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The good
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The good and the bad

I was moved to write this page following publication of a piece about the wealthiest person in Australia who makes much of her money out of coal mining (bad enough in itself) and donates huge sums of money to try to convince people that climate change is not happening, so that she can continue to make even more money.

There are some very good people on this planet, and then there are some despicable people.

This page was written 2018/07/22, last edited 2021/02/17
Contact: David K. Clarke – ©
 


While Trump enjoys golf, former president Jimmy Carter, 92, is building homes for the poor as reported by Charlotte Beale writing for the UK Independent, 2018/07/15. This is a very appropriate and apt item for an introduction to this subject, showing a great contrast between two US Presidents: one man conceited, greedy, self-interested, vulgar, coarse, almost unbelievably dishonest, a misogynist; and the other still doing his best to help people in his nineties.


The Good

There are those who we remember for having done very good things (for example Michail Gorbachev) and those who seem to have simply been very good people (for example Nelson Mandela). Fred Hollows and Beat Richner certainly seem to have done far more good than the great majority of our fellow humans.

Billionaire Bill Gates deserves a mention; over the last several decades he has been a leader in showing the huge amount of good that can be done with abundant money. And it's not just his money, but also his time that he has devoted to doing good. In mid February 2021 he had just released his book, 'How to avoid a Climate Disaster'. For a taste of this see Breakthrough Energy.

I've listed many of the Australians who are doing what they can to get action on climate change on another page on this site.

Billionaires Andrew (Twiggy) Forrest and Mike Cannon-Brookes are, among their involvement in other commendable projects, early investors in a proposed $20 billion project to provide 20% of Singapore's electricity from a huge solar PV installation in the Tennant Creek area of Australia's Northern Territory via undersea cable. (See Sun Cable's web site about the project and Angela Macdonald-Smith's article in the Financial Review for Forrest and Cannon-Brooks' part in the project.) Forrest and Cannon-Brookes seem to be at the other end of the ethical spectrum to two other Australian billionaires, the despicable and greedy Gina Rinehart and Clive Palmer (see below).

Andrew Forrest is also, through Fortescue Metals, of which he is chairman and a major investor, pressing for billions of dollars of investment in green hydrogen which will displace fossil fuels and provide thousands of jobs.

Among the good could be listed the Nine activists defending the Earth from violent assault; The Guardian, Jonathan Watts, 2018/07/21. I would certainly add Jane Goodall to this list. David Attenborough also deserves an honourable mention.

While both the Liberal-National Coalition and Labor can't see beyond the coal industry that is largely responsible for the progressive destruction of our planet several independent politicians have added refreshing honesty, good sense and high ethical standards to Australian politics. Perhaps the most outstanding of these is Andrew Wilkie, a member of the Australian House of Representatives for a seat in Tasmania. Others, who have come and gone (and may come again), are Rob Oakeshott and Tony Windsor. The Australian Greens must also be thanked for their support for all things environmental.



The Bad

 
Morwell coal mine fire, February 2014
Hazelwood fire
This coal mine fire burned in Morwell, in Victoria's Latrobe Valley, for over a month, producing a huge amount of air pollution. The Latrobe Valley, with its coal-fired power stations, is notorious for its air pollution at the best of times.

Image credit 350.org

Gina Rinehart

Ms Rinehart is the wealthiest person in Australia. She could do enormous good works with her money. For example, I calculated that she could give $5,000 to each of the million poorest people in Australia without losing her position as the wealthiest person in the nation. Think, for a moment, how much relief such a gift would provide for these people; and this is just a very simple example of what she could do.

Instead of good works she chooses to harm the planet by trying to make people believe that anthropogenic climate change is not a fact; presumably so that her coal-mining businesses can make even more money for her.

Ms Rinehart's coal exports have probably killed thousands of people from the air pollution resulting from the burning of the coal.

See, for example, Gina Rinehart's $4.5m gift to climate sceptic think-tank, the Institute of Public Affairs (IPA); Graham Readfearn writing for the Guardian, 2018/07/21.

Clive Palmer

Mr Palmer, like Ms Rinehart, is making millions out of the coal industry. He also bragged about keeping the shamefully corrupt and pro-fossil fuel Liberal/National coalition, under PM Scott Morrison in power at the last election, May 2019. He funded candidates in every electorate; none of them were elected, but preferences were directed to the Liberals and Nationals.

Ian Plimer

Graham Readfearn wrote in RenewEconomy on 2019/02/06 about Ian Plimer's anti-climate rant in the notoriously anti-renewables, pro-coal, Murdoch-owned The Australian newspaper. Plimer was making the conspicuously dishonest claim that there was no consensus among climate scientists about climate change. Mr Readfearn pointed out the many errors in Mr Plimer's piece.

Mr Plimer is a retired professor of mining geology, and as Mr Readfearn pointed out he:

"sits on the board of several mining companies owned by Australia’s richest person, Gina Rinehart (who is herself a key funder of climate science denial efforts), including Queensland Coal Investments."
Plainly, Mr Plimer is hardly a disinterested party in the 'climate debate' and, as a retired professor of mining geology has little standing in climate science. Note that there is no debate among climate scientists, it is only in the popular media, and more in the Murdoch media than elsewhere.

I have had cause to write about Mr Plimer on a number of my pages. The reader could search my pages using the embedded Google search feature.

Dishonest wind power opponents

If the world is to avoid terrible damage from climate change and ocean acidification we must change from the burning of fossil fuels to renewable, sustainable energy such as wind and solar power. It happens that I live in Mid-North South Australia, which has led Australia in the development of wind power. I have spent a great deal of time in debunking the lies of those who dishonestly (and generally selfishly) oppose wind farms.

Australian Coalition governments

 
This section added 2019/06/08
The Australian Liberal/National Coalition governments from September 2013 to the time of writing have been not only shamefully pro-fossil fuels but also dishonestly and stridently opposed to the introduction of renewable energy.

The Abbott, Turnbull and Morrison governments, particularly the first and last of these, betrayed all people of future generations. One of the worst of all the criminals in these governments was the shamelessly dishonest Energy Minister of the Morrison Government, Angus Taylor.



Evil

If you Google something like "who is the most evil person in Australia" you will be guided to pages about serial killers and child abusers. Isn't someone like Gina Rinehart more deserving of being called the most evil person in Australia? The coal from her mines kills thousands of people each year and she tries to mislead the public about the harm coal is doing by donating millions of dollars to the misleadingly named Institute of Public Affaires (The IPA is an Australian 'right wing think tank' that blatantly and dishonestly supports the mining, exporting and burning of fossil fuels and opposes renewable energy development). As I have argued elsewhere, a person in a position of power who knowingly lies about climate change has to be in the running to being the greatest criminal in the history of Mankind.





Related pages

Ask who?: if you were able to ask the most respected people in the world about climate change what would they say?

The right and wrong side of history

Why would you do that?: why would you do things now that will make you despised by future generations?

The end of coal cannot come quickly enough!

Corporate greed

Compassion

Contribution to society

Ethics