The Bullroarer - Saturday 19th December 2009

Brisbane Times - Joyce warns of US 'Armageddon'
I saw Kevin Rudd respond to these comments. He described them as "irresponsible" and "not in Australia's interests".... but I never heard him say that they were wrong.

Senator Joyce said yesterday he did not mean to alarm the public but there needed to be a debate about Australia's ''contingency plan'' for a sovereign debt default by the US or even by a local state government.

''A default by the US means complete economic collapse around the world and the question we have got to ask ourselves is where are we in that,'' Senator Joyce said.

TV NZ - Climate deal will not cap warming

A climate deal among world leaders including US President Barack Obama puts off many tough decisions until 2010 and sets the planet on track to overshoot goals for limiting global warming.

The Age - Down and dirty: farm soil will offset emissions in Australia's carbon cut scheme

The premise is that simple changes in how we manage agricultural land - reducing tillage and fertiliser use or improving fire management - help return carbon to the soil. It is hard to put a dollar value on the bonanza but the numbers are enough, some say, to make Australia carbon neutral for the next three or four decades - all without having to impose a nasty tax, set up a complicated emissions trading scheme or clean up a single polluting pipe.

The climate change negotiator reportedly told an NGO group at a Copenhagen briefing that Australia would be able to commit to 25 per cent greenhouse gas cuts by 2020 - if land use rule changes driven by Australia and other developed countries are accepted as part of a new global climate deal.

The changes are highly contentious in Copenhagen

SMH - Clothing industry to wear ethical hearts on sleeves

''Take a raw material such as leather, for example, which is a byproduct. Do you ban that? If you do then you get into the debate of what replaces it.

''Should you use plastic, and if so you then have a debate over the subject of peak oil,'' he said.

Business Spectator - THE DISTILLERY: Collision course

Next is our second hot sector: commodities and, in particular, gas. Alan Jury (Chanticleer) takes a look at clashing cyclical and structural influences over Woodside. In the short term, Jury reckons “recent pressure from ratings agencies about potential cost overruns, substantial capital expenditure and liquidity demands from large projects, including possible extensions” have caused Woodside to rethink debt in favour of equity. He quotes several analysts who predict these forces will intensify. In the long view, however, he quotes Stratfor figures for the growth in Chinese gas usage from “3.6 per cent of overall energy consumption” at “80.7 bcm...[to] 120 bcm by 2020, and maybe as much as 200 bcm by 2030.” Needless to say, such figures can be taken with a grain of salt. Nonetheless, this column acknowledges that historic forces are at play in the LNG market – peak oil, climate change politics, emerging market growth, an integrating global market (along with a pricing cartel) and declining fiat currencies all bode well.

ABN Newswire - Beach Petroleum Limited (ASX:BPT) Managing Director Reg Nelson Address At Annual General Meeting

Our number one objective in this period is to find more oil. During the next two to five years we expect that the world will face some very real issues through falling supply. It's not so much a question of "peak oil", but more because projects that could have been brought on to address future global supply have been deferred as the global financial turmoil savaged their source of funding. There has been an even greater impact on exploration efforts that are vital to identify oil reserves for the future. World oil supply is facing a real squeeze as a result.

Northern Rivers Echo - Permaculture guru leads the way

The idea of an ecological footprint is calculated by taking the world’s population and dividing up the resources in a way that assumes equitable distribution. Therefore, if everyone on the planet lived like the average Australian, we would need 3.7 planets’ worth of resources.

“The issue of footprints is at the heart of all the other problems we are seeing. If we were living within our ecological footprint we wouldn’t have problems with climate change, or peak oil and all these other resources that are peaking,” Robyn said. “The challenge is how do we reduce our footprint? Cuba didn’t do it voluntarily... But the Western world has to do it by choice unless we get some terrible disasters that foist it upon us. The politicians are just sort of propping up these collapsing systems, particularly the economic one, and I think the economic trigger is probably the most important one for people to reduce their consumption and their waste.”

NZ Herald - Fran O'Sullivan: Keep the cows off the grass

The main problem is the humble dairy cow. This beast belches and farts methane gas and excretes more of the stuff in its poop.

But New Zealand is simply "not thinking big" about how to tackle this issue.

Voxy - Climate Change And Swine Flu Dominated Coverage

The swine flu pandemic and climate change were the two biggest science-related issues covered in the New Zealand media in 2009, according to the Science Media Centre's Media Tracker report published today.

NZ Herald - Climate change will hit koalas hard, group claims

The koala has been included in a list of 10 species most at risk from climate change. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) claims that a loss of habitat threatens the animal, while higher levels of carbon dioxide in the air mean there will be less nutritional value in gum leaves, the koala's food.

Radio NZ - Solomon Islands Ambassador to UN says deal in Copenhagen is frightening

Solomon Islands Ambassador to the United Nations says the climate change deal struck at the Copenhagen conference is frightening for small island nations.

The agreement is not legally binding, and sets a goal of limiting world temperatures to no more than 2 degrees above pre-industrial times.

Ambassador Collin Beck says that falls short of the 1.5 degree goal being sought by small island states, and raises serious issues for their future.

“We’re really talking about their demise in certain areas, food security and water security, now once we do that for some of the islands we have to look at relocation. It opens issues of that, not only of relocation, but of adaptation, new finances again.”

