Albo’s energy suicide pact with China

There is an inconvenient truth in the Albanese Government’s refusal to fix the east coast energy crisis. You won’t hear any government ministers talking about it. The MSM won’t touch it. It’s the sleeping giant of the energy catastrophe.

It is NOT the obvious point that Australian miners are war-profiteering at the nation’s expense, though that, too, is ignored. Local gas and coal prices are up 1000% as the Ukraine war drives global shortages of these fuels. Australian exporters are charging global prices for resources owned by Australians that are dug up around the corner virtually for free.

Nor is it the inconvenient truth that fixing the gas price will not end the crisis, though that, too, is ignored. The local coal price must also be dislocated from global prices or QLD and NSW will see a never-ending power bill shock.

Nor is it the inconvenient truth that Labor is the recipient of hundreds of thousands of dollars in mining bribes, though that, too, is ignored.

All of these inconvenient truths stink and will make us a lot poorer. But they will not end who we are.

But there is one other inconvenient truth that tops all of the rest put together. An inconvenient truth so existentially vile that it may, in fact, lead to our collective deaths.

It is this: more than 70% of the cheap Aussie gas leaving the east coast is going to China. For most of this year, it has paid far less for it than we have. Moreover, it can afford to because the price is subsidised by the government to keep its industrial base hyper-competitive.

What is China doing with this gas? Among other things, building and launching its third and most destructive aircraft carrier to date. Doubtless, with plans to sail it around the South Pacific to demand…whatever Beijing likes:

Now, I know what you’re thinking. There is a lot more Aussie iron ore and coal in that vessel than there is gas.  So, why aren’t we worried about sending them that as well?

We should be. But not all commodities are created equal when it comes to strategic thinking.

The world of international relations and trade is replete with such hypocrisies. There is no such thing as the complete alignment between two states. So we make such compromises all of the time.

As well, the free trade of commodities is a cornerstone of a peaceful world.  When commodities are blockaded, we tend to get wars of acquisition for materials that powers are short of. It was the US oil embargo of Japan that helped trigger its conquest of resource-rich South East Asia in 1939.

Finally, as a resource-rich nation, Australia has been made prosperous by shipping its minerals and ores to China.

So, some compromises are worth making.

But, equally, other compromises are not and gas exports to China fit this category because while they are helping build a vast Chinese navy, they are simultaneously gutting Australia’s capability to resist it, by annihilating our own industrial base.

I am calling this an inconvenient truth but, in actuality, it is better described as national suicide.

This phenomenon is a fact. Since 2008, when China began its great east coast gas siphoning operation, Aussie industry has galloped backward:

The first blow came with the $100bn building of the QLD gas export plants. This investment was directly responsible for the high AUD that threw the Australian car industry into the sea in 2011, a huge blow to our national resilience and military capability.

But it didn’t stop there.

Since the gas export plants opened, a traditional $4Gj gas price first doubled then tripled (now up 1000%) and hollowed out chemical manufacturers, including those that make critical inputs into armaments such as explosives.

We’ve also lost critical inputs such as fertiliser manufacturing, making it impossible to feed ourselves independently.

The relentless rise of gas prices also drove the electricity price much higher and critical metals processing has shrunk. Today the price of electricity is so astronomical that we’ll shortly lose our ability to recycle steel, which compromises a third of our ferrous output.

In fact, every single industrial process that is faintly reliant upon gas or power of any kind – which is ALL OF THEM – will be thrown into the sea over the next few years, just like cars were, at current energy prices.

Is this what we elected Labor for? It’s not what Albo said he’d do. On the contrary, he listed “making things in Australia” as his fourth priority and even mentioned the China threat obliquely:

Australia must be a country that makes things. After almost a decade of sending manufacturing offshore and neglecting Australian workers, we’ve seen the consequences: fewer jobs, missed opportunities, and a nation left exposed when coronavirus hit.

Labor has a comprehensive plan to create jobs, boost vital skills by investing in education and training, bring industry expertise back onshore and supercharge national productivity.

An Albanese Labor Government will rebuild our proud manufacturing industry, and build a future made right here in Australia.

