‘Carpetbagger’ is a derogatory term which originated in the US during the Reconstruction years (1865-1877) after the American Civil War of 1861-1865. It referred to the opportunistic and mostly fraudulent Northerners who migrated to the war-torn South in order to take advantage of the Southerners caught up in the chaos that existed there after the war. The ‘carpet bag’ itself was a fashionable piece of luggage that looked like it was made from pieces of carpet that these fraudsters and conmen arrived with in the South.
Today the term ‘carpetbagger’ is used to define those that move – more metaphorically than literally these days – into areas of dispute in order to take advantage of a given situation by which they can make money both for themselves and for their backers.
The climate change debate is one such situation in which ‘carpetbaggers’ can thrive. In particular, climate change deniers, especially those among the mainstream Murdoch commentariat, who are currently making heaps by cashing in on their boss’s own interests in non-renewable resources.
The likes of Andrew Bolt, Tim Blair, Piers Akerman, Janet Albrechtsen, Greg Sheridan and many others are paid handsomely by Rupert Murdoch to demonise Green energy technology and ideology in order to halt the diminishing demand for non-renewable energy, a resource Murdoch and many of his fellow businessmen and associates have heavily invested in.
Contrary to the collective opinion of the extreme right-wing commentators and neoconservatives who Murdoch and others, including various neoconservative and right-wing think-tanks around the world financially support, renewable energy resources are making a huge dent in the bottom line of the non-renewable energy sector, particularly among the traditional energy providers.
Domestic use of solar energy in Australia generated from both photovoltaic (p.v.) roof-top panels and wind turbines has risen sharply over the last decade or so. In South Australia some 20%-25% of domestic energy consumption is derived from solar energy. Indeed, in July 2014 South Australia’s wind farms managed to provide up to 43% of the states power needs. And, as photovoltaic and battery storage technology advances, the commercial and light industrial sector is also increasingly making use of solar energy.
These advances in both technology and the expanding use of renewable energy resources has had a considerable affect on the more conventional non-renewable resources on fuel suppliers and particularly on energy generators who are experiencing a drop in demands and, therefore, profits and revenue which, in turn, has forced them to increase their charges. Increasing prices on non-renewable energy, in turn, leads to customers turning to p.v. panels and alternative power resources.
The pro-pollutionist carpetbaggers have tried every trick in the book to get people to ignore green energy. They have attempted to demonise the use of green energy by pigeonholing green energy advocates as ‘left-wing hippies’. Bolt has even tried to say that advocates of alternative energy are like the Nazis because the Nazis were a “romantic, anti-science, nature worshipping, communal and anti-capitalist movement that tied German identity to German forests.”
The pro-pollutionist carpetbagger’s biggest ploy is their denialism about global warming and climate change in which they attempt to argue that there is no need to stop using non-renewable energy because it doesn’t create global warming or climate change. They ignore, however, the vast amount of pollution that coal, oil and gas produce and which can be seen on a daily basis hanging over the world’s big industrial cities.
The non-renewable energy industry has spent billions on promoting their coal, oil and gas products while, at the same time, spending further billions on paying their carpetbagger minions in the media to demean green energy. They have even offered climate scientists inducements to become climate change deniers in order to give their arguments some semblance of credibility while others pay journalists and media commentators to demean the green energy industry using outlandish and extremist propaganda which they attempt to link with left-wing politics.
But Tony Abbott’s recent axing of the Renewable Energy Targets program will unlikely stop renewable energy from continuing to grow as people from all walks of life get to hear about the huge savings that can be made by using p.v. panels and, in the not too distant future, going off grid completely as battery technology makes it increasingly a more realistic option to non-renewable energy.