endofsuburbia.com - A documentary of what peak oil means for urban sprawl

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I've been reading up on this and its quite a scary realisation.

I hope my own projections for the future are miles off what actually happens else its not giong to be a very fun time to be around.

Whenever i try and tell my mates about this, they always fall back on the old "technology will come up with something" argument. Wish i shared their optimism. :)
Yeah no doubt our generation will have to deal with western baby boomers hedonistic ways during the post war economic boom. They've invested their money in globalisation and cheap oil driven transport networks rather than sustainability . Even their last ditch attempt to secure the worlds oil supplies is failing. Now the oil companies have realised they can't hold back alternative development, it seems like science's current answer is electricity, which means coal and more global warming. However nuclear waste might be easier to store under ground than carbon. Until we work out how to fire nuclear waste into the sun.

"...criticised the lack of action by the Howard government, ...it should have moved years ago ...Australia had given the US an excuse to do nothing."
Professor Garnaut said bipartisan support was essential.
The Minister for Climate Change, Penny Wong, said the report "makes it absolutely clear that the time for playing short-term political games is over".
But the Opposition Leader, Brendan Nelson, demanded yesterday it be delayed by at least a year so it was not botched.

WTF??? It would funny if it wasn't so serious - won't the liberals ever learn? Don't they realise their motto of individual greed doesn't apply anymore? This is Howard's real legacy. Any accountant could balance the books when the entire economy is based on digging up fossil fuels, selling out to china and being a side kick to American imperialism...
The powers that be have known about the up coming (some will say already happened) peak oil for 20 years. Any politician who stands in the way of reforms to help us adapt and change to a low energy economy are doing us a grave disservice.

"the time for playing short-term political games is over"

ABARE's advice to the government is that peak oil is not happening and is not a problem.

Once ABARE get on board the politicians will follow. It would be hard for a politician to do anything as controversial and "courageous" as start talking about peak oil when their political opposition could simply point out how the "experts at ABARE" disagree.

So this ECONOMIC research organisation informs the government on ENVIRONMENTAL issues. That makes sense. I'm sure they're not biased at all.

Everything in the economy comes from the ecology. When are people going to get that??
The problem is that statistics can be biased by motive. The point that environmentalists make is that by definition economist have a unbalanced view of the world. A healthy economy is a growing economy not a sustainable economy. This will be proved by china in our life time. Listen from: 4:50
Yep short term politics will always win out, that's why we are in this mess. It was only after hurricane Katrina that Schwarzenegger gave up his hummer. ABARE is more proof that Australians have never understood the environment and their place in it.
Yes, clearly they are. We have moved from a government of climate skeptics that gave the rest of the world an excuse to pollute, to a progressive government that is engaging the region in environmental leadership
I like the fact that CyclonTron is willing to play devils advocate in this discussion. It helps keep the debate going.

Debate is a great thing when you are afforded the luxury. However, time for debate is now passed. We have been debating this issue for years. The overwhelming majority of evidence points to climate change being a reality.
Solar panels have been too popular. The governments roll is to encourage their use.
Both sides agree saving the environment costs money.
Prime Minister John Howard - sorry about the interest rate rise
You're right though, it's obvious that economists have a completely different view of what a livable society is. If you can afford climate control, why spend money on the environment?
Just catching up with the tunnel... I guess car drivers get us the deal they deserve...

The terms of the Cross City Tunnel contract were negotiated and signed in complete secrecy, with only a 64-page summary document later released to the public. For weeks the government maintained that it could not release the exact details of the deal because they were “commercial-in-confidence”. Only on October 18, in the face of mounting public pressure, did it back down and agree to table the contract in parliament.

Underlying the deal is an understanding between the NSW government and the Cross City Tunnel owners that the former would do everything in its power—including the deliberate and systematic sabotage of the local road network—to ensure that the company received an adequate return on its investment. According to the Sydney Morning Herald, one section of the contract requires the state government to buy out the Cross City Tunnel operators and pay expected profits of up to $100 million a year for the next 30 years if it fails to maintain the specified public road and lane closures.

The government also promised to compensate the company if any improvements were made to the public transport system which affected the number of vehicles travelling through the tunnel. If the contract is broken—by any government in the next three decades—the company is entitled to an $850 million payout.

Under the Cross City Tunnel deal—as with every other privatised infrastructure initiative in Australia—large transnational corporations stand to reap enormous profits, while governments are effectively bound to step in and wear the losses if things go wrong. And it is working people who end up paying—directly, through the road charges, and indirectly, through the diversion and waste of public money.

The intimate relationship between the state Labor government and the private road companies was graphically demonstrated with the October 10 appointment of former New South Wales Labor premier Bob Carr as a part-time consultant to Macquarie Bank, on a $500,000 salary. Macquarie is the world’s single largest private infrastructure firm, and operates five toll roads in Sydney alone. The whole affair seemed designed to provide further evidence of what Griffith University’s Brendan Gleeson has aptly described as the “tunnel industry complex”.

Wholesale privatisation by stealth

The privatisation of Australia’s transport infrastructure is directly bound up with the right-wing economic reform program embraced by both the Labor and Liberal parties over the past two and a half decades. Under the guise of making Australia more internationally competitive, governments at both the federal and state levels have worked to introduce so-called free market and user-pays models throughout virtually every aspect of society.

The flow of money through private investors, the federal government, and the infrastructure companies increasingly resembles that of a pyramid scheme. As ABC Radio explained: “Toll roads cost a lot to build and generally don’t make a profit for many years. So to make their stock attractive to investors, toll road companies borrow against future earnings, and pay that yet to be earned money out to shareholders in dividends today, often refinancing and upping the debt again and again. Of course those debts eventually have to be repaid. So to keep investors fed with dividends, toll road companies have to buy new assets and start the process all over again.”



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