How important is electricity?
Electricity was denied to the Daintree community for no other purpose
than to make life harder for residents, and trading less profitable
for businesses, there is no environmental logic in running diesel
generators to save the environment.
It is recognized everywhere that affordable and reliable electricity
is crucial to economic activity and wellbeing of population.
The cost of electricity is directly related to the viability of
UNESCO: Energy is critical to economic development
and poverty reduction.
The Queensland Productivity Commssion: Queensland’s
electricity costs represent a major area where we can either stimulate
or suppress ongoing economic growth.
Accordingly it comes as little surprise that when CCIQ recently
surveyed more than 1100 small businesses ahead of the Queensland
state election to determine key issues electricity was at the top
of the list. Of those businesses surveyed it was identified that
increasing electricity prices is currently the most significant
business issue with 65% of Queensland businesses surveyed indicating
a major or critical concern with the cost of energy.
The World Bank: did a study
in 2012 which concluded that electricity costs have a direct link
to business productivity. It said:
"Studies have shown that poor electricity supply adversely
affects the productivity of firms and the investments they make
in their productive capacity,'' it says.
"It is therefore essential for businesses to have reliable,
good-quality electricity supply.''
Ergon: they know how important electricity is, they keeps crew
on standby before storms and even over Xmas where workers sacrifice
valuable family time, and the Queensland government sends out statements
such as Queensland’s
electricity network ready for summer season , did you know that
in Cooktown standby generators sit around unused (99% of the time)
in case the lines ever go down, generators big enough to run the
Daintree that sit there doing nothing? Different priorities for
the Daintree and Queensland.
And in 2016 Ergon Energy joined other Australian energy networks
in sending a fleet of donated heavy machinery and vehicles which
will help accelerate the safe restoration of Fiji’s electricity
network devastated by Tropical Cyclone Winston in February.
When Mark Bailey was Energy Minister of Queensland
he stated on his website that he was focussed on delivering safe,
efficient and affordable electricity to Queenland households and
businesses. Of course the Daintree has no efficient or afforable
electricity, and safe?
The Queensland Department of Energy and Water:
And our Australian Prime Minister acknowledged it too;
The Daintree Disovery Centre had also done their sums;
Daintree Discovery Centre spending 80% or $80,000.- per year more
on their power than on a grid
Even Rainforest Rescue (who is normally happy with the electricity
boycott as it helps in buying back land for peanuts) came to realize
that regrowing rain forest without electricity is hard work and
are asking for donations to put electricity supply in to their property!
They said that "With no power, the simplest of tasks are made
more difficult." and "The nursery infrastructure is basic
and there is no electricity on site. This compromises our capacity
across to germinate seeds, or use a computer."
The massive cost of running diesel generators around the clock
has seen many Daintree business fail over the decades, the Cow Bay
Hotel went in to receivership several times and was sold for a lousy
$350k, the building across the road has seen many restaurants open
and fail over the years and now the only stable tenant for many
years is Centrelink who is renting it to keep the many unemployed
off the street with some activities.
Aand the entire town of Cape Tribulation nearly died in 2012 when
first Coconut Beach Resort closed in 2011 after their generator
blew up and the following year Ferntree went bust too, and at the
same time the pharmacy closed and National Parks was trying to pull
out Dubuji Boardwalk instead of repairing it. Several other businesses
only just scraped through until it got busier again the following
Some before and after shots of the once beautiful 5 star Coconut
Beach Resort that closed after the generator blew up
and then started getting reclaimed by Mother Nature..
Some of the ultragreens have set up a website to tell
Daintree residents how to live, or more likely to discourage them
from even trying to settle in the Daintree, and they admit that
being on a renewable energy system is certainly no free power from
the sun as some try to make you believe, but costing a multiple
of just being on a normal grid.
And renewable energy is certainly not free, in the
1990's when FNQEB still did standalone systems they quoted a cost
of $2.97 per kwh which of course was a prohibitive cost whent the
rest of the state paid only about 15 cents. (Click
here to see their quote)
And even a few years ago ERGON did a study
done that compares being on a grid to being standalone renewable
and it was still SIX times more expensive. And that would be in
a normal place, in the Daintree with an average 4.2 metres of rain
fall per year it is probably more like TWELVE times more expensive.
Click here to see the study on ERGON's website
Safety of Daintree electricity supply
This is what a local Facebook chat page looks like....
website you can read:
Diesel Engines and Public Health
With mounting evidence that diesel exhaust poses major health hazards,
reducing diesel pollution has become a public priority.
Health Impacts of Diesel Pollution
Diesel-powered vehicles and equipment account for nearly half of all
nitrogen oxides (NOx) and more than two-thirds of all particulate matter
(PM) emissions from US transportation sources.
Particulate matter or soot is created during the incomplete combustion
of diesel fuel. Its composition often includes hundreds of chemical elements,
including sulfates, ammonium, nitrates, elemental carbon, condensed organic
compounds, and even carcinogenic compounds and heavy metals such as arsenic,
selenium, cadmium and zinc.¹ Though just a fraction of the width
of a human hair, particulate matter varies in size from coarse particulates
(less than 10 microns in diameter) to fine particulates (less than 2.5
microns) to ultrafine particulates (less than 0.1 microns). Ultrafine
particulates, which are small enough to penetrate the cells of the lungs,
make up 80-95% of diesel soot pollution.
Particulate matter irritates the eyes, nose, throat, and lungs, contributing
to respiratory and cardiovascular illnesses and even premature death.
Although everyone is susceptible to diesel soot pollution, children, the
elderly, and individuals with preexisting respiratory conditions are the
most vulnerable. Researchers estimate that, nationwide, tens of thousands
of people die prematurely each year as a result of particulate pollution.
