Live Green Before You Vote It

Posted on Sat 07/03/2010 by


By Andrew Bolt

This may seem to be a local Australian issue, when it mentions the election, in this case a State election in the Southern Australian State of Victoria. It however does ask some questions that those who seek to push this lifestyle upon us all need to address, and to actually provide answers for. This is something that is actually discretionary, and people will not make these sorts of sacrifices when they have a fuller understanding of what is actually being called for, a drastic reduction in their use of electrical power, not only in the residential household area, but in every other place they live their life. Electrical power is consumed in three sectors, Residential 38%, Commerce 37%, and Industrial 24%, so just cutting back in a minor way at home will make next to no difference, and any serious and meaningful cutbacks will necessitate the drastic reduction of use where you shop, where you work, where you play, in every aspect of your life. Until people are aware of this, and until they actually live that life without that access to a constant and reliable supply of electrical power, always readily available, then those ‘green’ fanatics who advocate this will always gain the most media attention. This is something that just cannot be imposed upon people…..TonyfromOz.

ENOUGH’S enough. If you’re really this keen to vote Green in the state election, why not prove you’re serious?

Why not live the life you apparently want the Greens to inflict on the rest of us?

Go turn off your own lights first. Kill your fridge. Cook your roast over a solar-powered candle.

Then go to work and turn off the machines. Junk the computer. Tell your hospital to switch off the machines that go “bing”. And harness some donkeys to pull our trains.

Can’t find donkeys, you say? Nonsense. Look at yesterday’s Newspoll, which reports a record 18 per cent of Victorians plan to vote Green.

Plenty there. Hook ‘em up.

I laugh, but dear God, we’re drowning, up to our necks in unreason.

“There, there,” coos my wife, when I sob that even some of our frequent-flyer friends vote Greens.

“They wouldn’t vote Greens if they actually thought they’d win … “

No? Well, they’re winning enough already, like the battle for our brains.

And who knows what desperate deal Premier John Brumby will now do to win the Greens preferences that are critical to Labor getting the 51 to 49 per cent edge over the Coalition that Newspoll assumes?

We’ve already seen what depths of insanity Labor will cater to, to prove it’s as green as the next idiot.

Why else has this great city been on water restrictions for an embarrassing seven years?

Why this insane ban on a new dam for our fast-growing capital?

Why did the Government wait until it was almost too late to even start building its new $3.5 billion desalination plant, at three times the price of a dam for a third of the water?

Madness, and the Greens promise yet more of it – and less of everything else.

Take just one of their policies, one that 18 per cent of shiny-eyed Victorians evidently now support.

The Greens demand the instant closure of Hazelwood power station to save the world from global warming.

It’s a noble policy, which sounds warm and fuzzy, until you realise it will leave us cold and shivering, while making not a spit of difference to the planet.

Hazelwood – and I know this is an irrelevant detail to a planet-saver – happens to produce a quarter of this state’s electricity. You know, the stuff that powers your home, your factory, your office, your hospital, your computer, your trains, your airport, your street lighting, your cinema, your trams, your traffic lights …

Now I don’t want to seem like a spoilsport, but I would just like to be reassured on one small point: how the hell do the Greens then plan to power our state?

After all, they don’t plan to stop at Hazelwood, either. Their policy is to shut every coal-fired plant, leaving us with just 5 per cent of the electricity we now use – with nuclear power banned, new hydro power banned and wind power as reliable as, well, the wind.

It’s madness of the kind you get from a child who wants her fifth ice cream but not the upchuck that goes with it. Still, you’d think the Greens would have worked out by now these small details about how to keep the lights burning. Right?

But let’s run the tape from my chat yesterday on MTR 1377 to Greens MP Greg Barber.

Me: How are you going to replace the power we need to keep going our hospitals, our factories, our homes?

Greg: The simplest way is to save energy rather than use it in the first place.

Me: Save 95 per cent of our energy?

Greg: I took over my place and I cut my energy bill by half and you won’t see us freezing or doing anything like that.

