The remainder of my life

Some time ago I decided that the best thing I could do with the rest of my life was to try to get serious action on minimising climate change and related threats (such as ocean acidification and the air pollution from the burning of fossil fuels).

In the decade up to about 2010 there had been major development of the wind power resources of my country, Australia, and in my region, Mid-North South Australia. During this period there was a huge amount of misinformation being spread about wind power. I had followed the development of that particular form of clean, renewable energy for many years so at some point I decided that I could probably achieve the most toward combatting climate change by working to dispel the misinformation around wind power.

By 2020 it seemed to me that the amount of disinformation circulating about wind power had greatly decreased, probably due the wind farms having become commonplace in Australia so that ignorance about them had been replaced with familiarity and knowledge. Consequently I spent more time working locally on Clare's Gleeson Wetlands, Crystal Brook's Central Park and Bowman Park and other projects. My determination to do what little I could to spread the facts about climate change and related threats remained.


Written 2015/06/20, last edited 2021/01/17
Contact: David K Clarke – ©


 


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Sunset at a wind farm
Turbine sunset
Wattle Point, Yorke Peninsula, South Australia
Changing to renewable energy is one of the steps that must be taken to reduce our climate changing emissions. At the time of writing, in my state, South Australia, around 40% of our electricity was generated renewably and most of this was wind power (by late 2020 this had increased to 59% – 17% solar and 42% wind power). This and the fact that the last coal-fired power stations were about to be closed down (the last one shut down in May 2016) shows what could be achieved in the remainder of Australia, if there was the will to act.

Wind and solar power complement each other – the sun may be shining when the wind is not blowing and vice-versa – and wind power is the cheapest form of renewable energy. (That may change, solar was catching up.)

The pro-fossil fuel and anti-wind power lobbies in Australia have been successful in producing a wide-spread and almost entirely undeserved mistrust of wind power.

Problems from wind power

Yes, wind turbines produce some sound and that sound annoys some people. Others don't like to look at wind turbines. Building a wind farm, like building anything else, does cause some damage to land and takes a little land away from agricultural or pastural production. I have listed the real problems of wind power elsewhere on this site.

Wind turbines do not make anybody sick, they do not significantly affect nearby land values.

Problems from burning fossil fuels

How do those few problems compare to the millions of deaths worldwide each year from the air pollution due to burning fossil fuels and the damage the fossil fuel industries do to our land, our water resources, our atmosphere and our oceans?

Nuclear has passed its day, if it ever had a day; it is more expensive than wind and solar power, there are significant dangers, the long-lasting waste is an unresolved problem that is left to future generations to live with, nuclear power it is not renewable and it is inflexible. A power station that cannot increase or decrease its output to match changing demand is of lower value than one that can. The cost of decommissioning a nuclear power station at the end of its life is horrendous, and who wants to live anywhere near a nuclear power station?

People demand cheap energy, the environment demands clean energy. Wind, solar, well-designed hydro and biomass are currently the only options that fill both demands. Biomass is limited by the amount that can be produced from the land and water supply we have available to us; hydro is limited by the available rivers that are suitable; wind and solar are almost unlimited.

The main obstacles to the development of wind power in Australia

There are several:
  1. The great power and influence of the fossil fuel lobby;
  2. Corrupt governments that place the profits and demands of the fossil fuel industries, and the donations they receive from the fossil fuel industry, ahead of the future wellbeing of the planet and everybody on it;
  3. The selfishness of some of the people who live near proposed wind farms.
The first of these probably doesn't need any more explanation.

The second I have dealt with in detail in pages such as Abbott government, Turnbull government and Morrison government.

People who live near a proposed wind farm will see wind turbines, if they live close enough they will sometimes hear the turbines. On the other hand they could consider the good that those wind turbines will do for their community, their region, their state, their nation and the world. Unfortunately, in my experience, many put their own selfish interests first. I have discussed the question of selfishness or altruism elsewhere on this site.

I have written another page on why I support the local proposed wind farm, at Crystal Brook, South Australia.

If I can get a few of these people to look at the situation from a more altruistic viewpoint I will have achieved something.



A better world

I do what little I can to make the world a better place. What is 'better' in this context?

In a better world:

  1. There would be justice for disadvantaged people;
  2. Animal rights would be properly recognised;
  3. The rights of future generations would be fairly considered;
  4. The value and health of the biosphere would be fairly considered;
  5. There would be more compassion; people would make more effort to contribute to their community and world and be less selfish;
  6. There would be far less disparity in wealth;
  7. The power that comes from wealth would be strictly limited; power would be spread more equally, irrespective of wealth;
  8. The power of corporations would be strictly limited;
  9. There would be much less delusion (such as religious beliefs); decisions would be based on logic and ethical principles, not on things written hundreds or thousands of years ago by people who had no knowledge of science, little understanding of ethics, and no knowledge of the problems we have to face in the modern world.