Our "too many coal politicians" government of Australia can only carry on as if all is well on the climate front. They wear a permanent black hole of wilful climate ignorance. They are walking voids of climate know-nothing, surrounded by a refractive blackness of coal. With such magical cloaks of climate invisibility, global heating cannot be seen when looking outside. Like Scott Morrison, they prefer to gaze in rapt worship of black lumps of coal, as the only real things, than look at any other part of the world around them. Nothing can be said to them about a climate emergency, without it disappearing down a memory hole.
The climate invisibility cloak isn't actually made of coal, but made from a kickback from oodles of slush money going overseas. The corporate king-pins commanded lots of investment money, and expect revenue from selling lots of coal and gas, even if the industry is struggling with global prices right now. The slush money still rises to the top.
Global heating denial gets dressed up according to the audience and voter segment. For Pauline Hanson and One Nation, climate and energy ignorance and verbal illiteracy is like a badge of honour. What a true representative of that segment of the Australia population. As a New Matilda article points out, Pauline weaponizes her wilful ignorance. Apart from Shaun McCallef's comedy program "Mad as Hell", why does the media allow this? Perhaps it is the ignorance coal vote she captures from Queensland and nearly always votes with the government.
Also on an ABC TV show, we've had a NSW Liberal senator Jim Molan ribbed for keeping an "open mind" on climate change causation, by a climate scientist. No wonder our coal governments keep cutting back on ABC funding. Government MPs have non-stick shields just made for climate change evidence.
And there is of course, our own wilful ignorance, which has been engineered to a great degree. We are victims in part of the vocational and education specialisation of modern society. We have our generic role as consumers, but are otherwise expected to leave our democratic opinions on system matters to the experts. We defer to hierarchy and stick to our own business. George Carlin noticed wilful ignorance as a trend a long time ago, and it hasn't got any better. It seems to be worse with all of our social media. It seems like a prime commandment for populations in nation states. Lucky Australia isn't an autocracy, yet, but on climate matters it sure feels like one.
Perhaps most people know, deep down, but a majority prefer to draw curtains of assuming ignorance at election time.
The value of Australia coal exports in 2018 was $67 billion dollars, or around 3.5% of Australian GDP, from RBA statistics. Most of this disappears overseas, and none into spending money for Australians. A very good scam for some, but the costs are incurred by us. Most important, are unpayable costs to future generations. We are big players in our biggest species failure, digging up fossil fuels for rich people to sell to become greenhouse gases.
Market forces organisation, estimates Australian fossil fuel industries overall get $12 billion dollars a year of tax-based subsidies. Plus generous direct hand-outs. Plus generous public finance. Large foreign corporations, not Australians, earn most of those export revenues. They pay nothing much to Australia in taxes. A small royalty arrangement keeps state governments happy, so states always like having more mines. Large share of profits go to the real wealthy owners overseas, unless you are Gina Rinehart. Since actual tax payed is zero, I am forced to conclude corporations need only pay some chicken feed donations to our coal-happy political parties, and offer post-political jobs for money-eager occupants of important Ministerial positions. It would be called real bribery in any third world country. It is so much cheaper than a real tax. Political tenure is so short. After the importance of taking a first bribe, or large donation, parties and MPs have been bought for life.
For any long term mining business, revenue is much more than profit. Accounting tricks ensure zero apparent profits, so actual real returns to share-owners are hidden. Stuffing up the planet, with fossil fuels takes really hard planning, and large monetary incentives. Fossil fuel corporations are committed drug addicts in a group suicide effort. Exxon-Mobil, the top dog of Australian earnings pollution list here, knew well enough of the climate science in the 1970's. They predicted accurately what the our global climate was going end up as to be given their decades of plans for fossil fuel burning.
Fossil fuel business is similar to planning a major crime, or running a nation-state or empire, for purposes of specific ongoing plunder. Middle east politics would not be the same without their fossil fuels. Large long term political investments first have to made, with multi-generation institutions and careers dependent on long term funding arrangements, and imbued with economic and national ideology. All nations orient their military and strategic policy around supplies of fossil fuels. If Australian government did take a more environmental line with fossil fuel extraction, additional corporate pressure would occur from the multiple foreign vested interests, with networked military, economic, media pressure brought to bear, finally ending up in coup attempts. It is how global fossil fuel business has been done since the beginning. It has always involved quasi-national criminal, political and military actions. Fossil fuels have figured deeply in strategies in a large number of wars. No wonder we have networks of greenhouse mafia for governments.
