Trouble in the UK – A Green Tax Rebellion is Afoot

The new tipping point: UK motorists rebel against additional taxes by shutting down highways.

UL Petrol and Petrol Tax Increase 1995-2007 

After hundreds of angry drivers shut down highways in England Tuesday in protest against green automobile taxes, and drivers and fishermen in France and Spain paralyzed their ports and roads in a fuel-tax protest, politicians began to signal Europe’s ambitious emission-control policies may soon have to be abandoned. While Europe has led the way in using tax incentives to encourage people to buy low-emission cars and to build carbon-neutral houses in order to meet Kyoto targets, it has become increasingly apparent that inflation-battered voters are no longer willing to go along. Political leaders in Britain and France are seeking the reversal of tax policies designed to make polluting vehicles more expensive, with French President Nicolas Sarkozy and some British ministers calling on their own governments and the European Union to relax ecologically friendly taxes in order to give relief to citizens suffering from fast-rising food and fuel prices.

      Doug Saunders, Globe and Mail, 28 May 2008

The fuel protests hammer home a clear message. After the 10p tax rebellion, the local elections, and the Crewe by-election, no one can doubt the mood of the country any more. There is insurrection in the air. The British people are ready for change and they don’t believe Labour can deliver it.

      —Nick Clegg, The Daily Telegraph, 28 May 2008

Gordon Brown has been urged to stand firm against calls to abandon green tax rises on fuel as environmentalists warned that scrapping the proposals would risk undermining Britain’s drive towards a low carbon future and send the wrong message about the Government’s commitment to tackling greenhouse gas emissions. Amid fears that the gloomy financial outlook could sap the political will needed to combat climate change, Charlie Kronick, senior climate adviser at Greenpeace, said: “When they are willing to spend millions of pounds shoring up their vote in a by-election they can do this as well. How serious can they be about using the tax system to try to affect environmental outcomes when, if they are under political pressure, it is the first thing that goes?”

     —Ben Russell, The Independent, 28 May 2008

Drivers should not be “hammered” by the Government, Cabinet Minister John Hutton declared yesterday in a clear sign of a road tax climbdown. The Business Secretary spoke out as senior Labour sources admitted planned increases of up to £245 a year that could hit millions of family car drivers were a “mistake”.

     —Bob Roberts, The Mirror, 28 May 2008

Huge rises in road and petrol taxes for millions of motorists could be scrapped after two Cabinet ministers hinted at another U-turn in government policy.

After warnings from MPs that the party was alienating ordinary voters, Jack Straw and John Hutton suggested that the Pre-Budget report in the autumn would contain changes to plans set out by the Chancellor in March. But, in a further sign of government confusion, Downing Street and the Treasury insisted that no plans were being considered to revise the vehicle excise duty changes announced in the Budget.

     —Philip Webster, The Times, 28 May 2008

63 thoughts on “Trouble in the UK – A Green Tax Rebellion is Afoot

  1. It’s a perfect storm …. or a series of them … cooling, failed harvests / low yields, oil producing countries outside the West squeezing supply, Western countries levying anti productive taxes and enviro regs, peaking Western fecundity (in many nations, already in steep decline), dumbed down masses, populist and socialist demagogues spewing envy charged lies and hatred, general inflation, weakening dollar (other Western currencies soon to follow), hoarding by non / anti Western nations, increasing anti Western rhetoric, etc.
    Yes, storms are rising.

  2. All you blokes reading this blog ought to recall why the Boston Tea Party became a landmark event in American history.
    If you want those greedy taxing bastard, control-freak politicians to finally get the message, you have to sometimes take loud and clear action. There’s nothing criminal about defending freedom. So come on – stand up for your bloody rights.

