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September 19, 2005

Kyoto Protocol (Revisited)

You all know my opinion on the Kyoto Protocol - Australia has not (and should not) sign it because it will heavily penalise Australia due to our dependence on brown coal. There is only one viable alternative which is currently available - relatively safe, reliable and less polluting. Unfortunately the same moonbats that want us to sign the protocol would have a fit if we introduced nuclear power.

So the options are: continue burning brown coal (breaching the protocol) or develop nuclear technology (which makes greenies turn yellow and green).

Every time I raise this, I get some idjit who brings up the old "friendly" solutions: solar, wind, tidal, etc. The problem with all of these options is that they are not reliable or convenient. And, as Dave points out in It ain't bad, it just ain't that good, there are other issues:

I don't think that wind farms do any real harm, I'm sure that if cause of death statistics were compiled for birds in those areas, colliding with the windmills would barely rate a mention.
But I also don't think they are the solution to the worlds energy needs. Their power output is pretty modest and only when the wind blows, not when there is demand for it. The problem with that is that it unless you have some other source for when there is demand and no wind, you have to try and store it, losing much of the power produced, then release it on demand, again losing much of the power stored. Solar power has the same problems.
What gets annoying though is continually hearing completely impractical suggestions about how we should use them as our sole power source. I read in the comments on slashdot today (about an article on nuclear fusion), that we shouldn't be looking at nuclear power, instead we should build a 250,000 square km solar power plant in the desert. Basically the idea is that if a solar panel this size produces this much power, all we need to do is multiply that area by the amount of power we need. Never mind the fact that there probably isn't anywhere that you could put a power plant that large that isn't either too remote and isn't the delicate habitat of the endangered puckered arse wallaby. I also heard a proposal from some environmental group during the election that every single rooftop in Australia should be required to be covered in solar cells.

Imagine my enjoyment when I found Katrina and Kyoto:

For the sake of the argument, lets say the tree-huggers are right, and all their theories about global warming are 100% correct. That is, the greenhouse gases covered by the protocol are causing the world to heat up, and will cause irrevocable climate change if we don't stop pumping them into the air. If they really believe their own arguments, then they should be fighting against the Kyoto Protocol, not for it.
As I understand it, the KP requires developed nations to cut their greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels. The same isn't required of developing and third world nations. For me 1990 was my first year of high school. I remember listening to questionable music and wearing some questionable clothes. As far as I remember, it wasn't exactly pre-industrial civilization. The same can be said of all other developed nations who would be required to limit their emissions. So reducing them to 1990 levels isn't exactly going to cause much of a reduction in those countries. Especially since most have EPA like regulation of their output, and are getting cleaner and more efficient all the time.
In less developed countries however, there are still many that aren't heavily industrialized. Even with the most efficient modern technologies, their outputs are going to increase. But in their case, the KP offers no incentive to minimize their outputs. If anything, it would reward those who took their polluting industries and, instead of cleaning them up, moved them to somewhere else where they can keep polluting.

What are the options open to us? After all, we have a significant amount of the worlds uranium, we have developed ways of dealing with waste (SynRock) and we have proven that we can run a test reactor (Lucas Heights) with no major problems.

So how about it Greenies? Want a reactor in your backyard so you can sign the protocol?

Remember a vote for nuclear energy is a vote that helps to save the "delicate habitat of the endangered puckered arse wallaby"....

Posted by Ozguru at September 19, 2005 09:00 PM

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It is none of my business, of course, but you are correct. I love wallaby arse.

Posted by: Old Horsetail Snake at September 20, 2005 03:53 AM

Oz, out here in the central valley there is a huge wind farm. All the greenies praised it being built in the 80's but in the 90's they noticed that alot of birds were including endangered ones were being killed in droves. Now they want it shut down on windy days because the pretador bird that hunt using the wind to stay up for long period of time don't get killed by the blades. So the greenies want to shut down the wind farm during the only time it's useful. I think we should give all the city living greenies a plot of land in the forest with instructions to live as they please, but don't use anything you have protested against. Most would be dead or converted within a year.

Posted by: skipjack at September 21, 2005 04:00 AM

Oh boy, I like the reasoning of your quoted sources! I can't wait to see the fallout when your pollies finally roll over and admit they can't build a solar farm over the whole of the Nullabor or the Graet Central desert and go for nuclear. It should be real fun to watch - better than Priscilla, Queen of the Desert and Mad Max combined.

Kyoto is a disaster waiting to happen - just wait until the lights start to go out because the greens have forced the pollies to back dead end and unreliable technology. Mad Max will be the least of everyone's worries!

Posted by: The Gray Monk at September 21, 2005 08:15 PM

Ozguru, you are a lively fellow but you need to get better at research.

Take nuclear power:

If we crank up the number of reactors by a factor of, say five, we will use all the high grade uranium within a decade. Then we'll be using the low grade U which produces more greenhouse emissions to mine, refine, deal with and dump than burning coal in the first place. Same carbon emissions, plus a shitload of waste that will stay toxic for ten times the length of known civilisation.

Ever worry about terrorism? Hmmm. There have been 650 incidents of nuclear materials trafficking since 1993, according to the IAEA's Illicit Trafficking Database.

Strange that the folks so keen to fight the War on Terror (Bush and Howard) are also pushing uranium and nuclear power to developing countries.

Yet one attack on a reactor could cause 44,000 immediate deaths and about half a million slow deaths from cancer, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists.

That's a hell of a way to cook wallaby arse, mate.

We won't get too far into the toxic pollution of Uranium mining, and how Rio-Tinto owned ERA recently got their butts kicked in court for leaks and mismanagement with changes needed "in order to protect the environment and its inhabitants from serious or irreversible damage".

Want more uranium mining? Go live next to the current one. Dare ya.

Posted by: Bandicoot at October 7, 2005 09:11 PM