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Renewable Energy Makes Tony sick

Since the introduction of the carbon price in July 2012, emissions from the National Electricity Market serving eastern Australia have fallen about 8.9 per cent, in part due to less demand from a shrinking manufacturing sector. By 2020, under current projections, wind, hydro and other renewable sources will supply more than 20 per cent, perhaps as high as 27 per cent, of our electricity needs.

So we appear to be on track. But, in what appears to be an increasingly common loathing for anything to do with tracks or Labor or anything green (unless it’s a paper abolishing regulations), Tony looks set to derail us again.

He has announced he will head an energy policy task force that will be “looking at new options to reduce the costs of energy.” He has also renamed the Australian Cleantech Competition – it will now be known as the Australian Technologies Competition.

“We have to accept that in the changed circumstances of today, the renewable energy target is causing pretty significant price pressure in the system and we ought to be an affordable energy superpower … cheap energy ought to be one of our comparative advantages … what we will be looking at is what we need to do to get power prices down significantly,” the prime minister said.

The Australian Energy Market Commission says the renewable energy target (RET) comprises less than 1 percent of the average household electricity bill. The Queensland Competition Authority notes in its latest finding that the large-scale renewable target (the apparent subject of the new government’s attacks) will cost Queensland households $26 a year, or about 1.3% of their bills - about half the rise in retail bills caused by soaring gas prices.

Climate Institute chief executive Erwin Jackson said

“For a cost of 80 cents a week for the average household, the RET has attracted billions of dollars in investment and cut millions of tons of emissions. That’s a pretty good investment.”

Kane Thornton, deputy chief executive of the Clean Energy Council agrees saying

“Any substantial change to the Renewable Energy Target would obviously have a big impact on the future of the solar industry. The goal makes up a very small proportion of power bills while creating thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in investment, much of which flows into regional areas.”

The solar PV industry employed about 13,600 as of late 2013. Research by industry group SolarBusinessServices suggested that would dive immediately by 2000 if the government were to end support for the industry by scrapping the RET, with the total number of jobs lost or foregone swelling to 6750 by 2018. A reduction on the goal that resulted in the halving of the price of small-scale renewable energy certificates would lead to about 600 solar jobs going.

With no policy change, 8000 jobs will be generated between 2014-18, assuming a floating carbon price – something the Abbott government has vowed to scrap – and electricity and PV prices would continue to fall, the report said.

Solar panels generated more than 25 per cent of South Australia’s electricity on January 4, 19 and 25 and supplied significant amounts during the state’s recent heatwaves, according to a new service supported by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency that tracks PV’s contribution to power supply.

In yet another waste of time and money, the Abbott Government has also announced yet another pointless inquiry into the health impacts of windfarms even though the overwhelming scientific consensus is that wind turbines have no health effects on the surrounding populations. Could it be because Tony’s adviser on all things, Maurice Newman, doesn’t want them near his property?

“Even before they threatened my property, I was opposed to wind farms.”

The Abbott government have also cut $435 million funding to the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) and deferred $370 million funding announced by Labor in the 2013 budget to the agency, until the next decade.

Australian Conservation Foundation campaigner Tony Mohr said:

“The axing of $435 million from ARENA will starve research and development of clean energy in Australia, moving us to the back of the global race for clean tech.”

Australian Solar Council chief John Grimes called on the Parliament to block any attempt to gut the agency.

“The work that ARENA does is an excellent example of direct action,” he said. “This independent agency, with its annual funding prescribed in legislation, back practical programs. This is about real action in the real world.”

In another incomprehensible move, the government has decided to scrap the Clean Energy Finance Corporation which was set to invest $10 billion in low-carbon technologies, while achieving up to half the government’s emissions reduction target, and return a profit to the budget.

“The strong positive response from the market has enabled the CEFC to successfully build a total loan portfolio of $536 million funding projects with a value of over $2.2 billion.

Our portfolio represents a diverse mix across the economy, with projects comprising 56 per cent of renewables, 30 per cent in energy efficiency and 14 per cent in low emissions technologies. We have financed projects involving wind, solar, and bioenergy across Australia (both on grid and off grid), as well as energy efficiency and low emissions technology projects in manufacturing, buildings and local government.