ABC Online Thermal coal project moves ahead

A proposal for Australia's largest thermal coal project in Queensland's central west has taken a step forward.

The Australian - Bligh hits back at criticism with $15bn coal project

QUEENSLAND Premier Anna Bligh has reacted to signs her state is losing its lustre by pushing ahead with a railway line in central Queensland that could lead to a $15 billion coal project, including the biggest mine in the nation.

The Australian - Skills shortage looms as growth obstacle for resources industry

"With concerns about global warming, gas is the only real viable alternative to coal, and the oil majors are really showing their intent," said Greig Gailey, former Zinifex and Business Council of Australia head.

How companies and governments will deal with infrastructure constraints was a big concern, he said.

Barnaby Joyce could have been talking about peak oil. It is perpetually confounding to me how a politician like him can say these things about an uncertain financial event that may happen and yet when it comes to finite natural resource depletion, he can vote down the only motion put to the parliament to instruct the nations agancies to check it out? Unbelievabale incompetent boob.

Dear Barnaby is a dinosaur and a loose cannon but,in this case,out of the mouths of babes.

The fact that he was jumped on very quickly by both Labor and the opposition is just one indication that he was speaking the truth,no matter how unpalatable it is to the ruling oligarchy.

Goodness me,they can't have the flock getting startled.There might be a stampede.

" both Labor and the opposition is just one indication that he was speaking the truth.."

Yes, it is a reasonably accurate rule of thumb, that when both Labour and the Coalition decide to support the same position on an issue, you can be confident that they are wrong.

The Copenhagen talk fest has ended predictably - All the powers have agreed to do precisely nothing.All the non-powers are rather pissed off about it.

So,where does this leave Australia,with it's denialist oligarchy and the CPRS joke? Dear Kevin is on recent record as saying that Australia(under Kevin)will do precisely no less and no more than what the rest of the world is doing on the climate change front.My guess is that BAU will continue until it doesn't. Jesus wept!

My guess is that BAU will continue until it doesn't

Yup. I imagine you have read Diamond's "Collapse". Increasingly desperate attempts to ensure that "BAU will continue" suggest a disfunctional leadership.

Sadly, the leadership is simply a reflection of the people they represent. Remember "I Want To Believe" from "The X Files"?

Yeah.... the dominant message reaching our leadership from the people is "I Want To Believe" in BAU and "I don't Want To Believe" in nasty, horrible projections that say that I can't have my two-car garage. Promise me a miracle, don't talk about nasty things.

I heard on ABC news this AM that Sydney based JackGreen Energy has been placed in receivership.Most of their customers in SE QLD (where I am) have been transfered to Origin Energy.

I have had dealings with both these companies and they have both proven to be incompetent,to put it mildly.

The so called "competition" reforms which resulted in the privatization of electricity retailing have resulted in zero competition and a burgeoning population of braindead bimbos and boyos in administration,so driving up costs.

The plain fact is that electricity supply,from generation through distribution to retail administration is a natural monopoly.Nothing can be gained by privatizing any part of it as this removes direct government control and accountability to the citizens.

Yet again,nothing has been learned.The corrupt Bligh government is intending to privatize a swag of entities currently owned by the Queensland people.This includes the freight business of QLD Rail which is very profitable.

All this nonsense only makes sense to me if I accept that the object of the ruling oligarchy is to drive this country into a hole which will be very difficult to get out of.

Competition is ideal.
The ruling class wash their hands.

This is ideal.
They get the kudos for triumphs and avoid responsibility for cock-ups.
Not only that, but the ruling class can sell themselves cash cows.

Whats not to like?

"Competition is ideal.
The ruling class wash their hands. "

The issue is not so much the Ruling Class, but the Ruling Ideology which is Growth Economics or 'Progress'.
Almost everyone believes in Progress which means more people consuming more goods which are increasingly technologically superior.

My brother, who works for a company which makes and sells washing machines believes that we need more people in Oz in order to sell more washing machines and this will be Good all round.

Each person in their own little commercial world feels something similar about their products.

I see each washing machine as a little Easter Island statue waiting to be placed on Bondi beach with a little high maintenance pot-plant on it so we can all go down to the beach and worship it; praying for rain, fertility, Baby Bonuses, ongoing Stimulus Packages, and 50% tax deductions on our business expenses.

Brisbane is putting the finishing touches on its monuments to stupidity.

Monument 1 - $2 billion Gateway Duplication. Construction of a six lane motorway across Brisbane River. Note its proximity to the existing six lane motorway across Brisbane River.

Monument 2 - $3 billion North South Bypass Tunnel (aka "Clem7"). Construction of a four lane motorway tunnel beneath the Brisbane River. Note its proximity to the existing six lane highway bridge across the Brisbane River. This monument has been appropriately named after Clem Jones, Brisbane's longest serving Lord Mayor, who was responsible for dismantling Brisbane's sustainable transport system in the 1960s.

Completion dates for these projects have been beautifully synchronised with the peak in global oil production.

Definitions can be complicated. Progress does no have to mean growth economics. The human condition can progress to a higher level while eschewing much of the unecessarry consumption that currently gives most of the population meaning in their lives. IMHO we nbeed to redefine 'Progress' as moving towards a sustainable lifestyle for all.