Renewing the Green Faith

The electricity bill arrived today and I discovered that I am one of the relatively few Australians choosing to use green energy. Just in case you doubt my ‘sceptic’ credentials, I swear I didn’t do it on purpose.

Actually I have no idea why I am using green energy when it is costing me more and I simply don’t believe in all this ‘wind power will save the world’ stuff. Clearly I must have ticked the wrong box on the application form.

To compound my displeasure, I also learned today that by going green, I am not actually making any difference to greenhouse gas emissions. Media reports suggest that environmental do-gooders like me are simply paying more so that power companies can make themselves look good at our expense.

Even greenie groups are saying that these schemes don’t work, despite my account stating that I saved 0.28 tonnes of greenhouse gasses by paying up to 30 per cent more for my electricity.

Strangely, I don’t feel good about it and I guess that few other people would either. I mean, is this just another example of the green industry trying to fool well-meaning Australians?

If so, it joins a long list of climate change Cassandras, earth hour evangelists and global warming gurus who have been exposed as some of the greatest hoaxers since PT Barnum.

Consider the fact that we have all been encouraged (compelled) to use energy efficient long-lasting light globes. Apparently they use a quarter of the energy of traditional incandescent bulbs and last for years. Strangely, the green marketing department neglected to mention you need four times as many to actually be able to see anything or that they cost 10 times as much to purchase.

Perhaps that’s why I have 97 of them in my home casting an eerie green glow that is hard to read by. And who can explain why I have already had to replace nearly a dozen even though our home is less than a year old?

Of course, replacing the globes at nearly $10 a piece is not only a danger to your wallet but by all accounts is a danger in itself. Apparently if you break one of these global saviours you need to don a protective suit and notify the authorities that a mercury leak has occurred.

Well, perhaps it is not quite that bad but the public service response procedure for such a breakage hardly instils confidence in the environmental benefits of a mandated change to such globes.

Which brings me to the point of today’s comment. The Government wants to mandate that in the future you have to use a minimum percentage of renewable energy. This, of course, is the same Government that deemed green energy too expensive to fulfil an election promise to fire-up Parliament House with clean power.

So if the Government can’t afford to be ‘clean and green’, how can they expect the rest of us to?

Now, I have a philosophical problem with the Government mandating what type of energy we are allowed to purchase (or what type of globes we can use for that matter), particularly when the proposed ETS is apparently designed to drive us toward environmentally-friendly power.

If the proposed ETS is to be effective, why then do we need a mandatory renewable energy target? And if the ETS is not going to achieve its policy objectives, why the heck are we even contemplating it?

These are very reasonable questions that no one in the Government seems prepared to answer.

Just like I can’t explain why I have opted in to use green energy and frustratingly dim, expensive and potentially dangerous light globes.

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