Monday, 11 January 2010

43 Degrees of Separation

My decision to put my trust in my car today turned out to be a wise one: Metro Trains' website was in the red this afternoon and according to The Age more than a hundred train services were canceled. And what a nice day it is to find yourself stuck on a platform next to hundreds of others.
Of course, the government agrees with me: It is an awfully splendid experience, which is exactly why they chose to spend their billion and a half on a new ticketing system as opposed to spending the money on better infrastructure that can actually deal with Melbourne's weather.

The next thought goes to the causes of these extreme weather conditions that seem to become more and more frequent. As in, on a day like this when water demand peaks (mainly due to the wide use of evaporative cooling), isn't it obvious that Melbourne and the world at large truly need the desalination plant our government has recently contracted?
I mean, if we don't add this mega appliance that consumes more dirty coal energy than several tens of thousands of cars, how will we make sure global warming doesn't stop getting worse?
There is more to the desalination plant than its energy consumption, though. On pure financial terms, a desalination plant is the worst way to get your water simply because it is vastly dearer than any other alternative (recycling, water tanks, improved efficiency, reduced consumption...).
Building a desalination plant at Melbourne is similar to solving the issues of the Middle East by nuking the entire area. Sure, the problem would be solved, but at what a price? Not to mention a bunch of new problems that would pop up, like radioactivity.

I blame the government on both issues: they go out of their way to kiss big business ass. But more than the government, much more, I blame the intolerable and effectively immoral indifference of the average Aussie. Their wake-up cry will arrive the day they realize they're being billed $2000 a year instead of $400 for their water consumption.
And then they'll go and vote for the Liberals, the party that didn't even pip about the desal plant.

No comments: