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It’s all about the money

When Greg Hunt chose Christmas Eve to release the ‘Quarterly Update of Australia’s National Greenhouse Gas Inventory’ it was obvious the news was bad.

In the year to June 2015, electricity emissions jumped by 3%. Emissions overall jumped 1.3% and, even if you use all Hunt’s accounting tricks and don’t count deforestation and land use clearing, emissions still went up by 0.8%.

It would have been higher except for a 3.4% drop in agricultural emissions due to a significant reduction in sheep and cattle numbers and some crops due to drought.

The effect of the Coalition’s policies was to increase the use of brown coal by 9.7% in one year and to decrease hydro-electric power by 30.3%.

As experts call for a moratorium on any new coal mines worldwide, we can always count on the member for Dawson, George Christensen, to add his special brand of ‘wisdom’ to the debate.

“Abbott Point adds nothing to Australia’s carbon dioxide emissions. To state the bleeding obvious the coal is being exported out of Abbott point coal terminal it’s not being burnt at Abbott point, it’s being burnt by another country – India,” Mr Christensen said.

“We’re not responsible for Australian goods that are exported overseas and that are then used to produce carbon dioxide emissions.”

When a young boy shot and killed a man in Parramatta recently, the man who provided him with the gun was arrested. He must share in the culpability of this crime. The people who are giving arms to terrorists must share in the blame of the atrocities they commit.

We are the ones to blame if we allow our coal to be dug up and sold. Not only is the Adani project being given approval, Gina Rinehart and her GVK partners (of wedding party fame) won a court action against their Alpha mine in September, with the challengers, Coast and Country on behalf of three farmers, being ordered to pay the billionaire’s court costs.

Christensen’s attitude is typical of the Liberal Party. Short term thinking, no consideration of consequences, and a total disregard for the well-being of others. It’s all about the money.


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  1. JeffJL

    While I do love to bag the LNP it does need to be pointed out that Hydro electricity production has been severely curtailed this year due to a lack of rainfall in Tasmania. Last I heard was that Tasmania was importing 40% of its electricity from Victoria (brown coal) due to low levels in the dams.

  2. Douglas Evans

    Even after the next election (which I presume the Coalition will win) Turnbull will duck this battle with his rabid right wing and do nothing to inhibit Australian fossil fuel exports – even though nearly all the profits flow offshore. Nevertheless as KL says It’s all about money’ and the economics of the situation suggest that despite the determined stupidity of both sides of Australian politics in this matter very little coal will pass through Abbot Point even should it be eventually completed. Adani is in big financial trouble and may implode. It is moving to reduce its capital expenditure in Australia. India has plenty of its own coal which it is moving to exploit, reducing its reliance on imports. The cost of coal from the Galilee basin is several times higher than the current global price. There is every possibility that Rinehart, Palmer et al will pay dearly for their stupid investment in a dying industry. Let’s hope so.

  3. philc

    Thank you Kaye for your usual spot on observations. The mantra of these greedy gits and the compliant fools who aid them is essentially “Cut it down, dig it up, shoot it, throw it away, stuff your faces, numb your minds and above all ignore the consequences”. Who cares if there are no birds, no trees, no koalas, no frogs, no lizards, no rivers, no lakes, no flowers, no beauty. We have smart phones, giant TVs, video games, the Big Bash League, Hungry Jacks, oh yes and religion, to help us through our lives. Sorry I do actually enjoy the BBL.

  4. Kaye Lee

    Fair point JeffJL but it’s not the full story.

    When the carbon price was introduced, hydro generators, with no carbon price to pay, were able to make windfall profits.

    But the hydro generators, especially Hydro Tasmania, anticipated that the carbon price would be short-lived and so generated as much as they could while it was in place. Hydro Tasmania achieved its highest ever annual profit in 2013-14, exporting large quantities of electricity to Victoria while also supplying Tasmanian demand.

    In doing so, it ran down its energy in storage from 61% of maximum level in October 2012 to 28% in June 2014. With more certainty of a long-term carbon price, the hydro generation industry may not have pushed itself so hard.

  5. Kaye Lee

    Just to underline Hunt’s skulduggery, the report says that our current emissions are only 1.9% below 2000 levels but 10.2% below 2005 levels, hence the change of baseline year for our future commitments.

