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David Cameron promotes a switch to "green" energy sources
High-powered personal computers and other electronics under close scrutiny for the UK's carbon dioxide crunch

The United Kingdom has a problem. Although it signed the Kyoto Protocol proposed by the United Nations, it -- like every other nation country which did -- has been wholly unable to meet treaty commitments, and has actually been increasing CO2 emissions faster than the non-signatories like the United States.

Embarrassing ... but what to do about it? Pass more laws, of course.

To that end, a new plan is recommending sweeping new changes to force residents to reduce electricity consumption. Tops on the list? A ban on new sales of plasma televisions. Surprisingly enough, the plan comes not from the Labour or Liberal Democratic parties, but from a group organized by Conservative Party Leader David Cameron.

While plasma TVs are especially singled out, the plan also targets all items that use over an arbitrary level of electricity, including high-performance personal computers and some household appliances. Additionally, the report recommends banning the "standby" functionality on consumer electronics, which allows them to be quickly turned on by remote control. Some 2% of the island nation's electric usage is thought to be due to standby equipment power draws.

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has already announced his ambition to eliminate the stand-by function on all appliances sold in the country, claiming it was part of British responsibility to "protect the environment."

Critics of the plan claim it will simply create a "grey market", where those with money will continue to be able to purchase banned items at higher prices.  But former Environment Secretary and plan chairman John Gummer says, "The imperative of global warming demands that we change [our approach] utterly - not just governments, but businesses, groups and individuals."

Even with the plan implemented, the United Kingdom is not expected to meet Kyoto Protocol commitments.  No word yet on what next will hit the ban list.



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A long time ago
By Misty Dingos on 9/10/2007 2:46:31 PM , Rating: 5
It used to be great to be British. You pretty much set the global agenda. Really did run the oceans. Now you are known for a philandering prince and a princess that got killed in a car wreck. Oh and a cranky Queen. All the while your government takes away your rights one at a time.

Some politician decides to take your TVs away and what is your recourse? Write letters? Vote him out of office? Lobby to have the guy removed from office? How about this, march on the palace and throw remote controls at the walls until the building collapses?

OK I admit it I am overstating the case. But when is this guy going to stop? Well getting rid of the plasma TVs dropped electricity use. So why not just have a mandatory TV off time? No TV from say midnight and eight in the morning? That will really cut down on power use! Or mandating that everyone ride bicycles to work?

When he is done with the whole power thing he can start working on your health with mandatory exercise period everyday!

No not a good time to be British. In my opinion.




RE: A long time ago
By Fenixgoon on 9/10/2007 2:51:35 PM , Rating: 2
longer for the glory days of the empire?

a shame us "colonies" have overtaken the "motherland"


RE: A long time ago
By Fenixgoon on 9/10/2007 2:51:49 PM , Rating: 2
*longing


RE: A long time ago
By Ringold on 9/10/2007 3:27:55 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
a shame us "colonies" have overtaken the "motherland"


We're rushing to catch up in extremist legislation, fear not.


RE: A long time ago
By TomZ on 9/10/2007 3:32:19 PM , Rating: 3
All the pieces will be in place if the Democrats win the presidential election in '08. Congress is ready now. The public is brainwashed about global warming and the "sins" of the Bush Administration. 9/11 is but a distant memory for most Americans. The pendulum could swing back pretty far. Heaven help us.


RE: A long time ago
By Keeir on 9/10/2007 3:43:35 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The public is brainwashed about global warming and the "sins" of the Bush Administration.


Not really on topic, but something I found rather interesting just a few days ago as an example of the treatment of global warming by main stream media

http://www.cnn.com/2007/WORLD/asiapcf/08/16/china....

To paraphrase, a CNN reporter attributes a 2x deaths by lightning in China (2006 to 2007) to "global warming".


RE: A long time ago
By TomZ on 9/10/2007 4:14:53 PM , Rating: 5
That is a really interesting article if you read it closely. It comingles global warming with the news of a sharp rise in lightning strikes, but it never directly ties them together. All it does is jump back and forth between talking about global warming and lightning strikes. The reader is left with the impression the two are stongly related, even though the article never clearly states this.

