Climate Criminal Australia Ignores Its Hugely Increasing Carbon Debt & Massive Subsidies For GHG Pollution

coal Global Warming

The damage-related cost of carbon pollution has been variously estimated at $US200 per tonne CO2, this enabling calculation of the inescapable Carbon Debt we are leaving to be paid by future generations. A climate criminal Australia is among world leaders in 14 key areas relating to greenhouse gas (GHG) pollution, and with a population (25 million) that is only 0.3% of the world’s,  Australia has an  annual increase in Carbon Debt that is 6% of that of the world.

With huge coal and natural gas resources, a greedy and ecocidal Australia is committed to massive fossil fuel exploitation,  correspondingly massive GHG pollution, and consequent massive global environmental devastation.  There is bipartisan agreement    between the recently  re-elected Liberal Party-National Party Coalition Federal Government under PM Scott “Scomo” Morrison  and the Labor Party Opposition under Anthony “Albo” Albanese for essentially unlimited coal and natural gas exports until the world demands cessation. Indeed the scientific  world is demanding cessation as exampled by outstanding  scientist, Stephen Hawking ( formerly of 118 Nobel Laureate University of Cambridge, UK) who declared (2007, 2018):  “We see great peril if governments and societies do not take action now to render nuclear weapons obsolete and to prevent further climate change” [1, 2].

As confirmed by the results of the recent Australian Federal election, rich, greedy and anti-science Australia is mindlessly committed to coal and gas exploitation. Thanks to the homicidal greed of climate criminal countries such as Australia,  the present plus 1C temperature rise is already devastating Island Nations, and  a catastrophic plus 2C warming is now effectively unavoidable [3-8]. Australia is  among world leaders for the following 14 climate criminal activities or parameters: (1) annual per capita greenhouse gas pollution [9- 11], (2) live methanogenic livestock exports [12- 20],  (3) natural gas exports [21-23], (4) recoverable shale gas reserves that can be accessed by hydraulic fracturing (fracking) [24], (5) coal exports [25-29], (6) land clearing, deforestation and ecocide [30, 31], (7) speciescide or species extinction [32], (8) coral reef destruction  [33-39], (9) whale killing  and extinction threat through global warming impacting on krill stocks  [40], (10) terminal carbon pollution budget exceedance [41-50],   (11) per capita Carbon Debt [41-50], (12) ultimately GHG generating iron ore exports [51, 52], (13) climate change inaction [53], and (14) climate genocide and approach towards omnicide and terracide [54-57].

While Australia’s GHG pollution decreased under Labor Governments in the period 2007-2013, return to power of the climate criminal Coalition was associated with  a relentlessly  increasing rate  of GHG pollution in the period 2013-2018 [58, 59].  This increasing rate of  GHG pollution is necessarily associated with a correspondingly increasing  rate of acquisition of Carbon Debt that flies in the face of a worsening climate emergency,  climate crisis and climate genocide. This obdurate, neoliberal  Australian ignoring is reflected in malreportage by the taxpayer-funded ABC, Australia’s equivalent of the UK BBC. Thus a Search of the ABC for the key term “Carbon Debt” yields zero (0) results. One notes that lying by omission is far, far worse than lying by commission because at least the latter permits refutation and public debate [60-62].

Below is an analysis of Australia’s huge and increasing Carbon Debt in comparison with that of the world.

The global price of Australian thermal coal (2017) is US$88 per tonne [63, 64].  Assuming an 80% carbon content of exported thermal coal, and a price of US$88 per tonne coal, the price of 1 tonne thermal coal-derived CO2   = (US$88 / tonne coal) x (1 tonne coal/0.8 tonne carbon) x (1 tonne carbon/3.67 tonne CO2)  = US$30.0 per tonne CO2 released on combustion.

However the damage-related cost of CO2 pollution is about US$200 per tonne CO2 as independently estimated by Professor James Hansen (of 96 Nobel Laureate Columbia University, US) and from Dr Chris Hope (of 118 Nobel Laureate University of Cambridge, UK) [43, 65- 68].

Thus for every US$30 per tonne CO2 released that is received by the Australian coal industry – by tax-minimizing Australian and foreign corporations and an ever-decreasing, automation-impacted and variously tax-minimizing workforce – there is a huge carbon pollution subsidy in the form of an inescapable  Carbon Debt of US200 per tonne CO2-equivalent  released that will have to be paid by future generations.

Indeed, one can determine an inescapable Carbon Debt for the world that is US$200 trillion and increasing by $8.4 trillion each year, assuming an annual global GHG pollution of 41.8 Gt CO2-e [69].

At an annual Domestic GHG pollution (621 Mt CO2-e) and Exported GHG pollution (1,950 Mt CO2-e) totalling 2,571 Mt CO2-e  (CO2-equivalent) Australia has a Carbon Debt of US$5 trillion that is increasing at US$0.51 trillion  per year and at US$40,000 per head per year for under-30 year old Australians. Australia has 0.3% of the world’s population but contributes 6.0% of the world’s annual increase in Carbon Debt [43].

