Screams from roofs go un­heard

Rotorua Daily Post - - Business -

CHRISTINA Bu has been in the coun­try and found her­self some­what be­wil­dered. Bu is the head of the Nor­we­gian Elec­tric Ve­hi­cle As­so­ci­a­tion, and as such comes from a world of sub­sidy. When it comes to EVs, no one hands out free stuff like Nor­way.

Cash grants, sub­si­dies, tax write-offs, free pub­lic trans­port, free bus lane use and free charg­ing. It’s Christ­mas every day in Nor­way if you want to get be­hind the wheel of a Nis­san Leaf.

So she can’t un­der­stand our an­tag­o­nism to­wards what she calls “fee­bate”-type in­cen­tives.

Of course she can’t, the same way Julie Anne Gen­ter can’t un­der­stand what’s wrong with buy­ing kids’ bikes, and send­ing the Gov­ern­ment round to teach you how to ride them.

When you come from a world, or a mind­set, where the Gov­ern­ment pays for ev­ery­thing, our sort of freemar­ket

"A lit­tle irony though: Nor­way’s ob­ses­sion and gen­eros­ity around the EV is, of course, funded from oil, from which they are happy to col­lect rev­enues."

level play­ing field “suc­cess on its mer­its” out­look must seem aw­fully strange.

I am sure Euro­pean farm­ers are aghast at the fact we have to grow and sell ev­ery­thing for what it’s worth, as op­posed to what we want it to be worth topped up with sub­si­dies and tar­iffs.

A lit­tle irony though: Nor­way’s ob­ses­sion and gen­eros­ity around the EV is, of course, funded from oil, from which they are happy to col­lect rev­enues.

Per­haps we should have thought of that be­fore we put the ki­bosh on ex­plo­ration, and watched them slowly but surely pack up, leave, and take with them their ex­plo­ration fees that put mil­lions upon mil­lions into our cof­fers.

It seems these days we are awash with pres­sure groups formed as a re­sult of “is­sues”.

There is a global chin­wag un­der way on cli­mate change this week, and it’s the usual story. Ky­oto was a bust, Paris is a bust, so now it’s ur­gent. We must act im­me­di­ately, the prob­lem is even worse than we thought.

This week we also had plas­tic alarm bells. Re­cy­cling won’t solve our prob­lems, we need to act ur­gently, and do more.

And the poor old EV, sold as a utopian so­lu­tion to fos­sil fu­els, has failed, like all the other dra­matic life-threat­en­ing episodes we face, to take off the way the ped­dlers of this sort of mis­ery would have hoped. So now they re­sort to the time­honoured tra­di­tion of ex­pect­ing gov­ern­ments — through the poor old tax­payer — to pick up the tab.

The rais­ing of the is­sues didn’t work, the warn­ings didn’t work, the alarmist warn­ings didn’t work, the scream­ing from the roof tops didn’t work. We sim­ply haven’t — in the num­bers re­quired — got on board, whether through lazi­ness, deep sus­pi­cion, or out­right re­jec­tion.

From the air, to plas­tic, to cars, the Christina Bus of the world don’t get us. All they have left are virtue-sig­nalling gov­ern­ments still open to us­ing other peo­ple’s money to fund their largesse.

Nor­way’s EV chief Christina Bu.

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