a place to rant about energy, environment and all things John Howard

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Total disconnect

There is a total disconnect between people making charts like this...

And people doing work like this...

And they both work for the US Government!

Then there are the people who make charts like this...

And people making charts like this...

And these come from the same US Government department!

I wish these people would start talking to each other, because I have no idea who to believe.
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Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Costello's Energy Freeway

Federal Treasurer (or should that be Minister for Courage?) Peter Costello had something to say about energy policy today:

Rapid industrialisation in key emerging market economies provides Australia with an unprecedented opportunity to build an energy freeway, linking Australia with Asia — and the world.

The supply of minerals and energy at globally competitive prices, down this freeway, supplied under long term contracts with security of supply and continuity of demand will underpin mutual advantage for suppliers and users.

To build this freeway means we must create open and efficient energy markets, remove impediments to exploration and development, promote energy-conserving technological change and — at the national level — put in place sound regulatory and policy frameworks which encourage trade both within Australia and internationally.

Achieving this goal will provide a powerful spur for development and sustainable growth in our region — to Australia’s long-term benefit.

Blah blah blah snore. But what really caught my eye was this paragraph...
Greenhouse gas emissions

The final topic to address this evening regards the environment.

Global warming is a phenomenon that the Australian Government has recognised and is taking steps to address.

Because it is a global phenomenon any effective action requires international action to address, and Australia has to date more than met the Kyoto targets on greenhouse gas emissions.

The key weakness of Kyoto though was that it didn’t include major developing countries like China and India.

Australia’s total emissions are 1.5 per cent of global emissions. If Australia shut down all its power stations today, the saving in emissions would be replaced by China by the time of next year’s Grand Final. China adds the total of all Australian emissions each eleven months.

Australia played a key role in bringing together for the first time China and India, along with the US, Japan, South Korea and ourselves to form the Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate – known as the AP6.

Australia has committed $100 million to this practical initiative, one of its main goals being to foster the development and deployment of clean technologies to address the climate change challenge, while encouraging growth and development.

Domestically, the Australian Government is supporting the ongoing innovation and commercialisation of renewable energy technologies through the $100 million Renewable Energy Development Initiative and the $500 million Low Emissions Technology Demonstration Fund to help the private sector demonstrate clean fossil and renewable technologies.

My view is that as the hottest and driest continent on earth, we have an interest in not making Australia hotter or drier.
Our energy policy must strike an appropriate balance between our environmental responsibilities and continuing economic growth.

Earth to Pete. Its easy to meet your Kyoto targets when you negotiate a target that is an 8% increase over 1990 levels that is almost completely met by a reduction in land clearing. I think this table from the Australian Greenhouse Office report on emission trends tells the real story:

Can anyone spot where the big emission cuts are coming from? Anyone? Is it Transport? Industry? Oh I see ... "Land Use". So basically we've done absolutely sweet FA to reduce emissions apart from chopping down fewer trees.

BTW, thanks for reminding me that Australia represents 1.5 per cent of global emissions. I think its been at least three hours since a Howard Government minister reminded me of that fact.

And I'm glad to see you've committed $100 million to the problem, well, a bit of greenwashing and PR anyway. Problem is Pete THIS IS THE BIGGEST PROBLEM FACING HUMANITY. $100 billion would be more like it.
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Monday, October 09, 2006

Howard's new policy on climate change: Adaptation

Minster for Hypocrisy Ian Campbell today signalled what could be the Howard government's new policy on climate change: Adaptation.

Denial is no longer credible, prevention and mitigation are too hard, so we'll adapt. Easy! Ok, so we'll have to say ta ta to coral in the Great Barrier Reef, snow in the Snowies, water in the Murray-Darling, agriculture in the Riverina, wheat in the wheat belt, food, water that kind of thing ... but hey, we're a resourceful lot us Aussies, I'm sure we'll think of something!

Ian Campbell was interviewed on AM this morning about helping our neighbours deal with climate change:
TONY EASTLEY: The Federal Minister for Environment, Senator Ian Campbell, says the Government is taking measures to help its neighbours.

Do you agree that some of Australia's neighbours face a very bleak outlook as a result of global warming?

IAN CAMPBELL: I don't think there's any doubt that the impacts of global warming will have major impacts right around the world. And I think the crux of the report, which says that these are very small economies, many of them lying low in the sea, will be impacted, possibly ahead of some of the larger countries with, you know, that are higher out of the water, quite frankly.

TONY EASTLEY: So you agree with Reverend Tim Costello when he talks about environmental refugees?

IAN CAMPBELL: We've had refugees coming, or we've had people coming out of the Pacific for a long time. The major impacts, the long-term impacts of climate change will take many decades to unfold.

I think the short-term impacts of, for example, storm surges and potential increases in cyclonic activity, are issues that we need to address as a world. And I think Australia and the developed countries do have a substantial role to play in helping smaller, less developed countries adapt to the already built-in climate change that's already built into the atmosphere, because we have pumped a trillion tonnes of carbon into the atmosphere already in the last 150 years.

TONY EASTLEY: Am I right in saying, though, that in the next 50 years or so we can expect to receive some of these environmental refugees from some of the Pacific Islands?

IAN CAMPBELL: Having spent a lot of time in the Pacific generally on whaling-related issues, I've got no doubt that the Pacific Island nations would like to see us work with them on adaptation measures. They would much prefer to stay on their own islands, and I think that is where the focus should be.

TONY EASTLEY: Do you agree with Reverend Costello when he says the Federal Government is treating the problem as a political one and not one based on an environmental reality?

IAN CAMPBELL: Ah no, I think he's very wrong there. The Australian Government is spending billions of dollars on practical actions to firstly address climate change in our domestic programs, but is also working very actively internationally to make sure we have a comprehensive and effective international solution.

We've got to remember Australia is less than one-and-a-half per cent of the world's emissions [Ed: because the Howard Government will never stop reminding us about it!], but Australia, like our Pacific neighbours, will reap many of the impacts of the climate change that's already built into the system.

So we do, as Tim Costello has said, have an enlightened self-interest in getting an effective international response, making sure that the world reduces its greenhouse gas emissions, and that Australia plays a constructive part in that.

TONY EASTLEY: The Minister for Environment, Senator Ian Campbell.

Enlightened self interest?! Self interested for sure, but enlightened? The truth is Australia is doing sweet FA to reduce greenhouse emissions, but we are
(it seems) prepared to move Pacific Islanders to cyclone proof bunkers on higher ground.

God forbid they start paddling their canoes towards Australia. Where would be put refugees from Nauru?
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