Road pricing

It's no wonder the road pricing petition received so many signatures (mine included). Not only is it an affront to 85% of the population (the percentage of those able to, who own a car) it is also an affront to the remaining 15% who are more than likely concerned about their civil liberties anyway!

When I last checked there were 36 signatures in support of road pricing. These people must not only trust the government to know where every citizen is all the time (public transport is already on the way to Big Brother land with the Oyster card) they must also believe that it is better to lose their privacy than to pay fuel duty which already taxes people more the more they use their vehicles.

I believe, as I suspect do many of the 1,000,000 signatories, that tax is not the solution to human-caused global warming. Despite reading many many documents I am not as convinced as Al Gore seems to be that climate change (vehemently not "global warming") is sufficiently attributable to human activity. If climate change is 50% attributable to human activity then we could set back the progress ascent from poverty for millions of people in the hope of averting (or delaying) an inevitability.

I don't want to belittle the very real impact climate change will and is having on poorer communities, but if the climate is changing with or without human activity, is it actually sensible to restrict their emissions (now and in the future) when emissions are the product of progress? Would we rather they starve than pollute?

Wouldn't it be better if a charity was set up (perhaps with government support, but preferably not) to receive money from concerned individuals to research alternatives? I would gladly pay all the tax I currently pay towards fuel duty towards that research if it were a choice. Fattening the pockets of John Prescott just seems like a waste.

It must surely be worth noting that the vast majority of people, when asked, believe that the government uses 'green taxes' to raise revenue, rather than as a genuine attempt to "save the environment". I put "save the environment" in quotes because of my deep scepticism that the environment needs "saving". Whether or not we are causing changes (and it's a real possibility that we are having some impact) the environment will change over time. It always has. Computer models of the climate are apalling at predicting the future, but I believe it would be a wise investment to buy shares in sea-defence building companies!


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