Modern propaganda at its finest - great work Reuters and CNN!


RE: A long time ago
By Scorpion on 9/11/2007 10:18:29 PM , Rating: 2
They learn from the best at it, the conservatives.

Unfortunately what the problem is there are so many feeble minds who are incapable of reading an interesting scientific observation, that in fact does not link the two together. It merely is a notice of the observation. Why are your brains so feeble that since they are both in the article together, they therefore MUST be linked, otherwise this is no news!

The problem is there are so many psuedo scientists who don't even know what science. If I release a news report on how an industry shift in the chemical makeup of tires coincides with a rise in blowouts, that does not mean that they are causaly related. It says "Hey, this might need some attention"

Feeble minds.


RE: A long time ago
By dever on 9/12/2007 2:28:35 PM , Rating: 2
The question was not "why are reader's linking them together?", the question was "why is CNN placing them together?" You're right, this should not be news. Why then does there seem to be a motivation to make it news?


RE: A long time ago
By Keeir on 9/13/2007 3:24:36 PM , Rating: 2
There is a significant flaw with your analogy.

The article in CNN/Rueters says this

"Lightning has killed 499 people in China so far this year, nearly 200 more than in the same period last year, and the country's top meteorologist blamed recent extreme weather on global warming."

This statement is written to imply that the China's top meteorologist says global warming is leading to increased lightening deaths (specifically in relation to this data point, see later discussion). Or has it become standard practice to discuss two unconnected ideas in a single sentence?

The CNN article could have and SHOULD have been written similar to such

"Lightning has killed 499 people in China so far this year, nearly 200 more than in the same period last year. The country's top meteorologist blames poor education of rural workers. A potential increase in extreme weather caused by global warming is also a concern."

Why is that the way it SHOULD have been written? Because here is the Xinhua article:

http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2007-08/17/cont...

Notice, there is NO mention of the increase extreme weather increased by global warming. But the note that 79% of death were directly attributable to people working in open fields and lack of adequate shelter.

Again the CNN/Rueters version of this story is truely showing a great deal of bias and assumption on part of the author and editors.

"The problem is there are so many psuedo scientists who don't even know what science. "

Yes, that is the problem, and they are writing the articles for most major news organizations.

I usually find Xinhua/Chinese news sources to offer a more balanced and objective reporting of global warming

for example this article

http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/cndy/2007-07/30/conte...

Yes, it assumes global warming is occuring, but it also deals fairly with potential outcomes. IE, could be good or bad, we just don't have enough data. I fear from my own observations, the same article in CNN/BCC/etc would explain how wars were caused by lack of food (skipping over the studys conclusion that periods of global cooling were responsible). Global warming will create lack of food (somehow). Global warming will cause the overthrow of civilization and modern governments! With some selective inclusion of the scientists actual remarks and all contributing scientist would appear to agree with this assesment.

Its a dark day when Media coming out of state-controlled outlets is of (apparently) higer journalistic quality than those that typically run on the pinicle of "Free-Press" news organizations.


RE: A long time ago
By Ringold on 9/10/2007 4:35:16 PM , Rating: 2
If I doubted Congress had any restraint in its hard-left proclivities before they evaporated today as the most staunch liberals in congress try to either back-pedal, cast doubt over Petraeus' credibility, or simply outright ignore both his and the ambassador's warnings regarding premature drawn-downs. Have yet to hear from the leadership but Reid clearly had his mind up even before the last election, facts on the ground or future dangers be damned.

Not sure heaven could help us, but having a President after 08 with a veto pen to keep an errant Congress from getting too radical would definitely help, and grid-lock in DC would be a boon to the economy.


RE: A long time ago
By TomZ on 9/10/2007 4:42:39 PM , Rating: 2
I agree with you, Petraeus' testimony before Congress is a waste of time - it's clear that many lawmakers have already made up their minds, and so they exhibit a "don't confuse me with the facts" type of mentality.


RE: A long time ago
By arazok on 9/10/2007 3:18:12 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
No not a good time to be British. In my opinion.


