feb 2007
Posts: 114
Location: London

PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2011 9:14 pm    Post subject: TEQs update - 8 Dec 2011 - Fighting for a better future, ... Reply with quote

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Fighting for a better future, despite the UN climate talks in Durban


As global emissions continue to rise, the latest round of international climate talks are nearing their end in Durban. The Secretary General of the United Nations has admitted that "The ultimate goal of a comprehensive and binding climate change agreement may be beyond our reach - for now".

And just as in Copenhagen two years ago, even if they do cobble something together in the next day or two, an agreement actually in line with climate science isn't even close to the negotiating table. It is painful to see our collective future being deemed too expensive or politically difficult to preserve. If your economics deems catastrophic climate destabilisation the cheapest option, then surely something is wrong with your economics?

Some are starting to argue that given the ongoing failure to reach an international agreement, countries or groups of countries should just go it alone and get on with reducing emissions. I can see both sides of that particular debate, but the fact remains that whether carbon budgets are agreed nationally or internationally, the focus must soon turn from agreeing them to actually achieving them. As yet, I still see no realistic alternative to TEQs (or something very like it) for doing so, so while the political circus plays out, the quiet work of spreading understanding of the scheme continues, through the efforts of our global team of TEQs ambassadors.


Video conference with Ontario Environment Commissioner and Tyndall Centre

As mentioned in the previous update, our friends at the Niagara Climate Change Network organised a video conference with me, John Broderick of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Research (UK) and Gord Miller, the Ontario Environment Commissioner (Canada) to discuss the latest information on climate change and TEQs. A productive conversation was had, of which a recording can be found here, and the Network are pursuing possibilities regarding funding for a regional trial of TEQs, supported by Sustainable Niagara.


Parliamentary report translations for Spain, Italy and the DODGY TAX AVOIDERS(!)

The work of translating January's Parliamentary report on TEQs into Italian is now complete. We are now just awaiting the final graphic design before making it available for all Italian language readers.

A team in Peru, led by TEQs Ambassador Mark Turner, has also undertaken translating the report into Spanish.

Finally, after a number of requests, I have made the report (in English) available on DODGY TAX AVOIDERS.co.uk However, you'd still be well-advised to head over to www.teqs.net for hard copies at a cheaper price, and free downloads in pdf format.

For those of you who have already read the report, reviews on the DODGY TAX AVOIDERS page do make a big difference to publicity, as they are reproduced all over the web. Leaving one is a quick, easy and free way of supporting the TEQs campaign.


TEQs featured in three new books

Following on from earlier highlights like David Strahan's The Last Oil Shock and the Centre for Alternative Technology's Zero Carbon Britain, three new books featuring TEQs are being published in late 2011/early 2012:

Already published is Grow Small, Think Beautiful: Ideas for a Sustainable World from Schumacher College, which contains a chapter from me putting TEQs within the wider context of the cultural changes required for true sustainability. This felt a very appropriate project, as I first met David Fleming, the inventor of TEQs, when he taught me on Schumacher College's Life After Oil course in 2006.

The first forthcoming book, Colin Campbell's Peak Oil Personalities, is a collection of biographical essays by some of the key figures who have played a crucial role in raising awareness globally about the impact of Peak Oil. David Fleming was invited to feature, but sadly passed away before completing his contribution to the book, so my obituary for him, as carried in The Ecologist and The Times, is included instead.

Also due out in Spring 2012 is Pluto Press' What are we struggling for?: Utopian and practical visions for the future, which "collects proposals and intuitions from a global selection of radical thinkers to offer the first radical, yet pluralist, collective manifesto for the new decade".

Look out for all three!


Actuarial Climate Literature Review

We have also granted permission for the Institute of Actuaries to include a summary of the Parliamentary report in their second Actuarial Climate Literature Review, which will be freely available, both online and in hard copy, once released.


Finally, for those wondering about the bid for 380,000 Euros in EU funding for a pilot project in Poland (mentioned in the previous update), the final announcement has been postponed, so we're still awaiting news on that one.


