Australia needs a new gig

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January 2019 was Australia’s hottest January on record. March was its hottest March on record. February was its 5th hottest February. 2018 was its third hottest year on record. The temperature records are tumbling with no signs of abating and yet Australians yesterday voted for a party who want to build one of the largest coal mines in the world.

People claim that Australia’s conservative party are good for the economy but is this really all they’ve got? Coal mining is a 17th-century technology and the rest of the world are moving into renewables.

Just this month the UK went a whole week without using any coal at all. Our home electricity supplier in the UK is 100% renewable and the price is cheaper than our old supplier who was not 100% green. There are so many energy companies to choose from here and several green suppliers. My family in Queensland tell me they haven’t got a single one. It’s coal all the way down.

Other people say it’s all about jobs but do people really want to work in a coal mine? Australia is a highly educated, first world country and yet all they’re offering is a 17th-century occupation in a coal mine. It’s just not very innovative. The number of jobs is possibly far lower than expected with just 1,464 average jobs over the life of the Adani project.

By the time of the next election, 3 years from now, Australia will have had a conservative government for 20 of the past 26 years. That’s very disconcerting. A government that is in power too long is at risk of corruption.

People in favour of coal mining typically argue that it’s pointless investing in renewables when China and the US produce the bulk of the world’s emissions. But China is a world-leader in electricity from renewables and they’re a developing country. The US is second when it comes to renewables. Other countries are innovating while Australia is lagging behind. This is creating a huge deficit in technological advancement for Australia. It’s like investing in type-writers when the rest of the world is using computers. Countries that will compete best in the future will be those that invent new technology rather than flogging the old ones to death. But what hope is there when the Australian prime minister believes in “miracles” before science?