Sensible Proposal on Carbon – What Our PM MIGHT Say

2 by Dick

A good friend of mine, Chris Mills – who I consider is pretty bright because he has oodles of qualifications (not like me, I’m just a car radio installer) – has sent me the attached document where he proposes as  speech of leadership which our Prime Minister could make to Parliament.  I think it has a lot going for it.  Read it – the Wilberforce Award winner will no doubt be thinking along similar lines.

Chris has described the population growth issue in Australia as “it’s a giant Ponzi scheme – we’re importing people to provide the services because we’re importing people”.  He says, “Dick, I’ve invested a lot of time in finding a global solution to climate management – I’ve attached a speech by the Prime Minister describing a global solution”.

Read on and read Chris’ idea of what the Prime Minister of Australia could say about managing climate change.

MANAGING CLIMATE: THE RIGHT WAY

WHAT THE PRIME MINISTER OF AUSTRALIA COULD SAY TO THE NATION AND TO THE WORLD

“The Heart and Mind of Managing the World Climate is to discourage carbon extraction from beneath the Earth’s surface, promote reduction in the production of unwanted carbon and carbon equivalent by-products and to encourage capture of carbon and carbon equivalents from the atmosphere and permanent, risk free sequestration of same.

The Government of Australia will propose to the leaders of the World, and to a full session of the United Nations, that each tonne of carbon extracted from beneath the surface of the Earth, be levied at source. We will propose the World will set a universal price – say $US5 per tonne of carbon. This levy will, for example, apply to coal, natural gas and oil extraction.

To encourage reduction in the production of carbon and carbon equivalents as well as their capture and permanent, risk-free sequestration, every tonne of permanent reduction in the production of carbon or carbon equivalents as well as every tonne drawn from the atmosphere and permanently sequestered in a risk-free manner will be rebated at, say, $US 5 Tonne.”


Speaker: I call the Prime Minister of Australia to Address the House:

Today, I advise the Honourable Members of this Parliament that the Government of Australia, for sound strategic and economic reasons, will propose a Global Climate Management system to the Nations of the World.

To survive, the World needs a paradigm shift, one that we should have begun a half a century ago.  Now the need is urgent, and desperate times require bold leadership and determined, forceful action.

For the past one-hundred thousand years or more, humanity has relied on chemistry for its survival comfort and convenience, and two chemical reactions in particular.

The first reaction is good: hydrogen plus oxygen gives energy plus water. Water brings life.  Water recycles naturally as rain, rivers and ocean currents.

The second reaction is bad: carbon plus oxygen gives energy plus carbon dioxide.  Plants and trees thrive on it, but carbon dioxide endures in our atmosphere and oceans, it changes our climate until our crops fail, our oceans become sterile and we suffocate and starve. 

In less than three hundred years, industrialisation of the World’s carbon sources has consumed so much wood, coal, oil and gas that our atmosphere is becoming toxic, threatening our survival.  And the rate of consumption is accelerating.  To add insult to the injury of the World, we are depleting the only resource that reverses carbon dioxide pollution – our forests.  This is akin to keeping warm by burning down your house – but we are consuming the last room and will soon have nowhere safe to live.

Here is the paradigm shift we must create – mankind’s future survival needs to abandon its addiction to carbon-based chemistry and rely on the laws of physics. 

Now this statement will shock many of you.  Humanity depends directly on nuclear power for its survival and wellbeing. 

Not the nuclear power that produces megawatts of power for a day and toxic wastes for millennia.

This nuclear power furnace rages in our Sun at a safe 150 million kilometres from the Earth, but even so, the power we receive is impressive – a thousand watts across every square metre.  A tiny part of Australia’s land area could easily supply the World’s entire energy needs – if only we could convert the Sun’s insolation to other forms of energy. 

And we can.  Our scientists and engineers are finding increasingly efficient ways of converting solar radiation to electricity.  Our task is to make the transformation of solar energy effective sources of our energy needs.

Some of the work is done for us by Nature.  The Sun’s heating of our atmosphere and the rotation of the earth produces wind to turn generators.

We are blessed to have a large moon orbiting the planet about once per day, producing two tidal surges.  In the northwest of Australia, these tides are massive, and giga-watts of power could be extracted each and every day.

We need to store energy for times when the sky is dark or cloudy, or the winds don’t blow. Gravity helps us here, and we can pump water uphill to dams, and call it down when needed.  In natural caverns or abandoned underground mines, we can use surplus energy to compress air, and release it when we need an energy boost.

So, why has the Government changed its collective mind about an Emissions Trading Scheme?

Firstly, the World’s tolerance for emissions has been exceeded.  We need to reduce atmospheric carbon dioxide in a dramatic way – not fiddle at the edges while the World burns.  There are two ways we can achieve this – a paradigm shift from energy sourced from chemistry to energy sources from systems that obey the laws of physics.  And we need to reconstitute the lungs of the World – our broad-acre forests that trap carbon dioxide, use the Sun’s energy to split the molecule, store the carbon as wood and release life-giving oxygen. No, we don’t need and cannot tolerate accelerating carbon dioxide emissions.

Secondly, as the recent World Economic Crisis has so clearly demonstrated, trading has acquired something of a bad reputation in the past few months.  What has trading achieved and traders done?  Enriched the privileged and impoverished the poor.  No, we don’t need another brigand band of traders, maximising their wealth at our expense.

Finally, the word ‘scheme’ has bad connotations and I resile for the use of this word in connection with climate management.  Instead of scheming, your Government will be leading, taking positive, powerful and effective action to confront and reverse the centuries of damage our energy-hungry addictions have wreaked on our World.

We need another way.

There is always opportunity in adversity. 

