The Bullroarer - Friday 25th September 2008

The Australian - Clean coal plan divides green groups

KEVIN Rudd has split green groups by placing new emphasis on clean coal technology to combat climate change, telling the UN its development has to be at the "forefront of the agenda" to cut global carbon pollution from power stations and not destroy the coal industry. - Hyundai first to sell electric cars in New Zealand

In a New Zealand first Hyundai has announced today that it will be the first automotive manufacturer to offer new electric cars for sale in New Zealand, and to further enhance that announcement, it will be off the back of local manufacturing.

The cars for sale will be a fully electric, plug-in version of the Getz. As an electric car the Getz will have zero emissions and will be the first electric car available in New Zealand in any volume. The Getz is a retro-fit electric car, meaning that the batteries and electric motor are fitted to the car after the petrol engine is taken out. This process will be undertaken in New Zealand.


The electric Getz has a top speed of 120kph with a range of 120km on a single charge with a fast charge extending the range for a day’s running to approximately 200km. This makes it a fantastic vehicle for running around town being small, easy to park and of course having absolutely no emissions.

The first car has already been sold and delivery will be in November

Taranaki Daily News - Permits put spotlight on energy

The sheer size of the Government's latest release of Taranaki onshore petroleum exploration permits underlines the energy industry's continued importance to New Zealand, says the Petroleum Exploration and Production Association of New Zealand.

The Age - Food shortage catastrophe creeping up on the world

The underlying issue is highlighted in the graph, which shows that world stocks of wheat have been on a downward trend for 40 years.

This trend has continued in the past three years even though we have had two of the largest wheat crops in history during that time.

The same general trend has occurred in the coarse grains (corn, sorghum, oats, barley and triticale) and rice over the past 10 years, which means that it covers all of the key grains in the human food supply chain. This is only the surface problem — we must delve deeper to get a true picture. - Local banks stand firm despite chaos

But there's a fear the Australian parents will lean on their subsidiaries to bolster balance sheets hit by the global financial crisis. What would happen in the unlikely event an entity like ANZ fell over?

Herald Sun - Carbon trading scheme could force transport prices up

PUBLIC transport fares will jump unless compensation payments are made to offset the costs of Australia's fight against global warming, according to the Brumby Government.

Its submission to Canberra on the response to climate change warns that public transport that runs on electricity would be hit by moves to put a price on carbon pollution.

Otago Daily Times - Hospital moves to save energy, money

Moves to increase energy efficiency at Dunedin Hospital are expected to save $324,000 a year. - Fitzsimons: Free Travel A Good Start But What About The Rest?

The Green Party welcomes free off-peak public transport for superannuitants but says the most urgent thing is better quality, more reliable and more frequent services.

"The Green Party agrees that public transport needs to be more accessible to more people, and part of the solution is lowering the cost to passengers, particularly for off-peak services, which often run with just a few passengers anyway," Green Party Co-Leader Jeanette Fitzsimons says.

"However, it is a shame this initiative only covers superannuitants. So now Bob Jones can travel for free, but a young mum earning minimum wage can't.

The Australian - New laws give green light to coal project: Felix

FELIX Resources said today the passing of new laws in NSW has cleared the way for the development of its Moolarben coal mine.

Work on the mine had been stalled after the NSW Court of Appeal upheld an appeal by Xstrata, which owns the adjacent Ulan coal mine, against the development consent granted to Moolarben by the State Government.

Whyalla News - Mayor gets behind fuel campaign

Mayor Jim Pollock is rallying behind the Whyalla News campaign: Fight for Cheaper Fuel ... Bring Our Prices Down!

He said the situation is serious and has been a huge concern for a long time.

Mr Pollock said it was not only ridiculous but disheartening when authorities and governments came up with excuses saying nothing could be done

ABC - Carbon trading scheme 'could close mines'

The Federal Government has been warned coal mines could close unless it broadens the compensation scheme for its emissions trading scheme (ETS).

Marlborough Express - Fuel project wins top prize
Is the Internet smarter than a Year 9 student? Nope.

The Year 9 Marlborough Boys' College student took the top prize in the Marlborough Lines Science and Technology Fair 2008 for his project Run You Car on Water? Yeah Right!

Leatham first became interested in whether fuel efficiency could be increased by using an electriliser to split water into hydrogen and oxygen after his father told him about an article he had read online.

He took matters into his own hands and made his own electriliser.

Manawatu Standard - School's turbine a power bill saver

Sanson School is to become the first in New Zealand to be powered by its own wind turbine, and the move is set to be a big money spinner.

The turbine, officially welcomed yesterday, could knock $1000 off the school's annual power bill, which is budgeted to be around $3600 this year.

ABC - QLD farmers call for farm land protection over miners

The argument over mining needs versus farming rights has reached new heights in Queensland with farmers calling on the state government to pass legislation to protect so-called 'iconic' farmland.

Grain and cotton grower, Jeff Bidstrup, says he was told this week that mining company Tarong Energy Corporation has secured a Mineral Development Licence over his entire property.

ABC - Darwin chosen for multi-billion dollar Inpex project

Northern Territory Chief Minister Paul Henderson has announced Darwin Harbour has been chosen as the onshore site for the multi-billion dollar Inpex liquid natural gas plant.

NZ Herald - Jim Watson: Practical science the only way forward for New Zealand

Scientific knowledge affects our environment and resources. It underpins any improvements we hope to make to our economy, environment, infrastructure, health, energy supply, communications, entertainment and the operation of the many institutions on which a civil society depends.

