Everyone’s favourite sleek geek Dr Karl Kruszelnicki advocated for a renewable energy system on the popular Channel Seven program Sunrise and did it prior to the election; echoing Beyond Zero Emissions’ Zero Carbon Australia – Stationary Energy Plan. Apart from raising awareness among the general public about the immense potential Australia has to harness its vast renewable energy resources, Dr Karl’s appearance on the show is important in that it indicates a positive development in the Australian social psyche.
Dr Karl is a vitally enthusiastic promoter of science in Australia, and consequently one of the country’s most treasured public figures. As demonstrated by the link to the Plan on his homepage, Dr Karl was already a supporter of Beyond Zero’s proposed climate solution strategy. On Sunrise, the good Doctor told the public about the main message – 100% renewable energy in ten years:
We’re addicted to energy. We’ve got to have energy, and the thing is we have to pay for it every year. If we bite the bullet, and spend – for the next ten years or nine years – $37 billion a year, at the end of that time – having spent it on renewable energies – we don’t have to spend on energy any more. We will run entirely off renewable, free energy. Then you just have to pay for the bearings and the motors that spin and so forth. $37 billion a year for ten years sounds a lot, and then after that, it’s free.
Renewable energy is an issue that must be re-established on the public agenda if Australia is to make any headway in weaning itself off fossil fuels. With recent polling studies showing that only ten percent of the electorate consider climate change to be a top tier concern (though it should be much higher), Dr Karl’s appearance reminds the public of what an enormous risk it is to ignore the looming realities of climate change and peak oil.
Dr Karl’s efforts to publicise the only intelligent path for Australia’s energy future are inspiring as much as they should be applauded.
– By Alice Body, freelance writer and BZE volunteer