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AUGUST 2022

Weaponizing Coal: Australia Gives Ukraine a Gift

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Weaponizing Coal: Australia Gives Ukraine a Gift

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Written by Dr. Binoy Kampmark 

Few would forget the antics of Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison who, as Treasurer, entered Parliament with a lump of coal and proceeded to praise it with the enthusiasm of a fetish worshipper.  “Don’t be afraid,” he told fellow parliamentarians.  “Don’t be scared.” 

He has, with deep reluctance, conceded that climate change is taking place and, with even deeper reluctance, that human agency might be involved.  But under his leadership, the fossil fuel lobby of Australia has no reason to fear.  Denialism has simply become more covert.

This month, Industry Minister Angus Taylor, the government’s premier ignoramus on climate change, promised AU$50.3 million to fossil fuel entities to guarantee Australia against “the devastating impacts of a gas supply shortfall, as seen recently in Europe.”  His government was “accelerating priority gas infrastructure projects that will protect Australia from potential energy shortages, keep pressure on prices and create jobs in regional Australia as part of our plan for a stronger future.”

Indeed, the lobby has every reason to be delighted with that other recent announcement by Morrison to enlist Australian coal in Ukraine’s war effort.  With a shamelessness only he can muster, the Prime Minister has managed to make digging and exporting coal, even in small amounts at great cost, virtuous.  In an official statement, Morrison claimed that, “in response to a direct request from Ukraine, Australia will donate 70,000 tonnes of thermal coal.  This will help Ukraine’s power generators operating and supplying electricity to the power grid at this critical time.”

Little by way of logistical or pricing detail was given.  We know who benefits the most from this.  A triumphalist Whitehaven Coal will supply it, and the cost to the Australian taxpayer will be in the order of AU$31 million.  Given that Whitehaven Coal has been a Liberal Party donor – AU$98,000 has been given over the last five years – the whiff of something rotten in the land of coal is strong.

The company’s board would have been delighted by the recent spike in its share prices.  It also remains unclear whether the company offered a discount on the coal to the government.  One thing is beyond doubt: Canberra is offering to foot the transport bill.

The coal, according to the Prime Minister, was needed “before the end of May and we have arranged the shipping for that to take place and are working with other countries to ensure it can get to Ukraine.”  With beaming delight, Morrison could say that “it’s our coal.  We dug it up.  We’ve arranged the ship. We’ve put it on the ship and we’re sending it there to Ukraine to help power up their resistance and to give that encouragement.”

Richard Denniss, an economist based at the Australia Institute, is doubtful about the whole operation.  “Sending a ship load of coal to Ukraine via Poland is just conservative virtue signalling.”  If anything, the measure was insensible, given that Poland itself had “lots of coal.  If we really thought Ukraine needed coal (I doubt it) we could just give them some money to buy Polish coal.”

The request is also slightly odd given that it was conveyed to Canberra from Poland itself. “It was made to me,” claimed Morrison, “through the Polish Prime Minister and we’re very pleased to be able to meet that need.”

The amount of thermal coal is also raising eyebrows amongst those not inclined towards astrological numbers and fantasy projections.  Australia is sending a mere 10th of Ukraine thermal coal reserves, described by Resources Minister Keith Pitt as making “a real difference for the people of Ukraine by providing continued energy security, ensuring continued electricity supply  to homes and industry”.  With little justification, Morrison is also making the claim that a million Ukrainian homes will be powered, though left the duration of that effort in doubt.

The answer to such a crisis is not coal nor, in fact, fossil fuel exports masquerading as humanitarian rescue.  Bernard Keane of Crikey makes a relevant observation: “the clear lesson of Putin’s aggression in energy terms is the need to get out of fossil fuels as quickly as possible, removing the volatility and strategic weakness that reliance on global commodities brings.”

Whether the coal will ever reach its intended recipients is a question worth asking.  If the coal transits through Poland, it will have to be transported via rail to Ukraine, which raises issues of viable infrastructure.  Sea access is also bound to be unlikely, and even if that is taken, one analyst pithily notes that a vessel “should be quite a sitting target if the Russians knew what it was and where it was coming from.”

The Morrison government has made a habit of celebrating the announcement rather than the execution of detail.  Mendacity and incompetence are twinned in this government’s insignia, and Ukrainian officials best ready themselves for disappointment.

Dr. Binoy Kampmark was a Commonwealth Scholar at Selwyn College, Cambridge.  He currently lectures at RMIT University.  Email: bkampmark@gmail.com

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Black Russian

Australians need to stick to things they are good at…like Trerrorizing Citizens to get Vaccinated. You don’t want any of this Battlefield Slaughter on your resume.

