Townsville Bulletin - - OPINION -

JUST two weeks af­ter US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump de­liv­ered a rous­ing speech call­ing for Amer­i­cans to dig, frack and scrape ev­ery ounce of fos­sil fuel from Amer­i­can soil, we get Pre­mier An­nasta­cia Palaszczuk putting us on a biodegrad­able wicker raft and send­ing us down the river.

While one of the world’s lead­ing economies is aim­ing to go from a net im­porter of en­ergy to a net ex­porter by im­ple­ment­ing an un­prece­dented min­ing boom, we in Queens­land – sim­i­larly blessed with a bounty of fos­sil fu­els – are mov­ing to a “car­bon neu­tral fu­ture” by 2050.

While Amer­ica roars, Queens­land whim­pers and tells scores of bluecol­lar work­ers they’ll have to for­get about earn­ing big money in the mines and go back to study for a job on a so­lar or wind farm.

The “Cli­mate Change Tran­si­tion Strat­egy” re­leased this week reads like an en­vi­ron­men­tal­ist’s play­book.

We’re talk­ing elec­tric cars, new homes with built- in bat­tery stor­age for so­lar power and a dras­tic re­duc­tion in those nasty emis­sions.

There’s also more talk of stop­ping tree clear­ing, which kind of makes you won­der where we’re go­ing to grow our food in years to come.

That’s not to say the in­ten­tions aren’t no­ble, they’re just pre­ma­ture, and con­demn Queens­land to be­com­ing an anaemic ve­gan when it’s sit­ting on a moun­tain of life­giv­ing meat.

We all know La­bor got in a po­si­tion to win gov­ern­ment be­cause of pref­er­ence deals with The Greens, and now this is the pay­off.

But what looks good to Greens vot­ers in their white- col­lar worlds in Bris­bane, looks de­cid­edly nasty to re­gional Queens­land.

I re­cently drove through the min­ing towns west of Rock­hamp­ton and Mackay and it was heart­break­ing. Black­wa­ter, Biloela, Jeri­cho, Al­pha, Cler­mont … they’re all strug­gling.

Once thriv­ing pubs and cafes I re­call from my youth have closed, and main streets are life­less.

Th­ese green schemes are sound­ing the death knell for our re­gional cen­tres, and cause a vi­cious cy­cle of forc­ing young peo­ple to leave – so- called ur­ban drift.

But again, the prob­lem isn’t the no­tion of clean en­ergy, it’s the lu­nacy of pur­su­ing it so fer­vently.

Our state La­bor gov­ern­ment ex­presses hor­ror that Queens­land has the high­est green­house gas emis­sions in Aus­tralia. Con­sid­er­ing Aus­tralia con­trib­utes about 1.5 per cent of the world’s emis­sions, that means Queens­land’s con­tri­bu­tion is mi­nus­cule.

To be clear, noth­ing – ab­so­lutely noth­ing – we do in Aus­tralia, let alone Queens­land, can have an in­flu­ence on world tem­per­a­tures.

So why do Palaszczuk and her Greens- lov­ing mates in­sist on con­sign­ing our re­gions to the scrapheap by stead­fastly deny­ing them the tools to thrive?

La­bor’s craven ca­pit­u­la­tion to The Greens is sti­fling ev­ery­thing that is good for the econ­omy and for peo­ple try­ing to feed their fam­i­lies.

The Fed­eral Coali­tion is no bet­ter with its kow­tow­ing to the United Na­tions by ban­ning off­shore dump­ing of dredge spoil, and re­fusal to build dams even though hard sci­en­tific ev­i­dence sup­ports it.

The cli­mate change scare ma­chine is los­ing ground nearly ev­ery day, so it’s time we em­ployed politi­cians with the guts to dras­ti­cally cut the at­ten­tion given to green ide­o­logues.

Trump has backed out of the Paris Agree­ment and de­manded Amer­ica un­lock its oil re­serves es­ti­mated to be 20 per cent more than what Saudi Ara­bia has.

One of the world’s most ex­citable cli­mate change alarmists, Dr Michael Mann, has in the past fort­night ad­mit­ted cli­mate mod­els are based on flawed data, and has risked be­ing in con­tempt of a Cana­dian court by re­fus­ing to hand over the source ma­te­rial he used to draw the in­fa­mous “hockey stick graph”.

Queens­land doesn’t need to tum­ble head­long to­wards a re­new­able en­ergy fu­ture just yet, es­pe­cially when such moves are proven to dras­ti­cally in­crease power prices.

In­di­vid­u­als and busi­nesses need to be re­leased from the green shack­les and be given ac­cess to cheap coal­fired power while the huge is­sues of gen­er­a­tion, cost and stor­age of re­new­ables are solved.

It seems the only way to achieve this is by de­mand­ing state La­bor re­turn to its work­ing class roots, or vot­ing them out.

SEE THE LIGHT: Queens­land doesn’t need to tum­ble head­long to­wards a re­new­able en­ergy fu­ture just yet.

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