PowerSwitch Main Page
PowerSwitch
The UK's Peak Oil Discussion Forum & Community
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

TEQs news - 31 Oct 2014 - MEPs support TEQs, new team mem...

 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    PowerSwitch Forum Index -> TEQs
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
Shaun Chamberlin



Joined: 04 Feb 2007
Posts: 114
Location: London

PostPosted: Fri Oct 31, 2014 2:05 pm    Post subject: TEQs news - 31 Oct 2014 - MEPs support TEQs, new team mem... Reply with quote

The latest TEQs newsletter can be read here.

Includes news of the campaign stepping up, with two supporters becoming MEPs, the UK Green Party adding TEQs to their election manifesto and two more new team members swelling our ranks.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
pierrelouis



Joined: 30 Jan 2015
Posts: 2
Location: Port Elizabeth South Africa

PostPosted: Fri Jan 30, 2015 9:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi This is a follow up of a discussion started with Shaun on the TN blog about the Pros and Cons of the TEQ.

As I lost my comments on Shaun paper, I copy hereafter the little I could retrieve in order to start a discussion:

1. "In my view, the whole discussion fails to set the big picture which should be informed by the economic model and related society we want and what “sustainable development” means. Does the worry of “economic catastrophe” implies that the present neoliberal, top down global market oriented driven by large interests for an ever consumerism model we want and is that sustainable ?

Isn’t it that if we keep that big picture as a given, shouldn’t we be surprise that pressure will remain to keep a soft instead of a hard cap (see global interference on EU cap and trade system) ? As you say the “integrity of the cap” will remain, in my view a question mark in this frame

But in the other hand if we recognize that the present economic model and related society is not what we want because it is for many reasons not sustainable, we ought to define what exactly we want and make it the big picture of any development related policy definition. That new vision should then inform the type of tools that will be required to achieve it.

In other words, future policy (including anyone related to low carbon development) should not be considered as aims on their own but mere tools for achieving our long term vision.

Finally the sustainability issue is much bigger than the carbon emission only. It is why it doesn’t make much sense to deal with the latter in isolation."

2. As all depends on the definition of the economic model and related society we want, this cannot remain exclusively in a few politicians and expert hands.

We should therefore initiate such broad discussions to at least achieve a broad agreement that what is happening is not sustainable. This hopefully would achieve the beginning of a recognition that a bottom up, decentralized and localized economic system will better lead to the type of society and sustainable development we want.

As it is written further down” there is both a need and a failure “to engage people individually and collectively in establishing more sustainable, low-carbon societies”, with the provision of a clear vision recognised as critical for such large-scale system change”

Regarding “If a clear and effective method could be found to stimulate common purpose in carbon reductions through out society, articulating the direction of travel visibly at a range of levels, then the practical and political challenges of achieving dramatic emissions cuts could quickly take on a very different appearance.”

It emphasises that since society and its practices are made up of institutions, techniques and artefacts”, as well as “rules, practices and networks that determine the ‘normal’ development and use of technologies” we need to alter not only our policy tools and structures, but also “markets, user practices, policy and cultural meanings”

We first need the above mentioned vision before defining “the purpose in carbon reduction” and the “alteration market, user practices, policy and cultural meaning”. And yes the tricky part would be to find an effective method to stimulate that common vision and “ it may seem unlikely, even utopian, to imagine communities and households collaborating with each other to this end, alongside companies and local and national government”.

But in the mean time, it would make sense to do a rapid appraisal of a common vision which hopefully will inform the need of a clear cut FF tax and related RE alternatives."
_________________
I would love to discuss and hear more about Low carbon development and localized economic system initiatives to take over topdown and dimining capitalistic system. PL
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
pierrelouis



Joined: 30 Jan 2015
Posts: 2
Location: Port Elizabeth South Africa

PostPosted: Fri Jan 30, 2015 10:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In response to Shaun who wrote:

"A FF tax would doubtless be easier to achieve politically, but would, to my eyes, reinforce the current orthodoxy and the problems outlined above, pretending that emissions are just another financial issue to be dealt with by paying a certain amount of tax (just as carbon offsetting tells us that our environmental impact can be addressed just by earning more and paying off our sins) rather than encouraging engagement with the roots of the problem.

As yet I don't understand why you call for a more radical overall outlook, but then advocate carbon taxes on the basis that they are less challenging to implement. Perhaps you can explain why in the other forum"

For the following reasons:

1. As a radical consensus about a sustainable economic system, as explained before should inform any policy on the subject, it would make sense then to approach the issue from its roots, which are indeed the first FF users.

The latter have, together with the system started an unacceptable process of "using the resources as they want, leaving the society dealing with "external costs".

In other words, give to Caesar what belongs to him, and that is the responsibility of the mess we are in.

2. The global society has never been consulted on the subject. It was imposed upon it, partly when the big shots said "their is no alternative" TINA.

3. The society in general will have great difficulties to change rapidly if it is not pressed a bit from the top as it has been disempowered "to think for itself". This time it could be through a LITHA instead (localization is the alternative)

4. The latter is a long term process that should go in parallel with any low carbon development. Hence why not considering the two, namely carbon tax at the source staged with TEQ/education for the users ?

