The green chains that threaten to strangle our state
JUST two weeks after US President Donald Trump delivered a rousing speech calling for Americans to dig, frack and scrape every ounce of fossil fuel from American soil, we get Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk putting us on a biodegradable wicker raft and sending us down the river.
While one of the world's leading economies is aiming to go from a net importer of energy to a net exporter by implementing an unprecedented mining boom, we in Queensland - similarly blessed with a bounty of fossil fuels - are moving to a "carbon neutral future" by 2050.
While America roars, Queensland whimpers and tells scores of blue-collar workers they'll have to forget about earning big money in the mines and go back to study for a job on a solar or wind farm.
The "Climate Change Transition Strategy" released this week reads like an environmentalist's playbook.
We're talking electric cars, new homes with built-in battery storage for solar power and a drastic reduction in those nasty emissions.
There's also more talk of stopping tree clearing, which kind of makes you wonder where we're going to grow our food in years to come.
That's not to say the intentions aren't noble, they're just premature, and condemn Queensland to becoming an anaemic vegan when it's sitting on a mountain of life-giving meat.
We all know Labor got in a position to win government because of preference deals with The Greens, and now this is the payoff.
But what looks good to Greens voters in their white-collar worlds in Brisbane, looks decidedly nasty to regional Queensland.
I recently drove through the mining towns west of Rockhampton and Mackay and it was heartbreaking. Blackwater, Biloela, Jericho, Alpha, Clermont … they're all struggling.
Once thriving pubs and cafes I recall from my youth have closed, and main streets are lifeless.
These green schemes are sounding the death knell for our regional centres, and cause a vicious cycle of forcing young people to leave - so-called urban drift.
But again, the problem isn't the notion of clean energy, it's the lunacy of pursuing it so fervently.
Our state Labor government expresses horror that Queensland has the highest greenhouse gas emissions in Australia. Considering Australia contributes about 1.5 per cent of the world's emissions, that means Queensland's contribution is minuscule.
To be clear, nothing - absolutely nothing - we do in Australia, let alone Queensland, can have an influence on world temperatures.
So why do Palaszczuk and her Greens-loving mates insist on consigning our regions to the scrapheap by steadfastly denying them the tools to thrive?
Labor's craven capitulation to The Greens is stifling everything that is good for the economy and for people trying to feed their families.
The Federal Coalition is no better with its kowtowing to the United Nations by banning offshore dumping of dredge spoil, and refusal to build dams even though hard scientific evidence supports it.
The climate change scare machine is losing ground nearly every day, so it's time we employed politicians with the guts to drastically cut the attention given to green ideologues.
Trump has backed out of the Paris Agreement and demanded America unlock its oil reserves estimated to be 20 per cent more than what Saudi Arabia has.
One of the world's most excitable climate change alarmists, Dr Michael Mann, has in the past fortnight admitted climate models are based on flawed data, and has risked being in contempt of a Canadian court by refusing to hand over the source material he used to draw the infamous "hockey stick graph".
Queensland doesn't need to tumble headlong towards a renewable energy future just yet, especially when such moves are proven to drastically increase power prices.
Individuals and businesses need to be released from the green shackles and be given access to cheap coal-fired power while the huge issues of generation, cost and storage of renewables are solved.
It seems the only way to achieve this is by demanding state Labor return to its working class roots, or voting them out.
Julian Tomlinson is the deputy editor of The Cairns Post.