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Climate criminal Australia is among world leaders in per capita greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, climate change inaction, and in exports of coal, gas, iron ore and methanogenically-derived meat. However the Finkel Review chaired by Australia’s Chief Scientist Dr Alan Finkel advocates continued gas and coal use for over 50 years, and utterly ignores the worsening climate emergency, the worsening  climate genocide, and 25 Elephant in the Room  realities relating to GHG pollution and climate change.

This astonishing failure has lessons for other countries ruled by neoliberal governments and establishments. The Finkel Review into Australia’s electricity supply [1] was set up because of a huge threat to the security of Australia’s 50 GW (50,000 MW) electricity system and its energy supply in general. In short, burning fossil fuels (mainly black and brown coal) is responsible for 76% of Australia’s electricity which in turn accounts for 35% of Australia’s “official” greenhouse gas (GHG) pollution (it must be noted at the outset that Australia’s annual GHG pollution taking methanogenic (methane-generating) livestock and land use into account is about 2 times greater than that assumed by the dangerously flawed Finkel Review) [2, 3]. There has been a big push by science -informed Australians to renewable energy so that sunny Australia is now a leader in per capita solar uptake for homes. South Australia has 40% renewable energy, the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) has 100% renewable energy and the hydroelectricity (hydro)-rich island state of Tasmania also aims for 100 % renewable energy.

However 100% renewable energy from solar and wind requires  a back-up of emergency “dispatchable energy” for “when the sun doesn’t shine and the wind doesn’t blow”.    Thus the University of Melbourne Energy Institute -linked Beyond Zero Emissions (BZE) published a very detailed  scheme for 100% renewable energy for Australia in a decade in which solar thermal played a big part and energy was largely stored as molten salts [4, 5] . The University of Melbourne’s  Professor Peter Seligman (a top electrical engineer and a major player in the development of the bionic ear) published a detailed scheme for 100% renewable energy for Australia in which energy was stored by “pumped hydro” in huge dams for pumped sea water on southern Australia’s desert Nullabor Plain [4, 6].

A huge storm involving 7 tornadoes massively damaged South Australia’s energy system in September 2016. This disaster  together with subsequent system failures and trips resulted in a blackout that the mendacious , climate criminal and effective climate change denialist Federal Coalition Government falsely blamed on the high degree of renewable energy in the system. The South Australian Government rapidly moved to ensure back-up power by wisely investing in batteries and unwisely investing  in a new gas-fired power plant. The Federal  Government then moved to investigate upgrading Australia’s 4,100 MW Snowy Mountains hydro scheme for pumped hydro energy storage.  The  Finkel Review into Australia’s complex and interlinked electricity supply system was set up to tackle the problems of electricity security as Australia shifts to more renewable energy in keeping with its Paris Agreement promise of “26-28% off 2005 GHG pollution by 2030”.  A further complication is that Australia will soon overtake Qatar as the world’s biggest exporter of Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) but this has caused massive increases in the price of gas for domestic use in homes and by industry. The extreme rightwing, pro-coal,  pro-gas, neoliberal and corporatist Liberal Party-National Party Coalition Government is caught in a bind between political ideology- and corporate donations-driven driven carte blanche for big fossil fuel corporations and the  needs of  seriously threatened manufacturing  industry and of energy price-impacted ordinary Australians  (the latter  assuming high significance to governments every 3 years at Federal Election time).

Unfortunately  Australia, like other Western democracies, has become a kleptocracy, plutocracy, lobbyocracy, corporatocracy and dollarocracy in which Big Money purchases people, politicians, parties, policies, public perception of reality , votes and hence more private  profit and more perversion of the political system.  The effectively climate change denialist US Murdoch media empire brainwashes 70% of Australian city newspaper readers, with this set to increase as the more civilized Fairfax media group progressively downsizes and the Federal Government moves to give Australia-born but US citizen Murdoch even more media power. The Labor Opposition has been forced to become more like the Coalition Government and indeed in terms of support for US wars, maltreatment of refugees  and unlimited coal, gas, iron ore and methanogenically-derived meat exports Labor and the Coalition are as one. Australia has a compulsory preferential voting system and presently Labor with 54% of the 2-party-preferred vote leads the Coalition with 46%. In terms of primary vote, climate criminal Labor has 35%, the climate criminal Coalition 40%, the science-informed, pro-environment and humane  Greens 10%, the racist, xenophobic and climate change denialist One Nation 10% , and the others about  5%.

Seen in this light, the offensively pro-coal and  pro-gas Finkel Review can be seen as pragmatically  pandering to a politically dominant but  effective climate change denialist,  Lib-Lab (Coalition and Labor) centre of Australian politics that backs unlimited exports of coal, gas, iron ore and methanogenically-derived  meat. While the traditionally altruistic but presently neoliberal Labor Opposition is effective climate change denialist in terms of these climate criminal GHG export policies, perhaps none of its MPs are overtly climate change denialist and Labor is much stronger on domestic climate change action than the Coalition. In contrast,  the fanatically neoliberal Coalition Government has a substantial minority of overt climate change deniers and a majority are deeply opposed to any form of Carbon Tax i.e. they fervently oppose  putting a price on GHG pollution that is crucial for effective climate change action [7, 8].

The major recommendations of the political centre-targeting Finkel Review are as follows:


(1) greater energy security with coal-fired power stations required to give 3 years’ notice before closing down,  and a Generator Security Obligation with new renewable energy providers punished by being forced to also provide an unstated amount  of readily dispatchable clean (good) or dirty (bad) electricity;


(2) an absurdly low Clean Energy Target of only 42% renewable energy by 2030 and use of dirty energy through coal and gas for more than a further 50 years;


(3) an absurdly low Australian GHG emissions reduction target of “28% off 2005 value by 2030”;


(4) a woeful zero emissions in the electricity sector in the second  half of the 21st century;


(5) new national bureaucracies that may prevent or hamper  decent states or territories like South Australia, the ACT and Tasmania going it alone for 100% renewable energy with emergency back-up;


(6) 2  dodgy suggestions for  a limited Carbon Price via a Clean Energy Target (CET) or an Emissions Intensity Scheme (EIS ) that are so pathetic that by 2050 the Business As Usual (BAU) scenario involves less coal-based electricity (19% of total ) than under the CET (24%) or the EIS (26%) (page 93, Figure 3.8, [1]);


(7) fudging the distinction between “clean” and “dirty” energy by supporting coal and gas with (presently  uneconomic) Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS), a wet dream of the pro-coal, Coalition (aka the COALition); and


(8) utterly falsely suggesting a lower GHG polluting coal-to-gas transition that is belied by the reality that due to systemic leakage and the very high Global Warming Potential  of methane (CH4), gas-fired power can actually be dirtier GHG-wise than coal fired power: “As ageing coal-fired generation retires, gas-fired generation can provide a low emissions substitute for coal and can also complement variable renewable electricity generation” (page 105, [1]).


