Watch out for the trolls. Nearly everyone you talk to in the renewable energy and climate space have noticed a marked increase in trolls in recent months, apparently buoyed by the success of the Coalition government and its re-election campaign based around lies and misinformation, particularly on renewables and electric vehicles.
The trolls are attacking everything: Climate science, renewables, battery storage, wind and solar power, and promoting coal and nuclear as they go along.
One solar industry veteran has had enough, and with the help of a friend put together a YouTube video suggesting they find something else to do.
As the video notes, of all the things there are in the world to get angry about – war, starvation, disease, pollution – why the focus on solar panels.
Blair Pester, the country head for solar PV manufacturer Winaico, says the number of trolls emerging during the recent election campaign, and increasing since, is astonishing.
Industry peers in Europe and elsewhere say they can’t believe what the trolls are saying, and why such views enter the media mainstream – thanks mostly to Murdoch media – and Australia’s ruling Coalition government.
“‘What kind of archaic backwater do you live in?” they ask, Pester tells RenewEconomy. “Why are you even having these conversations?”
RenewEconomy has long been wondering the same things. Every time we hear or read a News Ltd or Sky News commentator, or Coalition MP spruiking such nonsense we can’t help but wonder: Is this just sheer ignorance and stupidity, ideology, or corruption and vested interests? Or a mix of it all?