Final chapter on Adani?

Probably not. There is more than one issue to be finalised before Adani can press ‘go’, and all the time the social licence to mine coal is fading.

Adani’s Carmichael coal mine site in central Queensland’s Galilee Basin, pictured in December last year.

Just before the Federal election was called, on 8 April 2019, environment minister Melissa Price signed off on groundwater approvals under clear and public political pressure from her Queensland colleagues. But the report from CSIRO and Geoscience Australia gave the Adani plans anything but a clean sheet:

    In terms of the careful language used by scientists and bureaucrats, the assessment was damning.

    Adani’s key water management plan for its coal mine in Queensland was so flawed its outcomes were unreliable, scientists from the CSIRO warned federal Environment Minister Melissa Price’s department.

    They were scathing about the modelling that underpinned the entire plan, which, they said, was replete with errors and false assumptions.

    “The modelling used is not suitable to ensure the outcomes sought by the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Protection Act are met,” the CSIRO and Geoscience Australia stated bluntly in a joint report.

    Adani’s approach was “not sufficiently robust to monitor and minimise impacts to protected environments”.

    Adani had underestimated the toll on bore water that farmers in the region rely on, which would be drained more severely and more quickly than predicted, the scientists said. And the mine could drain an ecologically sensitive and ancient natural springs complex, exceeding strict limits on draw-down of the springs’ waters.

One would have thought such advice would mean the application should be rejected.

Labor had warned the Government not to rush the decision before the election. I heard Bill Shorten say that PM Scott Morrison had called the election mid-week in order to escape any probing of the decision during Senate Estimates hearings. He could well be right!

The original ABC news story said that Adani had been given Commonwealth approval to start building its Queensland coal mine, and that the decision marked the final construction approval from the Federal Government. However, the Queensland Government now has to sign off on the very same groundwater plan, which it only received half an hour before the announcement by Ms Price. On the face of it, the scientific reviews appear to give Queensland a trigger to block project.

Apparently the Queensland Government has stricter criteria to meet. Adani claims the Clematis sandstone is the sole source aquifer for the Doongmabulla Springs complex. This cannot be guaranteed according to the scientific report.

The company, on its part, points to their plan to drill a network of 100 bores to monitor underground aquifers.

In Queensland the Department of Environment and Science is the state approval authority. State environment minister Leeanne Enoch has made it clear that they will take their time, and that she as minister would be bound by their decision. In her media release she also said:

    I also note Minister Price’s statement that the project must meet further stringent conditions of approval from the Commonwealth before it can begin producing coal.

I did hear Andrew Leigh on radio say that there were as many as nine matters still to be determined. Then of course there is still the matter of the black-throated finch under consideration by Qld. A study published earlier this year found that 775 projects had been considered for their impact on the finch’s habitat. 774 had been approved an only one rejected, amounting to death by a thousand cuts, almost literally.

When asked about her personal position on Adani Leeanne Enoch used the standard Qld government line:

    “I support projects in this state that are upheld by our environmental laws and that have gone through the absolutely stringent processes undertaken by the regulator,” she said.

On ABC TV news, however, Enoch pointed to the fact that the world was moving away from coal, that Glencore, with a number of coal mines in Qld, had recently capped its coal production, and that the jobs of the future would be quite different. Also her media statement stated that under the Palaszczuk Government resources companies have committed to more than $20 billion worth of mining projects in Queensland.

It seems to me that there is about zero chance of Adani getting the final approval before the election. Enoch may be laying the groundwork for a very different approach to coal mining after the election.

Enoch’s statement that the world is turning away from coal receives support from a BP statistical review of world energy which I used last year in the post Coal power fading fast:

To that I’ll add this graphic from commenter Geoff Miell:

The point is that new construction (30,141 MW) is trending down, and appears to have crossed over with retirements from the operating fleet (30,890), which is trending up. Furthermore capacity does not equal output, which is perhaps better reflected in the mining statistics.

Meanwhile almost certainly we will see further legal challenges from the likes of the Queensland Environmental Defenders Office, Adani plans a letterbox campaign in provincial Queensland, and the PM can expect to be reminded of the issue from time to time:

That comes from an SBS summary of the sad Adani saga. I may add some specific posts later, but earlier material on this blog can be found under the tags Adani and Coal.

148 thoughts on “Final chapter on Adani?”

  1. My take is that it is doubtful that Adani would proceed even if all the required government approvals occur. As GM and others point out the future of thermal coal looks bleak and it is unlikely that Adani would get the finance it needs and may not want to put its own money in.
    On the other hand, Adani has little to gain by pulling out. There is always the possibility that some government may decide that it is worth paying them “go away money” and because there are advantages in having the project on its books.
    My guess is that the Adani stand-off will drag on for years

  2. Sickening abuse of power. On the cusp of caretaker status the bastards give a (flawed) green light to Adani. Despite clear opposition on environmental grounds and voter disquiet, the approval was given.
    One remaining hurdle that gets little attention is the action by the Wangan and Jagalingou peoples who have ancestral claims over at least some of the lease.

    I’m unsure just where the present Queensland government sits on Adani. They surely realise that the political capital associated with Adani is close to negative. It is clear that the mine is not viable: as world demand declines, the first coals to be culled are the dirtiest with high ash and low heat energy.
    Perhaps the Queensland government see’s value in the Aurizon interface with Adani’s proposal to link the routes, anticipating that the rail will effectively open up other mines in the Basin and riches will flow. Coal haulage accounts for around 90% of Aurizon revenues, and that in turn is linked to coal prices. As demand and prices fall, so will rail revenues – maybe they are trying to push out the inevitable serious decline.

    Or they fear some sovereign risk action from a stymied Adani.
    Not much is clear except that the science and the people are being overlooked by government.
    I have written to the Labor candidate for Leichhardt, Elida Faith asking her simply: Will Queensland Labor allow the mine to proceed? Too soon to expect an answer but if she responds I will post it here.

  3. I can’t find a reliable pollster that finds most Queenslander don’t want Adani up and running.

    Little help please ?

  4. GH:

    Sickening abuse of power. On the cusp of caretaker status the bastards give a (flawed) green light to Adani. Despite clear opposition on environmental grounds and voter disquiet, the approval was given.

    Agree about the caretaker status. It is just one handout from the trough from a government that suspects they won’t be government by the end of May.
    Note however that all they have done is remove one barrier to proceeding, not the final approving. Even there the bullying of Melissa Price before she made the decision may provide grounds for revisiting her decision.

  5. Brian,

    Since my bar chart (shown in your post above) was produced the Boom and Bust 2019 report has been published which includes a more comprehensive analysis of the Global Coal Plant Tracker data that was published in late February 2019.

    My latest letter to the Independent Planning Commission NSW (IPCN) re Bylong Coal Project, dated April 10, refers to the Boom and Bust 2019 report, highlighting some key points, plus reference to Japan’s environment minister opposing “in principle” any new plans to build or expand coal-fired power stations.

    Japan currently buys around 39% of Australian-mined thermal coal.

  6. Jumpy try this: https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/big-surge-in-opposition-to-adani-new-polling-reveals-20180131-p4yz4o.html
    OK it’s 13 months old, but you’d be a bit adrift if you thought Adani’s approvals had actually risen since then.

    I’m also a bit surprised that anyone could embrace the Carmichael proposal except major machinery sellers and mine maintenance companies.

    Adani conceded, under oath, that only 1470 jobs would flow from the mine. Did you know that the haul trucks and trains are unmanned, controlled remotely and not necessarily from Australia? The 1470 was the figure when mine output was set at 60 million tonnes per year. Since then, it has been revised down to around 25 million tonnes so the employment number should decline significantly.

    You are also aware that they are looking to construct airports to facilitate FIFO, a practice that has been heavily criticised for economic and social reasons.

    Jumpy could I ask if you are a Carmichael supporter – and if so, help me understand your reasoning.

  7. GH, that’s not Queensland poll and the pollster is kept anonymous by the SMH so I can’t verify the methodology, could have been UComms that they often use and is dodgy as all get out.

    The coal at Carmicheal is the property of Queenslanders, no one else.

  8. Thanks Jumpy, but you did not answer my last question:

    “…could I ask if you are a Carmichael supporter – and if so, help me understand your reasoning.”

    I’m not going to argue who owns the coal. But pollution and climate have no respect for borders, and so there is an obligation upon polluters not to pollute other areas, but that also includes their own patch, even if owned by Queenslanders.

  9. Geoff H, you really must understand the rules if you’re going to comment here. There are only two.
    1. Jumpy is free to ask questions and demand other commenters reply, preferably with E…Vid…Ence.
    2. Jumpy is under no obligation to reciprocate by providing answers when others question him, even if someone mentions quid pro quo.

  10. And as usual zoot says the opposite of what’s going on.

    Please continue, don’t let zoots obvious trollism deter you.

  11. I can’t find a reliable pollster that finds most Queenslander don’t want Adani up and running.
    Little help please ?

    You asked for it.
    Here’s a Reachtel poll of Queensland voters.

  12. Thanks Zoot.
    Jumpy I hope that piece of luck is what you sought.
    It’s pretty clear that the owners of the said coal don’t want Adani’s sullied hands on it.
    What’s left to argue?

  13. The lack of planning and of preparation by Australia’s business and political/administrative decision-makers sticks out like the proverbials.

    1. So, when Adani goes into production, what happens to all those jobs in smaller mines? Farmers and graziers currently working in those smaller mines will be spending a lot of time back on their own impoverished properties – and they know it. I wouldn’t be surprised if the graziers concerned about underground water aren’t being supported by fellow graziers working right now in distant smaller coal mines.
    The boosters can chant “Jobs! Jobs! Jobs!” all they like but that won’t stop the reply of “Dole! Dole! Dole!” as soon as the first ship-load of Adani coal sails. And who are the mugs who will be paying to keep all the formerly employed coal miners alive? Yep, us poor damned taxpayers. Anyway, there is a hell of a lot of scepticism about many Australians being employed once production gets into full swing.

    2. Geoff Henderson said, above, “Coal haulage accounts for around 90% of Aurizon revenues, and that in turn is linked to coal prices. As demand and prices fall, so will rail revenues”. Holy mackerel! If that figure is true (and I haven’t checked it yet) then how the blue blazes could any well-run company get itself into such a vulnerable position? Not even the worst and the doziest of the Commissioners and Deputy Commissioners of the old “socialist” Queensland Government Railways would have allowed their organization to fall into that trap of utter dependency. I’m glad I’m not an Aurizon shareholder.

    3. John Davidson observed, ” Adani has little to gain by pulling out. There is always the possibility that some government may decide that it is worth paying them “go away money”
    This potential threat should be built into the preparation for considering any and every foreign investment in Australia. In our rough-and-tumble world, it must always be assumed that a lust for compensation money is well up near the front of every foreign investor’s thinking, even when there is little likelihood of such a windfall actually happening.

  14. Jumpy, many years ago people in NQ told me Brisbane was a place you stopped at on the way to Qld. There is a bit of truth in that. Sometimes when I step off the plane in Rockhampton it feels like another country. I was once told by a man from Cardwell the the ‘southern suburban sprawl’ started in Townsville.

