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There is nothing pragmatic about destroying the planet

Last week Malcolm Turnbull addressed the National Press Club where he proclaimed “the battlelines have been drawn: it is clear that the Coalition stands for cheaper energy.”

No doubt mindful of Abbott’s successful campaign to “axe the tax”, Turnbull is now dishing up his version of the same thing, calling on all governments to co-operate on achieving the trifecta of affordable, reliable and secure electricity.

What Mr Turnbull studiously ignores is the fourth, and arguably most important part of the equation – sustainability.

The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) is the body responsible for national transmission planning for electricity. In December last year they published the NATIONAL TRANSMISSION NETWORK DEVELOPMENT PLAN, “an independent, strategic assessment of an appropriate course for efficient transmission grid development in the National Electricity Market (NEM) over the next 20 years. This assessment balances reliability, security, and cost considerations while meeting emissions reduction targets.”

The report makes the stunning admission that the government has no plan for reducing emissions in the electricity sector.

“All studies in the 2016 NTNDP assume that the NEM achieves at least a proportionate share of the COP21 commitment (28% emissions reduction). The mechanisms to meet the target, and any targets beyond 2030, have not yet been specified. The review of Australia’s climate change policies in 2017 should provide more information on the potential mechanisms that will be applied to achieve it.”

So, bereft of government direction, the AEMO went on to suggest what they believe needs to be done.

AEMO projects Australia’s 2030 emissions reductions target will be met mostly by large-scale renewable generation with coal generation reducing from 74% of NEM generation in 2016–17 to 24% in 2035–36.

AEMO’s 2016 National Electricity Forecasting Report (NEFR) projected grid demand growth to be flat over the next 20 years but concedes it could, in fact, be much lower than current forecasts for reasons including the following:

  • Rapid growth of rooftop photovoltaic (PV) – projected to represent between 34% and 60% of new generation installations. Installed capacity is projected to exceed 20 GW by 2036, becoming the technology with most generation capacity in the NEM. Uptake could accelerate faster than projected if a variety of factors, such as further cost breakthroughs or material rises in electricity prices, combine to improve the economics of PV ownership. The recent launch of Tesla’s Powerwall 2 represents a further step down the cost curve for residential battery storage. Tesla’s website indicates that a fully installed 14 kilowatt hour (kWh) system with integrated inverter is expected to cost $10,150.
  • Declining electricity-intensive manufacturing operations in the NEM regions. Sectors with projected growth, like services, use comparatively little electricity.
  • Energy efficiency initiatives, combined with more efficient appliances. The 2016 NEFR projects that energy efficiency will reduce grid demand by 27,082 GWh in 2035–36 (greater than the projected generation from rooftop PV of 25,442 GWh in the same year). Further emphasis on energy efficiency, as a relatively cheap form of abatement to meet emissions reduction targets, could reduce grid demand by more than current expectations
  • Changing consumer behaviour.

Of the existing coal generation fleet, almost 70% of the generation capacity will exceed 50 years from first operation by 2036, indicating that a large proportion of the fleet is approaching the end of its intended life. The 2016 NTNDP projects that up to 63% of the fleet (15.5 gigawatts (GW)) may withdraw from service in the next 20 years under a Neutral economic growth scenario, of which 9 GW is projected to be withdrawn in the 2030s. Whether coal generation is refurbished or replaced will depend on future climate change policy.

They suggest that any medium term gap in energy production whilst renewables ramp up would probably be better filled by gas-powered generation (GPG) rather than coal and warn that these decisions need making now.

“The timing and location of coal generation withdrawals will impact when and where new generation and transmission development is required over the next 20 years. Limited notice of withdrawals at such a scale would not allow for coordinated planning and could compromise efficient NEM development.”

In his address, Malcolm Turnbull said, “We’ve invested $590 million since 2009 in clean coal technology research and demonstration and yet we do not have one modern high-efficiency low-emissions coal-fired power station, let alone one with carbon capture and storage.”

The pompous gall of Turnbull defies belief. There is a good reason we don’t have working CCS technology.

In the 2014 budget the Abbott government cut $459.3m over three years from its carbon capture and storage flagship program, leaving $191.7m to continue existing projects for the next seven years.

In addition, the coal industry “paused” a levy on black coal producers, which was supposed to build a $1bn industry fund to also finance research and demonstration into clean coal technology. It cited low coal prices for the halt.

The objectives of Coal21, set up in 2006, were also changed to allow the industry to use funding already collected to promote the use of coal. Its constitution now allows money to be spent on “promoting the use of coal both within Australia and overseas and promoting the economic and social benefits of the coal industry”

At the time, Tony Abbott said “For now and for the foreseeable future, the foundation of Australia’s energy needs will be coal. The foundation of the world’s energy needs will be coal.”

Tony Wood, the energy program director at the Grattan Institute, said: “CCS is the only way Australia, and the world, can keep using coal and also do what it needs to do about climate change, but neither industry nor government seem to be serious about doing anything about it.”

John Connor, the chief executive of the Climate Institute, said CCS “has to be one of the clean energy options available because all the modelling says that to avoid temperature rises of more than two degrees, we have to take carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere”.

It costs several billion to build a new coal-fired power station. Instead, we could:

  • Increase the quota of gas retained for domestic use and fix it at an affordable price – after all, we own the stuff.
  • Subsidise the installation of roof top solar as the Coalition promised they would do in the 2013 election.
  • Stop indiscriminate large-scale land-clearing and plant more trees
  • Invest in wind energy instead of inquiries into whether or not it makes you sick – we know coal is killing us.
  • Electricity is an essential item whose price could be reduced by 10% by not charging GST (a price signal has been effective in reducing demand but this could be an option if necessary).
  • Stop guaranteeing profits when privatising our services.

Turnbull pontificated “We are approaching this issue clear-eyed, pragmatic and objective. Labor’s approach is driven simply by ideology, heedless of cost or the thousands of jobs that it will destroy.”

I thought removing the carbon tax was supposed to make electricity cheap and provide thousands of jobs?

Malcolm perhaps revealed his true motivation when he said “as Australia is a big exporter we need to show we are using state-of-the-art clean coal-fired technology.”

Trick the world into thinking coal is clean to keep profits up for a few more years for your billionaire mates?

There is nothing pragmatic about destroying the planet.

 

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80 comments

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  1. Steve Laing - makeourvoiceheard.com

    But will such a sensible approach reward ones donors? God, at least Abbott was just an idiot, but this shyster must fully comprehend the damage he is doing, yet still happily does so. And with the systematic overhaul of the ABC to being a Coalition mouthpiece, he is well on his way to fully destroying the planet for human habitation. I’m increasingly of the belief that this species deserves no less.

