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"...public opinion deserves to be respected as well as despised" G.W.F. Hegel, 'Philosophy of Right'

fossil fuels forever « Previous | |Next »
June 11, 2010

Americans, like Australians, need to start consuming less coal and oil given the process of climate change. With global warming dirty energy needs to be replaced by clean energy. The Americans are talking about it and considering some legislation. We shouldn't expect too much.

What we find in Australia are state governments, such as Queensland and Victoria, committed to a big expansion of coal exports, and to increasing dependence on fossil fuel energy. The need to find alternative sources of energy is almost an after thought as they happily consider new coal-fired power stations, digging coal out at an ever-faster rate and greater public subsidies. The Rudd Government supports the coal states.

You could say that our politicians have their head in the sand. Boosting coal production would undermine the Australia's position on climate change. Any action on making us less reliant on fossil fuels would be opposed by the Coalition and the mining industry with the clean energy process relentlessly driven by political and lobbying calculations.

Big coal has defeated the Rudd Government's cap and trade legislation and they were behind the campaign to mislead the public on the science behind climate change. They are opposed to the idea of putting mandatory curbs on emissions (regulation) rather than leaving it to technology to find a cleaner way to burn coal. Carbon pricing is dead.

Is there broad public support for making Australia less reliant on fossil fuels? A movement to counter Big Coal's position, which is that without coal (baseload power) we'd all be in the dark, and that environmentalism is a form of mental debility.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 3:54 PM | | Comments (2)
Comments

Comments

Gary I think we all know the answer to your question. Any government action to interfere with the development of our natural resources would be met with howls of outrage. The sooner we can dig 'em up and sell them the better, seems to be the prevailing sentiment.

It was only with the greatest difficulty that any consensus was reached to limit uranium mining, and that was in an era when nuclear was on the nose and the uranium miners didn't have much clout. The coal companies and their Liberal allies would cause such public nervousness it bring down the government.

China's reaction to any attempts to limit coal exports would be interesting. I suspect the Chinese might regard it as a hostile act.

It's depressing. The green talk from the Rudd Government is spin plus mickey mouse programs.