    The Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast are different again.

    GM, thanks for the latest information.

    I suspect Labor in the feds and Qld would like to stop Adani, but it would be easier for them politically if the mine was stopped for other reasons.

  15. GH.
    That poll found most Queenslanders don’t want Adani given a taxpayer funded loan.

    Not what I was looking for.

    Once again zoot misses the mark by a large margin.

  16. Brian: When we lived on Groote we noticed that North Qlanders used to judge you on how far north you lived.
    We used to like going to Cairns for a holiday and talking about coming south to cairns for our holiday.
    We had a flood of North Qlanders coming to work at one stage. All of a sudden we realized how Joh from NZ could stay in power.

  17. Zoot (Re: APRIL 12, 2019 AT 9:01 PM)

    Here’s a Reachtel poll of Queensland voters.

    The link you refer to is dated 8 Nov 2017.

    There’s a more recent poll reported in The Guardian, dated 23 Sep 2018 (more than 6 months old). The article sub-heading is:

    Exclusive: Half of LNP voters and three-quarters of One Nation supporters want water preserved for farmers

    The Sep 6 ReachTel poll (for the environmental group Lock the Gate) found:

    Almost 70% of all voters agreed the licence, to extract groundwater for the Carmichael coalmine, should be revoked to safeguard water for farmers.

    The Guardian article includes a short video: Fact v fiction: Adani’s Carmichael coal mine – video explainer

    Perhaps someone can find a more recent poll re Adani Charmichael mine approval?

  18. Brian (Re: APRIL 13, 2019 AT 12:02 AM)

    I suspect Labor in the feds and Qld would like to stop Adani, but it would be easier for them politically if the mine was stopped for other reasons.

    Posted midnight yesterday morning at the SMH is an article by Nicole Hasham headlined Labor has a way to disrupt Adani, but has to keep Queenslanders happy. It begins with:

    Environment officials say a Labor government could disrupt the proposed Adani coal mine by applying tough new scrutiny to the company’s plan to pump billions of litres of water from a river in drought-stricken Queensland, as the issue flared on the first day of the federal election campaign.

    It’s reported that environment spokesman Tony Burke on Thursday said the decision not to apply the water trigger was “absurd”.

    “It adds to the list of areas where, on the face of it, the government has not properly applied the law. If elected, Labor will apply the law,” he said.

    Meanwhile, the Australian Conservation Foundation has mounted a legal challenge to the government’s water trigger decision.

    The cancellation of Senate estimates hearings (due to the announcement of the elections) appears to have prevented the CSIRO from appearing to give evidence on the contentious process surrounding its backing of Adani’s groundwater plan.

  19. Thank GM for that very current link. It would seem the Queensland government is intent on making the mine happen but by insisting on the necessary permits appears to be opposing it. Nice sleight of hand if I am right.

    Is the new rail line offensive to traditional owners – anyone know?

  20. Since all of the links we have provided are not what he asked for I think it’s high time Jumpy provided a link to a trustworthy poll which shows most Queenslanders are in favour of the Adani mine going ahead.

  21. Half of LNP voters, three quarters of ON voters, 70% of all voters don’t approve of Adani’s groundwater plans.

    I’d like to point out that the Link GM made refers to Adani using surface water from Betts Creek and Suttor River, which I’d never heard of, and I don’t know which catchments they are in. I don’t have time to research it right now.

    A number of catchments meet thereabouts, but I think Adani is in the Cooper basin which flows SW. I do know the rainfall is not high thereabouts.

  22. Other than that, I think this bit is significant:

      It’s reported that environment spokesman Tony Burke on Thursday said the decision not to apply the water trigger was “absurd”.

        “It adds to the list of areas where, on the face of it, the government has not properly applied the law. If elected, Labor will apply the law,” he said.

    For some reason the media never seems to ask Tony Bourke about matters pertaining to his portfolio, and when he says something, no-one takes much notice.

    They should.

  23. There are some more links about Adani. First, Traditional Owners fighting Adani coal mine mount fresh legal challenge.

    They lost last year, but are now appealing to the full bench of the federal court. They have 10 matters to be heard, and only one needs to get up to stop the mine.

    Second, Katharine Murphy has done an article Adani coalmine: can Labor get away with choosing ambiguity over integrity?

    It’s not a bad article in describing the Adani affair, but is based on a a false binary. She falls into the assumption that Labor should either say yes or no and get off the fence.

    This is typical of people who don’t understand the responsibilities of a party aspiring to government. Labor does not have access to the full documentation, for example the responses by the CSIRO and Geoscience Australia. To express a view would be to prejudge the matter with incomplete information. This creates sovereign risk and weakens the government legal position in relation to a compensation claim.

    Third, Karen Middleton has a piece in the Saturday Paper, CSIRO steps back on Adani approval.

    It’s complicated, but CSIRO and Geoscince Australia were never given the full groundwater plans, just a series of questions. Speaking for themselves, CSIRO advised it had concerns. Adani was said to answer these concerns, but that happened within a month and their reply was never sent to the CSIRO, who had called for changes in modelling which would likely take a couple of years.

    I hope that doesn’t over-simplify. Middleton says this of Labor:

    Shorten has declined to say if an incoming Labor government would overturn the approvals, saying it would depend how far advanced the process was. He has said previously that Labor would not do anything to create sovereign risk in Australia as an investment destination. He, too, faces internal party pressure both for and against the mine.

    Labor has internal differences, no question, but Adani is a moving feast and they can’t forecast what the situation would be after the election. And as I said, they don’t have full information.

  24. Labor, the Libs and most Nats are being damaged by Adani and wish Adani would leave Aus.
    Adani helps the Greens because the Greens have the clearest get rid of Adani and thermal coal exports policy so they the ideal party on this issue for a voter to “send a message.”
    It suits Adani to spend a little bit of money holding on to their lease.

  25. Posted late Saturday (Apr 13) at the SMH is an article by Nicole Hasham headlined Radical climate action ‘critical’ to Great Barrier Reef’s survival, government body says. It begins with:

    Australia’s top Great Barrier Reef officials warn the natural wonder will virtually collapse if the planet becomes 1.5 degrees hotter – a threshold that scientists say requires shutting down coal within three decades.

    It’s reported that the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority – the federal government’s lead agency for managing the reef – has prepared a climate change position statement. The Age and the SMH have obtained this document (under development over the past 15 months) under FOI.

    The document cites scientific evidence that the reef could experience temperature-induced bleaching events twice per decade by about 2020 and annually by 2050 under high-emissions scenarios.

    Approving the Adani Carmichael mine (and other new coal mines) could mean the death of the GBR.

  26. Approving the Adani Carmichael mine (and other new coal mines) could mean the death of the GBR.

    Nonsense, India has almost as much coal as Australia.
    And Africa, which isn’t close to being fully explored has plenty too, and China is working on that.

  27. Jumpy: The question is how much of the worlds coal deposits will end up being mined, not how much there is. Why keep on mining when we have reached a point where renewable options cost less even if you put no price on the damage caused by global warming?

  28. Here’s an article from 2012 which convinced me.
    But seven years later we still have far too many people with Angus Taylor’s mindset (no names, no pack drill) who are dumb enough to think business as usual is an option.
    The human species is too stupid to save itself.

  29. Jumpy (Re: APRIL 15, 2019 AT 3:54 PM)

    Nonsense, India has almost as much coal as Australia.

    Per BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2018, at the end of 2017:

    Australian coal reserves: 144 818 million tonnes total (rank #3, 14.0% global share);
    Chinese coal reserves: 138 819 million tonnes total (rank #4, 13.4% global share);
    Indian coal reserves: 97 728 million tonnes total (rank #5, 9.4% global share)

    I would say China has almost as much coal as Australia (based upon the numbers given above). I would not say India has almost as much coal as Australia.

    And Africa, which isn’t close to being fully explored has plenty too…

    And what do you base that on, Jumpy? BPSRoWE-2018 says the whole of Africa plus Middle East has only 1.4% global share of coal reserves.

    John D says:

    Why keep on mining when we have reached a point where renewable options cost less even if you put no price on the damage caused by global warming?

    Indeed, good question John D. Care to answer, Jumpy?

  30. JD

    Jumpy: The question is how much of the worlds coal deposits will end up being mined, not how much there is. Why keep on mining when we have reached a point where renewable options cost less even if you put no price on the damage caused by global warming?

    Then free market Capitalism will do the rest if that’s the case.
    I’m not entirely sure though that renewables are in fact a better EROEI at this time.

    My point was that if Australians were removed from the Globe entirely China, India and Russia would fill the co2 void in about a week.

    All this talk about OECD Countries, pfft.., China has more emissions growth.

  31. GM
    Known coal reserves.
    Have a look at what they were 40 years ago compared to today.
    Africa outside South Africa has hardly been explored.
    India and China are very large Countries, how much of those do you think have been gone over by drilling gangs ?

    We’re not running out of coal this century dude and India, China and Africa need it most.

    What Australia does is inconsequential to the health of the GBR if co2 is harming it.

  32. Jumpy the world is indeed going to hell in a hand basket. We are too stupid to see that we are crapping in our own nest.
    Dead set mate, I gave up your logic well before I finished primary school. And my dad, bless his heart, even before I went to school asked if he put his hand in the fire, would I also do that? So, if others sell coal to be burnt does that justify Australia selling coal? Doesn’t it have to stop somewhere? Dig it out because others are?
    One day you’re probably going to have to answer to your grandchild about pollution and a degraded world. What are you going to say?

  33. Geoff H, from his last few comments I think we have an answer to the first part of your question to Jumpy.

    “…could I ask if you are a Carmichael supporter – and if so, help me understand your reasoning.”

    Since he refuses to enlighten us we must presume the answer to the second part is that he sees no ill effects resulting if we burn every last bit of fossil fuel that can be found.

  34. Jumpy: I take your point. The world has enough coal reserves to completely stuff the planet. Is this what you are advocating?

  35. Jumpy (Re: APRIL 15, 2019 AT 6:03 PM)

    What Australia does is inconsequential to the health of the GBR if co2 is harming it.

    Utter nonsense – you are showing your ignorance again, Jumpy!

    Posted on March 14 at the SMH is an op-ed by Ian Dunlop headlined As an ex-coal boss, I’m telling politicians: wake up to climate threat. It includes (bold text my emphasis):

    Other countries must do more, but rhetoric that our domestic emissions of 1.3 per cent of the global total make us an insignificant player in the emission stakes is utter nonsense. As LNG exports increase, Australia will shortly become the world’s fourth largest carbon polluter when exports are included, as they must be, given that climate change is a global problem. What Australia does matters.

    In 2017, Australia was the world’s third largest coal producer (7.9% global share) after China (46.4%) and USA (9.9%), and ahead of India (7.8%) and Indonesia (7.2%). – BPSRoWE-2018

    In 2017, Australia was the world’s 8th largest natural gas producer (3.1% global share). In November 2018, Australia overtook Qatar to become the world’s largest LNG exporter.

    Africa outside South Africa has hardly been explored.

    Jumpy, what’s your evidence for this statement?

    We’re not running out of coal this century dude and India, China and Africa need it most.

