Fossil Fuelled-Fury: Record Demand for Australian Coal Drives ‘Greens’ Totally Insane

Destination Japan: Australian coal fires the Isogo HELE Power
Plant & hundreds of other plants all across Asia and India.

 

If you’re reading this post in Australia, you’re doing so thanks to coal. So, deal with it.

Notwithstanding that their very lives depend upon it, the very mention of that Carboniferous mineral gives the climate cult foaming-at-the-mouth conniptions.

This is a cohort who believe that humans are little more than cockroaches determined to devour the planet. Although they presumably preserve a special place for themselves and their fellow travellers?

Their mantra that “coal is death” ignores the misery and disease that’s almost instantly relieved when the impoverished masses first tap into reliable and affordable electricity, a moment which brings light, clean-heat for cooking (instead of dung and twigs) and clean, safe drinking water – in the first wave of economic and societal benefits. Then comes investment, industry, jobs and prosperity – in the form of decent (electricity powered) homes and better nutrition.

The Industrial Revolution was a real thing and it was driven by coal-fired power: steam in the first instance, then steam powered electricity, in its most rapid and productive phase. Millions were dragged out of agrarian poverty during the 19th century, thanks to coal. The cheap electricity that was powered using coal brought with it an unbridled wave of prosperity during the 20th century. Those countries that didn’t have the opportunity to embrace coal and coal-fired power languished; they still do.

Nevermind the misery, Australia’s Greens would deprive even their own countrymen of a basic daily necessity: reliable and affordable power.

Greens bid to outlaw thermal coal trade
The Australian
Greg Brown
16 November 2018

The Greens want to criminalise the exporting and burning of ­thermal coal by the end of next decade, with up to seven years’ jail for executives of companies that break the proposed law.

Greens environment spokesman Adam Bandt will declare today that “coal kills” as he outlines an escalation of the party’s hostility to a mineral that makes up about 60 per cent of Australia’s baseload power generation.

Under the policy the Greens will take to the election, thermal coal exports would be phased out by 2030, as well as local coal-fired power production. There would be criminal liabilities for people who breached the laws, including jail time. There would still be a “short-term” role for coking coal, which is used to make steel.

“By 2030, it will no longer be legal to dig, burn or ship thermal coal,” Mr Bandt will tell the United Firefighters Union conference in Hobart.

The move gives the left-wing party a major policy difference from Labor, which supports thermal coal exports and holds a swag of coalmining seats in the NSW Hunter Valley and Queensland.

Mr Bandt will tell firefighters today that people are dying because of the intense fires caused by global warming, which is partly caused by coal-fired power generation. He will say Australia needs to start treating coal “like asbestos” because it “kills people”.

Mr Bandt will use the death of more than 50 people in Californian fires this week to illustrate thermal coal’s deadliness.

“The reality is every tonne of coal that is burnt makes the bushfire threat worse … literally, coal kills,” he will say.

“When we found out tobacco companies knew their product killed but kept on selling it anyway, they got sued and they got regulated. We once used asbestos in our buildings because we thought it was safe. But we now know better, so we have banned it.

“Now it is coal’s turn. Coal is a product that kills people when used according to the seller’s instructions.”

Thermal coal exports hit a record $23 billion in 2017-18, up 20 per cent on the previous year. There are 51,000 direct jobs in the coal industry, according to the Minerals Council of Australia.

Mr Bandt will say it is not good enough to have a policy that would transition Australia out of coal-fired power production while encouraging it internationally. “We will continue to export hundreds of millions of tonnes of coal every year which, when burnt, produces about twice as much global warming pollution than Australia’s domestic economy,” he will say.
The Australian

Adam Bandt: lost somewhere between fantasy and zealotry.

 

Meanwhile, back on Earth, there are a group of entrepreneurs, scientists and politicians who would rather spread Australia’s good fortune than deny its benefits to the world.

Quit Paris now, mining chiefs’ lobby demands
The Australian
Graham Lloyd
16 November 2018

Hugh Morgan, one of Australia’s most outspoken and influential conservative voices, has joined former BHP chairman Jerry Ellis to lead a new lobby group calling for Australia to leave the Paris Agreement and stop funding global climate-change efforts.

Mr Morgan, a Liberal Party member and former chief executive of Western Mining Corporation, said Western millennials had embraced alarmism over climate change as a new secular religion after being indoctrinated by the education system.

The new lobby, the Saltbush Group, rejects the idea of a consensus on man-made global warming.

