One Finite Planet

One Finite Planet

ScoMo Ingenious EV Plan: Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, leading climate action blocker, stretching the truth again?

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Cost of coal power vs renewables: China expanding coal while the suckers go green?

If coal fired power can no longer compete on price, then why is China building two new coal power plants per week? Is China somehow able to use coal fired electricity to gain a competitive advantage against western manufacturing which increasingly relies on “clean green” but more expensive energy, with the result that emissions and jobs are simply transferred to China?

The current politics of climate agreements encourage rich countries to offshore some emissions to those countries often forced to be more reliant coal and with higher emissions. Could we fix the problem of China syndrome emissions if there was the political will?

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COP27: Climate change action sabotage?

Reports from COP27 seems indicate the key initiative this year to make wealthy nations cover the cost of the damages poor nations will incur as a result of emissions that have main originated from those wealthy nations.

The proposal as it stands has a missing an essential piece, and trying to cover for that essential piece, appears most to likely to increase emissions, and move COP away from a focus on solving the climate crisis and instead toward just fighting over the cost.

This is a troubled look at the key flaw in what has been put forward and the real solution that should be in place.

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The Power struggle in Australia.

From “the biggest corruption scandal ever” in Brazil, problems in Venezuela, human rights in Saudi Arabia and Iran, to the problems caused by lobbyists against action on climate change, an abundance of fossil fuels is a source of political power, yet rarely force for good, and Australia, with a wealth of coal and gas, is not spared.

The current crisis in Ukraine not only drives up energy prices globally, but it also creates a dilemma for gas producing nations.

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EVs are green but there is no quick fix green transition.

There are many claims that EVs result in more emissions than fossil fuelled vehicles. The reality is that even when an EV is powered from a ‘dirty’ grid, it is clear that driving an EV does creates less emissions. Plus, although some EVs create more ‘build emissions’, EVs still have less lifetime emissions, even on today’s grids. The EV transition will reduce emissions provided it is not rushed.

But the transition still won’t produce the desired emissions until the grid is also clean, and it will take decades to replace traditional vehicles on any sensible schedule.

Buying an EV is better for the environment in the long term than buying an ICE vehicle but can be worse for the environment than just keeping the current vehicle. The key finding is that while it is best to stop buying so many new ICE vehicles ASAP, there should be no rush to replace existing ICE vehicles with EVs, and instead allow existing vehicles the around two decades until their normal scrap date.

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Carbon Capture and Storage works for e-Fuels but not for fossil fuels or ‘blue hydrogen’.

Full sequestration of carbon is the reverse of burning fossil fuels. Full sequestration does work and is part of the process of producing E-Fuels and the process of photosynthesis in plants. But full sequestration requires at least as much energy as can be extracted from the forms of previously sequestrated carbon that we call “fossil fuels”.

What can’t work, is the illusion of using energy from fossil fuels to reverse the process of burning those same fossil fuels, and then still having a form energy left to sell as a product. Yet that is exactly the “blue hydrogen” proposition.

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After a long history resisting action on climate change, the Australian government finally 'committed' to net zero by 2050, and then did an about face from their previous 'anti-EV' stance and announced support for electric vehicles. Or did they?

ScoMo Ingenious EV Plan: Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, leading climate action blocker, stretching the truth again?

After a long history resisting action on climate change, the Australian government finally 'committed' to net zero by 2050, and then did an about face from their previous 'anti-EV' stance and announced support for electric vehicles. Or did they?


Relevance: A Series On Political Influencers.

I have been building series of explorations on world political influencers, ranging from Trump, Putin, Xi Jinping, through to Bolsonaro and even Scott Morrison, with a focus on how individuals impact polarisation and the future of democracy. Expect more pages soon.

The Australian Government And The Democracy Failure On Climate Action.

“This is coal”: Scott Morrison’s ‘Coalaphobia’ speech.

Scott Morrison has significance, because he gets to play a role in the global politics of climate change action, with Australia playing a bigger role in holding back climate action than would seem logical based on population. However, the physical size of the country and enormous potential sources of renewable energy, allow Australia to play a huge role in the battle of ‘big oil and gas’ vs green energy.

Of all the developed countries, Australia has the poorest standing on climate.

Bas Eickhout: Dutch Parliament Delegation leader (via CNN) .

Toyota: No3 Worldwide In Companies Negatively Influencing Climate Action.

Toyota Motor has campaigned against proposed regulations globally to phase out internal combustion engines in favor of electric vehicles in 2020-21 and ranks 3rd on InfluenceMap’s list of global companies most negatively influencing Paris-aligned climate policy. It is joined by BMW (18th), Daimler (24th) and Hyundai (25th) from the automotive sector, which as a group is highly negative on stringent climate regulation on the automotive sector.

The 50 Most Influential Companies and Industry Associations Blocking Climate Policy Action Globally

Only the largest American Oil companies block Toyota from 1st place. Toyota, currently the largest, and richest, manufacturer of internal combustion vehicles, sees electric vehicles as a significant threat. While hybrids increase car complexity and cost, battery electric vehicles remove the most complex parts of a car, the internal combustion engine, gear box and cooling systems. While you might think governments would not force consumers to buy more expensive cars as EV prices inevitably fall, Toyota in Japan has a government that already forces consumers to keep buying new cars in a planned obsolesce program to support the automobile industry.

USA EPA Report for 2012-2017. All leading companies but Toyota improved economy & decreased emissions.