However the most astonishing deficiency of the Finkel Review is its ignoring  of 25 key,  Elephant in the Room  matters relating to GHG pollution and man-made climate change,  and which are extremely pertinent to any review of Australia’s  energy system. Such comprehensive ignoring of massive realities is an entrenched “value” in look-the-other-way Australia  [9] that one supposes stems from (a) Australia’s past as a genocidal convict colony and (b) from the extraordinary English culture of white-washing unpleasant realities, a process that I have described as “Austenizing” after the brilliant and exquisitely truthful English novelist Jane Austen who nevertheless did not allow the awful social realities of circa 1800 British society to intrude on the rarefied and genteel world she described [10].


Before detailing the extraordinary omissions  of the Finkel Review it is useful to note some critical reactions to this deficient energy review:

(1) Mark Butler (the Labor Opposition energy spokesman)  has given qualified support to aspects of the Finkel Review, and supports the implicit Carbon Price but balks at “clean coal “ suggestions: “So, it seeks to shift the relative costs of different types of electricity generation based on their carbon emissions. Of course it’s a price on carbon. Now, it’s not a direct price, but there’s clearly a shadow price, if Dr Finkel’s recommendations are accepted. A shadow price signal, based on carbon, would be operating the electricity sector. Now, if that’s not a carbon price, I’m not sure what is!… The Deputy Prime Minister, Barnaby Joyce, said that he was all for a clean energy target, provided it pulls through new coal-fired power. The idea that clean energy can be rigged definitionally to include new coal I just think makes a nonsense of the whole process. Alan Finkel’s report points out that the National Electricity Market used 76%, or got 76% of its electricity, from coal the last full year. I mean, the last thing we need is more coal. If we’re going to have any hope of de-carbonising our electricity sector, we need to start reducing our reliance on coal”  [11]
(2) Amanda McKenzie (co-founder of the Australian Youth Climate Coalition and CEO of the Australian Climate Council): “Well, as others have said, the lack of climate policy, the lack of any sort of national plan on energy has been driving up emissions and it’s been driving up prices, and this policy is a way forward through that. And whether it’s an EIS, a CPRS, an RET, all of the different acronyms we’ve heard, the ultimate question we need to ask is, is this going to tackle the climate change crisis that we’re facing. And we see that starkly when we look at the Great Barrier Reef – the mass bleaching that’s occurred two years in a row – the worsening heatwaves, hot days doubling in Australia in the last 50 years. And so looking at this report through that lens, it doesn’t go far enough. And there’s three reasons for that. The first is that it doesn’t get emissions down as far as they need to go. The second is it should be doing far more on coal. We need to be retiring coal-fired generators. And this report envisages coal-fired generators being part of the mix till 2050, whereas we need to get to net zero emissions by then. And also we need to get further on renewable energy, is the third point. We can do better than 42% renewables by 2030. It should be well over 50% if we’re going to be tracking to the Paris commitments” [11].

(3) The Australian Climate Council (the privately funded successor to the expert and eminent Australian Climate Commission de-funded by the Coalition Government) was damning in its condemnation of the Finkel Review (my numbering and amplifying comments in brackets below) [12]: “The Finkel Review is an opportunity for politicians, regulators and industry to deliver for much needed certainty for climate and energy policy in Australia. However, there are a number of concerns relating to how the Finkel Review addresses climate change and renewable energy:

(1) The 28% minimum emissions reduction for the electricity sector is far too weak even to meet the Federal Government’s 2030 targets (Australia’s 76% dirty electricity sector contributes 35% of Australia’s “official” – but 2-fold understated [2, 3] – GHG pollution [1] and should accordingly be hit harder to meet Australia’s overall Paris Agreement promise of  “26-28% off 2005 level by 2030”).

(2) Power generated by renewable energy in 2030 under the proposed Clean Energy Target – at 42% – is far too low.

(3) Gas and coal with carbon capture and storage are polluting and should not qualify under a Clean Energy Target. Requirements on new generation should be technology neutral, not act as a restriction on wind and solar development (The Finkel Review demands that under a Generator Reliability Obligation new renewable energy providers – why not all providers? – must also invest in clean or dirty dispatchable electricity capacity).

(4) Australia needs to phase out coal, quickly. The Finkel Review does not place any requirement on coal plants to close (other than recommending a three-year notice of closure for generators) (return of atmospheric CO2 to about 300 ppm CO2 or less than 350 ppm CO2 as demanded by and, respectively [13, 14],   requires “negative GHG emissions” and the cost of removing 1 tonne  CO2 from the atmosphere can be much  greater than the present profit from adding 1 tonne CO2 to the atmosphere [15-17])

(5) Gas is polluting. The Review claims “gas contributes to emissions reduction”. Nothing could be further from the truth (Gas is dirty energy. Natural gas is 85% methane (CH4) which has a Global Warming Potential (GWP) 105 times greater than that of CO2 on a 20 year time frame and with aerosol impacts considered. As a gas CH4 leaks and, assuming a GWP of 105 for CH4,  at a 2.6% systemic leakage (circa 3.0% in the US) the global warming from the leaked CH4 is the same as for the CO2 from combustion of the remaining 97.4% of the gas i.e. gas burning for power can be dirtier GHG-wise than coal burning for power [4, 18]).

The Finkel Review report is a step in the right direction, but much more needs to be done to reduce the emissions of Australia’s biggest polluter – the electricity sector – by ramping up renewables and energy storage uptake and making energy efficiency improvements. Australians are crying out for a strong, clear direction from government. The review is an orange rather than green light for a renewable powered future” [12].

 (4) Australian Conservation Foundation: “Chief Scientist Alan Finkel was given an impossible task: design an energy system that would tackle global warming but still keep Tony Abbott and the climate deniers happy. The result of Finkel’s mission impossible is a clean energy target that is actually very, very dirty. The most critical question is: will this blueprint actually reduce pollution in line with what’s required to halt dangerous global warming. The answer is no it won’t. …The science is clear – we need a zero-pollution power sector, as soon as possible. This report puts off the decision on how to do this for another three years. Climate science tells us there is no room for new coal and gas, and our Chief Scientist missed an opportunity to make that clear to the Turnbull government” [19].

(5) Friends of the Earth climate change spokesperson Leigh Ewbank: “It’s puzzling that Dr Alan Finkel, Australia’s chief scientist and founder of Cosmos magazine, has failed to account for the latest science on climate change and health impacts from coal. Alarming melting of the polar icecaps and extensive bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef shows we need a rapid rollout of solar and wind, not incentives for new coal or gas. Renewable energy is the cost effective solution for the modern economy. Community health should be put before the wishes of a fossil fuel lobbyists and a government ideologically wedded to coal and gas” [19].

(6) Greens climate and energy spokesperson Adam Bandt MP: Right now, big coal and gas are licking their lips. The Finkel Report is full of good ideas, but the key proposal of a Clean Energy Target is far worse than the version John Howard announced in 2007 and will see consumers subsidise gas and let coal keep polluting. Bill Shorten and Labor cannot end the ‘climate wars’ by running up the white flag and blindly signing up to a deal with the Liberals’ [19].

