CPAC Australia – Coal Overboard, Nuclear to Appease the Greens?


 by Eric Worrall at

To say I’m disappointed with this year’s Australian CPAC would be an understatement.

On a positive note, CPAC USA Chairman Matt Schlapp and and former Trump acting US Attorney General Matthew Whitaker brought terrific messages of hope, though mostly avoided energy issues. Jay Aeba, Chairman of CPAC Japan, also gave an impassioned speech about why freedom and respect for the individual matters.

There were strong appeals for energy sanity from Alan Jones, a prominent Aussie conservative commentator – an appeal for mainstream Aussie conservatives to wake up and listen (“where are they”?).

ADH-TV speakers reminded us of the terrible treatment of the Jirrbal people by wind farm developers – an issue WUWT covered in July. The objections of the Jirrbal people to the destruction of their rainforest in my opinion are being ignored.

What was painfully missing from Australian CPAC 2023 was any indication mainstream Aussie conservatives have the balls to stand up against the green blob.

Keith Pitt, formerly a staunch coal defender, who has a coal mine in his own region, said not one word about the need for more coal. Keith’s talk was how coal plants could be replaced by nuclear reactors, which would avoid the need for new transmission lines.

Barnaby Joyce, former leader of the National Party, declared his vehement opposition to green energy. But I’m not sure his new found opposition to renewables is credible. As leader of the party in 2021 Joyce declared his support for Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s renewable driven Net Zero, a desperate and futile attempt to prevent election defeat by lurching left. In 2016, Barnaby Joyce was guest of honour at the launch of the White Rock Wind Farm. Now Joyce is talking like he always hated renewables. Make of that what you will.

Former Prime Minister Tony Abbott, who in 2022 CPAC Australia brought everyone to their feet when he said “yes I am a climate skeptic”, gave an emasculated speech about why everyone should join the party of their choice – but avoided anything which might have sounded like criticism of the new direction his party has taken on energy issues.

Why do I have a problem with the Aussie conservative switch to support for nuclear?

My problem is, they are not talking about supporting nuclear because it is the best choice, or because it will bring down energy prices. They want to support nuclear because they’re desperately trying to appease inner city greens, with a low carbon “solution” they hope their own supporters will swallow.

To give some insight into how absurd the Aussie mainstream conservative position is, in July, the current conservative mainstream opposition speaker Peter Dutton gave a ridiculous speech in which he suggested using nuclear power to firm renewables.

Opposition leader Peter Dutton’s plan is to use the most inflexible baseload power system, nuclear power, to smooth the volatile ups and downs of a large renewable fleet.

This energy policy is a Frankenstein monster of an energy policy, a political construct rather than a sound engineering blueprint. It cannot possibly work, without wasting gargantuan amounts of electricity. It cannot deliver lower energy prices. In my opinion this Frankenstein policy is a desperate political attempt to create a vaguely plausible narrative which bridges the disunity in his own Liberal (Aussie Conservative) party, about how to respond to public belief in the climate crisis. This policy is not the action of a strong leader, it is the action of a weak leader, who is desperately trying to prevent his party from flying apart.

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