Tuesday, July 19, 2011

CASE STUDY: Australia: Blinded by Coal Dust?

by Phil Dobbie, on BNet Australia: http://www.bnetau.com.au

Coal is relatively cheap, so we burn it up to make electricity and we sell heaps of it so others can try and match Australia’s poor record on greenhouse gases. But what about when other alternatives become more viable - in a few years’ time?

The world would be in a sorry state if everyone behaved the same way Australia does. Along with the US and Canada we lead the world in electricity consumption per capita - almost twice that, of the UK, for example. If everyone on the planet demanded the same electricity consumption as the average Aussie, world production would quadruple.

As well as being one of the highest users of electricity, we are also the dirtiest. Ninety-three percent of our electricity comes from burning fossil fuels. Canada, which consumes more than us, is at least clean about it; almost 60 percent of their power comes from hydroelectricity. Low down on the list of carbon polluters is France, with three-quarters of their power coming from nuclear energy.

To read more, go to: http://www.bnetau.com.au/blog/aussierules/australia-blinded-by-coal-dust/8109

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