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The UN Conference on Sustainable Development beginning on 20 June in Rio is being dubbed Rio+20 because it is 20 years after the Earth Summit held there in 1992. Not long after that the then upward trend in temperatures stopped even though emissions continued to increase. In fact, the situation facing the conference is that in the 70 odd years since 1940 only the period from 1977-98 shows (statistically) rising temperatures. This failure of “the science” based on modelling means that there is now no agreement on the need for urgent action and that there will be no binding international agreement on reducing emissions even amongst the main emitters. However that may not prevent the usual international type communiqué purporting to agree on the need to reduce emissions and identifying “progress” thereon. As a world leader (sic) in taking such action (although that recently seems to have been downplayed), our Prime Minister will doubtless seek to make much of.


Renewables blowout
letter published in The Australian, 18 June 2012

You report that, although Prime Minister Gillard claims that only 10 per cent of rises in electricity prices are due to carbon pricing (tax) and that "other" factors were more substantial, in reality a high proportion of those reflect renewable energy policies ( "Wind, solar hit harder than tax", 16-17/6). Those policies, which have been adopted by both the federal and state governments, effect a double whammy hit on businesses and households and are not even subject to compensation.

Gillard's response that state governments need to explain these other price rises is thus dodging the issue. Indeed, as head of the government responsible for pursuing the policy of moving to 20 per cent of energy from renewables by 2020, she must accept responsibility for the adoption of the economically (and environmentally) inefficient renewable energy policies.

As with the carbon pricing, a continuation of such policies will have much greater ongoing adverse price effects for Australia than in the vast majority of overseas countries which have recognised the need to minimise reduced international competitiveness.

Des Moore, South Yarra, Vic

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