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Glaschu

Australia's global footprint one of the worst - The Age

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Australia's global footprint one of the worst

BRIDIE SMITH

May 6, 2010

AUSTRALIA ranks among the world's 10 worst countries for environmental impact, according to research that found the richer a country, the greater its environmental footprint.

Published in the science journal PLoS ONE yesterday, research led by Professor Corey Bradshaw, of the University of Adelaide's environment institute, found Australia's carbon emissions, rate of species threat and natural forest loss were the greatest contributors to its ninth-place ranking.

Countries were measured on a range of indicators, including fertiliser use, natural forest loss, habitat conservation, fisheries and other marine captures, water pollution, carbon emissions and species threat.

Professor Bradshaw said in many cases there was a link. ''If you're clearing a lot of forests, you tend to also to overharvest in the ocean and use a lot of fertilisers.''

The 10 countries with the worst global footprint were Brazil, the US, China, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, India, Russia, Australia and Peru.

Professor Bradshaw said while he was not surprised that the US and China were in the top 10, he was surprised that a relatively poor country such as Brazil took out the top spot.

''The wealthier you are, the more damage you do, on average,'' he said. ''It's just a function of human nature. Growth is the be-all and end-all for all economies around the world, and if you're not growing economically, you're stagnant, and therefore that's a bad thing and governments get sacked. So we have a system built around increasing our consumption rates, and that's unsustainable in the long term.''

Unlike other rankings, the study did not include human health and economic data, instead focusing exclusively on environmental indicators.

Professor Bradshaw said while Australia had few forests to start with, land clearing had removed more than half of them since European settlement.

Released in the United Nations' International Year of Biodiversity, the study also indicates that Australia has the highest mammalian extinction rate in the world, largely due to introduced species such as foxes, cats and rats, and habitat loss. ''And we are one of the highest per capita water users and carbon emitters in the world,'' Professor Bradshaw said.

The study, in collaboration with the National University of Singapore and Princeton University, also developed a separate ranking using a proportional environmental impact index, which measured impact against resource availability. On that scale, the 10 worst countries were Singapore, Korea, Qatar, Kuwait, Japan, Thailand, Bahrain, Malaysia, the Philippines and the Netherlands.

Professor Bradshaw said the better-ranked countries were small places such as Cape Verde, Swaziland, Niger and Grenada.

''They haven't wiped out all their forests but they live well below what we'd consider poverty,'' he said. ''We have things to learn from these countries in terms of consumption and in reducing our consumption.''

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Australia's global footprint one of the worst

BRIDIE SMITH

May 6, 2010

AUSTRALIA ranks among the world's 10 worst countries for environmental impact, according to research that found the richer a country, the greater its environmental footprint.

Published in the science journal PLoS ONE yesterday, research led by Professor Corey Bradshaw, of the University of Adelaide's environment institute, found Australia's carbon emissions, rate of species threat and natural forest loss were the greatest contributors to its ninth-place ranking.

Countries were measured on a range of indicators, including fertiliser use, natural forest loss, habitat conservation, fisheries and other marine captures, water pollution, carbon emissions and species threat.

Professor Bradshaw said in many cases there was a link. ''If you're clearing a lot of forests, you tend to also to overharvest in the ocean and use a lot of fertilisers.''

The 10 countries with the worst global footprint were Brazil, the US, China, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, India, Russia, Australia and Peru.

Professor Bradshaw said while he was not surprised that the US and China were in the top 10, he was surprised that a relatively poor country such as Brazil took out the top spot.

''The wealthier you are, the more damage you do, on average,'' he said. ''It's just a function of human nature. Growth is the be-all and end-all for all economies around the world, and if you're not growing economically, you're stagnant, and therefore that's a bad thing and governments get sacked. So we have a system built around increasing our consumption rates, and that's unsustainable in the long term.''

Unlike other rankings, the study did not include human health and economic data, instead focusing exclusively on environmental indicators.

