The ABC’s Ian Verrender comments (13.2.17) on the debate over energy policy in Australia, arguing that clinging to the dominance of coal-fired power generation makes little practical or environmental sense in the current ‘climate’.
‘Maybe it’s the heat, or the unprecedented run of searing temperatures scorching the continent. Whatever the cause, the torrid debate in Parliament over carbon emissions and electricity in recent months couldn’t have occurred at a more appropriate moment.
‘The only problem is that every politician, state and federal, has always clung to the truism that power begets power or, perhaps the inverse; that whoever delivers blackouts gets booted out of office.
‘As the finger-pointing over higher prices nationally, blackouts in South Australia and threatened disruptions across the eastern states escalates, any notion over rational debate on how best to address the nation’s long-term energy challenges has evaporated.
‘Put aside the irony that the recent run of misfortune on the national electricity grid is the direct result of a savage uptick in extreme weather conditions, a trend the vast bulk of climate scientists have been warning of for decades.
‘The simple truth is that, despite the entertaining theatre of insults in the national capital, Australia’s future power needs overwhelmingly will be provided by renewables and gas. Coal-fired generators have no future in Australia.’