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What's the truth?

Discussion in 'The Pub' started by Calaber, Sep 28, 2019.

  1. Calaber

    Calaber Nil Bastardo Carborundum

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    This country keeps getting blasted for its performance reducing carbon emissions. Global warming is by far the biggest discussion item in so many arenas and I, for one, am getting really tired of hearing about it.
    Scomo addressed the UN last week and spoke about what we have done so far and what is planned, but his claims have been ridiculed by environmental groups, the Opposition and any other organisation that believes we are dragging the chain.
    In today's Sydney Daily Telegraph was a two page article debunking some of the global warming alarmist claims. I read the article fully and it sets out stats which indicate there is more happening here than I realised. Our renewable target of 30% appears to be very achievable, with rooftop installations in Australia exceeding the nearest nation, Germany, by three times and the current level being 22% of total power generated. Other policies are also having a positive effect, if the article is correct.
    So , what's the truth? Is Oz pulling its weight?
     
  2. chrisp

    chrisp Active Member

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    I’d treat any reports in the Daily Telegraph with some some caution.

    “30/01/2019 - Australia has made some progress replacing coal with natural gas and renewables in electricity generation yet remains one of the most carbon-intensive OECD countries and one of the few where greenhouse gas emissions (excluding land use change and forestry) have risen in the past decade. The country will fall short of its 2030 emissions target without a major effort to move to a low-carbon model, according to a new OECD report.”

    Quote from: https://www.oecd.org/australia/aust...y-efforts-to-meet-its-2030-emissions-goal.htm
     
  3. EYY

    EYY Well-Known Member

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    People don't seem to realise that it's not just a political issue, but more so an economic issue. Australia has an enormous indirect impact on levels of pollution. The vast majority of goods sold and consumed here have been imported from the likes of China where we have no control over the carbon emissions of their operations.

    It would be a very different story if the country still maintained local production for the majority of products consumed here. But international economic dependence means that pollution will always be a secondary concern. As soon as you upset a major international trade partner like China, there are massive consequences - both political and economic which will wreak havoc on the price of living for a start. It's no secret that Australia is very strongly dependent.

    All of these winners jumping up and down trying to declare a 'climate emergency' don't seem to have a grasp on reality, and the level of infrastructure development (and therefore cashflow) required to meet their demands.
     
  4. Nitro_X

    Nitro_X Numbskull

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    You make some good points.
    Australia has become a 'consumer nation' and mostly imported, except for our natural resources like iron ore, coal and gas, and we export huge amounts of all three.
    As you already know, combustion of coal and gas produces significant greenhouse gas emissions and steel production from our iron ore requires vast amounts of coking coal, coal is also used in the manufacture of cement.

    If it wasn't for China's massive debt based infrastructure boom we would not have survived the 2008/09 GFC without a recession.
    The main reason we currently have a good trade balance is due to the RBA's monetary policy which is pushing the Aussie $ lower.
    *Our resource commodities are priced/sold in US dollars
    But the side effect is that imports then become more expensive. (plus low interest rates are screwing over savers)
    If you go back to 2012 our trade balance was pretty bad, when the Aussie dollar was hovering around $1.02 to the greenback and dropped to about 0.85c in 2014/15. Currently around 0.68c I think.
    Our trade balance seems quite dependent on the price of these 3 main commodities and the AU$ exchange rate.
    https://dfat.gov.au/trade/resources/trade-statistics/Pages/australias-trade-balance.aspx

    .
     
  5. Nitro_X

    Nitro_X Numbskull

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    According to a study from the University of Melbourne, Australia's 'per-capita' emissions are higher than the USA, China, Germany, Brazil and India (our key trading partners)

    http://climatecollege.unimelb.edu.a...remain-highest-among-its-key-trading-partners

    Not very good really, when you consider the combined populations of China/India is over 2 billion and the US population is around 327 million, while Australia only has 25 million people
    .
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2019
  6. Calaber

    Calaber Nil Bastardo Carborundum

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    I find this to be a pretty misleading statistic. We use either coal, gas or hydro for baseload power. All our power stations are old. Nuclear power won't be contemplated. We might be the third worst per capita but our output is minuscule. Because we are such a large exporter of coal and gas, we get the results of consumption of those fuels blamed on us as well. Its fine to say cease coal mining and exports, but our entire economy rests on commodities exports. The country simply cannot just shut down the mines and cease exports. Not today, not tomorrow. And until a satisfactory substitute is implemented world wide, there will continue to be the need for those fuels in vast quantities.
     
  7. Nitro_X

    Nitro_X Numbskull

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    We are not the the third worst per-capita on emissions, we are number one. why is it misleading?
    Per-capita emissions is more relevant, using a simple country by country comparison is just an easy way to hide how bad Australia is because our population is small compared to our major trading partners.


    Aside from our coal fired power generation & transportation, we export emissions to other countries.
    The fact we are so reliant on commodities exports shows that our economic policy and structure is quite flawed and narrow, we don't 'value add' and we don't have a diverse productive economy because we rely so heavily on this and household consumption and flipping houses/land to the highest bidder.

    In addition, we have clean air and a relatively clean environment because we also export most of our e-waste and plastic waste off-shore to other countries. Remember the dramas when China stopped taking our consumption waste (eg: plastic waste)?
    We now send it to places like Thailand.
    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-07...ern-nations-destroying-thai-villages/11274578

    This section right at the bottom of the article:
    In a statement, the Australian Government said it had not received any reports of improper exports to Thailand but was committed to stamping out bad behaviour, if companies were found to be violating Australian law.

    Just BS, the Australian government doesn't give a flying fig about it, they don't have any lawful jurisdiction over Thailand's environmental policies, or lack there of, that's why they send our waste there instead of dealing with it here, out of sight, out of mind.
    "...committed to stamping out 'bad behaviour'..." yeah right...the right thing to do is not send it off shore to start with!
    They used the same empty rhetoric when referring to the fraud and corruption exposed by our big banks...just bad behaviour.
    ..
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2019
  8. Calaber

    Calaber Nil Bastardo Carborundum

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    It's misleading because it makes us seem like environmental vandals. Our output is a miniscule portion of the world's total yet we are pilloried by nations whose output far exceeds ours. Its disproportionate because coal fired energy has been the mainstay of our power generation from day one. Hydro power generates a much smaller proportion and we never went nuclear. Australia's topography isn't conducive to many schemes like the Snowy Mountains project. Only Tasmania is the area that has the capacity to generate a significant percentage of its power from hydro. For all sorts of political and environmental reasons, nuclear power was prohibited. So, while other countries had a better chance of large scale hydro, or went down the nuclear route, our principal choice was coal. What's the most effective, and most viable alternative for base load power for us now, recognising the shortcomings of renewables at present?

    EDIT:In relation to disposal or recycling of plastics. A few points to make on this issue as you've raised it.
    1. China and Thailand accepted recyclable plastics from a number of countries, not just Oz. The only reason for doing so would have been commercial opportunism. Clearly, accepting plastics and recycling them would have been of benefit to interests within those countries. It appears China underestimated the quantity of plastics involved and were engulfed before shutting the gates. Thailand accepted the waste in their stead. Whose fault is it if the Thai government fails to have proper pollution controls in place? From your post, it seems our government is at least partially responsible. What bullshit. Anything else you'd like to blame them for? I seem to recall that Morrison's address at the UN specifically referred to reduction of non putrescible (ie plastic) waste in the Pacific region. Policies need to be implemented to not just reduce single use plastic waste, but to abolish it altogether. I seem to recall that action in that direction is already underway in many countries, including ours. The volume of single use plastics in this and other countries is a cost-effective but extremely wasteful practice by corporations who clearly have little or no environmental conscience. China is probably the greatest perpetrator of this environmental vandalism of all.

    If you want to heap **** on the government for its shortcomings, at least have the decency to acknowledge where they are trying to do something right.
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2019
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  9. Skylarking

    Skylarking Well-Known Member

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  10. greenacc

    greenacc Searching for the billion

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    That argument makes absolutely no sense to me whatsoever. So we are the worst per capita, ok. But then saying it's even worse because China and India's population is so high? Um, what?
    Of course living in such a densely populated country produces less emissions per capita.
    The other question is, where would you rather live?
     
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  11. Skylarking

    Skylarking Well-Known Member

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    [satire]
    If predictions are anything to go by, where you live better be remote and up high so sea level rise won't drown you, and you should live in a bunker so monster storms don't blow your house down, and you must have a huge basement in said bunker which you can use for food storage so you can feed your family during the famines (start hording now). Lastely, you may as well have a large munitions cache so you can protect and defend your family when world order collapes.
    [/satire]

    Seriously, living in a sparsely populated continent will allow local city pollution to dissipate more readily, so we can continue to breath easy in out cities. However, even this will not spare us from problems associated with an increase in global mean temperature causing rainfall shortfalls across our continent and the globe while super storms rain havock causing repeated financial loss.

    But as a nation of 25M, even if we produced zero CO2 today, and stopped exporting all our coal, gas, anything that can be burnt, the global impact in terms of reduced global mean temperature rise as a result of our self sacrifice will still be immeasurably small (close enough to zilch as to not mean anything).

