The future of power generation in Australia
We have arrived at a critical turning point in our country, and that turning point is "Clean Coal". Some people would have you believe that it is the way of the future, and a better option than renewables.
In the blue corner we have scientists and environmentalists who have been warning us for years to stop burining fossil fuels or face disasterous concequences. In the red corner we have miners and politicians who are desperate to continue mining coal and are seemingly unable or unwilling to see past "jobs and growth", and of course the massive revenue that comes with mining coal. (though I am sure that has nothing to do with it at all)
One way or the other, the winner will stamp their mark on our planet forever.
What is at stake ?
An increase in extreme weather events equals more cost to YOU. Events that used to happen once every 100 years are now happening every 100 days. Don't believe me, believe the stock market analysists. Investors always trust fact over opinion when their profits are at stake, you know its real when investors are factoring it in to their risk assessments. from the article:
Climate change accelerating, negative impact on global economies
We are already feeling the effects of climate change. Deniers will say, so its a bit hotter than ususal who cares ? The answer is that we all should, because we are already paying real money for it !
Increased insurance premiums due to Increased frequency of destructive extreme weather events.
When you see on the news "storm hits Sydney damage estimated at $200 million", or "wildfire destroys 30, homes". Who do you think is paying for that ? The insurance companies ?
Not likely, the insurance companies pass that on to YOU with increased premiums. Also, because of of globalisation, the companies that underwrite your insurance policies have exposure all over the world, so even when there is a cyclone in New Orleans, YOU in Australia share the burden of paying for the damage.
The Great Barrier Reef is dying.
As of right now 93% of the reef has already been effected by coral bleaching. Current estimates say that the reef will dead in 20 years. A 2011-12 Government study found that the reef contributed $5.68 billion to the Australian economy and generated almost 69,000 full-time equivalent jobs. So what are these people going to do for work ? What is going to replace the $5 billion hole in the econmy ?
Our farming industry is the next to go.
If crops and stock are not dying because of drought, they are getting wiped out by flooding and hail. Quite unbelievably our own fedral agriculture minister and farmers friend Barnaby Joyce supports building new coal fied power stations. So much so, that he waves a lump of coal in parlament while Scott Morrison was saying that we should not be afraid of it. Barnaby has stated that agriculture is critical to Australias future and said "this is logic". How is killing the farming industry being logical or a friend to the farmers ? The words hypocritical and delusional comes to mind.
Sorry to tell you Barnaby, you can't have your cake and eat it too. Climate change is happening right now. All the "belief" in the world will not stop a bullet.
Who wants it ? (Team Insanity)
Ok, no brainer here, mining companies make billions of dollars digging up coal for power generators to burn, they don't want the profits to end. With several major coal fired power stations scheduled to close, building new ones is music to their ears.
They are also spending up big to ensure their future profits by contributing $2.5 million pushing the case for "Clean Coal" in the 2016 election. Unfortunately, the government heard them loud and clear and have jumped on the bandwagon.
Unfortunately, it doesnt exist. It is theoretically possible, but the technology will not be commercially viable before 2030 and it will only be possible then with massive government subsidies.
Most politicians are "focused" on "jobs and growth" because for some reason they think that this is the best benchmark to measure their performance. Mining gives them both, is low risk for them as it is an established industry. So the easiest way to increase jobs and growth is to increase mining.
The most important reason is that mining gives them (the politicians) billions of dollars in tax/royalties to spend buying their next election. Now how better to guarantee the future of the coal minig industry, than to start building more coal fired power stations ? Evil begets Evil.
Then there are the large donations made by mining companies to the major parties to buy their support in continuing this insanely destructive but very profitable industry.
Politicians also they get to paint themselves as the hero protector of jobs both mining and power generators. Once again Jobs and growth, ignore all else.
Politicians are so blinded by greed that they can even completely backflip like Malcom Turnbull in support of it.
A very small percentage of scientists
These can for the most part be grouped into a single sub-class of scientists called Geologists. Geologists are often employed by mining companies to find metals/minerals/coal/oil for them to dig up. They want to protect the industry that employes them.
Anyone employed by the industry
Anyone employed by current coal fired power generators or coal miners, another no brainer here, no-one wants to loose their job.
Clive can smell money. He know that the government want it, he know no private entity will fund it, he knows that the only way it could possibly happen is if the government fund it. Clive wants in on that money. Thats OK, I am sure he can be trusted with billions of tax payer dollars, even after what happend to Queensland Nickel.
Who doesn't want it ? (Team Science)
No supprise that those pesky greenies don't want it. But think for a second what they represent. Looking after our environment on a global scale. Here is a good experiment that you can try at home. Every time you or anyone in your household need to go to the toilet, go out and do it in the back yard. It is not hard to imagine what you yard is going to look/smell like in a few weeks. The environmentalists are trying to help you make a good decision by using new technology (a toilet) to preven damage to the enviornment. Maybe you should listen, its in your own best interest.
98% of Scientists
These are the "other scientists". The include effectively 100% of environmental scientists who actuall study the environment and have a degree from a university, and virtually all others who have studied any branch of science and believe in scientific method. Another way of saying it is all scientists the do not have a vested interest in the coal or coal mining industry.
Now I don't know about you, but when I am sick I see a quilified medical doctor, not a vet or a politician. When I have a tooth ache, I see a qualified dentist, not biologist or a politician. When I want to know about the environment, I will get that advice from a qualified environmental scientist, not a politician
The Great Barrier Reef
We have already coverd this above. But I will mention that both the federal and state governments seem to have decided that "water quality" is the problem. A nice way or distracting us form the larger harder and more damaging issue of climate change. But I suppose that it gives them something so they can convice themselves they are actually doing something to "save the reef". A bit more self delusion.
Australian power generators
This is a laugh, not even the power generators want new coal fired power stations. These are the companies that already have them.
90% of Australians
Given that 90% of Australians support the Renewable Energy Target (RET) and you you can't do that by building coal fired power stations. It could loosly be said that 90% of Australians support NOT building new coal fired power stations.
It would seem that generally speaking, the only people who want new coal fired power stations are coal mining companies, and politicians. Our politicians are so desparate to prop up the coal industry, that they are willing to throw billions of dollars at an unproven "Thoretically possible" fairytale they call "Clean Coal". Even though a grid based completely on renewables is possible right now with existing technologies. To make matters worse, Malcom Turnbull is planning to finance it with money put aside for renewable energy.
The bell has rung, the fight has started. Who will win ? Team Science ? or Team Insanity ? We should have the answer in the next 12 months, and our very future way of life will be determined.