The world has responded strongly and swiftly to the Covid pandemic, but has done very little to combat the far greater threat of climate change. Certainly at least in the case of my country, Australia, our governments have not wanted to in any way reduce the profitability of our fossil fuel industries, particularly coal (Australia is the biggest exporter of coal in the world).
|Renewable energy is displacing coal
Why? Why should governments act on a pandemic but not be willing to harm the fossil fuel industry?
New solar power, coal-fired power station shutting down
The photo on the right was taken at Port Augusta, South Australia in April 2016.
It nicely symbolises the
decline of coal.
On the left is the new solar power-tower of
The big smoking chimney is on the Northern Power Station, SA's last coal-fired power station; which was soon to close.
Further right are the two chimneys of the Sir Thomas Playford coal-fired power
station, which had already closed-down.
The chimney stopped smoking on 2016/05/09.
At the time this photo was taken, an average of around 33% of SA's power was
wind farms and another 5% by solar PV.
By 2020 more than half of the power generated in SA was renewable.
But the decline of coal is being resisted by government!
Coal-fired power is not able to compete economically with renewable energy in South Australia, and new coal-fired power stations are no longer able to compete with renewable energy anywhere in Australia.
But as far as the Australian government (and the governments of the big coal producing states) are concerned, the coal industry must be protected no matter how much damage it is doing to the world.
These governments were willing to cripple the economy to fight the pandemic, but not willing to encourage the change from coal to renewable energy even though there would be little, if any, damage to the economy in the transition.
It makes no sense.