Labor’s Pat Conroy argued last week that the Australian government’s attitude to climate change had led the Solomon Islands to negotiate a deal with the Chinese government.
Right. So because the Solomons don’t think we are doing enough to cool the planet, they are becoming friends with the world’s largest coal producer. This makes perfect sense if you believe in Labor’s defence policy.
In announcing his defence policy last month, Anthony Albanese said that a Labor government ‘will ask the Director General of National Intelligence and the Secretary of the Defence Department to undertake a risk assessment of the implications of climate change for national security’.
There is not a great deal of detail as to what this will mean. Perhaps Labor will adopt Kamala Harris’s suggestion that ,‘Just ask any Marine today, would she rather carry 20 pounds of batteries or a rolled-up solar panel and I am positive she will tell you: a solar panel’.
We can see how that might work out in Ukraine today. Our intelligence services lost sight of the 40-mile Russian convoy of armoured vehicles for days due to persistent cloud cover. I am no meteorologist but those hypothetical, solar-powered troops may have been just a little vulnerable in the shade.
Notwithstanding all of the advances in renewable energy we are told about, when Ukraine’s brave President Zelensky looked to Australia for help, he asked us to send coal, not solar panels.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has shown that insane climate change policies will create conflict even if climate change itself does not. European climate policies have left it hopelessly dependent on Russian oil, gas and coal. Each day Europe pays Russia more than $1 billion (or perhaps now the equivalent in roubles) for the fossil fuels it says it has consigned to history. For all the righteous condemnation of Putin’s actions, Europe is funding this war.
Europe has more gas reserves than Australia, yet has become energy-dependent because of their climate policies. And their naivety and vulnerability has only encouraged Vladimir Putin to break all international norms and invade another country.
Before we feel too superior, Australia is headed down this European, primrose path. We have subsidised renewables so much that our power prices at times turn negative, forcing our coal-fired power stations into an early retirement. We have banned fracking over vast swathes of the continent such that we have gone from being self sufficient in petroleum 20 years ago, to producing less than half of our needs today.
It is not climate change that has weakened our national security. Climate change policies have weakened our national security. Anyone with the malice to invade Australia today, would not need so much as a map but a weather forecast. Pick a cloudy and windless day. We would be ripe for the taking.
Russia’s aggressive acts, and China’s aggressive intent, should wake us all up from this climate change slumber. Less than six months ago the Western world turned up at Glasgow and parked more private planes there than you would see at a Russian oligarch conference. The self-proclaimed, righteous leaders of the woke, Western world debated how they would change the temperature of the globe.
Boris Johnson claimed that ‘what we want to do is move beyond hydrocarbons completely in the UK and do it as fast as possible’. Just months later Boris said that he wants to ‘remove barriers’ to increased North Sea oil and gas production to help end reliance on Russian gas. His government is fast tracking final permits for six North Sea drilling sites.
Even for Boris, this backflip is quite the acrobatic feat.
While the green fools of the West were distracted at Glasgow, Russia and China banned the export of fertilisers. They probably knew something of what was to come. Now we are unprepared.
As President Biden said after attending Nato meetings in Europe this week, ‘With regard to food shortages, yes we did talk about food shortages. And it’s going to be real’. Unfortunately the President offered no solutions. Perhaps we should start by better understanding where food comes from.
If you have ever attended a climate change rally you may have noticed young people holding signs saying, ‘You can’t eat fossil fuels’. If you spot these signs, you have also identified those in the crowd who have not studied agricultural science.
Nearly half the world’s food comes from natural gas. Natural gas makes almost all of the world’s ammonia, after hydrogen is first extracted. Ammonia is what makes most of the world’s fertilisers. On some estimates, 45 per cent of the world’s food comes from ammonia-based fertilisers.
The Ukraine conflict, and Western restrictions on gas developments, has forced the price of gas up. So the price of fertilisers has gone up too and food prices are following. Fertiliser and wheat prices are three times higher than in 2020.
Relief may not come soon because China produces 30 per cent of the world’s ammonia and Russia 10 per cent. They are the world’s two largest producers and they are no longer selling their product to others.
Pat Conroy is such a fool that before the last election he claimed that the global hydrogen market would be worth $215 billion by this year. He seemed oblivious to the fact that almost all of this hydrogen is made from natural gas – the very substance he wants to eradicate. That is not going to change anytime soon as new ways of making hydrogen remain too expensive, not to mention water intensive.
It is now clear that the best description of the net zero charade comes from the words of Admiral Ackbar, of Star Wars fame: ‘It’s a trap!’ China and Russia have been encouraging us all down the net zero path so that we can’t make much anymore or even feed ourselves. We may close their McDonald’s stores, they can respond by making it prohibitive for us to grow cattle.
To defend ourselves against Russo-Chinese aggression, we do not need anymore naive climate change policies from people who do not know how their food is grown. Instead we need the opposite of woke. Let’s task our engineers to find more coal, more gas and more oil so the democratic world can be sovereign again and collectively defend our freedoms.