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Tech & Science Q&A: Osher Gunsberg says coal-fired power stations are like Nokia 3210 in the face of iPhone revolution

17:50  10 february  2020
17:50  10 february  2020 Source:   abc.net.au

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The iPhone 6 has an average battery life of less than a day, the Samsung Galaxy S6 isn’t much better. Just put on a jacket I last wore at a wedding in 2001 and found a Nokia 3210 in the pocket. Rajeev Suri is the chief executive of Nokia , not Microsoft as an earlier article said .

South Africa produces around 229,200 gigawatt-hours (825,000 TJ) electricity annually.2015 est. Most of this electricity is consumed domestically, but around 12

Osher Günsberg standing in front of a screen: Osher Gunsberg said he had his own battles with climate anxiety. (ABC News)© Provided by ABC NEWS Osher Gunsberg said he had his own battles with climate anxiety. (ABC News)

On a night dedicated to finding solutions to climate change, Q&A eschewed politicians in favour of sustainability entrepreneurs, renewable energy experts and a business lobby group representative.

But it was a television host of a popular dating show who best captured the audience's attention, raising a series of relatable analogies for Australia's climate change position.

Osher Gunsberg, host of the Bachelor and Bachelorette programs, compared the push by some Government MPs for new coal-fired power stations to an electronics store selling outdated telephone technology.

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The Loy Yang Power Station is a brown coal - fired thermal power station located on the outskirts of the city of Traralgon, in south-eastern Victoria, Australia. It consists of two sections, known as Loy Yang A and Loy Yang B. Both Loy Yang A and B are supplied by the Loy Yang brown coal mine.

CoalSwarm says hundreds of coal - fired powered stations are under construction despite attempts by the central government to rein in expansion. The surge in high-emissions power generation would be wildly out of line with the Paris climate agreement. China is building coal - fire power stations , many

"If they were selling us mobile phones, they'd be saying the Nokia 3210 is the only phone we'll ever need," he said.

"I'm telling you that we are — as a country exporting coal — we are Nokia with a 3210 thinking people will only ever want to play Snake forever, and the iPhone is coming."

For Australia's attempts to use carryover credits to meet its emission reduction targets, Mr Gunsberg compared it to doing housework in a past relationship.

"Trying to say the Kyoto credits work is like … saying to my current wife, 'I did heaps of dishes in my first marriage, so I don't need to do the dishes in this one'," he said.

Too scared to have children

Mr Gunsberg also showed a softer side, relating to an audience member who revealed climate change anxiety meant she was "too scared" to have children.

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HONG KONG — Coal - fired power plants have propelled much of China’s economic rise for In guidelines released on Monday, China halted plans for new coal - fired power stations in many parts of In the face of the slowest economic growth in a quarter-century, electricity demand has fallen so

On Wednesday, he said : “ We ’ re not going to agree to a model that seeks to fly in the face of all of the expert advice, from industry and stakeholders, that building new coal - fired power stations would mean there is no way of achieving our commitments under the Paris agreement and also would deliver

The audience member, Alice Trumble, said her studies in environmental and climate science had shaped her opinion on becoming a mother.

"I came to the conclusion that it was unsafe, unethical probably and just a bad choice for me to make to bring children into the world," she said.

"I would really like a family but I'm way too scared to do it."

Mr Gunsberg said having a five-month-old son gave him hope, while small decisions, like driving an electric car and having an electric bike, gave him a sense of agency.

"As someone who has suffered incredible climate anxiety, I had episodes of psychosis that manifested as paranoid delusions," Mr Gunsberg said.

"I was on two different kinds of antipsychotics and was seeing things, it was horrible. I can say to you, you're not alone and when you know what you know, it's a completely ordinary normal reaction to have when you look at what is coming.

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The Senate inquiry’s report into the planned closure of coal - fired power stations will no doubt shed light on the compelling health reasons to close them. Coal - fired stations are a health hazard to their local communities and beyond due to the pollutants they emit.

Yallourn coal - fired power station in Victoria. The Australian Energy Market Operator says such stations face closure to meet emissions A Climate Institute report from April found the regulated and orderly closure of coal power plants was needed to avoid major economic disruption in 2030, when

"Having Wolf in my life, with a baby in your life that is hope. That is absolute hope. What can we build for this child?"

He said the world needed parents who thought about climate action to bring children into the world and urged her to "please" reconsider.

The television host also said giving politicians space to change their positions towards climate change solutions might help develop a plan.

"You're allowed to say, 'I've got it wrong. Let's do this instead'," he said.

"Let's just allow our politicians some room to move. If we go 'Aha, you said something else eight years ago'. They're so tied into this idea of catching each other out, they've painted themselves into a corner.

"Even though it's very clear, we stand on the cusp of economic abundance in this situation, they're so terrified to move."

Australia has 'good story' to tell

Jennifer Westacott, chief executive of the Business Council of Australia, said she thought climate anxiety was real but argued there was a collective responsibility to create a plan that gives people hope to want to have children.

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"The kind of point that people have been making that in Australia particularly, we've got the technology, the skills to actually be a global superpower in exporting renewables, in exporting hydrogen and exporting lithium," she said.

"This should be a good story for Australia if we get things right.

"And I think we've got an obligation or a responsibility to actually take control of this issue and paint a positive story for people."

Ms Westacott said the Australian Government making a plan and sticking to it — such as agreeing to net-zero emissions by 2050 — might give young people faith.

Martijn Wilder, chair of the Australian Renewable Energy Agency, said he had similar discussions about bringing children into the world with his teenage children.

He said the debate was very different in other parts of the world and there were many exciting innovations in technology.

"One of the real issues is in Australia, in the US, climate is a toxic issue," he said.

"In the rest of the world we don't have this debate. The rest of the world is moving very fast. A completely different story and narrative."

'Pretty much everyone wants' a solution

The episode also heard from people employed in the energy sector in the La Trobe Valley and farmers wanting to use new, environmentally friendly practices.

Chef and farmer Matthew Evans said there was a broad spectrum of people wanting a solution.

"The farmers want it. The people want it. The businesses want it. Pretty much everyone wants it. It's just the tiny [minority] of federal politicians who seem to be in the way," Mr Evans said.

Comment: Who will benefit from a new coal-fired power plant in Queensland? .
It's the latest political football in the government's bitter climate wars. But one mining company is hoping to benefit from the 'unviable' project.Mining giant Glencore has managed to keep its name more or less out of the news that the government has backed a proposal for a new coal-fired power plant in northern Queensland.

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