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« Black's latest | Main | Stakeholder Forum's budget »
Thursday
Jun142012

The Worldwatch Institute and logic

Doug Keenan notes two separate, but clearly related clauses in an article by Erik Assadourian of the Worldwatch Insitute in the Wall Street Journal.
"there's a responsible way to grow the [French] economy"
and
"shrink [the] economy by two-fifths"
Here's the full quote (the article is paywalled):

There are many competing priorities that demand the new French president's attention: a shaky euro, public debt, French troops in Afghanistan. But with jobless rates hovering near 10% and 23% of French youth now unemployed, stimulating growth is surely at the top of François Hollande's to-do list.

Yet considering France's ecological footprint is 64% larger than the planet can sustain, France will have to shrink its economy by two-fifths over time to prevent widespread ecological decline in France and beyond, even as its population continues to grow.

In other words, there's a responsible way to grow the economy and there's an irresponsible way. Here are some suggestions on how Mr. Hollande can bring France closer to sustainable prosperity, rather than just create another short-term economic bubble that the breakdown of Earth's systems will pop a decade or two down the road:

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Reader Comments (52)

Does 'the planet' really give a rat's about France's ecological footprint? Don't french voters want someone who gives some preference to them instead of people elsewhere?

Or should we all blame the French for everything? I'm english, I can go with that.

Jun 14, 2012 at 5:07 PM | Unregistered CommenterRhoda

Rhoda,

I am on your side.

The French government ordered the sinking of the Greenpeace ship Rainbow Warrior in Auckland harbour. In the process a Portugese photographer was killed.

Since then I have had an intense dislike for all things French...and since then, for obvious reasons the same sort of intense dislike for Greenpisse.

Can't win, can I?

Jun 14, 2012 at 5:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterPeter Walsh

The article is acessible through googlenews

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303901504577461853663432964.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

Jun 14, 2012 at 5:26 PM | Unregistered Commenterrockchicken

Whatever your feelings about France and the French, Rhoda, what this Assadourian is proposing could equally apply to any developed, or even semi-developed, country: a semi-hysterical insistence that we instantly return to a way of life dependent on subsistence agriculture at best.

For those with a taste for root vegetables and shivering nights in the dark, I dare say it is an appealing notion. But as a French resident, I find it more than merely offensive that this person should presume to tell me how to live, not least as his assertion that 'France's ecological footprint is 64% larger than the planet can sustain' is so spectactularly meaningless.

Jun 14, 2012 at 5:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterAgouts

I like the "64%". So very precise. Such a relief to hear that these matters are understood to such fine degrees. Based on what parameters I wonder? No doubt the underlying data and methodologies are available online for us to review.

Jun 14, 2012 at 5:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterArgusfreak

So, how is the UK's ecological footprint? I bet we can beat France's 64%.

(I like France and the French, but it is traditional in England to blame them for whatever one can.)

Jun 14, 2012 at 5:39 PM | Unregistered CommenterRhoda

These soulless ignorant vile green extremists are worling hard for a xenocide.

Jun 14, 2012 at 5:49 PM | Unregistered Commenterhunter

M. Assadourian's opinion expressed in the article is, of course, horribly neurotic whilst knowingly misanthropic.

Jun 14, 2012 at 5:58 PM | Unregistered CommenterDiogenes

I'm assuming the WSJ printed this guy's piffle for comic relief.

We all need a reminder periodically that while they may be fools, they're still dangerous fools.

Jun 14, 2012 at 6:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterJEM

Yer and if the EU doesn't sort out the Euro France is next in line for sky high bonds but that's ok because I'm sure growth will be easy to come by.

These eco-economists really don't have a clue do they I'm just gutted I have to live through the financial revolution instead of the political, I will not mention the industrial revolution though as I don't want to send the silent lurkers blood pressure up.

Jun 14, 2012 at 6:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterShevva

Would shrinking the economy by two fifths return Parisians to the happier, more pleasant times before the Second Empire?

