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Day to Day Politics: Have the right won?

Saturday 11 February 2017

The Australian public have delivered their verdict on what they think of our political system, the way it operates and the people who run it. The verdict is emphatic. It is not new. They think our politicians are morons, more intent on self-interest than our interests. We simply don’t trust them.

In the Australian context Pauline Hanson’s rise is an example of what occurs when the public thinks they are being had. Some protest by switching to people who say what they want to hear. It doesn’t matter whether the person is a drongo, as in Hanson’s case, and it is unlikely to change anything. They just want to protest.

Nothing could illustrate their frustration more than this week’s attack on Bill Shorten by the Prime minister and the Governments attitude to Climate Change and the blackout in South Australia.

What caused the blackouts in South Australia?. It’s fairly obvious if you think about it. It’s Climate Change. We are currently experiencing adverse weather conditions that will, in the future, become the norm or worse. And now we find the Government going hell for leather blaming anything and everything other than the reality of Climate Change. The other point is this. The previous blackout could have been avoided if firstly the towers had been built of a standard capable of withstanding extreme weather, and secondly, in the case of Wednesday’s crisis, some planned common sense that prioritised power over profit.

But alas it would seem, based on the current onslaught on renewable energy, energy reliability and its support for dirty coal, the government seems intent on following the Trump path of Climate Denial. There is no doubt that renewables will be the future and that other technologies will come along to support it. If gas and coal in the meantime are needed for base load power then let’s be sensible and make adjustments as required.

When I listen to panels of experts talk about their particular field, I am often left in awe of their knowledge and particularly their solutions to problems. Therefore I am apt to ask myself why we allow political ideology, vested interests, and media tycoons the freedom to know better.

Malcolm Turnbull has revived the ‘clean coal’ zombie. But why build expensive, polluting, new coal power stations when you can build wind for half the price!

It is now clear that the Government, in spite of the public saying they have had a gutfull, intend spruiking the goodness of coal, expressing alarm about the cost of living to create the illusion that power prices would rise steeply.

The lump of coal, I interpret, as being a metaphor for how it will save us from the relentless march of socialism which the right see as the root cause of all wrongs. Coal, in spite of the science, would be the saviour of the household power bill, whereas the cost of cleaning the planet would be hidden somewhere in our imagination.

If there is a problem with power security then who is at fault? It is just sickening to watch them openly lie and blame others for their own stupidity.

You might recall that prior to Christmas the government’s own experts recommended an emissions intensity scheme that actually favoured gas in the energy mix, would be the best way forward.

They couldn’t do that of course because it was too political. It sounded a little bit like Labor might have been right. Stuff the power blackouts. We cannot admit we might have been wrong. What a farce. In England they took the matter so seriously that the major parties took the ideology out of it a decade ago.

The tragedy is that while the Prime Minister is increasingly falling into line with his ultra-conservative feral backbench, Australia is missing out on clean energy investments.

The further tragedy is that the Government is still in denial about the peoples’ demand for better governance. Instead of acting, they are playing silly games like bringing a lump of coal into question time. The actions of our politicians this week in the parliament were nothing short of childlike.

It’s now official. The right have won.

We deserve better but we won’t get it until we demand it.

On this day in 2016 I wrote. (In part)

”Bias is a bastard of a topic because it’s like rust. It spreads everywhere. The most common form of bias is found in sport. The one-eyed football supporter is so biased he/she can see no redeeming features about the opposition.

Collingwood supporters in the AFL are acknowledged as the most feral variety. (Have I lost any friends?) Bias also occurs in advertising where we are seemingly told with open prejudice the merit of one product over another. Bias also inhabits the corporate world where it is used in reporting profit or in surveys where the outcome is slanted toward the corporation.

Or even in polls where a certain outcome is beneficial to whoever commissioned it. Religion shows its bias when it will not allow certain practices in health, or excludes sex education in its schools.

Then there is omission bias where vital information is deleted or purposely left out. And of course there is the bias of sensationalism where it is given precedence over the mundane which might be the more factual. Another is concision bias, a tendency to report views that can be summarised succinctly, crowding out more unconventional views that take time to explain.

Then there is what I call social bias which favours or attacks a particular race, religion, gender, age, sexual orientation, ethnic group or even an individual. Science of course has a bias of fact before feeling”

”Another example is “The Australian” newspaper. Sometimes called the official newsletter of the LNP. Why does it exist? It loses millions of dollars annually for an owner who has spent a lifetime in the pursuit of financial riches. There can only be one reason and that is to perpetuate its bias. And biased it is.

