Seeming Good, Achieving Dark

Posted on Sun 04/24/2016 by

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Bolt New 01By Andrew Bolt ~

Brendan Pearson, chief executive of the Minerals Council, points out in excerpts from the harsh consequences of dreamy green demands that we ban coal and switch to renewable power:

RenewablePowerLet’s do the maths. Last year wind and solar ­energy produced the equivalent of nine days of global primary energy needs. Coal produced 109 days and fossil fuels combined produced 313 days of the world’s ­annual primary needs. Despite all these power sources, 1.3 billion people still missed out on electricity and a further 1.7 billion only had partial access…
Halting or limiting coal or fossil fuels output will simply mean that those with no or partial access to electricity would have to wait much longer in the dark.

That is an uncomfortable but incontrovertible fact. If you limit something or make it more expensive to the poor then you are delaying or denying that access. Not just for weeks, months or years, but generations. Hundreds of millions of people will live shorter, more miserable lives as a result of the choices of the comfortable and warm.

Pearson demonstrates how this is another case of what has long fascinated me – the Seeming not Doing syndrome. I’ve thought that rarely have people been so obsessed with merely seeming good than actually doing it, but Pearson suggests the syndrome is ancient with a number of choice quotations:

The 16th century French essayist Michel de Montaigne had several quotations inscribed on the ceiling beams in the library of his family home in the Dordogne. One was from Greek dramatist Sophocles: “There is no more beautiful life than that of a carefree man. Lack of care is a truly painless evil.”…

The joy of a carefree approach to public debate is that you don’t have to worry about conse­quences. As Walter Bagehot said of Percy Bysshe Shelley, some views are “unconditioned by ­reality”. Resort to the slogan is sufficient. Consequences can be ­ignored. It is reminiscent of the phrase used by French historian Francoise Thom when she wrote in La Langue de bois that the purpose of Soviet era newspeak was “to protect ideology from the ­malicious attacks of real things”.

Andrew Bolt writes for the Herald Sun, Daily Telegraph, and The Advertiser and runs Australia’s most-read political blog. On week nights he hosts The Bolt Report on Sky News at 7pm and his Macquarie Radio show at 8pm with Steve Price.

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