    As a species, we are at the precipice and unless we change radically, we deserve the rewards of rampant population growth.
    in 1800 we had 1 billion people on this blue planet,
    in 1927 we had 2 billion people,
    in 1960 we had 3 billion people,
    in 2011 we had 7 billion people,
    in 2019 we have 7.7 billion people,
    in 2037 we expect 9 billion people,
    in 2055 we expect 10 billion people on our previously blue but now probably brown planet floating in space.

    The solution is predicated on pollution and population growth staying in check over the next 50 years. Sadly this is something our governments simply can't cope with as growth on growth is all they understand. In the meantime there are global warming deniers out there take focus away from the pollution problem that needs to be solved, which tradable commodities simply wont do, and population growth never gets a mention.

    Nature will resolve it for us eventually :eek:
     
  12. Nitro_X

    Nitro_X Numbskull

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    1. I've never stated that countries such as China and India don't need to do more in regards to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
    It requires a 'global effort', the planets atmosphere is not contained within physical bubbles encasing each individual country.

    2. Emissions per-capita is relevant because energy (electricity) requirements are directly related to population and consumption demand.

    3. I don't ignore the fact that using a country by country comparison it's clear that China and India produce more greenhouse gas emissions than Australia. I simply stated that using this method of comparison makes it easy to hide Australia's poor effort to reduce our emissions, making it easy to side-step the issue, and pass the buck to other countries as an argument for Australia to ramp up more coal exports (collect the revenue then blame these countries for not curbing their emissions) while at the same time pushing for more coal fired power generation here, which is what the Morrison government wants to do.
    The point of the per-capita comparison shows that in Australia, our carbon footprint 'per person' is significantly higher than these countries, and indeed, higher than EU28 and the American powerhouse of economic activity.
    If you cannot understand the significance or relevance of this as humanity moves forward and global population continues to rise (including Australia's population) then I can only suggest you open your mind a little more and think a bit harder about the issues facing humanity as a whole...in terms of the environment, consumption, waste, economics AND human health and well-being.

    4. Why can't Australia deal with all its own e-waste/plastic? Why do we ship it off-shore for another country to deal with?
    Oh, that's right, it makes economic sense, its cheaper and easier and these countries don't have the same environmental standards as we do here, therefore, it no longer becomes our responsibility to be accountable for our own consumption waste and the pollution that it causes.

    5. If Morrison and the LNP government were serious, they would actually implement policy for a circular economy, where we deal with our own problems mentioned above, in an innovative way, producing real productive sustainable jobs and industries, lead the way, instead of 'passing the buck' and being lapdogs to America and China.
    Maybe it would even inspire other countries, but nah, Morrison's real policy agenda is to tell Australians households to go out shopping and buy more stuff, consume more stuff we don't really need and buy more houses/apartments to prop up our fake economy built upon unsustainable debt.
    Australia's energy policy has been a mess for years, no vision, no progressiveness, just push the status-quo.

    .
     
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  13. Calaber

    Calaber Nil Bastardo Carborundum

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    @Numbscull. I hold different views to you, so telling me I need to open my mind is a wasted exercise. I started this post by outlining in brief, processes being implemented in this country by state and federal governments, and private enterprise, to deal with our carbon emissions and pollution. I suspect you believe them to be lies. Ces la vie.

    If we as a nation are so irresponsible in having the world's worst per capita emissions, what have YOU done personally to address the problem? I know what I've done. It isn't insignificant and it wasn't cheap but it works. You?
     
  14. Nitro_X

    Nitro_X Numbskull

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    Your twisting my words around and making a mockery of your own thread.
    Clearly, you're not interested in my views or other's which don't line up with your political views, now you wanna start being condescending and shift the discussion from the national interest/big picture and make it personal...

    For starters I've worked in the solar PV industry and completed academic studies in the following modules:
    Engineering maths
    Science
    Engineering computing
    Thermodynamics 1
    Introduction to environmental management
    OH&S
    Applied electricity 1 & 2
    Drawings and diagrams for electrical work
    Electrotech systems, materials and access
    Welding practice
    Sustainability
    Greenhouse gas reduction strategies
    Energy auditing
    ELV wiring practice
    Fluid mechanics for renewable energy systems
    Electronics for renewable energy systems
    Applied electricity 4
    Photovoltaic power systems
    Stand-alone power systems
    Wind energy conversion systems 1
    Solar water heating systems 1 & 2
    Energy efficient building design
    AC & DC machines
    Writing & presenting reports
    Stand-alone power system Installation
    Intro to circuit simulation for renewable energy systems
    Perform basic repairs to renewable energy equipment (ELV)
    Assemble and disassemble renewable energy systems
    Perform functional checks on renewable energy equipment
    Provide advice on sustainable energy solutions
    Install stand-alone photovoltaic power systems
    Diagnose, maintain and repair stand-alone PV power systems
    Design stand-alone PV power systems
    Commission stand-alone Photovoltaic power systems
    Design a solar water heating system
    Access and analyse a building for energy efficiency
    Design install and maintain small wind energy conversion systems
    Plan, evaluate and implement environmental management
    Outside of this, I've studied horticulture/permaculture and implemented various composting techniques.
    Studied composting toilet systems and grey water recycling (yet to be implemented)

