Sweden for example …

Will Steffen has an op-ed in the Australian urging us to emulate the Swedish experience.

Economies as a whole can benefit from the transition to clean energy and Sweden, for example, already has the runs on the board. Over the past decade, the Swedes have reduced their emissions of carbon dioxide by about 13 per cent, the best performance of any of the world’s wealthy countries.

Okay – so let’s have a look where Sweden gets its electricity from:

The bulk comes from nuclear (a choice Australia has specifically rejected – that’s even before we start considering how expensive it is) and hydro (a cheap source of energy but it does require a particular geography that we lack outside of Tasmania). Sweden also gets a lot of electricity from wood and wastes. I don’t know if they’re burning their forests or not but, again, I’m not sure we can copy them in that area either. In short, Sweden isn’t a role model for us given our very different geography and natural resources and the choice Australian politicians have made about nuclear energy.

(HT: Noodle)

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28 Responses to Sweden for example …

  1. C.L.

    Will Steffen has an op-ed in the Australian urging us to emulate the Swedish experience.

    LOL. How original.

  2. Tim

    I’ve said it before. Gaia demands that we dam the Franklin river. You know it makes sense.

  3. We see this in the inaugural 2012 UN World Happiness Report plus the OECD/PISA how to make your schools be like top performing countries deflection. Over and over again the answer is to emulate the social welfare systems of the Scandinavian countries with their largely dirigiste economies.

    Nobody points out the surveys are rigged so that Western countries have to change their political and economic systems to perform well in yet another statist survey.

  4. Three dogs

    A while back saw a piece on The Inconvenient Environmentalist, Peter Kareiva, where he challenges the piety of rusted on environmentalists – well worth a look – anyways none other than our own Will Steffen was singled out for his ‘damaging’ extremist claims.


  5. Bill

    Only 1.3% from wind and solar. Thats why Sweden is doing OK. Compare and contrast with the rest of Europe – now entering its second sucessive recession.

  6. Peter OBrien

    Thank you Sinclair. As usual it doesn’t take long to poke a hole in these specious warmist diatribes.

  7. Keith

    Yes, let’s so some nuclear and more hydro (particularly in Victoria).
    The UK does “wood and wastes” (aka biomass) by importing wood from third world countries, where greenpeace rages about the wanton destruction.

  8. brc

    How long until some brainless carbon tax loving tells us how Sweden has a carbon tax and it hasn’t harmed their economy?

    You could outright ban fossil fuel electricity generation in Sweden and it would hardly dent their industry.

    When you find out who backs the Carbon Taxes and ETS the most, you generally find out it is northern European countries with both lots of hydro already built, and lots of big forests to sell as credits.

    And the brainless swallow the propaganda without question and nod and say ‘yes, yes, let’s be like them’.

    How about we agitate for a hydro tax on the basis that damned rivers are bad for the environment? Our PM could get on TV and demand that those countries ‘with high dam per capita rates’ stop needlessly impacting natural ecosystems’.

    It would make about as much sense.

  9. Jarrah

    Australia should be building nuclear power plants and long-term waste repositories.

    We have lots of uranium, lots of empty space, stable geography and polity, and smart engineers. What we don’t have is a major party willing to make the case for nuclear.

  10. Peter OBrien

    And perhaps Sweden’s economic performance touted by Steffen has more to do with it’s finance minister than any carbon tax type initiatives.

    WikiPedia extract:
    Following the victory in the 2006 general election, Borg was appointed Minister for Finance in the new centre-right cabinet led by Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt, that assumed office on 6 October 2006.
    Borg has been recognised as the mastermind behind the new Swedish government’s economic doctrine, focusing on proactive measures against unemployment. An incremental dismantling of the social democratic welfare state, with larger self-financing of welfare systems, lower taxes and fewer benefits are seen as the way to create new motivation to work and more business opportunites and creation of jobs. He developed these new policies in his role as chief economist in the Moderate Party.
    On 5 September 2007, Minister for Defence Mikael Odenberg resigned from the cabinet due to disagreement with Borg regarding funds for the Swedish Armed Forces.[5]
    On 29 November 2008, Borg, in an interview on Swedish TV4, criticized US President-elect Barack Obama’s economic agenda calling it “untenable”.[6]

  11. thefrollickingmole

    Im actually in full agreement with jarrah.. But only based on the AGW science being correvt. If that isnt as overstated as it appears to be, then coal is still the cheapest long term power option for Australia.

    On a side note, the tears over the skills we would lose if the car industry fails look positively silly if you consider we have allready effectively banned the high tech nuclear industry and all its spinoffs.

