Climate Change is an issue that requires long-term thinking, planning and execution. Unfortunately for most people in Western democracies, this kind of issue does not fit into either the media cycle or the election cycle.
The media cycle is now just a 24 hour beast, whilst the election cycle is limited to either 3 or 4 years. Increasingly, anything that falls outside these parameters is considered too difficult to implement. Opinion polls have become the arbiters of good policy rather than being advocated and sold by the government of the day. Also increasingly, it seems that the role of the opposition party(ies) is purely to oppose anything proposed by the incumbents, as if this provides an alternative view or policy perspective when in point of fact it is purest laziness.
The eighteenth annual session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 18) will take place from Monday, 26 November to Friday, 7 December 2012 at the Qatar National Convention Centre in Doha, Qatar. Our “leaders” will again be talking about and considering proposals for the mitigation of and adaptation to Climate Change. I place the term “leaders” in inverted commas since it would appear that, even after 18 years of these talks, not one of them seems to want to “lead” on this issue which the science tells us will have a profound effect upon all of us.
Recently, in our street in suburban Melbourne, we have had “smart” meters installed. The program of smart meter installation has been legislated by the Victorian Government – you don’t have a choice about whether you get one or not; it will come to you. Last week I received a letter from my retailer, Origin, flagging “Time-of-Use” (ToU) energy prices. For the vast majority of us, this will result in major increases in bills.