Friday, August 31, 2007

Political energies

Release of the Ontario Power Authority's new 20-year energy plan was met with criticism from opposition parties and environmentalists that it is "unrealistic," "expensive" and does not do enough "to highlight energy conservation and renewable energy sources."

Of course, the sorts of official criticism levelled at government programs that are typically received and broadcast by the media are as fruitless and uninformative as they are routine and trite because they expressly divert attention away from the plan's real flaw, which is that energy in Ontario is planned in a government program in the first place.

Whether drafted by impartial experts or by indifferent bureaucrats, the objectives of government plans are motivated and directed primarily by political agendas rather than a practical interest in innovation and efficiency, as demonstrated by the emphasis on economic albatrosses like wind, solar and nuclear power sources in the $60 billion plus energy plan. That it also depends so heavily on "conservation" shows as clearly as any measure that the Ontario Power Authority is less interested in delivering commodities to consumers than it is in delivering consent to its political masters. How else would anyone have the audacity to make a 20-year plan in the first place?

By evading any substantial disagreement with the principle and conduct of central planning for energy, opposition parties and environmentalists are in effect acceding to every article except for their share in the planning. Unfortunately, the only protests that seem worth noting by the media are the ones meant for the political store window.

Update: In the midst of an election campaign, there's no point treating this as anything other than an electoral advertising campaign. At least we'll only have to wait four more years for the next 20-year plan.

Terence Corcoran writing in the Financial Post:

There's a lot of craziness in all this, in the United States and Canada, but especially in Ontario, home of a 20-year, $60-billion integrated power plan. A new version this week reveals a patchwork of unstable assumptions and arbitrary directives from the Premier. The province faces a 24% increase in energy demand over the next 20 years, and a 30% increase in required power capacity. Under the plan, half of the capacity need will be met, under government directive, by "conservation." In other words, the rising demand for power will be covered by forcing consumers not to demand it.

1 Comment:

Anonymous said...

they expressly divert attention away from the plan's real flaw, which is that energy in Ontario is planned in a government program in the first place.

The fools in the media consider themselves to be among the elites, who must save all of the lumpens from their own stupidity. Thus, no amount of government interference is considered too much, and no erosion of freedom is too extreme. It's the inevitable result of many years of lefty liberal arts education in government-sponsored schools.

Aside from the ideological battle lines, there is the quite practical reason that when government wrecks the economy, deprives freedom and promotes strife and war, it is usually very good for the newspaper business as people become desperate to find out who's screwing whom and who's up in arms in rebellion. There are also *tons* of advertising contracts taken out in the media in order to promote government boondoggles. I suspect a lot of the media in Ontario would be in the red if it wasn't for Dalton McStupid plowing new furrows through your freedom and your earnings, then mounting gigantic ad campaigns to "sell" the destruction.

In short, the media is driven to the government side like a herd of parched cattle to a pool of water.