Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Bakhtiari addresses the Australian Senate Committee: A few of the interesting points made in this testimony:

Peak oil is here: "Over the next 14 years present global production of 81 million barrels per day will decrease by roughly 32 per cent, down to around 55 million barrels per day by the year 2020."

What to do: "Every preparative step taken today will prove far cheaper than any step taken tomorrow."

Anti-science attitude of the ruling elite: "Maybe one explanation could be that they are interested parties and we are disinterested parties."

The importance of gas: "Fortunately, Australia has an enormous amount of gas, and I believe this is going to become very handy."

"Senator MILNE— Australia, as you know, has just signed up to long-term gas exports to China at a fixed price. Given what you have just said, that looks like an increasingly bad deal.

"Dr Samsam Bakhtiari—At a fixed price?

"Senator MILNE—That is what I said. Yes, I can see that you are not impressed by the brilliance of that and neither are we."

Transport Fuel Efficiency: "the future is to rails because rails are the most fuel efficient system.... At tonne kilometres per litre of fuel, aeroplanes are between two and three, cars are between 10 and 22, trucks are between 65 and 85 and trains are around 320.... Aeroplanes will be the first casualty in the system. They are already making losses. I do not know how they can carry on because the jet fuel is directly proportional to the increases in crude oil."

ie, rail is four and a half times more efficient that trucks, 21 times more efficient than cars and up to 160 times more efficient that air. Shipping is more fuel efficient still.

So we have a Federal Government that invades Iraq, sells gas at a low fixed price to China, and says it will be an energy superpower by mining and selling uranium and taking back the waste. And a State Government that refuses to build rail and light rail networks and builds no end of motorways. Could it get any more irresponsible?

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