Politicians in fear of Mining Industry
Politicians can be cowed just pointing to the many examples made. Prime Minister Kevin Rudd was rolled over in 2011 for attempts to meddle with the precious super profits of the mining industries. He was of course, thought to be badly floundering around by his party. Australia political parties now cow and moo very loudly for the mining industry. When ALP shadow minister Chris Bowen spoke about "sovereign risk" in 2019 regards to dumping Adani, he was actually talking about the sovereign risk to his own political hide, and those of his party MPs. ALP fears most of all another public backlash from the mining industry. The ALP and the mining industry both know all too well who are the big whackers of political power in Australia. The fossil fuel driven Australia government staggers onwards with its mining industry burdens, so fearful is it of saying boo.
Fossil fuel society requires nation-state corruption and energy waste
Fossil fuel culture requires organised fossil fuel energy dissipation, which requires plenty of organised energy waste, and a nation-state bureaucratic apparatus dedicated to making it so.
Stability and commitment have to be ensured, so a government becomes designed by corporation to invest, but won't nationalise later or overtax. Media organisations have to be purchased with content and editorial control to discourage opposition. Local communities and councils become infiltrated and goodwill purchased. Minerals exploration has to be funded. Infrastructure has to be built, for roads, rail, shipping ports. Environmental water supplies diverted and secured. Ecosystem protections have to be dismantled or ignored. Global organisations opposed to ransacking the environment have to be neutered. Social media climate change memes have to be countered. Its an ongoing fight with the environmental opposition, which requires national and state level corruption.
The necessary technology has be manufactured, and skilled people trained in all its aspects. Corporations and money flows become structured. Personnel, lawyers, and hierarchies of importance are put in place. All these people have to be paid. Paying the politicians is just another cost of doing business, not likely to be highlighted on the balance sheets. Politicians cannot be allowed to get in the way of corporate growth. Costs are pared down, to ensure the profits go to the holders of the corporate structures. Growth goes well as long as the resource and its consumers last. Post-growth collapse is guaranteed, but everyone assumes another game will be found. Before then, Extreme global wealth inequality is a result by design. It is a global competition, to die with the most toys. Of course they can claim they deserve it all, since they "built" it all. Exxon-Mobil dreams on.
Australian government policy is all about their jobs and "growth", not yours
All the machinery and people of the corporate social organism are of course just doing their "jobs". Politicians can tell themselves and us that they are just doing their "job", as a networked extension of the corporations. Maintaining the corporate salaried jobs and infrastructure has a yearly energy expenditure, ultimately from burning fossil fuels. Mining each tonne of burnable carbon, requires the most concentrated energy of oil, to run heavy machinery, trucks, trains and shipping. Mining energy costs are rising, characterised by steady fall in EROI over decades. This has played a large role, in fossil fuel corporations viewing renewable energy as a hostile business competitor. Renewable energy for stationary power plants has achieved superiority in part due to the end economics of declining EROI of fossil fuel mining.
The average end economics point of fossil fuels, is close. It can only go one way. Too close now is also climate change thresholds of global heating tipping points. Which one should we dare most to push to limits?
. . . increasing energy costs of extracting fossil fuels will cause the ratios to continue to decline, pushing energy resources towards a "net energy cliff." This is when net energy available to society declines rapidly due to the increasing amounts of "parasitical" energy required in the energy production. This is when net energy available to society declines rapidly due to the increasing amounts of "parasitical" energy required in the energy production.
