August 11, 2015 | Graham

Chasing our tail on greenhouse emissions

Australia apparently has met its greenhouse targets, but that’s not good enough for the Greens.

So I’ve done some digging to see what our performance on reducing emissions looks like, and it’s no worse than most, and better than some.


But pay special attention to the worst performing countries. They are South Korea, Taiwan, Japan, China, Brazil, India and Indonesia.

They have in common that they are all emerging economies (with the exception of Japan), and that they are the ones most likely to be manufacturing the stuff that we wear, watch and drive.

Now look at this graph of projected world emissions. You’ll note that the whole is going up at a very fast rate, with only a hint of a pause after 2035.

The format of the graph makes it hard to read individual countries and sectors but while the EU and the US appear to be stable, and China promises to stabilise in 2035, the rest of the world continues to increase.

A good part of what is happening when developed countries reduce their emissions is that they are actually decreasing the emissions that occur in their country, not the emissions that occur as a result of their consumption

As a result, while developed country emissions go down, developing countries’ (the countries where our consumer goods are manufactured) emissions go up and more or less compensate.

In other words, the whole emissions reduction talks are a charade where every country involved pretends that what they agree has a significant effect on world emissions, when they don’t.

We are meeting our targets by redirecting our emissions to developing countries, but short of recessions, nothing of significance changes.

Which makes the case for either adaptation, or nuclear power, or both, compelling. We won’t stop consuming, so we have to get realistic of the possible alternatives, assuming that CO2 emissions pose any serious risk at all.


Here is another graph which makes the point pretty strongly. This is the change in energy mix predicted by the EIA in the US between 2011 and 2040. See how many differences you can spot. 😉 Adaptation is the only way.

Posted by Graham at 4:29 pm | Comments (3) |
Filed under: Environment


  1. Educational erudite Article Graham.

    However reducing carbon emissions is as simple as converting the economy to carbon free or carbon neutral examples?

    Even more so, if in so doing, we massively improve our economic performance!?

    And that outcome quite massively assisted by choosing economy improving “ALTERNATIVES” that walk out the door as opposed to economy harming, Granny killing renewables?

    These alternatives include the latest form of PRIVATE large scale solar thermal projects, (California, Arizona?) which reportedly match similar sized coal fired power projects for similar rollout costs; and as base load options?

    But beat them hands down in terms of fuel costs, which is forever free!

    Then there’s cheaper than coal thorium, fifties technology rejected because there isn’t any weapons spin offs!

    Connected to industry via micro grids able to more than halve current industrial energy costs?

    Even more so, I believe, if kept out of price gouging private hands!?

    Then there’s homemade biogas (methane ) which scrubbed and consumed in locally invented ceramic fuel cells is able to supply on demand 24/7 power; whether the wind blows or the sunshines!

    And given a world beating 80% energy coefficient, able to supply that power for around quarter of the current cost of coal fired power, with a comparable energy coefficient of just 20%!

    The world’s cheapest energy that also just happens to be carbon neutral or carbon free, will enable us among other things to produce the lowest carbon footprint steel and aluminum; Plus a completely resuscitated manufacturing base? some coal fired power station could be saved if they were individually connected to broad scale algae production and even more self sufficiency in almost endlessly sustainable potable liquid fuel? Albeit the lead time required is formidable and not in the usual orbit of the private investor?

    The only real holdup, along with the missing political will; for the progressive roll out of this alternative endlessly sustainable, carbon absorbing liquid fuel industry?

    Even so, if done on a large enough scale more than capable of saving the Murray/Darling and all who depend on the basin for their sustenance and or profitable livelihoods!?

    Add in long overdue real tax reform; which would surely have us beating high tech energy dependent industries back with sticks.

    It’s just not that hard; except for idealogues/narrow vested interest; more than willing to sacrifice our best possible future and our kids, for a few pieces of instant gratification/silver?

    This endless talk feast, needs to be replaced with folks of genuine good will and overdue action!

    If investment capital or its lack is the issue, we have the choice of quantitative easing and therefore with a few simple keystrokes; doubling the missing money supply?

    Given these advocated energy projects, would be significant money earners; almost the best possible investment for ourselves and our future?

