19 Walang Avenue,
Figtree, NSW, 2525
18th April, 2007.
Global Warming- Suggestions for a Mitigating Plan
I would like to express my views on mitigating measures in regard to Global Warming, considering that this is Sustainability Week and having seen the film An Inconvenient Truth, which I consider to be a fairly accurate presentation of facts to the best of prevailing knowledge.
The two main political parties, while acknowledging there may be a problem with global warming, cannot agree on policies to stem this continuing and long term problem so long as we continue increased use of fossil fuels for energy in transportation, industry, commerce and homes. Mr Kevin Rudd unilaterally wants to reduce fossil fuel usage by 60% before 2050 whereas Mr Howard has no publicly aired target. Mr Howard states that he wants to protect the jobs of Australians. He is prepared to act only when there are internationally accepted levels applying to all nations including industrially emerging nations of China and India.
Mr Howard, we urgently need policies and action now. Mr Rudd, I admire your lofty ideals, but you need to convince your local government colleagues to also take an enlightened view and start implementing your policies now. I sight a case as example. Recently, Wollongong ALP councillors as a block voted against a rescission motion- without deigning to give a reason- that would result in increased traffic congestion at Thirroul entailing additional pollution.
I suggest a possible immediate action plan without waiting for China and India to come on board and more importantly avoiding the sacrificing of jobs in the resource and associated industries while preferably creating additional jobs and knowledge in the emerging renewable energy industry (with long term export potential to less developed nations) without an unreasonable impost on our community at large. However, I believe each one individually has to make our own contribution by being conscious and frugal in the way we consume energy.
1) All fossil fuel use to be frozen immediately at present levels.
2) A national renewable energy fund to be created for research, development, promotion and use of renewable energy of all forms with potential for economic viability.
3) Industry, Transportation, Commerce to contribute 1% of the cost of their fossil fuel energy use to the renewable energy fund
4) Any expansion of fossil fuel use can only be committed if the cost of an equivalent amount of renewable energy is invested in the renewable energy fund.
5) Consumers are encouraged to install energy saving devices (such as solar hot water system) and renewable generators (such as solar voltaic panels) with a subsidy of 10 to 20 %. This subsidy to come from the renewable energy fund.
6) The effectiveness of this plan should be continuously monitored and reviewed every 12 months. If necessary more drastic measures (increased levy and encompassing more of the community). These measures will have a cumulative effect in the use of renewables.
7) There is no panacea. So every possible mix of renewable sources (including coal use with carbon sequestration) relevant to a locale should be considered.
8) If wind and photo voltaic are sufficiently geographically dispersed through the nation and integrated into the grid, there is often sufficient diversity of load and diversity of generation to allow more balance between load and generation.
9) Locally, in the Illawarra, the development of ocean based energy technology shows promise.
In conclusion, I would like to state that with the resources the government and opposition party posses, they should be able to arrive at a far superior plan. It only requires the desire and political will to be committed to the well being of our planet, ourselves and all other creatures living in it.