  3. When you look at the chart provided by Anthony, I’d say you blokes are being taken to the royal cleaners. The situation is hardly different here in Germany.
    Today 1 liter is €1.55. That’s US $2.43. That’s about $9.20 a US gallon! If you have a 15 gallon tank, you can figure out how it costs to fill up.
    Fellow Americans, I strongly suggest you wake up and think about a Boston Tea Party II. The European gas prices are in the pipeline – headed your way. It’s in the tea leaves. Obama will be the next Prez – Gore in the Admin. Brace yourselves.

  4. What these UK scheming Tax grabbing toe rags don`t understand is that the poorer in society don`t buy new cars. these idiots are ripping off the voters that keep them in power, talk about shooting yourself in the foot.

  5. This is great! Yes, the Europeans are shaming us Americans. But our police are not as polite as yours and we risk all kinds of conspiracy charges, tassering, etc.
    This is not to discourage resistance just caution prudence and patience and planning.
    I reckon we will wait till that bull-headed Bush is out of office.

  6. How serious can they be about using the tax system to try to affect environmental outcomes when, if they are under political pressure, it is the first thing that goes?”
    Last hired, first fired. That’s the union way.
    Fellow Americans, I strongly suggest you wake up and think about a Boston Tea Party II.
    A “Texas Tea” Party?
    —————————————-
    OTOH, if I were around back then, I’d probably have been a Tory.
    Sacrifice my rights as an Englishman on account of THOSE drunken terrorist crazies? When only a third of the colonies are in favor of it, and call it “democracy”? A tax revolt over 1/8th of 1% in taxes (far less than paid in England) We, the freest, richest (far more than in England), least taxed–and best represented people on earth? Yes, our reps are appointed, but are FAR better advocates than the average “elected” MP.
    Say, WHAT?
    Never, ever in the history of mankind was there less justification for revolution!

  7. Well, I happen to think that high taxes on petrol can be justified, if offset by lower taxes on payroll and income.
    I do indeed prefer my taxes to contribute to a better environment, as taxing oil does, rather than having my taxes contribute to unemployment, as payroll and income taxes does.
    It is the overall tax rate that burden us, not the one or the other of the myriad ways politicians and technocrats use to part us from the wealth we create.
    The problem in Sweden for example is clearly a tax burden of 50% of GNP rather than paying less than 2 cents worth per kilometre we drive in gas taxes. Taxes need to be raised somewhere and preferably were the side effects are beneficial. The overall tax rate is way too high but that is another issue.
    (And no, petrol taxes are not justified from a poorly projected global warming but from other envionmental effects burning gas have.)

  8. Pierre: “If you want those greedy taxing bastard, control-freak politicians to finally get the message, you have to sometimes take loud and clear action. There’s nothing criminal about defending freedom. So come on – stand up for your bloody rights.”
    Now the intent and wisdom of our 2nd Amendment shines bright and clear.

  9. Steve:”I reckon we will wait till that bull-headed Bush is out of office.
    Check your time lines on when things started to go downhill. I believe is was about March 2007 right after the Democrats gained control of Congress. Things have been worse since.

  10. Evan :Sacrifice my rights as an Englishman on account of THOSE drunken terrorist crazies? When only a third of the colonies are in favor of it, and call it “democracy”? A tax revolt over 1/8th of 1% in taxes (far less than paid in England) We, the freest, richest (far more than in England), least taxed–and best represented people on earth? Yes, our reps are appointed, but are FAR better advocates than the average “elected” MP.
    Say, WHAT?
    Never, ever in the history of mankind was there less justification for revolution!”
    The American Revolution was much, much more than a revolt over taxes.
    “… The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.
    He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
    He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
    He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
    He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
    He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
    He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected, whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
    He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
    He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.
    He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
    He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.
    He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
    He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.
    He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
    For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
    For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
    For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
    For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
    For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:
    For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:
    For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies
    For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
    For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
    He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
    He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
    He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
    He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
    He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.
    In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.”
    Quite a bit more!

