RE: 'energy is too cheap'
"a few pence on fuel" actually means pounds per week and tens to hundreds of pounds per year, so yes, I'm complaining. You also seem to be ignorant of the fact that fuel prices have been rising several pence per month all of their own accord; 18% in the past year.
If energy prices rise so much as to cause the 'lifestyle change' you so crave, the economy would be in tatters. No economy means no food on the table, no food generally results in mass starvation.
It would appear that the best solution to our woes would be obtaining energy from better sources- yet every attempt at this is scuppered by different branches of the green movement. Wind turbines on windy hills? NO!, they would kill precious birds and result in unsightly power lines across Scotland. Tidal power? NO!, it would disturb some delicate mud-flat ecosystem somewhere. Nuclear power? GOD NO!, an especially badly designed and run station in the Ukraine caught fire once, which obviously means that every other nuclear station will too.
The proposed solution? Let's all sit at home in dimly-lit, cold rooms, reading the Guardian and eating rabbit droppings, content with the fact that we have possibly averted a whole 20cm rise in sea levels.
I do indeed agree that burning oil in innumerable engines isn't the best idea, but heaping tax upon tax onto people when they have no realistic alternative to what they're doing is cretinous in the extreme.
If we are genuinely concerned about global warming, then we should be pushing through every alternative power source we can devise; dam the estuaries, pepper every remote hilltop with turbines, coat the entire Sahara with solar panels and then provide REAL alternatives to combustion-powered transport. That does NOT mean a colourful leaflet advising people to get the (diesel) bus; it means building electric cars that people actually want, bringing back trolleybuses; hell, introducing trolley-LORRIES (it can't be that hard to put cables over the major motorways).
Putting 2p on a litre of petrol and introducing a pathetic levy on plastic bags achieves nothing other than slowly crippling the economy, giving yet more money to the likes of China (who pollute in every way FAR more than we do per product produced) whilst smugly basking in a fog of "I cycle around and use cotton shopping bags, it doesn't affect me".