Belted from pillar to post

The ANU divestment decision is on the front page of the AFR again today:

Federal Infrastructure Minister Jamie Briggs said Australian National University’s blacklisting of gas producer Santos and six other resource companies was a threat to jobs, increasing pressure on the university to drop its boycott.

Mr Briggs, the first member of the Abbott government to weigh in on the issue and a South Australian, said he would write to ask ANU vice-chancellor Ian Young “for an explanation and to reconsider his course of action”.

So how is the ANU defending itself?

Professor Young defended the ANU’s approach. “A company like Santos .?.?. is essentially an oil and gas producer, and so, it may in fact be a very responsible company in terms of a whole range of things that it does, and I’m sure it is,” he told the ABC’s Lateline on Wednesday .

“But because it is primarily an oil and gas-producing company, then it will perform poorly on the environmental criteria because it’s a major source of CO2 emissions, which, as we all know, has a significant impact on climate.”

Oh dear – that is a very unfortunate explanation. The AFR has a second story involving the ANU.

The Australian National University’s carbon emissions are three times the level of other leading universities per student.

Official figures from the Clean Energy Regulator show the university, which blacklisted seven resource companies from its investment portfolio last week, is a high emitter of greenhouse gases considering its small size.

ANU vice-chancellor Ian Young on Wednesday justified the university’s sale of Santos shares – one of the seven blacklisted companies – because its oil and gas production is “a major source of CO2 emissions, which, as we all know, has a significant impact on climate”.

Among the eight universities with published emission levels for 2012-13 ANU was fourth highest – responsible for 101,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent in greenhouse gases.

A spokesperson for ANU said the university’s energy consumption was boosted by Australia’s largest supercomputer, which is housed at ANU and jointly run by ANU, CSIRO, Geoscience Australia and the Bureau of Meteorology.

“The supercomputer facility, which is amongst other programs, facilitates research with a focus on the ­environment, and in climate and earth system science, accounts for about 20 per cent of the university’s energy consumption,” she said.

ANU THE ONLY AUSTRALIAN UNIVERSITY TO DIVEST
Even if ANU’s emissions were cut by 20 per cent, its level would be higher than the University of NSW, another research-intensive university, which emitted 65,000 tonnes of CO2 equivalent for 52,000 students. Another reason why the ANU has higher emissions may be the large number of research-only staff who are based in its research schools.

I think we’re going to see a policy reversal, and a change in senior management at the ANU.

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25 Responses to Belted from pillar to post

  1. Bruce of Newcastle

    Cut and Paste has a quote from the ANU vice chancellor which is very revealing:

    For a ­university like ours, which is, for instance, a major researcher in environment and alternative energy, we need to be able to put our hand on our heart when we talk to our students, and to our alumni, and to our researchers…

    Its business. In this case the business is green religion, so they cannot allow anti-Gaian thought to contaminate the furry little minds of the students they have sucked into studying there.

    The ANU is heading for a fall if they don’t get their heads out of those sickly green clouds surrounding the ivory tower.

  2. Baldrick

    Professor Young defended the ANU’s approach. “A company like Santos .?.?. is essentially an oil and gas producer, and so, it may in fact be a very responsible company in terms of a whole range of things that it does, and I’m sure it is,” he told the ABC’s Lateline on Wednesday .
    “But because it is primarily an oil and gas-producing company, then it will perform poorly on the environmental criteria because it’s a major source of CO2 emissions, which, as we all know, has a significant impact on climate.”

    A university like ANU … is essentially an educator, and so, it may in fact be a very responsible university in terms of a whole range of things it does, and I’m sure it is.
    But because it is primarily an educational institution, then it will perform poorly on the education criteria because it’s a major source of greenfilth trash, which as we all know, has a significant impact on brain cells.

  3. Tom

    “But because it is primarily an oil and gas-producing company, then it will perform poorly on the environmental criteria because it’s a major source of CO2 emissions, which, as we all know, has a significant impact on climate.”

    And where is the empirical evidence that CO2 is the primary driver of global temperature?

    Irrational hatred of the human race is not science.

  4. Ant

    Of course, if the ANU clown show was really serious about cutting CO2 emissions it would immediately sack a big percentage of its admin staff who have little or nothing to do with teaching students, place a ban on all flight travel for all remaining staff, require that all staff and students subsist on homegrown foodstuffs, place an immediate ban on any future capital works programs, unless built in had made mud brick, etc, etc.

    Somehow, I don’t think they’re serious about what they say they’re serious about.

    It’s just stupid posturing.

  5. egg_

    “But because it is primarily an oil and gas-producing company, then it will perform poorly on the environmental criteria because it’s a major source of CO2 emissions, which, as we all know, has a significant impact on climate.”

    If it’s anything like the UNE, I suspect worse, it’s lit up like a Christmas tree of a night with sodium vapour lamps as far as the eye can see, consuming MegaWatt-Hours of electricity per night – utter hypocrites.

    Can anyone link to a photo of this joint by night?

  6. egg_

    “Belted from pillar to lamp post…”

  7. egg_

    Presented to the people of Canberra in 1988 to commemorate 25 years of electricity supply by the ACT Electricity Authority, the Illumicube was designed to respond to the noises of the city, lighting up at the laughter and chatter of the people around it.

    But in 2007, when the Illumicube was moved from its prime position outside The Canberra Theatre to make way for the ACT Veterans Memorial, its sound-activated lights were disabled. Now it is relegated to a quiet square on Ainslie Avenue.

