Will Australia go coal-free?

Australia’s new chief scientist is advocating the end of coal-fired power.

Will Australia go coal-free?

The Federal Government’s new chief scientist, Dr Alan Finkel, is backing the end of coal-fired power in Australia, but Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull isn’t on board.

Taking over the mantle from Professor Ian Chubb, Dr Finkel is expected to provide independent advice to the Government on issues of science, technology and innovation. He was questioned about his views on coal-fired power at a media event at which his appointment to the role was publically announced.

“My vision is for a country, a society, a world where we don't use any coal, oil, or natural gas because we have zero-emissions electricity in huge abundance,” Dr Finkel said. However,

Malcolm Turnbull insists that coal will remain a main global energy source for many more years.

Malcolm Turnbull has faced criticism recently for dismissing a call from a group of 61 prominent Australians – including Wallabies star David Pocock, a trio of former Australians of the Year and well-known scientists and economists – to place a moratorium on coal.

It was hoped the Prime Minister would stop any new coal mine projects and bring an international moratorium on coal exports to the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference, commencing in November in Paris.

“No I don't agree with a moratorium on the idea of exploiting coal,” the Prime Minister said yesterday. “If Australia were to stop all of its coal exports it would not reduce global emissions one iota. In fact, arguably it would increase them because our coal, by and large, is cleaner than the coal in many other countries.”

He claimed that coal played a crucial part in relieving poverty in developing countries, and said, “You've got to remember that energy poverty is one of the big limits on global development in terms of achieving all of the development goals.”

Dr Finkel said it would take time to develop the technologies to replace coal and admits we “can't get there overnight” but alternatives, such as nuclear energy “should be considered for a low emissions or a zero emissions future.”

“What we need to do is optimise the technology so we can cost-effectively introduce alternatives,” he said.

The Australian Conservation Foundation’s Chief Executive Kelly O'Shanassy criticised the Prime Minister’s claims about coal easing poverty, and added that “Australia needs an energy mix that is 100 per cent safe.

“Neither coal nor nuclear are safe, so we should not be planning a future around them,” she said.

Read more at www.abc.net.au

Opinion: Doesn't sound promising

Alan Finkel is a highly-regarded neuroscientist, engineer, entrepreneur and philanthropist. He lives in a house powered entirely by renewable energy and drives an electric car. He is a public advocate of nuclear energy in the fight against global warming, and believes that Australians will all eventually be driving electric cars.

Clearly, Dr Finkel has a particularly strong stance on clean energy. So why has the Prime Minister chosen him for the chief scientist position if he doesn’t appear willing to follow his guidance?

Admittedly, Mr Turnbull said his Government would adopt “whatever energy mix is appropriate,” though he acknowledged there were significant costs and environmental challenges associated with alternatives, such as nuclear technology.

It doesn’t exactly sound promising though, does it?

Dr Finkel will officially take over the chief scientist mantle in December, after Professor Ian Chubb’s four-year term ends. To me, he sounds exactly like the kind of person I want advising the Government on environmental issues. But I don’t envy the work he has ahead of him – convincing the Prime Minister on environmental action. However, it’s early days yet. Maybe we’ll be surprised to discover our politicians can actually be made to see reason. Funnier things have happened. Maybe.

What do you think? Should we be seeing more cooperation between the Prime Minister and Australia’s Chief Scientist at this time? Or is it still too early to say? How do you feel about Dr Finkel advocating nuclear energy in Australia?





    COMMENTS

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    Rob
    28th Oct 2015
    10:09am
    I struggle with the idea that a Prime Minister can only have an adviser who totally agrees with the PM's(Governments) view. I would have thought that it is healthy for the PM to have access to all views to enable proper decisions to be made.
    TREBOR
    28th Oct 2015
    10:57am
    Indeed - a PM should have access to and use varying views.
    particolor
    28th Oct 2015
    11:19am
    Jobs for the Boys are still alive and Healthy !! :-)
    Happy cyclist
    28th Oct 2015
    11:30am
    I agree with you Rob absolutely. We need experts advising Ministers not 'yes' men. I think it demonstrates a level of good political acumen on Turnbull's part to select an expert rather than a yes-man. Now we must wait to see how much, if any, of the Chief Scientists advice will be taken.
    Adrianus
    28th Oct 2015
    11:51am
    Absolutely Rob! An adviser who simply banging on about the government's view should have a different job title.
    MICK
    28th Oct 2015
    2:28pm
    Spot on Rob. But strange that this of all governments would allow a view other than its own. Maybe there is hope yet!
    Adrianus
    30th Oct 2015
    6:52pm
    mick, try not to judge others by your own standards.
    PlanB
    28th Oct 2015
    10:13am
    I saw this on TV and was/am, outraged but the idea that ANYONE would be stupid enough to go nuclear, after all the trouble Uranium and Nuclear has and is still causing.

    The whole world had changed for the worst since 1945 when nuclear came in.

    There is NO way of getting rid of the dangerous waste and there is so much danger in having Nuclear stations. so many are ending up with cancer caused by Radiation.

    I did see that Turnbull "credited" Chris Pyne with the bringing on board of this Alan Finkel
    Happy cyclist
    28th Oct 2015
    11:36am
    Plan B, while I share your concerns about the possibilities of nuclear accidents and waste, are you aware that in Lucas Heights, Sydney ANSTO has a nuclear facility which provides hospitals and other facilities all around the country with isotopes etc for use in medicine which we are totally dependent on? There are apparently many uses for nuclear products which we are now taking for granted and even maybe not aware of. Maybe we need to listen critically to what the Chief Scientist has to say before we disregard it?
    PlanB
    28th Oct 2015
    1:09pm
    Yes Happy, I am well aware of the Site at Lucas Heights, that is a medical site and they were the ones that came up with Synroc to store their waste in however even though the danger is minimized it is still not 100% safe.

    They are and have been using Depleted uranium -- a waste product of the nuclear industry -- in the Iraq war and also used it in the Falklands too which has caused horrific deformities and still does as it forms into dust and is breathed in by all.
    MICK
    28th Oct 2015
    2:31pm
    You are perfectly correct PlanB. The 'future' is something that few politicians in this country ever think about. Nuclear is a dangerous, dangerous alternative which will be regretted if pursued. You may realise that every person on the planet has strontium90 in their bones because of nuclear tests and spills in the past. Putting more of this stuff around is plain stupid. Welcome to politics!
    student
    28th Oct 2015
    2:44pm
    Seems to me our PM is having a bet both ways. Toeing the Party line while being advised by a nuclear advocate. There is nothing on earth that will convince me we should go 'nuclear'. How many plants would have to be built to service SYDNEY not to mention all of Aus. Nuclear energy is not 100% safe and I don't want to be responsible for allowing a world disaster. We have nuclear medicine, that's enough for the world. Plan B and mick, I agree whole heartedly, and am fearful of the future.
    Janus
    28th Oct 2015
    3:09pm
    Sorry, but nuclear has been around for many years prior to 1945. That line of reasoning should see lead, steel, fire and horses removed from our existence.
    We are still paying for the errors of the 50's and 60's eg Chernobyl etc, but recent technology USES the waste that the older reactors left behind. All of the waste produced in the world so far would be less than the ash waste from 1 of our Coal power stations, which is also radioactive, and cancerous.