  2. townsvilleblog

    What a terrible indictment on this conservative and reckless old government, we need a much more progressive government asap.

  3. townsvilleblog

    Steve what I don’t get is that these people have children, they are condemning their children to a future of chaos.

  4. Kate Ahearne

    Thanks, Kaye. At the bottom of it all is the fact that sunshine and wind are free. You can’t own them and you can’t sell them. As you say, ‘There is nothing pragmatic about destroying the planet’.

  5. Malcolm T

    You say “There is nothing pragmatic about destroying the planet”.
    I say cheaper energy is the way to go.
    After all, we all know, coal is cheap and good for humanity.

    Now, let me tell you about coal. Everyone keeps asking me about coal. People love Australian coal. Australians make the best coal ever seen. People keep saying to me “We need more coal!” and I say I hear you! We are going to dig up and export the best coal, the most coal, the biggest coal. When it comes to coal, the Australian government has your back. And you are going to say “Stop, enough with coal exports”. “You’ve got our back too much”.

    Well, I heard from a hundred different people, there’s some really, really, really bad dudes out there talking down coal. Listen, you can never have too much coal. Not using coal is for losers. Are you a loser? Enough of whiny losers with their fake global warming and melting icecaps. We need winners, people prepared to use as much coal as possible. Coal is mankind’s saviour, I don’t know, but that is what people are telling me.

  6. Peter F

    Renewable energy is getting cheaper … fossil fuelled energy will get dearer the disruption is upon us.

  7. Harquebus

    “There is a good reason we don’t have working CCS technology.” It is just more bullshit male bovine excrement thrown in our direction to distract us. Same for solar Pv and wind turbines which, can not be manufactured without fossil fuels and the creation of vast amounts of pollution and toxic byproducts.

    It takes a lot of energy to extract CO2 from flu gasses, compress and transport it via pipeline or a fleet of trucks to as yet unknown suitable locations, force it underground and then, there is no guarantee that it will not escape.

    Sunshine and wind are free but, collecting that energy is not. EROEI.

    “Renewable energy” is getting cheaper because, the inefficient devices used to collect it are now manufactured using slave labor and the dumping of the resulting toxic byproducts unprocessed into the local Chinese environment.

    There is no magic solution. The fossil fueled growth economy must die if we are to rescue and restore the natural world on which our survival depends.

    I will spare you all the links.

    Cheers.

  8. Kaye Lee

    In one breath they say they want to be ‘technology agnostic’ in reducing emissions (new buzz term from the marketing kids) and in the next tell us “coal is the future”.

    Last year, the National Health and Medical Research Council gave two grants worth $3.3m to research the impact of wind turbines on human health despite concluding in 2015 there was no evidence turbine noise was harmful.

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/mar/22/wind-power-funding-body-spends-33m-on-research-into-turbines-health-impact

    We are also spending millions on a National Wind Farm Commissioner and Independent Scientific Committee on Wind Turbines

    http://www.environment.gov.au/minister/hunt/2015/mr20151009.html

  9. Kaye Lee

    Spare me your pointless defeatism too please.

  10. Harquebus

    Kaye Lee
    Facing reality is not defeatism.
    I have recently decided not to argue this topic. Miriam and I have been butting heads on this since we first met and my head is hurting. I am grateful to have had my say and will leave it to you and others as to whether you wish to believe me or not.
    I might chip in as the discussion progresses however, I will not attempt to dominate the conversation and nor will I try to redirect it.
    Thank you for your time spent producing this article and allowing me to respond.
    Cheers.

  11. Kaye Lee

    Harquebus, all I ask from you is suggestions on how we can improve the situation. Your absolute refusal to admit that moving away from fossil fuels to renewable energy will reduce emissions really taints the other things you say. Yes, renewables use some fossil fuels in production etc but they also have the potential to vastly reduce emissions. No-one is suggesting we can avoid fossil fuels entirely any time soon but we can sure start weaning ourselves off them. Yes, there are very dubious labour practices in some manufacturing countries. That is another problem that needs addressing.

    I will say again, there is no need to ring the alarm bell here. We are all already alarmed. We need ideas, not an annoying ringing bell.

  12. Paolo Sopran

    ‘Clean coal’ is a myth, it does not exist and never will, it is a fiction. Carbon Capture and Storage is impossible and will never be implemented. Never. Ask the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. How politicians and journalists can perpetuate these myths is totally beyond me. It is criminal negligence of the highest order – and fraud.

  13. Paolo Soprani

    Clean coal is a myth, so is Carbon capture and Storage. Can’t be done, will never, ever happen. Just ask the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Anyone who says these can be implemented is committing a fraud.

  14. Harquebus

    Kaye Lee
    Abandoning the physically impossible dream of renewable energy is a good first step.
    I have posted this many times. In my opinion, it is what must be done. How is open for debate.

    1: Forget economics. It is “fatally” flawed. It has polluted the planet, poisoned us all, does not factor physics nor the environment and is what has got us into this mess in the first place.
    2: Implement national and encourage international population reduction strategies otherwise, one way or another, nature will drag us back to sustainable levels and it won’t be pretty.
    3: Properly manage our finite resources which, are currently being pillaged.
    4: Reduce consumption using quotas and not with unfair taxation. We can not shop our way to sustainability and we can not borrow our way to prosperity.
    5: Plant lots and lots of trees. Massive scale reforestation will help the climate, rainfall and be a valuable renewable resource for future generations.
    6: Restore the liberties and freedoms stolen from us by corporate serving politicians.

    Remove this comment if you like as it is probably outside the bounds of this article. As I said, I have posted it often and I will not be upset if you do. There will other opportunities.

    Will you please join my mailing list. There is lots that I can inform you of and my opportunities to do so here are limited.

    Anyway, I’m off to one of my twice weekly beer and cough, cough, 70’s music sessions with some friends so, will catchyalayda.

    Cheers.

  15. amethyst3009

    ‘The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) is the body responsible for national transmission planning for electricity.

    Herein lies the problem. The name says it all. It is a market operator, and therefore has responsibility to, and for, the operation of THE MARKET. Not for the transmission of electricity, ie it is working to shore up profits for the stakeholders IN THE MARKET.

    This is an accounting group, not an organisation that can think independently about ways to move to a more sustainable method of electricity generation.

    MARKET, MARKET, MARKET…

  16. jimhaz

    [Subsidise the installation of roof top solar]

    In my view domestic roof top solar for households has always been an economic joke and a political facade (being seen to be active and creating more jobs).

