The Bullroarer - Sunday 9 December 2007 - Maori Party calls for Cross Party Commission on Peak Oil

The Australian - Queensland power prices surge

WHOLESALE electricity prices hit the maximum of $10,000 per megawatt hour for supplies into the national electricity grid from Queensland yesterday afternoon. At about 4.20pm the 5-minute despatch price spiked to the maximum allowed by the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission. A spokesman for the National Electricity Market Management Company confirmed the despatch price and said it was caused by "local system constraints", without elaborating.

It was the second successive day that prices in the National Electricity Market (NEM) had soared. On Friday, demand in the NEM, which links the power grids of Queensland, NSW, Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania, topped 30,000MW for the first time since last summer. Demand in Victoria was particularly high because of hot weather, resulting in it bringing in supplies from interstate generators.

According to electricity industry monitor GlobalRoam, the high Victorian demand resulted in the instantaneous reserve capacity margin in the NEM falling to 11.7 per cent. While the margin had not dropped below 12 per cent since the NEM was established in the 1990s, in June it dropped to around 7 per cent on two successive evenings, meaning there was little spare capacity in the system.

Peak Energy - Electricity Generator "Losses" In NSW

SMH - Climate to slash farm exports heavily

CLIMATE change will hit agricultural production in Australia harder than just about anywhere else on earth, according to the nation's top farming forecaster.

Australia is one of the world's biggest exporters of wheat, beef, sugar and dairy, but exports are set to be slashed as Australian production of these commodities declines by 9 to 10 per cent by 2030 and 13 to 19 per cent by 2050.

Global demand for Australia's key agricultural commodities is growing fast, but in the next half century it is forecast that wheat exports will be down 15 per cent, beef 33 per cent, dairy 27 per cent and sugar 79 per cent.

A report released yesterday by the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics shows that only India and the world's least developed nations will lose more food production because of climate change.

Much of Australia's best farmland is forecast to get hotter and drier. There will be more floods and droughts. "Throughout Australia, precipitation events are projected to become heavier and be followed by longer dry spells," the bureau said. "This is expected to lead to an increased occurrence of floods and erosion of soils. Hotter and drier conditions are also expected to increase fire risk. There may also be indirect impacts on agricultural productivity through changes in the incidence of pests and diseases."

Australian wheat production is estimated to decline 9.2 per cent by 2030 and 13 per cent by 2050; beef 9.6 and 19 per cent; dairy 9.5 and 18 per cent; and sugar 10 and 14 per cent. About two-thirds of agricultural production is exported and it makes up 18 per cent of exports.

SMH - Howard blamed for carbon failures

AUSTRALIA has been named as one of the top three world greenhouse gas "sinners" by a European environmental report, ranking it with the United States and Saudi Arabia for failing its responsibilities towards the global environment.

"The worst climate sinners are Saudi Arabia, the US and Australia, which not only have extremely high and mounting emission levels, but also employ insufficient and inadequate climate policies," the director of the Climate Action Network, Matthias Duwe, said at a press conference at the United Nations talks in Bali.

Australia ranked behind China, Russia and India because of its policies during the Howard years, the report says.

UNSW Climate Change Research Centre - World's top climate scientists call for urgent, tough greenhouse gas limits

ABC - Crean tells China, India to make tough emission cuts

Earthbeat Radio - Down Under Revolution

Sweeping political changes in Australia resulted in a new leader - a new country signing up to Kyoto - and a brave new world where climate change is a major political issue.

Joining host Mike Tidwell to discuss the groundbreaking Aussie election is for the entire hour is Australia journalist Wilson da Silva. He's the editor-in-chief of the Australian magazines Cosmos and G: The Green Lifestyle Magazine.

They're joined throughout the hour by Cathy Zoi, the CEO of the Alliance for Climate Protection; Brenda Ekwurzel, a climate scientist with the Union for Concerned Scientists; and Joe Romm of the website Climate Progress.

