When we think of countries wth terrible carbon emissions we tend to think of China and developing nations. You may be surprised to read that Australia has a terrible track record. In relation to its population head count Australia is the worst carbon emmitter in the world. The current Australian government has acted to limit the country's carbon emissions but this has received a mixed response.Some claim that the newly implemented carbon tax is a necessary evil but it seems far more Australians believe the tax is flawed and will cost Australian industry dearly. It could also cost Aussie PM Gillard dearly as many see the implementation of this tax as the final nail in her political coffin.Industries in Australia highlighted as the worst offenders currently, are set to pay a huge carbon tax which is much higher than that paid in Europe.
"The law forces about 300 of the worst-polluting firms to pay a A$23 (£15; $24) levy for every tonne of greenhouse gases they produce."Reuters has reported, "The scheme allows emissions trading from 2015, when polluters and investors will be able to buy overseas carbon offsets, or ultimately trade with schemes in Europe, New Zealand and possibly those planned in South Korea and China.Prime Minister Julia Gillard's minority government says the plan is needed to fight climate change and curb greenhouse gas pollution. Australia has amongst the world's highest per capita CO2 emissions due to its reliance on coal-fired power stations.Yet even as it starts, the scheme's future is in doubt. The conservative opposition has vowed to repeal it if they win power in elections due by late next year and have whipped up a scare campaign saying the tax will cost jobs and hurt the economy.Gillard, her poll ratings near record lows and her Labor party heading for a heavy election defeat, hopes that the campaign will quickly run out of steam once the scheme starts."Cats will still purr, dogs will still bark," Gillard said after Opposition leader Tony Abbott's visit to an animal shelter to warn of higher electricity prices on charities. "The leader of the opposition's fear campaign will collide with the truth.""The Australian carbon tax has been in the planning some time. It has been resisted by the government's opposition. Gillard claims that people will not hurt financially, as they might, due to protections put in place for those on low incomes. The opposition continue to maintain the new tax will be too costly and result in increased energy bills and more.
Any new taxes are always controversial. In time many are simply taken for granted. The problem with taxes supposedly aimed at helping the environement is do they do so? Western efforts are like a drop of rain in a huge ocean unless all coutries play the same game. The Global environment is not selective. If a country abuses the environment other countries suffer. That is a fact. Certainly there may be some instances when a polluion problem hits only a single country initially but in the long run most damage our beloved planet. In the end Australians, like the rest of the World's population, will have to decide between money and the environment.The UK in the fifties had chimneys such as those shown above pumping poison into the air. They have long gone. The ones above are Australian. Environmental change is costly, there is no doubt. Ignoring the damage we do to our environment will be more costly in real terms.Tags: Australian carbon tax, PM Gillard, Aussie carbon emissions, Chins, global economies, Australia
, green issues
In the quest for eco friendly and cheap fuels the West is exploring many alternatives. It seems that sadly Western governments gets more decisions wrong than they do right. The latest news is that the UK government has given the green light for hydraulic fracturing or fracking to go ahead.So, first things first, what is fracking?According to the BBC, "The process of drilling down and creating tiny explosions to shatter and crack hard shale rocks to release the gas inside. Water, sand and chemicals are injected into the rock at high pressure which allows the gas to flow out to the head of the well. The process is carried out vertically or, more commonly, by drilling horizontally to the rock layer. The process can create new pathways to release gas or can be used to extend existing channels. Why is it called fracking? It is shorthand for hydraulic fracturing and refers to how the rock is fractured apart by the high pressure mixture. Experts also refer to a "frac job" and a "frac unit". Why is it controversial? Much of the water used in fracking is collected from the well and processed, but there are concerns that potentially carcinogenic chemicals can sometimes escape and find their way into drinking water sources. Some American householders also claim that shale gas leaking into their drinking supply causes tap water to ignite"In June 2011 fracking testing was suspended following two minor earthquakes in Lancashire.
. In November 2011 the investigation into fracking found that it was likely the work had caused the earthquakes. The energy company involved in the testing claimed that it was unlikely however that the conditions which had caused the earthquakes would occur again.
The UK is currently, reportedly, suffering a severe drought which will last till Christmas. That may be hard to believe right now as large areas of the UK experience torrential rain. The ground has suffered at the hands of drought conditions followed by heavy rainfalls. Does this sound like perfect conditions to damage the ground further?The UK government are concentrating on saving money right now. Offering companies work will come into the equation. Securing our own gas supplies to make us independent of foreign countries will also play an important part. Just where the environment comes in, if at all, is unclear.New procedures often come up against resistance but in the case of fracking caution should be the order of the day. Insufficient testing is not a sensible option. There is already a gas leak ongoing in the North Sea which will not be sorted for some months.
Do we want to leave the next generation a battered and bruised Earth that is beyond repair? Right now it would seem that we do, as long asi t saves us money in the short term.More at No Fracking UKTags: Fracking, green issues, environmental issues, north sea gas, climate change, UK fracking