I wish to write in support of the protests against coal seam gas, tight gas and other fossil fuel projects in the Seaspray district particularly and in Gippsland generally.
Scientific consensus now clearly states that current climate change is man made. It is being driven by carbon dioxide(CO2) in the atmosphere caused by burning fossil fuels. The strength of this greenhouse gas has been known for more than 100 years and it was calculated in 1895 that a doubling of CO2 would increase the average earth temperature by 4 degrees Celsius.
Evidence from many sources including James Larsen (late NASA) and Bill McKibbin (350.org) is stating that only a fraction of current fossil fuels reserves can be burnt without disastrous effects for the planet. Professor Steven Sherwood of the UNSW recently stated in the New Scientist (17.11.12) “… if we fully ‘develop’ all of the world’s coal, tar sands, shales and other fossil fuels we run a high risk of ending up in a few generations with a largely unliveable planet”
Banks and financial institutions (including your superannuation fund?)are valuing these companies – including Lakes Oil – as if these assets can be mined and used. But in reality they are part of a “carbon bubble” and will eventually become “stranded assets”.
Since the start of the Industrial Revolution CO2 levels have increased by more than a third and the global average temperature has risen by a degree. This relatively small rise is already causing more extreme events, droughts, floods, heatwaves and related bushfires to occur more frequently. More is in the pipeline with humanity producing more CO2 – there is now more CO2 in the atmosphere than there has been for 3 million years.
These projects must be stopped.
Thank you for your letter detailing your (party’s) proposed ‘blue print’ on C(oal)S(eam)G(as). Although it was heart warming to realise that CSG has become an election issue for you, I am confused by the following statements at the House of Representatives debate (23/3/13):
Darren Chester, ‘CSG has the potential to secure Australia’s energy self sufficiency’
Darren Chester, ‘to turn (our) back on CSG would be fool hardy’
Where does the National Party stand on this issue (it’s all a bit confusing) and are you going to permit Mr Ryan to give Gippsland to Esso so that they can continue to sink Lakes Entrance and 90 Mile beach below Sea Level?
Please let me know if your office requires more scientific evidence on the issue.
There was a demonstration of Mallacoota residents and their supporters against the proposed development at Bastion Point in Bairnsdale today. They pointed out that “3b” proposal of the East Gippsland Shire was the worst option possible and that the development benefited few people and was a “white elephant”. To highlight this a large blow-up white elephant was erected in Main St Bairnsdale and the case against the development was clearly presented to TV, radio and the print media. The demonstration then proceeded to the Shire Offices where the message was then presented to the Mayor. From a climate change perspective all developments on the coast are threatened with long term sea level rise and thus in the medium to long term a waste of money.
I urge you to reconsider the proposed development at Bastion Point and opt for the least cost option.
Global warming will threaten all coastal developments possibly within twenty to forty years. A more realistic appraisal for the coast can be found on the publications page of my website.
It is incumbent on the shire to adopt both a prudent and cautious approach on this matter
(Also Published in the Bairnsdale Advertiser 28.3.13)
Climate Change bigger problem than fuel load (edited)
i read Ralph Barraclough’s letter with interest regarding recent fires. The letter began telling how there had been major fires within eight years and in some places had been burnt three times in that period…
For some perspective with areas burnt out three times in eight years clearly the biggest contributor to bushfires these days is the fact that our environment is becoming hotter and dryer. Fire scientists tell us that reducing fuel loads reduces the intensity of fires; they also tell us that dryness and high average temperatures contribute to the ferocity of fires…
As this year saw another record breaking summer, the hottest on record, Bureau of Meteorology figures show hot days have doubled since 1960…Global warming is sending us on atrajectory of exponentially hotter drier average weather, unless we cut greenhouse emissions…
Maybe we do need a carbon tax after all, to continue the good, cost effective work of bringing non-polluting renewable energies on stream…I wonder how many people realise it is already far cheaper to put solar panels on your roof than to buy coal or gas generated electricity. That leaves more money to spend on other stuff – great for our economy, especially if we buy Australian.
Ian Onley, Sale
Managing Director National Australia Bank
I wish to protest at your bank’s financing of the National Party of Victoria. The Australian Electoral Commission website indicates that the National Bank was the major donor of this party in 2012.
This political party has a strong record of denying the science of climate change, doing its best to create confusion on the issue and opposing all but the most token gestures to ameliorate or adapt to the threat.
Your donations make you complicit with these actions which are against the interests of your customers, your employees and your shareholders.
I also note that the financing of the fossil fuel industry is coming under greater scrutiny. It is becoming clear that only a small fraction of fossil fuel reserves can be developed without making large areas of the planet uninhabitable.
It follows that if a company’s value (and support from the finance industry) is based on reserves of coal, coal seam, gas, shale oil etc. then this value is illusory and is likely to become a ‘stranded asset’. On this matter I have enclosed a news article “Bursting the Carbon Bubble” by Michael Green (The Age 15.2.13) which you may have missed.
I am sure that you are closely considering investments of this kind and note that this is a further incentive not to donate to a political party that denies the current science.
PS I have been a customer of your bank for more than 50 years
The proposals of the planned Esso plant to vent CO2 waste direct to the atmosphere – along with other proposals for the development of coal seam gas, shale oil and brown coal – are most alarming.
Recent comments by both Robert F. Kennedy Jnr. and James Hansen of NASA have implied that to embark on any proposal of this kind that exacerbates an already critical position of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere is a criminal activity.
Late last year Steven Sherwood of the University of NSW stated “if we fully develop all the world’s coal, tar sands, shales and other fossil fuels we run a high risk of ending up in a few generations with a largely uninhabitable planet.” (New Scientist 17.11.12)
Unfortunately the mining giants, along with their bankers, insurers and political acolytes, seem hell bent on development regardless of all the warnings given by climate scientists.
At the very least these investments will eventually become stranded assets. It is likely the companies and their employees at some future date will face class actions in the courts similar to that faced by tobacco and asbestos companies today. And possibly they may someday appear in the same location facing charges of a criminal kind.
May I comment on your article about the appointment of former parliamentarian Alexander Downer to the Board of Lakes Oil? (B A 4/2) Mr. Downer is an appointment of Gina Rinehart – Australia’s richest person and the world’s richest woman. Ms Rinehart denies the science of climate change. Her other appointment to the Lakes Oil board is geologist Ian Plimer the principal Australian climate change denier.
Lakes Oil is a company exploring for coal seam gas, unconventional gas and shale oil in Gippsland. Recently Steven Sherwood of the University of NSW stated “if we fully develop all the world’s coal, tar sands, shales and other fossil fuels we run a high risk of ending up in a few generations with a largely uninhabitable planet.” (New Scientist 17.11.12)
We are in a ‘David and Goliath” struggle of epic proportions. The latter represented by a hugely wealthy mining industry with enough power to change prime ministers and with most of the mass media and the major political parties doing their bidding. The former represented by ordinary, mostly unaware, citizens – humanity itself.
Australia has a huge undeveloped resource of solar energy but persists with spoiling productive farmland and adding harmful greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. The proposals of Lakes Oil and other fossil fuel developers in Gippsland and elsewhere are insane.