    Build large scale solar based generation plants, don’t subsidize householders a cent. It is just nor value for money, nor do I believe my taxes should be subsidising electricity only for some as well as us having to pay extra costs for electricity due to the efficiency wastefulness of roof top connections (all these separated connections cost electricity retailers lots of time and effort).

    Stop the decentralised crap – or the lying conservatives will have more and more excuses to defer renewables. You need big volumes going into an Australia wide grid to cover base load requirements. If all the government money spent on solar (or CCG) over the last 20 years had of gone directly into solar plants, we’d be using less than half the coal we do today. Decentralisation can come when the technology requires no subsidies.

  17. 1petermcc

    Hi Kaye Lee.

    Some encouraging information on Solar. (Disclaimer: I work in the Industry and this information is based on the more reputable end of the market).

    Currently we supply panels from both China and Germany, the Chinese ones using the same German technology in the main, so the claim made by others that we are polluting a 3rd world country is probably making a dangerous assumption. Unless the Chinese are going out of their way to deliberately pollute their own country it seems fanciful.

    Additionally, the cost of making a solar panel is recouped in about 6 months. Maybe a tad more. But this figure is reducing all the time with one two year old document on The Conversation predicting it will be 6 months in 3 years time. (I’ll include the link below.)

    Despite Malcolm trying to undermine confidence in the Industry, overseas money is still coming in to invest in the bigger projects. The friendless Clean Coal dream is pretty much DOA because the Energy companies hate the idea of a huge investment on a technology that is hard to sell as good news and government support cannot be guaranteed. Of course this doesn’t stop MT saying what a great idea it is but eventually folk will realise there is quite a gap between what Malcolm says and what Malcolm does. In this case it appears to be premeditated lying because he can’t possibly not know. It will be interesting to see if MSM decide to blow the whistle on him or perpetuate the “alternate facts”.

    The future looks even more exciting for Solar at the home owner level. Currently the feed in for new installs is 6 to 8 cents. A trial is underway in Queensland where those who install more solar than they require and have storage, are able to set their price to feed back into the grid when the price suits them. Add these developments to the falling cost of storage and things really start to move.

    Luckily the market is moving on without any input from Turnbull. I am surprised he doesn’t want to be a part of framing the market but it’s his call and in the chaos of the Party room, he probably doesn’t have the time to stop looking over his shoulder at his Team Members.

    http://theconversation.com/theres-a-sunny-future-ahead-for-rooftop-solar-power-heres-why-36587 Note: this is a 2 year old post.

  18. Steve Laing - makeourvoiceheard.com

    In a country as large and sunny as ours, with large metropolises and highly dispersed smaller conurbations, the centralised model is increasingly ineffective, with the majority of electricity costs actually associated with transmission not generation. Moreover it is highly susceptible to catastrophic breakdown as was recently seen in SA due to multiple potential points of failure. But our government has decided that this is the arena on which it will battle Labor, just as boat people was the last one, so expect any kind of logic to go out the window. Agnostic is exactly the right term for it – a person who believes nothing is known or can be known – ignore the economics, ignore the science, make decisions based on opinion.

    With one of the highest sources of Lithium on the planet, we should have been developing localised storage capability to be used in conjunction with localised solar. Of course, in the short term this would have been a loss leader but we could have had a very profitable industry running by now.

    Smarter countries would be envious of what Australia has the capability of wrt renewable energy, but we’d prefer to bankroll coal companies as long as they donate to our political parties.

    And our leaders refuse to look any further forward than the next election. And you can call me defeatist all you want Kaye, and I’m happy to go out fighting, but with the way reality is shaping up just now, and from a scientific perspective, as a civilisation, we are pretty much doomed.

  19. Zathras

    So the COALition claims it stands for cheaper energy?

    Who was it that introduced a GST on the cost of electricity because it wasn’t deemed an “essential” service?

    Who told the electricity companies that they could pass on ALL the costs (plus add a 10% premium!) to consumers for network upgrades, resulting in excessive and opportunistic price increases?

    Who decided NOT to provide a connection from South Australia to the NSW power grid to save money and maximise privatisation profit?

    Who has been selling off public power utilitites, resulting in yet further increased costs to consumers?

    I thought so…it was the “Children Overboard Hundred-Dollar Lamb Roast Wrecking Ball Party.

  20. silkworm

    Harquebus: ” “Renewable energy” is getting cheaper because, the inefficient devices used to collect it are now manufactured using slave labor and the dumping of the resulting toxic byproducts unprocessed into the local Chinese environment.”

    Those are two very good points (slave labor and toxic dumping). (However your point about being inefficient is incorrect.)

  21. Robert G. Shaw

    Language, often the friend of Turnbull, deserts him today.
    No, it doesn’t desert him; it reveals him…as one desperate and under the heel of immediate and antagonistic
    circumstance, Bernadi’s defection.
    Language can reveal much about a man, and he was reduced to call Shorten a ‘parasite’ today.
    Reduced to name calling.
    Oh dear.

    Forget policy, forget media sound byte.
    Turnbull saw fit to call the leader of the opposition a ‘parasite’.

    oh dear indeed.

    Like a child with reduced options, with no other gambit.

    It was revelation, to me. And it signals the man’s desperate hour.
    If I were Shorten I’d go for the throat.
    By silence or laughter, it doesn’t really matter.
    Go for the throat Bill.
    Show us something.
    Now.

  22. jim

    The Big corporate fossil fuel co’s have ie., HAVE spent $100 million to discredit the renewable energy sector with Mrabbit proclaiming”climate change is crap” and “coal is good for humanity” etc..etc.

  23. silkworm

    Build large scale solar based generation plants, don’t subsidize householders a cent. It is just nor value for money, nor do I believe my taxes should be subsidising electricity only for some as well as us having to pay extra costs for electricity due to the efficiency wastefulness of roof top connections (all these separated connections cost electricity retailers lots of time and effort). … etc.”

    I have to agree.

    Rooftop solar subsidizes homeowners. Renters can’t install solar panels. It is also assuaging the guilt of the middle class, making them feel they are doing something for climate change.

    Every dollar spent on rooftop solar is a dollar not spent on centralized solar generation, wind generation, and storage.

    However, one of the elephants in the room we don’t see, because it is covered in a blanket, is the vast amount of money still being spent on subsidizing coal power generation. Every dollar spent on subsidizing coal power is a dollar not spent on solar and wind generation, and storage.

    I also understand that 50% of emissions savings is made from environmental building design. That is where the real money should be invested.