Toyota is so concerned about the job loses in Japan from the move to electric vehicles that it has even formed “team Japan” to help keep the combustion engine alive. See “Toyota: The Anti-Electric Vehicle Company” for more, but Toyota is calling out that progress is bad for corporate profits and lowering prices is bad for economic activity. EVs can be built with 1/3 of the labour hours of building an ICE vehicle or hybrid, and Toyota argues that would be disaster for jobs in Japan.

However, there are other questions on Toyota’s ‘green’ history, and despite the seemingly environmentally friendly although complicated and expensive for the performance Prius, Toyota has been the only brand in the US to increase average fuel consumption of its fleet.

Scotty From Marketing“: Questions On History Of Truth.

Emmanuel Macron when asked if he thought Scott Morrison had lied to him: “I do not think, I know”. Just when you would think it does not more blunt that than, Scott Morrison ensured it did.

With a background in marketing, critics of Scott Morrison first labelled him “Scotty From Marketing“, but now almost use that label, and his honesty is continually questioned .

Scott Morrison And The Fight Against Electric Vehicles.

An About Face?

While Scott Morrison once “electric vehicles will kill the weekend”, he also says “I don’t have a problem with electric vehicles”. Perhaps people misunderstood that he never had a problem with killing the weekend.

But although many question this new support of electric vehicles, a major point was missed by much of the media.

Toyota Hydrogen Car Vs Electric Vehicle.

What many reporters seemed to miss, is that Scott Morrison spent the day he announced an electric vehicle policy, at Toyota, the most staunch opponent of electric vehicles, of the entire automobile industry.

ABC: Morrison “taking a hydrogen car for a spin” as he promotes electric vehicles.

Morrison did experience a hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle. Instead of the electric cars becoming so popular, that one was the top selling car in the UK last month, and already comprising around 10% of global vehicle sales, no Scott Morrison chose a far more fringe option.

To get an idea of how fringe, electric vehicles sales this year are estimated to reach 5.6 million vehicles, while hydrogen car sales are at 11,200 for the year, or 0.2% of electric vehicle sales. And even that small number of hydrogen vehicle sales are heavily subsidised. Why don’t hydrogen cars sell, and why are they subsidised? Well, hydrogen vehicles do help economic activity as:

  • Running costs of hydrogen vehicles are around 8x higher than battery vehicles.
  • Unsubsidised purchase prices of hydrogen vehicles are around 3x higher than battery vehicles.
  • Maintenance cost so hydrogen vehicles are also higher.

Every additional spend required from consumers will result in a larger economy, and while Australia no longer builds cars, Japan does, so at least the extra work of building the more complex car would result in jobs somewhere.

Toyota And The Australian Government: An Anti EV alliance?

One possibility is that the Australian government wants an ally who also does not want electric vehicles. Toyota is so anti electric vehicles that not only has it formed ‘combustion vehicle alliance‘, it is even looking at moving hydrogen cars away from fuel cells, and to combustion, despite the efficiency losses from combustion. Perhaps it is because people will miss the nitrous oxides that are avoided by not burning the hydrogen? Or is it because fuel cell vehicles require so much less hydrogen? Of course, given Toyota is ready to spend so much on strategies to kill off Electric Vehicles, it could just be these will never be practical anyway. But if you were “Scotty From Marketing”, and you did not really want electric vehicles, it might make sense to work together with companies applying that largest marketing budget to stopping electric vehicles.

Is Political Support Possible? Toyota Supports Trump Supporters and Even The Far Right.

A second possibility is that Toyota may even provide political support. In the US, Toyota is the largest donor to those in the US supporting an insurrection and declaring Trump the winner in 2020. It seems that policies of the far right can align with the objectives of Toyota. Who know what limits there are on support available to groups in government that will assist the largest combustion vehicle company in the world. While it is unlikely that the leaders of Toyota set out to support the far right, it seems that when agendas overlap, the link is insufficient to end Toyota support.

Or, Maybe ScoMo Believes In Hydrogen Cars?

The other possibility is that those in the government just don’t realise that the only remaining supporters of hydrogen cars are those working hardest to delay the move to electric vehicle? Perhaps they feel they know better than fools like Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos (investor in Rivian, another electric vehicle company valued above Ford and General Motors), or Warren Buffet (Investor in BYD, 4th largest car company in the world and competing with Tesla for largest EV maker).

Ford F150 Lightning Electric Pickup – End of The Weekend?

Perhaps there is nothing underhand, and the Australian government just believes the battery electric vehicles, even those like the Rivian ‘truck of the year’ in the US ‘ute’/pickup, for Ford F150 Lightning, or the Hummer EV, would rob Australians of their weekends, and therefore supports hydrogen vehicles over electric vehicles. The problem with this story, is that the Australian government is saying it now supports electric vehicles. Which mean either they have seen none of the statements by Toyota of how they are opposed to electric vehicles, or on how Toyota formed an alliance to keep the internal combustion engine alive in Japan. So this option requires the Australian government to be either naïve and ignorant, or intent on deceiving the Australian electorate.

In the end, it is hard to know which option is worse.


An example of how a country can resist the move to electric vehicles without telling voters?

It is hard to know which possibly is most likely:

  • Despite all the evidence, and sales at 500 to 1 against, the Australian government believes in hydrogen over battery technology and has not seen any of the widely reported stories on how Toyota is anti-electric vehicles.
  • The Australian government feels that if those supporting insurrection the the US can get political support from Toyota, there is a real opportunity to obtain support for a political party in Australia that has goals aligned with Toyota.
  • The Australian government want to delay any climate action and sees Toyota as an ally.

Which one do you believe? Or is there another possibility?


  • *2022 March 8: Minor typos and fixes.
  • 2021 Nov 19: First version