Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Solar Flares (Burn For You)

The newly elected federal government in this country has wasted no time in establishing its "green" credentials by taking the modest rebate that is available to households installing solar panels and, no, not extending or increasing it, but making it subject to a means test, meaning that only households earning over $100,000 a year will qualify.

If the reports of Mr Garrett, erstwhile Aussie Rock Icon, describing the decision as having been made because the rebate was "too popular" are correct, then we are, as I have been hammering on for a long time, all in trouble. What is "too popular" is the consumption of fossil fuels. This move will do nothing to alleviate that, and in the long run the cost of increased (or even, can we now all agree please, not reduced) consumption of fossil fuels will be much, much higher than an $8,000 cash rebate, even if every household in the country applied for it. (And anyway, how could anybody argue that that wouldn't be a good thing?)

This would be all to the good if the money that was to be spent on the rebate were to be channelled into other projects aiming towards the same end result. But that remains to be seen.

Redneck Wonderland indeed.