    Also, despite our green army and direct action, emissions from Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry increased by 33.1% in one year. This is the category Hunt insists on us not counting – the ‘Australia’ clause.

  6. Sen Nearly Ile

    beaut post, Kaye. I love the ‘people giving arms to terrorists are responsible’ This has been the subject of many letters to the paper and facebk posts but with utes from Am and Aust turning up in terrorist hands, in one case still with the plumber logo on the door, the money not only over-rides any responsibility but prevents any investigation.
    As for turnball expected to win! This, despite the blatantly obvious inability of the rich-ruled coalition to manage the economy or the environment is not seen ‘screaming’ from every media outlet requires research, sadly, is odds on.
    The voters are not given any information to allow any ability to understand when greed drives the moment.
    This is off the track but perhaps illustrates the situation in a rich country with selfish indulgence and who cares as the society’s rules,
    The first rule of roulette is do not play american roulette. This is good advice because the american table takes nearly double the house odds(from 2.7% to 5.26%) So, unless you are a patriotic American, (or the house gives you no choice) always choose the Australian roulette table.
    However, as most gamblers are just putting their money down without any understanding of odds, they are grist for the mill of sharp operators.
    With a new southern team in town, they brought their new brand of sharpness with them and introduced the amercan tables and, surprise, surprise in the late afternoon on xmas day, no Australian tables were open for use.

  7. lawrencewinder

    Environmentally criminally negligent!

  8. Matters Not

    We’re not responsible for Australian goods that are exported overseas and that are then used to …

    Leaving out ‘coal’ for a moment and thinking about the links between a ‘creator’ (of anything) and an ‘end user’ (and all middlemen along the way). And their ‘responsibility’.

    When the maker of a kitchen chair, for example, sells to a department store which then sells to a man who then uses that kitchen chair to batter his wife to death, it’s a fairly long stretch to blame the death of the wife on the maker of the chair or indeed the shop assistant who sold it to the killer even though the object in question caused a death. ‘Awareness’ of its potential (and the moral implications) wouldn’t be at the forefront of most actors in that scenario. Extremely unlikely that ‘many’ (if any) would sheet the ‘responsibility’ back to anyone other than the end user.

    When it’s a gun manufacturer who’s the ‘creator’ and who sells to a store owner who then on sells it to a ‘killer’ the moral dimension heightens. For most people chairs aren’t ‘killers’ and while guns can be ‘killers’, most guns sold in Australia do not end up killing people (as opposed to ‘pests’). Nevertheless, the ‘creators’ and sellers of guns are expected to be more aware of how it might be used and to take appropriate safeguards. Their ‘responsibility’ is at a higher level than the chair maker.

    And so to coal. Miners of coal are well aware that it will be inevitably burnt and in so doing will produce carbon dioxide (and other harmful gases as well, given the current technology). While ‘chairs’ and ‘guns’ can be used in almost endless ways (some good some bad), not so with coal. It’s use is ‘deadly’ for some individuals and seems an enormous threat to the planet as a whole. Seems to me that ‘responsibility’ for its ‘creator’ and ‘end user’ cannot be simply passed along the chain.

    Seems to me also that in the not too distant future, ‘responsibility’ for each and every ‘actor’ is likely to come into sharper focus. Bankers, ship owners and the like (aiders and abettors) will be targeted as will Governments and finally ‘miners’.

    But we all know George is not a ‘thinker’. He is a ‘fat head’ in all senses of the term.

  9. Anomander

    Amusing how those selling guns and coal are completely blameless when their products kill people. By that logic, surely the same exemption should be applied to to those who manufacture and sell drugs?

    Indeed Christensen recently suggested on his website that Australia should consider corporal punishment for drug traffickers writing, “It’s time to do things differently, and I suggest we take a look at how they address the problem in Singapore. Their use of corporal punishment seems to be a highly effective deterrent.”

    Perhaps if drug barons were sponsoring Liberal Party campaigns, they too would gain as much favour as the miners?

  10. John Fraser


    Good to know ….. according to the nutter Christensen ……. that China is not responsible for the children's toys it exports that have lead paint on them, the electrical copper wire in Qld ceilings that is faulty and causes fires and those faulty airbags in the millions of cars being recalled worldwide are not the fault of the company that makes them ……. because all of these products have been exported.