It says it wants both sides of Australian politics to put aside party interests to focus on what’s best for Australian business, workers, consumers and the environment.

The Saltbush Group is chaired by Mr Ellis, who has argued the balance has been lost between environmental and economic outcomes.

The group has been created by long-time climate sceptic and former coalmining executive Viv Forbes, and claims to have been created “from a country farmhouse in Queensland with no landline, no NBN and less than $3000 in financial support”.

A statement issued by the group said members included scientists, knights, senators and MPs including a former premier, cabinet ministers, mayors, company directors, corporate executives, international negotiators, and senior state and federal public servants.

A list published by the group included former Queensland premier Campbell Newman and former CRA chairman Roderick Carnegie.

The group said many members did not want their names made public because they feared that exposure would harm their prospects for employment, promotion or business.

Mr Morgan, who has been a leading conservative voice for industrial relations reforms, said the climate-change movement had a much broader agenda.

“People think the Paris Accord is just about commitments to lower CO2,” Mr Morgan said in a statement.

“It is really about transferring wealth via the UN to the so-called less-developed countries.

“It’s about advancing centralised control of people’s lives on a global scale.”

Mr Morgan said the “climate alarm movement has got so far because of backing by Western millennials who have been indoctrinated during their education”.

“Enjoying living standards unprecedented in world history, they have embraced alarmism as a new secular religion,” Mr Morgan said.

He said although the group included many former mining executives, it was not supported by the mining industry.

“Nowhere do you find the Resources Council, BHP or Rio because none of them support us,” he said.

“You can’t say we are the mouthpiece for the mining industry because we don’t support them.

“They have said publicly they don’t support us.”
The Australian

A Dragon Rises: it’s Australian coal that’s powering China’s prosperity.

 

Like renewable energy zealots and climate cultists, everywhere, the Australian Green occupies a fact and consequence free zone. What really sends them into orbit are inconvenient truths about where our energy comes from, especially the fact that Australian coal is not only powering Australia, it’s powering India, China, Japan and much of South East-Asia, as well.

Green activism fuels a bonanza in coal demand
The Australian
Nick Cater
12 November 2018

As with Prohibition, coercive attempts to shut down fossil fuel will just backfire

Like most simple answers to complex questions, the theory that World War I was started by befuddled generals failed the test of time.

“There can be no doubt whatever but that alcohol — the universal enemy — has played an important part in making the nations disregard the teachings of civilisation and engage in a cruel, wicked and savage war,” thundered The Reformer, a West Australian temperance newspaper in August 1914.

“Whatever the loss of life, and the cost of this international conflict, it will be dwarfed in each of the countries engaged in both respects by the liquor traffic.”

A century after the end of the Great War, the lure of the single-cause explanation has lost none of its power to seduce.

The fervour to stop the evil trade in coal burns as brightly in today’s wowsers as the passion to shut down the liquor industry in their forebears.

History is unlikely to be kind to them. Coercive attempts to stop the use of fossil fuels are delivering the same perverse economic consequences as the attempts to close down American saloon bars in the 1920s.

The consumers pay more for a substance they choose not to live without, while the producers count the profits.

The American fondness for alcohol hardly abated during Prohibition. Consumption fell only slightly, from about 1.6 gallons (about 6 litres) of pure alcohol per person a year in 1910 to 1.2 gallons in the late 1920s.

With demand and supply unequally matched, the price of beer rose by 700 per cent in the US between 1920 and 1933. The price of a bottle of brandy rose by 433 per cent and spirits by 270 per cent. A fourfold increase in deaths from alcohol poisoning and a rise in organised crime were just two unintended consequences. The enrichment of the alcohol companies was another.

A report released last week by international financial analysts Redburn predicts a similar result from the activist-driven campaign against fossil fuel companies.

The attempt to starve coal producers of capital has impeded their attempts to build new coal mines but it hasn’t got in the way of profits. The price of coal has risen to a six-year high, which is good news for the coal business but bad news if you’re living in, say, India’s Bihar state, where three out of four households don’t have electricity.

“Energy prices will need rise to the level at which the marginal consumer of fossil fuels is incentivised not to be a consumer,” Redburn reports. “In other words, the 1 to 2 billion people on the planet with zero or unreliable access to modern energy would remain priced out of the market.”

Unless the supply of coal is increased, the world’s poor will be trapped for even longer in poverty, burning kerosene, animal dung or whatever they can get their hands on. Industrial development will be constrained. Fewer goods and services will be purchased. The smug inner glow of virtue-seeking First World activists will hardly compensate for the global decline in material prosperity.

