Australian news, and some related international items

Australia should go for 21st Century renewable energy, and move away from outdated fossil fuel power

We cannot afford to be stuck with 19th century fossil fuel thinking and the potential that after spending up big on a one horse gamble that no country will want to buy our dirty energy.

Two-faced climate policy, MATTHEW WRIGHT ABC   19 MAR 2012 It’s ironic that Australia is moving toward a ‘cap’ on carbon emissions because while we’ve got this paper target for a five per cent reduction in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 2020 we’ve also got the foot on the accelerator and running in overdrive expanding the coal and gas mining at an unprecedented rate.

Australia is on target to increase CO2 emissions originating from our shores by over 400 per cent. It’s a simple trick of accounting: claim a five per cent reduction by ignoring our fossil fuels that are burnt off shore.

This approach of saying one thing while doing another isn’t new to politics, but normally doesn’t keep currency with the population for so long. Trumpeting supposed carbon action while quadrupling our carbon emissions is a complete farce and has been going on for half a decade.

Amongst a population of 20 million, Australia has a very high level of
climate denialism when compared to the political will and actions of
300 million people in Europe.

The difference is that we currently have a “national imperative” to
issue as many coal and gas extraction licenses as possible before the
world wakes up and will not buy our dirty energy. Europe, despite
having significant coal (Germany has much more brown coal than
Australia but chooses not to expand the sector) wants to lead the rest
of the world and profit from the inevitable shift to 21st century
renewable energy powered economies. Germany is the powerhouse economy
of Europe. It is a world leader in research, design, manufacture and
deployment of renewable energy technologies. This is what first tier
economies of the 21st century look like, not the Australian or
Nigerian model of allowing rampant exploitation of resources by
overseas multinationals. As in Nigeria, well over 80 per cent of
fossil fuel mining in Australia is carried out by foreign owned
The vision of some old-guard Australians including Craig Emerson have
a view that we’ll empower the world with coal and gas, when the
reality is that we’ll poison the world with coal and poison ourselves
in the process.

We don’t need coal or gas, and if Germany and Denmark have decided to
go 100 per cent renewable energy then it is clear that we can do the
same as the buyers of our coal. The main factor that is slowing the
global shift to wind and solar is the price lowering impact of our
Government flooding world markets with cheap coal and gas in their
fervour for selling as much coal and gas out the port as possible.

It is time now to close the chapter on coal and gas mining expansion.

No new extraction or exploration licenses should be issued, and we
must begin an immediate planned phasing out of existing coal and gas
operations. This will allow Australia to fully realise our place as a
leading 21st century renewable powered clean tech economy and not be
19th century fossil fuel economy. We cannot afford to be stuck with
19th century fossil fuel thinking and the potential that after
spending up big on a one horse gamble that no country will want to buy
our dirty energy.

March 19, 2012 - Posted by | General News

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