Thursday, November 13, 2008

Not Really a Backbone

Recently I was reading Guy Pearse's book High and Dry. It goes on (and on) about the Howard years and how government climate change policy was dictated by Australia's biggest polluters - the Greenhouse Mafia.

One piece of myth-busting late in the book, was that of coal allegedly being the "backbone" of our economy. Pearse's research shows that coal exports form just 2% of Australia's GDP - and the bulk of that goes to majority foreign-owned companies. In terms of jobs, coal employs just 1.3% of workers. (For comparison, tourism is 5%)

Now that I know this, it's quite strange to see industry people talk about 'massive damage' to the economy of a marginal reduction in emissions.

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