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The Odour of Rotten Eggs

Just after WW2 my parents settled into their new home. The stove and cooktop were powered by gas and my mother cooked with gas for the next seventy years.

I did not take much notice of the fact she cooked with gas because I regarded it as being quite normal. And today gas is a popular fuel.

When I took to gas for a barbecue after failing one day with damp wood, I realised that there are different kinds of gas, and it is necessary to know which one is which. So it was a big surprise to me that the gas which is used to power stoves and cooktops is methane.

The reason it was such a surprise was that by this time I had learned that methane is a powerful greenhouse gas. As Bob Carter tells us in his book “Taxing Air” (2011, page 92) about greenhouse gases:

“… and the most important, in order of magnitude of their overall contribution to greenhouse warming, is water vapour (H2O), carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4).”

I could see how those three are closely related in the chemical formula for the burning, or oxidation, of methane: CH4 + 2O2 => CO2 + 2H2O.

There is some controversy over the role of water vapour. On the one hand clouds reduce the Sun’s radiation, reflecting the Sun’s rays back into space and act to cool the Earth. At the same time clouds absorb heat from the surface and help to warm the Earth. The temperature rise since 1970 of 0.4 of a degree C should, by chemical theory, increase water vapour in the atmosphere by 4% – which has been found to be true.

“Water vapour is the most effective greenhouse gas… responsible for 60% of the total heat absorption by the atmosphere. Increasing the global temperature increases evaporation from the ocean and so increases total water vapour.” (Tony Eggleton, “A Short Introduction to Climate Change,” Cambridge UP, 2013, pp 62-64).

“The rise in atmospheric CO2 has been inexorable… and as I write [2013] it stands at 396 ppm [in 2020, 415 ppm]; in 1750 it was 275 ppm. Another greenhouse gas (CH4, methane) has more than doubled in its atmospheric concentration.” (Eggleton, op.cit, p55).

The definition of natural gas, from Wikipedia:

“The mining and consumption of natural gas is a major and growing driver of climate change. It is a potent greenhouse gas itself when released into the atmosphere and creates carbon dioxide during oxidation. Natural gas can be efficiently burned to generate heat and electricity, emitting less waste and toxins at the point of use relative to other fossil and biomass fuels. However, gas venting and flaring, along with unintended fugitive emissions through the supply chain, can result in a similar carbon footprint …

“…While the lifetime of atmospheric methane is relatively short when compared to carbon dioxide, with a half-life of about seven years, it is more efficient in trapping heat in the atmosphere so that a given quantity of methane has 84X the global warming potential of carbon dioxide over a 20-year period and 28X over a 100-year period.

“Natural gas is thus a potent greenhouse gas due to the strong radiative forcing of methane in the short term and the continuing effects of carbon dioxide in the long term.”

The extraction of natural gas is of a technological nature. It is called ‘fracking’. It is about vertically fracturing rock at depth into the ground; sometimes horizontally as well, perhaps deep down:

“… high pressure water “fracks” the rock for release of the gas – sand and other particles added to water keep the fractures open – chemicals added to reduce friction and inhibit corrosion – frack fluid flows back to the surface with the gas, creating water with high salt content and other chemicals…

“The decades in development of drilling technology for conventional and unconventional oil and gas production has not only improved access to natural gas, but also posed significant adverse impacts on environmental and public health.” (Wikipedia).

[Which are accusations also aimed at coal]

“… carcinogenic chemicals, i.e. benzene and ethylbenzene, have been used as gelling agents in water and chemical mixtures for high volume horizontal fracking… water, chemicals and frack fluid (flowback or produced water) may contain radioactive materials, heavy metals and hydrocarbons [which cause] pollution of the water cycle [to be] recycled into other fracking operations or injected into deep underground wells – eliminating the water used in fracking from the hydrologic cycle.” (Wikipedia)

There is also the risk of explosion with gas. In the USA 1994-2013, there were 745 serious incidents with gas distribution, 275 fatalities, 1059 injuries and more than $110m property damage. (Wikipedia).