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KangaShoe

Why do anti-vaxxers try and turn everything into their virtue signalling?

NWO

Why do vaxers hate logic so much, and go along with anything they are told, like good obedient bitches?

Slobodan

Antivaxers are idiots.

Theo

Vaxers are idiots. No sane person still believes vaccines have any effects on Omicron. They are virtually 100% worthless. But go get your 5,6….11,12.

VladImpaler

I agree. Got my shots and feelling worse. And still caught covid before and after.

Tommy Jensen

Iltalian singer Milva got vaccinated to avoid Covid booster and get a Passport to continue her life, whereafter she got Covid and died from the vaccine……………………LOL.

Last edited 4 months ago by Tommy Jensen
Yamil perez is a gay faggot

The non-stop 24/7 intelligence that NATO/US is providing to Ukraine in addition to lethal military aid is akin to active participation in war against Russia.

That said, Russia has every right to arm PMU in Iraq/Syria and Hezbollah in Lebanon with Igla, Kornet, and loads of advanced weapons.

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Jnoub

I believe Russia will only start publicly arming Hezbollah if Israel does anything to annoy Russia.

A.H.

They alreadi did. The zios send there Golan battalion to Ukraine to help destroing Russian tanks. They train terrorists and airlifted them to Ukraine. Now Iran and Hesbolach and SAA are patroling the Golan line with Russian air protection. The free ticket to bomb Syria is over and out. Even for the yankees and Nato and UK in Syria it will be dangerous.

Ivanrus

One question? Why does everyone critisize Western intelligence then turn around and say the exact opposite when it comes to Ukraine? Look, my wife’s nephew is fighing in Ukraine for Russia and we get some interesting reports from him. Some of the reports run contrary to this site. I was worried for my wife’s nephew before this all started. Western intelligence said My country was going to attack Ukraine. Those on this site, including me didn’t think that wiuld happened. Well, it did. Most of you don’t live in Russia. Things are hard, and are getting harder. Now, I do not have ability to see anything other than pro Russian stance since internet is shutting it down. Stores are running out of food here. I say end this war so Russian family can get back to some normalcy and maybe econmy improves.

Last edited 4 months ago by Ivanrus
Florian Geyer

Youn are obviously a Western Shill, as I am in the West and have easily curcumvented the Western censors with a VPN and another country flag.

You MUST know this as well IVAN RUSS.

Antitrol

Pathetic, lying shithead ^^^. Probably yamil or whatever that idiot calls himself, he change 1000 moronic gay names every day while polluting this site with endless crap from his deranged mouth.

SkynetIntel

Climate models have been SPECTACULARLY wrong from the 1980s till now. Pure BS! Man made climate change is the next biggest hoax to be put forward on the earth by the Globalists Elite. Refuse to comply to the edics and mandates!

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KangaShoe

Nah, not at all. This claim is made of people who can’t read graphs and is laughably dumb

Tommy Jensen

Graphs is a 2-dimensional lie and a cheat tool. Go out in the 3-dimensional physical world and look at the sun while a cow fart in your face. Then you will know who decide the weather in the real world.

Last edited 4 months ago by Tommy Jensen
lame duck

Weapon smuggling hidden in the coal?

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Slobodan

ScoMo is known as a puppet of the Coal industry in Australia.

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Erny72

Please guys, don’t sully this fine weblog with gullible warming scam-mongering, there are plenty of other places useful idiots can go to get their daily ration of bullshit sandwiches on that particular subject.

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Peter Jennings

That’s so touching of the prime minister Moronson to help the regime in Ukraine. I hope Ukrainian’s don’t get the wrong idea and try to become Australian citizens. Then they will be in trouble. From one regime to the next.

The reasons for the climate changing in Australia hasn’t anything whatsoever to do with CO2, burning fossil fuels, running petrol and diesel engines, etc. Prime Moron Moronson is lying to everyone about that too. The reasons for climate change are off planet

Crooked gov’t’s off the world, along with the UN, have been taxing the consumers into fuel poverty, putting more and more restrictions on travel and the means of. They expound on the virtues of green energy and protecting the planet at all costs. Meanwhile their military has been carving up the planet, polluting it as they go, for decades.

I wish hypocrisy was a killer.

