Barnaby Joyce’s bizarre call to arms against “green peril”

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Australia’s deputy prime minister has issued a rousing call to arms to Australia’s mining and resources industry, warning that if they lose the fight for new coal-fired power generation, they are opening the door for the rest of the industry to fall victim to the “fatuous economics” of renewable energy and green groups.

joyce insiders

In a speech at the Minerals Week Seminar on Wednesday, Barnaby Joyce warned his audience against the sort of tax-exempt charities “whose job it is to completely destroy the economic base of Australia,” and a Labor Party that was fiendishly courting green votes; street by street, “wind chime by wind chime.”

Using a bizarre mix of metaphors and old fashioned fear mongering, the deputy PM painted a picture of a nation under attack from a sort of economy destroying “green peril” that would shut down coal power plants, kill coal exports and – of course – turn the lights out.

“Around about January, ladies and gentlemen, families are going to come back from holiday, mum and dad are going to go back to work, mum’s going to turn on the air conditioner, get the kids ready for school, school’s going to turn on the power, and if we don’t watch out, the lights are going to go out,” Joyce said.

“And this will be a salutary lesson on how economics really work. A salutary lesson against the fatuous economics that’s being peddled.

(“In the) Galilee Basin, we are in the fight of our lives trying to open up a mechanism that will create wealth for this nation. Total insanity!” he said.

“What’s one of our biggest exports, or our biggest export? Coal. And what are we making the argument against? That we should use coal. It’s absurd. …I just don’t get it.”

But Joyce might need his own quick refresher in economics, at least when it comes to coal – considering the increasingly loud and clear message from the market, that neither burning coal for power, nor exporting it to other countries to do the same, are economically sustainable future paths for Australia.

Indeed, this is one of the key reasons why the massive coal mine and port development proposed for north Queensland’s Galilee Basin has yet to get up.

Because – thanks to a rapidly dwindling global carbon budget, and increasingly cheap renewable energy alternatives – there quite probably isn’t a market for the huge amounts of thermal coal it will produce.

But if you don’t want to take our word for it – or that of countless energy market analysts and players – just ask Barnaby, who let this truism slip during his pitch for the endless export opportunities promised by the Indian market.

“By gosh (India is) going to want to buy some of those raw materials that are the fundamental underpinners of economic growth,” he said. “They probably won’t want to buy thermal coal, but they will want to buy metallurgical coal.”

Wait, what?

Of course, Joyce doesn’t just want to export Australian coal. Like others in the Coalition, he also wants to keep burning it to generate electricity – despite climate change, and despite the growing range of cheap and actually clean alternatives – for as long as possible, and preferably using those “high efficiency, low emissions” coal fired plants his party still hopes to build.

“We should be fighting that fight – on behalf of everybody. Don’t just think, oh that’s the coal industry’s fight. That’s your fight,” he said.

“If they can win that argument that… basically, you don’t ever build another coal-fired power station even again, that just created a huge win against you. And you’re next. You’re next.

“And if you shut this industry down,” he continued, “you don’t have a job. Because they’re not going to give you another job, there are no other jobs.”

But if that all sounds pretty grim, never fear. Joyce has an idea on how to wake people up to the importance of coal-fired power…

“I’ll tell you what happens when people get caught in a lift, somewhere between floor 24 and 25, and they’re there for a few hours. At one stage or another, if they’re there long enough, someone wants to go to the bathroom.

“This becomes an absolute seminal point of where their attitude to how power is generated changes.This becomes a seminal point about their views on the coal industry, and therefore the mining industry.”

Meanwhile, Barnaby has headed back to the political trenches, where he will continue to fight the good fight against “green peril” and fatuous economics. And doesn’t he know something about the “green peril” having shovelled the dirt at the official openings of nearly $1 billion of wind and solar investment in his own electorate.

“Once I go to that chamber today, they’re going to start talking about renewable energy targets, and the whole thing starts collapsing around your ears,” he told the Seminar.

“…And the Labor Party will be banging on about me, predominantly, and 50 per cent renewable energy targets, and closing down Liddell…

“And that’s where you just, you think: what on earth is happening in this building? What on earth is going on? Where does it end? I know where it ends – it ends in disaster.”

Don’t say he didn’t warn you.  

  • Neil Harris

    Please don’t let this man anywhere near sharp objects. On the other hand do.

  • Tom

    How would Barnaby feel about going back to New Zealand?