    Jumpy, are you advocating that coal should continue to be mined and burnt at coal-fired power stations? Are you advocating business-as usual?

  36. Geoff Henderson (Re: APRIL 15, 2019 AT 6:12 PM)

    So, if others sell coal to be burnt does that justify Australia selling coal? Doesn’t it have to stop somewhere? Dig it out because others are?

    Burnt where? Brian kindly included in the post above the bar chart of Global coal-fired power capacity (gigawatts) that I compiled for a letter to the IPCN re the Bylong Coal Project Determination. The pipeline for new coal plant projects is rapidly shrinking.

    In 2018, new start coal plant constructions were being exceeded by retirements of existing operating capacity.

    Many indicators are highlighting the beginning of the end of the thermal coal market – see some of them highlighted here.

    Do we continue to ignore these indicators? Will Australia continue to remain ill-prepared for the inevitable existential challenges (i.e. climate change and oil & gas energy resource depletion)? Can we still say: “She’ll be right, mate”?

  37. The ABC first published concerns expressed by scientists about the Adani groundwater plans and the company’s response in Adani did not ‘accept in full’ changes sought by scientists during approval stages, meeting notes show.

    There is more at The Guardian in Briefing notes show Coalition approved Adani water plan despite knowing of risk, which is more forthright about what happened and goes into the reactions by the Qld Environmental Defender’s Office and green groups.

    It seems the Federal bureaucrats placed themselves between the company and the scientists to maximise the political discretion available to the minister.

  38. GM comment on GH excerpt.

    I understood Geoff H to mean

    a) just because other countries are exporting coal, it doesn’t justify our country exporting the mineral also

    b) presumably it is exported to be burnt somewhere overseas

    c) the CO2 emitted due to that combustion is highly likely to rise into the atmosphere of the planet Earth

    d) at which point, it becomes a global phenomenon rather than solely a local, or regional, or national phenomenon.

    e) only one planet for us, only one atmosphere

    I agree with all five suppositions implied by Mr Henderson. From the tenor of earlier posts by GM, I had surmised that GM would also agree with those points.

    But ya just never can tell, eh??

    😉

    (Apologies to Geoff Henderson if I have misread your meaning.)

  39. Jumpy: Just as a matter of interest have you any children or grand children whose future you care about? Or for that matter do you care at all about any young person’s long term future?
    Or do you believe that what the world is doing with fossil carbon is going to have no affect whatsoever on the future of humanity.
    Just asking.

  40. Careful JD, when Geoff M and I asked similar questions of him Jumpy became very petulant. It’s imperative that we be very gentle with him or he will deprive us of his valuable insights.

  41. Jumpy told us of his engineering-training son who was going out to sea on a large ship.

    Just saying.

  42. 5 of the 6 major party candidates for the seat of Capricornia want to see Adani start mining. Haven’t seen all the statements on this from all the candidates in Dawson, Kennedy or Flynn. Of course, what the constituents think doesn’t matter at all; they’ll do as they’re told, as usual..

  43. JD attention to Jumpy’s grandchild was drawn of April 15, but I think he either missed it or did not understand ….

  44. Geoff H, you appear to have changed your IP address, which is why your comment was held up. Should be OK now.

  45. Brian I use a couple of email addresses, I will try to be consistent from now on. Thanks for the heads up.

  46. Geoff, your email was the same (I think), but it was the IP address that was different. IP is Internet Provider. It’s 9 to 12 digits long in four sections divided by 3 full-stops.

    All three of the name, the email address, and the IP address need to line up. I think it is to stop people pretending they are someone else.

    You can use as many as you like as long as I approve each one the first time.

    zoot has been playing around with his name, which is fine as long as he isn’t pretending to be two different people.

  47. Ambigulous (Re: APRIL 19, 2019 AT 10:32 AM)

    a) just because other countries are exporting coal, it doesn’t justify our country exporting the mineral also

    The IPCC’s SR1.5°C report says global emissions need to be rapidly reduced – every country needs to do there bit – no slackers! Otherwise everyone cops the consequences.

    b) presumably it is exported to be burnt somewhere overseas

    I doubt coal Australia exports just sits around in huge stockpiles forever in other countries.

    c) the CO2 emitted due to that combustion is highly likely to rise into the atmosphere of the planet Earth

    It’s generally not sequestrated, so the emissions don’t just vanish.

    d) at which point, it becomes a global phenomenon rather than solely a local, or regional, or national phenomenon.

    Indeed.

    e) only one planet for us, only one atmosphere

    Good planets are difficult to come by! Don’t bugger this one up!

  48. Quarterly Essay #73 is authored by Rebecca Huntley, and titled “Australia Fair – Listening to the Nation”
    On the back cover is the following, attributed to Ms Huntley:

    “Often the claim is made that our politics and politicians are poll-driven. This is, on the whole, bunkum. If polls were influential, we would have invested much more in renewable energy, maintained and even increased funding to the ABC, and made child care cheaper…”

    Adani, and coal, seem to be a classic examples that Huntley could have included. Maybe she has included coal, but I have not read the essay yet.

  49. Geoff Henderson (Re: APRIL 24, 2019 AT 8:42 AM)

    “Often the claim is made that our politics and politicians are poll-driven. This is, on the whole, bunkum. If polls were influential, we would have invested much more in renewable energy, maintained and even increased funding to the ABC, and made child care cheaper…”

    Posted yesterday at ClimateCodeRed.org is an article by David Spratt headlined Support for action surges, majority say we face climate emergency. It begins with:

    In the first-ever poll of its kind, new research from The Australia Institute (TAI) has found that a clear majority of Australians agree the nation ‘is facing a climate emergency’ requiring emergency action and that, in response, governments should “mobilise all of society” like they did during the world wars.

    It is an extraordinary finding that shows public sentiment is well ahead of the major political parties, and ahead of the large climate advocacy organisations.

    Are the findings of The Australia Institute poll bunkum, or is this an indication that the Australian people are focusing more than ever on climate change as a threat to our future? And will this thinking influence the outcome of the next Australian federal election?

  50. GM, climate change barely got a mention in the 2016 election. At least we are talking about it now.

    Apart from the young, I’m not convinced climate change will change votes, especially since the LNP have created confusion on the costings of Labor’s policy, and Di Natale has put more effort into dissing Labor on climate than he has the LNP, and GetUp, the greenies and The Greens have succeeded in making Adani a bigger issue than it is in the total context.

    Ove Hoegh-Guldberg said yesterday that he did not like taking sides, but he liked Labor’s climate policy and it was the only one that gave the GBR a chance. That’s what he said, albeit he probably hadn’t heard about their plans for expanding gas.

  51. Brian

    Do the ALP plans for expanding natural gas see it 1. as a transition fuel between coal and renewables? Or is it just 2. a general policy to extract it and sell it quick smart before it too gets phased out as a fuel and loses its export $ value?

    Or is that a distinction which eludes Mr Shorten, …..?

    (I’m aware you believe the time for such “transitions” has well and truly passed.)

  52. Ambi, for the last two years or so there has been a lot of discussion and heaps of articles in the AFR, and a report from the ACCC, about how to keep the price of gas down, so that industrial users of gas don’t go broke, and gas used to generate electricity doesn’t push the price of wholesale electricity up. SA uses quite a lot of it, as does NSW and Qld. In WA they were smart enough to let companies develop gas fields on the condition that enough gas is set aside to provide the domestic industry at reasonable prices.

    Here in the NEM states we thought the right thing to do was allow the export market to determine domestic prices. Things went to shite when coal seam gas was set up. Three huge multi-billion LNG plants were built in Gladstone. Problem was sale contracts were established, but there was never enough gas to supply all three. Export prices went up and all the spare gas went into satisfying the export market. Some gas power generators found it was easier to flog their contracted gas to export market than burn it and sell electricity.

    That decision was taken by the Gillard government, 2013 I think, when they were sitting around making climate policy with The Greens and indies. The LNP supported Labor at the time, now blame them.

    It’s a complex area, which I posted about in Gas to burn, but at what cost?, but haven’t updated because it’s not my natural territory and I’d have to line up a lot of links. That post was stimulated by the ACCC report.

    Some of the solutions considered have been to find new gas, and here the Palaszczuk government has been issuing new licences. There’s plenty of gas in the NT, but I think it needs taxpayer subsidy to get east or north to markets. Actually, I don’t know what the story is about NT gas, given this map from the earlier post showing a pipeline already being built:

    When Labor put together its climate policies one of its aims was bipartisanship with the LNP, a second is to take politics out of climate change policy. That’s what The Climate Change Authority was all about.

    Labor’s current targets are based on the last substantial advice from the CCA, which was in 2014 in preparation for Paris.

    So Labor has not yet got the memo about stopping gas. If Labor wins the election they will restore the Climate Change Authority (CCA) and ask them to organise a triennial Australian Climate Change Assessment (ACCA).

    It’s unthinkable that such an assessment would not come up with very different recommendations than those that were current in 2014. However, if the Greens keep dissing Labor on climate change, and people like Giles Parkinson do the same without bothering to read Labor’s policy, then we’ll be up sh*t creek in a leaky canoe without a paddle, as we used to say in the old days.

    BTW, two years ago almost to the day I posted Gas has got to go, based on a Climate Council report saying there should be no support for new gas power plants or gas supply infrastructure and:

    Existing gas plants should be thought of as a short-term, expensive, emergency backup as renewable energy and storage is rapidly scaled up.

    Yet AGL was thinking about setting up a gas import facility. Not sure what’s happening with that.

  53. Given that about 25% of the energy in natural gas is used to convert it to LNG the idea of importing LNG while we are exporting LNG has got to rank as serious, serious crazy horse stuff.
    Not 100% sure by I think that Australian LNG facilities could be converted to renewable hydrogen liquification and export facilities without too much trouble.

  54. Posted at RenewEconomy two days ago is an article by David Leitch headlined Globe watch: $US3.7 trillion a year of fossil fuel revenue has to go away. It includes:

    In my view the best annual summary of global carbon is the Carbon budget 2018 presentation. The data and graphs are produced by lots of people and its nice to see Pep Cannadell from the CSIRO as well as Robbie Andrew from Norway’s CICERO listed as two of the 68 authors.

    As an analyst I am not much interested in who is historically responsible for emissions but rather what has to be done looking forward. Historically Western civilisation is still responsible for more cumulative emissions than Asia but the gap is closing quickly.

    The Carbon budget 2018 presentation (see link above) on slide 60 shows the heading Major flows from extraction to consumption – Flows from location of fossil fuel extraction to location of consumption of goods and services. It includes the top 16 countries in MtCO2 – Australia is one of these countries. What Australia does matters on a global scale.

  55. I’ve just come across a new report from the Berlin-based Energy Watch Group titled GLOBAL ENERGY SYSTEM BASED ON 100% RENEWABLE ENERGY: Power, Heat, Transport and Desalination Sectors, that was apparently published Apr 12. I note the dedication is:

    To Greta Thunberg and to the whole #FridaysForFuture movement, for your relentless courage for the preservation of our planet, and a better future for us all.

