November 23, 2014 | Ronda Jambe

Dear Julie, if you’re going to shoot the messenger…

…perhaps the President of the United States is not the best choice. After all, our relative status to this behemoth is one of minnow to a shark and client to a corporate.

No one can believe Julie Bishop when she leapt to dispute that the Great Barrier Reef is vulnerable to climate change. We all know she doth protest too much.

To claim that Obama was poorly briefed when he dared to state what our own scientific reports have been saying for at least a decade shows poor form. Too easily refuted, dear Julie.

Time to get real about the challenges that our reliance on fossil fuel exports is placing on our economy.

And selling uranium to India won’t help much, as the nuclear industry also slowly sinks:

Yesterday I attended a good workshop on climate change in Moruya. An opportunity to meet some of the new players in that space, and say hello to more familiar acquaintences. Power to local action, say I.

We will rain on your parade yet, dear Julie.

Posted by Ronda Jambe at 11:46 am | Comments (20) |
Filed under: Uncategorized


  1. Surely you’re not serious Rhonda. The left perpetually moan that we’re lap dogs to the USA, and then when we stand up you say we’re wasting our time and should do whatever they want?

    I’d also be interested in the reports that show climate change is destroying the GBR. Last time I heard the culprits were supposed to be cyclones (predicted not to increase with global warming) and crown of thorns. Our reef isn’t at risk from increasing temperature anytime soon – certainly not in the lifetime of the current lame duck president who can’t convince his own government or electors to follow him on global warming.

    Comment by Graham — November 23, 2014 @ 9:30 pm

  2. Firstly, I don’t know what ‘left’ means, as it is now used to vilify those who challenge any corporate interests. These are, as you know, prominent in issues around the GBR.

    Secondly, standing up to the US (on the TPP for example would have been a good idea) is not the same as being anti science and anti environment.

    As for reports on the threats to the GBR from climate change, the GBRMPA (I’m sure you know what that stands for) and the federal environment authority are good starting points for a slew of reports.

    By aligning yourself with the deniers and obstructionists in the US you are encouraging similar policies here. Our economy will pay the price when coal becomes a pariah, and we will all suffer the twin punishments of loss of economic and environmental benefits.

    Comment by ronda jambe — November 24, 2014 @ 6:11 am

  3. Julie Bishop-:
    Sees herself as the South Pacific– Thatcher
    The Murdochracy is allowing that -and backing her up.

    -(careful Tony its obvious Rupe has his eye on someone
    prettier than you )

    Alas- the families of –last bloody breath— mesothelioma suffers and the wider Australian voting populace see her as a small time suburban solicitor with a carpetbag full of silver –paid to her by greedy insurance companies hoping to prolong dying asbestos victims their right for their cases and circumstances to be heard in a court of law.
    No matter how much amount of–Murdoch Airbrushing– goes on with this woman she will always remain VILE.105

    Comment by lance — November 24, 2014 @ 7:05 am

  4. Ronda & lance, yes, indeed.

    Since the start of the Industrial Revolution, corporations and their political allies, have been denying the costs of externalities to production and expecting the taxpayers to pay the bill. Whether it’s cigarettes, asbestos, or pollution it’s all part of a long, morally bankrupt, game and, of course, science is their enemy. When enough smart capital is transferred to renewable energy production, climate change denial will fade into history, apart from the usual hubristic clique of arts and law graduates.
    What else could we expect from a government that imports its ideology in a package deal from the far right in the USA.

