In “100%” Renewable Canberra people are queuing to hang out in warm libraries, and the air is more polluted

The Australian capital city Canberra in midwinter is often minus 1 to 5 degrees C in the morning. Australian homes can get very cold and with heating bills rocketing, things are defacto becoming like life in Berlin, which is in a pre-War energy crisis footing. No one labeled Canberra public halls as “warm spaces” and they definitely aren’t open at night (it’s the public service!), but crowds are arriving at libraries just to escape the cold.

The ACT Government are a Labor-Green alliance, and are proudly, exuberantly “100% Renewable”, but won’t dare cut the cord to the coal plants that keep the lights on, making the claims of being 100% renewable a form of false advertising. Even the ABC admits that the ACT itself only generates 5% of its own power, and 80% of the energy coming to the ACT through the wires is from fossil fuels.

The local newspaper is running stories about the “right temperature” to heat homes to. They suggest 18°C (colder than the public buildings in Germany which are now set down to 20°C). A few years ago I stayed with a friend in Canberra and the room was 11°C (and it was only May!). Thanks to “progressive” energy policies, despite all the hi-tech solar panels, and deals with wind farms 1000km away,  Canberran’s are rediscovering the joys of wood fires. Though this has predictably increased actual air pollution.

Like all Green policies putting fashion before facts, they get the opposite of what they aim for.

Kill trees, pollute the air, punish the poor:

FLAT WHITE

Tina Faulk, The Spectator

Public libraries in the National Capital are now considered, by staff and patrons alike, to be ‘community centres’ where people come to read, use the computers, charge their phones, and use the toilets. It’s where clients of the NDIS, escorted by carers, are brought and propped up in their wheelchairs in front of computers or seated in deep armchairs by the magazine stands. Some, abandoned by their carers, shout incoherently for attention. Newly arrived migrants – Somalis, Iraqis, Syrians – jostle for attention of the library staff, asking for translation assistance with various forms and declarations.

Our libraries, warm and welcoming, have a crowd at their doors before the 10 am opening.

Groups of women discuss where they go to get warm:

One [woman] who recently ‘VR-ed’ (Voluntary Retired) still goes back to her old workplace, usually late morning, when the security guard who remembers her gives a nod and a smile as she settles into one of the comfortable settees in the reception area.

Lottie Twyford, Riotact

A recent report showed woodfire heater smoke is the largest source of winter air pollution in Canberra. Currently, around 14 per cent of people in the ACT use a woodfire heater as their main source of heating.

Analysis of air quality shows the impacts of smoke are worse down south because the shape of the valley and temperature inversions hold pollutants closer to the ground. In 2020, there were 37 days in Tuggeranong when pollution levels were above acceptable levels; of those, 13 can be attributed to woodfire heater emissions, Mr Davis told the ACT Legislative Assembly.

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August 3, 2022 at 05:16AM

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