Thursday, April 14, 2011

Environmentality 13 April 2011

Dear Environmentality listeners,
The team went into panic mode today as we arrived at the studio to find it locked, running on auto pilot because Barry the previous presenter was away. Environmentality just made it to air on time after frantic efforts to get the keys to unlock the studio and retrieve alarm security codes.
This week as we had no guests on the show we discussed some environmentally themed articles from the media. And there is no shortage of them at the moment particularly around climate change and the carbon tax.
Jaime first brought us up to date with the escalation of the Fukushima disaster with an article from The Age, Disaster at Fukushima now as bad as Chernobyl. The article follows Japan increasing its assessment of the accident at the No. 1 nuclear power plant from a rating of 5 to the worst rating of 7. It is felt this will have consequences for the global nuclear industry showing that current safety standards may be inadequate.
In a second article Labor to ease carbon squeeze from the Weekly times Jaime described how the Government plans to compensate households for the carbon tax. Our general consensus was that it is important that compensation does not remove the price signal from power bills to reduce consumption.
Peter presented another article from The Age; Climate change link to earthquakes. The article suggests long-term climate change could be responsible for moving the Earth’s tectonic plates and may influence earthquakes. Scientists have found that as monsoons in the area of the Indian tectonic plate increased the plate moved by almost one centimetre a year. The scientists are studying what caused plate motions to change and which regions are more prone to large earthquakes. This observation means that the scientists may also need to consider climate over the last million years.
The final media article discussed was from the ABC Lateline program; Woodside signals war over carbon tax. The panel discussed the problems of lobbying in our political decision making process as recently demonstrated by the mining industry and the super profits tax. In this case Woodside are claiming that gas is a clean energy source and should not be penalised by a carbon tax. Smokey pointed out that a carbon tax would give LNG a competitive advantage over coal. On the Landline program Piers Verstegen from the Conservation Council of WA pointed out that on a life cycle basis after accounting for the high energy requirements to liquefy natural gas LNG is not much cleaner than coal.

Smokey again presented a great selection of music despite our rushed commencement to the show and raiding of the stations music library. We got to hear;
1. The full version of our Environmentality theme song, the theme from Get Carter by Stereolab.
2. Strawberry Fields Forever (Love Remix) by The Beatles
3. Sao Paulo by Morcheeba
4. Karmacoma by Massive Attack
5. Happy City by Steve Cummings.
The program stimulated some interesting discussions about carbon tax, political lobbying, and our impact on the environment.
Next week we have two guests; Jim Green anti-nuclear campaigner from Friends of the Earth, and Jacinta Cleary ReNew magazine editor from the Alternative Technology Association.

Listen to the show!

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