Global warming can only be tackled seriously by a massive reduction in anthropogenic greenhouse gas production. It’s that simple. But just hoping for this to gradually happen — locally, regionally or globally — by tinkering at the edge of the problem (carbon prices, alternative energy subsidies, mandated targets and loan guarantees, “100 ways to be more green” lists, etc.), is just not going to get us anywhere near where we need to be, when we need to be. For that, we need to develop and implement a well-thought-out, practical and cost-effective action plan!
Back in early 2009, I offered a A sketch plan for a zero-carbon Australia. Overall, I still think this advocates the right sort of path. I elaborated further on this idea in my two pieces: Climate debate missing the point and Energy in Australia in 2030; in the latter, I explored a number of potential storylines, along with an estimate of the probability and result of following these different pathways. But the lingering question that arises from thought experiments like this is… how do you turn it into something practical?
Sadly, I can’t think of any liberal-democratic government, anywhere in the world, that actually has a realistic, long-term energy plan. Instead, we have politicians, businesses and other decision makers with their heads in the sand (peak oil is another issue where this is starkly apparent). This must change, and we — the citizenry — must be the agents of that change. That is why the new initiative by Ben Heard, called “Decarbonise SA“, is so exciting. I’ll let Ben explain more, in the guest post below.
But before that, just a small note from me. For the many non-Australian readers of BNC, don’t dismiss this as something parochicial. Think of it instead as a case study — a working template — for what you can help organise in your particular region (local council, city, state/province, whatever). We need all of you on board, because this is a problem of the global commons. Over to Ben.
Ben Heard — Ben is Director of Adelaide-based advisory firm ThinkClimate Consulting, a Masters graduate of Monash University in Corporate Environmental Sustainability, and a member of the TIA Environmental and Sustainability Action Committee. He is the founder of Decarbonise SA. His recent BNC post was Think climate when judging nuclear power.
I have been a fan of the work of Brave New Climate for some time now. Barry’s knack for cutting through the noise to highlight the information we need to consider for making good decisions is remarkable. His reputation and tenure at Adelaide University also give Brave New Climate a global reach and relevance, exemplified by the one million hits it received in the week following the Sendai quake and tsunami.
Remarkable though it is, BNC can’t do everything, nor should it try. That’s why I have started Decarbonise SA. The first thing you need to know is that this is more than a blog, it is a mission. The purpose of Decarbonise SA is to form a collective of like-minded people who will drive the most rapid possible decarbonisation of the economy of South Australia, with a primary focus on the electricity supply.
To achieve that goal, South Australia needs to introduce nuclear power into the mix of generating technologies. The primary driver for our support of nuclear power is recognition of the fact that the scientific findings in relation to climate change are now so serious, that we require the fastest and deepest cuts in emissions possible. That means attacking the biggest problems first. In Australia, that’s electricity supply, specifically the coal and gas that provides most of our baseload generation. While climate change may be the catalyst, nuclear power provides many important environmental and safety benefits compared to coal, beyond greenhouse gas, that will give us a cleaner and healthier environment for the future.
Decarbonise SA also supports the increasing the use of renewable generation technologies, and becoming more efficient with energy. But the primary focus of Decarbonise SA is the introduction of nuclear power. We are going to work with the government, community and private sectors of South Australia to make this happen.
Why South Australia?
South Australia’s electricity generation sector is in crisis. Aging, inefficient, decrepit infrastructure must be replaced soon, against the backdrop of an urgent global need to cut greenhouse gas emissions. As in any good crisis though, the opportunity is there if you look. South Australia is just a small number of significant infrastructure investments away from having among the world’s cleanest electricity. It is the mission of Decarbonise SA to make that happen, and happen fast. The goal is decidedly immodest. But that’s because climate change is upon us and we must act quickly, firmly and decisively.
But climate change is a global problem. So focussing a whole blog on a relatively small part of Australia may seem an odd strategy. Here’s the thing. There are already a great many resources pushing the cause of climate change (BNC being one). I’m not going to try to compete with that.
At the same time, every grand vision eventually needs implementation to matter, and necessarily, someone needs to downscale the bigger issues to a more manageable level and actually put a plan in place to make it happen.
