Saving The Planet By Punishing The Poor

Dr Stuart Woolley
4 min readFeb 2

In Ireland, approaches to climate saving initiatives are out of touch with the people.

Photo by Mikhail Nilov on Pexels

A short opinion piece on the damage being done by haphazard, uninformed, and frankly regressive approaches to addressing climate change.

It’s with increasing frustration that I see the endless doctrine from government departments about “clean air” and the rules and regulations that are happily churned out by seat warming politicians and their bureaucratic sidekicks without thought to how people can actually adhere to these pie in the sky arbitrary constraints.

Take, for example, the burning of solid fuels, something that is incredibly common in rural areas as they are a fuel source that is widely available, easy to transport, and (above all) cheap.

Well, cheap-ish, thanks for the Carbon Tax we are now forced to live with.

Not everyone, you see, has gas on tap or can afford a heat pump, and many people in rural areas rely on either solid fuels or oil fired boilers for heat and, sometimes, cooking.

The government narrative seems to be focussed squarely on the endless rollout of directives concerning fuels and their emissions — what fuels can be used, regulated, or taxed right up to the hilt.

By regulated I, of course, mean made more expensive and thus eventually pushed well out of reach of the people who need them the most to stay warm and avoid dying of hypothermia.

A conspiratorial view would be that by putting essential fuels out of reach of those who need it most would not only certainly lower emissions as less fuel is being burnt but also eventually lower the population that generates the emissions in the first place too! A win-win for those safe in tax heated offices for sure.

A consequence of this over-regulation is not only the ban on cheap solid fuels such as turf, but also the raising of prices on fuels that have been in some way processed (i.e. smokeless coal, wood pellets, and suchlike) to make them adhere to the new rules.

Let’s not even mention future rumblings on the ban of kerosene fired boilers altogether without any affordable alternative for the majority of the rural population.

Dr Stuart Woolley

Worries about the future. Way too involved with software. Likes coffee, maths, and . Would prefer to be in academia. SpaceX, Twitter, and Overwatch fan.