“Climate Emergency and Sustainability Emergency” - Submission from Dr Gideon Polya to the Garnaut Climate Change Review
Garnaut Climate Change Review, Level 2,
This submission by a senior scientist is in response to a general invitation for submissions made on the Garnaut Climate Change Review Website: http://www.garnautreview.org.au/CA25734E0016A131/pages/submissions .
The Garnaut Climate Change Review is an independent study by Professor Ross Garnaut, commissioned by
The Review will examine the impacts of climate change on the Australian economy, and recommend medium to long-term policies and policy frameworks to improve the prospects for sustainable prosperity. The Review's final report is due on 30 September 2008, with a draft by 30 June 2008. A number of forums will also be held around
This submission to the Garnaut Change Review is by a senior scientist committed to Rational Risk Management that successively involves (a) accurate data, (b) scientific analysis and (c) systemic change to minimize risk (for a detailed, expert exposition see Professor James Reason, “Human error: models and management”, British Medical Journal, vol. 320, 768-770, 2000: http://www.bmj.com/cgi/content/full/320/7237/768 ).
Indeed as a responsible pubIic service I have committed a lot of time and effort to informing governments, media and fellow citizens about important matters, of which
16 million people die avoidably in the world each year (see “Body Count. Global avoidable mortality since 1950” (G.M. Polya, Melbourne, 2007: http://mwcnews.net/content/view/1375/247/ and http://globalbodycount.blogspot.com/ ) but global warming is already impacting human excess mortality and eminent atmosphere scientist Professor James Lovelock FRS estimates that 6 billion will die this century due to unaddressed global warming (see: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/story/16956300/the_prophet_of_climate_change_james_lovelock ).
The world is facing a potential catastrophe due successively to industrial profligacy, greenhouse gas pollution, global warming and declining per capita sustainable resources. This potential problem of environmental pollution and impacts on biological sustainability has been familiar to scientists since the 19 th century research of John Tyndall; was addressed by the Club of Rome in circa 1970; and which was further addressed by successive Assessment Reports of the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change since 1990 (see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intergovernmental_Panel_on_Climate_Change ).
As a chemistry-based scientist for 4 decades, I was aware of the finiteness of the atmosphere, the oceans, arable land and fossil fuel reserves from the start of my career. I was made aware of the mounting atmospheric problems back in 1972 as a Queen Elizabeth II Fellow in the department of one of Australia’s top hydrologists and biophysicists who later went on to be Chief Scientist of Australia.
In 1998 I published a book entitled “Jane Austen and the Black Hole of British History. Colonial rapacity, holocaust denial and the crisis in biological sustainability” (see: http://janeaustenand.blogspot.com/ ). In short, I argued that history ignored yields history repeated, holocaust ignored yields holocaust repeated and that the ignoring of successive Bengali Holocausts under the British - the 1769-1770 Bengal Famine (10 million deaths) and the 1943-1944 Bengal Famine (4 million deaths) - will permit a horrendous disaster in the 21st century due to industrial profligacy, man-made global warming and destructive inundation of mega-deltaic Bengal. My predictions of holocaust ignoring and irresponsible industrial profligacy are already being realized – recently formerly densely populated Bengali islands permanently disappeared under the waves, and the last major
Indeed at the height of the “forgotten” 4 million excess death WW2 Bengal Famine (experienced and studied by 1998 Economics Nobel Laureate Professor Amartya Sen of Cambridge and thence Harvard universities) millions of tons of wheat were used to run the railways in Argentina due to the WW2 shortage a coal (see: http://janeaustenand.blogspot.com/ ) – an obscenity now mirrored in the current huge diversion of US grain production to biofuel production with (together with other factors) a consequent steep increase in food prices, the lowest number of food supply days for decades and looming famine for the 2 billion people ALREADY suffering food deprivation.
