Chamber: Senate on 5/09/2023
Item: MATTERS OF URGENCY – Energy
Senator RENNICK (Queensland) (18:05): It pains me greatly to have to rise to speak to this motion today. To think that Australia is now paying for some of the most expensive energy in the world is a complete and utter tragedy. It is the combination of decades of mismanagement of our energy system, no doubt by none other than AEMO, because we have this half-breed Frankenstein set-up of an energy market in this country, where we have the federal government, the state government and the private sector all responsible for electricity. As anyone who works in the private sector knows, when everyone is in charge, nobody is in charge. If we want to fix this, we should go back to the origins of our Constitution and put the states back in charge of energy.
The reason why I’m very passionate about that is, when I grew up in the great state of Queensland, Queensland had some of the cheapest energy in the world. That was under the great leadership of Joh Bjelke-Petersen. I know some of you will go, ‘What about the brown paper bags?’ Let me tell you: the black tape, the green tape and the red tape are just a legitimised form of corruption in this country, and it’s out of control. We got the cheapest energy because we opened up coalmines. We used our natural resources. Yet, here, today, we refuse to use our natural resources. We would rather import renewables from foreign countries than use our own energy here in this country.
I’ve referred to this many times before in this chamber. Near my hometown of Chinchilla, at the Kogan Creek power station, is 400 million tonnes of coal. That is right there, just below the surface, and the only cost of it is getting it out of the ground and transporting it one or two kilometres to the actual power station. There’s also another pad there where you could build another turbine to power Queensland forward. But do we do that? No. I’d like to commend the media statement put out by the member for Fairfax, where he called on the Labor government to scrap its ideological approach to energy. I can’t agree with that more, because it is this ideological approach, that somehow CO2 is going to cause global boiling, that is at the heart of this problem.
For the last three or four decades we have been living in the Middle Ages, where knowledge has been completely thrown out the door and replaced by fear, fearmongering and superstition. The reason why we live in such a great country here, with such a high standard of living, is because of the Enlightenment, when scientists went and put down and defined the laws of science. Those laws of science demonstrated, and quantified, cause and effect. If we’re going to put this climate change rubbish to bed, we need to go back to basics. We need to sort out our education system and we need to start teaching maths and science again.
This whole so-called crisis can easily be quantified, because CO2 is a gas. Is there a law for the relationship between gas and temperature? Yes, there is. It’s called the ideal gas law. It’s called PV equals NRT: pressure times volume equals the number of moles by the ideal gas constant by the temperature. I want to know why no-one has ever discussed this before. It’s very easy, if you use that algorithm. If carbon dioxide increases by 100 parts a million, that is a one in ten thousand increase. All you have to do is go one in ten thousand by the current temperature of the earth, which is 287 degrees Kelvin, and you get a rise of 0.0287 degrees. All you have to then do is take the specific density of carbon dioxide, which is 1.53, and times that by 2.87 and you get the formula. For every 100 parts per million increase in carbon dioxide you will increase the temperature by 0.043 degrees. Given that carbon dioxide has increased by 140 parts per million, or about by 0.06 degrees, in the last 140 years, I think that is a price worth paying to have brought billions and billions of people out of the dark ages and into the world we live in today. If we’re going to stop this rubbish and go back to baseload energy, we need to kill the myth that somehow climate change is going to cause global boiling and bring the world to an end.