Old report: fossil fuel’s political donations and Government

ACF tracking in 2020 shows huge fossil fuel political donations to influence our political parties.

Many of my posts here have noted that special interests in the fossil fuel and related industries have effectively turned many of our members of Parliament into puppets putting the interests of the industry ahead of the country’s citizens. I came across the Australian Conservation Foundation’s 12/02/2020 report, “Fossil fuel money distorting democracy” giving precise numbers showing how the fossil fuel political donations are used to distort our democracy away from the public interest, and towards their private profits. These have just been updated 01/02/2022 on-line in the report, “Fossil fuel industry donates big to major parties“.

“This data shows just how dark and opaque the financing of our politics is, with 38% of the money that funds Australia’s major parties having no identifiable source,” said the Australian Conservation Foundation’s Democracy Campaigner Jolene Elberth.

From the 2022 update

Cover page of the report.

Fossil fuel money distorting democracy

Key findings

Donations from the fossil fuel industry are on the rise. Fossil fuel donations to the major parties peaked in the 2018-19 period. Overall, the industry donated a total of $1,894,024, excluding donations to the United Australia Party.

The extractive industries are by far the largest donors from the coal, oil and gas sector, accounting for over half of the total donations to the major parties since 2015-16.

• There is a severe lack of transparency over money flowing to politicians from donations. We found that from 2015-2019 the major parties had close to $283 million in income from undisclosed sources. In the 2018-2019 fiscal year alone, the major parties received over $100,000,000 in income from undisclosed sources. This ‘dark money’ in the system is worsened by the extremely loose regulations on associated entities. In 2018-2019, associated entities disclosed just over one third of the income they received, while around 67% of money came from undisclosed sources. This money is often then donated to political parties, further obscuring the true source of
the donation.

Read the complete article….

What are fossil fuel’s political donations getting for their money?

The puppets show and tell
Captain Humbug (A.K.A. Scotty from Marketing) showing the parliamentary puppet troop what it is all about behind his then PM, “Don’t be afraid, don’t be scared, it won’t hurt you. It’s coal.” With these words Australia’s Treasurer Scott Morrison taunted the Opposition, attempting to ridicule its commitment to renewable energy.” – Picture from The Conversation (15-02-2017). See also Katherine Murphy in The Guardian on 09/02/2017 for the live video — “Scott Morrison brings coal to question time: what fresh idiocy is this? What a bunch of clowns, hamming it up – while out in the real world an ominous and oppressive heat just won’t let up.”

There can be no doubt that Scotty from Marketing is going all out to promote the fossil fuel industry and protect their interests from any harm arising from actions to bring the climate emergency under control. Whether this the direct pay-back for fossil fuel’s political donations or not, I don’t know. But he has also made it abundantly clear that he is not leading Parliament or the people in fighting the fires of the climate emergency: From the official transcript dated 20/12/2019 from the PM’s own office, Scotty made it abundantly clear to John Stanley on 2GB Radio that HE doesn’t fight fires… “But I know Australians understand… that, you know, I don’t hold a hose, mate, and I don’t sit in a control room. That’s the brave people who do that are doing that job. But I know that Australians would want me back at this time out of these fatalities. So I’ll happily come back [from his secret holiday in Hawaii] and do that.”

Sixteen year-old Greta tells us and everyone at the 2019 World Economic Forum in Davos how we and our governments should actually respond to the climate emergency:

Listen to Greta’s speech live. Except for her reliance on the IPCC’s overoptimistic emissions budget, everything she says is spot on that even she, as a child, can understand.

In other words, smell the smoke, see the reality, and fight the fire that is burning up our only planet so we can give our offspring a hopeful future. This is the only issue that matters. All Capt. Humbug and his troop of wooden-headed puppets are doing is rearranging the furniture in the burning house to be incinerated along with anything else we may care about. In Greta’s words, “even a small child can understand [this]”. People hope for their children’s futures. She doesn’t want your hope. She wants you to panic enough to wake up and fight the fire…. so she can have some hope for her future.

To stop continued the puppet government’s continued smothering of effective action against the emergency their members need to be removed from Parliament and be replaced by rational people who have publicly committed themselves to putting acting on the climate emergency on the top of their agenda if elected.

Vote Climate One’s Traffic Light Voting System will help you use our country’s preferential voting system in your electorate to rank candidates to elect your personally favored pro-climate candidate and avoid voting for puppets or those who might pass their preferences on to a puppet. If enough people follow this guide, we should be able to elect a new government that will give our children and grand children a foreseeable and hopeful future.

Will you help us give our kids a hopeful future?

Posted by William P. Hall

Some call me a 'climate scientist'. I'm not. What I am is an 'Earth systems generalist'. Born in 1939, I grew up with passionate interests in both science and engineering. I learned to read from my father's university textbooks in geology and paleontology, and dreamed of building nuclear powered starships. Living on a yacht in Southern California I grew up surrounded by (and often immersed in) marine and estuarine ecosystems while my father worked in the aerospace engineering industry. After studying university physics for three years, dyslexia with numbers convinced me to change my focus to biology. I completed university as an evolutionary biologist (PhD Harvard, 1973). My principal research project involved understanding how species' genetic systems regulated the evolution and speciation of North America's largest and most widespread lizard genus. Then for several years as an academic biologist I taught a range of university subjects as diverse as systematics, biogeography, cytogenetics, comparative anatomy and marine biology. In Australia, from 1980, I was involved in various activities around the emerging and rapidly evolving microcomputing technologies culminating in 2 years involvement in the computerization of the emerging Bank of Melbourne. In 1990 I joined a startup engineering company that had just won the contract to build a new generation of 10 frigates for Australia and New Zealand. In 2007 I retired from the head office of Tenix Defence, then Australia's largest defence engineering contractor, after a 17½ year career as a documentation and knowledge management systems analyst and designer. At Tenix I reported to the R&D manager under the GM Engineering, and worked closely with support and systems engineers on the ANZAC Ship Project to solve documentation and engineering change management issues that risked the project 100s of millions of dollars in cost and years of schedule overruns. All 10 ships had been delivered on time, on budget to happy customers against the fixed-price and fixed schedule contract. Before, during, and after these two main gigs I also did a lot of other things that contribute to my general understanding of complex dynamical systems involving multiple components with non-linear and sometimes chaotically interacting components; e.g., 'Earth systems'. Earth's Climate System is the global heat engine driven by the transport and conversions of energy between the incoming solar radiation striking the planet, and the infrared radiation of heat away from the planet to the cold dark universe. As Climate Sentinel News Editor, my task is to identify and understand quirks and problems in the operation of this complex heat engine that threaten human existence, and explain to our readers how they can help to solve some of the critical issues that are threatening their own existence.

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