Editorial: Profits of doom

Fossil-fuel dinosaurs excited about a lump of coal.

Aslan Shand, acting editor

Yet another IPCC report has come out on the dire circumstances of the planet from human burning of fossil fuels, this time with a particular focus on our oceans. As Rolling Stone put it ‘UN Climate Report: Oceans Also F-cked’

The question is, who has profited from burning fossil fuels? Those currently hoarding the wealth and profit from the extraction of fossil fuels at the cost of the world include Gina Rinehart, Clive Palmer, Adani, the Saudi Royals – the list goes on.

They hoard extreme wealth but it is the world in general which will pay the price. It is not just the price of the environmental disaster we are watching play out in front of us. It is also the price that the ‘quiet Australians’ will pay to fix the bloody mess because of the moral corruption of our pious goddamned leaders.

To create a few parallels – Australia not only extracts coal but it also extracts uranium to export for energy production and health uses. With uranium, we understand that the byproduct of its use is dangerous.

It could cause the destruction of the world should it fall into the wrong hands. In fact, even if it is not stored properly for thousands of years then it could destroy large areas of land and sea. So our governments have signed treaties to ensure that the negative consequences are minimised.

According to the World Nuclear Association, ‘Nuclear power is the only large-scale energy-producing technology that takes full responsibility for all its waste and fully costs this into the product.’

So in like fashion why don’t fossil-fuel companies take responsibility for their CO2 and other climate warming wastes? Why does the Australian government insist on subsidising the likes of Adani and other fossil-fuel emitters to the known detriment of the planet?

Will the taxpayers of Australia allow themselves to be duped into paying for the costs of the planet-warming in the same way they continue to pick up the bills for the tobacco industry, and James Hardie over asbestos? Both those industries knew they were poisoning people and places, such as the Mullumbimby Hospital site, with their products but they then walked away with billions, leaving you and I and our tax dollars to clean up their mess.

Are we going to allow the coal, oil and gas companies to extract their multimillion-dollar profits and then pick up the bill for the damage that their willful fight against mitigation will cost us?

Will we allow our politicians like ScoMo, Angus Taylor, and Barnaby Joyce, who continue to deny the urgent need for action on climate change, to walk away without paying for the reprehensible cost of their actions and choices on our behalf? Should they be held accountable in criminal courts for their actions that seem to be leading to the death of our planet?

11 responses to “Editorial: Profits of doom”

  1. Yes, our politicians… must be held accountable for
    all they do & don’t do – no if[s] or but[s]… as well as
    Adani, Rinehart & Palmer’s expected billowing
    wealth. Coal – gas – & oil pollutes the world while
    uranium is a well known killer. It’s a dirty game we
    are dealing with & this game has got to end.

    • Ken says:

      A noble sentiment Stefanie,…….but,I’m sure we are all aware, politicians , corporations, irrigators, pastoralists and mining “entreprenuers” are all there, with their noses in the trough when there is something in it. I have noticed how quickly they can melt away when there is any risk of liability.
      “The World Nuclear Association, while claiming ‘Nuclear power is the only large-scale energy-producing technology that takes full responsibility for all its waste and fully costs this into the product.’ ….is a clear example of obvious lies that are tolerated, as it is more than abundantly clear, there is no funding to clean Fukushima, Chernobil nor the millions of square miles contaminated already. The thought that nuclear waste will be kept safe for hundreds of thousands of years when politicians, etc can vanish overnight and there is nobody to hold responsible, is obviously a joke.
      It would be interesting if the ‘proceeds of crime act’ could be applied to their ill-gotten gains but even so, when the planet is dead its dead , even if you think you have ” god on your side”.

  2. Emily Stewart says:

    Humans are burning. ” … from human burning of fossil fuels,…”

  3. Graeme Batterbury says:

    Well said Aslan!! Great to see that “we” are starting to speak strongly about the power-brokers who masquerade as our leaders. I am sure Greta would be pleased.

