Terry McCrann: The Chinese have seen the future and it’s still coal

//Terry McCrann: The Chinese have seen the future and it’s still coal

Terry McCrann: The Chinese have seen the future and it’s still coal

27 June, 2017

Terry McCrann

Courtesy of the Herald Sun

SILLY Chinese: those ones at Yancoal who are trying so desperately to buy Rio Tinto’s Hunter Valley thermal coal mines, that they have now upped their bid to $3.5 billion.

Didn’t they get the memo — as they are just throwing away their money? Or rather, that’s actually, two memos?

The first one, from The Australian’s Alan Kohler and his fellow climate change Kool-Aid drinkers explaining why coal is so yesterday. Coal mines? All they are now good for are new lakes, like the one planned for Hazelwood’s in the Latrobe Valley.

Who’d be silly enough to buy a coal mine now that — according to Kohler & Co — it’s cheaper to generate electricity with wind and solar, and getting cheaper every day, so there’ll never be another coal-fired power station built?

And then there’s that second memo, from their own government in Beijing, which has been hailed by the climate change Kool-Aid drinkers, otherwise identified as fantasists living on Planet Insanity, as supposedly now “leading the world in taking action on climate change”.

As that can only mean aggressively cutting emissions of (pure, life-enhancing and food and plant-growing) carbon dioxide, this must mean the Chinese will be closing down coal-fired power stations all over China and littering — sorry, enhancing — the landscape with turbines and solar panels.

Either which way or indeed both, coal must be dead, buried and cremated (with, I would hope, appropriate carbon sequestration) so far as future power generation is concerned.

Ah-ha, but maybe that’s the answer: the Chinese as global climate philanthropists. Yancoal must be outlaying the $3.5 billion in order to close the mines! To prevent the coal ever going into a power station!

So it throws away $3.5 billion; so what’s money when you are saving the planet. Sorry, Gaia.

‘The Australian’ newspaper’s Alan Kohler suggests it would be silly to buy a coal mine now that it’s cheaper to generate electricity with wind and solar.

But then why would the utterly commercially focused Anglo-South African Glencore resources and trading group, run by the very, very canny Swiss-Australian Ivan Glasenberg, be almost as desperate to buy the mines?

I doubt Glasenberg wants to play global climate philanthropist; but how on earth can he think there’ll be a market for the coal, not just for the next decade or so, but 30, 40 and more years into the future?

SURELY the answer isn’t that Kohler & Co haven’t just been blowing smoke, if not indeed, pumping out complete and utter rubbish?

That the only way wind and solar will ever generate power “more cheaply” than coal is if you first repeal the most basic laws of physics; and don’t require them to provide full, and I mean full, battery back-up for …. when the wind don’t blow and the sun don’t shine?

Instead of, as is now the case, having one of those wicked coal-fired stations (or a more expensive gas-fired one) spinning over as backup; or alternatively, as South Australia does, have a long “extension cord” plugged into someone else’s.

If wind and solar really were cheaper than coal, we could abandon the mandatory renewable energy target; we should immediately end all subsidies to wind and solar; indeed we could abandon our Paris commitment to cut CO2 emissions by 26-28 per cent by 2030.

There’d be no need for them. All the coal-fired stations would close as their lives ran out, if not sooner as wind and solar, sprouting across the landscape like CO2-enriched plant life, would drive them out business. Our emissions would plummet.

Further, if China really were leading the way in “taking action on climate change”, we wouldn’t have to do a thing! For exactly the same reason why whether we cut our CO2 emissions by 28 per cent or 100 per cent is utterly irrelevant.

China is the world’s biggest emitter, accounting right now for 30 per cent of all global emissions — and “taking action, by, ahem, building coal-fired power stations,” to lift them to around 45 per cent by 2030.

If instead, it did cut them by just 10 per cent, from 30 to 27 per cent, that would be the same as Australia cutting its emissions by more than 200 per cent.

That’s to say, the equivalent of closing Australia down, sending the 24.4 million of us “somewhere else”; also selling the Barrier Reef for its purported $54 billion value and using the proceeds to buy carbon offsets in the global market otherwise known as “send the cheque to my Swiss bank account”.

Equally, were China to lift its emissions by just 5 per cent — trust me, or better still trust people like those at Yancoal, it will — this would, will, totally offset a 100 per cent cut in our emissions. In short and in sum, the Chinese have seen the future and it’s still coal. That’s if you want the lights to go — and stay — on.

In contrast we have seen, through the bottom of a glass containing Climate Kool-Aid, the equivalent of an 18th century “future”. Go long candles.

 

2017-06-28T10:54:37+11:00 June 27th, 2017|