Minister Turnbull and the Howard Coalition barrackers here:
SHUT down our coal industry - our children's wellbeing is at stake! This is the message from Greens' leader Bob Brown, who argues that because burning coal emits large amounts of greenhouse gases, the coal industry should be shut down within a matter of years. Australian of the Year Tim Flannery has echoed Brown's position, while Labor's environment spokesman, Peter Garrett, has also singled out coal, effectively calling for the growth of the industry to be frozen.
are wrong. Way wrong.
Senator Brown's limited article here:
is right. Way right. Why limited?
As Turnbull, a trained barrister knows, the essence of good advocacy is to identify the point of greatest prejudice and keep hammering that point. This is the dictum straight from Liberal Party, and legal luminary ex High Court Chief Judge, Sir Garfield Barwick on how to be a good advocate.
Hence Turnbull on 7.30 show recently:
and related stories here
discussed the "best way" to help China reduce it's coal fired greenhouse emissions was to generate 'clean coal' here rather than a domestic phase out of our coal mines and power stations.
That is half true. Turnbull is right to identify China and India as the point of greatest prejudice to the global future. Yes it will be decided in those places with or without Australian coal, but it won't be via "clean coal" carbon sequestration: That's a bogus technology and a 10 to 20 year timeline even if possible by the most optimistic boosters.
We simply don't have that kind of time to f*ck around for that long. Rates of change are moving too fast.
And the Australian government are not credible on clean coal anyway because they keep promoting nuclear power knowing full well it has been demonstrated to work unlike 'clean coal'.
But if China and India will never stop their use of coal, clean coal technology is the best chance we have got to improve their operation? Wrong. China know the music will stop on climate change, and there must be an energy revolution, restructure and reform, which is why they are so big on renewable technologies now as per regular advice of Greenpeace.
When the music stops just like ozone depleting substances under the Montreal Protocol discussed below, the West will simply move to block sales of the greenhouse offensive manufactured imported goods from those countries which could if implemented break the political economy of both India and China
China well know the West have the ultimate choice to buy or not buy their carbon intensive manufactured goods.
Sorry? The West decline their manufactured goods for breach of carbon emission standards?
It's all happened before with the Montreal Protocol on ozone hole depleting substances (ODS) which started in 1987. India and China in that case initially refused to participate in that protocol because it implied retooling their manufacturing sector free of CFCs and similar chemical corrosives of the atmosphere. As we understand it at SAM the West effectively said 'You WILL cut these emissions or we WILL block your markets in the West'.
India and China retooled in 5 years apparently to move out of ODS (though the process is a long convoluted one and ongoing).
China and India will have to similarly retool their energy sector out of coal and oil as will the USA, as will Australia. In fact the whole world will have to. The future of civilisation literally depends on it. It will happen. It must happen. The fossil fool age is rapidly drawing to a close along with all the political and industrial sectorial privileges that went with it.
The point of greatest prejudice to the whole globe means coal is finished sooner than later and China and India will agree, just as the point of greatest prejudice in the global political economy is the West's willingness to buy cheap Indian and Chinese manufactured goods, or not.
We first heard of this geopolitical reality on the great ABC radio national Earthbeat programme
which was slashed under the oppressive Howard Coalition government and their stooges on the ABC Board.
Sure the energy restructure across the world will make the reform of ODS look like an afternoon picnic: Reform of energy supply is a step change, or even two or three steps, for modern civilisation but it must happen out of a pure instinct for survival.
And the best way for Australia and the West to bring China and India to that negotiation is with clean hands with the phase out of our own coal production and use, along with financial restructuring funds as per the Montreal Protocol. Our common future depends on it.
More on the pioneering Montreal Protocol, warts and all, to protect the ozone layer here:
The Montreal Protocol: History Canadian Government
Ozone History (NASA)