Federal Environment Minister Malcolm Turnbull wants to change the standards for lights to phase out the old-school electricity-chewing incandescent globes by 2010. This seems to me a sensible move that will make a modest impact at a modest cost. Joshua Gans is underwhelmed by the idea but Grant Young thinks it’s a good start.
Meanwhile, the libertarians at Catallaxy are incensed by this abolition of our freedom to waste electricity. I have sympathy with their ‘don’t ban things, persuade people to change instead’ philosophy, but I don’t think phasing incandescents out over 4 years is really such a big deal (from a personal freedom, or any other, perspective). If people are really worried about it, they have three years to stockpile incandescent lights (maybe in the underground bunkers that some of Catallaxy’s commenters no doubt have ready for when the leftist global warming conspiracy gives the UN an excuse to take over the world and abolish all personal freedoms).
Harry Clarke crunches the numbers for suburban backyard rain water tanks and concludes that they just don’t make any economic sense.
Every second article in the Herald seems to be about rents going through the roof. Joshua Gans argues that proposed rent subsidies won’t help anyone except landlords.
Grant Young asks a very sensible question:
I wonder - if Richard Branson is splashing all this money around to reduce climate change, why doesn’t his airline have an “offset this flight” button when you book a flight?What a great idea. Make it easy for people to offset their emissions at the point of sale, let them know how much it would cost, and no doubt many will take it up. Perhaps just as importantly, even if people choose not to offset, providing this will educate people about air travel emissions, what offsets are and how much the ‘carbon cost’ of their flight is.
People that want it can get it easily when they’re booking the flight. People that don’t simply uncheck the box.
Have a great weekend.