(7) Dr Graeme McLeay (anaesthetist and member of Doctors for the Environment Australia): “The Finkel review states that the CET will “encourage new low emissions generation into the market in a technology neutral fashion” which would result in a combination of wind, solar and carbon capture and storage or wind, solar and gas. Nowhere in the report are health or health costs considered, yet the source of our electricity is a critical health issue. Rather than focusing on a transition from harmful fossil fuels, the Clean Energy Target scheme or CET leaves the door open to coal and gas, depending on where the benchmark is set. This is likely to be 0.7 tonnes CO2e per MWhr but the level may be at the whim of government. There are “no prohibitions, just incentives” and hence no downside for coal, and gas may actually get “clean energy” credit. The modelling suggests coal will still be providing 25 percent of energy by 2050. Setting aside for one moment that Australia’s emission reduction target of 26 percent to 28 percent by 2030 is extremely weak, and that reductions in the electricity sector are potentially the easiest way to reduce emissions, there is another compelling reason to reduce fossil fuel use other than climate change. The World Health Organization has described air pollution as a global health emergency. Outdoor air pollution is responsible for more than three million deaths worldwide each year, and in Australia 3,000 premature deaths occur each year due to urban air pollution” [20].

(8) Dr Richard Di Natale (leader of the Australian Greens): “The goal should be to stop dangerous climate change, not find a political fix that won’t keep the climate safe or save the reef. Unfortunately, Bill Shorten and Malcolm Turnbull seem to be more interested in neutralising a thorny political issue than making sure that our children and children’s children have a bright future. This is a plan that will keep polluting coal and gas burning for another 50 years, not a plan to stop dangerous climate change” [21] and “[The Finkel Report] provides a long term lifeline to coal and gas” [22].



From a 5 decade career scientist perspective below are 25 key, Elephant in the Room realities utterly ignored by the seriously defective Finkel Energy Review:


(1) The cost of pollution should be “fully borne” by the polluters. Science-trained Pope Francis and numerous climate scientists and science-informed climate activists demand that the human and environmental cost of pollution be “fully borne” by the polluters [7, 8, 23-27]. Thus  in stark contrast to the terracidal One Percenters running the world, Pope Francis recognizes a looming climate catastrophe and millions of premature deaths from carbon burning pollutants, demands massive decarbonisation and conversion to renewables starting without delay in the  next few years, rejects Carbon Trading as a dishonest ploy, advocates a “fully borne” Carbon Price (Carbon Tax) on polluters, proposes boycotts of polluters, condemns loss of biodiversity and advises intergenerational solidarity: “Yet only when the economic and social costs of using up shared environmental resources are recognized with transparency and fully borne by those who incur them, not by other peoples or future generations, can those actions be considered ethical” [25]. Similarly leading climate economist Sir Nicholas Stern: “The science tells us that GHG emissions are an externality; in other words, our emissions affect the lives of others. When people do not pay for the consequences of their actions we have market failure. This is the greatest market failure the world has seen. It is an externality that goes beyond those of ordinary congestion or pollution, although many of the same economic principles apply for its analysis” [24].


(2) A damage-related Carbon Price of US$200 per tonne CO2-equivalent. Dr Chris Hope from 90-Nobel-Laureate Cambridge University has estimated a damage-related Carbon Price of US$200 per tonne CO2-equivalent [28], this indicating that the World has a Carbon Debt of US$370 trillion that is increasing at US$13 trillion per year and an inescapable Carbon Debt for future Australians of US$.7.5 trillion that is increasing at US$400 billion per year and at US$40,000 per head per year for under-30 year old Australians [29]. While ordinary financial debt can be variously expunged by default, bankruptcy or printing money, Carbon Debt is inescapable e.g. if metre-high sea walls are not built his century cities will be flooded and valuable arable land flooded and salinized.  While we are told that Germany is prosperous and Greece is a debt-laden basket case, Germany’s per capita Government Debt plus Carbon Debt greatly exceeds that of Greece [30].


(3) Systemic gas leakage means that gas-fired power can be dirtier GHG-wise than coal-fired power. Finkel-approved gas is 85% methane (CH4) which has a Global Warming Potential (GWP) 105 times greater than that of CO2 on a 20 year time frame and with aerosol impacts considered. Further, CH4 leaks and at a 2.6% systemic leakage (circa 3.0% in the US) the global warming from the leaked CH4 is the same as from the CO2 from combustion of the remaining 97.4% of the gas [31]. Yet the Finkel review falsely declares that “As ageing coal-fired generation retires, gas-fired generation can provide a low emissions substitute for coal and can also complement variable renewable electricity generation” (page 105, [1]).


(4) Numerous countries, states, cities, towns and corporations have committed to 100% renewable energy by 2020. While the Finkel Review has a pathetic and dangerous target of 42% renewable energy by 2030 [1],  numerous entities around the world  – whole nations, states, cities, towns and corporations – have committed to 100% renewable energy by 2020 [32]. Indeed in Australia,  South Australia has already achieved 40% renewable energy, the ACT has 100% renewable energy and Tasmania aims for 100% renewable energy by 2020 [32].

(5) Numerous institutions, organizations and corporations have divested from fossil fuels.  Numerous institutions, organizations and corporations have heeded the advice of economists like Australia’s former Leader of the Coalition, Dr John Hewson,  and UK’s Sir Nicholas Stern, and completely divested from fossil fuels to avoid being stuck with fossil fuel reserves as unexploitable stranded assets [33]. Thus Sheikh Yamani (former oil minister of Saudi Arabia) on future stranded oil assets (the major financial argument for divestment in fossil fuels) (2000): “Thirty years from now there will be a huge amount of oil – and no buyers. Oil will be left in the ground. The Stone Age came to an end, not because we had a lack of stones, and the oil age will come to an end not because we have a lack of oil” [34]. Despite the enthusiasm for long-term exploitation of coal and gas by the Australian Coalition Government and the Finkel Review, Australian investors are putting their money into renewable energy.

(6) Cutting carbon emissions 80% by 2020 is clearly unattainable but is what science requires. The atmospheric CO2 is presently at a record level of about 405 parts per million (ppm) and increasing at a record 3 ppm CO2 per year. Megadeltaic countries like Bangladesh and Island Nations from the Philippines to Tuvalu are already severely impacted by sea level rise and more intense storms [35-37]. “Cut carbon emissions 80% by 2020” is clearly unattainable  but unfortunately is what the science demands to avert catastrophic harm to huge numbers of fellow human beings [36].

