Tasmanian Times

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche


The latest on coal …

*Pic: Now closed … Heazlewood power station in the Latrobe Valley

CoalWire is a weekly news bulletin which summarises the most significant developments affecting the global coal industry and highlights the efforts of groups around the world working on coal-related issues. CoalWire is published by CoalSwarm.

Read the latest here

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  1. Russell

    November 7, 2017 at 10:57 am

    It is Contitutionally illegal for the Federal Government to give money to Adani to assist them, so Turdbull has leaned on QLD Premier Annastacia (changes her mind) Palaszczuk to backflip on an earlier promise and do it for him.

    Two local Councils (Rockhampton and Townsville) were then also leaned on to pay for a private Adani airstrip on ANOTHER Council’s land for the Indian FIFO workers. The locals are starting to get a bit pissed off, and there’s a QLD election looming.

    China is looking at investing in Adani to grab another chunk of Australia for nix, at our expense.

    Meanwhile Adani will be allowed to do whatever it wants to and with as much water as it wants in the Galilee Basin for the next 60 years!

    We need an ICAC to route out all the political corruption in Australia, and we need it now.

  2. Chris Harries

    October 25, 2017 at 2:03 pm

    While nearly everyone is focusing on the Death of Coal, it’s oil that we ought to be closely watching. COAL had its heyday two centuries ago in the 1800s. Prior to the development of the internal combustion engine, coal powered trains and ships and numerous factories and was used for direct home heating throughout Europe. In a limited way it was also used to synthesize some materials and medicinals. Coal paved the way for the industrial revolution.

    OIL had its heyday in the following century (the 1900s) and up until now. OIL, and its sideline products, have fueled planes, trains, cars, and an immense array of industrial processes and synthetic products. Via industrial agriculture our food is soaked in oil. Make no mistake, Oil is now the lifeblood of modern civilisation. It’s indispensable to the status quo.

    Now, in 2017, it’s relatively easy to ditch coal. It’s like the low hanging fruit. Dealing with OIL dependency is a thousand times harder. But oil has another problem as a rapidly diminishing resource requiring smart footwork to shore up the supply-demand gap via ‘unconventionals’ – tar sands, tight oils and fracked hydrocarbons … expensive and messy.

    The fossil fuel party ain’t over yet. This century we are seeing the heyday of GAS – the third major wave of fossil fueled energy extraction. While the renewables brigade has been chortling its growth success, the GAS power industry has been quietly growing at an even faster pace and – on a total energy production basis – is beating the pants off renewables. GAS is where to put your money if you are an energy multinational in 2017.

    As countries like Britain boast getting out of coal they are getting into gas in a big way. Europe is now almost entirely heated by gas. Russian gas. Central Asian gas. Middle Eastern gas. Gas is the reason Britain has been able to mostly leave it’s coal in the ground. Australia hasn’t got much oil, but it’s got gas. We are enjoying the GAS heyday.

    GAS can do nearly everything that OIL can do, given some technology switching. But, after the gas heyday winds down … what then? All they’ve really got left is puddles of very expensive hydrocarbon sources to fuel this great industrial civilisation of ours. That’s when we run into a massive problem that renewables can only slightly ameliorate unless we choose to downsize massively, but there is little intent to do that, either amongst consumers or decision makers.

    The biggest and earliest impact will be the expense of trying to hold together an industrial economy that was designed from the bottom up around the availability of cheap, very energy-dense hydrocarbons – as if they would always be easily and cheaply available. This is when the chooks really come home to roost. The major disruption will be economic.

    Meanwhile we can sit back and enjoy seeing the end of the coal dinosaur, just so long as we don’t kid ourselves that we are on the cusp of victory. The industrial colossus will trundle along for a little while yet. Those at the industry drawing boards are turning their minds into liquefaction of coal to replace declining oil.

  3. Keith Antonysen

    October 24, 2017 at 10:01 am

    Apart from costs accruing from the death and illnesses created by fossil fuel emissions and the loss of public and private infra-structure; huge costs accrue from reacting to disasters. The tax payer funds emergency supplies being provided to people impacted by wildfires and storms that have been intensified by climate change.

    We had been warned years ago about the costs of not reacting to climate change, it will become increasingly more expensive.


  4. Keith Antonysen

    October 21, 2017 at 12:23 pm

    Dr Peter Carter, a retired climate scientist, suggests that we have done so much damage to the Earth that we are awaiting our death caused through disruption of climate. Trillions of dollars have been spent on subsidising fossil fuels worldwide according to the IMF. Carter states we are investing in our own deaths.

    Those statements by Dr Carter may seem hyperbolic, but there are other scientists who certainly believe that it is not possible to maintain the goal of holding greenhouse emissions at an aspirational goal of 1.5C above pre-Industrial temperature. When the Paris deliberations were in progress some scientists were already stating that it will be difficult to hold to a 2C goal. Carter states that 2C is not a safe temperature to reach.


    In research conducted by Anton Vaks, in relation to permafrost, it was found that an increase of global temperature of 1.5C over pre-Industrial levels will see permafrost thaw. To attain such a conclusion, areas of permanent frost, intermittent areas of permafrost, and areas of no permafrost within cave structures were researched.


    Prior to reaching 1.5C, there is already a trend towards permafrost thawing, for example islands off Siberia held together by permafrost are eroding, “drunken trees”, greening of tundra areas, buildings breaking down, and melt ponds forming. Once Arctic ice is lost, we can expect major tipping points.

    Dr James Hansen has written a paper about the melting of snow and ice from Greenland with a resulting increase in sea level rise. Dr Michael Mann states that Dr Hansen has been ominously accurate in his predictions in the past, though a number of scientists are arguing about Dr Hansen’s speed of the melting. Dr Mann states categorically that climate scientists agree the melting will take place.

    Meanwhile, politicians are fiddling while the Earth’s ability to provide a safe environment is diminishing fast. The LNP and Queensland government have a wish to speed up destruction of a safe environment by promoting the Carmichael coal mine.

  5. Philip Lowe

    October 21, 2017 at 12:49 am

    Alex Whiteside #1: Quotable mate.’Keep an open mind, it lets in more light’.

  6. Russell

    October 20, 2017 at 1:55 pm

    Re #1
    Plus there are many many more jobs to be created for the solutions you cited.

    We need a new political system, and/or justice system.

  7. Alex Whiteside

    October 20, 2017 at 11:40 am

    Coal can be used to make Natural G as, LPG , Lubricating Oil and Very High quality Petrol -Plus a wide range of synthetic resins,Plastics and fibres for Clothing, and Industrial uses , etc :

    This uses the, proven ,German Fischer Tropp Process- As used by South Africa to replace Oil imports- Coal is, now, actually cheaper than oil, to make petrol ?

    We wont have to frack for gas or drill offshore in the Great Australia Bight – Wake up people Science has solved all our problems – But politicians ruin everything .


    “Keep and open mind- it lets in more light”- Alex Whiteside- Port Huon, Tasmania .

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