Primary Science Goal:

  1. Develop a warp drive capable of interstellar travel

Energy draft policy goal:

Increase the percentage of Australia’s energy consumption from renewable sources from 5% to 100%.

The following table shows how much energy Australians consumed during 2007/08.

Data Source: Energy in Australia 2010, ABARE, ISBN 978-1-921448-3

PJ=petajoule

An example of a plan to move Australia toward 100% renewable energy in only 10 years can be found by a report made by the University of Melbourne, the Energy Research Institute and Beyond Zero Emissions titled,Australian Sustainable Energy Zero Carbon Australia Stationary Energy Plan“.

The main component of the plan to provide base load power is by using concentrated solar thermal collectors with molten salt heat storage.

Intention:

It takes millions of years to produce coal, petroleum and natural gas. Even though there is enough non-renewable energy to last a few hundred years, the human species could potentially live on earth for another 500 million years.

Over that time scale a meteor strike is possible. If a meteor arrives on the scale that is widely believed to have killed the dinosaurs it will block out enough sunlight to severely reduce vegetation and our ability to produce energy via renewable sources such as solar panels. Therefore, non-renewable fuels such as coal, petroleum, natural gas and nuclear would potentially be needed to survive a major meteor impact.

Without government intervention, the energy markets will most likely use all non-renewable fuels before switching to renewable sources. When the supply of non-renewable energy does not meet demand, prices will rise, and renewable alternatives will become more financially viable.

We are supportive of steps being taken to increase the proportion of Australia’s energy that comes from renewable sources before the reduced supply of non-renewable energy forces a market solution.

Draft of things to-do:

  1. Develop a picture of the true cost to taxpayers of each energy production method. This has most likely already been established, so this item probably just involves gathering relevant information.
  2. Identify the lowest cost renewable energy production methods in the world that are suited to Australian conditions within acceptable distances to where the power is needed in Australia.
  3. Add embodied energy as a criteria to government tenders, and choose the lowest embodied energy alternatives where financially possible.
  4. Develop a revenue neutral system that distributes some of the tax collected from the sale of vehicles to customers who purchase one of the five most energy efficient vehicles each year.

Australian Research Council Goal:

  1. Where applicable, make open data access a condition of all research funded by the ARC.

Cities Goal:

  1. Create a legal environment that supports new, innovative & sustainable housing construction

Things to-do:

  1. Attempt to create an I.T. system whereby building surveyors and other related stakeholders can submit their building plans electronically to check whether the plans comply with all relevant building codes.

Communications Goal:

  1. Ensure that individuals on low-incomes have cheap and convenient access to communications that can be used to take charge of their life

Reality:

Individuals on low incomes who are restricted to using prepaid mobile phones can pay up to $45 to make a 45 minute phone call to a utility/government department/bank etc.

Things-to-do:

  1. Identify the lowest cost method for both mobile phone retailers and all relevant utilities/departments to create a means for individuals on low incomes to conveniently call them at a very low total cost
  2. Investigate the cost difference of connecting the NBN fiber cables along power line towers instead of through holes in the ground.

Note: Prepaid offers were checked on the 6th of March 2011.

Infrastructure:

Take back control of our electricity and water networks.

An example of the blowout in costs due to privatising the electricity network in SA by John Quiqqin can be read here.

Public Transport Goal:

  1. To work toward public transport being completely free

Climate Change 

Currently there is a scientific consensus in the public discourse that CO2 is driving dangerous changes in the Earth’s climate.

If there is a scientific consensus then it is reasonable to assume you are entitled to know which scientific papers from respected scientific journals have been used to form the view that CO2 is causing dangerous changes in the Earth’s climate.

The International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the CSIRO and the Mulit-Party Climate Change Committee have all refused to provide a specific list of scientific papers that can be used to demonstrate from a scientific perspective that CO2 is driving dangerous changes in the Earth’s climate.

If these two organizations and committee, who publicly state that CO2 is causing dangerous changes in the Earth’s climate, cannot provide a succinct list of scientific papers that convincingly demonstrate their claim, then I am unable to support their belief.

Update: May 2012

The first scientific paper that could be used to argue that increases in atmospheric CO2 are increasing temperatures popped up within two links provided during this discussion in The Conversation.

The paper is called Increases in greenhouse forcing inferred from the outgoing long wave radiation spectra of the Earth in 1970 and 1997 by John E. Harries, Helen E. Bradley, Pretty J. Sagoo & Richard J. Bantges.

The paper has been cited at least 93 times since its publication in 2001. As the initial approach outlined in the paper had the potential to directly measure the warming effect of CO2, it was worth investigating whether the approach had been developed since 2001.

A follow up paper by Harries & Griggs was published in 2007, with the title Comparison of Spectrally Resolved Outgoing Longwave Radiation over the Tropical Pacific between 1970 and 2003 Using IRIS, IMG, and AIRS.

This follow up paper was more in depth than their earlier work and has only been cited 4 times. Regrettably, I am unable to see how the content of their more accurate and recent paper, can be used to argue that increased atmospheric CO2, is increasing temperatures.

Links

IPCC climate change open letter

CSIRO climate change open letter

 

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