Too late, they cried

Like George Bush, Australia’s Prime Minister John Howard is multi-skilled, he’s a climate criminal as well as a war criminal. In fact when most thinking people have seen climate change as an urgent issue for the last ten years he has sabotaged every effort to deal with it….but we’ll leave that discussion for his trial (and we have no doubt that he is one of the many current politicians who will eventually be seen in the same light as nazi collaborators were at the end of WWII).

But surprisingly in the last few years he has become an advocate of adaptive reuse of a sort, the adaptive reuse of exhausted oil and gas fields for carbon geo-sequestration.

It’s an untried technology that can’t possibly be operational for about fifteen years, well after its too late to make much difference, but he’s resting all his hopes on it while attempting to handicap tried and proven renewable energy sources like solar and wind. It’s yet another attempt at denial, a scam to continue business as usual while reinforcing the power of the people who got us into this mess in the first place. As The Age noted, Australia leads the world:

A recent Australia Institute study shows that Australia produces 27 per cent more greenhouse gases per capita than the next culprit, the United States, and emissions are more than double the per capita average for industrialised countries.

It is not only on a per head basis that Australian emissions are significant. The country’s total volume of annual greenhouse gas emissions exceeds those of France and Italy, each of which has about three times Australia’s population.

New Matilda has an excellent article laying out the necessary parameters of any debate on climate change and you can check out the Australia Institute site for numerous papers on the politics of climate change in Australia. Institute Executive Director Dr Clive Hamilton says

“Mr Howard is determined to bail out the coal industry even if it means we must wait another 10-15 years before ‘clean coal’ technologies become viable. We have lost ten years with the Howard Government’s denial, obfuscation and bloodymindedness; we simply cannot afford to lose another ten years before we tackle the most severe threat to our future. For a decade the Government has been trying to persuade us that throwing a bucket of money at industry will deal with climate change. It has not worked so far and will not work in the future. The only answer is to mobilise market forces to cut greenhouse gas emissions by putting a price on carbon. There is no alternative.”

Although we half heartedly support the development of clean coal technologies this must be the first example of adaptive reuse that doesn’t interest us much.

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