    No matter what we do there is a price, and all we can do is minimise the total cost, dollars AND environmental. By any accounting system, nuclear comes out in front in the long term. if we want our children's children to live on this planet, there is no other currently feasible base load option.

    I would be happy if someone had a solution to that problem, and please don't say solar tidal wave or wind - we can't use these supplimentary sources as base load.

    Could you please research this topic more, using science not emotion, and do an unbiased comparison between coal and nuclear, or any other energy source, for base load.

    I do not espouse immediately removing coal from the equation. It must be phased out, rather than chopped. Nobody, even the Greens, are suggesting that.

    PS I am (was) an environmental scientist with training in nuclear physics.
    mangomick
    30th Oct 2015
    6:40pm
    Australia as i think Bob Hawke was espousing some years ago,could/should become the leader in nuclear waste storage and disposal.
    We have an abundance of the raw material for sale and we have in the Kimberly's some of the most stable geology in the world.
    We could store and manage the worlds nuclear waste ,at a cost , which would bring in substantial revenue to pay for our welfare and hospital systems and provide the world with an abundance of clean energy.
    Mind you this could all be hypothetical given that thorium is more abundant than uranium and vast amount of research is taking place on harnessing it's power. Looks like we may have already missed the bus.
    PlanB
    28th Oct 2015
    10:17am
    Don't these fools know what horrors nuclear has and is causing STILL with not only the tests done but still with Chernobyl and Fukushima.

    The horrific effects of Radiation is FOREVER there is no way of cleaning this mess up.
    MICK
    28th Oct 2015
    2:31pm
    They know but when one of their vested interests can make a buck who cares.......... Makes you want to cry.
    Janus
    28th Oct 2015
    3:13pm
    Don't these fools know what horrors coal fired power stations have and are causing STILL with not only the atmospheric waste but still with Yalourne and Hunter Valley and China and India.

    The horrific effects of fine particles as well as the greenhouse gas which is forever there is no way of cleaning this mess up.


    Anyone got a Plan C ???
    Dave V
    28th Oct 2015
    10:18am
    Firstly, I don't really see any conflict between Finkel's vision for a world where we don't use any coal, gas or oil and the PM's position that coal has to be an important part of our energy mix for the present and the medium term future of the world. It's a question of timing. Undoubtedly we will eventually not use coal as an energy source but to think we can just switch off all the coal use and replace it with sustainable energy sources as they now stand is just ridiculous. The cost of the renewable energy would be enough to break our country and I suspect the technology isn't good enough at this stage to power some industries. And for all the talk of renewable energy use in Europe, we should remember that Germany is actually building new coal-fired power stations.

    And the PM is quite right that if we stop exporting coal to developing nations then those countries will just buy dirtier coal from another source and the overall level of emissions will probably increase.

    Secondly, I don't have any problem with nuclear power being part of our energy mix. France gets about 80% of its electricity from nuclear power and also exports it to other countries. We are probably the best suited country in the world to use nuclear power. We own large supplies of it and we're one of the most geologically stable countries in the world so the danger from earthquakes is minimal. And the technology used in the new reactors is far better and safer than the earlier reactors.
    PlanB
    28th Oct 2015
    10:22am
    Even by removing the Uranium from the ground is bad it should never have been mined in the 1st place.
    Rob
    28th Oct 2015
    10:47am
    Agree Dave.
    Wstaton
    28th Oct 2015
    11:41am
    I agree with plan B. Nuclear plan are a worst case disaster waiting to happen with the results of it happening once way more that the value. Plus Nuclear plants are hellishly expensive to build.

    But I looked at the tariffs in France and found them comparable to ours except for the standing charges. Interestingly I found that the standing charge goes up the more you use. This is similar to that proposed not long ago here but was rejected.

    The annual standing rate are:
    for 6kw $139 year
    for 9kw $189 year
    for 12kw $303 year
    for 15kw $352 year
    for 18kw $396 year

    Not that the higher users increase is greater than the lower.

    My usage over the winter quarter was 10.62kw day this means in France I would pay $303 PA compared to the $505 I pay in Australia.

    It seems that France can deliver electricity cheaper with expensive nuclear plants than we can using cheap coal.

    Once again showing how e are being ripped off.

    This is why I am all for completely disconnect from the grid using solar panels and batteries. Also look at

    http://use-green-energy.com/liquid-metal-battery/

    Where communities can have a community battery fed from their rooftops solar panels and released during the night.

    The continues building of centralized power just continues the big end of towns grab for money and holds everyone captive. It doesn't matter whether it is nuclear, vast solar arrays or wind power they still need the grid that will keep us all captive.

    It is satisfying to see the rapid expansion in the development of battery storage and even more so that we are starting to see an expansion of people going off the grid. I have noticed recently that there are even companies advertising this.

    After all this I cannot see dumping all coal mining it should be a gradual decay until technological development overtakes it as it gradually is. Coal fired plants are a monolith of the past and will eventually die much the same as with fossil fueled cars as the all electric car gathers pace.

