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The Forum > Article Comments > Recycled water or renewable energy - which is truly sustainable? > Comments

Recycled water or renewable energy - which is truly sustainable? : Comments

By Charles Essery, published 23/10/2019

If I had chosen renewable energy, I might have been wealthier, but would be dissatisfied at being involved in a very destructive and ultimately unworthy industry.

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Whether the science is settled or not the fact is heat records keep getting broken and the sea level keeps rising. If they can work out what causes that it might be a good thing to keep it in check. I do agree though that generous subsidies and quotas for renewable energy are not cost effective if the aim is CO2 reduction. A recent US study (Greenstone and Nath) found they cost US$130 per tonne of CO2 avoided.

In Australia electricity sector emissions have been roughly the same for two decades. They were supposed to plummet as a prelude to replacing transport emissions and replacing gas heating not to mention desalination. Yet renewables enthusiasts cling to the idea that they will do everything. A massive reality check is in store.
Posted by Taswegian, Wednesday, 23 October 2019 8:03:45 AM
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Yup, renewables are useful, provided they are viable economically, socially and environmentally. At the moment its all smoke and mirrors, stuff, where the costs are hidden and subsidies are disgraceful. Just consider Emperor Malcolm's great new innovation Snowy 2... what a scam perpetrated by a master of political manipulation... Paul Broad,ex Hunter and Sydney Water CEO, then Energy Australia and now Red Energy (who run the Snowy and want Snowy 2). But he is a puppy dog compared to the international companies that run the global energy conglomerates that pull the strings for the likes of AGL.

Also don't for get when Labour wanted to introduce a price on carbon, they wanted to hold it down to $15-20, yet the economists knew it would eventually hit the $3-400 once the temporary, politically controlled constraints were removed. Renewal energy is not environmentalism in action, but international profiteering at its rawest, which makes low income users pay for massive elitist profits to a small few.
Posted by Alison Jane, Wednesday, 23 October 2019 9:00:55 AM
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I too have solar panels and harvest and treat rainwater! I too do not see hugely subsidised renewables solving much, given the private uptake has clearly plateaued

But, that's where I and Charles part company!

I just don't agree that there's anything called climate change cultism, except in the patently moribund minds of deniers, the CMFU and assorted coal exec's/investors! And without the rebels, nothing would change very much!

Politicians and their subservient assistants do any more than they are forced to, save ensure their very generous salaries stay ahead of any inflation!

These folk will insist that our climate is controlled by the sun and it is and that there's a normal cyclical change that we just have to adapt to!

And all true!

The sun waxes (warms) and the joint warms up and the ice retreats as it has done for centuries with a pulse of change occurring roughly every 200 years?

And so when it hits the change button it wanes and usually the joint cools and the ice advances!

But what cannot happen were this normal cyclical change, Charles is the joint heating the hell up as the sun enters its next waning phase, one we've been in since the mid-seventies. (NASA)

There are some councils that supply two pipelines, one with grade 3.5+ potable water, the other with treated, nutrient-loaded wastewater for your garden and toilet.

However, they appear to be the exception rather than the rule?

We still send millions of litres of perfectly good irrigation water out to sea annually!

And if we could but afford to pump it could send much of it inland to drought-ravaged farms etc. We' at least reduce the suicide rate! TBC.
Alan B.
Posted by Alan B., Wednesday, 23 October 2019 9:27:19 AM
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Nothing we do, short of reducing the worlds population by 90%, will have any affect on the climate. And Iím not sure even that would help.
So, rather than waste billions trying, we should be using that money to try and adapt to any future changes. Recycling water is one of the obvious solutions to any water shortage, along with building dams and channeling the huge amounts of run off water in the north, down to where it is needed.
There are many other adaptive measures we could be investing in, rather than throwing money at an industry that will have little affect on world wide emissions.
Posted by Big Nana, Wednesday, 23 October 2019 9:29:18 AM
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Cont
For years governments and water boards prohibited tanks on private households served by reticulated town water.

And for a variety of reasons, one, mass medication, the other, the profit motive but particularly when water got privatised and the paper shuffling water barons got involved, some of who appear to be state governments/public servants?

This drought and the other extreme weather events were predicted! But doing anything real to deal with it had to impact the profit curve of the fossil fuel industry and the pay packets of around 12,000 CMFU workers! 12,000 folk in a populaion of 25 million!

The latter's paramount interests have been usurped by the do-nothing real corporate cowboys in the fossil fuel industries and their spit lickle subservient servants, i.e., pollies/public servants?

It's not as though there weren't solutions on the table! And among them solution that would also turbocharge the economy, drawdown debt and simultaneously drought-proof the nation!

All of which studiously ignored by the coalition of deniers and renewable advocates alike!

And for equally perverse and spurious reasons! And the ever-present profit motive, theirs! And without question the principle reason we have no real action to address climate change as we hurtle at breakneck speed toward our own extinction event!

So what could we do if we were well led by someone with a little more intelligence than a sheep?

I'll follow, no I'll follow! After you, no after you and on and on! You understand!? TBC.
Alan B.
Posted by Alan B., Wednesday, 23 October 2019 9:52:29 AM
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Cont.
Well, after all the critique time to also identify the plain as the nose on your face solutions!

The first being the acceptance and accelerated roll-out of carbon-free, nuclear energy!

Not just any nuclear energy, but MSR thorium!

And the use these safe as, walk away safe reactors as nuclear waste burners that then are tasked with reducing the world's stockpile of nuclear waste and as we earn annual billions for becoming the world's repository for nuclear waste!

ASAP, given it's an idea someone else could grab leaving us wiping tons of egg from our economic face!

And given the annual billions will pay all the outlays over time. also, use the virtually free to us, energy to smelt steel into steel pipes and pump desalinated water wherever in this wide brown land we want to!

And the most affordable desalination is, deionisation dialysis desalination that provides 4 times more water for the same energy expenditure and 95% potable!

Moreover, some of this new water could be nutrient-loaded wastewater!

And the only desalinated water that has been successfully field trialled as cost-effective desalinated irrigation for broad-scale irrigation! Moreover, this method of water treatment removes much more than just salt ions!

Finally, we'd need to replace our energy exports!

And with graphene cored cable that transmits electrical energy, the cheapest in the world, to our offshore energy clientele!

And for far more profit than coal and gas, as we become price setters rather than the usual price takers!

Yes, it's very ambitious and big!

Much too ambitious and too big for the tiny minds and tiny ambitions in the minds of our lacklustre leadless mob!

Bleat, bleat! Smile and try to look both tough and confident! Bleat bleat! Abattoir?
Alan B.
Posted by Alan B., Wednesday, 23 October 2019 10:24:02 AM
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