Guest essay by Eric Worrall
The Scott Morrison Conservative government has agreed more action is required on climate change, but defended its support for coal mining.
McCormack concedes Australia must do more to fight climate crisis – but links fires to ‘self-combusting manure’
Deputy prime minister also suggests there’s ‘a lot of hysteria about climate change’ and takes strident line against those calling for end to coalmining
The deputy prime minister, Michael McCormack, has conceded Australia must take further action to combat the climate crisis and acknowledged that the bushfires ravaging New South Wales and South Australia have further shifted community sentiment on the issue.
And he said former fire chiefs who had criticised the government were being funded by environmental campaigners.
However, McCormack took a strident line against those calling for an end to coalmining and, while acknowledging it was a factor, also suggested there had been “a lot of hysteria about climate change” in the commentary around the fires.
“Climate change is not the only factor that has caused these fires. There has been dry lightning strikes, there has been self-combusting piles of manure, there has been a lot of arsonists out there causing fire.”
He added: “For those running around saying we should abandon coal right now, what are we going to do with our electricity over summer if we shut them all down today? Coal provides almost two-thirds of our energy needs.”
…Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/dec/21/mccormack-concedes-australia-must-do-more-to-fight-climate-crisis-but-links-fires-to-self-combusting-manure
Where does this spineless attempt to play both sides leave Australian industry?
Should investors listen to McCormack’s support for more climate action? Or should they be reassured that the government thinks that for now, fossil fuel extractive industries are a necessary evil?
Perhaps McCormack means the Aussie government will pretend to take more climate action, say by pumping additional money into carbon capture and storage, or the outlandish solar “hydrogen export economy” idea kicking around academia?
Australia might have dodged a bullet in the last federal election, but if anybody is wondering why the Australian economy is not doing as well as President Trump’s USA, perhaps they should consider the mixed signals Aussie politicians are sending to global investors.