I'll come clean from the beginning, I was an exploration manager for a uranium company in Africa for a significant period, and so have some insight into the way large companies view this issue. I'm also currently a director of a small Australian exploration company with interests in Lithium, Uranium and (soon) coal, in Africa.
The fact is, coal is cheap and plentiful. Here in Australia we like to throw stones, particularly at our close neighbours, like China, like Indonesia et. al. The fact is, Australia has shitloads of coal, and we have absolutely no problems mining and burning it. China, India, developing countries in Africa, all need more power than they're ever needed before - the cheaper the better. Globally, humans will be using a lot more energy into the future. We all talk about using less, but our TVs, Fridges, computer monitors, washing machines, are all getting bigger, not smaller.
Solar? Where do I start. The Australian government has been reducing solar subsidies for how long now? While at the same time proclaiming it the 'domain of the wealthy'. The idea being that if only the rich can afford it, why subsidise? Okay, two things: 1) If you don't subsidise at least a little NO ONE CAN AFFORD IT and 2) If you eased the up-front pain MORE, rather than LESS, lower income families could afford it.
|If you can't make solar work in Australia, it won't|
If we truly wanted to clean up our act in this country, we'd revisit the nuclear debate. Unlike Japan, we have oodles of tectonically stable real estate and a shitload of unused coastline. Outback Australia is a giant, tectonically stable desert. We have enough room to safely store as much nuclear waste as we could ever hope to generate, and with easily enough room for the rest of the world's as well.
Imagine that, no more CO2 into the atmosphere, no more shit in our kid's lungs. All the bad stuff stored safely underground - WHERE IT ORIGINALLY CAME FROM.
The fact is, here in Australia - we're stupid. I wish we weren't, but we are.