Yet here he is, hollowing out industry at a stunningly swift pace via an energy shock he can end with the stroke of a pen but won’t.

This is the great inconvenient truth of today’s energy crisis. It is a secret Chinese occupation story told in the transformation of an economy from diversified resilience to hollow dependence.

Houses and Holes
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Comments

  1. How will we not continue to deny the economics and their strategic outcomes?

    I have a feeling the ALP are happy to keep local power prices high so they can blame fossil fuels and accelerate the renewables transition, and mitigate climate change issues.

    The problem is that the transition is going to happen anyway, purely on economics, and probably faster than the stoics and naysayers think, and all will work relatively well.

    The question is just whether we will have gutted our households and industry in the meantime (which looks likely, unfortunately).

    • Fishing72MEMBER

      The energy multinationals know the end will arrive for fossil fuels sooner or later, so they’ve organised a huge price gouge jamboree to send profits into the stratosphere which can then be repurposed to buy ownership of the Green technology and therefore continue to hold the planet ransom for energy.

      All global western government’s are complicit and are doing the bidding of their energy company masters.

      • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

        Until this fact becomes a bigger political issue than Trans rights, the gender pay gap and the defeat of the Wh!te male Patriarchy nothing will change.
        Divide and conquer identity politics has got the plutocratic domination of our economy unnoticed and unthreatened

      • bolstroodMEMBER

        The Military Industrial Complex with Energy at it’s cold black heart will never be defeated.
        The biggest Industry on Earth

        https://fossilfuel.com/the-u-s-military-consumes-more-fossil-fuels-than-entire-countries/

        In recent decades, military forces around the world have dramatically altered the way that they use fossil fuels. As one of the most well-known energy researchers in the world, Dr. Sohbet Karbuz of the Mediterranean Observatory for Energy (OME) has conducted a vast amount of research related to oil and natural gas markets, energy security, energy geopolitics, and energy scenario building. He has also extensively studied how global military forces have continued to increase their consumption of fossil fuels. Research conducted by Dr. Karbuz shows how the U.S. military has increased fuel consumption per service man and woman from 3.8 liters of oil per day during the Second World War, 34 liters per day in the Vietnam War, 38 liters per day in the 1991 Gulf War, and 57 liters per day during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan (Pirani, 2018). Astonishingly, in 2006, the U.S. Air Force consumed more fuel in Iraq and Afghanistan (roughly 9.85 billion liters of jet fuel) than all the airplanes flown by American forces during the entire Second World War (Pirani, 2018).

    • The “transition” is not happening and won’t happen unless the lack of cost effective & scalable storage is resolved, which it can’t be using today’s commercially available solutions. Renewable energy in the last decade has gone from supplying 10% of the world’s energy to 11%, and that figure includes Hydro & Geothermal. Solar and wind are worse than useless because pretending that they are viable detracts from real options such as nuclear and expanding gas to replace coal.

  2. Incorrect speech will get you nowhere. It must be understood, Labor is all about the UN “climate change” mantra.

    Thus, their teal solution to a traitorous gas cartel is “transition to renewable energy” for “net zero”. And destroying manufacturing is simply not relevant – Garnaut’s lovely blueprint will make us an industrial “superpower” in a “post carbon” world.

      • What a surprise, increasing population, consumption, and GDP, always seem to lead to increasing emissions. In UN mythology, we can ignore the former, and focus on the latter. Human emissions will be miraculously driven down by renewables, and what’s left over can be miraculously mopped up by various forms of carbon capture. Meanwhile, back in the real world, the humans’ total war on the environment can continue unchecked. See under murders, Amazon.

        Whatever correct words the Australian teals may say about climate and energy, they generally support mass immigration and rapid population growth, and here lies the contradiction. See under Spender, Allegra.

        • drsmithyMEMBER

          That’s mostly gobbledegook, but I am wondering – what’s your proposal for dramatically reducing world population in a matter of decades ?

          • The only thing that matters is education of women and giving them access to birth control. Most of the fairer sex surprisingly don’t want to be baby factories.

          • drsmithyMEMBER

            Indeed. But
            a) this is and has been UN policy for decades (though it inevitably struggles more whenever right-wing Governments are in power in the major countries)
            b) it takes generations to centuries, not decades

            If we went all “Children of Men” and no babies were born for 20 years, it would only roll world population back to about 2005.

