There is an increasing disconnect between countries trying to do the right thing over global warming and those who are not.
The majority of developed countries have fully recognized the problem and are working towards a solution (certainly now that America has re-joined the effort). What should we do with those countries whose leaders continue to ignore it?
Australia have spent the last few years denying science that shows the earth is warming. I say Australia, I should say the current leaders of their parliament. The view from people in the country is broadly in line with that from elsewhere.
It seems that the period of denying global warming is over. Now we seem to be moving into delaying any need to act.
Robeco Institutional Assel Management, an asset manager, declared that of all the countries around the world, Australia has a “particularly high risk profile” and that it needs pressure to transition away from fossil fuels.
Now it should be noted that Australia is a huge country, and it would be totally possible for them to power the whole country, during the day from solar – there is much largely empty space in Australia. Indeed, if it has a similar effect to large solar farms in the Sahara, it could help Australia grow food in places currently unsuitable.
Robeco has publicly stated that it has little faith in the technology route that Australia wishes to rely on. This is frankly about time. The rubbish that Australia has been spouting on global warming for decades has never made sense.
It is unfortunately true, that the current government in Australia sees its fossil fuel companies as essential to its future prosperity. The fact that as other countries emissions fall and move to renewables, regardless of Australia’s choices there will increasingly be no one to sell fossil fuels too.
It was particularly notable, that both government and fossil fuel leaders took swipes at environmentalists stating ” we are the innovators and the doers, while our opponents are the naysayers”. How they can say this, having metaphorically put their head in the sand for decades over this issue, and with environmentalists having set up the means to power the world cleanly, I do not know.
Australian households use on average roughly 18 kwh per day. Assuming 10 million households in the country, they need 180 million kwh per day. One square mile of solar produces roughly 1 million kwh per day. Therefore in order to power the country Australia would need 180 square miles. Australia covers over 3 million square miles, so assuming with the need for electric transport despite increasing efficiency the demand increases by 40% that still requires 300 square miles of solar in a country of 3 million square miles or one square mile in every 10,000. You would also need very large amounts of power saving – batteries of some kind.
However what is clear, is that Australia is more capable than most countries on the planet to go fully green, unfortunately the government is determined to ignore the sense in this.
Hopefully there will be a change in views in the next few years. Around the world it has become increasingly clear that it is cheaper to make power through renewables even placed against already built powerplants.