ABC - Newcastle rally calls for stop to coal exports

SMH - Just warming up, but Rudd already feels Bali heat

SMH - Treasurer to resist emissions targets at Bali meeting

TREASURER Wayne Swan flies to the international climate change conference in Bali today carrying an ultra-cautious message on targets for cutting greenhouse gas emissions.

As part of the Government team arriving over the next week, Mr Swan will set the stage for Australia to resist growing pressure to sign up to a 2020 target.

From Australia, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd overruled the official Australian delegation in Bali after it last week endorsed a 25 to 40 per cent cut in 1990 greenhouse gases levels by 2020.

Mr Swan told The Sun-Herald before departing that the Government would await a report commissioned from Professor Ross Garnaut before committing Australia to short-term targets.

"Labor has a policy to reduce greenhouse gases by 60 per cent by 2050, but any interim target will depend on the Garnaut report," he said.

Professor Garnaut, the head of economics at the Australian National University and chairman of the Government's climate change review committee, will not deliver his report until the middle of next year. Professor Garnaut is attending the Bali conference.

SMH - Giants pour $1b into African coal mines

SMH - OPEC stands firm: cartel won't pump extra crude oil. Won't or can't ?

SMH - Indonesia says West stingy - Air NZ shares 'hit too hard'

The Australian - Nexus ups its stake in merger target

Bloomberg - MB Buys Downer's Century Drilling for $137 Million

Herald Sun - Welcome to my nightmare. Andrew Bolt showing his useless shameless lack of self awareness and ignorance of history. "War on terror" Andrew ?

A few more for your list of attempts to create mass panic attacks. I''m 60 years of age and and remember the rehtoric let loose in the 1950s and 1960s regarding "Reds Under The Beds" and "Invading Immigration" etc. I t was Deja Vu when the fear merchants started ranting over Children Overboard and Weapons of Mass Destruction etc. To quote an old saying, if you don't remember histoy you're destined to relive it. Sceptisim over messages of fear need to be across the board.

TREASURER Wayne Swan flies to ... Bali today carrying an ultra-cautious message on targets for cutting greenhouse gas emissions.

... Mr Swan will set the stage for Australia to resist growing pressure to sign up to a 2020 target.

Boring, boring "ultra-cautious", "Australia resists". Sound familiar?

With an economist making the review the outcome is predictable. Tim Flannery might have been better. Would an economist be given the job of planning for war?

Stern said 1% of GDP would be affected. Garnaut might say no, it's 1.476%. Fiddle away while I'm choking on smoke from the bushfires.

They just don't get what a pickle we're in.

Yes - all to familiar unfortunately.

Hopefully this is just a bargaining position for the early stages rather than a sign of things to come...

The more things change the more they stay the same.

1) The Indos host a party but the guests won't leave their money on the fridge.
2) BHP digs up more coal but it's for black empowerment and to alleviate poverty, nothing to do with energy gluttony.
3) Aussies can obviously easily afford to turn up those airconditioners.
4) ALP emerge from the Coal-ition closet.

Some suggestions;

NEM impose a change rate constraint eg 10% day-to-day, not an absolute $10/kwh. Something similar has been proposed for retail petrol. Also a national carbon cap might force power sellers to plan ahead.
Australia tells some coal customers to take less or go to South Africa but with an extra carbon tax on their goods.

Does Andrew Bolt swallow the bilge he writes or is he just role-playing? On face value he is a cornucopian ostrich.

I assume its role playing (much like I assume that lunatic Ann Coulter in the US is also just acting) but you never know - some people really are that dumb.

For next Bullroarer?:

Power prices soar as lakes empty

Thanks - yes - always an interesting issue (and a good one to beat people over the head with when they start blathering about the intermittency of wind power and the like).

A few years back everybody knew that towing a caravan with a Ford 351 required a bigger radiator. Ditto coalfired power stations except that if evaporation is not allowed (ie closed loop) huge air fans and thin cooling pipes would sap the net output. My reference 'Heat Transfer' Ozisik chapter 11. I'm not an engineer but I buy books priced at $7 at clearing sales.