Jun 14, 2012 at 6:50 PM | Unregistered CommenterSpeed

40% of the French will have to die.

Gosh! It sounds like they're rolling out Marxism.

Jun 14, 2012 at 7:08 PM | Unregistered CommenterAC1

This guy has nothing on Gwynne Dyer


When that happens, the sulphur bacteria that normally live in the silt (because oxygen is poison to them) come out of hiding and begin to multiply. Eventually they rise all the way to the surface over the whole ocean, killing all the oxygen-breathing life. The ocean also starts emitting enormous amounts of lethal hydrogen sulphide gas that destroy the ozone layer and directly poison land-dwelling species. This has happened many times before.

Don't let it worry you. We'll all be safely dead long before it could happen again: the earliest possible date for a mass extinction, assuming that the theory is right and that we continue down our present track with emissions, would be well into the next century. The only problem is that things like this tend to become inevitable long before they actually happen. Tick, tock.

Such a cute, little tick tock.

Jun 14, 2012 at 7:11 PM | Unregistered Commentershub

Ban everyone who believes in AGW from anything that uses non-sustainable energy. Which will leave more for the rest of us.

Jun 14, 2012 at 7:17 PM | Unregistered CommenterBruce

"In other words, there's a responsible way to grow the economy and there's an irresponsible way. Here are some suggestions on how Mr. Hollande can bring France closer to sustainable failing prosperity, rather than just create another short-term economic bubble that the breakdown of Earth's systems will pop a decade or two down the road"
(That's better)

Quite amazing what that word - sustainable - is going to be responsible for in my children's future. And the way it is used here, that future will be a very poor one.

Jun 14, 2012 at 7:21 PM | Registered CommenterHarry Passfield

I live in south-east Burgundy and if France's "ecological footprint" (whatever weird animal that might be) is 64% over-size then (along with Rhoda) I dread to think what the UK's is.
The population of the two countries is about in a par; the UK population density is about 2.1 times that of France. France produces 77.1% of its electricity from nuclear and 8.2% from fossil fuels compared with 23.7% and 73.8% for the UK. The level of car ownership per 1000 population is broadly similar.
Beyond that the French are not as obsessed as many other Europeans with the latest electronic gadgetry or with replacing their cars every couple of years.
This drivel is yet one more example (I may be forgiven for quoting from another post of mine) of the anti-human, eco-fascistic pressure groups whose scaremongering tactics are aimed at bullying the rest of us into accepting the sort of lifestyle that they could never convince anyone other than their fellow-travellers to accept voluntarily.
The "responsible" way to grow the French economy is the way which (a) works, and (b) meets with the approval of the French people. As far as the French are (rightly) concerned no other consideration is relevant.
And the same applies for any other country you care to name.

Jun 14, 2012 at 7:37 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

I'm with Matt Ridley, man's ingenuity and rational optimism. I'm optimistic that these green nutters will die out and leave the rest of normal humanity to get on with life.

Jun 14, 2012 at 7:41 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhillip Bratby

Living in France, I find it very ironic that an obviously totally ignorant U.S. ( how predictable ) intellectual ( I jest ) comes up with completely unresearched rubbish about Frances carbon footprint. Because of their planned Nuclear energy infrastructure ( 80% of electricity generated by this form of power ) they are the 3rd greenest country in Europe, the U.K. for example is some where in the mid teens in the European table and as for the U.S.A.! To coin a phrase, why do these self deluded warmists never engage their brains before engaging their mouths?

Jun 14, 2012 at 7:42 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Leon

All who have tried to reduce a corporation's costs (an equivalent of a countries "consumption", or "footprint") know that there is little that can be done while maintaining the fundamentals of the corporation's staffing and office use. Fixed costs are a very high proportion of any corporation, discretionary, perhaps 15%. And you cannot stop all discretionary expenditures. If you do, the corporation ceases to function. There is only one way that a substantial cost/consumption reduction can take place, and that is one that involves significant reductions in staff and office space.

