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Sustainabilty and Global Issues – August 2006

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Trees offset cars’ gases

30.Aug.06: Alessi Group paid for 10,000 trees to be planted at a property near Yerong Creek to absorb greenhouse gases emitted by the cars they sell each year. … Border Mail

Shaping a Sustainable Future – National Press Club Address

30.Aug.06: We are at the cross-roads, deciding the broad direction of our future. Will it be the clean, green road of a sustainable future? Or will it leave our children a dreadful legacy of climate change, radioactive waste and derelict land? … more

Michael Pascoe’s unshakable faith in the market

29.Aug.06: Michael Pascoe is one of the best financial journalists in the country, and he writes some great stuff for Crikey which is generally spot on. He gets it mostly right below, but his unshakable faith in the market will be sorely tested by the twin threats of peak oil and climate change: … more

First brand in Australia to ensure cars are climate neutral

29.Aug.06: Buyers of new smart cars in Australia are automatically enrolled in smart Australia’s Carbon Zero program, independently run by two different Australian organizations: Climate Friendly and Greenfleet. … more

Natural gas overlooked in fuel market

29.Aug.06: In all the debate, one fuel seems to have been overlooked – a fuel that’s even cheaper, less polluting, has a proven track record and one that Australia has in abundance. It’s natural gas, the kind that fuels your stove at home. … 7.30 Report

PM sceptical on global warming

29.Aug.06: PRIME Minister John Howard says he is sceptical of the more gloomy predictions about human-induced climate change, sparking claims he is not taking the issue seriously enough. … Herald Sun

Bowser prices too high: analyst

29.Aug.06: FUELtrac managing director Chris Cable today said the international refinery price drop of 11 cents a litre in the past three weeks had not been passed on to motorists. … Herald Sun

Aust urged to reduce oil dependence

28.Aug.06: An American energy expert is pushing for Australia to sign up to an international protocol to reduce its dependence on petroleum. … ABC Online

Petrol forecast to drop to $1.15 by Christmas

28.Aug.06: Motorists will be handed a welcome Christmas present with the price of petrol to drop to $1.15 by the festive season, a prominent economist has predicted. … Herald Sun

Construction begins on Swan Hill ethanol plant

27.Aug.06: Site works will start this morning on a $80 million ethanol plant at Swan Hill, in north-west Victoria. The plant at Woorinen South will be Australia’s first purpose-built ethanol plant and will produce 90 million litres of ethanol a year. … ABC Online

When oil dries up

27.Aug.06: How bad will it be? If Heinberg is to be believed, the impending dislocation caused by the end of the oil era will be about as bad as it gets. … Sydney Morning Herald

Acid rain polluting one third of China

27.Aug.06: Acid rain caused by sulphur dioxide spewed from factories and power plants affected a third of China’s vast land mass last year, posing a threat to food safety, according to a Chinese parliamentary report … and we eat that stuff! … The Independent

Bracks’ water recycle claim a ‘big swindle’

27.Aug.06: BILLIONS of litres of water are being wastefully dumped into Port Phillip Bay each year by the Bracks Government, which has been accused of misleading Victoria about the amount of water it recycles. … Sunday Age

LPG car travels Australia on $1000 fuel

26.Aug.06: The challenge, backed by Ford Australia, involved a 23 day, 14,000km lap around mainland Australia, taking in all state and territory capitals, on a fuel budget of $1,000 or less. … The Age

Climate blamed for early springs

25.Aug.06: A Europe-wide study has provided “conclusive proof” that climate change is responsible for spring arriving earlier each year, researchers say. … BBC News

Richard Heinberg on Phillip Adams’ Late Night Live

25.Aug.06: “Over the last few years we’ve all been hearing about Peak Oil – the time when the international production of this much needed fossil fuel reaches its highest point, and reserves begin declining. There’s debate about when this will happen – some say it will be up to 30 years, while others say we could see it this decade. But in an industrialised world reliant on oil for so much production and international trade – what can be done to prepare for the inevitable depletion of oil whenever it does arrive? … ABC podcast mp3

ASPO-5 5th International Conference on Oil and Gas Depletion

25.Aug.06: The Fifth International Conference of the Association for the Study of Peak Oil and Gas (ASPO-5) was held on July 18-18 2006 in San Rossore (near Pisa) in Italy. Over 250 people attended the 25 talks presented by international experts and discussed the numerous poster presentation. … more

Scientists flock to test ‘free energy’ discovery

24.Aug.06: A man who claims to have developed a free energy technology which could power everything from mobile phones to cars has received more than 400 applications from scientists to test it. … more

Energy Descent Action Plan (EDAP) Primer

23.Aug.06: An Energy Descent Action Plan (EDAP) is a local plan for dealing with Peak Oil. It goes well beyond issues of energy supply, to look at across-the-board creative adaptations in the realms of health, education, economy and much more. … more

