• John McDonnell

The climate change deception


Last week’s climate summit was described as a moment of ignominy for the Australian Prime Minister, Scott Morrison. Commentators gleefully pointed out that he was 21st on the speakers' list, after Bhutan, and that President Biden couldn’t be bothered listening to his address.


This didn’t faze Morrison, delivering a speech that was at odds with those of the other G7 developed leaders: he refused to nominate a revised target for 2030 and challenged the idea that they knew how to achieve the targets they had set.


The implication of Morrison’s speech is that the leaders of countries like the U.S., U.K. and Canada are engaged in acts of deception.


A clear example of this deception is Canada’s Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, who announced cuts of 40-45% in emissions by 2030. To date, Canada has made no reduction to its emissions since 2005.


In contrast, Australia has reduced its emissions by 19%.


Trudeau has not said how he will achieve his targets but he has announced two policies: elimination of all coal-fired power and the introduction of a carbon price.


Although Canada is eliminating coal-fired power, it is replacing coal with oil and gas. In order to reduce the use of fossil fuel, Canada will impose a carbon price of $100 rising to $170 by 2030. This will have an enormous impact on the cost of living, particularly for poor people. Canadian energy experts confirm there is no technological solution that will enable them to get to zero-emission electricity. Most of Canada is buried under ice and snow for a third a year, and renewables are useless in winter.


It has two alternatives, buy power from the United States or go nuclear. At the moment it is looking at small modular reactors but these are unlikely to be available before 2030.


While the left-wing media and the Greens in Australia have lauded the Biden target of a 50% cut to emissions by 2030, very few have bothered to analyse how it will be achieved.


The White House said on Friday it wants to spend $75 million to support carbon capture and storage technology for power and industrial plants. The White Hous said:

“Retrofitting with carbon capture technology could employ a similar workforce that exists today in energy communities and position American industry to compete in a global economy that is rapidly turning toward decarbonization."

This announcement was made simultaneously with Adam Bandt derisively rejecting Scott Morrison’s funding of carbon capture and storage as “more support for the fossil fuel industry”.


Biden included nuclear in a brief mention Friday. Republican plans have included measures seeking to establish a uranium reserve and speeding up nuclear power plant permits and reactor environmental reviews.


Heather Reams, executive director of the right-leaning Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions, said:

“We all want to reduce emissions, but we need to be smart about it. We should cut energy prices, not energy choices, reduce our emissions not our economy, and export American innovation, not American jobs.”

There are also complaints from Americans who have received funding for carbon abatement. The Biden administration insists on the money being paid through middlemen who have Democratic Party connections. They typically take a 30% commission from the grants, presumably to swell the coffers before the next congressional election in 2022.


The truth is, as the ‘Rapid Switch’ project has demonstrated, that the technology does not exist to sustain the cuts that have been promised at the Biden climate summit. This idea is reinforced by the fact that the United States is relying on old technology to do the heavy lifting.


To date countries like Canada and the United Kingdom have not indicated how they will achieve their targets.


Statements by green lobbyists that the technology exists are not true. It is incumbent on leaders to explain how the targets will be achieved, what those measures will cost and who will bear the impost.


It may be that the charge for protecting the planet for our grandchildren will be paid for by the lives of the elderly and the poor who cannot afford the ‘green new deal’ and will be deprived of essential services.