Fixed costs apply to a society as well as a corporation. If France needs to reduce its "footprint" by 40% (!!!!!!) to be on the eco-green (loony) wavelength, the only way to do this is to reduce the population. Which would take care of the unemployment.

Population reduction is an essential component of the eco-green vision of the future. There is no way out of it. They may look to the birthrate to help them here, in France, where there are less born than die, but there still are too many people for their vision. They will need to kick out all non-citizens. Which will not solve the problem, either, but at least there will be streetsweeping and taxicab jobs for the entitled Frenchman.

Beyond the French borders, the breeders are still busy. When will the day come when the eco-green ties foreign assistance to population control? It will be necessary to reduce the foreigners' "footprint" if it is necessary to reduce the Frenchman's.

Lives in denial, or hidden agendas? Thinking practically about serious proposals is not an eco-green habit or strength. Too bad. At least then we could discuss choices before the ballot box gives the power to vegetables-in-waiting.
The fantasy eco-green world is a totalitarian state where the governing Greens MUST determine how much energy each of us can consume, who can have a car and how much he can drive, and how many babies each of us is allowed to have. With punitive consequences and enforcement powers.

Jun 14, 2012 at 8:03 PM | Unregistered CommenterDoug Proctor

I am a subscriber to the WSJ, and I have copied the article below so the rest of you can read it. (Very scary in my opinion.) Too bad you cannot also read the comments by other subscribers -- most thought this was satire or a joke at first and could not believe the WSJ even posted it. After the first 20+ commentators ridiculed the author, a couple of spooks floated out of a crypt and supported it.

By ERIK ASSADOURIAN
There are many competing priorities that demand the new French president's attention: a shaky euro, public debt, French troops in Afghanistan. But with jobless rates hovering near 10% and 23% of French youth now unemployed, stimulating growth is surely at the top of François Hollande's to-do list.

Yet considering France's ecological footprint is 64% larger than the planet can sustain, France will have to shrink its economy by two-fifths over time to prevent widespread ecological decline in France and beyond, even as its population continues to grow.

In other words, there's a responsible way to grow the economy and there's an irresponsible way. Here are some suggestions on how Mr. Hollande can bring France closer to sustainable prosperity, rather than just create another short-term economic bubble that the breakdown of Earth's systems will pop a decade or two down the road:

•Tax the rich. A lot. Mr. Hollande should follow through on his campaign promise to increase tax rates to 75% on those earning more than €1 million. This will curb the market for unsustainable luxury goods while providing revenue to fund France's transition to a sustainable society.

• Tax social ills. Fossil fuels, carbon emissions, junk food, automobiles, advertising—these are all ripe for additional taxes to curb their abundance, while generating further state revenue.

• Invest in renewables to improve France's path to energy security. At the same time, Mr. Hollande must help normalize much lower rates of electricity usage, such as through tiered electricity pricing, which would charge users progressively for higher levels of use.

• Make French cities nearly car-free by 2022. Invest heavily in mass transit, bicycle lanes and pedestrian-friendly development so that the only urban vehicles 10 years from now will be shared and rented cars, taxis, delivery trucks and ambulances. This one measure would save billions of euros in traffic fatalities and air pollution-related illnesses, reduce CO2 emissions, and create far more local jobs in bicycle maintenance and sales than those lost in the French auto industry.

•Follow the Netherlands' lead and create a 200-year plan to address climate change. The Dutch are investing a billion dollars a year preparing their coastlines, infrastructure and agriculture for climate change. That's a step in the right direction, though the standard assumption of an increase of only two degrees Celsius over the next two centuries is probably optimistic at this point.

• Facilitate a return to traditional living arrangements. Although youth unemployment is a challenge, multigenerational housing can help address it, creating new ways to share costs among family members. Increasing the desirability of multigenerational housing could be done through tax incentives, social marketing and stimulating new local economic opportunities—such as small-scale farming and animal husbandry, artisanal crafts and repair.

Together, these could help reduce economic insecurity and ecological impact as housing density increases, local economies develop and families once again turn to social capital instead of financial capital to maintain high-quality lives.

