The unbearable simplicity of carbon reduction

By Stephan Lewandowsky
Professor, School of Experimental Psychology and Cabot Institute, University of Bristol
Posted on 29 November 2011
Filed under Carbon Reduction

In Australia, the sky will fall in on 1 July 2012 next year.

That is when the modest carbon tax of around $20/ton will take effect, whereupon all civilization will cease and a new dark age will begin.

Well, that's what the shock jocks are saying and the scribes of our voluminous gutter press. Although it beggars belief, they are actually saying stuff like that, and a tiny but loud fringe buys into this nonsense.

In the meantime, however, some other Australians crunched some numbers and did the unthinkable: In the country that is blessed with more sunshine than almost any other on Earth, we installed solar panels on our roofs.

And no, the roof did not cave in.

Instead my family is now making money from living inside a power station. My latest bill is shown below; note the comparison to last year, before the solar age (we were slow in entering the solar age, we were too busy replacing our hail-damaged car with a powerful 4WD that spews out 30% less CO2 than the average sedan and uses 5.5L/100km. Sorry Exxon.)

Right, so that's a nearly 38% reduction in net power consumption, and a reduction in the bill (owing to the new Smartmeter tariff) of about, well, 50% at a guess. So after we pay the instalment on the solar panel, we are still ahead by a fair amount—time will tell by how much, but we will do an accounting soon. After 5 years of paying for the panels, we will be ahead by around $1300 per year.

And there is lots of other stuff we can all do as well that isn't too hard.

Now let me apologize for not writing a complicated post in carbontaxemissionreductionscleanenergyacademiclingo. Sadly and regrettably, reducing one's carbon footprint is just so simple and makes you money, it's embarassing to admit it.

I am on the take now, from the powerful solar industry.

But obviously this is still way too complex for the shock jocks and tabloid thugs. They just have to continue their fear campaign. I guess that's all they've got to sell. Fear.

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1 Comment


Comments 1 to 1:

  1. Lies!

    This is what Australia will look like on 2 July 2012:

    http://www.imdb.com/video/screenplay/vi1156776217/
    Moderator Response: Technically, using the word "lies" contravenes our comments policy. In future, any comments containing it, whether intended as humorous or not, will be deleted.
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