This is the final part of Climate Emergency and Sustainability Emergency, a two part article.
A few days ago at a social function I was asked by a top US atmosphere scientist - in Australia to work with top Australian atmospheric scientists - what would I do NOW. My answer in short was as follows: Australia has 50 Gigawatt (50 billion watt) electricity generating capacity (85% fossil fuel-driven at present); it currently spends about A$10 billion pa on fossil fuel subsidies; the installation cost for large-scale wind farms is about A$2 per watt of installed capacity; simply diverting this unconscionable fossil fuel subsidy to wind farm installation would yield A$10 billion pa /A$2 per watt = 5 billion watt capacity pa = 50 billion watt (50 Gigawatt) wind power electricity capacity in a mere 10 years, i.e. by 2017.
As detailed below, stated and committed Rudd Government policy means that it will INCREASE Australiaâ€™s fossil annual fuel-derived per capita CO2 pollution (already over 10 times higher than the world average if you include our fossil fuel exports) by about 50% by 2050. Every year is important. We must act urgently NOW. â€œWaiting for Godotâ€ or, with the utmost respect, â€œwaiting for Garnautâ€ is not an option.
1. Committed Rudd Labor Policy is effective Climate Racism from a per capita CO2 pollution standpoint
In the recent election campaign Rudd committed to â€œ20% renewables by 2020â€, â€œâ€60% reduction on 2000 greenhouse gas pollution by 2050â€ and no constraint on fossil fuel extraction for export. What this ACTUALLY means (based on US Energy Information Administration data, assuming current constant coal, gas and CO2 pollution growth rates, constant population and INCLUDING Australiaâ€™s fossil fuel EXPORTS) is the following pattern of â€œtotal annual per capita fossil fuel-derived CO2 emission in tonnes per person per yearâ€ (i.e. â€œTotal Annual Per Capita Pollutionâ€ or TAPCP) of 43 (2007), 56 (2020) and 65 (2050).
If Australia agrees to â€œ25% reduction on 1990 domestic levels by 2020â€ this will mean a TAPCP of 44 (2020); a 40% reduction would mean 42. These values are still about 10 times greater than the â€œAnnual Per Capita Pollutionâ€ (APCP) value (2004) for the World (4.2) and China (3.6), about 40 times greater than for India (1) and 160 times greater than for Bangladesh (0.25).
Australiaâ€™s TAPCP is already 10 times that of Chinaâ€™s 2004 value and Rudd Laborâ€™s â€œdo nothing, set up a committeeâ€ approach means a startling continuation in 2008 of Laborâ€™s 2007 5-fold greater version of the racist Labor Immigration Minister Arthur Calwellâ€™s notorious 1947 declaration: â€œTwo Wongs do not make a Whiteâ€ (see: http://mwcnews.net/content/view/17999/42/ and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arthur_Calwell ) â€“ indeed on the above figures, assuming that China keeps its 2050 APCP to something like 2004 figure, Rudd Labor, for all its ostensible Philosinensis (indeed Arthur Calwell had Chinese friends and spoke Mandarin) is heading for a 2050 TAPCP (65.2) 18 times that of Chinaâ€™s 2004 APCP value (3.6).
2. Professor Garnautâ€™s â€œall men are created equalâ€ position (December 2007)
Professor Garnaut (ABC, Lateline, 10 December 2007) stated: (from my notes): â€œAustralia will be pulling its full weightâ€. â€œPulling its full weightâ€ means (if one accepts â€œall men are created equalâ€ ) that Australia achieves APCP parity (including our fossil fuel exports) with the rest of the world â€“ something that Rudd Labor absolutely refuses to do (see #1). One hopes that the finalized Garnaut Report in late 2008 is able to convince Rudd Labor to eschew the Climate Racism of APCP non-parity.
3. Australian Greens policy consonant with non-Bush-ite â€œRest of the Worldâ€ consensus
The Australian Greens policy is to rapidly phase out fossil fuel extraction and to have an â€œ80% reduction of greenhouse gas pollution by 2050â€. This yields an APCP of 2.4 in 2050 and consonant both with the IPCC and Stern 2007 demands for â€œ80% reduction on 1990 levels by 2050â€, â€œPulling its full weightâ€ (Professor Garnaut, 2007) and â€œall men are created equalâ€ (Thomas Jefferson, American Declaration of Independence, 1776).
4. US Energy Information Administration data and the climate criminal Bush-ite Coalition legacy
The US Energy Information Administration (EIA; see: http://tonto.eia.doe.gov/country/index.cfm ) provides very detailed information about energy usage by all countries of the world for the last 10 years. Back in 1997 the decent world was so concerned about mounting evidence for anthropogenic, greenhouse gas-driven, climate change that it signed on to the Kyoto Protocol. Not only did climate criminal Australia (together with climate criminal US) not sign the Kyoto Protocol, but Australiaâ€™s â€œannual coal exportsâ€, â€œannual natural gas extractionâ€, â€œannual domestic fossil fuel-derived CO2 productionâ€ and â€œannual total fossil fuel-derived CO2 productionâ€ plotted versus time yield beautiful straight lines UPWARDS.