To make people aware of leaking gas, the colourless and almost odourless gas is odorised with a scent similar to rotten eggs [like hydrogen sulphide]. (Wikipedia).

“To reduce its greenhouse emissions, the Government of the Netherlands is subsidising a transition away from natural gas for all homes in the country by 2050. In Amsterdam, no new residential gas accounts are allowed as of 1 July, 2018, and all homes in the city are expected to be converted by 2040 to use the excess heat from adjacent industrial buildings and operations.” (Wikipedia)

“Based on an estimated 2015 world consumption rate of about 3400 cubic kilometres of gas per year, the total estimated remaining economically recoverable reserves of natural gas would last 250 years at current consumption rates. An annual increase of 2-3% could result in current recoverable reserves lasting significantly less, perhaps as few as 80-100 years.” (Wikipedia)

Meanwhile we use natural gas as a fuel, and for the production of fertiliser, hydrogen, animal and fish feed, fabrics, glass, steel, plastic, paint, synthetic oil…

How can we do without it?

OOO

In The Weekend Australian (27/9/2020) Chris Mitchell wrote an article (pay-walled) titled “Scott Morrison takes a hit from pundits, but he is cooking with gas.”

He discusses the “pundits” in the first two paragraphs:

“Many journalists seemed not to understand Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s support for gas-fired power generation this month.

“The ABC, the Nine newspapers and the Guardian saw Morrison’s September 14 gas announcement as a betrayal of the environment. On Sky News, backing gas was seen as betraying conservative voters. Both views are just politics.”

And of course, Murdoch writers can handle “politics”: it’s the science they have difficulty with. Mitchell tells us that many countries have been “integrating renewable into their power grids… using gas to ‘firm’ their systems as wind and solar have made generation less stable.” Luckily, he says, Australia has only been talking about slowly phasing out coal. He criticises other countries or states such as California for phasing out gas peakers which Australia is supporting, and California has been hit by blackouts as was South Australia in September 2016. No explanation, except that SA has renewables – forget the storm blowing down the powerlines.

Environmental fundamentalists, he says, are against any technology with a carbon footprint but reject nuclear power, “the best source of clean baseload electricity.”

Now we let us just pause there, because he will make that same claim again.

At Independent Australia (4/10/2020) Karl Grossman writes under the heading “Nuclear power: A gargantuan threat.” He says:

“Of the assertion that nuclear power is carbon free – that’s untrue. The nuclear fuel cycle – mining, milling, enrichment – is carbon intensive and nuclear plants themselves emit radioactive carbon 14.”

He refers to sciencedirect.com “Nuclear Fuels: Behaviour at High Burnup” citing ID Palmer in “Encyclopedia of Materials: Science and Technology,” 2002.

But Mitchell will not be fazed. He is very proud that:

“Australia is the world’s largest supplier of coal, uranium, gas.” He goes on to say we should have cheaper energy, but we “have exported power intensive manufacturing industry jobs to Asia since the introduction of the Renewable Energy Target by the then PM John Howard in 2001.”

And “the heavily subsidised renewables quickly began distorting the electricity market”:

Bob Brown refused to support Rudd; Gillard “knifed” Rudd and negotiated with the Greens to make a tax which ‘she had promised not to introduce.” [See how some things just stick in some reporting. Remember that Peta Credlin has admitted that Gillard’s “tax” was not a tax.] Ross Garnaut’s two reports to Gillard and Rudd, says Mitchell:

“… made it clear a move to renewables would take decades. Gas, 45% less carbon intensive than coal, could smooth the transmission…

“All this came to a rapid expansion in gas exports without domestic gas reservation policy to ensure cheap gas here.”

Morrison bit the bullet, says Mitchell, to build a gas plant in the Hunter to replace Liddell if no industry commits to do it before April. “Given the Californian and SA examples, Morrison’s caution looks prudent.” Yes, of course, but is it?

“Yet many in Labor,” he says, “seem to have learnt little from its defeat in resources seats at the last election.”

