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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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RE: Ban the Beef!
By zinfamous on 9/10/2007 3:54:49 PM , Rating: 2
*facetious

but to expand on your point here, most people don't consider what kind of physical space is required to raise one head of cattle, from birth to slaughter...let alone several thousand of them. (And I'm not a vegetarian; I love the hell out of meat). While the "solutions" are costly and difficult--cutting production exponentially, raising costs for farmers and consumers--the impact on global warming that banning certain types of meat production is far greater than banning high-end electronics would be.

To that end, I say we pick on McDonald's: Ban the clown and reclaim some 20% of the Brazillian rain forests :)

(and watch our rate of heart disease plummet over the next 50 years...a welcome side-effect)


RE: Ban the Beef!
By Christopher1 on 9/11/2007 10:49:37 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, that won't do anything. Johns Hopkins Hospital recently did a study on people who ate fast food regularly, and were astounded by the results (I know of them, because I took part in the study).

They found out that people eating McDonald's regularly had LESS of a chance of heart disease than people who didn't eat at McDonald's regularly.
Really, heart disease does not come from what you eat. Most people with heart disease have genetic factors that make their arteries clog up faster or more than other people's do, and changing their diet will do little or nothing to change their risk of that.


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