Alternatively,  taking land use into account and considering  the Global Warming Potential of methane (CH4) on a 20 year time frame  gives an annual global GHG pollution of  63.8 Gt CO2-e [69] and an inescapable Carbon Debt for the world that is increasing by $12.8 trillion each year. On the same revised basis, Australia’s revised annual Domestic plus Exported GHG pollution is 2,900 Mt CO2-e annually [9] corresponding to a Carbon Debt increase of US$0.58 trillion pa and 4.5% of the world’s annual increase in Carbon Debt on this basis.  

Polya’s 3 Laws of Economics (modelled on the 3 Laws of Thermodynamics that underlie chemistry and physics) are  (1) Price (P) minus Cost of Production (COP) equals profit (p),  (2) Deception about COP strives to a maximum, and (3) No work, price or profit on a dead planet [70]. Australia’s  total ignoring of the damage-related cost of CO2 pollution  – the damage-related Carbon Price, the Carbon Debt, the  COP (Cost of Production), the huge greenhouse gas (GHG) pollution  subsidy – illustrates the Second Law of Economics and helps push the world towards  terracide illustrating the Third Law – no work, price or profit on a dead planet.

Carbon Debt is inescapable – thus unless sea walls are built, cities and agricultural land will be inundated. Our remorselessly increasing Carbon Debt will eventually have to be paid by the young and future generations. The young know that they are being  ripped off and that their world is being destroyed by neoliberal greed. At some point the young will have to revolt (non-violently, one hopes) [47], and most importantly  in climate criminal countries like Australia that are disproportionately  huge contributors  to the world’s huge and increasing Carbon Debt.  Please inform everyone you can – the world is running out of time.


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[2].  Stephen Hawking, “Brief Answers to the Big Questions”, John Murray, 2018, Chapter 7.

[3]. William J. Ripple et al., 15,364 signatories from 184 countries, “World scientists’ warning to Humanity: a second notice”, Bioscience, 13 November 2017: .

[4]. Gideon Polya, “Over 15,000 scientists issue dire warning to humanity on catastrophic climate change and biodiversity loss” ”, Countercurrents, 20 November 2017: .

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[10]. Gideon Polya, “2011 climate change course”: .

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[62]. Gideon Polya, “Mainstream media fake news through lying by omission”, Lying By Omission, 1 April 2017: .

[63]. Victor Tanevski, “Australian high CV thermal coal prices at 19-month low, but not for long”, Wood McKenzie, 19 February 2019: .

[64]. Federal Reserve Bank of St Louis Economic Data, “Global price of coal, Australia”, 2017: .

[65]. Gideon Polya, “Inescapable $200-$250 trillion global Carbon Debt increasing by $16 trillion annually”, Countercurrents, 27 April 2019: .

[66]. James Hansen, “Climate change in a nutshell: the gathering storm”, Columbia University, 18 December 2018:  .

[67]. Chris Hope, “How high should climate change taxes be?”, Working Paper Series, Judge Business School, University of Cambridge, 9.2011:  .

[68]. Gideon Polya, “ABC & Mainstream media lying by omission enabled Trumpist & climate criminal Coalition victory”, Countercurrents, 28 May 2019: .

[69]. Robert Goodland and Jeff Anfang. “Livestock and climate change. What if the key actors in climate change are … cows, pigs and chickens?”, World Watch, November/December 2009: .

[70]. Gideon Polya, “Polya’s 3 Laws of Economics expose deadly, dishonest and terminal neoliberal capitalism”, Countercurrents, 17 October 2015: .

Dr Gideon Polya taught science students at a major Australian university for 4 decades. He published some 130 works in a 5 decade scientific career, most recently a huge pharmacological reference text “Biochemical Targets of Plant Bioactive Compounds” (CRC Press/Taylor & Francis, New York & London , 2003). He has published “Body Count. Global avoidable mortality since 1950” (G.M. Polya, Melbourne, 2007: ); see also his contributions “Australian complicity in Iraq mass mortality” in “Lies, Deep Fries & Statistics” (edited by Robyn Williams, ABC Books, Sydney, 2007:

) and “Ongoing Palestinian Genocide” in “The Plight of the Palestinians (edited by William Cook, Palgrave Macmillan, London, 2010: ). He has published a revised and updated 2008 version of his 1998 book “Jane Austen and the Black Hole of British History” (see:  ) as biofuel-, globalization- and climate-driven global food price increases threaten a greater famine catastrophe than the man-made famine in British-ruled India that killed 6-7 million Indians in the “forgotten” World War 2 Bengal Famine (see recent BBC broadcast involving Dr Polya, Economics Nobel Laureate Professor Amartya Sen and others:  ;  Gideon Polya:  ; Gideon Polya Writing: ; Gideon Polya, Wikipedia: ) . When words fail one can say it in pictures – for images of Gideon Polya’s huge paintings for the Planet, Peace, Mother and Child see: and  .


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