    The only element missing is visionary leaders with the testicular fortitude to buck the powerful fossil fuel industries and just crack on with doable action!?

    Enough already with the endless excuses for inaction or a patent coal dependant, money faced bias; or he who must be obied?
    Alan B. Goulding.

    Comment by Alan B. Goulding — August 14, 2015 @ 7:23 pm

  2. Apologies, potable should read portable!

    [Please don’t drink the methanol/biodiesel. Even if it allegedly cures ulcers/your ability to remain vertical?]

    The marvels of auto correction and a distinctly unhelpful trojan!?

    If the name of the new game from oil and gas sales dependant Russian trolls is to make me appear a fool?

    It’s probably a smarter tactic than just calling established and checkable facts lies?

    Even so, the dawn of the beginning of the end of the energy market domination by conflicted fossil fuel suppliers; trying to maintain the “appearance” of the good corporate citizen/law abiding tax payers, is upon us?

    And we’d likely make far more money than we currently earn from coal exports, by exporting finished optional energy projects in that space/their place as manufactured modules?

    And delivered as Truckable, fully operational thorium power projects i.e., we can lease to the end user, or affected government?

    And add to that endless cash cow paradigm by making sure the conditional supply contracts include the fuel supply as well?

    I mean we have enough thorium to power the world for seven hundred years. Which once were the contestable claim of the coal industry? Arguably the longest time any existing coal mine is around 90 years?

    By which time we may well have traversed through a tipping point beyond which there’s no possible recovery

    Alternatively we could just save it (cheaper than coal thorium) for our own industrial use and manufacturing renaissance?

    There’s little doubt that at some point, various principalities, will start to use carbon related tariff barriers as “protection” for home industries?

    Some of which are touched on by by Graham’s erudite article!

    We would be wise to successfully counter that predictable option, by the adoption by us of carbon free power; or broad scale algae reliant fuel production; that literally sucks carbon from the atmosphere!

    And in the process create measurable carbon credits as well as an endlessly sustainable alternative portable liquid energy. Algae absorb 2.5 times their bodyweight in atmospheric carbon and double that bodyweight and absorption capacity every 24 hours, under optimised conditions! (Closed cycle production)

    All while seriously topping up the bank balances of those with the vision to start to go down this alternative energy pathway; even where that needs some government intervention as principle actuators/facilitators/financiers, and what better place for our alternative energy, save the murray fund and the future fund?

    To quote the PM, “you just can’t lose on energy”?

    What do we gain if we rule out a carbon tax then pay it as even more expensive carbon related tariffs on exports with any measurable carbon content?

    Or as a $200.00 a ton, paid for by the taxpayer in so called direct action? Well?

    I believe, we could reintroduce a carbon tax,set at say $500.00 a ton; but introduce it with a mandatory cap, which set at current emission levels, would for all practical purposes be a clayton’s tax. You know the tax you have when you’re not having a tax!

    What apart from Dr.No or dumb-assed political intransigence prevents us taking just that action?

    And then only payable after a reasonable and fully flagged lead time, if transgressed, as the cap were progressively lowered!?
    Alan B. Goulding.

    Comment by Alan B. Goulding — August 16, 2015 @ 11:18 am

  3. I heard recently of some Australian innovation which may have produced a solar panel ten times more efficient that anything in use today?

    And a global niche market for a local manufacturer, if even halfway true?

    In any event rolling out the world’s cheapest energy, is the key we need to attract energy dependant high tech manufacture, and our only possible future, to these shores!

    Service industries only being useful until the emerging economies need them to prop up a slowly sinking into the sunset manufacturing base?

    The second part of the key is to roll out real tax reform?

    The best being that most disliked by the avoidance industry; namely, a single stand alone unavoidable expenditure tax!?

    If the total tax take is just 4% of the GNP, and if that number represents our total combined expenditure, then a 5% expenditure tax, with no exclusions whatsoever, should raise more money?

    20% more and enough to almost guarantee surpluses as far out as the eye can see?

    And if that wouldn’t have the world’s most cashed up, service requiring, self funded retiree beating a path to our doorstep, in their millions; then I’m a monkey’s uncle!
    Alan B. Goulding

    Comment by Alan B. Goulding — August 22, 2015 @ 11:23 am

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