What matters in regard to Australia and climate change action?PM Morrison says that under his government Australia is meeting its climate change commitments and lowering its emissions. Both points are arguable, but how important are they apart from their relevance to the honesty, or otherwise, of our prime minister; do they really much matter?
Australia's emissions intensity (as distinct from total emissions) over the last decade or so has decreased because of the rise of renewable energy generation. No thanks to Prime Ministers Abbott, Turnbull, Morrison or Energy Minister Angus Taylor. The Coalition has fought against the adoption of renewables all along. The federal Labor party under Anthony Albanese is little better. Both major parties are blinded by the short-term profits and political donations coming from the coal industry.
The urgency to act; 23rd December 2019The international meeting on climate change action had just finished in Madrid with Australia's refusal to cooperate in significantly lowering emissions.
At about the same time there were unprecedented fires in both NSW and SA, Australia experienced its hottest day on record, there was an unprecedented drought and unprecedented low flows in the Murray-Darling. The world's climate scientists had warned us for years that this sort of thing was to be expected with climate change. It had also been reported that agricultural incomes in Australia had fallen 22% due to climate change.
Yet the Morrison government continued to refuse to act!
Duty of careJustice Mordecai Bromberg of the Australian federal court found that the Australian government, environment minister Sussan Lay in particular, has a duty of care to protect young people from the climate crisis in a judgment hailed by lawyers and teenagers who brought the case as a world first.
In an article in the Guardian, written by Laura Schuijers and dated 2021/05/27, Ms Schuijers quoted from the judgement:
"It is difficult to characterise in a single phrase the devastation that the plausible evidence presented in this proceeding forecasts for the children. As Australian adults know their country, Australia will be lost and the world as we know it gone as well.Plainly the government is failing in this duty of care. While many federal coalition parliamentarians are pushing fossil fuels and opposing renewables, the standout criminals seem to be energy minister Angus Taylor and Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
Taxpayers' money being spent by the Morrison government on bandaid solutions to damage they themselves caused and continue to cause
Great Barrier ReefOn the one hand the Morrison government, through its determined and criminal support of fossil fuel extraction, export and burning, is playing a big part in the destruction of the Great Barrier Reef. On the other hand they are throwing taxpayers' money on vain attempts at damage limitation.
The burning of fossil fuels is widely recognised as the main cause of climate change, ocean acidification and ocean warming, all of which are damaging the reef.
There are many articles to be found on the internet about this absurdity, just one was published on The Conversation, 2022/02/01, titled "The $1 billion Great Barrier Reef funding is nonsensical. Australians, and their natural wonder, deserve so much better". It was written by Jon C. Day and Scott F. Heron.
Koala habitatIn a very similar way the Morrison government is approving land clearing in koala habitat and at the same time spending $50 million of taxpayers' money "to restore koala habitat, monitor populations and research the animals’ health". An article in The Conversation, 2022/02/09, by Lachlan G. Howell, Ryan R. Witt and Shelby A. Ryan describes how the "Morrison government spends $50 million saving koalas while taking away their homes".
Two-faced governmentThe Morrison government has, at the same time, opposed the introduction of renewable energy and taken credit for the success of renewable energy growth in Australia.
Ministers in the Morrison Government, and Liberal and National members of parliament, often talk about 'protecting jobs' in country districts by supporting the fossil fuel industries, but never talk about developing more jobs by supporting the fast growing renewable energy industries. Plainly there is far more future potential in the renewable energy industries than there is in the dying fossil fuel industries.
Corruption in the Morrison government
Footnote; LaborIt should also be mentioned that the federal Labor party too is very supportive of the Australian fossil fuel industry, not keen on an Independent Commission against Corruption, and receiving big monitory gifts that suggest improper influence.
Morrison government's failure with COVID-19 vaccinationGovernment has failed the Australian people in two ways:
COVID-19 vaccinations - OECD countries
Downloaded from Our World in Data 2021/06/30
Australia is second last of 37 OECD countries in COVID vaccination.
Late June 2021
Due to pandemic outbreaks from quarantine and a monumental failure to get Australians vaccinated at the end of June 2021 there were lock-downs in greater Perth, Darwin, Townsville, Brisbane, Gold Coast and greater Sydney. For more information see Australia's COVID-19 crisis: State-by-state guide to border restrictions and lockdowns, 2021/06/29, written by Olivana Lathouris, for 9 News.
This should not be happening; the Morrison government has let The Australian people down badly.
Quarantine and Australia's supply of vaccine are federal government responsibility. The states are continually struggling to control outbreaks that are due to the gross incompetence of the Morrison federal government.
Further back...A Guardian article titled "Australia Covid vaccine tracker: how is the rollout progressing and when will you get the jab?" dated 2021/04/06 showed how greatly the Morrison government had fallen behind both its original and its revised targets for getting Australians vaccinated.
The original target was to get four million people vaccinated by the end of March; they achieved 600,000. About then the government produced a revised target.
According to the original plan seven million people would have been vaccinated by the time of writing, April 13th; according to the revised plan about two and a half million would have had their first shot. In fact a total of 1.2 million doses had been given.
By early April PM Morrison had refused to set any more targets.
Again at the time of writing, the UK had vaccinated about 27% of their people, the USA had vaccinated about 12%; Australia had achieved less than 5%.
SA's great success in shifting from fossil fuels to renewable energy recognised by IEEFA and WEFIn June 2021 the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) and the World Economic Forum (WEF) held up SA's success to the rest of the world as an example of what can be achieved in the move from fossil fuels toward renewable energy. See SA's success for more detail.
