Sunday, July 23, 2006


On a recent guardian report on carbon cards - allocating carbon points for petrol and airline tickets bought.
blog on guardian article

I would consider such a system to be obvious, unavoidable, and definitely in the pipeline some time. It would not concentrate on carbon use however, but on reducing a person's overall environmental footprint. It occurred to me as such when I was deciding, while pregnant, whether to invest in reuseable nappies.

I discovered that every disposable nappy ever made still exists, and that each baby generates about a ton of nappy waste in its nappy-using life time. That tonne of waste per baby is clogging up some landfill site and creating problems for some urban planner today, and will create problems for us all some day, particularly in my daughters' and possible grandchildrens' lifetimes. It would make certain sense then for some planner to create a lifetime 'e-footprint' point scheme, assessing among other things how much waste you have generated in your time. Babies in the developing world who have never used nappies would be a tonne of points in front immediately.

Assessed for difficulty from the environmental viewpoint, and considering what a bother it will be when the clean air starts running out, (and we start coming downstairs in the morning to find that the sea has come to stay) the necessary computer system seems less of a hassle. Much less of a hassle than ATM machines and the telephone system, or the UK benefits system, or indeed the cash money system. How else to generate some equality between the people who're using all the resources and the ones paying the price? Unless everyone in the developed world is just agreeing now, in a de facto manner, to kill off everyone south of the equator, in which case let me know the cut off date so I can move my family. And my friends. And their friends. And my friends' families.

In the UK they're planning to introduce ID cards with iris details ... it's only going to take ten years of planning or so. My kids will never believe it never existed. What would your gran have said to the idea of getting money from your account in the UK from a hole in the wall in Kenya? With no advance notice. Remember those accounts where you had to give notice to the bank that you'd need your money on Friday? Now we take it for granted that money flashes through phone lines to us in seconds. One day we'll take it for granted that each person's environmental impact should be tracked.