Living in Denmark
, we are used to incredible taxation levels to pay for the most effective wealth redistribution scheme around. Top end income
tax is 63%!!!!! (for all taxable income
over around 70.000 US$/year) Cars are taxed at 182%.
Getting back to fuel prices, ours are at the top end in Europe
, even though we have oil production here.
The only way to bring down fuel prices in the long term is to lower consumption
, and with the increase in oil consumption
from emerging markets, there is no way it is going to happen. So we have to look at other sources of energy if we want to maintain our standard of living.
More than 10% of our energy comes from wind
turbines, both on and offshore
"farms" The large turbines now produce more than 5MW each, and have blade diameters of more than 120 meters.
We pay around 0.4 US$ per kWh for electricity, which is also due to taxation, but the electricity distribution companies have to buy all excess electricity generated by wind
turbines at a price
that is a fixed percentage under their sales price
, so if you invest in a turbine, you are guaranteed a customer. Of course the electricity companies all moaned about this for many years, now they are the ones investing in wind power.
CO2 quotas are forcing companies and power companies to rethink their strategies and come up with solutions for saving energy and lowering the CO2 emissions.
Waste incineration plants burn waste, generate electricity, and sell the heat for district heating.
Manure from farms is used to generate methane that powers engines that generate electricity and excess heat for heating.
What all this means, is that we as consumers are not going to take the initiative alone, we need the law makers to get involved in making decsions that strong lobbies are going to fight all the way. They also need to make legislation that is unpopular with all the voters. But for the long term it is the only solution.
When the money
taken in from these taxes
is recycled into subsidies to bring down energy consumption, it might not be the perfect world, but it does help change. Use of solar
heat, heat pumps, better insulation
, more efficient appliances
, all get subsidised to get us to take better decisions.
For example, after paying 182% tax on your car, there is an annual "road tax" this is based on the mileage your cars does, In Europe
there is a CE norm for measuring this. The more inefficient your car is, the more you pay. The car with the lowest consumption pays nothing, and it goes up from there. My car is rated at around 8.7 km/l, so I pay 2000 US$/year in road tax.
So my next car is going to be a lot more efficient.
Most of us make decisions based on our wallets - so a mixture of stick and carrot is the only way to change things. If we don't start, we will forever be dependent on the major oil producing countries, and their whims.
As for CO2 being the terrible gas that is creating the weather
changes - I am not a believer.
CO2 has a molecular weight of 44, air is around 29, so CO2 is heavier than air, and will therefore sink down to the lowest areas,i.e sea level. The partial pressure of CO2 in the air and water will equalise ( that's why a soft drink or beer
fizzes when opened), so water will absorb CO2 depending on the salinity or rather total salt
concentration. CO2 and water react to form a weak acid which leads to other things, but the CO2 is absorbed.
One major volcanic eruption generates more CO2 than all the fuel we burn in a year.
So that's why I think the whole CO2 debate is just a cover for more taxation in most cases, but if that is what works, then OK, I value my freedom from Russian or middle east politicians/dictators more than driving a big gas guzzling vehicle.