The Risk-Monger is a Big Fat Hypocrite!

I hate myself. I have made a decision on purely selfish reasons that will damage the environment and put more economic pain and hardship on the poor and most vulnerable in society. I am a hypocrite – a blood-sucking viper!

Today I completed my order to buy solar panels for my home. I need to apologise to those who will suffer because of it. I felt, at a certain point, that I had no choice – I selfishly will save money and not suffer from energy blackouts. While no reasoning can justify the disgrace of my self-serving privileged decision, let me at least explain my awfulness.

  • Even though I had invested in energy-saving technologies that reduced my family’s consumption, I saw my electricity bill continue to go up year after year (as my Belgian energy provider struggled to compensate all the “enlightened” who had bought first generation solar panels with taxpayer subsidies);
  • At the present cost per kilowatt hour, my solar panels will pay for themselves in less than five years (assuming no further tax-the-poor interventions from the state). The salesman cleverly informed me how much the electricity rates are expected to rise in the short term even as fossil fuels are very cheap and abundant and the climate activists are running out of reasons to scare us! I won’t pay for these increased costs … someone who cannot afford solar panels will!
  • I will be able to enjoy an energy supply even when the lights go out on the poor and underprivileged during peak use periods. In winter months that means I will be able to enjoy heating when the grid goes down and air-conditioning when the summer swelters.
  • Worse, as my energy provider will not credit me for the surplus energy I add to the grid (they’ll only bring my counter to zero), there will be an incentive to waste energy as I am approaching the closing of the annual account. So I will likely turn to using small inefficient electric radiators rather than gas central heating. Since my energy is “free”, I’ll just leave the lights on. Those who can’t afford panels will have candles.
  • As my children are leaving the nest, I will likely someday convert Casa Monger into apartments. In my solar panel order, I have made provisions to charge my tenants for electricity (let’s screw the under-privileged some more!).

What makes me the biggest hypocrite of all is that I know full well that these bloody panels do not reduce C02 … but rather add more to the atmosphere cumulatively! The amount of energy it takes to produce a solar panel (to purify the silicon, press the glass, produce the electronics…) will release more CO2 than the grey skies of Belgium will ever give back. And that is not even considering the environmental cost of recycling these chemical time-bombs. How the hell can you recycle them??? Nobody put any thought into this madness (I have yet to see a reliable solar panel CO2 carbon LCA). I suppose everyone was too busy feeling good about themselves. Seriously, have there been any studies on how solar panels will affect land use? I could have planted an insulating roof garden instead of those green goblins (if there had been incentives).

My neighbours are either aging seniors or small apartment dwellers so I will be the first one on my street to put these God-awful monstrosities on my roof. No doubt while working in my garden, passers-by will nod to me approvingly as some sort of socially conscious green god. Little will they know how much I loathe their admiration. Little will they know how each time I flick the light switch I will be fighting the temptation to go up on the roof with a sledgehammer! That assumes though that I would have any integrity left to move my conscience.

I now understand why environmentalists have no joy in their hearts!

So what do I do? Like any consumer with means, my decision process came down to cost and access. Using efficient resources (from the energy mix in Belgium, for example) of nuclear, gas, hydro and coal has become very expensive and capacity in critical periods more and more unstable. Being green did not at all come into my decision: if it is cheaper and more accessible, it’s mine!

The environmental lobby has gamed the regulatory system so that their dogmatic (and very environmentally unfriendly) decisions have become the rational choice (… but only for consumers with means). With enough subsidies and incentives, hell can become a popular tourist resort! Energy for me, with solar panels on my roof, will be cheaper and accessible. For most of the population, however, the opposite will be the case – energy will continue to be more expensive and less stable.

This is where environmentalism is obscene. Green energy is a gold chain worn by the wealthy and bored social elite who disguise their self-interest as a morally superior green badge of honour. They are merely serving their prissy little egos at a high social cost to the environment and a large percentage of the working class who will have to pay for the elitists’ privilege. At their cocktail parties they’ll blithely mention their solar panels, but like their boasting of organic food and electric cars, these follies are environmentally dangerous and societally malign. The rich green elite wear these chains around their necks in order to be admired – they should be choked with these chains!

And now I have become one of them. … I hate myself!

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7 Comments Add yours

  1. Tim Daw says:

    Hi – I’m the same – but I was surprised to find that my panels stopped working during powercuts – they need to sync in Hz with the mains so if they can’t they shut down to avoid risk. So that reason for having them didn’t work. There maybe work aroundsit is worht looking into. Keep up the great work

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    1. riskmonger says:

      Damn – they didn’t tell me that – I had assumed that the converter that feeds into the meter would pass through the fuse-box first. Now my rationale underlying the moral compromise is getting weaker. I suppose there must be a battery add-on (more environmental destruction!).

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  2. Jack Boyne says:

    Hypocrisy is bad, but what about your fat-shaming title! 🙂 Thanks for revealing the “inconvenient truths” regarding energy use and policy.

    Like

  3. Giovanni says:

    David, you know that I usually share your rational and no-nonsense points of view, but this time I think you are wrong. Subsidies for moving from a fossil fuel-based energy system to a sustainable one (yes, don’t hate me if I use that word) are well spent public money – although during such a huge change, and mostly at the beginning of it, we must expect diseconomies and wrong choices. Let’s not forget that oil and coal producers are heavily subsidized, above all in the US!
    After all, “environmentalists” may flaunt their “green” choice with a politically correct attitude, but who gives a s**t? For wrong reasons, they are helping us all to move in the right direction 🙂

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    1. riskmonger says:

      Thanks Giovanni – this is a common argument. What is obscene for me is that green energy will benefit the rich at a cost to the poor. I have no problem backing the development of emerging technologies … but why not then subsidise carbon capture and storage research since that will be less disruptive on access to energy for the under-privileged? By encouraging mass-consumption of solar technology (in cloudy countries like Belgium) in its present state of research, we are generating more CO2 presently (that will be cumulative) while increasing electricity rates on those unable to afford solar panels or without property to put them on. Governments can subsidise research, but don’t put second-rate polluting products on the market only to make a certain group feel good about themselves.

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  4. Ardy says:

    Thanks for your sensible and reasonable arguments. Unfortunately, reason and common sense (science as well?) take you nowhere!

    Like

    1. riskmonger says:

      A bit like the morning after … when reason and common sense come back to justify regret!

      Like

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