98% this morning. That’s the charge on our batteries. After all day yesterday running a computer, a slow cooker, a washing machine, and the charger for the plug in kit on our Prius, on top of the usual fridge, composting loo fan, and lights and TV for a couple of hours at night.
I can’t be bribed to betray the rest of the world, and my children’s world, by voting to let people dispose of their CO² trash by just chucking it out into the atmosphere. Not because I’m saintly, but because I pay so little carbon tax that removing a carbon price will give me nothing, except dirty air.
The idea of pricing carbon is that people will put all their buying power into choosing goods and services and methods of production that make the least carbon pollution. That’s free enterprise folks. No rules telling you what to buy or how to make it, just a real price that reflects the real cost, the cost that otherwise everybody else has to pay.
I cannot believe that the liberal party is so un-liberal, or that it is getting traction by threatening not just to let people pollute for free, but paying them to do it less! That’s like removing fines for drink driving, and then paying people who drink drive to only do it on alternate days! Paying them with my taxes! Pricing carbon is a way of harnessing human inventiveness and ingenuity and investment and effort into avoiding paying the price.
Late last year we bought a 4.5 kva solar system. With the way solar panels have come down in price it was really affordable, and would have been even more so if we had power connected and could go back to grid. But we have stand-alone power so we had to install batteries as well.
Within a week, we realised that even turning everything we own on at once, we couldn’t make a dint in the power on a sunny day. “Everything we own at once” is not that huge a power drain. After 30 years of living with solar power, we’ve just got hygienic about it. We turn lights off when leaving a room without thinking about it, we have solar hot water with a wetback slow combustion stove to boost it in winter wet weather, a tiny fridge, LED lights, small LED TV.
So “everything we own” got increased. The big major change due to the new power system is that we bought a second hand Prius, again very affordable, and a 4kva plug in kit to allow us to use the excess power on sunny days to charge it. We thought about a pure electric vehicle, but there just aren’t enough public charging points yet. But it means we are spending so little on petrol it will pay for itself in a few years. For the first time I can use a slow cooker, again as a soak for shunt power, so I have a cooker of chick peas on at the moment.
And still, yesterday, with everything on at once, we only got the batteries down to 83% at the lowest point.
I picked up a second hand bread machine thinking I may be able to use it to bake my sourdough, and we’re thinking about a new high tank to use excess power to pump water up to a height to get lots of pressure for firefighting. Human inventiveness and ingenuity and investment, all going towards paying no carbon tax.
Sydney Morning Herald had an article yesterday about how wind farms supplied more power to the National Electricity Market in the week before than the total from Victoria’s brown-coal fired Hazelwood power plant, and just 10 per cent short of NSW’s giant black-coal Bayswater Power Station. Serious quantities of clean wind power, and how AGL has stopped plans for the 300-megawatt first stage of a $550 million wind farm development planned for Silverton, near Broken Hill, because of fears the Coalition will get in.
I really have sincere hope for the future. I believe humans have an amazing capacity for adaptation. It is the characteristic that has got us evolved to this point. But I despair of policy that is so plain dumb the way it discards ingenuity, inventiveness, and investment and rewards craven greed and helplessness. Not even a genuine reward, just a pea shuffle .