Indeed this beautiful linearity gives greater confidence for extrapolation at either end of these graphs. For the convenience of the reader with some graph paper the estimates of â€œDOMESTIC annual fossil fuel-derived CO2 productionâ€ (millions of tonnes) versus time (with per capita estimates of tonnes per person per year in parenthesis, assuming post-2007 population stasis at 21 million) are: 256 (12.2, 1990), 348 (18.2, 2000), 424 (20.2, 2007), 554 (26.3, 2020) and 853 (40.6, 2050); using the same assumptions the â€œTOTAL annual fossil fuel-derived CO2 production, TAPCPâ€ (with per capita estimates of tonnes per person per year and year in parentheses) is 435 (25.7, 1990), 698 (36.5, 2000), 910 (43.3, 2007), 1,277 (60.8, 2020) and 2,122 (101.0, 2050).
In relation to the above estimates, the Bush-ite Coalition policy of BAU (business as usual) and no constraint on fossil fuel exports would, on the above assumptions, lead to a â€œtotal annual per capita fossil fuel-derived CO2 pollution, TAPCPâ€ of 101 tonnes per person per year in 2050, 27 times Chinaâ€™s 2004 APCP value and 2.5 times Australiaâ€™s present TAPCP value.
5. Major international comparisons â€“ Australia is the worldâ€™s worst developed country per capita greenhouse polluter
Despite the rhetoric, rational approaches to save the Planet are being resolutely opposed by racist, greedy Bush America (the worldâ€™s worst greenhouse gas polluter and stand-out Kyoto non-signatory) and previously Bush-ite and presently neo-Bush-ite Australia (the worldâ€™s developed country with the worst annual per capita greenhouse gas pollution and the worldâ€™s biggest coal exporter).
Thus 2004 data from the US Energy Information Administration (EIA; see: http://tonto.eia.doe.gov/country/index.cfm ) reveal that â€œannual per capita fossil fuel-derived CO2 pollution, APCPâ€ in tonnes CO2/person is 19.2 (for Australia; 40 if you include Australiaâ€™s coal exports), 19.7 (the US), 18.4 (Canada), 9.9 (Japan), 4.2 (the World), 3.6 (China), 1.0 ( India) and 0.25 (for Bangladesh). Neither Bush America nor Bush-ite Australia will sign Kyoto nor cut greenhouse gas pollution â€“ the countries facing devastation from global warming are the mega-delta, below-World-average polluting countries of China, India and Bangladesh.
Australia is the worldâ€™s big country with the highest annual per capita greenhouse polluter and is currently playing â€œdog in the mangerâ€ (together with the US, Canada and Japan) in opposing short-term greenhouse gas pollution reduction targets at the December 2007 Bali Conference.
6. Germanwatch index places Australia #54 in the list of the worst CO2 polluters (#56 being worst)
Of course â€œannual per capita fossil fuel-derived CO2 pollutionâ€ is but one â€“ albeit a very important â€“ indicator of climate criminality. The Germanwatch Climate Change Index 2008, a comparison of the 56 top CO2 emitting nations (see: http://www.germanwatch.org/ccpi.htm ), takes other parameters into account in ranking. In this ranking of 56 top CO2 emitting nations, Sweden and Germany are #1 and #2 for greenhouse responsibility, while shale-oil-rich Canada (a US satrap), coal-rich Australia (a US satrap), the USA and oil-rich Saudi Arabia (a puppet of anti-Arab anti-Semitic, Islamophobic Bush US ) rank #53, #54, #55 and #56, respectively (see: http://www.germanwatch.org/ccpi.htm ) .
7. Annual per capita greenhouse gas pollution for the world and Australia with and without land use change (2000)
The US Energy Information Administration gives a year-by-year summary of fossil fuel-derived CO2 pollution for every country in the world (see: http://www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/iea/carbon.html ). However greenhouse gas pollution (methane, CH4, nitrous oxide, N2O, and carbon dioxide, CO2) comes not just from burning hydrocarbons and coal but also from land use â€“ specifically, agriculture, vegetative decomposition and animal husbandry. A 2000 list of countries by greenhouse gas emissions per capita provides data with and without this land use component (see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_greenhouse_gas_emissions_per_capita ). Land use contributes about 20% of global anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. Out of 185 countries Australia ranked 9th worst (with land use change) and 5th (without land use change). The tonnes of â€œCO2 equivalentâ€ per person per year were 25.9 (with) and 25.6 (without land use change) for Australia, indicating the preponderant importance of fossil fuel burning to Australiaâ€™s â€œscoreâ€.
