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Costello blues « Previous | |Next »
March 28, 2007

Repudiated by his own kind:

CostelloC.jpg
Allan Moir

It will be interesting to see how Costello responds to the intervention of Nicholas Stern in the Australian debates about global warming. Sterns' message is simple: Australia faces a bleak future of increasing droughts, storms, sea level rises and the collapse of the Great Barrier Reef if the planet kept warming; and that the costs of acting worldwide to combat climate change are much less than the cost of inaction.

Costello is vague on this issue. He doesn't talk about market failure at all.

Simon Grose in The Canberra Times says:

According to the Electricity Supply Association of Australia, at least 2200megawatts of new electricity generating capacity is under construction in Australia and a further 2250megawatts is at the advanced planning stage. This equals an increase of about 10 per cent to our existing national capacity of 45,000megawatts and is part of a huge effort to meet growing demand for electricity. By 2030 national demand is estimated to be 67 per cent higher than in 2006, requiring about 30,000megawatts of new capacity.

Increasing demand provides a good opportunity to start making the shift away from electricity generated by fossil fuels. Alas
Fossil-fuelled new CO2-emitting plants account for just over 4000megawatts of the total, or more than 80 per cent. A couple of these involve partly experimental exercises in either reducing CO2 emissions per unit of energy or capturing and storing CO2, and gas-fired plants produce less CO2 per unit of energy than coal-fired plants, but the fact remains that we are investing heavily in new CO2-emitting plants while simultaneously expressing a new peak in concern about global warming.

So what is Costello going to do about that? How is he going to rtr try and frame the issue? The union dominated ALP and economic vandalism talking points are no use here, so is it back to nuclear power, big government subsidies for the nuclear industry and slow strangulation of the solar power research and industry.

Update
Costello took a different stance in Question Time. Australia though not a signatory to Kyoto will achieve its greenhouse reduction targets. The Europeans, who are signatories, will fail bigtime. No mention was made that Australia will do this because of reduced land clearing in Queensland. The implication is that the free market+technology approach will deliver whilst the big government approach will fail.

The argument can be found here at the Globalisation Institute.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 9:55 AM |