Diesel engines contribute to the problem by releasing particulates directly
into the air and by emitting nitrogen oxides and sulfur oxides, which
transform into "secondary" particulates in the atmosphere.
Diesel emissions of nitrogen oxides contribute to the formation of ground
level ozone, which irritates the respiratory system, causing coughing,
choking, and reduced lung capacity. Ground level ozone pollution, formed
when nitrogen oxides and hydrocarbon emissions combine in the presence
of sunlight, presents a hazard for both healthy adults and individuals
suffering from respiratory problems. Urban ozone pollution has been linked
to increased hospital admissions for respiratory problems such as asthma,
even at levels below the federal standards for ozone.
Diesel exhaust has been classified a potential human carcinogen by the
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the International Agency
for Research on Cancer. Exposure to high levels of diesel exhaust has
been shown to cause lung tumors in rats, and studies of humans routinely
exposed to diesel fumes indicate a greater risk of lung cancer. For example,
occupational health studies of railroad, dock, trucking, and bus garage
workers exposed to high levels of diesel exhaust over many years consistently
demonstrate a 20 to 50 percent increase in the risk of lung cancer or
Diesel Pollution and Public Health Solutions
The public-health problems associated with diesel emissions have intensified
efforts to develop viable solutions for reducing these emissions. Both
federal and state governments have taken steps to reduce diesel emissions,
but more work needs to be done.
Cleaner Fuels – The EPA has adopted more stringent fuel standards
to reduce the amount of sulfur allowed in diesel fuel. These requirements
went into effect in late 2006 for on-road diesel vehicles, while off-road
diesel fuel used in construction equipment and trains will take effect
over the next five years. Lower sulfur diesel fuel allows the use of advanced
emission control technologies, which when combined, can reduce emissions
more than 85 percent. The fuel used in ships visiting our port cities,
however, is not subject to EPA's regulation and remains a significant
source of diesel pollution.
New Engine Standards – New engine standards for diesel cars, trucks
and heavy equipment have traditionally lagged far behind those for gasoline
powered vehicles. For example, diesel construction equipment faced no
emissions standards as late as 1996. With mounting pressure to clean-up
diesel engines, the EPA has adopted standards for both heavy-duty trucks
and off-road construction equipment and more recently for marine vessels
and trains, which will phase in over the coming decade. Under current
regulations, passenger cars and trucks are subject to the same emission
standards regardless of the fuel they use.
On this website
you can read:
The following reflect data from the Center for Disease Control, United
States Consumer Product Safety Commission and Synovate, Inc., Multi-Client
Current ICE Generator emissions kill approximately 500 people annually
from carbon monoxide.
This number tripled between 2000 and 2005. Survivors could be affected
with severe disabilities such as blindness, paralysis, Parkinson’s
Disease, temporary emotional instability, memory loss, psychosis, dementia,
incontinence, or peripheral neuropathy.
As late as 2005, 65% of people polled by the Center for Disease Control
(CDC) mistakenly believe that it is safe to run a generator in a basement.
Small engines are environmentally unsound: Home generators emit as much
carbon dioxide (CO) as 100 idling automobiles.
30% of the world’s CO problems are caused by small engines.
It is estimated that 40,000 people per year seek hospital room/ER treatment
nationwide for CO poisoning. CO may manifest itself as flu-like symptoms.
website you can read:
The ingredients of air pollution
Cars and trucks produce air pollution throughout their life, including
pollution emitted during vehicle operation, refueling, manufacturing,
and disposal. Additional emissions are associated with the refining and
distribution of vehicle fuel.
Air pollution from cars and trucks is split into primary and secondary
pollution. Primary pollution is emitted directly into the atmosphere;
secondary pollution results from chemical reactions between pollutants
in the atmosphere. The following are the major pollutants from motor vehicles:
Particulate matter (PM). These particles of soot and metals give smog
its murky color. Fine particles — less than one-tenth the diameter
of a human hair — pose the most serious threat to human health,
as they can penetrate deep into lungs. PM is a direct (primary) pollution
and a secondary pollution from hydrocarbons, nitrogen oxides, and sulfer
dioxides. Diesel exhaust is a major contributor to PM pollution.
Hydrocarbons (HC). These pollutants react with nitrogen oxides in the
presence of sunlight to form ground level ozone, a primary ingredient
in smog. Though beneficial in the upper atmosphere, at the ground level
this gas irritates the respiratory system, causing coughing, choking,
and reduced lung capacity.
Nitrogen oxides (NOx). These pollutants cause lung irritation and weaken
the body's defenses against respiratory infections such as pneumonia and
influenza. In addition, they assist in the formation of ground level ozone
and particulate matter.
Carbon monoxide (CO). This odorless, colorless, and poisonous gas is
formed by the combustion of fossil fuels such as gasoline and is emitted
primarily from cars and trucks. When inhaled, CO blocks oxygen from the
brain, heart, and other vital organs. Fetuses, newborn children, and people
with chronic illnesses are especially susceptible to the effects of CO.
Sulfur dioxide (SO2). Power plants and motor vehicles create this pollutant
by burning sulfur-containing fuels, especially diesel. Sulfur dioxide
can react in the atmosphere to form fine particles and poses the largest
health risk to young children and asthmatics.
Hazardous air pollutants (toxics). These chemical compounds have been
linked to birth defects, cancer, and other serious illnesses. The
Environmental Protection Agency estimates that the air toxics emitted
from cars and trucks — which include Benzene, acetaldehyde,
and 1,3-butadiene — account for half of all cancers caused
by air pollution.