Hogsback on Bob Brown

HOGSBACK reckons it is somewhat ironic that the champion of the “Stop the Adani” campaign is former Greens leader, Bob Brown, who established his reputation opposing the Franklin Dam in Tasmania – which would have provided renewable hydro energy.
Hogsback on Bob Brown Hogsback on Bob Brown Hogsback on Bob Brown Hogsback on Bob Brown Hogsback on Bob Brown

Lou Caruana

Indeed, had the Gordon below Franklin scheme gone ahead, Tasmania would have been a net electricity exporter, with the bulk of that electricity coming from green sources, instead of a net importer.

In the space of 30 years, Brown has opposed nuclear, hydro, CSG, and now coal-generated power. That doesn’t leave much to power the growing economies to our north, who are frantically trying to provide electricity for billions of people and cater for a growing middle class keen on improving their standard of living.

Renewables is the latest buzz word, and Brown and his cohorts at Stop the Adani think they will save the world singlehandedly.

India is already a major investor in renewables energy, however, even with its ambitious program it is still hard pressed to provide adequate power for a growing economy.

If Australia does not provide coal to India, the country will still have its need for reliable base load energy at affordable prices.

It would then have to rely on lower grade coal from Indonesia, South Africa or from its own reserves which are managed by its state own company Coal India.

While Coal India does have some management and efficiency issues, it alone actually produces more coal than the entire Australian coal industry.

It is hardly going to turn its back on coal-fired power capacity because a few protestors launch a website in Melbourne opposing coal-fired energy and the effect that a proposed mine will have on climate change.   

Brown has come out of retirement and is blasting Adani’s proposed $21.7 billion Carmichael mine because he and his fellow campaign members claim the project will aid global warming and kill the coral in the Great Barrier Reef.

It’s funny that we never heard a peep from Brown talking about the devastating effects of the crown-of-thorns star fish and the chemical run-off from coastal farming and sugar cane plantations, not to mention the effect of tourism and souveniring of coral. 

While most agree with Brown that the reef is a national asset that employs thousands of people, to say that the Carmichael project will lead to job losses in tourism is a bit rich.

The mayors of major regional council around the Galilee Basin, the Queensland government and the federal government are all behind the Carmichael project.

A delegation consisting of Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and the mayors have just returned from India where they have seen for themselves the potential that India offers an energy rich nation like Australia.

Surely there is enough government representation there to regulate the proposed Carmichael project and ensure that the industries co-exist with due regard to the environment and other stakeholders and industries.

Bob Brown was literally a voice in the wilderness when he spoke up to save the pristine Franklin River. However, outback Queensland isn’t old growth forest, and billions of people still need energy. Maybe it’s time, Brown should go back into retirement or try to forge a more realistic way forward for the environmental movement.