Over time, humanity will once again discover that a consumer economy of dispersed car-owning single-family homes is ecologically impossible and socially harmful. Proactively facilitating the transition away from this model and toward one centered on sustainable prosperity would be the best contribution this French presidency could make to France, the European Union and the planet.

—Mr. Assadourian is co-director of Worldwatch Institute's State of the World 2012: Moving Toward Sustainable Prosperity.

Jun 14, 2012 at 8:07 PM | Unregistered Commenterdrcrinum

This Assadourian is recommending that France build a sort of greenie eco-Maginot Line against a boogy man that only delusional twits believe in. The politico-economic policy of Doom. I recommend he take an extended vacation in France and spout his notions in public there, loudly and often. Yes, if he really believes what he's saying, he should carry his message to the French, themselves. Soon, before it's too late. Think of the children!

[BTW, the wsj comments are fun to read.]

Jun 14, 2012 at 8:15 PM | Unregistered Commenterjorgekafkazar

The lairds responsible for the Highland Clearances were obviously before their time. There is enough room in that part of Scotland for the remaining crofters, if there are any, to live sustainably. Making Glasgow sustainable might be too much of a challenge even for Alex Salmond. As for London ...

Jun 14, 2012 at 8:15 PM | Unregistered CommenterRoy

drcrinum

Thanks for the copy of the article. I wonder if Erik Assadouian has ever been to France. I don't recognise the country he is talking about.

unsustainable luxury goods - What's unsustainable about premier cru Bordeaux? Perfume? Haute couture?

junk food - The French eat very little of it. Round here they drive home to eat a proper lunch (burning fossil fuel in the process).

energy security - That's why they invested so heavily in nuclear energy.

car free cities - Fat chance, but they have been building tramways very enthusiastically (I recommend the trams in Bordeaux.) Oh, and Lyon was probably the first city to provide municipal bicycles.

preparing their coastlines - Yes, their seawalls need some work, as the flooding during tempête Xynthia showed. Alternatively, they could stop allowing building on coastal salt marshes.

small scale farming and animal husbandry - but that is the French model already due to the farm having to be divided equally among all the children on the farmer's death. (However, they wouldn't survive without the subsidies.)

Jun 14, 2012 at 9:08 PM | Registered CommenterDreadnought

I'm surprised Mr Assadourian didn't suggest getting out the guillotine and cutting off the heads of the rich and taking their money. So much more profitable than taxing them. A lot.

Jun 14, 2012 at 9:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterBilly Liar

it will be interesting how the march of the elite green dunces is going to make the economy 50% "better".
Keep in mind these are the characters who cannot add 2 numbers together otherwise they would not have gone for a career in activism.

nuclear energy? no thats faaar too bourgeois

Jun 14, 2012 at 9:13 PM | Unregistered Commenterptw

In an earlier comment I mentioned the Highland Clearances as an example of a measure to develop a "sustainable" economy but there is a much more recent example. When the Khmer Rouge took over Cambodia in 1975 they drove people out of the cities and forced them to try and grow their own food in the countryside. Perhaps France should do the same.

There are also lessons that the whole Euro Zone could learn form Cambodia. The Khmer Rouge also abolished money. Having a single currency might be a step forward but the next logical step would be to have no currency at all. That would solve the Euro problem.

Some people might think these suggestions are impractical, but when has that ever been a barrier to political endorsement of Green ideas?

Jun 14, 2012 at 9:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterRoy

Mike Jackson.

Spot on, as usual.

These ecomentalists are tiresome, But their illogical ravings are often seen through even by people who would not be able to articulate specific failings.

Jun 14, 2012 at 9:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterGixxerboy

How about shrinking the economy of Worldwatch Insitute and The Wall Street Journal

Start by sacking this Erik Assadourian f---king idiot
So how how ecological he is when hes living on benefits

Jun 14, 2012 at 11:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterJamspid

Small is big.

What's a 25% unemployment rate when the planet is at stake?

