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Just Stop Oil
You know, we could, at the stroke of midnight, cease all our use of fossil fuels (it isn't just oil that's the problem, it's just easier to say).
By early morning, as people wake up to cold homes knowing that many of them won't be able to go to work, people will start to get agitated. And they won't be able to calm down with a nice cup of tea because there will be lengthy rolling powercuts due to the fact that there simply isn't the capacity in renewable (or nuclear) power generation to keep everything running.
Speaking of running, there will be little in the way of public transport and more importantly there will be practically no regular transport. Which means that pretty soon supermarkets will be empty, medicines will run out, and nothing gets delivered. Actually, I think about as soon as the reality dawns on what "the new world" looks like, people will leg it to the supermarket to stock up on everything they can. It'll be a bloodbath, literally, the police rarely turn up to deal with shoplifters these days, so how do you think they will get anywhere if their vehicles are unavailable?
In short, it'll be absolute chaos and the country will fall in a matter of days.
So while one can understand a desire to want to reduce our dependence on dead dino juice, the whole "Just Stop Oil" is little more than a madness mantra that makes no sense whosoever. Just like "Stop The Boats", it takes a complex situation and reduces it to an idiotic three word slogan that implies a simple solution is just within reach, while conveniently ignoring reality.
The reality is that, no, we cannot just stop using oil. Yes, oil is supplied by unimaginably rich psychopathic bastards that have absolutely zero qualms about holding the rest of the world to ransom with how much oil/gas/etc they are willing to produce at any given time. However since so much of our way of life depends upon this, there is no Off switch. We will need to be eased out of it, not by taxes and legislation, but by viable alternatives.
Speaking of Off switches, can we just accept that COP has been a massive failure? As it is COP28, this implies there have been 27 before and not only are we still discussing the basics of how to move forward, this year's event is pretty much being bankrolled by the very oil industry that is largely responsible for the carbon emissions, not to mention the very many international delegates who I rather imagine didn't go there by booking seats on a regular EasyJet flight.
COP is a joke, and it's just going to be another round of back patting and platitudes to be seen to be doing something, while not really needing to do anything much.
Except, maybe, a "carbon tax" which will ultimately penalise the poorest in society as they'll pay even more for their fuel than they already do, while those who actually pollute the most will be deemed too important so they'll get exemptions and subsidies and things will carry on largely as before.
Oh, and that extra money raised by adding more tax on to the non-rich? I predict that, if we're lucky, maybe a single percentage point of it will be used for anything to do with "the environment". And, would it be too deeply cynical to say that such expenditure might be chartering private aircraft to send delegates to COP29?
COP is a joke, we need - and the planet needs - a different approach.
Stop The Boats
I briefly mentioned this as an example of another madness mantra. While there are numerous possible options to addressing the situation, I somehow don't feel that having the government pass a law allowing it to selectively ignore the law is any sensible way forward.
Having said that, it does rather astonish me that everybody is so fixated on the number of people who made a perilous journey across the Channel on a flimsy boat when there are millions of people in relative poverty. Millions of children who go home to a choice of "eat or heat", and to hear on the news about how free school meals are to be cut back yet again. Assuming their school isn't at risk of actual collapse. Yet more people on strike. Junior doctors, railway employees. Yet more people stuck in zero-hours contracts (that the government likes because it means functionally unemployed people can be counted as being employed). Oh, and the price of everything is going up and while inflation is coming down, the BoE's 2% projection has been pushed off until sometime in 2025.
The interest rate rises affect people's mortgages, loans, savings...
...so I really do think there's much more to worry about than some people turning up where they shouldn't who may or may not be sent packing to the middle of Africa, a country that the current government is so desperate to use as a human dumping ground that they've been throwing hundreds of millions of pounds at them...£290,000,000 so far...and not one single actual person has even arrived yet.
A little less than the UK paid Rwanda, but not by much. This was the Euromillions jackpot on Friday, which was won by a single ticket holder in Austria.
Since the mega jackpot was won, we're back down to sane amounts - starting with the traditional €17,000,000 jackpot.
People with a lot of money don't use the regular sort of banking services that the rest of us use. They will be using private banking (exclusive), and/or asset management (shifts the banknotes into tangible things like property and metals). If we assume an interest rate of 4.5% (it varies by bank, 4.5 is the middle ground), then you'd make just under €11M per year on interest alone. Here in France I think the wealth tax is something like 65% (although any decent money manager will recommend you offshore it to avoid the tax liability). If you pay tax, that'll leave you with €3,780,000 per year. That's €72,692 a week or a little over €10K per day. Go pleasure yourself for ten minutes, you've made €72. You'll make more per wank than many people make in a day.