  11. It looks increasingly like the main political parties here in the UK have become rather out of touch with their electorate. Although it is amusing to note the recent lack of green rhetoric, and also interesting that the government has shelved the notion of personal carbon ration cards because the scheme would be, ahem, “ahead of its time”. The message is clear – ordinary folks are less interested in their carbon footprint than they are in keeping their families fed and their homes heated in winter.

  12. And the price there is “only” 95.1p a litre.
    When I left the UK a few months ago (due to getting too fed up with watermelons, lefties and other inmates taking over the asylum) the price was 110.9p around where I lived.
    From talking to friends who haven’t yet left (but are actively looking at emigrating) the price is getting up to 120p a litre.
    For the (affectionately named) septics out there (septic tank = yank in cockney rhyming slang) that equates to about $9 a gallon.
    Will the last person out of the UK please turn off the lights? (Well that should help the carbon emissions somewhat! 🙂

  13. If we had positive proof that CO2 really damaged the environment, a carbon tax might make sense. Look at the proposed ban on some plastics used in bottled water: based on the theory that it might cause harm. If we ban everything that ‘might cause harm’, we will soon die of dehydration and starvation as everything would be banned.
    The inmates are running the asylum.

  14. Tom in Florida:
    First, the great majority of those things simply ain’t true, prima facie. Words like “outrageous lies”, “grotesque falsehoods”, and “blood libel” spring to mind. Most of the rest are gross exaggerations. The rest are either rather trivial or justified. (The dems going after dubya on Iraq aren’t even THAT unfair, though not for lack of trying.)
    You want REALLY justified revolutions? Look to France and Russia. The results were lousy (to put it very mildly), but the provocations were real.
    Yes, the American Revolution has resulted in the last, best hope of mankind. The most moral and beneficent superpower in the history of the world by such a long shot there is no comparison. The best thing that ever happened in the history of the world. Civilization’s savior.
    But those are results OF the revolution. Not justification FOR the revolution.
    But this is so off topic that we really should just agree to disagree. (You may want to check out some of those specific charges, though, out of curiosity.)

  15. Tom in Florida,
    I’m a Libertarian so I am not just anti-Bush and the Republicans (except Ron Paul) but also the Demoncrats. But perhaps the Demos will be less inclined to trample civil liberties than the loathsome Repubs. It might take Obama a while to get nasty.
    Sorry, I forgot I was not talking to fellow Libs.

  16. Retired Engineer is right on target.
    And we can always change course if the evidence changes.
    The alarmists are trying to forestall this by claiming that if drastic action (to very little actual effect, by any measure) is not taken NOW, the sky will fall. I think it’s a rather crass, manipulative tactic, not based in any way on science, and I don’t buy it. I need actual evidence.

  17. Retired Engineer:
    On another blog somebody said that CO2 emissions should be taxed according to their external costs. I asked just what they were and apart from a reference to some bad IPCC science fiction from the duty warmenist, didn’t get a sensible reply.
    Anyone care to do an estimate?

  18. Wrong button again – darn it!
    Avfuktare krypgrund vind
    The benefits of burning gas far outweigh the practically unnoticeable disadvantages. You say you don’t mind paying more fuel tax if offset by reductions in payroll taxes. I disagree. Govenments never offset a tax increase with an equal reduction of another. They always end up screeding off more. And besides, more fuel tax means reduced transportation, i.e. less freedom.
    AGW is a scam by Europe to pay for their bankrupt bleeding pension systems. With birthrates at 1.4, Europe is now entering a demographic crisis. In a few short years Europe will have droves of retirees to pay and care for – with a diminishing workforce. The ecology tax in Germany is used already to finance deficits in the state pension plan.
    In summary, fuel taxes are being used to underwrite gross state mismanagement and gain more power over free peoples. That’s all it is.

