The long now…

Stephanie Peatling in the SMH:

The water produced by the Government’s plant would be less than amount saved by two-tiered pricing system to penalise heavy water-users, permanent low-level restrictions and minimum performance standards for water appliances.

The decision to embrace desalination, which turns saltwater into drinkable water, shows the Government is serious about Sydney’s long-term water future and that it recognises people are not necessarily willing to use less water on a permanent basis.

I read this a little while ago – I don’t get the logic. So the government’s plan doesn’t save as much water and introduces emissions the equivalent of 50,000 extra cars into the atmosphere. So this shows the government is “serious”. Serious about what? Their election chances?

Sounds to me like they’re taking the easiest of two difficult options – instead of addressing the real issue of sustainability and managing our usage of this precious resource more effectively, they’re instead sinking some dollars into a short term solution that is not only less efficient, but is environmentally unfriendly, further exacerbating the environmental crisis that we currently face.

There is something wrong with our political system when the long-term solutions are shelved because of the short-term pain a particular government is going to feel at election time. What to do is beyond me. But if we want to see our planet continue to provide for our children and their children, there needs to be a shift. And in all honesty that shift probably has to come from the electorate first. Then maybe we would reward a government for taking the longer view. How to get there is the hard part…