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Taylor fiddles as the country burns

The only thing that qualifies Angus Taylor to be in charge of the most important portfolio in the government is his overweening self-belief that he is the smartest guy in the room.

Who needs expert advice or evidence? Certainly not Angus.

As bushfires ravage a drought-stricken country, as rivers dry up and reefs bleach, as species become extinct due to habitat loss – Angus applauds himself for overseeing rising greenhouse gas emissions.

We must have more coal says Angus, in total contrast to every person who has a clue.

When Taylor first entered parliament, he fought to have the renewable energy target scrapped altogether and was successful in having it slashed by a third. He was instrumental in the sinking of Chief Scientist Alan Finkel’s Clean Energy Target and the National Energy Guarantee, both of which would have provided the policy certainty needed for private investment to go ahead.

Instead, Angus wants the government to give money to coal and gas-fired power with some pumped hydro also getting the nod. Solar, wind, batteries, transmission grids, demand management – pattooey!

Addressing the AFR Energy Summit in Sydney last month, Angus said we have too much renewable energy.

He wants policies supporting the uptake of renewable energy to be “scaled down and phased out”, and said that energy sector investment must focus on securing greater reliability of supply, adding that “the extraordinary distortions we have seen need to be addressed.”

Ima guessing he wasn’t talking about fossil fuel subsidies. Or his new you beaut UNGI slush fund where he will use public money to underwrite his pet projects.

The Minister for reducing greenhouse gas emissions has called for a rapid increase in natural gas production and for the lifting of gas exploration moratoria, despite the fact that our already huge increase in LNG production for export is what is causing our emissions to continue rising.

According to Angus, the only solution to high energy prices and perceived reliability challenges is to keep baseload power stations open.

Which is completely at odds with what the chair of the Energy Security Board, Kerry Schott, said at the same summit.

“What we actually need in the market is energy that is both firm and flexible,” Schott said. “The thing about coal plants, because they have to run all the time, is that they are not flexible at ramping up or ramping down. They are dinosaurs in that sense for being complementary with renewable energy.”

Schott said it was clear that solar, wind and battery storage are emerging as the cheapest source of new electricity generation capacity and flexible supply, and propping up an ageing coal fleet is not a long term solution to Australia’s energy troubles.

“We’ve got a grid at the moment that’s not fit for purpose. The reason why it is not fit for purpose is that it was developed decades ago to take power from large coal generators to the cities and those coal-fired generators are in the Latrobe Valley and the Hunter,” Schott said.

“Renewables are not in the Latrobe Valley and the Hunter, they happen to be in rural areas, and we need to change the grid to so we can get from that new generation source to the cities. What we’ve got at the moment is a long skinny string into town and Australia is well known for having one of the largest geographic grids in the world.”

Meanwhile, coal baron and LNP donor, Trevor St Baker’s proposed upgrade of the Vales Point coal power station in NSW, gets the nod on the short list of things we will pay for.

Scott Morrison has also handed over millions, supposedly for a feasibility study into a new coal-fired power plant for Queensland but in reality, it was just to shut up the Nats and Craig Kelly.

There is absolutely no question that the problems our energy market is facing, coupled with our rising emissions, have been caused by the decisions of governments, and whilst they continue to prioritise propping up their donors, we will continue to suffer from their greed and incompetence with dire consequences.

 

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28 comments

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  1. New England Cocky

    Is Vales Point Power Station the one that was sold by a previous NSW government for a miserly amount given the heavy weight construction of the building?

  2. Vikingduk

    We have recently returned from Glen Innes (New England Tablelands, nth western NSW). Travelling up Cunningham’s Gap the visible evidence of the drought and fires presented themselves. As we topped the range, Heading into Warwick the enormity of these twin beasts slapped you right between the eyes, a monster fire to the nth west and dead, dusty country as far as we could see. Apocalyptic is the word that best describes what our eyes were seeing. Nothing can prepare a person for the enormity of this reality. As we travelled sth towards Glen Innes our distress grew, dead ground, dead eucalypts and the carnage of road kill—roos, wallabies, deer and birds.

    At present, Glen Innes is the control centre and tent city of firies fighting monsters to the east and west of Glen, apparently two pubs are serving 3,000 meals a week to the firies.

    Anyone doubting climate change I would suggest travelling to a drought area, stay awhile, talk to the locals, travel around the area and open your eyes. For me, this is a preview of how the world as we know it ends, all of those warnings from all of those scientists have told us this is our future, well, now it’s here.

    Of course a drought doesn’t end when the rains come, in our travels in the area we saw hundreds? thousands? of hectares of dead, large eucs and various other species. We are in deep shit when the forest dies on this scale. To be ruled by this bunch of traitors means we condoning crimes against humanity. These shits must go.

    P.S. I would like to submit an article on behalf of Valkyrieduk’s cousin, who is on a mission travelling from his base in Cootamundra to various country towns, holding talks and presenting evidence of the reality of climate change. How to do that, please.

    Still feeling quite shattered by the devastation we witnessed, will take a while to recover. We arrived back here to our temporary accommodation to be evacuated the next day because of the approaching fire, 3 nights away and now, hopefully we have the space to recover.