What Labor has learnt is how a wealthy mining magnate can trawl for preferences and interfere in an election with massive spending involving Murdoch media. What the resources seats have learnt is not clear. One can only wonder what the miners tell their children if they ask about climate change. Adani, for example, is operating at a lower level than anticipated and is at the same time making renewables. India will not import coal after 2023-4. Japan will “retire its fleet of [about 100] old, inefficient coal-fired generation by 2030 (theconversation.com, 28/8/2020). In China, there is talk of more coal-powered stations. “This is despite significant overcapacity in the sector, with more than half of coal-power firms already loss-making and with typical plants running at less than 50% of their capacity… with a target to peak its CO2 emissions no later than 2030.” (carbonbrief.org, “Will China build hundreds of new coal plants in the 2020s?” 24/3/2020).

“The world is not walking away from coal,” says Mitchell. And so Mitchell himself and Greg Sheridan have been saying that Australia could walk away from the Paris Accord, as Trump has done. Tony Abbott actually signed Australia up to the Paris Accord with a pledge of 26-28% carbon reduction – upon which he later reneged from the back bench.

“Much reporting about coal is wrong,” says Mitchell:

“… This raises another favoured Morrison option: carbon capture and storage.” And this is necessary “because emissions would always continue… Finkel said no one was talking about zero emissions but rather ‘zero net emissions’. In other words, business as usual, with emissions buried in the ground. Good luck with that. Just sweep it under the carpet.

“… Morrison today confronts a green lobby wanting zero emissions now, even though the technology does not yet exist outside nuclear,” says Mitchell.  “Fear on the right will say Australia should quit Paris, nor admit the popularity of renewables with voters…

“In the face of this, Morrison has reached a pragmatic solution.”

But, of course, a Coalition “pragmatic solution” does not necessarily mean a scientifically sound solution. Scientists have been warning the governments of the world for decades about climate change. The evidence of its continuing impact is all around us. And only now the Coalition is putting coal aside somewhat and linking gas with renewables as if they had invented it themselves. Mitchell said much reporting about coal is wrong. Remember how renewables were ridiculed by the Coalition, and now the Coalition is agreeing to a marriage of renewables with sacred gas.

OOO

Nick Cater also had something to say about gas in his article “Gas is fracking hell to protesters” (The Australian, 20/10/2020):

“In fact, the traditional owners of the sparsely populated land have given their blessing to this and other projects. Under the agreements painstakingly brokered by the Northern Land Council, they will receive a percentage of revenue.”

However, GetUp! is asking for a “weekly contribution to establish a Solidarity Fund to support Traditional Owners in their fight against fracking” in the Beetaloo Basin 600 kms south of Darwin. The promise of fracking, according to Cater, is that Darwin will become an expanding metropolis.

Fracking has made great strides in its technology, says Cater: slick water, water and sand and small quantities of household chemicals to open microscopic cracks, ability to drill around corners for several kilometres, and technology to transport liquid gas economically.

The skeletal, tiny quantities of chemicals used in extraction as described by Cater, along with transport of large quantities of gas overseas, seem incompatible with the details given in the Wikipedia “Natural Gas” information (see above).

Cater is very confident that “Beetaloo by rights, should be the green movement’s Waterloo, the moment when the progress it has been trying to halt tramples it underfoot.” The end of the Greens? Wishful thinking.

Cater believes:

“… the science behind fracking is well established – a three year CSIRO study – no impact on air or water quality – standard water treatment techniques reduce levels of geogenic chemicals, within acceptable limits – water recovered to its pre-fractured state within 40 days.”

However, on the abc.net.au site “CSIRO fracking research ‘doesn’t pass the pub test’, expert says” by George Roberts, the CSIRO research is under scrutiny.

“The research was conducted by the Gas Industry Social and Economic Research Alliance (GISERA), which is a joint research venture that includes the CSIRO and major gas companies… in the Surat Basin, Queensland.

“An environmental scientist from Queensland’s Griffith University, Emeritus Professor Ian Lowe, said that the sample size ‘doesn’t pass the pub test’.

“Six [wells] is just too small a sample out of 19,000 wells to have any confidence in the results,” Professor Lowe said.

