Turnbull told the truth but don't expect Matt Kean and the NSW Government to do the same.
Matt Kean is wrong to say he sacked Malcolm Turnbull because he was “divisive”.
If that is the case, Kean should sack himself.
The New South Wales environment minister and his short-lived Net Zero Emissions and Clean Economy Board chairman want the same thing: the end of coal.
It’s just that Turnbull was willing to tell the people of the Hunter Valley the truth – ending coal means they will have to become winemakers or horse breeders if they still want to live there.
In media interviews last night, Kean maintained the fiction that the NSW Government “supports coal jobs” but the tell is his mantra that there is an “inevitable transition” away from coal to “future proof” the economy.
It’s not possible to do both.
But it’s not just the coal-dependent people of the Hunter Valley who should be worried.
Kean is against the burning of any fossil fuels to produce electricity, including the only other viable source (apart from nuclear) – gas.
His net zero zeal sees him pushing NSW to solar and wind power, technologies that cannot run a modern industrialised economy.
It is unknown if renewables ever will be able to replace the indispensable firming power that comes from fossil fuels or nuclear, which the green-left bans in Australia.
And even with the generous taxpayer subsidies renewables receive, they have proven themselves to be unreliable and expensive.
In energy-resource-rich Australia, we are now having a debate about how to keep the lights on and for this to be affordable to householders and businesses.
Only politicians could cause a crisis like this.
Kean and Turnbull argue that the world is moving to renewables.
But the facts don’t support this.
India, China and much of South East Asia are building coal-fired power stations at break-neck speed.
Anyone who believes the Chinese Communist Party will keep their promise to abandon coal-powered electricity after 2060 is dreaming.
Even Germany last year opened a giant coal-fired power station, although it says this will be its last.
Demand for Australian coal is so strong that applications for more mines are being submitted to government all the time.
Turnbull wants them knocked back.
Back in the real world, our coal is wanted. Sadly we are not allowed to use it here to shore up our energy security.
As Bjorn Lomborg keeps pointing out, the cost of “climate action” policies is horrendous. We are hurting ourselves, probably unnecessarily.
Lomborg cites the UN’s own data to prove that it is better for us to adapt to any potential climate risk while developing green technologies off-line until they are proven.
Instead the Keans and Turnbulls of the green-left (they can’t seriously be described as Liberals) want to conduct a real-time experiment with our livelihoods.
It was bad enough that Kean’s sleepy cabinet colleagues waived the Turnbull appointment through before sitting bolt upright in their beds as Turnbull began spruiking the end of coal in the middle of a by-election for a seat whose people rely on the coal industry.
Kean’s colleagues’ real crime is their inattentiveness to the consequences of experimental politics.
As Kean leads them to close more coal power, it won’t just be the people of the Upper Hunter who will be affected.
Anyone who uses electricity on the east coast of Australia will be in for a shock, but it won't be an electric one.
Turnbull was sacked for telling the truth about what he believes. Kean and the NSW Government should do the same.
But they won’t because they know if they did, the voters would also sack them.
Lyle Shelton is the author of I Kid You Not – Notes from 20 Years in the Trenches of the Culture Wars. Get your copy here.