8. Annual per capita GDP is directly proportional to annual per capita CO2 emission
If you plot â€œannual per capita fossil fuel-derived CO2â€ (2004) versus â€œannual per capita GDPâ€ (2003) the data from most countries fall on a straight line (not quite going through zero on the â€œannual per capita GDPâ€ axis) and with a slope of about 0.3 kilograms/US dollar of GDP or 300 grams per US dollar (300 g/US$). However many countries fall ABOVE this line, most notably the oil-rich Gulf States (2.5 kg/US$), worldâ€™s #1 coal exporter Australia (1.9 kg/US$), Kyoto-violator Canada (0.8 kg/US$) and Kyoto non-signatory US (0.5 kg/US$).
This analysis shows that GDP is currently directly proportional to CO2 emission and the consequence is that to cut emissions it is necessary to (a) cut GDP and/or ( cut CO2-polluting energy generation for GDP generation i.e. urgently promote renewables or suffer a declining GDP.
9. IPCC summary
The Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change has delivered 4 Assessment reports since 1990, the latest being the 2007 Fourth Assessment Report. The prognosis of the latest IPCC Report is very bleak but the situation is actually even worse than they state because of (a) the cut off in scientific papers considered and ( obfuscatory inputs by climate criminal countries such as the US. For a Summary of the Summary of the 2007 IPCC Synthesis Report of the Fourth Assessment Report see: http://green-blog.org/2007/11/21/summary-of-the-summary-of-the-2007-ipcc-ar4-synthesis-report/ .
The IPCC (2000) has defined various possible scenarios which are summarised in New Scientist, with the worst case scenario being the fast economic growth and globalization, fossil fuel-intensive A1F1 scenario in which global population peaks in mid-century and declines thereafter, and involving the rapid introduction of new and more efficient technologies (see: http://environment.newscientist.com/channel/earth/dn11090). Of various scenarios discussed in the latest IPCC Synthesis Report (see: http://www.ipcc.ch/ ) â€œCategory IVâ€ seems the most favoured in public discussion (e.g. in report by Sir Nicholas Stern) and involves stabilization at 485-570 ppm CO2 , 3.2-4.0 degrees centigrade temperature rise above pre-industrial temperature (2-3 degrees above todayâ€™s) and 0.6-2.4 metres sea level above the pre-industrial sea level or 0.4 â€“ 2.2 metres above todayâ€™s). However Professor Lovelock (â€œThe Revenge of Gaiaâ€) thinks that 500ppm CO2 would cause disastrous phytoplankton and Greenland ice losses with irreversible loss of major global temperature controls.
Recent data from 2 independent sources (see: â€œRecent CO2 rises exceed worst case scenariosâ€, New Scientist) reveal that ACTUAL rates of CO2 emission are the same or worse than in the worst case scenario A1F1 that, according to the 2007 IPCC Summary, will lead to catastrophic, long-term stabilization at (upper estimates) 790 ppm CO2, and a 6 degree centigrade higher temperature and 3.7 meter sea level rise relative to pre-industrial levels i.e. CO2 catastrophically at twice todayâ€™s level of 379 ppm , temperatures 4-5 degree centigrade above todayâ€™s and sea level 0.8-3.5 metres above todayâ€™s.
Thanks to climate criminal, climate genocidal countries, notably Bush America (the worldâ€™s #1 GHG polluter) and Bush-ite Australia (the worldâ€™s #1 coal exporter) â€“ noting that neither of these will constrain GHG (greenhouse gas) pollution - the world is on track to deliver this predicted catastrophe or even WORSE to our children and grandchildren.
10. The Rudd Labor â€œGarnaut Report excuseâ€, â€œwaiting for Garnautâ€ gambit contradicts the expert, IPCC-endorsed Stern injunction to â€œAct Nowâ€
Both the IPCC Fourth Assessment report and the Stern Report say â€œact NOWâ€. However, stripped of mellifluous rhetoric (e.g. â€œthere is no plan Bâ€) the Rudd Labor position involves a roughly 1 year delay (ONE YEAR DELAY) on any concrete action to constrain greenhouse gas (GHG) pollution. After nearly 12 years of sustained upward growth of CO2 pollution under the climate criminal Bush-ite Coalition this is simply not good enough. If indeed â€œthere is no plan Bâ€ why wonâ€™t Rudd Australia sign up to the â€œPlan Aâ€ endorsed by every country in the world except for the US and its satraps Australia, Canada and Japan i.e. â€œ25-40% reduction by 2020â€?
According to Stern as quoted by the Guardian (2007): â€œThe average emissions a head must fall from seven tonnes to two to three tonnes of carbon dioxide a year by 2050, he says. US emissions a head are more than 20 tonnes each year, with European citizens producing 10-15 tonnes each. In China it is about five tonnes, in India about one, and in Africa less than one tonne eachâ€ (see: http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2007/nov/30/climatechange.carbonemissions ).