“The second and more problem is that the wells weren’t chosen randomly; they were chosen by the industry and the industry has a vested interest in looking good.

“Australian Institute spokesman said it was not representative of CSG in Queensland … What we’ve got is a situation where the gas industry is funding and overseeing research and then that research is being used to influence decisions made at all levels of government.”

Cater also seems to think Indigenous people will gain, from mining, “a percentage of revenue.” How much is not clear. Mining can be a profitable occupation, although the number of people actually employed in mining is not large.

In “Quarterly Essay” #79 Judith Brett replies to correspondents to her “Quarterly Essay” #78 entitled “The Coal Curse: Resources, Climate and Australia’s future.” Having written about Rio Tinto’s destruction of the Juukan Gorge in Western Australia, she says this:

“Likely there will be changes to Western Australia’s heritage legislation, and mining companies will be more careful in their consultations, but there will be no fundamental shift in the power imbalance between Indigenous owners and miners, nor between Indigenous understandings of the land as sentient  and imbued with ancestral power and settler capitalism’s view of it as a resource for economic exploitation.”

She goes on to quote from Dr Kathryn Pryzwolnik, speaking at the Senate inquiry about another group of Indigenous Pilbara owners:

“‘Within two generations, Eastern Guruma people have seen their country change from a remote place teeming with wildlife, fresh water and unbroken sacred narratives that networked through the Pilbara, to a heavily industrialised hub, now dissected by railways, dry and devoid of animals. Ring-fencing sacred sites won’t restore the Eastern Guruma people’s country.”

In Chapter 12, “The State of the Reef II”, in her book “The Carbon Club” (A & U, 2020), Marian Wilkinson discusses the Curtis Island project opposite Gladstone Port, Queensland, 2010-2013. Following is a condensation of pp205-219 from this chapter.

“Before the election of 2010, on Environment Minister Peter Garrett’s desk was a proposal for the Curtis Island project which was a $16bn LNG plant proposal by Santos and foreign partners and a $15bn proposal by British Gas (just two of four LNG plants including Origin with partner Conoco Phillips, and Shell with a Chinese partner).

Queensland’s Labor government backed the project and had signed most of the state approvals.

Garrett was not sure about the proposal at Gladstone, especially with regard to largescale dredging near the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. The Gladstone Ports Corporation had planned to move up to 42m cubic metres of dredge spoil to be retained behind an 8-kilometre wall opposite the island in Gladstone Harbour.

Doubts had already been expressed by the Chairman of the Reef’s Marine Park Authority.

In federal cabinet, Wayne Swan, Martin Ferguson and Tony Burke, Gillard’s new Environment minister, supported it. The government informed the World Heritage Committee in Paris only after a press conference revealed the plan.

There was already a big coal port export terminal and a nearby alumina refinery. But the dredging could have serious environmental consequences. Burke imposed many new environmental regulations to reassure the GBRMPA.

May 2011, Julia Gillard and Anna Bligh, Queensland’s Labor premier, launched the first LNG plant construction site. They spoke of jobs and a ‘new gas age’. Bligh said: “Gas is a cleaner and lower emissions fuel than coal and it will be an important part of the region’s transition to clean energy.”

But exporting gas increased overall energy consumption and would not bring down global emissions – slow it at best. Gas prices soared and liquefying gas increased emissions in Australia.

The WHC was more worried about the dredging. Soon after the dredging commenced, fish and other marine creatures showed signs of stress and infection. Some officials blamed recent floods. A WHC investigation questioned the management of the Reef and in June 2012 considered putting the Reef on the ‘in danger’ list.

Labor lost the state election in March 2012, won by Campbell Newman, who said: “We are in the coal business. If you want decent hospitals, schools and police on the beat, we all need to understand that.”

The fossil fuels industry was powering on. No one seemed to seriously question the idea that Australia could export fossil fuels for decades to come. A high priority was given to coal mining in the Galilee Basin in Central Queensland. But we would need bigger ports near the Great Barrier Reef to ship the fossil fuels.

