Monday, July 13, 2015

Poll: which is the ugliest:- a coal mine or farmland or Tony Abbott?

Tony Abbott is trying to prevent Australia's Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) from investing in renewable energy projects related to solar and wind energy.  At the same time his government has given the green light to a coal mine in prime agricultural land.

Tony Abbott and his side-kick Joe Hockey say they don't like the look of wind turbines. They think they are ugly. They apparently think that prime agricultural land is ugly too, and they want to cover it up with a beautiful open cut coal mine. Not just agricultural land either. According to the Sydney Morning Herald:
The proposed mine, located about three kilometres west of the town of Breeza, is expected to destroy 789 hectares of an endangered ecological community, much of it box-gum woodland, and 148 hectares of other woods.
Tony Abbott is trying to insist that the CEFC make money from its investments, while at the same time trying to prevent it from investing in anything that will make that money. He will turn Australia into the most reviled country in the world, the way he is going.

Tony Abbotts war on climate

Tony Abbott reckons that by setting a very low target for emissions we might even achieve it. His appalling behaviour means he wants to make the world as hot as possible as soon as possible. He's setting Australia back years if not decades in our aim of getting to CO2 zero emissions.

Last week Tony Abbott banned his front benchers from appearing on the ABC program Q&A. Ostensibly it was because in a recent episode a person previously found guilty of terrorism (or something like that) asked a question on the show. It meant that Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce cancelled his appearance.

Now Barnaby is a climate science denier, but he is also strongly opposed to the Shenhua coal mine that the Abbott government just approved. So it was very convenient all round that he didn't appear on Q&A last week, just two days before the announcement of the approval of the coal mine.

Further reading

Clean Energy Finance Corporation: Tony Abbott defends decision to axe wind, solar from renewables spending - ABC website
Abbott government extends renewable energy investment ban to solar power - The Guardian
Giant Shenhua Watermark coal mine wins federal approval from Environment Minister Greg Hunt - Sydney Morning Herald


  1. We have the Government Satire Couldn't Touch in Australia right now.

    Every day some new reckless absurdity; every day the feeling that surely they must turn out to be some Situationist performance art troupe that was 'having a laugh'. If only! We'll be paying for these clowns for decades to come.

    It is to be hoped these arrogant, insouciant fools will one day face the consequences of their actions. It cannot come soon enough...

  2. The ALP must act swiftly. A double dissolution will happen in October. Abbot will allow a short campaign period ahead of an early November poll.

    The ALP must elevate Tanya Plibersek to the leadership before the end of August.

    1. Tanya's great but I don't know that she'd win an election. I'd love to be proven wrong.

      The Labor Party doesn't seem to have anyone who could win an election at present. The libs might go for Turnbull, who probably could win an election, but I'm beginning to doubt they'll do that.

      A double dissolution could be interesting. I wonder if it will happen as you say.

    2. I doubt Abbott will do that, as the steam is running out of the *ABCizISIS!!Helpz!Helpz!* hysteria they've been running tag-team with Murdoch - which is a national disgrace in itself - and that's the only, ahem, 'popular' issue they have betwen them.

      Whatever happens, I predict a record Green vote - perfectly reasonable, given that they're the only functional Opposition in this country.

      And a big swing to Independents, too; though it must be remembered that this latest imbecility is as much the brainchild of the reactionary crossbench as Abbott and co., and they really shouldn't be let off the hook for it.

      Shorten should have resigned months ago. Anyone who cannot land a blow on the Crown Prince of 'Straya (Abbott) does not deserve to lay claim to the title of 'Leader of the Opposition'. But Labor has completely lost the plot and is all but unelectable; Wong's recent spruiking on behalf of the TPP (hell, she's one of the smart ones!) has finished me with what ought to be my 'natural' party. Abbott's their only asset; if the Libs handed over to Turnbull - they won't, fortunately - the next election will only deepen the rout.

      Love to be proved wrong re Plibersek - hell, 2 female PMs in the same decade! w00t! - but, sadly, I really don't think I will be.

    3. I don't know why people put Shorten in. Now he's there he'll be hard to shift, given the changes the Labor Party (stupidly) made to how they appoint a leader.

      I don't hold much hope for any sensible government in the short to medium term. Labor is almost as bad as the Libs, and the National Party is worse. The Greens aren't sensible on enough issues, though they are getting a lot better. (They tend to be dragged down by the fringe groups.)

      As climate changes more and more, will people wake up? I don't know that they will. Most people live in the city. They rarely hear about drought. The only time they hear about fires and floods is when the smoke pall covers Melbourne, or the power goes out and they can't turn on their air conditioner, or when Brisbane gets flooded, or when they have to fork out for a flood levy.

