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← Why the laws of physics make anthropogenic climate change undeniable

Alan4discussion's Avatar Jump to comment 23 by Alan4discussion

Comment 20 by rolan

Australia contributes a little over 1.3% of the worlds greenhouse emissions (though it has the highest per-capita emissions - largely due to the disproportionate size of the agriculture and resource industries). The reduction of Australia's emissions by 23% per annum by 2020 (estimated by the Government in the new multi-billion dollar tax plan) will not have a significant affect on global atmospheric CO2 concentrations.

Also Comment 11 by Alan4discussion - Sure, at any cost may be an exaggeration, but in Australia the billions of dollars that will be taken out of the economy to mitigate the negligible contribution (on a global scale) to greenhouse emissions seems disproportionate.

What billions of dollars? - Another gross exaggeration. Green energy projects should be commercially viable in the long term, without the environmental damage and pollution caused by coal mining and burning. These alternatives are already available.

Solar Thermal Electric Power Plants - Solel, an Israeli company, operates the plant, which covers 1000 acres in the Mojave Desert in Southern California. - At 354 MW, SEGS (Solar Energy Generating Systems) is not only the largest operational solar thermal energy system, but the largest solar power system of any kind. SEGS is a trough system; linear parabolic mirrors concentrate sunlight upon a receiver running along the focal line of the collector. Each mirror has a diameter of almost 20 feet concentrating solar energy upon a 4 inch diameter specially-insulated tube filled with oil. There are seven different production units (SEGS III to SEGS IX) with 400,000 mirrors. - http://jcwinnie.biz/wordpress/?p=2091

According to a 2005 policy analysis from Greenpeace, the five most promising regions in the world for development of large scale, thermal solar projects are:

Spain

Middle East
North Africa

Australia

the South Eastern and South Central United States

@22 by rolan - However, it seems to me that there are several things to do (stop selling coal to China, close the dirty brown-coal-fired power plants, use our abundant coastline and sunny hinterland areas for alternative energy, go nuclear etc. etc. ) that would still cost, but have a more direct impact on reducing emissions and bring other benefits.

Apart from solar voltaic, which is more appropriate as a local systems on buildings, there are also solar power towers, with their computer directed mirrors heating steam for a large turbine generator - which like the thermal trough system (above) is very suitable for a sunny climate like Australia:

The key to eSolar's design are the mirrors—known as heliostats in the concentrating–solar power industry. By precisely calibrating the mirrors with computer algorithms driving shoe box–size motors, eSolar can build its sunlight-harvesting power plants with many more small, flat mirrors, roughly one square meter in size, as opposed to the large, curved specialty mirrors employed in other designs. "We're using more software algorithms and less steel," says Bill Gross, CEO of the Google-backed solar company - http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=first-us-power-tower-lights-up-california

We also had a discussion (with links) here in June - http://richarddawkins.net/discussions/632627-harness-the-sea-national-geographic-june-2011-tidal-wave-power-generation

Finally my mention of my science degree

Do not take Jos's comment seeking clarification as a personal attack. We often have people here claiming "scientific authority" (eg creationist "science"or in subjects unrelated to their qualifications) in an attempt to add weight to ignorant assertions. If you want to discuss the physics with Jos, I am sure that will illustrate points for others reading the discussion.

Wed, 31 Aug 2011 09:24:57 UTC | #865809