Will the Morrison government take any notice or will they go on supporting fossil fuels through thick and thin?
PM Morrison's gas-fired recovery is to include a blatant $600 million gift to the fossil fuel industry and Liberal/National party donors
Quoting from an article in The Guardian, written by Adam Morton and published 2020/09/17:
In a speech in the Hunter Valley, the prime minister repeated a claim he made at the press club in February: there is “no credible energy transition plan for an economy like Australia that does not involve the greater use of gas”.This is simply a fantasy and a lie. There is no credible evidence to support it. See, for example, Transition to Renewables without Gas by the Climate Council and the Australian Energy Market Operator's Integrated System Plan to which the Climate Council's page refers.
Update May 2021Adam Morton wrote a piece for the Guardian on 2021/05/19 detailing the Morrison Government's announcement that it would provide up to $600 million of taxpayers' money to build a 660MW gas-fired power station at Kurri Kurri in the Hunter Valley of NSW.
On almost the same day as the gas-fired power station plan was announced the International Energy Agency stated that all new investments in fossil fuels should stop if we are to limit climate change.
The Kurri Kurri gas-fired power station was made even less necessary when, earlier in May, Energy Australia confirmed it was going to build a 300MW peaking power plant in the Illawarra, also in NSW. (It will also receive government financial assistance.)
In Adam Morton's Guardian article he noted that:
"[The new power station] would be expected to be powered initially by diesel – an even more expensive and polluting fuel – before receiving its gas supply."
Georgia Wilkins wrote an article for Crikey on 2021/05/19 about how the Kurri Kurri power station will be "a field day for [Liberal/National Coalition] party donors".
"They left the state relying on dirty diesel generators at a cost of over $600 million."And now we see the federal Morrison government building another $600 million power station, at tax payers' expense, that will also run on diesel.
Carbon capture and storage (CCS)CCS technology has been touted as a way of keeping the coal industry alive at the same time as getting rid of the CO2 emissions (there are reservations about leakage from the underground storages). While injecting CO2 underground has been used to enhance oil recovery in ageing oil-fields, so far as I have been able to find out no power station anywhere in the world has successfully used CCS.
Not surprisingly, the Morrison government is a big fan of CCS and is willing to spend a lot of taxpayers' money on this dead-end technology.
By 2015 renewables were around financial parity with new-built coal-fired power stations even without the huge additional cost of CCS, by 2021 renewables costs had fallen to the point where they were cheeper than coal-fired power without CCS. CCS just does not stack up from an economic point of view aside from any environmental concerns.
Two major blows to CCS within a few days, late June 2017After spending US$7.5 billion (Aus$10 billion) on a 'clean coal' project that would have included carbon capture and storage, Southern Co, parent company of Mississippi Power announced that the project would be dropped. See articles in RenewEconomy and MIT Technology Review.
European power giants Engie and Uniper pulled out of a CCS test project in the Netherlands.
Big project dropped by US DoENews, 2015/02/05, from RenewEconomy: FutureGen's demise another blow to CCS "FutureGen 2.0 coal power project in Illinois has collapsed following a US Department of Energy decision to withdraw funding for the plant".
First visit to a renewable energy farmAfter two years and seven months in government PM Morrison visits a solar farm. This is a groundbreaking event.
Giles Parkinson wrote an article for RenewEconomy, 2021/04/27 headlined "Breakthrough event: Prime minister Scott Morrison visits a solar farm". Quoting from the article:
"Why is this important, or even worth mentioning? Well, as far as we can tell, it is the very first time that any minister in Morrison’s government has visited a new wind or solar farm.There have been three Coalition PMs since 2017: Abbott, Turnbull and Morrison. PM Turnbull was favourably disposed toward action on climate change, but opposed by most of the members of the parliamentary Coalition in this. Before him, PM Abbott was strongly opposed to action on climate change and renewable energy.
The Beirut explosion, irresponsible government and climate changeOn 2020/08/04 more than two thousand tonnes of ammonium nitrate exploded causing colossal damage to the city's port area and killing at least 200 people.
What has this to do with the Morrison Government and climate change?
The ammonium nitrate had been stored in a warehouse in the port of Beirut for six years in spite of the knowledge that it presented a risk of just such an enormous explosion. It was a disaster waiting to happen and was being ignored by the Lebanese government.
Climate change is a developing disaster that will impact billions of people and practically all life on earth, and, similarly to the Beirut case, it is not being given urgent attention by the world's governments.
Worse than Beirut the Morrison Government is making the situation worse by supporting the fossil fuel industries and resisting the introduction of renewable energy. While the Lebanese government were guilty of gross carelessness, the Morrison government is guilty of actively exacerbating the problem.
The Lebanese government was guilty of a crime of omission, the Morrison government is guilty of a crime of commission.
Is Newcastle at risk of a Beirut-style explosion?
The ABC has an article on it, written by Ben Millington. Millington wrote that it is within four kilometres of central Newcastle.
We are assured that it is very safe, but the fact is that it is a high explosive. It is used routinely as such in mining all over the place.
Counterterrorism and ammonium nitrate expert Professor Clive Williams from Australian National University was quoted in Ben Millington's ABC article:
"I have been to many explosive accident sites, and invariably the companies involved thought that an accident was unlikely to happen because they had adequate safety and security measures in place."An article titled Accidental Ammonium Nitrate Explosions, written by Paul Somerville and Ryan Crompton can be read in Risk Frontiers.