      (Call me jaded if you must.)

  3. I find this government much more offensive that windfarms

  4. The Australian electorate will not cop inauthenticity (Shorten) or radicalism (Abbot).

    Plibersek solves that problem for the ALP and Turnbull almost solves it for the Libs.

    The problem is that the Liberals have an oversupply of extremists in both houses. Consider SA Senator Cory Bernadi. He's a member of ALEC and supports the US Chamber of Commerce's fight against Australia's smoking laws. He's a traitor.

  5. In the face of falling coal prices and exports, Australian coal to China just fell by 30% this year, Peabody Energy is selling out and the Adani coal mine development in the Galilee Basin looks dead in the water, the only way a new coal mine could be viable is if it attracts a large amount of government subsidy, grants and tax relief. Taxpayers money given to the coal business.
    Such as the $90million in grants for dirty coal development.

    Meanwhile the 'Green' bank set up to invest in alternative energy has been making a profit for the government. It does not cost the taxpayer to fund clean energy, it makes a 7% return to government coffers.
    Or it did until Abbott and Hockey ordered it to stop investing in wind or solar power, or anything else that might be profitable in the marketplace.

    The UK is no better. The recent 'budget' and other changes have been aimed at propping up the N sea oil and gas business with taxpayer money while abolishing the UK version of the CEFC green bank.

    1. Izen, the Abbott government is nothing short of psychopathic. Abbott is desperate to stop any and all renewable energy because his campaign funding (and the simple financial excesses of his buddies) depends on it:

      As Bernard Keane pointed out this moring the removal of a carbon price is a direct subsidy of the fossil fuel industry because the industry is thus permitted to not pay for the cost that their product inflicts on the planet. Anyone who doubts that coal, oil and gas are not subsidised should consider that the cost of subsidies is unpwards for several hundred dollars at least
      - by the time that the full price of environmental function damage, species loss, and other "externalities" is fully included the cost is likely to be far higher.

      Just imagine that - we are subsidising the fossil fuel industry to the tune of many hundreds hundreds of dollars per ton. Compare this to the sixty-something dollars per ton that coal is currently earning, and it's apparent that there is a profound obcenity occurring and Australians are still being sufficiently fooled that they vote for this psychopathy.

      Meanwhile, climate schientists are worried:

    2. Following on from above, Bernard Keane also pointed out that the Greens negotiated with Gillard for the Clean Energy Finance Corporation and the Renewable Energy Target because the initial carbon price was woefully inadequate to send the full signal of the carbon subsidy to the economy.

      Abbott made the carbon tax the subject of hysterical fear in the mass of Australian consumers and promised to repeal it to save them money. The repeal in the end favoured higher-income families at the expense of the compensated lower-income families, but no one seems to have noticed that...

      Inconvenintently for Abbott the RET and the CEFC were still doing their jobs very well though (in hindsight the Greens negotiations were actually brilliant in terms of splitting the cunter-offensive by the subsequent Abbott government). However there's no general mass hysteria that can be whipped up to justify the removal of the RET and CEFC, so in both cases he's had to very desperately and deliberately sabotage them as best as he can to appease his fossil fuel overlords. I just hope that the crossbenches and the likely legal challenge to attempting to over-ride the CEFC by mandate are both able to blunt Abbott's sabotage.

      There will be a time in the not-too-distant future when people will look back at the Abbott government and its members with unalloyed horror. For now though too many of the general public and the pliant mainstream media (and now the ABC...) are willing to put their heads in the sand. For that the voting public is equally complicit.

    3. Hmmm, "schientists"? I promise, I'm as sober as a judge!

      And apologies for that other rather awkward typo...

    4. Don't forget Murdoch. His empire has worked in lock-step with their fellow reactionaries in government to fan the flames of hysteria in order to bring about one of the most remarkably idiotic reversals ever 'achieved' in a first-world liberal democracy.

      And, yeah, the ABC should have just told Abbott to get stuffed. The ABC is waaaaaaaay more popular and trusted than Abbott and his cronies, and Labor for that matter. Kowtowing to these cranks is grotesque...

  6. If the pro-fossil fuel politicians are trying to kill wind and solar, it could mean wild and solar are showing a lot of promise.

    1. That's *exactly* it, Harry!

      Here in South Australia we're writing to our Liberal senators pointing out that our state is a global power in renewable energy in its own right, and that their government is actively undermining a huge sector of our energy economy. And, of course, our future. It is nothing less than a disgrace that they are compliant in this. No exaggeration.

      Xenophon and Day are equally responsible.

  7. Remember, a vote for Tony Abbott is a vote for multiple coal mines.


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