Fiddling While Sumatra Burns

Photo CBC news - see link below
So here we are, spending billions upon billions on marginal power generation schemes while  in Indonesia the whole of the UK Carbon Dioxide emissions per year are more than duplicated due to a mixture of slash and burn farming, illegal logging and yet another green energy scam (Palm Oil). Currently the whole of South East Asia is choking beneath the smoke ( See Here ) ( And Here )

Here are the total UK Carbon Dioxide emissions for 2011 and 2012. ( Taken From Here )

See this recent research paper ( Here ) by Hooije, Page et al. The true horror of the current Peat/rain forest burn in Indonesia is revealed. Based on what has already happened in Indonesia and particularly Sumatra they predict the following:

If current rates and practices of peatland development and degradation continue, CO2 emission is expected to peak at 745 Mt y-1 in 2015

But don't think that it stops there. Although the figure steadily drops, annually it will still be above 2011 UK emissions until 2030. But concentrating simply on Carbon Dioxide misses out the horrendous mass pollution that is also being endured by the people of South East Asia.

We buy into the Palm Oil scam which is the main crop which is causing this obscenity in the Far East. Meanwhile we spend well over a billion a year in subsidy for the wind turbine scam which (assuming you believe their figures - See this Post) even the wind energy industry reckon to save less than 1% of our annual carbon dioxide emissions, while causing enormous distress to the communities on who these useless totems are imposed.

A fashion statement energy policy that squanders huge amounts of resources on ineffective feel good generation while disregarding the engineering, science and real politik is a disgrace.

We should put a ban on using palm oil for energy and divert a fraction of the money wasted on wind turbines to direct loans to dirt poor Indonesian peasants. This would not only reduce Carbon Dioxide  but significantly reduce smoke pollution as well.

No doubt the green cults, especially the WWF  ( See Here ) would be up in arms and protest about how their Palm Oil is "sustainable" (yea right ). Just don't ask them what happened to the Peat and Rain-Forest that used to be on their dodgy oh-so-green plantations.

Fiddling around the edges, while lining the pockets of the greedy and appeasing a luddite clique is never going to prevent mass pollution. Either here or in Indonesia.

In fact it could well be argued our obsession with ridiculous green energy scams is mostly to blame for this on going tragedy in Indonesia, as well as damaging our own local environment.


Dioclese said...

Apparently this is likely to continue for months - which is a bit worrying as I am doing a circumnavigation of Sumatra on a boat in October.

Hopefully it will have burnt out by then, but I gather it might not have done. Perhaps we could persuade Singapore to invade?..

BilloTheWisp said...

Sadly Dioclese, this is not going to burn out any time soon. It has been an under-reported on-going calamity for 20+ years.

The last time it was a bad as this was in the late 1990's, but from the scientific paper quoted in the post it is potentially going to get worse until 2015. Then it may slowly decline in severity over many years.

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news.

Anonymous said...

The Chinese I believe are developing coal powered stations where the steam is heated to 730C and little problems arise. Scrubbers can remove particulates, sulphatae and nitrate.
Burning wood/coal/animal dung produces smog problems.

BilloTheWisp said...

Thanks for the comment. The ethos behind part of the demolition of the Indonesian rainforest (for palm oil) is to reduce carbon emissions. I merely point out that far from reducing CO2 the rampant destruction of the RF is actually much worse than (say) the whole of UK emissions and Palm oil is just a vacious fashion statement - nothing more.

The problem with coal is that whatever you do with it you are eventually left with CO2 and assorted noxious compounds (scrubbed or not). IMHO the best thing to do is use a lower pollutant tech (ideally nuclear but even gas is a vast improvement) BUT that tech HAS to be viable. So wind, solar (etc) will only, at best ever be bit part players.