Carbon Sequestration – latest news updates

22.Aug.06: John Howard is banking on carbon sequestration – or burying carbon dioxide underground – as Australia’s answer to global warming. Here are a few articles on the development of the process. … more

Oil prices on rise till 2010: Petroleum Review

21.Aug.06: THE price of oil would continue to rise until world oil production peaks in 2010 with any weather or political disruption able to cause a spike in price, an oil expert said today. … more

Another El Nino on way: forecaster

21.Aug.06: FARMERS hopes of an end to the big dry may have been dashed, with research predicting a strong chance of the dreaded El Nino weather pattern returning. … more

Nothing in fuel package to bring down prices

21.Aug.06: FEDERAL Labor will use the two-week parliamentary break to critically road-test John Howard’s $1 billion energy package, designed to offset the effect of rising petrol prices on motorists. Already the Opposition is convinced it’s hitting serious political potholes. The package comes under the category of “being seen to do something”. Howard himself admitted before bringing down the measures – the centrepiece of which was a subsidy worth up to $2000 for LPG conversions – that he could make up for the spike in fuel costs only “at the margins”. … more

Iraq war drove petrol up 10c: Rudd

21.Aug.06: “Because of the Iraq war, Australians are now paying five to 10 cents per litre more than they would have otherwise be paying,” Opposition foreign affairs spokesman Kevin Rudd said in Brisbane. … more

Anti Fluoridation website – background information

20.Aug.06: “Over the past ten years a large body of peer-reviewed science has raised concerns that fluoride may present unreasonable health risks, particularly among children, at levels routinely added to tap water in American cities.” – ENVIRONMENTAL WORKING GROUP, July 2005

“I am quite convinced that water fluoridation, in a not-too-distant future, will be consigned to medical history.” – Dr. ARVID CARLSSON, Winner, Nobel Prize for Medicine (2000). … more

Richard Heinberg & David Holmgren on Peak Oil & Permaculture

18.Aug.06: n August-Sept 2006 David Holmgren will be joined by Richard Heinberg, leading environmental educator from California on a public speaking tour explaining the truth and opportunities from the coming end of cheap energy.

As well as taking the message to a larger public audiences in big capital city venues, this tour aims to make clear the sustainable alternatives to the “war that will never end in our lifetimes” and the “something will save our unsustainable addictions” stories which are the default reactions to the realities of peak oil. … more

QLD: Beattie’s ethanol challenge to PM

18.Aug.06: MOTORISTS throughout Australia will enjoy cheaper fuel and the nation will reduce its dependence on fluctuating oil prices if John Howard accepts a challenge from Queensland Premier Peter Beattie to mandate ethanol in all petrol. … more

Global warming prompts need for wine reforms

18.Aug.06: Winemakers are being warned to come up with a strategy to help them cope with global warming. Adelaide wine lawyer Will Taylor says climate change is the biggest long-term issue facing the industry and winemakers will need to change what they grow and where they grow it. … more

Growing Oil: Brazil’s Biofuels Future

18.Aug.06: Brazil may soon become the world’s first biofuels economy. Indeed, Brazil has made kicking the oil habit a national priority, on par with redistributing digital technologies to its people. … more

Council tackles issue: when will oil run out?

17.Aug.06: The City of Yarra is hosting a free information evening about Peak Oil and its implications for local communities. The event will be held on 28 August 2006, 6pm to 8pm, Richmond Town Hall, 333 Bridge Road, Richmond. Now, there’s something the RCoW could do for us! … more

Australian governments simply do not get it!

16.Aug.06: The state governments are proposing “carbon trading” on greenhouse emissions. That does nothing to reduce emissions – it just makes them another commodity to sell even though environment groups have welcomed the plan.

The federal governmnet is staying clear of the carbon scheme saying the system would increase the cost of both electricity and petrol.

So far so good! Then they ruin it all by committing to bury carbon dioxide underground. Carbon Sequestration won’t save us. There is only one otion … Reduce consumption!

‘Hot rock’ energy valued at $10billion

16.Aug.06: The geothermal resource in the Cooper Basin, which straddles the South Australia and Queensland borders, is estimated to be the equivalent of 12 times the gas reserves of the North West Shelf or 60 times bigger than the Snowy Hydro Scheme. … more

New Australian Solar cells double generation capacity

16.Aug.06: Solar Systems Pty Ltd, Hawthorn, Victoria, have announced an agreement with Boeing Australia Ltd for the supply of Spectrolab solar cells. Solar Systems have already trialed the cells in their CS500 concentrating solar dish installed at a solar power station in Hermannsburg, Central Australia. Simply replacing the existing cells with the Spectrolab multi-junction solar cells increased output from 24kW to 34kW. Solar Systems is planning to use the technology in a solar power station it will build in northern Victoria, with a capacity of 154MW. … more

US ‘knew of Israel bombing plan’

