Mike Hosking: Screaming about climate change won't work

Author
Mike Hosking,
Section
Video,
Publish Date
Friday, 7 December 2018, 8:08a.m.

OPINION

Christina Bu has been in the country and found herself somewhat bewildered.

Bu is the head of the Norwegian Electric Vehicle Association, and as such comes from a world of subsidy. When it comes to EVs, no-one hands out free stuff like Norway.

Cash grants, subsidies, tax write-offs, free public transport, free bus lane use and free charging. It's Christmas every day in Norway if you want to get behind the wheel of a Nissan Leaf.

So she can't understand our antagonism towards what she calls "feebate"-type incentives.

Of course she can't, the same way Julie Anne Genter can't understand what's wrong with buying kids' bikes, and sending the Government round to teach you how to ride them.

When you come from a world, or a mindset, where the Government pays for everything, our sort of free-market level playing field "success on its merits" outlook must seem awfully strange.

I am sure European farmers still look at us aghast at the fact we have to grow and sell everything for what it's worth, as opposed to what we want it to be worth topped up with subsidies and tariffs.

A little irony though: Norway's obsession and generosity around the EV is, of course, funded from oil, from which they are happy to collect revenues.

Perhaps we should have thought of that before we put the kibosh on exploration, and watched them slowly but surely pack up, leave, and take with them their exploration fees that put millions upon millions into our coffers.

It seems these days we are awash with pressure groups formed as a result of "issues".

There is a global chinwag underway on climate change this very week, and it's the usual story. Kyoto was a bust, Paris is a bust, so now it's urgent. We must act immediately, the problem is even worse than we thought.

Just this week as well, we had plastic alarm bells. Recycling won't solve our problems, we need to act urgently, and do more than ever.

And the poor old EV, sold as a utopian solution to fossil fuels, has failed, like all the other dramatic life-threatening episodes we face, to take off the way the peddlers of this sort of misery would have hoped. So now they resort to the time-honoured tradition of expecting Governments - through the poor old taxpayer - to pick up the tab.

The raising of the issues didn't work, the warnings didn't work, the alarmist warnings didn't work, the screaming from the roof tops didn't work. We simply haven't - in the numbers required - got on board, whether through laziness, deep suspicion, or outright rejection.

From the air, to plastic, to cars, the Christina Bu's of the world don't get us. All they have left are virtue-signalling Governments who are still open to using other people's money to fund their largesse.

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