Regards
_________________
I would love to discuss and hear more about Low carbon development and localized economic system initiatives to take over topdown and dimining capitalistic system. PL
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Shaun Chamberlin



Joined: 04 Feb 2007
Posts: 114
Location: London

PostPosted: Fri Jan 30, 2015 10:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Pierre-Louis,

Welcome to the Powerswitch forums.

I'm sorry to hear that you lost your detailed comments on our paper.

Since what you have posted here is copied from the Transition Network forum, I'll copy my response here too:


In terms of your overall comments, yes, I couldn't agree more. We are so much on the same page it hurts! Smile

My 2009 Transition book sought to do just what you call for, fleshing out the 'Transition vision' for a different future that underlies the movement, across food, transport, healthcare etc etc.

And I am currently finalising an abridged version of the late David Fleming's legendary Lean Logic for publication later this year. His book sets out the most radical, exciting vision of an alternative social/economic model I have yet encountered, of just the kind that you call for, and which underpinned the thinking of Transition folk like me and Rob from the outset.

I would say that your drive for fundamental change to our social/economic frameworks is possibly the unifying factor in everything I work on.

And you're absolutely right that this is why the government fought back against the hard cap in TEQs, and tried to neuter it, as they have done with the EU ETS (was that actually a well-designed scheme at the outset then, corrupted by contact with power? If so, that's a story I don't know and would be interested to know more about).

Within that context, I see TEQs as a really important potential step in the right direction. It is radical, certainly, but not so radical that I can dismiss implementation as an outright impossibility (we got so far as a government-funded feasibility study before the Treasury stamped on it by demanding negative conclusions). It is at the very limits of what our current dominant cultural narratives might permit, I would say, but if we could get it done, I believe it would in turn facilitate further shifts, designed as it is to stimulate collaboration and common purpose across society, as well as encouraging and supporting local initiatives like Transition groups. To quote our academic paper:

Quote:
"Crucially, under current policy frameworks [Transition Towns and similar] efforts are always swimming against the tide. For example, a hard-won reduction in petrol use in one city might serve to bring down the price a little, thus encouraging greater consumption elsewhere and leading to little or no net reduction in emissions.

Understanding this can be disheartening for those trying to contribute towards large-scale problems like climate change, which helps explain why those involved with such local climate initiatives have consistently been among the strongest campaigners for TEQs [80,81].

With its hard cap on emissions in place, TEQs would reverse this effect. Any local reductions in energy use would not only save money for those involved, but also play a clear, practical part in aiding the energy transition of the nation as a whole, with the contribution to lower energy prices for all becoming a straightforwardly desirable outcome which helps to defend the political sustainability of the TEQs framework and its hard cap.

The implementation of TEQs would provide clear reassurance that we really are ‘all in it together' at the national scale, greatly diminishing established psychological barriers to energy demand reduction such as concerns about free riders and the sense that your personal contribution cannot make a difference [47,82]."


An upstream FF tax would likely be easier to achieve politically, but would, to my eyes, reinforce the current narratives and the problems outlined in that quote, pretending that emissions are just another financial issue to be dealt with by paying a certain amount of tax (just as carbon offsetting tells us that our environmental impact can be addressed just by earning more and paying off our sins) rather than encouraging engagement with the roots of the problem.

As yet I don't understand why you call for a more radical overall outlook, but then advocate carbon taxes (perhaps on the basis that they may be less challenging to implement?)

I look forward to hearing your further thoughts.

All the best,
Shaun
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Shaun Chamberlin



Joined: 04 Feb 2007
Posts: 114
Location: London

PostPosted: Sat Jan 31, 2015 8:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ah, you posted a reply to my comment before I had posted the comment! Smile

As I understand it, you're saying that we should focus on upstream policy (i.e. policy that targets the extractors/importers of fossil fuels), since it is they who are the cause of the problem, not the end consumers?

I would certainly agree that infrastructural choices (not to mention planning policy decisions, investment choices etc) made 'upstream' limit the lifestyle choices we face at the local level, so I have substantial sympathy with this. It's a good point that you make.

However, I don't think either of us would suggest that it's realistic that upstream changes alone could transform society at the rate required by the findings of climate science. Our individual and community lifestyles need transformation too - downstream energy demand needs to shift and reduce since upstream energy supply changes alone simply cannot provide the speed of transition required
(you may well already be familiar with Prof. Kevin Anderson's brilliantly clear presentation on this).

As you say, there is a need for top-down and bottom-up to meet, and I think that maybe we agree that a purely money-based approach like taxation can't stimulate the latter.

So yes, there is certainly scope for supplementing TEQs with carbon taxation, as long as it doesn't threaten the necessary shift in cultural narrative (the rekindling of thinking for ourselves) integral to TEQs, nor the integrity of the overall carbon cap.

Sadly, at present, due to the dominance of market-based orthodoxy, all the talk is about tax and other price-based mechanisms, with little understanding of their significant limitations. That's what our team are working to challenge. Hopefully you may join our efforts in this regard.

All the best,
Shaun
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    PowerSwitch Forum Index -> TEQs All times are GMT + 1 Hour
Page 1 of 1

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group