    Comment by RussellW — November 24, 2014 @ 10:22 am

  5. I thought the Presidents comments quite revealing.
    And at a time when The USA is pursuing unconventional oil and gas as never before, with the Saudis reacting by flooding the market, with cheaper oil, made cheaper by the sheer volume hitting the market place!
    And to be sure, it’s just not unconventional oil that engages their attention, but huge new discoveries in Edmonton Canada.
    Half our reef is already dead, and the other half under threat just due to population pressures/northern tourism and the increased runoff that has to create?
    For many years, centuries even, sailors have reported numerous mystery oil slicks, near and around the GBR!
    And at one time it was virtually all that lead to early oil discoveries, and at relatively shallow depth!
    And given the sheer number, fairly revealing evidence of a huge easily accessed resource, perhaps to rival or even eclipse the entire Middle East’s known reserves!?
    And of course a tiny minnow like us are going to give the USA, with all its vote/pollie buying powerful oil interests/lobbyists, reassurance, we will never develop these resources; regardless of what that costs us or the environment!?
    Given a potentially massive resource and at relatively shallow depth, could conceivably kill off most of the current USA domestic oil business/investment, if fully developed and exporting to the world!
    Even though now, we only have a weeks reserve of petrol and or, traditional Australian sweet light crude only creates in total; just 25% of the carbon created by the fully imported, extremely expensive alternatives! Think about that!
    Lee Kwan Yu predicted, we would become the poor white trash of Asia!
    Perhaps its because he heard some of our politicians mournfully muttering moronic mantras, like the old hoary chestnut; the government has no business in business!
    And the very opposite to what Lee Kwan Yu actually did to turn a war-torn and basically bankrupt Singaporean economy, into one of Asia’s most successful tiger economies!
    Look at what he did, or what (at one time forced to import guest labor) Taiwan, or South Korea has achieved, and then tell me, what the hell is wrong with democratic socialism? Well?
    [Seriously, it has as much in common with communism as Buddhism!]
    The proof of the pudding being in the eating, not endless political denials or hopeless economic incompetence, whitewashed over with endless can’t do excuses and odorous obfuscation!
    I’m not proposing we use more oil, just a type that in actual use, produces 75% less carbon; and or, our own copious NG, and in locally invented ceramic fuel cells. [And a clean air act with teeth, would ensure we did just that!]
    Methane consuming (NG, CSG Biogas)ceramic fuel cells produce mostly water vapor, as the exhaust product.
    And given the energy coefficient of that combination, CNG/methane> ceramic fuel cell, is 80%; the cheapest, cleanest and greenest carbon neutral domestic energy/transport system in the world!
    And none of it achievable as long as we continue to rely on extremely expensive, incredibly dirty and polluting, fully imported alternatives.
    It’s not drilling that’s killing our reef, but rather the world’s choice of fuels, and the way they are consumed! No ifs buts or maybes!
    One should research the battle of the bulge, if only to discover; the thing which finally defeated the Nazis, was a lack of fuel!
    And we would be equally defenseless, with all of our defense inventory parked and out of fuel!
    91% of, which is now fully imported and at huge cost to us, our terms of trade, and a dead or dying reef; I kid you not!
    One wonders why we can’t drill into those parts already dead?
    How could just that much exploration hurt anything?
    Julie Bishop is right in one respect, we simply can’t become environmentally responsible, without a strong economy supporting the very things we need to do. i.e., develop an algae based oil industry, convert all our domestic power needs over to homemade biogas, and for less than a quarter of the money current shelled out to coal fired power interests. [Some of them cash strapped state governments, and possibly the real reason for the reluctance to invest in or adopt change, we can all believe in!?}
    As long as we humans eat, drink, urinate and defecate, we will never ever run out of this endless carbon neutral (biogas) methane fuel!
    And we need to replace our aging and sometimes foreign owned coal fired power generating assets, with publicly owned thorium reactors.
    Which can be sited right alongside our new industrial tenements, (car factories, ship and sub building facilities/high tech manufacture etc) to literally halve the cost of industrial energy!
    Never mind it’s carbon free energy; just base our decisions on pure unadulterated economic rationalism, and in so doing; reverse the harm done to the reef, our environment, and last but not least, our going perpetually backwards economy.
    Let’s be clear, the US President’s first and foremost concern is the U.S., the U.S. economy, and the considerable trade advantages and international influence it currently enjoys.
    FTA’s are all well and good, but not worth much if we can’t or aren’t allowed to resuscitate our economy/manufacturing base, already in the emergency room and on virtual life support.
    We the owners of the GBR, should delist its heritage listing; not so we can become environmental vandals, but the very opposite; and by applying pure logic and finally using the brains we were born with!
    If the fuel types locked up in OUR REEF, produce 75% less carbon in common use, then what is the logic of locking them away, and instead, using fully imported variants, which produce in common use, at least four times as much carbon, in any fair and properly objective comparison! Well?
    I’m With Julie and, pull your (change we can all believe in, yeah sure) head in President Obama.
    We must chart our own economic course, and develop our own indigenous energy resources; least we also be sunk as an economy, by The US’s huge and growing; and already unrepayable debt!
    Alan B. Goulding.

    Comment by Alan B. Goulding — November 24, 2014 @ 10:56 am

  6. Lance, did Julie work for the asbestos industry? Didn’t know about that skeleton in her closet.

    Alan, it is too late for NG, and drilling on the reef is not a good idea, as it could never be done without damage. Biofuels and thorium along with solar and wind are the go.