The CEFC portfolio of contracted investments is presently expected to earn an average return of approximately 7 per cent, around 4 per cent above our benchmark return of the Government five-year bond rate.

Co-financing is integral to our strategy. Through matched private sector funds of $2.90 for each $1 of CEFC investment, the CEFC has been able to catalyse over $1.55 billion in non-CEFC private capital investment in projects and programs to deploy renewables and to improve energy efficiency.

The response that we have received from the market has remained extremely encouraging and we currently have 179 project proponents in our pipeline for projects to the estimated value of $14.9 billion.”

The march towards renewable energy is inevitable yet we are being held back by Tony’s ties to the fossil fuel industry which is determined to place every impediment in the way to prolong their profit-making at the expense of our jobs, our health and our home.

 

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51 comments

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  1. Mike 1

    Poor old Tony. No idea and future thinking, this mob should be turfed out before they do more damage. Could someone explain what they have done so far,(besides wreaking the joint) ?

  2. rangermike1

    Toned Abbs, when the Temps rise and the good soil lays barren, who will help your pretty daughter’s then ? We need water and food to survive, Have You forgotten that little miscalculation on the Planet called Liberal ? Just Boof heads in charge of most Boofhead people that voted for them.

  3. robyn

    NOTHING EXCEPT RUIN PEOPLES LIVES GET RID OF HIM REAL QUICK.

  4. rangermike1

    Graeme Rust, Well said.Do not forget, “March in March”. Show Abbott how we think of him.

  5. Bob Rafto

    what we will be looking at is what we need to do to get power prices down significantly,” the prime minister said.

    I say ‘get rid of the retailers’ and that will get power prices down significantly.

    As for wind farms and in view of the noise pollution, if you happen to live near them, and the blight they cause to the landscape they should be scrapped as the returns do not appear to be worthwhile.

    They have to have some impact on the ecology

  6. Kaye Lee

    Bob,

    There have been countless studies into noise pollution from wind farms. It doesn’t exist. Wind farm infrasound is at levels well below the hearing threshold, and evidence does not support claims that inaudible sounds can have direct physiological effects.

    http://reneweconomy.com.au/2013/wind-farms-what-we-cant-hear-cant-harm-34870

    As for a blight on the landscape, I think I would rather wind turbines than the picture with this article. We must look at all alternatives and the contribution they can make.

    “What of the symptoms sometimes described as ‘wind turbine syndrome’? The Victorian Department of Health asserts that these are common symptoms in the community generally and are not unique to those people living near wind farms. Whether we live near wind turbines or far away, we can all expect to suffer a similar incidence of medical conditions, including anxiety illnesses, hypertension or age-related conditions.

    A University of Sydney study offers us some insights into why we might be hearing about alleged health impacts and presents evidence for the psychogenic “communicated disease”, i.e: the nocebo hypothesis. This work ties in rather neatly with a paper by University of Auckland academic Fiona Crichton (et al), that suggests how psychological expectations could explain the link between wind turbine exposure and health complaints. Invoke fear into someone that they’ll experience certain symptoms from infrasound and they will; even from ‘sham’ infrasound.”

  7. rangermike1

    Look, I know I go on about the Liberals too much, but reality is truth. This current Govt. is like John Howards.Cut down Unions and do policies in secrecy. We will be all working for $2:00 an hour.

  8. Kaye Lee

    You can get $13.33 an hour working in Tony’s Green Army for 6 months. The rest of the jobs will be filled by 457 visa workers who will only WISH they were picking up rubbish for $13/h.

  9. Graeme Rust

    tony is sick, sick in the head, he was either brainwashed as a child or it’s just naturally stupid ?? he’s the worst example of a leader of this country has ever had, ha hates this country and it’s people, why,???. I do know he makes me sick, just looking at him or hearing his voice makes me sick, as I know he will either lose somebody’s jobs, or make a big blunder by sticking his foot in his mouth. we all know he’s a liar, so howdoes it look to people O/S knowing he’s an admitted liar and still the head of his party .

  10. bobrafto

    Infrasound?

    What I was hearing, noises that went VOOM, VOOM, incessantly in a doco on wind farms was only infrasound and I’m not supposed to hear it.

    Golly, gee whizz, Kaye, my dementia is creeping in early.