At best it seems to me to be the height of foolishness to keep such a huge pile of a high explosives in a city.
Morrison government tries to force its own abysmal ethical standards onto a bank
Last week, the fifth most senior minister in the Morrison Government, agriculture Minister and Deputy National Party Leader David Littleproud, threatened the ANZ bank with “every lever at the federal government’s disposal - including the availability of deposit guarantees”.Any conscientious person would think that ANZ's statement indicated a proper concern for the future of the planet, its people and all its diverse and wonderful life.
Littleproud is seeking to prevent one of Australia’s leading banks from making a conscious, ethically-based decision to bring its lending practices into line with the goal of reducing Australia’s carbon emissions.This is a shameful attack by the Morrison government on a business that is making some effort to give our grandchildren a planet that will not be greatly damaged by climate change, ocean acidification, sea level rise and the air pollution from the burning of fossil fuels that kills millions of people world wide each year.
Waterloo Wind Farm, South Australia
Australian federal Coalition governments' have a history of favouring of the fossil fuel industries and opposing renewable energy developments such as this one. Federal Energy Minister Angus Taylor in particular has been outspoken in his determined opposition to wind power.
On the other hand the South Australian Liberal Marshall government has been very pro-renewable energy – they can see where the future of energy lies.
Perhaps the most remarkable thing about this dichotomy is that neither government publicly criticises the other. The state Liberals, in particular Minister for Energy and Mining, Dan van Holst Pellikaan, are continually espousing the strong future of renewable energy for the state, but not a critical word will they say against the opposite stance in the federal government.
Tasmania, also with a Liberal government, was similarly pursuing a renewable energy future, with a
target of 200% renewables by 2020.
An example of blatantly unethical mateship
In November 2020 the Australian people learned that Senator Cormann had been flown around the world in a Royal Australian Airforce plane at the Australian taxpayers' expense (probably in the vicinity of $3,000 per hour) trying to get himself the job of Secretary-General of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
Senator Cormann's tilt at this position has the full support of the Morrison government who nominated him for the lucrative job.
As reported by the ABC "the OECD is an international organisation that works to create policies that promote economic growth and look to improve social and environmental challenges faced globally." (My emphasis)
Senator Cormann served as Australia's Finance Minister from 2013 to 2020, under the Abbott, Turnbull and Morrison governments. In this position he has fully supported those governments in their battle to slow the development of renewable energy and prop up the polluting fossil fuel industries. He has actively fought against support for the environment.
Senator Cormann's nomination as Secretary-General of the OECD is not just a blatant case of mateship and 'jobs for the boys', in relation to this position in particular it is quite obscene.
I've written more on this subject on a dedicated page.
Is Australia becoming a police state?
The above is an extract from a transcript of ABC's Media Watch of 2020/06/15.
While this was bad enough, as the Media Watch episode noted, at the time of writing the ASIS officer (whose name we are not allowed to know, he is referred to as Witness K) who made this illegal activity public has been tried and sentenced in secret and even his lawyer, Bernard Callaery, is being tried at least partly in secret.
More can be read on the illegal bugging in Wikipedia.
I have written a little on then Foreign Minister Alexander Downer's known part in denying justice to East Timor on another page on this site.
Tax-payer liability for stranded assetsMichael Mazengarb wrote an article for Renew Economy on 2020/01/21 outlining research published by the Bank for International Settlements that indicated that central banks could be held financially responsible for stranded assets when nations are forced to act on climate change.
This seems to apply particularly to those nations whose governments tried to give the impression that fossil fuel industries had a strong future when, in fact, they have a very shaky future. Plainly, the Australian government is one such.
The Morrison government has heavily promoted coal mining in Australia, continually trying to convince investors that 'coal has a bright future'. If the industry collapses, due to forced action on reducing emissions, the Australian tax-payer, through the Reserve Bank of Australia, may well be held accountable for the highly misleading statements made by the government.
They're back, 2019/05/20In spite of the best efforts of kids who want a future, like those in the photo on the right, and a great many Australians who want serious action on climate change, Scott Morrison's Coalition government won the election of two days ago.
This was a surprise to most Australians, including the experts.
The Liberal/National coalition had help from the filthy-rich coal billionaire Clive Palmer and the shamelessly biased and pro-coal Murdoch media empire.
Palmer's party ran a candidate in every seat in what Palmer said following the election was a campaign aimed only at keeping Labor from winning government. The Palmer party didn't get any of its candidates elected, but may well have taken a lot of votes from Labor.
The election was largely won in Queensland where there were enough voters placing more importance on jobs in the coal industry than on the future of the planet to swing the balance of power to the COALition.
Morrison government used taxpayers' money to help win the May 2019 electionIn addition to the blatant Bridget McKenzie sports rorts affair (covered elsewhere on this page) there was also rorting associated with the federal government's drought funding.
The Yorke Peninsula Country Times of 2020/02/04 stated:
"It has been revealed Copper Coast Council should not have been eligible for its $2million of funding through the controversial Drought Communities Programme – Extension. The government awarded funding to CCC, and several other councils, despite them not meeting criteria relating to employment in the agriculture, forestry and fishery industries."The criteria of the drought relief funding stated that councils must have at least 17 per cent of workers involved in agriculture, fishery or forestry industries to be eligible. Only eight per cent of the Copper Coast Council's residents are in those industries, yet it was granted $2 million dollars. This was not the government's money that was misused to help win the election, it was taxpayers' money.
