Job-destroying green purists are deadlier than dinosaurs
There’s an ad running at the moment by a green group that attempts to paint anyone who isn’t fully supportive of “urgent” attempts to fix climate change as a dinosaur.
The so-called Climate “Institute” (cue images of scientists not activists) labels any Australian not fully behind clean energy as a scaly throwback to extinction.
“It’s time for these dinosaurs to evolve and support strong action on climate change,” the ad says.
“Some dinosaurs in Australian politics and business are blocking climate action that will grow the hundreds of thousands of clean energy jobs we need now more than ever.”
The ads ran in the week where it was revealed that the German solar industry – once held by conventional wisdom to be stealing a march on the world on solar - is shedding vast numbers of jobs to Asia and losing money.
Remember the green lobby urging us not so long ago to be more like Germany?
“The young German solar industry faces an unprecedented wave of bankruptcies,” Financial Times Deutschland reported recently.
Germany is not alone.
In Spain, a University of Madrid study concluded that for every job created by renewable energy, 2.2 jobs are lost elsewhere in the economy. It found that it cost the country roughly $A 1 million for every wind industry job.
The dinosaur ads ran as Newspoll revealed a steep decline in the number of Australians who want to blaze ahead on our own with climate initiatives before seeing what the rest of the world does. Nearly half of Australian voters now fall into the Climate Institute’s dinosaur category by believing that, at very least, Canberra should delay its Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme until the UN climate change conference in Copenhagen in December.
The results indicate that while Australians are supportive of efforts to fix the environment, if that’s possible, they are also becoming increasingly aware of other problematic issues associated with radical action.
Will climate “action” detrimentally affect Australia’s economy, for instance, while giving a leg up to international competitors who will continue to flagrantly pollute while stealing market share? Will domestic actions punish consumers through higher costs, while achieving little, or nothing, on global emissions?
And, as Germany and Spain are discovering at considerable cost, will taxper subsidies underwrite industries which will be undercut by countries with lower input costs? These significant questions are not indicative of a nation of dinosaurs, but people smart enough to think through the issues before being led down the garden path by feel-good activists and quasi-religious pressure groups.
A recent survey conducted by Woolcott Research for Queensland Energy Resources showed support for emissions targets dropping from 78 to 59 percent when people were asked if they would still support the target if it required fuel rationing.
We still rely on fossil fuels for the vast bulk of our essential services.
It may be possible at some point in the future to run electric cars, for example, but there is no Toyota Prius equivalent of a Mack Truck, no solar power jet airliner, no wind powered container ship.
People understand this and are becoming more acutely aware that changes will amount to cost in these areas.
In other words, survey results very much depend on the information provided to people and whether or not they are able to develop a stronger understanding and appreciation of the realities of what it may cost them, and society in general, to implement strong climate change action.
There’s no doubt, the anti-dinosaur brigade at the Climate Institute and backers of action on climate change no matter the cost will decry this survey as one performed by a vested interest, which it is.
They will argue that it’s imperative stick to extreme CPRS targets and lead the world because the costs of not doing so are too great. Who knows, despite more and more debate on the science of climate modelling, they might be right.
But it is apparent that as more information comes to hand, people’s opinions adapt and this is no bad thing. It’s indicative of a more sophisticated understanding of a maturing debate.
And it’s not as if it’s only the population which is changing its view.
The Climate Institute itself was recently accused of watering down its position to match the government’s greenhouse targets.
An anonymous green organization made sure the press received a document showing how the Institute had walked away from supporting a greenhouse target it itself had held out as a “key test” for government just six months earlier.
It was keen to ensure everyone knew that the institute had supported the government’s lower greenhouse target, even though the institute had accused the government of falling “deep into credibility deficit” when it had been announced.
“Has the Climate Institute lost its purity,” the document asked. “Is it now dancing the dance of the puppet?”
It’s interesting to note that the Climate Institute’s cause hopping activist CEO, John Connor, last had a job campaigning to lift third world aid as a percentage of GDP.
Given that every scenario for combating climate change will cut Australia’s GDP, Connor is now effectively pushing for a cut in overseas aid.
Perhaps he and his organization is just as reptilian as the people it depicts in its advertisements and just possibly has its own vested interests to consider.
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