Mining, Energy and Climate, the CFMMEU View

Don’t miss the German tractors in the streets! Following the example of the Dutch.

WINDWATCH UPDATE.  At peak demand last night the wind delivered 6.5%. This morning it is down to 3.5% at the peak and falling.

BONUS. Jo Nova on spectacularly fake news at the Fin Rev. MUST READ!

The Fin Review headline is entirely misleading. “Climate rises as the No. 1 voter concern“. In fact, the same survey shows that two thirds of Australians didn’t even mention “climate change” as one of their top three concerns…The exact same survey also showed that when it comes to Energy Policy fully 70% of Australians wanted cheap reliable energy more than they want “lower emissions”.

Not only that but they’ve bundled “environment” and “climate change” together. Many studies show that far more people are concerned about water pollution, litter, extinction, crown of thorns and other environmental causes. 55% of the population worries about water pollution but only 32% feel the same level of concern for global warming.

TRACTORS IN THE GERMAN STREETS h/t mem   (I love tractors!)

Video of tractors h/t RobK

AT LAST. What you came to read. TONY MAHER

Last night Tony Maher spoke at the Sydney Institute on the theme Energy, Mining and Climate – Fact and Fiction.  Tony Maher is the General President of the Mining and Energy Division of the CFMMEU. His talk was a mixture of good and bad, like the proverbial curate’s egg. On the good side he clarified the structure of the CFMMEU, the difference between the export coal industry and the domestic “coal for electricity” industry, the need to consider energy policy with that difference in mind, and the way the Greens  have completely sabotaged that discussion. They have also sabotaged the discussion that is required about the way to take care of the people in the coal-mining districts as the industry changes.

On the bad side he thinks we need to acknowledge the impact of climate change, we should honour our Paris Commitments, coal is not economical for generating power, the market is driving coal out of business here and in Europe, Germany is the gold standard for the green energy transition.

From the top. The CFMMEU is a confederation of four unions that cover mining, commercial construction, forestry and the waterfront. It is not entirely monolithic  because the constituents have some autonomy and there are 22 more or less independent reporting units (that could apply to the whole ‘super union’ or just the Mining and Energy division that he heads). He mentioned the 22 reporting units in reply to a question about the threat of his union to confront the Queensland government at the next election. He clearly wanted to distance himself from the reporting unit in central Queensland.

On the domestic coal for electricity industry, there are some 8,000 jobs with another 10 or 11K indirectly involved plus families to make about 35,000 people affected. The export coal industry has 50,000 workers and when you add the support industries and families you get a quarter of a million people. Coal is our second biggest export with 40Bil for steelmaking and 20Bil for power stations. The bulk amounts to 2 B Double  semis per annum for every man, woman and child in the nation. Growth is projected for at least 20 years. The Greens who want to close the coal industry make no distinction between the two sectors and Bob Brown galvanised central Queensland against progressive left mining policy to a level comparable to State of Origin.

On the bad side he thinks we need to acknowledge the impact of climate change, with reference to drought and fires. We need a sensible policy debate about honouring our Paris Commitments without the polarization caused by deniers on one side and Greens on the other. The Coalition is probably up for this but there are too many bad people in the party room. Coal is not the economical way to generate power and the market is driving coal power out of business at home and abroad. Germany is showing the way for the green energy transition. You will admire the fortitude of your correspondent who controlled his frustration through this part of the talk.

Mr Maher is clearly a caring, intelligent and good humoured man, he just needs to get up to date on the issues by reading Catallaxy on a regular basis. I missed the  opportunity for a private conversation and a selfie but I think he could be receptive to an alternative point of view if it is presented by someone who he respects in a non-confrontational way.

BONUS READING. Following up a piece that mem linked on China’s claim that they  have met their Paris commitment ahead of time, there is a raft of Brietbart pieces including the one about China some others that will raise your blood pressure significantly. Like the dominance of gender issues and climate change at American Music Awards this year. Bernie Sanders shortens the doomsday clock and Pope Francis wants to include ecological sin to the cathechism. Anther one for the “you couldn’t make it up” file.

More specifically, Francis said, are all those actions that can be considered as “ecocide,” for instance, “the massive contamination of air, land and water resources, the large-scale destruction of flora and fauna, and any action capable of producing an ecological disaster or destroying an ecosystem.”

The pontiff said that such actions are “usually” caused by corporations, and “an elementary sense of justice would require” that they be punished for them.

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29 Responses to Mining, Energy and Climate, the CFMMEU View

  1. The union of many letters will find out soon enough about the real climate of change when all those jobs go missing and Germany et al discover their industries collapsing along with their gold standards.

  2. mem

    China claims it has already met its Paris agreement. Yet Australia continues to gut its mining industry and close coal power down. What an absolute farce.

  3. In the 2010 Federal elections in Wollongong I saw CFMEU election billboards praising Green energy.

    They have sowed the wind.

    On the bad side he thinks we need to acknowledge the impact of climate change, we should honour our Paris Commitments, coal is not economical for generating power, the market is driving coal out of business here and in Europe, Germany is the gold standard for the green energy transition.

