Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Gillard Government 2020 Target Claim – Under the microscope.

Ever since the current Prime Minister of Australia, Julia Gillard, said that the proposed Carbon Tax aims to reduce “deadly greenhouse gas” emissions by 160 million tonnes ($3,680,000,000 worth at $23 per tonne of CO2) by the year 2020, and that this (for perspective) equates to taking 45 million cars off the road, I personally wondered what sort of cars? You see even in these modern times of Business, Industry and Government transparency…the Federal Government of Australia still likes the traditional avenue of deceit. Was she referring to “fuel guzzlers”, or efficient, modern vehicles?

I have done the calculations for a number of different makes and models of the top selling vehicles of Australia – Utilizing information obtained from the Australian Federal Government’s ‘Green Vehicle Guide’ - to find out exactly what cars she may have been referring to.

The Holden Commodore is an Australian icon, and the current model (specially the Specifically the Holden VE SIDI Commodore Berlina 3.0L 6cyl, Auto 6 speed Sedan, 5 seater, 2WD) is ranked #2 as on a list of Australia’s most selling cars…it also outperforms the Ford Falcon in terms grams of CO2 per Kilometre travelled (combined urban and highway).

According to the Green Vehicle Guide, the Holden Commodore emits 221g/Km (combined) of CO2, or in other words it travels approximately 5.35km per Kg of CO2 it releases, or 4530km per tonne of CO2.

Therefore 4530Km (1 Tonne CO2) X 160 million (the 2020 target, in tonnes of CO2)

=724,800,000,000 Km’s

1 Holden Commodore would have to travel 724.8 BILLION Kilometres to produce the amount of CO2 that the Federal Government wants to cut by the year 2020.

But the Gillard Government didn’t say THAT, they opted for a figure of 45 Million “cars” because that must sound better or something…

That figure of 724.8 BILLION Km’s doesn’t look so big when you divide it over 45 Million cars, as touted by Ms. Gillard. In fact, it equates to 45 million cars (of the modern Holden Commodores performance) clocking up 16,106km p.a, or roughly 44.13Km per day over a 365 day year.

45 million cars sounds like a lot, however information provided by states that just under 161,000 vehicles cross the Sydney Harbour Bridge per day based on 2008 averages.

Although I don't agree with the tax, I'll admit...where this reduction target is met, it'll be impressive.

As usual, I need a image to make things look nice and pretty. Considering the subject matter of this entry, I've decided to use the "Wagon Queen Family Truckster" from Nation Lampoon's Vacation.

This vehicle has always cracked me up, with the 'Metallic Pea' paint, the wooden panels, giant crown emblems, garbage bag airbag, 'dieseling' (running while it's turned off), ugly headlight configuration...and the amount of fun those working on the film would have had putting it through what they did (the 50ft jump in the desert scene) and the "Honky Lips" graffiti work. I recently learned that the man that designed the Batmobile is also credited to this beast :D

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Change to Western Australian Cannabis Law

New penalties for possessing and growing cannabis or selling smoking implements come into force in Western Australia on August 1 2011.

Apparently the Liberal Government believes current offenders are just getting "a slap on the wrist".

The opposition are claiming these new laws are just a tactic to make the Government look to be tough on drugs, at a time where increasing numbers of clandestine amphetamine labs are being recorded. 

According to the Sydney Morning Herald: 

Under the new laws, someone caught with more than 10 grams of cannabis, rather than the 30g under the previous law, will face a penalty of $2000 or two years in jail, or both.

That will also apply to people found with any cannabis plants, where previously the possession of two plants led to the issuing of an infringement notice and a $100 to $200 fine.

A person found in possession of more than 100g of cannabis would be deemed to have that quantity for supply and could face a penalty of $20,000 or two years in jail.

A person found in possession of 10g or less of cannabis will receive a Cannabis Intervention Requirement notice to attend a mandatory counselling session.

 Personally, I'm not sure what to make of these new laws, as you may recall - I wrote a blog about the formerly "legal" alternative to cannabis - Which was first banned in WA, then N.S.W and now all of Australia.

In other news around 30 acres of Cannabis plants were found in Mexico recently -