  19. RC: Good link. Like I’ve been yammering on about–peak oil is a product of pointy heads. On the left side of the aisle.
    First they do everything humanly possible to prevent oil exploration, refinery–and use. Then they caterwaul (at great expense) for weeks on end about how the oil companies aren’t coming across and bitch about the economy.
    The peaky panicmongers are bad enough. But when they try to grab power by means of laying down in front of the rescue vehicle, it really becomes a bit much.

  20. Pierre Gosselin suggested that Greens are like watermelons – I’ve heard that one taken further: they are like tomatoes – first green, the red, and finally brown…

  21. Average UK Unleaded price today: 115.1ppl
    Average UK Diesel price today: 128.2ppl
    Price per UK Gallon Unleaded: 523.1p
    Price per UK Gallon Diesel: 582.7p
    Price per US Gallon Unleaded in $: 860.6c
    Price per US Gallon Diesel in $ 958.5c

  22. MB, I’m skeptical of models over 30 years out, but Lomborg believes in them and uses them to estimate the proper cost of GHG emissions at about $2 to $14 per ton CO2, IIRC.

  23. Jim Arnd says :
    Hi,
    Here is a conversion kit to make your car a hybrid.
    I have tried that one, I can get my Merc SLK 280 converted to Gas with no prob.
    This will reduce my CO2 emissions and keep me in the lower UK CO2 band, or will it, well err NO. The CO2 emission rating applies only to the original manufacturers figures. Now tell me if this really is a tax on CO2 or just another money grabbing scheme by a bankrupt government.
    By the way, it appears Brown has persuaded the oil companies to extract more oil from the North Sea in vain the hope this will bring the cost down, this is another move by a no hoper, there is no world shortage, seen any queues at any filling stations lately. The cost of oil is directly linked to the weak dollar and speculation on the commodity markets.
    Massive Oil Deposit Could Increase US reserves by 10x
    http://www.nextenergynews.com/news1/next-energy-news2.13s.html
    How much more lies undiscovered.

  24. Pierre, I am not saying I necessarily trust politicians to offset one tax for another. However, in Europe taxes are already outrageous on petrol, wage and income alike. Far better to lower the wage and income taxes then, as the dynamical effects are very positive. It makes much more sense to fight for this than to fight petrol taxes
    Higher taxes won’t solve our demographic problem by the way. In sweden a low income earner is already paying a total 50% of wealth created in income and wage tax, and the sales tax – levied on goods a services alike – is a wopping 25% making the total before special taxes as on petrol and housing an astonishing 60%. 60% is for a low income earner (less than $ 50k), “high” income earners pay 75%. Add special taxes and you’re lucky to keep 19% of your income. There is no way we can raise taxes to pay for a doubbling of pensioneers per worker as that would send taxes to levels above 100% and the economy would break down completely. Social security will likely have to go along with free meds and health care etc.
    Why Europe in this perilous situation chooses to focus all of it’s attention on a totally theoretical risk with low probability such as catastrophic AGW is beyond me but there must be some very interesting psychology behind it.

  25. Whilst I’m sympathetic (scientifically) to the sceptical cause… I’d think twice before sharing bed-space with these myopic, selfish whiners. If ‘gas’ here in the UK is so prohibitively expensive then why isn’t that reflected on the hugely congested road system? More vehicles than ever. It’s a market situation, if the cost is unsustainable then demand will fall to the point where the tax take is hit. You’d think to listen to the reflex moaners, that the revenue was deposited into the Chancellor’s personal bank account… rather than fund policies and programmes that even right-whingers believe in. If *all* you care about is your personal pile of mamon then shut down the public health system.
    When I see then end of vehicle ownership growth and a slight downturn in congestion, then I’ll start to wonder if the tax component is too high viz the world price of oil.

  26. I vaguely remember when petrol was 95p/litre! Petrol is close to 120p/litre at the moment and diesel is 130p. At current exchange rates, that’s $9.70 a gallon for diesel. Food is going up too. I’m sure it wasn’t so long ago you could buy a litre of vegetable oil for about 25p. You can’t get it for less than 100p at my local supermarket now. The greenies are loving it!