I am a proud South Australian, and while my work is often national and my ideas and articles have spread around the world, I know where I have the most influence. It’s in the state of 1 million people where I was raised, where I have deep connections and networks, and where I do the bulk of my work. And as I said at the start, I have not started this blog to flap my gums; I very much intend to make this happen. If Decarbonise SA can move 1 million people in a developed nation from dirty a dirty electricity supply to among the world’s very cleanest, well, I’ll be satisfied, the model will have worked, and I can think even bigger. I will be proud if South Australia is first. But I will be even more excited to find ourselves in competition with others around the world who are decisively pursuing the same goal. So hopefully what we do with Decarbonise SA will become a model that has relevance in every state, territory, county and province the world over. So nothing is trademarked at Decarbonise SA. If you like what you read, but don’t live in SA, steal my blog idea and everything on it, and start your own Decarbonise movement. I’ll help.
How will we achieve this?
The introduction of nuclear power to South Australia is the foundation of the Decarbonise SA vision. Nuclear power will permit the rapid replacement of South Australia’s decrepit baseload generation facilities. This is to be accompanied by the continued and enhanced expansion of the renewable energy sector in South Australia, which has played a major role in lowering average emissions of South Australian electricity over the last few years, and continued efforts to improve our efficient use of energy. So yes; to resort to the labels that will come what may, Decarbonise SA is pro-nuclear power. It is also pro-renewables. It is also pro-energy efficiency. It is decidedly pro- nuclear, renewables and energy efficiency working in trio, each deployed as their respective advantages and disadvantages dictate they should be. But above all, it is pro, pro, pro the rapid decarbonisation of the South Australian economy, focussing on electricity. That makes us completely anti-coal and anti-gas for any new electricity generation capacity.
It is the introduction of nuclear power that is the focus of Decarbonise SA’s work, for some pretty simple reasons. Firstly, in South Australia it’s the missing component of a strategy that would actually get the job done (remember, I’m talking about zero emissions. I’m not interested in deep cuts or improvements). Secondly, while renewable technology and energy efficiency both need better support and deeper penetration, they also both have a lot of friends already. Energy efficiency is supported by legislation (like the Energy Efficiency Opportunities Act, mandatory standards for new houses, Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS) and star ratings for appliances to name but a few), and organisations, governmental and otherwise. Renewables have support from organisations like Renewables SA, the Alternative Technology Association, and major legislated support from the national Renewable Energy Target (RET), as well as deep subsidies for solar PV. So the potential of this blog to improve the cause of either energy efficiency or renewables is minimal. To be perfectly clear, do not mistake the focus on nuclear power as an attack on, or belittling of, the role of either energy efficiency or renewables. That is not the case. But I do insist on being decidedly realistic about the potential of either to solve the problem in the absence of nuclear power.
Nuclear power, on the other hand, is roundly treated as the spawn of the devil, with the Australia’s Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act specifically highlighting nuclear as requiring referral. Not to mention the opposition of the coal industry, who know full well that nuclear is the only real threat to their dominance of electricity generation in Australia.
At first approach, you may think this is crazy. Nuclear has never been very popular in Australia, and right now, as I write, the second biggest nuclear incident ever remains unresolved. Decarbonise SA is certainly not naive about the challenge of putting nuclear in the centre of the strategy. But when the options are 1) a tough sell that can work (nuclear and renewables with energy efficiency), and easier sells that are guaranteed to fail (gas generation with still high levels of greenhouse gas, plus more imports from Victoria where they burn the dirty brown coal in the world’s worst power station, plus a bit more renewables and energy efficiency) there is really no decision to be made.
Besides, nuclear power is hardly a fringe technology. It is used in 30 countries worldwide, including the 16 largest economies (ignoring Australia at number 13). It provides 15% of global electricity supply from around 440 reactors. It provides 80% of France’s electricity, 30% of Japan’s, and 20% of the United States’. It has been in use for over 50 years, with a remarkable safety record, and a suite of environmental, health and safety advantages over and above coal that make your head spin. It is embraced by many prominent environmentalists, thoughtful, caring and passionate people. But Decarbonise SA has not based this plan on who else agrees or disagrees or what other countries have done; we based it on facts, evidence and context relating to:
- The extraordinary challenge of climate change, that requires total and rapid decarbonisation of electricity
- The need to maintain secure electricity supplies, and to urgently supply clean electricity to the 1 billion people in the world who have none
- Honest and evidence-based appraisal of the advantages and disadvantages of different energy supply options across all relevant criteria, being:
- Ability to provide near-zero greenhouse gas electricity across the lifecycle
- Scalability to meet electricity demand requirements, with a focus on baseload
- Location requirements
- Reliability/ track record
- Waste and pollution from energy generation
- Waste and pollution from mining operations
- Global security
When these criteria are attended to for all energy supply options with a clear head, and keeping prejudice to a minimum, one thing quickly becomes clear: Anyone who means what they say when they use the expression “climate crisis” needs to move nuclear power front and centre of the strategy, otherwise we will spend the next few decades rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.