  24. jimhaz

    [In a country as large and sunny as ours, with large metropolises and highly dispersed smaller conurbations, the centralised model is increasingly ineffective, with the majority of electricity costs actually associated with transmission not generation]

    [Moreover it is highly susceptible to catastrophic breakdown as was recently seen in SA due to multiple potential points of failure]

    But the transmission infrastructure will always be needed in any case. So the more domestic production, the higher the capital and maintenance cost per kilowatt.

  25. helvityni

    There are many desperate families in Australia right now, thanks to the Turnbull Government.

    He can have his desperate hour or two for what I care, he’s finding out that being the PM is not a bed of roses. At least he has other options, the homeless and jobless do not.

  26. silkworm

    I watched the opening of parliameent and noted that there were quite a few “homeside” questions on energy prices. There real cause of increasing power prices is due to gouging by the private energy utilities. Instead, when speaking of the recent problems in SA, Turnbull managed to blame the SA Labor government and renewables. These lies were exposed months ago, but the Libs persist in telling them.

    These questions were planned weeks ago as a diversion from other issues, notably the Centrelink robo-debt scandal, the Sussan Ley entitlements scandal and the Brandis-Gleeson stoush scandal. It worked. These important issues were never brought up.

    I also note how when Turnbull spoke about the Bourke St pedestrian killings, he tried to use it for political advantage by linking it to the French truck-driving pedestrian killings, thereby trying to have us believe that the Bourke St killings were linked to terrorism. Pure bloody disgusting.

  27. Miriam English

    Harquebus, your blindness when it comes to renewable energy is astounding. It doesn’t matter how many times it is explained to you, you want so much to believe that there is no hope that you clutch at and cling to your false ideas despite all evidence to the contrary.

    Solar photovoltaics that use crystalline silicon do produce a certain amount of toxic pollution, though that amount reduces with every iteration as it is inefficient to waste material. The lowering costs are not just because of exploitation of workers, though that is a problem. Production is continually becoming more efficient. Currently they generally use fossil power for the production of the silicon melt from which the crystals are grown, but there is no reason they should not use renewable sources in the future. Amorphous silicon solar cells have less of these problems and are cheaper, require far less energy input, and are faster to produce because they are rolled out instead of being made from wafers cut from slowly grown crystal. Newer kinds of solar photovoltaics which don’t use silicon at all have been developed. Some use just carbon and are flexible and don’t require high temperatures for construction. The CSIRO has developed flexible organic photovoltaic cells which are low cost to make and environmentally friendly.

    Wind turbines produce far more energy than is invested in their construction. There is no reason they must use fossil fuel for their construction. Certainly they do at the moment, but the metal could be processed using solar furnaces, and I expect they will in future. There is no reason why they should even use metal at all. New low temperature composite ceramics are lighter and stronger than steel. There is also a resurgence of interest in how trees use lignin to build structures like the extremely tall redwood pines that last for two thousand years. They are stronger and lighter than equivalent steel structures and are made literally out of thin air at room temperature using solar power. Alternatively, careful design of structures using plastic, a much maligned material, can let us build many such things more cheaply and more strongly. Not all plastics degrade under sunlight, depending on how they are made. And plastic is an ideal end-use for oil and coal, instead of burning to produce greenhouse gases. I’ve seen innovative windmill designs that use tall chimneys with the turbine inside the flue, specialised kites that access high winds without the need for rigid supports.

    Solar water heaters capture many times more energy than they embody in their construction and they can be made out of any material that is handy.

    Geothermal power admittedly can only be practically used in areas where hot rocks are near the surface, but it returns far more than its initial energy investment.

    Wave power and tidal power can potentially deliver many times the energy invested in their construction.

    Hydroelectric dams have their ecological problems, but if built sensibly they deliver many, many times more than the energy cost of their construction.

    And there are many other micro energy sources, such as wind-up devices, low-grade heat-powered devices run from body heat, devices powered by ambient noise, devices that run on static charge, even tiny devices powered by brownian motion.

    Things keep changing. The inventiveness of people is uncontrollable and endless. Looking only to the past becomes a fool’s game and a waste of time.

    I don’t understand your problem Harquebus. Do you really want so much for the world to fail that you’ll believe and propagate myths to make it so?

  28. guest

    How is it that there are people who know about the failure of trickle down and clean coal policies – yet Turnbull is trying to persuade us that these are “pragmatic” policies, nothing to do with ideology? He accuses Labor of being enslaved to ideology.

    It all burst out in Question Time today. Shorten had been attacking the Coalition about a recent bill to change family payments, whereby some 1m families would receive less. The Coalition refused to give numbers. Bill spoke strongly as he attacked Coalition policy.

    Turnbull attacked Shorten personally, calling him a “sycophant” and a “parasite”, “sucking up” to billionaire., “robbing” unionists.

    A telling point against Bill was his suggestion in the past that company taxes be reduced. That he supported these reductions in the past does not mean he has to support them now. So we could ask Turnbull about values he once held and now rejects.

    I say all this because at present we are not getting the full story about policies – or the lack of them.

    South Australia in particular is coming under fire because of the state electricity outing and because the state is under Labor. For people like Pyne the matter is all about security of cheap energy supply. He blames renewable energy, such as wind-farms He is now talking about having to build special generators to ensure the building of umpteen naval ships. Why he did not mention this before is a surprise. – but I do not think Pyne has much real understanding of power supply.

    Does Pyne really think that if all of SA’s power was from coal-fired generators they would have powered on through and kept the lights on even when 22 power pylons were blown down in freak winds?

    But of course Pyne is in thrall to Turnbull – or vice versa – with regard to ideology.

    So what we have now is ideology dressed up as pragmatism. It will be interesting to see how things pan out over the year.

    As for “sycophants” and “parasites”, what are we to make of someone who was part of Goldman Sachs, who were part of the subprime collapse leading to the GFC and was saved by federal payout, and that same someone having his money salted away in a tax haven overseas and has backtracked on key past commitments? Hoist on his own petard?

  29. David Bruce

    The banks control the governments, not the other way around. It has been this way for 150 years in Britain, the Commonwealth countries, the US, Germany, most of Europe, most of Asia, most of Africa…. and when a government tries to assert itself and make its own decisions and adopt its own currency for the benefit of its own people, as Libya’s government did and as Iran’s government has, it is promptly
    attacked by all the other governments. Why? Because the banks run the governments as storefront governmental services corporations, and the banks like it that way.

    When you talk to the men in charge of the major banks and commercial corporations, they are compulsively fixated on making profit —and too many of them are willing to tear down and ruin the Earth and kill the people on it, all in pursuit of profit—for some numbers on a screen.
    Judge Anna von Reitz – It’s the Banks, Or, Stop Being Stupid Part 22

    I found this article provides a very useful summary of why things are the way they are. Matters not who governs when you can mint the coin!
    Also explains why Cardinal Pell is unavailable for court appearances.