More rorts come to lightJack Snape and Andrew Probyn wrote an article for the ABC earlier today (2020/02/07). Quoting from the article:
No guidelines. No tender process. No application form. Some recipients didn't know they'd even been given money until they read about it in the local paper.It seems there will be no end to the corruption of the Morrison government.
PM Morrison and Senator Cormann mislead parliamentSBS News carried an article dated 2020/02/14 describing how PM Morrison blatantly mislead parliament over the Bridget McKenzie rorts affair. It seems that both the PM and the Liberal's leader in the Senate, Mathias Cormann, have claimed that "No project that was funded was assessed as ineligible at the time the assessment was made". In fact, as reported by SBS:
"a Senate inquiry heard that nearly half the projects funded in the so-called sports rorts affairs were ineligible.
This was at least the second time that PM Morrison has mislead parliament. He had to send a letter to the Speaker to amend incorrect comments that he made while defending his dishonest Energy Minister Angus Taylor back in November of 2019. For more information on this see the article written by Brett Worthington for the ABC.
PM Morrison and God
Prime Minister Morrison makes no secret of his Christian beliefs.
How would God feel about the damage that PM Morrison is complicit in doing to God's creation through
climate change and related problems.
How could God be anything other than angry about the way that Morrison is treating God's creation?
PM Morrison's stance in looking after the fossil fuel industries at the expense of life on earth is criminal, selfish and extremely shortsighted. Most Australians want serious action on climate change and natural justice demands serious action on climate change, but Morrison is fighting against action. Morrison cannot see past trying to prop up the dying coal industry in return for more donations to the Liberal Party.
The ABC's political reporter Nour Haydar wrote a piece on 2019/11/01 headlined "Scott Morrison to slam environmental groups 'targeting' businesses with 'selfish' secondary boycotts".
PM Morrison's concern that so-called secondary boycotts (boycotting a company that supports polluting industries) may have serious consequences for the Australian economy should give heart to climate change activists; keep up the good work people, you are having an impact.
In the year 2018, in which the Morrison government came to power, less than 20% of Australia's electricity was generated renewably. In 2021 the figure was more than 32%. (See Open NEM.)
An article in RenewEconomy written by Michael Mazengarb headlined
NSW flooded with $100bn in renewable and storage projects for Hunter renewable zone and dated 2022/02/16 is just another indication of the speed with which renewable energy installations are growing.
They were claiming that Labor would wreak the economy (in their six years in government the Coalition had not had a single budget surplus), but perhaps their most dishonest claim was that Labor's renewable energy target of 50% by 2030 would be cripplingly expensive. South Australia went from near zero renewable energy in 2003 to over 50% by 2018 at practically no cost to the tax payers. Why shouldn't Australia be able to do something similar?
Not only could Labor's targets be reached at little cost to the taxpayers, but they would provide a boost to the economy and provide thousands of jobs. See the 2019 Clean Energy Australia Report by the Clean Energy Council.
Labor is also promising to reduce Australia’s pollution by 45 per cent on 2005 levels by 2030. While Labor's aims are less than is needed they are far better than the Coalition's energy/emissions/climate-change-action paralysis of the last six years.
The future of the planet and everybody's children and grandchildren is at stake.
Perhaps PM Morrison's biggest lie is in claiming that fossil fuels, coal in particular, are the key to lowering power prices. The fact that renewables are now cheaper than new-build coal fired power stations has been given a huge amount of publicity recently from many sources. Just one is the very recent (at the time of my writing this) article by Steven Long on the ABC Web site, 2018/01/03, "The reality is new coal power is not the answer for cheaper electricity bills". Mr Long wrote:
"The tipping point's been reached: renewable energy is now a cheaper source of power for Australia's future electricity needs than coal."Mr Long quoted the Australian Energy Market Operator:
"The lowest cost replacement for this retiring capacity [Australia's fleet of ageing coal fired power stations] and energy will be a portfolio of resources, including solar (28 gigawatts), wind (10.5 GW) and storage (17 GW and 90 GWh), complemented by 500 megawatts of flexible gas plant and transmission investment."PM Morrison also continues the pretence that coal has a strong future. In fact it is a dying industry.
A "group of Aussie kids [...] took on the Federal Environment Minister, Sussan Ley, and secured a landmark court ruling that she has a duty of care to act reasonably and avoid causing kids like us personal injury and death while doing her job. But instead of accepting the court’s decision, the Minister decided to initiate a costly legal appeal!"
On a Chuffed site where the kids are asking for funding to fight the Minister's despicable and unethical legal appeal they wrote:
"This is a duty about life and death for Aussie kids like us. We must defend it. Our pocket money and part time jobs won’t be enough to defend this important legal decision. But we have people power on our side!My wife and I chipped in $100 toward the kids very justified fight.
We're asking for your help. Will you join us by chipping in to fund the legal defence of our historic win?"
There seems very little doubt that he serves the fossil fuel industry rather than the Australian people. This is perhaps most clearly shown in his proposal to prop up ageing and inefficient coal-fired power stations at the expense of Australian electricity users while continually playing down the value of renewable energy.
He is shamelessly willing to try to take the credit for Australia's reducing emissions even though he has continually opposed renewables. He has been especially strident in his opposition to wind power which he has claimed to be 'gobsmackingly inefficient' when it can easily be shown that they are highly efficient.