By the way, this is all coming from someone who was once staunchly anti-nuclear. I supported the organisations who oppose it. I was first to rail against it if it came up over dinner or at a BBQ. But my growing understanding of the climate crisis forced me to take a second look at all of my reasons for opposition. I began that process believing that, in the end, I may find nuclear to be a necessary evil. When I was done, what I found instead is that it’s more than necessary, it’s essential, and it’s not really evil: compared to coal, nuclear power is 99% better in almost every relevant criterion (an assertion I will back with numbers in an upcoming post). I’ve been involved in enough environmental decisions now to know that if you have an option that will improve current conditions by 99%, that’s not a compromise. That’s not a defeatist stance. It’s a massive victory. I’ll be satisfied with the 99% this century, and chase the 1% in the next one if I’m still here.
So I hope you’ll join me on the journey, as I spell out the mission and reasons for Decarbonise SA in upcoming articles. But be warned: I’m not here for the talking. My children won’t really thank me for a blog. They will thank me for cleaner, healthier air, and a stable climate. That what Decarbonise SA is here for. And it needs you.
39 replies on “Decarbonise SA – regional action for greenhouse gas mitigation”
Ben,I can’t find anything in this post that I could possibly disagree with.I have bookmarked your site and I will await further articles on BNC with interest.
Good luck in your endeavours,and as a Queenslander (the coal state),I would be happy to see SA take the lead in nuclear power.
I hope that Decarbonise SA can become, at least Decarbonise Australia, if not Decarbonise the World!
It sounds like a mammoth undertaking that will need lots of help to achieve the essential goal of building the undoubtedly necessary baseload nuclear power plants Do you have any idea of what kind of assistance you might need – bearing in mind that some of us are not based in SA – which,however, thanks to the internet, may not be a barrier.
Peak Energy says SA could have 3.75 MW of geothermal electricity by the end of 2012 if testing goes well. We’re saved. A couple of years ago geothermal was going to be the next big thing, not just a gimmick . Note http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Australia has a separate paragraph on Olympic Dam.
There are some really weird things going on in SA
– uranium drilling to alternate with rocket testing at Woomera
– UCG in desert coal fields
– fracking around Moomba
– new baseload gas plant at Mannum
– new power lines to export wind power
– talk of uranium enrichment
– highest PV feed in tariff in Australia
– ETSA to put radio switches on air cons
– country’s most decrepit coal station Playford B
– Maralinga veterans get cancer 60 years later.
I see one chap in the Adelaide Advertiser wants copper and gold dug up but uranium put straight back in the ground. My idea is for several Candu 6’s or AP 1000’s in an energy park at Ceduna alongside a large desal. Power and water not needed locally ( OD alone needs 700 MW and 300 ML/d) goes into the respective grids.
Thanks everyone. The best way to help straight away is to click over to http://WWW.decarbonisesa.com , read some of the other posts, make some comments and subscribe. While I am sure Barry will have me back, I need my own mass of smart and motivated people who are ready for action. While you are there, you can check out the Want to help? page which has more things I need right now. You will also find radio interviews and a link to the presentation that started all this for me, and a detailed bio so you know who I am. I look forward to meeting you all in the comments sections at Decarbonise SA. Thanks to the 4 new subscribers I have picked up already.
Please redo your infographics as gif or png format.
The evil dirty shadows that haunt sharp color boundaries in the jpg fiefdom are tarnishing the beauty of your works.
SA is after all the uranium state. If you guys can’t do it…
Great initiative Ben, and best of luck to you. I think, by your own account, “Engage the political leadership” on your action plan has already started.
Good luck with your new PAC, I hope you can make a difference.
Well done Ben. I’ll help in any way I can. I have a lot of experience in getting the nuclear message out to the people, in fact, 10 years of it. There is a lot of support for nuclear out there. And even the pollies in SA are starting to make the right noises. Congratulations and good luck Ben.
I hold you in the highest esteem and I try to avoid being disagreeable when commenting on this admirable web site; yet once in a while you say something that exceeds my b******t tolerance.
“Global warming can only be tackled seriously by a massive reduction in anthropogenic greenhouse gas production. It’s that simple.”
