Misleading media titlesPosted: November 15, 2007
I realise the media need to generate sales but exactly how far should they go in putting erroneous ideas into peoples heads? Today we have “Australian power stations ‘worst greenhouse culprits'” from the ABC.
We also have the same old misleading rant “..ranks Australia as the world’s worst greenhouse gas emitter on a per capita basis. ”
OK fine. We can change that. Hey China, you know all those minerals and LPG you import? Well, go to hell. Hey, rest of the planet, all that grain and food we export? Go to hell to, have fun starving.
The reason little Australia, and we are little by world ranking, has a high per capita energy usage is because we have a large export industry. Those minerals and grains don’t hop on ships by themselves, they have to mined and grown which is a high energy consumption process. Bauxite does not magically turn into aluminium by itself.
The increasing CO2 emissions might have to be fixed nationally but are a global problem and as such need to be looked at with a global viewpoint. Where the power usage that generated the CO2 went also needs to be taken into account such as when it has led to exports.
On a worldwide basis we are ranked 16th in total energy usage and roughly 1/20th of the USA and less than a 1/10th of China, which will soon be exceeding the USA. Australia uses 1.4% of world energy , if we turned off all industry and power today it would make diddly swat change to this global problem. Sure it’s not great having to use coal for the bulk of our power however so does China and many countries. And China is building a new coal fired station every few weeks or so. In the same way Germany is building 14 new coal fired stations now that they have decided to move away from nuclear as an option. And as for clean coal, believe it when I see it and when I see a company making a profit supplying clean coal energy.
No one is taking this problem seriously. Our energy usage simply isn’t sustainable.
A report yesterday (sorry don’t have link) estimated it would take 30 years before there was any global agreements on global warming. To me this seems like a reasonable estimate based on what’s happened over the last 15 years and the behaviour of various countries like the USA and China.
So I’d say we have another 30 years of these headlines which distract from the big problem that needs fixing first. We can claim the moral high ground by fixing our energy generation but in all seriousness, it wont really have an effect apart from leading by example. We are simply too small.