Generally speaking newspapers report (or should report) both sides of an argument, its bias will usually slant toward its own editorial bent. However, most will seek to achieve a reasonable balance in light of the weight of any given argument.

With climate change it would be hard to argue that the weight should not come down on the side of science. Yet in his Quarterly Essay critique 2014. Australian academic Robert Manne read almost seven years’ worth of news and opinion articles in the Australian Newspaper and discovered that, of the 880 articles printed, just 180 were “favourable to climate change action and 700 unfavourable” – a four to one difference. On the newspaper’s opinion pages alone, the sceptics out-number the “consensus” 10 to one. Enough said. You be the judge”

My thought for the day.

Debate is not of necessity about winning or taking down ones opponent. It is an exchange of ideas and principles. Or in its purest form it is simply the art of persuasion”

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  1. June M Bullivant Oam

    The threatened blackouts in NSW are because of high immigration and increased housing the amount of energy needed to keep NSW cool is astronomical, we still have infrastructure built in the 1990’s, we still have roads and a public transport systems built at the same time, our children cannot afford to buy a home because government has let all the immigrants in and they need housing, they need jobs, government is not creating jobs, so Australians lose our, our assets are being sold off, every piece of green space is built on and the LNP think this is progress.
    The government are saying that we need to get a good job or bludge on our parents, pollies are well paid and the rest of the population is seeing our rights taken away, our health system cut and tax cuts given to business which is funded by the elderly, the poor and the sick. Is it any wonder that we are not happy. And by the way Mr Turnbull we hated seeing you act like a bully and rant in parliament at Shorten, that is not strong or manly, the only ones impressed are your LNP mates.

  2. Gary Michael

    Climate change is a hoax we have had weather like this during the 1970’s.

  3. Kate Ahearne

    Thanks, John. Your efforts every day are much appreciated. I don’t know how you do it, but so far you have elicited one comment from an immigrant-blamer and one from a climate science denier. Deary me.

  4. Peter F

    Gary, you confuse climate and weather. Climate relates to the conditions in general, over a long period. Weather relates to the conditions at a specific time. Climate change is a long term change in weather conditions.

  5. Peter F

    June, you seem to be blaming recent immigrants for our society’s increased demand for the comfort of airconditioning: ‘the amount of energy needed to keep NSW cool is astronomical,’.

    I did not appreciate how much we have allowed ourselves to be influenced by recent arrivals. No doubt you can remember back to the ’50’s when only the Governor had an air-conditioned CAR. Apparently, we have allowed ourselves to be weakened by letting in too many foreigners demanding to be made comfortable.

  6. Egalitarian

    I hope your right in some way Gary.Most of the scientist agree on Climate change. Industrialisation has caused havoc on this poor old planet.

  7. Miriam English

    June M Bullivant Oam, I agree with your comment except where it targets immigrants. I’m puzzled that you would attack the tiny number of immigrants instead of the awful actions of the LNP in screwing small businesses that might employ more people.

    Gary Michael, 2014 was the hottest year on record, until 2015 which was the new record breaker — the hottest year on record. But then 2016 came along and broke all previous records and became the hottest year on record. Have a look at the move of averages toward ever hotter temperatures over the past several decades. Look at the decreasing extent of ice in the arctic, the fact that glaciers around the world are melting at increasing rates, the fact that the ice is sliding off Antarctica faster than ever before, the fact that melting of ice on Greenland continues to accelerate.

    Gary Michael, in the past we have had individual days and even strings of a few days like what we’re having now, but the problem is that the average is so high now that we get weeks and months of weather that once upon a time would have been relieved by return to normal after a couple of days.

    Gary Michael, instead of echoing misinformers paid by the fossil fuel companies, it would spare you much embarrassment to learn what is really happening.

  8. Jack Straw

    Miriam our migration levels are way too high at the moment regardless where they come from.

  9. Vikingduk

    Miriam, you’re trying to counteract wilful ignorance/gross stupidity with facts? Are you insane, have you no idea the damage you are inflicting on a supposedly intelligent species?

    The greatest hoax? That we are an intelligent species.

