Another day, another report on the environment.

  oresome 09:29 01 Nov 2018

70% of the world’s last remaining wilderness in just five countries, research reveals today.

Yesterday I learnt that humans have killed off a large percentage of the world's species since the 1970s.

I'm regularly shown pictures of melting glaciers and ice caps etc.

So what's the solution? Humans have become too successful for their own good and population growth projections mean that the situation will only get worse.


click here

  Forum Editor 09:42 05 Nov 2018

john bunyan

Getting desalinated water into the red centre on that scale would be vastly expensive, on account of the sheer scale of the country. When you are in Alice Springs, the coast is over 1000 miles away in any direction.

It would make the market price of crops far too high. The territory makes big money from mining and tourism, and has the second largest per-capita gross product of all Australian states, although its low population means that total gross product is the eighth largest.

It's hot in the centre - Alice Springs averages around 35 to 36C in the wet season and humidity rises to 70% - it can be almost unbearable, and on one short visit years ago I sat in my car for over an hour in the middle of the night with the engine running and the air-con going full blast. There is never going to be an over population problem there.

  john bunyan 10:19 05 Nov 2018

*Forum Editor *

I realise the difficulty; I have been to Australia quite often and have a friend who goes on long trips with a 4x4 with a caravan adapted for the terrain. Long term, maybe a modified version of my suggestion could apply in littoral areas. They could, in the meantime, reduce their carbon footprint with far more solar, increases in fuel duty etc They could aspire to be a world leader in solar plus battery technology. At least their cities could become largely solar for energy supplies.

  Forum Editor 16:36 05 Nov 2018

john bunyan

"At least their cities could become largely solar for energy supplies."

I very much doubt it.

Australia currently has 10,131 MW of installed photovoltaic PV solar power. That is equivalent to around twice the output of the UK's biggest power station (Drax). Australia's power problem isn't that there's too little of it - the country currently has the capacity to generate around 9000 megawatts more than it needs.

The problem is that Australia isn't generating enough power from renewable resources. On the face of it Solar power is an obvious source of energy, but it has some enormous drawbacks - it currently costs around five times as much to generate electricity from solar cells as it does from coal. It's much more expensive than nuclear power, or hydro-electric power. It is also very expensive to store, and store it you must, if you are going to depend on it for electricity during the night.

Another solar power drawback is space - you needs lots of that for big solar cell farms. You might rightly say that Australia isn't short on space, but it's not that simple - lots of land in the interior isn't owned by the government, it's owned by aboriginal tribes, and they are not going to allow square miles of it to be covered in solar panels. Additional complications arise from the fact that there is no Australian National Grid - the Northern territory and Western Australia have their own energy networks and their own markets.

At the moment the cost of the technology is the big stumbling block, it's no good having all the sunshine in the world if the electricity it generates costs consumers far more than they are paying at present.

Improvements will surely come, and over the past two years there has been a big increase in solar generation as coal-fired stations have been closed.

  john bunyan 16:58 05 Nov 2018

*Forum Editor *

I think your figures are a bit out of date. Solar cost has reduced dramatically recently. If they can solve the battery issue I think there is huge potential for a major switch in Australia. Graphene and other new technology with batteries is very exciting.

reduction in solar costs Australia

  Forum Editor 17:26 05 Nov 2018

john bunyan

Yes, a lot of my figures came from a 2016 visit to a client in New South Wales. He was in the banking business, and his company was part financing a new solar power farm project. The total installed solar power capacity for Australia that I gave was correct as of September of this year however.

I did acknowledge - in my final paragraph - that improvements would come, and they obviously have, but there are some caveats in the figures. A lot of solar power in Australia comes from panel installations of private housing, and the cost of installations is generally amortised over a twenty year period, so it tends to produce anomalies as far as costs per megawatt are concerned. The australian government is currently offering householders an $8000 subsidy for solar power installation, and that, coupled with feed-in tariffs has accelerated uptake enormously. Whether or not the subsidy will continue for long remains to be seen, but the forecast that Sydney will become 100% reliable on renewable energy within the next 15 years is largely based on expected domestic uptake.

None of which helps with population growths or species extinction - apologies to you, oresome. I promise I've finished as far as renewable energy is concerned.

  Aitchbee 23:15 05 Nov 2018

The solution is for all of us to do what we can to lessen our detrimental impact on our planet.

I'm a lucky so-and-so, got a laundrette situated next to a bookies and a bus stop outside. I can't help impacting positively to and with all the laundretters ... whilst saving the planet ha ha.

  Flat Earther 03:14 06 Nov 2018

"The solution is for all of us to do what we can to lessen our detrimental impact on our planet."

From someone that claims they need to run multiple monitors and flys over the world to earn a few quid, more of a carbon foot stamp than a foot print. Do as I say not as I do and the planet will be better off.

Let's face it, people are selfish and things won't change.

  Forum Editor 16:44 06 Nov 2018

Flat Earther

*"From someone that claims they need to run multiple monitors and flys (sic) over the world to earn a few quid, more of a carbon foot stamp than a foot print. Do as I say not as I do and the planet will be better off. Let's face it, people are selfish and things won't change."*

Goodness me, what's it like up there on the moral high ground?

You have absolutely no idea how I deal with my environmental impact, and your lack of knowledge certainly doesn't qualify you to call me selfish.

I can't be bothered to justify my personal behaviour to you in detail, but in future before you make offensive allegations based on nothing but ignorance, you might want to read a bit about one way that people like me can offset their carbon footprint.

I won't hold my breath, waiting for your apology.

  bumpkin 21:24 06 Nov 2018

We as individauls ore are only a short blip in the whole equation of time and evolution. The question of over population will become self limiting, no need to be Einstein to see that which is bloody obvious.

  caccy 17:10 07 Nov 2018

Cancer is generally an uncontrollable growth of cells that destroy their host.

For host read Earth, for cells read mankind!

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