I’m baffled by some of the stupid remarks that come out of our esteemed leader’s mouth. Baffled, not because they are stupid (intelligent comment and Tony Abbott is a paradox), but just how monumentally stupid they are should surely worry people. “Coal is good for humanity”, he says. That’s like saying stabbings are good because it ensures surgeons in hospitals have work to do.

Surely, this is the country to encourage development of solar and wind energy technologies. There are wide open spaces in the middle of the country and lots of wind power, since we’re blessed with the Roaring Forties. But, alas, many of the innovative renewable energy companies have left the country, because of the staunch support for fossil fuels in the current government.

Where Germany has decided to invest heavily in new energy technology, through subsidies for research and development, our energy policy is to get rid of, or reduce the Renewable Energy Target and then…something. They don’t know what yet, but it’ll be pretty good! Maybe?

Look, I have no doubt that coal and other fossil fuels are going to be part of the energy generation mix in the coming years. It’s impossible that changes will occur overnight, given the way infrastructure has developed. I’m also certain that, in many ways, energy generation by burning coal will become cleaner and more efficient, as the technology is further refined.

However, shortsighted energy policy like reducing the amount of renewables is leading us nowhere. Not for the future, or indeed for developing a new export industry that Australia can be proud of. I thought it was all about the economy, stupid?


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