One day I’d like to condense this into an eloquent letter I could actually send to an editor of a newspaper.
Is it acceptable to write a whinge about other whingers? I read this section every day because someone at my work puts it in the tea room along with a few loafs of bread made entirely of sugar and fruit all the nurses bring from home when it’s about to go off, and I like to read when I eat. I’d keep reading my phone like I did on the commute, but the novelty of having a large spread of paper instead of a tiny scratched screen overwhelms me at 7.05am every weekday, and I relent and read your highly constructed image of the world between the bites and slurps of my pre shift snacks.
My favourite is the letters to the editor. It’s such a spread of views, not, but it isn’t written by people paid to write it. There’s the farmers whinging that nobody in the city appreciates the people who slaughter the sheep whose back the country rides on. There’s the drivers complaining about the spandex bandit cyclists that overtake them in packs and always go either too fast or too slow but never at the perfect predictable speeds of some imaginary car I’ve never seen. I don’t have to look hard to find the old mate wailing about the pierced and inked yahoos bringing down the standards of role models to levels unseen back in his golden age days of what must have been an alternate universe because role models are a flawed concept that have always sucked from lance armstrong to rachel dolezal and the nudist-in-denial emperor.
But since the global warming terror has gripped our blue marble, I have been acutely irritated by the writers who complain about their energy bills. Gas and coal, all energy drained from the bowels of the earth, have been valued factoring in their availability by which I mean how much can we bully and exploit the nations the reserves are under, plus the cost of extracting and refining them, and the demand and competition of the current market. Now we factor in the availability based on how much is finitely left now that we actually are smart enough to be able to find and accurately measure it, or should I say the lack of it. And then there’s factor of we really shouldn’t be using this shit up, like a future punishment tax 12 year olds put on the whiskey they stole from their parents booze stash, knowing full well that in a not so distant future this is going to bite them in the arse. So maybe we’ll make it a little harder for ourselves to fuck up by raising the price and making it more difficult for ourselves to fuck up. Although we know it won’t stop us. We really like fucking up.
And as someone who has learned about the environment and eco-systems and the scientific method because I was awake in science class in high school and thus actually believes in the factual theory concept actuality that is climate change, I am entirely ok with my power bill going up. It should. We should seriously have caught onto all those clever little things like LED lighting and solar hot water systems and wind turbines and recycling and plastic is bad and clotheslines (seriously northern hemisphere you heat your houses all winter and you all have basements how hard is it to put a couple of drying racks down there instead of using a dryer you lazy fluffy-warm-towel addicted douchebags).
There is an actual cost for getting energy. And there is a huge cost for getting it in shitty-uncool-to-the-planet ways. So it should cost more. And that should cause us to go “ok I still want to buy a carton this weekend but my power bill is coming out so how can I drop that this month ok I’ll use a clothes horse and turn off the lights when I leave the room and when that death trap fridge kicks it I’ll get one with a better energy rating and let’s read this quote on solar panels”. This standard of living that all this cheap coal energy has given us (in developed nations) is not a birth right (also there are no birth rights). It’s something we have to work for, and part of that has to include considering if the methods we are using to acquire it are ethically cool for the planet as a whole, and if not maybe we can rejig them so we can still have ipads and flushing toilets but maybe also the great barrier reef and polar bears. Those of us who live in developed nations have good options. There are solar panels on sale. There are windmill building workshops. Big surprise, build your house with centuries old theory and it will stay cool in summer and warm in winter and you won’t need to have a different controller like those couples on tv comprised of hippos and polar bears or penguins and giraffes!
Think beyond the numbers after the words “total amount due” that you read each month on the only paper mail you get anymore if you are a paper hungry dick who hasn’t signed up for email invoices yet. Think about why it costs that much and why you used that much. The planet is already fucked so you can’t change the cost and asking the politicians to change it is just distracting them from the important shit so don’t. You can only change how much you use, and if you’re really smart, you can change how you get it, meaning mostly infinite sun or wind, or painfully finite stores of oil or carbon belching coal or setting-your-kitchen-tap-on-fire gas.