Climate Change in Australia


#5329

Our ancestors would be rolling in their graves at what our generation are doing and how we are NOT managing the planet. At the risk of sounding like a new ager, I probably am already sounding that way. My Dad walked the land and sang its song.

I moved to Central Victoria in the early eighties and bought cheap acreage which had been bastardised and brutalised, first by mining and then by the timber cutters. It had a small basic cabin. No water, power or toilet. I was broken and so was the land.

I was in a book shop in Castlemaine, a book just dropped off the shelf at my feet, written by Rudolf Steiner, never heard of him. It was about renewing and respecting the land. I read the book and I couldn’t put it down. I got hold of some BD500 and made it up in an old copper and then sprayed it all over the land. I even had a taste of the stuff and thought maybe it could help me too.

The second year, I had the land ripped with a special gentle plough to open it up and used BD 500 again. The third year doing this, some of the local farmers were sitting outside my boundary in their utes looking at the land shaking their heads in disbelief. They were wondering how the hell anything could grow on that piece of useless land no one wanted. Only one farmer tried BD500 on a patch of land he said wouldn’t grow anything and waited for it to fail. It didn’t. The next year he did what I had done while the land and I healed together.

I could and did grow most of my own tucker all year around. I unknowingly created a suitable environment to grow even in the dead of winter, by planting in a fully enclosed veggie garden behind two 10,000 gallon water tanks, facing north. I had goats for milk, chooks for eggs and lots of veggies, fish in the dams and good clean water. Completely solar and wind. A place where I could be still, relax and renew. That restoration project changed me.

The question is: what are we prepared to do to bring back and repair the damage, the bastardisation and rape of the land. Gaia is our home and it is the only one we have. We are the problem. We can keep culling and destroying the animals and other species but we won’t repair anything unless we change ourselves, our destructive habits through ignorance, greed and laziness.

We will pay for what we have done. No long term planning in our thinking and more about people in power keeping their bums on a seat in a parliamentary chamber somewhere. Its not just in the west its happening everywhere now. It doesn’t have to be through crisis and chaos we learn but it seems to be the only way we learn and take notice.


#5330

Cool story, bro.

And I’m not being sarcastic.


#5331

Australia can be ‘superpower of post carbon world’, says Ross Garnaut

Peter Hartcher

5-6 minutes

Australia has the opportunity to surpass other rich countries to become more prosperous than ever before in a post-carbon world, according to the eminent economist Ross Garnaut.

Australia could become “the superpower of the post-carbon world economy”, said the former economic adviser to prime minister Bob Hawke and author of the Hawke government’s strategy for economic engagement with Asia.

The Australian political debate has been preoccupied with the cost of moving to a lower-carbon economy, but new work by Professor Garnaut finds that the economic costs would be far outweighed by economic gains.

“Embrace the post-carbon economy, and Australia will greatly expand new minerals processing and chemical manufactures, way beyond the limits of coal, gas and the industries they supported in the past,” he said in a Melbourne University lecture on Wednesday night.

New developments in renewable energy and Australian advantages have made it clearer than ever that the country could “prosper exceptionally in the post-carbon world”.

Intelligent climate policy would mean that wholesale electricity prices would fall “substantially”, he said, a source of competitive advantage.

The Melbourne University economics professor and climate economics authority said this could be achieved without any need to return to a politically fraught carbon price, a policy he acknowledged had become a “poisoned well”.

Australia could reverse the long decline of its metals manufacturing industries and become the most competitive place in the world to smelt aluminium and make steel, among other opportunities.

“In a zero carbon world economy, there would be no economic sense in any aluminium or iron smelting in Japan or Korea, not much in Indonesia, and enough to cover only a modest part of domestic demand in China and India,” he said.

Australia would have the opportunity to step in to become the world’s main source of imports for steel and aluminium as a result, he said, instead of just exporting the raw ores.

Processing iron ore and bauxite onshore would add twice as much value and double the number of jobs that Australia currently generates through its coal and oil sectors, he said.

