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Opposing renewable energy is a crime against humanity

To oppose the introduction of renewable energy is, in effect, to support the continued use of fossil fuels. In Australia most of our electricity comes from burning coal, the alternative is to build renewable energy installations and the most practical forms of renewables are solar and wind.

People demand cheap energy, the environment demands clean energy. Burning fossil fuels is doing enormous harm to this planet, its people and to other life forms.

This page has an Australian perspective, but I'm sure it is applicable in many other countries as well.

Written 2015/08/02
Contact: email daveclarkecb@yahoo.com (David Clarke) – ©
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Related page:
Australian Senate wind turbine inquiry farce


 
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This page has two main sections:
  1. What is wrong with burning fossil fuels?

  2. Who are opposing renewables and why are they doing it?

and a last word


What is wrong with burning fossil fuels

 
Beijing people are reminded what a clear sky looks like by a big screen
Beijing smog
Image credit: Feng li-Getty Images
Burning fossil fuels:
  • is one of the main causes of climate change;
  • is one of the main causes of ocean acidification, which is far more of a threat to the planet than is generally acknowledged;
  • is one of the main causes of millions of deaths each year from air pollution. Much of the air pollution comes from the burning of the coal, mining and transporting coal produces additional air pollution, and the disposal of the ash wastes that remain from the burnt coal causes more environmental damage.
I will not go into depth on these points on this page, they are covered in the links given above. More on the harm done by the Australian coal industry is given in Exporting death and reasons to believe that the coal industry has no future, environmental or economical, are given in End of coal.
 
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Who are opposing renewables, why are they, and what grounds are they using for their opposition?

 
Toora Wind Farm
Turbines and cows
Calves grazing peacefully beneath wind turbines
While it is difficult to prove, there can be little doubt that the fossil fuel industry in general, and the coal industry in particular, are the primary source of the opposition to the increased adoption of renewable energy in Australia. They rightly see renewable energy as a danger to their near monopoly on electricity generation in Australia.

The fossil fuel industry also see money spent on lobbying (and paying-off?) politicians as well spent if it can keep their profits high for a few more years.

The Liberal Party and the Abbott government are both very compliant with the desires of the fossil fuel lobby, presumably because of the very generous campaign donations involved.

Then there are several cross-bench senators, in particular Leyonhjelm, Madigan, Day and Back who strongly oppose wind power. These in particular have dominated a Senate committee on wind power in Australia. While these men use delusional health grounds to justify their opposition we must wonder whether they also have other, hidden, agendas.

Then there are people and groups opposing wind farms. Their grounds?

  • Some have aesthetic objections to the appearance of wind turbines;
  • Some honestly believe that wind turbines are harming their health, or are harming other people's health (there is no scientific evidence for this belief);
  • Some simply don't want wind turbines near them;
  • Some are jealous of neighbours who they see will be doing very well from leases for hosting wind turbines;
  • Some have been taken in by the lies spread by the less scrupulous of the wind power opponents (of whom there is no shortage);

Notes on who is opposing the wind energy industry in Australia, and the fallacies of their claims, is given in Wind energy opposition.

 
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Last word

The choice for Australia is: do we continue with generating most of our electricity by burning fossil fuels, coal in particular? or do we change to renewables?

The former alternative means that Australia fails to do its share in slowing climate change and ocean acidification. The fossil fuel alternative also comes with many, many well proven consequent illnesses and deaths: from the pollution connected with coal mining and with the pollution following the burning of the coal.

On the other hand, wind farms probably make it hard for a few people to sleep and may, at the very worst, if the science is wrong and the wind power opponents are right, cause a few people some unpleasent symptoms.



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