Leading article Australia

Net Zero joins the choir invisible

30 April 2022

9:00 AM

30 April 2022

9:00 AM

Senator Matt Canavan, a regular and popular columnist in this magazine, is under attack for having told Australians the truth. Namely, that the concept of Net Zero carbon emissions by 2050 is ‘dead’. In fact, to borrow from Monty Python, we can go further and argue that Net Zero has ceased to be, it is expired and gone to meet its maker. Net Zero is bereft of life, pushing up daisies, off the twig, has kicked the bucket, shuffled off its mortal coil, run down the curtain and joined the choir invisible. Net Zero, in short, is not only as dead as a Norwegian Blue Parrot nailed to its perch, it is as dead as a stuffed canary in a disused coal mine.

As this magazine argued early last year, the simplest way for the Coalition to win the 2022 election would have been to replicate John Howard’s and Peter Costello’s ‘tough decision’ GST strategy and in the interest of national prosperity and cleaner energy go to the polls with a commitment to revoke the Australian ban on nuclear energy in order to give us the cheap, reliable energy we will require for decades to come and with which we are abundantly blessed via natural resources. Such a policy would not only have given the Coalition something to fight for, it would have been the ultimate ‘wedge policy’ to skewer Labor on and  – not that this seems to matter anymore – would actually have been the right thing to do.

Instead, Scott Morrison and his team of quislings, sorry advisers, asked the wrong questions in a motley grab-bag of inner-city focus groups and came up with the worthless and pointless policy of pledging to get Australia to Net Zero without nuclear power. Or indeed without any credible clean base-load energy source. (And please, spare us the Twiggy Forrest/ Mike Cannon-Brookes drivel about green hydrogen. Only the most cynical, corrupt or foolish politician would gamble an entire nation’s future on such an unproven and illogical technology spruiked by billionaire investors.)


All of which is now fairly academic because, as is always the way, events (dear boy) have overtaken political hypotheticals.

Vladimir Putin’s vile invasion of Ukraine has not only killed a tragic number of Ukrainians as well as Russian soldiers, it has also stabbed a bayonet through the heart of Net Zero with all the murderous efficiency of a Zaporozhian Cossack.

European governments like Germany’s, which for the last few decades have pursued the climate cult’s insane goal of obliterating carbon emissions, are now frantically re-opening coal mines and seeking reliable base load energy sources wherever they can find them, whether from fossil fuels or nuclear power. Countries in Scandinavia are suddenly desperate to start exploration and drilling in the North Sea again. According to Benny Peiser, head of the Global Warming Policy Foundation who is currently visiting Australia and who along with Professor Ian Plimer (another regular and popular contributor to these pages) spoke at length to the Roseville branch of the Liberal party, average household electricity prices in the UK have jumped from a thousand pounds a year to two thousand and are headed for three thousand pounds per annum by this coming British winter. Mr Peiser forecasts many individuals and families will simply not be able to heat their homes. Among British conservative backbenchers there is now a serious push to abandon Net Zero altogether. In the coming months, as war in Ukraine drags on and the energy crisis worsens, the delusional Greens-fuelled commitment to Net Zero may well cost not only Boris Johnson his job, but risks bringing down governments of all hues across Europe.

The task for a re-elected Morrison government, or a minority Coalition government relying on the support of any One Nation, Liberal Democrat or UAP representatives who scrape into the lower house, will be to abandon Net Zero and to rapidly set about promoting a nuclear energy industry in Australia.

The alternative, a Labor/Greens government, does not bear thinking about, but think about it we must. The simple reality is that, much like Joe Biden’s hopeless administration, an Albanese-Marles-Wong-Keneally government (just putting it down in black and white is risible enough) will quickly collapse in popularity as cold hard reality smashes to smithereens their utopian climate fantasies.

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