Mitigation of global warming, while costly, is an infinitely better and cheaper solution than the exorbitantly expensive alternative of adaptation – dealing with the effects of sea-level rise, temperature rise and more extreme weather events.
In Australia most of our population lives along the coast, most of our cities have extensive areas close to sea level, do we build seawalls to hold back the waves and the king tides or do we move everything inland? Either way the dollar costs alone are unimaginable let alone the human and social costs.
Undoubtedly coal has given us very cheap electricity and wind power. Solar power and hydro power are undeniably more expensive at present, but what of the long term? Take sea-level rise for example. If we do not move to renewables, if we do not decrease our greenhouse gas emissions then our children and grandchildren will pay the much bigger price of defending their infrastructure and their houses and businesses from the rising seas.
Much is happening in the renewables space. Our region is host to many renewable energy researchers. In fact there are some 60 academics at the university alone who are working on clean energy in all its various guises.
At an individual level, community level and regional level there is a strong groundswell of new commerce and new commercial models to bring solar power and wind power on line.
One place to go to hear about what is happening, and what is the future of clean renewable energy, is to travel to Kurri Kurri on November 20 for the Energy Efficiency Expo and then again on November 21 to listen to the experts at our Clean Energy Regional Solutions 2014 conference. Act now in the interests of our grandchildren.