Charlie Eagles: A fresh Australia [3/3]

And so we hit the close. In this last article:

What if we could have free energy, under a system for localised, shared energy production? What if 75% of our government were rotated members of the public, like you and me?
What if eliminating drug law solved our drug problems?

Review the series here, beginning with Meeting Charlie Eagles.

Energy-quotient buildings

‘[The crux of this idea] drives business to solve our problem of renewable energy.

Each building [could be] constructed to an energy quotient. The efficiency of the building  will help, but to get over that mark the building has to produce energy [and/or] water.  It’s up to [construction companies] to decide what is the most efficient and effective way to get that building to produce power and/or water.

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This takes a city from using an external power source to the city having it’s own power source. This could be put into place, in my view, somewhere around a five year mark. From telling the public: this is what we’re going to do, to having it in place.’

One of Charlie’s friend’s pipes up at this point: ‘It takes longer just to introduce a carbon emissions scheme.’

‘Getting it through politics, yes. [laughs]’

‘No, no, no, with all of the bureaucratic thingies, you’re talking about wholesale changes on retail, wholesale, and then the administration of the electricity market, and then your government bureaucracies…’

This friend goes on to contest the idea, at length, with some in-depth detail on the nature and caveats of electricity distribution. Charlie responds thus:

‘Let’s assume, for example, that the energy created by a house is [designated by] the building company. They build the house, they build something with the house to generate energy.

Obviously, if everybody has solar, that generates problems in the market as far as supply and demand [per time of day] so that may be an example of where some building companies go to alternative methods. There might be a wind turbine on the house, or so forth. Which gives you a different market to what solar panels would, even though you’re fitting into the same grid.

The other point is that I was also going on the assumption that every building has a storage capacity for that energy, a battery system, and therefore it would feed off it’s own battery when it’s needed, and the excess after the battery would go to the city.

So, A. you have different choices of how you gain energy and B., you would have different choices of when you release energy, so you may store it, and then sell it at night, gaining a better price. Different size buildings and different size lands would give you different results.

[Because the excess power goes to the city] as the city expands, your capacity for producing energy expands with it. The abundance of energy lowers the cost so that energy will essentially be free. In turn, we could solve issues with water supply. Salt water costs a significant amount of energy to convert into fresh water. If we have cheap, fresh water that could provide cheaper, easier food production. After power, water, the problems of essential infrastructure are dealt with, we could focus on bigger things.’

 Election of government

‘Even a portion of government bodies should be comprised of members of the public. Kind of like jury duty. I would make it two-thirds or three-quarters.

At the moment, a majority of the members of the [reigning] Liberal Party for example, live and grew up in the same suburbs, went to the same schools, they’ve been insulated and have no real connection to the Australian people. They knew each other as children, they knew each others families, their houses were in sight of each other, that’s all they know. How can they make effective decisions for everybody else?

They have no idea what life is like on welfare, because they’ve never been on it. They don’t know what that struggle is like. Or to be homeless, or to try to get work month after month, year after year, and the best you can find is a casual, short-term dead-end situation. Or trying to be a student, [living] on an amount of money less than the dole. Everything gets given [to them].

If we rotate other people through these positions, we would have much more dynamics in our politics. Some people will make stupid decisions occasionally, but that won’t be the majority. It would certainly be no worse than the idiots we have now.’

Reducing the size of government

‘A lot of the ideas I’ve suggested reduce the size of the government.

Because you’re getting rid of welfare, you have less government departments, less government involvement. When you change corporations to co-ops, again, you’re actually reducing the size of government involvement.’

Drug laws

‘I think marijuana should be legalised – it should be sold and taxed at the same point of sale as alcohol. Every time that’s been done, and there have been trials, drug-related crime has dropped to twenty percent. Those selling cocaine, heroin, that’s dropped to thirty percent. This has been duplicated every time, just by legalising marijuana. We could kill the drug industry in Australia.

Portugal decriminalised all drugs and their illegal drug industry disappeared. Crime can managed by the way that the rest of us do things. Not by increasing punishments or sending every criminal to jail, that won’t change anything. Indonesia has the death sentence for those who smuggle drugs, and yet they still have an illegal drug industry despite that. The costs are simply higher as the risks are higher. They execute two people a year, nobody cares.

It’s [also] not really that hurtful. Yes, it can cause lung cancer because people smoke it. So eat it. Make butter out of it, put it in cakes, sell that at pubs. Ta-da! [laughs] Fixed problem! Would I have it? No. It makes me sick.


In summation:

‘Your life will be the same, but you’ll have more money, more opportunity, more self-esteem because you’re getting more rewards for your effort, you would know your rights, and the law, and have more input into your democracy.

If you lived in that world, and you looked back on ours, you’d think ours was bloody stupid.’

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