Professor Bradshaw said while Australia had few forests to start with, land clearing had removed more than half of them since European settlement.

Released in the United Nations' International Year of Biodiversity, the study also indicates that Australia has the highest mammalian extinction rate in the world, largely due to introduced species such as foxes, cats and rats, and habitat loss. ''And we are one of the highest per capita water users and carbon emitters in the world,'' Professor Bradshaw said.

The study, in collaboration with the National University of Singapore and Princeton University, also developed a separate ranking using a proportional environmental impact index, which measured impact against resource availability. On that scale, the 10 worst countries were Singapore, Korea, Qatar, Kuwait, Japan, Thailand, Bahrain, Malaysia, the Philippines and the Netherlands.

Professor Bradshaw said the better-ranked countries were small places such as Cape Verde, Swaziland, Niger and Grenada.

''They haven't wiped out all their forests but they live well below what we'd consider poverty,'' he said. ''We have things to learn from these countries in terms of consumption and in reducing our consumption.''

Not exactly flavour of the month at the mo glaschu, nice post. :) Australia is our personal playground. Didn't you know? We rich and you aint. Do as I say rather than what I do.etcetera.

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The study, in collaboration with the National University of Singapore and Princeton University, also developed a separate ranking using a proportional environmental impact index, which measured impact against resource availability. On that scale, the 10 worst countries were Singapore, Korea, Qatar, Kuwait, Japan, Thailand, Bahrain, Malaysia, the Philippines and the Netherlands.

:huh:

What does that mean? Against resource availability?

The controversial one in my opinion is Peru :huh:

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:huh:

What does that mean? Against resource availability?

The controversial one in my opinion is Peru :huh:

It means we're bad Tom. :) We's living beyond our means. So's peru mind you. Llama's farting is huge in the carbon budget. You'd be surprised.

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It means we're bad Tom. :) We's living beyond our means. So's peru mind you. Llama's farting is huge in the carbon budget. You'd be surprised.

Oh I know we are bad, but corrected for resource availability we are out of the top ten:

Singapore, Korea, Qatar, Kuwait, Japan, Thailand, Bahrain, Malaysia, the Philippines and the Netherlands.

Seems an odd list to me.

I'd better go throw a few more logs in the fire, I'm getting cold...

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I just had an idea!

Has anyone done the study into what sized forest acreage one would need to go off the grid and run a steam turbine for all your energy needs, and have it completely sustainable and by extension carbon nuetral?

I guess it depends on teh fertility of your soil and rainfall, but I reckon it could be done. Also need a bit of water too, but in the right place this could be an option?

Have to be hardwood or you would be forever manning the furnace, literally.

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On this subject do any of you smart buggers have links to good kit to go totally solar and get off the grid?

http://www.solaronli...verter-chargers

I link there because to my mind you want to look at something based around the Xantrex XW inverter/chargers. Seems to be the most flexible base to build on as you can have off grid, multiple source (ie solar with a small wind turbine - great to help you ride out cloudy weather) battery backed system that will also grid tie and allow you to do things like sell back when your batteries are full etc - this is the big bit because most other systems that let you feed back just shutdown whenever the grid does, this is one of very few that let you do the standalone + grid tie combo.

There are a few other systems that can do the same (a few aussie made as well) but they seem to be less established (and therefore tested) and not really much cheaper. Will dig up some links for you if you want.

I have been thinking about doing it because our power can be a bit spotty, and we need it for water/sewerage (off grid already there :thumbup:) . I estimated I could get payback in around 5-7 years for my planned system assuming that the prices stay as is and I don't end up feeding much back.

I guesstimated around $20k for a small base system that you can bolt onto later (ie. I over specced the inverter). Add a few more panels, wind gen and beef up the batteries as your budget permits. I scrimped a bit on the batteries, you would probably struggle to get a regular day out of what I priced - My plan is to turn things off if there is no grid and use it to keep the pumps going for as long as I need. If you want to go completely off grid then you can probably save a bit on the inverter and spend up on batteries and come out close to that figure.

