With money in the bank, a trip to the supermarket becomes a simple example of the economics of consumer choice: Stroll down the aisles choosing what you can afford. Economist would say your choices are “maximising your utility” – within your budget.
Now even in the less-posh supermarkets, there are ”free from” aisles where the goods are free from gluten, dairy, nuts, refined sugar, meat or pesticides. Could there be “free from” neighbourhoods, which were free from neighbours with lifestyles we don’t like?
Here the law has a say. Certain types of “free-from” neighbourhoods are illegal. In England & Wales, when housing is being rented or sold, it is unlawful to discriminate on the grounds of disability, race, sex, sexual orientation, religion & etc. So, it may be difficult to choose to live in neighbourhoods “free from”, say, Methodists. Quite right too.
“Subsidise goods that use lots of labour. Tax those that don’t.”
This has been a mantra of mine for the past 50 years.
Despite a research project funded by the European Commission, an article in the Guardian and letters in the FT, no government has taken this simple idea to heart.
The rationale is simple, if there is unemployment, there is spare labour . A good way to use that labour is to consume goods that use it. A policy that could bring this about is to “subsidise goods that use lots of labour and tax those that don’t”.
I proposed a change to VAT to do this: Raise the nominal rate of VAT but balance it by giving a rebate for every worker employed.
This scheme is designed to create employment at the bottom of the labour market, which by increasing demand will increase the lowest wages. It does this because the rebate is flat rate so has more impact on low paid work. (Example below.)
Here, the Earth’s Energy Imbalance will be referred to as ‘greenhouse heating’ and the extra energy stored in the Earth since 1750 will be referred to as ‘greenhouse heat’. The extra energy is stored as heat. This includes latent heat that has melted ice.
This post uses a thermal model of the Earth, divided into two parts. Instant Earth that reacts immediately to greenhouse warming and Cumulative Earth that accumulates the effects of greenhouse warming.
Conclusion: The cumulative effects of global warming are not being taken seriously enough.
The Paris Agreement central aim is to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change by keeping a global temperature rise this century well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
I admire the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) and welcome their recent report to Parliament. However, I read the report with the knowledge that the CCC is sponsored by the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). I think that BEIS values business interests over climate climate change. (I have made a submission to the Labour Party Policy Forum, Climate Change and BEIS.)