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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: 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?

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