29 May 2024

'Tea Ladies' join Knitting Nannas for Parliament House protest over gas and coal

| Chris Johnson
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Two white haired women with Tea Lady uniforms standing outdoors in front of a tray of tea cups.

The ‘Parliamentary Tea Ladies’ are joining the Knitting Nannas to protest against the government’s support of gas and coal. (Photo supplied)

So-called ‘Parliament House Tea Ladies’ are ‘walking off the job’ to join the Knitting Nannas in a protest stunt over the Federal Government’s support for fossil fuels.

Insisting there is already “too much gas in the House”, the uniformed ‘tea ladies’ featured in the Nannas’ latest outing in Canberra’s city centre on Wednesday (29 May) to draw attention to their fight.

In distinctive black-and-white outfits, they have started a campaign to highlight their cause while being out and about offering cuppas to local shoppers.

This is all before taking to the lawns of Parliament House on Thursday. There the ‘tea ladies’ will join the rest of the Knitting Nannas at their ‘Kitchen Table Cabinet’.

“There were already unacceptably high levels of gas in the House, and not just in the kitchens, and now the Future Gas Strategy has pushed us over the edge,” the ‘tea ladies’ said jointly in a statement.

“We’re done serving up cups of tea to politicians captured by special interests. They can get the Minerals Council to bring them their elevenses in future.”

The Future Gas Strategy maps the Federal Government’s plan for how gas will support our economy’s transition to net zero in partnership with the world.

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Finding humour in the situation, the ‘tea ladies’ made a few jokes at the expense of a few parliamentarians.

“We’re inviting Canberrans to share our love of a High Tease,” they said.

“We have a number of special blends available, including the LNP Peaked Tea, Barnaby’s Brew, and the Chris Bowen Boxed-In Set.”

Knitting Nannas Against Gas and Greed (KNAG) began in 2012 when a handful of senior women joined an anti-coal seam gas group in Lismore, NSW.

Frustrated by the inaction and indecision of their male colleagues, the Nannas rallied and grew and have campaigned around the country.

They even have a ‘Nannafesto’ that declares their aim and helps to guide their activities.

Describing themselves as an “international disorganisation”, Knitting Nannas bring people together to fight for clean land, air and water.

“We sit, knit, plot, have a yarn and a cuppa, and bear witness to the war against the greedy, short-sighted corporations that are trying to rape our land and divide our communities,” their website says.

“Knitting Nannas happily support other anti-greed groups at their protests and meetings or online.

“We are non-party political. We annoy all politicians equally. Any selfies taken by pollies with the Nannas are a show of their enthusiasm to be seen with real celebrities.”

The Nannas aren’t big on using their full names, however, and refer to themselves as Nanna (first name).

In reference to their stint in the capital this week, they say they are keen to talk with politicians – in a non-threatening way, of course.

“If the honourable members are missing their cuppa, they can join us and the tea ladies for a fresh brew and a serious yarn about what climate change is doing to our country,” Nanna Maree said.

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Nanna Judi from Eltham, near Lismore, NSW, had water through both houses on her property and was evacuated during the February 2022 floods.

She says she is still feeling the trauma of that day.

“Prime Minister Albanese came to Lismore during the floods and told us that because of climate change, we’re getting more weather events and they’re more intense,” Nanna Judi said.

“But his government is still approving new coal and gas projects.

“We’re inviting him to come on down for a cuppa and listen to Australians like us who are directly affected by climate change.”

The Knitting Nannas and the ‘tea ladies’ have one simple message for the government: you don’t have to read the tea leaves to know there is no more time.

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Governments worldwide have spent over $5 trillion in the past two decades to subsidize wind, solar, and other so-called renewables. However, even with that astronomical financial support, the world still depends on hydrocarbons for 84% of its energy needs—down only 2% since governments started binge spending on renewables 20 years ago. So-called renewables—more accurately, unreliables—have been a giant flop. They are not viable for baseload power—even with $5 trillion in subsidies and two decades of trying. Today, using wind and solar for mass power generation is an artificial political solution that would not have been chosen on a genuinely free market for energy. Wind and solar power might be useful in specific situations. Still, it’s ridiculous to think they can provide reliable baseload power for an advanced industrial economy. It’s like trying to force a square peg into a round hole. Unreliables will not replace hydrocarbons anytime soon and will certainly not bring about energy security… despite what many “serious” people believe. When it comes to reliable baseload power, most of humanity has only three choices: 1) hydrocarbons—coal, oil, and gas 2) nuclear power 3) abandon modern civilization for a pre-industrial standard of living.

Heywood Smith11:44 am 30 May 24

Sitting weeks are ripe with earth warriors and their stupid signs distracting traffic… Signs stating we need to stop using coal always make me giggle… I wonder if these clowns use any electricity in their day to day lives… Hypocrites!

Capital Retro12:20 pm 30 May 24

They would have all travelled by train at some time too.

Before diesel engines were introduced in the 1950s all trains outside the capital cities(except Canberra) were coal fired steam driven and this continued for many years after.

Heywood Smith, if I accept your somewhat peculiar view of change as you express it, then today they are about 60% hypocrites while you are 40% hypocrite. Your disadvantage is that by your own criterion you are becoming more hypocritical by the day, twice as bad as you were a few years ago and heading rapidly down the gurgler. On the other hand, you could try understanding change. I won’t wait.

