Tuesday, 20 January 2009

A New Beginning...

It is interesting to look back at those attempting to look forward...

In July of 2004, our Global Environment became one of the biggest issues for me [not that it has never been far from my consciousness] and surprisingly a month later in August of that year, I made a short comment called "A New Beginning" : I quoted from Epictetus. "First say to yourself what you would be; and then do what you have to do."

I was moved to comment about an inspiring and challenging speech made by an unknown [at least to me] United States Senator named Barack Obama. I even appear to have predicted on August 5th 2004 that he would be the next Democratic President of the United States... Not a bad prediction.....given what is about to happen in Washington DC in the next 24 hours.

This is the speech I saw back in 2004, now posted on YouTube.

I also linked to a BBC article on the Climate Group's report on CO2 emissions and Australia's water prospects and a second entitled Greenhouse gases threaten Australian way of life

It really is time to consider sidelining the petty and confronting the serious... Lets hope we see the beginning of new level of International co-operation that focusses on the health, education and sustainability of everyone on the planet.

My original offer still stands [grin]

See: http://www.whalesong.org/whalelog/2004/08/05.html


6:12:58 PM    

  Monday, 12 January 2009

Greenhouse Gas Emissions Rising In Eastern Australia

According to the Greenhouse Indicator Report released by The Climate Group today, emissions originating with energy consumption in Australia's eastern states rose during 2008.

Emissions in Victoria rose by 2.2 million tonnes and in Queensland by 2 million tonnes; but in New South Wales, emissions fell by 0.5 million tonnes.

A grimmer picture is painted when comparing emission to previous years. When comparing with levels in 2000, emissions were collectively up 19 per cent. Going back to 1990, the Kyoto Protocol benchmark, in Queensland greenhouse gas emissions have risen 116 per cent, NSW has experienced a 30 per cent rise and in Victoria, emissions are up 32 per cent .

[Source: Energy Matters]

4:21:41 PM    

  Monday, 5 January 2009

Australia Renewable Energy Target Draft Includes Solar Credits

Australia's plan to produce 20 percent of energy from renewable sources by 2020 includes incentives for solar panels, Climate Change Minister Penny Wong.

Wong, releasing draft laws for the target today in Brisbane, said it would include so-called Solar Credits for people who use energy from the sun. The laws also expand the target of electricity from renewable sources to 45,000 gigawatt-hours in 2020 from the existing 9,500 GWh in 2010.

"We are building the low pollution economy of the future by putting a cost on carbon pollution and driving investment in renewable technologies like wind, solar and geothermal energy," Wong said in an e-mailed statement.

Australia's renewable energy target is part of the government's aim to reduce greenhouse gases 60 percent by 2050 to address climate change. Wong this week said the government would use emissions trading to cut pollution 5-15 percent by 2020.

The plan will allow consumers to earn five credits, or Renewable Energy Certificates, for each mega-watt hour of solar energy produced by their panels. These RECs will act as an up- front capital cost worth A$7,500 ($5,194) for purchasers of household photovoltaic systems, Wong said.

"These Solar Credits will help households, small businesses and community groups get assistance with the up-front cost of new solar systems," Environment Minister Peter Garrett said in the statement. "This will provide the industry with a firm footing for the future"

Solar thermal plants might provide half of the renewable target, WorleyParsons Ltd., Australia's biggest engineering company, said in August.

Australian investment in solar power systems may reach as much as A$17.9 billion over the next 20 years with the introduction of a feed-in tariff, the Clean Energy Council, an industry lobby group, said in November.

The council said today the expanded renewable energy target for electricity will trigger more than A$20 billion of new investment and drive immediate cuts in greenhouse gas emissions.

To contact the reporter on this story: Gemma Daley in Canberra at gdaley@bloomberg.net
11:36:12 PM    

  Tuesday, 23 December 2008

W. Lee Grant. "Shared laughter creates a bond of friendships. When people laugh together, they cease to be young and old, teacher and pupils, worker and boss. They become a single group of human beings."

[Motivational Quotes of the Day]
1:58:19 PM    

  Friday, 11 July 2008

Food or Fuel for thought?

The CSIRO, Australia's leading scientific and industrial reasearch organisation has published its "Fuel for Thought" paper which was a direct result of the November 2007 'Future Fuels Forum". The forum's purpose and the focus of the organisations and governments present, was to .. "to explore sceanrios, conduct quantitative modelling and share ideas as a group so as to inform policy and investment decision making within their own organisations and within the broader Australian Community".

