The problem is our Government has to date put most of
its anti-greenhouse effort into promoting the idea of
geosequestration. The idea is to pump carbon dioxide back
underground after it has been released in a coal-fired power
station. It is a good idea if it can be made to work, but we won’t
know this for possibly another decade. We also won’t know the cost.
Electricity certainly won’t be dirt cheap like it is now.
Calculations offered at this week’s CSIRO-sponsored Greenhouse
conference varied from $10 to $200 for each tonne of carbon dioxide
buried using this technique. Even if the cost is just $50 a tonne,
it will make alternative energy sources such as wind and solar more
competitive, but Government energy policy is completely distorted
in favour of the fossil fuel industry.
For about two decades, there has been increasing certainty in
scientific warnings about the changes in a warmed world of rising
greenhouse gases. Apart from the tragic impacts on this nation’s
natural icons, from the Great Barrier Reef to Kakadu to the
Australian Alps, pure self-interest should be spur enough for
action. Instead, the Australian Government showed initial indifference, followed by denial
and most recently a grudging recognition that the problem exists
and is serious, but has taken the stance that it can be solved with a technical solution
that will cause minimal inconvenience.
Source: The Age, November 19, 2005