“With globally competitive power, Australia becomes the natural locus for supply of the world’s immense increases in demand for pure silicon,” a vital component of computers and every type of electronic device.

“The processing of many minerals required in increasing proportions by the post carbon world economy fits naturally here—lithium, titanium, vanadium, nickel, cobalt, copper,” Professor Garnaut said.

Professor Garnaut was commissioned by the Rudd government and the states to lead two major reviews of Australian climate policy. His lecture on Wednesday night was the last in a series of six to update those reviews.

He said that the “immediate costs” of moving towards a zero-emissions economy were today “much lower” than he had anticipated in his reviews in 2008 and 2011, largely because of improvements in renewable technology.

He said that Australia could plausibly achieve zero net carbon emissions by 2040, making its contribution to the global effort to limit global warming to 1.5 per cent, if it embraced the Labor party’s emissions target. The Labor policy is to cut emissions by 45 per cent from 2005 levels by 2030.

However, he said that it was “implausible” to reach net zero in that time if Australia continued with its existing Paris commitment under the Coalition to cut emissions by 26 to 28 per cent.

Moving to cut emissions further “would nurture the three great assets for Australian industrial leadership in the post carbon world economy: globally competitive renewable power; an abundance of biomass for the chemical manufacturing industries; and low cost biological and geological sequestration of carbon wastes.”

Peter Hartcher

Peter Hartcher is Political Editor and International Editor of The Sydney Morning Herald.


#5332

It’s mining for rare materials, it’s manufacturing, it’s science and research and it’s cleaner than what we have now.

What more could you ask for?


#5333

It’s exactly the type of thing that Gupta has already started in S.A with clean powering the Whyalla steel works to reduce costs , thereby keeping Industry and Jobs in the Country whilst value adding to raw material and exporting the resultant product.


#5334

How many missed opportunities has Australian given away?


#5335

Labour made this election a referendum on climate change and indeed it was! When you live within an echo chamber this is what can happen. Here is the insanity:

  1. Get in bed with a do and you will get fleas. In this case the dog are the greens and it’s a rabid aggressive mangy flea ridden dog at that.
  2. Implement a policy on climate change yet refuse to provide a costing or benefit. Why? Because they either did not know or did not want to say or have realised that it would have cost hundreds of billions yet not changed the climate at all. Even Australian chief scientist admitted that Australia cannot impact the climate.
  3. Lie to the public to say that you are taking real action on climate change. No you are not because it will make no difference. 97% CO2 is natural, 3% human and 1.5% of the 3% Australian related. A lie to the public plain and simple.
  4. 50% Electric cars by 2030. Idiotic. Let’s cripple our power system with expensive and unreliable renewables and at the same time increase reliance on that same system all while having to pay more money for a vehicle!

So the referendum was held and won. Will Labour learn? Not while they rely on the dog for their survival.


#5336

This


#5337

I’ve been thinking about generational responsibility a bit recently. The bugger about climate change is that the people who are most responsible for it will be the least affected. The people in power now are mostly older. By the time climate change is so severe that its impact affects everyone all the time, they’ll be dead and they won’t care any more. And more to the point, they’ll have made their cash and they’ll have passed it on to their children. Case in point it the recent Exxon document release, where it is made extremely clear that the company knew that their operations were causing climate change way back in the 70s and 80s, and then went on to fund climate denialist lobby groups etc for decades afterwards anyway. The people who made those decisions are largely dead. How can there be accountability for that?

I think in the long run, an ethical approach would have to involve retroactive generational responsibility as well. If the economic benefits of being, say, a coal CEO are transferrable down generations, and the disastrous consequences of climate change also certainly will persist down the generations, then I think it’s only equitable that once the ■■■■ hits the fan, the liability for climate change should be generationally transmitted too. Some sort of punitive tax on the descendents of the individuals in business, politics, media who are most responsible for the lack of action over the past decades.

