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Clean Transport

Why Do We Pay These Politicians?

Australian politics spawns a thousand memes. Our beloved former prime minister fondled a lump of coal in federal parliament, and also declared that electric vehicles would ruin your weekend because they couldn’t tow a tinnie (small boat). That comment alone gave birth to the Facebook page “I Ruined the Weekend.”

Scott Morrison and the Conservatives have been soundly beaten at the ballot box. Strangely though, his comrades seem to still be pushing the slogans that led to their loss. When does a lie become so ludicrous that you have to get a new one? Recently, Sussan Ley MP said there was no such thing as an electric ute. Grant you, there are none in Australia, but she meant globally. “And no one in the world is making an electric ute, by the way, and even if they were, it would be unaffordable.

f150 lightning

Ford F-150 Lightning, courtesy of Ford.

Sussan is opposition spokesperson for small business as well as industry, skills, and trade. She served in the previous government and famously declared she held no responsibility for the health of children when approving the expansion of a coal mine.

Another conservative federal politician, Senator Matt Canavan, joined the chorus of defeated FUDders by declaring the old lie that EVs take more energy than fossil fuel cars. And doubling down with the claim the grid is still mainly powered coal (which it isn’t) and comparing lifetime driving with a yearly total.

Please note that his argument is initially based on an unprovable anecdote, and then he goes on to quote a mythical report, and at last concludes with dubious use of mathematics. (I would love to write his report card.)

Of course there is the usual bashing: “Why then is there such a focus on subsidising electric cars? For many, electric cars have become the latest method to signal their virtue. An electric car may not cool the planet but they warm the hearts of the well to do, guilty about their bountiful lifestyles.… There is no environmental case to take taxes paid by low-paid workers to subsidise the ineffective consumer habits of the rich.”

Unlike the USA, no Australian state or territory has opposed the EV uptake in my country. All state governments are offering inducements. Some of these governments are even conservative — belonging to the same party as Ley and Canavan. So, why are defeated federal politicians still beating this drum?

Why do we pay these people who are rapidly marching backwards into irrelevance, holding on to their old lies?

Featured image by Patty Jansen from Pixabay

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Written By

David Waterworth is a retired teacher who divides his time between looking after his grandchildren and trying to make sure they have a planet to live on. He is long on Tesla [NASDAQ:TSLA].


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