Australia is currently producing 43 tonnes each per annum (including fossil fuel exports) and according to the public committed Rudd Labor scenario projects 65 tonnes each per annum by 2050 i.e a 50% INCREASE.
11. Rudd Australia greenhouse pollution scenarios
As indicated above (#1) the â€œsolidâ€, â€œcommittedâ€ Rudd Labor Policy indicates â€œtotal annual fossil fuel-derived CO2 pollution (million tonnes per year )â€ of 910 (2007), 1,277 (2020) and 2,122 (2050).
However it is salutary to consider the scenario if Rudd Labor accepted â€25% reduction on 1990 levels by 2050 - â€œtotal annual fossil fuel-derived CO2 pollution (million tonnes per year )â€ would be 910 (2007), 915 (2020) and 1,371 (2050).
If Rudd Labor acceptedâ€40% reduction on 1990 levels by 2050 - â€œtotal annual fossil fuel-derived CO2 pollution (million tonnes per year )â€ would be 910 (2007), 877 (2020) and 1,371 (2050).
Even under Rudd Laborâ€™s â€œ20% renewable by 2020â€ and â€œâ€60% on 2000 levels by 2050â€, the â€œdomestic annual fossil fuel-derived CO2 pollution (million tonnes per year )â€ would be 345 (2000), 424 (2007), 443 (2020) and 138 (2050).
12. Rudd Australia greenhouse pollution scenarios - per capita projections
As indicated above (#1) the â€œsolidâ€ Rudd Labor Policy indicates â€œtotal annual per capita pollution (TAPCP, tonnes per person per year)â€ of 43 (2007), 56 (2020) and 65 (2050);
If Rudd Labor accepted â€25% reduction on 1990 levels by 2050â€ , â€œtotal annual per capita pollution (TAPCP, tonnes per person per year)â€ would be 43 (2007), 44 (2020) and 65 (2050).
If Rudd Labor accepted â€œ40% on 1990 levels by 2020â€ the â€œtotal annual per capita pollution (TAPCP, tonnes per person per year)â€ would be 43 (2007), 42 (2020) and 65 (2050).
Even under Rudd Laborâ€™s CURRENTLY PROPOSED â€œ20% renewable by 2020â€ and â€œâ€60% reduction on 2000 levels by 2050â€ the â€œDOMESTIC annual per capita pollution (DAPCP, tonnes per person per year)â€ would be 18 (2000), 21 (2007) and 6.6 (2050) (still nearly twice that of China in 2004).
13. Who pays? Australia benefits from CO2 pollution, the World suffers
I repeat that one of the world's leading bioethicists Professor Peter Singer (Princeton University and University of Melbourne) is unequivocal in his expert judgment that â€œWe are responsible not only for what we do but also for what we could have preventedâ€¦ We should consider the consequences both of what we do and what we decide not to do.â€
(Singer, P. (2000), â€œWritings on an Ethical Lifeâ€, Ecco Press, New York; ppxv-xvi).
Unfortunately there is a major bipartisan agreement in Australia to ignore the global cost of Australiaâ€™s world #1 coal exports. The Australian Green proposal in the recent federal election campaign to rapidly phase out this highly irresponsible and planet-threatening industry was howled down by both the Bush-ite Coaltion and the neo-Bush-ite Labor Party.
At the next elections the Bush-ite Coalition will still have the support of about half the voters yet the former Coalition PM described as â€œcrazyâ€ the Rudd Labor proposal to cut emissions in 2050 to 60% of the 2000 value (a proposal that, as shown in #11 and #12 above, falls so far short of what is needed that Rudd Labor might just as well have not bothered except for the purpose of garnering the votes of the gullible).
According to the 2007 IPCC Synthesis report, unaddressed CO2 pollution and global warming will have a devastating effect on global malnutrition and poverty (see: http://green-blog.org/2007/11/21/summary-of-the-summary-of-the-2007-ipcc-ar4-synthesis-report/ ). According the Professor David Pimentel (2004), global malnutrition and poverty will be an â€œunimaginableâ€ problem by 2054 (see: http://www.news.cornell.edu/releases/Feb04/AAAS.pimentel.hrs.html ), already pollution of the soil, water and air kills about 40% of the worldâ€™s population and 57% of the worldâ€™s population of 6.5 billion is already malnourished (see: http://www.news.cornell.edu/stories/Aug07/moreDiseases.sl.html ).