    I haven’t had the chance to look thoroughly at it just yet. Key findings include:

    A global transition to 100% renewable energy across all sectors – power, heat, transport and desalination before 2050 is feasible[1]. Existing renewable energy potential and technologies, including storage, is capable of generating a secure energy supply at every hour throughout the year. The sustainable energy system is more efficient and cost effective than the existing system, which is based primarily on fossil fuels and nuclear. A global renewable transition is the only sustainable option for the energy sector, and is compatible with the internationally adopted Paris Agreement. The energy transition is not a question of technical feasibility or economic viability, but one of political will.

    Check it out.

  56. GM: Had a quick glance. My take is that the transition is technically feasible but the real issue is “political will.”
    “Political will” doesn’t really capture the political problem. Any world transition is going to create winners and losers and we need to have a real conversation about who the potential losers are and what might be done to compensate/reduce their losses. For example:
    1. Some countries may actually benefit from some climate warming and moving weather zones.
    2. Australia would be a real winner from the move to a transportable renewable energy world.
    3. Some countries will struggle to satisfy their renewable energy needs.
    4. The transition would be easier if all immigration barriers were removed but the growth of nationalist right wing parties is not a cause for optimism in this area. (On the other hand Northern Africa and the Middle East is prime solar country – the problem may be those bloody Europeans trying to escape South.

  57. John
    GMs link relies on Nuclear ( pronounced New-Clear ) which is a no starter for the greens or ALP, throw that whole plan out even if it will “ save the Planet “.

    But I do agree with your,

    1. Some countries may actually benefit from some climate warming and moving weather zones.

    I recon Xi Jinping has had the modeling done and believes that China is one of them.

    If I’m correct then it’s out of Australia’s hands.

  58. Jumpy: 3 nuclear powers get irrigation water from the Himalayas. Life could get exciting if these nuclear powers can’t get enough food because of climate change to the Himalaya monsoon. China seems to be interested in reducing climate change and buying food producing properties in countries like Aus.
    Can’t see any overwhelming case for nuclear as a source of renewable energy. slow to build, likely to run into protests and not very cheap.

  59. JD would you consider nuclear power for all the merchant shipping to nix out bunker fuel emissions?

    Nuclear powered naval ships have been around since the fifties and at present Google says there are 140 ships and 180 reactors.
    Perhaps the techno;logy is mature enough to adapt into the merchant navy?

  60. NewClear is Co2 free.

    It’s time the greens prioritised the bigger threat and compromise for a change.

    Chinese leadership traditionally doesn’t mind sacrificing a few million to own more land with resources under it.

  61. GH
    A sensible environmentalist would prefer the Steve Irwin was nuclear powered over the fossil fuel it guzzles now.

    If of course they could prioritise.

  62. As I understand it the lead time for nuclear power plants makes them a non answer to the problem of climate change – too little too late.
    If the proponents of nuclear had promoted the seriousness of AGW 20 years ago the situation would be different now, but most of them at that stage were denying any problem existed.

  63. Brian
    I believe the 11:03 link from GM had a 32ish year transition period from now. With newclear been a factor only until about 2025ish, 6ish years away.

    Looks like it was written by the same fairy minded zealots ( very intelligent, extremely well educated and articulate I recognise) that protested CO2 free newclear energy for the last 5 decades.
    Had these flock folk weighted the threats they believe in, perhaps they’d have made a logical decision.

    Had they acted logically back then they wouldn’t be experiencing the guilt they are struggling with now.

  64. For some reason I find my self remembering an exchange I had with an ex-acquaintance. He was a devotee of Lord Monckton and argued that climate change was a plot by the UN, a result of the Bureau of Meteorology falsifying records, just a cyclic phenomenon etc etc etc. After an hour of this he mentioned the urgent need to get nuclear power plants up and running in Australia. When I asked why he replied, “Because of all the carbon pollution in the atmosphere.” (His exact words)
    That was the moment we parted company.

  65. Jumpy/GH: The planet as we know it could be destroyed by global warming or nuclear war. The Greens have a aversion to both for some odd reason. In addition, nuclear accidents do tend to be spectacular had hard to clean up when they do occur.
    As far as I can see there are potential non-nuclear sources of renewable energy that could be used to drive ships.

  66. John D the only alternative fuel I’m thinking of would be some kind of flow battery but I don’t think the technology will permit that yet. Same for hydrogen: that is developing rapidly but could it be scaled up to power say, 50,000 ships?

  67. GH: Ships are currently set up to use super cheap dirty bunker oil as fuel. Don’t know what changes would be needed to use various renewable fuel options but no reason why it cannot be done.
    Batteries, flow or otherwise probably don’t have enough energy density.

  68. On the notion that some countries may actually benefit from some climate warming and moving weather zones, Jumpy said :

    I recon Xi Jinping has had the modeling done and believes that China is one of them.

    I don’t know whether he has had the modelling done, but if he has he’d know that even with one metre of sea level rise, China is in deep trouble – in the Pearl River Basin where they make stuff for the world, around Shanghai, and on the northern plains where they grow a lot of food.

    That simple fact gives me some hope.

  69. Jumpy (Re: APRIL 27, 2019 AT 1:00 PM)

    GMs link relies on Nuclear ( pronounced New-Clear ) which is a no starter for the greens or ALP, throw that whole plan out even if it will “ save the Planet “.

    Jumpy, I’m wondering how you interpret the Energy Watch Group document Global Energy System based on 100% Renewable Energy suggests “relies on Nuclear“? Please refer to the document page(s) that indicate that notion.

    Page VI Policy Recommendations includes:

    A responsible phase-out of all state subsidies to fossil fuel and nuclear energy generation is necessary.

  70. Posted Saturday (Apr 27) at the SMH online is an extensive article by Darren Gray headlined No one behind the wheel: The new workforce driving Australia’s mines. The article began with:

    The vehicle and its occupants sat quietly and waited at an ideal vantage point. They were parked at a lookout, with sweeping views of the red and yellow Pilbara earth. Coming into view was a technological leap that proponents argue will change mining forever.

    It was impossible to miss: A fully-loaded haulage truck the size of a double-storey house on wheels, travelling at an estimated 60 kilometres an hour. But what was unique about this truck was it didn’t have a driver.

    It’s not just mine haulage trucks – it’s also driver-less trains, dust-suppression water trucks and autonomous blast hole rigs – that are the newest faces of automation.

    “There’s no doubt that Australia is well ahead of the rest of the pack.”

    Steve McIntosh, Rio Tinto

    So are there human jobs at Adani Carmichael or will automation take most of them?

  71. GM: Adani has bragged about the advanced technology that will be a part of its mining operation.
    That will include driverless trucks, trains and other equipment controlled from elsewhere and not necessarily in Australia.
    Adani in 2014 testified it would create 1470 jobs, but the politicians heard 10,000 jobs. The planned output of the mine has been reduced from 60 million tonnes per year to around 25 million, about 40% of the original fanfare amount and meaning a significant cut in jobs. Job numbers would not be lost on straight pro-rata, but the number could conceivably drop to around 700 over the life of the mine.

    If you consider the extremely sorry economics of the mine, the dubious ethics of Adani, the declining world demand for low grade coal, the very questionable net benefits to Australia you have to wonder what keeps politicians and flat-earthers supporting this scheme.

    I have twice written to the Labor candidate here, asking if they will support the Carmichael mine. No answer yet.

  72. geoff henderson (Re: APRIL 29, 2019 AT 12:35 PM)

    I have twice written to the Labor candidate here, asking if they will support the Carmichael mine. No answer yet.

    May I suggest you write again to your candidates and draw their attentions to:
    – the Berlin-based Energy Watch Group report titled GLOBAL ENERGY SYSTEM BASED ON 100% RENEWABLE ENERGY: Power, Heat, Transport and Desalination Sectors where it includes in the Foreword:

    We need to change the conversation: A transition to a global 100% renewable energy system is no longer a matter of technical feasibility or economic viability, but one of political will. Not only do we need ambitious targets, but also stable, long-term, and reliable policy frameworks, adapted to regional conditions and environments. We call on the global community to urgently pursue a forward-looking pathway towards net zero GHG emissions by launching a rapid change of the way we use natural resources and provide electricity, heat and transport.

    and

    – the Boom and Bust 2019 report

    and ask them how supporting any new coal mines would be in Australia’s long-term best interests.

  73. Ross Garnaut says a grid powered by wind and solar, and backed by storage and demand management, could be achieve quite quickly, but it would require the “train wreck” of regulatory failures to be fixed. See YouTube video Prof Garnaut Lecture 3: Decarbonising Electricity with Security, Reliability and Lower Costs, published by the University of Melbourne’s Australian-German Climate & Energy College on Apr 25 (duration 1:20:47).

    More and more evidence is indicating the beginning of the end of thermal coal is happening now.

  74. Geoff H, with respect, what the local Labor members think does not make a difference. The leadership has decided that it must stack up environmentally and economically, and they will act within the law. That’s all you will get out of them.

    Shorten has not said that he won’t review Adani if they gain power, but he’s not going to change his tack before the election.

    However, they are not going to precipitate a row within Labor, which is what would happen if he came out against Adani.

    That’s IMHO

  75. Posted earlier today on the Independent Planning Commission NSW (IPCN) Bylong Coal Project webpage is a Briefing Note: South Korea Shifting Further Away from Coal, by Simon Nicholas & Tim Buckley representing IEEFA. On page 8 it includes:

    Australian thermal coal exporters won’t be the only ones impacted by declining South Korean coal imports. South Korea is the third largest thermal coal export destination for both South Africa[25] and Indonesia[26] – the world’s largest thermal coal exporter.

    As South Korean coal imports decline, Australia, South Africa and Indonesia will be heavily competing with each other over potential new export markets. Depressed market conditions will be significantly exacerbated by the forecast decline in demand for thermal coal imports by both China (Indonesia’s biggest export market) and India (South Africa’s biggest export market and Indonesia’s second biggest). The Office of the Chief Economist forecasts that Indian thermal coal imports will decline at an average rate of 1.5% per year out to 2024.[27]

    The briefing note ends with:

    With all the main exporters within the Asian seaborne thermal coal market expected to be looking to replace lost export destinations, the market seems set to enter a period of oversupply and reduced prices and royalties unless rational steps are taken.

    For the NSW government, such rational steps should include the cessation of new thermal coal mine approvals.

    I would suggest this rationale would also apply to Queensland thermal coal mine approvals (including the Adani Carmichael mine).

  76. Thanks GM, that is good stuff.

    The demise of coal has been heralded for sometime, and it is now so clear that coal is becoming increasingly un-bankable. For governments, if should be looking increasingly un-backable. Forgive the new words please.
    Yet governments still hedge their commitment to supporting Adani (and coal generally).
    I completed a Compass poll the other night. At the end of it I was told that my answers most closely align with Green policies.

  77. GH: Governments hedge because they want investment in their area and know potential investors get put off if governments are seen to be changing the rules after companies have put money into exploration, buying leases, negotiating etc.
    I don’t think Adani will go ahead for, among many things the economic reasons GM mentioned above, water rights and tighter enforcement of environmental rules. On the other hand I think Adani benefits from having its coal leases on the books and there is always the hope that a government may think it is politically worth while to pay out piss off money.

