Thursday, May 29, 2008

On the day that Qantas announced the removal of some domestic flights [Due to rising oil prices], Kenneth Davidson in his article in The Age.

"We are entering the era of global peak oil. Together with global warming and water shortages,
it will demand statesmanship not in evidence in the present political debate."

He is spot on with this observation. We are entering a new era of uncertain times. Many things we took for granted over the last few decades have come into sharp focus.
The disturbing thing, is that, where as we have become more and more reliant upon the private sector to take over the ownership and running of our utilities. We should really be looking to government leadership to tackle the major problems that present themselve
Economists and planners seem to think that private industry is best suited to running our essential industries, based on the supply demand, profit loss, free enterprise is best.

I would like to propose a counter argument. That is that in a time of major change and the possibility of social implications due to those changes we need governments who are prepared to take control of the decisions. So that a national and ultimately a global response can be coordinated. National and local governments will be able to coordinate infrastructure changes so as to minimise the social disruption. It is no good thinking that market forces will get us out of this Carbon related problem. They can and must play their part. But we need a national effort, a global effort. Just like in WWII when governments seconded ships and planes to help in the war effort. Governments today should utilize private industry to help in the massive task of cleaning up the atmosphere, sorting out global warming and water shortages. Not by using the existing relations
In good times, times of plenty, we happily sold off our commonwealth. Now the time has come to harness what we have left of that wealth of infrastructure and with statesmanlike leadership, utilize all areas of our society to transform ourselves from a carbon polluting society, to a green, reusable, sustainable one. Maybe in a couple of decades we will once again be in a position to offer the private sector a slice of our commonwealth to profit from. But by then it will be, wind power and solar panels, not coal fired powered plants