The PM did the right thing when he took a lump of coal into the House to make a point. But that was not a point to make in the final stretch of the race given that most people claim to have some kind of concern about the weather.
Graham Lloyd reported that the Menzies people have been busy with surveys of public opinion on climate matters. Much the same as other places in the west different surveys all find large majorities that express concern. Of course the numbers depend on the questions asked and you could put a massive error bar through the dots. Surveys that rate climate concerns in relation to other issues tell a very different story (low rating for climate) and this message becomes deafening when people are asked how much they will pony up to support their concern.
And so with a couple of years to the next election campaign let’s prod the Coalition to get up to speed with the science, make the case for the benefits of the warming and the extra CO2 of recent times and explain in excruciating detail the massive human and environmental costs of carbon mitigation. The dollar costs will soon be obvious enough in power bills.
Lives lost, the biofuel story. Matt Ridley reports that ethanol uses 5% of the world’s grain, mostly corn. This puts up the price of food and the poorest suffer. He cites an estimate that almost 200,000 people die annually and this is probably on the high side. Many different figures circulate but even Mike Hulme who is nuanced alarmist reported in strong terms on this situation. He wrote this in Why We Disagree About Climate Change:
The UN’s special rapporteur on the right to food condemned the growing of biofuels as ‘a crime against humanity’ because they diverted arable land to the production of crops which are then burned for fuel instead of sold for food’…Rather than contributing to the theoretical food security of hundreds of millions of the world’s poor in 50 years time, it has reduced the actual food security of tens of millions of the world’s poor today.
Lives not being saved. These are the millions who die prematurely in developing countries for want of clean power to replace the animal dung and other fuels that they use with poisonous consequences for their lungs. John Christy is eloquent on this topic on video. Under the influence of the Obama administration and EU greenies major lending agencies have not allowed investment in coal and gas projects in the Third World.
From another Lomborg paper.
Almost three billion people cook and keep warm by burning twigs and dung, creating fumes that lead to one out of every 13 deaths globally. Funding appropriate projects could prevent many of these fatalities by expanding access to [reliable hydrocarbon based] electricity, which would power basic stoves and heaters while fueling productivity in agriculture and industry.
Impact on the natural environment
Millions of birds and bats including endangered species minced and roasted annually.
Rainforests cleared for palm oil for biofuel.
Forests felled for woodchips to burn in DRAX instead of coal.
Other ecosystems scraped clean to make way for wind factories and fields of solar panels. A pity about the wildlife and also the effect on power prices and reliability.
Impact on the social environment
Regulation nation. The social of Nanny statism – no plastic straws the tip of the iceberg of misguided environmental regulations. 3000 pages of law and regulations to establish the renewable energy grid in South Australia, the model for all commonwealth and state regulations that followed.
Corruption of public debate and the political process.
Corruption of science.
Trashing school education.
Someone remind me about the benefits of carbon mitigation.