Already 16 million people due avoidably each year (9.6 million being under-5 year old infants) on a Spaceship Earth dominated by a profligate and unresponsive First World (see â€œBody Count. Global avoidable mortality since 1950â€, G.M. Polya, Melbourne, 2007: http://globalbodycount.blogspot.com/ ) â€“ and Australia is on a per capita basis is one of the worldâ€™s worst offenders. As indicated above, according to Professor James Lovelock FRS unaddressed global warming will kill 6 billion people this century â€“ Climate Genocide (â€œintent to destroy in whole or in partâ€ according to Article 2 of the UN Genocide Convention: http://www.edwebproject.org/sideshow/genocide/convention.html )
14. Who pays? The true environmental and human cost of coal-based electricity can be over 4 times the present market cost
According to a Ministry of Energy Report from Ontario, Canada, coal plants kill 668 people per year in Ontario (population 12.7 million), and cause 1,100 emergency room visits, and more than 300,000 minor illnesses per year. These and previous findings by the Ontario Medical Association were behind bi-partisan will to close Ontarioâ€™s coal-fired electricity plants. This Report estimated that a â€œmarketâ€ cost of about 4 cents/kWh increases to a â€œtrue costâ€ of about 16 cents/kWh (see: http://www.evworld.com/news.cfm?newsid=8836 ): â€œThe study estimated that the total net present value of coal-fired generation is costing Ontario $0.164 CAD/kWh. Environmental and health costs accounted for 77% to total generation costsâ€.
15. â€œTrue costâ€ of fossil fuels versus bearable cost, corporate/government-determined cost and A$10 billion pa subsidies for Australian fossil fuel burning
While the â€œtrue costâ€ of coal-based electricity can be over 4 times the â€œmarketâ€ cost, this will be ignored in corporate, government and diplomatic â€œhorse-tradingâ€ to set carbon price â€“ just as society in practice ignores the â€œannual death rateâ€ due to cigarette smoking (about 1,000 per million) or due to cars (about 100 per million) in assessing the â€œtrue costâ€ of tobacco or cars. Extrapolating from Ontario, the annual death rate from coal-fired power generation is about 50 per million.
If the true environmental and human cost of fossil fuel-derived power were taken into account then (a) economics would dictate â€œkeep fossil fuels in the groundâ€ (as advocated by the Australian Greens and by George Monbiot: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/story/0,,2225387,00.html ), ( subsidies would be immediately removed and © compensation ordered by the courts for the victims of this technological perversion (as has happened already in relation to victims of industrial use of asbestos).
16. Renewables are the way â€“ keep fossil fuels in the ground
Here are some estimates of the cost in Australian cents per kilowatt-hour (Ac/kWh) of various sources of electricity (for a detailed discussion see â€œRenewables: how the numbers stack upâ€ in New Matilda: http://www.newmatilda.com/home/articledetailmagazine.asp?ArticleID=2398&CategoryID=213 ):
3-4 â€” coal, Australia;
18 â€” the real cost of coal, taking into account the environmental and health impact; according to a conservative Canadian Ontario Ministry of Energy Report (CAN$0.164);
15 â€” nuclear via the UKâ€™s newest Sizewell B plant;
7.5-8.5 â€” wind power, Australia;
15 â€” concentrated solar power or CSP;
25-45 â€” standard silicon-based photovoltaics (PVs).
However recent advances means we must add the following to the list:
4 â€“ the price of solar PV is set to fall dramatically to compete directly with the current â€œmarket priceâ€ of coal due to balloon, sliver and non-silicon PV technology advances. The non-silicon organic thin film technology developed by US Nobel Laureate Alan Heeger and his South Korean colleagues will reduce the cost of installing photovoltaic (PV) capacity by a factor of 20; the Swiss ETH CIGS non-silicon thin film system may be competitive with coal within 5 years (a related US Nanosolar technology is in mass production: http://www.investorideas.com/Articles/050707a_page1.asp ); Australian sliver silicon PV technology will drop silicon solar panel costs threefold. In particular, the Californian balloon solar capture technology is predicted to make PV solar competitive with â€œmarket priceâ€ coal by 2010 (see â€œSolar energy & the end of war. US balloon technology to slash solar energy cost 90% by 2010â€: http://mwcnews.net/content/view/18667/42/ ).
4 â€“ Australian geothermal. According to Professor John Veevers (â€œThe Innamincka hot fractured rock projectâ€ in â€œLies, Deep Fries & Statisticsâ€, editor Robyn Williams, ABC Books, Sydney, 2007; also see energy cost-related related chapters by Dr Gideon Polya â€œAustralian complicity in Iraq mass mortalityâ€, Dr Mark Diesendorf â€œA sustainable energy future for Australiaâ€, and Martin Mahy â€œHydrogen Minibusesâ€): â€œModelled costs are 4 cents per kilowatt hour, plus half to 1 cent for transmission to grid. This compares with 3.5 cents for black coal, 4 cents for brown coal, 4.2 cents for gas, but all with uncosted emissions. Clean coal, the futuristic technology of coal gasification combined with CO2 sequestration or burial, yet to be demonstrated, comes in at 6.5 cents, and solar and wind power at 8 cents.â€
Further, wave, tidal, biomass and biofuel energy technologies are renewable technologies competitive with the â€œtrue costâ€ of fossil fuels. Australiaâ€™s huge reserves of economic geothermal power are expertly assessed to have the capacity to provide most of Australiaâ€™s energy needs for the best part of a millennium and Australia is blessed with huge solar, tidal, wave and wind resources.