In 2013 a WHC report was clear that further warming would be catastrophic for the Reef.

The major parties wanted Australia to be the major exporter of coal and gas.  But there was a growing resistance to the carbon economy, including from the coral reef expert Ove Hoegh-Guldberg, branded an “alarmist” for reporting the climate threat to the Reef.

Marian Wilkinson’s chapter 12 is important for understanding why critics knew what was wrong with Morrison’s cooking with gas. There is no indication about how long Morrison thinks Australia can sustain “cooking with gas”. Critics have come to understand that climate change is real; it is a scientific matter, not just a matter of “politics”. It is being accepted more and more by some 80% of the population in polls.

Besides that, the experience of Labor, as depicted in that chapter 12, shows us some of the concerns and decisions made in the time of Labor’s last federal term in office. Labor supported, for example, the Curtis Island project, although there was some uncertainty, despite their strong green legislation attempting to ensure success. There was uncertainty about the industrial growth around Gladstone harbour, the dredging in the Harbour and the threat of dumped dredging in the Great Barrier Reef. Dredging created terrible disfiguring effects on fish and other marine creatures in the Harbour. The World Heritage Committee threatened to put the Reef on the “in danger list”. Exporting more from Gladstone would need enlargement of the Harbour and more dredging. The election of the Campbell LNP state government promoted coal even more as a necessary commodity – and now gas as well, its exportation adding to energy costs in Australia.

In chapter 13 of the same book, Wilkinson shows how Tony Abbott, having gained power in part by an attack on Gillard’s “carbon tax” which was not a tax, set about destroying all institutes or ministries which had anything to with climate change, which he described as ‘crap’. He also appeased the WHC by promising not to dump dredgings in the Reef Marine Park and to sign up for a low emissions target of 26-28% at the Paris Agreement, an agreement he reneged on when he was banished to the back bench.

More recently, the Paris Agreement has implications for Australia. Wilkinson explains in her book “The Carbon Club” (p265):

“For Australia the implications of the Paris Agreement were profound. It sent a signal that coal-fired power was on the way out…

“For Australia’s carbon-intensive economy and its lucrative coal export business, this was the fork in the road. If the Paris Agreement held, state and federal governments would need to step up plans to retrain or retire thousands of workers in coal-fired power plants. It meant transforming Australia’s energy market. It meant shrinking thermal coal exports and finding new jobs for miners if there was going to be a just transition. It meant transforming greenhouse-gas-intensive industries like aluminium, steel and cement. It meant setting serious vehicle emission standards, switching to electric vehicles, and scaling back emissions from liquefied natural gas and livestock production.

Australia would also have to bump up its weak 2030 target of 26-28% cut in emissions.”

So, what has Angus Taylor presented as a “roadmap” to address these matters?

“Energy Minister Angus Taylor to reveal Australia’s new ‘roadmap’ to guide $18bn of Commonwealth investment towards five priority technologies: hydrogen, carbon capture and storage, soil carbon, storage options and ‘low carbon’ steel and aluminium production.”

He said:

“Australia can’t and shouldn’t damage its economy to reduce emissions… Emerging and enabling technologies will be included in the mandates of our technological investment agencies…Over time they may become priorities for us or they may drop off altogether.” (Melissa Clarke, abc.net.au. 21/9/2020, updated 23/9/2020)

It is a vague and uncoordinated mishmash, with gaps and anomalies and unexplained costs in need of clarification.

Proven technologies, such as solar “are not the focus of the roadmap,” said Taylor. But these technologies, solar and wind, are exactly what need to be developed and organised into a coherent grid or series of regional grids through transmission. There is clearly no real support for renewables in Taylor’s roadmap. Nor is merely leaving it all to the market or industry the answer. (See Mark Diesendorf, the conversation.com, 23/9/2020, “Angus Taylor’s technology roadmap is fundamentally flawed”).

Perhaps we could even make Australia an energy superpower. (See Roger Dargaville, theconversation.com, 5/12/2018, “Making Australia a renewable energy exporting super power”).