    Or to go a step further and paraphase M. Brough that's how it works ……. Yes/No ?

  11. diannaart

    Could someone please tell Christensen that no matter where coal is burned it is still on planet Earth FFS!

  12. Kaye Lee


    Professor Will Steffen from the Climate Council responded: “It’s one atmosphere, one planet, one climate, it doesn’t matter where the emissions come from, they add to climate change.”

    Can you imagine how frustrated scientists must feel listening to this crap from the people who get to make the decisions? It would be worse than a music teacher having to teach violin to year 7 boys in a compulsory music class.

  13. kerri

    “We’re not responsible for Australian goods that are exported overseas and that are then used to produce carbon dioxide emissions.”
    So by George’s logic we should make guns and sell them to ISIS because we are not responsible for the goods we sell overseas and how they are used???

  14. donwreford

    If those who supply guns are culpable? are the manufacturers of weapons also culpable? considering the Imperialist powers all manufacture weapons all for the purpose of destruction and killing? what does this say about us? we are not guilty of what our forefathers did? what makes us guilty is non effort in not making a world of peace in say as the recent Paris concern on our planet heating? the fact that we are making no effort to work towards world peace is a indictment on all of us.
    I almost forgot the other point I wish to make? that is we are in a dangerous situation when all that matters is the drug of money? the recent debate on drugs on I believe ABC TV? debating illicit drugs and legal drugs? what is missing from this debate is what is a drug? if it means a undue obsession someone has then money would become a drug of dependency? the problem with money is it often overlooks the ravages of the planet and the negative consequences of damage to its health?

  15. mars08

    It’s obvious, isn’t it? We can’t be blamed for the results of BURNING the coal we export. We sell the coal in good faith, having no inkling of how it would be used. We trust that it will be used carefully. How can Australia be held responsible if some foolish people decide to burn it????

    Coal doesn’t kill people…

  16. Kaye Lee

    Nine people have either been diagnosed with the chronic respiratory condition or are showing symptoms, according to the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU).

    Caused by long-term exposure to fine, airborne coal dust in areas with poor ventilation, black lung was thought to have been wiped out in Australia by the early 1980s.

    Coal is often transported via trucks, railroads, and large cargo ships, which release air pollution such as soot and can lead to accidents. On April 3, 2010, Chinese-owned bulk coal carrier named Shen Neng 1 rammed into the Great Barrier Reef.

    A 2010 report from the Clean Air Task Force, The Toll From Coal found that, in the United States, particle pollution from existing coal power plants is expected to cause some 13,200 premature deaths in 2010, as well as 9,700 additional hospitalizations and 20,000 heart attacks.

    A Feb. 2011 report, “Mining Coal, Mounting Costs: the Life Cycle Consequences of Coal,” led by associate director of the Center for Health and the Global Environment at Harvard Medical School Dr. Paul Epstein, found that accounting for the full costs of coal would double or triple its price. The study, which was released in the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, tallied the economic, health and environmental costs associated with each stage in the life cycle of coal – extraction, transportation, processing, and combustion – and estimated those costs, which are borne by the public at large, to be between $175 billion and $500 billion dollars annually.

  17. diannaart

    Kaye Lee

    have been writing on line on about how we all live on the one planet for soooooo many years now…. what will it take for these dangerous morons to realise that Earth doesn’t give a wotsis about nations or borders.

    One reason I rarey write much anymore is because I have written so extensively and (if I may so so) eloquently before – I don’t have the patience to repeat myself. Which is why is appreciate you so much Kaye…

    BTW I don’t think guns are a really great analogy – guns don’t diffuse throughout the atmosphere and change the climate, guns still require some idiot at one end to pull trigger; burning coal is, in many areas, an infinite action (not unlike nuclear waste) – Hazelwood coal mines anyone?

  18. Brad

    The best chance Australia has to fulfill climate change responsibilities to its people, and hence its international obligations, is by circumventing those politicians in the country who want nothing done and those who want 2 bob each way, ie all of the LNP and most of the Labor party. The Greens don’t have the numbers, and so significant change has to be from the bottom up. Emerging technological advances in renewable technology and cost reductions will get things moving and off the bottom.
    Like many in his domain, christensen is trying to stare down a technological revolution. He might be a canker on the backside of humanity, but he’s neither here nor there.