    “Joyce Bro'”

    • GlennM

      Please NO… can keep him, it is payback for claiming Phar-Lap, Crowded House, and Pavlova…

    • Joe

      ….the prodigal son and now ‘The New Zealander of The Year’ returns ‘home’ in triumph.

    • De White

      I’ll put $5 in towards a crowd funded economy fare!

  • Joe

    The last thing we need to do is take advice from ‘The New Zealander of The Year’. The Joyce is all over the shop in his ramble. The Farmers that he is supposed to represent get it when it comes to looking after the environment and the ‘peril’ of climate change. They, the Farmers, are on the front line of the impacts of climate change. Who exactly does the Joyce represent these days, clearly it is not the farming community anymore. How does the dude talk with a straight face when on one hand he does the first sodding for RE projects and then on the other hand he goes full tilt anti RE. Another ‘Two Tongued’ Federal Minister. So the Coalers are now his constituency, that’s why they are called….. The COALition.

  • Peter Campbell

    Why isn’t Bananaby talking up Australia as an exporter of Lithium, another mineral that we have large reserves of?

    • Just_Chris

      Coal – $50 per ton
      Cobalt – $60,000 per ton
      Nickel – $20,000 per ton

      Why sell dirt when we can sell gold?

    • MartyvH

      Too high-tech and new for him. He sticks to the old and sentimental resources. Never mind market reality.

      • Joe

        ..’Cleeeen Coal’ is high…er tech for the Bananabee.

    • Chris Knight

      Li miners haven’t put him on the payroll (yet)

  • “Australia is a lucky country run by second rate people who share its luck.”

    Donald Horne’s dismal appraisal appears more accurate as (precious) time goes by..

    • Warren55

      Australia is getting less lucky every day. Third rate broadband, an entire generation locked out of buying a house, soaring inequality, a war on the poor and disadvantaged…
      Run by second rate people is still totally accurate though.

      • ChannelSixtyNine69

        Australia is run by people who, according to our Constitution, should not be Parliament at all.
        It just goes to the arrogance of those from the Right, that rules and taxes only apply to the “little people”. Not the high flying Silvertails and their media and political sycophants.

    • ChannelSixtyNine69

      Yes, the second raters share the luck amongst themselves, no one else.

      A small minded solicitor became Prime Minister, an even smaller minded religious zealot was Prime MInister, mercifully for less than one term.

  • Andy Saunders

    I’m going to have to work really hard to get the “turd in a lift” scenario out of my brain now…

    • juxx0r

      Can someone photoshop barnaby into a lift for Andy?

  • Tim Buckley

    So Barnaby says “By gosh (India is) going to want to buy some of those raw materials that are the fundamental underpinners of economic growth,” he said. “They probably won’t want to buy thermal coal, but they will want to buy metallurgical coal.”
    Yet in the same speech he is trumpeting the merits of Adani’s low quality thermal coal mine proposal?! He admits India doesn’t want to buy Adani’s coal, but he wants to open up this new thermal mine regardless, so as to create wealth for us?! How inconsistently stupid a statement! To promote a mine vi a $1bn subsidy from us to a foreign tax haven based billionaire when he knows that the customer i.e. India doesn’t want the product, and then to say that is for our benefit. How is throwing a $1bn of our money away going to add to our wealth?!

    • nakedChimp

      Not your wealth, the wealth of his masters.. from his POV that is ‘our’ 😉

    • Joe

      One never takes seriously what Bananabee has to say…oh…wait…he is going to be our Acting PM when Two Tongued Turnbull jets off overseas. Who is going to save us ?

    • Coley

      It’s not going to add a penny to your wealth but lots of ‘pennies’ to his.
      Bunch of bought and paid for bastards, both in Australia and the US, plus more than a few in the EU.

  • Hettie

    The only take home message that seems to make any sense is, be sure to have a pee before you get in a lift.

    The rest is just the beetroot’s usual incomprehensible twaddle.

  • Radbug

    The luck’s about to run out, Syd. While Kim’s been dumping missiles into the sea, Beijing has been making the RMB a reserve currency.* In order to make the RMB a reserve currency, Beijing will have to “link” it to gold. This means there will be a fixed price for gold in RMB, just like the ye olde $US35 per ounce, before Tricky Dicky closed the gold window. Now, you can’t have fixed gold price in RMB if you’re printing shedloads of it to keep your property/credit bubbles inflated. So, exit bubbles, stage left, pursued by a bear! And one of those bubbles is the Sydney/Melbourne/Brisbane property markets! And don’t forget the Al/PE cladding pricing poison! The Coalition will very soon find itself in a world of pain! *Beijing is establishing an oil futures contract denominated in RMB. Soon, the price of oil will be quoted in RMB. Nations that trade with China will be able to feel confident their excess RMB is safe from devaluation because the RMB will be gold linked. Thus they will hold their RMB & not convert it into $US, but only if the RMB becomes a “hard” currency.