Thanks, as ever, for all your support and encouragement,
Shaun Chamberlin
--
TEQs Development Director
The Lean Economy Connection
www.teqs.net

TEQs Facebook group
TEQs LinkedIn group

"Tradable personal carbon allowances could make a big contribution to reducing energy consumption and therefore carbon emissions in Britain"

- Tim Yeo MP, Chair, House of Commons Energy and Climate Change Select Committee


Last edited by Shaun Chamberlin on Tue Jul 11, 2017 11:43 am; edited 1 time in total
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emordnilap



Joined: 05 Sep 2007
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 09, 2011 11:57 am    Post subject: Re: TEQs update - 8 Dec 2011 - Fighting for a better future, Reply with quote

Shaun Chamberlin wrote:
If your economics deems catastrophic climate destabilisation the cheapest option, then surely something is wrong with your economics?


This, or something very much like it, should be spread by all.

Shaun Chamberlin wrote:
I still see no realistic alternative to TEQs (or something very like it)


There is none that will work.

TEQs (or any human-devised system that works even half as well) are unlikely to be introduced anywhere - but such a system is still the best idea anyone has come up with.

Climate change supporters talk about there being other solutions, if you can get them to admit some solution is in fact needed, but even those solutions have no hope!

Keep up the excellent work Shaun; several of us here will support you as much as possible.
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cubes



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PostPosted: Fri Dec 09, 2011 1:12 pm    Post subject: Re: TEQs update - 8 Dec 2011 - Fighting for a better future, Reply with quote

Shaun Chamberlin wrote:
As yet, I still see no realistic alternative to TEQs (or something very like it)


I would suspect he hasn't been thinking very hard on the subject and has vested interests for keeping it that way.

Still, TEQs is a nice name, change it to rationing (which we all agree it is) but keep everything else the same and see support drain away...
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Shaun Chamberlin



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PostPosted: Fri Dec 09, 2011 1:18 pm    Post subject: Re: TEQs update - 8 Dec 2011 - Fighting for a better future, Reply with quote

emordnilap wrote:

Keep up the excellent work Shaun; several of us here will support you as much as possible.


Thanks emordnilap, much appreciated.
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emordnilap



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PostPosted: Fri Dec 09, 2011 1:34 pm    Post subject: Re: TEQs update - 8 Dec 2011 - Fighting for a better future, Reply with quote

cubes wrote:
Shaun Chamberlin wrote:
As yet, I still see no realistic alternative to TEQs (or something very like it)


I would suspect he hasn't been thinking very hard on the subject and has vested interests for keeping it that way.

Still, TEQs is a nice name, change it to rationing (which we all agree it is) but keep everything else the same and see support drain away...


And your just-as-effective solution is?

Thought not.
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Shaun Chamberlin



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PostPosted: Fri Dec 09, 2011 1:53 pm    Post subject: Re: TEQs update - 8 Dec 2011 - Fighting for a better future, Reply with quote

cubes wrote:
I would suspect he hasn't been thinking very hard on the subject and has vested interests for keeping it that way.

Still, TEQs is a nice name, change it to rationing (which we all agree it is) but keep everything else the same and see support drain away...


Dear cubes,

It seems strange to accuse me of not thinking very hard on the subject and then make such throwaway criticisms. The briefest look at www.teqs.net will show that we make no bones about terming it a rationing system (although, if you do want to think hard about the subject, you'll see that in one sense it is rationing, and in another sense it is not, as discussed here).

In point of fact, I happen to think TEQs is a terrible name, for just the reason you state - because it misleads people who first hear of it to think of TEQs not as energy rationing, but as something more like (the corrupt and disastrous) Kyoto carbon trading. But the name long pre-dates my involvement, and is all over the journals etc, so I think there's not much to be done about that.

Perhaps you'd like to explain what these shadowy vested interests are that you suspect me of having? Here's my work history of the past six years or so, the vast majority of which was unpaid, as my TEQs work is now. I've been living off something like £6,000 a year over that period in order to allow me to devote all of my time to supporting whatever seemed most appropriate and inspiring. I assure you my only interest is in our having a collective future and that in devoting my life to it I've certainly given it some thought.

I'd actually be delighted to find that I've been misguided in my focus and that I could drop all my work on TEQs, but as yet I've had to reluctantly conclude that it seems rather important. You've posed constructive, curious questions on the TEQs forum before - what's led to this new tone in your comments?
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biffvernon



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PostPosted: Fri Dec 09, 2011 2:58 pm    Post subject: Re: TEQs update - 8 Dec 2011 - Fighting for a better future, Reply with quote

cubes wrote:

I would suspect he hasn't been thinking very hard on the subject and has vested interests for keeping it that way.


