Confronting Four Aussie Myths About Action Against Climate Change!

In reading and listening to much corporate and social media commentary and in conversations I have with people there seem to be four very common Aussie myths about  climate change and energy and actions we need to take!

All of these myths need to be challenged!

MYTH 1: ‘Coal exports are essential to our future economy’ – WRONG!

* Coal increasingly and compared to other products is realising little export revenue for Australia. 

* Coal exports will get less and less because the countries buying our coal are turning away from fossil fuels AND

* Countries buying our exports are putting restrictions and taxes on products made from energy generated by fossil fuels.

* The energy generating intentions of countries in the world demonstrated in COP 27 agreements are firmly against the continuing use of fossil fuels.

* Australia’s journey to reduce our use and export of fossil fuels to meet our emissions reduction targets will be under strict scrutiny by other countries, particularly Pacific nations.

* Unfortunately Australian governments still support and provide massive subsidies for the fossil fuel industry – without them and the tax concessions received many economists would say the industry would not be economically viable.

* Australia is still not only one of the largest emitters of emissions per head of population but is one of the world’s biggest exporters of emissions by the coal and gas we sell to other countries to burn. 

* Attitudes and actions towards the continued use of fossil fuels have changed significantly in countries around the world. Unless Australia follows this positive change in not only words but actions it will continue to be an energy pariah!


MYTH 2:’We have to continue to generate our energy from fossil fuel’. – WRONG!

* Energy generated by solar, wind, hydro, is the cheapest energy to generate.

* Solar energy from roof or ground panels generated, stored and used ON SITE is the cheapest and most efficient energy we can produce.

* Australia has more potential solar, wind and ocean energy generating capacity than most other countries.

* The costs of renewable infrastructure and generating renewable power are becoming less very quickly and will continue to do so.

* Already there have been days in Australia when more power was generated from renewable sources than from fossil fuel power stations.

* Many of Australia’s power stations are old and inefficient – some operate effectively for only 50% of time.

* Smart energy entrepreneurs and investors like Cannon-Brookes know the end of fossil fuel power companies like AGL [one of the biggest polluters] is rapidly coming. That is why he is working to close AGL and replace it with renewably generated power!

* AGL investors have lost an estimated $10 billion because of slow poor decision making by those in company executive positions.

* The fossil fuel industry and their political lobbyists have been very effective in using the print and TV media to perpetrate and sustain Myths 1 and 2!

* We don't need more gas exploration and extraction for our energy needs! Gas is one of the least efficient forms of energy, particularly for domestic use - over 50% of the energy it produces is lost to the area around your stove or heater- not into cooking!


MYTH 3:’Australia will not be able to help those workers currently engaged in the extraction of fossil fuels to make a smooth transition to new jobs.’- WRONG!

  • The mining industry employs relatively few Australians : more people in Australia work in McDonalds than in coal mining!
  • Many current mines are in prime locations for the development of renewable power – already available transport infrastructure making transition very easy.
  • Australia has supplies of other minerals essential to it and other countries for their transition to renewably generated energy – lithium, cadmium, molybdenum-which will continue to require mining.
  • There are groups of miners themselves who know jobs in fossil fuels are ending and who are already engaged in working with their employing companies and other individuals and companies to make arrangements for smooth transition into other employment.
  • The move to renewably generated power will create thousands of jobs that will require the skills already present in some fossil fuel workers and the education and training of thousands of new workers.


MYTH 4: ‘Electric cars are more expensive and can’t do the same work as petrol combustion motor vehicles’ – WRONG!

  • Current government subsidies for the purchase of new electric vehicles mean that an electric car can be bought for no more than a similar sized petrol driven vehicle.
  • You can buy a second-hand electric Nissan Leaf imported from Japan/Korea from ‘’The Good Car Company’ in Tasmania for less than $20,000.00. Ring Anton!
  • An electric vehicle is far more efficient, has less moving parts, requires less maintenance and costs less for services than a similar petrol combustion vehicle.
  • An electric vehicle has superior acceleration to any comparable petrol combustion vehicle: witness the Tesla that beat the fastest dragster in Australia!
  • 'Electric cars can’t pull trailers or caravans!' Wrong- there are electric vehicles that are capable of pulling a 747 aeroplane and others used in roadwork and mining. [See NRMA 'Open Road', November/December 2022, pp 39-45]
  • There are electric vehicles available now that will do the work of any ute or van.
  • My electric car cost me the same amount as an equivalent size family petrol sedan. It costs less than $20.00/week to charge in my garage from a 240 volt powerpoint . At current petrol prices, I calculate that in one year I have saved more than $3000.00 – at that rate it won’t take many years to offset the original cost!- especially as petrol prices continue to rise!
  • The biggest challenge at the moment is to be able to buy an electric car – but as all major car producing companies have committed to end production of petrol combustion cars between now and 2040 there should be many more available – and progressively cheaper.
  • My opinion, as an owner and driver of a hybrid petrol/battery car for 13 years and 250,000 kms and for the last year of a fully electric car – anyone who can afford to buy an electric car and hasn’t got one is crazy!!

[David Smith for ‘Electrifying Bradfield’]