And stop having children.

With a bit of luck the French, as a people, will vanish and the happy citizens of the banlieues - unencumbered by anything so modern as Greenie hysteria - will take the place over.

Jun 14, 2012 at 11:09 PM | Unregistered CommenterJay Currie

http://www.worldwatch.org/taxonomy/term/33

So we know where Heartland gets its money from
So where are these idiots at World Watch are getting their money from
Heres an FOI PUBLISH THEIR ACCOUNTS

This Erik Assadourian think its a great idea to plunge millions of people into unemployment and poverty

Erik be brave PUBLISH YOUR TAX RETURNS

See how much money Erik has before he decides he wants to take away everyone elses

Jun 14, 2012 at 11:22 PM | Unregistered CommenterJamspid

At bottom, Greens have some Marie-Antoinette-ish vision of us all being happy, sustainable, self-sufficient small-holders: peasants, in other words. The point they miss is that in any 'traditional' society, as soon as the opportunity arises to run away from being a peasant, people grab it with both hands. Being a wage slave in a steel mill or coal mine beats the heck out of struggling to stay alive on a patch of land. So how do they think they will be able to organise the necessary level of coercion to turn us back into peasants? The World-Government schtick can get them some way down the road but I fear the broad masses will, again confusingly for progressive intellectuals, refuse to play ball. No doubt they will conclude its a communication problem.

Jun 14, 2012 at 11:31 PM | Unregistered Commenterbill

I note Roy's post above. Pol Pot was very, very, progressive, and perhaps he's an interesting example of where progressivism leads us. Western Leftists were loud in their denunciations but, generally, they saw where he was coming from. When there's no answer to the 'communication problem', well ........ and as for the idea, think it possible in the bowels of Christ ye might be wrong, hey c'mon, we're progressives, ....

Jun 14, 2012 at 11:43 PM | Unregistered Commenterbill

40% of the French will have to die.

Gosh! It sounds like they're rolling out Marxism.
Jun 14, 2012 at 7:08 PM | Unregistered CommenterAC1

Sounds more like they are rolling out the tanks
Want a third World War

Jun 14, 2012 at 11:51 PM | Unregistered CommenterJamspid

And of course the happy, fufilling, self-sufficient peasant existence is for you, not them, Their superior talents will necessitate their good selves being warmly housed in capital cities so that they can regulate and supervise your fumbling efforts - with your best interests at heart, naturally. While you pull up your swedes on a winter's morning, they'll be off to a conference. In short every complaint of progressives, Leftists in general, about everything, is vitiated by their monumental hypocrisy. They have about as much credibility as a prince of the church caught in bed on silk sheets with three nuns and six bottles of claret two hours after having given his sermon on mortification of the flesh.

Jun 14, 2012 at 11:56 PM | Unregistered Commenterbill

40% of the french have to die


luckily Keynesian science comes to the rescue: "They will ALL die. All humans die. So we're fine"

Jun 15, 2012 at 12:14 AM | Unregistered Commenterptw

Is this the same Erik he played football for france

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C3%89ric_Assadourian

And this Erik Assadourian will he publish his TAX RETURNS
Boris ,Ken , David and Ed all had too
See how much money Erik has got hidden before he takes everyone elses money away

Whilst we ,re there can we see the ACCOUNTS for this World Watch Institute
Mickey Mouse ECO Outfit .See which billionaires are paying their wages

George Monbiot T word Transparentcy

Jun 15, 2012 at 12:15 AM | Unregistered CommenterJamspid

For all concerned about the accuracy of the "64%" figure ("France's ecological footprint is 64% larger than the planet can sustain"), it is of course made up, as is typical for this genre of "thinking" (sic). Not to mention that France, lovely France, although a sizable country and population, has no significant impact at all on what "the planet can sustain." Ok, let's suppose he is assuming some country-by-country "footprint" budget to add up to "what the planet can sustain" but it was an infelicitous sentence. Alas, having read a number of reports from the Worldwatch Institute over a quarter-century, I have seen how they are highly prone to paroxysms of hype, exaggeration, and alarmism of the Rachel Carson/Al Gore variety.

