Mike's Minute: Left needs to accept fossil fuels power the planet

Mike Hosking,
Publish Date
Thursday, 23 May 2019, 9:00AM

Once again we can dip into the learnings of Saturday night in Australia, and if we are smart apply them here. 

The coalition won Queensland because of coal. Labor rubbished coal, became obsessed with climate change, wanted absurd goals towards carbon reduction and as a result, got spanked by a state that relies on natural resources for jobs and income. 

It is now widely accepted climate change has been majorly re-calibrated as a political topic. It is no longer on the front burner. 

Back here, our own Queensland, Taranaki will know exactly what they must have felt like. Sadly for Taranaki, they don’t have a chance at an electoral response until next year. 

But Fonterra already is an example of what happens when the real world and its day to day issues clash with ideological concepts not rooted in common sense. The Government came to town, with no consultation, and ripped the future of offshore oil exploration apart. 

They then added insult to injury by telling everyone not to worry, there was a world of jobs and income. Climate-friendly jobs and income, that would slip neatly into the $28 billion gap left. That, of course, was crap, $28 billion and 3000 jobs are going. 

They have to their credit had a meeting and at the meeting, we heard from celebratory market gardener James Cameron who told everyone to grow organic nuts or perhaps have a crack at growing a steak in a lab. The Government also announced a $27 million Clean Energy Lab. 

None of that comes within several million miles of replacing $28 billion worth of business. 

Now, Fonterra, who as a result of the decision is looking to transfer some of its manufacturing sites from coal to gas, say they're second-guessing that decision. Why? Because gas supply cannot be guaranteed. Yes, cleaner burning fuel is a good idea, but not if it's not on tap. Not if it's not there when the switch goes on, which in this country it isn't.  

And in that is the crux of the climate change argument.

While councils like Nelson and Canterbury wander around virtue signalling themselves dizzy with declarations of climate emergencies, while the EV lobby groups beg for free money so that someone can afford one of their cars, back in the right here and now, fossil fuels drive the planet. They provide work and massive amounts of income, they are good business. 

No, they might not be the most ideal clean business, but they're good business and you tend to know where you are at with good business. 

Fonterra, of course, won't be the only one. Business likes surety, they like to see a plan, they want to see confident, well thought through, intelligent, and logical decisions. 

Labour's airy-fairy, blue sky bollocks launched on Taranaki is none of that. It's theoretical rubbish that took success and is wrecking it with no backup, no support, other than words. And a tangible outworking of that is our biggest company stuck in energy limbo land, second-guessing itself. 

The people of Queensland get it, the people of Taranaki get it, why is it so hard for the wonks to understand it? 

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