The energy in the room was electric

A GROUP of “high powered” physicists and climate experts from across Australia met with some of their Highlands counterparts in Berrima recently to talk about clean energy solutions. 

Highlands resident Rob Parker said the group, comprised of experts concerned about lack of action on climate change matters, met at the Stone Room to discuss clean energy methods to overcome climate change and ways to reframe public debate on the issue.

Mr Parker said the group was focused on clean energy alternatives that would not hinder industry or the Australian economy, but maintain and even enhance it.

“We’ve got to look at very powerful, clean energy solutions to provide transport, synthesise fuels and maintain our industries,” he said.

“Much of the issue around climate change matters is that most of our carbon dioxide is coming from large industrial processes, agricultural processes and our transport sectors and our big hitters which do not really lend themselves to renewables.

“This has been known for some time which is why we don’t see any change.”

The group included Highlanders Frank Moore and Philip Walker as well as physicists and climate specialists from across Australia such as Don Higson, Ben Heard, Tony Irwin, John Harries, Martin Nicholson, Geoff Russell and John Morgan.

“Primarily what sets our agenda somewhat differently to most climate change groups is that negativism about saying ‘let’s stop things’ doesn’t spin anyone’s wheels,” Mr Parker said.

“It’s about giving society the constancy it needs to develop but not nail it to the floor to achieve it.”

The group, which included a number of members of the Australian Nuclear Association, discussed provision of nuclear power by Small Modular Reactors that could be placed underground.

“You can’t fly a plane into it, you can’t blow it up, it just sits underground,” Mr Parker said.

“In pure economic terms, it probably doesn’t stack up right now, but we’ve got to change.

“For a country like Australia, they’ve got a heck of a lot going for them. We could go down the conventional route of other types of reactors but these have got advantages for people who are concerned about terrorist threats or things like that.”

He said one of the keys to moving public debate forward was reframing the focus from what people should not do to what people could do.

“We’ve got to get into that mindset that you can grow your economy, you can be powerful and you can be imaginative and you don’t have to stifle everything.”

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