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Bang dat Efficiency Drum, Congress Critters, Sell dem CFLs

Via Peak Energy, Ross Gittins tells the sad truth to Sydney Morning Herald readers about their efforts to reduce personal carbon emissions.

So when you and I voluntarily cut back our emissions we don't reduce the nation's total emissions, we just make more room for other, industrial polluters - say, the aluminium, steel or cement industries - to increase their emissions.

If you didn't know that, you could be forgiven. It seems you have a lot of mates. In a poll of 1000 people conducted for the Australia Institute, respondents were asked what effect it would have on Australia's total greenhouse gas emissions "if every household in Australia reduced their electricity use in the future". About 8 per cent weren't sure, but 78 per cent said our total emissions would go down. Only 13 per cent got the right answer, that total emissions would stay the same.

That's a seriously misinformed electorate - which is why I'm writing this piece. It gives me no joy to further complicate the life of an embattled Government that, in its own heavily compromised way, is trying to do something concrete to reduce climate change.

The pollies shouldn't be under any doubt that people want to be able to do their bit. More than 87 per cent of respondents agree that "households and individuals should be able to contribute to reducing Australia's greenhouse gas emissions". Unfortunately, the Government hasn't only failed to ensure people understand the workings of the scheme it's seeking to introduce, it hasn't resisted the temptation to actively mislead people.

The sad truth prevails elsewhere, 'Merika. When Amory Lovins advises efficiency, his recommendations are most often industrial. So, is it the job of governments everywhere to lie to the people governed, and, if so, do we have to do such a good job of it?

Posted via email from jcwinnie's posterous

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