Setting aside the breathtaking irony of the use of the word “ideological” by this gang of five, it’s remarkable that they have such a poor grasp of simple economics. Bloomberg New Energy Finance research has found the cost of energy from a new HELE coal-fired power station would be more than double that of new wind or solar, with a build time of about 6-8 years. And despite hundreds of millions of taxpayers’ dollars that have been thrown at “clean coal” technology in Australia over the past two decades, no commercially viable project has been developed.
The woefully poor representation of farmers’ interests by the Nationals in particular, at least with respect to climate change impacts, has not been lost on their constituents. In a recent article in the Sydney Morning Herald, NSW farmer Robert Lee wrote of his astonishment that resistance to climate action was coming from the party purporting to represent rural and regional communities. “The Nationals obviously don’t understand the implications of climate change and what it is doing to Australian farmers right now”.
Lee is not the only farmer at the frontline of climate change impacts dissatisfied with his political representation. In 2016, the Farmers for Climate Action Group commissioned a survey of farmers attitudes to climate change and renewables. Ninety percent of the 1300 farmers surveyed indicated their concern about the changing climate, and 88% wanted their political representatives to do more. Eighty percent supported Australia moving towards 100% renewables.
Aussie politicians are pushing dirty toxic coal and nuclear monopolies just like here in the US despite a majority of people saying they want clean, carbon free, nuclear free energy sources.