17. Nuclear is not an option
The Bush-ite Coalition had an unerring knack of being resolutely incorrect or in denial about so many crucial matters â€“ anthropogenic climate change, the reasons for war in Iraq and Afghanistan, the terrorist threat to Australia, and the cost of meeting the climate change crisis. They are also incorrect in relation to the nuclear option. As summarized in #16 above the nuclear option is more expensive than current renewable wind and geothermal technologies and as expensive as current concentrated solar technology. Further, the FULL nuclear cycle (from uranium mining and processing to waste disposal and plant de-commissioning) can be as expensive in terms of CO2 emissions as a gas-fired power station â€“ and we still have the intractable security and waste disposal problems.
18. Mandated efficient energy PROVISION as well as USAGE
Australia has mandated replacement of incandescent globes with high efficiency electric lights over the next year or so. If Australia can legislatively mandate efficient energy USAGE it should also mandate the highest efficiency, lowest REAL cost energy PROVISION - currently geothermal, followed by wind with both of these set to be shortly supplanted by exciting low-cost solar technologies.
Failure of Australia to mandate minimum price energy provision simply reflects entrenched dishonesty and corruption in our society. This is briefly discussed further below in relation to the Australian and global impact of fossil fuel burning.
19. Oil, strategic hegemony and 5-8 million post-invasion excess deaths in the Bush Wars in the Occupied Iraqi and Afghan Territories
The strategic importance of the Middle East in terms of oil and global hegemony is the core reason for the Bush Asian Wars that have so far been associated with 5-8 million post-invasion excess deaths in the Occupied Iraqi and Afghan Territories. This explanation has been argued cogently by outstanding anti-war humanitarian Professor Noam Chomsky (from 63-Nobel- Laureate Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MIT) in an article entitled â€œImminent Crises: Threats and Opportunities â€ in which he says of the Middle East : â€œthe huge energy resources of the region were recognized by Washington sixty years ago as a â€œstupendous source of strategic power,â€ the â€œstrategically most important area of the world,â€ and â€œone of the greatest material prizes in world history.â€[reference] 1 Control over this stupendous prize has been a primary goal of U.S. policy ever since, and threats to it have naturally aroused enormous concern.â€
Total post-invasion excess deaths in the Occupied Iraqi and Afghan Territories now stand at about 5-8 million. There has been a horrendous human cost of the ongoing Palestinian Genocide, Iraqi Genocide and Afghan Genocide (post-invasion excess deaths 0.3 million, 1.5-2 million and 3-6 million, respectively; post-invasion under-5 infant deaths total 0.2 million, 0.6 million and 2.2 million, respectively; and refugees total 7 million, 4.5 million and 4 million, respectively) (updated figures from MWC News).
However there is a further huge cost in the US$2.5 trillion accrual cost of the Bush wars (according to 2001 Economics Nobel Laureate Professor Joseph Stiglitz) that has recently been updated to $3.5 trillion by a Congressional Report (see: http://mwcnews.net/content/view/13099/26/ ) ; the $2.6 trillion post-1956 accrual cost of US aid for Zionist colonization of Palestine, Lebanon and Syria (see: http://mwcnews.net/content/view/533/26/ ); the huge human cost of the US-expanded opiate trade â€“ 0.6 million post-2001 global opiate drug-related deaths (about 2,000 in Australia) due to US Alliance restoration of the Taliban-destroyed Afghan opium industry from about 5% of world market share in 2001 to 93% in 2007; and huge diversion of financial support from alleviation of global warming-exacerbated poverty (the â€œWar on Terrorâ€ has cost Australia alone about $20 billion in corporate and government domestic security measures and billions more in overseas military deployments).
20. Huge environmental cost and environmental economic cost of fossil fuel burning and deforestation for Australia and the World
It has been estimated by Balmford et al in the prestigious scientific journal Science (see â€œEconomic reasons for preserving wild natureâ€: http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/297/5583/950 ) that for a variety of â€œbiomesâ€ (ecological systems) the total economic value (TEV) is about 50% greater when the resource is used sustainably as opposed to destructive conversion. Further, these scientists have found that the economic benefit from preserving what is left of wild nature is OVER 100 TIMES greater than the cost of preservation.
However these estimates are IGNORED by Lib-Lab Australian Governments in the interests of â€œcurrent jobsâ€ and corporations as we see in the ongoing deforestation of Victoria and Tasmania. The true economic value of State-owned assets are not being considered â€“ these citizen-owned public resources are effectively being given away to private corporations.
These ugly realities of dishonesty and environmental vandalism reach a pinnacle in relation to greenhouse gas pollution. The polluters are not being charged the full cost of what they are destroying. Indeed quite the reverse is happening â€“ fossil fuel burning is actually SUBSIDIZED to the tune of about $10 billion annually in Australia (see: http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,22873649-12377,00.html ).