    • Mark Roest

      What happens if everyone moves to sustainability in all aspects of life? That leaves some denialists sitting on oil futures contracts with the price less than what they committed to pay? or what does happen then?

      • Coley

        When the reality of the new industrial revolution can no longer be denied, then those who haven’t managed to escape with their financial futures assured, will engage in a wild scramble of chapter 11 bankruptcies (or their international equivilants)
        Rest assured the 1% ers will leave the big clean up to the public purse and will be aided and abetted by whatever political clique is in charge at the time.

        • Mark Roest

          What a restful assurance!

  • John Saint-Smith

    By gosh! It sounds like Barmy Choice is channelling Joh Bjelke-Petersen! But then, they were both ex-New Zealanders! As Robert Muldoon once quipped, “Migrations of New Zealanders to Australia has raised the IQ of both countries.”

    • ChannelSixtyNine69

      Actually, John, I don’t think Bjelke-Petersen ever became an Australian citizen. So he was a kiwi national, not a dual citizen.

      • John Saint-Smith

        Hi 69,
        Do you have any evidence to support that contention?

  • Michel Gormly

    Barnaby forgot to bring up the $100 leg of lamb.

    • trackdaze

      His citizenship issues suggest he must.

      • GlennM

        I very good looking leg I am sure…

  • Bill Gresham

    And I fear we are under attack by the Flying Doctor!

  • Just_Chris

    Currently sitting on a bus traveling through the eastern suburbs of Melbourne. Looking at all the new solar panels and thinking someone is about to get a lesson in economics.

  • Colin Edwards

    Barnaby’s language is sounding more and more like Joe Bjelke Petersen! And about as believable.

    • DugS

      Ah Colin, you’re showing your age now mate. But yes you are dead right and the comparison made this ex queenslander guffaw in amusement and alarm. I say alarm because Joh was never actually made to pay penance despite being the despot he was for decades. Surely buckeroo barnaby can’t get away with it too! Must be something in that outback dust that warps their minds.

    • Joe

      …a great standup comic was the Joh.

  • Climatemonster

    As a Brit I keep seeing this guy making stupid comments – is he notorious as Australia’s thickest politician or just one of a crowd

    • trackdaze

      There is debate currently as to which side of the Tasman the thick comes from.

      • GlennM

        No debate here mate….Just look at your last three PM’s and ours…debate over.

    • Tom

      I’m afraid there’s a few of them. Have you heard of this bloke called Freydenberg?

      • Just_Chris

        Freydenberg? What about Roberts? The man stood up in his opening speech to the senate and effectively said:

        “I am more qualified than the CSIRO, the BOM and NASA to intemperate scientific literature relating to climate change. I’ll have you know I’m a geologist with an MBA – I am absolutely qualified to tell you that climate change is all a big hoax.”

        some people worry about terrorists, I lie in bed worrying that there are 200,000 Australian stupid enough to vote for One nation.

        • Tom

          Yes, Roberts too.

          He’s a Brit though like Climatemonster. Hopefully he won’t be in our senate long – he can join the House Of Commons instead.

          • Joe

            ‘Aussie Robbo’….’Pommie Robbo’….he’s Indian as well. Real United Nations piece of work is…. ‘Our Robbo’.

          • Tom

            In Robbo’s defence – I don’t think he’s Indian. He was born in India, but to two pommie parents in a pommie colony. So he’s definitely British, but I don’t think that qualified him as Indian.

            Unfortunately for Larissa Waters, if she was born 2 weeks later then being born to two Aussie parents on a working holiday in Canada wouldn’t have qualified her as being Canadian. But the laws hadn’t quite changed yet, and she’s a maple syrup sucker (or whatever they call Canadians).

            PS – “Aussie Robbo” makes me feel like I don’t really want to be a part of the team.

          • Just_Chris

            Yep, makes me want to vote for vic exit

          • Joe

            …Maple Leaf, I think is that the term you were searching for. India is now independent and aren’t they claiming anyone born there is a son or daughter of India…I could be wrong…’Aussie Robbo’ would be hoping so.

