Hogsback on coal's new records

COAL was the nation’s top export for 2018. Funnily enough, in the same week this was announced by the Australian Bureau of Statistics the black stuff was getting blamed for the bushfires in Tasmania and the floods in Townsville.
Hogsback on coal's new records  Hogsback on coal's new records  Hogsback on coal's new records  Hogsback on coal's new records  Hogsback on coal's new records
Hogsback reckons this is an insult to the hard working people in the coal industry and a cynical ploy by some climate change advocates to gain publicity by taking advantage of the suffering of the people enduring these natural disasters. 
 
Total coal exports in the past 12 months to the end of December were valued at $66.2 billion up from $57.1 billion in 2017. 
 
For Hogsback, that is a good reason to cheer. 
 
Coal Council of Australia CEO Greg Evans said historically coal had been Australia's most significant export contributor, and the latest data shows a resurgent industry with a positive future. 
 
"Coal was previously our largest export in 2009," he said.
 
"The robust performance of the sector has delivered tangible benefits for all Australians including across the coal regions of Queensland and NSW. The benefits include more than 150,000 direct and related jobs and rising tax and royalty collections."
 
This is good news for everyone and should be welcomed by all Australians who will ultimately enjoy the benefits of a world leading coal export industry.  
 
However, Greens leader Dr Richard Di Natale has blamed an over-reliance on coal for the Tasmanian bushfires.
 
"Coal is the reason … we are seeing these record breaking conditions," he told Sky News. 
 
"We have these massive fires in Tasmania.
 
"We have to [phase out coal]. We're facing an existential threat as a species."
 
Meanwhile serial coal basher and Greens MP Adam Bandt had a go at both Prime Minister Scott Morrison and the Australian Labor Party over coal.
 
"Parts of Australia are burning, other parts are under water," he tweeted.
 
"Scott Morrison doesn't want to talk about climate change and now Labor says they're going to open new coal mines to make climate change even worse."
 
Griffith University emeritus professor Ian Lowe said Queensland's recent extreme weather - bushfires, heatwaves, coral bleaching, drought, Cyclone Penny, Townsville's floods - showed the state was clearly experiencing climate change.
 
He said he took umbrage at Queensland's export earnings being still dependent on coal.
 
"So there is now a very significant - and not decreasing - economic dependence on fossil fuels," he said.
 
Hogsback reckons it is a tragedy that so many people are suffering during unprecedented natural disasters. However, these people are being assisted by governments with budgets that have been significantly topped up by coal royalties that are rising to record levels.
 
This week Glencore announced a $1 million donation towards North Queensland flood recovery efforts. 
 
It said it would work in cooperation with the Townsville City Council and Queensland government to make sure that these funds go to the most appropriate disaster relief organisations.
 
It is pig-headed and stupid to blame coal for these disasters when it is really helping provide relief for the people who have their become victims.