  30. jimhaz

    [I don’t understand your problem Harquebus]

    I think his problem is that he knows what the world will do with any energy efficiency improvement – just keep rolling on as is, until it is too late.

    In that he will be right, even though he is wrong in regards how effective renewables already are and will become. So he does not want renewables advances to relieve people of the immediate need to tackle population growth and unchecked capitalism.

    What is occurring in Australia with housing inflation is a sign of how things will go – tinkering at the edges at best, avoiding policies, keeping the irrational growth going – because “we can’t harm business”.

  31. Miriam English

    Oh, and I forgot one of the most important solar power technologies: solar thermal furnaces. They use a large array of computer-controlled mirrors to focus sunlight onto a furnace at the top of a tower in which molten salt circulates to carry the heat to a traditional steam turbine to generate electricity. They definitely return more energy than is invested in them.

  32. Hardy Gosch

    Isn’t it time to end this political farce? The whole globe seems to be going bonkers. The largely fact deprived public is in a state of befuddlement.

    I am doing my little bit to encourage change. How about you? Let’s do it together!

  33. Harquebus

    Miriam English and others.
    We’ve been around this bush many times. Our differences stem from basic concepts. The use of deceasing net crude oil in complex systems wholly dependent on fossil fuels for transport and putting food on plates.
    Then take any other subject such as politics, economics, environment, climate etc. and multiply.
    Building the required renewable infrastructure is not only impossible, it is a waste of decreasing precious crude oil attempting to do so.
    Thank you for reading. I do not wish to argue in excess about this nor distract from this article.
    I have read your comments.
    Thanks.
    Cheers.

  34. wam

    There is every thing pragmatic, Kaye, because god NOT man will decide how, when and by what means the earth will be destroyed. So no catholic is worried by the prospect of global warming.

    The momentum for climate in Australia, went with the lemon’s meek acceptance of the loonies xmas present in 09 and labor’s decision to shirk a double dissolution.

    Since then the rabbott has kept it down in the ‘maybe it is not real’ column with constant references to cost/debt and our tiny footprint.

    Can ‘climate-change’ achieve a resurrection in politics??

    Not as long as god is on our side.

    Asia will eventually produce renewables cheaper than coal eventually and, fortunately we can eat coal and it can be made into all sorts of wonderful stuff.???

  35. Miriam English

    Harquebus, efficiency is eliminating the need to generate much of the energy, but beyond that there are great changes happening that you are missing by being so firmly locked into a pessimistic, backward-looking mindset.

    Read ‘Winning the Oil Endgame’ by the researchers at the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI). They have many decades of experience working on energy, especially efficient design. They have worked with many of the largest corporations in USA to drastically reduce their energy costs and have been consulting for the Chinese government on planning their energy future. They’ve even consulted for the Pentagon (who incidentally are really pissed off that corrupt politicians keep sending them into oil wars). RMI are not some dewy-eyed hippies. They are physicists and engineers.

    In that book they lay out a straight-forward plan to get USA off fossil fuels by 2035 while improving the standard of living, making more jobs, and more money.

    Amory Lovins (physicist, co-founder, and head scientist at RMI) quickly runs through an overview of the book in his TED talk:

    I know it doesn’t fit with your dismal expectations, but this is real Harquebus. You really need to wake up. You are depressing yourself and others for no good purpose. There are real problems, yes, but there are real solutions too.

  36. Miriam English

    Harquebus, you say you read my comments, but you’re fibbing to yourself. You may have run your eye over them, but you didn’t read them. There is no absorption or comprehension that renewables do actually return more energy than is invested in them.

    If you really want to, you can exclude solar photovoltaics, which you believe have negative return. It doesn’t matter. All the others have positive return.

    If you want to cling to the notion that they absolutely need fossil fuels to make them, it still doesn’t matter because they displace so much oil and coal that they extend fossil fuel’s possible future by decades, possibly centuries, by radically reducing their consumption.

    You see? You look but don’t actually read. You mislead yourself because you are so attached to doom.

  37. Kaye Lee

    “Rooftop solar subsidizes homeowners. Renters can’t install solar panels.”

    The renters will have far lower electricity bills without having to own the panels if developers and landlords are somehow encouraged or regulated to install solar.

    “systems wholly dependent on fossil fuels for transport and putting food on plates.”

    People are working on changing that. Will transport that is dependent on fossil fuel end up limiting global trade? Should we be trying to keep domestic industries going to lessen the fossil fuels used in exporting/importing transportation? Should politicians and business people stop flying everywhere for conferences that could be teleconferenced instead?

    There are many options we should be considering to lessen our emissions.

  38. Miriam English

    Harquebus, you insist solar photovoltaics can’t pay back the energy required to make them.

    Here is an article by the US Department of Energy on this topic.
    http://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy04osti/35489.pdf

    They conclude that it is a myth and that in worst case they repay the energy in less than 4 years. But it could be half that, depending on the system. Given that most solar panels work for longer than 20 years that means they produce many times more than their embodied energy.

    But you won’t read this, so I don’t really know why I waste my time.

  39. Johno

    Just a simpler lifestyle could help too. I mean, do we really need that ice rink at Bondi, or anywhere in Australia for that matter.

  40. Johno

    Silkworm
    ( I also understand that 50% of emissions savings is made from environmental building design. That is where the real money should be invested )

    So true, We built a solar passive straw bale house. It works very well. Easy to warm and/or keep cool. Yesterday was 39 outside at about 3pm, and inside was 25. We have fans but no air conditioning.

    Windows are a weak point ( heat or cold entry or exit ) so those large double storey McMansion’s facing west or south with lots of glass for the big view are just dumb, and there are many other examples of wasteful building design.

  41. Miriam English

    Johno and silkworm, yes. Efficiency pays off particularly well in buildings, since that’s where most of the nation’s energy goes.

    Underground housing, especially, has many great advantages. They’re usually homes with an earth berm back-filled onto an almost conventional building (though it must be waterproof). At a meter or two depth the ground hardly changes temperature year round. This gives the home a very stable temperature year round. Careful siting of air vents and skylights means they don’t need active heating or cooling, and are generally better lit than above-ground homes. You also get double use of your land, safety from bushfires and violent windstorms, and the peace and quiet of excellent sound insulation. For those worried about out-of-control authorities they also offer the potential to add safe-rooms that can’t be discovered by walking around the outside of the house.

