Australia’s response to climate change must truly baffle outsiders. Why do our leaders pretend that they are leading the world in the battle against global warming? When do environmental risks outweigh economic benefits? Why dig deeper when the rest of the world is looking for alternatives to coal?
This is an essay about “quarry vision,” the belief that Australia’s greatest asset is its mineral and energy resources – coal above all. How has this distorted our national politics and stymied action on climate change? In this powerful essay about the national interest, Guy Pearse dissects the Rudd government’s climate change response: from the Garnaut report to the silver bullet of “clean coal” and beyond. He exposes the shadowy world of the carbon lobbyists; how they think, operate and advance their agenda. He discusses the future of the coal industry and challenges the economic orthodoxy. Quarry vision, he argues, is a trap and a blind faith we can no longer afford.