          • Not goobledegook at all. No one has ever suggested that reducing global population alone can solve climate change on any reasonable time scale. This is a straw man. You are ignoring the fact that adding additional people to a developed country will undermine anything else that is being done. See

            https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/jul/12/want-to-fight-climate-change-have-fewer-children

            Having one less child, i.e. not adding an additional person to a high consuming population, has 24 times the impact of going without a car, the next most effective action you can take, and is 37 times as effective as giving up air travel, the third most effective action. The average migrant to Australia increases his or her carbon footprint by 4 times due to higher consumption than in the home country.

            https://population.org.au/media-releases/climate_change_discussion_paper/

            Our per capita carbon emissions were the same in 1989 as in 2019, but our aggregate emissions were 50% higher in 2019, almost entirely due to immigration. You might like to calculate what cuts to average consumption would be needed to compensate for this on the aggregate level, let alone achieve reductions.

            https://ourworldindata.org/co2/country/australia

          • drsmithyMEMBER

            Not goobledegook at all. No one has ever suggested that reducing global population alone can solve climate change on any reasonable time scale.

            It’s gobbledegook because it’s trying to argue that something useful can be done about climate change via population, and that – for reasons unstated presumably to appeal to readers bias – this is being ignored by the UN.

            Firstly, *nothing* (ethical) to do with population can solve climate change on a reasonable time scale. Nothing.

            Secondly, the UN has been advocating policies that will reduce population growth for decades. There are extensive conspiracy theories built around it, for fvcks sake.

            As poor countries industrialise and become wealthier, the causes of high population will generally resolve themselves (again, so long as they limit the influence of conservatives). Birth rates are already declining basically everywhere in the world and have been for years.

            You are ignoring the fact that adding additional people to a developed country will undermine anything else that is being done.

            No I’m not.

            The reality is that the rest of the world is going to industrialise, increasingly quickly. Consequently, their energy and resource consumption is going to rise, rapidly. Literally billions of people in the third world are going to be doing this over the next few decades.

            We have no (ethical) way of preventing it. And whether they increase their footprints there or here – especially since most already have relatively high footprints anyway – is a rounding error at the global scale.

            Therefore the lion’s share of any effort aimed at mitigating climate change must be focused on optimising consumption – producing similar outcomes with less resource and energy use – and replacing energy production with renewables.

          • MathiasMEMBER

            Chinas got over 2 billion people.
            Indias 1.5 billion.
            UK / Japan both having around 80 million people.

            Australias current population sitting around 26 million.

            I accept David Attenboroughs views on world over-population but why is Australia the worst offender in this list? Why are we enforcing gestapo measures on Australia while the rest of the world just completely ignores it?

            Furthermore, if your serious about Population Control and wiping out Australian Familys, then why the hell are we still migrating 200,000 people into this country every year?

            When you tell Australians to not have families but open the door to 200,000 migrants per year, one could be inclined to think these arent the actions of Population Control but more an act of Australian Genocide. Automatically, you’ve got Australians questioning why we cant have 200,000 children while slamming immigration borders to 0. I think if Australias serious about Population Control then it’ll reduce its immigration intake first before it starts dictating to Australians how many children they should / shouldnt be having. A suspicious person could just be thinking your trying to wipe out Australians.

          • bolstroodMEMBER

            @Mathias
            Because Australians have the largest Carbon foot print of any nation on Earth.

          • MathiasMEMBER

            > Because Australians have the largest Carbon foot print of any nation on Earth.

            Hmm ok. Fair point. Did a little digging and came up with this image.
            https://ourworldindata.org/uploads/2019/10/CO2-per-capita-768×542.png
            and more
            https://www.macrotrends.net/countries/AUS/australia/carbon-co2-emissions

            > https://soe.environment.gov.au/theme/climate/topic/2016/australias-emissions-context

            Quote: ” Australia’s relatively high level of emissions per person reflects the nation’s heavy reliance on fossil fuels as a primary energy source and, in particular, the dominant role of coal (an emissions-intensive fuel) in the production of electricity ”

            It would be interesting to get a breakdown of this stuff to actually see where its coming from.

