Library filed under Pollution from Australia / New Zealand
This important letter by the Australian Minister of the Environment declares recognition of the continuing concerns raised by communities over wind project siting and operation. The letter includes two attachments that outline a plan to facilitate addressing wind farm complaints and also examine how the country can move away from builting turbines in favor of other emerging technioogies. The full letter can be accessed by clicking the link on this page.
Photographs taken at Meridian's West Wind project above the Makara coastline show how sediment has been overflowing from the construction site. The photos were taken by marine environmentalist Jim Mikoz, who wrote an article in the NZ Fishing Coast to Coast magazine with the headline: The dirt behind wind turbines.. your fishing is at serious risk. In response to the article, Meridian wrote a letter to the editor stating that there would be no mud runoff into the sea from its construction site.
Like most really thoughtful environmentally concerned scientists, I'd rather a tiny amount (in metric tonnes or cubic metres, after decades of use) of stored radioactive waste than the unmitigated disaster of millions of tonnes of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere. And renewables are not realistically and politically going to fill the gap any time soon.
A U.N. conference working to fix long-term rules to fight global warming beyond 2012 "as soon as possible" was split on Tuesday over whether that meant an accord should be struck in 2008, 2009 or even 2010. Industrial investors, weighing options ranging from coal-fired power plants to wind energy, are frustrated at the possibility of years of uncertainty about rules for fossil fuel emissions upon which carbon markets depend.
Business will welcome the Government's signals to follow trading partners on climate change policy and delay carbon emissions trading till after 2012. Energy Minister David Parker told a Climate Change Policy Symposium in Wellington yesterday that the Government believed economy-wide price-based measures for carbon emissions were likely to form the mix of post-2012 policies. Types of measures under consideration from 2012 were emissions trading and offset planting of forests. Business New Zealand chief executive Phil O'Reilly said emissions trading would put a price on carbon and the Government was signalling that would not happen till 2012.
Yet, the only solid measure of the warming, the NASA satellite data, shows that over the 27 years that data has been available, warming has been at a negligible rate of 0.13 degrees Celsius per decade. This level is engulfed by the statistical variation for reliability. Although there is an increasing level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, carbon dioxide is not a pollutant nor does it pose health risks. Its effects, other things being equal, are to raise temperatures, but by how much is highly contentious.
WHILE a stick-figure army of windmills is set to invade the landscape thanks to the State Government's new renewable energy policy, there is growing evidence that wind power will have little impact on the greenhouse crisis.
Scientists are becoming uneasy about New Zealand's rising greenhouse gas emissions, and hopes of reaching a 2012 target are fading.
The Guidelines require that “In order to facilitate a viable wind energy industry, planning applications need to include sufficient information and explanation to allow responsible authorities to come to sound and timely decisions”. Unfortunately, the application for a planning permit by Macarthur Wind Farm P/L fails to include sufficient information. The panel should therefore recommend that the a permit not be granted, and should ask the proponent to resubmit its application with (i) A full estimate of all economic costs of the proposal, both internal and external. (ii) A soundly based forecast of greenhouse gas abatement outcomes, based on the best available data and an independent, peer reviewed computer modelling of the NEM (iii) A full, project specific, assessment of the energy and greenhouse gas costs of the proposal itself, including all directly and indirectly associated activities.
Billions of dollars are being spent to stop so-called manmade global warming. Already we have been told "it is a bigger threat to manking than international terrorism", with runaway warming, rises in sea levels and increases in the number of floods, hurricanes, droughts and tropical diseases predicted. Faced with this, a pragmatic technological society might decide it would get best value for money by modernising existing inefficient coal-fired stations, building nuclear power stations and efficient transport. But instead, we have poured sources into renewables.
In line with the American, Russian and numerous other non-European governments, Australia is not submitting to globally planned greenhouse gas controls while third world competitors, such as China, India and South Africa, remain exempt from the strictures of the Kyoto Protocol. Contemporary Australian experts with years of serious research on global warming argue against the Australian government signing Kyoto.