    Comment by ronda jambe — November 25, 2014 @ 7:54 am

  7. Ronda, in what way does drilling into a dead reef damage it?
    Perhaps the real problem and or fear is, we might find significant quantities of oil! Namely sweet light crude.

    Traditional Australian sweet light crude leaves the well head as an almost ready to use diesel, needing only a little insitu chill filtering, to remove, a few sand particles, and the soluble wax content, which is responsible for that thick black smoke, and or injectors that freeze up on cold and frosty mornings.

    With those items removed, we can produce an unrefined superior largely sulfur free diesel. [We have done so already, with Santos executives driving their SUV’s around on it, since a least the late nineties.]
    And the reason the rest of the world wants our oil; given its superior qualities.

    Now the oil business is just not oils, but rather bulk transportation, arguably one of the most profitable business models in the world; given flag of convenience, labor hire consequences and tax minimization advantages! Followed by offshore refining as a close second.

    Now it just never ever seems to occur to green advocates, that all of these processes, create four times more carbon, from wellhead to harvester; than that which lies, virtually ready to use unrefined, beneath our feet!
    Carbon rather than selective drilling or oil per se, is the very thing killing our reef!

    Too late for NG! Really?
    So what do you propose we use while we wait for someone, obviously not either of the major parties, to develop these alternatives!
    And to be very optimistic, within the next thirty years!

    Well what else would one expect, when for all practical purposes, we are lead by climate denialists, and or, those on completely covert coal company payrolls; or he who must be Obied!?
    If there’s a better more lucid explanation for official ridicule, or recalcitrant reluctance, to adopt needed change with the urgent alacrity actually required to avert a very visible disaster in the making!?
    Then I for one would like to hear it.

    My dear old darling mum spent the last three years of her life, connected to home life support; yes and it was her choice; given she still had all her marbles, and loved the interaction with her doted on grandkids.
    If we were totally reliant on either wind or solar voltaic, she would have been dead in a month!

    Neither of these two preferred green choices are anywhere near reliable enough, even though the cost of panels, and I have a roof full of them, is still coming down.

    If we were lead by pragmatists, we would already be using thorium, and for no better reason, than halved energy costs would completely revitalize our manufacturing industries. The fact that it’s carbon negative power is just a bonus.

    And we also would already have replaced the national grid with much cheaper and vastly more reliable localized micro grids, connected to boigas and ceramic fuel cells, as Apple are doing at Apple HQ!
    Well there is a Female CEO, and capable of thinking with her head as opposed to something somewhat lower!

    Anyone with half a brain would see a algae based oil industry, would be a virtual savior for the Murray Darling, and on any number of grounds.

    #1, it uses just 1-2% of the water of traditional irrigation.
    #2, it needs only effluent, which it cleans of valuable phosphates and nitrates, before returning it to the environment, or further domestic use. Such as reuse as flush water, and then assist with digestion/endless biogas production! Which is then store onsite and used on demand to create 24/7 power, and endless free hot water.

    The substitution of the standard internal combustion engine, with a ceramic fuel cell double the energy coefficient, which at 80% is the best in the world, with the lowest possible energy prices the literal consequence!
    And the inherent saving, would allow any family/body-corp, to pay down any borrowings for the purpose of placement, in a single decade.
    Solid state technology lowers any maintenance costs, to almost insignificance.

    The by products include a high carbon fertilizer, and reusable water, eminently suitable for broad scale algae production.
    Some algae are up to 60% oil, and absorb 2.5 times their own bodyweight in Co2 emission.
    And under optimized conditions, [closed cycle production,] are able to double their Co2 absorption and oil production capacities, every 24 hours!

    It is not to late for NG, particularly where it is used in combination with ceramic fuel cells, which by the way, produce mostly water vapor as the exhaust product.
    And could mean, but only if we were pragmatically lead, a very practical electric car, and one able to be refueled in just minutes.

    i.e., CNG> ceramic fuel cell> electric motor and any inboard comfort facility, or convenience!
    And given an 80% energy coefficient, [and,cut out the middleman,] no transmission line or recharge losses, the least expensive, or carbon neutral transport in the world!

    I’m sorry to have to say this Ronda, but I expected more from someone with your intelligence and experience, than just trotted out green dogma, in the fashion of every Ideologue, from an already locked and bolted mind set!