  78. GH, to add to my comment above, what your local candidate thinks does matter in the longer term. Policy up to the election is set in stone. In the ALP big policy is decided in the party conference every three years.

    I think the activities of GetUp et al will contribute to withdrawing the social licence for new coal mines, and then for mining coal at all eventually.

    Still think Di Natale should act like a statesman rather than a protester, but I’ll say more on that soon.

  79. Brian:

    Still think Di Natale should act like a statesman rather than a protester

    Curious to hear what you mean by “statesman” in this context.
    My wife grew up in a household where pig iron Bob was definitely not considered a statesman. Was a bit startled when she went to high school and met people who thought he was.
    During the Menzies era a lot of people considered Menzies a “statesman”. However, in retrospect he looks more like a pompous fool who was looking back to a past where the British empire really was important. It took statesmen like Whitlam, Hawke and Keating to lead us into the modern world.
    In the case of DiNatalie I don’t think it is his job to be a Menzies like “statesman” living in the past or even the present. It is his job to lead us into the future the planet needs and put pressure on the major parties to be seen supporting the action needed to give my grandchildren a good future. Part of this pressure involves making it harder for poor decisions to be made in the name of jobs or sovereign risk.
    Climate action is considered an important issue in this election. My take is that the Greens should be given credit for helping make this happen.

  80. geoff henderson (Re: APRIL 30, 2019 AT 5:55 PM)

    Yet governments still hedge their commitment to supporting Adani (and coal generally).

    I think governments are peddling false hope by making claims more thermal coal mines will boost jobs in regional areas to people who think they will get long-term jobs (from projects like the Adani Carmichael project). IMO the evidence is overwhelming that we are seeing the beginning of the end of the global thermal coal market.

    I made a presentation to the then NSW Planning Assessment Commission (PAC, now renamed Independent Planning Commission NSW) concerning the Invincible Colliery Southern Extension Modification on 29 Nov 2017 (scroll down to “Presentations and Comments” section and see my presentation slides & script).

    The project promised to create up to 35 jobs.
    The project was approved on 2 Feb 2018. See Lithgow Mercury article headlined Green light: Invincible Mine to reopen after State Government tick.

    As far as I’m aware the Invincible mine has still not begun production – in other words, lots of promises of jobs during the approval process, but after gaining approval, little action.

  81. Posted earlier today at The Guardian is an article by Katharine Murphy & Sarah Martin headlined Independents pledge to block Adani mine in event of minority government. It begins with:

    Seven potential lower-house independents have signed a joint statement pledging to pursue a number of climate change actions in the event the election makes them kingmakers in the next parliament – including working to stop the controversial Adani coalmine.

    Andrew Wilkie in Denison, Kerryn Phelps in Wentworth, Julia Banks in Flinders, Helen Haines in Indi, Zali Steggall in Warringah, Rob Oakeshott in Cowper, and Oliver Yates in Kooyong, have signed a pledge coordinated by the Australian Conservation Foundation setting out 10 measures they will pursue in the next parliament in the event they win their seats, putting the major parties on notice in the event either has to form a minority government.

  82. GM: The independents and minor parties on their own can’t block Adani without enough support from major parties.

  83. JD, that’s right, especially in the reps, and I think there won’t be as many of them in the senate this time.

    John, “statesman” wasn’t really the word. I meant “politician” but that’s almost a swear word now. For the moment I’ll say “proper politician”, but I think Adani as such is somewhat a distraction in the context of the election.

    Same with offshore credits.

    These are the two things about climate change anyone wants to talk about, and Di Natale has encouraged that because he can stir sh*t that’s can be made to look bad for Labor.

    He should be wearing a 350.org T-shirt, telling us to turn down the dial on global warming, that it’s more than urgent, that Labor’s policy is good as far as it goes, but lacks urgency, and that the Coalition position is a sick joke, a smoke screen to make it look as though they care, that the chaotic actions of Angus Taylor should scare the bejesus out of industry, and everyone else, that we are becoming a joke internationally and betraying our kids.

    Sure he can mention Adani along the way, but he’s looking like another opportunistic politician, and on the offsets thing, actually ignorant.

    I’ll explain that more later, but now in fairness I should try to find out what he said at the National Press Club today.

    Sorry for the rant.

    Does di Natale know how much water and other resources go into making a T-shirt?

    He should just have one, set an example and explain why he only has one, and it’s not Stop Adani.

    (I’ve got a link about making T-shirts somewhere, I’ll try to dig it up.)

    /rant

  84. Watched Di-Natalie’s press club presentation. Reminder of why I am an active Green. He does recognize that off shore credits are appropriate at times for things like international airlines but not as an alternative to doing things we should be doing in Aus.

  85. The Courier Mail has a story (pay-walled) that the Qld Environment report on the black-throated finch is now available. It calls for better baseline data on existing populations.

    The real problem for Adani is, however, that the report specifies that field workers assessing the population must have masters degrees in a specified discipline.

  86. Thanks for the David Pope cartoon, zoot.

    He’s very very good.

    And for all his faults and human foibles, Mr Churchill is looking better every year.

    Journalist, MP, idiosyncratic public figure, Govt Minister, warner against Fascist aggression, national leader in a weak position against Nazi change, master of rhetoric, liked a drink, victorious war time leader, tossed out by the electorate, wrote a mammoth history of the war, won a Nobel for Literature, …..

    Luckily for Australia, he didn’t play Test cricket.

    ***
    Not on Churchill but a story about Alexander of Macedonia.

    His Dad wanted the best fir him. He hired Aristotle as the boy’s tutor. Later, young Alex went conquering. Someone asked Aristotle his opinion. The old man said, “Well, I tutored him, but I’m not sure whether he ever listened.”

  87. Zoot: That Richard Flanagan piece in the Guardian was the best anti Adani article I have read so far.
    Part of what appealed to me was that he grew up in isolated mining towns like my kids did and understood some of the issues with the coal mining industry from the point of view of people like me who have spent a large slab of their life in the coal industry.

  88. I’m willing to go to jail to stop Adani and save our beloved country. Will you stand with me?

    Incitement to brake the law on a carriage service is illegal. Breaks a number of media laws.

    Both Flanagan and the Guardian should retract and apologies or face the full force of the law.

  89. Jumpy the Bush Lawyer: Coal mining is not a carriage service. What pub did you get that legal opinion from?
    What can the law do to stop someone who is willing to go to jail like the Franklin protesters did?
    Should Morrison be charged for bringing a dangerous substance into parliament, claiming it was harmless and giving it to someone who obviously didn’t understand the danger?

  90. I stand corrected. A quick Google reveals that in Australia one can be charged with using a carriage service to menace, harass or cause offence.
    (I wonder if that includes telling people to go **** themselves?)

  91. brake the law on a carriage service

    somehow brings to mind an old Cobb and Co carriage, with brakes. Not sure how “the law” fits in. Is one of the passengers a Bush Lawyer?

    BTW zoot, most impressive to see you standing corrected by your own good self, learned colleague, without needing chastisement from the QC Who Lurks.

    All rise.

    Ambi
    Habeus Tort Chambers
    pro bono

  92. Geoff M, thanks for the link to the Ian Dunlop article. That is exactly what I want Richard di Natale to be telling Australians about climate change. If he did, then we may have actually had a climate change election. We’ve missed they boat, thankyou, Richard.

    If that message had entered Leigh Sales head, for example, she would have challenged ScoMo on the 7.30 Report tonight, when she let him off when he said, “We are meeting our Paris targets”.

  93. Brian (Re: MAY 6, 2019 AT 10:09 PM)

    Geoff M, thanks for the link to the Ian Dunlop article. That is exactly what I want Richard di Natale to be telling Australians about climate change. If he did, then we may have actually had a climate change election.

    Have you let Senator Di Natale know that? I have, today, highlighting your statements above and recommending he read Ian Dunlop’s piece – it only takes a few minutes to ring his office (phone (03) 9654 0430) and leave a message directly with a staffer, or alternatively email him. I don’t think he can read minds, so I would suggest you need to tell him what you (as a concerned Australian) think he perhaps should be doing – can it hurt?

    Senator Di Natale, Tanya Plibersek and Simon Birmingham are advertised to be on the panel next Monday (May 13) on ABC Q&A. It’s live-to-air, so what is said can’t be edited out – a golden opportunity to get a clear message over to the Australian people about what you suggest should be said about climate change – put that suggestion to Di Natale – what have you got to loose?

    If that message had entered Leigh Sales head, for example, she would have challenged ScoMo on the 7.30 Report tonight, when she let him off when he said, “We are meeting our Paris targets”.

    Well, I suggest you send Leigh Sales that feedback here – can it hurt?

    7.30 welcomes your feedback, comments and story suggestions. Please fill out the form below and click on the ‘send’ button to leave us a message.

    Perhaps Leigh Sales is not aware of the critical facts? Perhaps you could prime her with info you think she should have for next time?

  94. Geoff M, thanks for the links and the advice. I have limited time, and my aim has been to make a substantive case as to why di Natale should change his strategy. My current aim is to do three more posts before the election. One on climate change strategy, one on policy and one on budget matters. I was going to do policy next, but might change that to climate change.

    On that matter, John Quiggin has a piece How much will it cost to deal with climate change? where he addresses the shonky modelling the LNP has been quoting, and why the approach Labor is taking will cost SFA. He supports his view to some extent by citing economic modeller Warwick McKibben, who addressed the issue at the request of the Abbott government in 2015.

    There have been claims, for example by Patricia Karvelas when talking with Mark Butler, that McKibben has distanced himself from Labor using that earlier work.

    In fact about 2 weeks ago McKibben wrote an opinion piece in the AFR saying nothing had changed, and that if you didn’t have the facility to use offshore credits in a limited way, you were basically nuts.

    The issue here is whether certain industries can be maintained here in OZ or will they migrate offshore to countries that think limiting GHG emissions is someone else’s problem?

    No-one but me has made that point explicitly, but that is what I’ve inferred from what I’ve read and heard.

    You mention Monday’s Q&A. Tanya Plibersek in talking to Patricia Karvelas, gave the best defence I’ve heard yet for Labor’s climate policy ‘cost’ issue, citing McKibbin, so we’ll see what happens. (It was a wide-ranging interview and mentioned only briefly the egg attack the ABC has headlined. I was impressed with Plibers. She’ll be the next leader if ScoMo wins.)

    My basic advice to di Natale is that if he keeps banging on about Adani and coal, he’s doing it because he thinks it will give Labor internal troubles with the CFMMEU, and his priority is to get ahead of Labor in a handful of lower house seats, mainly inner Melbourne and Brisbane.

    Shorten made clear that what the CFMMEU thinks will not influence his position, he’ll be guided by the law and is mindful of sovereign risk and Autralia’s reputation as an importer of capital.

    If Di Natale stops dissing Labor climate policy and concentrates on why we need to go to zero emissions by 2030 or earlier, coal disappears as certainly as night follows day. By focussing on coal and dissing Labor’s climate policy, he makes it more likely that ScoMo wins.

    It’s as simple as that.

    BTW, if you want to know the real Shorten, watching his Q&A is compulsory viewing.