  10. Terry2

    The unrestrained glee of the coalition over the SA power shedding is worrying and it is becoming increasingly difficult to get impartial and informed information on exactly what has been happening in South Australia : reading between the lines it appears that in the most recent load shedding event that there was plenty of excess capacity from the gas fired number two station at Pelican Point but due to the overriding authority of the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) it was not commissioned.

    AEMO manages the NEM (National Electricity Market) and is responsible for national electricity transmission planning and security of the national electricity grid. It seems that NEM should have been ensuring that Pelican Pt. came on line but evidently didn’t.

    The coalition want to place all the blame on Labor and the renewable energy targets of the states and they blame the lack of wind power for the load shedding but this doesn’t seem to be correct as far as I can see. Much as the severe storms when numerous transmission pylons were demolished, the coalition blamed renewable energy targets.
    I noticed today that Turnbull, Frydenberg, Joyce and Bishop all attacked Labor for power load shedding – Julie Bishop even warned WA voters that if they put Labor into office at the coming state election, they too would be facing load shedding and power outages.

    The problem seems to be driven by privatisation to the extent that the SA state government no longer have the control over their grid as this has been taken over by the federal operator AEMO. It now seems that the only way that the state government can issue directives to the power generators is by declaring a state of emergency – even though a state of emergency doesn’t exist until such time as AEMO drops the ball.

  11. Kate Ahearne

    Jack, there are basically two kinds of immigrants – the ones we let in because we need their capital and/or their skills, and the ones we let in because we recognise their desperate plight. In other words, there are the ones we need and the ones who need us. It does us good to share, doesn’t it? And it’s not an either/or proposition. It’s not immigrants OR care for the elderly, not immigrants OR air conditioning, Our economy is being grossly mismanaged. Let’s address that.

  12. Kate Ahearne

    Thanks, Miriam. Thanks, Terry. Good old-fashioned facts and good old common sense.

  13. johnlord2013

    Well spoken Kate.

  14. Harquebus

    John Lord
    “There is no doubt that renewables will be the future”
    The renewable energy dream is just that. No one believes me on this so, I have given up arguing. Let them learn the hard way.

    I recommend that you research the concept EROEI. It is not difficult and the gist of it can be gathered in 10 minutes, depending on which article or paper one reads. Literature advocating “renewables” rarely mention this concept. If you do and turn out to be on the “greater than or equal to one side”, you will definitely get support for your position from other readers here. I am on the “less than one” side.

    “and that other technologies will come along to support it.”
    A dangerous gamble that will have fatal consequences if the bet is lost. Technology requires an extensive fossil fueled industrial infrastructure to support it.

    Cranking up the air con because, increasing energy usage has been warming the climate requires increasing energy use to solve it and now, they are having trouble finding it [energy] just as I have been saying they would for over a decade.

    What’s the solution according to our inglorious leaders.
    Increase energy production, grow populations, grow the economy, build massive amounts of energy guzzling infrastructure and pay off debt all while trying to reduce greenhouse gasses and the budget deficit.

    “The future is already here – it’s just not evenly distributed.” — William Gibson

    As you say, expect more and worse.
    Thank you for addressing this issue.

  15. michael lacey

    Have the right won? They are not going to diminish on our current economic road pursued by both major parties! Most elections are almost exclusively controlled by economic issues and the Pauline Hanson rise is an example of people’s frustrations with both major parties!

  16. Harquebus

    Viking Duk
    Climate change deniers have put up some pretty good arguments but, they are being contested and physical evidence against them is mounting up.
    I visit this site almost every day and 2016/17 is exceptional.

  17. Miriam English

    Harquebus, you said you would read the refutation of the myth of renewables not returning the energy invested in their manufacture. You haven’t, and yet here you are, still arguing for that fallacy.

    I expected a bit more integrity from you. I’m genuinely disappointed.

    In case you’ve mislaid the address:

  18. Vikingduk

    Thanks, Harquebus, as I receive this info from a once-a-month newsletter from NASA, what, exactly, is your point? Denialists putting up pretty good arguments, really? Where?

    I still maintain that the greatest hoax is that humans are an intelligent species.

  19. Harquebus

    Miriam English
    As I have explained, it’s hot but, okay, I’ll do it now. I won’t be responding to it here.
    I am not arguing my case, I am stating it.