    Energy costs can be reduced to almost nothing by using only LED lighting, low energy computers (e.g. tablet computer + keyboard and mouse), and energy efficient cooking, such as microwave, pressure-cooker, solar oven, and solar stove. If you incorporate a conservatory in the front (north-facing) part of the house you can grow food plants in its protected environment and use a simple system of passive vents with convection for its warm air to heat the house during the day or cool it during the night, depending on the weather outside.

    There is a growing movement of tiny houses of people abandoning wasteful large homes to live in small, efficient homes that don’t require planning permits. (Google for “tiny house” or search on YouTube.) Some of these tiny houses are utter masterpieces of design and use very few resources, often focusing on second-hand materials. I’m hoping to build one later this year for less than a thousand dollars.

    I’m expecting energy demand to fall greatly in the coming years and decades as we trim off the waste.

  42. Harquebus

    Miriam English

    Thanks for the links. I will read them although, it might not be today. It is sweltering here already and the sun is only just rising.
    Our differences are ingrained, run deep and stem from the fundamentals of the production, supply and distribution of energy, not just renewable.

    There is also the supply and distribution of raw and processed materials throughout the whole industrial supply chain. The complexities and logistics of which, I happen to have considerable knowledge and experience. The loss of one key component can have unexpected and far reaching cascading effects and consequences.

    So far, the global consequences that I have been expecting for over a decade are occurring and the rescue from our energy problems that renewable energy has promised is not. You say it is not happening because of this and we need to do more of that. I say that the renewable dream is not happening because it defies the laws of physics.

    I really do not want to repeatedly go over old ground. The future will tell and if you and others want to also believe the hype, then good luck to you all. I hope that you and they are right. Considering the literature and the evidence, I don’t think that you are.

    Here are few for you.
    This article actually promotes renewable. It is the only thing wrong with it.

    End of the “Oilocene”: The Demise of the Global Oil Industry and of the Global Economic System as we know it.

    I am in the middle of reading the report discussed. If you do download it and happen to read it before I can, I would appreciate your opinion. HSBC is in my opinion, a criminal organization but, even criminals can recognize a threat when the see it.
    http://peakenergy.blogspot.com/2017/01/hsbc-global-oil-supply-report-september.html

    “No doubt many people will continue adhering to these lies even as the evidence around us increasingly shows that modern industrial society has already entered a trajectory of decline.”

    The Über-Lie

    Trade depends on transport depends on oil. Regardless of the physics of renewable energy, oil is the key ingredient required for your renewable energy future.

    Cheers.

  43. Harquebus

    I’m expecting energy supply to fall considerably in the coming years and decades as the pursuit of growth depletes ever faster the resources that this mad pursuit requires.
    Cheers.

  44. Kate Ahearne

    Kaye, Yes, there’s more than on way to skin a cat. But please let’s not consider nuclear – It’s way filthier than coal.
    And bring back the sailing ships, I sez!

  45. Keith

    Not good news about Earth’s air conditioner:

    “Arctic sea ice extent for January 2017 averaged 13.38 million square kilometers (5.17 million square miles), the lowest January extent in the 38-year satellite record. This is 260,000 square kilometers (100,000 square miles) below January 2016, the previous lowest January extent, and 1.26 million square kilometers (487,000 square miles) below the January 1981 to 2010 long-term average.”

    From:

    http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/

    On a daily basis there can be variations of thousands of square kilometres up or down in extent; forecasts are suggesting there will be a further wave of temperature increase on the way. The result being ice formation will be held up, meaning last years maximum sea ice extent record will be broken in all probability. To put it in context, the extent of sea ice now, where it is growing to its maximum, is lower than the minimum extent of the 80s. But, volume is probably a more important measure; also, not at a happy level. The important measures which are used to compare one year against another are taken in April and September; when maxima and minima sea ice extent, along with volume and ice thickness are taken.

    http://grist.org/article/the-terrible-horrible-no-good-very-bad-arctic-winter-is-about-to-get-worse/

    Antarctica is also not presenting a happy picture at present with sea ice extent low and huge areas of ice sheet about to break off (e.g. Larson C ice sheet).

    Added to what has been happening in Australia with:
    .Turtles dying in Queensland through beach sand being too hot.
    .Bush fires in Tasmania destroying King Billy and Pencil pine groves which have been in existence for thousands of years.
    .Coral bleaching of Great Barrier Reef
    .Mangrove areas being decimated.

    The environment has been hit hard in other parts of the world e.g. drought in Bolivia, Chile, Brazil; huge wild fires completely out of season in Siberia etc etc.

    Only those living on a flat earth are not able to see how these add up to climate change; we have LNP politicians wanting to add to the mess. The LNP have their Spin Doctors working full time with notions such as “clean coal” and “energy security”.
    Creating new coal fired energy plants using “clean coal” is equivalent to promoting horse and buggies when the T model Ford had already begun production.

  46. Kaye Lee

    The U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL), Material Science and Technology Division, has been granted the first U.S. patent for a method to simultaneously extract carbon dioxide and hydrogen from seawater. This single process provides all the raw materials necessary for the production of synthetic liquid hydrocarbon fuels.

    “A ship’s ability to produce a significant fraction of the battle group’s fuel for operations at sea could reduce the mean time between refueling, and increase the operational flexibility and time on station,” said Cmdr. DiMascio. “Reducing the logistics tail on fuel delivery with the potential to increase the Navy’s energy security and independence, with minimal impact on the environment, were key factors in the development of this program.”

    https://www.nrl.navy.mil/media/news-releases/2016/NRL-Seawater-Carbon-Capture-Process-Receives-US-Patent

  47. Kate Ahearne

    Kaye, But surely these synthetic hydrocarbon fuels would release (greenhouse) carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Am I missing something?

  48. Harquebus

    Kaye Lee
    The energy from hydrogen will never match that that went into producing it. Nuclear trucks? I’ll wait and see. LNG and LPG have far less energy density than petroleum with diesel having the highest. That means more has to be used to perform the same amount of work and is why diesel is used for the heavy work. LNG has a different structure to LPG and can not be compressed to the same degree. To operate a transport network on LNG, one would need to fill up, I think from memory, about 6 times more often than with LPG or carry a gas container 6 time larger.
    Cheers.

