Kyoto Dreaming

My Imagining Australia coauthor David Madden has an opinion piece in today’s SMH, which may ruffle a few feathers. It begins:

Thirteen years after the Rio Earth Summit and more than seven years after the deal was struck, the Kyoto Protocol finally comes into force today. A legally binding agreement, Kyoto represents the first concrete international effort to address global warming.

But don’t start looking for that perfect beach house in Kiribati just yet. While it is an important achievement, Kyoto is not the answer to our global-warming woes.

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3 Responses to Kyoto Dreaming

  1. David says:

    I think the best thing Australia can do to bring down our greenhouse gas emmisions is to start phasing out fossil fuel power generation and replace this with nuclear power. That way there will not be a large economic penalty for bringing down our greenhouse gas emmmisions. Australia is such a large polluter with all of our coal-fired power plants that it would be relatively easy to become more environmentally friendly.

  2. Andrew Leigh says:

    David, we actually looked into this issue reasonably hard when writing IA. Our conclusion was that the setup costs and waste disposal costs made nuclear uneconomic. Personally, I was pretty influenced by some pieces in the Economist over recent years, all of which (reluctantly) came to that conclusion.

  3. David says:

    In my opinion if we forced coal and other fossil fuel generators to clean up their act, nuclear and other clean forms of power would be more economic. Nuclear power takes care of its own waste and most renewables don’t produce any. If coal and other generators were forced to dispose of their waste properly rather than just releasing it into the atmosphere causing global warming, nuclear power and other clean forms of power would be able to compete relatively easily.

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