Thursday 29th of July 2021

mal, goes for zero...

cane toadscane toads


















 Former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull says the NSW government has capitulated to a "ferocious campaign" from the media after his appointment to a clean energy board was overturned.


Last week, NSW Environment Minister Matt Kean had backed Mr Turnbull to lead the Net Zero Emissions and Clean Economy board, adding he was a great friend.

On Tuesday morning, however, Mr Kean released a statement saying Mr Turnbull could "distract" from the board's goal of creating jobs in low carbon industries and reducing state emissions while growing the economy.

"The focus should not be on personality," Mr Kean said.

"Malcolm Turnbull AC has contributed much to our country and I know will contribute more into the future.

"However, no person's role on the Board should distract from achieving results for the NSW people."


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Poor Malcolm. Whatever he does, it seems he mucks it up like the NBN — or get dumped after his two long days in a "greenie" job. Of course, on both subjects, the NBN and the zero-mission, the Murdoch media had something to do with. For example, Malcolm subsubsubstandard NBN was lauded by the Murdoch Media as a victory for its own cable network, while Malcolm was pilloried by the same media for wanting to stop new coal mines — something the hypocritical Labor Party itself is doing, trying to win the Hunter valley region by supporting coal mines to the hilt.


In the long run, the toads are winning... Nothing new.

assassinations inc...


Back in 2018


Taxpayers copped a $4.5 million bill for the political assassination of Malcolm Turnbull as prime minister, with figures detailing the severance payments that came after the exodus of staff in the wake of the Liberal leadership spill in August.

The total cost of the spill is likely to surpass $6 million, including about $1.5 million to hold the Wentworth by-election after Mr Turnbull quit Parliament and for his continuing staff, travel and office entitlements as a former PM.

The immediate taxpayer bill was $4.5 million, according to figures provided in answer to Senate estimates questions, after more than 100 political staffers left their jobs when Mr Turnbull was dumped, triggering severance packages each worth tens of thousands.


Those figures do not include additional costs to Federal departments, caused by the ministerial reshuffle after the spill, as responsibilities were reassigned and departments put in place arrangements for new ministers.

The clean-out of Mr Turnbull’s office cost taxpayers almost $1.9 million in severance packages, as 35 of his former staff left the Government in disgust.

Julie Bishop’s decision to return to the backbench cost $562,062.39, as 12 of her staff took payouts rather than seek a job with another minister.

Political staff in ministerial and electorate offices are automatically terminated if their boss loses office or changes jobs.

Even those working for ministers who have been promoted have their contracts terminated and can be eligible for a payout if they want to leave, though most are immediately reinstated on new contracts.

In total, 136 people — or more than one in five of the 607 staffers affected by the political coup — left their jobs in its aftermath.


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meanwhile at the coal face...


The New South Wales government is simultaneously committed to a net-zero emissions target for 2050 at the same time as new coalmines in the Hunter Valley with the capacity to produce 10 times more coal than Adani’s Carmichael mine are being proposed by the industry. Welcome to the topsy turvy world of Australian climate policy.

Australia is the third-largest exporter of fossil fuels, behind only Saudi Arabia and Russia. But because of the way that international accounting rules for greenhouse gas emissions work, the emissions from burning the enormous amounts of coal and gas we export do not “count” towards Australia’s emissions. When Australia exports iron ore and coal to be turned into steel, cars and fridges that are sent back to Australia, it’s China that gets blamed for the emissions, not Australia. Cool, huh?


But accounting rules aside, whether or not Australia builds enormous new coalmines in the next few years will have enormous consequences for local communities, the shape of Australia’s economy and global greenhouse gas emissions. Again, Australia is already the world’s third-largest exporter of fossil fuels. If we build another 23 coalmines or mine extensions across NSW then we will either tank the world’s emission reduction goals or be left with stranded assets, ruined communities and a moonscape on which farming and tourism jobs will be impossible to create.