The present Federal Government is not looking far or wide enough to really grapple with the energy scene. It is far too attached to its conservative, ideological roadblock from the past. It is a real danger for the health of our economy, the people, and, ultimately, the world.

Gas might be used as a transmission to a net carbon-free zone. But we must wonder how long we can keep burning carbon. The clock is ticking and we have been procrastinating. Time for bipartisan targeted action is needed yesterday. Time to face the reality of climate change with action. No point cooking the world with gas. We need a plan with a time frame of the kind other countries are offering. We are all in this together in the pandemic, and we are as well with regard to climate change. There is no exceptionalism or privilege allowed. There is no Planet B.

Fortunately, States are taking the initiative and setting the example for the Federal Government.

 

Image from thegladcafe.co.uk

 

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20 comments

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  1. New England Cocky

    If the article is sourced in an Muloch Main Stream Media-ocrity masthead then it must, by definition, be a dubious source of information content.

    Did this informative article fail to mention that fracking is an excellent method for fracturing the geological strata currently containing the Great Artesian Basin (GAB), causing CSG contamination which renders the groundwater useless for agriculture, or anything other than re-use for fracking?

    If you think the Nazional$ scams with MDB water are important then remember the GAB is supplied from the Pilliga Scrub where SANTOS has been given approval to drill about 900 CSG wells using water better used for growing food & fibre that will likely use the one & only opportunity to contaminate the GAB and so likely eliminate agriculture from the western plains.

    Remember ….. the coal mine in the NSW Southern Highlands that broke through the strata and drained the surface water from the landscape? Well, this threat to the GAB is even more important.

  2. Sydney

    NEC, fracking has to be the most damaging way to extract resources and it’s basically unnecessary given there are alternative sources of energy. Not only is the GAB at risk of pollution but there is the issue of what role oil and gas play in terms of geo-tectonic stabilization and distribution of tensions in the earths crust. From what I have read, these resources provide a frictionless medium at depth that dissipates the buildup of forces that cause larger earthquakes.
    Also, I’ve an impression that some articles posted at AIMN these days are generated by AI. If that’s true, then the final sentence in the article above is the key to understanding where the programmers of AI what to take us. Anyone else get that feeling?

  3. guest

    New England Cocky,

    You make a good point about the destruction of artesian water. It is one of the reasons why there is such a group as Lock the Gate opposing damage to agricultural land.

    I notice in this post that there is mention of the way water used by fracking becomes contaminated in various ways – and fracking uses lots of water which becomes unusable, removed from the ‘hydrologic cycle’.

    I notice, too, that there are bits of writing here from Chris Mitchell and Nick Cater. What they say is criticised in this post. As Paul Kelly said on Q&A on Monday, there are plenty of publications about climate change and therefore it is OK for the Murdoch media to play the part of sceptic or critic – and of course that is what Murdoch does, protecting those who have vested interests in the fossil fuels economy.

    Greg Sheridan also makes comments about climate change. Just this week (12/11/2020) he accused China of making meaningless statements about reducing carbon emissions by 2060.

    Sheridan also says: “As ever with matters of climate politics, there was vast amounts of disinformation,dishonesty, misrepresentation, confusion and pure moonshine.”

    Trouble is most of that nonsense comes from the Murdoch media. No science there.

  4. Phil Pryor

    Murdoch’s murky merde-ia outlets only hire liars, political perverts, word benders. logic rapists, ignorance promoters, fantasy and fraud floggers, dishonesty distributors, hypocrisy harlots, the Kelly, Sheridan, Albrechtsen, Akerman, Hilbebrand, Bolt sewage farm of expanding turds. Money, notoriety, notice, pose, future filthy lucre and sinecures, these motivate the scribbling dribbling scrotals and flappers of a rotten foreigners pillaging of honesty, decency, balance, a positive approach to a tolerable future. Up their Khybers…

  5. New England Cocky

    Narrabri comment on the SANTOS CSG project and likely destruction of the Great Artesian Basin groundwater resource.

    https://au.news.yahoo.com/farmers-fear-there-will-be-blood-spilt-as-bitter-battle-heats-up-022956572.html?guccounter=1

    Now Phil Pryor, there you go again being very polite when describing the Muloch Main Stream Media-ocrity minions.