    On the cost of his climate change policies, his basic tack was to say it was a dumb question. You have to start with the cost of doing nothing, and the fact that acting is something we must do. More of the same is not an option.

  95. Brian (Re: MAY 8, 2019 AT 10:33 AM)

    Thanks for the link to the Quiggin piece. IMO that should be compulsory reading. You say:

    My basic advice to di Natale is that if he keeps banging on about Adani and coal, he’s doing it because he thinks it will give Labor internal troubles with the CFMMEU, and his priority is to get ahead of Labor in a handful of lower house seats, mainly inner Melbourne and Brisbane.

    Di Natale was interviewed by Leigh Sales on ABC 7:30 last night. This is part of what was said (per transcript, bold text my emphasis):

    LEIGH SALES: Well, let’s unpack a little bit of what he said last night.
    The Prime Minister pointed out that the Greens have a 100 per cent Renewable Energy Target to be met by 2030. How would the pace of that change, very rapid, not drive the economy into recession?

    RICHARD DI NATALE: Well, let’s be clear about why this policy exists.
    We’ve just had, today, a release from UN-backed scientists – a million species about to be lost, here in Australia, thousands of them.
    More fires, more floods. We’re going to lose the Great Barrier Reef. The Murray-Darling Basin on the brink of collapse.
    We need to take urgent action. We need to do it quickly.
    At the heart of that is addressing the key issue that’s driving climate change and it’s coal.
    If you don’t have a plan to transition away from coal to renewables, you’ve got no climate plan.

    We can’t keep opening up new coal mines, new gas fields, drilling new oil wells. We have to keep fossil fuels in the ground and drive that transition.

    Di Natale is clearly talking about more than just coal and Adani. Further along Di Natale says:

    RICHARD DI NATALE: Well, I think Paul Keating belled the cat yesterday – coal’s got no long-term future so we’ve got to actually plan for this transition.

    That’s what we’re doing, we’re planning for it.

    To me, this is something new from Di Natale I haven’t heard him say before (bold text my emphasis):

    Japan and South Korea are saying to us, “We don’t want your coal. We’re moving to a hydrogen-based economy.”

    Our job is to create the pathway to do that – exporting hydrogen, renewable energy to the rest of the world, creating jobs, investment, and of course, most importantly, bringing down the pollution that comes from coal.

    The Greens are following the advice of the scientists for a rapid transition to cheaper, faster deployable renewables to mitigate dangerous climate change. IMO Labor’s policies on energy and climate change action are not doing enough – they are certainly better than the COALition’s policies, but not enough to get us out of danger.

  96. GM

    My guess at this stage is that Dr di Natale is highly unlikely to change tack.

    He and his advisers and his campaign team will have worked out in detail what their main national themes should be, how much advertising and doorknocking to do in each seat. They will be guided by their Party members too.

    If he’s like other leaders – and I think he is in regards to campaigning – he will have learnt some short ‘sound bites’, will have anticipated reporters’ questions and learnt answers, and most importantly will have decided to
    stay consistent
    … during these weeks.

    He will be very aware of journalists’ propensity to jump on inconsistencies. See zoot, Brian and others on the habits of our Press.

    Summing all of this up, I believe phoning Dr di Natale’s office now is wasted effort.

    But feel free to do whatever you believe is needed to assist reducing our C emissions.

    Cheerio

  97. Ambigulous (Re: MAY 8, 2019 AT 11:52 AM)

    Summing all of this up, I believe phoning Dr di Natale’s office now is wasted effort.

    I disagree – you don’t know that for sure. IMO it’s never too late to offer new info as it emerges.

  98. Indeed I don’t know that for sure.
    Quite right.

    I would hope that Richard di Natale and Chris Bowen and all the frontbenchers in every Parliamentary Party would have staff helping them to keep up-to-date, and separating the wheat from the chaff (so to speak).

    Good luck with your efforts, Geoff.

    Even a small breakthrough (and who can judge what’s small?) may have a positive effect.

  99. Brian: There are some seats in places like Brisbane where the Greens have got a better chance of beating the LNP than Labor. This is because there are some conservatives who could never bring themselves to vote Labor but are attracted to an educated middle class party that is fighting to conserve the environment, save the planet and help maintain the sort of life they live in their leafy suburbs or trendy inner city suburbs. They may also be keen to see the Greens retain their influence in the senate instead of the place currently held by the Qld Greens going to Palmer or Malcolm Roberts.
    The Greens are not going to be able to do the above if they morph into an echo party for Labor. The Greens need to oppose Adani and Shortens plans to expand fossil gas production and fracking. I think that di-Natale is doing what he needs to do for the future.

  100. If you listen to this panel discussion Spotlight on Higgins — the Labor, Liberal and Greens candidates make their pitch you’ll find that when Greens candidate Jason Ball opens up on climate change he says it’s all about coal and there will be no change if we elect “the old parties”.

    Please note, he is saying that Labor’s climate policy will achieve nothing.

    It’s a lie.

    John, I don’t want the Greens to be an echo party. We know that Labor’s policy is inadequate, I’d wager my house that they know it’s inadequate too.

    Labor have said they will follow the science. The last informed advice to government was from The Climate Change Authority in 2014, as I’ve explained in Labor’s climate action plan 2019 – a “dog’s breakfast?”. To repeat, Labor say they are going to restore and reform the Climate Change Authority (CCA) and under the supervision of that organisation undertake a triennial Australian Climate Change Assessment (ACCA). They say:

      In order to inform policy, and ensure Australian business, government, and communities are equipped to address the impacts of climate change, Australia needs a comprehensive, independent,scientific, and Australia focussed assessment of likely climate change impacts over the next years and decades. It is impossible to properly plan for the impacts of climate change if we do not have Australian focussed assessments of what those impacts are likely to be under plausible scenarios.

    In that post under the dot points I’ve identified 22 actions Labor are going to take.

    That is not nothing.

    It would help Labor if they acknowledged Labor’s plans and then explained that the situation is more urgent than that and required deeper cuts sooner.

    That they can differentiate themselves from Labor, and I’d cheer them all the way.

    They way thing are the Greens are saying that there is no climate change reason to vote Labor. They are saying vote 1 for the Greens, but it doesn’t matter who you preference after that, because they are both hopeless.

    What I see them doing is trying to get another Green or two in the HoR. Number one priority, end of story.

    Some oldies are thinking they’ll change their vote for the sake of the grandkids. Chances are they feel they can’t vote for those trade union guys, so they’ll vote Green and preference the LNP

    I’m sure the Greens do not want to re-elect ScoMo, but that is where dissing Labor over climate change leads.

    (Labor should formally separate from the unions, but that’s another story.)

  101. A second thing I will say, is that if Labor can form a minority government, they will govern as a minority on the policies they put to the electorate. Di Natale doesn’t seem to have understood that doing what Gillard did was a disaster in the eyes of Labor.

    It allows the LNP to run scare campaigns saying vote for Labor and you’ll get the Greens. So ScoMo is running scare campaigns about Labor introducing death taxes because of something Di Natale said a few years ago.

    If we had two terms of a Shorten government we’ll hopefully get to the point where the Climate Change Authority is part of the furniture, like the ACCC.

    On health a key labor plan is to establish a Health Services Commission, with first order of priority to look into primary health care. I heard the other day that we are only getting Australian GPs to replace the ones that are going into specialties.

    Labor won’t be asking the Greens what to do. they are trying to set up policy development institutions that can get input from everyone, including the experts. It’s how they see running the country in important policy domains rather than cooking up policy within political party back rooms.

  102. “It would help the Greens if they acknowledged Labor’s plans and then explained that the siuation is more urgent….”

    (I think that’s what you wanted to write at 11.49pm last night, Brian. )

    Cheerio from one old person to another.

    Ambi
    Pedants Retirement Home
    Guesswork Wing
    Corridor 42
    or let me see, was it 3.14159?

  103. Brian: I may be misreading something but I thought Labor came out in support of fossil gas production in the Galilee basin and the NT. My understanding is that overall LNG exported to china for power generation produces more emissions than Qld coal burnt in modern coal fired power generators.
    Just accept that I am an active Green who thinks voting Green sends a clearer climate action and environmental message than voting Labor.
    I also understand that Labor needs to distance itself from the Green s so that they have a strong case for saying that they aren’t controlled by the Greens.
    I think that Labor will win in its own right, but, if it comes down to negotiations they will find DiNatalie a lot less rigid than Christine Milne.

  104. Ambigulous (Re: MAY 8, 2019 AT 4:51 PM)

    I would hope that Richard di Natale and Chris Bowen and all the frontbenchers in every Parliamentary Party would have staff helping them to keep up-to-date, and separating the wheat from the chaff (so to speak).

    I would hope” apparently in my experience is not enough. When I have spoken directly to staffers to draw attention to information I think is important, the impression I get in conversation with most (if not all) of them is they are not aware of that information. Now, I understand the people I speak to may not be directly involved with energy policy-making, but I wonder whether the policy-makers are up to date.

    I hear politicians speak publicly on energy and C/C issues and they appear to me to be uniformed, or missing key points that I think they should know and get across to Australians to support their policy directions (and I’m only talking about energy and climate change policies), so I wonder whether they really are up-to-date and on top of the subject.

    So, I have phoned some of their offices (and I don’t just restrict
    my contacts – I talk to Lib, Nat, Lab, Green, Independents, etc. – I’m not fussy) to draw attention to information I think they should be aware of. In some instances I notice that following my exchanges of information some of the public messages change.

    I rang Di Natale’s office last week to draw attention to Simon Nicolas & Tim Buckley’s Briefing Note: South Korea Shifting Further Away from Coal. This week he tells Leigh Sales on ABC 7:30 (bold text my emphasis):

    Japan and South Korea are saying to us, “We don’t want your coal. We’re moving to a hydrogen-based economy.”

    Is that coincidence – was Di Natale already aware of this info – or did I make some knowledge contribution that has modified the message?

    My point is: don’t assume they know. If they are not saying it, assume they either don’t know, or (for whatever reason) they don’t want to say it.

  105. Ambi, what I wanted to say was “It would help Labor win the election if they acknowledged Labor’s plans and then explained that the situation [not siuation!] is more urgent….”

  106. John, I don’t know enough about gas to have an opinion. I’m very uncomfortable about it, but if you look at NemWatch at any given time there is a fair bit being used for electricity within the NEM. There are industrial uses, plus a fair bit used in Victoria for heating. Plus the export commitments. We need to keep the price down while we are using the stuff.

    However, that’s why we need the Australian Climate Change Assessment under the CCA.

    The Greens should care if the extra votes that come to them go to Labor if they come third. At present they are actually saying that there is no point in voting for Labor if you care about the climate.

  107. GM, The Greens are saying such similar things about Labor, coal and climate, that it’s obvious they are singing from a prepared song sheet. A phone call from me is just going to be one more opinion, ignored unless there are large numbers more saying similar stuff, which there won’t be.

    Buit I’d encourage you to keep doing what you do.

    I want to make a logical coherent case that might affect the next election if Labor loses this one.

  108. John, I actually think Labor’s climate policy is better than the Greens’ policy as a policy to be implemented in the Australian political system.