And, remember, not only are you contributing to the upkeep of the country in which you live, but this is basically "free" money, as this is counting the interest. The main amount of money is still there. So with a jackpot like that, you'd get to live ridiculously better than before (two to four days would probably match your yearly earnings before, and you wouldn't have had to do anything), and this is including the government keeping sixty five percent.
That being said, what does a person do with ten grand a day? Oh, sure, the first few weeks will probably be a blast. But then what? Let's see...
- Week 13: I bought two Smart cars and hoisted one up on a crane to drop it on the other for the YouTube likes.
- Week 14: I bought a private jet to fly to every continent in the world just because I could.
- Week 15: I bought a second private jet and crashed it into the first...for the likes.
- Week 16: I punched a policeman just because I knew I could hire a better lawyer who could make this problem go away for a few grand.
- Week 17: I got arrested for calling in a bomb scare at a major airport to record the results for a YouTube video. My legal team managed to get me a week of house arrest and a fine of twenty thousand (which is only two days worth).
- Week 18: I! Am! So! Fmewing! Bored!
- Week 19: ...
Personally I think the €17M is a much better amount. It's enough to be "change of life" without being ridiculous. You could fix up your home, or buy a nicer one. Go to work if you like your job and want to. Always wanted to see Canada in the Autumn? Well, now you can. But since your interest would only be making €735 a day (or ~5K a week), things will still have value. Which means they will have reason, and purpose. You can appreciate the colours of Canada's maples, or that haunted house in Baltimore with the adorable ghost girl, or taking a photo of that building with the massive crab on the side somewhere in Osaka.
I can't help but feel that, when you have huge amounts of money, life would be... less interesting after a while. Give it two or three years. Then, been everywhere, done everything. Now what? Oh, I know, do what the other rich people do - build a spaceship and then claim you're an astronaut having never actually made it into space.
I won €8,10.
Back to work on Monday...
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|David Pilling, 9th December 2023, 22:55
Thing is that a large fraction of oil/gas, like 40% are used for purposes other than fuel. Something has to lubricate the wind turbines. Maybe just stop burning oil, but stopping oil extraction is another thing.
Kier Starmer appeared to say this week that alt energy was a third the price of fossil and he would use it to cut bills. The investment to build it would come from abroad.
Quite interesting to read on the ROOL forum that in Germany they were thinking of building alt-energy capacity X times usage - because the sun does not shine all day long and the wind does not blow all the time.
Somewhere between these lies the truth.
|C Ferris, 10th December 2023, 18:52
Years ago if there was a big problem like a Pandemic - people used to look to the church - now they look to science - and they argue among themselves the way forward:-/
No one knows why the wx changed 10,000 years ago just that it did.
|jgh, 10th December 2023, 21:16
People are losing their crap about 30,000 people breaking and entering into the UK last year, and don't seem to notice that 1.2 MEEEEELEON legal immigrants entered the country.
I'll say this about the Conservatives: everybody claims we need to import MOAR people to staff the NHS, the Conservative are the only ones who've actually increased and increased and increased the number of immigrants. :)
|jgh, 11th December 2023, 17:58
The world really has gone through the looking glass. Today the leader of the LABOUR Party criticised the Conservatives for taxes being too high, and pledged to reduce the level of legal migration.
|Rick, 11th December 2023, 19:18
And there's a very real chance that Trump could be the next POTUS.
|C Ferris, 12th December 2023, 10:21
With ref to Trump - I wonder if Putin would have moved if Trump was in power!
In wars it seems to be about guessing what the other side is going to do - or in WW2 being able to decode the others plans.
|Rick, 12th December 2023, 11:00
Personally, I think Trump enabled both Putin and the Taliban. That the actual events took place on Sleepy Joe's watch is to ignore all that came before, namely four years of trying to actively destabilise the world.
|C Ferris, 12th December 2023, 11:23
UK efforts in North Africa - to encourage people to rise up - didn't help - and hasn't been resolved yet.
Problems with immigration from N Africa - people making a run from war torn countries - wars started by us.
|C Ferris, 12th December 2023, 11:28
Looking back to the Roman empire - they had problems with people looking across the borders at the fine cultivated lane - and wanting a slice of the action.
(Not wanting to be slaves though)
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Last read at 13:24 on 2024/02/24.
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