April 2008
2020 Summit suggestions
Presented at the Grafton Seminar
We read the 2020 promotional bulletin with interest, noting the suggestion that
“After a long period of
sustained economic growth and with the added benefits of the global mining boom, how do we best invest the
proceeds of this prosperity to lay the foundations for future economic growth".
In our opinion those
proceeds, albeit enormous, would not be sufficient to repair the environmental damage that was incurred in
the process. As usual, we have seen those resources as something to be plundered at the basic cost of
extraction, robbing the earth of that resource with no thought of the long-term cost to the environment, which
includes CO2 emissions.
We know the government is looking for new and innovative ideas to help shape the nation's future. However,
we believe the government must look firstly at the big picture, and acknowledge that global warming is the
single most important issue facing mankind today, and accept that there can be no long-term future, no
economy, no hospitals, no need for an education revolution or high speed broadband, on a dead planet
stripped of assets.
The IPCC has reported temperatures have already increased by .7% since 1900, and expected to rise by a
further .5% within 40 years, and we remind the government that a 2% rise was enough to end the last ice age.
Global warming will not wait while we continue to pursue economic growth.
To this end, we would ask government to immediately remove all funding for new motorway and road
transport infrastructure, and redirect those funds to reopen, and upgrade rail systems and public transport
across the country. All this with a view to removing freight, and the killer machines that carry it, and people,
off the roads.
With peak oil already history, and a desperate need to reduce carbon emissions, it makes no sense at all to
fund infrastructure that will simply exacerbate both those problems, and consume yet more of our non-
renewable resources in the process. At the same time government must encourage, in every way possible, the
manufacture and use of smaller, more environmentally friendly vehicles.
We also ask that government legislate to ban the manufacture and importation of any appliance that carries
less than a 4.5 star water and energy rating. That standard to be raised whenever technology is advanced.
We ask that government become involved in the manufacture, import and supply of grid feed and solar hot
water systems. It is our understanding that grid feed systems, currently costing consumers upwards of
$20,000 to install, can be landed in Australia for about $5,000. Now is not the time to be concerned with the
sensitivities of those operators who currently rort the subsidy system for their own economic gain.
We ask that there be no building of new coal-fired power stations, that government immediately remove all
subsidies for power generation from non-renewable sources, and redirect those funds into research, and
delivery of renewable energy with a view to phasing out coal-fired operations as quickly as possible. We ask
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