(7). Australian Domestic plus Exported GHG pollution has already exceeded its fair share of the World’s Terminal Carbon Pollution Budget. In a 2009 report entitled “Solving the climate dilemma: a budget approach” the WBGU, that advises the German Government on global changes, estimated that for a 75% chance of avoiding a catastrophic 2C (2oC, 2 degrees Centigrade) temperature rise  the world must  emit no more that 600 billion tonnes CO2 between 2009 and zero emissions in  2050 [38]. The former Australian Climate Commission (sacked by the Coalition Government and thence reconstituted as the privately-funded Australian Climate Council) made a similar estimate [39].  Australia exceeded its fair share of the world’s Terminal Carbon Pollution Budget in 2011 and is now stealing the residual entitlements of other countries.  Indeed the world will use up its budget of 600 billion tonnes CO2-equivalent in 2018 [40-42]. Australia’s Domestic GHG pollution is “officially” about 600 million tonnes CO2-equivalent per year but Australia’s Exported GHG pollution is about 1,500 million tonnes CO2-equivalent per year [4]  but taking methane generating animal husbandry and land use into account raises these estimates to 1,300 million tonnes CO2-equivalent annually Domestically and 2,800 million tonnes CO2-equivalent for annual Domestic plus Exported GHG pollution [2, 3]. With an “official” 2005 Domestic GHG pollution of  572 million tonnes CO2-equivalent [4], “5% off 2005 GHG pollution by 2030” means a derisory decease in “official” annual GHG pollution from the present 600 million tonnes CO2-equivalent to 543 million tonnes CO2-equivalent in 2030 as compared to the revised estimate of 2,800 million tonnes CO2-equivalent for present annual Domestic plus Exported GHG pollution [2, 3].  The veritable Herd of Elephants in the Room  issue of Australia’s huge  Exported GHG pollution is all but ignored by Australia and by the Finkel Review.  

(8) Australia, US and Canada are committed to unlimited and terracidal fossil fuel exploitation. US President Donald Trump, Trumpist Australian PM Malcolm Turnbull and pro-oil sands Canadian PM Justin Trudeau are acutely threatening the world with unlimited greenhouse gas (GHG) pollution from unlimited fossil fuel exploitation.  For the US,  Canada and Australia, full exploitation of presently recoverable fossil fuel reserves would generate GHG pollution vastly exceeding (37-fold) the whole world’s remaining Terminal Carbon Pollution Budget that must not be exceeded for a 75% chance of avoiding a catastrophic 2C temperature rise [42].  This extraordinary climate criminality invites urgent global action through Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) and Green Tariffs [42].

(9) Not just zero emissions but negative CO2 emissions are required to get back to a safe 300 ppm CO2.  Numerous climate scientists, notably coral scientists, demand a rapid return of atmospheric CO2 to circa 300 ppm CO2 as espoused by from the present disastrous 405 ppm CO2 that is increasing at 3 ppm CO2 per year [13]. demands a return to less than 350 ppm CO2 [14].  However the  cost of negative emissions  by future generations can greatly exceed the present profit from pollution [15] i.e. intergenerational equity and intergenerational justice demand that we stop exploiting fossil fuels ASAP and thus stop adding to an already huge Carbon Debt burden on future generations [29] and stop the egregious climate crime of speciescide and ecocide  leading to omnicide and terracide through polluting the one common atmosphere and one common ocean of all countries [8, 43, 44]. Coral experts inform that coral started dying world-wide when  atmospheric CO2 reached 320 ppm CO2 and at the 387 ppm CO2 was condemned to continuing decline  [13, 45]. The Finkel Review disgracefully suggests that presently uneconomic and hence minimally used Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) coupled to coal or gas burning might get government subsidies from Australia’s Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) (page 188, [1]) – but it must be endlessly stated that coal and gas are dirty energy, they are not clean energy, dirty does not mean clean, black does not mean white [31].


(10) Any species is priceless and belongs to Humanity – speciescide and ecocide are theft and blasphemy. We must not destroy what we cannot replace and any species is priceless and belongs to all of Humanity. The exceptionalist and Gadarene Australian climate criminality expressed in unlimited coal,  gas, iron ore and methanogenically-derived  meat exports encourages other countries to do likewise and dooms the planet. Exceptionalist (i.e. racist) Trump America and exceptionalist Trudeau Canada have followed exceptionalist Turnbull Australia’s  terracidal commitment to unlimited fossil fuel exploitation. World coral reefs (including Australia’s iconic Great Barrier Reef) and the immense biodiversity therein are  largely doomed at 450 ppm CO2,  which at a rise of 3 ppm CO2 per year will be attained in 15 years’ time. Coral experts advise that: “At… level of 387 ppm, allowing a lag-time of 10 years for sea temperatures to respond, most reefs world-wide are committed to an irreversible decline” [45]. Already the species extinction rate is 100-1,000 times greater than normal [46]. Speciescide,  ecocide, omnicide and terracide are the ultimate in theft and the ultimate in blasphemy in the sense of destruction of complex and beautiful things we simply cannot replace.


(11) Methanogenic livestock, land use and Arctic global warming.  Utterly ignored in the Finkel Review is agriculture and the huge contribution made by methanogenic livestock and  land use to Australia’s huge GHG pollution.  World Bank analysts have revised world annual GHG pollution   taking methanogenic animal husbandry  and land use into account and considering the Global Warming Potential (GWP) of the major GHG  methane (CH4,  the major component in natural gas) on a relevant 20 year time frame. This  analysis by World Bank experts revised annual global GHG pollution upwards from 41.8 billion tonnes  CO2-equivalent  to 63.8 billion tonnes CO2-equivalent [47] (note that the  term CO2-equivalent  takes all greenhouse gases (except for water, H2O) into account, notably  carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4) and the nitrogen oxides (NO2 and N2O), and expresses the total in terms of CO2 equivalents). Australia’s Domestic GHG pollution is “officially” presently about 600 million tonnes CO2-equivalent per year and  Australia’s Exported GHG pollution is about 1,500 million tonnes CO2-equivalent per year [4]  but taking methane-generating animal husbandry and land use into account raises these estimates to 1,300 million tonnes CO2-equivalent annually Domestically and 2,800 million tonnes CO2-equivalent for Domestic plus Exported GHG pollution [2, 3].  50 billion tonnes of  CH4 is set to be released from  the East Siberian Arctic Shelf in coming decades [48], this being equivalent to 50 billion tonnes CH4 x 105 tonnes  CO2-equivalent/tonne CH4 = 5,250 tonnes CO2-e or about nine (9) times more than the world’s 2009-2050 Terminal Carbon Pollution Budget of 600 billion tonnes CO2. We are clearly doomed unless we can act to stop this global warming-driven Arctic CH4 release [49].


(12) Hydrological energy storage and Tasmania. The Finkel Review did consider hydrological energy storage as a vital source of  rapidly dispatchable energy  [1]. While not referred to by the Finkel Review,   in 2010 the  University of Melbourne’s  Professor Peter Seligman (a top electrical engineer and a major player in the development of the bionic ear) published a detailed scheme for 100% renewable energy for Australia in which energy was stored by “pumped hydro” in huge dams for pumped sea water on southern Australia’s desert Nullabor Plain [4, 6]. With its existing hydro system as a hydrological energy storage, and a Bass Link electricity transmission cable presently linking Tasmania to the Mainland, windy Tasmania should be the renewable energy capital of the Southern Hemisphere.


