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The Forum > Article Comments > Itís 'Crunch Time' > Comments

Itís 'Crunch Time' : Comments

By Tony Kevin, published 21/12/2009

'Crunch Time' explores how to bridge the gap between true environmental stewardship and economic governance.

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Is it better to burn wood in preference to coal? Is it better to reduce population, reduce consumption and move to solar and wind power?
Posted by Garry in Liffey, Monday, 21 December 2009 11:02:57 AM
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Kevin, congratulations on striving to find a few answers.

But thereís something huge missing here.

<< Öthe Rudd Government had just whittled Garnautís recommended 25 per cent Australian emissions cut by 2020 down to a meaningless 5 per cent cut. >>

Yes but, Rudd hasnít whittled down the per-capita reductions at all!!

Something like a 25% average reduction from every person will be needed for us to have any chance of reducing national emissions by 5% by 2020Ödue to our massive population growth.

The biggest factor obfuscating our national emissions reduction potential is population growth, or more particularly, the massive immigration rate.

And it is also the easiest factor to deal with.

Do you discuss this in your book, Kevin?
Posted by Ludwig, Monday, 21 December 2009 12:44:48 PM
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I just want to know where all this fabulous alternative energy these carbon cultists are talking about is coming from?

Nuclear is a no go in Australia so far.

Thermal solar is the only thing I've seen that could possibly work in Australia, but then the watermelons will probably block that too because of some lizard that lives in the desert, like they did in California.

Our current society needs raw horsepower to function, uranium, coal, oil, and gas are the only fuels that can provide this horsepower, so where are these watermelons getting there horses from?
Posted by RawMustard, Monday, 21 December 2009 2:32:42 PM
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Err.... Perhaps now that Copenhagen is past, we can address some of the real questions.

One of the most disturbing images for me of the past two weeks was a TV interview of a well meaning girl who was clearly distressed about what is happening. She said that we in Australia are facing the consequences of 'climate change' as evidenced by the drought and the problems in the Murray Darling Basin. To her it was URGENT to take action to reduce CO2 emissions to 50% of current levels.

Where shall I start? First, where is the evidence that CO2 emissions are causing Australian droughts and problems in the Murray Darling basin? In fact, there is evidence that since settlement (at least) Australia has always been subject to crippling droughts and may have no connection at all with CO2 emissions. Similarly, the problems in the Murray Darling basin seem likely to be due to land-use factors rather than global CO2 emissions.

Second. The girl thought that reducing global CO2 emissions would fix the droughts and the problems of the Murray Darling Basin. But where is the evidence for that proposition?

I have been trying to develop an appropriate analogy to show what is going on. Perhaps your house is in the path of a raging bushfire. It really isn't much use at that point in deciding to go to the nursery to get some deciduous trees to plant around your house!

Man is having an impact on local and regional climate. But as Roger Peilke Sr argues, it is largely due to local land-use factors interfering, for example, in the natural hydrological cycle rather than CO2 which is the main problem.

Lets address the question. Where is the evidence that CO2 is causing perceived climate change problems in Australia? And even if a link is shown, is reducing CO2 emissions the best way to deal with the problems?
Posted by Herbert Stencil, Monday, 21 December 2009 5:44:04 PM
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Rawmustad is quite correct. There is no way that Australia will be running on"renewable" energy at any time. It simply does not provide a stable base load supply. Geothermal may be a solution, but at this stage the sites are miles from no where which would mean massive transmission lines with their associated problems.

I'm going to throw in one of my gripes here - probably off the thread - but.. I am sick and tired of the powers that be sheeting the problem home to households. We are urged to change a few light bulbs and turn off our A/Cs. I would like to know the power consumption of my local supermarket (no natural lighting fully airconditioned and loads of refrigeration). My local butcher (again no natural lighting) has a bill that is the equivalent of 20 households. I suppose the supermarket equivalent would be at least 100 if not more. What about an attack on commercial architecture. Let's use some of the free natural light. Redesign POS refrigeration - turn off all the pretty flashing Lights on the pokie machines - turn off the lights on bill boards. Industry and commerce can do a lot more than householders - let's start sheeting a bit their way.
Posted by Sparkyq, Monday, 21 December 2009 6:22:32 PM
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Tony, one of the problems in this whole debate has been that too many of the self-appointed climate change spokespeople come across as thoroughly obnoxious. I know we should all base our opinions on the science and that in turn on the evidence, but some people are just so annoying, offensive or downright patronising that they lose the argument just by being so unpleasant. The problem's been compounded by the fact that some climate change spokespeople have been caught out distorting the science or even completely lying. The case for climate change action is being presented, in the media at least, as a kind of secular religion. And, at the same time, the stunts of the rent-a-protester crowd trivialise the cause. If only the case were presented by scientists....the argument can, and should, won on the science alone. We should encourage the fundamentalists, the clowns and the likes of Christine Milne to shut up or adopt some other cause that doesn't matter. They are doing the case for climate change action immense harm. Climate change is not a circus act, it's not a photo opportunity for politicians and it's not an excuse to dust off old political agendas that have little or nothing to do with the climate. Climate change is a much more serious than some of its so-called champions are prepared to recognise..
Posted by huonian, Monday, 21 December 2009 8:09:08 PM
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