Green Academics Blame “Climate Injustice” for Energy Price Hardship

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Cost vs Renewables (source Obama may finally succeed)

Essay by Eric Worrall

You couldn’t make this up – the very groups whose renewable energy advocacy helped create skyrocketing prices are now blaming the hardship they caused on “climate injustice”.

Climate change hits some of us much harder than others – but affected groups are fighting back

Published: October 14, 2022, 10.40am AEDT

  • Naomi Joy Godden VIce-Chancellor’s Research Fellow, Centre for People, Place and Planet, Edith Cowan University
  • Kavita Naidu Researcher, Edith Cowan University
  • Keely Boom Industry/Professional Fellow, Institute for Sustainable Futures, University of Technology Sydney

All around us, climate change is worsening existing disadvantage. In Australia, we need only look to low-income households hit harder by rising energy and fuel prices, and flood responses in northern New South Wales overlooking the needs of people with disability

These are examples of “climate injustice”. In our research on climate change and social justice in Australia, we have found again and again that people already experiencing marginalisation are most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. 

But importantly, these are often the groups leading social movements to demand that equity and fairness for current and future generations are at the heart of climate action.

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The real culprit of course is the push for renewable energy. Even the Australian ABC recently admitted that the green transition is driving up energy prices.

Of course, we’ve known the renewable energy push will cause prices to skyrocket for a long time. President Obama let the cat out of the bag in 2009.

President Obama admitting the green transition will cause energy prices to “skyrocket”.

How do we bring down energy prices?

The solution to skyrocketing prices and alleviating hardship for poor people is obvious. We have to bring down energy prices. And the easiest way to bring down energy prices is to halt the unaffordable renewable energy push and bring back coal.

New South Wales, where the academics are based, sits on a mountain of coal – one of the largest deposits in the world.

But coal prices are skyrocketing – how would returning to coal help?

The answer to that riddle is not all coal is equal. A lot of Australian and US coal is brown coal.

Nobody wants to buy low quality brown coal, it is full of impurities and moisture, and is simply not worth shipping. But a power station co-located with a brown coal deposit doesn’t have to care about shipping costs, their power station cost of fuel is the cost of operating a team of bulldozers to shovel the brown coal into the furnace.

Brown coal powered Australia and America’s industrial golden ages, by giving western industrial powerhouses the cheapest energy on Earth. There is still plenty of recoverable brown coal left, more than enough to revive Western manufacturing, and bring jobs and prosperity back to regions for whom a steady, well-paid job is a distant memory.

Eventually even brown coal will be exhausted, but that’s a problem for another century. Trying to foresee the problems and solutions of the distant future is a fools game.

All we have to do, to help poor people with their energy bills, and to revive Western manufacturing, is chosen to be prosperous again, to choose politicians we trust to embrace solutions we know will work.

via Watts Up With That?

October 16, 2022