  12. harrys on the boat

    I assume it wasn’t sarcasm, but I totally agree with Jarrah. WA is now mining uranium, it should build nuclear power plants and spent fuel/waste facilities. It’d make a bloody fortune.

  13. Rodney

    I hear of a timber company that spent $1.2 million on a plant to convert its waste to electricity. It was denied carbon credits because the Dept considered it “unethical”.

  14. Alfonso

    So Steffan is a goose or he’s running deliberate agitprop, you be the judge.

  15. Keith

    Thorium is the go, not uranium.

    Bolt also points out a backflip in Steffen’s article.

  16. H B Bear

    This has to be a piss take doesn’t it?

  17. Driftforge

    As a bit of a side note – there is an interesting push for nuclear coming from what I will call rational environmentalists.

    I have a degree of respect for guys who can put away irrational fears of a villified technology in the face of (semi – irrational?) fears of a greater problem. Mind you – none at all for those who simple seek to steal, kill and destroy using the environment as a cover.

    If we end up with a substantial nuclear industry as a result of this climate change caper, it won’t all have been a waste.

  18. Driftforge

    Thorium is the go, not uranium.

    Actually the best suggestions for now are molten salt reactors that run on uranium rather than thorium.

    Thorium has some good upsides, but its a bit like HDR geothermal – not quite ready for the big time.

    Thorium is still 10-20 years from now, even if a project got financed today.

  19. Major Elvis Newton

    Aaaah Sweden.

    An archetype Keynesian economy.

    Government spending running at ~58% of GDP; a top marginal income tax rate of 56.5%.

    Lot’s to emulate there.

    Sweden’s total GHG emissions in 2010 were up almost 10% from 2009.

    The government blamed economic recovery as one of the main reasons for the rise.

    Emissions of CO2 were around 53 million tonnes in 2010, approx 7% lower than 1990 levels, however the level of uncertainty in these numbers is ~4.2%.

    Sweden vowed to cut greenhouse gas emissions by four per cent in comparison with 1990.

    It failed despite a concerted effort to fudge the figures by changing land use definitions.

    After missing this low target, Sweden further plans to cut emissions by 40 per cent in comparison with 1990 by 2020, reducing to zero by 2050.

    Any economic train wreck worth following for sure Will.

  20. Cold-Hands

    Seems like the Climate Commissionaires have come out of hiding to earn some of their taxpayer funded stipend. Tim Flannery was on serial CAGW shill Jon Faine on 774 in Melbourne pushing Victoria’s renewable energy resources. At least that’s one thing Baillieu has managed to get right- virtually stopping the growth of useless windfarms.

    And elsewhere on “Our ABC” both Flannery and Steffen have been getting heavy airplay on AM, news bulletins and “The World Today”. Goebbels would be proud.

  21. Obio

    And in the rest of his fairy story public transport will work out, people will start walking and cycling every where, droughts will stop occurring and green policies that prevent bush clearing around homes will no longer cause people to die in bush fires.

    Absolute swill!

  22. Youngster

    I seem to recall from somewhere that Sweden also has a fantastic Finance Minister who is cutting taxes and welfare, encouraging entrepreneurs, etc. I suspect he has had much more to do with Sweden’s economic strength than any environmental program.

  23. JC

    Australia should be building nuclear power plants and long-term waste repositories.

    We have lots of uranium, lots of empty space, stable geography and polity, and smart engineers. What we don’t have is a major party willing to make the case for nuclear.

    Oh Bullshit. After the lies about workchoices from the left and the Liberals being crucified the only way of achieving a good result in this area would be through bi-partisan policy agreement, which means the left would have to agree and also promise not to fuck it up with necessary cost burden by frightening the daylights out of people with anti-science lies.

  24. Infidel Tiger

    We have so much coal and gas our power should almost be free. The only nuclear we need is weapons.

  25. NoFixedAddress

    I’m with the Infidel Tiger.

    And if any nuclear power plants are to be built they should only be built in the inner city suburbs of Melbourne and Sydney.

  26. manalive

    Sweden coal reserves are just 5 million tonnes (Australia 76 billion tonnes) — they don’t use coal because they don’t have any.
    They exploit any natural advantages they have; it’s called common sense.

  27. Winston Smith

    Count me in with IT.
    We NEED nukes. On the morning we find ourselves with foreign overlords, then we will curse not having them.
    Our power stations should be built next to all Green electorates, who are busy taking all the benefits, and very few of the disadvantages the rest of the community are taking for them.

  28. Need nukes for our submarines too. As it is, fitting diesel engines to submarines with the range and size of ours is a bit like installing wind farms on land.

    Only viable when there is a specific reason to do so.

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