  11. Stephen Tardrew

    Mad. We have a political party that can be clearly designated as mad in the real sense of the word. The second coming will solve everything. Just believe in fairy God and everything will be OK. Abbot and his ilk are mad, mad, psychiatric mad. To even consider ignoring the possibility of global warming is just plain idiotic. Even if the probabilities were not extremely high, which they are, to take a punt upon the destruction of the biosphere is insane. Tea party incoherence has infiltrated our politics while Australians ignored the indicators and voted for insanity. Watching the right wing aggressive talking down any alternative opinion demonstrates obsessive compulsive disorder vilifying the rights of workers to any type of representation. Democracy is based upon informed discussion not ideological irrationality. I have tended to be tolerant of peoples need for religion but this incoherent illogical and irrational rubbish has gone too far. The left must give up informed discussion and call a spade a spade. Dive into the deep end and use their domineering no compromise bullying tactics against them. Fox proves the strategy works. We are no longer in persuasive mode we are in full force social and political indoctrination. Irrational attacks on the ABC. Free media? What the hell is that. These people are extremely dangerous.

    Something snapped today tearing at the very heart of goodness
    I fell from hope to despair though knowing we cannot relent
    Crawl back to embrace the good I know
    Where does love go when all is lost to greed and avarice
    Blind they cannot see
    Thoughtless they cannot care
    Dogmatic they are blind
    Truth is lost to ideology
    Poor abandoned to their own demise
    Hold back the tide
    We must
    To live another day of hope that goodness will prevail

  12. Kaye Lee

    Bob,

    I have no personal experience of wind farms so I can only go on the papers that I have read that have been written by experts. Infrasound is what the anti-wind farm people are complaining about making them sick. If you have a link to other information from a credible source I would be interested to read it. In the mean time…..

    The EPA SA’s study “Infrasound levels near wind farms and in other environments”, published in January 2013, finds that infrasound levels at houses adjacent to wind farms are no higher than those at houses located a considerable distance from wind farms, and that infrasound levels at rural locations both near to and away from wind farms were no higher than levels measured at urban locations. Even the peaks were significantly lower than the threshold of perception.

    More recently, in July 2013, an independent report on infrasound at the impressive Macarthur wind farm adds weight to this finding, with no change in infrasound levels identified between pre-operational monitoring and operational monitoring periods. Wind turbines are not adding to the existing levels of infrasound already found in the environment.

    The Victorian Department of Health published its findings on the matter in “Wind farms, sound and health” in April 2013. It rules out the potential for wind farms to have damaging effects.

    The Department of Health review finds that infrasound can cause sleep disturbance but, like sounds in any other frequency range, it will only have this effect at an audible level. Wind farm infrasound is at levels well below the hearing threshold, and evidence does not support claims that inaudible sounds can have direct physiological effects.

    In their Position Statement on Wind Farms, September 2013, the Association of Australian Acoustical Consultants agree with the Victorian Department of Health’s conclusions. The AAAC’s statement confirms that infrasound levels around wind farms are no higher than levels measured at other locations where people live, work and sleep. We’ve been exposed to levels of infrasound throughout our evolution with no apparent effects.

    •Infrasound measurements 75 metres from beaches measure higher levels of infrasound, with otherwise very similar noise characteristics to wind turbines

    ◾The human heart produces more infrasound than wind turbines

  13. John Fraser

    <

    @Bob

    Hi ya Bob, always check Kay Lee's work before commenting.

    My experience is that she gets it right more often than not.

    Wind farms have their place.

    Just as phone towers do.

  14. Ian

    Bob Rafto: “They have to have some impact on the ecology”. I agree, Bob. Why, just look at them! they’re big, white and go vroom, vroom. How can that not have an impact on the ecology? It’s just common sense, isn’t it man?

  15. David Crooke

    Let’s make it one term tony. I hate this guy talk about creating a black doom.

  16. bobrafto

    Mr John
    The only problem in checking sources is that you have to check from what angle the authors of the reports are coming from and if they have been induced to slant the the facts from whoever pays them.

    You can’t even trust govt at any level and the prime example is Gladstone Harbour, after severe dredging, fish were being caught covered in lesions, the whole fishing industry has closed down and what did the govt. say with their scientific report, NO,No,No, dredging wasn’t responsible! Pig’s ass it wasn’t!

    The turbine technology is crap and one day soon it will be obsolete and then we’ll have thousands and thousands of turbine graveyards all over the world blighting the landscape. China produces the turbines and the last I heard, the Chinese don’t use them. They’re having the last laugh.

    May I suggest that Kaye Lee visit one of these farms so she can appreciate the aesthetics on the landscape and perhaps have a picnic next to a turbine, then I would love to hear her first hand experience on how quiet those monsters are.

    And having said all that, I do appreciate the quality of Kaye Lee’s writing.

    Cheers

  17. hilderombout

    Hi Kay, about the windfarms. I originate from Holland many many years ago and still visit there every so many years. Most people live amongst windfarms and i have not known there to be any adverse health affects associated with it. There really is no problem, Bob, no matter what anyone might say. And there are a lot more people per square mile over there than here. I do not feel anything different when i am there. Nor do any of my family still living there notice anything out of the ordinary either. One would expect that 20 million people in close proximity to windfarms have enormous health problems, but i tell you, they don’t, well at least not from that cause. Windmills have been part of the Dutch landscape for hundreds of years and windfarms since the last century.

  18. Billy moir

    If only the rabbott and his fellow thoughtless greedy sceptics, had the ability to think beyond their needs and beliefs they may realise there are billions of people who deserve our level of comfort and fossil fuels cannot provide the energy needed for both us to continue and them to improve. QED renewable energy. If little johnnie wasn’t in such a bind about redeeming himself for his record debt as treasurer in Fraser’s government by selling assets and had invested in renewables we would be richer today and he would have won in 2007.

  19. Kaye Lee

    Actually, China has rapidly become a global leader in wind energy and now ranks fourth in the world in installed capacity. Wind power alone could provide electricity for all of China if the country overhauls its rural grids and raises the subsidy for wind energy, a new study finds. With current wind energy payments of 0.4 RMB (US$0.059) per kilowatt-hour, wind energy could displace 23 percent of coal-generated electricity. If so, China would eliminate as much as 0.62 gigatons of annual carbon dioxide emissions, or 9.4 percent of the country’s current annual emissions, the study said.

    Chinese law gives renewable power priority access to the grid, but a physical lack of grid capacity has limited wind energy’s ability to reach customers, according to the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC).

    Still, wind farms are expanding rapidly across China. The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), China’s top economic planner, set a 2010 wind energy target of 5 GW, which the country surpassed in 2007.

    Wind energy supplied 12.2 GW of installed capacity last year, about 0.4 percent of China’s total electricity supply. China announced in May that more than 100 GW of wind energy capacity will be installed by 2020 and that renewable energy will supply 40 percent of the energy market by 2050.

    http://www.worldwatch.org/node/6255

  20. Kaye Lee

    Thanks for that link Bob.

    Dr. George Fenwick, president of American Bird Conservancy (ABC), said:

    ” We are pro-wind and pro-alternative energy, but development needs to be bird-smart.”

    This can be achieved by putting the wind farms in the right places avoiding bird migration corridors and places where protected species and sensitive habitats are present.

    ABC has developed a wind development risk map that has the potential to dramatically reduce impacts to birds from poorly sited wind turbines. The map highlights more than 2,000 locations in the United States where birds are likely to be particularly vulnerable to impacts from wind energy development. It identifies both concentrated migratory flight paths and key habitat locations.

    Duke Energy renewables also said it has taken steps to prevent future deaths, including the installation and testing of new radar technology to detect airborne eagles on or near project sites and curtailing turbines during periods of high eagle activity.

  21. Möbius Ecko

    For a start windows kill far more birds than wind farms so why not call for all windows to be removed from buildings bob?

    A German study found that Wind Turbine Sickness was directly related to whether you were benefiting from them or not. Farmers that had ideal locations on their land for them and gave permission to have them installed had not a single discernible health problem, nor did any of their family or others staying on the property. Yet strangely the farmers next door whose land wasn’t ideally located so couldn’t have turbines installed reported all sorts of illness, usually the exact symptoms told to them by a lobbyist against wind turbines.

    Same went for whole towns. The ones that benefited from them in some way were in perfect health but the towns down the road that didn’t reported all sorts of health problems immediately after they were visited by the anti-wind farm lobbyists.

    Strange about that.

  22. Kaye Lee

    John, that article is very interesting – worth reprinting. 8 years on and we are having the exact same discussion. From 2006….

    “ENVIRONMENT minister Ian Campbell will attend the opening of a $300 million Australian wind farm in China on Tuesday, built by the same company forced to halt lucrative Australian projects because of his policies.

    Wind farm specialists Roaring 40s announced six months ago it was stopping work on projects at Heemskirk in Tasmania and Waterloo in South Australia because of poor government support.

    The projects were worth $550 million. It was estimated they would create 200 full-time construction jobs.

    A Roaring 40s’ press release highlighted the Federal Governments’ decision not to increase the mandatory renewable energy target as the key reason for halting work on the projects.

    At the same time, Senator Campbell blocked another wind farm project, the multimillion-dollar Bald Hills venture in Wangaratta, Victoria, because he believed the wind turbines could kill one orange-bellied parrot every few years.

    Other companies have shifted their investment projects offshore, citing a lack of government support for the renewable energy industry.

    But tomorrow Roaring 40s will announce that Senator Campbell will attend the opening of the Chinese wind farm project.

    His attendance offshore to laud projects he has helped block in Australia has the Opposition jumping mad.

    “For Australia’s renewable energy industry, Senator Campbell’s trip to China adds insult to injury,” Labor environment spokesman Anthony Albanese said.

    “It is rank hypocrisy for Senator Campbell to celebrate investment and jobs in China after his damaging actions in Australia against the renewable energy industry.

    “Government policies have lost hundreds of jobs and stalled the development of the renewable energy industry in Australia.

    “Renewable energy companies are investing in China because China has a renewable energy target of 15 per cent, compared to Australia’s pathetic 2 per cent target.”

    Leading renewable energy company Pacific Hydro recently announced it might scrap plans for wind farms in Portland, Ararat and Ballan in Victoria.

    Mr Albanese said the Vestas nacelle wind turbine assembly plant in northern Tasmania had also announced it would be closing, resulting in the loss of 100 jobs.

    He also pointed to comments by Australia’s fourth-richest man, Zhengrong Shi, who made his wealth from developing solar energy technology in China. Mr Shi said recently that if Australia had a similar incentive program to China’s, he would have set up a local manufacturing plant.”

  23. bobraftoBob Rafto

    Yes Ian
    It does have an effect,they kill birds, I would presume they would keep flying insects, beetles etc, away as well giving way to an ecological graveyard.
    A US court fined a turbine co $1m.

  24. bobrafto

    Mobius have you got evidence to back up your claims that Windows kills more birds?
    If the answer is yes, then we should get rid of all the glass as well as the turbines.

    Kaye,
    OK you got me on the China thingy. I would like to ask just one question.
    How many thousands or millions of these suckers are required to meet China’s 40% renewables by 2050?

    The world’s new forests of turbines are advancing ever so stealthily.

    I would like to think that solar technology will advance so far that it will make the turbines obsolete by 2050.

  25. John Fraser

    <

    @Bob

    The west has given China so much money in the last decade that it is now the number 1 economy.

    They are just as likely to have a station built on the moon before the west does.

    And China is not going to let go of its lead, that's one reason why they bought Australia's solar ideas …….. and sell them back to us.

  26. Kaye Lee

    Bob,

    If we facilitate it, research and technology moves at such a rapid rate that who can even imagine what the world will be like in 36 years time. There are some very smart people working on some amazing stuff. They just need to work out how to make it commercially viable.

    If we have clean alternatives to wind farms then I am all for it. All we can do is push as hard as we can to minimise the damage whilst funding the boffins who will come up with these incredible ideas and innovations as they have done throughout history.

    And I would rather picnic on the grass next to a wind turbine than on the coal dust next to a coal mine. When we don’t need them anymore it will be a damn site easier to take down the turbines and restore the land than it will to undo the damage coal mining does.

    I appreciate your contribution. I have learned things in looking up the points you have made.