"DAVID SPEERS: You say climate’s changing and that’s certainly true. The question is, is this man-made climate change?Can this Australian minister in the Morrison Government really so stupid? He doesn't know that climate change is man made? He doesn't think it matters whether or not it is man made?
DAVID LITTLEPROUD: I’ve got no idea, but does it really matter? I ...
DAVID SPEERS: Sorry, you have no idea whether ...
DAVID LITTLEPROUD: I’m not a scientist. I haven’t made an opinion one way or another, but I don’t think it really matters. I think ...
DAVID SPEERS: Sorry, just to be clear on this, you’re not sure whether man-made climate change is real?
- Speers, Sky News, 10 September, 2019
Again quoting the Media Watch transcript, two days later, Minister Littleproud said in Parliament:
"Let me make it clear: I accept the science on man-made impact on climate change. Always have."Is the man a shameless liar, is he hopelessly confused, or just stupid? What does he believe? What has my country come to, to have a federal minister like this?
For more information refer to the
article in The Guardian by Anne Davies dated 2019/09/18.
This is totally at odds with what the world's climate scientists are telling us. The government's own Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority is telling us that
"Climate change is the greatest threat to the Great Barrier Reef and coral reefs worldwide".and
"The Great Barrier Reef is already experiencing the consequences of climate change. The cumulative impacts of recent coral bleaching events and multiple severe tropical cyclones since 2005 have caused an unprecedented decline in the health of the Reef."
Entsch went on to complain about adults "coaching" young people who quite rightly expressed deep concern for their, and the planet's, future. He said of the adults "They're frightening the living hell out of kids. It's like child abuse and I think they should be held accountable". If there was any justice in this world people like Warren Entsch would be held accountable.
This government seems hell-bent on destroying the future that these kids will live through.
"The award of funding reflected the approach documented by the minister's office of focusing on 'marginal' electorates held by the Coalition as well as those electorates held by other parties or independent members that were to be 'targeted' by the Coalition at the 2019 election...As of the time of writing Prime Minister Morrison has not condemned any of Ms KcKenzie's actions. He has said repeatedly things like 'no law has been broken' and he and Ms McKenzie have said 'all the recipients were eligible'.
Applications from projects located in those electorates were more successful in being awarded funding than if funding was allocated on the basis of merit assessed against the published program guidelines."
Shortly before I wrote this section the PM has called for an examination to see if there has been any "breach of ministerial standards". One could only conclude that if this has not breached ministerial standards then those standards must be very lax.
Whether or not anything illegal was done or whether the ministerial standards have been breached, there can be no doubt at all that the actions of Ms McKenzie were unethical, but the Morrison government seems to place little, if any, weight on ethical standards.
By their lies and actions they are worsening climate change, ocean acidification, sea level rise and ocean warming.
Their actions will not even have an economic advantage, there can be no doubt that renewable energy is cheaper than new-build coal. The only groups to win (and then only in the short term) if the Morrison Government slows renewables development and encourages coal will be the coal industry and their puppets in government.
Australia and the world will suffer, economically and environmentally.
Australia's future is with the renewable energy industry, not with
It would seem likely that these people were motivated by one or a combination of the following reasons:
Blind Freddy could see that there is no future in the coal industry and that Australia's energy future is in renewables but the Morrison Government is trying to deny this great opportunity to Australia.
Plainly the Australian people want renewable energy, not more coal power.
Plainly the Australian people want action on climate change.
Plainly the world's and Australia's future is with renewable energy not fossil fuels.
By the time of writing it was clear that renewable energy in the forms of wind and solar PV was cheaper than new-built coal-fired power. As decarbonisation becomes more urgent any coal-fired power station is likely to have a short life, further eroding its financial justification. No company is interested in building a coal-fired power station, it would simply be incapable of competing economically with renewables. The only way a new coal-fired power station will be built in Australia is with heavy subsidisation from the Australian tax-payers, and they plainly do not want it.
Has there ever been a federal government more out of touch with what the Australian people want, what is best for Australia and what the world needs?
I've written about
who wants renewable energy? elsewhere on this site.
I've written below of just one renewable energy project that has huge economic potential that, if the Morrison Government had its way, would probably not go ahead. Fortunately, like so many other renewable energy developments, it seems likely to happen in spite of the best efforts of the federal government to halt progress.
“By all means, have the world’s biggest battery, have the world’s biggest banana, have the world’s biggest prawn like we have on the roadside around the country, but that is not solving the problem,”Morrison said Tesla boss Mr Musk was clearly very good at promotion. “I think he saw [South Australian Labor Premier] Jay Weatherill coming.”
What he demonstrated with this statement was his shameful and
criminal devotion to the fossil fuel industry and his contempt for the truth and ethical standards.
South Australia has shown very well that wind power can provide about half of an electricity supply with minimal changes to a power grid. The nation is seeing that solar PV power can also generate substantial percentages of the electricity that the Australian people want and need. At the time of writing utility-scale solar PV power installations are being built at a great rate.
Again at the time of writing, Energy Minister Angus Taylor, who seems to have an ideological hatred of wind power, was holding up a feasibility study for what could be Australia's first off-shore wind farm, The Star of the South.
As discussed elsewhere in these pages coal is no longer needed for producing heat for things like generating electricity, renewable energy is not only much cleaner, but it is also
Iron, steel and other metals can now be made without using fossil fuels.
This has been discussed in an article published in The Conversation on 2020/02/27 written be Dominique Hes of the University of Melbourne.