        • Joe

          It’s all about…’The Empirical Data’. He can show us all his… ‘Empirical Qualifications’ that he is better than the world’s most respected Scientific Organisations. Just like ‘Aussie Robbo’ chooses to believe that he is Australian ( not Pommie, not Indian ) he chooses to believe that he is the most qualified dude going around.

    • Chris Fraser

      He’s more fun than 70’s style Tory sex scandal.

  • Mark Roest

    Because the disaster he really fears is an awakened electorate that comes after him with pitch, chicken feathers and a pole, instead of votes.

  • stalga

    Sounds like Alan Jones is coaching him.
    “The fight of our lives” They’re gettingd worried.

  • Coley

    Don’t just think,,” he said. Mmm, echoes of The Tangerine T**t plainly visible.

    As are other points in his speech, he’s obviously read TTTs game plan and assumes it can work for him.
    Worrying, most didn’t think such a large proportion Americans were racist, supremacist, bigots.
    ‘Most’ have been proved wrong!
    Hopefully Australians are different

  • Jack B

    I say this as a very frustrated person with the way things are in Australia in regards to cleaner cheaper and greener technology that Australia is not accessing and in bracing.
    we are stupid people that elect even stupider people to lead us!

  • Mick Sylwestruk

    This mine is not about supplying power to indias’ poor. It’s all about adanis weapons manufacturing arm of his business. Why won’t they just be honest about it?

  • Andrew Thaler

    Didn’t Gina sell the coal lease to adani… ??

    And would that be the reason Barnaby is so jubilant about the prospect of the moon happening, because Gina is paying him to ‘promote’ it otherwise she is likely to face a lawsuit from Adani to get their money back?
    And/or Gina ends up with a large coal resource marooned in the ground.

    • Thucydides

      Probably. Adani’s Carmichael mine is a pioneer project in the Galilee which also assists Gina to open her own coal mine and use the NAIF funded railway to access the port.

      BJ and GR are very close. Gina flew MPs Barnaby Joyce, Julie Bishop and Teresa Gambaro in her private jet to attend a Coal baron’s family wedding. The three then collectively claimed more than $12,000 in “overseas study” allowances to pay for their flights home, according to the SMH.

      • Joe

        QLD… another country

  • The Duke

    Last week it was an attack on the reds. Is this buffoon serious or just Batpoo crazy.
    Next week it will be the yellows or rainbow colours. Hey Beetroot Barnaby, take the hint and do the right thing and resign before your kicked out as you should be.

  • mkhpd

    Barnanaby is one of those that is relying on mates to keep him in power, so he needs to keep bleating for his mates. That’s why he ‘doesn’t get it’. It’s probably worth reading “Game of Mates: How Favours Bleed the Nation”, by Cameron Murray and Paul Frijters or as a minimum listen to this weeks “The Money” podcast It is how our system works,(unfortunately).

  • DevMac

    Aren’t a number of the mining companies installing their own ‘solar fields’ to reduce their spiralling power costs?

    Even the guys pulling the raw materials out of the ground know that solar is a cheaper option.

  • moriac

    First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, and then you win. – Mohandas Gandhi. Barnaby might this be the defining moment that the Green renewable movement is starting to win. I hope so

  • MartyvH

    “They probably won’t want to buy thermal coal”

    You heard it from the Deputy PM re the Carmichael mine.

  • De White

    “It ends in disaster”….it sure will Barnaby if you and your motley crew run (or should I spell that “ruin” ) this country of ours much longer.

  • Joe

    And there he was yesterday (9/09/17 ) The New Zealander of The Year, ‘Our Bananabee’ at The Nationals Federal Conference hosting….. a love in for COAL. The future is COAL. The future is CLEEEEEN COAL. That ‘Dirty Old Coaler, Hazelwood’ will now become ‘Cleeeeen Coaler, Hazelwood’. Our future is in safe hands with our Bananabee.

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  • howardpatr

    The leader of the National Coal Party is “bizzare”.

  • onesecond

    This crazy person belongs in an asylum, but that is really the deputy prime minister of Australia? Oh dear …

  • Phil

    I’m 100% off grid with 99.9999% uptime for 10kwh per day at a cost of $2.20 per day funded in perpetuity

    I guess that makes me a radical Greenie. Even though i’m a 100% self funded retiree who has never claimed welfare in my life and paid millions in Taxes

    But in reality i got sick of power companies unreliability , cost and meter readers treating me like a Doormat

    Barnaby Who ?