The Dog’s Bollocks

Truth is like a dog’s bollocks – pretty obvious if you care to look.

Australian business leaders call for emissions target

More bad news from The Age for the Howard government in resisting the setting of greenhouse gas emission targets.

A GATHERING of senior business leaders has called on the Australian Government to adopt a 2020 binding target for carbon emissions reductions and agreed the Government should ratify an international agreement even if it does involve economic costs. The group also called for Australia to introduce an emissions trading scheme.

The business leaders, who met under Chatham House rules which prevent their identity being disclosed, were meeting in Canberra as part of a Business Leaders Forum on Climate Change organised by the Australian Davos Connection, an NGO focused on promoting the World Economic Forum.

A statement released after the event said Australia needed to take greater action domestically to deal with climate change and feared that “without action Australia risks being excluded from international trade”.

Treasurer Costello is about to release his crystal ball gazing snapshot of Australia’s economy 40 years hence. For a man who has trouble predicting this year’s budget surplus, Costello and the Howard government wouldn’t recognise the future if it bit them on the backside. Australian business generally does not have a good record on economic innovation – the Coalition even less so, despite their self-proclaimed mantle of Best Economic Managers.

As the above story illustrates, the future brings its own challenges and opportunities. Would Costello have been able to predict the economic impact of the internet even 20 years ago? Hardly.

Enviroskeptics see climate change as a conspiracy of interest groups to steal taxpayers hard-earned cash. I would think that the entrepreneurs among us would be better off getting in on the action. The potential profits will far outweigh the costs to their individual tax dollar.

In a related story, also from the The Age business section:

HALF of Australia’s electricity could be supplied through renewable energy by 2040, according to a report that also recommends limiting Australia’s immigration in order to deal with our greenhouse gas emissions.

The report, to be released today by Mark Diesendorf, director of the sustainability centre at the University of New South Wales, states that a combination of renewable energy sources could power all of Australia’s grid electricity in about 40 years without having to resort to brown coal or nuclear power.

Dr Diesendorf hoped the report, The Base Load Fallacy, would “blow open the myth that renewables were unable to provide Australia’s base load electricity needs”, saying a mixture of bio-energy, solar thermal, geothermal and wind power could provide the answer.

“Some opponents of renewable energy are claiming that renewable energy cannot provide base load electricity but it is a myth put out there by the coal and nuclear industries,” he said.

“After 2050 there could be a situation where the vast majority if not all of Australia’s electricity comes from renewable sources. Maybe 20 per cent from wind, maybe 20 per cent from bio-energy, maybe 30 or 40 per cent from solar thermal electricity and solar photovoltaic as well as some from geothermal.”

I wonder if that’s been factored into Costello’s future snapshot? I doubt it, somehow.

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Filed under: Economics, Environment, Politics

One Response

  1. Steve Evans says:

    Australian Politicians would do well to read the UNFCCC’s report as published in February. See the web site http://www.climate-change.me.uk for a summary – I really hope you don’t think mentioning this site is spamming it IS absolutely relevant and not intended as spam.

    The outcome of economically damaging cosnequences for Australia from global warming is much worse than in most temperate climates, and is forecast to happen much earlier.

    Australia’s ability to produce grain depends so sensitively on the already sparse rainfall that when the penny drops and your politicians do accept the inevitable I think they will need to really begin to plan for this in a big way.

    Surely, discussing whether limiting immigration policy should be used to limit emissions, should possibly be put in another way. That is unless we can all limit our emissions globally, who will want to go to Australia to sizzle in a dust bowl with a failing economy? Wake up Australia!

    Incidentally, London has the problem the other way around. It will be flooded by rising sea levels. The UK government has nevertheless already started early planning and engineering study stages for huge expenditure to protect London from this.

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