Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Don’t like something? Ban it!

Importing and using power-guzzling appliances could be banned under a law designed to enforce the government's energy conservation pro-gramme, the minerals and energy department said on Friday.

As well as powers to ban appliances, the proposed Energy Security Bill will empower the minerals and energy minister to penalise offenders and issue standards and regulations for appliances and equipment used to generate or consume energy.

Great. Presumably they'll be starting raids on our houses to make sure we're complying with the standards. Where do they come up with these ideas?! As long as electricity remains artificially cheap we'll use whatever appliances we have left in an inefficient manner (when there is power of course).

In other idiot related news, school kids will have to recite this pledge everyday before school

We the youth of South Africa, recognising the injustices of our past, honour those who suffered and sacrificed for justice and freedom.

"We will respect and protect the dignity of each person, and stand up for justice.

"We sincerely declare that we shall uphold the rights and values of our Constitution and promise to act in accordance with the duties and responsibilities that flow from these rights.

Some people cheer the sentiments expressed while others (a possibly racist minority) worry that it's indoctrinating white kids into having a permanent guilt complex. Predictably the focus has been on the content of the pledge rather than wondering about government forcing kids to make the same oath everyday. They should not be doing this. It's really easy to get distracted by the fact that the words sound all fine.

Of course kids wont be compelled to recite the pledge,

However, if those objecting were in the minority, then "the majority will have to prevail".


sid said...

We have a pledge? Hmmm learning something new each day. I think that the reason most kids aren't complaining about stating the pledge each day is it doesn't really interfere with their enjoyment of daily activities. Also I kinda like the idea that kids will be pledging their allegiance to their country.

Tracy said...

1) Energy efficiency is definitely worth encouraging, but there are better and worse ways of doing it. Is it very different to penalise people for using inefficient technology rather than ask them to pay more in general? Doesn't it amount to the same thing (except that everyone has to have increased energy costs)? Or is it the invasion of privacy that's the problem?

2) The pledge has some pretty nice sentiments. But I am against indoctrination whether the intention is good or bad (though the government always has good intentions ;-). Repeating something everyday will probably just make it loose meaning though. It's like when I had to repeat the Lord's prayer every day in primary school. I didn't really think about what it means and it was pretty boring. Perhaps we're not that easily brainwashed by a collection of words and rote learning afterall?

stuart said...

price increases and banning can have the same result in total amout of electricity used, but they are very different.

take your geyser. most people just leave theirs on all the time but if power were more expensive they'd quickly realise that they can save a lot by turning it off. consumption would drop a lot but they're still showering and using other appliances as much. isn't that better than banning a bunch of stuff and then having people worry about whether they're breaking various regulations?

Also banning reduces our freedoms. AND that extra money we pay doesn't vanish! it should help eskom with their capacity, rather than trevor manuel having to inform us that he's taking our cash for eskom anyway come budget day.

stuart said...

I should actually modify my stance on the pledge (which I don't think is important at all)

education is essentially a mild form of government indoctrination that will never be value free, so I guess this pledge isn't much different. I didn't like the bit about the majority prevailing.

I'm at most only willing to offer very qualified form of alegience to my country, and they shouldn't count on it.

at the end of the day, I think the only effect will be to lose millions of child hours per year to pointless boredom.