On Four Corners this week, the NSW energy and environment minister, Matt Kean, declared that: “The cheapest way to now deliver electricity or energy is a combination of wind, solar, pumped hydro and renewable technologies. So it’s not fossil fuels. It is now cleaner energy. Those people defending old technologies are the equivalent of defending Blockbuster in a Netflix world.” Kean is right, and of course the countries that we export our coal and our gas to know it too.

Why NSW would commit itself to phasing out fossil fuel use in the next 30 years yet assume that the rest of the world won’t do likewise, is just one of the simple questions that Australian governments and the coal industry will not answer. Luckily for them, most of the Australian media refuse to even ask such questions.


Former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull recently discovered the price of asking such simple questions when he was unceremoniously dumped by the NSW government from his role as chair of the Net Zero Emissions and Clean Economy board, for wondering aloud why new coalmines should be approved in the Upper Hunter when there is already enormous spare capacity in the region’s existing coalmines.


While supporting new coalmines has become the ultimate symbolic act of patriotism for Australian conservatives, the simple truth is new coalmines don’t boost world demand for our coal — they cannibalise jobs from existing coalmines. The biggest coalmines in the Hunter Valley are already running well below capacity, world demand for coal is flat and never lives up to the rosy forecasts made by the coal industry, and China has imposed trade restrictions on Australian imports. Building new coalmines anywhere in Australia will simply displace existing coal production and destroy jobs in existing mines, including in the Hunter Valley.

But when Turnbull told the ABC’s Fran Kelly that he supported a moratorium on building new coalmines until a comprehensive plan for the Hunter Valley could be developed, he was verballed by the coal industry and then sacked for the public response to words he never even uttered.

Labor’s Joel Fitzgibbon accused the former prime minister of wanting to make NSW a “coal mine free zone” and the Nationals’ Matt Canavan said that “stopping our coal going to poor countries is an inhumane policy to keep people in poverty.” Nothing unites the conservatives like their defence of coal.

But defending coal is unrelated to defending jobs. 99.5% of Australians do not work in coal mining and even in the seat of the Upper Hunter, 86% of the labour force doesn’t work in coal mining. Of course coal is a significant source of jobs, and of course if the mines were shut down tomorrow it would devastate those that work in them. But no one is suggesting such a shutdown. Significantly, despite all the sound and fury from the conservative commentariat, a recent poll of voters in the Upper Hunter commissioned by The Australia Institute found strong majority support for a moratorium on new coalmine approvals — including majority support among Nationals party voters and Shooters, Fishers and Farmers party voters.

People who live in coal communities know that a moratorium on building new coalmines protects existing coal jobs while helping the rest of the economy diversify. And while building new coalmines when existing ones are already under-utilised will hurt existing coal workers, the mere act of proposing new mines harms employment in other industries. No one is going to invest in a new hotel overlooking a valley that might one day have an enormous coalmine it. And nor will the winemakers, horse-breeders and farmers invest in their properties, if they fear their neighbour may soon be an enormous, dusty coalmine.


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Read from top.


Note: The coal is sprayed with water to stop the dust. Then someone, an engineer chemist, is in charge to test the coal that is shipped to China (not at the moment) for water content, because customers hate it when they buy coal and get water instead... Meanwhile with China not buying our coal and having a worldwide coal glut, opening new coal mines is the thing to do in the Hunter Valley where there are also too many wine makers that the Chinese aren't buying the piss from.


The Whine region — sorry the wine region of the Hunter Valley, does not produce piss but great wines, I am a connoisseur, now available at your local grog shop as "clean skins" for a quarter of the cost of making them. Add to this sorry state of affairs that the BEAUTIFUL Hunter region will look like a giant coal mine pit, you can thank your politicians — all the fucking single one of them — for this destruction. Is there any koalas to get rid off in that region, anyway? Bulldozers, this way, to bury this global warming theory!...




a recalcitrant scomo...


 Australia’s ambition on climate change is held back by a toxic mix of rightwing politics, media and vested interests   and  


It was always expected that Joe Biden’s election would be a massive shot in the arm for international climate action, but the scale of that boost has been genuinely surprising.