And before everyone starts saying I’m being too extreme - hell no. This is me being nice. Climate change unchecked will kill billions of people and gut the living standards of everyone on the planet, and that’s not even addressing the impact on non-human creatures. Right now, being a climate change denier is being party to genocide. Lobbying against emissions reduction measures is participating in genocide. Being in a government that does not treat climate change as its top priority is encouraging genocide. Does that hurt your feelings? Well, this is me not caring, I’m more interesting in trying to prevent you and people like you performing genocide on your kids and grandkids and everyone else’s.

I read werewolf’s lunatic screed there and it’s pretty depressing. A moderately bright ten year old with access to some really basic publicly accessible information can understand that his ‘97% of CO2 is natural!!!’ stuff is just a naked flat-out lie, but in terms of the climate debate it really doesn’t matter. You can’t reason someone out of a position they didn’t reason themselves into in the first place, and that poses real policy issues. Al Gore was, unfortunately, in many ways and through no fault of his own, one of the worst things that happened to the environmental movement - because he was a prominent political figure with some seriously rabid enemies, once he started trying to promote sensible environmental reform, sensible environmental reform became something his enemies opposed. And that’s percolated through decades and from US politics to everywhere in the world - environmental action is now something that the right of politics uses as a default scare campaign to rally the troops. It’s not a logical thing, it’s a gut reaction, and it’s driven by an inbred incestuous sub-intellectual ecosystem of bullshit and faked stats and memes and the lack of any sort of intellectual honesty or willingness to engage with reality because it’s emotionally more satisfying to bash people you don’t like than it is to actually learn any damn science.

I think at this point that the most likely outcome is that because of werewolf and people who think like him, attempts to prevent the coming genocide will fail. The longer their dishonest bullshit prevents us making changes, the more extreme the required changes will be, and therefore the harder they’ll be opposed. If we’d started seriously decarbonising 20 years ago, we’d damn near be done now, we’d be under no time pressure to complete the rest, and it would have been almost pain-free. But that choice was ■■■■■■ away by inadequates like Howard and Bush and the inadequates who voted for them, unfortunately. That means right now there is no success, only different degrees of failure. Different magnitudes of genocide. Maybe we can keep things to only 3 degrees of warming by 2100 and a few hundred million climate refugees and water wars and the destruction of every coral reef in the world, rather than 6 degrees of warming by 2100 and locking in a feedback loop that will push us even hotter even though it won’t matter to us by then because the mass extinction of insects will have destroyed the agricultural pollination ecosystem and industrial civilisation will have collapsed utterly.

But hey, at least we didn’t lose any jobs in the coal sector, right? I’m sure that made the genocide all worth while…


#5338

I disagree with your use of of the word genocide - it implies that only particular races will be affected by climate change. It’s going to be anybody and everybody.


#5339

There is no other word big enough.

Words like ‘apocalypse’ do not capture the fact that this is a deliberate act. An apocalypse is something that happens, a genocide is something that people commit.

Until there’s a word that means ‘deliberate indiscriminate mass murder of billions on a global scale that will affect generations of people as yet unborn, that cannot be stopped once it’s started, and that also affects every other living creature on the planet’, ‘genocide’ will have to do


#5340

Average Joe just doesn’t see enough of the effects directly and in person to recognise the urgency and implications of denial. A coral reef and tiny island here, a glacier there, etc. Meh, life goes on. That will change, when it’s way too late.


#5341

#5342

We’ve probably, already passed the tipping point now or are close to it.

The driest continent in the world. The Government/s both State and Federal are letting the rivers run dry killing everything that lives in them including the vegetation. Those in the know, built big dams and pumped into their dams to fill them and; now intend to sell the water - that’s right sell the water back to our farmers. How fckd is that?

Who allowed it to get to this stage and for this to happen, this is how corrupt our systems have become.

No water, no food, no water, no livestock of any sort or wild life, and eventually no people.

