How Coal Runs Australian Politics

The latest news in Australian politics is that ex-PM Malcolm Turnbull will resign his seat sooner than expected triggering a by election. I suspect this won’t bring down the government but it’s a more assertive act by Turnbull than I expected.

The Guardian has a report here:

Further down in that article is a comment from Turnbull’s son Alex, that confirms an observation I’ve made about this chaos:

“After Turnbull’s leadership loss last week, his son Alex Turnbull has started speaking publicly about his frustrations with the federal Coalition.
On Monday, Alex said he suspected a powerful group of coal mining companies on Australia’s east coast was having an “undue level of influence” on federal Liberal party policy.
He said the Coalition’s “singular fixation” on the Galilee Basin – a gigantic coal deposit in central Queensland – and on keeping ageing coal-fired power stations alive, had led him to believe “there are other forces at work” to explain the Coalition’s unproductive policymaking.”

“That there is an undue level of influence on Liberal Party policy by a very small group of miners who have some assets they probably now regret having purchased which did not make a lot of sense anymore and are trying to engineer an outcome which makes those projects economic,” he told the ABC on Monday.
When asked who the miners were, he laughed. Then he said: “People who own a lot of coal in the Galilee Basin.”

The observation certainly fits known facts. And here is a weird twist or perhaps an example of saying the quiet part loud: Denialist website Wattsupwiththat has an article loudly complaining that the press aren’t giving ENOUGH coverage to the fact that Turnbull was ousted because of climate policy:

16 thoughts on “How Coal Runs Australian Politics

  1. In Germany, we have this problem with lignite coal.

    Lignite coal is pretty much the worst thing ever. It has to be strip-mined, because it’s so close under the surface that conventional subterranean mining can’t be done efficiently. And because Germany is very densely populated (and sadly cursed with huge reservoirs of lignite coal), this means that farmlands, forests and entire villages are destroyed to strip-mine lignite coal. Even medieval churches aren’t safe, because lignite coal is more important than preserving our architectural heritage.

    And then, when lignite coal is burned, it causes even more issues, because it has a high sulphur content and thus generates more sulphur dioxide than regular coal, which has to be filtered out. Burning lignite coal also generates more carbondioxide than burning regular coal, only that carbondioxide cannot be filtered.

    So in short, lignite coal is horrible for the environment, the climate and everybody unfortunate enough to live on top of a deposit.. And we don’t actually need it to secure our power supply, even with nuclear power gone, because renewables, gas and regular coal are more than sufficient to cover our power needs.

    But the big power companies have a lot of money invested in lignite coal (and they’re still pissed off about the nuclear power exit) and the mining lobby is still strong, Germany is the world’s biggest producer of this awful stuff.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. Amusingly enough, Beale seems to view this as genuinely insane in one of the stopped clock moments that Peterson seems to invoke in him.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. This whole “I eat only meat and I’ve never felt better” insanity is spreading, too. Don’t know if it came from Peterson, but it wouldn’t surprise me.

      Never mind that there has just been a longterm study which suggests that low-carb diets (and this isn’t just low carb, it’s insane) shorten lives.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Well, I guess it means that Peterson, his family and his acolytes will be removing themselves from this plane early, but I still think there has to be a better way to deal with these folks than wait for them to do themselves in with flat out insane fad diets.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Not only is it just meat, it’s only beef! That is an eating disorder just like the article said. The benefit is purely psychological. I bet you could slip other things to them (unflavored) and they’d never notice if not told, like the gluten paranoids who’ll drink beer or eat bread without missing a beat, unlike actual Crohn’s disease people.

        And nobody can stay awake for a month. They only think they did.

        It’d be a real shame if they got bit by one of those ticks that makes you honestly allergic to meat, wouldn’t it? Although I expect they’d pivot to raw sprouted organic vegan or something equally restrictive.

        We’re supposed to eat some meat, a lot of veggies, and unrefined carbs. Our teeth and digestive tracts evolved for that (Mind you, I’m never giving up chocolate).

        I can’t imagine the condition of their colons. Yeeesh. Not to mention cholesterol and blood pressure, with all that salt.

        The only pure carnivores I know of are credentials. And mine enjoy the occasional bit of bread/cracker and eat a few greens. My BFF had a cat who would cut you for cantaloupe. My brother had a dog who’d down you for watermelon.

        My dad had a theory that all shrinks were nuts themselves (or had it in the nuclear family, or both) based on his observations. If he were still here, I’d absolutely be sharing this factoid with him.

        @Cora: Yes, the problem is how much damage they can do to others before the inevitable stroke and/or heart attack. And the rest of us will have to support them with our tax dollars when they become invalids, because you know they’re going to take advantage of every bit of socialized medicine they can, or run a fundraising campaign if they happen to be in the US when it strikes.


      3. @Lurkertype:
        Problems with wheat/gluten is Celiac. Crohn’s is something else, and the actual cause of it is still under investigation. (I have Crohn’s, my sister is Celiac, so I am unfortunately familiar with both.)

        The usual term for this sort of eating disorder is ‘orthorexia’. To quote the Google dictionary lookup, ‘an obsession with eating foods that one considers healthy.’ And yet, most of what I’ve heard says that from both a health perspective and an environmental perspective, the average North American diet contains too much meat.

        Me? I am quite happily an omnivore, and will try just about anything at least once.


      4. Right, Jenora, sorry — I was underslept. But you know what I mean. There ARE terrible diseases affected by diet, and they’re real, and none of them will be cured by eating only beef and salt. (Why salt, BTW? Beef is tasty without it, that’s the whole point of beef. Nom nom.)

        I’d heard of orthorexic people who became hardcore vegan so they could cut way down on their food variety and not eat in public. I suppose it’s inevitable that some RWNJ would go completely the other way with it. Next they’ll probably only eat steak tartare and osmosis distilled water and overpriced rock salt. I suppose they can afford it, with beef subsidies and the big grifts they have going on.

        RWNJ don’t care about health or environment, so beef is their favorite. It’s manly, you know.


  2. you know, I think we’re going to see some pushback against this meat only diet on the right, particularly since some right-wingers also sell and promote their own healthy foods such as Mike Cernovich, who has his own healthy juices and smoothies.
    I can see Peterson’s new plan really cutting into his bottom line.
    Also, I don’t suppose US farmers will be too happy with this either, since the Chinese tariffs on soybeans, they will want to sell more of their product in north America, And they can’t do that if too many people become only meat eaters.
    Still, I suppose anything is possible, I mean it only takes one right wing nutbag to say that only social justice warriors eat vegetables, or that eating lettuce makes you a cuck to get people riled up.


    1. He’s Canadian, and they have their own beef industry. Plus the US will feed its extra soybeans to cows and other animals — that’s where a lot of it already goes.

      “Real men eat meat” has been an axiom of the right for decades. Real men don’t eat quiche, or salads, or whatever, and they’re convinced that soy will make them all girlie (Never mind that the processed corporate US foods are full of soy as it is).

      Peterson will probably come up with his own supplements (made of beef) to make more money. Also anyone who only eats beef is going to need vitamins, at least against scurvy. But just think how macho these guys will look with their teeth falling out, bleeding gums, and ostomy bags from colon cancer! Studly!


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