Good News for a Change: Renewables are Unstoppable; Fake-Conservative Obstruction Fails
The writing is on the wall. Renewables are the future. Well, I am here to say that the future is NOW. That really is good news for a change, particularly in the Australian political and economic context.
In recent years (more than a decade, in fact), Australia has had a problem with far-right, so-called conservatives seeking to deny climate change and, when that didn’t work, denying it’s anthropological (man-made) principal cause. When public opinion didn’t shift, the argument morphed into “it’s too costly”, “it will destroy the economy”. There has been ample evidence all along that the reverse is true. This extreme wing has sought to limit subsidies and aid for this industry every step of the way, conveniently forgetting the massive subsides fossil fuel industries received in their infancy - and continue to receive thanks to odious lobbying and self-interested luddites.
Credit: NASA, 2018
Thankfully, all this obstruction has not been successful. In some heartening Good News, ABC Australia reports on the exponential growth of the renewable energy sector (ABC News, 2018):
Australia's renewable energy capacity is set to exceed a target the Federal Government said was impossible to reach by 2020, according to new research from Green Energy Markets.
In its quarterly Renewable Energy Index, GEM said the amount of renewable energy generated in 2020 was set to exceed the original 41,000 Gigawatt hour (GWh) Renewable Energy Target (RET) that was in place before being scrapped in 2015 by the federal government led by then prime minister Tony Abbott.
For background, Tony Abbott is a monarchist, who has described Climate Change science as “crap” (The Guardian, 2014) and has ties to anti-gay marriage, anti-abortion (that is, denying a woman’s right to choose) hyper religious groups (SMH, 2016).
Far from being a solely environmental imperative, renewable energy makes economic sense. From rooftop solar to large-scale installations, projects are ramping up all over the country. Imagine what we could achieve with greater government support! An often-overlooked double-dividend results from this trend as well: renewable energy job creation massively exceeds jobs resulting from mining operations, such as coal (New York Times, 2017) where automation has made many roles redundant.
With storage technologies from companies such as Tesla proving effective and affordable, the sky is the limit.
And, thanks to renewables, we can look forward to a clear sky without smog and harmful pollutants in the years to come.
Australian Broadcasting Corporation, 2018. (Letts, S.). Accessed: 18.04.18 http://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2018-04-18/renewable-energy-capacity-to-exceed-impossible-target/9667870
NASA, 2018. “Tower of Power”. Accessed: 18.04.18 http://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2018-04-18/renewable-energy-capacity-to-exceed-impossible-target/9667870
New York Times, 2017 (Popovich, N.) “Today’s Energy Jobs Are in Solar, Not Coal”. Accessed: 18.04.18. https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/04/25/climate/todays-energy-jobs-are-in-solar-not-coal.html
Sydney Morning Herald, 2016 (Kenny, M.). “Tony Abbott jets to US to address abortion and gay-marriage opponents Alliance Defending Freedom”. Accessed: 18.04.18. https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/tony-abbott-jets-to-us-to-address-abortion-and-gaymarriage-opponents-alliance-defending-freedom-20160125-gmdi7r.html
The Guardian, 2014 (Readfearn, G.). “What does Australian prime minister Tony Abbott really think about climate change?”. Accessed: 18.04.18. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/planet-oz/2014/jun/16/what-does-australian-prime-minister-tony-abbott-really-think-about-climate-change