However, I do appreciate that he puts this kind of thing in front of a US audience:

"Make French cities nearly car-free by 2022. Invest heavily in mass transit, bicycle lanes and pedestrian-friendly development so that the only urban vehicles 10 years from now will be shared and rented cars, taxis, delivery trucks and ambulances. This one measure would save billions of euros in traffic fatalities and air pollution-related illnesses, reduce CO2 emissions, and create far more local jobs in bicycle maintenance and sales than those lost in the French auto industry."

Because as ridiculous as that is for a "10 year plan" for French cities, it reads to any mainstream US audience as delusional drivel. Sure, we are getting more bike lanes etc. in many US cities, but no credible person is proposing this kind of silliness. [I'm not saying some measures are not very reasonable on a voluntary basis, by personal choice: for instance, during the time I lived in Manhattan I preferred not to own a car and to rent vehicles as needed for out-of-city driving, but that was a personal preference not some government diktat.]

Jun 15, 2012 at 12:38 AM | Registered CommenterSkiphil

ok, comedy break..... while this is not specific to France I hope it is not OT since it is a satire of the earnest imbecility of so much "Green" propaganda (I am an environmentalist and conservationist, but not I hope the nutty kind):

Biodiesel: Our Perfect Green Future

[never heard of this site or book or author before 5 min. ago.... the fine print at bottom of page linked indicates what the satire is about, it is in fact flogging a book/novel, but perhaps a good one if the web page is an indication of entertainment value]

Jun 15, 2012 at 1:43 AM | Registered CommenterSkiphil

The paradox is resolved once one realises that the author intends for *productive* economic activity be cut by two-fifths whilst subsidies for unproductive or (ideally?) counterproductive activity is increased ... the later being a *type* of growth, after all.

Jun 15, 2012 at 2:25 AM | Unregistered Commenterdeficit socialism = ruin

A little bit OT, but could someone help me understand these 'youth unemployment' rates. How can they be as high as 23% in France and over 50% in Greece and Spain? Aren't there streets to clean, isn't there garbage to put out, food to buy and prepare, and so on? Just as 4% is considered 'full employment,' isn't there some sort of threshold over which unemployment rates can't climb because there is a base level of activities and jobs people need to do to sustain themselves?

Jun 15, 2012 at 2:38 AM | Unregistered CommenterB.O.B.

I think it was Matt Ridley who said that the only two classes of people who favoured subsistence farming were those who'd never done it, and those who had never done anything else.

Jun 15, 2012 at 3:44 AM | Unregistered CommenterOld Grumpy

My attitide is, and always has been, this: If you believe in all of this AGW bollocks then go and live in a cave somewhere and leave the rest of us in peace.

Jun 15, 2012 at 4:32 AM | Unregistered CommenterJimmy Haigh

I have yet to come across any instance of a green taking his or her ow life to reduce their ecological footprint. For some reason it always has to be someone else forced to die from fuel poverty and starvation.

Jun 15, 2012 at 6:50 AM | Unregistered Commenterspartacusisfree

Copy the first sentence into Google, then click on "News". Follow the link to the WSJ and you can read the article with all the comments. (90% mention that they thought the article was a joke.)

Jun 15, 2012 at 7:12 AM | Unregistered CommenterJames Evans

He wants to merder the French economy.

Jun 15, 2012 at 8:14 AM | Unregistered Commentergeronimo

There is an interview with Erik Assadouria in The Ecologist (dated 10 March 2010). In the interview, Assadouria says “Shortening work hours is essential” and advocates 21 hours per week. France has a 35-hour work-week; so he is advocating shrinking the work week by two-fifths. That is at least consistent with shrinking the economy by two-fifths.

His Worldwatch bio says that he “graduated from Dartmouth College with majors in Psychology and Religion”.