Those companies and nations that are earliest to fully develop and implement the technologies involved will have a competitive advantage over those that stay with coal.
A Current Affair posted an article on 2021/04/17 raising the question of the Morrison Government's continued failure to fund the research by Professor Nikolai Petrovsky at Flinders University. Professor Petrovsky was quoted as saying:
"We've had no support from the federal government to date in any of our program," Professor Petrovsky told A Current Affair. "We've obviously asked for it but we haven't received anything,"The article went on to say that Professor Petrovsky would take the phase two trials to Pakistan.
More on Petrovsky, his vaccine research, and the lack of funding, can be read in an ABC article titled "Coronavirus vaccine developer urges federal funding for 'promising' candidate after UQ failure" and dated 2020/12/11. Petrovsky was quoted as saying:
"We've never really got an answer as to why we're not getting supported better from the federal Health Department."In the ABC article it is mentioned that phase three trials were expected to take place early in 2021.
A run-down on vaccines in development in Australia is given in an
RMIT 'Vaccine progress report'.
With any new industry the advantage is with the early adopters; the Morrison Government has not provided any support for the development of these innovative projects, thus allowing Australia's competitors a head start.
“You should read this tale of an era when Australia dared to have a vision”.In 2019 no one could accuse the Morrison government of “having a vision”. When we could be leading the world in renewable energy, instead we are leading the world in clinging to old ways that everyone knows must go as soon as possible - coal in particular.
By the way, the book is a good read.
In spite of the best efforts of the recent coalition governments, from the Abbott Government starting in September 2013 to the MorrisonGov.html, doing all they can to support the coal industry and slow the growth of sustainable energy, renewables have made great inroads into power generation in Australia.
Quoting Simon Holmes à Court in the Guardian article that published the graph:
"Highly polluting brown coal use is down 36.6% and black coal (still dirty!) has fallen 9.4%, mostly replaced by wind and solar."At the time of writing it was looking like the rate of renewable energy installation and coal power station retirement was only going to increase.
These governments have been nothing short of criminal in their opposition to action on climate change, but fortunately they have been notably ineffectual in their efforts to stop the transition to renewable energy.
PM Turnbull was forced into allowing a royal commission into the financial industries and it uncovered a huge amount of exploitative, even criminal, behaviour.
I suspect that a federal ICAC would unearth just as much sculduggery as did the royal commission on the financial industries. Of course Scomo doesn't want an ICAC, it would uncover his misdeeds and those of others in or close to government.
For more information see The Chaser.
"The government has put a new name on an existing scheme, while steadfastly refusing to learn from mistakes made along the way. In cruder terms, it’s slapped a gleaming coat of lipstick onto a pig of a policy."
As part of their Emissions Reduction Fund (rebadged a "Climate Solutions" fund) the Morrison Government announced that it was giving a million dollars of taxpayers' money to South African-owned gold miner Gold Fields to pay for a gas turbine powered electricity generator.
The gold miner stated that they would have built the gas turbine anyway.
If the Morrison Government really wanted to reduce emissions or find climate solutions they would have encouraged Gold Fields to build a solar farm or wind farm rather than installing a gas turbine.
“Rio Tinto is one of the world’s largest companies. It is disturbing that it will receive what looks to amount to several million dollars from government climate change programs to switch from burning one fossil fuel to another."To make matters even worse, Adam Morton wrote for The Guardian, 2019/02/26, that the generator had already been commissioned before the Climate Solutions fund opened.
I have written about Minister Taylor and his hatred of wind power in particular on another page on this site.
I have argued elsewhere on these pages that for a person in a position of power to knowingly lie in order to slow action on climate change has to be the greatest crime in the history of humanity. Surely PM Morrison's and Energy Minister Taylor's actions would have to be condemned as criminal.
Just one project is sufficient to demonstrate the stupidity (or corruption) of the Morrison GovernmentThe Morrison Government sees the future as being black; all about coal, fossil fuels generally, uncontrolled climate change, ocean acidification, air pollution, the loss of thousands of species and the Great Barrier Reef and great damage to the world that our children and grandchildren will inherit from us.
Others, such as British Billionaire Sanjeev Gupta (who is investing $1 billion in renewable energy in Australia), famous investor Warren Buffet (who has invested $1 billion in renewables) and Macquarie Bank (which has invested more than $20 billion in green energy globally) and who are backing the proposed $22 billion Asian Renewable Energy Hub can see that the future is green, sustainable and clean.
Peter Williams wrote a piece for the West Australian on 2018/10/08 about the Asian Renewable Energy Hub (AREH). Its scale is truely breathtaking:
Incredibly, Australia's Energy Minister Angus Taylor is on record as saying that wind turbines are "gobsmackingly inefficient". This is an indication of the depth of idiocy to which our federal government has sunk!
Fair dinkum powerPrime Minister Scot Morrison was talking to shock jock Alan Jones and said that he wanted 'dispatchable power'. Jones told the PM not to use that term because "people don't know what it means". In response to Jones, the PM said "real power, fair dinkum power". And from then on PM Morrison and his Energy Minister Angus Taylor have been using the 'fair dinkum power' catch phrase ad-nauseam. (See Media Watch, 2018/10/29.)
In any case, PM Morrison seems to be under the misunderstanding that coal power is dispatchable, of course it is not. Coal power is base load, that is, coal power is suited for providing electricity at a steady rate; dispatchable power is, as the name suggests, capable of being dispatched as required.
