It is time to re-evaluate Australia's commitment to the Paris Agreement. As a nation, we are pauperising ourselves in a cause demonstrably false and easily discerned as such
National energy policy is failing to satisfy what has been described as the trilemma of objectives: meeting national commitments for emissions reduction under the Paris Agreement; providing affordable energy; and ensuring continuity of supply.
There is potential flexibility for adopting different technologies to provide affordability and continuity of supply, but governments are tightly constrained by the need for national emissions reduction.
Australia is further constrained by policy shackles of its own making. Legislation is in place that rules out the most obvious technology readily satisfying the policy trilemma: nuclear generation. The reluctance to consider nuclear is baffling considering that seventy percent of France’s electricity generation is from nuclear and the global nuclear increase from 2016 to 2017 was a not inconsequential 65 terawatt hours. That is, nuclear provided more than 10 percent of the global increase in electricity generation, the equivalent of 10 new Hazelwoods.
This essay will appear in the September edition of Quadrant, which has not yet reached the shops. It has been released early because recent events in Canberra raise the hope that, at last, policies eschewing carbonphobia for rational policy might yet emerge.The government must recast its energy policy and focus on availability and low cost. This is the only way to redress the ongoing misallocation of resources that is depriving infrastructure and social services. A key factor underpinning national prosperity must be relatively cheap and reliable energy
William Kininmonth was supervisor of climate services in the Bureau of Meteorology and a consultant to the World Meteorological Organization. He is author of Climate Change: A Natural Hazard (Multi-Science, 2004) and contributor to Taxing Air: Facts and Fallacies About Climate Change (Carter and Spooner, 2013)..
> “It’s not about science, it’s about the narrative …”
Self-evident for over a decade now, of course. I have an appetite for the actual science (my own intense interest, I’m a geoscientist) but I’ve recognised for many years that most people have no interest or aptitude.
As you see, Johanna, my brief comment had just a link. Most won’t bother to use it.
> ” … concentrate on arguments which will convince the public”
Such as what exactly?
I haven’t got a clue how to counter the “save the planet” emotional meme. It is completely impervious to any rationality. What’s your useful, practical suggestion, please ?
Once a paradigm is in entrenched in the public mind, it is very difficult to get rid of it.
Galileo exposed the fallibility of the Church and look what happened to him. Had it not been for his age, the Inquisition would have exacted a penalty nastier than house arrest. A few hundred years later, and its teachings are even more popular, promoting its Vatican science, miracles at Lourdes and of course turning Green.
As for the “dangerous anthropogenic climate change” fiction, once the political/bureaucratic class have monetized it – the equivalent of a Church tithe – its continuation is virtually guaranteed.
They are almost there, with the UN Green Climate Fund, despite its recent internal hiccups. Perhaps the ex-Foreign Minister can sort out the mob around the table, who are far more interested in the amount of money on the table than the stinking uncertainties that riddle the so-called science, especially EWE “attribution” research, integrity of data sets, etc.
Will the high priests of that field ever be brought to account for their bogus claims, spouted ad nauseum and amplified by megaphones of social media and a sanctimonious MSM?
Climategate was our Galileo moment. Buried without trace by government committees who had embraced the alarmism without proper due diligence.
As for the remaining heretics, the passage of time will eliminate them and the world will embrace “climatespeak” as the voice of the West’s new secular religion.
Remember the opening film at the United Nations 2009 COP-15 Copenhagen/Hopenhagen Climate Conference? A classic in the “mind bomb” genre. An anxious young girl clutches a small white polar bear. After a nightmarish journey through a world of eco-mayhem and environmental catastrophe, she asks viewers: “please help the world”.
Background voices warn of “hundreds of millions of climate refugees” and chastise those who “still doubt the human influence on this predicted catastrophe.” The 4 minute 14 second video ends with what a psychoanalyst might describe as an infantile fantasy: “We have the power to save the world”.
As Alice illustrates, the climate industry doesn’t bother with scientific arguments. They go straight for the emotional jugular.
Where are our ads of shivering pensioners and chilled children because the family can’t afford heating? And, unlike the poley bear lies, these would be based in fact.
Tony Abbott won in 2013 with the simple slogan ‘stop the boats’ – of course the usual suspects complained that it was simplistic and emotional. They’d rather lose with intact bowties than win in what they consider to be an undignified fashion.
As with the boats, our so-called conservatives in politics only differ in degree about energy policy, with a few honourable exceptions. As soon as one of the usual suspects squeaks, they back off mouthing platitudes, eyes rolling in fear.
That’s the problem, and endless charts and graphs might be of interest to a tiny sliver of the population, but achieve zero in changing perceptions among the general public.