At their Liberal National Party state convention last week, halfwit climate change deniers from Toowoomba attempted to get a motion up asking the Turnbull Government to pull out of the Paris Climate Accord. Fortunately, there were some people in the party who realised that this would be embarrassing for the Turnbull government and it was voted down. It was voted down not because it was an idiotic proposition, but because it might be embarrassing for Turnbull1. This must say something about the quality, or lack thereof, of members of the Queensland LNP, particularly those from Toowoomba.
One of the unintentionally funny comments was by a past president of the party, one Con Galtos. He said: “I am totally against global warming, and I agree with everything that the mover of this motion has stated, however, we have a choice: we either stand with our American friends, or we stand behind our Prime Minister and our government”. He then followed this by saying “Do we want to keep undermining the position our federal government adopts?1” His lack of ability with English (I am ‘against’ climate change too, because I don’t want it to happen) pales into insignificance when compared to his lack of understanding of science.
Another delegate, one Gavin Goldner stated “If the federal government can’t stand up against the Paris Accord, what the hell are we doing here?”1 Indeed. If you are too stupid to understand the threat climate change poses to our nation, what the hell are you, Messrs Galtos and Goldner, doing anywhere near public office. These idiots call themselves climate change ‘sceptics’ but they are not, they are climate change deniers. If they were sceptics, they would use the precautionary principle: if it is possible that climate change is true, then we’d better err on the side of safety. However, they do not; they are deniers and are certain that it is not happening.
If this wasn’t enough, Malcolm Turnbull addressed the applauding, if deluded crowd, and labelled as ‘reckless’ the Queensland Government’s plan to ensure the state’s energy supply is carbon-neutral by 2050 and stated that those who think thermal coal doesn’t have a future are delusional2. If this is what he thinks then he must think the same of the New South Wales (Coalition) Government, the Victorian Government, the Australian Capital Territory Government and the South Australian Government are all reckless and perhaps delusional as they have all announced identical benchmarks3. The thought has apparently not entered his mind that these governments are taking it into their own hands because of a lack of action by the federal government.
One wonders what ‘fossil fuel’ Turnbull thinks of Emmanuel Macron’s ban on the sale of petrol and diesel cars by 20404; or Volvo, who have announced that from 2019 all of their cars will be hybrid or fully electric4; or Mercedes-Benz who are speeding up the introduction of fully electric vehicles and will have 10 models out by 20225; or VW, who plan to roll out five electric-only models (including an Audi) in the next few years6; or the Government of China, who have cancelled over 100 proposed coal-fired power stations (totalling 54 gigawatts capacity), even some where construction had begun, and where its current coal fired power plants run at about half capacity7; or the Indian government, which has cancelled plans to build 14 gigawatts of coal-fired power stations8; or most of the countries in Europe, who have vowed not to invest in new coal fired power plants after 20209.
While Turnbull was playing to the claque at the coal-fired LNP buffoon convention, and probably wanted to fight off the halfwits from Toowoomba so they wouldn’t embarrass him, he will know that thermal coal in Australia is a short-term prospect at best. While the director of the Climate Action Network Europe, Wendel Trio enthusiastically hailed the European announcement as “the beginning of the end for coal”, it was the secretary-general of the Euracoal trade group, who almost admitted defeat in saying that “When we see a new energy system – with lots of energy storage – that works at an affordable price, then coal, oil and gas will not be needed”9.
While Australia is one of the biggest exporters of coal and natural gas and fondness for these industries by our politicians is understandable given the enormous donations those industries and their supporters make to political parties, it is clear that the rush away from coal is gathering pace. These economic stampedes have a habit of going faster than expected, so there is a likelihood that any new coal mines in Australia will become stranded assets, or lead to other, older, less efficient coal mines becoming stranded assets10.
The sad thing for Australia is that the narcissistic squabbling in the Liberal Party has seen rational approaches to a low emission future and energy security for the populace, disappear in a puff of vacuous slogans. Preparing for the future comes a distant second to the vanity and self-aggrandisement of vacuous politicians who believe they are better climate scientists than those highly trained professional scientists who actually study the climate.