You hold the “Sir Hubert Wilkins Chair of Climate Change ” so you have to believe in CAGW. Not to do so would be like the Pope declaring that he does not believe in God.
That statement you made is not true. If one could wave a magic wand and eliminate all CO2 emissions caused be man overnight it is debatable whether our climate would change enough to be measurable.
Certainly glaciers would continue to melt as they have since the last Ice Age and sea levels would continue to rise until the onset of the next glaciation.
Given expected levels of resistance, I think a first reactor should be put safely but suboptimally on the cliffs overlooking the Bight. Far from most voters, close to necessary water and high above possible tsunamis.
“Given expected levels of resistance, I think a first reactor should be put safely but suboptimally on the cliffs overlooking the Bight. Far from most voters, close to necessary water and high above possible tsunamis.”
Ha! at this rate the world will run out of ideal sites faster than it will run out of undeveloped hydro.
Thanks for the good laugh.
If only the moderator was still here to deem this silly remark OT and move it to the Sceptics thread, where it belongs.
It looks like just about anywhere is a suitable site for a NPP. Fukushima Dai-ichi has reinforced the message about the need for adequate, fortified backup power, but once that point is addressed, even that site could potentially be reused.
Yours is a very admiral endeavour.
Here’s the rub though.
Imagine your electorate. The’re aware that pollution is bad, Climate change is bad, they have a conscience, the’re concerned about the future and sustainability. They vote Green and Green opposes Nuclear.
How do we break the cycle?
I am convinced that many in the Green movement unqestioningly swallow the dogma. Greens here in the UK have the annoying habit of being Charasmatic and articulate when they say that renewables can be deployed quicker and cheaper than Nukes it all sounds so plausable. What really matters is not your favourite technology but full life cycle CO2 abatement.
Engaging with politics particuarly Green politics has to be part of the war. Idealogy has to be trumped by facts. I have asked Greens in particular F.O.E at what level would Nuclear power be acceptable to them? This is when they try to change the subject to say that nukes take too long to build and that alone rules out that option. Perhaps if Nuclear was rebranded perhaps the Thorium cycle was advocated. If F.O.E, Greenpeace etc can advocate a Nuclear technology that would errode the resistance.
So my checklist would include.
1) Endorsement by an Environmental organisation
2) Bypartisain support.
How do we get there?
The internet helps but only if your looking in the right places. I thought that something along the lines of TV adverts, Nuclear Myths debunked or rewnewable limitations. The vast majority of the population are unaware that Wind power is unavailable for 70% of the time and therefore demand has to be met by fossil fueled backup. Therefore rather than replacing fossil fuel power and emmisions actually ties us into FF.
I celebrate the day that the German Chacelor and the Australian pm hold a confrence to say that despite the’re best efforts looking at the numbers and the seriousness of Climate change that the only rational option is an emergency roll out of advanced nuclear incorparing energy parks for liguid fuels and desalination and all the major opposition parties also concur with this analysis.
This will be our Berlin wall moment.
I would say Barry’s statement is technically correct as worded. In the sense that it would take massive reductions in GHG levels. Even would require removing naturally occurring GHG from the atmosphere to counteract heating from the sun for example.
The only tool we have to adjust climate is GHG%. So, the only way we can make a measurable effect on climate is to make massive changes in GHG%, if it is a weak force, or small changes in GHG% if it is a strong force.
Either way we won’t know the effect until we try running at very low GHG emissions for a century or two.
Thanks Ben, it’s a great idea. Makes me wish I was South Australian.
I’m really keen to see some pro-nuclear, environmentalist, grass roots activism and am hoping Decarbonise SA might inspire it. It can happen, check out the Walk-Against-Warming marchers at the end of this video I made.
Good luck Ben. Contact me on email@example.com
In Australia, oil production is falling and imports are rising, so we have a pressing need for electric vehicles and more electricity to charge them. This has
to be a key point in any lobbying strategy. We aren’t just replacing existing power, even with the best efficiency gains, we need more.
The way Adelaide is going it will become a large retirement village for post WW2 migrants, dependent on interstate rainfall most years, dependent on interstate electricity imports in hot weather and needing a lot of corporate work-for-the-dole in defence contracting. And that’s the way the locals seem to like it.
Having been let down by geothermal SA’s big new hope appears to fracking to revive the ageing gas fields. If that disappoints as I think it will perhaps a sense of realism will set in. They say if you’ve got it flaunt it. For SA that means uranium mining, perhaps enrichment but definitely electricity generation. I’d even consider burial of other countries N-waste but perhaps that’s a touchy subject.
