Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
I do think Tiefensee wants to help the environment (in general I assume the good will of any politician unless it becomes impossible to imagine what honorable motive an action could have), but I don't think that he proposes the best possible ways to do it. I think environmental policy should be efficient and targeted on the spot. When I want CO2 emissions to reduce, I tax the emission of CO2, not something which is just mildly correlated with CO2 emissions. If I want people to use less oil, I tax oil, independent of what people are doing with it. If I want something else, too, then I should tell that, too, and accept that the proposal is attacked on the basis of disagreement to these other goals.

The problem of Tiefensee is, that he is caught in traditional environmentalists thinking and this means often ignorance to any side effects outside a specific milieu. But these inefficient suggestions make normal people to think they have done a lot (or enough) for the environment, while the society as whole only creeps to sustainability. And this plays a role. Most people do not evaluate the effects of their actions on the environment for every single action. So the feeling of having done enough, has a lot of impact.

And with regard to his harmonsation dreams, that is really not new. New would be, if a country with lower gas taxes than all his neighbours would propose harmonisation, not when a country that has higher taxes (and therefore loses tax revenue from 'fuel tourism') proposes it. I would be seriously surprised if this becomes some kind of EU legislation.

Der Amerikaner ist die Orchidee unter den Menschen
Volker Pispers

by Martin (weiser.mensch(at)googlemail.com) on Thu May 29th, 2008 at 01:15:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Others have rated this comment as follows: