Should we Roast or Should we Burn – Gee I wonder????

25 02 2010

Yes it’s bizarre. With the nightmarish unfolding of global warming that IS IN THE PROCESS OF DESTROYING OUR LIVING PLANETARY ENVIRONMENTAL SYSTEM we are now apparently hooked into a culture of Russian roulette with carbon emissions. It is safe? Yes it is! No it isn’t! Ohhhh well . . . maybe just a few more hundred thousand metric tonnes of Carbon Dioxide into the atmosphere will be OK. Let’s give it a go and find out.

Do you mind if I ask: What is wrong with this picture folks?

The SMH online news today tells the story. Under the banner Power station developers dismiss renewable energy. Ben Cubby’s report sent a chill down my spine. It begins

Two new fossil fuel power plants that will increase the state’s greenhouse gas emissions by between 5 and 15 per cent will move a step closer to construction this week after developers claimed renewable energy cannot feed a growing hunger for electricity.

Well they would say that wouldn’t they. I mean these developers obviously have to pay off their Mercedes Benzes and a few private school education bills – at the same time. How do they do it? It must be hard for them. The world needs more angry little lawyers. Let’s melt a few more ice bergs in the Antarctic and give the kids a head start in life. Yes it’s a beautiful philosophy. Not. Personally I would feel safer if you bought a well boiled icicle – sorry . . . make that a well oiled bicycle, moved into a much easier to manage cottage and used the local school. But to be honest with you I’m not holding my breath waiting for you to see that point of view. Instead I’m writing this blog.

The SMH article goes on to say that these two additional plants would be equivalent to a doubling of the number of cars on NSW roads. Fair Dinkum. And the rest of the story just gets deeper into the murky territory of developer greed and State Government myopia and possibly of governmental corruption. The nicest thing you could say about the State politicians is that they are particularly dumb. Some prefer to entertain the notion that someone is handing over brown bags of cash.

The arguments for and against boils down to this.

1)     Both Delta electricity and Macquarie Generation (both State owned) say they will be essential to meet demand and replace old plant.

2)     Public submissions suggesting that they invest in solar and/or wind have been rejected because “other states have better renewable resources” (my simple response to this: corporatised bureaucratic-speak BULLSHIT)

3)     The environmental assessment reports for both power stations say that “clean coal” technologies will not be available in the medium term (expect a twenty year plus wait on the snail pace agenda from the bunch of cowboys now running the show)

4)      The coal stations reckon that the technology for clean coal capture “will eventually emerge”, The reality is that building the coal fired plants would lock in the high emissions for decades

5) Environment groups are presenting a reasonable and rational sort of argument. Which is:  “future energy needs can mainly be met with better energy efficiency, wind turbines and solar stations in the outback.”

6)     In addition the Greens are arguing that estimations for baseload power have been overestimated

So let’s just read between the lines shall we? OK the State Government owned power companies Delta and Macquarie want to build a few new plants and use un-clean technology (particularly so if it’s coal and not gas). They don’t want the state to invest in Solar and Wind and build better efficiency. Why? Because they are all staffed by old paradigm types who know how to build . . .fossil fuel powered plants. This addictive behaviour on the part of these old school engineers is being enabled by short sighted politicians, only too happy to go along. It seems as if the Sate government is happy to accept overestimates of baseload power requirements. Why? “To justify their expansion plans.” Same shit different day.

Let’s allow Greens MP John Kaye to have the last word . . .

“Massive wind development in the state’s west and possibilities for solar thermal generation in the central west put paid to the Keneally government’s myths that NSW lacks renewable resources.”

Nuff said. So please picture yourself doing the following . . .Go over to your window. Stick your head out and shout at the top of your lungs. I’M AS MAD AS HELL AND I’M NOT GOING TO TAKE IT ANYMORE.

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5 responses

25 02 2010
David tow

Another straight from the heart, cogently and passionately argued piece from one of our great Oz bloggers- spot on mate- time for action

25 02 2010
quantumkool

Thanks Dave. One can only try. My vitriol is fired by a surreal sense that we are in a bad dream. Can someone wake these buggers up. Maybe a soft tinkling bell beside their slumbering heads . . .do you think?

25 02 2010
Mark Dyer

Nice one Simon, very well put.

Assuming we need the electricity, is it really the case that renewables can do it as efficiently – cost and green house wise ?

Mark

25 02 2010
quantumkool

That’s a good question Mark. I would certainly like to think so. But let’s not allow our imaginations to be squashed into a very small box. Did you know that about 22 years ago scientists discovered a new Carbon molecule. It is C60. The famous Buckminsterfullerine. AKA Buckyballs. I believe that 9 out of ten chemistry papers in the decade following i.e. the ’90s were about this c60 molecule. There’s a book – titled The World’s Most Beautiful Molecule. Apparently this molecule represents the chemical master key to synthesising just about anything – stuff beyond your wildest imagination. If it’s true that “The World is as you dream it” here’s my dream. We immediately move towards clean coal and carbon capture. We INVEST in the future. Bizarre concept but there it is. We imagine and envision that we will be able to unravel the C60 mysteries that will enable us to mine all the old garbage dumps get out all those buried molecules and by combining them in new and wonderful ways – with the carbon captured – we will build all kinds of light weight super strength materials. This would relieve us of the need to murder endless forests of trees and the animals who live in them. What’s the catch? This kind of solution requires someone to have a vision. To create some possibility beyond the limited scope now being presented. Are you getting this?

3 03 2010
avalyn

too sad to contemplate this swimming in circles by politicians …… I’m putting up my wind generator and I’m totally power self sufficient now anyway ….. kinda low key sometimes with so much rain about Northern Rivers………but I am definitely off-grid and out of the loop……..maybe the change will come through a communal ground-swell….. how are you quantumdude?? X

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