Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Tale of Three Cities

Last week a bit of publicly funded propaganda arrived in my mail box.

The one thing struck me in the ‘Budget Highlights 2008-2009’ was that the ACT Labor government is fond of trees. Indeed is seems to be the only tool in their climate change toolbox.

Here are the climate change dot points by town area.

Additional tree plantings – Lake Ginninderra.

Canberra Central:
$0.267 million for Tree Replacement Program – Inner South and Inner North.
$0.250 million for Additional Tree Plantings at Lake Burley Griffin.

Additional tree plantings at Gungahlin.

Additional tree plantings at Lake Tuggeranong.

Woden, Weston Creek and Molonglo:
$10.6 million for One Million Trees Initiative – Canberra International Arboretum and Gardens.

I’ve always said that renewable energy programs are a far better investment, than the knee jerk ‘plant trees’ response, for building a sustainable climate future.

Given the twists and turns in the Tuggeranong Power Station project, maybe it’s time for another approach.

Canberra hosts the Australian Federal Parliament. Lets look at the city that hosts the mother parliament; London.

The last Lord Mayor of London, Ken Livingston, set in motion a plan to make the city far most sustainable. The new Lord Mayor has undertaken to continue this drive.

What was the first thing that London did, it poached the guy that had the most foresight and experience with this kind of infrastructure redevelopment. They made Allan Jones, the energy services manager for Woking, an offer he couldn’t refuse. Over the last 20 years, he has nudged and lead the development and integration of Combined Heat and Power (CHP) systems and other efficient decentralized developments into the infrastructure of the English city.

Stuff about Woking and London.

Woking is a city of 60,000, a good match for the basic units of Canberra’s development, the towns.

This work doesn’t come cheap. Anyone who says fixing climate change will cost a household $200 a years in extra costs is dreaming, deluded or a con man.


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