Tuesday, 3 February 2009

2+2 = 6

Tell me if these two policy ideas, when taken together, make any sense.

Greenhouse evangelists want us to cut electricity usage. Yeah, I know they say that solar and wind and tidal can be used instead of coal and gas, but only if you are prepared to pay a hefty premium for the stuff. And only if you don't mind having no power on a still day or a hot night. Realistically, the greenhouse groupies should drop the whole wind power facade and just come out and say that they want us to use 30% or 50% less power. Be honest.

One way to cut power consumption is to stop using air conditioning. I like air conditioning, and wish we had it now, but I can live without it. Sure, Sydney can be miserably uncomfortable for a few weeks of the year if you don't have it installed, but it's not like we're going to die if we don't have it.

So that is government policy one - reduce power consumption. Build no more coal powered generation.

On the other hand, the state government is concerned for the welfare of our kiddies, and wants to air condition every classroom. Given that it also wants to keep kids in school until they are 17, which will require lots more classrooms, they'll also have to install lots more air conditioners into those new classrooms.

Hmmm. One department is trying to cut power usage, and another department just down the road is doing its best to increase power usage. Disjointed government is the order of the day.

I have no idea what schools spend on their electricity bills, but given that they are now going to be running scores of computers and air conditioning, I'd figure the bills would have to be pretty nasty. Computers put out heat, so even more air conditioning will be required. What's going to happen when carbon taxes put up the price of power, but state governments find that they can't tip any more money into education, because they're broke? Where will the cost savings come from? Turning off the air conditioners and computers presumably.

The sort of people that think up these idiotic policies never have enough brain power to work out that they are the cause of most of these problems in the first place. We have a rather thick Green on our local council. She sounds like she spent the last 20 years drinking bong water. Her crowd have spent the last 5 years campaigning for more expensive electricity, with the aim of making us use less of it.

I heard the other day that the council's electricity supplier for street lighting is about to jack up the bill. The only person to make a fuss about it was our stoned Greenie - and instead of making a positive fuss about it (this is a good thing, this is what we've been looking for, t his will be great for the planet, Gaia will weep tears of joy at this decision, we can all learn from it and should emulate it, let's hold hands and chant our thanks), she went ape shit, demanding that council switch to a cheaper supplier etc etc etc.

The way I see it, council has some limited choices:

  • pay a higher bill
  • install lower wattage globes in our street lights
  • reduce the hours of street lighting at night
  • reduce the number of street lights
  • hang greenies from lamp posts
We could of course just get used to the idea that electricity is civilisation, that cheap power is a good thing, and that cheap and handy power has made our lives - and especially the lives of women - so much less of a drudge. Do we really want to go back to the days of wringers for our washing?

The green, who wants our lives to include more drudgery, is of course a woman. But she is probably one of those inner city greens that can afford to employ a maid from the lower orders to do the washing, so higher power prices won't bother her.

Someone find me a lamp post and a length of hemp.


Kaboom said...

BOAB, you possess an extraordinary turn of phrase.

Heaven bloody help us if you turned to politics........

Ubique of the Free State of WA said...

The lunatics are in charge of the asylum. These morons want to ration us back to the stone age.

Fossil-fuelled power simply helps speed up the carbon cycle a tiny fraction. The miniscule quantity of CO2 added to the 390 parts per million of CO2 in the atmosphere make absolutely zilch difference to climate, but do help plants, forests and other biomass grow faster.

BTW try asking your climate- change-fearing friends what % of the atmosphere is made up by CO2. Most guess between 4% and 20%. Few people in my industry (environmental consulting)know, let alone politicians, bureacrats and the wider public.

Not since the dark ages have people feared so much something they know sweet FA about.

I ride my bike for fitness and fun, not to save the planet.

Polymath said...

They should hang BURNING greenies from the lamp posts, that way they can provide some illumination in a way that no non-combusting greenie ever has.