Wow, what a surprise. The Adani corporation have promised that they really truly wuly studied the water impacts on a local desert oasis wetlands. The Queensland government just rolled over and accepted their findings. I mean, Adani hired someone who knew Powerpoint and everything! Due diligence met, apparently. Meanwhile, water scientists have been begging the government not to grant this until further studies have been done. Don’t be surprised if Australia loses another beautiful oasis to our quest for cheap but dirty coal, and probably some oasis-specific species with it. But hey? A big overseas corporation wants to! So I guess we just have to roll over and get on with it…. I mean, this is Australia right? No unreasonable request denied! (PS: Let’s also remember coal isn’t that cheap because you pay for it twice; once as electricity, then again as a public health bill!)
Michael Shellenberger is an environmentalist who grew up having holidays in national parks across America. He loves it. He lead groups that eventually succeeded in asking Obama to put $150 BILLION into renewables. (They originally wanted $300 billion.) He was horrified by the results! First, the renewables just increased dependence on natural gas for backup, locking in future CO2 emissions. Then he noticed the side effects — bat biologists speaking out about 70 to 150 thousand Hoary bats killed each year by wind turbines, birds of prey killed by wind turbines, and desert tortoises and birds of prey are under threat from solar farms. A decent sized solar thermal farm will literally fry 6000 of these magnificent birds every year. It’s like a laser — and they fall smoking from the sky. And this is all before America has hardly SCRATCHED THE SURFACE building enough wind and solar to make a dent on climate change. Do we want to save the climate by destroying the environment? Do we want our power systems to industrialise the landscape, or our cities?
Don’t want a nuclear power plant in your backyard? What about a rare-earth’s mine for solar panels? This tailings dam is 11.5km in diameter. Wikipedia explains that “Chemicals in the dam have been linked to lower crop yields in surrounding farmlands and serious health problems among local villagers.” If we scale up wind and solar to the huge levels proposed by Mark Jacobson & friends there will be many more toxic tailings dams like this one. Yes uranium mines have their own tailings dams, but they do not seem to be as large as this. Also, rare-earth’s mines produce thorium as a waste product which in first world nations must be stored. If we build my favourite reactor one rare-earth mine in America would produce enough WASTE thorium to power the entire world, every year.
And after 30 to 40 years America would have to recycle 1.23 MILLION solar panels every day, forever. Once again we see that renewables industrialise nature while nuclear industrialises society.
Can someone point out to the Greens the sheer irony of them calling a nuclear power inquiry “Crackpot stuff” when THE grandfather of modern climate science, Dr James Hansen, says believing in 100% renewables is like believing in the Easter Bunny or Tooth Fairy. They respect Hansen enough to want to do something about climate science, but just not enough to implement his solutions. This fear of nuclear power all goes back to “Dr” Helen Caldicott. George Monbiot has shown her to be a self-referencing fraud.
Jed from “This Permaculture Life” says Earthships can leak toxic gases, encourage terrible toxic mould problems in wetter climates, underperform, be overly hot in summer and cold in winter AND cost so much in battery replacement every 5 to 10 years that you may as well just use utilities power. (So much for off-grid living!) The author DOES NOT like having toxic tyres in the walls that are decaying and could leak toxic gases throughout your home if there is even the tiniest crack. Some recommend replastering their homes every year to ensure no cracks have developed!
“Frankly, I don’t recommend Earthships as a building method, especially for people unfamiliar with good construction techniques who want to build one themselves. There are more recent, better passive solar designs that have fewer issues.”
While I’ll always be a fan of energy efficient passive solar design for housing, I’ll be removing Earthships from my blog.
The Guardian and a new HBO miniseries on Chernobyl are both spreading FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt) about Chernobyl. While it was a terrible accident, and people died, we cannot let a ‘documentary’ with a scary soundtrack ramp up our emotions without first looking at the numbers. Basically, how radioactive is Sydney? Your backyard? Your kitchen? Always ask about the numbers. Do research. FYI, I would live in the Chernobyl area. Meanwhile, just remember:-
The west never built one of these stupid reactors (it didn’t even have a proper containment dome for crying out loud!)
More people die worldwide every week from coal pollution when it goes *right* than the entire history of nuclear power going *wrong*. If people are scared of nuclear, they should be wearing “The end is nigh” placards about coal.