The Bullroarer - Friday 3rd October 2008 - How we can be a green super power

Al Gore says the United States should embark on a "man on the moon"-style effort to satisfy all of America's electricity needs by renewable energy within a decade. Just 10 years. That’s an incredibly bold vision - a real stretch goal. But it is also what’s needed to avert a climate crisis.

So why not do the same in Australia? Here, it could become a "nation-building" symbol of pride, akin to the 19th Century construction of the Overland Telegraph Line or the post-WW II Snowy Hydro Scheme. - The new 'gold Coast'

Coal may turn into gold for Solid Energy as the state coalminer forecasts nearly $1 billion in coal sales next year.

Yahoo! News - Eating kangaroos could help fight global warming: scientist

The belching and farting of millions of farm animals is a major contributor to Australia's greenhouse gas emissions, Professor Ross Garnaut noted in a major report to the government on global warming.

Kangaroos, on the other hand, emit negligible amounts of methane gas.

3News NZ - Raglan leading the way towards an eco-friendly society

'Transition Town' is an initiative that has arisen from peak oil and climate change concerns.

In a nutshell, it is change at a community level, a transition away from oil dependency to alternative fuels, but more than that too.

So far in New Zealand, just a handful of towns are taking the idea seriously. Campbell Live went to one - Raglan.

SMH - We can't afford to keep Sydney running: Rees

SYDNEY has grossly under-estimated the population explosion that will squeeze its resources over the next 20 years, but the cash-strapped Premier admits it is "pointless" to promise the billions of dollars in extra spending the city will need.

Nathan Rees yesterday signalled deep cuts in the capital spending program and a radical departure from the $140 billion infrastructure strategy of the former premier, Morris Iemma.

On the same day that it emerged Sydney will need almost 900,000 extra homes by 2031 - a third more than estimated three years ago - Mr Rees told a news conference: "Governments can boast about capital works programs extending out five, 10, 15 years. But essentially what you're boasting about is the level of debt you have."

National Business Review - Solid Energy profits slashed two-thirds


Chief executive Dr Don Elder says if Solid Energy is successful with its current and planned developments it expect their energy production to more than double within a decade, and revenue to triple.

Dr Elder envisions another $500 million in revenue from renewable energy, coal seam gas, coal gasification and potentially a coal-to-liquids plant. - NZIER report highlights wind energy’s benefits

The NZIER report examining the relationship between wind and hydro generation, released yesterday by the Major Electricity Users’ Group, confirms that wind energy is making a positive and growing contribution to New Zealand’s electricity system, says the New Zealand Wind Energy Association.

“The report simply tells us what many in the energy sector already know,” says NZWEA Chief Executive Fraser Clark. “Wind speeds vary less than rainfall, and there is a synergy between wind and hydro generation, especially when generation is spread across the country.”

In fact, the report concludes that its findings imply a ‘complementarity between wind and hydro power’ and ‘confirm the role of wind and hydro power in suppressing spot prices’.

SMH - Small sacrifice can save the planet

AUSTRALIANS will be driving clean electric cars, giving up their lamb roast and rump steaks for chicken and pork, living in higher-density cities and swapping cheap air flights for interstate trains.

In the outback, millions of beef cattle and sheep will disappear from the marginal rangelands, farmers will grow grasses and eucalypts for carbon trading and kangaroos will dominate the bush, potentially becoming one of the nation's biggest export meats.

ABC - Low methane microbes in kangaroo guts the answer

Scientists in Queensland think it might not be necessary to reduce sheep and cattle production to tackle climate change.

In his climate change report this week, Professor Ross Garnaut has suggested replacing livestock production in marginal areas with kangaroo farming, to reduce methane emissions.

Athol Klieve from Queensland's Department of Primary Industry is one a group of scientists who have been studying the gut of kangaroos, finding they have different microbes to livestock.

He's now hoping to adapt these non-methane producing microbes for cattle and sheep.

"Methane production in sheep and cattle is an inefficient use of feed by those animals but in kangaroos they don't produce methane" he says. - Peak oil and public transport: Cullen's revelation

The Green Party have challenged Labour to redirect the billions of dollars earmarked for New Zealand's largest ever roading programme into public transport, following Dr Cullen's admission yesterday that people will choose public transport if it is provided and that Peak Oil is real.