The Age - New Hope eyes coal-to-liquid concept

New Hope Corporation Ltd is investigating a novel concept that could allow the company to commercialise some of its coal resources in Queensland without the headache of infrastructure constraints.

The coal miner is in the early stages of investigating the potential for a coal-to-liquids project at its New Acland mine, 150 kilometres west of Brisbane in the Darling Downs region.

The coal-to-liquid process involves the transformation of coal into a combustible gas for power generation, or as a feedstock for synthetic crude, diesel, gasoline or jet fuel.

ABC - Climate change expert calls for $600b clean energy fund

An international expert on climate change is calling for an urgent 10-fold increase in funding for clean energy.

Harvard University Professor Paul Hoffman says the $60 billion the world spends needs to rise to $600 billion.

ABC - Proponent of geothermal energy to explore nine WA sites

An energy company has announced plans to drill nine sites to potentially develop "hot rocks" technology in regional Western Australia.

The Australian - Environmentalists 'out of touch on emissions plan'

AUSTRALIA'S most active unionist pushing for clean coal technology says the Greens are becoming increasingly marginalised by maintaining their opposition to clean coal.

CFMEU mining division president Tony Maher said his union had done polling that showed roughly 5 per cent of the population supported the Greens' position of opposition to clean coal.

Clean coal appeals to politicians who typically don't believe there is any such thing as reality: there's just spin and voter perceptions of reality. How unsurprising that Rudd would go for clean coal and the Paulson bailout scam. They're careful not to allow any serious investigation of reality that might force them to choose between election commitments and sensible policy. Understanding reality is one of the greatest needs. The sort of investigations that TOD folk do on a shoestring should be well funded open investigations, led by people who understand mathematics and with investigative powers to get behind company secrets and other hidden information. The truth may not set us free, but it gives us a chance. Traditional political endless fantasy spin is leading us to destruction.

Clean coal is certainly just spin - how much of Rudd's bloviating on the topic is to just to keep the coal industry happy (hopefully while trying to move in a more practical direction) I don't know but until an ETS (and increased MRET) are put in place Rudd can't be viewed as any better than Johnny was on the energy front.

As for the Paulson scam, Rudd should be ashamed of himself for doing anything other than pouring scorn on it - one more gigantic taxpayer rip off before the Bushies leave office...

Kevin Rudd splits Greens on Clean Coal?
- I thought Tim Flannery had already split them!

Actually, the difference is probably that Flannery realises CC is code for "dirty coal" plus a sh*tload of biochar production; whereas Rudd still naively hopes that somebody will be able to clean up coal...

This article in "The Australian"is typical of the way this once fairly progressive paper has gone down the reactionary road.I long ago gave up on Dennis Shanahan because of his shameless crawling to Howard&Co.Christian Kerr is a loose cannon as I found out when I was silly enough to subscribe to "Crikey".Christian has a tendency to take wild runs at the Greens in his perambulations across the heaving deck.In short,this article is propaganda.

I'm not sure that Flannery has split the environmental movement.I attended his lecture in Brisbane and read what he wrote in "Quarterly Essay".While he is not a particularly good public speaker the essay is up to his usual high standard.He strongly supports geothermal power generation.He is very outspoken on afforestion with some some novel(to me)ideas.He advocates the use of biochar in agriculture both as a carbon sink and to improve soils for more food production.He has an interesting proposal for improving open range grazing methods which may be applicable on a limited scale.I advize buying the "Quarterly Essay" to get a handle on what he is saying.

He is as strong as he always has been on the dangers of global warming,and ,like a lot of scientists,is getting increasingly worried about the increased pace of this potential catastrophe as well as the lack of action by government and industry.

That said,I can't understand why he is willing to be seen to give credence to CCS,even in the ambivalent fashion he does in his lecture and essay.A good refutation by Ian Low of CCS can be read in the current "New Matilda".I have heard Ian's lectures on this and nuclear power and he puts them down in his usual humorous and inimatable fashion.

Yes,Rudd,yet again.He has now returned from that fount of economic wisdom,the good-ole US of A,with the great idea of pumping $4billion into the housing sector.Yeah,sure.
Apart from the doubtful economic benefits of this scheme,it is just what we need from the environmental perspective.Like we need many more square kilometres of ticky tacky McMansions in sprawling tacky burbs.Like we need to import hundreds of thousands more immigrants to fill them.
Like we need all the extra stress on an already groaning infrastructure.
Like Tim Flannery said recently about the Victorian government plan to pipe water from the Goulburn River(a Murray tributary)to assuage Melbourne's thirst - BULLSHIT.

It is said that pride comes before a fall.I would expand and qualify that by saying that false pride(hubris),stupidity,ignorance and complacency always lead to a fall.In Australia all those attributes are certainly in the ascendancy.

But,never mind.Growth is Great,Growth is Good,growth is God.The trouble is,GOD is DOG spelt backwards.

The quest for alternative energy has been expedited given the fact that we are coming closer to reaching peak oil. Also, as oil prices consistently rise, we need to do something to combat the effects on consumers. Hyundai has taken a big step with their electric cars, and is paving the precedence for other companies to follow suit. The last of the old age businesses are also been eradicated including manufacturing jobs and coal sites. The impact from the US deficit and request for loans from foreign countries, has placed an overall strain the worldwide economy. If we go to our books and check the numbers the US is in the hole by about $7trillion dollars which increases on a monthly basis by at least $60B. It’s only a matter of time before this is no longer sustainable. Further Insight
We need to break free from a particular trading partner who has assumed dominance for some years running and establish more independence. Contagion is a key issue.

Don't forget to watch the ABC documentary about the development of the Rudd "clean coal" plan on Wednesday night.