November 09, 2012 | Ronda Jambe

After him, the deluge

All hail the Chief! Better luck this time, baby, and maybe take climate change seriously. Someone can perhaps tell me whether it was Louis the XIV or XV who correctly saw what was coming. Obama II is hopefully as prescient.

While there is lots of hoopla about Hurricane Sandy influencing votes at the end of the campaign, see

Superstorm Sandy appeared to give Obama a late boost

Julian Cribb also believes it has helped put climate change back
on the agenda, as he optimistically suggested on ABC radio yesterday.

I’m waiting for the live streaming next week from the Climate Reality Project (the group in the Australian Conservation Foundation that trained me to do climate change presentations) to give me an update on events.

The news is not good, and if you think I’m a scare monger, or that the IPCC is a bunch of ideologically twisted idiots, then perhaps you will take the latest report from consultancy Price Waterhouse Coopers with an equal grain of salt. Or maybe you just don’t get it.

PWC says in their ‘unnerving’ assessment of current pledged emissions reductions that we are heading for 6°C of warming.

More dots to connect, as fuel is being rationed in NY, following another storm.

From the gov’s just released white paper on energy:

chapter 4.1.2

Liquid fuels
Liquid fuel energy security is assessed as high, trending to moderate
in the long term, as Australia has continued access to adequate and 
reliable supplies of liquid fuels at prices that are manageable within
the broader economy. The long-term moderate assessment recognises that
our rising imports of petroleum products will lead to greater reliance
on international supply chains and a consequent need for investment 
in import and storage infrastructure...

The decline in Australia's domestic refining capacity (following 
announcements of the Clyde and Kurnell refinery closures) is not 
considered to impair Australia's liquid fuel security... Substituting
imports of crude oil for imports of refined fuel at this scale does 
not pose any additional risk to market security.

Our lack of oil self-sufficiency and the prospect of further refinery
rationalisation does not in itself compromise or reduce our energy 
security (see Box 4.1). Our liquid fuel security is expected to 
remain high because of our access to reliable, mature and highly
diversified international liquid fuel supply chains.

Because of the commercial potential of unconventional sources of 
petroleum, the International Energy Agency (IEA) believes that 
there is a very low probability of reaching global supply limits
(so-called 'peak oil') in the period to 2035 (IEA 2011a).

My question: why is our gov (and the IEA) still sticking its head 
in the sand on both climate change and peak oil?


Posted by Ronda Jambe at 9:16 am | Comments (3) |
Filed under: Uncategorized


  1. Great question!
    I fail to see how an increasing reliance on Middle Eastern or Russian oil, is cause for conspicuous copious complacency; nor am I convinced, current oil prices are manageable; unless of course, you factor in the conformation bias?
    Or indeed, look at the question through the ultra warm and comfortable prism, of a $300,000.00+ salary?
    We don’t have an actual problem with liquid fuels!
    We do have a self created and harmful, lack of access to them?
    We can be reasonably certain that we have as much as 15 billion barrels, of sweet light crude, in the Townsville trough alone, and 50-100 times more again, just a little further out? Ditto and ditto again and again!
    Some well respected exploration industry experts, I’ve read, writing for various industry publications, have postulated, that to our immediate north, [a euphemism for the Great Barrier Reef,] we have hydrocarbon reserves to rival or even eclipse, the entire known reserves of the Middle East?
    Which arguably is the real or only reason, we seem to be locking up so much of our marine environment?
    Could we be seeing a case of, he who pays the piper, calls the tune?
    I for one, can’t fathom any other logical conclusion?
    I mean, what would happen to the international, [4 trillion plus per,] oil market, if we found/developed, a new very easily accessed, comparatively shallow water oil and NG province, that rivalled or even eclipsed, the entire known reserves of the Middle East?
    Some of the richest most powerful people in the world, would lose vast fortunes; and the billions currently underwriting so much international terrorism, opps sorry, charity, would very suddenly dry up!
    Moreover, recently rising in power and influence, Russia/Putin, would suddenly see it(him)self, teetering on the brink of a financial abyss, confronting sudden loss of face, power, prestige, vast, almost unimaginable wealth and influence!
    [Russian oil could well cost more to actually recover,(around ten dollars a barrel) than the new international price!?
    And some extremely wealthy Canuks, Banks and Yanks, would suddenly face bankruptcy!
    If our pompous perpetually puerile, pontificating pollies, actually gave a brass razoo, for either the national interest; or the environment, they “claim” to be SO VERY CONCERNED ABOUT?
    They would open up the reef and its much lower carbon producing, ready to use almost as is, Sweet light crude and NG, to both exploration and exploitation!
    [If only our cars, trucks and trains ran on snake oil, we’ed never ever run out!?]
    That said, a percentage of our new gas finds, must be reserved by law, for domestic use only!
    [Supply part of the domestic market, or be simply locked out altogether!]
    Furthermore, obtaining a mineral lease, [nudge, nudge, wink, wink, say no more,] must no longer be code for locking a resource away, simply as a, possibly bought and paid for mechanism, for controlling international supply; and or, economically harmful, high energy prices!?
    After all, we are talking about our property, that would far better serve our own economic interests, supplied under a licence mandate, (in lieu of a super profits tax,) as very cheap domestic energy, that would see the world’s premier, high tech manufacture, knocking on our national door, begging to be let in!?
    Alan B. Goulding.

    Comment by Alan B. Goulding — November 10, 2012 @ 12:04 pm

  2. Louis XV saw it coming, however that didn’t make the slightest difference to the attitudes of the French ruling class.

    The proportion of climate change deniers is probably not nearly as large as the Murdoch media and the Opposition would have us believe.

    Comment by RussellJW — November 14, 2012 @ 2:58 pm

  3. Alan, I’d really like to see some evidence that there is a huge supply waiting to be exploited off FNQ.

    It all sounds dubious, to say the least.

    Thanks, Russell, for that reality check. I have long doubted the number of doubters.

    Comment by Ronda Jambe — November 15, 2012 @ 10:00 am

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.