Stop politicians incorrectly claiming coal has better economic arguments than renewables

Stop politicians incorrectly claiming coal has better economic arguments than renewables

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Mark Tuke started this petition to Liberal Party of Australia and

The problem - politicans in the pockets of the coal industry and all of its proponents constantly use 1 inaccurate, but politically powerful falsehood to defend continued use of fossil fuels - most prevalently coal. That falsehood is - that coal is a better short term economic and necessary economic choice. Most specifically, and most politically effective is the 'coal means jobs' defence for sticking to the short term use of coal as the baseload and general energy source, across many countries and particularly (and very topically as well as misanthropically given the bushfire crisis at the moment) in Australia.

And the false inference from that constant 'coals means jobs' party line, is that the coal industry's demise will mean the demise of jobs and leaving coal industry workers and their family's without alternative job options. Considering that based on this article, the solar industry alone presently creates 79 times more jobs than the coal industry does for every MWh of energy it produces, this is not just a misperception, it is an aggregious misperception.

The renewable energy industry has proven to already, as of 2018 (if not earlier depending on location and the application of the technologies available), be an option for both:
(a) a larger source of jobs moving forward - the US solar industry alone already employs more people than the entire US steel industry, as a frame of reference

(b) cheaper per kWh power for both residential and commercial energy / electricity users, if geared and if accounted for (LCOE - ie real Levelised Cost Of Electricity) properly

The growth of solar, hydro, wind, waste-to-energy and other renewable, non-fossil fuel based energy sources has the combined potential for more jobs that coal does, and the transition to renewables and the growth of jobs, is not slow as Australia's significant solar industry boom alone has proven. Opponents of this point will claim that the solar industry received subsidisation to fuel this growth and upscaling - which is correct and true. Coal though, receives multibillion direct subsidisations and or tax concessions in Australia, each year, which is a fact that is rarely made public. And on top of Australian taxpayers already subsidising coal, they are then double-dipped against as every electricity bill in Australia will include 'network' charges that are mandated, in addition to the retail price of electricity. Which is on par with renewable subsidies which are also itemised as 'environmental charges' in power bills (ie Australia's top polluters being charged for polluting via coal-powered energy generation, which they then pass directly onto all electricity users in their bills) - except that the network charges have been 'gold-plating' the grid-based, coal-powered energy infrastructure - so over-subsidisation.

But now, even without subsidisation, solar as well as some wind generation sources can be and usually are cheaper for residential and commercial energy users - which means that the solar industry as one renewable example, in the supply, retailing, installation and maintenance of solar power systems - is now able to stand on its own two feet.

Add in the other renewable energy sources - and the transition of jobs away from coal and into the renewable sector - is very economically viable, and very real. But the public image of the renewable energy industry, because of the constant 'coal means jobs' defence being repeated by politicians who are advocates of coal and its powerful lobby groups, is that renewables will cost jobs.

Renewables can create more jobs than the coal industry, as long as the natural growth of the renewable technologies and the market forces around it aren't continually (as they have been so far) hobbled and disadvantedged by political intervention, political sabotage and commercial (via lobbying) sabotage. But as long as the coal industry (which itself has historically been subsidised by both governmental funding and tax concessions, and by 'network charges' in every power bill for every Australian, resident or business operator) continues to be inaccurately and misleadingly defended, then the public perception of fossil fuels as the 'job creators' and economic choice, and renewables as the opposite - will continue. The public perception of renewables is that being a supporter of it, and being economically astute - are mutually exclusive. Because of coal's political and PR firepower. This is not a truism - and its perpetuation needs to stop.

The truth that renewables are a better, more viable economic energy source as well as one of the core answers to climate change, needs to be acknowledged to enable the essential shift and correction of public perception.

The arguments to continue to use coal as Australia's primary source of energy, almost always get politicised around economics and job creation. Implying or outrightly (and incorrectly) stating that coal is the economic choice, renewables are just a left-leaning environmental choice. Leaving preservation of the planet and the human race via renewables out of the argument for now - the economic arguments of coal are still, purely on the economics alone, still incorrect and indefensible.

This petition is to get politicians and coal lobby groups and the general public to finally, broadly, accept the science and the simple maths, that coal is NOT a better economic option. And without its economic argument - it has no argument, whatsoever, given the environmental and existential damage it clearly, inarguably causes.

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