Here in Australia, old and adventurous people alike enjoy taking off in their SUVs, caravans and/or boats in tow, and spending months and months touring all around the big old outback, wiling away days on end across all of the many ancient rocky deserts, towering forests and sparkling beaches that make up the majority of the country. The old ones even have special names: Grey Nomads. Good on them…
Now, anyone with even a basic understanding of these folks will know that they take significant pride in, and put major effort into, the robust 4WD vehicles they painstakingly save money for and select for their itinerant endeavours.
Yes, all these cars are run on fossil fuels, of course, and electric versions with even just a few of the characteristics (long haul; proven performers over many years; towing grunt…) don’t even exist just yet, and likely never will, but that is not even the point of this post.
The real crux of this article is this:
Just as Grey Nomads choose the most reliable, well proven machines for their outback adventures, vehicles that have all of the characteristics required to traverse burning deserts and soft beaches without breaking down and leaving them for dead, so to should societies approach their energy systems
You know, kind of like preparing for the worst, even if you hope it won’t eventuate.
Sure, you could theoretically take a 1984 Corolla with 400,000km on it, give it a good service and perhaps make it across a desert with no problems, but do you think anyone is going to advise you to to that?!
So why do we settle for anything less with our energy supplies, for what is a much more important, civilization-supporting requirement?
If you really want renewables to power your house (possible and a good idea), car (possible at a high cost), food supply (yeah right), international travel (yeah right), and myriad other aspects of your life, just go right ahead, be everyone’s guest.
No one is stopping anyone from using renewables to their heart’s content, and most people, us included, have no problem with renewables powering certain aspects of daily life, wherever it makes sense and is the most efficient approach.
But don’t expect others, especially the most underprivileged all around the world, many billions of whom live on almost no energy supply other than what they can burn, to join you in your silly crusade to somehow ‘improve’ THE CLIMATE OF AN ENTIRE PLANET simply by restricting the most versatile, historically effective and in most cases cheapest form of energy.
Apart from just how stupid that sounds, most of us would prefer the super reliable Landcruiser version of energy supply, one that won’t break down in the middle of a fucking desert…