As car sales collapse and factories close, they become available resources which we can convert to producing solar generators.  There are many types – photovoltaic cells, solar concentrators that run Stirling engines, or produce steam for turbines.  These mass-produced solar-engines need to be transported to broad-acre solar farms, wired to the electricity grid, maintained, and eventually replaced.  This is a massive industry which can provide jobs for all those displaced from the car industry. 

And what a magnificent outcome!  Energy hungry, polluting cars are replaced by energy producing solar generators.

Next, we need to support aluminium production.  Aluminium is the World’s most abundant metal and the third most abundant element.  Australia has lots of it. 

The World needs this corrosion resistant, light-weight metal in large quantities.  Saving weight and avoiding rust in our trucks, trains and ships saves transport energy and maintenance costs. And efficiently recycling when its job is done – it does not rust-away like iron and steel.

We can provide it to the World, not at the exorbitant cost of coal-fired smelting electricity, but by tapping energy from the tides in Northwest Australia. New towns will be built, housing the workers who will build and operate the tidal power stations, refineries, ports, electricity grids. 

Thousands of permanent, sustainable ‘green’ jobs for Australians.

Solar power can be applied to the production of liquid fuels.  In the Northeast of Australia, there are millions of hectares of currently low-productivity land that perfectly suit the Jatropha curcas plant used to produce bio-diesel.  This is another solar crop – the sun produces the heat and rain to make the plants grow.  Plant wastes can be used to provide energy for the ‘closed cycle’ fuel plant.  More work for communities to plant, tend, harvest and refine a diesel that comes from the sun. Self-sufficiency for Australia’s bio-diesel fuel for its trucks, trains and cars.

And there is another safe way to tap carbon-free power – geothermal.  The Earth’s core is continuously heated by slowly decaying radioactive elements.  We have sites in the east-centre of Australia where ‘hot rocks’ are close to the surface.  We have started to tap this energy rich resource.  We need to accelerate these projects.

How will we pay for these projects? Let’s revive the Snowy Mountains hydro-electric model for development, but on a far grander scale.

The Government of Australia will propose to the leaders of the World, and to a full session of the United Nations, that each tonne of carbon extracted from beneath the surface of the Earth, be levied at source. We will propose the World will set a universal price – say $US5 per tonne of carbon. This levy will, for example, apply to coal, natural gas and oil extraction.

The considerable world-wide revenue from the Carbon Levy will be paid into a World Bank ‘Global Climate Management Fund’.

Nations consuming carbon-based energy can draw from the fund at the lower rate – say $US3 per tonne of carbon consumed.  However, these funds must be applied Nationally to investment in renewable energy sources.  So, countries most dependent on carbon based fuels will receive substantial funds to build alternative energy generators to displace carbon-based energy systems.

To encourage reduction in the production of unwanted carbon by-products that pollute our atmosphere, every tonne of permanent reduction in the production of unwanted carbon and carbon equivalent by-products will be rebated at, say, $US5 a Tonne. This rebate will also apply to risk-free, permanently sequestered carbon drawn from the atmosphere.

If this levy and rebate system is applied universally, no Nation will be disadvantaged and each Nation will benefit.  There will be no losers and we will all be winners.

The $2 difference between the $5 levy and the $3 drawn funds will be placed in a special ‘International Climate Management Projects Fund’ to finance investments in international programs and research to reduce greenhouse gas production, and in research into renewable energy technology and greenhouse gas reduction.

As an example, this fund could finance a Green Corps which will be recruited, trained, paid and employed on re-afforestation across the Planet, especially in areas where vast tracts of land have been cleared of trees, then abandoned.  These plantations are the ones that will be maintained and harvested sustainably, to provide a range of forest products for future generations. 

A ‘Fire and Rescue Corps’ will also be created to extinguish forest, peat and coal-seam fires throughout the world as these fires are major contributors to the carbon pollution of our atmosphere, and to mount rescues when the manifestation of climate change such as cyclones and hurricanes wreak havoc across vast areas, or oil spills that threaten the environment.

Some of the finest minds and Universities on the planet are committed to Climate Management.  We need to provide these people with grants so they can develop and test innovative and efficient ways of applying the laws of physics to producing clean, low-cost and reliable energy sources, or to nurture new forests that soak up carbon dioxide and produce wood and oxygen.

Many people will want to be part of this program to manage the climate, and I am suggesting how they might participate.  There could be two ways: Carbon Bonds and Carbon Equities. 

Carbon Bonds would be for a term of 10 years and would pay interest quarterly at the Long-Term-Bond Rate. Revenue from these bonds would be invested in Government Climate Management Enterprises. Payment and redemption transactions would be made with the Climate Management Fund. 

Carbon Equities would purchase shares in Government Climate Management Enterprises such as solar, wind, geothermal and tidal power stations partially funded by drawings from the Climate Management Fund.  Revenue from energy sales would be returned to the shareholders as dividends.  Eventually, the Government might sell some of its shares to provide further investment opportunities for investment into ‘going concerns’ and to return its investments to the people of Australia.  We could then use these funds to improve our education and build the infrastructure our booming economy will need.

So, though Carbon Bonds and Carbon Equities, individuals, companies or superannuation funds could invest productively and securely in these Carbon reduction enterprises. 

Australia, and the World, does not need an Emissions Trading Scheme that does a miserable job by making minute changes to a polluting energy system that is wildly out of control. 

Australia needs, and the World needs, a paradigm shift to transfer energy production to generators which draw the power of their operation from the application of the laws of physics.  These generating systems produce zero carbon dioxide and have the scale where they will employ hundreds of thousands of Australians, in permanent, valued and sustainable jobs.  And gradually bring the carbon dioxide in our atmosphere and oceans to a tolerable level.

I commend my Government’s Climate Management enterprise to the people of Australia, and to the leaders and people of the World.

Useful Links & Articles