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The Forum > Article Comments > Time to clean up our energy > Comments

Time to clean up our energy : Comments

By Dominique La Fontaine, published 13/11/2007

As individuals, communities, countries and governments, we must play our part in cleaning up our energy consumption.

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Dominique, is the Clean Energy Council just about improving technologies and efficiencies in our energy regime, or is it about a holistic approach to energy consumption and sustainability?

Your article unfortunately indicates the former.

As with the writers of practically every article of this sort on this forum, you miss half the picture. It is not just about improving technologies. It has also got to be about reducing or at least stabilising total demand/consumption.

Donít take for granted that our population will continue to grow with no end in sight. Tackle this issue as well!! If you donít, then youíre not being holistic in your efforts to achieve the minimum greenhouse gas impact that we can and to develop a sustainable energy regime.
Posted by Ludwig, Tuesday, 13 November 2007 11:10:22 AM
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Another puff piece from a vested interest. In this case its the power companies who have some investment in wind energy and the website links to the Australian Business Council for Sustainable Energy. Is the aim of this article to raise public awareness or to get government subsidies for the development of wind power?

I thoroughly endorse the need to explore windpower but I am sick and tired of the pork barrelling that means that "the squeaky wheel gets the oil". Its no way to run an nation of 23 million people. It might be good enough for 250 million Americans who quite frankly don't know any better but Australia needs a coordinated, well thought out plan for energy, transport, water and food needs as well as the corresponding population controls.
Posted by billie, Tuesday, 13 November 2007 11:33:51 AM
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"abundant renewable sources like wind, solar and geothermal"

Any chance of some numbers? Details about costs would be nice. Of course, the reason they're not included is that they would rather undermine the thrust of the article, given that the costs for wind and solar are too high (particularly the real costs that take into account their intermittent nature).

Geothermal, in the form of "hot rocks" may yet prove a winner, but otherwise please explain where the power comes from when the wind isn't blowing and the sun isn't shining.

BTW, before anyone mentions pumped storage hydro generation, do the maths. We don't have anywhere to store water on that sort of scale.

We do, of course, have an option that is known to work: nuclear.

Sylvia.
Posted by Sylvia Else, Tuesday, 13 November 2007 12:30:12 PM
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the unwillingness to even address population control is interesting. perhaps it'a a racial fear of admitting there are limits to growth. more likely, it's a profound fear in pollies that setting a limit on population is career suicide.

either way, ludwig, it's another aspect of social activity that desperately needs addressing, and won't get it under our present political structure.

fortunately, blathering on at olo requires little energy so we can afford to do it in the face of no visible progress.
Posted by DEMOS, Tuesday, 13 November 2007 1:27:21 PM
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We'll see what new technology brings, but frankly I'm pessimistic
and think that the "Tragedy of the Commons" applies here.
So one day nature will have to sort it all out the hard way.

The Catholic Church keeps promoting more babies and evil condoms,
so population keeps rising at 80 million a year.

I have friends who do great, peddle their bicycles etc and it
makes them feel good. Meantime I see that the first of the
Saudi princes has ordered his own personal Airbus 380 to get
around the place. The Chinese have no plans to stop building
ever more power stations and the high price of oil is in fact
going to pump more and more money into the third world, as that
is where the remaining oil is. So they will all be busily joining
the first world, with ever increasing energy demands.

So perhaps nature will just have to sort it all out the hard and
painfull way in the end. Sad but highly likely, unless there are
some amazing technology break throughs.
Posted by Yabby, Tuesday, 13 November 2007 2:08:11 PM
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Yep, let's get to it. Do all the right things. And show our concern as well - Walk Against Warming and open our eyes. But only so far.

"A 30% reduction by 2020" - great stuff if your vision doesn't go as far as seeing that Australia's current rate of population growth would produce a numbers increase of 20% by 2020.

If we don't take in concern about population growth, walking is not fast enough. If such concern does not eventuate, even if we run the predictions are that energy and climate problems will overtake and trample us.
Posted by colinsett, Tuesday, 13 November 2007 2:16:18 PM
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