    By the way Wind power windmills are an eyesore if this is so what is the grid? Poles are in your face wherever you are.
    Scrivener
    28th Oct 2015
    12:19pm
    Just agreeing wholeheartedly with what Dave and Wstaton said. Well reasoned and factual.
    I wonder if we did end up using nuclear could we space-ship the waste directly at the sun?
    See, we are engaged in a discussion today about energy needs that we were not yesterday. The PM's calm and good sense and Finkel's credibility are a good combination at the pointy end of this idea - which is actually a disguised discussion to open the real debate on renewables.
    Kaz
    28th Oct 2015
    1:56pm
    I don't understand the argument "if they don't buy from us they will buy from someone else" - sorry, but if you are taking a stand about the future that is a simpleton's statement. This statement is used to support the Adani mine project - dangerous to the reef and economically unviable! Is money changing hands to keep going with such a ridiculous venture, one that all but one bank will not support?
    Australia can lead the world in renewable energy research and establishment. Long term thinking and planning is what is needed. Turnbull said he would explain things to everyone - to him so far it means talking at you until you come around to his way of thinking
    MICK
    28th Oct 2015
    2:37pm
    Dave: It is obvious that coal needs to be phased out, not shut down tomorrow. Also, there will need to be infrastructure left for emergency situations too.
    Nuclear? No. This is the solution from people who cannot think 100 years ahead.
    Not sure about your post regarding Germany. Germany claims that it will be coal free in 10 years time.
    Solar - storage batteries are coming. Just like colour TVs they will be expensive to start with but as time goes on they will get cheaper. And then somebody will find a much cheaper and much more efficient storage capability than lithium cells. GAME OVER COAL.
    Lets not kid ourselves that coal is here to stay. It isn't. But yet this government has given the green light for Adani to rape the Great Barrier Reef and destroy much of it. Give me strength!!!
    student
    28th Oct 2015
    2:48pm
    the US has solar energy refined enough to export for a profit and still be competitive in o/s markets. I am not a big fan of the US but I sure want them to 'invade' us with renewable solar.
    MICK
    28th Oct 2015
    9:12pm
    And storage batteries.
    Actually there are 3 manufacturers of panels: US, Germany and China. All available here!
    mangomick
    30th Oct 2015
    7:05pm
    I have solar on my roof that I bought early in the piece when they were costing an arm and a leg. I really wonder how cost effective they really are. Perhaps it would be more cost effective if instead of everyone putting solar on their own roof, we had all used our money and bought some kind of "solar bond". With the money raised through the "solar bond" a large thermal solar power station could have been built which would have been much more efficient (generating 24/7) then we all could have all been paid a dividend which we all could have used to pay off our power bill. Probably much more cost effective given that most solar inverters only have a 10 year warranty or less
    buby
    2nd Nov 2015
    7:27pm
    hAVING read most of the above, i so agree on what mangomick has said, and thats exactly what should be happening!!!
    PUt me down for a cut will ya mango!!!
    looknlisten
    28th Oct 2015
    10:54am
    We can't stop coal mining without replacing it with an equally lucrative alternative. If we did, Australia's economy would be in dire straits. There is no overnight solution this has to be well thought out and kept in balance. If we used wind powered turbines or solar power, our export market would suffer as we could not export 'nature" (wind) and our manufacturing costs here in Australia are far too high to export solar panels and besides this - we once again cannot export "nature" (the sun)
    We need to be seen to using the very thing we export. We all know that we have to be our own best customer when it comes to marketing.
    We also know that nuclear power while cleaner to use, poses many dangers - one just has to look at Japan's issue that is still ongoing to understand that Nuclear is not an option.
    So for now its coal - I must say this, it was quite shocking to witness the amount of coal that is being exported from Australia.

    A couple of years ago a friend and I took a weeks holiday and used Maitland NSW as our base while we explored the Hunter Valley wineries, Newcastle and even had lunch at the Fish Markets in Sydney one day. Apart from hiring a car to visit the wineries, we chose to include train trips as much as possible, even taking the train from Brisbane to Maitland.
    One day while waiting for our train at Maitland railways station to take us to Newcastle, we counted an average of 98-100 carriages of coal pass through Maitland to Newcastle Port every 10minutes - every 10minutes carrying that quantity of coal - we were there 30minutes and that was a total of almost 300 coal trucks in 30mins.
    We found it rather scary to think that the ground was being hollowed out at that rate.
    Furthermore, the rail coal trucks were uncovered and most of the schools were along that rail line - coal dust is very toxic and the locals were crying out for changes to be made to protect the citizens of against toxicity.
    So .should Australia get their local energy from the wind and the sun and continue to export coal? we could but we need to put our money where our mouth is when it comes to marketing our resources overseas.
    MICK
    28th Oct 2015
    2:39pm
    Now we are talking looknlisten. This is about MONEY not the planet. Because politicians have sold off everything of value we need export income (coal and iron ore) so the planet and the future have been sold out.
    mogo51
    28th Oct 2015
    10:54am
    Thankfully the PM has used common sense. What image this scientist has for the country is of little use to the Government trying to balance the budget. Scientists luckily are not in charge of the Budget in Australia.
    We cannot afford further step backs in revenues and our coal is of the highest quality. Nor is Asia etc financially able to move to Nuclear energy. Having seen their construction skills, it is another Japanese melt down waiting to happen.
    looknlisten
    28th Oct 2015
    11:02am
    Agree - Coal is our second largest export we would be in financial strife if we stopped exporting it.
    TREBOR
    28th Oct 2015
    11:09am
    'Balancing the budget' isn't the only important issue for a government. Most household and business budgets get along quite happily with an unbalanced budget, one that owes money. Any issues with government budget are the fault of the installed loss of revenue from tax changes, superannuation handling, focus on investment in housing, and selloff of utilities thus reducing their long term input to the budget.
    Scrivener
    28th Oct 2015
    12:25pm
    What was said is a carefully developed strategic mask to let Turnbull go back to his passion for renewables letting him avoid the wrath of the looney right in the Coalition or the looney left among the Greens. The renewables debate will naturally emerge from the statements made yesterday. Two problematic alternatives nearly always produces a third way that is more acceptable.
    MICK
    28th Oct 2015
    2:40pm
    The fact that we need the cash is no substitute for bad management. This is what we have in this country: flog off everything and then dig something out of the ground and get a pitiful royalty. The answer to destroying the planet!!!
    TREBOR
    28th Oct 2015
    10:57am
    To me a very tricky question. The need for CHEAP (belay that - never happen) power is increasing daily, and quite honestly, the trip from here to Malbun via the Latrine Valley nearly kills me. Are there no other alternatives? We seem to have an over-supply of wind and sun here in Oz.......
    looknlisten
    28th Oct 2015
    11:01am
    you can't export the wind and the sun
    looknlisten
    28th Oct 2015
    11:01am
    you can't export the wind and the sun
    TREBOR
    28th Oct 2015
    11:11am
    Yes - but I thought we were concentrating on our own usage first. Interesting about the Maitland trains etc - I grew up in that area and it's still going full blast. Many of us in our old age have asthmatic and other troubles.

    Australia could afford to export alternative energy equipment if a proper industrial base was re-established - but of course for that we need power - question is from what and where.
    Wstaton
    28th Oct 2015
    11:50am
    But we could export the technology if we concentrated on that more.
    MICK
    28th Oct 2015
    2:44pm
    Trebor: we ALREADY have cheap power. Queensland and South Australia were producing 25% of their power needs from rooftop systems. That is why the previous government was thrown out of office. The coal industry was having none of that!
    Despite Tony Abbott having done everything in his power to destroy the renewables industry it is still here and grinding away albeit more slowly. When storage batteries hit town coal will die a very quick death....as it should.
    Adrianus
    28th Oct 2015
    3:13pm
    mick, can you forge steel from a battery?
    By the way, those two states are Labor held now.
    MICK
    28th Oct 2015
    9:14pm
    Labor did not tear down renewables. Your mate Tony Abbott did. And tried to obliterate renewables from the nation. Did not work!
    phantom
    28th Oct 2015
    11:01am
    You can't stop coal mining as it is one of the biggest resources we have. It's like cutting your pay packet in half. How are we going to pay our huge debt off without it. Can someone come up with a more environmentally friendly way of making money. Maybe they should investigate ways of cleaner burning coal.
    MICK
    28th Oct 2015
    2:46pm
    A post from a neanderthal? Sounds like it. Or a coal funded troll.
    "Making money" is important but the future of the planet and in particular our country is more important.
    Solar will win this game when storage batteries arrive. Game over. And no amount of political bribery will stop that.
    buby
    2nd Nov 2015
    7:32pm
    HERE HERE mick......... Truth be the coal miners are just scared they will become poor. Poor buggers......
    Perhaps they could make a start on the solar thing, the silly fools instead of raping the soil we need to sow our seeds in, to survive, the future?
    looknlisten
    28th Oct 2015
    11:02am
    http://www.minerals.org.au/resources/coal/exports/facts_and_figures
    looknlisten
    28th Oct 2015
    11:03am
    FACTS AND FIGURES