  27. Pierre, I am afraid that you are correct in your opinion. When the politico can say I had to do it and justify it with “science” they are excusable. I don’t know how long the charade will last but soon the climate will take care of the “science” and perhaps the 31.000+ scientists voices will be heard and the 2500 scientists will be calmed. I don’t think that they will ever go away but very possibly have damaged the name of the scientific community that it could be years before the trust in science will return to former status. (This may be especially true for American institutions like NASA and NOAA, I fear that the adjustment king and his minions have caused great damage.) The agenda actions of some scientists are unexcusable. Perhaps one day we will be able to get the real deal on our climate but we must continue the study and refrain from modifying (adjusting) the data. Using proper siting parameters and standards should help to make the network more reliable and trustworthy. Then clearly archive the data and methodology for verification. Then some one must use diligence and verify the findings.
    Just my 2 cents.
    Bill Derryberry

  28. Anybody care to give a thought to the motives of the oil companies? Any chance they’re pulling this outrageous gas price hike just to threaten politicians into falling back in line with them? hmmm…. There’s only one way they lose, and that’s if people actually stop driving everywhere at the drop of a hat. That’s just starting to happen in my area. People here are so lazy and inefficient (how many times a week do you NEED to shop really?) and often live so far from stores, work, etc. that they have no choice but to drive. I own my home, and have already decided to rent closer to my husband’s work when he gets out of school rather than drive 30 miles to our home.

  29. Things move a bit slower over here. I recall the 1970s of my youth having the same problems. It took 2 energy crisis, stagflation, 2 recessions, the Windfall Profit Tax, a President who blamed his fellow Americans for thier malaise, and double digit commondities inflation before significant change occured. That is, it took a decade of listening to the “experts” before the electorate “threw the bums out”. I don’t know if Americans will be as patient this go around, but if you look closely at the mid to late 1970s and today the similarities are eerie. The Federal Reserve is using interest rates to pump prime growth (and in the mean time cause the dollar to free fall and oil to sky-rocket), both parties are signaling a desire to regulate energy to a higher degree (thus increasing the chances of future supply problems), and the Greenies are proposing vast new mandates on consumers and producers (I lost count of the various cap and trade schemes, carbon tax initiatives, newer CAFE standards, etc…).
    In the mean time OPEC is cutting production, domestic fossil fuel production remains locked in the 1980s, and both food and gasoline are rising at near 18% annually. Niether of the 2 major parties address the supply issue other than to offer Green platitudes or threats to Exxon. All it will take is one very long cold winter, and one severe drought cycle to shake the world from its fantasies.

  30. Pierre I was intrigued by your comment:
    “In a few short years Europe will have droves of retirees to pay and care for – with a diminishing workforce.”
    In the US we face a similar situation. Over the last few years our government has begun publishing our financial situation using the GAAP, Generally Accepted Accounting Practice. That shows Social Security and Medicare to be underfunded by $45 trillion over the next 75 years, in todays dollars. That’s a pretty hefty chunk of change. I was wondering if Europe does a similar calculation.

  31. Avfuktare Krypgrund Vind
    (Just love that name!)
    I’m right with you on that. AGW is the grand diversion of public attention.
    Kind of like sending the kids to their rooms so that they don’t see dad when he’s drunk.
    I must say I get a big kick out of the Scandinavian countries. They love to preach to others about human rights, yet levy huge taxes on beer, wine and fine spirits!

