The ‘cold hard reality’ of clean coal

April 17, 2009 at 12:26 am Leave a comment


Yesterday, Australian PM Kevin Rudd launched the grandly named Global Carbon Capture and Storage Institute and pledged $100 million dollars public funding each year.

To my knowledge its the best funded greenwash institute yet. An institute to dupe Australian people into believing there is actually such a thing as clean coal, paid for by Australian taxpayers.

Clean coal is a dangerous fiction – akin to a healthy cigarette, or safe asbestos.

Guy Pearse points out in his essay “Quarry Vision” in the latest Quartely Review that Australia’s mining industry claims to pay $18 billion a year in tax. At least $9 billion dollars is returned to the industry via indirect government subsidies – transport, energy, infrastructure, tax breaks, petrol. We can add the clean coal institute to the growing list.

Pearse calls for the rapid phasing out of the coal industry. You can see him explaining why at the launch of ‘Quarry Vision’ at Sydney’s Gleebooks last month.

Rudd told the media: “This institute recognises the cold hard reality that coal will be a major source of power generation for many years to come”.

Yet the climate scientists say this is suicidal. Rudd’s “cold hard reality” is totally delusional given the crisis we face.

John Bellamy Foster, in the March 2009 Monthly Review, comments on this characteristic of capitalist politicians and mainstream economists: “Indeed nothing is more deranged than the notion… that the planet as we know it can be destroyed, while the capitalist economy can continue as before.”

Below is some great subvertising about clean coal produced by the Coen brothers.

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Entry filed under: Coal.

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