  27. Douglas Evans

    Nice summary of the awful damage Abbott is determined to do to the clean energy shift and to our environmental prospects. Hideous as it is none of it is news however as he was pretty up-front from before the election where he would head on these issues even if the detail was absent). We can’t say we weren’t warned.

    The IPA signaled what was/is to come with its wish list of 75 awful ideas for Australia released in conjunction with its 70 birthday bash in mid 2013.

    Prominent on the list are:

    1 Repeal the carbon tax, and don’t replace it. It will be one thing to remove the burden of the carbon tax from the Australian economy. But if it is just replaced by another costly scheme, most of the benefits will be undone.

    2 Abolish the Department of Climate Change.

    3 Abolish the Clean Energy Fund.

    and

    6 Repeal the renewable energy target.

    Now why would the IPA feature these so prominently? Well perhaps it’s to do with who is filling their coffers. Just maybe a hint about this can be gained from the AEC funding data for 2013 Federal elections. Of the $433,327 the mining industry donated to political parties to fund their 2013 campaigns 98% went to the coalition and of the $662,741 the energy sector donated, 65% went to the coalition. Now beyond the repeal of the carbon tax they plainly want what the IPA wants and what Abbott is hell bent on delivering.

    Incidentally this might be the last election for which the AEC data is publicly available because also on the IPA wishlist is:

    23 End mandatory disclosures on political donations.

    I do wonder what you meant by this brief comment however: “So we appear to be on track.”
    On track for what?

    Under the ALP policies that applied prior to the 2013 election, which the disgusting Abbott is so determined to unpick,we were aiming for at a 5% reduction in pollution levels relative to 2000 levels by 2020 and an 80% reduction in greenhouse gas pollution levels relative to 2000 levels by 2050.

    This is substantially less than a quarter of the current emissions abatement commitment of the EU nations. When the science demands complete carbon neutrality by 2040 an 80% reduction below 2000 levels of pollution by 2050 is far, far short of what is required.

    Further under the ALP’s existing policy Australian domestic emissions are predicted to INCREASE by 13% ABOVE 2012 levels by 2020. This is possible because TWO THIRDS of the trumpeted ‘drastic reduction’ in pollution was intended to be purchased in the form of off-shore carbon credits by polluters to off-set their on-shore (domestic) pollution.

    Further, under Labor’s fossil fuel export policies greenhouse gas emissions from Australia coal and gas exports would rapidly grow to dwarf domestic emissions by a factor of three- or four-to-one. Researcher Guy Pearse, perhaps the nation’s most authoritative voice on this topic, says that the expansion of Australian coal exports with the bipartisan blessing of Labor and the LNP will mean that by ‘2020 or soon thereafter, Australia is exporting nearly twice as much CO2 as is Saudi Arabia today.’

    The Labor policies that have acquired such a promising rosy glow when juxtaposed to the insanity of this government unquestionably commit Australia to being part of the problem rather than part of the solution as the nations of the globe struggle to save our collective backsides over the next three decades. They may be better than those of the LNP but they were/are certainly not adequate to the task that confronts us. A radical tightening of policy is required if we are to pull our weight as global citizens but there are no signs currently of awareness of this ‘inconvenient truth within either of Australia’s ‘old’ political parties.

    All that the idiot Abbott is doing is ensuring that he and his friends have the most comfortable deck chairs as the ship sinks beneath the waves. Should the policies Abbott is so energetically determined to wreck become the model for the global response what ‘we are on track for’ undoubtedly is four degrees of warming and unavoidable runaway global warming well before the end of this century. In these increasingly dangerous times we would all do well to remember that the environment currently has no friends on either side of the Australian Federal parliament.

  28. John Fraser

    <

    @Bob

    Hell Bob I never get congrats from Kaye Lee.

    Coming up your way soon Bob I will give you a call.

  29. boombi

    This PM is a danger to all our health and to the health of the entire nation. BUT lets not forget that he is supported and retained as a leader by 89 coalition members in the house of reps , plus those in the senate .They all seem to be supporting this man !!!!!!!!!!!!!! Beats me how a true liberal can sleep at night with this lot of wreckers in power

  30. Kaye Lee

    Doug,

    The IPA scare the crap out of me. Their list is the stuff of nightmares. I still can’t get over “Defund Harmony Day” even though it is insignificant in the grand scheme of things I suppose. I just watch my (adopted from the Philippines) nephews go off dressed up so ready to tell their story and wonder why this would be on their list other than because they are bastards,

    I agree that our targets are inadequate and that we blissfully ignore the impact of our exports. At least with an ETS we could buy credits from OS that would contribute to worldwide abatement as we make the transition. Not a perfect solution but a step in the right direction.