Meanwhile, Capital Retro can remember steam trains. Isn’t that nice?

Heywood Smith12:53 pm 30 May 24

So what you’re saying is, you too want the use of coal to stop, but wish to continue using coal fire generated electricity at your leisure. Next you will try to convince people that solar is effective at night, and wind generators work well with no wind at all. Your choice of words and sentence structure was quite impressive until “Isn’t that nice?”… Is not that nice?

Capital Retro1:25 pm 30 May 24

It’s also a fact, byline.

Where did I say anything about my “leisure” Heywood Smith? Or is that the same as you using renewables daily while bemoaning their rise? Of course I favour change. I can read and understand a variety of things. I know also that change takes time, with the question being how best to expedite it rather than it being akin to trading in a car in a day.

Regarding your trope about wind and sun, you appear never to have thought about diversity nor studied the variety of firming technologies which will enable a grid with zero coal. Others have.

Absolutely I trust it is a fact, Capital Retro. I have it firmly set that you remember steam trains. Sydney trams too? They have made a comeback, being powered by electricity y’know.

Capital Retro3:00 pm 30 May 24

Sydney trams were initially powered by steam. By 1096 they were all electric. The common denominator is that the steam and the electricity were produced from coal.

Even today, 60% of the electricity for your “comeback” Sydney trams comes from coal.

Canberra trams use the same electricity as Sydney trams do, by the way.

Less than a couple of centuries ago, steam engines were powered by wood and even then, carts were dragged out of mines by donkeys. Times move on, eh Capital Retro?

Do you recall the days, when only 20% of the grid was generated by renewable energy? Ah, nostalgia! Must have been all of two or three years ago.
Then it became 30% and now it is 40% and continues to grow quickly.

If electricity were still generated 100% by coal then electric would still be more efficient than internal combustion. When will you eventually have a point?

Shame you lost your job at the mines, byline.

Capital Retro8:07 am 30 May 24

“Deloitte Access Economics identifies 1,600,000 jobs in clean energy occupations in 2023”

That goes a long way to explaining why renewables are the most expensive “cheapest energy” available.

Capital Retro,
So the fact that the claim is incorrect would go a long way to disproving your point. Well done.

Capital Retro11:32 am 30 May 24

I’m happy to make your day anytime, chewy.

@ken m – so, in 2022 there were 17,367 people employed in oil and gas extraction and 36,125 employed in the coal mining industry – these employment numbers had been dropping year on year so are almost certainly lower now. In contrast, Deloitte Access Economics identifies 1,600,000 jobs in clean energy occupations in 2023. Battery technologies are rapidly improving and these will enable large scale storage of the clean energy we produce. The transition is happening- definitely not as fast as we need it to – but it’s inevitable- coal and gas are yesterday’s fuels and their extraction is helping to boil the planet. The Knitting Nannas are giving up their time and energy to protest the slow transition – they want a better future for the younger generations – good on them.

And this is what causes a compleyte lack of credibility for renewables. Fudging of figures and made up nonsense.

Comparing actual direct employment with every theoretical (and cirrently unrealised) possibility of direct, inderect and even slightly related jobs is just dishonest. If we want to play that game, lets just say every person in the counetry is indirectly emplpyed by oil, gas and coal because every job requires electricity and fuel.

At the end of the day, we are looking at the loss of 50 thousand jobs, plus the tax etc they generate as a bare minimum, to shut down the fossil fuel industry here.

@Ken M
Just a few questions for you:
1. How many of those 50k jobs are unique to the fossil fuel industry, and require skill sets that cannot be transferred to another industry – say, for example, the renewable energy industry?
2. What is the geographical spread of those jobs? 50K unemployed (but employable) workers in a particular region would be difficult, but it’s a lot easier to find alternative employment when the aspiring workers are spread across the country.
3. Over what time frame are these jobs going to be lost? From what I’ve seen, the owners of the various fossil fuel plants, have planned a phased shut down over several years. Again, a lot easier to find employment when there is a lead time.

Well maybe the tea ladies and knitting circle can tell us how to replace, the energy, income and jobs generated by coal and gas. This should be interesting…

Very good question Ken M. At a guess I’d say they can’t answer that nor articulate what sort of climate they expect. After all the climate has been changing since time began so maybe these woke tea ladies should just go home.

@Michael M
“After all the climate has been changing since time began …”
Did you come up with that hitherto unknown scientific gem on your own?

Of course, the earth’s climate has been changing since time began. The issue with anthropogenic climate change, is the rate at which the climate has changed since the advent of the industrial revolution.

Perhaps it’s you and your fellow rabid denialists who should “just go home” and actually do some research and check the scientific facts.

Oh and those “tea ladies” will probably find the fact you think they are woke, i.e. aware, especially of social problems such as racism and inequality, a compliment.

Another positive woke spiel. Just saying.

I would dearly love to know what your appropriate climate would be. That has never been mentioned or discussed. All just negative so well done. Justsaying

@Michael M
“Another positive woke spiel”
I thought this thread was about climate change, not being aware of social problems such as racism and inequality – but thank you for the compliment anyway.

You’re more than welcome. Just saying.

@Michael M
Like any rational person who actually understands and accepts the issues caused by anthropogenic climate change, Michael M, I’d like a climate that doesn’t have those issues – which you can research easily by accessing any number of peer reviewed articles and papers from the many credible climate change websites.

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