BTW on Monday I’m going on a bush ramble or hydro visit with some Adelaide friends visiting me in Tasmania. No doubt these issues will come up in conversation and I suspect the reality is slowly dawning.
gallopingcamel, on 6 May 2011 at 2:18 PM — I fear you fail to understand the physics.
David B. Benson and Ms. Perps,
Thanks for your predictable reactions. Actually I have quite a good grasp of physics; it still provides me with a decent income.
My statements were based on measurements. When physics is at odds with measurements maybe the physics is not being applied correctly.
People who think that the rise in CO2 caused by humans has had a significant effect on glaciation or sea levels are blind to the “Big Picture” which features a rise of 40 meters over the last 20,000 years but less than 2 meters over the last 5,000 years.
Ian C UK,
There are quite a few eminent “Environmentalists” who support a rapid expansion of NPP capacity. For example:
1. James Hansen, the author of fairy tales such as “Storms of my Grandchildren”.
2. James Goldsmith with his infamous “Gaia” concept.
3. Patrick Moore, one of the founders of Greenpeace.
Like any alternative electricity supplier, new NPPs should start small and remote, where existing electricity supplies are difficult or expensive. In that case, it only needs to match the cost structure of remotely transported diesel, and trump it with NP’s security of supply.
In the most remote regions, where transmitting, trucking or piping fuel is particularly difficult, a nuclear plant or battery can make an enterprise possible where it would otherwise be impractical.
gallopingcamel, on 7 May 2011 at 1:46 PM — And you don’t even have the facts correct either. SLR from LGM to now is about 120–130 meters.
You could actually study some climatology, you know. Try starting with “Principles of Planetary Climate” by Raymond T. Pierrehumbert.
The link that gallopingcamel gave us does not predict sealevel rise at all, smooth or otherwise. Instead it refers to periods of accelerated glaciation and shows a meltwater pulse on the plot.
When it comes to the melting of glaciers and sea level rise the rates has been slow over the last 5,000 years.
The effect of the rapid rise in CO2 levels since 1850 has had an insignificant effect, so why would you expect any measurable change if the CO2 level started to fall back to pre-industrial levels?
Sea level rise slowed down when the major continental ice sheets (e.g. the Laurentide glacier) melted. Rising temperatures since 1850 have not done much to raise sea levels because not much ice remains to be melted other than Greenland and Antarctica.
Wake up guys! This is not rocket science.
gallopingcamel: “… other than Greenland and Antarctica” … so only 7m from Greenland, 7m from the West Antarctic Ice sheet and only another 60m from the main Antarctic ice. That’s a relief.
Please folks do not feed Galloping Camel’s trolling. Thanks to the scientists and this admirable blog we know what happened in Earth’s past climate and what is occuring now. The information is all here in earlier blog posts by Barry. This is the wrong thread to discuss this topic and is detracting from this very important post by Ben.
Barry – can’t you delete any further OT comments by GC and have him re-post in the sceptics thread – as per the commenting rules?
No Barry, leave Galloping Camel alone. It’s important that all of you AGW believers be challenged to think that, despite all of the “evidence” for AGW, it might not be the big bogey that many think it is. There’s just as many deniers as believers as far as I can see. I’m not that fussed by who turns out to be right and it might be a long time before we know the truth. What I do know is that Ben’s major concern in decarbonising is to ensure that we stop burning coal for power and replace it with the only other alternative for base load viz nuclear. And that’s where he and I agree very strongly. I’ve told Ben that I’m a skeptic because he seems intereted in my writing a post following 10 years of research on just about every aspect of the nuclear fuel cycle for him. I’m no scientist and can’t really hold my own with all of you other posters. But at 73,having taught geology for 30 years, converting from anti to pro nuclear in 1981 while on teacher exchange in Canada and spending most of the last 10 years looking at and making speeches about why Australia should go nuclear, I believe I’m qualified enough to make comments on Barry’s blogs. I have the greatest admiration for him and the job he’s doing in exposing the wider community to the benefits of nuclear power. Our only differnce is that he’s an AGW believer and I’m a denier. But we both want nuclear in Australia’s future energy mix and sooner rather than later and that’s basically what all of his blogs are about. I’ll tell you all more later so cheers for now.
@ Terry Kreig
I wasn’t suggesting GC or you or anyone should be silenced. Just keep your remarks to the Open or Sceptics threads and don’t de-rail others. This is common courtesy.
