In Al Gore’s latest cinematic dose of climate scaremongering, a young Asian man is crying.
“I feel so scared” he wails, before a vision of solicitous uncle Al patting his hand in an attempt to soothe away his fears of the apocalypse.
Scaremongering is what Gore does best, and fear is the business model that has made him rich, though his every apocalyptic scenario has failed to materialize.
In Australia last week to spruik his upcoming movie An Inconvenient Sequel, the former US vice president tried it on again, claiming Mother Nature was “screaming” and the world would descend into “political disruption and chaos and diseases, stronger storms and more destructive floods” unless we buy his snake oil.
Silly Labor premiers bought that snake oil last week, pledging alongside the grinning Gore that Victoria, Queensland, the ACT and South Australia would embrace renewables to produce zero net emissions by 2050.
They haven’t learned the lesson from SA’s extreme green experiment with renewable energy that has produced nothing but crippling blackouts and the highest electricity prices in the world.
Any normal person with such a woeful record of accuracy as Gore would be ashamed to show his face. Eleven years after his Inconvenient Truth movie scared little kids witless, his warnings of climate Armageddon have come to nothing.
“Unless we take drastic measures the world would reach a point of no return within 10 years,” he told us then. Wrong. In fact, the world has just been through almost 20 years in which there has been a hiatus in global warming, even as carbon dioxide has increased: an “inconvenient pause” as some wags put it.
Around the world, people are waking up to the fact that their leaders have been crying wolf, while their electricity bills go through the roof.
Australia’s prosperity is built on the reams of cheap, abundant fossil fuel under our feet, and yet green zealots have forced us into an energy crisis.
But when Liberal backbencher Craig Kelly last week pointed out the logical fact that Australians will die because of high power bills, he was slammed as a “scaremonger” by the very people who worship at Al Gore’s feet.
Yes, cold kills and electricity prices have doubled in the past decade, as uncertainty plagues the energy sector, and cheap coal-fired power is priced out of the market by government subsidies for unreliable renewable energy production.
The states, which bear much of the blame, continue with the fantasy that you can replace coal with wind and solar while simultaneously banning the development of onshore gas fields.
The iron-clad law of energy supply is that more renewables force out baseload power, which you need when the sun doesn’t shine and the wind doesn’t blow.
Yet SA is pretending that the world’s biggest battery built at huge taxpayer expense by another global green huckster, Elon Musk, is going to save the day.
The diabolic task facing federal Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg is to wrangle agreement on something approaching a rational energy policy out of the recently released Finkel Review.
Unlike Donald Trump, this government doesn’t have an electoral mandate for pulling out of the Paris treaty.
Tony Abbott was a climate skeptic yet he signed us up to the Paris renewable energy target of slashing emissions by 26-28 per cent by 2050.
That was all he could get through Senate where even mining millionaire Clive Palmer had been got at by Al Gore. So this is where we are.
Appointing Alan Finkel as the chief scientist was one of Malcolm Turnbull’s first tasks after he deposed Abbott. Like Turnbull, Finkel is a climate true believer who drives an electric car and powers his South Yarra home on renewables.
He’s also an accomplished scientist and entrepreneur with a Ph.D. in electrical engineering.
He’s smart but he has produced a report bullish on renewables and bearish on coal.
Finkel is right that wimpish investors have deserted coal in Australia and that electricity prices have soared because of the uncertainty that ensued since Labor’s vandalism from 2007.
But coal is nowhere near obsolete. As the Australian Minerals Council points out, coal is the world’s leading source of electricity and will be till at least 2040.
In our region countries are busy building new clean coal plants. In East Asia alone 1250 new plants are under construction or planned.
Yet in the past eight years in Australia, not a single new baseload coal or gas generation unit has been built.
That has to change.
Turnbull has now come around to that realization, telling the Liberal National Party state convention in Brisbane yesterday: “Those people who say coal and other fossil fuels have no future are delusional.”
Fossil fuels are here to stay, despite Al Gore.
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