    To late for NG, or damage or harm an already dead reef?
    Bah humbug!
    Alan B. Goulding.

    Comment by Alan B. Goulding — November 25, 2014 @ 10:48 am

  8. Hi Rhonda,

    Julie Bishop was once a lawyer who argued for her clients, James Hardie, that there was no good reason that the people dying of asbesteosis should have their cases heard before other people.

    Of course, her clients would save a lot of money if the people died before their cases were heard but I am sure that she wasn’t being cruel or selfish or greedy or furthering her own career at the expense of dying people who had much less money than she has.

    She was just being rational I suppose.

    And Graham you can’t be serious? You still deny a link between the destruction of the reef and climate change?

    This is the way it works: Read it and weep and pray your children forgive you;

    “When our reef waters get too warm, corals sicken (bleach), often causing disease and death. And when the corals go, many of the other organisms go with them. At the current rate of ocean warming, we will soon exceed the critical temperature at which this happens every year, causing the Great Barrier Reef to rapidly degrade.

    The greater the amount of human-driven climate change, the less will be left of the Great Barrier Reef as we know it today. And the less fishing, tourism and other benefits we will derive from it as a country.

    The science tells us that exceeding 2°C in average global temperature will largely exceed the thermal tolerance of corals today. It is already happening. Rolling mass bleaching events, unknown to science before 1979, are increasing in frequency and severity.

    This simple set of linkages demonstrates the risk that climate change generally places on natural ecosystems.

    It is supported by hundreds of papers and highly experienced and published experts from oceanography, climate science and marine biology.”

    This article I encourage you to read – and there are many other articles on this site – that tell the truth about these things that are happening in the real world.

    This article goes on to ask;”Why is it then that commentators in the media such as Andrew Bolt and Jamie Walker consistently take a different view and posit, either directly or indirectly, that all those leading experts are fraudulent, dishonest or at best shoddy scientists?

    Is it a genuine lack of understanding of the facts, or is it a deliberate strategy to confuse people about what is otherwise a very clear message about climate change and coral reefs?”

    So what is it Graham? What is your problem?

    Comment by tripitaka — November 25, 2014 @ 7:28 pm

  9. Of course I deny a link between destruction of the reef and climate change. Not only has the reef flourished when temperature was higher than today, but the latest report of which I am aware only equates 10% of damage to the reef to bleaching. The report is suspect, but that makes the 10% figure more robust.

    Hoegh-Guldberg has been running scare campaigns about the reef for as long as I can remember. They can always be fixed by more research, and he stands ready to help. If he understood fundamental physics he would know that the bleaching isn’t caused by climate change but by pools of water forming over the reef, not moving because of lack of wind, and being directly heated by sunlight. CO2 isn’t the cause, but the lack of winds, which occurs from time to time.

    If he believed in evolution he’d also know that corals can live in much higher temperatures than are present on our Barrier Reef at the moment, but that corals have flourished in them in the past where the GBR is, and still do further north. With warmer waters we’ll have more extensive reefs which will come much further south.

    Ronda, you complain about being “vilified” and then go on to vilify me, claiming I am a “denier”. I am nothing of the sort. I apply rigorous scientific principles, and I have the training to understand the science. I’d be surprised from your posts whether you even did any soft science, like biology, let alone hard stuff like chemistry or physics. They are devoid of content and rely on appeals to authority, which is fine if you think Al Gore knows anything. Apparently his scores at school suggest he probably doesn’t

    Comment by Graham — November 25, 2014 @ 11:22 pm

  10. But but but Graham, you say that “the latest report of which I am aware” and this is the problem. You don’t read enough reports. You only read the reports that you already know will support your already held belief that climate change is not caused by human activities.

    You certainly do *not* apply rigorous scientific principles that I recognise as ‘scientific’ and three is noting in your writing that would indicate that you do have the training to understand ‘the science’.

    That is quite silly and if you are serious, it is delusional. This is quite possible Graham as clearly your aims for this website and your entrepreneurial ability have not been impressive, to say the least but you show no realisation of this fact.

    It is quite possible that you actually do have some sort of personality disorder and I really *do* have the qualifications to make this ‘diagnosis’ having the real scientific training and having read your stuff for years now.

    It’s clear Graham to the many people who abandon your site in droves, that you are not what you think you are. Like the LNP political machine that you have blindly supported no matter what they do, you people are facing the end of the world as you know it.

