The Bullroarer - Saturday 26th September 2009

The Australian - PM yearns to lead world on climate

This is the real conflict at the heart of the debate over emissions trading in Australia: it's not about detail - even the Government knows it must amend the scheme and must compromise with the Liberals to get its bill through the Senate - it's about whether we lead the world.

NBR NZ - $1.4b lignite to Urea plant investigated for Southland
You don't need oil or gas to make fertilizer - coal is substituted in this case.

State owned coal producer Solid Energy and fertiliser company Ravensdown are investigating the building of a lignite-to-urea plant in eastern Southland.

The plant would cost more than $US1 billion ($NZ1.41b), using the region's world-scale lignite resource and making this country self sufficient in urea, and potentially an exporter, the two companies said in a statement.

Brisbane Times - Rudd issues students climate challenge

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has issued a challenge to university students to devote their talents to solving climate change.

Mr Rudd says the world needs policy innovation to develop the technology to reduce carbon emissions as well as the expertise to design a climate change agreement and to work out funding solutions.

Star News Group - Peak oil bid slump

Cr Dunn said the issue had recently been raised at a Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV) conference, alerting local government to the trends in peak oil and the issues of declining supplies across the world.

She said at worst oil supplies would start to diminish by 2013 and at best 2020. “I see this as a really critical issue for council considering we use oil in a range a ways in the shire… whether it’s meals on wheels or repairing roads there is a whole lot of different ways it will impact on us,” Cr Dunn said.

But councillors Richard Higgins, Graham Warren and Chris Templer disagreed, saying it wasn’t council’s responsibility to plan for such contingencies.

Stock And Land - Our future: a biomass-powered economy

Within 40 years, given an early commitment, 90 per cent of Australia’s transport fuel and 20 per cent of its electricity generation could come from bio-methanol or ethanol produced from wood, according to the report, “Powerful Choices”.

Gisborne Times - What climate change?

A local government leaders’ position statement on climate change will not include the signature of Gisborne Mayor Meng Foon after both the Gisborne Chamber of Commerce and a majority of councillors spoke strongly against it.

Radio NZ - Fonterra signs international climate agreement

Fonterra is among dairy organisations from around the world to sign a commitment to tackle greenhouse gas emissions from dairying.

ABC - WA oil and gas industry recovering from downturn

Western Australia's petroleum industry has been quick to recover from the global downturn, with record spending in the June quarter. - Guilt-free coal and gas within reach?

This week, Science magazine features a round-up of leading approaches to carbon capture and storage (CCS), a technology being developed to reduce carbon emissions.

The Australian - Anglo American to double coal output

PREDICTING recent Chinese coking coal import demand is here to stay, Anglo American wants to double its global coking coal production by boosting output from its Queensland mines.

ABC - WA 'ill prepared to handle big oil spill'

The Australian Conservation Foundation has warned Western Australia is ill prepared to cope with oil leaks the size of the current Montara spill off the state's north-west coast.

The foundation is demanding a moratorium on oil and gas development in WA until the state is better equipped to deal with spills.

The Australian - Coalminers recruit Kevin 07 guru Neil Lawrence to shaft ETS

THE creator of the "Kevin 07" advertising campaign, Neil Lawrence, has been recruited by coalmining companies to design a multi-million-dollar advertising campaign against the Rudd government's emissions trading scheme, to be launched next week in key marginal seats.

ABC - El Nino-Modoki pattern to change weather again

A climate change expert says a predicted shift in El Nino ocean warming patterns will make northern Australian monsoons more intense.

ABC - Hope for genetics to curb burping sheep

World-first research is underway in Queensland looking at whether genetics can help create sheep that emit lower amounts of greenhouse gas.

The Australian - Northern Energy in coal drive

COAL junior Northern Energy says it thinks it can get a 500,000 tonne-a-year coking coal mine up and running at Maryborough in under two years as a prelude to its bigger Elimatta thermal coal project south of Emerald.

Lloyd's List - Freightliner to enter Hunter coal haulage market

UK rail operator Freightliner, long mooted as a third Hunter coal haulage competitor, plans to enter the market by 2011.

The Australian - More compo tipped for coal-fired generators

THE Rudd government is likely to boost compensation to coal-fired generators under its emissions trading regime to avoid energy market disruptions, after receiving high-level advice that its proposed $3.5 billion compensation fund may not be sufficient.

The Guardian (Australia) - The battle over coal continues

Last week, 22 climate change protestors invaded the Hazelwood power plant in Victoria, which is said to produce Australia’s worst greenhouse gas power station emissions.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has issued a challenge to university students

I'm at TAFE, does that count as being a university student?

to devote their talents to solving climate change.

We in the West should consume about 90% less stuff.


Do I win anything?

Yes - you get to spend a summer working as an intern for Peter Garrett in the environment ministry...

I'm just a simple chemist...

but anyone want to hazard a guess what happens when urea (NH2)2CO meets the enzyme urease present in just about every soil bacterium and some plants?


(NH2)2CO + H2O → CO2 + 2NH3

I published a letter maybe 2 years ago in The Age when some guru proposed the same idea for Victoria.

CO2 neutral what a load of $%@#!

All they are doing at the expense of some industrial plant and energy is moving the point of emission from factory to field.

I know we need fertilizer but Phulease.

This is a great "Bullroarer" Aeldric. All the woeful confusion and contradiction embodied in human society summed up in a few well-chosen headlines!

Yes, the battle lines are now being drawn on Global Warming in a major way. Ironically they will probably be getting really "heated" about it by 2012 when Peak Oil suddenly shows up and the old geopolitical world, with its multitude of soft options, becomes permanently constrained.

Yup. On the one hand we have scientists describing an unfolding environmental disaster, and on the other corporations announcing that we can now extract and ship coal at an ever-increasing rate.

I try to get a snap-shot of what people are thinking and saying. Ideally I like to have people asking questions and discussing possibilities. But nobody is asking questions. Both sides are sure. Be afraid when both sides are sure.

Interesting new "FloDesign" wind-turbine (concept animation video):

If they're right about the efficiency then Clean Coal (cough! cough!) is looking even less competitive.

I wonder though whether they'd really still need a tall tower to get away from ground turbulence?