Science Daily - Fossil fuels increasingly offer a poor return on energy investment
Australia makes its future energy and climate systems collapse absolutely certain
Fossil fuel energy has always been an additional business cost as well as product. Energy costs are tax deductible, and targets for political help with government subsidy. All fossil fuel mining incurs additional greenhouse gas emissions. A carbon tax increased these costs of business, and threatened to bring forwards the day of renewable energy superiority. Carbon tax detracted from profits of the extreme rich, therefore, the extreme rich determined that the Australian public should believe that a carbon tax is harmful to public interests. The rich ran the "The Australian" media campaigns to make it so. It extends the life of fossil fuel corporations a little. With declining energy profitability, fossil fuel corporations need to ship extra growing volumes of future greenhouse gas to make it "economic" for them. The energy costs per unit increases, and the number of units increases. This adds to our future climate change disasters, as well as creating a bigger future energy systems collapse.
Coal reserves are plentiful, but the energy to power big extraction and transport machinery, is diesel fuel. The mine is economic if the monetary costs of existence and operation are small in relation to the prices paid for the raw products.
Decline in global coal demand and falling sale price are big issues for the coal industry. More countries are making big plans to lay off burning coal for energy. The rush to leave coal may become a stampede. As global growth has ended, all those extra coal mine projects are becoming left behind in bankruptcy. Which means they leave a mess behind. That is what the term "stranded assets" means, after too much growth. Like the stock markets big falls with a viral pandemic, all growth systems fail the same way, that is rapidly, after long diverse struggles to grow.
The scope 3 emissions legislation debacle
Members of the NSW coal government have not yet heard this decades coal news. It still rankles their coal industry masters, that a new coal project rejection quoted the greenhouse gas emissions that would be created by burning those coal exports overseas. Legislation was hastily created to make consideration of such "scope 3" emissions as plainly Australian bad sportsmanship. Public and expert complaint submissions piled up, so that the Minister was forced to ask for a more informed political view. The NSW government adopted a face saving expedient of referring the legislation to an "expert" panel. The expert panel has just ruled the legislation was a piece of unwarranted garbage. The proponents now say the legislation never actually really meant that scope 3 emissions couldn't be considered by a "decision maker". What a pigs breakfast! Obviously the mining industry will try much harder now to make sure the "Right" few people get to be the decision maker.
This legislation was a near perfect example of how to set up a Somebody Elses Problem field - SEP. SEP is a frequently tried political strategy. It is the international variation of pin the blame on the opposition party. At this game, our Australian political parties have been undeclared world champions, as this happens in nearly every single parliamentary debate I have ever heard. Like any reference frame of mind, it is dangerous when used too much, as it can permanently take-over an entire personality. Everything starts to look like a SEP. This fits in with the prime directive of neo-liberalism, which is to make everything an individual responsibility, to make us free. Then the government never need be responsible. By extension, international governments must never be responsible for their greenhouse gas emissions either. This idea will never allow for cooperative global heating mitigation.
Neoliberalism and growth fail together
Neoliberalism works to the limited extent only when political roles own responsibility can be ignored, and some of the loot trickles down. Trickle down has entirely failed due to systemic reasons some time ago. That is in fact the only remaining point of today's political plays, to deflect blame for oncoming system failures. We assume its all a regular part of the fun and games rhetoric of the parliamentary clown show. But as we live in a complex interdependent society, every one has role responsibilities to everyone and everything else, including all the future everybody. Lives are serious business, especially if they feel threatened. A greenhouse gas emissions SEP, made in Australia, is a major global threat.
Your government policy of future systems crash
Is it a black hole of climate ignorance, a Someone Elses Problem, or just a lump of coal? No its Australia's Super Global Heating Threat. We promise to sell and burn all the fossil fuels we can extract as fast as possible. Destroy as much as possible of our native ecosystems in doing so. At the same time we promise to wilfully try not to support and invest in technology to capture our own plentiful renewable energy resources. That is what Australia's current policy indications and decades of artful climate change dodging amount to in totality. We pull all down in negative efforts at international climate negotiations. Australia must be considered seriously as a dire global threat to having a global future. Australia does not deserve its "freedoms" as they are exercised with such blatent global irresponsibility.
The wealth controllers will not give up "their privilege" without a real fight.
