Australian National Party: is it possible for any political party to have lower ethical standards?

Most of the world's people know that we must act on climate change and most of the world's people want action and want it urgently.

Since the primary aim of the Federal National Party is apparently to look after the coal and gas industries a more appropriate name for them would be the Fossil Fuel Industries Protection Party.

This page was started 2021/10/22
Contact: David K. Clarke – ©




The greatest threat to the future of our shared world: climate change

The burning of fossil fuels is widely recognised as the main cause of climate change, ocean acidification, sea level rise and ocean warming (and, with special relevance to Australia, the bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef). In addition the air pollution from the burning of fossil fuels kills millions of people world-wide each year.

As detailed in another page on this site Australia ranks 53rd in the world in population, but sixth in the world in the CO2 produced by its electricity industry; it has 0.3% of the world's population, but produces 1.2% of the world's greenhouse gasses; it is well up among the worst greenhouse polluters on the planet. Australia's per-capita greenhouse gas emission rate is about 17 tonnes per annum, more than three times the world average, which is about 5 tonnes per annum.

This gives Australians a strong ethical responsibility to reduce the harm we are doing to the planet. And as individuals, if you and I are not doing what we can to reduce our greenhouse impact we are enjoying our lives at the expense of our kids lives.

The Australian federal National Party apparently don't care about the future of the world's environments and people, they apparently don't care about the damage that is being done to the world that our children and their children will inherit, they only care about holding onto Australia's polluting coal and gas industries as long as possible. How could any right-thinking person see this as anything other than despicable.



Futility and self-interest

 
Renewable energy is displacing coal
Port Augusta

New solar power, coal-fired power station shutting down

This view at Port Augusta, South Australia, April 2016, nicely symbolizes the decline of coal. On the left is the new solar power-tower of Sundrop Farms. The big smoking chimney is on the Northern Power Station, SA's last coal-fired power station; which was soon to close. Further right are the two chimneys of the Sir Thomas Playford coal-fired power station, which had already closed-down. The chimney stopped smoking on 2016/05/09.

At the time this photo was taken, an average of around 33% of SA's power was generated by wind farms and another 5% by solar PV. By 2021 more than 60% of South Australia's power was being generated renewably.

Why are these few National party politicians so strongly resisting the move toward sustainable energy? What do they hope to achieve? What is their motivation?

Futility

The world is turning away from fossil fuels. The overseas markets for Australian coal will shrink as the present importers look for clean alternatives. Some coal supporters claim that there is no alternative to metallurgical (black) coal for steel making; this is a lie, hydrogen (that can be made from water using clean energy) can be used instead of coal.

Australia's coal-fired power stations are closing down. South Australia's last coal fired power station (photo on the right) closed down in 2016. Western Australia's are due to shut down by 2030. The others will follow earlier than many people expect; renewable energy is not only far cleaner, it is also cheaper. (See also End of Coal, on this site.)

Western Australia Energy Minister and State Treasurer (and once head of the notoriously right-wing think tank the Institute of Public Affairs, IPA), Mike Nahan, recognised that coal is on the way out and solar the way of the future. In June 2019 he resigned as leader of the WA Liberal Party.

So the Federal Nationals' attempts to preserve the coal industry will be futile. Rather than encouraging and helping coal industry workers to re-skill in preparation for the move the Nationals are holding out a dream-world that is just a lie.

Self-interest

The recalcitrant Federal National politicians are not motivated by the needs of their constituents, they are motivated by self-interest. They just want to stir up false hope in people that will translate to votes to keep them in their lucrative jobs in Canberra.



Australia's future

 
Australia's future is green, not black
Turbines
Some of the wind turbines of Hornsdale Wind Farm in South Australia. Note how farming continues together with the turbines, to the advantage of the farmers, the wind farm owners, the Australian people and the world's environment.
The world's future, and Australia's future in particular, is with renewable energy. Australia has huge potential as a clean energy generator for the world.

There are more jobs available in a future in which Australia exports clean energy to the world than there are in vane attempts to hold onto the dying coal industry, which will die whether the federal National Party and federal coalition government tries to hold onto it or not.

Unlike the workers in the coal industry the workers in the renewable energy industries can be proud of what they do. Australia's future is green, not black.



 
This section added
2024/02/12

The Nationals show their abysmal standards again

Climate 200 published the piece from which I took the excerpt below recently. If anyone had any doubt about the lack of ethical standards in the Australian National party surely this would put those doubts to rest: Quoting from the Climate 200 article:

 

“Unhinged” is the best word I can think of to describe the behaviour of these Liberal and National MPs on Parliament’s first week back this year.

In a climate emergency, straight after the hottest year on record, their priority was to stand around outside Parliament House rallying to shut down Australia's renewable energy industry.

The Leader of the Nationals, David Littleproud, set a telling tone: He wants to stop renewable energy projects and ‘protect the traditional industries of coal and gas.’

If the Coalition wins the next election, David Littleproud could become Deputy Prime Minister.

Our former Deputy Prime Minister, Barnaby Joyce, also took to the stage, and called renewable energy development a ‘swindle’ and wind turbines ‘filth’.

By the way, all the words on the placard in the photo would fit coal- or gas-fired power stations much better than wind or solar power:
Unreliable
Both wind and solar farms are highly reliable; much more so that many of our coal-fired power stations;

Unaffordable, Uncompetitive
Both solar and wind farms generate power at lower cost than gas or new-built coal power stations;

Unpredictable
Both wind and sunshine are predictable; but the common unscheduled failures in old coal-fired power stations are not;

Unsustainable
This claim is simply laughable. Does anyone with at least half a brain think that fossil fuel burning is sustainable and renewable energy is not?

Unsightly
No doubt a matter of opinion, but who would rather look at a smoke-belching coal fired power station, or a huge black blot on the landscape coal mine than a clean graceful wind farm or a solar farm?

Unfit
How so? Wind turbines generated 44% of South Australia's power in the last year, roof-top solar generated 20% and utility solar another 6%; 71% in total, and they produced very little pollution.
On the other hand the burning of fossil fuels is widely recognised as the main cause of climate change, ocean acidification, sea level rise and ocean warming. The air pollution from the burning of fossil fuels kills millions of people world-wide each year.

Any decent Australian would have to feel little but contempt and despisal for a political party that cares not at all for the future of our beautiful shared planet.






Related pages

External sites...

There is a way Australians can get better politicians, have a look at Climate 200 as one example, they support well motivated independent political candidates (I've donated to them).

An article titled "Nationals' demands for Liberals over climate change policy finalised, taken to Prime Minister Scott Morrison" written by political reporters Matthew Doran and Nour Haydar for the ABC on 2021/10/22.

On this site...

Climate change in an international context and in an Australian context.

Ethical government

Liberal Party's war on renewables

Failings and crimes of Australian governments

The Abbott Government

The Morrison Government
  Angus Taylor, energy minister in the Morrison government

The Turnbull Government