Government funding?- Will renewable energy or coal be king in 2008?

To all who read this, yes, I’ve been in hibernation over Christmas and return this New Year’s day with best wishes to all and the resolution of making every day count!

Taking up a thread from where I left off, I return to an article in the New Matilda by Polly Simons, about the influence of the fossil fuel industry lobby on funding for the coal industry. Simons posits that:

“as coal industry influence has increased within the C.S.I.R.O, it appears to have been at the expense of renewable industry research.

During the 1980’s, the C.S.I.R.O were world leaders in renewable energy research such as solar thermal, wind and bio-energy technologies. but by early 2006, CEO Geoff Garrett announced that the C.S.I.R.O would be scaling back its renewable energy research in favour of clean coal technologies such as coal gasification, carbon capture and sequestration.”

It is interesting that yet again, the innovative lead of Australia has been thwarted by vested interests allied to the fossil fuel lobby. This again shows that funding and policies have been skewed away from renewable energy. Funding by the Federal Government is at the heart of the undermining of even the scientific institutions such as the C.S.I.R.O. and their independence.

Dr Guy Pearse, in his book , “High and Dry”, and on revelations on the ABC Four Corners program, “The Greenhouse Mafia”, examined the influence of the lobby on Government policy and found them to be overrepresented on government advisory committes and research programs. We need to ask, will Australia’s interests, national and strategic, overcome the vested and restricting influence of the fossil fuel lobby? Coal as an energy source is facing its death as climate change is forcing the hands of Governments, making them them face the reality that, we cannot look to 20th Century technology to solve the 21st Century problems of climate change.

Australia has had the science and innovation to make progress in the uptake of renewable energies to meet climate change. What is needed is a Federal Government that can harness and drive forward these new technologies. Whether they can withstand the forces of the powerful fossil fuel lobby and their supporters will be the challenge that the new Rudd Government will face.

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~ by abstraktbiblos on Tuesday, 1 January, 2008.

One Response to “Government funding?- Will renewable energy or coal be king in 2008?”

  1. very interesting.
    i’m adding in RSS Reader

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