    My comment about us being on track was to do with meeting our current RET. I realise we will have to up the ante.

    John,

    You are wrong in saying you never get congrats from me. I recall the other night telling you how much I have learned from you, and in this thread I copied an article you had provided because it added so much to the discussion that it needed more than just the link.

    That is why I appreciate this site so much. I learn things, both from people I agree with and also those I don’t.

  31. Fed up

    I just had an horrible thought. Tony works on the principal there are enough, who see the world in a simplistic manner, that are easily conned, to keep him in power. All the rest, he can ignore. I find it hard to believe he is of similar mind, but his actions this week, indicates otherwise.

    Back in adolescent he picked up some beliefs, as we all do, took them on board, unquestionably. He has never question them, and is still of the same mind.Not even tertiary education manage to challenge his beliefs, not even Oxford.

    Now most of us, during our lives take new ideas on board, often jettison those we had in our youth.

    Yes, even I say, enraptured by Santamaria and his mate Eric Baume.

    I thought the sun shone out of them. Life experience soon taught me to move on.

    I learnt that Reds under the beds was not true. That those Asian dominoes were not coming to get us.

    When it comes to Abbott, I suspect, he has not grown since the days of his youth. What is worse, he really believes he has all the answers, that he is the only one in step. He is not interested in any other point of view. No other opinion exists for him.

    He does not listens, as he believes he has nothing to learn.
    .

  32. Fed up

    Yes, I have seen birds killed by glass, especially large expanses of. I have also noticed the road kill number is also high. How many birds have one hit, travelling in the bush. Along with many other animals.

  33. Fed up

    I wonder, if those windmills, pumping water in the bush on dams and other water holes, kill birds. Wonder do they affect the health of those who, live by. Must admit, the noise in high winds, from poorly maintained windmills did annoy.

    Then we have all those homes in the outback, that have been powered by their own wind driven power plants. Have not heard any concern form them.

    It is a wonder, that concerns have not been raised, that the glare from rooftop solar panels cause blindness. No sillier proposition.

    Why are we spending million on this inquiry, when 20 in depth studies worldwide have come back in the negative.

  34. Fed up

    “They have to have some impact on the ecology”

    Why? Maybe you should explain.

  35. diannaart

    What would I prefer to have on my property if I had to choose, wind turbine or

    CSG fracking
    oil well
    open cut mine
    nuclear power plant
    Chimneys
    factory

    If those who condemn windfarms would make the same amount of protest against pollution, digging up fossil fuel, building freeways instead of public transport…

    Words fail…

  36. bobrafto

    John

    look forward to seeing you.

  37. bobrafto

    Yea, I’m a bit fed up as well.

    A windmill on a farm, that’s cute.

    Hundreds of 10 storey monstrous turbines blighting the landscape is not.

    I’m of the opinion that they are not efficient to warrant the proliferation of these damn things.

    As for the ecology, I would like to see some unbiased studies if there is any adverse effects or not.

    Cheers all and goodnight.

  38. John Fraser

    <

    @Kaye Lee

    Love.

    <

    The siting of wind farms is important for all the logical reasons (phone towers too) and where they can be sited in suitable places they really are good value for any number of reasons.

    I can't see luddites knocking them down.

  39. olddavey

    Mike 1 January 31, 2014 • 12:40 pm

    The way this crowd behaves it’s more like “smoking the joint”

  40. olddavey

    I frequent sites like this every day but also have a look at the crazies just to keep things in perspective.
    I’m f’ed if I can understand how anyone with even rudimentary intelligence can think (and I use that word advisedly) would consider that the tories were doing a better job than a bunch of four year olds at kinder could do.
    Just as an aside, does Peta pick up young Tony after his big day in the house and take him to Maccas for a Junior Burger (upgrade that to a meal and get a toy country) before dropping hm off at the AFP bunker.