  20. Graeme Henchel

    I don’t for one minute think “the right have won”. What is happening at the moment is Abbott/Turnbull government are showing that they are a complete rabble with no ideas or visions other than to stop labor, Trump is being the complete ignoramus he was always going to be and Poorleaner Handout and her crew of idiots are daily showing what fools they are. What we are seeing is the last death throws of the right. Their apparent ascendency is giving them enough rope to finally hang them selves. There may well be some more pain on the way but the left need the kick up the arse that Trump has given them. The left also need to articulate a solution to the real economic pain felt by people attracted to Trump and Hanson, whilst disavowing the simplistic and racist solutions that Trump and Hanson suggest.
    As for climate change, it ain’t going away and renewable energy, energy efficiency and phased population reduction are the only solutions. The longer and more stridently these idiots hang their coats on coal the more stupid they become.

    Shallow Mal was once a climate prince
    He is now the king of coal
    The people know he is on the take
    Digging himself a deeper hole.

  21. Grant

    Thanks Harquebus for bringing up the concept of EROEI.
    The best outcome would be to run on hydro but that’s not an option for Aust. To address CC we need to reduce our carbon footprint which means modifying our daily lives. Last I checked Aust had per capita carbon footprint 3 times that of highly polluting China and double that of highly industrialized Germany. It’s our air-conned lifestyle that needs to change.

    Re the question “Have the right won?” The ‘right’ have won in respect of writing the rules to protect the top 5%. They could have played fair and included the whole community in their deliberations. More fool them.

  22. auntyuta

    “What caused the blackouts in South Australia?. It’s fairly obvious if you think about it. It’s Climate Change. We are currently experiencing adverse weather conditions that will, in the future, become the norm or worse. And now we find the Government going hell for leather blaming anything and everything other than the reality of Climate Change. The other point is this. The previous blackout could have been avoided if firstly the towers had been built of a standard capable of withstanding extreme weather, and secondly, in the case of Wednesday’s crisis, some planned common sense that prioritised power over profit.”

    Who could argue with this? All the main media should report about it like this. But people who only think about profit are just going to keep on lying.

  23. auntyuta

    ”Debate is not of necessity about winning or taking down ones opponent. It is an exchange of ideas and principles. Or in its purest form it is simply the art of persuasion”

    I wonder whether they teach in private schools that you have to win the debate no matter what.

  24. Keitha Granville

    Renewable energy is a dream ? That’s odd, Tasmania has been powered for many years on hydro alone, with gas and oil fired backups added later, and now we have Basslink – that should never have been allowed to happen but never mind – providing energy when oujr water storage drops. That has only happened asa result of selling too much of our energy to the Voctorian grid. Profits before power for the people. Now we have stronger regulations about water levels to prevent a recurrence.
    Denmark, the UK, Germany are all turning over to renewables, currently up to 50%. And a tiny little island, Bonaire in the Caribbean, is practically 100% renewable – wind. They have battery storage when there is excess from use, and they are developing generators which will run on biofuel from sea algae. No more importing of diesel, and the cost is around 22c per kwH. We wish ! They have been encouraged and supported by the Netherlands and Germany – both giants in renewables – and they are a shining example for other island communities on how to get ahead. This has created employment in both the wind farms and the algae beds.
    Smaller nations with better ideas are leaving us behind.
    I am SO tired of the climate change deniers. I have zero respect for anyone who won’t accept the basic science of this.

  25. helvityni

    According to the folk-lore, men with small chins are deemed to be of a weak character…

    It also tells us that blokes with big-ish chins are strong, decisive, they look fellow millionaires in the eye, bravely and confidently…never flinching.

    It is no wonder that Mal is jutting his jaw lately to show us ,to use Leonard Cohen’s words, “I’m your man”.

  26. Johno

    Vikingduc.. That could be a new article..Are humans actually intelligent ??? Definitely a can of worms.

    Graeme Henchel.. Nice poem.

  27. wam

    Thought you had retired from weekend reports, lord?

    This morning has a lovely mix of they and us.

    ‘The tragedy is that while the Prime Minister is increasingly falling into line with his ultra-conservative feral backbench, Australia is missing out on clean energy investments.’ begins with the silly idea that a PM would not fall into line with backbenchers or be rabbottised as for feral they are in the cabinet.
    But ended with the sad truth

    Harqebus is a victim of the coalised mentalitity.

    Renewables are the economics of the future, for all humanity except the billion of us already rich and comfortable in our whitefella countries.
    Anyone who thinks the other 6 billion are going to get rich by drilling and fracking fossils is loony but rich they will eventually be..