Mind you that's just parts, no shipping (batteries weigh a ton and the rest is pretty large and bulky) and no installation. The do have prices for some kits on the site that give you an ideal of a total price off the shelf.

I'll stop here before I write another essay - but it's something I have been looking at a lot. I might have to start a thread on it . . .

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I'll stop here before I write another essay - but it's something I have been looking at a lot. I might have to start a thread on it . . .

sounds good dawbs.

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http://www.solaronli...verter-chargers

I link there because to my mind you want to look at something based around the Xantrex XW inverter/chargers. Seems to be the most flexible base to build on as you can have off grid, multiple source (ie solar with a small wind turbine - great to help you ride out cloudy weather) battery backed system that will also grid tie and allow you to do things like sell back when your batteries are full etc - this is the big bit because most other systems that let you feed back just shutdown whenever the grid does, this is one of very few that let you do the standalone + grid tie combo.

There are a few other systems that can do the same (a few aussie made as well) but they seem to be less established (and therefore tested) and not really much cheaper. Will dig up some links for you if you want.

I have been thinking about doing it because our power can be a bit spotty, and we need it for water/sewerage (off grid already there thumbup.gif) . I estimated I could get payback in around 5-7 years for my planned system assuming that the prices stay as is and I don't end up feeding much back.

I guesstimated around $20k for a small base system that you can bolt onto later (ie. I over specced the inverter). Add a few more panels, wind gen and beef up the batteries as your budget permits. I scrimped a bit on the batteries, you would probably struggle to get a regular day out of what I priced - My plan is to turn things off if there is no grid and use it to keep the pumps going for as long as I need. If you want to go completely off grid then you can probably save a bit on the inverter and spend up on batteries and come out close to that figure.

Mind you that's just parts, no shipping (batteries weigh a ton and the rest is pretty large and bulky) and no installation. The do have prices for some kits on the site that give you an ideal of a total price off the shelf.

I'll stop here before I write another essay - but it's something I have been looking at a lot. I might have to start a thread on it . . .

Nice one dawbs. I'm still new to all this but I believe it's better to remain on the grid not just for redundancy & surplus cash but it's also better for the environment as it can contribute during peak loads.

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http://www.solaronli...verter-chargers

I link there because to my mind you want to look at something based around the Xantrex XW inverter/chargers. Seems to be the most flexible base to build on as you can have off grid, multiple source (ie solar with a small wind turbine - great to help you ride out cloudy weather) battery backed system that will also grid tie and allow you to do things like sell back when your batteries are full etc - this is the big bit because most other systems that let you feed back just shutdown whenever the grid does, this is one of very few that let you do the standalone + grid tie combo.

There are a few other systems that can do the same (a few aussie made as well) but they seem to be less established (and therefore tested) and not really much cheaper. Will dig up some links for you if you want.

I have been thinking about doing it because our power can be a bit spotty, and we need it for water/sewerage (off grid already there :thumbup:) . I estimated I could get payback in around 5-7 years for my planned system assuming that the prices stay as is and I don't end up feeding much back.

I guesstimated around $20k for a small base system that you can bolt onto later (ie. I over specced the inverter). Add a few more panels, wind gen and beef up the batteries as your budget permits. I scrimped a bit on the batteries, you would probably struggle to get a regular day out of what I priced - My plan is to turn things off if there is no grid and use it to keep the pumps going for as long as I need. If you want to go completely off grid then you can probably save a bit on the inverter and spend up on batteries and come out close to that figure.

Mind you that's just parts, no shipping (batteries weigh a ton and the rest is pretty large and bulky) and no installation. The do have prices for some kits on the site that give you an ideal of a total price off the shelf.

I'll stop here before I write another essay - but it's something I have been looking at a lot. I might have to start a thread on it . . .

Yes, a very good post. I'd love to go solar. The ACT have excellent feed in tariffs. All I need is a house to bolt it to.

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