I for one can vouch for Shaun's hardness of thinking on the subject over several years. Such ad hominem attacks are not worthy of PowerSwitch.
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cubes



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PostPosted: Fri Dec 09, 2011 9:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi.

Thanks for reply.

My comments were badly worded but I do stand by what I meant (and can't probably explain properly). People who invest a lot of effort in an idea/product do tend to find many ways of... um, ignoring? not properly looking into alternatives might be a better way of putting it. That's what I meant.

Yup, TEQ = bad name, you can change a name anytime you like! You just have to try! Yes, it's not easy but can be done and in this case would probably help your case by removing the "it's only rationing in another name" argument as it will be out in the open for the daily mail reader to understand (if such a thing is possible).

By vested interests I did mean the time and effort you've put into this, bad wording on my part again.

Doing something about the upcoming decline in energy is important, is TEQ the answer? Only time will tell in the end. Will the bulk of politicians support it? Not atm (obviously), they will when it's too late to be as effective as it could be though.

The tradable aspect is an (I think) innovation in rationing and would help reduce the black market in TEQ although not eliminate it (some people always find a way around such systems - inside job in TEQ issuing dept, or gangs just forcing people to give up TEQ, etc).

The way TEQ works is pretty similar to VAT. Would manufacturers get to set how many TEQ their products charge? I don't see why it's only energy purchases that would involve it, surely it would be better/fairer for all purchases to involve TEQ? In fact, that may well be the way companies will operate it, buy your shopping at Tesco for £50 + 10TEQ (or get no shopping!). Could all be legislated against I guess.

If the poor sell off their excess TEQ, would it effect their benefits? Maybe that's a bit outside of the issue here though, definitely one for politicians to endless debate.

Sorry, if my original post came off more aggressively than I had intended it too. (also, don't respond aggressively as it just winds some people up), you're better off ignoring people like me sometimes!

[thank god, I didn't think this posted for a second]
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biffvernon



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PostPosted: Fri Dec 09, 2011 10:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bad name? TEQ stands for Tradable Energy Quota because it is a Quota for Energy that is Tradable. What's not to like?

Yes it's rationing - there's no attempt to hide that. The difference from previous rationing schemes such as in the 1940s is that the ration (aka quota) is tradable.

If you have put a lot of time and effort into something you have indeed vested an interest. Naturally. What's not to like?

"Decline in energy is important, is TEQ the answer?" Yes. That's the point.

Black market does not have a part to play in TEQs. Criminal gangs might, just as they do in any other walk of life, though TEQs are less accessible to crime than most traditional forms of monetary transaction.

"The way TEQ works is pretty similar to VAT." No, there's not much connection that I can see.

"Would manufacturers get to set how many TEQ their products charge?" No. It is directly dependant on the amount of fossil carbon fuel consumed.

"I don't see why it's only energy purchases that would involve it" That's the whole point. The E in TEQ. It's all about decarbonising the economy.

"If the poor sell off their excess TEQ, would it effect their benefits?" No, that would remove the point of TEQs.

I think all the above and many more potential questions are addressed in the Fleming & Chamberlain downloadable booklet on TEQs, but it can look a bit daunting at first glance. http://www.teqs.net/
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emordnilap



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PostPosted: Sat Dec 10, 2011 5:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would like opponents of such a scheme to come up with an alternative - even a 50%-as-effective alternative if that's all they've got; I'd be happy if this sad species of ours could do something.

But no, just knee-jerk illusory and illogical bootings out of what is quite clearly (to those who want a habitable planet for everyone) a totally fair and transparent solution.

So come on, walk the walk. Or are you openly supporting climate change? That's what it comes across as. Let's hear of your alternative to TEQs - and I've widened the field by asking for not-so-good solutions which are acceptable and have a chance of being implemented.
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Snail



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PostPosted: Tue Dec 13, 2011 4:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I haven't done much reading into teqs. In fact, hardly any Smile but ive noticed this thread and can't sleep.

