Treasurer Scott Morrison hands Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce a lump of coal during Question Time in the House of Representatives at Parliament House in Canberra, Thursday, Feb. 9, 2017. (AAP Image/Mick Tsikas) NO ARCHIVING
Treasurer Scott Morrison hands Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce a lump of coal during Question Time in the House of Representatives at Parliament House in Canberra, Thursday, Feb. 9, 2017. (AAP Image/Mick Tsikas) NO ARCHIVING MICK TSIKAS

'Clean coal' mongering driven by witless political fear

WHY, you may wonder, do the prime minister and his energy minister and treasurer all go into overdrive promoting so-called "clean coal" and denigrating renewable energy from wind and solar with such fervour?

>> RELATED STORY: Uncovering clean-coal: How clean is it?

And why is there such a concerted attack on the leader of the opposition, Bill Shorten, and attempts to associate him (and Labor) with the Greens? Surely these leaders of the nation cannot be blind to the advice from 97% of scientists and their own experts in electricity distribution?

Is there a rational explanation for their extraordinary behaviour? Well there is an explanation, but they are not promoting rational arguments; their behaviour is simply political. They are scared out of their wits by Pauline Hanson.

Hanson is a climate-change denier. Turnbull is scared witless by her polling in the states of Western Australia and Queensland and the effect this will have on liberal state votes and ultimately the federal vote. So he and his henchmen heap blame on state premiers for their progressive renewable energy targets, blaming these for recent electricity blackouts, instead of the real culprits - the extreme weather events that are the result of years of burning fossil fuels.

Of course we need reliable energy; of course the energy has to be affordable and, of course, we have to take account of the intermittent nature of solar and wind energy, but any rational, considered view would recognise that, unless we act now, all we shall leave our grandchildren will be a burned-out planet. The record temperatures and devastating bushfires of the last week are but a foretaste of what is to come in an increasingly warmer world.

Energy from the sun is free, energy from coal costs The Earth. This truth must shine through the fog of political nonsense.

Nick Reeve, Grafton



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