Me: Ninety-five per cent of our electricity comes from coal-fired power generation … I’m just asking, how you would replace 95 per cent of our power?

Greg: I’d say homes and businesses around Australia could probably cut their energy bills by half and they wouldn’t even notice until they got the bill because it’s called energy efficiency.

Me: A factory, how would that cut its power by half?

Greg: Ah, lighting, heating, airconditioning, and, um, ah …

Me: You’re serious?

Greg: Well, businesses are already doing it.

Me: Half! No, Greg, please, half? That’s incredible.

Greg: Come and look at the office building I’m in some time.

Me: I’m looking at an electrically powered train going by me right now. How is that going to cut its power use by half?

Greg: There’s a thing called traction braking, for an example, that actually recycles the energy of the train when it slows down to be used when it speeds up again.

Oh, please. If you think this is remotely possible, dear Greens voter, consider first that this state is actually predicted to need 50 per cent more power by 2030, even though many companies, hit with higher power bills, have tried for years to cut their use.

Then go around your home – and, more importantly, your factory – and switch off half the power.

With all appliances off, look proudly at the appalled people around you in winter and say, “Isn’t it great we’re all freezing to death for the planet?”

Or, in summer, for variety, ask: “Isn’t it lovely to be sweating in this furnace now that I’ve switched off the aircon?”

And then, by the kerosene lamp at home, try to figure out the next step. After all, you’re still only halfway to replacing the 95 per cent of electricity the Greens plan to ban.

Let me just try to get it through your cable-knit beanie how impossible that is without reducing this state to the standard of living endured by people who burn cow dung for their cooking.

For Earth Hour this year, the zealots at Melbourne University tried especially hard to cut their power. The university exhorted staff and students to do their best to save the planet from their electricity, and to “turn off all lights and appliances”. All of them.

And the result? Read the University’s boast: “Electricity consumption on the Earth Hour weekend dropped by 5.51 per cent compared with a 2010 business as usual weekend.”

Less than 6 per cent? After all that special sacrifice? For just one weekend?

Whoopee do. And that’s from a mere university, mind, which runs no heavy industry or essential services, and had almost no one in the joint over that weekend actually wanting to work or switch on so much as a toaster or kettle.

Just 90 per cent to go, guys, before you live the Greens’ dream.

But there I go, trying to marry consequence to action, like I was an adult or something. Don’t I realise the times have changed? After all, this is the Age of the Use Less, in which our brainless and godless rich resent their own wealth – well, resent the wealth of everyone else, at least. And then, for penance, suggest ingenious ways to make us poor again.

Example: remember how this Labor Government told us for years we didn’t need more water supplies, claiming we could get by if we just Used Less?

And so our ovals turned brown, our gardens died and we broke our backs carting buckets to the most precious of our plants. Use Less, heaven!

Ah, but you think I exaggerate this madness of our times. So let me introduce you to the latest guru of this Use Less creed, “anti-poverty crusader” Richard Fleming, as featured this week in the Herald Sun and on Channel 7’s Today Tonight.

He, too, preaches Use Less, or eat less, actually. He’s promoting his $2 a day “Live Below the Line” diet, which restricts you to eating the very cheapest of foods – hummus, watery soup, dahl, rice, marmalade and peanut paste.

No real reason for this torture, other than to make you realise what it must be like to be some starving Bangladeshi, wishing you were lucky enough to live in a country where you had so much to eat that you’d, er, starve yourself instead. Out of sheer, mindless guilt.

“There’s a level of stupidity in all this,” Fleming admits, but he should be less hard on himself.

He’s the poster boy of a state in which so many finger-waggers want to deny the rest of us the harvest of our science and ingenuity – cooling on hot days, heating on cold ones, water for green gardens and food for a feast.

Fine, if that’s what you want for yourself. But, please, before you vote to inflict this on the rest of us, first try living as the Greens prescribe and see if it truly suits even high-minded you.

Lights out. Heating, too. Starve and shiver for your faith. At least live as miserably as you plan to vote.

Andrew Bolt is a journalist and columnist writing for The Herald Sun in Melbourne Victoria Australia.

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