  49. nurses1968

    Kaye Lee
    “landlords are somehow encouraged or regulated to install solar.”
    A couple of things on this, but first let me clarify, I don’t know all the technical terms.
    My employer is going through a programme of fitting 5Kw solar systems to their residential investment properties where possible and permissable {and it makes them far easier to rent as tenants see the benefits.}
    I have noticed that people tend to forget the “switch it off to save” philosophy I am used to.
    My employers residence has a 12.5Kw {I think} system on the main house, 50 panels spread across house and barn roof and the 3 other dwellings on the property all have 5Kw systems all connected back to the main base.
    There are some small wind turbines connected as well.
    The “free” energy seems to breed complacency as the aircon is never turned off and lights etc run continuously.
    They still do get a decent feed in tariff cheque regularly.
    The problem seems to be that there is no national policy with different States different policy.
    A QLD property with solar and wind turbines almost lost the FIT payments and had to do away with the turbines to keep the feed in tariff payment
    The official stated {It is a tariff for SOLAR only and the turbines contaminate that process. There is no Turbine tariff, only solar}
    In WA metro, residential properties are restricted to 5 KW

  50. Kaye Lee

    Kate, I can’t answer you with any certainty. Just guessing to say…if we are removing the CO2 from seawater in the first place then we aren’t adding to the current levels? I have no idea if that is true.

  51. Kaye Lee

    That’s interesting nurses about different state regulations. They seem to be discouraging people from going off grid.

    I agree, we all need to do more on the switch off and save front.

  52. Harquebus

    Kaye Lee
    I have looked at that link. There is no mention of the energy source for the described process. If it is fossil fuel then, it will not provide the same energy as that used to produce it. Second law of thermodynamics.
    I found this. “A ship’s ability to produce a significant fraction of the battle group’s fuel for operations at sea could reduce the mean time between refueling”
    Note battle group. I assume that nuclear would be the energy source and the product distributed to diesel powered ships.

    BTW: theAIMN is slow today and not completing page loading. I am having trouble making corrections.

    Cheers.

  53. Kate Ahearne

    Kaye, This entire transaction seems dodgy to me. First we cause the reaction that creates the synthesis, then we cause the reaction that breaks down the synthesis. All of this takes energy.
    Anyway, I really think we should be concentrating on the good clean energy that is available in bucketloads – solar, wind and maybe tidal. Geo-thermal involves ‘mining’ the heat in the earth’s core – not a good idea, sez me.

  54. Kate Ahearne

    I looked up the second law of thermodynamics, as harquebus suggests, but couldn’t quite make it fit.

  55. Harquebus

    I just wanted to add that, even if the process described in Kaye Lee’s link is nuclear, the energy returned from the oil produced will never be greater than or equal that which was invested.
    Cheers.

  56. Kate Ahearne

    harquebus, I get that, because no system can be entirely closed, so there is waste.

  57. Kaye Lee

    I don’t have enough knowledge to evaluate various processes but the point is there are alternatives. There is ongoing research. There are things we know we can do to decrease demand and improve efficiency. Any reduction in emissions is a step in the right direction. That is what we must concentrate on. Looking from the base of the mountain can make it seem overwhelming but the only way to get over it and to the other side is to move forward one step at a time and hope you make it before an avalanche hits. If you camp at the bottom you will definitely get hit sooner or later.

    Give it a try or give up. There is no choice so hush with the doom and help us get up that mountain.

  58. Miriam English

    Harquebus, I’ve never said that renewable energy is not coming to the rescue. I don’t know why you’d think that.

    The world is now investing more in renewables than in fossil fuels. Households and businesses are opting to install solar PV and water heaters to reduce their bills. It is now standard to design commercial buildings with energy efficiency in mind, and it is normal to add insulation to new homes (not long ago nobody insulated their homes). We’re starting to see the benefits of all this already.

    In the developing world people are leapfrogging the developed world because they’re not being held back by costly, existing dirty power plants.

    We’ve left it a bit late to fix climate change, but we’ll see how that goes. People tend to react in very large numbers quite suddenly once a critical number is passed.

  59. Kate Ahearne

    Kaye and Miriam, Aye, Aye.

  60. Harquebus

    Miriam English
    I have never thought that and can’t see where I have said so.
    We’ve already had our EROEI debate and I don’t really want another one. We would both be wasting our time. At this stage, I am just going to let events unfold which, will prove one way or another who is correct.
    If renewable energy can do it, then it will. If it can’t, it won’t.

    Steve Laing
    You’re a bit late. It’s already started.

    Abrupt Climate Change: there’s strength in the science

    Cheers.

  61. Steve Laing - makeourvoiceheard.com

    Keith – just wait till the tundra starts melting and the permafrost disappears, releasing copious amounts of methane. As a greenhouse gas, methane makes CO2 look like an amateur.

    Whilst in the long term we need to move to a lower energy consumption, in the short term it will ramp up as more energy will be required to provide the cooling to combat the increasing heat.

  62. Miriam English

    Harquebus, you do go on about the second law of thermodynamics. But you completely miss the point, or perhaps worse, try to pull the wool over others’ eyes.

    If I take solar power and use it to make algal diesel, then yes, the energy conversion from sunlight to oil has losses, but the sunlight is free and streaming down onto the Earth whether we use it to make oil or not, so the whole second law stuff is a complete mislead. The oil is a very dense form of energy storage that is easily transported so has value in itself. Personally I prefer direct storage of electricity, and it is exciting that there are now electrical storage devices in development that exceed the energy density of petroleum.

    It’s the same deal with hydrogen. If we use solar power to split water to get hydrogen then the conversion is lossy. So what? We end up with a clean-burning fuel that is relatively easily stored and transported. I’m actually not a big fan of hydrogen as fuel, myself, but using metal sponges to hold the stuff lets people extend the usefulness of internal combustion engines to smooth the transition to electric engines.

  63. Miriam English

    Harquebus, so, looks like I was right. You won’t bother to read the short article by the US Department of Energy on solar PV returning many times the energy taken to make it.
    http://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy04osti/35489.pdf

  64. Harquebus

    Miriam English
    I said that I will read it and I will. It’s hot and I am behind in a lot of things.
    I am not entering into any EROEI debate nor where the boundaries of such analyses should be. We’ve already been there and done that.

    SOLAR DEVICES INDUSTRIAL INFRASTRUCTURE
    http://sunweber.blogspot.com.au/2015/04/solar-devices-industrial-infrastructure.html

    In addition to my extensive computing skills and abilities, I have a comprehensive background in engineering and industrial supplies and logistics. I think I have a pretty good idea of how industrial processes work.

    Cheers.

  65. Harquebus

    Miriam English
    One for you. Note the word “could”.

    “A battery made with urea, commonly found in fertilizers and mammal urine, could provide a low-cost way of storing energy produced through solar power or other forms of renewable energy for consumption during off hours.”

    Stanford engineers create a low-cost battery for storing renewable energy

    Don’t worry. Your link is on the list and coming up.