(13) There are already several published schemes for a reliable 100% renewable energy system for Australia. Melbourne University-linked Beyond Zero Emissions and Professor Peter Seligman have both published detailed schemes for rapid acquisition of 100% renewable energy for Australia with thermal or hydrological energy storage, respectively, and costing about $370 billion and $250 billion, respectively [2, 5, 6]. The Finkel Review did not refer to these very well researched schemes and instead provided a voluminous and obfuscatory document that  in the words of Australian Greens leader Dr  Richard Di Natale  “ Provides a long term lifeline to coal and gas” [22].

(14) Pollutants from carbon fuel burning kill 10,000 Australians each year.  It can be estimated from comparative Canadian and New Zealand data that about 9,600 Australians die from the effects of pollutants from carbon fuel burning  each year, the breakdown including  2,200 from vehicle emissions, 4,800 from coal burning for power,  and 2,800 from other burning Given a  “value of a statistical life” (VOSL) of A$7.6 million per person  one can estimate a cost of  $73 billion pa for Australian carbon burning-related deaths.  Australia has about  $10 billion pa in government fossil fuel subsidies. Accordingly  the minimum Carbon Price to cover carbon burning-derived deaths and carbon burning subsidies is  $83,000 million/552 million tonnes  CO2-equivalent  =  A$150 per tonne CO2-equivalent,  similar to the damage-related Carbon Price of US$200 (A$267) per tonne CO2-equivalent estimated by Dr Chris Hope of Cambridge University. However 18 million Australians (or  75% of Australia ‘s 2015 population of 24 million)  live in urban areas and translating the annual London pollution-related mortality from air pollution of  9,416 deaths / 8.6 million to urban Australia corresponds  to 9,416 deaths x 18 million/ 8.6 million = 19,707 or about 20,000 urban Australian deaths annually from air pollution involving fine carbon particulates and NO2 [50, 51].  Toleration of carbon burning pollutant deaths by successive Lib-Lab (Coalition and Labor) Governments make them  complicit in this carnage. Indeed 85,000 Australians die preventably each year  from various causes [52] but government  culpability through inaction is resolutely ignored in One Percenter-dominated, look-the-other-way Australia

(15) World-leading Australian coal exports are linked to 75,000 global air pollution deaths annually. The authoritative  World Health Organization (WHO) reports that 7 million people die each year from air pollution that is overwhelmingly due to indoor or outdoor air pollution from carbon fuel burning with roughly half dying from indoor air pollution from cooking or heating [50, 53]. World production of coal was 7, 823 million tonnes  in 2013 of which 336 million tonnes  were Australian coal exports [54].  The use of this  coal  for energy or metallurgy was associated with about half of the 3.5 million Ambient Pollution deaths (Outdoor pollution-related deaths)  annually. Accordingly,  notionally assuming burning of coal being responsible for 50% of the Outdoor air pollution deaths,   we can estimate that Australia’s  annual coal exports of 336 million tonnes in  in 2015  were associated with 0.5 x 336 million tonnes  coal x (3.5 million deaths/ 7,823 million tonnes  coal ) =  75,000 deaths annually. The Australian Lib-Labs (Coalition and Labor) have approved a proposed huge Adani coal mine in Queensland but it is estimated from global data that 0.5 million Indians will die from the effects of pollutants from the burning of this exported coal [55, 56].  However using the latest data published in The Lancet on Indian ambient air pollution deaths reveals that 1.4 million Indians will die due to pollutants  from the burning  of Adani coal from Australia over the lifetime of the coal mine [57].  

(16) 10 billion people may die this century in worsening climate genocide. Both Dr James Lovelock FRS (Gaia hypothesis) and Professor Kevin Anderson ( Deputy Director, Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, University of Manchester, UK) have estimated that only about 0.5 billion people may survive this century due to unaddressed, man-made global warming. Noting that the world population is expected to reach 9.5 billion by 2050 [58] , these estimates translate to a climate genocide involving deaths of 10 billion people this century, this including roughly twice the present population of particular mainly non-European groups, specifically 6 billion under-5 year old infants, 3 billion Muslims in a terminal Muslim Holocaust, 2 billion Indians, 1.3 billion non-Arab Africans, 0.5 billion Bengalis, 0.3 billion Pakistanis and 0.3 billion Bangladeshis [59]. DARA has estimated that presently 0.4 million people die annually from climate change [60] but this may be a considerable underestimate because presently 17 million people die avoidably from deprivation in Developing World (minus China) that is already impacted by climate change [61].


(17)  Biomass use for energy can carry a huge carbon debt. The Finkel Review considers biomass use for electricity generation (Section 8, [1]) .  However depending upon the source, biomass use for energy can carry a very large carbon debt associated with increased GHG pollution due to land use changes [62, 63]. Indeed available biomass should not be burned but converted to biochar (carbon) through anaerobic pyrolysis, this representing a major mechanism for reducing atmospheric CO2 back to the safe, pre-Industrial Revolution level of about 300 ppm CO2 [13, 14]. The annual agricultural and forestry biomass waste available for conversion to biochar is about 12 billion tonnes C (44 billion tonnes CO2-equivalent ) which is similar to the annual non-agricultural industrial GHG pollution [64]. Biofuel from conversion of photosynthate to ethanol or biodiesel is obscene and deadly food-to-fuel conversion in a hungry world that must be described as biofuel genocide [65].

(18) The overall conventional nuclear cycle is GHG polluting, fast breeders are dangerous and solar is fusion energy.  The Finkel Review briefly considers nuclear technology (section 8, [1])  but ignores the reality that the overall conventional  nuclear cycle  involves considerable GHG pollution that increases as use of the non-renewable uranium resources of shifts to lower uranium content ores. Thus Dr Mark Diesendorf: “Over the past 20 years there have been several calculations of CO2 emissions from the nuclear fuel cycle. The most detailed calculation comes from Van Leeuwen and Smith (VLS) (2005). Contrary to the claims of the nuclear industry, VLS find that the CO2 emissions from the nuclear fuel cycle are only small when high-grade uranium ore is used. But there are very limited reserves of high-grade uranium in the world and most are in Australia and Canada. As these are used up over the next several decades, low-grade uranium ore (comprising 0.01 per cent or less yellowcake) will have to be used. This means that to obtain 1kg of yellowcake, at least 10 tonnes of ore will have to be mined and milled, using fossil fuels and emitting substantial quantities of CO2. These emissions are comparable with those from a combined cycle gas-fired power station” [66]. Fast breeder reactors are dangerous and expensive and accompanied by the  security and human rights nightmare  of a plutonium economy. The Finkel Review states “Fusion technology could offer electricity without high-level radioactive waste; however current progress in research and development suggests the technology is unlikely to be commercialised for a number of decades”(page 190, [1]). However one must state the obvious that in solar energy we already have an essentially unlimited source of energy from nuclear fusion in the Sun.

(19) There is limited potential for new hydro in Australia but a large potential for sea water-based stored hydro. The Finkel Review correctly states that “Large-scale hydro can have a significant local environmental impact due to the need to modify natural water courses. As a result, there is limited potential for new large-scale hydro in Australia” (page 188, [1]). However a key part of Professor Peter  Seligman’s scheme for 100% renewable energy for Australia involves hydrological energy storage through pumping sea water to storages on the Nullabor Plain [6].


