Will Copenhagen be good enough?

Tuvalu is drowning. Like all Pacific Island states, inundation from sea level rise presents an enormous threat.

The AUSAID funded South Pacific Sea Level and climate monitoring project was set up to monitor sea level rise in Tuvalu, in response to concerns raised by Pacific Island countries over the potential impacts of an enhanced greenhouse effect on sea levels in the South Pacific.

Based upon the 15 years of sea level data from the project, the sea level rise rate in Tuvalu as of September 2008 was 5.9 mm year. Sea level in the Tuvalu area has risen by a little over 9cm since the inception of the project 15 years ago. Sea level on Tuvalu is monitored with SEA-level Fine Resolution Acoustic Monitoring (SEAFRAME) equipment.

Subsidence of the island does not account for the sea level rise. Satellite altimetry and GPS monitoring indicate that Tuvalu is not subsiding. This information comes from ‘Sea Level Threat in Tuvalu, American Journal of Applied Sciences 2009’

Sea level rise at Tuvalu is due to the expanding volume of the oceans. The increasing volume of the oceans is due to global warming. Thermal expansion, and melting land based ice is expanding the worlds oceans as the planet warms. That is what is causing sea level rise.
The science tells us that we need to reduce global emissions by 25-40% by 2020 in order to limit sea level rise to a manageable level. What constitutes a manageable rise? That is anyone’s guess.

Thus far at Copenhagen, a binding Global emission reduction target has been difficult to achieve. Copenhagen may fail to arrive at the sorts of targets that the science demands.

Is it cheaper, or easier to continue with our dependence on fossil fuels than it is to save the Island Nations of the Pacific? Has Tuvalu been abandoned by our world leaders?

There are many coastal populations along the Far South Coast of NSW that face the same sorts of problems as Tuvalu.

Matthew Nott

Bega River LifeSaving Energy Big Swim 6/12/09

The 9th LSE Big Swim will be held in the Bega River on 6/12/09. It will be a 7 km swim down the beautiful Bega River from Kalaru to the Mogareeka boat ramp. The swim will be a fundraiser for solar panels for the new Rural Fire Station shed at Tathra. Entry fee for the swim will be $30, and swimmers will be encouraged to find sponsorship to support the project. I am hoping that relay teams and school students will get involved.

The Bega swim last year made $10 000 for a wind turbine for the Tathra primary school. There have been some significant complexities in getting a wind turbine for the primary school. Although wind turbines are installed and engineered to rigorous Australian standards, and although schools outside of NSW have successfully installed wind turbines, the NSW Dept. of Education is cautious. The Dept. of Education have imposed a series of regulations on the wind turbines which will effectively double the cost of the installation. To find another $10 000 for the Tathra primary school wind turbine is currently beyond the resources of CEFE, and after discussions with the school it has been decided to put this hard earned community money towards the solar panel installation at the Tathra RFS station. We will need to look at a wind turbine for the Tathra primary school at a later stage.

There are several hundred RFS stations in SE NSW, and it would be nice to think that we could get them all set up with solar panels before 2020. If we can get a 2 KW installation on the roof of the Tathra RFS, it will make money for the station. With Renewable Energy Certificates and the state feed-in-tariff to be introduced on 1/1/010, the 2 KW solar panels will make the station about $1800 per year, every year, for the next 30 years. I am hoping that a portion of this money will be donated towards ongoing installations for more RFS stations. I am also hoping that some of the money can be donated towards a wind turbine for the Tathra primary school. Fundraising for the Tathra primary school wind turbine will take a while, but CEFE are not planning to go away anytime soon.

Demise of ETS shifts focus to renewables

The Snowy River Alliance and Snowy Mountains Chapter of Clean Energy for Eternity are urging the Commonwealth and State Government to put their weight behind renewable energy research and development for SE NSW.

The potential for geothermal energy, solar, wind and tidal forms of energy generation is significant and can transform the nature of energy consumption in the region including reducing carbon pollution and other toxic emissions from fossil fuel generation.

Acacia Rose Convenor of the Snowy Mountains Chapter of Clean Energy for Eternity said “The time is now to invest public money into rolling out renewable energy across the region and also invest in geothermal energy research.”

“The demise of the ETS should be a springboard for more direct action in rolling out renewable energy and creating positive signals including a national gross feed in tariff for renewable energy that will immediately stimulate this sector.”

“The Snowy River Shire Council has signed the ‘Nott’ 50:50 by 2020 target, that is a decrease in energy consumption by 2020 and 50% renewable energy by 2020 and now is the time to forge ahead with the roll out of renewable energy projects.”

“The community is behind renewable energy and there is a positive opportunity for community owned solar or wind farms, community owned geothermal generation and indeed, to enable every household in the region to be a shareholder in renewable energy generation.”

Angel John Gallard Chair of the Snowy River Alliance would also like to see a lower carbon footprint, fewer toxic pollutants in the atmosphere potentially linked to the suppression of rain and snow fall and a greater community ownership of electricity generation.

“People definitely want greater involvement and control over where their energy and water comes from and to generate community ownership of renewable energy is a strong step in the right direction.”

“The Monaro can become a pilot program for renewable energy and ultimately, we would like to see less emissions in the atmosphere particularly from Victoria.” he said.

“If the NASA science is correct, then the toxic emissions from the Victorian power stations are linked to diminishing precipitation over the Snowy catchments and Monaro and exacerbating the drop in inflows affecting the Snowy River amongst other key rivers.”

“It is certainly time to get on with the job of retrofitting existing power stations to renewable energy generation, creating new jobs and wealth in the renewable energy sector and putting into the past the fossil fuel power generators that appear to be destroying our water catchments.”

Acacia Rose