  4. Of course, everybody accountable should be held accountable.
    There are ways in good faith to figure that out and get it reasonably right.
    Also all the trillion’s profit made by corporations are still held by corporations or families and individuals.
    The executives were handsomely paid on the way, so there is no reason why, and it would be responsible, for as much of the accumulated gains as needed, which would likely amount to all, to be used or invested to repair as much of the damage as possible.
    Also going forward all corporations should be made accountable contractually for damage to the environment and people.
    The easiest way is a fee on Carbon, and other extractives, that avoids the damage, or repairs it, or compensates all societies for the damage. This can be done for fossils fuels, forestry, mining, water extraction, plastic pollution, pesticide, pharmaceuticals etc.
    Where a fee is argued against, then that corporation or industry must be made to put up bonds and/or buy insurance to compensate – I mean really. not make pretend like now.
    These things are not rocket science to work out, but few want to have the conversation based on fairness, responsibility, equity and justice.
    If we won’t have that conversation, then I am sure we won’t make it.

  5. Bob says:

    Pfffft. Toilet the lot of it. So many stupid duped.

  6. Karen says:

    An all-out war on climate change made sense only as long as it was winnable. Once you accept that we’ve lost it, other kinds of action take on greater meaning. Preparing for fires and floods and refugees are direct examples. But the impending catastrophe heightens the urgency of almost any world-improving action. In times of increasing chaos, people seek protection in tribalism and armed force, rather than in the rule of law, and our best defence against this kind of dystopia is to maintain functioning democracies, functioning legal systems, functioning communities. Any movement toward a more just and civil society can now be considered a meaningful climate action. As an example, The Royal Shakespeare Company has officially dropped BP as a sponsor. Another example is Greta telling world leaders “all you can talk about is money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth – how dare you!”

    • Barrow says:

      “Go woke go broke ” karen this hysteria is no more than wealth distribution worldwide..once this BS
      Is settled i will for one come back to all you believers and ask for a please explain ? And regarding Greta , karen she is being paid lots in appearance fees and how … a royal commission
      In Australia will settle this GLOBAL Warming
      Rubbish ..just remember karen since records have been keep the worlds temperatures have fluctuated
      By no more than 1 degree.. hardy a emergency nor catastrophic..

  7. Then I must be an ignoramus torch carrier, Bob.
    I keep my eye on the sparrow.

    On throwing stones it’s noticed
    how so few aim at
    rubber trees…

  8. Glen Wright says:

    In case nobody noticed Scomo and Angus Taylor etc got voted in by the Australian people at the last election.

    The reason could possibly have had something to do with the majority of voters not believing Labor and the Greens prophet of doom, uncosted and unrealistic proposed alternatives.

    Not to mention Australia in the scheme of things is of little consequence in the equation.

  9. I’d like to see… ScoMo & Dutton share a slice
    of yellow-cake. It would not happen because
    they know what uranium does. I guess we
    will just have to remember the bravery of
    of that ‘kissing-coal’ incident & how tough it
    is to have to deal with protesters.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Become a supporter of The Echo

A note from the editorial team

Some of The Echo’s editorial team: journalists Paul Bibby and Aslan Shand, editor Hans Lovejoy, photographer Jeff Dawson and Mandy Nolan

The Echo has never underestimated the intelligence and passion of its readers. In a world of corporate banality and predictability, The Echo has worked hard for more than 30 years to help keep Byron and the north coast unique with quality local journalism and creative ideas. We think this area needs more voices, reasoned analysis and ideas than just those provided by News Corp, lifestyle mags, Facebook groups and corporate newsletters.

The Echo is one hundred per cent locally owned and one hundred per cent independent. As you have probably gathered from what is happening in the media industry, it is not cheap to produce a weekly newspaper and a daily online news service of any quality.

We have always relied entirely on advertising to fund our operations, but often loyal readers who value our local, independent journalism have asked how they could help ensure our survival.

Any support you can provide to The Echo will make an enormous difference. You can make a one-off contribution or a monthly one. With your help, we can continue to support a better informed local community and a healthier democracy for another 30 years.”

Echonetdaily is made possible by the support of all of our advertisers and is brought to you by this week's sponsors Enspire Furniture & Homewares and Hepatitis Australia.