On the low emissions target

John Bushell writes: Re. “LET the fight begin — Turnbull must defeat Abbott over energy”  (Thursday).

Bernard Keane includes in the article “…….building new coal-fired plants to provide cheap but emissions-intensive power.” This simply perpetuates the myth that new coal power is cheaper than renewables (irrespective of any price on greenhouse gas emissions) whereas the reverse is true.

Any new coal or gas power generation plant constructed now can be expected to be operating in more than 40 years time at a significantly higher electricity cost to that of renewable energy, including storage and grid stabilisation.  This guarantees that the proud owners of the fossil fuel plant will be holding an asset that is both financially stranded and socially toxic.

As to the “fig leaf” (thank you Christine Milne) of carbon capture and storage, its viability was comprehensively demolished in a 2009 report by the lawyers Baker & Mckenzie.  Essentially, future generations would be liable in perpetuity for the cost of storage of CO2 including payment of compensation in the event of escape of the gas. Future generations would therefore be bequeathed a liability whilst receiving no possible benefit to themselves – a particularly egregious example of intergenerational inequity .

It will take more than Malcolm’s persuasive powers to convince the troglodytes within his party to abandon fossil fuels — the whole community, especially business, and the media will need to be involved.

On the United Kingdom election

Marilyn J Shepherd writes: Re. “Singing in the pub as Corbyn pulls off what Blair never could” (Friday)

I always knew she would lose parliament. Lynton Crosby came up with the ludicrous slogan “Strong and Stable” —  for a woman who had been in the job a year by default and called a needless election.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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