Human chain not achieved? Climate Doomed?

johnboy 4 February 2009 59

[First filed: February 03, 2009 @ 09:46]

The Climate Action Summit’s big rally kicked off around 8am this morning and out of a sense of masochism I went along to have a look.

At 7.50am the crowd was small and mostly old and crusty. But after 8am more young people straggled in until there were at least more than 1,000 in attendance (reported figures of 2,500 seem very high to my eye).

Organisers had initially planned to form a human chain around Parliament House, but begged off claiming they lacked permission to do anything but photogenically lap around the front of the building.

The crowd they had might just have made it if they’d really tried, but I guess we’ll never know.

UPDATED: Good news everyone! Greenpeace is reporting that the human chain was achieved after I left!

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59 Responses to Human chain not achieved? Climate Doomed?
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mr grumpy mr grumpy 12:13 am 05 Feb 09

in the year 2525 ,if man is still alive, and woman can survive…and the chances of anything coming from Mars is a million to one they said…and still they come… what will we do when the beds are burning…not selfish or short-sighted,been at it for many more years than you can remember.nuclear power stations could be a good thing handled properly, global warming may be a furphy,plastic shopping bags are good for carrying stubbies to the bin,hugging trees gives me splinters and shade,soap boxes are now made of cardboard

lujabe lujabe 10:13 pm 04 Feb 09

chewy14 said :

I agree that we need to get rid of fossil fuel power stations and switch to greenhouse friendly technologies.

Let the building of the nuclear power stations begin.

So it’s okay to lumber future generations with the storage of our dangerous waste, for thousands upon thousands of years?

Today we’re facing the problem of cleaning up the mess the results from the decisions of earlier generations: The idea that we would willingly embark on an energy source that is going to result in an absoutely enormous ‘hot potato’ for humanity to cope with for millennia is reprehensible.

Have we, as a society, really become so selfish and short-sighted?

Whatsup Whatsup 11:01 am 04 Feb 09

What about encouraging people to put solar panels on their homes. Check out this website.

Then if they need their AC, they can have it and power it from their own rooftop.

trilobite trilobite 10:52 am 04 Feb 09

Thumper said :

Canals and gondolas.

You know it makes sense.

This one:
http://www.henleyontodd.com.au/

Pandy said :

But you will have to prise the remote for the A/C from my frigid dead hands as temperature highs of 50 degrees are recorded in Australia.

Nobody wants to take away your A/C. I guess the question is, though: To what extent has your house (or unit, or office, or whatever) been designed to work with the environment, and not against it? Is it aligned to the street, or aligned to the sun’s movement? Is it insulated? Are prevailing breezes caught and are there shade trees? Is shade used to help cool the house in summer, and the sun used to help warm the house in winter? Do your A/C and heater have to fight to maintain temperatures, or are you getting efficiencies?

Do you run heat-generating appliances (anything that uses electricity)?

If we have cheap power to burn, then it doesn’t matter: you can heat or cool any space at will. But if it’s expensive…

Thumper Thumper 9:58 am 04 Feb 09

Canals and gondolas.

You know it makes sense.

captainwhorebags captainwhorebags 9:05 am 04 Feb 09

What makes electric transportation so attractive is that the vehicle is not intrinsically linked to the energy source.

With an internal combustion engine, you have a very small group of products that can be used to provide the motive power – liquid & gas fossil fuels, bio-fuels such as ethanol and recycled fats such as biodiesel.

An electric vehicle can use power that is generated by oil, coal, nuclear, hydro, solar, tidal, bioreactors, geothermal, wind, prisoners on treadmills, happy thoughts and puppies. I believe that storage and transport of electricity is one area that will continue to see improvements in efficiency over the coming decades.

Everytime I drive to Sydney I see countless trucks on the road and wonder what is stopping this cargo from being transported on electric train lines between capital cities. Sure, switching from oil to coal might not be that wonderful right now, but we can then move our electricity generation from coal to something far better.

chrispy chrispy 8:50 am 04 Feb 09

deye, you are forgetting the future improvements in efficiency that will come about. for example batteries are improving so rapidly at present that you will probably only need to charge your car every time it rains. and on that topic we could charge them from the microturbines built into the downpipes of our houses.

deye deye 1:41 am 04 Feb 09

Mr Waffle said :

I agree that we need to get rid of fossil fuel power stations and switch to greenhouse friendly technologies.

Let the building of the nuclear power stations begin.

This. Rather than spouting nonsense about 100% renewable energy sources, a realistic compromise needs to be reached. Get over the rubbish nuclear-phobia and actually advance this country. If cavemen had given up on fire the first time they got burnt then we’d be getting hunted by giant kangaroos and drop bears.

Also on my “save the planet” strategy is to push for electric cars for city use, and reducing dependence on oil, in part by establishing a fast train network instead of throwing that money back at taxpayers to pay off their debts instead of spending it. Kills numerous birds with one stone; more jobs, cuts oil use, reduced road tolls, gets me to Sydney quicker. It’s win-win!