    Black coal is Australia’s second-highest export commodity.
    Australia is the world’s leading coal exporter
    In 2009-2010 Australia exported 293.4 million tonnes of black coal to 33 destinations.
    Black exports have increased by more than 50% over the past 10 years.
    Japan takes 39.3% of Australia’s black coal exports – the largest share, with a total of 115.3 million tonnes exported last financial year.
    China is our second largest market with 42.4 million tonnes in 2009-2010, almost double the previous year.
    Australia was the only one of the world’s 33 advanced economies to grow in 2009 during the worst global recession since the Great Depression.
    The export coal industry in Australia is serviced by nine major coal loading terminals located in Queensland and New South Wales.
    As a result of expansion work in recent years, the terminals in 2009-10 had a total handling capacity of almost 350 million tonnes and loaded nearly 300 million tonnes of coal.
    Located in the Port of Newcastle, NSW, Australia, Port Waratah Coal Services operates the world's largest and most efficient coal handling operations through its two terminals; Carrington and Kooragang. An expansion of the PWCS terminal is in the pipeline.
    Trains transporting coal are among the longest in the world, with as many as six locomotives and 148 wagons amounting to a length of more than two kilometres. A train of that size can carry about 8,500 tonnes of coal.
    An important innovation in Queensland at the beginning of the 1980s was the construction of aluminium wagons equipped with rotating couplings which enable the wagons to be emptied by being turned upside down to reduce unloading time.
    The main rail companies operating in Australia are QR National and Pacific National who together service the states of Queensland, New South Wales and South Australia.
    particolor
    28th Oct 2015
    11:27am
    I can see You now doing a Toyota Heel Click !!
    You must have a Motza of Shares ? :-)
    It'll all end soon when they have Flogged it all off at a Discount !
    And we are back to Cooking our dinner on a Campfire like a Swaggie !! :-) :-)
    looknlisten
    28th Oct 2015
    12:33pm
    Don't have any shares except a gift of Porsche shares that a friend once gave me which I should go an check up on :)

    I Don't necessarily post my own personal beliefs, but rather a view or understanding on why certain decisions are made.
    MICK
    28th Oct 2015
    2:51pm
    Thanks for the coal paid advertisement.
    We all understand where coal sits. Perhaps also give a background on how much the coal price has fallen or the fact that rooftop solar systems are about to bury the coal industry.
    The issue of income is sad. This country and its bought governments have sold out to the coal industry but renewable energy will soon kill big coal. WHAT THEN? Having refused all calls to develop the future our governments have thrown in lots with an industry which will soon be dead and buried.
    Tell me about the dollars looknlisten.....and then tell me about the FUTURE of the nation which you and your industry are trying to destroy.
    mangomick
    30th Oct 2015
    7:17pm
    But what about the economic cost? A new report has revealed that the financial “propping up” of the Australian coal export industry, through government subsidies is costing taxpayers roughly $5.2 per tonne of coal produced, or a total of $1.8 billion a year.
    Freedom of Information search revealed that former Queensland Premier Campbell Newman promoted the Adani coal, rail and port project proposal through multiple offers of taxpayer subsidies and the provision of enabling capital.
    These included an open-ended coal royalty holiday; free water allocations and purpose-built $500-1,000 million water infrastructure; construction of a new $50-100 million tug harbour; underwriting for the related single-purpose greenfield coal-freight railway; and a proposed “purchase” of dredge spoil at Adani’s Abbot Point Coal Terminal to offset growing investor concerns about the commercial viability of the project.
    Investor concerns about the project’s viability were, held by Queensland Treasury, and just about everyone else but the Queensland and federal Coalition governments.
    The OECD estimates that between 2005 and 2011 the Australian government provided a total of $1,150 million of financial assistance via tax subsidies and direct spending to the Australian coal industry.
    Sundays
    28th Oct 2015
    11:13am
    It's great that Dr Finkel has a small carbon footprint but there is a big difference between reducing personal energy usage and suggesting the whole country move to nuclear power. This is needed big picture thinking. The PM needs great ideas, but he doesn't have to implement them all. For our economy not to suffer, change needs to be gradual. I personally worry about nuclear power if something goes wrong.
    MICK
    28th Oct 2015
    2:54pm
    We all need to be aware that there is great change on the planet. What was will be no more. The question is do we cling to the dirty past or do we move to the future like so many other countries. The current government is very much the mouthpiece of dirty big coal and is happy to sell out the nation for the fistful of 'now' dollars. It is what it is.
    Tom Tank
    28th Oct 2015
    11:24am
    I suspect Turnbull is laying the groundwork to take on the right wing of the LNP and overturn the rigid ideology of the past year.
    On the question of coal it should be understood that there are two types we export, There is steaming coal, used in power stations, and coking coal used for metallurgical purposes such as steel making.
    Steaming coal, despites much huffing and puffing, really has very little future apart from existing power stations. Coking coal is different and that market will continue.
    Nuclear power has so many drawbacks that only a dedicated one-eyed individual could seriously expect Australia to go nuclear. We have so much potential for solar and wind that we should be putting our efforts, and money, into that.
    Tom Tank
    28th Oct 2015
    11:25am
    The photo at the start of this article shows cooling towers and the water vapour rising from them. It does not show emissions from boilers.
    Wstaton
    28th Oct 2015
    11:55am
    Right Tom Tank and another scarce resource evaporating into the air.
    wally
    28th Oct 2015
    12:56pm
    Ah well. The misleading use of the photo to imply that steam and water vapour are some sort of nasty green house gases killing the world is as unoriginal as it is nonsensical. But then, for the past ten years Al Gore and his ilk have done well out of frightening the gullible and ill informed public.
    MICK
    28th Oct 2015
    2:55pm
    I would hope you are right Tom but remember that Turnbull got the flick once before because he supported renewable energy. Not too sure he will go there again. Pollies are creatures of survival first and foremost.
    student
    28th Oct 2015
    3:15pm
    call me gullible, wally, but I would prefer to listen to Al Gore than the average Joe Blow off the street, or someone from the coal industry. To my knowledge, Al Gore has no financial interest in solar or other such forms of energy. Tom, I am not familiar with steel making, but is it not possible get the energy needed from another source (and I do not mean uranium). 2000 was touted as being the century of the invention and cure. Technology and science are going ahead ever so fast, I just hope politicians don't get influenced but the mighty profits to be had also. Money is not always the answer.
    Adrianus
    28th Oct 2015
    11:53am
    I don't see why we don't go nuclear. We can store the waste ourselves in SA and Victoria.
    Dave V
    28th Oct 2015
    12:29pm
    Agreed Frank. Bob Hawke pushed that idea many years ago.
    TREBOR
    28th Oct 2015
    12:30pm
    SA and WA - something in the water there already... look at their politicians and business people....
    Kaz
    28th Oct 2015
    2:02pm
    Let's put the waste in franks backyard ok?
    Adrianus
    28th Oct 2015
    2:30pm
    Dave, Hawkey is still pushing the idea. He believes we can make a few bucks out of storing global nuclear waste. I just thought the SA and Victorian governments would jump at a new industry initiative to relace the failing manufacturing industry.
    MICK
    28th Oct 2015
    2:56pm
    In YOUR backyard Frank and in the backyard of your children and their children, etc. Get the point.
    student
    28th Oct 2015
    3:19pm
    guys, you crack me up. Just when I was getting upset about nuclear energy, you guys show another side of the argument :) I really do like SA and WA :)
    buby
    2nd Nov 2015
    7:35pm
    YAH thats a good idea Kazz, Lets put it into Franks backyard!! lol
    Scrivener
    28th Oct 2015
    12:12pm
    No, not at all. This was planned to open the debate and cast a 'position' for the PM. He was able at that point to gazump his intractable far right factions and Labor at the same time and not have the announcement about power/fuel mixes and changes to force him into a corner. it was Turnbull masterstroke. On current trends he knows that fossil fuels and nuclear will both make way for renewables and that leaves him and Finkel to openly back ideas, agility and research into renewables and renewable industries and intellectual property without having his own difficult right knock him off again. He is good. He really is. Smart as a whippet.
    Adrianus
    28th Oct 2015
    1:10pm
    You don't need to be a whippet to know that people are more inclined to drive their own ideas.
    MICK
    28th Oct 2015
    3:00pm
    Unlike Abbott Turnbull is not a dope and is fully aware of the trend. He knows that renewables are coming. That is a given. But he also has coal money coming in to fund LNP election campaigns. And then he also has some members in his Party who are owned by the coal industry.
    I am hopeful that Turnbull will not sell us out but am waiting for the fat lady to sing. Whilst he is needing to win the election I sincerely hope that he does not do an Abbott if he wins and discard all promises.

