SMH: An apology to my grandkids for not fighting Climate Change Enough

Essay by Eric Worrall

A punitive industry carbon cap set to drop 30% by 2030 isn’t enough – “these biggest polluters account for only 28 per cent of Australia’s total emissions.”.

An apology to my grandkids for not fighting in the war of our times

Ross Gittins
Economics Editor
February 1, 2023 — 5.00am

While I was on holiday, I noticed a tweet that left me in no doubt about the subject of my first column back. It said: “I genuinely think the next generation will not forgive us for what we have done to them and the world they will have to live in.”

“Well, I was very busy writing about the shocking cost of living – oh, and rising interest rates.” Really? Is that the best excuse you can offer, Grandad?

While the rest of us were at the beach, Climate Change Minister Chris Bowen announced a few weeks ago that Australia’s 215 biggest industrial polluters – running coal mines, gas plants, smelters and steelworks – will have their emissions capped, with the caps lowered progressively by 30 per cent come 2030.

Businesses whose emissions exceed their cap will face heavy fines. To the extent they can’t use cleaner production processes to reduce their emissions, they’ll be allowed to buy “carbon credits” from other heavy polluters who’ve been able to reduce their emissions by more than required, or from farmers who’ve planted more trees.

Trouble is, it wasn’t long before the experts started pointing to all the holes in the scheme. For a start, the combined emissions of these biggest polluters account for only 28 per cent of Australia’s total emissions.

Read more:

Between the lines, Ross seems to want the industry carbon cap extended to individuals or small businesses? Why else complain that the industry cap only covers 28% of emissions?

But the real question, what will be the impact of this new Aussie carbon cap one the economy?

Big businesses could stay in Australia and face the carbon cap and fines. Or they could stop investing in Australia, and relocate Australia’s remaining industry to nearby Asian industrial hubs. All the jobs would be sent offshore, and industry bosses would continue making uncapped profits and emitting as much as they want.

Gee that’s a hard one. I wonder which option company directors caught in the noose of the new carbon credit system will choose?

Of course the Aussie government is allowing industry to buy their way out of the cap, by purchasing carbon credits. Given the carbon credit industry is allegedly awash with cheap fake carbon credits, maybe the cap won’t be such a burden after all – just another piece of meaningless paperwork, and some payoffs to carbon fraudsters, to buy their cheap fake carbon credits.

Or maybe reporter Ross Gittins will insist the fake carbon credit system is properly audited, to prevent allegedly rampant carbon fraud – which could lead to increased attacks against peaceful African tribes, to drive all the humans out of carbon credit forests, so owners can describe their carbon credit farms as “uninhabited”.

Now that would be something worth apologising for.

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Edward Katz
February 3, 2023 6:24 pm

How many of these so-called apologists who worry about what their grandchildren will say about them for their inadequate climate efforts have been denouncing their ancestors for burning coal for heat and using leaded gas for transportation? Probably zero because they’re aware that was what was available for reliability at the time. Likewise our grandchildren’s reactions as long as they haven’t been brainwashed by the education system and media, or more likely because they’ll have much greater priorities, as is the case already.

Reply to  Edward Katz
February 3, 2023 9:06 pm

Probably zero because they’re aware that was what was available for reliability at the time.” That was true of 100 or even 50 years ago. You can’t say that today. We know there is a problem with burning fossil fuels even though there are also many benefits. Bit of a conundrum really.

Reply to  Simon
February 4, 2023 3:45 am

What are the problems, Simon?

The real problems, not the made-up CO2 is all evil rubbish

Reply to  Simon
February 4, 2023 8:19 am

Would you advocate not burning fossil fuels to manufacture, transport and install all those so-called renewables?
They are called renewables because they need renewing at an alarming rate, driving even more use of fossil fuels. Renewables are a Ponzi scheme.
There is no conundrum, we had renewables pre the industrial revolution. Society is healthier, wealthier and happier as a result of fossil fuels.

old cocky
Reply to  Simon
February 4, 2023 12:30 pm

We know there is a problem with burning fossil fuels even though there are also many benefits. Bit of a conundrum really.

That’s what cost benefit analyses were developed for.
The challenge is usually quantifying the benefits and the costs.

Reply to  Edward Katz
February 4, 2023 8:07 am

I certainly don’t criticize my grandparents or great-grandparents for cutting down trees for building shelter, cooking and heating.
As if they did that for recreation.

Don’t be surprised if idiots like Gittins are soon critical of his forebears for using horses for transport of people and goods.

Alexy Scherbakoff
February 3, 2023 6:58 pm

Is that Gittins based on the word git?

February 3, 2023 7:11 pm

Not a drama. 30% 0f 28% is only 8.4% 😉

Peta of Newark
February 3, 2023 7:24 pm

Some number of moons ago, I wondered if alcohol was the reason..
I kinda ditched that in favour of sugar consumption/abuse

Then maybe, those two things in combination – certainly as climate madness is endemic in nations where alcohol consumption is highest and also obesity.