  41. Big Al

    Bob, I seem to remember reading at the time when Mobile phone towers first started to be built, we could cook on the microwaves they where giving off !! Was bull***t just like the stories about wind-generators.

  42. Pingback: Abbott derailing Australia on energy policy | Nuclear Australia

  43. Zofia

    I have read many articles outlining what the Coalition government and the state governments are doing to stop or hinder action taken to curb Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions. I am starting to think to myself, what is the point of reading any more articles on this topic. I know what the state and federal governments are doing and intend to do, but knowing doesn’t change anything. So what can I do? I can sign online petitions, attend rallies, write to politicians and newspapers or protest. I can wait for the elections, vote and hope it will make a difference. Or, I can take responsibility for my greenhouse gas emissions, and I can do something else that I believe will make even more of a difference.

    This year, on the 15th January, the biennial Investor Summit on Climate Risk took place ……. “more than 500 global financial leaders gathered at the United Nations to discuss the growing urgency of climate change and investor actions that are needed to mitigate escalating economic risks.” (Ceres: Investor Summit on Climate Risk 214) This is the pre-eminent forum for leaders from the financial, corporate and investor sectors to discuss the implications of climate change for capital markets.

    In 2012, the International Energy Agency estimated that the world must invest a total of $36 trillion in clean energy by 2050 – an average of $1 trillion per year. This would limit global warming to 2˚C and hopefully avoid catastrophic climate change. At this year’s Investor Summit, Ceres put forward plans for achieving the ‘Clean Trillion’.

    Pension funds and sovereign wealth funds manage around $75.9 trillion globally. The world needs a small part of those funds to be invested in clean energy rather than in the fossil fuel industries.
    “Investors have a pivotal role to play in promoting the necessary transition from a carbon-intensive to a clean energy economy. Closing the gap and achieving the ‘Clean Trillion’ is not impossible, but it is an increasingly profitable opportunity that shields investors from the risks of high-carbon assets in a warming world.” (Christiana Figueres, UN Framework Convention on Climate Change)
    If you are an investor, and a lot of people are as they belong to a super fund, then you can look into where your money is invested and take steps from there to make a difference.

    Websites that might help:
    Ceres
    http://www.gofossilfree.org/super
    Carbon Tracker Initiative
    Asset Owners Disclosure Project (AODP) – latest Global Climate Investment Index
    “IF ALL ASSET OWNERS WERE AODP AAA LEVEL, WE WOULD HAVE SOLVED CLIMATE CHANGE WITHOUT THE INTERVENTION OF A SINGLE POLITICIAN.” (Global Investors on Track for Climate Fall – AODP)

    Reports:
    “Australian Carbon Bubble” report 2013 (Carbon Tracker Initiative)
    “Stranded Down Under?” (Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment at Oxford University)

  44. greg

    Here’s a link to an article about whether turbines lower emissions or not, ‘Do wind farms/gas turbines save carbon?’, page 25:
    http://www.powertrans.com.au/UserFiles//file//PDFs//EG-4-13.pdf
    It does certainly seem that when all emissions are taken into account that wind turbines make only a marginal difference. The billions would have been better spent on combined cycle gas turbines and investing in base load renewables like geothermal.
    Very little of recent emissions reductions can be attributed to turbines:

    $7b paid in carbon tax to reduce CO2 by 0.3% and cool us by zero degrees

  45. iggy648

    The tipping point is coming and that must be obvious to coal powered energy producers. More people put solar panels on their roofs, so they need to buy less from power companies. That means power companies have to increase electricity prices to those who remain. As prices go up, it becomes more enticing to invest in solar panels. So more people put solar panels on their roofs. It’s a positive feedback loop which means the price of electricity from coal power must increase. If the power companies had any brains, they’d be investing heavily in their own renewable energy sources, to bring down their own costs to remain competitive enough to slow the migration to solar. BTW, the Chinese have already made a massive contribution to the environment by NOT having 300 million babies.

  46. iggy648

    P.S. The last person to go solar will be paying billions for their electricity! Hope it’s Gina!

  47. iggy648

    The obvious corollary of course, is that the demand for solar panels will steadily increase. Tony obviously wants to ensure that these are sourced from “countries other than Australia”.

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