            According to what Im reading, Gas, Petroleum and Coal are Australias three worst offenders. Alright. So basically, if we switch to EV’s and shift our electric grid over to Renewable / Battery technology then 80% of your problems already been solved?

            Im hardly the expert on this but it would seem to me that these small things have great impact?

          • drsmithy,

            You are assuming that the poorer countries can develop, increasing their resource consumption and environmental footprints without an ecological and then a societal collapse, as has happened for plenty of past societies. Globally, look up planetary boundaries at the Stockholm Resilience Center site. We have already exceeded several of them, including for climate change. Some of the others, such as lack of fresh water due to overpumping aquifers, are already serious problems in some countries, such as in the wheat growing areas in the Punjab. This over-extraction of groundwater was probably one of the causes of the civil war in Syria, as farmers had to abandon their land and came to the city where there were no jobs. See David Montgomery’s book “Dirt: The erosion of civilizations”. This is not even considering other environmental effects directly due to climate change. China now has horrific pollution problems and is the biggest greenhouse gas emitter in the world, more than all the developed countries put together, with about 14.6% attributable to exports.

            https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-57018837
            https://news.umich.edu/carbon-footprint-hotspots-mapping-chinas-export-driven-emissions/

            This is not because the average Chinese person is enjoying extravagant consumption. As Paul Ehrlich once put it, “It doesn’t matter if per capita consumption is low, if there are a hell of a lot of caputs.”

            Your idea that the poor countries can dramatically increase consumption without a collapse is highly speculative. In the meantime, we should work on our own consumption without our elite using immigration to undermine our efforts and put more pressure on our environment in other ways.

            Matthias,

            I wasn’t suggesting that Australians have smaller families. Our own fertility rate has been slightly below replacement level since 1976. I was objecting to population growth, which is almost entirely due to immigration, including the migrants’ contribution to natural increase.

          • drsmithyMEMBER

            Your idea that the poor countries can dramatically increase consumption without a collapse is highly speculative.

            No, it’s the only sensible assumption to make, because regardless of whether they succeed or fail, in the timeframe that matters they are going to try as hard as possible and that is still going to drive their consumption through the roof, so the consequences either way are not substantially different.

            People seem to forget the first world absolutely trashed itself during the industrial revolution, yet here it is today.

            Surely you realise the argument you are making basically comes across as ‘if we continue to ravage the poor countries we can eke out another decade or two without having to make any real changes to our own status quo, and if we’re really lucky they’ll die off in droves and we can stretch that out even longer’ ?

          • Immigration from 3rd to 1st world countries brings the migrants up from 3rd world levels of consumption to 1st world levels, greatly increasing their carbon emissions. Therefore it is hypocrisy to both maintain the position that carbon emissions are really bad + mass immigration is good.

          • Where did I ever suggest “ravaging” poor countries? Or that we shouldn’t help them, if the help is evidence based? Or that we shouldn’t try to limit our own destructive activities here in Australia? We are in a radically different situation than at the time of the industrial revolution. Global population was around 1 billion in 1800 and 1.6 billion in 1900. People then were certainly capable of doing local environmental damage, but humans and their activities are now a threat at the global level. There is only so much abuse that our life support systems will tolerate. We need to get our act together, and so do the folk in poorer countries. You are denying them agency, so effectively in your view, they can’t help overpopulating, clinging to cultural traditions that have become destructive, and supporting corrupt and incompetent leaders. We have to bail them out, even if it means making our own country as poor, populous, environmentally degraded, and conflict ridden as the places that people are risking their lives to escape. How many extinctions here in Australia and how low a standard of living for you and your family are you willing to tolerate because of stupid behaviour on the other side of the world? We have enough to do dealing with our own stupid behaviour.

          • drsmithyMEMBER

            Where did I ever suggest “ravaging” poor countries? Or that we shouldn’t help them, if the help is evidence based? Or that we shouldn’t try to limit our own destructive activities here in Australia?