    What a lunatic. They’re lemmings.

  4. Tel

    When China finally completes its takeover of Australia … all of our economic and environmental statistics will start looking a lot better.

  5. When China finally completes its takeover of Australia … all of our economic and environmental statistics will start looking a lot better.

    There is that, at least one positive.

  6. Aynsley Kellow

    Send him anything by Michale Kelly on the realities of the actual costs of renewables in an electricity system. He is doing his member a serious disservice by swallowing the ‘renewables are cheaper than coal’ nonsense. He needs to be introduced to the System Levellised Cost of Energy, not just LCOE for isolated sources of generation.

  7. mem

    And in Germany the farmers take to the streets
    Thousands of farmers from across Germany took to the streets of Berlin on Tuesday to protest the government’s agricultural policy with an estimated 8,600 tractors blocking traffic. Organisers of the event claim that as many as 40,000 people took part in the demonstration, while Berlin police estimated the number of tractors, which caused a shut down to Berlin’s regular traffic, to be around 8,600, Der Tagesspiegel reports.The purpose of the protest was to demonstrate against new agricultural policies introduced by the government of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, which would see much stricter environmental rules imposed on the nation’s farmers. Impressive footage here

  8. Entropy

    When they say the market is driving out coal, they are of course lying.
    If what they said was true there would be no need for the massive and endlessly increasing layers of government intervention altering the actual energy market beyond recognition in order to create the fake, artificial market these people are really talking about.
    If what they said was even remotely true then it would be reasonable to expect the immediate removal of the RET, emission targets, preferential access market etc. they would not be needed.
    If what they said was true, the renewables wouldn’t need so much access to Other Peoples’ Money.

  9. BrettW

    Perhaps a delegation of Rafe, Jo Nova and Alan Moran could seek an audience with him.

    Anybody looked at CBUS Super investment policies ?

  10. BrettW

    Am just wondering is it ok to shut down coal power for domestic electricity while still continuing coal exports ? You know, because local does not employ so many as the export business does.

    We are so screwed.

  11. Entropy

    They are not seeking a free market outcome: they are seeking a command economy outcome.

  12. Terry

    Does “caring, intelligent and good humoured” trump ignorant, cynical self-interest?

    In the privacy of one’s own thoughts and opinions, perhaps. But this guy “represents” many others and seeks to influence policy on their behalf.

    His failings cause much harm and are not mitigated by his endearing qualities.

  13. BrettW

    Somewhere in Beijing there is a department responsible for affecting Australia’s policies to benefit China.

    Things like :
    Closing down our coal power electricity so we buy more solar panels and windmills from China.
    Killing our farming industry ($1 milk, no dams for water, red tape etc) so they can buy the farms and producers cheap.

    The guy in charge is apparently upset because he is not financially rewarded for the billions in benefits and millions of jobs he has created.

    However he is pretty happy to claim all the credit for the stuff ups made down here.

    When the lights go out the politicians, senior Union guys and business people will have their own generators or be living abroad. They will not be held accountable for the suffering of those less well off.

  14. Mother Lode

    I truly wish our leaders would take the US as an example of how to grow an economy, instead of taking Europe as an example of trying to manage the destruction of one.

  15. As Jo Nova points out, here’s irrefutable proof that climate change is the pressing concern for Australians. Well, it is if you just read the headline and make no intelligent assessments of what is actually presented, especially coming from the Fin Review.

  16. Dr Fred Lenin

    The coal we are stopped from using can be sold to China and India to raise standars for their people <thats a SJWwin make us feel good ,yirtuous ,popular with the global fascists .
    Er,what about the Australian people ? Q Who ?what are you talking about ? Thats racist .
    Q Isnt depriving aboriginals and migrants of electricity and cheap food racist ?
    Nonsense , Untrue ,We are committed to free speech but you will be jailed for asking such unimportant questions . The uneducated should know their place in the modern world The science issettled there is no argument .

  17. Mother Lode

    He might be intelligent but you would think that, considering the threat his members printed almost daily in the papers, he would make a point of looking very carefully into AGW to at least separate out what is unarguable, what is exaggerated, and what is just garbage.

    And he still swallows the thing whole?

    He might be intelligent, but if he lacks courage to speak it then he is just as useless as the gluebacks in the street.

  18. RobK

    German farmers: ‘Overregulation is the last thing we need’
    By Hardy Graupner | 26.11.2019.
    Farmers from across Germany have descended on Berlin to take part in a mass protest against the government’s agricultural reform package that foresees a reduction in the use of fertilizers, pesticides and insecticides.
    Line after line, the area around the Brandenburg Gate in central Berlin was clogged up with tractors from all over Germany. Farmers had driven them into the capital days in advance to be more visible to the general public as their mass protest got underway on this Tuesday in November.

    The number of tractors involved is only mentioned in the in-bedded video, which says “over 5000 tractors took part “.

