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Dec 24, 2009

Humphreys suggests voluntary climate action.

Cartoon: by Ramirez.

I am not sure whether John Humphreys from the Centre for Independent Studies (CIS) is a starry eyed optimist, a shit stirrer, or simply fails to understand the reality of green activism. In an article, “Activists should stop talking about global warming and start acting,” he states:
Instead of winging and waiting for politicians to become benevolent, people who are worried about anthropogenic global warming can take immediate action. …
One option for funds would be workplace giving, where workers could allow 0.5 per cent (or more) to be deducted from their income and go directly to the community fund as a voluntary donation. Even if only one-third of Australians agreed to give the minimum, they would easily raise more than $1 billion. ….

The climate-fighting fund could then commit to buying low-emission energy from alternative energy producers and selling that energy into the power grid at the going market price. For example, if alternative energy was twice the price of coal energy, then the climate-fighting fund could buy $2 billion of alternative energy and sell that into the power grid for $1 billion, using the donations to pay the difference.

The effect would be a price signal with the same effect as a carbon tax or trading system but without the cost to the economy. The immediate effect would be an increase in alternative energy and a reduction in coal-based energy. However, the main benefit comes from encouraging the market for alternative energy. …
It appears that while he has a rather surprising degree of support in the wider community he has failed understandably to impress the movement greens. Their reaction varied from accusing the CIS of being Orwellian, (having different ideas to the commenter) to a real doozy:
No one is going to turn off their toaster while Alcan uses electricity generated by coal by the gigawatt to produce aluminum. The solution is the imposition of a fair system requiring everyone to participate in greenhouse gas abatement. What else do we have governments for?

The article even acknowledges this by positing the solution that the green minded "get together and jointly join a scheme". We already have got together, in a group called Australia.
In reality there is a reason why people will turn off their toaster other than when they want to make toast, (or is that wrong now, I really find it hard to keep up with what’s PC these days.) It’s called economics, the same reason that tends to make us turn off unused lights and appliances, cut down on unnecessary travel, (except for 114 man delegations to Copenhagen,) as well as other actions that cause us to use less energy.

Cutting down on waste saves money it’s that simple. Waste of any sort is a needless expense. Regrettably such an argument is a bit too capitalistic for the green movement which is rooted in the drab grey landscape of the left, where all solutions have to come from state compulsion as the second part of the statement indicates.

I know plenty of people who are well intentioned as far as the environment is concerned and who do their bit in whatever way they can who would probably be willing to join in such an initiative as John suggests. These people are just plain environmentally minded and their actions are voluntary out of good intentions. I have never had a problem with this and it is to be applauded.

Green activists on the other hand tend to be arrogant, pompous, opinionated, self righteous, sanctimonious zealots, to whom the opinions of others count for nothing. They have a great similarity to the Pauline Hanson “My way or the highway” mentality. It is beneath them to attempt to persuade the public at large to join them voluntarily in coordinated action to make a difference, other than in lobbying for government action.

It is well understood though that in Australia you don’t have to persuade those 20 million or so dumb bastards who don’t understand that you know better than them and have no right to question your infallibility. You only really need to persuade a majority of politicians, most of whom will go along with what their leaders tell them anyway and hey presto, your ideas are compulsory.

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