  32. Uncivil –
    That’s a good one too.
    Yes, all bad things start from being red.

  33. “I reckon we will wait till that bull-headed Bush is out of office.”
    Ummm, Steve, I know you weren’t paying attention, but the moment he assumed the office of President, Mr. Bush talked about the need to for the country to invest in its energy infrastructure and start planning for the future. Remember the demonized National Energy Policy Development Group head by Vice President Cheney?
    http://www-tc.pbs.org/now/shows/224/national-energy-policy.pdf
    Rather than discuss the prosposals and issues raised by the group’s report, the Democrats and their media/environmental allies obsessed over who the Vice President met with. Rather than focus on the gathering storm clouds on the horizon the opponents of the President sought to play ‘got you’ politics. Who opposed/opposes opening up new areas for oil exploration & development? Who opposed/opposes a renewal of the nation’s nuclear power? Who opposed/opposes the building of new refinery capacity? Sure as heck wasn’t the ‘bull-headed’ Mr. Bush.

  34. The money quote from the report
    “Unfortunately, there are no short-term solutions to long-term neglect.”

  35. Anybody care to give a thought to the motives of the oil companies? Any chance they’re pulling this outrageous gas price hike just to threaten politicians into falling back in line with them?
    Well, if so, for heaven’s sake let’s hope it works!

  36. Carbon Credit Card Crap
    Some TORY politician proved that the Tories have not yet recovered from the brain-damaging John Major years by proposing a Carbon Credit Card system of energy rationing. The ruling classes dont get it. This is French Revolution time. Now that, as the good Reverend has said, the eco-chickens are coming home to roost the voters are turning on the knuckleheads in Westminister in fury. Unlike the US the Brits have a potential leader, Boris Johnson. Its time for the Western nations to dump the liberal guilt and compete on an even footing with our Chinese and Indian competitors.

  37. If ‘gas’ here in the UK is so prohibitively expensive then why isn’t that reflected on the hugely congested road system? – Zeroth
    Two things: 1) Most of us have no choice but to pay these insane prices for fuel – many people are now even going without decent meals, and 2) the congestion is mainly down to our hopelessly inadequate road and transport system – due to decades of underinvestment despite the huge tax take.

  38. Steve Stip:”Sorry, I forgot I was not talking to fellow Libs.”
    Steve, I removed myself from the Libertarian Party after 9/11 when the leadership spouted the “it’s our own fault” line. I still believe in Libertarian principles, but I have also spend a good amount of time in the military. But as Evan says, this is off topic so I will put it away for now.

  39. “Two things: 1) Most of us have no choice but to pay these insane prices for fuel – many people are now even going without decent meals, and […]”
    Go to the Gov stats site and wonder how we managed in the dark ages, say twenty years ago. Legend has it that *some* kids used to walk to school back then. I’m reminded of my first visit to the US in ’86 where I was offered a twenty-five yard lift.
    “2) the congestion is mainly down to our hopelessly inadequate road and transport system – due to decades of underinvestment despite the huge tax take.”
    Nothing whatsoever to do with the greatly increased number of vehicles on the roads then? And if the massive sums that *have* been spent are “hopelessly inadequate” then logically, your remedy would require far greater sums… from other budgets or new taxes.
    Ne’r mind, the raison d’etre of Govt in a secular society is to provide us with something to blame for all of life’s ills, imaginary or otherwise… whilst simultaneously neglecting to remember that we collectively voted for them.

  40. but I have also spend a good amount of time in the military.
    Thank you for your service.
    Zeroth: There’s nothing wrong with hoofing it. But that’s not the point. The point is the damage or lack of damage caused by CO2 emissions.
    I have no dog in the fight. (And no car.) I walk everywhere. But that is my free choice and I wouldn’t dream of imposing it on others.
    If CO2 is seriously harmful, then yes, there is every reason for the government to limit it. But if it isn’t, there is no reason to limit it and if folks want to get a lift down the block that’s their own darn business and part of the role of government is to accommodate by building the necessary infrastructure. If it doesn’t, that’s a strike against in an election.
    That’s the point.
    The government works for the public, not the other way around.

  41. Evan:”Thank you for your service.
    No need, I went into the military for purely selfish reasons. I only made the point because the post was referring to Libertarian ideals. Sometimes you must temper your lofty ideals with the reality that you gotta break other people’s heads sometimes in order to keep yours safe.