15.Aug.06: Israel and the United States were in close contact about Israel’s war on Hezbollah long before it began, a US investigative journalist has claimed. “Israel had devised a plan for attacking Hezbollah, and shared it with Bush administration officials, well before” 12 July, Seymour Hersh wrote. … more

Fuelling our future
by John Mathews

Can we go “flat out” on ethanol? This is the issue at the heart of current debate over the viability of ethanol and biofuels as potential substitutes for at least a part dwindling of our petrol supplies. So let me look at the issues, as an observer without vested interests. On the positive side, the experience of Brazil demonstrates unequivocally that ethanol can be produced more cheaply than the current cheapest oil – without subsidies. There has been a belated recognition of Brazil’s success now being registered in the international press … more

Solar cells change electricity distribution

14.Aug.06: Thin solar films can be used in building materials, including roofing materials and glass, and built into mortgages, reducing their cost even further. Inexpensive solar electric cells are, fundamentally, a “disruptive technology,” even in Seattle, with below-average electric rates and many cloudy days. Much like cellular phones have changed the way people communicate, cheap solar cells change the way we produce and distribute electric energy. The race is on. … more

from New York Times

During August McDonald’s U.S. have teamed up with GM to include a model of the gas-guzzling Hummer in “Happy Meals”. The New York Times notes that McDonald’s “appears not to have gotten the message” about rising petrol prices. In an attempt to gain mainstream media coverage for its “Hummer of a Summer” marketing campaign, McDonald’s organised a lunch-hour parade down Chicago’s Michigan Avenue featuring Ronald McDonald on the hood of a Hummer.

Campbell defends climate change efforts

13.Aug.06: The Federal Government has denied it is putting its head in the sand on the issue of climate change … The Minister for the Environment, Senator Ian Campbell, says Australia is leading the fight against climate change. …more

No more business as usual

13.Aug.06: ALI SAMSAM BAKHTIARI is a retired “senior energy expert,” formerly employed by the National Iranian Oil Co. (NIOC) of Tehran, Iran. In a recent public address to the Senate of Australia, Bakhtiari stated that “I can see a range of $100-150 [per barrel of oil] not very far into the future.” He amplified this statement as follows: …more

Israel attacked convoy after approving it, UN says

13.Aug.06: United Nations peacekeepers on Saturday denied Israel’s assertion that an evacuation convoy it attacked in southern Lebanon had set off without permission, saying the UN had sought and been granted safe passage on a named route.

Israeli forces launched an air strike on the convoy on Friday, killing a Lebanese Red Cross worker and six other civilians and wounding 36 people, among them members of the Lebanese security forces, and destroying a number of vehicles. “It’s against the Geneva Conventions, attacking civilians and vehicles with Red Cross symbols,” the head of the Lebanese Red Cross, George Kettani, told Reuters on Saturday …more

Reap the good oil – Sunday Herald Sun

13.Aug.06: Is ethanol the biofuel of the future and is the Federal Government doing enough to develop it as a cheap substitute to petrol, Andrew Bolt asks. We may be driving – on oil we can barely afford – right past the bargain of our lives.

Spring is here and the weeds are waking up

13.Aug.06: Now is the perfect time of year for rural landholders to inspect their roadside for weeds. Council, together with Landcare groups, provides coordinated control of weeds on rural roadsides. If you would like to include your roadside as part of this program, please contact your local Landcare group. Landcare groups are listed on Council’s website in the Community Directory or contact the North East Regional Landcare Coordinator on (02) 6043 7600. For further information about Council’s weed control program, please contact Council’s Sustainability Program Coordinator on (03) 5722 0888.

Confront water challenge – by Malcolm Turnbull

12.Aug.06: We are, as the poet wrote, the land of drought and flooding rain. Our highly variable rainfall made agriculture, even urban existence, precarious until we built large water storages to outlast the droughts. But today, even the massive storages we have built around our great cities are getting low … more

Barnewatha Biodiesel tank farm takes shape

10.Aug.06: Yesterday two tanks built by Wodonga’s Butko Engineering made the 22km trip down the Hume Freeway to the Barnewatha biodiesel fuel producers tank farm. The tanks are two of about 30 to be built off-site for the plant. Larger tanks are being built at the construction site … more

Natural disasters ‘more likely’ -Sunday Age 13.Aug

Natural disasters that have multiplied worldwide since the 1950s will increase in frequency due to climate change, a conference has heard … Scientific predictions point to a further increase in the frequency and intensity of hazards, with a five-fold global cost increase over the next 50 years, mainly due to climate change and to further concentration of the world’s population in vulnerable habitats. …more (free registration required)

Crude Oil reaches new record price

08.Aug.06: Due to an Alaskan oil rig shutdown, crude oil reached a record $US78.64 a barrel with a warning that petrol prices could hit $1.80 litre …but Mr Howard says he hopes petrol prices could fall to about $1.15 a litre. Here is why petrol is so expensive. The federal govt just doesn’t get it!


Written by Greg Naylor

25 August 2006 at 8:29 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Tagged with , , ,

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