Depending on your sources a 3rd Generation Nuke plant takes 3 – 5 years to build will have a generating capacity between 1 and 1.2 GW and cost between US$1400 and US$6000+ per KW.

According to http://www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/international/electricitycapacity.html Australia has an installed electricity capacity (in 2007) of just under 50 GW. In 2000 it was 44 GW in 1990 it was 35 GW.

So, to meet current requirements and replace all existing power generation you would have to build roughly 50 Nuclear plants. To fill the increased demand during construction you are looking at another 5 – 10.

That is just electricity usage. Now you want to add in the generation required to power all the electric cars, trains etc etc.

According to http://tonto.eia.doe.gov/country/country_energy_data.cfm?fips=AS in 2007 Australia consumed 966,160 barrels of oil per day. From http://bioenergy.ornl.gov/papers/misc/energy_conv.html a barrel of oil is approx 1,700 KWh which means you need to produce 1642.47 GW per day or an installed capacity of 68.5 GW, then you can add in Natural gas, coal and the rest, so you are looking at over 70 more Nuclear reactors.

This brings us to 125 – 130 Nuclear reactors needed to completely swap over. That would require a lot of money, a lot of materials and probably hardest to come by a lot of skilled people.

Pandy Pandy 11:41 pm 03 Feb 09

OK. That is a balanced arguement.

johnboy johnboy 11:19 pm 03 Feb 09

Price the gas burned to include the damage it does.

Someone want to burn gas instead of putting a jumper on, let’s get the cost back.

Pandy Pandy 11:17 pm 03 Feb 09

What about gas heaters then JB?

johnboy johnboy 11:14 pm 03 Feb 09

Pandy said :

Oh yes. I have read the holier than thou rantings in RiotAct and have read the hippy types who want A/Cs banned. Probably they are also Lycra clad recumbent commuters with a hatred of all cars.

Me, I want the full cost of AC priced so people can responsibly decide if they’re willing to pay for it.

Pandy Pandy 10:42 pm 03 Feb 09

Oh yes. I have read the holier than thou rantings in RiotAct and have read the hippy types who want A/Cs banned. Probably they are also Lycra clad recumbent commuters with a hatred of all cars.

Mr Waffle Mr Waffle 10:40 pm 03 Feb 09

I agree that we need to get rid of fossil fuel power stations and switch to greenhouse friendly technologies.

Let the building of the nuclear power stations begin.

This. Rather than spouting nonsense about 100% renewable energy sources, a realistic compromise needs to be reached. Get over the rubbish nuclear-phobia and actually advance this country. If cavemen had given up on fire the first time they got burnt then we’d be getting hunted by giant kangaroos and drop bears.

Also on my “save the planet” strategy is to push for electric cars for city use, and reducing dependence on oil, in part by establishing a fast train network instead of throwing that money back at taxpayers to pay off their debts instead of spending it. Kills numerous birds with one stone; more jobs, cuts oil use, reduced road tolls, gets me to Sydney quicker. It’s win-win!

Overheard Overheard 10:39 pm 03 Feb 09

blaringmike said :

Gawd damn hippies.

Very eloquent, blaringmike. Can’t fault your logic…. or whatever look you were going for.

Pandy, just because some people are throwing a few issues and concepts forward for consideration or discussion does not mean that a gang of pitchfork-wielding ferals are about to knock down your door and demand you surrender your AC.

At least I don’t think so. I didn’t get up there today, and maybe there IS a new ‘pitchfork-wielding feral mob demanding AC surrender’ in some of the groups’ charters. I didn’t see any news tonight.

Pandy Pandy 10:30 pm 03 Feb 09

Beth, I’ll be dead before then. What do I care? Once you are dead you are dead. There is no afterlife, no guilt.

If the kids want to make a change, go for it. But you will have to prise the remote for the A/C from my frigid dead hands as temperature highs of 50 degrees are recorded in Australia.

blaringmike blaringmike 10:18 pm 03 Feb 09

Gawd damn hippies.

beth beth 9:48 pm 03 Feb 09

Just to let those people know that think that “those hippies” were there protesting while everyone else was working. Is not true my parents both took time off work unpaid to come down to canberra to participate in a cause that one day you will understand very well. When you will look back and think why wasnt I out there trying to make a change like those people!

Overheard Overheard 8:05 pm 03 Feb 09

Deadmandrinking said :

Also, I cannot believe the wanton stupidity of some of the people on this site. What are you saying? That people shouldn’t protest? Kiss your rights as a worker and as a citizen again and tell me that…

I was really cheered by this above from trilobite:

“Well, this middle-class, middle-aged office drone took time off and attended, rather than snidely feeling superior. I thought it was about time democracy involved more than slagging off our elected reps from the safety of anonymous RiotAct logins.”

Superb. That second sentence should definitely be a tagline. Identify anyone, much?

Would have loved to have done the same and been up there — my singing peeps were due to be up there having a warble (haven’t heard any reports back yet) — but some days you just have to follow the money.

PM PM 8:00 pm 03 Feb 09

Maybe the ring was finished with the aide of leftover high court protesters…?

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