Print 79 comment(s) - last by BRMarshall.. on Aug 12 at 6:27 PM

If Britain goes carbon free does that mean no more life as we know it?

The Liberal Democrats -- currently Britain's third largest political party -- are pushing to ban not just sports cars, SUVs, and all other manner of "gas guzzling" vehicles, as some have suggested in the U.S., but all petroleum and diesel vehicles off the streets of Britain by 2040.  If isn't -- at least in part -- electric, it won't be allowed on the streets.

The plan is currently in its final stages and would be voted upon at the socially liberal party's upcoming conference in Glasgow, UK.

The proposal, according to a draft obtained by The Telegraph, states:

By 2040, only ultra-low carbon vehicles will be permitted on UK roads for non-freight purposes.

In other words, only hybrids, battery electric vehicles (BEVs), and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) would be legal.  Anything else -- in terms of consumer vehicles (including taxis and other small commercial vehicles) -- would not be.

Currently, the British do not buy many electric vehicles.  In 2012 a total of roughly 2 million cars were sold to British buyers.  Meanwhile the top-selling hybrid electric vehicle, Toyota Motor Corp.'s (TYO:7203) Prius moved only 13,000 units (about 0.6 percent of total sales), while the Plug-in Prius saw 470 sales -- even more miniscule.  In total only 3,600 PHEVs or BEVs have sold in the UK since the launch a £5,000 ($7,750 USD) tax incentive in mid 2010.

By contrast nearly 435,000 hybrids were sold in the U.S. last year [source], accounting for approximately 3 percent of sales.  While BEV sales were slow, combined BEV and PHEV sales moved nearly 53,000 units in the U.S. in 2012.  These numbers indicate that the U.S. is likely selling at least twice the number of electric vehicles and hybrids -- percentage wise -- as Britain.

A second plank of the proposed platform calls for airfare taxes to be replaced with a more significant carbon tax.  The party describes:

[Air passenger duty would be replaced with] per-plane duty, charged in proportion to the carbon emissions created by that journey.

That move is intended to stoke the use of biofuels and cut down on "frivolous" air travel.  

One thing such critics of these proposals will likely appreciate is that the party calls for expansion of Britain's nuclear power and natural gas shale exploration/extraction.  The proposal calls on cutting legal red tape to increasing use of nuclear and natural gas for the nation's energy.  

Nuclear energy
The plan does call for the expansion of clean nuclear energy. [Image Source: Corbis]

Among the proposed changes would be to allow for fracking -- hydraulic fracturing -- a process in which pressurized/heat water and chemicals is injected into sites containing oil or natural gas in order to extract it.  The process is controversial as some have suggested it might cause earthquakes; however, at present the evidence supporting that hypothesis remains far from conclusive.  The proposal to drop the party's opposition to fracking does come with some provisions.  The party writes:

[Fracking can commence so long as] regulations controlling pollution and protecting local environmental quality are strictly enforced, planning decisions remain with local authorities and local communities are fully consulted over extraction and fully compensated for all damage to the local landscape.

Experts have estimated that 700 million barrels of oil or more a year could be extracted from oil shale in two areas of Surrey and Sussex.

The proposals -- which aim to create a "zero-carbon" Britain (a rather humorous term, surely) might not be taken seriously were it not for the Liberal Democrats' key role as kingmaker in the British government.  By entering into a coalition with the center-right Conservative party (while ironically bucking the center-left Labour Party), the Conservatives were able to command leadership of the country, including the role of prime minister, which is currently filled by Conservative party leader David Cameron.

In order to stay in power, the Conservative government must make major concessions to their Liberal Democrat allies, despite having a significantly larger head count in Parliament.  Thus as absurd as the idea of banning all non-electric vehicles from the streets of Britain sounds, if the Liberal Democrats pass the proposal, their Conservative allies may be forced to listen.

Source: Telegraph

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RE: Oh boy..
By Reclaimer77 on 8/8/2013 12:13:03 AM , Rating: 2
See? See what I've been talking about? Some of us saw the writing on the wall years ago with Obama and his radical EV anti-ICE agenda. But you people labeled us crazies and "Fox News wackos".

The Liberal's in Congress and this fascist in the White House are the real wackos you should all be worried about.

RE: Oh boy..
By Captain Orgazmo on 8/8/2013 3:38:24 AM , Rating: 2
I generally get upset when people bash Americans as stupid (being one of the few Canadians who actually likes our neighbors to the south), but considering that nasty piece of work Obama was re-elected...

