I live in Melbourne (Australia's second biggest city) and would like take the occasion of the Copenhagen conference as an opportunity to draw your attention to the issue of Australia's ban on solar systems.
Australia, which will be participating in these talks has been portraying itself as being engaged in finding solutions to the problem of global warming. This is in fact not the case at all.
It is not well known outside Australia that in this country it is not only illegal to use solar systems but also the mere ownership of them is banned in most urban areas. I myself have been prosecuted by the government and dragged through the courts first for having a solar panel in use and later for being in possession of solar equipment. (Documentation will gladly be submitted if reqested)
My efforts to lobby political parties such as the Greens and the ruling Labour Party headed by Kevin Rudd, as well as the public with support of the media to change the law have been fruitless. The reason for the ban on solar systems is that they are deemed unsightly and are therefore banned in many urban areas (such as Melbourne - Garden City where I live). I would like to emphasize that 90% of the Australian population live in cities.
A government that won't allow the use or even ownership of simple alternative energy sources such as solar panels because they don't like the looks of them and therefore prefers to burn coal instead cannot and should not be taken seriously at any climate change conference.
Australia has the highest per capita CO2 emissions, the highest water consumption (despite this being the dryest continent on earth) and the second highest (after USA) output of rubbish of any country in the world.
The mining and export of coal and gas are amongst our biggest export earners and no-one here has any intention of foregoing that income.
I want to ask you to put more pressure on the Australian government to make a bigger effort towards combatting climate change and also change the laws in favour of use of alternative energy sources. This governments "Renewable Energy Targets and Climate Change Plan" is mere windowdressing.
I am convinced that this government has no intention of implementing any changes to the way things are run. Our ministers say openly that this country and it's population are way too small to have any impact on global warming anyway and we should therefore wait until others have made a start. Our opposition leader goes even further by saying that : global warming is a load of crap (these are his own words).
They also conveniently forget that by exporting coal and gas they help other countries increase their emissions significantly.
I would like to thank you sincerely for taking the time to read my letter.
Australia's ban on solar an wind energy
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this letter are those of Michael Grasmann and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Solomon Times Online.
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