Gina posted a video the other day talking about how conditions in Australia are too harsh for mining companies such as her own. We all need to drink less and work harder for less money. That’s easy for her to say when she inherited so much of her wealth and leveraged her land rights to form a deal with other big mining companies. Check out this Facebook Page for more on Gina – http://www.facebook.com/NOGinaRinehart
Questions are now being asked. Did Labour blink? Is this a tremendous backdown, or a step in the right direction? These questions all depend on your perspective. Just today, we can see that the Coalition is claiming the removal of the price floor, and a forthcoming agreement to buy and sell carbon credits with European nations will actually make it easier for them to roll back the carbon price.
There is also talk that the changes to the carbon pricing scheme will see a massive reduction in the revenues that the government was counting on in 2015-2016, with Australian Industry Group chief executive Innes Willox declaring that “It’s fanciful” to expect the carbon price in Europe to hit $29 by then. $29 is where the government expected the price to rise to once it became a floating price, and is what revenue projections were based on.
So it looks like Labor blinked. In the face of criticism from some segments of the business sector, they have agreed to drop the floor price of $15 that was to be enacted over the next few years. Instead, an agreement has been struck to limit the number of permits Australian businesses can buy from overseas to 12.5% of the total, as well as to limit purchases from developing nations. This should go some way to alleviating concerns of rorts that may have otherwise taken place when it comes to permits.
A decision has also been announced to link Australia’s carbon pricing regime to that of Europe’s as well as 3 other nations. The idea is that this will add legitimacy and be the beginnings of global framework for pricing carbon. Some criticism has come that this new agreement will see carbon pricing fall too low to have meaningful impact on decisions made by power-providers, however a counter-criticism is that the governments in Europe will begin to move to limit carbon production further, driving the price up from where it currently sits at $10 per tonne.
What do you all think of his performance? Does Craig look like a clown, or was he making light of all the doomsday hyperbole that’s been tossed around regarding the town of Whyalla? Post your thoughts in the comments below!
A carbon footprint is the total amount of greenhouse gases produced to support a specific activity, and is usually equated as tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) (other greenhouse gases are included as part of this total and are weighted according to their carbon content). continue reading »
A Bangkok-based architecture firm recently unveiled its vision for a floating city that could deal with the threat of rising sea levels. Set in what they dub a “Post Diluvian Future”, this design would allow Bangkok to rise and fall with the tides.
Bangkok’s foundations are rapidly sinking due to erosion caused by yearly floods of seawater. Overpopulation and rising sea levels have been accelerating this process, and one recent UN study found that most of the city will become marshland by 2050. continue reading »
I believe someone posted a comment earlier this week, arguing that solar would never be able to replace fossil fuels as it could not deliver baseload power to the grid. Well, the future has arrived. Spain’s Gemasolar array does just that! The 19.9MW solar concentrating power plant located in Spain’s Adalucia province uses two tankes of molten salt (MSES) to store the energy generated throughout the day.
This stored energy allows the plant to fulfil the peak energy requirements of summer long after the sun goes down. The molten salt “battery” consists of 60% potassium nitrate and 40% sodium nitrate and has the ability to retain 99% of the heat energy generated by the concentrating solar power plant for later reuse, and lasts for up to 15 hours. The plant is expected to produce ~110,000 MWh of energy each year, enough to power 25,000 homes. This is the first true 24/7 solar power plant in the world, and a good case study for what is possible. continue reading »
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This post serves as an ongoing collection of news stories related to the carbon pricing scheme.
Economists slam Abbott’s carbon plans“, Sydney Morning Herald, Ross Gittins
Abbott’s climate plan fails the test, Sydney Morning Herald, Pete Martin
Facts assail Abbott’s Chicken Little act The Age, Lenore Taylor