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Tim Flannery Talks to Pyrmont about Clean Coal

tim flannery Tim Flannery Talks to Pyrmont about Clean Coal

Tim Flannery
is an amazingly talented Australian, a respected scientist, best selling author, and environmental activist all rolled into one. I have always wanted to read The Weather Makers, however, for some reason or other have not managed to get around to it. Finally last Monday night I got the chance to hear Tim Flannery speak in the flesh. It was after all just a tiny trot down the road to the Seymour Centre. There were roughly a bit over a thousand good Sydney folk there…maybe even a tad more..was not really paying attention.

One of the brilliant things about this great global city of ours is its growing and fascinating relationship with Ideas, which if slowly nurtured and cultivated, will surely morph Sydney into the Ideas Capital of the Asia Pacific Region. It is a given that when Great Ideas and Visionary Leadership are combined, civilisations are propelled forward into spheres of Greatness. Anyway enough of me dreaming, back to Tim’s Talk.

He started with an overview of the report benchmarks set by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) . The IPCC, was/is a scientific body set up by the UN tasked to evaluate the risk of climate change caused by human activity.

The stated aims of the IPCC is to assess scientific information relevant to:

  1. human-induced climate change,
  2. the impacts of human-induced climate change,
  3. options for adaptation and mitigation.

Some critics have contended that the IPCC reports tend to underestimate dangers and understate risks. Well according to Tim, this was very much the case. The scenarios and projections he outlined were rather frightening, from rising sea levels, to the acceleration in the build up of Co2 in the atmosphere, to melting ice in the Arctic. One was left in no doubt as to the urgency and leadership that is needed to turn matters around.

What I did find of interest, among the many interesting ruminations that Tim ventured into, was his quiet advocacy on behalf of Clean Coal and its associated technologies. He discussed this in the context of green house mitigation and climate change. There was, I thought, a certain sense of pragmatism to this approach, in that we as a country rely heavily on extractive industries to get by, and indeed it is these very industries that are now helping us weather the financial typhoon that is presently engulfing North America.

It most certainly is a pragmatic path no doubt, however, what was again of interest were the vast sums of money which are needed to be invested in order to find a working solution in this area of clean coal technology. Which begs the question, would a similar amount of finite funds invested elsewhere in say solar, wave or wind technology research bring about better returns on investment?

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3 Responses to “Tim Flannery Talks to Pyrmont about Clean Coal”

  1. Tom Says:

    Clean coal is a Furphy. The sooner people realise this the better. Lets not waste any more taxpayer funds on this myth. If the coal industry, believe this, then let them invest a tiny portion of their billion dollar profits to show the world, that clean coal actually works!!!

  2. Tom Says:

    Just before I head off, here is a good site, that demystifies this clean coal myth.

  3. Tom Says:

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