  19. mars08

    And speaking of the gun analogy…. you know what the biggest danger facing the planet is, right? You know the most powerful existential threat???? You can sense what we should all be frightened of!!! Yep… those halal koranic terrorisms!!!

    Thank goodness our serious newspapers and hard-working politicians have THAT priority sorted.

  20. Glenn K

    LNP will not win the next election. There are far too many marginal seats which can and will be effectively targeted, and all those polls rely on past preference patterns – you can through those out the window. Just look to Qld and Vic. This will repeat itself at the federal level.
    People dont give a shit right now, but they will when the ghost of Abbott appears in the election ( and by that i mean all that he stood for and not neccessarily him).
    Yee of little faith…..the LNP will crash and burn. ?
    I live in Abbott’s electorate and everyone i speak to are sick of the LNP.

  21. diannaart


    Did you mean to write hellish colonic terrorisms? If so, I am truly afraid…

  22. mars08

    Colonic terrorisms give me the shits….!!!

  23. Kaye Lee

    Glenn K,

    “they will when the ghost of Abbott appears in the election ( and by that i mean all that he stood for and not neccessarily him).”

    “Parliament House is nearly deserted this week….Most of the building’s occupants have fled; those who remain are in the ministerial wing where the business of government still ticks over in a few offices, or watching the news cycle descend into summer torpor in the press gallery.

    For the last two days, however, Tony Abbott has been in his office, in a far-flung corridor of the House of Representatives wing, receiving visitors amid the silence. He’s in there again today, two days before Christmas, thinking and mapping out the path back to the power for his government-in-exile.”

    The year of deep obsessions and the deep state

  24. mars08

    The image of our Tony sitting and thinking… “in his office, in a far-flung corridor of the House of Representatives wing”… is hilarious AND a bit frightening.

  25. Kaye Lee

    and sad. Is he not welcome at home?

  26. mars08

    I had thought of that too… but sadness doesn’t come into it…

  27. Glenn K

    Kaye, that is excellent news. We all need and want Tony to get in there and stir up shit – it will help the LNP self-implode. Ha ha ha. He is such a psycho f**kwit. Our very own Trump. The difference being that ours got into power….. With a bit of luck Tony will lose his seat in the next election, just like Howard. I sure hope Nick’s new party fields a good candidate in Warringah…

  28. Kaye Lee

    My view is that Tony is just milking his staying-away-from-home allowance. I spent xmas day with two of Tony’s constituents. Whilst they recognise his failings, they will never vote anything but Liberal and one of them was given Julia Gillard’s book which he had wanted to read to see “how far she distorted the truth”.

    At that stage I went outside and repeated to myself “Do not engage, it’s christmas.” What the Libs should do is run decent candidates against Tony for preselection. I hear Tim Wilson is looking for a gig though one could hardly call him a better alternative.

    Mind you, if my husband took another woman away on two skiing holidays whilst others were talking about his “infantile dependency” on her, I may not be too welcoming either.

  29. jusme

    When it comes to nuclear waste though, I’ve heard quite a few right wingers (some from the Labor party) saying THAT’s our responsibility since the Uranium originated here. Before we take any nuclear waste, I’d like to see which pollies lobbied for it and whether they have shares in the companies receiving the waste to dispose among Australians.

  30. Kaye Lee


    Federal Member for Grey Rowan Ramsey is supportive of a nuclear waste facility in the area, and nominated his own property as a potential site.

    His nomination has since been withdrawn, as it was seen as a perceived conflict of interest.

    But you can be certain, someone will make big bucks out of turning our country into a nuclear waste dump.

  31. Matters Not

    Kaye Lee at 5:33 pm, your link to Keane is a good one that goes far beyond the issues raised here.

    One of Keane’s best efforts re the summary of the ‘disaster’ which was the Abbott ‘reign’, but I’m not sure I give the same meaning to many of the facts Keane correctly identifies.

    As an aside, Andrew Elder (Politically Homeless) wrote on the Ian Macfarlane ‘machinations’ a little while ago which I thought was ‘insightful’ and then along came Tony Windsor with an even better insight which Elder acknowledges with acclamation. A rare but welcomed contribution to the political debate. Mature!