Jun 15, 2012 at 8:31 AM | Unregistered CommenterDouglas J. Keenan

Keenan: 'His Worldwatch bio says that he “graduated from Dartmouth College with majors in Psychology and Religion”.',/i.

Could have been worse - Climate Science perhaps?

Jun 15, 2012 at 9:48 AM | Unregistered Commenterspartacusisfree

He wants to merder the French economy.
Post of the week, geronimo!

Jun 15, 2012 at 10:33 AM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

I just pass these emails on:

Dear Prime Minister Gillard,
Please find below our suggestion for fixing Australia 's economy.
Instead of giving billions of dollars to banks that will squander the money
on lavish parties and unearned bonuses, use the following plan..
You can call it the Patriotic Retirement Plan:

There are about 10 million people over 50 in the work force.
Pay them $1 million each severance for early retirement with the following stipulations:
1) They MUST retire.
Ten million job openings - unemployment fixed
2) They MUST buy a new Australian car.
Ten million cars ordered - Car Industry fixed
3) They MUST either buy a house or pay off their mortgage -
Housing Crisis fixed
4) They MUST send their kids to school/college/university -
Crime rate fixed
5) They MUST buy $100 WORTH of alcohol/tobacco a week .......
and there's your money back in duty/tax etc
6) Instead of stuffing around with the carbon emissions trading scheme that makes us pay for the major polluters, tell the greedy bastards to reduce their pollution emissions by 75% within 5 years or we shut them down.
It can't get any easier than that!

P.S. If more money is needed, have all members of parliament pay back their falsely claimed expenses and second home allowances.

Also:
Let's put the pensioners in jail and the criminals in a nursing home.
This way the pensioners would have access to showers, hobbies and walks.
They'd receive unlimited free prescriptions, dental and medical treatment, wheel chairs etc and they'd receive money instead of paying it out.
They would have constant video monitoring, so they could be helped instantly, if they fell, or needed assistance.
Bedding would be washed twice a week, and all clothing would be ironed and returned to them.
A guard would check on them every 20 minutes and bring their meals and snacks to their cell.
They would have family visits in a suite built for that purpose.
They would have access to a library, weight room, spiritual
counselling, pool and education.
Simple clothing, shoes, slippers, PJ's and legal aid would be free, on request.
Private, secure rooms for all, with an exercise outdoor yard, with gardens.
Each senior could have a PC a TV radio and daily phone calls.
There would be a board of directors to hear complaints, and the guards would have a code of conduct that would be strictly adhered to.

The criminals would get cold food, be left all alone and unsupervised.
Lights off at 8pm, and showers once a week. Live in a tiny room and pay $600.00 per week and have no hope of ever getting out.If you think this would work, please forward to everyone you know. If not, please disregacriminals in a nursing home.
This way the pensioners would have access to showers, hobbies and walks.
They'd receive unlimited free prescriptions, dental and medical treatment, wheel chairs etc and they'd receive money instead of paying it out.
They would have constant video monitoring, so they could be helped instantly, if they fell, or needed assistance.
Bedding would be washed twice a week, and all clothing would be ironed and returned to them.
A guard would check on them every 20 minutes and bring their meals and snacks to their cell.
They would have family visits in a suite built for that purpose.
They would have access to a library, weight room, spiritual
counselling, pool and education.
Simple clothing, shoes, slippers, PJ's and legal aid would be free, on request.
Private, secure rooms for all, with an exercise outdoor yard, with gardens.
Each senior could have a PC a TV radio and daily phone calls.
There would be a board of directors to hear complaints, and the guards would have a code of conduct that would be strictly adhered to.

The criminals would get cold food, be left all alone and unsupervised.
Lights off at 8pm, and showers once a week. Live in a tiny room and pay $600.00 per week and have no hope of ever getting out.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Jun 15, 2012 at 12:45 PM | Unregistered CommenterGeoff Sherrington

"I like the "64%". So very precise."

Indeed! But I understand that he rounded 63.79% up to get the 64%!!???

Jun 15, 2012 at 5:21 PM | Unregistered CommenterBobDoyle

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