The new president has now invited 40 world leaders to a virtual climate change summit coinciding with Earth Day this Thursday. China’s Xi Jinping will be there, following productive face-to-face talks last week between Biden’s climate envoy, John Kerry, and his Chinese counterpart, Xie Zhenhua, in Shanghai. Even Vladimir Putin is attending, despite divisions between Washington and the Russian leader over new sanctions.


Japan, South Korea and Canada are all expected to announce new medium-term 2030 emissions reduction plans this week, after earlier refusing to do so. Even China – the world’s largest emitter – last week signalled they may also be prepared to do more this decade above and beyond commitments they made at the end of last year.

Our country, however, continues to bury its head in the sand, despite the fact that Australia remains dangerously at risk of the economic and environmental consequences that will come from the climate crisis barrelling towards us.

Prime minister Scott Morrison’s refusal to adopt both a firm timeline to reach net zero emissions and to increase its own interim 2030 target leaves us effectively isolated in the western world. It also goes against what we signed up to through the Paris agreement – which both our governments worked so hard to secure.

According to our independent Climate Change Authority (CCA) and the Australian Energy Market Operator (Aemo), not only should Australia be doing much more as “our fair share” towards global efforts to reduce emissions, but importantly we also now have the capacity to do more.


The reality is Australia’s current target, set in 2015, to reduce emissions by 26 to 28% on 2005 levels by 2030 is now woefully inadequate – and was always intended to be updated this year. The Obama administration had exactly the same target as Australia, but aimed to achieve it five years earlier than us, which in reality made it much more ambitious than ours. And this week, the Biden administration is expected to announce a new 2030 pledge twice as deep as Australia’s current effort. This will set a new global litmus test for Australia’s own ambition, which as the CCA has said should be at least a 45% cut by 2030.

But, as two former prime ministers representing our nation’s centre-left and centre-right parties, the world shouldn’t give up hope on our country just yet. Thankfully, there is some cause for optimism. Our sun-drenched country has the highest per capita penetration of rooftop solar in the world. And with the right approach, Aemo has said that renewables could go from providing a quarter of electricity market demand on our populous eastern seaboard today to 75% in less than five years. The fact we are in a position to even be able to seize this technological opportunity is in large part due to the introduction in 2009 of a 20% clean renewable energy target for 2020 and the launching of the largest renewable clean energy project in our nation’s history (Snowy Hydro 2.0) by our respective governments.

The national consensus for climate action in Australia has also shifted markedly in recent years. Every state and territory government is now committed to net zero emissions, so too are our peak industry, business and agriculture groups, as well as our national airline, and even our largest mining company.

The main thing holding back Australia’s climate ambition is politics: a toxic coalition of the Murdoch press, the right wing of the Liberal and National parties, and vested interests in the fossil fuel sector.

Sadly, instead of seizing this technological opportunity and embracing this newfound national consensus, the government remains hell-bent on a “gas-fired recovery” from Covid-19. Old coal plants still generate around 75% of Australia’s electricity. But these are being replaced by renewables plus storage because they are a cheaper form of generation than the alternatives on offer.

Gas has a role to play in the transition, but that role is to steadily diminish as renewables continue to grow. To bet big on the future role of gas is to bet against the best engineering and economic advice coming out of Aemo, and to ignore the scientific advice that more gas in the grid will simply lead to more emissions. The only long-term gas-fired future we should be planning is green hydrogen made by electrolysing water with renewable energy.

Australia may be able to get away with showing up empty-handed to this week’s summit, but will find it even more difficult to do as a special guest of the British at the G7 leaders’ summit in June. We would be the only developed country in the room that is not committed to net zero by 2050. And we will find it even harder again to show up empty-handed at the COP26 Climate Conference in Glasgow at the end of the year, given more than 100 countries in the world have pledged to increase their ambition.

There are also consequences for this inaction.

As the rolling apocalypse of fires and floods in our country demonstrates, Australia is on the global frontline of this climate crisis. Last year’s wildfires claimed dozens of lives, destroyed thousands of homes, wiped out billions of animals, and cost billions of dollars.


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