  3. Kaye Lee

    Vikingduk,

    I think you can do it via the “Contact the Aimn” thing up underneath the Aimn headline. There may be a better way which I am sure Michael or someone will answer soon.

  4. James O'Neill

    Kay, as awful as Angus Taylor is, the real responsibility for him promoting and implementing his neanderthal ideas lies with the Prime Minister. If what Taylor was doing was contrary to Liberal policy or the instructions of the PM he wouldn’t last two minutes. The fact that he is still there, still prominent, and still seeing his neanderthal views reflected in Liberal policy is an indictment on the PM and his colleagues.

  5. New Englnd Cocky

    @Kaye Lee: Geez, KL, that was a nice little earner!! I guess St Baker can now afford to make maximum political donations to the Liarbral nat$ unelected political hacks to keep them in the manner to which they wish to remain accustomed. The words “treachery” and “traitor” hardly do justice to such dealings for political ends.

  6. Vikingduk

    Cheers, Kaye, I’ll see if my dinosaur computer skills are up to the task.

  7. Kaye Lee

    Gladys Berejiklian was the NSW Treasurer at the time…..that, along with her slashing of the firefighting budget, gives you some insight into her judgement and priorities.

    James,

    I fully concur. Taylor got the job because he will obstruct progress, same as Canavan. Apparently Melissa Price was a step too far even for them.

  8. New England Cocky

    @Vikingduk: There is no doubt that Glen Innes to Warwick is bad, but west of Glen Innes, out to and past Moree is even worse, but there is nothing left to burn.

    Meanwhile the politicians chase picture opportunities among the grieving to obfuscate the fact that their lack of policies and inaction have created this very problem!!!

    The LNP can gift Murdoch $30 MILLION to balance the books at Foxsmell but the pittance $3,000 doled out to working farm families only occurs once per calendar year while the feed costs for livestock increase every week.

    Then we have the water theft inaction in the MDB and from Malpas Dam where Guyra Tomato Farm grow tomatoes for export and the profit of overseas shareholders being favoured over Armidale ratepayers for water supply from the dam built to drought-proof Armidale in 1968. Thank you nat$. Building the worst third world export economy in the OECD.

    Now which local government politicians are hunting for future financial favours from this ARC (Any Rogue Cattle-killers?) largesse?

  9. Keith

    Any person, or group with gumption would take the advice of professional people.
    Greg Mullins, a retired senior fire executive had petitioned the Prime Minister about his and his colleagues knowledge on climate change and fires. Greg Mullins et al were referred to Angus Taylor for discussions, they refused to do so, intimating their view of Taylor’s inability to think beyond his ideology. Greg Mullins had made it very clear that he wished to speak with the Prime Minister.

    The referred article displays just how out of touch the Coalition is.
    McCormack has been trying to displace anger that can legitimately be directed at the Coalition by attacking city Greens with nonsense statements.

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-11-06/former-fire-chief-worried-about-firefighting-resources/11677760

    The plot thickens:

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/nov/07/drought-to-become-more-frequent-severe-and-longer-due-to-climate-change-government-reports?fbclid=IwAR2PWYEh0poKJ_I7_oD5Qx-hBiSwBFD8YOtkJ9MgpWlbiXct62YlGeW9HZ0

  10. johno

    Maybe MickMac has had too much sun.

    The deputy prime minister has faced criticism after launching a full-throated attack against the “disgraceful, disgusting” behaviour of people linking climate change to the bushfires in Queensland and NSW.

  11. Robin Alexander

    My son& I travelled to Sunshine coast few weeks ago I am 82 lived in Narrabri all my life drought is horrific! We left home driving north over beautiful
    rich farmland now laying bare and seeing dead trees everywhere paddocks far as eye can see just bare soil? Then started all the B doubles loaded with young cattle travelling same way as us?dozens of them same on reverse side? empty going back to toad more? Could see them heads poked out beautiful young cattle?was upsetting yes miles later KILCOY MEATWORKS herds in yards,awaiting slaughter trucks lined up to unload? Found it extremely upsetting knowing some desperate farmers were unloading their beloved cattle because of financial means? Coming home it was just the same? Evidence farmers on their knees? Have to be out in our areas! Constant dust storms! Living in.my home for 60yrs only experienced 3 dustorms until this year now every week sometimes 3/4 week? This is clear indication climate change our NAMOI RIVER isnt flowing few rank little holes here there soon be gone once constant heat arrives any day! Never ever sern.that happen in my life either? And we unfortunately have PM who refuses to admit climate change?sick of his platitudes I’m praying for you? I am praying for rain? Relying on his “MIRACLE” while Australia is dying?Then he did say he would “Burn for you”? is this the “Rapture” he and his SECT members await? Unbelievable this man is our PM? Extrodinary? We deserve to have a true STATESMAN for our PM ? Present one will never fall under that discription! He and his ministers a truly loose canons and only destruction misery await us under them sadly? Thank you Vickingduk for your item here also New England Cocky!agree all you all say! Thank you!

  12. Matters Not

    As the Deputy Prime Minister accurately reminded us this morning on RN. We went to the recent election with a whole suite of policies and we won. Putting it another way – this time via the Urban Dictionary.