It is time to stop these fools
I will be very much pleased, if foreign nations recognize Australia's threatening global fossil fuel posture. This is threat to the the future climate well-being and health of every nation, including Australia. It may be necessary to take measured trade sanctions action against Australia, by placing serious import controls on all fossil fuel products that have been extracted with the permissions of the Australian Government from mines in its jurisdiction. Such serious and strong sanctions need to be applied until Australian fossil fuel religious ideologues and global heating terrorists are recognised for what they really are. Appropriate regime change may need to be forced, since the Australian population are fully addled and diddled by their own government - media - corporate complex of scammers and delusion artists. Real change in Australia will need large amounts of assistance and cajoling fromtrue national friends outside. Australia government and political systems are ideological blinkered and incapable of weaning themselves off fossil fuel export escalation and corruption. Australia is a major blocker of global investment in serious goals of global heating mitigation and renewable energy investment, by its actions of forcing large volumes of fossil fuels onto global markets at cheapest possible prices.
Role out the environment carpet
Despite Australian government making out with all blood sacrifices and red carpets for the Adani Corporation, its Galilee mine project looks like a future finance and environment black hole of the type that only cowardly bought Australian politicians can agree with. Nevertheless the political hirelings soldier on heroically with trying to dig early-graves for their climate afflicted children.
The oil wars continue, oil continues to decline
Right now, Russia and Saudi Arabia are doing themselves an oil price war by pumping out oil faster for more revenue. Global oil demand has dropped so much due to panic of the CORVID-19 viral pandemic. Lower price will hurt the expensive US oil fracking industry. What oil producers are really doing, is trying on their declining political power for all they are worth. Renewable energy corporations are worth more now. Only actual production cuts would have made sense. It will be a temporary oil glut.
War of gas against coal, we are all losers
The great Australia government export gas overdevelopment scam is biting hard, as Australians get high domestic prices, while overseas exports don't earn enough to justify more gas mining. This really bites profits, or increases real losses, because of the previously mentioned rising energy costs of extraction. Actually the banks are never going to get a monetary return back, they will just have increase their debt levels, just like shale gas and oil fracking plays in the USA. Global finance systems are being driven over the debt level cliff, at the same time as fossil fuels go over the net energy cliff. This will produce a simultaneous collapse in both connected systems. A sudden drop in consumption volumes may push them all over the edge.
Gas was a fossil fuel climate killer scam all along
As for climate change policy, gas is not a transition fuel, it turns out to a tool to help knock coal power off its global pedestal. We also still have to get rid of the gas burning industry. Somehow without reality checks, the Australian government thought that two directly competing fuel products could both be expanded and get on so extremely well together. But it made even better excuse for the government to go really slow on renewable energy. After all, we had so much gas.
Thanks to Margin Ferguson ALP, I remember reading your stupid climate lying ministerial white paper on expanding the gas industry not so long ago. I hope your subsequent highly paid job with a foreign energy corporation really sucks.
Australian consumers to pay out.
Of course it is unfortunate that the real market forces didn't turn out for the Australia gas export industries, which are sending most of it to Asia at rock bottom fixed contract prices. The poor management plan requires Australian gas consumers to fork out some of the difference for absolutely major corporate investment blunders.
Fossil fuels are stranding faster now
Looked at from the point of view of the oil drug producers, demand for their product looks like falling more. Everyone with half a brain these days thinks about increasing costs of personal internal combustion engine transport. Reducing the price to keep up a competition with cheaper and cleaner options, is about the only move the oil industry has left. High extraction costs put the most expensive oil operations out of business. But governments arrange for endless printing of money to keep fossil fuels going. Renewable energy and storage options have already won the way to go on net energy terms.
As oil powered transport declines, and the internal combustion engines become rare, we will still have numerous and cheap personal travel options, perhaps not so far and fast. Public transport, electric scooters, electric vehicles, bicycle, and try walking for your health.
The viral pandemic power-down is upon us
Another zoonotic virus has again jumped species to pick humans out as a most suitable new host, we now being so global, numerous and social. It has slipped past all of Australia's international travel precautions, and anti-asylum seeker measures, and even managed to infect the Minister in charge. Suddenly, this is no longer a drill, nor a SEP.
The introduction of a new fast spreading to become endemic virus will permanently change our social congregation and travel practices, as we adapt to new contact avoiding habits. The tourist and airline industries are not going to be so big ever again.
