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Weekend reflections

September 22nd, 2007

Weekend Reflections is on again. Please comment on any topic of interest (civilised discussion and no coarse language, please). Feel free to put in contributions more lengthy than for the Monday Message Board or standard comments.

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  1. BilB
    September 23rd, 2007 at 06:39 | #1

    Electricity and water are becoming inextricably linked as we rush forward into the consequences of Global Warming. Sadly our governments have yet to make the connection that a smooth transition from the memories of our golden past to the stark reality of our parched future will rely on a fully integrated management approach to government, through all levels. The divisive, devisive, destructive, dogmatic, denegrating, demoralising, dehumanising (all the “duh” words) nature of the Howard government have contrived to maximise the difficulty of the task ahead. And make no mistake the task will be huge. google BBC’s article “ice withdrawal shatters record” to get some idea of the pace of change. The Artic ice shrunk by 20 percent of it’s residual size this summer, opening for the first time the north west sea passage. That reduction was 1.2 million square kilometres, or 1.5 times Australia’s size. That is in the northern hemisphere, but the same ice loss will be occuring in the south more evidenced in the ice thickness and temperature rather than spread. Our Southern Australian weather is driven by sweeps of cold air coming off the Southern ice and as that cold air reduces so does our rainfall.

    There are people with clear vision and the energy to be proactive. Al Gore is apparently in Australia (Melbourne) at the moment training a new batch of environmental awareness warriors. And while he does that our election is getting underway and the weasel words are pouring forth. Howard seen saying things such as “practical action” and “affordable” his standby words for “as little as possible” and “minimal”, paint the picture of business as usual as soon as he has power again.

    And thinking of Howard with power, contemplate that the world is soon to put a 1.5 billion dollar steel cover over the Chernobyl reactor site. This cover will last 100 years before needing to be replaced. The world only has to do this another 2000 times before that nuclear failure will be benign. And while that is happening the UK is musing over what to do with the 100 tonnes of plutonium that they have accumulated from the operation of their nuclear power plants. The concern is where to put it where terrorists cannot get to it. And remember that this solution has to last for 250,000 years at least.

    A vote for Howard equals a vote for nuclear power, nuclear waste, maximised coal consumption, and strong global warming.

  2. BilB
    September 23rd, 2007 at 07:42 | #2

    Imagine how differently world events would have unfolded if Al Gore had not been cheated from his victory in the US 2000 Presidential Election by a vote of the appointed members of the US Supreme Court.

  3. Hermit
    September 23rd, 2007 at 15:11 | #3

    Howard’s new clean energy target http://au.news.yahoo.com/070923/2/14hup.html doesn’t cut it. It represents about 3.5 gigawatts instantaneous average out of about 50 Gw national electrical generation. Start date is Jan 2010, why not Jan 2008? The 3.5 Gw won’t mean anything if at the same time coal fired electricity goes up 10 Gw or 90 Mt of CO2 per year under likely technology.

    Also what does ‘clean’ mean? Coal with offsets, nuclear? Note on report card…must try harder.

  4. October 1st, 2007 at 15:33 | #4

    Dear John Quiggin

    I heard Seymour Hersh this morning on ABC Radio National. He was saying that the US is planning a bombing campaign against Iran and that sources inside the Bush administration claim that “the Brits are on board … and the Australians”.

    I have heard nothing till now in the Australian media about this country being willing to go to war against Iran. I think we should be hearing about this from the Prime Minister, John Howard and the Opposition leader, Kevin Rudd. This silence is unacceptable.

    http://www.smh.com.au/news/world/us-plan-to-bomb-iran/2007/10/01/1191090983037.html ‘US plan to bomb Iran’

    This is the Israeli media story on their involvement:

    http://www.jta.org/cgi-bin/iowa/breaking/104414.html
    ‘Report: Israel unhappy with U.S. plan for Iran’

    Uri Avnery on the chances of Iran War ‘So What About Iran?’
    A RESPECTED American paper posted a scoop this week: Vice-President Dick Cheney, the King of Hawks, has thought up…
    http://zope.gush-shalom.org/home/en/channels/avnery/

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