    28th Oct 2015
    12:17pm
    Breathe coal dust or radiation - a tough call to make, but FIRST we have to make up our minds on the bacon and breakfast snags!! Decisions, decisions.
    MICK
    28th Oct 2015
    3:01pm
    Renewables. The only call. Tesla is releasing its storage batteries very soon and that will relegate coal and nuclear to the end they both deserve.
    Anonymous
    28th Oct 2015
    6:33pm
    Yes, mick, you're probably referring to Musk's "Powerwall". It will certainly revolutionise all electricity-related uses in home and industry. The guy's a real wizard.
    MICK
    28th Oct 2015
    9:15pm
    Musk is the start. Others are already ready to copy. Game on.
    looknlisten
    28th Oct 2015
    12:34pm
    Personally as the Universe loves balance, we should balance our environmental and our economic concerns. I truly believe that where there is GREED there will always be a correction.

    Let us put the blame where it belongs - on ourselves - we are often far too busy pointing the finger forgetting that there are 3 pointing back at us.

    We vote politicians in and then blame them, we use products that sets a precedant for large corporations to grow even larger - Let things begin with People Power (to use the Power word here)

    We complain about the Banks - Well stop using the 5 large banks use Co-ops instead. We complain about China and their manufacturing - Well stop buying crap from China - buy quality items that you can get repaired.
    We complain about the Pharmaceutical companies and their greed - they will never find a cure for Cancer because Cancer drugs are a Billion dollar industry.
    Instead stop eating chemical laden food and take charge of your own health by watching what you put in your mouth.
    We complain about Electricity prices, go solar
    We complain about fuel prices - use public transport where possible or get some exercise and walk.
    We smother toxic laden personal care products all over our bodies made by large multi national companies, these make us ill but they are oh so cheap (and nasty)
    We support Monsanto and buy the new wheat products that are made from GMO wheat - while they are stuffing their bank balances we are stuffing coffins.

    Stop pointing the finger peeps - Change begins with YOU.
    Scrivener
    28th Oct 2015
    12:40pm
    This went straight to the poolroom!
    PlanB
    28th Oct 2015
    12:53pm
    Looknlisten, I agree with a lot of what you say, however very hard to do all you suggest, ie stop buying Chinese crap -- hell I would if I could and do when I can --but NOT easy.

    Use public transport / might be good if there was some, many places do not have. GMO is it even labeled NO.

    Yes it would be good IF we had the people power and were able to do what you suggest.
    Adrianus
    28th Oct 2015
    1:15pm
    So Lookn, what then ? What are we left to complain about?
    Kaz
    28th Oct 2015
    2:07pm
    Agreed, although some cancers are genetic and some gained because of deceit of others.
    We do need to plan the move away from coal and we all have to do our bit, but we must start now and keep up the pressure, for if we do nothing, nothing changes.
    MICK
    28th Oct 2015
    3:31pm
    No arguments looknlisten. As I often say the community gets the political leaders it deserves.
    The one thing which you need to consider is that we do need to make choices based on the good of humanity rather than the good of the bank accounts of the movers and shakers. Whilst the latter need to be rewarded they need to be jailed and stripped of everything they own when their own personal greed tramples the greater good. That is the real challenge!
    skin13
    28th Oct 2015
    12:45pm
    When are we going to stop being stupid on coal issue, the world wants it, we have it, so let's sell it and grow our economy. We have the cleanest coal in the world, therefore would rather they buy ours. The professor is only an advisor not a law maker. I could be an advisor and constantly give wrong advice. If as an advisor I suggest we go to war should we. NO.
    MICK
    28th Oct 2015
    3:32pm
    WRONG. The world "wants" energy. The question is how do we supply. The dinosaur solution (aka Abbott inc.) is coal. The double digit IQ solution is something (anything) which is not harmful to the human race.
    Let's vote for coal............?
    Wstaton
    28th Oct 2015
    5:30pm
    I think the world is starting to want it less. Viz the dramatic drop in price.
    wally
    28th Oct 2015
    12:49pm
    Somehow I do not think that our PM and DR Finkel get into fist fights over the way to solve Australia's present and future energy needs. PM Turnbull is dealing with Australia's current energy needs and our dependence on coal fired power plants. This is only being realistic. Dr Finkel looks to Australia's future energy needs in the decades to come when he predicts that nuclear power plants replace the coal fired ones. To suggest that that there is any disagreement between Dr Finkel and PM Turnbull is just mischievous fantasy and an attempt to stir up controversy.