    This is ScoMo's energy policy: (I guess he forgot to mention the significant decline in Australia's manufacturing sector, that we import most of the value added consumables we purchase, and Australian households and businesses continue to struggle with rising energy costs)

     
  15. Nitro_X

    Nitro_X Numbskull

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    In addition, both labor and the LNP have ramped up immigration to artificially boost economic consumption to create the illusion of productive economic growth. In the last decade the government has had to create around 50% of new jobs in the public sector to bolster the employment numbers and bloat the system with inefficient bureaucratic red tape.
    The LNP has allowed the bankers to get away with fraud and corruption to pump up household debt to unsustainable epic levels, all to create the illusion that we have a productive and sustainable economy.

    If our economy is so great, why does the RBA need to keep interest rates at historical lows and even continue reducing interest rates possibly to zero, the RBA has also stated they would be willing to go to negative interest rates and implement quantitative easing (like the US, Japan and the EU)....creating money from thin air...to keep asset prices inflated...
    ...apparently it's because our economy is so strong that it requires artificial stimulus, more debt and monetary manipulation to keep it afloat.

    .
     
  16. Nitro_X

    Nitro_X Numbskull

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    Just before the last federal election, the environment minister, Melissa Price, was pressured by her own constituents to quickly approve the Adani coal mine, just in case Labor won. She doesn't even have any scientific or environmental qualifications, she's a lawyer.
    I wrote to her about her lack of integrity and moral corruption.
    She resigned from that ministerial position after the election and is now minister for the defence industry.
     
  17. greenacc

    greenacc Searching for the billion

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    Our economy is going shithouse! I agree with that one. Are those TAFE modules you're studying?
     
  18. Skylarking

    Skylarking Well-Known Member

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    Am I the only one that sees the irony in having such a passionate discussion on a car forum that lauders V8’s, how to tune your drive for those extra kw’s while bypassing pollution laws in the process, hails the virtues of motorsports, etc?

    Odd, odd indeed.
     
  19. Calaber

    Calaber Nil Bastardo Carborundum

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    I didn't intend to create a one on one over our economic or environmental performance. I'm quite willing to accept that our so called strong economy is a myth. I can recall the time when interest rates were a powerful tool used by the RBA to cool or stimulate the economy. With rates now below 1%, and three reductions in less than 12 months, that effectiveness has clearly been lost. I agree that the banks should have been hit much harder and it appears some senior people within those banks have been treated much too lightly. I also agree that our reliance on exports of minerals and loss of secondary industries are an indictment on our federal governments over many years. So, there are points upon which we agree.

    In relation to emissions reduction, I still ask for a practical solution to reducing our reliance on coal. The downsides to wind and solar are recognised so what other alternatives are there? The extensive studies you say you've undertaken should equip you with the knowledge to answer that question at least. I don't claim to know the answer but I do know, from my own experience, just how effective solar power can be during daytime in reducing power costs and contributing to the grid, thereby, in theory, reducing my contribution to the emissions level. I'm not alone, as I said originally, Australia is leading the world by a margin of 3 to 1 from its nearest competitor in the installation of rooftop solar. No doubt, stupidly expensive electricity prices are the principal factor behind this trend.

    This debate has become politicised because we clearly come from opposite directions. I don't believe that the LNP has the best policies. In fact, their lack of direction is worrying but I certainly don't think Labor would have stoked the economy with its policies, given the fragile state of our economy at present.
     
  20. keith reed

    keith reed Active Member

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    The biggest problem I see with reducing our reliance on coal is that there are people making huge money to see that it doesn't happen. I worked on the construction of a coal fired power station at Kogan Creek. They said that they had a 300 year supply of coal. I also worked on conveyor belts at Blackwater and Middlemount. At Middlemount were told that it cost $13 per tonne to get the coal from out of the ground to the wharf. At the time coal was selling for $300 per tonne. They were making a killing. No idea what it sells for now but these conveyor belts were built for the day when the coal price dropped.

    I believe that it is a myth to say that the economy is run by either The LNP or Labor. It is big business that runs the show, if they don't get what the want they will go elsewhere. Their interest is in making money not the interest of the country. Neither party has the balls to take them on and that isn't going to change anytime soon.
     
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