Flat White

Social Licences: destroying energy with virtue

19 June 2022

1:00 PM

19 June 2022

1:00 PM

‘Social Licences’ are the mechanism by which governments can pick and choose favourites in the business world.

They represent a magic wand that politicians can wave around, destroying businesses whose politics or products disagree or threaten the latest agenda.

Essentially it is socialism under the banner of cuddly-ethics.

Governments are able to shut down businesses or stop supply for products by withdrawing the ‘social licence’ even when nothing illegal has taken place.

While usually unofficial, social licences have only really been seen in the mining industry which has been under pressure for years from Marxist cultural groups, climate movements, and others who are attracted by the billions in revenue coming out of the ground.

So far, mining companies have bought their way into ‘social licences’ through community spending and generous green jobs that all add to the cost of raw materials for the benefit of activism.

The Teals are all over it, with renewables-backed Climate 200 MP for Wentworth Allegra Spender tweeting:

‘Our gas companies need a social licence to operate. Right now, they’re cashing in on super-normal profits overseas as war drives global prices up. They’re doing that while Australian families suffer. That fails the pub test.’

Of course, there are no tears for gas companies when the arse falls out of the market and they are left losing millions a day while people enjoy gas that’s cheaper than water.

Markets have to be allowed to fluctuate or they collapse. This is something socialists never seem to understand until people are eating their own children in the grip of a dystopian nightmare.

If we want to talk about ‘social licences’, how did renewables manufacturers manage to get their paws on them?

Most solar and wind technology is made – in whole or part – in China. Not only does the nation run ethnic slave camps and the world’s largest political totalitarian surveillance state, but its renewables production factories and mining operations have destroyed the landscape, poisoning villages, and river systems while displacing native people from ore-rich mountains whose sacred places are blown to bits. The rest of the materials come from the third world where minerals like Cobalt are mined by children.

Even once solar and wind technology makes it to Australia, it does so on the back of tens of billions in taxpayer subsidies and in exchange the public are given increasingly unreliable and expensive power.

Prime farm land in Queensland is being carpeted by solar panels while native birds are flying straight into the spinning blades of wind turbines.

Then, after ten or twenty years, the whole lot heads to landfill creating, as the United Nations noted, on of the biggest pending disasters for waste. Don’t talk about batteries, they are even worse.

‘Social Licences’ have very little to do with merit and everything to do with market manipulation by politicians who hope to extend ‘guilt politics’ into economics.

It is a transparent power grab already being misused by the ‘climate crisis’ industry to leverage profits from ventures that do not deserve them on a level playing field.

The Energy Grid Alliance says on the front page of their website: ‘Social Licence – the key to electricity network development in Australia.’

In a way, they are right. With a ‘social licence’ certain companies can get their fossil fuel or nuclear competition forcibly closed, leaving them free to profit from government favour.

What is a ‘social licence’? If you think it sounds a bit ‘wishy-washy’ on detail, that’s because it is. Self-described as ‘intangible’ a social licence is whatever the government needs it to be in order to dismantle the competitive market.

‘The notion of a social licence to operate has become widely accepted, particularly in recent years. While a social licence is intangible, its practical, financial, and even legal implications are significant.’

By ‘widely accepted’ The Energy Grid Alliance means within the renewables community who are set to make major profits from its existence.

‘The social licence to operate is not something that, once earned, is fixed and unchanging. It varies over time in response to changes in the community and developers’ behaviour. Different parts of a community might display different levels of acceptance to transmission route options. The social licence is, therefore, something that must be established then maintained every day; it is a goal towards which the industry must constantly strive.’

Imagine trying to create and maintain essential infrastructure based on ‘feelings’? It is a level of regulation that closely resembles social media ‘community safety guidelines’. Conducting business is no longer about maintaining standards and operating within the law, it is being reduced to whether or not people ‘like’ a company.

This is underpinned by the three tenants of a social licence: legitimacy, credibility, and trust.

Most people can see where this is headed.

Imagine a small farmer. They have been on the land for three generations, minding their own business, creating fresh produce. Suddenly, they require a ‘social licence’ to operate. Their community is full of vegans and they decide they don’t like having a farm full of cows next door – nor are they keen on the type of fertiliser used for the crops because it doesn’t have the right Carbon-rating. Their social licence is denied over a failure in ‘community trust’.

This is what we will be seeing in the immediate future – and if you don’t believe me, have a wander around the CSIRO where they are already fishing for social licences in the agricultural sector.

Want to keep running a media company that challenges the Climate Change narrative and endangers the profits of left-leaning businesses? Goodbye social licence.

Have you developed a new product that completely undermines solar panels? Yikes well, there goes your social licence.

A car company that makes utes for farmers that are out-competing electric cars? No way. Hand that social licence over.

Nuclear energy? Forget it. We are never giving your lot a social licence.

It is, above all else, a system of control to protect the people at the top making money off the status quo. This sinister manipulation is dressed up as ‘virtue’ – as so many of the worst ideas in modern society often are.

Worse, the idea of a ‘social licence’ was birthed in 1997 by Jim Cooney, a sustainable development executive who was involved in discussions with the World Bank. The reason it has a poor limitation on its definition is because he meant it as a ‘metaphor’ to distinguish between legal permits for mining projects and the wider social acceptance of a mine. The ASX Corporate Governance Council’s Corporate Governance Principles and Recommendations are fully supportive, while the CSIRO already have it in wide and common use to develop ‘benchmarks for social performance’.

While it is possible to make the case for community feedback against mining operations set up in the middle of suburbia, the idea of extending the use of a ‘social licence’ into a tool of political authoritarianism is something that has to be stopped immediately before Australian businesses are forced to bow and scrape to the ideology of the ruling Prime Minister.

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