A further concrete Australian example is the threat to the Great Barrier Reef from global warming as spelled out in the latest 2007 IPCC Synthesis Report (see: http://www.ipcc.ch/ ) â€“ this is of course a major tourist asset in an economic sense.
21. Biofuels represent a perversion with 57% malnourished, grain production peaking and grain price rising due to Biofuels and Meat
As outlined in #13, According to the 2007 IPCC Synthesis report, unaddressed CO2 pollution and global warming will have a devastating effect on global malnutrition and poverty (see: http://www.ipcc.ch/). According the Professor David Pimentel (2004) of Cornell University, New York, global malnutrition and poverty will be an â€œunimaginableâ€ problem by 2054 (see: http://www.news.cornell.edu/releases/Feb04/AAAS.pimentel.hrs.html ), already pollution of the soil, water and air kills about 40% of the worldâ€™s population and 57% of the worldâ€™s population of 6.5 billion is already malnourished (see: http://www.news.cornell.edu/stories/Aug07/moreDiseases.sl.html ).
Already 16 million people due avoidably each year (9.6 million being under-5 year old infants) on a Spaceship Earth dominated by a profligate and unresponsive First World (see â€œBody Count. Global avoidable mortality since 1950â€, G.M. Polya, Melbourne, 2007: http://janeaustenand.blogspot.com/ ) â€“ and Australia on a per capita basis is one of the worldâ€™s worst offenders.
Biofuels are formally CO2 neutral and renewable â€“ however in the context of horrendous global poverty, a major decline in grain production, huge increases in grain price and increasing diversion of grain for biofuel generation (see: http://www.fas.usda.gov/grain/circular/2006/05-06/graintoc.htm ) this is a perversion and a crime against humanity, the more so when alternative cheap, efficient renewable energy options are technically already available (see #16).
22. Oil is the feedstock for sophisticated organic chemical industry â€“ it should NOT be burned
Forty years ago my organic chemistry lecturer told us that we are actually BURNING the feedstock for sophisticated chemical industry, the material used to make pharmaceuticals and plastics that dominate modern life. Today this wanton destruction of an immensely valuable resource is continuing. The â€œreal costâ€ and the â€œreal valueâ€ are ignored because of the political might of fossil fuel burning corporations.
I am acutely aware of this travesty as the author of a huge pharmacological reference text (Gideon Polya, â€œBiochemical Targets of Plant Bioactive Compounds. A pharmacological reference guide to sites of action and biological effectsâ€ CRC Press, Taylor & Francis, New York & London, 2003:
23. Deforestation can be halved by investing US$15 billion per annum
Further to the points made in relation to environmental impacts of global warming, deforestation contributes about 15-20% to increased net global greenhouse gas production annually. Yet according to Sir Nicholas Stern: "For $10-15bn (Â£4.8-7.2bn) per year, a programme could be constructed that could stop up to half the deforestationâ€ (see: http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2007/nov/30/climatechange.carbonemissions ).
In addition to playing a vital role in global temperature homeostasis, forest ecosystems are sources for invaluable pharmaceutical resources (see my recent huge reference book: Gideon Polya, â€œBiochemical Targets of Plant Bioactive Compounds. A pharmacological reference guide to sites of action and biological effectsâ€, CRC Press, Taylor & Francis, New York & London, 2003: http://www.amazon.com/Biochemical-Targets-Plant-Bioactive-Compounds/dp/0415308291 ).
24. Climate criminal countries such as Australia face Sanctions, Boycotts, Green Tariffs and Reparations Demands
The science and technology has been well reviewed internationally (see the 2007 IPCC Reports: http://www.ipcc.ch/ and a recent review of renewable scenarios: http://www.martinot.info/Martinot_et_al_AR32_prepub.pdf ) as indeed has the economic of climate change via the Stern Report (see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stern_Review ).
The Rudd Government intransigence in not supporting the draft Bali proposal of â€œ25-40% reduction by 2020â€ is ostensibly because of the economic review by Professor Garnaut due in first draft in mid-2008 and presumably finalized by late 2008.
Yet one boundary condition of Professor Garnautâ€™s report is already clear â€“ in his own words (December 2007) â€œAustralia will be pulling its full weightâ€ which means (if one accepts â€œall men are created equalâ€ ) that Australia achieves â€œannual per capita greenhouse gas pollutionâ€ parity with the rest of the world. However the other boundary condition (perceived â€œaffordabilityâ€ in the light of Australia-specific economic analysis) is completely uncertain for the simple reason that the World may decide to take action against climate criminal countries such as Australia and the US through imposition of Sanctions, Boycotts, Green Tariffs and Reparations Demands.
