Digging ourselves into a hole: Relying on fossil fuels to fund our future is an oxymoron really.
Digging ourselves into a hole: Relying on fossil fuels to fund our future is an oxymoron really. yuoak

Australia needs to get its head out of the ground

IT WAS presumed that Aussies didn't like losing anything to the Poms.

They're not allowed to beat us at cricket or the Comm Games, darts, pig-racing, anything really, that is unless it's the race to renewables.

England and the rest of the UK are flexing their muscles now, limbering up for a future free of carbon emissions and dependency on dirty commodities, leading the world in the conversion to renewables with the reduction in emissions to back it up.

And guess what? Their lights still work and the economy's still growing and they want to go faster, faster down that racetrack to 2050 and a country that runs off 80 per cent renewables.

Meanwhile in Australia we're resigned to being a pack of losers as we drag our naturally resourced heels like there's always going to be a tomorrow (oh, the irony, hey planet!).

We're nowhere near the starting blocks in this environmental relay to redemption; the Brits have already starting lapping us on the solar and wind front.

And we're happy to just turn our backs so we don't have to watch them disappear into the future.

Nope we're doing just fine down here, thank you. As long as we keep sticking our heads back in those coal-rich holes and snorting deeply, there's no better economical high in this beautiful, naturally resourced country.

For a nation whose weather is crap, with a cold, grey, soggy excuse for daylight, the UK is having a red-hot go at changing the mindset there. We on the other hand, love our reliable, coal-fired air-conditioners too much.

How else will they be able to pump out enough emissions to cool down all those badly designed homes and shopping centres for hours on end.

We know the stuff is down there. So what's the point of leaving it in the ground to rot for a further million of years. like our caveman forebears did.

 

Thank God our caveman forebears didn't have mum and dad investors and superannuation back in one million BC otherwise those fossil fuels would have dried up iron ages ago.

And then what would we do? Go surfing or to the pub to discuss what we will hinge our future prospects on?

While the UK is leading the renewables charge and other giants swiftly follow, countries that rely on our dirty little not-so-secret pits of wealth might suddenly turn around and say, you know what Australia, we don't want your rubbish any more. Oh sorry, that's actually what China said about our unrecyclable garbage but you get the drift, coal junkies.

Global investment in renewable energy shot up last year, far outstripping investment in fossil fuels, according to a recent UN report.

As clean energy technology becomes more affordable and more reliable it is becoming increasingly attractive for world governments including our best coal customers China, India and Japan.

China being the monolith it is, was by far the world's largest investor in renewable energy in 2017 according to the report, accounting for nearly half of the new infrastructure commissioned including massive installations of solar power.

Even Apple, the company closest to God, is spruiking how it is now 100 per cent solar powered.

We love to brag about the sunshine we have in spades. We even have an entire state and coastline named after it, so technically we should be all over this harnessing caper.

But our defiance to change Down Under is swift in its messaging. Why else would the new Liberal South Australian Premier barely have his blue tie done up when he pulled the plug on Elon Musk and literally removed the wind from that state's innovative sails.

It's easy for the doom-sayers to talk down renewables They are flawed, a work in progress, they're tricky, they cause blackouts, but the way some politicians speak, we're never going to go down that path. At least not until we squeeze the last black lump out of the ground (much like Charlton Heston once implied about his cold dead hands).

It's a good thing some countries are across it.

Going at our current rate, Australia will be one giant hole by 2050.



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