Australian news, and some related international items

Environmentalists must stress issues of employment in renewables, and the need for energy conservation

Dennis Matthews, 16 Jan 2020, How should environmentalists deal with the results of the ongoing extremely destructive wildfires? Some points that may help them to decide:

First, in my opinion, the last Federal election was not won but was lost by the ALP and the Australian Greens, because they failed to counter the Morrison message that stopping coal mining would cost jobs. It would have been so easy to point out that investing in the alternatives to coal would generate jobs.

Second, there has been no attempt to counter environmentally and socially destructive economic growth. The “growth is obviously good” ideology is supported by the two major parties and is not seriously challenged by the Greens.

Third, evidence for human global climate change has been gathering speed for 4 decades. The effects have such momentum that as well as needing a drastic reduction in emissions we now also need urgent action on ways to deal with the effects of more destructive weather. Australians are in the top per capita emitters in the world, if we don’t show leadership then we are in no position to criticise others – the most common target for criticism is China which has about half the per capita emissions of Australia.

Fourth, in all the discussions and suggestions about the supply and use of energy there is negligible content about using less energy. The debate is almost 100% about increasing energy supply and almost nothing about reducing energy demand. The main reason for this imbalance appears to be that increasing supply is equated with economic growth whilst decreasing the energy demand is equated with the opposite.

January 16, 2020 - Posted by | General News

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