Indeed a SOLUTION to greedy, climate criminal US, Canada, Japan and Australian intransigence at Bali would be international Sanctions and Boycotts or, more precisely, "Green Tariffs" and Reparations Demands that recognize the REAL environmental and human cost of goods produced by these irresponsible and intrinsically RACIST climate criminal countries.
It is notable that these 4 countries have ANOTHER intrinsically racist and genocidal activity in common - various participation in the genocidal Bush Asian Wars - post-invasion excess deaths in the Iraqi Genocide and Afghan Genocide now total 1.5-2 million and 3-6 million, respectively; post-invasion under-5 infant deaths total 0.6 million and 2.2 million, respectively; and refugees total 4.5 million and about 4 million, respectively) (see: "Solar energy & the end of war": http://mwcnews.net/content/view/18667/42/ ).
What Australia and the US are doing is far more serious and intrinsically racist than the crimes of Apartheid South Africa, a system that was eventually disposed of through international Sanctions and Boycotts. Sanctions, Boycotts, Green Tariffs and Reparations Demands may well be applied to Australia, the US and like climate criminal countries that are threatening the Planet with climate genocide. Indeed a model for this comes from outstanding American academic, writer, editor and economist, Father of Reaganomics Dr Paul Craig Roberts who explicitly demands that the world should stop the â€œIraqi genocideâ€ by â€œdumping the dollarâ€ (see: http://www.counterpunch.org/roberts02122007.html ). The World is evidently doing just that â€“ and may well act similarly towards an intransigent Australia, on a per capita basis the worldâ€™s worst developed country greenhouse gas polluter.
On a per capita basis and including our fossil fuel exports, Australia is the developed country with the highest greenhouse gas pollution. Thus 2004 data from the US Energy Information Administration reveal that â€œannual per capita fossil fuel-derived CO2 pollutionâ€ in tonnes CO2/person is 19.2 (for Australia; 40 if you include Australiaâ€™s coal exports), 19.7 (the US), 18.4 (Canada), 9.9 (Japan), 4.2 (the World), 3.6 (China), 1.0 ( India) and 0.25 (for Bangladesh).
The Rudd Labor commitment to â€œ20% renewables by 2020â€, â€œâ€60% reduction on 2000 greenhouse gas pollution by 2050â€ and no constraint on fossil fuel extraction for export ACTUALLY means (based on US Energy Information Administration data, assuming current constant coal, gas and CO2 pollution growth rates, constant population and including Australiaâ€™s fossil fuel EXPORTS) â€œannual per capita fossil fuel-derived CO2 emission in tonnes per person per yearâ€ of 43 (2007), 56 (2020) and 65 (2050).
If Australia continues to refuse to act on both domestic and exported greenhouse gas pollution it will very likely face international action through Sanctions, Boycotts, Green Tariffs and Reparations Demands. The Rudd â€œGarnaut Reportâ€ excuse for inaction at Bali is contradicted by Professor Garnautâ€™s recent very clear and highly ethical declaration that â€œâ€œAustralia will be pulling its full weightâ€ which, given the equality of all Men, surely means massive reduction of CO2 pollution to per capita parity with countries such as India and China.
Simple notional calculations tell us that Australia could completely replace its current 50 Gigawatt electricity generating capacity with wind power within 10 years by simply investing its current $10 billion annual fossil fuel subsidies into wind farms (noting of course, that other renewable options are now ALREADY much cheaper than the â€œtrue costâ€ of fossil-fuel-based electricity).
In short, the world is facing a Climate Emergency and a Sustainability Emergency that requires urgent action NOW to REDUCE atmospheric CO2 from a current 383 ppm to a level of 300-350 ppm required for biosphere sustainability. The science, technology and economics all instruct (subject to transition and related qualifications) that we should keep the fossil fuels in the ground â€“ indeed we need to have a NEGATIVE atmospheric CO2 growth.
This has been written in the public interest.
Dr Gideon Polya published some 130 works in a 4 decade scientific career, most recently a huge pharmacological reference text "Biochemical Targets of Plant Bioactive Compounds" (CRC Press/Taylor & Francis, New York & London, 2003). He has just published â€œBody Count. Global avoidable mortality since 1950â€ (G.M. Polya, Melbourne, 2007: http://mwcnews.net/content/view/1375/247/ and http://globalbodycount.blogspot.com/ ); see also his contribution â€œAustralian complicity in Iraq mass mortalityâ€ in â€œLies, Deep Fries & Statisticsâ€ (edited by Robyn Williams, ABC Books, Sydney, 2007): http://www.abc.net.au/rn/science/ockham/stories/s1445960.htm ).
Truth, Reason and Words having failed in the Western Murdochracies, as an artist as well as a scientist he has painted several huge paintings relating to the Climate Emergency, namely â€œTerraâ€: http://mwcnews.net/content/view/15671/42/ and â€œApocalypse Nowâ€: http://mwcnews.net/content/view/17652/42/ .