    The naked self-interest that you glibertairans – or whatever it is you think you are – is not “self-interest” properly understood and not what Jesus wanted Christians to be is increasingly obvious to the people.

    Have you noticed that happening or are you too delusional to see the changes?

    People now have alternatives to the filth that Murdoch purveys – so much pornography as well as political filth – did you know that? But that’s okay with you isn’t it because the Murdoch man supports your beliefs about people and all’s fair in war against the people you don’t like.

    Now we have the internet and people who are not delusional and can think rationally. Now we can find out what is real and what is just the ugly desires and/or delusions that some people, like you have, that they can tell other people how to live.

    Could you look back and read your writing and pick out the nasty bits? The bits where your delusions are obvious.

    I can see right now that you apparently believe that when Rhonda refers to you as a denier this is vilification. Oh diddums! My heart bleeds for you to be so vilified, not. Seriously Graham? Could you provide more of a rational argument to support this claim. You do know how to make a rational argument don’t you?

    An argument consists of a set of premises that provide some information about the terms you are using, for example, how do you define vilification and denier, and then you make a logical link between these premises and your conclusion that you have been vilified rather than accurately identified as a member of a sub-group of people in our society who choose to believe things that are not real.

    Then you go on to try and impress? – or what? intimidate perhaps? Rhonda by telling her, and without providing any evidence for this claim that you understand things better than her. ROFL. What a hoot you are Graham.

    And the petty nature of your argument against climate change is that Al Gore was not very smart at school. Seriously?

    Could we see your report card? Seriously?


    Comment by Tripitaka — November 26, 2014 @ 6:28 am

  11. Hi Tripitaka, if you had any qualifications or credibility you’d use your own name. Instead of name calling, how about showing how the report I gave you a link to is wrong?

    Ronda hasn’t even bothered to cite anyone, but I know she is a disciple of Gore whose record is unimpressive to say the least and was a lobbyist for tobacco interests (a favourite slur of climate catastrophists) before he decided to become an advocate of global warming catastrophe. Not a good role model.

    You could also deal with the mechanism of bleaching, and whether corals can thrive in temperatures that are 2 degrees higher than at present, and what temperature increase would do to their range.

    Unless you do, you’re just a long-winded troll.


    Comment by Graham — November 26, 2014 @ 7:13 am

  12. My Dear Graham, I don’t understand the reasoning behind your demand for a “real” name that would support my claim to credibility.

    But it would be interesting if you could put that irrational demand about using one’s ‘real’ name into a logical argument that supports this ‘rule’. See how you go with that basic taks in putting things in a rational format, and then we can talk about scientific papers and I might read the link you provided.

    I do strongly suspect that this report won’t say anything that makes any sense to someone who does believe in regular science as opposed to the particular right wing science that you believe in.

    And that is what I want to understand. Why are you lacking in the sort of real ‘character’ that it takes to admit one has been wrong? This sort of response you make is just furious hand waving and quite pathetic.

    Can you not see that? It doesn’t really save any face.

    It is also a shame for you that you continue to attempt to discredit Rhonda with quite irrelevant complaints about her failure to cite anyone and ….. oh dear oh dear, again with the Al Gore obsession, that big Satan who did not do well at school.

    Very sad that and not at all Christian.

    Tripitaka the long-winded troll.

    Comment by Tripitaka — November 26, 2014 @ 5:07 pm

  13. You made character an issue, but you don’t have a character without a name, apart from what we can discern from your writing. And what we can discern from that is that you have no understanding of science because you think there is something called “right wing science”, and you appear to lack the skills to actually read the report and comment on it specifically, so you just dismiss it.

    So I don’t think there is much of a conversation anyone could have with you troll.

    Comment by Graham — November 26, 2014 @ 7:25 pm

  14. We talk about a little sediment falling on the GBR when the biggest environmental disaster on the planet continues at Fukushima with 300 tonnes per day of radioactive water entering the Pacific Ocean. This has been happening for 4 years and the MSM ignores it.

    The nuclear power industry uses 1970’s technology which is dangerous and feeds the weapons industry. These two self interest groups have to be separated.

    Comment by Ross — November 26, 2014 @ 7:39 pm

  15. I thought I posted 2 good links to the impacts of climate change on the GBR but that comment might have gone astray. Can’t do it now as I’m traveling but for heaven’s sake a simple Google will bring up heaps. Gbrmpa and csiro for starters, the Scripps Institution etc
    Graham please add links to research supporting your claim that reefs will thrive.