The UK will inevitably need to ration energy sometime soon. From what little i've read,Teqs seem to be a fairly fair way to do this. Rationing in one form or another WILL have to happen.

However, rationing FF use doesn't stop burning FFs, just slows it or shifts the use elsewhere. Like increasing energy efficiency, it just buys time.

So teqs seem to me to be like Transition Towns: a stepping stone onto something else. Living off a leisure battery taught me how valuable energy is in a direct, physical way. Teqs would help do that too I think.

But we need something during and after teqs. So more r&d into renewables and storage technology. New ways of thinking. Will teqs create new renewable technology or new type of transport infrastructure? What about now? Like Trans.towns, teqs seem long-term gradual.

I guess I'm saying that while simply rationing energy is not enough, it seems to be an essential part of dealing with peak oil/cc. But only a part.

And TEQS could potentially lead to new ideas i find interesting. Like electronic money and energy accounting methods. New ways of representing the physical world and the objects in it. Everything's relative: see things differently and you'll treat them differently.

I get excited when I read about things like TEQs. Maybe not YET as realistic a path as WW2 style rationing, but surely more preferable and favourable in the long term hope stakes.
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Shaun Chamberlin



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PostPosted: Tue Dec 13, 2011 11:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

cubes wrote:
Thanks for reply.


Thank you in turn Smile

cubes wrote:
People who invest a lot of effort in an idea/product do tend to find many ways of... um, ignoring? not properly looking into alternatives might be a better way of putting it. That's what I meant.


Thanks for clarifying. You're absolutely right. And I'm very aware of that, and do try hard to engage with criticisms (check out the discussions on my Oil Drum post!) - I meant what I said, if I could find a reason to drop my work on TEQs I would, but as yet none of the arguments against it have seemed to me to stack up, apart from whether it is currently politically acceptable. I agree that it's not, but as you say, given the scenarios if we don't do anything, that only seems to be an argument for working to change that.

cubes wrote:
Yup, TEQ = bad name, you can change a name anytime you like! You just have to try! Yes, it's not easy but can be done and in this case would probably help your case by removing the "it's only rationing in another name" argument as it will be out in the open for the daily mail reader to understand (if such a thing is possible).


Maybe you're right, I'll give this some thought.

cubes wrote:
The way TEQ works is pretty similar to VAT.


Something David Fleming often said actually.

cubes wrote:
Would manufacturers get to set how many TEQ their products charge? I don't see why it's only energy purchases that would involve it, surely it would be better/fairer for all purchases to involve TEQ? In fact, that may well be the way companies will operate it, buy your shopping at Tesco for £50 + 10TEQ (or get no shopping!). Could all be legislated against I guess.


No, they wouldn't. The TEQs rating of fuel/energy would depend solely on the energy intensity of the lifecycle of that fuel/energy. And TEQs do effectively cover all purchases. The problem with doing it directly is that you would need to do lifecycle emissions analysis on every product (which is impossible), and deal with all the intricacies and absurdities of carbon labelling. The beauty of TEQs is that it makes all that unnecessary by adopting a 'systems thinking' approach. Since energy is required for all economic activity, the TEQs units flow through the system alongside the energy (if this is not clear please read Chapter One of the report, it's only seven pages).

The purchase of goods other than energy (such as food) would not require the surrender of TEQs units, since the producers of those goods would have already surrendered units for the energy used in the production of the goods. Producers would then pass on the cost of buying these units to consumers, who would simply find that certain goods (those produced in a more energy-intensive manner) cost more.


cubes wrote:
If the poor sell off their excess TEQ, would it effect their benefits? Maybe that's a bit outside of the issue here though, definitely one for politicians to endless debate.


As you say, a bit outside the design of the scheme, but numerous studies have found that TEQs would benefit the poor. If I had my way, then the answer to your question would be a clear "no"!

cubes wrote:
Sorry, if my original post came off more aggressively than I had intended it too. (also, don't respond aggressively as it just winds some people up), you're better off ignoring people like me sometimes!


Thanks, appreciated. No harm done. I hope my reply didn't come across that way either.

cubes wrote:
[thank god, I didn't think this posted for a second]


Heh.
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Shaun Chamberlin



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PostPosted: Wed Dec 14, 2011 12:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

biffvernon wrote:
Bad name? TEQ stands for Tradable Energy Quota because it is a Quota for Energy that is Tradable. What's not to like?