  32. Michael

    Glen K, I too live in abbottland, where my greatest worry is that 61% of our first preference fellow citizens surrendered their power to the budgie – as a consequence I regard myself as disenfranchised triply so, as I also live in Bairdland and presided over by #TeamHAYstack – the human construct called democracy (as we understand it) surely needs systemic updating?

  33. Terry2

    Oh dear !

    “Tony Abbott has been in his office, in a far-flung corridor of the House of Representatives wing, receiving visitors amid the silence. He’s in there again today, two days before Christmas, thinking and mapping out the path back………”

    Reminds me of Don Vito Corleone holding court and receiving respect from the likes of Luca Brasi…… he looking for a hit man to remove that ‘big shot’ ?

  34. Zathras

    Since we have outsourced our manufacturing (mainly) to China, some of their emissions are therefore being generated on our behalf.
    Perhaps that outsourced component should added to our own output.

    As for coal, it’s like us complaining about the global “Ice epidemic” while quietly manufacturing and exporting the stuff ourselves.

  35. diannaart


    If Tony is spotted dragging in a load of mattresses, then we can expect he’s settling in for a long, long time…

  36. Kaye Lee

    “Mr Abbott, then a firebrand conservative student leader, had wrested the presidency from a left-dominated student council. Now he was intent on ejecting his recalcitrant opponents and claiming his new domain.

    The locks had been changed three times by the rival groups during the weekend, and Mr Abbott had camped at the offices to protect his beachhead.”

    Anyone seen a locksmith wandering the corridors?

  37. Aortic

    Ah the reasoned commentary from those in the deep north. They can’t even find enough timber to build an ark during floods, as it is all being used for fiery crosses.

  38. Kaye Lee


    I posted the following comment on George Christensen’s facebook page…..

    “I notice you have been an advocate for the Abbott Point expansion. Have you read the Abbot Point Growth Gateway Project: Economic Impact Study? “The Project is anticipated to generate employment opportunities equivalent to between 82 and 164 FTE positions, comprising 39 to 78 direct FTEs and 43 to 86 indirect FTEs, during the less than one year construction phase.

    After the construction phase, operational employment benefits would manifest for approximately five years in the order of one FTE.” That’s ONE job. Tourism in the Reef catchment made a value-added economic contribution in 2012 of almost $5.2 billion and about 64,000 FTEs were generated by the tourism sector. Over 90% of the direct economic activity in the region comes from tourism.

    Why on earth are we risking the future of the Reef (and the planet), and all the jobs and revenue it creates, for a company of dubious reputation who cannot find financial backers, who have been shown to have a poor environmental and work safety record, who engage in aggressive tax avoidance, and who have grossly exaggerated any future economic benefits whilst completely ignoring climate change?”

    I was immediately labelled a troll and attacked.

    Christensen’s response……”I think Dave Westman has proven you a liar or uninformed. Take your pick.”

    And we pay this man hundreds of thousands of dollars. What a sinful waste of money

  39. Terry2

    Meanwhile, from the ABC website :

    “The death of a 21-year-old man, who was found lying on a road on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast with multiple stab wounds to his chest, is being treated as suspicious.”

    Inspector Clouseau is on the job !

  40. Matters Not

    That he was ‘found’ is very, very suspicious. Was he reported as ‘missing’?

  41. Terry2

    I see that Lynton Crosby is getting a Knighthood in the UK for services to the Conservative Party.

    If we hadn’t got rid of Tony’s Knighthoods – thanks Malcolm – you can bet that Rupert Murdoch would have been gifted a Knighthood for services to the Liberal Party in Australia.

  42. diannaart

    Kaye Lee regarding Aortic’s link.

    I filled in the survey instead of trying to leave message – having been appallingly treated on too many a FRWN site.

    They actually had environment, education, health and so on, in survey choices.

    Was also able to answer question: “what would you like to have asked at the next parliament session, so asked “why are children still in detention”

    I know my little responses will be ignored – however – they can’t just ban you and if enough people complete survey with actual reasonable answers….

    OK – not gonna change anything but better than being banned straight off (better for blood pressure)

    and now I’m gonna say what I couldn’t say directly to George Christenson – which if I would if standing face to face – “why do you hate anyone who holds a different opinion to you?….. OK – I really want to tell him what big, greasy, bigoted, jerk, f…..

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