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Last edited 4 months ago by Peter Jennings
Warrior Nation

Scomo needs to be hung for theft of Australian resources

Erny72

I’m interested to know how Scomo thinks this virtue signalling guesture is supposed to work in practice. Since the Russian Black Sea Fleet controls all marine access to Ukraine, then 70kT of ‘Aussie thermal coal’ has to be offloaded and transhipped by rail.from Poland or elsewhere in Europe, then be transhipped again from Standard gauge to the ‘broad gauge metallurgy line’ for the trip into Ukraine, assuming the VVS doesn’t have something to say about it. And that’s despite both Poland and Ukraine sitting on substantial indiginous coal reserves. Erm, yeah, good show Scomo. This sounds like theatre for the domestic audience in an election year; perhaps it’s also a way to give greentards a big two fingered salute that’s immune to gullible warming hysterics, after all, this coal is to help those poor Ukrainians that most Australians don’t know anything about.

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Duniga

That thing in Scott’s hand is not coal.

It’s kangaroo turd 😀

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Veritas Vincit

– “Australia is a frontline state” in the new Cold War (Malcolm Davis, Australian Strategic Policy Institute)

– “defense analysts from both countries expect an increased presence in Australia for the U.S. Air Force, Navy and Marines in the form of bombers, nuclear submarines, missiles and troops…. it’s likely the Air Force will begin using runways in the northern part of the country, possibly for the B-52 strategic bomber and B-2 stealth bomber… [missile architecture] cooperation is more likely to speed up….” (Deal likely to bring more US military assets to Australia’, Stripes, June 20, 2014);

– “Australia is in the process of receiving an upgrade to “enhanced Partnership” status, giving greater diplomatic and military access to NATO operations. Australia is represented by Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and Defence Minister David Johnston, who have Russian president Vladimir Putin firmly in their sights.” (NATO summit: Australia strengthens ties with Atlantic alliance, but strains of global policing starting to show, By Mark Corcoran, [Australian] ABC news, 05/09/2014), etc…..

The rhetoric and actions of Australia clarify they are a key partner in the US-NATO bloc. Australia is also involved in allied hybrid warfare opertions being waged against Russia. Importantly, in addition to the build-up of US military architecture in Australia (including plans to host US nuclear bombers, US carrier strike groups and US/UK nuclear attack class submarines until its domestic fleet of nuclear attack-class submarines [claims of ‘only nuclear powered’ being deception due to the capabilities of the class of submarines shortlisted] are operational).

Australia acts as an extension of the US-NATO military apparatus. It is involved in successive US-led wars (of aggression). Strategic policy documents verify Australia is integrated into US operational plans for kinetic stages of war (the hybrid warfare domain being active) against China and Russia.

As such, it would be prudent for Russia and China to quietly develop coordinated operational plans (including of their strategic forces in certain scenarios) in response to active and intensifying forms of warfare being waged against both nations.

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Veritas Vincit

It is worth noting US-NATO-allied bloc escalations have a logical outcome. The US-NATO supported Ukrainian war against the Russian-speaking LDNR (active since 2014) has provoked a Russian response (as was intended and as Russia sought to avoid as long as possible, the recent escalation of the US-NATO supported Ukrainian war exceeding limits of restraint, preceding warnings being ignored). US escalation of provocations against China over the status of Taiwan will in time similarly exceed limits of restraint (US development of the military capabilities of Taiwan having this logical outcome).

Importantly, both conflicts are the basis of world war scenarios. As the US-NATO-allied bloc continues on the path of confrontation and escalation, the eventual outcome should be self-evident (Note: A nuclear warfare event does not translate to human extinction but it would eclipse previous world wars).

In the meantime, economic warfare will logically continue to escalate (restrained responses being perceived as weakness and serving to embolden the Western bloc) while the mobilisation of military forces in Eastern Europe and more broadly clarify preparations for direct kinetic stages of conflict. As US-NATO-allied bloc escalations will likely progress to this stage, the development of coordinated responses by the military commands of Russia and China is not only prudent but arguably essential (as is the attainment of nuclear primacy that should be a matter of priority).

Yuri

like amerikants–they derive from lowest most incompetent classes from other nations—this US colony should be colony of civilized China

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VladImpaler

Anything coming out of Australia Canada or NewZ is well known Clownworld dictatorship stuff, directed at wellcoming pows to help them enrich they’re needy own inbred gene pool. Enjoy the azovisis and alikes.

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Tommy Jensen

Libtards and the do-gooders are whining again for more money from the coal and oil industry. Or else hard working people will be smeared in MSM as destroyers of our planet and nature.

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