To say the union response to AGW has been contradictory would be an understatement. A case in point is Tony Maher. Mr Maher:
has led the unions work on Climate Change. In 2008 he was appointed chair of the ACTU Climate Group. He has been appointed to the Commonwealth Governments Carbon Capture and Storage Taskforce and the Prime Ministers Energy Efficiency Advisory Group. In 2010 he was appointed to represent unions on the Federal Government Roundtable on Climate Change.
On the one hand Maher has voiced unqualified support of all the ingredients necessary to fight AGW, particularly in respect of the introduction, with government support, of renewable energy.
Maher not only supports the introduction of renewable energy which does not work and would bankrupt Australia in the process. Maher compounds his profligacy and unreality by saying coal can still be an energy source if carbon capture or clean coal is subsidised. Clean coal is a failed concept and has cost $billions throughout Australia and the world despite the never-ending promises and predictions that it will work.
In all this, not a word about the real coal technology of Ultra Super-Critical, which of course the Chinese are developing but Australia, with Union ignorance and silence, is missing out on.
However, in total contradiction to this position Maher is also on the record as saying Green jobs are dopey. Maher said:
Maher is right about Green jobs being “dopey”; in fact the term Green jobs is meaningless; if your definition of Green jobs is broad enough, anything can be a Green job, including jobs in the coal industry; and, of course, every Green job is outrageously expensive, up to $1 million each and not only bankrupt nations but cause real jobs to disappear. But the real dopiness is Maher simultaneously advocating AGW, a carbon tax and Green power and clean coal, all of which have the aim of reducing fossil fuel dependency, while at the same advocating the expansion of coal and coal usage.
Basically, he is lying. He is in ‘good’ company with ex union hack, now Minister for Climate, Combet, also pedalling this fool’s breakfast of, on the one hand that AGW is going to doom us all and justifying the measures to prevent this via the CO2 tax while saying the cause of AGW, coal, has a “good future”. This is just ‘wanting your cake and eating it too’; and exactly the sort of thing a man who rabbits on about sea level threats while buying a luxury home by the sea would say. What a hypocrite!
Then there is Paul Howes. Howes is infamous for saying about the CO2 tax: (see also LINK)
Well, since making that claim not just one job but a torrent of lost jobs has occurred. Has Howes disavowed the CO2 tax? No, instead he and the other ALP supporters are conducting a phony war against the Greens with who they remain in official government partnership. How can you believe anything these people say?
However, all of the above is just the icing on the cake of union involvement with AGW. Where the real money lies is with renewable energy and superannuation funds.
This Gillard government, which is beholden to the Greens, is fanatically promoting and subsidising green energy, particularly wind and solar, but also exotics like geothermal and wave.
The amount of money being given to green energy is staggering. The Australian Renewable Energy Agency and Clean Energy Finance Corporation will between them distribute over $13.2 billion in the next 2 years to green energy start-up programs.
That’s $13.2 billion. At a time when medical queues are extending, defence and education expenditure is being cut and vast waste on the NBN and illegal refugees is happening.
Green energy doesn’t work. California proves that; after 40 years of R&D and $tens of billions California gets 5% of generated power from wind and solar. In Australia solar projects such as Moree, Broken Hill and Chinchilla, despite massive government subsidy, cannot attract private investment. Wave energy is failing but still getting government grants as is Flannery’s infamous investment choice de jour, geothermal.
The point is green energy does not work and any money spent on it is wasted.
Despite this unions are heavily involved in green energy investments through superannuation funds. In respect of wind power the connections are [from Mike Inkster]:
- Pacific Hydro (Wind Developer) is owned by Industry Funds Management
- Industry Funds Management is owned by Industry Super Holdings who also own ME Bank
- Gary Weaven - Former Secretary of the ACTU is the Chair of Industry Super Holdings and Pacific Hydro
- Gary Weaven has been appointed by the ALP Government to the External Advisory Panel of the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) in 2009 and in 2008 was appointed to the Federal Government's Superannuation Advisory Committee. This link is a potential disaster for all non Union owned Superannuation Funds.
- Greg Combet was a Director of Industry Super Holdings until resigning in 2007
- Anna Booth - Board Member of IFM and Industry Super Holdings, Non executive Chair of the listed law firm Slater & Gordon Ltd and former National Secretary of the Textile, Clothing and Footwear Union
- Professor Simon Chapman – Advocate of the Wind Industry and a keynote speaker at their Annual Conferences and prominent member of the NHMRC funding committee and author of the NHMRC controversial "Rapid Review Statement" in favour of the developers. Professor Chapman has made a public denial of any Health issues to do with wind power.
- Slater and Gordon Law Firm - Recently confirmed the existence and necessity of confidentiality clauses connected to Health impacts caused by Turbines. Professor Chapman has denied the existence of any such agreements. Professor Chapman is a personal associate of Peter Gordon.
- Clean Energy Finance Corporation - $13.2 Billion fund established to support the so called "clean energy future". The expert review report highlighted the likes of Pacific Hydro as a potential recipient of funding.
- Clean Energy Council (formerly the Wind Energy Association of Australia) - Pacific Hydro holds controlling seats and is known as the number one lobbyist for funds emanating from the CEFC.
Union members are having their super funds invested in green energy projects. The continued viability of many of these projects is dependent on government funding and subsidies. Overseas experiences have shown that when the government ceases subsidising green projects the green energy projects end.
What will happen in Australia when the subsidies finish? The green energy sources don’t work; they are only viable with $billions of government/taxpayer support. The Union run superannuation funds are investing in projects which are only being sustained by the government. Will the workers have no superannuation when their funds lose their money in failed schemes?
The Coalition government has said it will maintain the Renewable Energy Target [RET] which mandates 5% of electricity to come from renewable by 2020.
Where does that leave average citizens and trade union members? Out of pocket and looking for a political party which will not waste their money in propping up failed schemes and ideas.