    The CEF negotiated between Gillard, Garnaut, the Greens et al had wonderful institutional architecture, and the CEFC and ARENA money along with the RET has carried forward. Everything ScoMo skites about was started and continued in spite of his mob. But as I pointed out in 2011 in Assumptions underlying the CEF package, Garnaut should have rejected the brief. I know he knew that it was inadequate for a reasonable chance of avoiding a climate catastrophe.

    It was a political fix, suitable for the times, at best, as I said at the time:

    The CEF is a better-than-nothing start which aligns us with the level of ambition of those countries taking action or making pledges on climate change mitigation. Unfortunately when seen against the real problem it remains a half-hearted and anaemic attempt.

    However, the Climate Change Authority was meant to take climate change out of the realm of politics and into the realm of science.

    The Climate Institute was to have a dialogue with the public. It got killed by Abbott, and has an after-life in the Climate Council.

    Labor is bringing science and public consultation back together again in the Australian Climate Change Assessment to be done every three years. I wish that Bill Shorten would have talked about that in the debates.

    If Labor and the Greens get together in a room and cook something up, chances are the COALition will knock it off when they get back in.

    So the Greens policy may be a very fine document, albeit with a carbon trading scheme as the centre-piece, 10 years down the track Labor’s approach will get us further.

  109. Brian: You know I think that a carbon price is the sort of rubbish economists dream up as a result of their obsession with price manipulation. As Tony Abbott well demonstrated it also fails to provide the certainty that investors require. Canberra and much of the world are using variations of renewable energy options to drive investment in clean energy. The National Greens should talk to their Canberra Greens colleagues.
    Having said that I think voting Green sends a stronger message on climate action than voting Labor. I also think that it is highly likely that the Greens will take over currently Labor seats because of changing demographics.

  110. JD I agree with you. I see the different “policies” and commentary as becoming too complicated, too intellectual and too scripted. Green looks increasingly comfortable to me.

    When it comes to the environment, the first response is invariably cost, yet the goal is priceless – if we don’t act, and act soon, we are screwed.
    No argument, however elegantly articulated, can avoid the inevitable if climate/environment is not effectively addressed.
    We can discuss the best way forward to addressing climate change, and consider the consequences (winner and losers) of making changes and that’s where I see believe the discussion should be. It amounts to sorting priorities about how to proceed. You can liken the approach to Bjorn Lomborg’s approach, except that Lomborg’s lists a variety of world problems and believes that we should address those that do the most good right now. E.g. overcoming malaria. That’s a good goal, but the longer term issue is the viability of the planet and it’s capacity to sustain 9 billion + people. That does not mean we ignore disease, but the solid thrust of world policy should be on making this planet sustainable.

    Maybe our politicians are sorting their policy priorities like Lomborg, but shy to associate their thinking with his. Climate policy seems almost as tacked on to Party Policy, and not at all enough to see our heirs through.

  111. Brian (Re: MAY 9, 2019 AT 11:23 PM)

    A phone call from me is just going to be one more opinion, ignored unless there are large numbers more saying similar stuff, which there won’t be.

    The contacts I make with politicians and staffers include references with evidence/facts. My opinions in conversation are supported by credible data/evidence (like the example above last week with Di Natale’s staffer). IMO, just voicing an opinion won’t cut it – it needs to be backed-up with credible evidence/data. It’s then up to the politicians to accept that data/evidence, or present alternative contrary data/evidence, or they appear ill-informed and incompetent. IMO some politicians reject or suppress the evidence because it’s inconvenient for their ill-informed and baseless ideology. That’s why I stated above:

    My point is: don’t assume they know. If they are not saying it, assume they either don’t know, or (for whatever reason) they don’t want to say it.

    You say:

    I want to make a logical coherent case that might affect the next election if Labor loses this one.

    If the COALition get back in, then I think the damage (continuing lack of effective energy and climate change policies to deal with the looming existential threats) will be too great during the next 3-year parliamentary term (i.e. more uncertainty and lack of rapid action) to pull back from at the next election. I hope I’m wrong about that, but as you well know, the evidence is so overwhelming that humanity needs to act quickly as time is running out.

    IMO Australia is not doing enough on effective climate change action – our emissions appear to be going up – and IMO the evidence is clear we are unequivocally ill-prepared for an inevitable (and probably imminent) decline in petroleum-based diesel fuel supplies.

  112. Geoff Henderson (Re: MAY 10, 2019 AT 10:46 AM)

    We can discuss the best way forward to addressing climate change, and consider the consequences (winner and losers) of making changes and that’s where I see believe the discussion should be.

    In Ian Dunlop’s op-ed headlined Stopping Adani is a National Necessity, Economically, Financially and for our Survival, he states:

    – The Paris Climate Agreement voluntary emission reduction commitments, if implemented would lead to a temperature increase of around 3.5°C by 2100 if not earlier – a world which leading national security experts describe as “outright social chaos”. At present, we are on track for around a 4.5°C increase, which would be “a world incompatible with any organised society”, resulting in a substantial reduction in global population.

    – Dangerous climate change is occurring at the 1°C temperature increase already experienced. The 2°C Paris upper limit now represents the boundary of extremely dangerous climate change.

    – To stay below 2°C, global emissions must peak now and be reduced by around 7% annually, something no country has ever achieved. The lower 1.5°C Paris target requires even more rapid reduction. Meanwhile, emissions rise in line with worst case scenarios.

    – This IPCC analysis assumes only a 50-66% chance of meeting the targets. Not good odds for the future of humanity. To have a sensible 90% chance, there is no carbon budget left today to stay below 2°C, let alone 1.5°C, thus all fossil fuel consumption should stop immediately. Obviously that is not going to happen, but new investment must stop now, and the existing industry wound down as fast as possible.

    – Emissions from continued fossil fuel investment lock-in irreversible, existential climatic outcomes today. By the time the climatic impact of these investments becomes clear, it will be too late to take avoiding action. Hence the risk is immediate.

    – Atmospheric aerosols produced by burning coal and oil are cooling the planet by around 0.3 to 0.5°C. As aerosol concentrations reduce with the phase-out of fossil fuels, a commensurate one-off increase in temperature is likely, compounding the problem of staying below warming limits.
    Proposed solutions to meet the 1.5°C target rely heavily on carbon removal from the atmosphere using negative emissions technologies, none of which exist at scale today. This is extremely dangerous, creating a false sense of security.

    – The recent IPCC 1.5°C report understates key risks in moving from 1.5°C to 2°C warming. For example, increasing climate-driven refugees, exceeding tipping points that could push the world on to an irreversible path to a “Hothouse Earth”, Greenland and Antarctic ice sheet instability triggering multi-metre sea level increase. Exceeding 1.5°C poses huge risks both for humans and natural systems, but it is now likely that will occur within a decade.

    Do you see any winners in the scenario highlighted in bold above?

  113. Meanwhile, posted yesterday in the SMH is an article by Darren Gray headlined Coal ‘not essential’ to human progress, but steel is, says Rio chairman. It begins with:

    Coal is “not essential to human progress”, Rio Tinto chairman Simon Thompson has declared in the face of pressure from activist shareholders over the mining giant’s response to climate change.

    Mr Thompson made the remarks in response to comments at the company’s annual general meeting by Julien Vincent, executive director of the environmental finance group Market Forces.

    Who would have thought a few years ago we would be seeing these public comments from Rio Tinto now?

  114. John, I think the Greens future trajectory is limited in large part because it has an upper middle-class look. I’d like to see the MMP voting system, together with 4-year parliaments. I know that there are theoretically better systems. but a recent rear Vision program showed how New Zealand chose and transitioned to the version of MMP they got from Germany.

    It’s doable, has probably improved NZ politics and society. They also have the advantage of two levels of government and no upper house, which simplifies their politics. However, we are stuck with a federation of states. I think MMP keeping the party list to equate representation with voting is what we could aspire to.

  115. John, I’ll simplify my basic problem with the Greens and how they are prosecuting climate change in this election.

    Firstly, candidates should not lie to the public. Greens candidates, and leaders Bandt and Di Natale, are lying when they say nothing will change if you vote Labor, or equating Labor’s policies with the LNP’s.

    Secondly, Di Natale is missing a prime opportunity. He should leave the StopAdani stuff to Bob Brown and use the election to say that climate change is urgent and we need to turn down the dial to 350ppm, that the IPCC 1.5°C report falls short of the mark and will take us to the brink of dangerous runaway climate change, that 1.5°C will see coral reefs decline by 70-90 percent.

    That’s what he should be saying rather than yelling at people about coal.

  116. There was an article today in the AFR Adani mine faces potentially fatal blow:

    The Palaszczuk government has dealt a potentially fatal blow for Indian energy company Adani’s hopes of building its controversial $2 billion Carmichael mine in Central Queensland by asking for an extra review of their groundwater plans.

    This follows the extra conditions imposed earlier this month on Adani’s plans to protect the black-throated finch.

    It seems the the Qld government wants to hear directly from the CSIRO and Geoscience Australia.

    Sounds reasonable to me.

  117. Is groundwater one of the chief concerns of landowners, farmers near the proposed mine site(s)?

  118. Ambi, Qld is a big place, and I haven’t been near there. A quick google shows it’s 160 km NW of Clermont which has a population of around 3000 and rainfall of about 660mm, which would be summer-based and irregular.

    I suspect the ‘farmers’ are graziers, and it’s beef country with large holdings. They probably depend on bores for water for the cattle, and yes, I’ve heard they are very concerned, because when you stuff an aquifer there is basically no way of fixing it.

    That’s as I understand it.

  119. Brian:

    I suspect the ‘farmers’ are graziers, and it’s beef country with large holdings.

    I have often driven through Clermont. There is a lot of agriculture growing things like sunflowers. Not sure what is happening in the area where Adani will mine if given the OK.
    Farmers and the Greens are both worried about the effect of coal mining and fracking on ground water and ground water quality. Major parties are more conflicted because of legitimate concerns about the messages a simple blocking of Adani will send to potential investors.

  120. John, from images I’ve seen, I think it’s not farming near Carmichael. At 160km from nearest decent size town it’s rather remote.

  121. If it were blocked by administrative fiat or apparently arbitrary imposition of a ‘foreign investment review’, when other similar projects were given the go-ahead… then yes, John: the question of sovereign risk might arise…

    Not that I fully understand it. (Just know it doesn’t mean a threat to the safety of The King!!)

    The matter you raise, John, must surely be behind Mr Shorten’s repetition of “My Govt would simply follow the law, on Adani”.

    Sounds simple but I think it’s anything but.

    There are State and Federal laws on the environment.
    Laws of bankruptcy and regulations governing corporations.
    There are laws on occupational safety; export permits; mining royalties; transport of combustible materials; you name it…there’s sure to be a coupla laws or three,… as the libertarians say, “everything is tied up in a mass of red tape [don’t get me started on green tape]; amazing that ANY new business bothers to get started”

    Poor old entrepreneurs, eh?
    Our hearts go out to them, wallowing in their own, hellish Vale of Tears.

    Peace Be Upon Them.

