Category Archives: Resources

President Obama using the EPA to shut down coal fired electricity generation in the USA

These two online articles show that concern is rising in the USA about two main issues around the shutdown of coal fired power – the impact of higher electricity prices on the less well off and the reliability of the grid.
I hope that policymakers in the USA can learn from Australian experience after our Coalition Govt foolishly introduced a tiny RET scheme (Renewable Energy Target) in 2001 – then in 2010 this was vastly increased by GreenLabor. Of course the USA gets 20% of electricity from nuclear energy – I do not know if that sector can take up any slack from reductions in coal use.
IMHO Australia is sleepwalking towards increased risk of grid instability but adopting the 33Gwh target for 2020 has eased that risk a little. On the other hand some states are working towards higher targets. Queensland wants 50% renewable energy by 2030 and the ACT (only ~300K people) has a 90 percent renewable energy target for 2020. All against a background of China increasing emissions out to 2035 at least. Nothing we try to do matters a cup- full of warm spit.

Colossal Greens and UN hypocrisy exposed constantly complaining about the Great Barrier Reef yet ignoring the large scale destruction of many reefs in the South China Sea

We get sick and tired in Australia with Greens media exaggerations on the fabricated subject around “dumping” dredged spoil on the Great Barrier Reef – which is of course in some UN inspired world heritage area blah blah.
Yet total Greens and UN silence on the huge and rapid island construction by China which is smothering unprecedented areas of reef and marine habitat.
The total damage to the GBR by Australia in over a century would not rate a minute fraction of the damage done in the Spratly’s in 12 months.
Utter hypocrisy by the Greens and UN.

Minister Greg Hunt claims Direct Action policy success as the first auction squanders $660 taxpayer millions – more waste to come

In Nov 2014 I wrote – Why are we wasting $Billions on “Carbon Farming” when Australia is naturally sequestering all our emissions without any human intervention ?
12 April 2015 news commentary critical of the Govt – Direct Action: Government’s $2b carbon scheme likely to fall short as first auctions approach, analysts say
Yesterday news trumpeted by Govt – Emission Reduction Fund: Government purchases 47 million tonnes of carbon abatement in first auction

Bending over backwards to clear trees for the new BoM weather station in Adelaide parklands

First let me say I am not in any way against the clearing of whatever trees have to be cleared for the new BoM weather station. Australia has no shortage of trees or places to replace a few.
I am simply pointing out the utter hypocrisy in classifying these trees so nitpickingly adversely – see extract from Adelaide Park Lands Authority Agenda – page 60/143.

Not significant – atypical in form – low vitality – poor structure – regrowth – and low life expectancy – pass me that chainsaw quick.
The photo shows ordinary enough mallee struggling to establish itself a bit of a habitat. If a mineral exploration company wanted to say clear 18 trees like this for a drilling program – hundreds of km from anywhere at Outer Black Stump – they would expect to have to lodge a Review of Environmental Factors or REF report – probably running to many dozen pages and usually requiring a consultant costing up to or over $10,000. They would also have lodged upwards of $10,000 as an environmental bond to have an exploration licence granted in the first place – to ensure that the site was rehabilitated.
All this before your drill bit touches soil. In the case of a REF there would have to be assessments of fauna too which the BoM seems to be escaping in this case, yet there must be birds and insects inhabiting these trees.

Graziers forced off Mount Morris Station near Charleville – carbon farming is part of the financial issue

Last May I tried to get a grip on the circumstances at Mount Morris Station – News from the world of carbon farming – Charleville property sold up by bank despite carbon farming project.
A reader has just sent this link from the Chronicle in Toowoomba last October – Stuart family forced off Mount Morris – but not a word mentioned about carbon farming. The 20th May 2014 article in The Australian quotes the bank with their reservations about the very long term nature of the carbon farming agreements. But there must be more than that concerning the bank. Income is income – so what if it runs for a very long time – why would a bank not like that?
If anybody has any further information please let us know.

What do readers think about media reporting of the Adelaide hills bushfires over the last week

My impressions have been mainly from the ABC 24Hrs TV –
Little comment about the often large fuel loads shown in vision – grass thigh high – to what extent were the fires just natures hazard reduction burns a bit late.
Ludicrous comparisons to Ash Wednesday –
Rare and poor use of illegible map, I only ever saw one map, the reporters seem cartographically very limited –
Use of old footage without time/date stamp saying it is old –
One reporter at Montacute showed the same scene of smoke in far distance for days without any guide to viewers as to directions – where was north etc –
Too much reporting of the Premier – IMHO viewers want to hear from fire experts –
Days passed before we heard of the larger water bombers –
I recall a young lady reporter on a hilltop – was it Monday or Tuesday referring to six properties up there but the broadcast scene showed little evidence of fire and the camera never panned around – do reporters get sent out without a camera operator ?
The issue of not being able to get a count on lost homes went on for days.
At a time Wednesday late afternoon when BoM radar showed useful rain moving through the fire area – news services were v slow to mention the rain –
But the inevitable whinge about slippery tracks had to appear later.
I see Judith Sloan at Catallaxy has a post – Wrong again: journalistic standards fall even lower – on the issue of the PM being in Iraq at the time of the fires.

US Senate quietly and quickly extends taxpayer protection to giant bank Citigroup

Dear old Citigroup – key at the formation of the deceptively named US Federal Reserve in 1913 – played its role in the 1929 and 2008 crashes – biggest ever recipient of taxpayer bailout funds – and now with its hand in taxpayers pockets again. Pam Martens reports – Meet Your Newest Legislator: Citigroup and Alasdair Macleod relates this new legislative move to the truly colossal global derivatives market which he reports amounted to $691 trillion at the end of last June, about nine times the global GDP. Digest the implications of that. I wonder what the collapse in the oil price will do to derivatives?
And I wonder how deep Citigroup is into carbon derivatives?

Australian petroleum consumers shafted for years as Govts fail to ensure a fair fuels retail market

As world oil prices plummet big oil must be chortling as they are able increase their margins – politicians gone for the holidays and consumers preoccupied with Christmas. This graphic shows how Canberra ULP pump prices have been slow to follow Sydney and Perth down, in our Capital under the noses of politicians we elect to look after our interests.

I remember the considerable news comment recently critical of the Fed Govt increasing petrol excise by a fraction of a cent – yet there is near silence at the ripoffs every day at the pumps.
The so called fuel price cycles are completely the creatures of big oil – tailor made to keep the markets confused and let them hike prices at will.
Price data from NRMA and FuelWatch in WA. WW is Woolworths and Warnbro is a Perth suburb south of Rockingham.
I see where the ACCC are going to report on prices quarterly. On past performance what an utter waste of time and money that will be. The ACCC might posture but the pricing caravan will have always long gone moved on. Australian petrol consumers deserve an official source – say a Govt web site publishing a suite of downloadable daily price tables and graphics to help keep the entire market transparent. Do not hold your breath.