    Cheers.

  66. Kate Ahearne

    This is an email I received from my local Labor MP:

    Dear Kate

    Thank you for writing to me regarding your concerns about Adani’s proposed Carmichael coalmine project.

    Whether a particular project proceeds is a commercial decision and mining approvals are generally a matter for state governments but jobs for Central Queensland is always welcome news.

    Labor knows that conventional fuels will be an important part of our energy mix in the future.

    We also recognise that the growth in renewable energy, from reducing costs and improving technology, will continue to expand over the coming years.

    I do however share the general concerns over the impact of climate change on the Great Barrier Reef.

    Labor’s climate policy is far superior to that of the Government’s and in conjunction with concerted global climate change action has the best chance of mitigating global warming impacts on the Reef.

    Labor accepts the advice of scientists, and is committed to strong action on climate change, not only because it is good for the environment, but because it is good economics.

    The Turnbull Government’s approach on climate change is being dictated by members of the Liberal Party who don’t think we need to act. Their policy is an expensive fig leaf and Mr Turnbull is too weak to stand up for what he knows is right. Australia deserves better.

    In regard to the idea that the Turnbull Government would provide a $1 billion loan from the Northern Australia Infrastructure Fund (NAIF), Bill Shorten said on 6 December:

    If the Adani coal mine stacks up commercially, then we welcome the jobs that will be provided in Queensland. In terms of accessing taxpayer money through the NAIF, we haven’t seen the case made out for that. The deal should stand up under its own commercial merits.

    Also as reported in the Sydney Morning Herald of 6 December even Adani itself has stated that a NAIF loan is not a prerequisite for the line.

    Labor would be very concerned if the Federal Government was considering spending a fifth of the fund on one project. That would take money away from other vital job generating projects for Northern Australia.

    Thank you for your concern over this matter.

    Yours sincerely

    Justine Keay MP
    FEDERAL MEMBER FOR BRADDON

    2/32 Wilmot Street, Burnie
    PO Box 908, BURNIE TAS 7320

    Electorate Office (03) 6431 1333
    Parliament House Office (02) 6277 8445
    http://www.justinekeaylabor.com.au

  67. Johno

    Kate…

    Bring back sailing ships,,, Right on. Sailing ships rock. Harness the wind.

  68. Miriam English

    Harquebus, really interesting article. Thanks for the link.

    One nice thing about using urea for the electrolyte is that when the battery reaches the end of its recharging life it could go into the garden as compost instead of into the rubbish as toxic landfill as existing batteries do.

  69. Harquebus

    Kate Ahearne
    Either the architects of that policy are complete idiots or they think that we are or more likely, both.

    Miriam English
    You’re welcome. I would like to know more before commenting. There are many articles with “could” and “possibly” whose topics have disappeared when faced with reality.
    If you hear of anything more on it, please let me know and I will do likewise.
    Your point concerning disposal was a good one. I hadn’t thought of that.

    Cheers.

  70. Kate Ahearne

    Harquebus, It’s thoroughly disappointing to have it in such black and white terms. The Labor Party is failing us all with this attitude.

  71. Miriam English

    Harquebus, I’ll keep my ear to the ground. Sadly, most battery ideas fail when faced with the problems of commercialisation. Robert Murray-Smith spoke about this recently. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n-H8z29QTJU
    Nevertheless it might be a useful one for DIY batteries. One problem is the high cost (in energy) of aluminium though. It is plentiful, but difficult to separate.

    Disposal is the only thing that scares me about solar PV panels. Recycling them is difficult because most are embedded in epoxy resin. We might be able to spin out their use to maybe 50 years, but then they go to a landfill? Not good. We definitely need better solar panels.

    jimhaz, when the Cuyahoga River in Cleveland USA caught fire in 1969 the dramatic event triggered a big cleanup and actually helped to create the environmental movement in USA. It might have a similar effect in India.

  72. Harquebus

    The madness is not restricted to Australia.
    Refer to: Keith February 9, 2017 at 8:24 am

    Then look at this. What Keith says is happening is in these guys own back yard, Canada’s.

    “It gets worse. Site C power would be provided to oil and gas corporations at a rate lower than it costs to produce, and far lower than household customers pay. You and I (and our kids and grandkids) will pay to subsidize fossil-fuel expansion and the climate damage it will do. Subsidies and handouts for giant foreign corporations; skyrocketing hydro bills for the rest of us.”
    http://ecocidealert.com/?m=20170107

    Here is a more in depth article on the same.
    “Of course, what neither Clark, Bennett or MacDonald say in the release is that there is actually no net benefit to the earth’s overheating atmosphere”
    https://www.desmog.ca/2016/02/04/ever-wondered-why-site-c-rhymes-lng

    Miriam English
    I have an article stating toxic chemicals leaching from landfills for generations to come but, there’s enough links here already.

    Cheers.

  73. Miriam English

    Harquebus, I’m not concerned about the chemicals leaching out of the old panels. That’s unlikely. I just worry that existing panels can’t be recycled. They are throwaway technology… admittedly after some decades, but still throwaway. We need panels that can be recycled. We will get them. It’s just disappointing that we haven’t yet.

    Batteries are a big problem in Australia, where we don’t have recycling laws. Germany is really ahead of the game there. It is illegal there for batteries to go into landfills. They are required to be recycled. I wish we had similar laws.

    This is one of the reasons I’m so attracted to what Robert Murray-Smith is doing. His electronic storage devices are non-toxic. Deliberately so. And he’s currently working on one that already has storage density of about a kilowatt-hour per kilogram. That is stunning.

  74. Miriam English

    Harquebus, Robert Murray-Smith has made a battery using urea in the creation of an electrode. Perhaps it is the one you spoke of earlier… or something similar.

  75. Harquebus

    Miriam English
    We already have recyclable solar panels. They are called leaves and guess what? They can suck CO2 out of the atmosphere, turn it into safely disposable building material and repair damaged soils.
    Thanks for link.
    Cheers.

  76. Miriam English

    heh 😀 I actually almost said “like leaves” when I wrote that.
    Yeah, we still have an enormous amount to learn from nature.
    Have you see the two very cool TED talks by Janine Benyus?

  77. Harquebus

    Miriam English
    Not yet. I will. I have not forgotten. It’s hot, I haven’t been sleeping well or doing much of anything. A lot out there will know what I am talking about. Temperature records breaking every day. We can expect more and worse heat events to come.
    Preventative measures that I have taken, after learning the hard way about extreme heat events, have been successful and my garden is green, looks great and hasn’t needed a lot of water. It is coping better than I am.
    Cheers.

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