Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Shale Gas Priority for US Australian Alliance

Julie Bishop, Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs, spent much of her speech at the "Australia US Alliance Conference in Canberra" today detailing the USA's technological, industrial and economic prowess. However, some of the claims made do not stand up to close scrutiny.

The minister mentioned the remarkable devlopment of shale gas in the USA and its rapidly reducing the country's dependence on imported oil. However, the minister did not mention problems with shale gas, including its the greenhouse gas contribution. This may limit or even reverse the expansion of the gas use.

Also, the Minister pointed out that the USA was the only country to have landed people on the moon. However, she did not mention that the USA currently has no capability to put personnel in orbit. The USA is currently dependent on Russia for access the the International Space Station. The only other country with manned space capability is China (with Russian derived technology). The USA's commercial space developments have the potential to again overtake other nations space development in the next few years, but that is in the future.

The Minister also mentioned US/Australian cooperation on cyber-security, but without detailing what resources are devoted to this effort. In my view, not only the rhetoric, but money and people needed to be devoted to cyber-security, cyber-warfare and information warfare.

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