Fuel for Thought

The report:

The future of transport fuels: challenges and opportunities was compiled by the Future Fuels Forum, an initiative led by the CSIRO Energy Transformed Flagship.
The Forum brought together 18 leading representatives from Australia’s community, industry and government to share ideas.

Let's play "spot the trend".......

Real Oil Prices since 2004


Hmmm... Getting warmer?

Oil Price Projection Scenarios

The report is the result of a year’s deliberations by the Future Fuels Forum (FFF) which was convened by CSIRO to engage leading community, industry and government bodies in discussions about a range of plausible scenarios for establishing a secure and sustainable transport fuel mix to 2050.

I know I sound like a broken record but:

John Hofmeister, President of Shell Oil, USA, speaks about Shell's position on energy conservation and Global Warming.

The speech was made at the Washington University, St. Louis, USA in September 2006.

MP3 version here.




4:25:02 PM    

  Tuesday, 8 July 2008

Garnaut Climate Change Review

The Garnaut Climate Change Review has been commissioned by Australia's Commonwealth, state and territory governments to examine the impacts, challenges and opportunities of climate change for Australia.

A Draft Report was released on 4 July 2008, and the Final Report is due by 30 September 2008.

A Supplementary Draft Report will also be released in late August 2008


5:36:59 PM    

  Friday, 30 May 2008

Climate Engineers - Who are the Architects?

Listening to the current debate about fuel prices, excise, GST on fuel, pricewatching, etc etc, I wonder [and hope] when the conversation will really turn to the mid [let alone] the long-term future? Where are those who are often ready to tell us about the power of markets and the signals they send? What signals are we seeing now?

Is there anything more depressing than being part of this appallingly low-level of debate? Are we really capable of grasping the extent of the global processes, begun generations ago, that will have severe ramifications for our way of life for generations to come?


An update on these discussions can also be informed by work fo the Council for Foreign Relation [ CFR.org ] and their recent workshop on Unilateral Planetary-Scale Geoengineering: The Science and Technology of Geoengineering.

Yes, you read that correctly, Unilateral, Planetary-Scale Geoengineering........

Our Australian public broadcaster, the ABC, [bless their cotton socks!] covered this topic in their April 2008 broadcast - The Climate Engineers.

I wrote the following [nearly two years ago]in October 2006.... I wonder what has changed?



From 2006...

In 1991, I was working with students who produced an international online student magazine called "Icarus".

It looked at the emerging science behind what was then a new topic, the Ozone Layer and Global Warming. These were High School students who managed to interview and document the work of scientists in the CSIRO and United Nations Climate research centres.

It was apparent then, listening to half of the world's Nobel Prize Winning scientists and the Union of Concerned Scientists, that real strategic action needed to be taken. This action, by governments and people alike, has yet to occur.

Perhaps the word of the President of one of the largest Oil companies in the world may lend more weight to convincing those that the overwhelming majority of the world's scientific community appear unable to do.

John Hofmeister, President of Shell Oil, USA, speaks about Shell's position on energy conservation and Global Warming.

The speech was made at the Washington University, St. Louis, USA in September 2006.

If you are having trouble with the enhanced file, try this MP3 version here.

Edit: 4th of October 2006

If this is not enough, please listen to this excerpt from the ABC's "The Science Show".

Gary Meyers, Senior Principle Research Scientist from CSIRO Marine Research Hobart Tasmania and Chris Thomas, Professor of conservation biology University of York UK are interviewed by Robyn Williams.

The full version can be found on the science show website.

Edit 5th of October 2006

One more... The BBC reports : World 'warmest for 12,000 years'

A picture named earth_temperature.jpgThe world is the warmest it has been in the last 12,000 years as a result of rapid warming over the past 30 years, a study has suggested.

Nasa climatologists said the Earth had warmed by about 0.2C (0.4F) in each of the last three decades.

Pollution from human activity was pushing the world towards dangerous levels of climate change, they warned.

As a result, plant and animal species were struggling to migrate fast enough to cooler regions, they said.

"The evidence implies that we are getting close to dangerous levels of human-made pollution," warned James Hansen, head of Nasa's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, New York.

[Source: BBC]

Related Links

globesm: Albedo Enhancement by Stratospheric Sulfur Injections [PDF]

globesm: Climate Change: The Uncertainties, the Certainties, and what they Imply About Action Policy [PDF]

globesm: Implications of Greenhouse Warming [PDF]

12:08:05 PM