    As for those advocating that Australia forgo both coal and nuclear power in favour of the clean and green renewable energy sources of wind and solar, answer me this. Aside from the aborted home solar panel rebate scheme that Kevin Rudd introduced and then dropped due to cost, why did the Labor governments of Rudd and Gillard, in their six years in office, fail to back and promote Australia's own Solar panel production facilities? Why does Australia depend on imported solar panels, as well as importing wind turbines when they could be manufactured in Australia?


    Methinks that the left side of Australian politics are only interested in getting their adherents excited by "talking the talk". To their shame, they have done nothing to "Walk the Walk" and their failure between 2007 and 2013 to start up the infrastructure projects needed to manufacture the hardware needed to make renewable energy something more tangible than so much hot air is needed. Manufacture of these items would also produce employment opportunities for those losing their jobs in other manufacturing industries in Australia.
    Kaz
    28th Oct 2015
    2:12pm
    I think you missed the first steps that those gotta were trying to take and were often thwarted and criticised. Sometimes it is 2 steps forward and one step back and there are always teething problems, particularly for large scale projects. I do not mean to minimise any serious or fatal results of these projects, but also note fatalities in mining.
    Adrianus
    28th Oct 2015
    2:37pm
    I'ld like to know what happened to the $10b green fund? Did it go to foreign companies to set up wind farms in OZ?
    MICK
    28th Oct 2015
    3:57pm
    wally: Good post.
    1. Solar was killed off because big coal saw that Queensland and South Australia were producing 25% of energy needs from rooftop solar and that frightened the crap out of the coal industry.
    2. I have a friend who recently put a 4 kW system in. Cost was $8000. Cost still coming down. And when batteries get here (soon) it will be game over for the coal industry. Not just here but worldwide. What then?
    I think you need to take a wider view than the Frank 'blame Labor' one. Whilst I totally agree with you about the cost of supporting renewables it is a normal government action to support emerging technologies until they can stand on their own 2 feet. It is close to time where governments can take the hands off the levers, but they do need to stop the fossil fuel industry from using its immense wealth to try and kill off what the planet needs.
    KSS
    28th Oct 2015
    1:00pm
    I seriously hope that all those against the use of nuclear reactors in Australia never have to deal with cancers, heart disease, gastrointestinal, endocrine, neurological disorders or other abnormalities within the body. All of these illnesses and conditions use nuclear medicine for diagnoses and treatment. Or will you refuse to be diagnosed or treated?

    Eventually coal will be exhausted, as will natural gas and oil. It won't be this week or even next year but it is coming. The World needs to be thinking and acting on this now in a sensible unemotional way to gradually replace our dependence on these things in the long term. The challenge is how to generate enough power to run our industries, vehicles, homes, etc at a price we can afford for years to come. Shutting down all coal mines cannot be done overnight (despite what the Green think) without displacing thousands employed in the mining industry never mind the resulting drop in supply . Look at the outcry over car manufacturers pulling out of Australia as an example of what is to come. The downturn in mining in general in WA hints at what economic challenges there will be. The world population will continue to grow, under developed countries will mature, demand for power will continue to increase and at the same time traditional resources of coal, oil and gas will dry up. Its what we do now that will decide how much a country and its population will suffer through the change.

    I see no conflict with having a 'vision' of a future Australia - after all we probably all do in one way or another. The challenge is how to move towards that vision with the least pain for individuals, the nation and the world. But ultimately things will have to change.
    looknlisten
    28th Oct 2015
    1:14pm
    We should be running alternative "Pilot" energy sources alongside coal - my favourite saying is this:

    "Why choose when we can embrace it all? "
    Kaz
    28th Oct 2015
    2:15pm
    Agreed but they are saying no NEW coal mines, I don't think anyone is expecting the end of coal next week but we must keep advocating so the debate and planning continues.
    looknlisten
    28th Oct 2015
    2:40pm
    I tend to agree with the no NEW coal mines until we have addressed alternative sources of energy that is both lucrative for Australia and that respects our health and environmental issues.
    MICK
    28th Oct 2015
    4:04pm
    So what has nuclear medicine got to do with energy production? A bit like comparing baking a cake at home to a food factory like Arnotts. Not even on the same planet!
    You keep on about coal. Read my posts above. Coal has finite life and then it is dead. Almost here. Ask the Rockefellers why they last year sold ALL of their fossil fuel assets. These people have the best advice and are not stupid.
    Wstaton
    28th Oct 2015
    5:36pm
    KSS. I don't think that people are necessarily against nuclear reactors they are against massive power plants.

    The nuclear reactors used for medicine are tiny compared to these.
    looknlisten
    28th Oct 2015
    1:11pm
    I still think we need more debate in this country. I know I am a little off track on the subject of Power and Coal, but I tend to think outside the square a little and to focus not on what is being done, but HOW things are done here in Australia.


    I have lived here for 39 years originally from South Africa
    South Africa is mineral rich like Australia but they don't have oil.

    When I still lived there, the Government put it to us that if we didn't create our own fuel we would all be riding bicycles in the future. So they proposed that they build a Brown Coal conversion plant namely
    SASOL to convert Brown Coal to fuel for our vehicles. To pay for this, they proposed a 5cents a litre surcharge on each litre of milk.
    We all considered this and thought that was a fair idea, so it was put into place, once SASOL 1 was completed, the Milk was reduced by 5cents. Yes they kept their word. :)

    With the success of Sasol 1, a few years later they proposed the same in order to build SASOL 2 - we all agreed and once again when the facility had paid for itself, the milk price reduced.

    This is responsible governing.

    We need to be more Project Orientated debate here in Australia - there are far too many Never ending price and tax hikes. We should instead be asked to opt in to certain projects and then released.
    We also need more research into safety and environmental issues surrounding our decisions.
    Too many quick fixes based on politicians serving their own ego that don't necessarily serve the community as a whole.

    I don't agree with the way Politicians use social media - the have their FB groups set up so they can preach at us - it should be set up as a Forum where we the people who voted them in, can continually make suggestions and give our opinions - there are many fine examples of things happening in the world that they are too busy (protecting their own backs) to hear of - but one cannot post links to these great ideas to their pages yes you can comment, but no pictures, links or fresh posts can be made - yes you can email them, but even then, they have a set format that comes back and agrees to disagree based on their own personal agenda.

