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sydney alternative media - non-profit community independent trustworthy
Friday, 15 February 2008
Super container ships presage dangerous climate change via dredging of Botany Bay, Port Phillip Bay
Mood:  irritated
Topic: globalWarming

A profound game breaker in the dangerous climate change scenario was published yesterday and this is where lifestyle, transport and survival of the planet all converge in one all mighty scary confrontation of the profound ecological limits of  'neo liberalism' as a way forward for Australia and humanity.

We have been writing about the big power sell off agenda supposedly to grow economic development as somehow a form of social progress according to ALP leaders Iemma and Rudd. For instance to get the money to build a $5B truck tunnel to serve a Port Botany expansion:
'Secret' $5 billion tollway to tunnel under city | NEWS.com.au [2007]


Then this ran yesterday in a hammer blow to the credibility of the top ALP and neoliberalism generally:

 and notice this
Super gigantic container vessel "Xin Ya Zhou," meaning "New Asia," China's first with complete proprietary intellectual property rights, is delivered to the owner in Shanghai, East China, Sept. 8, 2007. [Xinhua] 
These jumbo ships are what the highly opposed and controversial dredging at Port Botany and Port Phillip Bay are all about. But it's suicidal madness to pursue this ever bigger growth fetish.

We at SAM were vaguely aware of the ecological reality of climate impact of super container ships back in  January 2008 when we noticed Minister Garrett flying to Antarctica and considered an anecdote from one Judith Greeening: This retired yoga afficianado and vegetarian told me of her trip with rich sister on a tourist ship to Antarctica in the late 90ies. She commented on the huge volume of fuel they needed to get there and back.
But that's only half the equation on greenhouse gas (ghg) emissions: the super containers are filled with ghg embedded retail products from China and India, so that's yet another impact on the global commons. Facilitating these jumbo container ships is starting to look like a very dumb idea. As is unqualified neo liberalism, ie well intentioned economic growth trickle down economic benefits. It's a much more complex world now and survival of the species is the prize for getting it right, otherwise dangerous climate tipping points, enclavism and game over for the human project. Crash out or smooth landing? In many ways the choice is ours.

We rang abc 702 radio at the time and said for all the other tourism impacts of an airlink it might help save on greenhouse impacts to fly comparative to big ship.

And now the UN IPCC chief Dr Rajendra Pachauri  corroborates the suspicion with his quotes as per these damning words on the major shipping industry:
"This is a clear failure of the system. The shipping industry has so far escaped publicity. It has been left out of the climate change discussion. I hope [shipping emissions] will be included in the next UN agreement. It would be a cop-out if it was not. It tells me that we have been ineffective at tackling climate change so far."
Other press updates on this hard fought convergence of retention of public power assets, transport planning and dangerous climate threat at the highest levels of politics in NSW and Australia that we have noticed:

- Costa confirms talks on new power station - National - smh.com.au 13th Feb 2008

- Bulldoze old power stations, says adviser - Environment - smh.com.au 14th Feb 2008

- from back in 2007 the hugely greenhouse embedded super container ships First China-made 8530-TEU container ship delivered

Meanwhile the global credit crunch is also taking its toll [Media release follows]:

Credit agency report tells Iemma to dump electricity privatisation

Media Release: 14 February 2008

A new report by Standard & Poor's gives a clear warning that this is a particularly bad time to be privatising the electricity industry, according to Greens MP John Kaye.

Dr Kaye said: "The Iemma government sets its entire economic policy direction by the credit ratings handed out by Standard & Poor's.

"Premier Iemma cannot selectively ignore this report which graphically describes the impacts of the drought, the carbon market and global financial turmoil on the sale price of the electricity industry.

"Standard & Poor's is not the first organisation to say that potential buyers are being made nervous by the climate of financial and policy uncertainty.

"The Greens, the union movement, the Public Interest Advocacy Centre and energy industry experts have been telling NSW Treasurer Michael Costa for months that he has embarked on a dangerous path that could result in a fire sale of assets.

"Mr Costa wilfully ignored our warnings but now he and the Premier have no choice but to take notice.

"This report gives the Premier the excuse he needs to reign in Michael Costa and put the sell-off on ice.

"It would be irresponsible to forge ahead with privatisation now that Standard & Poor's have warned potential buyers of the risks," Dr Kaye said.

For more information: John Kaye 0407 195 455

Posted by editor at 6:01 AM EADT
Updated: Friday, 15 February 2008 6:55 AM EADT

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