Many people are laughing at “the preppers” but its no laughing matter and things will get worse as time passes. We all know when things are in short supply no matter what they are, they become more expensive. How much are you going to be prepared to pay for your food and water as more shortages occur as a result of climate change?

The only people who know how to live in the desert in this country are the traditional owners.


#5343

Just wow. There are some people here that desperately need help and I genuinely hope they get it. I’ll be singing off for a while again soon. Good luck.


#5344

This is very true. We do need help. Preventing genocide is not easy, especially when so many people are determined to make it happen.


#5345

Aside from the fact that the political stance of Quillette can accurately be gauged by the fact that as recently as this year they were complaining that the American Nazi Party being banned on Twitter was proof that Twitter was biased against conservatives…

… aside from the fact that this specific article’s credibility can be judged by its ludicrous claims that only large birds are in danger of going extinct (every conservationist in Australia is now laughing hollowly)…

… aside from the fact that the author at one point complains that solar farms would take up too much space if they’re going to generate enough energy, and then a bit later complains that solar farms ALREADY sometimes generate too much energy which inconveniences the grid…

… aside from ALL that, and a dozen other logical fallacies and deliberate deceptions …

… it’s too late. Thank Mr Howard and Mr Bush for ■■■■■■■ away 15 precious years, but it’s just too late. The construction of a nuclear station, choosing the location of a nuclear station, getting funding (hint - nobody funds nuclear stations any more because renewables are cheaper the liability costs are astronomically less, so 100% of this funding will be coming from the taxpayer), insurance (nobody insures nuclear stations since Fukushima, so taxpayer again), dealing with the community backlash, training staff for an entire industry - all that takes decades. And that’s just one station! To decarbonise via nuclear, we’d need to replace ALL coal stations with atomic stations. We don’t have decades any more. We have maybe til 2030 to put a big dent in emissions. Major coal stations in Aust are reaching end of life within the next five years. There is not time to go nuclear any more. There is not time to wait for the mythical ‘4th generation’ foolproof ultra-safe un-meltdownable reactors which always seem to be only 30 short years away.

We have to work with what we have. And right now, that’s renewables which for all their flaws are cheap and mass-producible and scaleable and available right now. Hell, even if wind and solar is just a stopgap until fusion or something better comes along, then that’s great! Go renewable for a couple of decades to avoid the irreversible destruction of the ecosystem on which all of human civilisation depends and the resultant deaths of billions, and then move on to better power generation tech once that tech is ready.

If I thought nuclear would be a useful tool to help avoid the upcoming climate genocide, I’d be all for it. We are deep, deep in desperation-town now, and as unfond as I am of nuclear waste dumps (the author blatantly ignores the horrific waste disposal problems that countries like Russia have, and I wonder if he’s even considered the possible unfortunate side-effects of requiring that countries like Syria, Sudan, Venezuela, Colombia, Haiti, Libya, etc etc all develop flourishing nuclear industries?) and wiping out entire river systems with cyanide as a byproduct of uranium mining (another thing he conveniently forgets to mention) I’d hold my nose and deal with that if nuclear would help. But it won’t. It’s too late.


#5346

Then why is it in Europe everyone is concerned about climate change and are very knowledgeable about their own countries policy and actions, and that Australia is a shitefeast full of climate change deniers and are a large polluter.

We just are stupid selfish morons.


#5347

I wonder what things would look like if coal was Europe’s biggest export.


#5348

I recall in the early 1970s on my first trip to Europe that Germany’s major rivers were highly polluted, no fish and smelt very bad. Frankfurt was devoid of trees and up north, air pollution was immense and acid rain was frightening.

Germans took action, river are now magnificent, clean air, Franfurt is a forest of trees. They accept they had farked things up and worked hard to fix it. They still use coal but are committed to removing it and nuclear as a power source. Wind turbines and solar farms are widespread, and they have very strict environmental laws.

Mining coal and exporting it is just a big farking Australian excuse.