    Comment by ronda jambe — November 28, 2014 @ 8:39 am

  16. When ideology and dogma (anybody’s) replace reason and logic; the outcomes based on either or both, are inevitably the worst possible! And hopelessly compounded by links (opinion pieces) that simply assist the confirmation bias.

    Our reef has survived centuries of cyclones, which invariably wipe out whole swaths of our reef!
    And time and again our redoubtable robust reef has made a full and remarkable recovery!

    And cool water whitening completely refutes fatuous claims that hotter water is the actual problem?
    When in fact increased Co2 levels my be literally asphyxiating some algae, that live in symbiosis with coral, and are responsible for all the various colors we see in living coral!

    Even then patent ideologues reject drilling into the reef, for fuel types that produce just a quarter of the Co2 of that we are forced by green activism, asinine decisions and decision makers, to import!
    Votes being worth a lot more than pragmatism!

    And our reef is not a reef, but literally thousands of reefs, sitting on top of a submerged mountain range!

    Horizontal and lap drilling will massively assist in minimizing any envisaged harm; like that in prospect, when we bucked green dogma and ideology, and drilled in the Bass Straight. [Much of that expertise will soon become abundantly available, thanks to predictable downturns in the shale oil industry!]
    With the Bass Straight end result, more energy self sufficiency; and instead of the green predicted harm, whole new habitats opened up for myriad marine life!

    Similarly, green activists hugged old tree in Tassie, while whole forests were clear felled!
    And they still advocate fire as a preferred method of fuel control in our forests!
    Even where irrefutable and mounting evidence demonstrates, that essential and rare minerals are permanently lost, and that the permanently harmed, baked, extremely fragile top soil, becomes impervious to rain, resulting in further environmental harm/desertification.

    Faith based belief has absolutely nothing going for it, whether we are talking about the environment, evolution or everlasting evangelism!

    Nor thinking inside a very narrow circle of ideas.
    If the ideas are limited, then so also the questions.
    And if the questions are limited, so also the answers. and if the answers are limited, so also all and any available solutions!

    Canadian activists came here and virtually forced the closure of our own fledgling shale oil industry; all while Canada was developing it’s massive tar sands deposits, with their quadrupled carbon pollution!
    Where were these terribly concerned banner waving activists then?

    And any thought of developing our reef, was ended by very influential American activists/marine scientists, even as the Gulf of Mexico was being developed, with a virtual pin cushion of drill holes!
    None of which seemed to have harm local corals!

    Which instead, were impacted on by a massive oil leak, caused indisputably by private operators and their profit maximizing shortcuts!
    Likewise, the real threat to our reef, is provided by increasing tanker traffic, as we import more and more oil, and all of it pumping four times more carbon into the atmosphere, than that which lays beneath our reef!

    I have some respect for genuine greens and their often misguided views; but none at all for plausible, but entirely Mendacious Machiavellian Mischief, merely posing as green activism; and the sheer bloody minded hypocrisy, that makes any of it possible!

    Let’s stop paying larcenous lip service to evidence based science, but use it as the guiding principle in all our critical thinking, and all that then flows from that!
    None of which needs to descend to the verbal, personal abuse or exchange of insult!
    Alan B. Goulding.

    Comment by Alan B. Goulding — November 28, 2014 @ 10:16 am

  17. “And time and again our redoubtable robust reef has made a full and remarkable recovery!”

    So what?

    Alan, what value does that have as a predictor of the GBR’s future, thousands of animal species survived for millions of years until they suddenly became extinct because of environmental change or an invasion by exotic species.

    Since the start of the Industrial Revolution taxpayers and the environment have been paying the bill for the externalities of production, whether it’s cigarettes, asbestos or mining, while the corporate criminals usually escape justice.

    Comment by RussellW — November 28, 2014 @ 10:33 am

  18. Yes Russell and I believe you’re right in what you’ve said. But that doesn’t necessarily flow through to our reef!
    I’m not advocating any corporate involvement per se.

    What seems entirely irrational; and if it’s carbon killing the reef!?
    Why in heavens name would any sane person prefer to import fuel types or oil, that in common use, produces four times more carbon, than that which lies beneath our reef!? Well?

    Or put another way, why simply reject out of hand, indigenous fuel, sweet light crude, which in common use, produces four times less carbon in total, than that we continue to import.
    Or NG, which creates 40% less again!
    And there isn’t a car, truck or train, that can’t be very easily modified to run on our own copious NG.

