Monday, February 6, 2012

"No Easy Choices: Which Way Australia's Energy Future?"

So titled is the Grattan Institute's latest Energy Report (6th Feb 2012) presented to Government today by Tony Wood, the program director. It concludes that we must quickly change the way electricity is generated in order to meet the Commonwealth's goal of reducing Australia's greenhouse gas emissions to 80% below 2000 levels by 2050. The possible role of technologies that generate electricity with near-zero emissions (viz., wind, solar, geothermal, nuclear, carbon capture and storage, and bio-energy) is reviewed.

The underlying supposition is that the introduction of a price on carbon (CO2) emissions by the Labor Government will move investment towards renewable energy production, particularly wind and solar and away from coal, or to coal with the costly addition of carbon capture and storage. The conclusion of report is a nonsense since it is based on the false idea that carbon dioxide is an atmospheric pollutant and that it is sensible to proceed to a costly low carbon economy. The idea of actually burying CO2 emissions is bizarre since it is essential for growth of the biosphere; the plants and trees love it! Any Federal legislation dealing with CO2 emissions and the Carbon Tax must be revoked. Our future prosperity is dependent on sensibly using our vast resources of coal, gas and uranium, NOT with costly and intermittent wind and solar energy.

Tonight on 7.00 TV News we see Tony Wood explaining the details of his new report and saying that "Climate change is real" (ditto Tony Windsor interview). Really! Climate change is what makes the Earth a dynamic planet and it has been thus so for 4.5 billion years. Perhaps all pollies and members of the Grattan Institute should do and pass an elementary course in Geology?