October 6th 2018


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Articles from this issue:

COVER STORY Bank plan a sure bet to build up PNG and our Pacific neighbours

VICTORIA Infrastructure fiasco clogs Melbourne roads

CANBERRA OBSERVED Ex Lib leaders seldom follow the rule that silence is golden

THE ECONOMY A shower of cold facts may counter coal phobia

POWER AND ENERGY SECURITY Not the moment to hit the snooze button, Australia

LIFE ISSUES Abortion grief: a restoration of honour

NATIONAL AFFAIRS Drought: just one element in a bigger climate picture

FREEDOM OF SPEECH Former High Court chief defends free speech on campuses

EUTHANASIA Seeking peace in a poisoned chalice

NATIONAL AFFAIRS Migration numbers: a new discussion begins

OPINION Victorian election 2018: How will you vote

FICTION A gentle dying

MUSIC Amy Winehouse: A natural jazz talent

CINEMA Searching: Digital window on the soul

BOOK REVIEW Biological realities v social constructs

BOOK REVIEW A little application of common sense

CHINA Social Credit System gives complete control of every citizen

LIFE ISSUES Bowing to the goddess of abortion law reform: the pseudo-religion of radical feminism

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THE ECONOMY
A shower of cold facts may counter coal phobia


by Chris McCormack

News Weekly, October 6, 2018

Better to understand just what climate alarmists and anti-coal activists are demanding, a closer look at Australia’s economic reliance on coal is useful.

Apart from the contention that renewable energy is necessary to lower carbon-dioxide emissions, climate alarmists often speak of the boost to the economy that renewable energy will bring. According to the Clean Energy Council, the number of jobs from 39 renewable energy projects under construction or being completed this year is 4,400.

These projects have begun as a result of the billions of dollars of taxpayer money being appropriated by government to subsidise renewable energy. Conversely, the Minerals Council of Australia claims that 51,500 direct jobs and 120,000 indirect jobs are created through the coal industry. In 2017, this led to $57 billion of export revenue (a new record), $6 billion in wages and $5 billion in royalties.

Coal still provides 75 per cent of the energy generated in the national electricity market. No other large-scale source of base-load energy is as low cost. After iron ore, coal generated the largest export revenue, eclipsing agriculture, manufacturing, other services, base metals and gold. The total value of coal exports has nearly tripled in the last decade.

Despite renewable-energy spruikers claiming that Japan is getting out of coal, Japan remains our biggest export market for thermal coal (coal burnt in coal-fired power stations), earning Australia nearly $8.5 billion in 2016–17. South Korea, China and Taiwan are the next largest buyers of Australian thermal coal.

When it comes to metallurgical coal (used to make steel), India, China and Japan are our biggest export markets.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) forecast shows coal consumption in Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries declining in the period till 2040, while in non-OECD countries coal consumption will increase, with projected coal-fired electricity generation being four times greater than in OECD countries in 2040. (See graph above.)

Affluent nations’ governments would close down a low-cost, reliable form of electricity generation because of climate alarmism while at the same time exporting coal to developing nations so they can literally power ahead in building their economies.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said that pulling out of the Paris Climate Agreement won’t “make any difference” to electricity prices and that Australia’s national security would be compromised by doing so because climate change is a concern of Pacific nations. This is false.

The federal renewable energy target (RET) of 23.5 per cent renewable-energy generation by 2020 aims to comply with the Paris Agreement of a 26–28 per cent reduction in carbon-dioxide emissions by 2030. That has resulted in the $3.6 billion of taxpayer subsidies this year that have been funnelled into creating otherwise unviable renewable energy projects. And electricity consumers are still paying higher power bills.

Abandon the Paris Agreement and the RET trying to achieve it and you remove the legislative compulsion for electricity retailers to purchase costly renewable-energy certificates, which will bring down power prices and allow low-cost base-load power to flourish once again.

A Bill Shorten ALP government would legislate a 50 per cent RET by 2030, which would see power prices skyrocket and reliability in the electricity grid plummet. Industry and business would shut down or go offshore in search of lower costs of doing business.

The ALP is pursuing an energy policy that prioritises emissions targets without any regard to affordability and reliability. In the process, it has abandoned any semblance of protecting workers’ livelihoods and economic security.

The only political parties in Australia that seem to be advocating for the most low-cost form of energy (coal) are minor parties such as Labour DLP, One Nation and Australian Conservatives. This is one of the reasons that the major parties are haemorrhaging votes to these minor parties.

Coal is the lifeblood of Australia’s economy. It saved us from disaster during the global financial crisis and is largely responsible for saving us from ongoing levels of calamitous government debt. If governments capitulate to anti-coal campaigners and climate alarmists, Australia’s economy will be irrevocably destroyed.




























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