Posts Tagged ‘energy’

Nobody hates like …

In exchange for reporting a CSIRO scientist’s observation that Christmas light displays waste electricity, Graham Readfearn of the Courier-Mail’s GreenBlog gets e-mails. And Al Gore is one fucking fat fucker.


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Google Yaaaarrrrrr!!!!

International Talk Like a Pirate Day is still more than 24 hours away, but the Freakonomics blog has got in on the act a little early. They note that the Google is considering moving some of its data centres to barges in international waters. The potential advantages range from the economic (tax avoidance) to the environmental (harnessing wave power).

But the Freakonomics guys discuss a potential risk – physical and data security might be at risk from pirates on the open seas. As some of the commenters note, the data integrity issues could be minimal if appropriate security measures are taken with the data servers (which, one would hope, the Google is already doing). Another question I would like to know the answer to is whether the move might loosen any ties that privacy laws place on the company – I would hope that they would continue their efforts to comply with US, EU and other privacy regulations, but if they are holding data outside of any national jurisdiction I am left to wonder about how any breaches might be enforced.

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Apart from anything else, the Democratic National Convention can bring national (and even international) attention to politicians at the state level. It can be a chance for speakers to raise their profile by demonstrating their potential to take the national stage – as evidenced by the impact of the 2008 nominee’s speech back at the 2004 convention.

There are plenty of links and comments on the speeches of Ted Kennedy, Michelle Obama and Hillary Clinton. But if you haven’t seen it already, here is Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer’s 15 minutes on energy policy:

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Tim Dunlop has been writing recently about the tendency for politicians, commentators and industry groups to focus on the negatives associated with addressing climate change. He notes that the US rhetoric tends to be more positive, both from Democrats (e.g., Obama) and Republicans (e.g., the Governator).

This SMH column highlights that there might be a solid foundation for the same sort of optimism here at home. Not only could it be a more effective communications strategy for the Government, but UN energy specialist Arek Sinanian suggests there are reasons for the optimism:

“I think we have enormous opportunities here,” he says. “I get really annoyed at the rhetoric and the commentary going on about the cost of this and the cost of that. What I’m thinking of is the other side of the coin or the other side of the equation – that is, the opportunities.

“We’ve got a lot of expertise in the country that we can sell and what I’d like this Government to do … is to develop our science and technology to then sell to other countries.

“I think as a nation we need to give the signal to our governments that it’s OK to dedicate a couple of billion dollars towards this because it’s going to benefit us for decades to come.”

He argues Australia is in a privileged position because the world is looking for alternatives to burning fossil fuels.

“And guess who has a lot of knowledge and intellectual capital to capitalise on this,” he asks.

“Australia. We do. We really are a clever country. We punch way above our weight when it comes to scientific knowledge, engineering knowledge, engineering renewable energy resources and ideas and technology.

“We haven’t done that well in putting that technology into practice but we have it – we have a lot of answers that we can provide, dare I say sell, to China and India and Indonesia and Malaysia and … all those countries that are wanting to grow and expand and develop. We can tell them how to do it perhaps more cleverly than we did it ourselves.”

It’s enough to make you contemplate that, with a Government with a real commitment to both tackling climate change and capitalising on our research capacity (education revolution, anyone?), we can help to get the job done.

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John McCain ran an ad comparing Obama’a celebrity status to Britney and Paris. Paris Hilton responds.

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The Libs are out in force today, trying to erase last night’s defeat from the media narrative as quickly as possible. The Captain is spruiking his climate fund, announced during last night’s shenanigans. The Mad Monk is throwing money at women who have had breast cancer, with the major funding component being for breast prostheses. And Malcolm Turnbull is tip-toeing very slowly backward from his Captain’s declarations on nuclear energy, which Rudd raised during the debate last night as an issue that hasn’t been spoken about by Team Howard.

It’s all about moving the conversation forward. Tomorrow we will start to hear about how we’re (again – or, perhaps, “finally”) going to get serious about training the Iraqis to handle their own security, so that one day we can leave.

I maintain that Rudd should keep the issue of further debates running – indicate that he would be happy to have a couple more, whenever Howard is available – especially since there are all of these new policy and funding initiatives to discuss.

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