Now most definitely, there’s 3 things..
Does this describe this (really has ‘lost it’ with this peice) Gittins character:
One of the principle reason doctors write millions of prescriptions for tranquillizers each year is the nervousness, irritability, and jitters largely brought on by inadequate diets lacking Magnesium. 
[Persons only slightly deficient in Magnesium become irritable, highly-strung, and sensitive to noise, hyper-excitable, apprehensive and belligerent]

Teeny weeny digress: The bit between the […] describes Paranoia

Add in the modern insanity for low Sodium food/diet and this climate thing is gonna be a self-fulfilling prophecy – we really are becoming so dumb that we will extinguish ourselves

Last edited 1 month ago by Peta of Newark
John Hultquist
February 3, 2023 7:31 pm

 Ross Gittins, Economics Editor
… must have flunked Econ 101 and Logic too

Reply to  John Hultquist
February 3, 2023 9:10 pm

He wanted to be a school teacher but his OP score was too low (in Australia teaching degrees have the lowest OP score thresholds for university entrance)

February 3, 2023 8:02 pm

More to the point, why isn’t this Gittins character apologizing for the fact he fell for this crazy and obviously fraudulent climate change scam? It doesn’t take much thought, or self awareness to see that any theory that needs a massive number of fudged data points to work, must by a bad theory.

And yet, western civilization is being destroyed in the name of this new religion.

Chris Hanley
February 3, 2023 8:23 pm

Chris Bowen announced a few weeks ago that Australia’s 215 biggest industrial polluters – running coal mines, gas plants, smelters and steelworks – will have their emissions capped

For instance Sydney’s air quality is good by world standards, according to international comparisons by the World Health Organization although Sydney does have an air quality problem from time to time but not due to CO2.

Last edited 1 month ago by Chris Hanley
February 3, 2023 9:15 pm

Grandpa, grandma, too, think off the chi… climate, visit your friendly neigborhood planned parent/hood chamber to seek an abortion. A self-abortion in the comfortable surroundings of your home if you have the courage of your convictions. Your Choice.

Father, mother, you, too, are an anthropogenic source of excess carbon and a progressive “burden” on me, too, and Gaia… bray Her praises.

Lose your moral protocol. Find your ethical religion. Do it for social justice, social progress, Diversity, Inequity, Exclusion. DIE.

February 3, 2023 11:47 pm

It’s Big Fossil wots doing it-
Carbon emissions from Australia’s ‘Dirty Dozen’ more than half Pacific Islands’ emissions | RenewEconomy
Nuffing to do with the innocent global consumers of the stuff. Only Western commies can save the proletariat from their dooming and set the example for Russian and Chinese commies to do the same. Woke up people as that’s the only way the Great Leap Forward works.

Ed Zuiderwijk
February 4, 2023 1:55 am

Give Ross a whip so that he can flagellate himself.

John XB
February 4, 2023 4:50 am

 “I genuinely think the next generation will not forgive us for what we have done to them and the world they will have to live in.””

Yes indeed. Dumped trillions and trillions of debt on them to pay for voter bribes, debauching our morals and values in name of social justice, and destroying the foundations of our industrial economy, so they will inherit a rotten, pre-industrial society, poverty, hunger, disease, no hope.

February 4, 2023 5:11 am

Ross Gittons should be apologizing for putting his grandkids into tyranny and energy poverty. Under the world Ross wants, the only people who will have an easy life will the elites; everyone else will be happy they were allocated 1 hour of electricity two days a week. Tyrants can rise to power many ways, but liberty requires blood to spilled to get back. That is what he should be apologizing over.

Premium Cracker
February 4, 2023 7:18 am

I doubt that the Eloi, which seems to be the path that current and future Western generations are on, will even realize or notice the challenges they face in the future. I have observed enough of my family members teen and preteen children to realize that things are going to be very hard indeed for many of them.

February 4, 2023 11:58 pm

Hmmmm, let’s see. Thanks granddad for supporting those stupid CO2 policies! Now there are so few companies left in Australia, it’s doubtful I’ll ever be able to get a job! Can I come and live with you? Everything is now so expensive with all these carbon taxes!

February 5, 2023 1:06 am

Hmm, so: “– running coal mines, gas plants, smelters and steelworks –”

Hypothetically, say there was someone running a nuclear power plant, providing low-cost back-fill energy to some part of the Australian power grid (for when the wind and solar don’t cut it).
That would involve a small legal change for Australia, if I recall correctly a single word in one key law.

But hypothetically…so the Uranium might have easily come from Australia, been turned in to LEU UO2 fuel pellets, and sent back here, so that is the enriching country’s problem (which should affect the cost). Ideally they did it with renewable energy, or possibly even used nuclear power to do the enrichment, which should make it cost less? Once it is burned, it could be shipped to a country like Japan, that re-cycles nuclear fuel. Or, perhaps a new industry doing that very thing could be created here, vastly enhancing Australia’s GDP, and employing thousands of skilled Australian workers? We are already negotiating with other countries to house the “waste”, right?

So, in this case, the nuclear plant should at least be carbon-neutral, if not net-negative, since they are supplementing renewable energy with near-zero carbon emissions. And of course, a nuclear gigawatt-hour (locally in Australia) is a coal-gigawatt-hour not-used. Presumably a nuclear-plant should generate carbon-credits, rather than use them, since this is coal/oil/gas that has not been used to manufacture energy.

Who is standing in the way of Australia using its abundant uranium resources for local nuclear-energy, especially since we are selling the stuff to other countries on the same planet, who then do things with it? Not me, for sure!

Last edited 1 month ago by sleat
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