(20) The Paris Agreement national commitments  mean a  circa plus 3C temperature rise.  The Paris Agreement’s plus 1.5C target will be exceeded in 4-10 years and a catastrophic plus 2C is now unavoidable. Indeed the national promises made  at the Paris Conference amount to a circa plus 3C temperature rise. Thus the BBC has reported that the temperature rise by 2100 would be 4.5C (if countries do not act), 3.6C (following current policies), or 2.7C (based on Paris pledges) i.e. that the Paris Climate Agreement had failed in its key objective  of keeping a temperature rise to within 1.5C and 2C [67, 68]. It is too late to avoid a catastrophic plus 2C temperature rise [69, 70] but we are obliged to do everything we can to make the future “less bad” for our children and future generations.


(21)  Methanogenic agriculture and land use versus GHG generation from fossil fuel exploitation. It is estimated that methanogenic  animal husbandry  and land use  are responsible for over 50% of global GHG pollution [47]. However this reality is utterly ignored by the Finkel Review and by Australian Mainstream media, politicians and academics in an astonishing testament to look-the-other-way Australia. If lobbyocracy Australia were properly informed there would be a huge public expression of self-interest with farmers demanding that industry  carry the weight of  GHG pollution  reduction and vice versa. Instead we have the bizarre spectacle of the National Party (the farmers’ party) fervently supporting coal and gas exploitation and fanatically opposing any Carbon Tax on dirty energy.  Poor fellow my country.

(22). Speciescide, ecocide, omnicide and terracide  destroys a biological complexity that defies the Second law of Thermodynamics. Fundamental to the physical sciences and the explosion of the Industrial Revolution in the 19th century are the 3 Laws of Thermodynamics that can be simply stated as follows: (1) the energy of a closed system is constant; (2) the entropy (disorder) of the world strives to a maximum i.e. the world inexorably tends to randomness, chaos, disorder and minimum information content; and (3) the entropy (disorder) of a  pure crystal of a pure chemical at the absolute zero temperature of zero (0) degrees Kelvin (minus 273.15 degrees Centigrade) is zero i.e. in a universe full of motion and increasing disorder there is a boundary state of zero disorder. However living systems defy the Second Law by using  free energy from a  chaotic universe to generate highly ordered self-replicating systems. Indeed if we want to subscribe to any “purpose” in life it would be to defy the Second Law of Thermodynamics and maximize Truth and Beauty . As English poet John Keats stated in “Ode on a Grecian Urn”: “”Beauty is truth, truth beauty,” – that is all Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know” [71]. Unlimited  fossil fuel exploitation as espoused by Trump America, Trumpist Trudeau Canada and Trumpist Turnbull Australia threatens speciescide, ecocide and ultimate omnicide and terracide . The Finkel review disgracefully proposes continued fossil fuel use for more than 50 years [1].  The species extinction rate in our present Anthropocene Era is 100-1,000 times greater than normal [46].

(23) The Second of Polya’s 3 Laws of Economics is illustrated by the failure to put a price on carbon. Polya’s 3 Laws of Economics mirror the 3 Laws of Thermodynamics and are (1) Price minus COP (Cost of Production) equals profit; (2) Deception about COP strives to a maximum; and (3) No work, price or profit on a dead planet. These fundamental laws help  expose the failure of neoliberal capitalism in relation to wealth inequality, massive tax evasion by multinational corporations, and  horrendous avoidable deaths from poverty and pollution culminating in general ecocide, speciescide, climate genocide, omnicide and terracide [72]. Failure to ensure that the environmental and human cost of GHG pollution is “fully borne” by the polluters is gross deception about the Cost of Production and is an existential example of Polya’s Second Law of Economics. The Finkel Review tinkers with marginal financial   encouragement of renewable energy through a limited Carbon Price via a Clean Energy Target (CET) or an Emissions Intensity Scheme (EIS ) that are so pathetic that by 2050 the Business As Usual (BAU) scenario involves less coal-based electricity (19% of total ) than under the CET (24%) or the EIS (26%) (page 93, Figure 3.8, [1]).


(24) Rational risk management is subverted by incorrect reportage by omission and commission. Rational risk management, that is crucial for societal safety, successively involves (a) accurate data, (b) scientific analysis, this involving the critical testing of potentially falsifiable hypotheses, and (c) informed systemic change to minimize risk. Unfortunately,  this rational risk management protocol is typically perverted at the individual,  family or local level,  or at the level of the family of nations by (a) ignoring, lying, self-deception, spin, obfuscation, intimidation and censorship, (b) anti-science spin, this involving the selective use of asserted facts to support a partisan position, and (c) blame and shame that is counterproductive because  it blocks reportage crucial for rational risk management and in the worst cases leads to destruction and  war [73]. Incorrect reportage over man-made climate change imposes a huge and worsening risk to Australia,  Humanity and the Biosphere. The highly-flawed Finkel Review involves incorrect reportage by commission  (e.g. by falsely claiming that gas is cleaner GHG-wise than coal  whereas the opposite can be true [31]) and massive  incorrect reportage by omission in comprehensively  ignoring 25 key, Elephant in the Room realities relating to GHG pollution, man-made climate change, a worsening climate emergency and a worsening climate genocide.  In an astonishing quotation that reflects the effective climate denialist Coalition railing against scientists and science-informed activists  as “political ideologues”, the Finkel Review quotes the Origin energy company: “There is a need to move the policy debate away from political ideology particularly as it relates to the diametrically opposed views on climate change, with renewed focus on the need for investment certainty in an industry where there are long lead times for the development of assets that last up to 40 years. Without timely investment the key objectives of reliability and security and consequently the delivery of cost effective energy cannot be realised” (page 78, [1]).

(25) The solution to Australia’s energy crisis is cessation of dirty energy and rapid uptake of renewable energy coupled with requisite  energy storage. Rather than long-term fossil fuel use and constraints on renewable energy uptake as proposed by the Finkel Review, the solution to Australia’s energy crisis  lies in an opposite trajectory involving rapid cessation of dirty energy and rapid uptake of renewable energy coupled with requisite  energy storage. The Finkel Review’s pro-coal, pro-gas and anti-renewables position reminds on of Samuel Butler’s novel “Erewhon” (roughly “nowhere” backwards) in which sociopaths were treated with great solicitude and the sick were treated like criminals [74]. As indicated above , a team of engineers associated with the University of Melbourne Energy Institute-linked Beyond Zero Emissions (BZE) has published a very detailed  scheme for 100% renewable energy for Australia in 10 years  involving  considerable solar thermal energy with energy storage  as molten salts [4, 5] . The University of Melbourne’s  Professor Peter Seligman (a top electrical engineer) has published a detailed scheme for 100% renewable energy for Australia in which energy is stored by “pumped hydro” in huge dams for pumped sea water on southern Australia’s desert Nullabor Plain [4, 6].  Existing dirty coal-fired  and gas-fired power plants can be rapidly transitioned out as sources of  readily dispatchable energy as they are rapidly replaced by renewable energy and by battery, hydrological, thermal and other storage.