PM Morrison likes to make statements implying that coal-fired power stations are available all the time; ignoring the fact that they are typically unavailable about 15% of the time due to maintenance or breakdown.
Victorian election of November 2018The Labor Daniel Andrews Victorian Government faced an election on 2018/11/24. Most predictions were that the result would be close but would probably go to Labor.
What actually resulted was a Labor landslide; very unusually there was a huge 4.8% swing toward the Government; if there are big swings they are more often than not against a sitting government. The morning after the election it was looking like Labor would get 55 seats in the 88-seat Lower House.
No one was in any doubt that federal politics had a big influence on the Victorian result; the policies of the Morrison Government had a lot to do with this devastation of the Victorian Liberal/National coalition.
What do the Australian people want?
A poll of the people in the Morrison Government's Energy Minister Angus Taylor's electorate showed that almost twice as many wanted to see Australia decrease its emissions faster, rather than slower.
A poll carried out by a local newspaper concerning a proposed energy park (wind, solar, storage) near my house indicated 83% support for the project.
Blind Freddy could see that there is no future in the coal industry and that Australia's energy future is in renewables but PM Morrison and Minister Taylor is trying to deny this great opportunity to Australia.
Plainly the Australian people want renewable energy, not more coal power.
Has there ever been a federal government more out of touch with what the Australian people want, what is best for Australia and what the world needs?
I've written about how I see Australia's energy future and who wants renewable energy elsewhere on this site.
Arms spending: Under the Morrison Government Australia has become unjustifiably militaristic
Another problem is that any nation that spends more money than can be reasonably justified on armaments causes mistrust among it neighbours. They wonder whether aggression is being seriously considered.
At the time I wrote this section of this page Australia faced no more credible outside threats than most other nations.
While it ranked 53rd in population among the world's nations Forbs ranked it 12th in arms spending. Among the 15 nations with the highest arms spending there were only four that spent more per capita on arms than Australia: in order of decreasing per capita arms spending these were the United Arab Emirates, Israel, Saudi Arabia and the USA.
Money that is spent on armaments is not available for education, health, emissions reduction, infrastructure, welfare and many other desirable services. The quality of life of the nation's people is degraded unnecessarily.
Refugee invasion scareIn mid February 2019 a bill passed through both houses of Australian parliament allowing "asylum seekers to be transferred to Australia [from offshore detention centres] for medical attention if two doctors say they need it, unless the Home Affairs Minister rejects it on security concerns (ABC)."
While this bill sounds perfectly reasonable to most people, it was very important because it passed in spite of being opposed by the Morrison Government. "It's the first time in 90 years that a sitting government has lost a vote on its own legislation" (The Guardian).
Following the historical defeat in parliament PM Morrison immediately started a scare campaign foreshadowing an invasion by refugees organised by people-smugglers.
It would suit the Morrison Government very well if a couple of boat-loads of refugees were to turn up on an Australian shore.
Considering the total lack of ethical standards shown by the Morrison Government (and partly documented on this page) we should not be surprised if they or there supporters were to pay people smugglers to ship some refugees to Australia.
From an article in Scientific American, June 2011.
"If climate change drives temperature up a degree or two," goes the common dismissal, "how bad could that be?"A one degree rise in temperatures could occur well before 2050.
If global warming will make the US forests more flammable, it will do the same thing in Australia.
Bangor fire, South Australia, 2014The Bangor fire, near my home in Crystal Brook, burned largely in steep inaccessible country for a month before being extinguished by heavy rains. The rain on the soil left totally bare by the fires caused terrible erosion.
The photo on the right is of debris including soil and ash left in the Crystal Brook in the town of the same name. The upper parts of the Crystal Brook catchment were burned in the Bangor fire.
The native vegetation will recover to a large extent in a few years following a fire like this, but the soil will take hundreds or thousands of years to be replaced.
Increased frequency and ferocity of fires will be disastrous for Australia's fragile soils.
Bushfires and dust of late 2019 – early 2020
While the fires were not directly caused by climate change the conditions that lead to the fires were certainly made far more likely due to climate change. Australia had been suffering from drought for several years; this, like the fires, was likely linked to climate change. The drought also made the fires worse than they would otherwise have been because the land being burned was exceptionally dry.
Smoke levels in Sydney in particular were high enough to be hazardous to health; they were also high in Melbourne and Canberra for weeks. As can be seen in the satellite photo on the right the smoke plume was blowing right across the Tasman Sea to New Zealand; smoke from Australia's bushfires was also reported in South America.
Luke Henriques-Gomes wrote an article about the fires in The Guardian dated 2019/12/31. Many others were available on the Internet.
At the time of writing more catastrophic fire danger weather was being forecast for 2020/01/04 in NSW.
Dust tooTogether with the smoke that was blowing across the Tasman Sea was enough dust to colour New Zealand's glaciers as reported for the ABC by Stefanie Garber on 2019/12/06. This was perhaps more as a result of the drought than the fires, but of course both drought and fires were made much more likely by the climate change that the Morrison Government was failing to act on.
Smoke the biggest killer
"the terrible air quality is unmatched in terms of severity, duration and extent."I suggest reading her article for more information on the extent of the problem.
The Morrison Government, with their refusal to take emissions reductions seriously, must accept a share of the responsibility for this and similar fire disasters around the world exacerbated by climate change.