I've been to Brittan, and I'd summarize the country as follows:

1. After accounting for currency differences, everything is the same prize, but half the size. Houses, soda cans, cars etc are all itty bitty versions no the north American counterparts - for the same prize.
2. Photo Radar EVERYWHERE
3. You pay annual taxes for each TV you own?! Crazy.
4. You have to dress all posh to get into any sort of dance club, and when you do the "latest hit" is the same hit in N.A. you got bored of 8 months ago.
5. Every show on TV contained topless women, yet words like "damn" or "retarded" get bleeped on the radio.

No, definitely not the empire she used to be...


RE: A long time ago
By arazok on 9/10/2007 3:19:10 PM , Rating: 2
Horrible typos in that one. Sry.


RE: A long time ago
By Xerstead on 9/10/2007 3:57:47 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
2. Photo Radar EVERYWHERE

It's a pain, they do so little for safety. Fine, put one outside a school and I'll be looking at my speedo for the 20 meters making sure i'm not speeding and hit the child instead. Driving arount some parts of London, it seemed there was a camera every mile and change of speed limit every mile offset by about 1/2 mile. Why? more money for the powers that be?
quote:
3. You pay annual taxes for each TV you own?! Crazy

This tax does cover the use of several TV's in the house. Even if you don't watch the BBC's chanels which are the only ones funded by this tax.
quote:
5. Every show on TV contained topless women, yet words like "damn" or "retarded" get bleeped on the radio

I must have missed those TV shows?

I would also add:
You can be better off living a lifetime on Benefits than having a decent job.
Forigners coming to our country get better/priority treatment over our own senior sitizens.
The government are trying to discourage using cars by increasing tax's and screwing with the road layout BUT Also increasing the cost of public transport way above inflation.


RE: A long time ago
By csl on 9/12/2007 8:45:56 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
1. After accounting for currency differences, everything is the same prize, but half the size. Houses, soda cans, cars etc are all itty bitty versions no the north American counterparts - for the same prize.


You forgot waist sizes.


RE: A long time ago
By lewisc on 10/8/2007 4:27:07 PM , Rating: 2
In response to this, and a reply above by Xerstead,I think I would like to come out in defence of the Empire.

1. Things aren't the same price. In fact, quite often they're more expensive than their American counterparts, and yet are somehow smaller! However, in terms of things like cars, I think this is more personal taste than because we don't want to 'supersize' everything.

2. Speed cameras do slow people down. They are only able to be installed in areas which have met an accident threshold.

3. As Xerstead rightly said, you ay once per household, and have to sit through much less advertising than you seem willing to put up with in America. The BBC has no advertising. Has to be funded somehow I'm afraid.

4. I'm not quite sure what is wrong with generally looking nice when you go out, and I think we'll just pass over the 8 month comment, as it is patently untrue. Compare charts if you want.

5. As many misspent evenings of my youth confirmed, there really aren't that many topless women on TV. And I think talking of topless women and censorship in the same sentance is probably a little rich coming from America, lest we forget Janet Jackson, and the public flaggelation which ensued.

There you have it, my two pence. Or should that be four, as everything is more expensive?


RE: A long time ago
By agentcooper on 9/11/07, Rating: 0
RE: A long time ago
By Ringold on 9/11/2007 12:57:03 AM , Rating: 2
The problem with how you frame is that virtually all economic activity (asides from, I suppose, day light hour prostitution -- burning the midnight oil would be a global warming sin) is included in your definition of an externality that impacts everybody. When you widen it that far and take direct action to curb particular types of consumption on the individual level (like banning plasma TV's) what you're really saying is that property rights and the right to do what one pleases is a sham if it's at all contrary to the public good. The public good being defined, of course, by the protesters. All of which being precisely what America's founding fathers indicated as a key threat to freedom; the masses using the power of the state to infringe upon the rights of the individual in a minority.

Perhaps in another 100 years the last libertarians will have been bred out of existance but for now this all smacks of Socialist top-down social engineering and needless invasion of liberty. As someone else said there are much larger fish that could be getting fried in the service of environmentalism.


