Leading article Australia

Bye bye Holden, meat pies…

21 February 2020

10:00 PM

21 February 2020

10:00 PM

If you think the shutting down of Holden, the end of that much-loved brand, the loss of automotive jobs and the death of an Australian icon were heart-breaking, you ain’t seen nothing yet. The relentless campaign by (shamefully) the Business Council of Australia, (disgracefully) several bed-wetting Liberal MPs and (predictably) Labor, the Greens and the media to commit us to the latest globalist fad of ‘zero net emissions by 2050’ will see the wholesale slaughter of Aussie brands, products and jobs.

Qantas will be the first to go. As Julian Allwood wrote in the Financial Times recently, ‘The only way the UK can get to net zero emission aviation by 2050 is by having a substantial period of no aviation at all.’ His reasoning applies equally, if not more so, to Australia courtesy of our physical remoteness from the rest of the world. So forget about the ‘flying kangaroo’ or the ‘spirit of Australia’. If you want to leave these shores in 2050, it’ll be on a small (hopefully virus-free) wooden sailing ship with hemp sails, if at all.

But the brand carnage won’t stop there. Net zero emissions means net zero production in a host of industries, particularly agricultural ones. As our vegan activists keep reminding us, there is no place for farting and burping animals in a net zero emissions world.

So kiss goodbye to the Aussie meat pie, the steak on the BBQ and the Sam Kekovich-inspired lamb roast. Bid adieu to our double brie cheeses and Tasmanian camembert.

And forget about Golden Gaytimes, Cornettos and Paddle Pops. Australian children of the future won’t know what a milkshake or an ice-cream tastes like.

Without aviation, most of our fresh food exports, which rely upon low-cost airfreight, will collapse. Net zero emissions also means no coal or gas exports due to the fugitive emissions that occur during their extraction.

In 2018-9, we exported $69.6 billion of coal and $49.7 billion of gas. A total of $119.3 billion that helps pay for our hospitals, schools and healthcare services.

What export earnings will replace them? Lithium exports, which currently are worth around a hundredth the value of our fossil fuel exports? Dream on.

As the Australian Financial Review reported last year, ‘Australian lithium exports are growing much slower than expected, and weak demand in China has analysts predicting prices for the battery commodity have further to fall.’

To even offer up net zero emissions as a ‘target’ without any realistic or viable means of achieving it, as these fools so disingenuously do, is to condemn our children and grandchildren to a lifestyle of probable high unemployment, increased welfarism, poor public services and ill health. In other words, to gift them an Australia that more resembles modern-day Venezuela than the future prosperous land of plenty that should be their birthright.

Set the targets first, says the BCA, then worry about the mechanism to achieve them further down the track. This, from a body supposedly representing ‘business’, is the height of irresponsibility. Increasingly these days, once ‘aspirational’ targets have been mooted, they tend rapidly to become legislation.

Scott Morrison is right to refocus the emphasis on technological targets or aspirations, and hopefully this formula will prove successful in silencing the bedwetters within his own party room. But the risk here is that the government starts committing taxpayers’ money to specific projects in the hope of being seen to be ‘doing something to tackle climate change’.

One only needs to look at the disgusting waste of money on any number of government projects, particularly the woeful, pointless and counter-productive NBN (a Rudd-Turnbull disaster of epic proportions) or the French submarines (another monumental Turnbull disaster) or the looming white elephant of Snowy 2.0 (another Turnbull… are we spotting a pattern here?) to appreciate the danger: governments and bureaucrats with no skin in the game have a disastrous record when it comes to ‘picking winners’.

And, of course, there is a rather glaring flaw in this latest push by climate alarmists to commit us to this unattainable and undesirable long-term goal. Namely, if — as we keep being told by the media, by the UN, by hysterical schoolgirls, by nutty princes and by dotty doco makers — the world has only X (take your pick) number of months left to avert ‘catastrophic climate change’, then worrying about targets to be achieved in thirty years’ time seems a somewhat pointless exercise. Won’t we all have drowned by 2050?

As is now standard practice with the climate cult, ‘catastrophe’ is always just around the corner, but the crippling financial burdens required to ‘tackle’ it are magically pushed onto future generations.

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