Hi Biff, as I said above, what I don't like about the TEQs name is that to those who hear it for the first time, Tradable Energy Quotas sounds very much like it's just an extension of the bullshit carbon trading schemes that the likes of Carbon Trade Watch and this video (and me, for that matter) rightly rail against.

It certainly sounded that way to me when I first heard of it, and I was predisposed against it until I actually read David Fleming's first draft of Energy and the Common Purpose. It seems a shame to me to have a name that might alienate some of our natural allies and discourage them from actually looking into the scheme. I have conversations too often with people who start from that presumption, in which I have to work really hard to show that TEQs really isn't just more of the same 'free market' trading crap, and actually is a carefully thought-out form of energy rationing to respect physical limits.
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Shaun Chamberlin



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PostPosted: Wed Dec 14, 2011 12:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Snail wrote:
I haven't done much reading into teqs. In fact, hardly any Smile but ive noticed this thread and can't sleep... I get excited when I read about things like TEQs.


Thanks for your comments Snail. I remember feeling just that same excitement when I first got my head around TEQs Smile If you'd like to read a little more, I recommend starting with the summary here.

And you're absolutely right, the ultimate aim of TEQs (and Transition, which I'm also heavily involved in) is to make itself redundant by stimulating and supporting the development of satisfying low-carbon lifestyles that allow us to thrive within the resource limits we face.



Snail wrote:
New ways of thinking. Will teqs create new renewable technology or new type of transport infrastructure? What about now?


On this note I strongly recommend a read of Chapter Three of the Parliamentary TEQs report (freely downloadable here) - I think you'll enjoy Fleming's innovative thinking on harnessing the collective genius of the population to just this end.

Snail wrote:
Like Trans.towns, teqs seem long-term gradual.


Yes, in as much as the voluntary transformation of a society has inherent inertia. But TEQs also offer an immediate way of guaranteeing that our national emissions budgets are actually achieved, and of sharing out available energy resources. So they aim to provide some time in which that gradual process can unfold.

Snail wrote:
I guess I'm saying that while simply rationing energy is not enough, it seems to be an essential part of dealing with peak oil/cc. But only a part.

And TEQS could potentially lead to new ideas i find interesting. Like electronic money and energy accounting methods. New ways of representing the physical world and the objects in it. Everything's relative: see things differently and you'll treat them differently.


Yep, yep and yep Smile You'll definitely enjoy that Chapter Three!

Snail wrote:
I get excited when I read about things like TEQs. Maybe not YET as realistic a path as WW2 style rationing, but surely more preferable and favourable in the long term hope stakes.


Really good to hear - it's been a lot of work to get it this far into the mainstream consciousness. As you can imagine, it attracts a fair bit of flak from those who don't want to hear about the problems it aims to address, so it's good to get the positive feedback too.
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emordnilap



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PostPosted: Wed Dec 14, 2011 10:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shaun Chamberlin wrote:
As you can imagine, it attracts a fair bit of flak from those who don't want to hear about the problems it aims to address


Aha! Nail+head. Well spotted.

It's not that TEQs/C&S - even C&D to some extent - are bad ideas intrinsically; they're not, they're the exact opposite, especially the first two. Our hurdle is the 99.9% who are unable to face up to their culpabilities. Rather than change our way of life, we attack anything that seeks to change it for us.

As I've said before, passing on blame is inbred; it's an evolutionary trait, one that needs to be recognised, accepted and overcome before one can accept one's failings.

Indeed, just reading another thread, I came across this rather excellent quote (my bold):

Quote:
People are generally not willing to accept economic changes to establish a sustainable society unless they can be assured of more security.

The course we are on promises greater economic insecurity through job loss, economic volatility, and ecological instability through climate change, so it is ironic that people are unwilling to choose something else.


And another! (Thanks, Naomi Klein)

Quote:
when you challenge a personís position on an issue core to his or her identity, facts and arguments are seen as little more than further attacks


And here's another I'm sure she won't mind you using:

Quote:
it is not opposition to the scientific facts of climate change that drives denialists but rather opposition to the real-world implications of those facts

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