Thursday, September 13, 2007

Your Personal Carbon Ration, Big Brother REALLY is Watching

From the Guardian:

Rationing project tests government plans to make pollution personal
Plans for the world's first personal carbon trading scheme, in which people buy and sell their rights to produce pollution, are unveiled today.

The Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures & Commerce (RSA) is piloting a project later this year to test whether personal carbon trading could work on a large scale.

The idea, also called carbon rationing, is being considered by the government as a radical way to curb emissions of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide from households and consumers. Matt Prescott, who runs the RSA project, said: "Personal carbon trading is a way to bridge the gap between individual and collective action. It would be a way for the government to give people a sense of purpose in their efforts to reduce their emissions."

Under the initiative, due to start in November, participants will enter details of their energy use into a computer system, which already tracks the emissions of 5,000 RSA volunteers. Each person will be allocated a cap on their carbon dioxide use, and will be forced to buy credits from others if they exceed it....Source

The Chinese are obviously behind the curve:

An Opportunity for Wall St. in China’s Surveillance Boom

...The New York Stock Exchange said that it had no comment except to confirm that China Security and Surveillance was expected to list on the exchange “later this year, subject to the usual conditions, including approval by the S.E.C.”

Because the company already has shares traded in the United States and is not selling any additional shares, Securities and Exchange Commission regulations say approval is automatic once the company fills out a notification form and the New York Stock Exchange confirms it has approved the listing.

Over the last year, American hedge funds have put more than $150 million into Chinese surveillance companies.

The Chinese government trade association for surveillance companies, which also regulates the industry, predicts that the surveillance market here will expand to more than $43.1 billion by 2010, compared with less than $500 million in 2003. Under the Safe Cities program adopted by the government last winter, 660 cities are starting work on high-tech surveillance systems....

From the New York Times

And, as we pointed out in: lǎo dà gē (Big Brother?) in China

...Starting this month in a port neighborhood and then spreading across Shenzhen, a city of 12.4 million people, residency cards fitted with powerful computer chips programmed by the same company will be issued to most citizens.

Data on the chip will include not just the citizen’s name and address but also work history, educational background, religion, ethnicity, police record, medical insurance status and landlord’s phone number.

Even personal reproductive history will be included, for enforcement of China’s controversial “one child” policy. Plans are being studied to add credit histories, subway travel payments and small purchases charged to the card....

Still I think the Brits are leading in the Big Brother race, who knows what the U.S. is up to.