    Sadly, we were heading down the road to richness, till little johnnie et al forgot the CSIRO.

    spot on keitha my deniers have retreated to ’empirical’ not a cogent argument but gives them an agnostic position.

  28. Harquebus

    My apologies for my misunderstanding. I haven’t been sleeping well because of this heat.

    Keitha Granville
    Hydro is not as green as claimed and comes with its own set of problems. Again, not going to argue.
    I do not deny climate warming. I dispute the suggested solutions.


  29. Johno

    Clive Hamilton (author of many fine books on human stupidity) has quit the climate council, in response to the Turnbull clean coal whitewash.

  30. Johno

    Could coalgate bring down Turnbull ??

  31. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    I agree with Graeme Henschel,

    the Right has not won and will not win. We see with our own eyes the LNP Degenerates are unravelling and Trump began being defeated the moment he went into the Whitehouse with demonstrations throughout the Western World.

  32. helvityni

    Johno, I’m asking what’s keeping him up there; he gave a lot of money to the Liberal party, so he feels he’s entitled to have the top job…
    Didn’t he say he runs the country like a business man…?

    Businesses go broke daily…

  33. Freethinker

    Gary MichaelFebruary 11, 2017 at 6:44 am
    Climate change is a hoax we have had weather like this during the 1970’s.

    Yes Gary, science is craps.

    Why bother, may as well talk to the brick wall.

  34. Vikingduk

    Yes,Johno, possibly an interesting study. Professor Clive Hamilton sent his resignation letter to frydenberg on Friday, saying it was “perverse” that the government would be boosting coal when 2016 marked hottest year on record.

    Professor Hamilton, when commenting on sock puppet’s press club speech, said the comments were ” completely irresponsible and perhaps the sharpest indicator yet just how completely Turnbull has capitulated to the hard right . . .”

    And also from SMH —- vitriol, far right style

    Cartoonist larry Pickering told guests at a fundraiser linked to Christensen and Bernadi that he “can’t stand Muslims” , but “they are not all bad, they do chuck pillow biters off buildings”.

    More hate, lies, hypocrisy, garnished with ever more hate, sprinkled on my crushed coal brekky . . . Mmmm, honey or sugar.

    All cool, Harquebus, if there is no hope in renewables, clean coal is complete bullshit, what are you suggesting as a way forward in our search for potentially cleaner, saner ways of powering this planet, or do we just give up?

    Your comments I find confusing, frequently, could you clarify please.


  35. Alistair

    The debate over clean energy, renewables and the situation here is South Australia has been confused and driven by carbon-based energy producers and their supporters. The first SA outages were caused by failures in the distribution system. Pylons carrying the power from Victoria blew down in unprecedented winds. Trees blown over by very high winds brought down more local power lines. And most recently, unprecedented temperatures across a large part of the most heavily populated areas of Australia’s South and East coasts led to too much demand for the system to deliver and in an attempt to minimise expenditure the regulator didn’t turn on back-up generation capacity until it was too late. Its not a crisis. Its something that can be fixed.

    The crazy part of this is that Australia isn’t already 100% renewable-energy powered. If sufficient funding and political will had been put into research into renewable generation and storage (mainly highly efficient batteries), then local grids could have been developed and, in addition, a very successful industry seeded which would bring significant economic and employment benefits to the country. this truly is an industry of the future. Instead of which we continue to destroy agricultural land by digging out the coal underneath it and engage in vacuous debates about ‘clean coal’.

    for God’s sake, lets’ focus on the real and easily achievable, a high-skilled renewable energy industry focused on producing energy close to where it is required using as its source the abundant ‘free’ sun, wind and water power that this most lucky of countries has in abundance.

  36. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Hear, hear Alistair.

  37. Harquebus

    My suggestions have been posted many times and I would just be repeating myself, again.
    Give up trying to power the planet. It can’t be done and the attempt to is what has got us here.
    That said, the renewable argument is winning and that is the path that is being taken. Good luck. I hope those advocating it succeed because, they have gambled a lot on its success.

  38. jimhaz

    There are couple of interesting ‘coal carrying’ photos in this article to contrast against the LNP antics.

    The sooner we get real about renewables, the less need for this sort of labour there will be for future generations.