Sea level rise threat to Pacific islandsI write this section in August 2019, just after the Pacific Islands Forum on climate change and its threats to the Pacific Islands held in Tuvalu. At this forum PM Morrison refused to do anything to reduce Australia's huge greenhouse gas emissions, condemning the lower lying of the Pacific Islands to being overrun by rising sea levels.
An article written in The Guardian by Lisa Cox was headlined "Morrison’s ‘arrogance’ on climate blasted as Australia accused of ‘trying to destroy’ Pacific islands".
A former President of Kiribati summed up PM Morrison's attitude to inaction on the reduction of greenhouse emissions with the question:
“How can you justify being part of a family [the Pacific family] and part of a group which you’re trying to destroy?”I note with disgust that prominent Labor spokesperson Senator Penny Wong said that she would not want to see Australia commit to phasing out its coal industry either.
GetUp attacked by Morrison governmentIn or about early 2019 opponents of renewable energy, including the fossil fuel lobby developed the shamelessly dishonest Internet site Rite-On to weaken GetUp. By mid year Rite-On seemed to have failed.
So in August 2019, no doubt with the full approval of the fossil fuel lobby, PM Morrison announced another attack on the pro-rights and pro-renewable energy group.
On 2019/08/20 Krystian Seibert wrote a piece for
The Conversation titled "Yes, GetUp fights for progressive causes, but it is not a political party – and is not beholden to one".
The Conversation is a reliable source of information.
Morrison Government refuses to cooperate with Ruby Princess inquiry
Quoting from an article in The Conversation, 2020/08/14 by Michelle Grattan:
"... the federal government was sharply criticised for refusing to allow an official to appear before the inquiry, with commissioner Bret Walker SC saying this belied Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s promise of full cooperation."Australia is supposed to be a democracy run by a democratic government. You'd hardly know it with Morrison in the Prime Minister's position.
The only nation in the OECD lacking fuel efficiency standards
As mentioned elsewhere on this page the Morrison government is corruptly subservient to the fossil fuel industry. They don't want to do anything that might result in reduced fuel sales.
Big business and the super rich to the rescue? While the Morrison government is trying to hold back renewable energy development, billionaires are embracing it.
She goes on to write about Billionaire Mike Cannon-Brookes attempts to buy Australia's big coal fired power generation companies so that he can convert them to renewables.
Another example is Andrew 'Twiggy' Forrest's investments in wind and solar projects and renewable, 'green', hydrogen. Forrest's Fortescue Future Industries company plans, among other things, to supply green hydrogen to Germany.
Big business is working toward exporting renewable energy from the Northern Territory and northern Western Australia to Southeast Asia, particularly Singapore.
Where the Morrison government is failing to act, big business is stepping in.
Election campaign 2022PM Morrison announced the date for the 2022 election on 2022/04/11. It will be held on 2022/05/21.
Morrison lies about preventing COVID deaths in Australia
PM Morrison's claim was based on a comparison with predominantly northern hemisphere countries whose situation was quite different. Professor Eckermann wrote that a much fairer comparison would be with New Zealand:
"By September 15 2021, COVID case rates in Australia were almost four-fold that of NZ (3,038 versus 796 cases per million) with more than eight times the death rate (43 versus 5 five per million)..."Read the article for more evidence that the PM's claim was quite false.
On this site...
Dishonestly or corruptly opposing renewable energy is a crime against humanity.
Dishonestly opposing renewable energy from a position of power is arguably the greatest crime in the history of humanity.
Emissions: total or per-capita?
End of coal: why the coal industry has a very limited future.
Ethics: a subject that many in the Morrison government would do well to learn about.
Greenhouse/climate change: the greatest threat currently facing mankind.
Ignorance, the problem and its prevalence
Killer coal: how the burning of coal kills millions of people world-wide each year.
Selfishness or altruism?: self or all?
South Australia's success in changing toward renewable energy
Stop These Things; a very dishonest anti-wind power Web site admired by, and contributed to by, Mr Taylor
What matters in regard to Australia and climate change action?
Wind power lies; Mr Taylor features strongly
Wind power opposition: almost universally dishonest.
Related pages on external sites...
Chomsky Declares “Morrison’s Australia” Amongst Top Three Climate Criminals; written for Sydney Criminal Lawyers by Paul Gregoire, 2020/03/18.
ARENAWIRE; a newsletter service from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency.
A single mega-project exposes the Morrison government’s gas plan as staggering folly, 2020/05/27, written by Bill Hare and Ursula Fuentes, both of Murdoch University, for The Conversation.
Adam Morton wrote a piece for The Guardian, 2019/03/01, titled "Out on its own: Australia the only country to use climate funding to upgrade coal-fired plants".
RenewEconomy, Lip service and lies: Coalition’s response to the IPCC report; written by Joshua S Hill, 2018/10/12.
RenewEconomy, the Morrison Government's "breathtakingly stupid response to IPCC climate report", by Giles Parkinson, 2018/10/09.
Xihhua is one of many news organisations that have reported on British billionaire Sanjeev Gupta's statement that he can show that renewable are cheaper than coal for electricity generation.
The Conversation factcheck, 2017/08/14, concluded that while power from existing coal-fired power stations is cheaper than new-built wind power, "as things stand today – wind power would be cheaper than coal as a new-build source of electricity." Prices for wind and particularly solar PV power continue to fall.
The Conversation reported that "Big firms voice lack of faith in ‘cumbersome’ and ‘impractical’ Emissions Reduction Fund", while Environment Minister Melissa Price wanted to continue with it.
Advertising their own dishonesty