    I would like to see more "put to the board" - the Voters being the board - just as you see in the public notices in the classifieds - or public signage when a new business is proposed in an area. This is done to allow those affected to have a chance to oppose a venture.
    Kaz
    28th Oct 2015
    2:19pm
    Yes so will we all support the dollar added to the grocery bill to support farmers so we can also be the leader for clean and green agriculture because the world will definitely want that from us - and let's stop live exports of cattle etc and value add at home so we don't lose control of our clean product and create jobs for more, rather than creating wealth for a few.
    MICK
    28th Oct 2015
    4:07pm
    39 years ago is light years of development ago.
    We now have alternatives to coal. They are rapidly coming and solar storage cells are already here. When the factories ramp up and the prices fall, as they always do, then Abbott and his cronies can take their coal and shove it up their...... No amount of political corruption can stop what is happening and I think that Turnbull has realised the obvious. But then Turnbull has a much higher IQ than the previous PM. He'll need it.
    Blossom
    28th Oct 2015
    1:20pm
    Our older Power Stations in SA are brown coal fired. I have never seen smoke that colour from them at all.Sadly when we stop mining, we have one fair size town that will probably close completely. I don't know what the current situation, but only workers and families from what used to be called ETSA and other businesses supporting the town of Leigh Creek near the mine lived there. I know One of their Power Stations in Adelaide is fired by Natural Gas from Moomba and other places in that region. Some residences and commercial businesses have cooking appliances and hot water services are also Natural Gas in some cases. Some houses have Solar Panels for hot water service with Natural Gas back-up.I know of one company which was trialling Using Natural Gas to fuel trucks and I know doubt there is/was others. The problem was there was only one fuel outlet in Adelaide.- good for local deliveries buy not Far North or other long distances.
    MICK
    28th Oct 2015
    4:08pm
    I never see smoke from the exhaust of my car either. Try sticking your head down there and breathing that Blossom......don't try it!!!
    Wstaton
    28th Oct 2015
    5:43pm
    Yes Mick, A bit like radiation, It's there but you don't see it. Even worse you can't smell it either.
    PlanB
    29th Oct 2015
    6:31am
    Yes Wstation, can't see it / taste it / or smell it and it is Deadly and will be around for thousands of years in soils / air and water and there for in all food
    looknlisten
    28th Oct 2015
    2:06pm
    My Global Energy Guru, for those who know of this genius was Buckminster Fuller.
    Bucky as he is lovingly known among his followers - and why was this Brilliance thrown out, even though approved by the U.N? ---- it would give too much "Power" to the powerless, and take away from the "Super Powers" who need to control the world through Greed.


    "Buckminster Fuller on the Global Energy Grid

    Graphs of each of the world's 150 nations showing their twentieth-century histories of inanimate energy production per capita of their respective populations together with graphs of those countries' birthrates show without exception that the birthrates decrease at exactly the same rate that the per capita consumption of inanimate electrical energy increases. The world's population will stop increasing when and if the integrated world electrical energy grid is realized. This grid is the World Game's highest priority objective.

    Critical Path, 1981, Fuller and Kuromiya


    Copyright 1938, Buckminster Fuller Institute, Los Angeles. All rights reserved. The word Dymaxion and Dymaxion(TM) Map design are trademarks of the Buckminster Fuller Institute.
    I have summarized my discovery of the option of humanity to become omnieconomically and sustainably successful on our planet while phasing out forever all use of fossil fuels and atomic energy generation other than the Sun. I have presented my plan for using our increasing technical ability to construct high-voltage, superconductive transmission lines and implement an around-the-world electrical energy grid integrating the daytime and nighttime hemispheres, thus swiftly increasing the operating capacity of the world's electrical energy system and, concomitantly, living standard in an unprecedented feat of international cooperation.

    Cosmosgraphy, 1993, Fuller and Kuromiya

    When Buckminster Fuller was asked by a 12 year old boy, How would you suggest solving international problems without violence? he answered: I always try to solve problems by some artifact, some tool or invention that makes what people are doing obsolete, so that it makes this particular kind of problem no longer relevant. My answer would be to develop a world energy grid, an electric grid where everybody is on the same grid.

    All of a sudden there would be no problems any more, no international troubles. Our new economic basis wouldn't be gold or dollars; it would be kilowatt hours.

    Fuller's Earth, 1983, Richard Brenneman

    Because energy is wealth, the integrating world industrial networks promise ultimate access of all humanity everywhere to the total operative commonwealth of earth.

    Utopia or Oblivion, 1969, Fuller

    This now feasible, intercontinental network would integrate America, Asia and Europe, and integrate the night-and-day, spherically shadow-and-light zones of Planet Earth. And this would occasion the 24-hour use of the now only fifty per cent of the time used world-around standby generator capacity, whose fifty per cent unused capacities heretofore were mandatorily required only for peakload servicing of local non-interconnected energy users. Such intercontinental network integration would overnight double the already-installed and in-use, electric power generating capacity of our Planet.

    Telegram to Senator Edmund Muskie, Earth, Inc., 1973, Fuller.
    Darts44
    28th Oct 2015
    2:29pm
    Nuclear energy is not clean, not safe, and waste to dangerous for years.
    Use wind and solar.
    MICK
    28th Oct 2015
    4:11pm
    Waste is lethal for many hundreds of thousands of years. THAT IS THE PROBLEM. And those who support this solution never address that this stuff would be stored in plastic drums for that time. So what is the definition of intelligence?
    musicveg
    29th Oct 2015
    3:15pm
    I agree
    No to nuclear
    No to coal
    Yes to sustainable, renewable,safe and clean energy
    Trouble is someone wants to make money
    There are some great advances in solar technology, it is the future.
    Fukishima and Chernobly are still contaminated, say no more.
    PlanB
    29th Oct 2015
    3:37pm
    Plastic drums, ? Fukushima has and is storing their waste in PLASTIC garbage bags everywhere which are bursting and most of them were washed into the Pacific Ocean in their last big storm a few weeks ago.

    Here is a drones view of just some of it.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UCP7PFT9coU

    Also more images here

    http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2015/10/07/fukushima-pictures_n_8258744.html
    geliweb
    28th Oct 2015
    2:53pm
    RE: "He is a public advocate of nuclear energy in the fight against global warming, and believes that Australians will all eventually be driving electric cars."