  19. Gowest

    We of the union are alright mate – stuff the rest of the dumb workers out there as they invent ways to earn much more than us!
    Meanwhile the clean energy brainwashing continues — deniers vs greens ; as-if!
    There is no debate – the ABC, MSM, and schoolteacher brainwashing is complete. A trillion dollar industry relies on it – it has to be supported – members.
    All the unionists should demand their member fees back — but they wont – they are captured – a part of the green machine.
    Good comment BrettW – unfortunately the US started the process when KRudd fooled the eastern Stater’s into voting for him (Remember he spent 2 years reviewing how to regulate the laws that we now live (just) by and Gillard put them in place) – we figured him out in the west and he punished us by stealing our GST/royalty income to keep the Canberra pork barrel machine spending. Funny how the GST was restored to get Morrison re-elected. Bet you it will be taken away again at the first opportunity.
    Remember the 9,000 regs that has to go – they are still there and the man with the job, Sinodinos was knifed to save the green machine. Same thing is happening to Angus. Try and STOP the green machine you are a marked man/woman in Canberra/Australia – politicians have the guts but the trillion dollar monster has to be fed – Jim Molan… nuff said.
    So far China has made Australia rich – the Public service has spent it already and left the debt for our kids!

  20. RobK

    One of the world’s biggest public lenders has said it will stop financing fossil fuel projects from the end of 2021 as part of an effort to combat climate change. Germany was one of the countries which had resisted.
    The European Investment Bank (EIB) said on Thursday that its new energy lending policy, which was approved with “overwhelming” support, will bar funding for fossil fuel projects from the end of 2021.
    What the West doesn’t get about the climate crisis
    Indien Schriftsteller Amitav Ghosh (picture-alliance/Eidon/MAXPPP/dpa/D. Giagnori)
    “We will launch the most ambitious climate investment strategy of any public financial institution anywhere,” the EIB’s president, Werner Hoyer, said in a statement.
    Read more: The role of the business sector in tackling the climate crisis
    Energy projects applying for EIB funding will need to show they can produce one kilowatt hour of energy while emitting less than 250 grams of carbon dioxide, a move which bans traditional gas-burning power plants

    Only CCS fossil fuel gets a run.
    Stop the world. I want to hop off.

  21. Roger

    He mentioned the 22 reporting units in reply to a question about the threat of his union to confront the Queensland government at the next election. He clearly wanted to distance himself from the reporting unit in central Queensland.

    As well he might.

    The role of the CFMMEU in central QLD in defeating Shorten has, to my knowledge, not been analysed by any journalist, although Richard Marles did go to – in his own words – “a place called Moranbah” after the election defeat to ask why miners hadn’t voted Labor.

    Since Labor are still talking out of both sides of their mouths on coal – one thing in Qld, anoither in Melbourne – evidently the answer did not register. The city-centric ALP apparently still doesn’t realise that general elections aren’t won in inner city Melbourne.

    Tony Maher might also like to ponder what the present unrest means for the CFMMEU.

  22. Aethelred

    Not clear to me what the “F” CFMMEU is for these days.

  23. I_am_not_a_robot

    They never give up, the 2013 election was fought over the carbon (dioxide) tax and border security and the electorate spoke loud and clear on both issues.

  24. Terry

    #3246969, posted on November 28, 2019 at 11:25 am

    “and the electorate spoke loud and clear on both issues.”

    Well yes, but the electorate gave the wrong answer.

    They’ll just keep on keeping on until the electorate sneaks in the correct answer.

    Then (and only then), will the matter be settled and their policy prescription locked in (to save us all from ourselves don’t you know).

    Democracy is fantastic except for all these voters exercising their free-will.

  25. Is this drought doing the culling of the Australian herd under the Paris Agreement, with little action by the Govt. to help the farmers plus no mention of the drought in Parliament in the last few days by either party makes you wonder.

  26. Dr Fred Lenin

    Just reading a bunch of fanatic}al global warming activites are now claiming they will never fly again , to save the planet . This is insanity, how are we going to -attend the global catastrophe conferences in luxury resorts to work out how to impose more restrictions of the ignorant peasant voters and taxpayers ? This is totally unfair to the concerned elite we need face to face discussion with our fellow elites , and sharing a gourmet meal some taxpayer paid for brings our views closer together ,for the betterment of our cause .
    Megan and Harry had a couple of plane trips to help save the planet ,but dont forget Elton paid the climate aparat the pollution tax . Adopting the no fly option would deprive 30,000 climate warriors of taxpayer funded conferences to correct the catastrophe ,the taxpayers should not dislike paying for
    these conferences they are for theirs and their vhildrens and childrens childrens long term benefit .

  27. Old Lefty

    On concern for the workers who would be displaced by Green anti-coal policies, I have it on good authority that that bald-headed flog and proud PhD Richard Dennis from the Green-linked Australia Institute told an audience recently: don’t worry, they can get jobs serving coffee to people like me.

  28. John A

    On the bad side he thinks we need to acknowledge the impact of climate change

    Yes, I can agree that we should acknowledge the impact, as long as that means we recognise
    a) the impact is minimal
    b) the impact is beneficial.

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