There seems to be several reasons:
And the amount of financial losses suffered by businesses and individuals would probably be much greater than the government expenses.
A fraction of this amount spent of reducing greenhouse emissions would have achieved an enormous amount, but very little was spent on combating the far greater threat of climate change. The Australian government, one of the worst in the world in this regard, instead spent money toward maximising coal mining and assisting the natural gas industry (for example with a blatant gift of $600 million announced in September 2020).
The means to limit climate change are at hand, we just need to get serious about adopting them.
|A solar farm|
Transport is another great generator of greenhouse emissions. Fossil fuel powered transport on sea and land can be replaced with electric or hydrogen powered transport. Converting air transport to clean energy is more challenging but progress is being made.
Renewably generated electricity can be used to generate hydrogen which can be used as a store of energy. Hydrogen can also be used to produce ammonia which is easy to transport and store and has many industrial uses and which can be broken down to reclaim the hydrogen.
Why? Why should governments act on a pandemic but not be willing to harm the fossil fuel industry?
New solar power being built – coal-fired power stations shutting downThe photo on the right was taken at Port Augusta, South Australia in April 2016. It nicely symbolises 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 2020 more than half of the power generated in SA was renewable.
But the decline of coal is being resisted by government!Coal-fired power is not able to compete economically with renewable energy in South Australia and elsewhere, but as far as the Australian government (and the governments of the big coal producing states) are concerned, the coal industry must be protected no matter how much damage it is doing to the world.
These governments were willing to cripple the economy to fight the pandemic, but not willing to encourage the change from coal to renewable energy even though there would be little, if any, damage to the economy in the transition.
It makes no sense.
What has this to do with 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 ammonium nitrate, it is not being taken seriously. The risk attached to the Beirut ammonium nitrate was not taken seriously by the Lebanese government, climate change is not being taken seriously by most of the world's governments.
The recent federal governments of my country, Australia, have been among the worst offenders in the world in their opposition to moving away from fossil fuels toward renewable energy.
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.
Related pages on this site...Australia's energy future; where I see my country's energy supply industry going in the future
COVID-19; some thoughts
End of coal; why the coal industry is facing its end years
The potential of hydrogen in a cleaner economy
Killer coal; not only is the burning of coal one of the main causes of climate change, its air pollution kills millions of people each year
Milestones in the development of human society
Potential disasters compared; which are most likely, how serious are they likely to be, and will society and the environment recover from them?
Power to (hydrogen) gas in Australia
South Australia's great success in changing to renewable energy; my state is leading the nation, even the world
Why I support the local wind farm and why you should too