            🙄
            “Surely you realise the argument you are making basically comes across as […]”

            You are denying them agency, so effectively in your view, they can’t help overpopulating, clinging to cultural traditions that have become destructive, and supporting corrupt and incompetent leaders. We have to bail them out, even if it means making our own country as poor, populous, environmentally degraded, and conflict ridden as the places that people are risking their lives to escape. How many extinctions here in Australia and how low a standard of living for you and your family are you willing to tolerate because of stupid behaviour on the other side of the world? We have enough to do dealing with our own stupid behaviour.

            I…. What ? FMD, I thought the original post was babble.

            My points here are really simple and have nothing to do with, basically anything you’ve said.

            1. World population cannot be – ethically – reduced significantly (let’s say, 40-50%) in any remotely useful timeframe.
            2. The third world is going to continue to industrialise. As above, there’s no ethical way to prevent it.
            3. This is going to increase their environmental footprints immensely.
            4. When third world immigrants come to the first world, their footprints increase significantly on an individual level, but not at a global scale.
            5. Industrialisation of the third world will also likely reduce their birth rates as they become wealthier.
            6. Focus on immigration is extremely politically expensive, across the spectrum.
            7. Improvements to efficiency could be realised relatively quickly and broadly.

            Therefore, mitigation focus must be primarily on improving efficiency / reducing real consumption.

            Hinging a part of mitigation – as you appear to be suggesting – on the near-term (say, within a decade) collapse of the third-world to essentially a pre-industrial state is both extremely high risk, and coupled with a keep-them-out policy, ethically questionable to boot.

          • There won’t be a repeat of the first industrial revolution, when there were lots of easily accessible high grade resources. My point is that there really are serious limits to growth. You are not considering the depletion of key minerals, requiring mining to move to lower and lower grades of ore that require far more energy intense processing, making the product far more expensive in real terms. See what the mining engineer Simon Michaux has to say about this.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O0pt3ioQuNc
            https://tupa.gtk.fi/raportti/arkisto/16_2021.pdf
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JRGVqBScBRE

            William Rees, who was involved in developing ecological footprint analysis, has calculated that the Earth can sustainably support perhaps 1-2 billion people at a decent standard of living.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o3nCFwhV-9E

            There is nothing ethical about bringing in more and more people, causing a mass extinction, devouring everything, and collapsing your own society.

          • drsmithyMEMBER

            FMD this is painful.

            Do you think the third world is going to willingly stop trying to increase its standard of living, thus increasing its environmental footprint ?

        • Sure fair assessment of the teals on immi. However find me another party or person in the Aus that publicly advocates for sustainable levels of immi and actually tries to do something about it when they have power.
          Oh and please no PHON – she had plenty of opportunity in the last govt to do something on immi if she actually wanted to but it benefits her to have it as an issue to run on at every election.

          Your comment was on teals going for renewables only and not supporting gas reservation in short term which was not accurate. On this issue so far – they are talking more sense than Labor.

        • bolstroodMEMBER

          Maybe it is not Overpopulation that is the biggest cause of Climate Catastrophe .

          The Military Industrial Complex with Energy at it’s cold black heart will never be defeated.
          The biggest Industry on Earth

          https://fossilfuel.com/the-u-s-military-consumes-more-fossil-fuels-than-entire-countries/

          In recent decades, military forces around the world have dramatically altered the way that they use fossil fuels. As one of the most well-known energy researchers in the world, Dr. Sohbet Karbuz of the Mediterranean Observatory for Energy (OME) has conducted a vast amount of research related to oil and natural gas markets, energy security, energy geopolitics, and energy scenario building. He has also extensively studied how global military forces have continued to increase their consumption of fossil fuels. Research conducted by Dr. Karbuz shows how the U.S. military has increased fuel consumption per service man and woman from 3.8 liters of oil per day during the Second World War, 34 liters per day in the Vietnam War, 38 liters per day in the 1991 Gulf War, and 57 liters per day during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan (Pirani, 2018). Astonishingly, in 2006, the U.S. Air Force consumed more fuel in Iraq and Afghanistan (roughly 9.85 billion liters of jet fuel) than all the airplanes flown by American forces during the entire Second World War (Pirani, 2018).

          Maybe if we could do away with the worlds Militaries we could all live happily ever after.