RE: A long time ago
By SirLucius on 9/11/2007 2:06:20 AM , Rating: 3
But there are two things you're missing. 1.) Who defines the greater good? Your idea of what is ultimately right is probably different from mine. Who's to say you're right. Personally, I think that it should be up to the individual restaurant/bar if they want to allow smoking in their establishment. If you don't want to be around cigarette smoke, don't go. There would be plenty of places to cater to non-smokers. We clearly disagree here, but who's right or wrong. Who are you to say I can't smoke a cigarette at a private establishment you don't own. Who am I to say you should have to deal with my smoking? It's murky water.

2.) This isn't quite on the same scale as public smoking or trash burning either. The effect this legislation would have on global warming would be negligible, but the effects on individual rights would be far greater. Next thing you know, I can only watch certain media at certain times because it's in the "best interest for the public" or whatever other b/s reasoning these guys would come up with.


RE: A long time ago
By Christopher1 on 9/11/2007 10:46:00 PM , Rating: 2
That's a good question: Who defines the greater good? Answer: Only the person who is looking at the thing in question and only for themselves.

Really, if they want to cut down on CO2 production, power usage, etc...... put limits on the power that an appliance can use, stop buying the manufacturers arguments that "It would cost a lot to be energy-efficient!" (in most cases it would not!), and start telling people to turn off devices when they are done with them and have TV's, VCR's, Cable Boxes, etc. automatically turn off after say.... 1 hour without any interaction with them and have a countdown to turnoff. That might be generous actually, make it 30 minutes without any interaction.

I have my TV in my bedroom mothballed right now because it was using HORRENDOUS amounts of energy each day, and my father got a notebook PC and TV Tuner USB stick that I pre-empted with his permission and are using for TV viewing.

The computer, even running full blast, uses less than 1/10th the amount of energy the TV used, according to a wattage meter that I plugged both into.


RE: A long time ago
By Keeir on 9/13/2007 3:53:53 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Really, if they want to cut down on CO2 production, power usage, etc...... put limits on the power that an appliance can use, stop buying the manufacturers arguments that "It would cost a lot to be energy-efficient!"


Or better yet:
Require Manufactures to provide 2 power (and cost) estimates on the side of every electric device box that consumes more than 10W. 1 estimate for 100% use for a year. 1 estimate for 100% plugged in with no use for a year.

The total cost of all of these measures should be relatively minor and gives control to the right choice-makers. IE allowing users to choose the benifits and cost.

I personally would like a total off switch by my front door that allows me to effectively "power down" my house for everything that is not essential for an empty house. Maybe every lower plug on the standard wall circuit. IE, lamps, chargers, TVs, computers, DVR/Cable boxes.


RE: A long time ago
By dever on 9/12/2007 2:41:27 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Were not talking about things people do in their bedrooms or say in public. This is like smoking in bars or restaurants
Let's see, you assume that because a private business such as a restaurant offers it's services to you and allows you on it's premises without much scrutiny, that the business is now "public." You assume that it is now owned by you and your commie buddies and not a private individual. You then assume that you should be able to dictate whether or not these businesses and their customers should be allowed to smoke on their own property. Complete socialistic nonsense. Smoking in a restaurant does not affect everyone negatively. You have no obligation or right to go into another's private establishment... it is a privilege. Think before you post.

PS: I've never smoked and don't plan to. But I do savor the frangrance of liberty above the foul stench of paternalistic government controls.


RE: A long time ago
By Ringold on 9/11/2007 9:07:18 AM , Rating: 2
It's not quite all bad. I heard this yesterday, but just came across some linkage.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/ne...

The island isn't completely sinking in to the Left Sea. :)


RE: A long time ago
By TomZ on 9/11/2007 9:10:46 AM , Rating: 1
What, people will have to speak English in England - how dare them!

Personally, I'm brushing up on my Spanish - uno, duo, tres.


RE: A long time ago
By Polynikes on 9/11/2007 7:06:26 PM , Rating: 2
I've always liked and respected the Brits, (I've got some British/Welsh blood and Brit Rock rules) but I really pity you guys sometimes.


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