Most of Australia's coal reserves will have to be left unburned if the world is to avoid catastrophic global warming, according to a major new report from the federal government's Climate Commission.
The report puts the key science advisory body on a collision course with some of the nation's biggest export industries, and marks the first time a government agency has endorsed calls for fossil fuel industries to be phased out because of their contribution to climate change.
Its findings mean that most of Australia's known coal, oil and gas reserves – many of which are already subject to minerals production licences held by companies such as BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto – must somehow be left alone if the world is to avoid dangerous climate change.
The Climate Commission acknowledged its conclusions were "sobering" and that the potential for economic disruption could be serious, but said there was no alternative if the world was to avoid dangerous climate change.
"How people react to this is up to the policymakers and governments, as well as investors," said Professor Lesley Hughes, co-author of the report The Critical Decade 2013 – Climate change science, risks and responses, to be released on Monday.
So these fools from the Climate Commission now “legitimise” the complete phase out of Australia's second biggest export after iron ore - exports that brought in over $43 billion in revenue in 2010 and responsible for hundreds of thousands of jobs.
In an interview on ABC’s Insiders, Greens former supremo Bob Brown freely admitted the “Carbon Price” has to result in shutting down the Australian coal industry.
Here’s the exchange:
BARRIE CASSIDY: But when you say negligible impact do you also say then that no coal mines will closed?
BOB BROWN: I would expect that in the future we are going to see some of the most polluting enterprises in the country have a struggle. That's the nature.
BARRIE CASSIDY: And how quickly after the introduction of the tax?
BOB BROWN: Well, we're still negotiating a scheme.
BARRIE CASSIDY: But it could close down some of these mines overnight?
BOB BROWN: I would not figure that in because they are just so highly profitable.
But that has to be the outcome. You know the coal industry has to be replaced by renewables.
And of course who can forget Bob Brown’s major dummy spit with ABC’s Chris Uhlmann.
BROWN: "Sorry Chris, but Treasury has no intention of shutting the (coal) industry down."
UHLMANN: "No, but you do."
BROWN: "No, I'm not ... "
UHLMANN: "Didn't you say, in 2007, that we have to 'kick the coal habit'?"
BROWN: "No, I did not. You're looking at the Murdoch press where I said back in 2007 we should look at coal exports with a view to phasing them out down the line."
UHLMANN: "It wasn't the Murdoch press, it was a comment piece you wrote. So you want to phase out the coal industry?"
BROWN: "The world is going to do that because it is causing massive economic damage through the impact of climate change."
UHLMANN: "But the simple question is, how would you replace the $50 billion a year in export income that comes by way of coal, an industry that you'd shut down?"
BROWN: "You go to renewables."
Only Brownomics would suggest we continue to pour tens of billions of dollars into useless renewables. That worked a real treat for Spain. By failing to control the renewable’s cost, Spanish Prime Minister Zapatero saddled Spain with at least 126 billion euros of obligations to renewable-energy investors. The spending didn’t achieve the government’s aim of creating green jobs, because Spanish investors imported most of their panels from overseas when domestic manufacturers couldn’t meet short-term demand.
So I gather the Climate Commissions recommendation is to replace a perfectly good exporting industry earning $43 billion a year with an import industry that has already cost Spain $126 billion euros?
The Greens say renewable energy will create thousands of new jobs.
A 2009 university study into Spain’s renewable energy scheme finds that green renewable power kills jobs. The study calculates that since 2000 Spain spent €571,138 ($1.03 million) to create each “green job”, including subsidies of more than €1 million ($1.8 million) per wind industry job. The study calculates that the programs creating those jobs also resulted in the destruction of nearly 110,000 jobs elsewhere in the economy, or 2.2 jobs destroyed for every “green job” created.
Even today, every job in Britain’s wind farm industry is effectively subsidised to the extent of £100,000 per year (about $163,000 AUD).
I also hope Tony Maher, mining president of the Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU), who described the then Greens deputy leader Christine Milne's push for a ban on new coalmines as "a pathetically shallow analysis that is unworthy of any serious player or party" reiterates the same condemnation to the Climate Commissions anti-coal industry rhetoric.
Not surprisingly, the Climate Commission haven’t acknowledged that there has been no statistically-significant warming in 17 years 4 months. Heaven forbid that the Climate Commission would report anything that contradicts their imaginary catastrophic global warming groupthink.
Besides there is nothing to worry about as researchers have recently discovered a stunning new process that takes the energy from coal without burning it - and removes virtually all of the pollution.
But don't tell the Climate Commission.