January 2, 2007 at 12:01 pm #238931peterhMember
Another reason the Howard govt must go.
I am more concerned that the mainstream media appears to be running an increasing line that this drought is normal and not part of global warming.January 2, 2007 at 12:05 pm #285251newepochMember
Sheesh – isn’t that, like, illegal?
Hurry on the next electionJanuary 2, 2007 at 1:52 pm #285252starkMember
lucky greenpeace known for its honestyJanuary 2, 2007 at 6:13 pm #285253njhMember
If current predictions about peak oil/gas are even vaguely close, climate change is but a side show. Peak oil science is even more convincing than climate change (and convinced the oil industry 30 years ago). We’re screwed.
Oil shale is currently not economical to extract in useful quantities, it requires more energy to extract than you get back. This energy might be provided by nuclear, which is probably why Howard has become radio-active.January 2, 2007 at 8:29 pm #285254WazzaMember
For years the fossil fuel industry spent a lot of money debunking climate change and global warming as a scientific myth. But the evidence for climate change has now firmed to a level where it is undeniable. Even George Bush (at the G8 Gleneagles meeting) recognised that climate change is caused by humans and is a problem which needs to be addressed. Our own John Howard no longer denies the evidence. This has forced the fossil fuel industry to change their position from one of denial. Their current position is actually more devious and potentially dangerous to the planet than the previous one. They are presently saying that there is a problem, but the world has twenty years to act and by then they will have come up with new technologies to fix it. This is music to the ears of the average punter who wants to have his/her cake and eat it too – just carry on consuming for a couple of decades and trust us to solve the problem.
The other thing big business and governments have done is to convince the average person that the problem is so enormous that only they have the science and the money to fix it. Again, this is great news for Mr and Mrs average citizen as they don’t have to take any personal responsibility and can turn the whole issue over to the authorities. In truth, as individuals we can all make a huge difference just by making small changes in our own lives. Some evidence indicates that we need to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 70 per cent by 2050. If you own a four-wheel-drive and replace it with a hybrid-fuel vehicle or a smaller standard-fuel car, you can achieve a cut of that magnitude in a day rather than half a century. If your electricity company offers a green option, for the cost of a daily cup of coffee you will be able to make equally large cuts in your household emissions.
The fossil fuel industry is relying on future technologies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and asks you to trust them. But the thing is we don’t need new technologies. The transition to a carbon-free economy is absolutely achievable because we have all the technology we need to do it. It is only a lack of understanding and the pessimism and confusion generated by interest groups that is stopping us from going forward.January 2, 2007 at 9:55 pm #285255dancierMember
It’s funny how Nuclear is on the agenda in Australia but in Germany they have are developing the technology to go solar and slowly phase out the nuclear plants. Unfortuantly in Australia we have too many cheap resources and the most expensive is always put at the end of the queue.January 2, 2007 at 10:52 pm #285256WazzaMember
Part of the myth fed to the Australian public is that alternative renewable energy sources are expensive and would cause severe economic hardship to implement. There has been a lot of economic modelling carried out that shows this is not necessarily the case. It may even benefit our economy by directing investment into new infrastructure. Yet the cost of compliance is only half of the equation, for to make a truly informed decision we need to know the cost of doing nothing. Amazingly, the Australian government has not carried out this exercise, although agencies in the US Government have been accumulating data that give some indication of what these costs might be.
The National Climatic Data Centre in the US lists 17 weather events that occurred between 1998 and 2002 which cost more than $US1 billion each. They include droughts, floods, fire seasons, tropical storms, hailstorms, tornadoes, heatwaves, ice-storms and hurricanes The most expensive, costing $US10 billion, was the drought of 2002. This cost pales into insignificance, however, when compared with the estimated $US200 billion clean-up bill from Hurricane Katrina. This suggests the costs of doing nothing about climate change are so large that the failure to calculate it bankrupts the arguments.
With so many analyses demonstrating that rising greenhouse gas emissions are a serious threat to Earth, and with the cost of reducing carbon dioxide emissions evidently small, you might wonder why there is such resistance to change in Australia and the US, as compared to Europe. Dr Tim Flannery has a theory that he expresses in his book ‘The Weather Makers’.
America and Australia were created on the frontier, and the citizens of both nations hold deep beliefs about the benefits of endless growth and expansion. As a result, both have large immigration programs and thus high population growth rates relative to their European peers – and this leads to enormous difficulties in adhering to the emission reductions required under Kyoto.
In Australia’s case, the difference is between pursuing an immigration program that would stabilise the population, or continued growth at the rate of 70,000 a year which would, by 2020, lead to an increase in emissions of 65 million tonnes of carbon dioxide a year. In effect, pursuing population growth is arguably the biggest impediment to Australia reaching its Kyoto targets, and thus it’s the primary cause of needing concessions. Put another way, Kyoto questions the philosophies underpinning societies such as America and Australia, which cling to the myth of limitless growth.
Now, I must put my soapbox away and do some work!January 3, 2007 at 1:56 am #285257AnjaMember
The problem with hoping for government to change is that they really have only one thing on their agenda – Staying in power. That ALWAYS means doing the ‘popular’ thing, not the right thing. Sometimes they need to make sure that what they want is the popular thing so they blur boundaries, twist facts and hold back the truth.
I know John Howard is a mere puppet to who ever is in power in the US – after all he came back from his last visit to Bush claiming that Gay marriage is dangerous and Nuclear Power is safe, but in my opinion, the politicians are all as bad as each other.
I say Rhonda and Warwick for co-Presidents !January 3, 2007 at 8:15 am #285258njhMember
Sorry, gay marriage is as bad as nuclear?!January 3, 2007 at 8:30 am #285259JeanieMember
Yes that was a bad comparison.January 3, 2007 at 8:54 am #285260AnjaMember
Oh my ! I meant that all the politicians are as bad as each other !!
I am all for people doing what ever it takes to be happy, as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone else and the thought of nuclear power frightens the **** out of me!
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