Another White Elephant is born……..

15 04 2014

The Federal Government has announced a second airport for Sydney at Badgerys Creek will be built.  This has been met with enthusiasm by airlines and business groups.  But what a stupid idea it is……  Absolutely nothing I have read about this project so far even mentions Peak Oil, or where the fuel for all those extra planes will come from.  Or the money for that matter….

Obviously, the aviation industry hasn’t seen this:

One might even ask, “will QANTAS still exist by the time this airport is finished”, IF it even starts……..?

On CO2 emissions, the impacts from a 5% air traffic growth have been assumed to be lessened by a 2% growth in fuel efficiency.  Leaving a 3% growth in CO2 emissions.  If aviation emissions really grow by that much, the aviation industry should be called “Flight Path to a Stormy Future”.  This is because NASA climatologist James Hansen just published a book “Storms of my Grandchildren” predicting huge storms over the Atlantic in addition to the area of cyclones and hurricanes expanding. That will mean a lot of cancelled flights…… because surely we have reached the stage where Climate Change is starting to become very obvious.

This idea has been contentious for a very long time, but there is no doubt opposition will be real.  And likely stronger than ever before.  I don’t think we’ve seen the end of this in the media…….!

badgerryprotest

UPDATE:
The federal and New South Wales governments will today (16 April 2014) announce they are spending nearly $3.5 billion on roads to support the construction of Sydney’s second airport.  The money will flow over the next decade and the news has been welcomed by some nervous Federal Liberal MPs in Western Sydney, who hope it will dampen community opposition to the Badgerys Creek project.

So there you have it.  No rail or even light rail links…. just more roads that won’t be carrying cars to an airport with no planes.. now that’s what I call vision!

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Susan Krumdieck on Transition Engineering

15 04 2014

dr_susan_krumdieckSome ten years ago, when I first discovered we were up against it, I read a great book titled “Factor 4″, written by Amory Lovins, his then wife Hunter, and Ernst von Weizsacker (isn’t that a great name?!)

In that book, Lovins proclaimed himself a lover of cars with “the Hypercar”, a hydrogen/fuel cell contraption built out of Carbon fibre, hyper aerodynamic, etc etc….. having just googled it looking for a link to give you reveals not much has happened.  But at the time I was mesmerised by all this technology, it all seemed so likely?  I lurked in forums full of fans of the Hydrogen Economy, and Lovins’ green car…. and there, I found one person who argued it was all BS.  Her name is Dr Susan Krumdieck, an American engineer from Colorado who now lives In New Zealand where she’s an  Associate Professor at Canterbury University and teaches sustainable systems around fuel cells, alternative energy technologies, energy conservation, energy systems engineering, and materials for energy systems.  You know, someone I can really get on with?

Susan is very approachable (if very busy) and replied to an email I sent her, fishing for info, all those years ago….  It turns out what she doesn’t know about fuel cells isn’t worth knowing!  She actually lectures about this stuff all over the world, and surprise surprise, has come to the same conclusions as me.  We will have to make do with a hell of a lot less in the future.

Find out how straight from her mouth…..

Susan Krumdieck

Originally aired on Saturday Morning, Saturday 12 April 2014

Susan Krumdieck: transition engineering Researcher in mechanical engineering at the University of Canterbury, and a founding member of the National Energy Research Institute.

Duration:  30′ 20″