    Population control might help future sulphur miners – if one assumes that shift of focus will result in more reflection about how we get our resources and what is fair treatment of people. We’d at least develop more respect for those doing the work for us and provide better conditions and equipment. Even here, the young are becoming too undervalued due to immigration – you can see this clearly in government and business practices and policies (casual, contract, business wage thief, internships, poverty level welfare, cruel unemployment policies etc etc) or sometimes the lack there off (policies to enable home ownership, cheaper education).

    Presently with our drug addict like fixation on growth we are always looking ahead for the next deal, oblivious to our debauchery and the putrid living conditions we are creating, willing to steal from others to get the narcissist ego fix that irresponsible growth is, with little recognition of, or attention to, resolving underlying problems.

    Isn’t it amazing hypocritical that the LNP have so much FAITH in practically non-existent, or at least minimal, clean coal technology while ostracizing more or less proven renewables technology. ‘Making renewables great’ will be an undertaking of the entire world, whereas clean coal technology will be invested only by a few. The US is not big on coal – 1/3rd of electricity generation and falling.

    Perhaps what is most feared about renewables by the established money base, and why they fight so hard against it, is that it really has no limits. It is reasonable to assume renewables technology development will be much like computer development which went from covering whole floors to mobile phones. Unlike trad energy sources it is not restrained by the limited resources and high production capital requirements and thus can grow somewhat infinitely – it could obliterate massive companies.

  39. Pilot

    I worked in the power reticulation and generation sides of the industry all my working life and can inform you that the very best we could get out of the steam turbo generators was 38% with the average being 30%. It takes (about) a tonne of coal to generate 2 Megawatts of electricity. Coal baseload will have to be with us for a few years to come, but we should not be relying on it as these fools in Canberra are doing.

    Now coal…… Coal isn’t 100% carbon, it is made up of various chemicals and compounds which when burnt combine to form acids and other destructive compounds. It also contains noncombustible compounds, or ash.

    I cannot stress hard enough that coal needs to be replaced as our baseload fuel. I’ve given enough information above for thinking people to do the math. Here’s a hint, Bayswater Power station in the Hunter Valley has 4 X 660 Megawatt Generators, shortcut is that to generate 2640MW (4 X 660Mw) it must burn over 1300 tonnes of coal per hour, of that 30% is ash 2% is made up of toxics which leaves approximately 880 tonnes of carbon being used. As Carbon is heavier than Oxygen, 2 oxygen atoms combine with 1 atom of Carbon to create a molecule of Carbon Dioxide. So not only are we filling our atmosphere with Carbon Dioxide, we are also depleting our Oxygen resources, a point no one talks about.

    Everyone now has enough information to do your own mathematics on the subject.

    I truly enjoyed my work in the power industry before being thrown out injured in an industrial accident back in 1998. The people I worked with were hellbent on increasing the efficiency of the T/G sets as a cost issue firstly, because we were a government body then and production cost was everything. Carbon emissions were also on the agenda but they were secondary to production costs, but lifts in efficiency would reduce these emissions, they had to go hand in hand because emissions were monitored as part of the efficiency algorithm.

    Sadly local blackouts will occur during hot weather, lordy knows how many transformers I was involved in replacing due to blowing up in hot weather. Not only local Tx’s, but feeder Tx’s as well (they’re the bloody big buggers), but load shedding shouldn’t be part of todays electricity grid.

    My closing statement is this: “Clean coal technology is BULLSHIT!!”

  40. Wun Farlung

    Thanks for the info Pilot

  41. Vikingduk


    Thank you for this very informative comment.

  42. Johno

    Pilot… Thanks, good info. Re the depletion of oxygen, yes, the planet is actually suffocating. Really, one does not need to be a scientist or a mathematician to understand that the felling/clearing of the earth’s lungs coinciding with massive emissions of CO2 will reduce oxygen.
    Turnbull, it’s a no brainer, dump your coal fantasy now.

  43. Terry2

    In Barcaldine Western Queensland a solar project has been set up, the project site is approximately 93 hectares and will feature around 79,000 solar modules. Each solar module is approximately three metres wide and stands two metres off the ground.
    Despite objections from the National party that this is taking up good grazing land, cattle could continue to graze and get shade when they need it from under the panels : a win win !

    The project is expected to generate approximately 53,500 megawatt hours of clean, renewable power each year. Reducing annual greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 50,000 tonnes per annum (CO2 equivalent), the project reduces reliance on fossil fuels and other non-renewable energy sources.