          • MathiasMEMBER

            > Maybe if we could do away with the worlds Militaries we could all live happily ever after.

            Yeah. I dont see that happening.

            When you look at Australias Election History you come to realise that for everytime Labors been elected, Liberal has been elected twice. Just based on probability and statistics, this term of Labor will eventually be followed by 2 more terms of Liberals ( Im not saying that will happen but its the probabilities ). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Australian_federal_elections

            I have thought about this.

            One of my thoughts is voters under Capitalism love you when your handing out free Capital ;p Considering Liberals earn a lot more money in Australia then Labor, it seems reasonable that Australian Voters are swayed more towards Liberals. Money seems to play a huge role when it comes to elections.

            The other thought is the Fairfax Influence ( news com au / The Australian etc ). I think that media platform has had considerable sway over the hearts and minds of Australian Voters. They are way more then a news media. They seem to have a huge grip on who gets elected leading into Federal elections. The fact they are spewing out super secret military news straight from the heart of the Pentagon pretty much is enough to tell me, they guys are effectively a Propaganda Arm for the American way of life. I think Labor definitely needs to do something about them.

            Realistically, Australias a Liberal Country where Labor just happens to get elected every now and again. You just cant get anything done in this Country without Liberals coming in and privatising / tearing it all down again. We should consider ourselves lucky the NBN hasnt already been privatised by now.

            Thanks to Australias Politics, Australia is practically run like a Barbaric 3rd Reich. A bunch of pig headed barbarians, who relish in fighting each other for 80% of the time, endless bullying is virtually a way of life. We snarl at our ability to inject fear and hatred into everyone, the fact we get to bully and the fact we can keep tearing sh-t down. Corruption is virtually a way of life in Australia and based on all our crime stats, your more likely to get ahead in this country from being a Drug Lord then you will actually getting a university degree in something. Having a brain is virtually pointless in this country. There are virtually no business’s who will take you on. We destroy most business’s who could. We refuse to support anything that means innovation and change. You cant have anything nice in Australia because its Liberals job to destroy and burn it everytime. Always living in a constant state of chaos because politics is just so unstable that you never know whether your coming one minute or going the next.

            It would be nice if Australia was able to just sit down, have an Intellectual Conversation, map a future plan and just see all this stuff through. That ends in a sh-tload of vested interests, personal sabotage and all kinds of crap that prevents anything from ever actually getting off the ground.

            Give it till 2026 when Labors Polling starts to deteriorate, Australia in a catastrophic depression and you’ll see Australians swinging to another 2 more terms of Liberal. Another ScoMo maniac will be elected again forcing on us an entire nation of homeless, even more corruption and national security issues. I try but I just dont see much hope for the future of this country as I look ahead.

            I basically flushed my University Degree down the toilet after realising Australias a complete waste of time and decided its a better option to just go bush instead.

          • bolstroodMEMBER

            @Mathias
            Labor gets elected for national emergencies like world wars and great depessions because deep down Australians know that the Libs are as you say useless and destructive.
            Back in the early days of Global Neo Liberalism , there was a Global Plan, Asia would be the factory of te world , The US and the UK and EU would supply the capital and Australia was relegated to be a Quarry and a Farm.
            and so it has been.
            But all things change …

  3. ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

    It’s an old story of straight up Thievery,

    “A recent report found that “Australia exported an estimated 75.1m tonnes of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in 2018-19” and that, by 2020, we will overtake Qatar as the largest exporter of LNG in the world.
    Yet we earn only around $600m in annual taxes from LNG exporters, compared with Qatar’s take of more than $26bn”

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/feb/24/if-australias-resources-were-taxed-the-way-norways-are-we-could-secure-the-future-of-our-schools

  4. Im starting to think this Multiculturalism thing… it kinda sucks.

    I only saw 3 homeless familys living out of there cars today. Quite an improvement compared to the numbers I saw last time.

    • Diversity is fundamentally destabilising. Prior to religious/nationalist belief system providing a means by which to provide commonality to strangers, the typical human would trust the 150 or so people they personally know. So if you allow the Diversity ideology to rip you will essentially revert to that figure. Prepare for societal failure.

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