Another ludicrously expensive and useless green idea is junked:
Energy Minister Martin Ferguson on Wednesday announced Labor had abandoned plans to pay some coal-fired power generators to shut down, under its so-called contract for closure program.
Mr Ferguson said the government could not be satisfied that entering into such arrangements would give value for money.
How could adult politicians ever have countenanced spending billions extra to leave us short of cheap power?
How’s that carbon tax going down with the poor?
Samaritans welfare group CEO Cec Shevels said 60 per cent of families approaching his organisation sought assistance with power bills.
Matt Wade, writing from the airconditioned offices of the Sydney Morning Herald, decries this sinful luxury for everyone else:
But it is worth remembering that if we had resisted the collective desire for household temperature control – like most families in the 1970s and 1980s – every consumer would now have a much smaller electricity bill. The billions spent by state electricity companies catering for electricity demand on a few hot days each year could have been spent improving schools, hospitals and transport infrastructure. And of course, we’d be emitting less carbon pollution.
And if we’d stopped refrigerating food, imagine how much more we’d save! How about eating our meat raw – still more savings! Never catching a plane to anywhere – my God, we’d be rich. Rich, I say!
Memo to Wade: people buy airconditioning because it provides the comfort that is the reward of hard work and wealth. It’s not a waste but the very thing we want.
And the analogy with not refrigerating food is not far-fetched: air conditioning actually saves the lives of the frail in heat waves, which is why health authorities appeal for the elderly and sick to stay cool.
Wade goes on, boosting his argument with an appeal to class war resentments in a column headlined “An air con: when the poor pay to cool the rich”:
It’s time to put an end to airconditioner injustice. This summer, the two-thirds of NSW households with airconditioners will be cross-subsidised by about the one-third that don’t. It’s an unfairness that gets much less attention than it deserves….
The companies that own and maintain the state’s electricity poles and wires have invested huge amounts upgrading the distribution network to cater for the peak demand caused by airconditioners on hot days between 4pm and 8pm… In effect, those switching on the airconditioner at times of peak demand are not paying for the full cost of their actions and those without airconditioners are paying more than they should.
This system isn’t just unfair, it’s wasteful … The less well-off, who generally don’t run multiple airconditioners, are cross-subsidising consumers who do.
Another memo to Wade: The rich actually subsidise the poor, not the other way around, once the many income transfers are taken into account.
And a question: why didn’t you add a fact you knew and included in a previous column but omitted from this – that the poor own plenty of airconditioners themselves? As you wrote of a survey only two months ago:
It also found well over half of low-income households have an airconditioner and 37 per cent have a second fridge.
I’m subsidising the airconditoning of the poor? My goodness.
And their second fridges, too? If we scrapped second fridges, how much more money would be freed up for hospitals? How much would we cut our emissions etc etc as before.
Andrew Bolt’s columns appear in Melbourne’s Herald Sun, Sydney’s Daily Telegraph and Adelaide’s Advertiser. He runs the most-read political blog in Australia and hosts Channel 10’s The Bolt Report each Sunday at 10am, and his book Still Not Sorry remains very widely read.