In a speech yesterday, Dr Cullen admitted both that "we have to come to terms with a new set of circumstances - the emerging reality of Peak Oil," and that "we can get people out of cars and onto public transport."

The Age - Compo offer for coal plants

CLIMATE Change Minister Penny Wong has reassured coal-fired power generators they will be compensated under emissions trading. This is despite climate adviser Ross Garnaut finding that most will remain profitable until at least 2020, without help.

ABC - Bacteria making a meal of under sea oil

There's been an important breakthrough for the crude oil industry, with the discovery of a bacteria which scientists say is damaging the quality of oil.

ABC - Fiji warns of energy crisis

The Fiji Electricity Authority is warning of a potential energy crisis, which could worse if the current dry spell continues.

Tasmania Mercury - Cooking up savings in diesel fuel costs

A TASMANIAN council is taking steps to have the state's first vehicle fleet powered by used cooking oil, potentially savings its ratepayers thousands of dollars.

ABC - Coal seam gas drilling underway

Drilling has begun in the Galillee Basin in central western Queensland as part of a project to establish a coal seam gas production pilot plant.

ABC - Macarthur Coal says it will decide by the end of the year whether to proceed with a thermal coal mine in the North Burnett.

The company was granted a mining lease for the site near Monto in 2005, but needs to assess whether it is still financially viable.

Nelson Mail - Free bus travel savings disputed

National MP Nick Smith is bustling to take pole position, accusing Labour MP Maryan Street of misleading voters in claiming her party's free off-peak transport initiative will result in $1 million in savings for Nelson superannuitants.

He said today the savings were "misleading and exaggerated by about 10-fold". - Green light for 80 turbines

The Motorimu Wind Farm has gained consent for 80 turbines, but whether any will be built is up in the air.

The Australian - The fossil-fuel economy a cancer, says Greens senator Scott Ludlam

ROOKIE West Australian Greens senator Scott Ludlam has used his maiden speech in parliament to slam the excesses of Australia's carbon economy, likening unrestrained economic growth to "cancer".

Senator Ludlam, whose term in the Senate began on July 1, decried humanity's dependence on fossil fuels. "This fossil economy knows only how to grow," he said.

"It has to be larger this year than it was last year, lest its debts and contradictions collapse upon itself and peoples' lives and careers get crushed in the wreckage.

"When our economy fails to grow, we call it a recession; but an entity that knows only blind growth we call a cancer."

Senator Ludlam cited the world's thirst for oil as the motivating factor behind recent unrest in Burma, Sudan, Georgia and Iraq.

He said future historians would come to this period as the "beginning of the oil endgame".

The Australian - $76m lights up solar tech maker

THE Australian-founded solar energy technology company Ausra has scored a $US60.6 million ($76 million) funding package from venture capitalists -- including the local fund Starfish Ventures -- to help it crank up the production of its Fresnel lens-based power generators.

He said future historians would come to this period as the "beginning of the oil endgame".

Scott Ludham, finally a politician who says it how it is.

With the credit crisis and a global recession likely I think that peak oil is a done deal for all intents and purposes. Yet it won't be recognised due to the other economic problems until it is well in the past, meaning of course that instead of adjusting to an economy that continually contracts, our leaders will make dumb decisions in order to try and restore business as usual.

It comes as a bit of a shock to the system when you realise that what you have been concerned about as a future problem has actually arrived.

Aeldric's post, The Failure of Networked Systems ( be read by all of our politicians.

"It comes as a bit of a shock to the system when you realise that what you have been concerned about as a future problem has actually arrived"

I think most of us at TOD have imagined that Peak Oil will arrive with a bang, fuel rationing, chaos at petrol stations, prices doubling and doubling again. Maybe it wont be like that, possibly it has arrived and we will slowly slide into demand destruction, a steady increase in prices but also a shift to more fuel efficient vehicles, less driving, greater use of public transport.
My fear has been that the effects of global warming will arrive before peak oil, so far it looks like a photo finish, but it may be easier to adjust to a post-peak oil world than to the consequences of global warming.