Mike's Minute: The Climate Commission's ideology has been exposed

Mike Hosking,
Publish Date
Fri, 30 Jul 2021, 9:44AM

Mike's Minute: The Climate Commission's ideology has been exposed

Mike Hosking,
Publish Date
Fri, 30 Jul 2021, 9:44AM

Upon the recommendation of Andrew Kelleher, I did indeed read the Z Energy report entitled "The Future of Fuel Demand."

At about 20 pages it won't sap your day, and it does give a good insight into why we should be wary, if not worried, about the ideological view pedalled by many.

What they want to spend on that view.

How much disruption they want to cause on implementing that view, and whether their view and its forecasts were ever connected in any great way to the real world.

In summary, they don’t agree with a lot of what the Climate Change Commission says about the future of fuel, driven by its predictions around us in cars and buses and trains

I share the same concerns.

I’m not a fuel company, but I am in the real world which, I strongly suspect, gives me an advantage over the Climate Commission.

Wanting something is one thing, whether it’s real is another.

And in that lies the danger.

Z is at odds over the demise of fuels, and the pace of that demise.

They think cost parity between EVs and regular cars will in fact happen sooner than the commission, but they still won’t be taken up in numbers predicted.

The so-called heavy fleet will need petrol way longer than the commission think, the tech isn’t moving as fast.

The potential for biofuel is good, but they need help, research and government direction.

That’s the other theme running through their report, government clarity is critical, they need a plan, so given this lot, at least until the year after next, good luck with that.

But here is why they are right, take trains.

Well that’s the problem, people don’t.

Trains are inconsistent, they’re expensive and we know numbers have not bounced back post-Covid.

Buses are slightly better, but not much.

Drivers strike, buses don’t turn up, people don’t trust them and the Climate Commission doesn’t take that sort of thing into account.

People still have issues with EVs, you can’t fill them up like you can a petrol car, and they still have range anxiety because of that.

Choice will be resolved eventually, and even if price is as well, people like what they know and they know petrol, the Commission can’t get their head around the fact everyone isn’t as ideologically driven as they are.

And because they’re not in the heads of regular people, the stuff they come out with isn’t rooted in the real world.

People tow boats and caravans and love utes, fuels aren’t running out so there’s no need to change what you know.

The danger the Commission runs, and Z have picked it up, is how do you do business when the real world is telling you one thing and a bunch of wonks with potentially legislative power is telling you another?

As a business, you have to back your gut and your experience.

This report, to my eye, looks a lot more realistic than the report I read from the Commerce Commission.

One would be filed in the library under fact, one under fiction.