Climate change is already contributing to the 16 million avoidable deaths (including 9.6 million of under-5 year old infants) that occur each year on Spaceship Earth with the profligate
A must-read document for policy makers is the 2007 “Summary for Policymakers of the Synthesis Report of the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report (AR4)” (for a Summary of the Summary see: http://green-blog.org/ and http://green-blog.org/2007/11/21/summary-of-the-summary-of-the-2007-ipcc-ar4-synthesis-report/ .
Sir Nicholas Stern his authoritative Stern report on the economics of climate change states that it will be cheaper to act now rather than later. For example, in a recent lecture Sir Nicholas Stern states: "For $10-15bn (£4.8-7.2bn) per year, a programme could be constructed that could stop up to half the deforestation” (which contributes 10-15% of greenhouse pollution) and after describing climate change as the “world’s worst market failure”, he says that there must be an 80% reduction in rich nations' greenhouse gas pollution by 2050 if the world is to avoid "destructive" consequences of global warming (see: http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2007/nov/30/climatechange.carbonemissions ).
Indeed the draft recommendation at the December 2007 Bali Conference was for a developed country 25-40% reduction on 1990 levels of greenhouse gas pollution by 2020 – a position opposed by climate criminal countries the US, Canada, Japan and Rudd Australia (see:
Unfortunately Rudd Labor, while having secured an urgently needed victory in the elections over the greenhouse sceptic and greenhouse unresponsive Bush-ite Coalition, is simply not green enough (see: link ). While Rudd Labor has ratified
Indeed the likely target of Stern (500-550 ppm atmospheric CO2 ) is a catastrophe for the planet – according to Professor James Lovelock FRS at 500 ppm atmospheric CO2 the Greenland Ice Sheet goes and so does the ocean phytoplankton system that is crucial for cloud formation (through dimethyl sulphide production), planetary temperature homeostasis (through CO2 sequestration) and oceanic food chains (J. Lovelock, The Revenge of Gaia”, Penguin, London, 2006).
PM Rudd has stated that before making a decision on short term targets his Government needs to have the “facts”. Well, the World has had the “facts” for a dozen years and what follows is a scientist’s assessment of the “facts” drawn from authoritative American and European technical sources. Unfortunately in the Australian Murdochracy, the politically correct racist (PC racist) Land of Lies and Flies, Australia’s world #1 coal exports that contribute over 50% of Australia’s total annual greenhouse gas pollution are not even a matter for public discussion (except for the ethical and responsible Australian Greens) (for how a mature society regards the matter see George Monbiot’s “The real answer to climate change is to leave fossil fuels in the ground”: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/story/0,,2225387,00.html ).
Indeed any specifically “economic impact” research in 2007-2008 by the eminent Professor Ross Garnaut Climate Change Review will be instantly trashed if the Rest of the World (i.e. other than the US-Australia-Canada-Japan quartet opposing 25-40% reduction in CO2 pollution by 2020) decides officially or unofficially to impose Sanctions, Boycotts or Green Tariffs on the goods and services of climate criminal countries.
Further, what we are facing is a Climate Emergency and a Sustainability Emergency as revealed by the eminent American atmosphere scientist Dr James Hansen who has recently stated that 300-350 ppm atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) is the safe, sustainable level for the biosphere and human survival – whereas it is actually 383 ppm now and increasing by 2.5 ppm every year. Dr Hansen is effectively calling not for ZERO EMISSIONS but NEGATIVE CO2 EMISSIONS (see the Friends of the Earth’s ”Climate Code Red – the case for a sustainability emergency”: http://www.climatecodered.net/ and http://climatecodered.blogspot.com/ ).
A recent paper in the prestigious journal Science reveals that at 450 ppm CO2 world coral reefs will start dying from ocean acidification (see: http://www.abc.net.au/rn/scienceshow/stories/2007/2115399.htm ). The coal industry (that is helping to destroy world coral reefs) is worth about A$25 billion pa to Australia (A$2 billion to 25,000 workers and at 30% company tax, about A$8 billion to the taxpayer) - as compared to A$7 billion pa from tourism and 63,000 jobs associated with the Great Barrier Reef (Access Economics: http://www.gbrmpa.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0017/22661/rp_87-GBRCA-economic-contribution-2005-06-final-report.pdf ).
