13 February, 2012

Plenty of sun, plenty of wind

Dr Adam Lucas, science & technology studies
University of Wollongong, NSW
The Age, letter, 13 Feb 2012

ONE would think from the general lack of progress on developing renewable energy in Australia that there's not enough sunshine or wind to make the move from one of the world's dirtiest electricity sectors to one of the cleanest. Recent decisions by independent MPs Tony Windsor and Rob Oakeshott to ''disallow'' a key element of the carbon package (''MPs' change of heart on tax'', The Age, 10/2), that is, the regulation that stops the burning of native forests being counted as renewable energy, appear to suffer from the same misconception. Burning native forests for electricity is not a sustainable form of land use. Native forests are among Australia's most valuable carbon sinks and a source of dwindling biodiversity. They should not be sacrificed for short-term economic and political gain. Wind and solar remain the cheapest and cleanest alternatives.

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