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REAL Monaro Press Release February 2007

REAL Monaro stands for Reduced Emissions and Landscape for Monaro. Some may think these two objectives are in conflict. We don't.

We believe strongly that the degradation and industrialization of the Monaro landscape through the erection of wind turbines will be something of considerable regret to the residents of the Monaro in years to come. We also believe that effective Greenhouse Gas abatement can occur without resorting to wind energy and science backs up this view.

Probably the definitive work on what the world needs to do to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to acceptable levels has been carried out at Princeton University by two eminent professors, Socolow and Pacala. The Princeton work has been quoted (among others) in Al Gores movie "An Inconvenient Truth" and Tim Flannerys book "The Weathermakers". The Princeton work identified 15 technologies currently available to the world that if used would effectively reduce greenhouse gas concentrations. It established that to achieve effective abatement we need to use at least 7 of these technologies; not the entire 15. It is therefore clear that we do have choice in how we tackle this problem.

However at present there is so much concern about global warming and the current low level of action to do something about it, that there is understandably a feeling that we cannot pick and choose and that groups such as ours are irresponsible, selfish and out of touch with what is occurring.

We deny this but acknowledge the difficulty in presenting our case in the midst of highly charged and emotive calls for action.


We live in a world where the imprint of mankind is becoming increasingly evident. Industrialization and urbanization have vastly reduced the number and extent of landscapes where natural themes dominate. We believe in the future, those areas that have not been spoilt like this will become increasingly sought after for both tourism and lifestyle reasons. Increasingly seen as the future for the Monaro.


We do not rule out the application of wind turbines where landscapes are dramatically altered from their original state or are in very remote locations such as offshore. In fact in all probability the answer to the greenhouse problem will be a mix of all 15 available technologies, used with discretion, and we do not have an issue with this.


However above all this, there needs to be an understanding that renewables cannot and will not be able to provide base power requirements and that is where all of us need to be directing our energies rather than squabbling like children about issues that are essentially superficial to the potential problem we face. To put this into perspective, ABARE (Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics) forecasts that Australias energy consumption will increase by 52% by 2030. So even if we achieve 15% of our energy by renewable sources our overall position will still be far worse than it is now.

As a community we need to be tackling this daunting prospect.

REAL Monaro's position is that we should be approaching it in 3 ways. Short, Medium and Long Term.

Short term measures are to do with conservation, efficiency and effective incentives to encourage people to use less energy.

Medium term measures include measures to increase the use of low visual impact technologies such as solar energy and vertical axis wind turbines and reduce our reliance on conventional, centralized, power sources.

Long term solutions are to reduce the number one problem behind all this which is the current and ever increasing over population of the world.


We do not believe carbon taxes, or other costs should be levied against the producers of carbon as this is morally and socially flawed. If this happens, the cost of addressing global warming will be borne disproportionately by the poor in the community. Carbon taxes should be levied on the consumption end with a rebate going to those using the least amount of power and a levy being paid by those using the most.