  122. Brian (Re: MAY 13, 2019 AT 6:15 PM)

    Secondly, Di Natale is missing a prime opportunity. He should leave the StopAdani stuff to Bob Brown and use the election to say that climate change is urgent and we need to turn down the dial to 350ppm, that the IPCC 1.5°C report falls short of the mark and will take us to the brink of dangerous runaway climate change, that 1.5°C will see coral reefs decline by 70-90 percent.

    On ABC Q&A last night, in response to Scott Walker’s question, Senator Di Natale’s response included (per transcript):

    The bottom line is that we have an existential threat when it comes to climate change. It is not actually about Liberal, Labor or Green. This is about the survival of the human species. That’s what we’re confronting right now. The Great Barrier Reef… I don’t know if my kids will ever get a chance to snorkel on a healthy Great Barrier Reef. The collapse of the Murray Darling, the fires, floods, and so on. We have to deal with it. And of course, making that transition creates jobs, if we do it properly.

    I didn’t see Tanya Plibersek be as forthright as Richard Di Natale on the existential threat of climate change last night – did you, Brian?

    IMO, Simon Birmingham avoided Scott Walker’s question that included the inconvenient bit about “real action on climate change”.

    But I was disappointed that there’s still no real sense of urgency expressed by Di Natale – a wasted opportunity. And no mention of the Dirty Power report outlining the COALition’s entanglements with the coal industry – IMO something Australians should be aware of before voting.

  123. Posted earlier today at ABC.net.au is an article headlined Adani water plan ticked off within hours despite lack of detail, internal CSIRO emails reveal. It includes:

    Internal CSIRO correspondence reveals the science agency was pushed to formally accept the Federal Government’s approval of Adani’s water plans in a single afternoon.

    Key points:
    Internal CSIRO correspondence explicitly shows the agency went out of its way to avoid giving any categorical scientific advice on Adani’s plans.

    A letter from the CSIRO to the environmental department noted other concerns were yet to be addressed.

    The emails obtained by the ABC also show how rushed the CSIRO was to provide its “formal assent” to the department.

  124. Brian:

    John, I think the Greens future trajectory is limited in large part because it has an upper middle-class look.

    I think educated middle class is closer to what I think the Greens are. It s a group that is growing because of the increasing number of Australians who are receiving tertiary education.

    It is worth noting that the SMH said today (Tues 14/5) that the gas projects that shorten is promising to support will end up producing more greenhouse gases than Adani would. Enough reason to vote Green to my mind.

  125. GM: Watched the Q&A you referred to. Thought DiNatalie did a good job. I am not sure that going further than he went would have been more productive. From a political point of view it was important for him to talk about looking after the workers during the transition.

  126. GM, I pretty much agree with what you said about Q&A.

    I was disappointed in Plibersek. She looked tired, and tended to relate things back to her own portfolio, which is education at all levels.

    John, I’d give Di Natale 7/10 or 8/10 on a generous day. He has in the past accused Labor of having no plan for transitioning out of coal. They do have explicit plans for transitioning out of coal-fired power, and a ‘just’ transition is in their DNA.

    I’m disappointed that not one person, even those qualified and should know, has noticed that Labor will prioritise a nationwide climate change audit under the CCA.

    That should include what we do about gas. Thing is, we are flat strap honouring export commitments, and can’t afford high domestic gas prices. As I’ve pointed out AGL was looking at a $300 million gas terminal investment to import the stuff.

    I’m not arguing in support of Labor on gas. Just saying I know there is a problem and I don’t have enough information to have an opinion.

    For the Greens it’s always easy, because in the foreseeable future they don’t actually have to take responsibility for running the place. They don’t have to make real-world compromises.

    That’s why Di Natale can always give an answer, while Labor has to go through a deliberative process, which makes journalists impatient.

    It does also mean that often Di Natale is the only one talking real sense, and that happened a couple of times last night.

  127. Brian:

    For the Greens it’s always easy, because in the foreseeable future they don’t actually have to take responsibility for running the place. They don’t have to make real-world compromises.

    It is important to have minor parties that can say what broadly needs to happen as distinct to how it can be made to happen.
    My take on the Greens is that, at this point in time, it is not their job to set out detailed plans or drive implementation. They haven’t got the resources and/or lack expertise. (For example, past obsessions about the carbon price damaged the Gillard government and ended up holding up progress.)
    As for gas I understand that WA is the only state that had the sense to insist that domestic supply was part of the LNG deal and the consequence is shortages of gas for domestic users. However, it would make sense to understand what domestic gas is used for and investigate alternatives instead of using fossil gas.

  128. John, Gillard made the decision not to withhold gas for domestic use, but the LNP agreed at the time. It was figured that we should pay international prices in a global economy, in the best traditions of free markets.

    Back in this CC in Dec 2017 I linked about the ACCC saying gas was still too expensive in spite of there being plenty gas underground. An AFR article begins:

    The east coast gas market remains “extremely challenging” for industrial buyers with contract prices much higher than they should be, despite an increase in gas supply from the Queensland LNG producers in recent months, the competition watchdog has found.

    Qld was handing out exploration licences in the Cooper Basin.

    It’s not in that post, but at the same time I heard there was a proven field in the NT, we just needed a pipeline.

    I understand that Labor is planning to use Northern Infrastructure Funds to build the pipeline, nothing more. If you check out Nem Watch there is often 2-3,000 MW of gas being used to generate electricity in the eastern states. In addition, gas is used for heating, and for industrial purposes other than electricity. This CC (#7) talked about gas heading from Qld south because of a warmer summer.

    In GAS TO BURN, BUT AT WHAT COST? (Sept 2017) I did a comprehensive post on gas supply and demand. There was an identified shortfall of 55-80PJ, and prices had more than doubled.

    In July that year I did a post IT’S GAS, NOT RENEWABLES, PUSHING UP ELECTRICITY PRICES.

    In April that year I did a post GAS HAS GOT TO GO and in May POWER TIPPING POINT.

    Just maybe a pipeline from NT is the cheapest way home until we can stop burning the stuff and turn off the export tap. The climate audit I’ve been banging on about would hopefully sort that out.

    Meanwhile, people should inform themselves before holding opinions. There was a generally and in detail disgraceful interview between Jonathon Green and Adam Bandt on ABC RN Drive tonight.

    Green announced that Labor’s position was hypocritical, Bandt was given to us as the last word on gas and climate change (he is neither, and got a lot wrong) and Green suggested that all people north of the Tweed were of one mind, ie. climate denying imbeciles. He didn’t say it but he meant it and it was very patronising.

  129. Brian (Re: MAY 15, 2019 AT 11:35 PM)

    Just maybe a pipeline from NT is the cheapest way home until we can stop burning the stuff and turn off the export tap. The climate audit I’ve been banging on about would hopefully sort that out.

    Cheapest way” for whom? Short-term and long-term?

    Ian Dunlop’s op-ed includes this:

    Scott Morrison and Bill Shorten both assure us any decision on Adani will be based upon the science. But the real science tells a very different story from the politically-massaged version currently being served up:

    The Paris Climate Agreement voluntary emission reduction commitments, if implemented would lead to a temperature increase of around 3.5°C by 2100 if not earlier – a world which leading national security experts describe as “outright social chaos”. At present, we are on track for around a 4.5°C increase, which would be “a world incompatible with any organised society”, resulting in a substantial reduction in global population.

    More gas means “a world incompatible with any organised society“. We need to stop extracting and using fossil natural gas – not invest in more gas.

    Ian Dunlop also states:

    The Coalition cannot be trusted, as their current denialist policy offerings demonstrate. The ALP are marginally better, but cannot continue sitting on the fence over issues such as Adani. Much more is required than either party are offering, and much faster. Neither Morrison nor Shorten show the leadership capacity to honestly articulate the challenge and build community support for action. That will have to come from elsewhere, not necessarily from politicians.

    Brian, do you disagree with Dunlop’s statements? You also say:

    The climate audit I’ve been banging on about would hopefully sort that out.

    We know what needs to be done, and as Ian Dunlop says here:

    To stay below 2°C, global emissions must peak now and be reduced by around 7% annually, something no country has ever achieved. The lower 1.5°C Paris target requires even more rapid reduction. Meanwhile, emissions rise in line with worst case scenarios.

    We need to act effectively now – not more delays/inaction.

  130. Brian,

    Posted earlier today at RenewEconomy is an article by Michael Mazengarb headlined PV peakers: How solar and batteries are killing new gas projects in US. It begins with:

    A new report from a major market analyst has highlighted the enormous potential for solar and battery projects to displace gas plants and how dramatic cost reductions make them by far the cheapest source of new firm generation capacity in many US States.

    New homes don’t need gas, and some existing homes with dual energy supply (i.e. electricity and gas) would be better off switching to electric only – see Are we still Cooking with Gas?

    Global gas prices will continue to rise as US shale gas supplies peak (see DesmogBlog.com article dated 30 Oct 2018, headlined Peak Shale: Is the US Fracking Industry Already in Decline?) and then head into a likely steep decline.

  131. Look, it doesn’t matter what I think or whether I agree with Ian Dunlop. Labor is trying to make public policy in a way that can’t easily be knocked off if the economy goes pear-shaped in the next three years and they get turfed out after that.

    In health Shorten plans to set up a Health Services Commission to guide future policy especially private health insurance and GP practice, which is in trouble.

    Shorten surprised business by saying he wants in June a Hawke-style summit with everyone along to work out industrial relations policy.

    It’s a consultative style of governing which makes the maximum use of expertise and builds community consensus. Please try to get your head around it!

  132. Jonathon Green is one of several ABC radio presenters who seem to consider themselves superior to the listeners in knowledge and intellect but are sadly lacking in both.

    Not surprised by your assessment of his interview, Brian. It’s tricky to find the wheat in amongst the chaff they strew about…..

    Your efforts are much aporeciated.
    It’s one thing entirely for a single poster to proclaim “we know what needs to be done “; it’s a much larger task to persuade a majority of voters and a large number of businesses and a majority of politicians, along with sundry banks and super funds and public servants, that we have a carbon-emissions problem that requires urgent action and realistic transition plans for the medium and longer term.

    I can’t see the logic or justice in heaping chastisement upon you Brian. You of all people. … keep up the good work!!

  133. Agree Ambi, and I don’t know how folks here get the time to research, compose and post here.
    The reported groundswell of voter and of soon-to-be voter interest/concern about environment is encouraging. It seems to have weakly become apparent to the LNP but too late to be convincing as a reason to support them. Labor is more definite – but is still sitting on the coal fence. Tonight will be interesting to say the least.
    I’m expecting the LNP to take a beating but unsure if Labor will make it with a majority. I’m hoping the the destructive Abbott will be moved on even if the new member is inclined to support the liberals.

  134. Thanks, Ambi. Geoff H, you may have noticed that Qld just approved the Olive Downs mine, costing $1 billion and ending up with 1000 ongoing jobs. It’s metallurgical, but it’s big, and will have a life into the period when we should be closing such mines down.

    Interesting, I heard ScoMo has been everywhere it matters, but not in Abbott’s or Dutton’s seats.

  135. ? Perhaps it doesn’t matter in those two seats?

    😉

    [Live by the sword, die by the sword.]

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