I agree with Ms Perps, please keep ‘sceptical’ comments on climate change to the appropriate thread(s). All it is doing here is derailing Ben’s important message, which I know GC, TK and others agree with even if they have different motivations to Ben. So cease and desist on the ‘climate change is or isn’t happening’ debate here, please.
Ian C UK,
There are quite a few eminent “Environmentalists” who support a rapid expansion of NPP capacity. For example:
1. James Hansen, the author of fairy tales such as “Storms of my Grandchildren”.
2. James Goldsmith with his infamous “Gaia” concept.
3. Patrick Moore, one of the founders of Greenpeace.
I was thinking more in terms of Environmental organisations rather than individuals.
and do you mean James Lovelock rather than James Goldsmith?
I would also include Stewart Brand, but my real point was Groups like Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth etc.
Has Ben engaged with them at any level and what was the response or are they dug in so deep to their convitions that nothing will change their remit?
I cancelled my membership of friends of the earth in the 90’s due to their anti GM & and Nuclear stance.
Thanks Barry and Ms Perps. I don’t intend making any more denier,believer comments but if something crops up, I’ll put it on the right thread. Sorry I strayed guys. I put my ignorance down to age and also the fact that I’m away from my computer much of the time doing tours for all and sundry in the Flinders Ranges. It’s difficult to keep up with all that’s going on in Barry’s blogs.
Ms Perps et al.,
I have had my say on what struck me as blindingly obvious. However my communications skills seem to be insufficient to get my point across so I will turn my b******t detector off for a while to avoid provoking you good people any further.
Ian C UK,
You are absolutely right; somehow I got my “Jameses” mixed up. I meant James Lovelock rather than James Goldsmith.
You are probably right about the Environmentalist organisations too. They seem to be lagging behind their leading lights when it comes to advocating more NPPs.
It seems that we have much in common. You said:
“What I do know is that Ben’s major concern in decarbonising is to ensure that we stop burning coal for power and replace it with the only other alternative for base load viz nuclear.”
This statement goes to the heart of the matter and it can be supported by people on either side of the CAGW issue.
What amazes me, is this:
In the poster it says the following: The problem is the economic model upon which modern society works.
From there the conclusion is: We needs lots of base power right the way through.
Hold on a second there. Shouldn’t you be tackling the problem of the economic model first?!
You cannot have infinite growth in a finite system, but it seems a lot of you folks want to try and help the economists (ad hom deleted)
Promoting nuclear energy in the (ad hom deleted) way you do, is at best dealing with symptoms, not the root cause. We need to do more with less. More energy to meet the insane demand of perpetual economic growth, will lead to a larger global population, less clean water and less resources. And more energy will lead to an even larger demand for energy. It’s Jevons Paradox on the grandest scale imaginable.
You folks are on the wrong track, the one with the good intentions that leads to hell.
Infinite Growth and the Crisis Cocktail
Philosophical opinion belongs in the Philosophical Open Thread please post there in future. Comments in the wrong thread may be deleted – see BNC Comments Policy on the About page.
decarbonise SA – great but there are going to be huge hurdles.
First – it sounds like a simple spray available at Repco. Public love simple solutions- look at the popularity of Tony Abbott’s “stop the boats”. However it misses the complexity of a glogal problem. Stop war, corruption, abuse of power, subjugation of women, etc and then there might be something tangible benefits and the boats may stop (but what about the aeroplanes?). Decarbonise is multifactorial and will cost – the media wont let us or the shock jocks forget.
Second- promotion of clean nuclear power generation must take on a whole of life cycle approach. I’m telling you now that the way politicians and media work you will not convince enough people in SA to have a nuclear dump/repository in SA. Rann has said categorically that he will not have a dump in SA (yet he is happy to see an expansion of Olympic Dam to see the ‘rivers of gold’ from the resources ‘boom’). Even when he looses the next election I can’t see the Libs promoting a nuclear dump. Hard to give someone a poison chalice.
Third- is there an equivalent of the Wentworth Group that is looking at energy? Even if there was would it still be effective?
Investment is obviously the solution and it will be horses for courses. I would like to see local, state, and federal initiatives move to effective pollution reduction. Perhaps the next iteration of salary sacrifice can be focussed on installation of solar panels on homes (I certainly use mine for work), wind turbines, solar water heaters, push bikes, etc. I would have no problem in giving some sort of credits to my employer if it reduces their carbon foot print.