RE: Oh boy..
By Reclaimer77 on 8/8/2013 3:37:28 PM , Rating: 2
I generally get upset when people bash Americans as stupid (being one of the few Canadians who actually likes our neighbors to the south), but considering that nasty piece of work Obama was re-elected...

You know what, I said that in anger and despair many times after Obama's, impossible, reelection. But those are the words of a bitter and confused person.

I don't believe Americans are stupid. I do believe, however, they've become so apathetic they simply don't put forth the effort to inform themselves on important issues. Critical thinking is becoming a lost ability.

Sure I could, and often do, blame the media. They've done a horrible job of holding Obama accountable for, well, ANYTHING. Journalists and reporters have put Liberal ideology above the truth, abdicating their responsibility of informing the public.

But at the end of the day, if Americans simply cared more, things would be better.

We see it right here on Daily Tech: "bah both parties are crap! Just don't even vote or care about issues anymore, there's nothing that can be done. There's like lobbying, and oh god corporations and bla bla bla!".

I see that here like every day, it's just the sort of apathy and cop-out that has lead to where we are.

RE: Oh boy..
By Captain Orgazmo on 8/10/2013 6:12:14 AM , Rating: 2
As usual, Rush coined it right: low-information voters.

RE: Oh boy..
By Belard on 8/8/13, Rating: -1
RE: Oh boy..
By kyleb2112 on 8/8/2013 6:01:06 AM , Rating: 2
Must be nice to be a progressive these days. You get to constantly push for government control over every aspect of people's lives while simultaneously calling other people fascists.

And I see you object to the one voice of dissent from the most obsequious press in US history. No red flags there? That doesn't bother you just a little? Because, man, if I ever held identical views to 90% of the media gate keepers, college professors, and movie actors, I would rebel just on principle.

RE: Oh boy..
By LRonaldHubbs on 8/8/2013 10:24:04 AM , Rating: 2
Fascism is a RIGHT-WING way of thinking. Use something called a DICTIONARY and learn the meaning of words.

Here, let's see what the dictionary has to say:

fascism - noun
1) a governmental system led by a dictator having complete power, forcibly suppressing opposition and criticism, regimenting all industry, commerce, etc., and emphasizing an aggressive nationalism and often racism.

Hmm, looks like you're wrong. Next time you tell other to read a dictionary, try reading it yourself first. Alternately, you may first need to learn how to read and comprehend.

FYI, the political spectrum is not merely left and right, there is also a veritcal axis which spans from libertarianism to authoritarianism. Fascism is extreme authoritarianism. Throughout history, and even today, there have been examples of both conservative and liberal fascists.

RE: Oh boy..
By Cloudie on 8/8/2013 10:37:55 AM , Rating: 3
'Liberal fascists'. Erm, what? Do you even know what liberal means? It is the complete opposite of authoritarianism lol. I'll give you the first definition from the oxford dictionary:

"willing to respect or accept behaviour or opinions different from one’s own; open to new ideas"

Does that sound like authoritarianism to you? lol. I just don't get why in the US the word liberal has had its meaning transformed into the opposite of what it is and also become this loaded, "offensive" word??

No doubt, because it suits certain people's agendas. You meant 'left wing fascist' ultimately.

RE: Oh boy..
By LRonaldHubbs on 8/8/2013 10:58:24 AM , Rating: 1
You are of course welcome to dispute my use of the word liberal, but your last sentence clearly indicates that you knew what I meant. For all practical purposes, liberal = left wing and conservative = right wing in US politics simply because that is how so many people talk about it. And I agree, the pervasive use of 'liberal' as a derogatory term is tiresome.

RE: Oh boy..
By ClownPuncher on 8/8/2013 12:47:26 PM , Rating: 2
Ah, US political terms. Much like our systems of measurement, the rest of the world has no idea what we are talking about. I still don't get why so many people use terms like "liberal" or "conservative" incorrectly. It just confuses our poorly educated voting base even more.

RE: Oh boy..
By Dr of crap on 8/8/2013 11:32:40 AM , Rating: 2
Were that the other parties were "included" with the normal Reps and Dems. While I hate having to label yourself as belonging to a political party at all, I not have a problem being ANYTHING other than the two parties now in power. AND YES they are in "power".

RE: Oh boy..
By Paj on 8/8/2013 12:35:23 PM , Rating: 2
You don't know what fascism means.

RE: Oh boy..
By ven1ger on 8/8/13, Rating: -1
"And boy have we patented it!" -- Steve Jobs, Macworld 2007

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