Flat White

Fairfax follies on environment leave us green about the gills

29 August 2017

5:19 PM

29 August 2017

5:19 PM

Attempts by government to push power prices down is nothing but a “distraction”, according to the genius analysis of Mark Kenny at Fairfax. Worse, even. They’re “subterfuge”.

Meanwhile, Texans have only themselves to blame for the destruction and misery being wreaked by Hurricane Harvey, his colleague Peter Hannam — once known by the grandiose title of “carbon economy editor” — writes:

Yes, Houston, you do have a problem, and – as insensitive as it seems to bring it up just now – some of it is your own making…

Houston and its surrounds are home to some 5000 energy-related firms, 17 of which are counted among the Fortune 500 list of largest US companies.

The nearby Gulf Coast is also one of the biggest oil-refining centres anywhere. Not for nothing, the local football team was named the Houston Oilers before it up-rigged elsewhere to become the Tennessee Titans.

Hannam signs off wagging a finger in stern admonition:

Given its unusual dependence on fossil-fuel industries, though, it will be interesting to watch if Houston queries – tactfully and delicately – its own contribution to the catastrophe.

That’s despite his astounding concession earlier on:

Andrew King, a climate extremes research fellow at the University of Melbourne and the ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science, said the complexity of cyclones makes it difficult to attribute climate change to events such as Hurricane Harvey.


But there’s no confusion here. Fairfax’s green gurus have found one country and one government they like. One country and one government they hold up as a role model.

It’s … Kenya:

Kenyans producing, selling or even using plastic bags will risk imprisonment of up to four years or fines of US$40,000 from Monday, as the world’s toughest law aimed at reducing plastic pollution came into effect…

Kenya’s law allows police to go after anyone even carrying a plastic bag. But Judy Wakhungu, Kenya’s environment minister, said enforcement would initially be directed at manufacturers and suppliers.

“Ordinary wananchi will not be harmed,” she told Reuters, using a Kiswahili word for “common man”.

Wananchi. Remember that. The lumpenproletariat. Bog ordinary. Worthless.

That’s what you are to all of Fairfax’s green gurus.

No wonder their papers are tanking.

PS In case you’re wondering, Kenya is in Transparency International’s Top 30 list of most corrupt countries.

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