    Seeing that the ageing artwork was in some need of rejuvenation, ArtsACT approached the ANU School of Art to set about thinking of ways to reunite it with the Canberra community. Dr Alistair Riddell from the ANU School of
    Art
    began work to revamp the Cube and Dr Shanti Sumartojo from the ANU School of Sociology started thinking about conceptualising the potential impact of the new Cube.

  8. In the case of SANDFIRE RESOURCES NL (SFR) and INDEPENDENCE GROUP NL (IGO) we have two success stories in Australian mineral exploration and surely they are examples of what we want more groups to achieve.
    I look forward to hearing reasons why they are not fit for ANU to invest in.
    Obviously different issues crop up with the oil companies but it would appear to many of us to be drawing a long bow for ANU to take on the task of ending greenhouse emissions when that can only be a practical role for Govts.
    Talking about long bows – remember that the ACT Govt has recently donated ~$19K in an arts grant to a theatre group for a production – Kill Climate Deniers.
    Just Google that – The ACT Assembly sits again on 21 Oct

  9. Bruce of Newcastle

    Dr Shanti Sumartojo from the ANU School of Sociology started thinking about conceptualising the potential impact of the new Cube.

    It’s Canberra? Got to be one of these.

    On other hand a cubical watermelon would be just perfect, green on outside and red inside.

  10. blogstrop

    I think we’re going to see a policy reversal, and a change in senior management at the ANU.

    I hope you’re right, but a territory that thinks it’s a state, has an electoral system like Tasmania’s and has a statue of Al Grassby is capable of any amount of idiocy.

  11. Squirrel

    A little tangential, I know, but….”Mr Briggs, the first member of the Abbott government to weigh in on the issue ….”

    Not entirely surprised that Briggs would be the first – he is a lively, forthright and entertaining performer in Question Time. Promising, I reckon.

  12. jupes

    I think we’re going to see a policy reversal, and a change in senior management at the ANU.

    Ever the optimist Sinc.

  13. goatjam

    I think we’re going to see a policy reversal, and a change in senior management at the ANU.

    I would be interested to know what you base this opinion on.

    These sort of people are capable of producing maxxstreme amounts of hypocrisy without blinking, I see no evidence that this will not be the case here.

  14. egg_

    Illumicube – Time Lapse video

    Aistair Riddell re-illuminates the Cube:

    Recently, the Illumicube has come alive again to brighten up winter nights at the intersection of Cooyong St and Ainslie Ave. The recent technical upgrade by Alistair Riddell has enabled new light behaviours with the promise of more interesting things to come. With nearly 25 years of activity in the Canberra environment, the Illumicube is still fondly regarded by locals for it’s curiously kitsch positioning and historical behaviour. Hopefully, along with its new light show, it will also return to being interactive and inspire passers by to be spontaneously creative.

  15. ar

    I’m sure it has been suggested, but surely the divestment companies can retaliate by boycotting ANU graduates?

  16. Andrew

    I think we’re going to see a policy reversal, and a change in senior management at the ANU.

    LOL and LOL.

    No matter how egregiously stupid these people behave, they are protected species. Imagine an academic being removed for damaging his institution with ridiculous warmie-commie antics. There would be none left. And this is by no means the worst offender – have a look at what Macq U did to one of their academics and a foreign PhD student.

  17. stackja

    Andrew
    #1473416, posted on October 10, 2014 at 9:41 pm

    I think we’re going to see a policy reversal, and a change in senior management at the ANU.

    LOL and LOL.

    No matter how egregiously stupid these people behave, they are protected species. Imagine an academic being removed for damaging his institution with ridiculous warmie-commie antics. There would be none left. And this is by no means the worst offender – have a look at what Macq U did to one of their academics and a foreign PhD student.

    Sydney Sparkes Orr
    Following a special council meeting on 2 March 1956, which heard an allegation by Reginald Kemp, a local timber merchant, that Orr had seduced his daughter Suzanne (an undergraduate student of philosophy), a second committee was established. Both committees found against Orr. The university refused to accept his resignation, and he was summarily dismissed on 16 March 1956.
    Orr sued the university alleging wrongful dismissal.

  18. Milton Von Smith

    There’s a sime solution for the mining companies: refuse to hire ANU graduates. And refuse to participate in ARC linkage grants with the ANU, as well as all other joint intiatives.

  19. Stevos

    ANU will be around long after Santos and other shave folded. You guys are traitors as always, selling out your fellow Australian to multinationals who couldn’t give a toss.

    Libertarians should be kicked to pieces, literally.

  20. Tel

    Stevos, socialists always end up deciding that violence is the answer. Doesn’t matter too much what the question is.

  21. egg_

    ANU Sheltered workshops will be around long after Santos and other shave folded…

    Churning out scented candles?

  22. rebel with cause

    ANU will be around long after Santos and other shave folded.

    LOL. You can have an Australian mining and resource extraction sector without ANU, but there’s no ANU without mining and gas. Little thing called tax revenue that the ANU needs to exist.

  23. Combine Dave

    You can have an Australian mining and resource extraction sector without ANU, but there’s no ANU without mining and gas. Little thing called tax revenue that the ANU needs to exist

    Socialists will just claim we have a revenue problem, solved through greater taxation and/or borrowing. They’ve never met a deficit they didn’t like.

    Shiny bums and moochers like Stevos are unlikely to ever have to face up to the realities of an open and free market.

    Not even under Abbott-Satan-666.

  24. nerblnob

    Divestment for ideological reasons only hurts the divestors, no?

    The oil and gas companies will have no shortage of buyers, the university still needs zillions of public funds, and therefore still needs the mining and oil and gas companies’ taxes.

    Likewise the preferred Green investment targets cannot survive without subsidy from government and punitive regulations and taxes against other forms of energy.

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