Finite Reserves

(April 2007)

Finite reservesIn a clear concession by our elected representatives that they are living in a different world to the rest of the population, political parties regularly convene ‘focus groups’ to discover how we, out here in the real world, are feeling about various issues.

I enjoy being a member of a number of personal ‘focus groups’ in the local community – at the golf club, at the cafe, at the tennis club, at the shopping centre, at the beach, at work, and at home – and the members of all these personal focus groups shake their collective heads at how often our elected representatives get it so wrong.

How can they all be so out of touch with those they are representing in the parliament?

Or maybe their representation is skewed in favour of parts of their electorate more distant from where members of my personal focus groups are based?

The latest issue that highlights our elected representatives’ disconnect from the electorate relates to renewable energy. Unlike our parliamentarians, I do not know one person (read voter) who believes that ongoing dependence on a finite energy resource is a good idea – from a personal financial perspective, or from a consideration of national energy sustainability.

I am happy to dispense some free advice here, a heads-up alert to our elected leaders: there is only so much of the black stuff in the ground. At the rate we are burning through it, one day it will all be gone. The lot. No more left to dig up. Hint: this is called ‘finite’.

As those finite energy reserves diminish, just like all supply and demand situations, the cost of using our dwindling reserves of coal and oil is going to increase. Big time.

And let’s not forget the damage that the incessant burning of fossil fuels is doing to the planet’s environment. It has to stop.

As a forward-thinking nation we should be subsidising (and encouraging) the population to wean itself off these finite resources and adopt and pursue sustainable energy installations. Now – before it is too late.