Australia can lead the way to a low carbon economy

| November 23, 2021

Now that COP 26 is finalised, we need to think about how we are to achieve the rather pathetic aims agreed to by the major countries. It is obvious that we need to convert our energy usage from carbon to electricity.

In order to achieve this, we need batteries, electrical infrastructure and motors and heating and cooling appliances and so on. The production of all this equipment requires resources – cobalt mainly from the Congo; lithium mainly from Bolivia and Chile; nickel mainly from Indonesia as well as other rare earths from differing areas of the world.

The actual production of finished product takes place mainly in China even though the intellectual property has been developed in other countries, particularly Australia where the University of Sydney has developed high productive photo-voltaics as well as many other useful commodities.

It has become critical that we, as a planet work together in order to achieve the goals set by COP. In order to manage this, we must learn to work together as a unit instead of each country trying to maximise profits at the expense of others. Many of the mineral production countries are politically unstable and therefore cannot be relied upon to continue production. We have large lithium deposits but cannot compete with South America. Russia also has deposits of rare earths but also finds it difficult to enter the market.

Surely now is the time to unite – an historical first; to treat all peoples as equal in the face of impending catastrophe by putting aside political, religious and ethnic differences and start sharing resources, expertise and scientific research. At present a lot of effort is being put into trying to locate earth-like planets and the possibility of life elsewhere.

This research is interesting, but hardly useful at this time – life elsewhere in the solar system is unlikely to be intelligent and earth-like planets hundreds of light-years away unlikely to try contacting us in the near future. Let’s use those inquiring brains to solve current problems.

As a nation, Australia has shown that we are capable of great ideas in a wide variety of areas from food production to energy generation and automated systems for mining and computer control. Other countries have developed differing capabilities. We can do it if only we try.

I feel it is unfortunate that we have allowed the petrochemical and mining giants to take so much control of our political system. It is, of course necessary that the public be given access to our leaders in order to keep them informed of out needs and expectations.

However, this priority has been taken over by highly paid and persuasive lobbyists whose sole purpose is to pursue a self-serving agenda. It has become obvious recently that favours are also exchanged in the process and this leads to a weakening of the governmental process.

By nature I am not a political person and regard politics and politicians with aversion. However, we all have to live under the system so only have ourselves to blame when things go awry – we voted for the wrong one. Maybe now is the time to make a stand, demand more honesty and make sure our leaders are held to account when they overstep a clearly defined boundary.

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