Redburn’s analysts turn the ­tables on so-called ethical investors by forcing them to confront the consequences of fossil fuel divestment, a phenomenon that has swept university campuses, shareholder meetings and boardrooms, much as anti-alcohol mania did a century ago.

“Given the pernicious consequences of energy undersupply, we would go so far as to argue that the socially responsible investor has a duty to ensure capital is available to the fossil fuel industry, for as long as it is needed,” they write.

Not only may it be more ethical to invest in coal than renewables, it is also likely to be more profitable. Far from driving fossil fuel companies out of business, the activists are giving them a new lease of life.

Shares in New Hope Corporation were trading above $3.50 last week, up from a $1.30 a little more than two years ago.

The value of shares in renewables investor Infigen Energy, on the other hand, have halved their value in the same period, down from a peak of $1.19 in August 2016 to close at 52c on Friday.

New Hope chief executive Shane Stephan has told journalists it’s a simple matter of market forces. Australian mines are running close to capacity, while global demand is increasing.

One pities those who may have taken their financial advice from Choice, which in 2014 seized on a dismal report from the Australia Institute to predict that fossil fuel shares were heading south.

“The carbon-emitting companies and their financial backers are bound to see their share prices drop when they’re forced to comply with tougher emissions standards,” it said. “The trap waiting to spring shut on everyday investors is that the corporations haven’t factored climate change into their balance sheets.”

Contrary to the activists’ romantic dreams, barely 3 per cent of electricity generation worldwide comes from solar or wind.

We’ve seen what happens when governments try to force a transition to renewable energy ahead of technology and the market. The renewal energy target set by the Rudd government together with bans on gas extraction in states such as Victoria doubled retail electricity prices in 10 years.

One might have hoped Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews would have learned from his mistakes when subsidies to renewable energy caused Hazelwood power station to close.

Apparently not. If re-elected next week, he will lift the RET to 50 per cent.

This virtue-signalling madness, together with increased royalties on brown coal and tougher regulations, almost certainly will force the early closure of the Yallourn power station, with a loss of 1.48 ­gigawatts of baseload capa­city. It will do almost nothing for the global demand for coal.

China is constructing the equivalent of 85 Yallourns. India has plans for another 26.

By 2030, the year Andrews’s 50 per cent renewables target is due to be reached, demand for thermal coal in Asia is predicted to have grown to more than 1100 megatonnes, more than five times Australia’s production.

Does anyone feel like a drink?

Nick Cater is executive director of the Menzies Research Centre.
The Australian

The Greens are determined to keep her that way.

About stopthesethings

We are a group of citizens concerned about the rapid spread of industrial wind power generation installations across Australia.

Comments

  1. Nick Cater’s article states: barely 3 per cent of electricity generation worldwide comes from solar or wind.

    To clarify, currently about 3% of the world’s total energy comes from wind and solar combined, when they’re grossed up for comparison with thermal technologies. Electricity is only a small part of total energy, so they are a larger fraction of electricity: about 5% + 2½% = 7½%.

    (Data from BP’s Statistical Review of the World’s Energy 2018)

  2. wind refugee says:
  3. Bottoms-up and may the renewable zealots pay for the higher, un-affordable electricity bills; pay the health costs for building renewable projects too close to homes, for the wires and smart meters that are also harming peoples health; destroying native vegetation and damaging fragile environments.

  4. Critical Mass says:

    Bandt’s statements should be banned. Excessive use of false equivalencies causes permanent damage to logical mental processes.

    “Up and at ’em, Atom Bandt!”

  5. Neither side in the mainstream climate change debate is prepared to confront the assertion that fly-ash from coal-burning power stations is being used not just to make roads but also as a component in world-wide atmospheric spraying of aerosols from aircraft for purposes of “geoengineering” (“solar radiation management”), climate modification, not to mention as a means of increasing the conductivity of the atmosphere for purposes of weaponization of climate. http://enouranois.eu/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/Marvin-Herndon-Doc-12-August-2015.pdf Many of the resultant phenomena are attributed globally by the mainstream media to the effects of anthropogenic (but not deliberate) climate change. It is not clear (to me anyway) which side of the conventional climate and energy debate would be most damaged by frank exposure of this factor in the equation, but the self-righteousness of Greens could take a beating from it and this beating might outweigh the “told-you-so” effects of this further argument against the use of coal for generating electricity. The reality is that the Greens did not “tell us so”, Quite the opposite, and they are the side that most profess concern for the state of the environment.

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