However what is INESTIMABLY more important than a mere circa 1% of Australia’s annual GDP is the prospective destruction of organisms that have been around for half a billion years, the destruction of complex coral ecosystems that have been around for tens of millions of years and the attendant devastation of the ecosystems crucially required for numerous other marine organisms and crucial, humanity-sustaining fisheries.
A crucial paper in the top scientific journal Science of major importance for the Garnaut Review is the seminal, multi-author paper by Balmford et al entitled “Economic reasons for conserving wild nature” (Science, 9 August 2002, 950: http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/reprint/297/5583/950.pdf ; http://www.envirosecurity.org/conference/working/ReasonsConservWildNature.pdf ). These authors estimate that for a number of ecosystems (biomes) studied the total economic value (TEV) is about 50% greater if the natural resource is used sustainably as opposed to irreversibly and destructively. They have further found that the economic benefit from preserving what is left of wild nature exceeds the cost of doing so by a factor of over 100 (one hundred).
The outstanding Australian bioethicist Professor Peter Singer (
(Singer, P. (2000), Writings on an Ethical Life (
A few days ago at a social function I was asked by a top
As detailed below, stated and committed Rudd Government policy means that it will INCREASE Australia’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. “Waiting for Godot” or, with the utmost respect, “waiting for Garnaut” 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 “20% renewables by 2020”, “”60% reduction on 2000 greenhouse gas pollution by 2050” 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 Australia’s fossil fuel EXPORTS) is the following pattern of “total annual per capita fossil fuel-derived CO2 emission in tonnes per person per year” (i.e. “Total Annual Per Capita Pollution” or TAPCP) of 43 (2007), 56 (2020) and 65 (2050).
Australia’s TAPCP is already 10 times that of China’s 2004 value and Rudd Labor’s “do nothing, set up a committee” approach means a startling continuation in 2008 of Labor’s 2007 5-fold greater version of the racist Labor Immigration Minister Arthur Calwell’s notorious 1947 declaration: “Two Wongs do not make a White” (see: http://mwcnews.net/content/view/17999/42/ and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arthur_Calwell ) – 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 China’s 2004 APCP value (3.6).
2. Professor Garnaut’s “all men are created equal” position (December 2007)
Professor Garnaut (ABC, Lateline, 10 December 2007) stated: (from my notes): “
3. Australian Greens policy consonant with non-Bush-ite “Rest of the World” consensus
The Australian Greens policy is to rapidly phase out fossil fuel extraction and to have an “80% reduction of greenhouse gas pollution by 2050”. This yields an APCP of 2.4 in 2050 and consonant both with the IPCC and Stern 2007 demands for “80% reduction on 1990 levels by 2050”, “Pulling its full weight” (Professor Garnaut, 2007) and “all men are created equal” (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 Australia’s “annual coal exports”, “annual natural gas extraction”, “annual domestic fossil fuel-derived CO2 production” and “annual total fossil fuel-derived CO2 production” 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 “DOMESTIC annual fossil fuel-derived CO2 production” (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 “TOTAL annual fossil fuel-derived CO2 production, TAPCP” (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 “total annual per capita fossil fuel-derived CO2 pollution, TAPCP” of 101 tonnes per person per year in 2050, 27 times
5. Major international comparisons –
Despite the rhetoric, rational approaches to save the Planet are being resolutely opposed by racist, greedy Bush America (the world’s worst greenhouse gas polluter and stand-out Kyoto non-signatory) and previously Bush-ite and presently neo-Bush-ite Australia (the world’s developed country with the worst annual per capita greenhouse gas pollution and the world’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 “annual per capita fossil fuel-derived CO2 pollution, APCP” in tonnes CO2/person is 19.2 (for
6. Germanwatch index places
Of course “annual per capita fossil fuel-derived CO2 pollution” is but one – albeit a very important – 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
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 – 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
8. Annual per capita GDP is directly proportional to annual per capita CO2 emission
If you plot “annual per capita fossil fuel-derived CO2” (2004) versus “annual per capita GDP” (2003) the data from most countries fall on a straight line (not quite going through zero on the “annual per capita GDP” 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
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 (b) 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 (b) obfuscatory inputs by climate criminal countries such as the
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/ ) “Category IV” 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 today’s) and 0.6-2.4 metres sea level above the pre-industrial sea level or 0.4 – 2.2 metres above today’s). However Professor Lovelock (“The Revenge of Gaia”) thinks that 500ppm CO2 would cause disastrous phytoplankton and
Recent data from 2 independent sources (see: “Recent CO2 rises exceed worst case scenarios”, 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 today’s level of 379 ppm , temperatures 4-5 degree centigrade above today’s and sea level 0.8-3.5 metres above today’s.
