Jotapay wrote:The Cap and Trade legislation that is currently in the United States House of Representatives mandates that every town have three federal employees who are environmental regulators/inspectors. They will be tasked with inspecting your house and issuing fines for violations. You also must pay for the inspection. If you continue to "unlawfully habitate" your home (the bill's words), you can be fined a certain amount of dollars every day.
Why is it that half of the thrust of this site is slamming sheeple for their Hummers and McMansions and the other half is spent fearmongering that TPTB will start micromanaging our consumption like some kind of Sarah Palin talking point? You simply can't have it both ways. Considering tragedy of the commons, jevon's paradox, etc... people will not powerdown until some force compels them to. As I said before, that usually involves the frog boiling in the pot. In this case, that means everybody boils in climate change, etc.... Therefore if we're all in this together, the idea that we should be allowed to individually consume with impunity as an inalienable human right is an illusion. At some point we have an obligation to restrain our consumption or Gaia will do the dirty work for us. To think otherwise is to keep one foot firmly planted in the realm of BAU, or the age of exhuberance in which there are no limits to growth, the invisible hand will take car of things, etc....
Any approach to dealing with this problem through preaching what is right and wrong to people is doomed to fail because overconsumption is part of the human condition. You'll never get enough voluntary buy-off on intentional austerity, contraception, etc... to mitigate the problem. You're therefore left with "statist" sticks. Either you wield them or you let things just unravel on their own, which will be very messy.
So this overemphasis on impinging on personal liberties I feel totally misses the boat on the larger issues of how people, left to their own devices, are pushing the planet into a mass extinction. I really don't think letting people burn through a tank of fuel oil a day to warm their uninsulated McMansions on the basis of absolute freedom is worth fighting for.
To frame the problem as primarily top-down corruption rather than also a collective failure of individual choices is fatally flawed.
Some people, presumably, would much rather hold onto their freedoms at the expense of any hopes of a controlled energy descent. To me that is an unacceptable tradeoff.