    I can't see this happening, how do you pull a 2.5 tonne caravan with an electric car?
    MICK
    28th Oct 2015
    4:12pm
    Same way you power a Bullet Train with electricity.
    Wstaton
    28th Oct 2015
    5:52pm
    Yep with A Tesla, out accelerates the big muscle cars.
    geliweb
    29th Oct 2015
    2:13pm
    Where do you charge your electric car in "middle of nowhere" outback Australia?
    buby
    2nd Nov 2015
    7:48pm
    Buy a draft horse, at least you will get there eventually. and certainly its cleaner than Nuclear!!!
    student
    28th Oct 2015
    3:28pm
    I wish that the average voter (i.e: me) had access to the share portfolios of politicians. I'd love to know their $ connection to coal.
    Adrianus
    28th Oct 2015
    4:12pm
    I think one of them owns a coal mine?
    MICK
    28th Oct 2015
    4:14pm
    More likely ELECTION FUNDING which is provided by the coal industry......you pay my advertising into government and I'll destroy the renewables industry and give you a monopoly. This sort of behaviour should come with prosecutions and a long long jail term, not a golden handshake or a job in the minerals industry after politics.
    Corruption should NEVER be accommodated just because it is 'politics'.
    Chris B T
    28th Oct 2015
    4:02pm
    Australia will be Coal / Fossil Fuel Free at THE SAME TIME WHEN WE ARE POKIES FREE.
    GOVERNMENT'S ARE ADDICTTED TO BOTH . (TAX REVENUE)
    Their only interested in Present the Future can look after it's self.
    MICK
    28th Oct 2015
    4:17pm
    Yes. That is why Australia is close to the most backward nation in the western world and why one of the richest countries on the planet is doing it tough. It ain't the country. Its those who run the country, big business which is pathetic and a population which for the most part is disinterested. God help us!
    Adrianus
    29th Oct 2015
    9:50am
    "In fact, a Clubs NSW representative had given me an envelope full of cash at an early meet-the-candidates event for NSW MPs. When I realised what it was, I gave it back."

    Mr Garrett then issued a correction and requested that the claims be excluded from the documentary and book.

    "This was my recollection at the time and I referred to it in a later interview for a documentary," he said in a statement.

    "I subsequently became aware, after checking with a person who was present when I was handed the envelope, that in fact it had contained a cheque made out to my federal electorate council."

    "I immediately informed my publisher and the documentary producer of the error so it could be corrected - not because of any external pressure."

    He said he had never claimed it was a bribe.


    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/clubs-nsw-to-sue-the-abc-for-airing-peter-garrett-cash-claims-20151014-gk9hbw.html#ixzz3puDebndc
    Follow us: @smh on Twitter | sydneymorningherald on Facebook
    PlanB
    29th Oct 2015
    8:45am
    More here to LISTEN to there are many more

    http://doxa.podbean.com/e/the-health-hazards-of-nuclear/
    PlanB
    29th Oct 2015
    3:43pm
    Plastic drums, ? Fukushima has and is storing their waste in PLASTIC garbage bags everywhere which are bursting and most of them were washed into the Pacific Ocean in their last big storm a few weeks ago.

    Here is a drones view of just some of it.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UCP7PFT9coU

    Also more images here

    http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2015/10/07/fukushima-pictures_n_8258744.html
    PlanB
    29th Oct 2015
    3:48pm
    More here about waste dumping Australia

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ykRb0Iibckk
    Sceptic
    29th Oct 2015
    4:42pm
    It is normal to see a load of twaddle posted on this site, but when coal and nuclear energy are mentioned, then the usual suspects excel themselves. 40 % of the world's electricity is produced by coal and 2 % by solar and wind with solar being the poor relation. nuclear power, despite the Russian and Japanese incidents have not caused any deaths. In Japan despite the hysteria following the tsunami, such as Tokyo will have to be evacuated, fukishima has been given the all-clear to people to move back.
    particolor
    29th Oct 2015
    8:14pm
    Move back another 4 Miles !! :-(
    Adrianus
    29th Oct 2015
    8:30pm
    I see Russia wants Chernobyl back now the mess is cleaned up. Cancers are increased. I read the WHO report recently which stated numbers have increased substantially.
    PlanB
    30th Oct 2015
    6:50am
    I I honestly can not believe what you said about no one dying at Fukushima, tiny Children have been diagnosed with Thyroid problems and Cancers, even though normally cancers take many years to show up after exposure --- there are many sicknesses caused by radiation – heart problems are another – remember last year the Japanese horse that dropped dead of a heart attack after the Melbourne cup race ---- yes there have been many that have died -- NO of course they are not going to say what the problem is, because people like you think the Radiation has been “cleaned up” YOU DO NOT CLEAN UP RADIATION, IT IS THERE FOR EVER MORE. THE OLYMPICS ARE SUPPOSED TO TAKE PLACE IN 2020, think of how many people will be eating drinking and breathing there!
    The Japanese government have and still are lying, because of their economy.
    Please research for your self do not take what I say as the truth.

    Even the wild life on the West Coast of the USA and Canada as well are dying because of the way the winds and tides move and there has been a lot more Cancer deaths there as well. Also the fish ie. Tuna etc –everyone they caught was radioactive.

    They said no one died at Chernobyl either!!! At least a million died there and there are still children being born deformed in a dreadful way. As I said research it your self.
    buby
    2nd Nov 2015
    7:54pm
    and many pple having thyroid problems in the ukraine thats for sure.
    Last time i visited, many were walking round with great lumps on their necks.
    And nothing seems to be done about them!!!
    Very sad indeed......and i'm sure there is much more, that we not hear about!!
    but years and years on, many ppl are still suffering, and may till the day they die and why!!!
    Do we really want Nuclear........ I THINK NOT>... i suggest they stop holding BACK the Solar AGE and Embrace it?
    Why are they scared of doing that...... OH perhaps they will lose a few bucks..........sheeez the greedy monsters!!!!
    PlanB
    3rd Nov 2015
    6:52am
    Yes buby, and whats the good of $$ when all are so ill from Radiation acquired illness.


    See here
    SURPRISE! You're Eating Fukushima Radiation; Bloody Cancerous Tumors in Fish & Seafood

    This also mentions Australia

    http://www.superstation95.com/index.php/world/item/493-surprise-you-re-eating-fukushima-radiation-bloody-cancerous-tumors-in-fish-seafood
    PlanB
    6th Nov 2015
    7:53am
    Increased uranium mining and more radioactive waste would be bad news for Australia

    http://www.smh.com.au/comment/increased-uranium-mining-and-more-radioactive-waste-would-be-bad-news-for-australia-20151103-gkpyp3.html



    The navy is ready to prevent nuclear waste-laden vessel from entering Indonesian waters on its way to Australia

    http://www.globalindonesianvoices.com/23422/nuclear-waste-ship-will-be-denied-entry-to-indonesian-waters/
    Charlie
    15th Oct 2018
    2:05pm
    I don't see how coal generated electricity can continue to make economic sense with costs like... mining, transportation, boilers and turbines to produce energy, scrubbing towers to reduce emissions. recycled cooling water the volume of a small lake. Plus environmental impact on local residents.

    I can see a fair bit of new solar electricity generation going on where I live, both at project level and private homes, but it appears insufficient to satisfy the critics.

    Given that at least half our co2 emissions come from motor vehicles, it doesn't seem right to have such an urgency about stopping export of coal and be ho-hum about other types of emissions.

    WE are seeing rising fuel costs all the time, but the car yards are still selling new multi purpose vehicles for rural areas with 3 litre engines. We are years off making serious changes to co2 vehicle emissions.


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