    This gives you a glimpse of the future :

    The troglodtes in the LNP passing around a lump of coal remind me of those same people who said that whale oil was given to man by a benevolent supreme being to provide man with lighting until that same supreme being gave us fossil fuels to burn for energy – and the whales breathed a sigh of relief.

    Perhaps if we could encourage Right Wing people around the world and in the LNP to believe that the same benevolent being gave us sun and wind to provide our energy indefinitely they would abandon their worship of the coal-god and embrace renewables : it all comes down to religion in the end.

    Harquebus, the future is in renewable energy, to even think that ‘coal is good for humanity’ is like saying we need to go back to whale-oil.

  44. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Until our energy sources are 100% RET throughout Australia, I see a workable balance between the contentions of both Pilot’s and Terry2’s comments for the interim period.

  45. Harquebus

    How many times do I have to say that, I do not support fossil fuels and also let me repeat again, I do not deny climate change.

  46. Grant

    Thanks pilot, good read. Ran across an interesting graphic of the NEM on twitter by ABC journo yesterday.
    The national electricity market operating as it should (at 19 hours ago now):

  47. Gangey1959

    Thank you JL. That got the braincells activated along with the weetbix.
    I’m obviously not alone.
    @JMB. According to ”the guvvermint” they haven’t let all of the immigrants in, yet housing is still unaffordable. Yes, I agree, our national infrastructure is stuck in the state it was in in the mid 80’s, and no-one has done anything to remedy that. In terms of our immigration situation, Australia has 2 sets of people we are dealing with. The first are the refugees, who are those with unbelievably enormous bank balances and a desperate need to bury their cash somewhere where the government concerned will pay them for the privilege of being chosen but not under any circumstances even suggest that any tax be paid on the vast additional sums being made before they are spirited of to acknowledged havens alongside the trumble’s bazzillions. The second group are your common-or-garden immigrant, who has had their normal living situation blown to shit by a variety of military forces and is now looking for somewhere to put a roof over their head and call home. These folks are a definite no-go, because they will come with NEEDS, like the hope for a job (FFS), and kids to be educated, and language difficulties. The list is endless, and after all, this is Orstraylia, and we don’t do that sort of thing here.
    @GM. Get a grip.
    Vikingduk. The hoax is that our dealers expect us to believe that they are smrtr than us, and will shout louder and louder until we do.
    Alistair. Spot on.
    Pilot. Thank you.
    @Terry2. Fascinating concept, coal breathing a sigh of relief. Right on the money though.
    @ Everyone else. All we can do is keep on keeping on, and converting as we go.
    (Is the pope a believer or denier? If he believes in climate science he could end the argument at tomorrows mass with a couple of flaps of his arms and a few funny words.)

  48. Terry2

    At the Senate enquiry yesterday the head of the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) acknowledged that it left it too late to order a gas-fired generator at Pelican Pt. South Australia to come online.

    David Swift, general manager of AEMO admitted that, once it realised more electricity would be needed, it was too late to order ENGIE, the operator of the Pelican Pt. generator to fire up it’s second unit.

    Now, Josh Frybdenberg, Scott Morrison and Malcolm Turnbull which part of this debate do you not understand : AEMO are the federal government’s national market regulator, they report to the federal minister, that just happens to be Josh Frydenberg.

  49. Miriam English

    Pilot, thanks for a wonderful comment. I’ve copied it to my references folder.

    Terry2 thanks for the link to the Barcaldine solar plant. I didn’t know of that one. They’re popping up all over the place now, despite our stupid governments. You’ve probably heard that the people at Broken Hill are proud of the fact that they now “mine the sun”:
    And there is one at Nyngan too. And one has been approved for Toowoomba.

  50. Brad

    Are the right winning? The most recent dalliance with a true extreme right Australian political leader didn’t work out too well for him. From memory, Australian voters hated his guts and his policies, and still hate his policies if the polls are anything to go by. Malevolent mal risks what popularity he has by doing a tony with tonylike policies.
    I think renewables will ‘trump’ coal simply because business follows winning trends and coal certainly isn’t that.

  51. king1394

    The argument against renewable in terms of EROEI (Energy Return on Energy Invested) always seems to ignore EROEI on coal and other fossil fuels. We have passed the point where it is valid to assume that fossil fuels have a lower EROEI Rather than me trying to explain, see this article:

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