Thanks to climate criminal, climate genocidal countries, notably Bush America (the world’s #1 GHG polluter) and Bush-ite Australia (the world’s #1 coal exporter) – 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 “Garnaut Report excuse”, “waiting for Garnaut” gambit contradicts the expert, IPCC-endorsed Stern injunction to “Act Now”
Both the IPCC Fourth Assessment report and the Stern Report say “act NOW”. However, stripped of mellifluous rhetoric (e.g. “there is no plan B”) 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 “there is no plan B” why won’t Rudd
According to Stern as quoted by the Guardian (2007): “The 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
As indicated above (#1) the “solid”, “committed” Rudd Labor Policy indicates “total annual fossil fuel-derived CO2 pollution (million tonnes per year )” of 910 (2007), 1,277 (2020) and 2,122 (2050).
However it is salutary to consider the scenario if Rudd Labor accepted ”25% reduction on 1990 levels by 2050 - “total annual fossil fuel-derived CO2 pollution (million tonnes per year )” would be 910 (2007), 915 (2020) and 1,371 (2050).
If Rudd Labor accepted”40% reduction on 1990 levels by 2050 - “total annual fossil fuel-derived CO2 pollution (million tonnes per year )” would be 910 (2007), 877 (2020) and 1,371 (2050).
Even under Rudd Labor’s “20% renewable by 2020” and “”60% on 2000 levels by 2050”, the “domestic annual fossil fuel-derived CO2 pollution (million tonnes per year )” would be 345 (2000), 424 (2007), 443 (2020) and 138 (2050).
As indicated above (#1) the “solid” Rudd Labor Policy indicates “total annual per capita pollution (TAPCP, tonnes per person per year)” of 43 (2007), 56 (2020) and 65 (2050);
If Rudd Labor accepted ”25% reduction on 1990 levels by 2050” , “total annual per capita pollution (TAPCP, tonnes per person per year)” would be 43 (2007), 44 (2020) and 65 (2050).
If Rudd Labor accepted “40% on 1990 levels by 2020” the “total annual per capita pollution (TAPCP, tonnes per person per year)” would be 43 (2007), 42 (2020) and 65 (2050).