    That’s all she wrote. That is the end of the story, there is no more.

    That’s how our representative democracy works folks. It’s winner takes all, broadly defined to include – whatever we want to do including the ability to declare war. And there’s no political appetite for change.

    Don’t be sore losers! Even if you won, you wouldn’t change those structural arrangements. Be honest.

  13. totaram

    NEC. I am surprised you didn’t know about this power station and how the new owner has made millions. It is called “wealth creation” don’t you know? This is what gives us “jobs and growth”! What would we do without “wealth creation”? We would all be paupers, and stupid socialists just dividing up the poverty so we could all be equally poor. It’s the “wealth creators” who drive all growth. Notice, however, that it requires the right kind of government and the right kind of “contacts” that gets government money shovelled at you to “create wealth”. As any MMT advocate knows, it is government “debt” that creates private assets, but don’t you worry about that.

  14. Kaye Lee

    My house is shrouded in smoke. They have closed all the schools in the area for tomorrow. And there are no fires anywhere near me…..yet. Tomorrow will be a very scary day. The ABC said air quality in Brisbane is worse than in Beijing.

  15. Vikingduk

    Don’t wait for the cops to knock on the door, tell you to leave now. Have bag packed with essentials now.

    Yes, NEC, we heard it is far more severe the further south you go as well. We went out to Inverell (west of Glen) the death of the forest much more evident. We spoke with many desperate people, desperately hanging on and those lnp unflushable turds continue to parade their wilful ignorance, their betrayal and their never ending vileness.

  16. Matters Not

    The air in Brisbane is also shrouded in smoke and has been all day. As for a comparison to Beijing. It depends on the day. Currently, there it’s rated as Good.

    http://aqicn.org/city/beijing/

    But sometimes it certainly isn’t that way. Never been there without nose and throat becoming affected. Perhaps that’s our future as well.

    Political action now!

  17. corvus boreus

    Much of the NSW mid north coast has been shrouded in smoke for the majority of the last few weeks, and I have noticed my own respiratory health, and those around me, starting to suffer from the continued smoke exposure.
    Today, where I was working in the hills a bit west of Coffs Harbour, the smoke was thick enough to sting the eyes, and obscured all but the nearest treeline, with total visibility down to less than 500m.
    Coffs has now been placed on high alert, as separate nearby firefronts to the north and northwest look likely to converge and merge (especially given predicted conditions), and nearby schools have been closed until further notice.
    My principle employer has evacuated her property at the directive of the RFS, and may or may not have a house tomorrow.
    My own place is not in immediate danger, but a general notice has been given for all local residents to have their emergency bugout kits packed and ready.

  18. totaram

    MN: Indeed, there was a whole “suite of policies” they took to the election: suite consisting of one policy and the rest unspoken but simply opposed to the following: death tax, super tax, retiree tax, car tax, and “more tax” (not telling anyone what that was but repeated enough times to scare the pants off everyone).

    I love how they lie and no one questions them.

  19. Michael Taylor

    Please stay safe, everyone who is in the path of danger. Carol’s and my thoughts are with you.

  20. corvus boreus

    Oops, apparently, based on amended forecasts, updated info states that my home is pretty much right in the path that our local patch of inferno is expected to take tomorrow.
    Well buggery phuq.

  21. Michael Taylor

    That’s not good news, cb. Look after yourself.

  22. johno

    Good luck Corvus. Take care.

  23. Aortic

    Eleven thousand scientists against the opinions of Craig Kelly, Angus Taylor, Michael McCormack, George Christensen and Matt Canavan and old Morribund. Hmm they can fluster and bluster all they like but their shortsightedness is putting the whole country at risk of disaster. They should listen to Ross Garnaut who proclaims we could be one of the renewable energy principal world players, but then again what would he know against the wisdom of such worthies aforementioned.

  24. Matters Not

    totaram re:

    and no one questions them.

    Sometimes they do. Take Hugh Riminton on RN (Sunday Extra) and his attempts with Canavan who then responded with a classic Gish Gallop. Kept talking, wasting time, avoiding the point, generally treating the listener with contempt. It’s time that the ABC took a stand and have their interviewer return serve along the lines of:

    If you won’t respond in an intellectually respectfully manner, then this interview is over. Have a nice day .

    Another tactic is to simply not turn up. Hence no Press Conference possible. Then again those approaches require some solidarity – which is almost impossible to achieve.

  25. corvus boreus

    Michael Taylor and johno,
    Thank you and bless you.

  26. LambsFry Simplex.

    Preppie Agnus… useless as tits on a bull.

  27. David Evans

    ED NOTE: CORRECTION:……Unfortunately Kaye, there does appear to be numerous errors in your otherwise excellent (as usual) article: You do appear to to be under the impression that this clowns’ name is Angus Taylor, this self centered leech is more commonly known throughout his portfolio departments, and Canberra in general, as Anus Failure, for obvious reasons, ie, not only is he a total Anus, full of crap, but he is also a total Failure, who gives everybody the s…s. The gist of your post is otherwise 100% accurate, thank you.

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