Dear NSW, if you’re wondering how to vote regarding the privatisation of assets, like your electricity, you might like to ask a few mates in Victoria how it’s worked out. Imagine The Mob went into business pushing electricity and gas. They bribe politicians, kneecap competition and stand over customers.
That’s essentially what we have.
Companies have had the system regulated in their favour and even then, they’re treating it with disdain. Everyone here has a story about a bad Utility. Everyone knows someone who’s had issues with accounts, like overcharging, account fabrication, even resulting in court cases. They do what they please and charges are going through the roof. So many people are having trouble paying extortionate power bills that the companies now robo dial people to harass them with threats of disconnection. Normally that would be considered a pricing signal that indicates to the company they’re massively over charging. In this case, it’s being ignored. So too is consumer demand to move on from fossil fuels.
Utility cabals are attempting to knobble sustainable energy development. Permits are being refused or only granted for small roof top installations. The companies have billed the States for billions of dollars that was supposedly spent on grid maintenance, but somehow failed completely to consider strong and increasing demand for sustainable energy.
It’s so bad that there’s currently a Senate inquiry into electricity prices in Australia, so no, it’s not just you and yes, this is what we’re doing about it. Write to the Senate Committee and get in on it. The more the merrier.
The good part is that there’s enormous opportunity here. People need electricity. In rural areas there is increasing need and councils and State Governments don’t have the money to spend on infrastructure like this. Hell, Victoria apparently can’t pay ambo’s and nurses. There’s a lot of options for local groups to work together and build their own power supplies. Its taking off all over the world. There’s plenty of other towns who’ve already done it who made plans and details available online. Open Source Sustainable Energy, I love it! Renew Economy have an entire section devoted to community power endeavours. I’m a huge fan of stirling engines, as you may have noticed in previous entries.
This should get off the ground well in rural areas. There’s lot of farms with sheds, there’s demand for power and motivation to work around huge infrastructure costs associated with centralised utilities. To put in gas, for instance, you’re paying quite a bit for pipes to be laid to houses or having to ship gas bottles regularly. Since the stirling design can run on methane from bio-digesting septic systems or solar PV or hot boxes, there’s much less overhead. As an added bonus you can build them to look very steam punk. There’s probably a steam punk stirling engine fairing available on Open cadcam software already. I do rather like the idea of a cold war looking power supply energising an entire town on the smell of the dunny. That has a real lo tek appeal.
Doing it in the bush also means it’s happening in more conservative areas. Frequently in National or LNP seats. Our illustrious PM seems somewhat preoccupied at present and he can’t afford to make Sharman Stone the Opposition. Pissing off more Nationals will threaten the existence of the Coalition, not only the LNP. By making design for these systems available online and doing it in a fairly public manner, with lots of involvement of community groups and people putting their home videos about it on the internet, only Monty Burns would dare speak against it. Regardless of how hard companies like Origin lean on them.
ALP State Governments have been voted in, in preference to the Federal LNP. They can’t afford to alienate a base they’ve just created. The reaction to the new Qld mob proceeding with the Galilee Basin project is an indication of what they’ll face in future. Government is being watched by people with their finger on the pulse and the ability to reply in realtime. Any move by Gov will be given green, yellow or red flags in reply, often by the time the speaker has resumed their seat.
This is democracy in the 21st century free market. If a business does not meet consumer demand, another business will come along and do so quite happily. By registering towns all over rural Australia as businesses, you could have not for profit, community service or limited companies where every resident of the town is a shareholder, you get to take advantage of the idea that Australia is open for business. If the TPP is signed, we’ll just ignore the fact that that would be treason since it’s consigning the welfare of the nation and her citizens to foreign nationals and corporations for money, and use it to take companies and Governments to court if they prevent locals engaging in these kinds of survival efforts.
You don’t have to win, you have to be public and do it often enough to make the point. Mahogany row lawyers don’t do pro bono work for big business. It’s another hack to use technology and communication to route around potential confrontation. No pitchforks, sorry. Use your keyboard and office software.
We’re really only waiting until it sinks in to the minds of certain media and politicians that domination by violence is not how it’s done anymore. Since it’s patently obvious to most people on the planet that there’s one planet and 7 billion people and that we can organise to avoid warfare and famine now, it’s only a matter of time. Having useful systems in place to take over will make the transition quicker, simpler and painless.
Seriously. People wake up in the morning and realise that with six degrees of separation and everyone on social media, we all know everyone. You’re all in business now finding and meeting the needs of a cousin of a friend of a friend over the net. And it’s powered on the smell of the dunny.
Wait till we get to the steam punk mobile satellite internet arrays. A satellite ground station that does up and down links is small enough to be towed behind a car now. They cost about as much as your first car. There could be steam punk tech clubs putting them together in garages and competing for prizes at the local community centre. Where you know everyone because you all put the town’s power supply together through the centres.
Are you getting the picture?