Even under Rudd Labor’s CURRENTLY PROPOSED “20% renewable by 2020” and “”60% reduction on 2000 levels by 2050” the “DOMESTIC annual per capita pollution (DAPCP, tonnes per person per year)” 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 (
(Singer, P. (2000), “Writings on an Ethical Life”,
Unfortunately there is a major bipartisan agreement in
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 “crazy” 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 “unimaginable” 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 world’s population and 57% of the world’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
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
15. “True cost” of fossil fuels versus bearable cost, corporate/government-determined cost and A$10 billion pa subsidies for Australian fossil fuel burning
While the “true cost” of coal-based electricity can be over 4 times the “market” cost, this will be ignored in corporate, government and diplomatic “horse-trading” to set carbon price – just as society in practice ignores the “annual death rate” due to cigarette smoking (about 1,000 per million) or due to cars (about 100 per million) in assessing the “true cost” of tobacco or cars. Extrapolating from
If the true environmental and human cost of fossil fuel-derived power were taken into account then (a) economics would dictate “keep fossil fuels in the ground” (as advocated by the Australian Greens and by George Monbiot: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/story/0,,2225387,00.html ), (b) subsidies would be immediately removed and (c) 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 – 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 “Renewables: how the numbers stack up” in New Matilda: http://www.newmatilda.com/home/articledetailmagazine.asp?ArticleID=2398&CategoryID=213 ):
3-4 — coal, Australia;
18 — 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 — nuclear via the
7.5-8.5 — wind power, Australia;
15 — concentrated solar power or CSP;
25-45 — standard silicon-based photovoltaics (PVs).
However recent advances means we must add the following to the list:
4 – the price of solar PV is set to fall dramatically to compete directly with the current “market price” 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 “market price” coal by 2010 (see “Solar energy & the end of war. US balloon technology to slash solar energy cost 90% by 2010”: http://mwcnews.net/content/view/18667/42/ ).
4 – Australian geothermal. According to Professor John Veevers (“The Innamincka hot fractured rock project” in “Lies, Deep Fries & Statistics”, editor Robyn Williams, ABC Books, Sydney, 2007; also see energy cost-related related chapters by Dr Gideon Polya “Australian complicity in Iraq mass mortality”, Dr Mark Diesendorf “A sustainable energy future for Australia”, and Martin Mahy “Hydrogen Minibuses”): “Modelled 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.”
Further, wave, tidal, biomass and biofuel energy technologies are renewable technologies competitive with the “true cost” of fossil fuels. Australia’s huge reserves of economic geothermal power are expertly assessed to have the capacity to provide most of Australia’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 – anthropogenic climate change, the reasons for war in
18. Mandated efficient energy PROVISION as well as USAGE
19. Oil, strategic hegemony and 5-8 million post-invasion excess deaths in the Bush Wars in the Occupied Iraqi and
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
Total post-invasion excess deaths in the Occupied Iraqi and
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 – 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 “War on Terror” 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
It has been estimated by Balmford et al in the prestigious scientific journal Science (see “Economic reasons for preserving wild nature”: http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/297/5583/950 ) that for a variety of “biomes” (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 “current jobs” and corporations as we see in the ongoing deforestation of
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 – fossil fuel burning is actually SUBSIDIZED to the tune of about $10 billion annually in
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/ ) – 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 “unimaginable” 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 world’s population and 57% of the world’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
Biofuels are formally CO2 neutral and renewable – 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 – 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 “real cost” and the “real value” 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, “Biochemical Targets of Plant Bioactive Compounds. A pharmacological reference guide to sites of action and biological effects” CRC Press,
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 (£4.8-7.2bn) per year, a programme could be constructed that could stop up to half the deforestation” (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, “Biochemical Targets of Plant Bioactive Compounds. A pharmacological reference guide to sites of action and biological effects”, CRC Press,
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 “25-40% reduction by 2020” 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 Garnaut’s report is already clear – in his own words (December 2007) “
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/ ).
On a per capita basis and including our fossil fuel exports,
The Rudd Labor commitment to “20% renewables by 2020”, “”60% reduction on 2000 greenhouse gas pollution by 2050” 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 Australia’s fossil fuel EXPORTS) “annual per capita fossil fuel-derived CO2 emission in tonnes per person per year” of 43 (2007), 56 (2020) and 65 (2050).
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 “true cost” 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 – indeed we need to have a NEGATIVE atmospheric CO2 growth.
This has been written in the public interest.
Dr Gideon Polya
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,
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 “Terra”: http://mwcnews.net/content/view/15671/42/ and “Apocalypse Now”: http://mwcnews.net/content/view/17652/42/ .