    Why even electric trains can be modified to run on inboard CNG, which is consumed via a number of ceramic cells; which then provide power to the engines/comfort facilities.
    And in so doing, cut out the middle man and end their reliance on reticulated power; and or, the additional 50% or so, carbon created as a direct consequences of transmission line losses! And think, the exhaust product of this combination is mostly water vapor!

    If the energy costs can be halved, then the profits can be doubled, and passenger rail will once again run at a profit?

    There’s nothing more off putting than to be stuck in an electric train during a heat wave created black out, which my inboard solution would prevent!
    And at around half the current cost!

    Again completely rejected by one group, on the grounds our copious NG lays beneath the holy of hollies; namely our, not America’s nor Canada’s, Great Barrier Reef!

    Look, lap and horizontal drilling from a single site; means any and all harm can be greatly minimized! And or confined as a possibility, to just a dozen sites?
    And vastly less of a risk to the holy of hollies, than current tanker traffic; and you know it!

    Science based evidence Russell, not conformation confirming links to “Learned” opinion pieces, nor dogma and or ideology!

    The real worry for some of those criminal corporations you referred to is; we might develop those virtually ready to use fuel types under our reef, and in so doing, end the corporate grip on a completely captive oil market!

    Which by the way, rakes in over four trillion annually!
    And at risk if we just apply logic and rationality, and start to explore and exploit our reef.
    And without any nonessential corporate involvement beyond the start up stage, and then only as winning contractors.

    Currently the average international cost of recovering oil is around $3.00 a barrel, with the lowest being a dollar, [Middle East oil,] and the costliest, $10.00, being Russian oil.

    Which by the way, is probably funding the annexation and unrest in the Ukraine!

    If just some of the usually very conservative estimates are confirmed by drilling; and we export virtually ready to use as is, inherently superior virtually sulfur free diesel to the world.
    We could challenge the likes of the Saudis for market supremacy.
    And principally because we don’t have to also shell out for high energy use, carbon creating refining and refinery costs!
    If science based evidence tells us carbon is slowly killing off our reef, and science tells us the products laying beneath the reef, create four times less of it than we are currently using?

    Wouldn’t applied logic and rationality, tell us we should preference the lowest carbon creating fuel? Regardless of were it lies?
    Be it under Winchester Cathedral, the Sistine Chapel, or an even holier and more revered, Great Barrier Reef!?

    Incidentally, and as a point of interest, passing NG through a relatively simple catalyst, knocks off a few hydrogen atoms, leaving liquid methanol, an excellent and locally available replacement for fully imported petrol or av gas; and then much more easily and safely transported, than highly compressed LNG; (a) huge fuel bomb(s) waiting to explode.

    Wouldn’t it be great if we as rationalists, all but forced the current oil oligarchs, to change over to cheaper, endlessly sustainable alternatives; like say biogas; or an algae based oil industry.
    Given that then would remain the only viable and competitive choices.

    Some algae are up to 60% oil, and there are two types being developed as I pen these lines.
    One is a naturally occurring diesel; the other naturally occurring jet fuel.
    Recovering ready to use fuel is as simple as sun drying some of the filtered out material, and then crushing it.
    With the ex crush material being suitable as animal fodder, or the basis of an arable land and food free, ethanol industry.

    At least one industry expert is on the public record saying, even with an excise imposed, these endlessly sustainable fuel types could retail for just 44 cents a litre?

    Even so, with an export market included, we could run this entire country, along with a far more generous social security, NDIS etc, with just what we could earn from a national (not nationalized) GBR based oil industry; and while simultaneously paying down the national debt!

    It’s our debt and our reef! Why should we join America and Europe in the next debt created Great Depression?
    And if our action puts an end to Shale oil or tar sands!
    How would that be a bad thing for the environment? Well?
    Even so, these industries are sure to be in there screaming, eye gouging and testicle kicking, just to prevent this idea ever becoming more than a still born idea, before they’re ready to massively profit from it!?

    To reiterate, surely some of those multi billion corporations already referred to, will be out there, and busy busy, with every shot in the locker; lobbying for our reef to be locked away, as a reserve for THEIR FUTURE PROSPERITY, Russell!

    Even so, I’m sure a new, oil funded, tax free status and the lowest energy costs in the world, would have the corporate world and those you refereed to, queuing to migrate/relocate here!
    Alan B. Goulding.

