Oil

Obama is Leading the World to Climate Hell

Dear President Obama, Encouraging Tar Sands Development is Not Acting on Climate
by HELEN GRANT. Counterpunch

Dr. James Hansen’s latest dire warning is that we are on the verge of crossing the point of no return, triggering runaway global warming that would last for centuries, making much of the planet uninhabitable by humans. He asks, “Humanity stands at a fork in the road. As conventional oil and gas are depleted, will we move to carbon-free energy and efficiency – or to unconventional fossil fuels and coal?”

Community Responses to Climate Change - Occupy Sandy

OCCUPY SANDY from JFOX on Vimeo.

Beyond Zero's Nick Carson looks at Community Responses to Climate Change exacerbated natural disasters, particularly the Occupy Sandy relief effort.

Interviews - Occupy Sandy

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Exporting more coal and gas?

Newcastle, home of the biggest coal loader in the world, is set to expand at Terminal 4.Tonight we talk to activists Steve Phillips, Amanda Albury and Fergus Green. Music from The Lurkers

 

Steve tells us how cancer rates have soared among families on Kooragang Island. A wetland there, protected by an international treaty for birds migrating from China, Japan and Korea is set to be destroyed.

Amanda is president of Rivers SOS. She has campaigned for many years against the impact of coal mining around rivers .Shereports on the recent case where Duralie Coal Co was taken to court. She challenges the heart warming ads we see from the Mining Industry and the myth they put about
that coal seam gas is a “clean” energy.

 

Fergus Green is the co-author of BZE’s latest report “From Laggard to leader”.

We are laggards in that we have the highest per capita carbon emissions in the world. When we try to evade this by saying “Well , Australia only causes 1.5% of World emissions:” we have our heads down the coal mine.

Our fossil fuel exports are booming and we are on track to export twice the fossil fuels of Saudi Arabia creating 4% of world emissions. The expanded coal facility at Newcastle is a case in point. Fergus analyses how stopping exported emissions in our sphere of influence can make us a leader in turning around irreversible climate change.

Photo courtesy of Amanda Albury

Terminal 4 would have new rail lines running through the wetland with coal dust full of cancerous particulate matter whirling off the uncovered wagons day and night. Submissions from the public scream out a message to the planning minister

” Climate change is happening faster than predicted; the impacts are more serious than people realized. To contribute ,...nay actively encourage developments such as T4 is a grossly irresponsible act of governance.”

Steve Phillips - Amanda Albury - Fergus Green - Interviews

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Entrenching Energy Interests: Ferguson’s Energy White Paper

Arena reports: During the prime ministership of John Howard, the term ‘greenhouse mafia’ was coined to describe the fossil fuel industry representatives who were so influential they were literally writing the Federal Government’s climate and energy policies. With Martin Ferguson as Labor’s Minister for Resources and Energy, it seems very little has changed. The draft Energy White Paper (EWP), released in December 2011, provides as clear an indication as ever of the access and esteem granted to the organisations and individuals whose profits depend on Australia maintaining its fossil fuel-dependent status quo.

The EWP addresses questions central to the supply and use of energy in Australia and points to strategic priorities for the government in the face of expected challenges over the period to 2030. The answers it comes up with are as strikingly beneficial to fossil fuel industry interests as they are disdainful of the growing importance of renewable energy and the reality of responding to global warming.

A Leaf to hide Australia’s peak oil embarrassment

Matthew Wright

Fortunately for the Federal Government, it can use a “Leaf” to hide its growing embarrassment at being exposed for suppressing its own report warning of sharp declines in global oil production in five years time.

In 2009, Transport Minister Anthony Albanese’s Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE) published Report 117, which revealed “at some point beyond 2017 we must begin to cope with the longer-term task of replacing oil as a source of energy. Given the inertias inherent in energy systems and vehicle fleets, the  transition will be necessarily challenging to most economies aroundthe world”.

The Age Business Day: Coal, shale, sand? Your gas is as good as mine

The Age Business Day reports: WE ARE adults here. We know that there will be some very tough trade-offs that will be needed to tackle climate change. But the oil and gas industry is asking too much if it wants Australians to incur the costs of a coal seam gas (CSG) boom, without clearly pointing out the benefits.

Until lately it was widely assumed that gas is a cleaner-burning fuel than coal, with lower greenhouse gas emissions. The rise of unconventional gas extraction - whether from shale, coal seam or tight sand gas fields - has called that assumption into question, and guess what? The answer is frightfully unclear.

It would be fair to say most of the data is old or industry-funded or based on different practices used for extraction overseas. Or hidden.

The ''We Want CSG'' ads sponsored by the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association say coal seam gas burned to produce baseload electricity produces ''up to'' 70 per cent fewer emissions than coal.

The Australian: Trigen solution is short of gas

"ONLY a few pockets of the Sydney CBD have enough gas to support plans to power the city with a network of trigeneration gas turbines."

The so-called trigen units are locally installed gas-fired plants which generate electricity for buildings and then capture the exhaust to heat and cool them.

They have become increasingly popular in the past year as they can produce electricity for as little as 8c an hour and are three times more energy efficient than coal-fired power.

The City of Sydney has announced plans to install a network of more than 100 trigeneration turbines which it says would meet 70 per cent of Sydney's electricity needs by 2030.

But Simon Bennallack, the national manager of Urban Energy, who has consulted with the council over its plans, says that introduction of a second power network into the city will be far from straightforward.

London's new drinking fountains a challenge to bottled water industry

London may soon follow in the footsteps of Bundanoon, the Australian town that last week banned bottled water and set up drinking fountains for thirsty locals.

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