Final comments.

At the heart of the problem with the Finkel Review [1], a similarly short-term and quasi-BAU review by the conservative and highly influential Committee for the Economic Development of Australia  (CEDA)  [16, 75, 76] and grossly insufficient Australian climate change inaction in general,  is greed-driven neoliberalism that is currently the dominant economic philosophy globally but which has driven Humanity to the edge. A catastrophic 2 degree Centigrade  temperature  rise is now essentially inevitable, 17 million people die avoidably from deprivation each year, 7 million people die annually from air pollution and as many as 10 billion people will die this century if man-made climate change is not requisitely addressed [59, 61, 70, 71]. Neoliberalism seeks to maximize the freedom of the smart and advantaged to exploit the human and natural resources of the world to maximize personal profit, with an utterly dishonest claim of  “trickle down” benefits for the less smart and less advantaged. In contrast, social humanism (socialism, social democracy, democratic socialism, the welfare state, ecosocialism) involves sustainably maximizing human happiness, opportunity and dignity through evolving national and international social contracts for the betterment of all people and the irreplaceable Biosphere (biodiversity) on which they depend [77, 78].

Science is fundamentally sceptical in involving  the critical testing of potentially  falsifiable hypotheses. However scientists cannot endlessly re-invent the wheel and science operationally involves qualified respect for authoritative consensus  opinion. In a science-based consensus view the Synthesis Report of the 2,500-delegate March 2009 Copenhagen Scientific Climate Change Conference stated of climate change inaction: “Inaction is inexcusable” [79] and a 2010 Open Letter by 255 members of the US National Academy of Sciences, including11 Nobel Laureates, stated: “Delay is not an option” [80]. This global scientific  urgency is in stark contrast to the substantively  tardy or climate inaction  policies of the politically dominant Australian Lib-Labs (Coalition Government and Labor Opposition)  that is reflected in the Finkel Review chaired by Australia’s Chief Scientist  that in the words of Australian Greens leader Dr Richard Di Natale “Provides a long term lifeline to coal and gas” [22].

What can Humanity do in the face of grossly insufficient climate change action and  resurgent climate change inaction? Australians must utterly reject the climate criminality of the politically dominant, climate criminal  Lib-Labs, vote 1 Green and put the Coalition last. Humanity must urge and apply Green Tariffs, national or international judicial prosecutions, and   Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against all politicians, parties, countries and corporations  disproportionately complicit in the worsening climate emergency. As Polya’s Third Law of Economics states, there is   no work, price or profit on a dead planet.



[1]. Finkel Review –  Dr Alan Finkel (Chair), Karen Moses, Chloe Munro, Terry Effeney, Professor Mary O’Kane,  “Independent Review into the future security of the national electricity market. Blueprint for the future”, June 2017:  .

[2]. Gideon Polya, “ Revised Annual Per Capita Greenhouse Gas Pollution For All Countries – What Is Your Country Doing?”, Countercurrents, 6 January, 2016: .

[3]. Gideon Polya, “Exposing And Thence Punishing Worst Polluter Nations Via Weighted Annual Per Capita Greenhouse Gas Pollution Scores”, Countercurrents, 19 March, 2016: .

[4]. “2011 climate change course”: .

[5]. Beyond Zero Emissions Zero (BZE), “Zero Carbon Australia by 2020 Report (BZE ZCA2020 Report)”, 2010:  .

[6]. Peter Seligman, “Australian sustainable energy – by the numbers”, Melbourne Energy Institute, University of Melbourne , 2010: /.

[7]. “Science & economics experts: Carbon Tax needed NOT Carbon Trading”: .


[8]. James Hansen, “It’s Possible To Avert The Climate Crisis”, Countercurrents, 27 November 2009: .


[9]. Gideon Polya, “Pro-Apartheid Australia’s New White Australia Policy and compulsory Australian Values Statement” “, Countercurrents, 12 May 2017: .


[10]. Gideon Polya (2008), “Jane Austen and the Black Hole of British History. Colonial rapacity, holocaust denial and the crisis in biological sustainability” (G.M. Polya, Melbourne, 2008 edition that is now available for free perusal on the web:  .

[11]. “Australia’s energy future”, ABC TV Q&A, 12 June 2017: .

[12]. Climate Council, “’Unpacking the Finkel Review”, 13 July 2017:  .


[13]. .


[14]. .


[15]. Gideon Polya, “Intergenerational Theft – For Every $1 For Coal Today Future Generations Will Pay $1-$14 To Sequester CO2”, Countercurrents, 8 April, 2015: .

[16]. Gideon Polya, “Critique Of CEDA’s “Economics Of Climate Change” – Neoliberalism Dooms Planet”,  Countercurrents, August 26, 2016:  .

[17]. Gideon Polya, “Expert Witness Testimony To Stop Gas-Fired Power Plant Installation”,  Countercurrents, 14 June, 2013: .

[18]. “Gas is not clean energy”: .


[19].  Sophie Yorath, “Finkel reactions: Turnbull happy, Greens and NGOs appalled”, Reneweconomy, 9 June 2017: .


[20]. Graeme McLeay, “Why the Finkel Review sells Australia’s climate future short”, Huffington Post, 15 June 2017: .

[21]. Richard Di Natale, “Finkel report a political fix”, Australian Greens, 9 June 2017: .

[22]. Richard Di Natale, “Finkel report falls short of Paris commitment: Di Nastale”, ABC RN Breakfast, 12 June 2017: .

[23]. Ian Johnston, “Climate change: $4 trillion carbon tax is needed to save humanity from global warming, say economists”, Independent, 30 May 2017: .

[24]. Sir Nicholas Stern, quoted in “Climate change: “the greatest market failure the word has seen””,   New Economist, 30 October 2006:  .

[25].  Pope Francis, “Laudato si”: .

[26]. Gideon Polya, “Green Left Pope Francis Demands Climate Action “Without Delay” To Prevent Climate “Catastrophe””, Countercurrents, 10 August, 2015: .

[27]. Gideon Polya, “Western Mainstream Media Censor Green Left Pope Francis’ “Laudato Si’” Message For Urgent Action On Climate Change”,  Countercurrents, 20 August, 2015: .

[28]. Chris Hope, “How high should climate change taxes be?”, Working Paper Series, Judge Business School, University of Cambridge, 9.2011: .

[29]. “Carbon Debt Carbon Credit”: .

[30]. Gideon Polya, “Germany’s Per Capita Government  Debt Plus Carbon Debt Greatly Exceeds Greece’s”, Countercurrents, 8 July, 2015: .

[31]. “Gas is not clean energy”:

[32]. “100% renewable energy by 2020”: .


[33]. “Divest from fossil fuels”; .

[34]. Sheikh Yamani quoted by Elias Hinckley, “Everything has changed: oil, Saudi Arabia and OPEC”,  The Energy Collective, 9 January 2015: .

