While the fossil fuel industry has done a very good job of making Australians
doubt the reality of anthropogenic climate change (that is, climate change
caused by Man) there are many people in Australia who do want to see our
nation reduce its shamefully high rate of emissions.
Is it presumptuous of me if I apologise, on behalf of all those in Australia
who want to see us shoulder our emission reduction responsibilities, for our
failure to do so?
|A coal-fired power station is on the left, an innovative
solar power-tower is on the right.
|The way of the past is on the left, the way of the future is
on the right.|
Sundrop Farms, Port
Augusta, South Australia
Many other countries are actively trying to reduce their emissions; the
Australian federal government is paying lip-service only to action on
Australia's per-capita rate of greenhouse emissions is among the
highest in the world.
Australia ranks 53rd in the world in population, but sixth in the
world in the CO2 produced by its electricity industry; it has
0.3% of the world's population, but produces
1.2% of the world's greenhouse gasses; it is well up
among the worst greenhouse polluters on the planet.
This means that we have a great ethical responsibility to adopt renewable
energy and minimise our use of fossil fuels.
(In November 2019 tech entrepreneur Mike Cannon-Brookes
claimed that when Australia's fossil fuel exports were taken into account Australia was responsible for more than 5% of world greenhouse emissions. It is possible that this figure was too high, it depends on interpretation, but the correct figure was at least 3.6%.)
However, in 2016 our government was not only failing to favour renewables, it
is actively favouring fossil fuels, in particular, the most polluting fossil
fuel of all, coal.
Not only is this highly unethical, it is also stupid and short-sighted.
It is obvious that the
coal industry has a very bleak future and
equally obvious that the future of energy, the future of the world, and
Australia's energy future is with renewables.
Australia is missing a great opportunity.
We have enormous renewable energy resources and potential, if we were to develop that potential we could be
exporting clean energy to the world, instead of the coal that is one of the main causes of
climate change and that
kills millions of people world wide each year.
In defence of my country I can say that there are areas where there is
Two examples: the Australian Capital Territory has a target of 100% renewable
electricity by 2020 and my state, South Australia, has gone from practically
no renewable electricity in 2003 to around 40% in 2016 (and more than 50% in 2019).
My region, Mid-North South Australia, I am proud to be able to say, is
leading the nation in the development of