    Comment by Alan B. Goulding — November 29, 2014 @ 9:30 am

  19. Alan,

    “And there isn’t a car, truck or train, that can’t be very easily modified to run on our own copious NG.”

    Yes, that’s probably true, I don’t disagree with most of your comments. Actually, I’ve sometimes wondered why there isn’t a thriving NG transport industry in this country already, Most likely the reason is that energy policy in Australia is really determined by the financial interests of oil companies, not the public interest, and given the neo-liberal fantasies of the Abbott government, change seems unlikely without an industry policy,

    My opinion is that we don’t need to put the GBR at risk, and it will be a great risk if we allow corporations based in Beijing, the Bahamas or Geneva to mine anywhere near the reef. Disasters are inevitable, and our government will be either be unable or unwilling to remedy the damage, or bring the culprits to justice.

    Comment by RussellW — November 29, 2014 @ 10:13 am

  20. Essentially agree Russell, and the very reason we the owners should decide where and when to drill!
    Drilling being nothing whatsoever like mining in any sense of the word Russell.
    i.e., if I drill a hole into a tree I do very little harm, whereas, if I chop into enough of it, I could eventually ring bark or kill it!

    That being the case, a little accuracy in the intended terminology, would be entirely in order; and or, assist unemotive debate!?

    Simply put, if what we and the rest of the world is using creates four times more carbon that traditional Australian sweet light crude, that we we have locked away!
    Surely its time to unlock it, and while we still control outcomes/have the key.

    Or do you prefer we and the rest of the world just keep creating four times more carbon, than we/they actually need to; and entirely down to mindless ideological imperatives; nothing else!?

    If we look at the world, it seems the big players aren’t too concerned over who owns what, but seem to think might is right, and or it’s only yours if you can hold it.

    Most of the unexplained mystery oil slicks are fairly well offshore and or located nearer the edge of our continental shelf.
    Where two tectonic plates rub one against the other, creating considerable and constant seismic activity.
    Much of which creates cracks and or new fault lines, hence the endless mystery oil slicks and sometimes huge up welling gas bubbles.

    Which are now thought to be responsible for many of the mystery disappearances in the Bermuda Triangle. Ships float best on water, rather than lighter than air gas.

    I’m certainly not in favor of allowing any giant corporation any access to our reef, beyond as what would be normal in start up projects, that we the picky owners commission.
    And given half the reef is already dead, exclusively inside that half first.

    And if the expert prognostications are right, find we have a larger hydrocarbon resource on our hands, to rival or even eclipse known Middle East reserves.
    Down to us how we then use or exploit it.

    Down to me, it would initially underpin a resuscitation of our manufacturing base!
    We can’t all open doors and too many tourists are worse for the reef than drilling into it!
    This being so, essentially harmless to those parts which are arguably, now just limestone reefs.

    Doing nothing is just not an option, whether it’s because endless geologic activity, will likely break open a huge reserve sooner or later!
    Or left, will inevitably become the exclusive property of someone else, too big and too strong to say no to.

    And what would we do then about the national, the record domestic or the ever burgeoning, record foreign debt?
    Tax those with the least out of existence?

    We who currently have just one weeks worth of fuel reserves, need to do something different; given doing what you’ve always done, just gets you what you’ve always got!
    And for the moment, that just a weeks worth of fuel reserves.
    The stuff our navy, air force and army needs, to defend us against someone, who might decide they need our potentially massive hydrocarbon reserves, more than us.
    Who have very stupidly, locked them away.

    They could test the waters and our resolve, by first taking a few illegal fish?

    I’d prefer that we develop the alternatives ASAP, but can do nothing without the funds, or persuasive leaders who are actually able to take an intentionally divided nation with them!

    If carbon is killing our reef? Then why not give ourselves, the only ones deciding to lock it away, and on massive misinformation/ideological imperative, permission to access fuel that creates four times less of it?

    The problems encountered in similar endeavors, are inevitably created by private players and their profit motivated shortcuts.
    We as owners and developers of our own resource, need not have any such profit first compunctions, but follow best practice down to the very letter.

    Those corporations as alluded to by you, can be only ever be kept out, if we follow the Middle East lead, and just own and operate our oil and gas fields as we see fit; or in our national interests.
    Better that than have an increasingly muscular China come down here and do it for us!
    Alan B. Goulding.

    Comment by Alan B. Goulding — November 29, 2014 @ 12:48 pm

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