  42. Pingback: BIG problems in the UK? America is not alone in the energy issue. | JERSEY-BARKER

  43. Not that tired old socialist slogan, “power to the people”….. But rather a more apt one for the Free market society.
    ” Power to the enterprising individuals of society, at the cheapest possible price….”
    … Or else feed yer’selves…. : )

  44. “The government works for the public, not the other way around.”
    Exactly, the public as a whole… not sectional, selfish interests.

  45. Sometimes you must temper your lofty ideals with the reality that you gotta break other people’s heads sometimes in order to keep yours safe.
    What part of that is not a lofty ideal?

  46. A rather naive post, and promoting liberal politics on top of that.
    Taxes on oil products in Europe have existed long before Al Gore came to be a senator and Jimbo Hansen decided it was too hot inside his office. The main objective of these taxes is to hinder dependence on oil.
    Of course in the US this has been made in a different fashion, and hence the much healthier economy of the country (and its currency) when compared to Europe.
    C’mon Tone, leave the liberal politics at home and focus on climate and other important stuff.

  47. Wasn’t the stated purpose of the run up in taxes on Petrol last decade was to suppress demand by increasing cost? I would think the people have a legitimate complaint, since I haven’t seen news of petrol taxes being scaled back with the increase of cost of oil.

  48. EJ:
    “Never, ever in the history of mankind was there less justification for revolution!”
    “But this is so off topic that we really should just agree to disagree.”
    Please, just issue a retraction; running away under the white flag only to mutter bravely out of earshot is so unseemly.
    And while we’re covering that sort of behavior,
    lads:
    “A rather naive post, and promoting liberal politics on top of that.”
    Opacity of intent when tossing out insults smacks of cowardice on this side of the pond.

  49. Lads: “C’mon Tone, leave the liberal politics at home…”
    I assume a typo (Tom not Tone). My last point on these off topic posts. Libertarians are not liberals. Libertarians believe in as little government as possible, and more specifically that the US government needs to go back to doing only those things that are allowed by the Constitution. including getting rid of the income tax. The most disturbing thing that I continually hear from politicians is that we the people are given rights by the government through the Constitution when that is 100% ass backwards. Through the Constitution, we the people have given our government limited powers over us in order secure our rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
    “and focus on climate and other important stuff.”
    If we do not focus on the politics involved in this climate change scam, we will all end up losers. The motivation for all this is redistributin of wealth and control over people. It is the politicians who hold all the cards at this moment so we had better indeed focus on them.

  50. Please, just issue a retraction,/cite>
    My pov is that the
    result was the best, most glorious thing that ever occurred in all of human history and probably saved human civilization..
    But justification and result are not the same thing.

  51. GREAT NEWS!
    The cap-and-trade bill is DEAD. The senate realized it was one of those “10%-off-the-top” economic deals.
    Chalk one up “for the children”. (Those who would otherwise have starved.)

  52. All the taxes on fuel are completely mad.
    Government says that it will raise taxes to make you use less fuel.
    1. If it works, Government actually raises less tax.
    2. If it fails Government should have a windfall to put away for a rainy day.
    3. Government just blows the dough and raises fuel taxes for more – cos’ yopu cannot avoid paying it.
    Big question for Governments and Enviros – where will all the missing tax going to come from if we stop driving cars/use tap water? Taxing motorists for using oil is one thing, taxing them for NOT using oil as a solution may be a little more difficult to sell.
    At least for the first time in their lives Greenies will have to pay their fair share of running the country.

  53. EJ:
    Unjustified with respect to the Indian Mutiny, the Boxer Rebellion or the Mau Mau Uprising, perhaps.

  54. Just thought I’d point out that one of those excerpts is from Nick Clegg.
    For non-US readers (and most UK readers too!) he is the leader of the Liberal Democrats, the UK’s third political party. So his opinion may be somewhat biased!

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