The major problem is that community immunity can only be created by actual infection with this novel virus, until at least 50% of population have been infected. This will take longer the harder we fight with quarantine measures, which can only be partially and locally successful. A widespread and effective meme to encourage us stop being virus spreaders is #FlattenTheCurve, accompanied by a graphic showing how the patient load impact on Hospitals can be spread out over a much longer time period, along with a prolonged duration of first pandemic wave. Multiple waves of infection and reinfection are possible, with reducing effect. Economic and social impacts are going to last a long time.
Perhaps less harmful but protective variants can be identified and encouraged to spread faster. Or governments start giving nutrition supplements to boost the immune systems of at-risk socio-economic groups. In any case, our human species has found another parasite friend, once we start to get along better.
Exponential growth means that infection numbers have a doubling time period. Doubling occurs slower with measures to contain the exponential rise in numbers of serious infected cases. Our badly underfunded and non-resilient health systems will become overwhelmed after a set number of doublings are exceeded. It will become hard to keep up with numbers of specific diagnosis tests required. Once hospitals are full of very sick cases, the rest will be encouraged to sweat it out or die at home.
In the United States, early statistics have the number of cases doubling very fast right now, nearly every 3 days. As if a bacterium in a fresh growth medium. China's data suggest they managed to stretch it out to 30 days, other nations around 24 days. Despite our best medical and DNA science, their are no silver bullets for the clever corona type viruses, except for being in good health with a good immune system. Our respiratory systems are our weakest, most prolific germ spreaders. Consider the infection and death rates to be an index of a nations ability to provide good nutrition and health to its population, and do organized cooperation. Statistics will also depend on reliable and unbiased illness detection and recording. Age, disease, and specific or general immuno-deficiency have always been a risk in pandemics.
The disease agents and vectors that will plague us more with global heating already exist, like dengue, malaria. They already advance as the tropical diseases move towards the poles with their climate. They have also proved resistant to magical drug therapy.
The real long emergency
The economic crippling which is caused by efforts to contain the CORVID-19 pandemic, will be prolonged, and may help us on our way to urgent global powerdown made necessary by global heating and resources decline. This is our real long emergency, title thanks to James Kunstler with book of same name, a theme now so well explored by many, excepting members of our coal governments. We are sure to be having bigger unavoidable impacts later this decade.
In describing our failure of imagination, Kunstler borrows the phrase “outside context problem” from author Iain M. Banks. The term refers to societal crises that go unrecognized because they lie beyond a society’s frame of reference.
Or as Douglas Adams implied, we have a huge SEP setup called the Canberra Bubble, which is actually our biggest problem. "A quick and simple somebody else's problem field can make a mountain of carbon emissions invisible" (in Life, the Universe and Everything). Such is the overall effect of Australian political culture on climate change, as we deny that changing our behaviour will actually matter, while we boast of being worlds biggest coal and gas exporter. Both things can be believed simultaneously by government members, due to a super-human political ability to have several completely independent and specialised brain modules. With such a focus on coal and gas mining, as the central certitude of economic growth, Australian governments can believe otherwise just about anything they like.
The food revolution will become necessary
The price of food relates seriously to the price of oil, from agriculture field to the supermarket shelf, and we all want to eat first. As oil industry is now in decline phase, the next struggle will be to get our food systems off their oil dependency. Food will become more local and dependent on more human labour. It will have to be that, or starve. Meat substitutes will defeat the meat industries. Eating less meat will be a climate, fossil fuel decline, and food production decline necessity.
Energy and Emissions declines are unavoidable
Global falls in demand for fossil fuels become more likely every year. Fossil fuel production cuts and no new mines are the only solutions, and we are forced to adapt them, for climate, environment, economics and survival. We need to adapt to whatever renewable energy and storage systems have to offer, and don't complain if we didn't seem to have enough time to build more. In adopting domestic solar energy big time, a majority of Australia public demonstrate they really want more renewable energy. Year round drought, worse bushfires and summer heat waves demonstrate our government wishes to be ignorant of public climate suffering. So many contradictions come from being a mining industry driven government! Time will crash all unsustainable human systems.