[35]. Pacific Islands Development Forum 4 September  2015 “Suva Declaration on Climate Change”: .

[36]. “Cut carbon emissions 80% by 2020”: .

[37].  “Climate Genocide”: .

[38]. WBGU, “Solving the climate dilemma: the budget approach”, 2009: .

[39]. Australian Climate Commission, “The Critical Decade. Climate science, risks and responses”, 2011: .

[40]. Gideon Polya, “Country By Country Analysis Of Years Left Until Science-demanded Zero Greenhouse Gas Emissions”, Countercurrents, 11 June 2011: .

[41]. Gideon Polya, “Australia ‘s Huge Coal, Gas & Iron Ore Exports Threaten Planet”,  Countercurrents, 15 May, 2012: .

[42]. Gideon Polya, “Trump America, Trudeau Canada & Turnbull Australia Doom World With Unlimited Greenhouse Gas Pollution”, Countercurrents, 5 April 2017: .

[43]. “Climate Justice & Intergenerational Equity”: .

[44]. “Stop climate crime”: .

[45]. J.E.N. Veron, O. Hoegh-Guldberg, T.M. Lenton, J.M. Lough, D.O. Obura, P. Pearce-Kelly, C.R.C. Sheppard, M. Spalding, M.G. Stafford-Smith and A.D. Rogers, “The coral reef crisis: the critical importance of <350 ppm CO2”, Marine Pollution Bulletin, vol. 58, (10), October 2009, 1428-1436: .

[46]. Phillip S. Levin and Donald A. Levin, “The real biodiversity crisis”, Macroscope, January-February 2002: .

[47]. Robert Goodland and Jeff Anfang. “Livestock and climate change. What if the key actors in climate change are … cows, pigs and chickens?”, World Watch, November/December 2009: .

[48]. Gail Whiteman, Chris Hope and Peter Wadhams, “Vast costs of Arctic change”, Nature, 499, 25 July 2013: .

[49]. “Methane Bomb Threat”: .

[50]. “Stop air pollution deaths”: .

[51]. “Nearly 9,500 deaths a  year – study reveals impact of air pollution”,  Urbs.London, 15 July 2015: .

[52]. Gideon Polya, “Australian State Terrorism –  Zero Australian Terrorism Deaths, 1 Million Preventable Australian Deaths & 10 Million Muslims Killed By US Alliance Since 9-11”, Countercurrents, 23 September, 2014: .

[53]. World Health Organization (WHO), “7 million premature deaths annually linked to air pollution”: .

[54].  “World Coal Association, “Coal statistics”:  .

[55].  Gideon Polya, “Pollutants from Adani coal mine will eventually kill 0.5 million Indians”, Countercurrents, 14 April 2017: .

[56]. Graeme Taylor, “Will Adanai coal kil 0.5 million Indians?”, Climate Code Red, 13 June 2017: .

[57], Gideon Polya, “Latest Lancet Data Imply Adani Australian Coal Project Will  Kill 1.4 Million Indians”, Countercurrents,  21 April 2017: .


[58]. “UN Population Division”: .

[59]. “Climate genocide”: .

[60]. DARA, “Climate Vulnerability Monitor. A guide to the cold calculus of a hot planet”, 2012, Executive Summary pp2-3: .

[61]. Gideon Polya, “Body Count. Global avoidable mortality since 1950”, that includes a succinct history  of every country and is now available for free perusal on the web:  .

[62].  Joseph Fargione et al: “Land Clearing and the Biofuel Carbon Debt”, Science 29 February 2008, Vol. 319. no. 5867, pp. 1235 – 1238:  .

[63].   Timothy Searchinger et al: “Use of U.S. Croplands for Biofuels Increases Greenhouse Gases Through Emissions from Land-Use Change”, Science 29 February 2008, Vol. 319. no. 5867, pp. 1238 – 1240:  .

[64]. “Forest biomass-derived Biochar can profitably reduce global warming and bushfire risk”: .

[65]. “Biofuel genocide”: .

[66]. Mark Diesendorf, “Nuclear power: not green, clean or cheap”, On Line Opinion, 16 June 2006: .

[67]. COP21 climate change summit reaches deal in Paris”, BBC, 13 December 2015: .

[68]. Gideon Polya, “Paris Climate Agreement Betrays Humanity Which Must Apply Boycotts, Divestment And Sanctions (BDS) Against Climate Criminal People, Corporations & Countries”, Countercurrents, 14 December 2015: .

[69]. “Are we doomed?”: .

[70]. “Too late to avoid global warming catastrophe”: .

[71]. “Ode on a Grecian Urn”, Wikipedia: .

[72]. Gideon Polya. “Polya’s 3 Laws Of Economics Expose Deadly, Dishonest  And Terminal Neoliberal Capitalism”, Countercurrents, 17 October, 2015: .

[73]. “Gideon Polya”: .

[74]. Samuel Butler, “Erewhon” (1872).

[75]. Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA): .

[76]. Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA), “The Economics of Climate Change”, June 2014: .

[77]. Brian Ellis, “Social Humanism. A New Metaphysics” ,  Routledge , UK , 2012.

[78]. Gideon Polya, “Book Review: “Social Humanism. A New Metaphysics” By Brian Ellis –  Last Chance To Save Planet?”,  Countercurrents, 19 August, 2012: .

[79]. 2010 Open Letter by 255 members of the US National Academy of Sciences, “Open Letter: climate change and the integrity of science”, Guardian, 6 May 2010:  .

[80]. Synthesis Report of the March 2009 Copenhagen Scientific Climate Change Conference: .

Dr Gideon Polya taught science students at a major Australian university for 4 decades. He published some 130 works in a 5 decade scientific career, most recently a huge pharmacological reference text “Biochemical Targets of Plant Bioactive Compounds” (CRC Press/Taylor & Francis, New York & London , 2003). He has published “Body Count. Global avoidable mortality since 1950” (G.M. Polya, Melbourne, 2007: ); see also his contributions “Australian complicity in Iraq mass mortality” in “Lies, Deep Fries & Statistics” (edited by Robyn Williams, ABC Books, Sydney, 2007:

) and “Ongoing Palestinian Genocide” in “The Plight of the Palestinians (edited by William Cook, Palgrave Macmillan, London, 2010: ). He has published a revised and updated 2008 version of his 1998 book “Jane Austen and the Black Hole of British History” (see:  ) as biofuel-, globalization- and climate-driven global food price increases threaten a greater famine catastrophe than the man-made famine in British-ruled India that killed 6-7 million Indians in the “forgotten” World War 2 Bengal Famine (see recent BBC broadcast involving Dr Polya, Economics Nobel Laureate Professor Amartya Sen and others:  ;  Gideon Polya:  ; Gideon Polya Writing: ; Gideon Polya, Wikipedia: ) . When words fail one can say it in pictures – for images of Gideon Polya’s huge paintings for the Planet, Peace, Mother and Child see: and .



    As the analysis suggests, the report has recommendations which may hamper environment rather than create healthy living conditions in Australia. The long-term plans for use of fossil fuels will only help in furthering corporates interests