Small thoughts

I had a small thought that keeps recurring, so I decided to share it here.

Australia, apparently as a result of global warming, is experiencing huge droughts which are affecting our rural sector dramatically, not to mention the environmental costs.

Meanwhile, our government is doing stuff all about it, funding petroleum technology research and spending precious little on alternative energy development, and, according to the Democrats, obstructing progress on the development of the alternative fuel industry.

Global competition, including EU and US agro-industry subsidies and tariffs are also exacting a heavy toll on our local farmers.

So, a little plan hatched in my head. It’s nothing groundbreaking – in fact it’s bleeding obvious. And it is only one really small part of the solution, but it is something that could be happening today and making a difference.

We have a desert. Solar power farms need sun. Wind farms need lots of open space and good winds. Surely there’s plenty of agricultural land that could be utilised to both develop and deploy new technologies in both of these areas, whilst providing farmers with much needed income during times of drought. And guess what? We might actually reduce the amount of coal we need to burn to power our cities.

It seems so simple, and would make a difference in so many ways: a financial difference to struggling farmers, funding for R&D into renewables (this is an innevitability, even the coal industry, as shown on tonight’s 7.30 Report, has come to this conclusion, so why aren’t we spending on developing this nascent industry to position ourselves into a leadership position internationally?), and reducing our greenhouse gas emissions, which in turn will help bring weather patterns back into a reasonable condition (over time of course).

As I said, it is a small part of a broader solution. But this is so achievable I can’t understand why it isn’t happening.