Contributed by Ben Wilson
A study published in the journal Earth System Science Data Shows that carbon is continuing to be spewed out into the atmosphere at a level that is leading the planet to catastrophe. Everyone knows that this must be turned around. Even the most hardened sceptics of the past are now aware of this.
Meanwhile, the gas lobby continues to spend millions to influence politicians and governments to act on their behalf. This is happening right here in Australia and it’s a disgrace. So is the claim coming from the industry and many politicians that gas is the clean alternative to dirty coal. This is a lie. They are both bad.
Despite this, billions continue to the dolled out to gas companies and Australia’s carbon footprint continues to rise.
Another lie is that the consumption of gas by Australians has levelled. This conveniently leaves out the fact that according to the government’s own figures 74 percent of gas produced in Australia is exported. It still ends up creating emissions that go out into the same atmosphere. Australia remains a major polluter.
The lies are not washing with the public. This is why the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA) is waging an advertising campaign to suggest differently. The second disgrace is that this is being allowed. Tobacco companies are not allowed under the law to campaign that smoking doesn’t cause cancer. Why should it be any different for fossil fuel companies. Their product also kills.
Instead of being restricted, APPEA is free to subject Australia to a television and online barrage of deliberate misinformation.
A standout example of misinformation is the claim that an International Energy Agency report on gas and a 2017 report on the future of the electricity market from former chief scientist Dr Alan Finkel supports the claim that gas is 50 percent cleaner than coal, and that the rise in gas use is reducing Australia’s carbon footprint.
The marginal improvement that has taken place is the result of the modest rise in renewable energy sources. This little fact is hidden.
This calls out one more lie. It is claimed that gas is necessary to keep the Australian economy going. It is one thing to suggest that there might to have be a limited transition period, and another to say that this would be permanent, as the gas lobby would have it.