    @guest: At least have the decency to use a name. Sheridan is a RAbbott devotee and correctly should have travelled to England to keep massaging RAbbott’s anal sphincter.

  6. guest

    Sydney @12.07pm,

    There seems to be a contradiction in what you say about fracking. First you say you believe fracking is destructive, but then you say you have read that lubrication helps to prevent larger earthquakes. Where did you read that? It sounds like fracking propaganda!

    As well, you wonder about AI production of posts. How does that work?

    You mention the last line of this post which seems to want to direct the reader in some direction. As far as I can tell, the whole post is against fracking, Murdoch nonsense and the failure of the Angus Taylor energy roadmap mess-up.

    New England Cocky @3.01pm

    Thank you for the Narrabri site. It is frightening that 95,000 hectares of forest are to be fracked, using huge amounts of water and drilling thousands of bores lined with steel and concrete. How will they decommission those after 20 years?

    I remember seeing a documentary on Narrabri residents. Some people were all for it, others were dead against it. Some thought it would bring in more money and jobs, others were worried there would be a boom and bust: money at first, but bust after it was all over and the frackers left.

    Besides, there are the risks to the agriculture and its water.

    Then there is the matter of using methane gas to cook the planet.

    And another thing. I do not understand why I should use not use a pen name. You yourself us one. Take care.

  7. Sydney

    guest, the extraction of oil & gas and the fracking operations cannot be separated as being possible causative of earthquakes.
    Earthquakes happened before the industry came along but it seems fracking is making some mined areas much more prone.
    I forget where I read the article but it related to fracking and earthquakes in the US (Yellowstone area?).
    re AI, the technology is now so sophisticated that it’s a trick to tell if its written by a human or AI:
    https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/mar/24/microsoft-scrambles-limit-pr-damage-over-abusive-ai-bot-tay
    I don’t know if this article is AI generated but if so, then the main message I see is trust the States, not the Fed.
    Agenda? divide & conquer?

  8. guest

    Sydney,

    Interesting points. Perhaps much fracking could develop some earth tremors, but I find it hard to believe that fracking lubricants (referred to as “gells” in this post) could stop earthquakes.

    With regard to AI twittering, possible in small sentences – and I have heard of them being distributed in mass numbers. But a post of this size, with many quotations from many writers and sources and styles? Who do you think is creating these AI missives here at AIMN?

    As for the message “divide and conquer”, that is what is happening politically. States have been handling the virus individually. And because the Federal government’s energy roadmap has taken so long to appear and is so inadequate as shown in this post, States have been making their own way in energy development of renewables – in SA for example for a number f years – and now an energy plan in NSW. Renewable are now a cheaper source of energy. Only a few fossil fuels places in Oz are holding out with carbon energy sources in economic decline. Even Adani is under-performing with coal and turning to renewables. China is a top manufacturer of renewables.

    Travel in Oz and you will see many arrays of solar panels and rows of wind turbines. The States are leaving the Feds behind.

  9. Sydney

    guest, agree, I don’t see how fracking gels makes geology more stable.

    re AI being limited to tweets, try this ‘A robot wrote this entire article. Are you scared yet, human? GPT-3’
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/sep/08/robot-wrote-this-article-gpt-3

    re “Who … is creating … AI missives”? I don’t know if this particular piece is created by AI, but an ‘author’ is someone with access to high end AI such as GPT-3. For those promoting darker agendas, GPT-3 is a great asset. it’s as simple as posing a question, add in key phrases & main point, press ENTER, go get a coffee and return to check the output. Even an elite psychopath can do it.

    States vs Fed policy and power plays are both guided by outside lobbyists. Is there a covert purpose of breaking down national sovereignty? Seems the Fed is being set up for a fail. Any rise of the power of the States will be an interim step in the divide and conquer, then divide and conquer again routine. The end game seems to be the creation of a one world government. Politicians are self-focused on keeping their ‘power’ and have no idea of the levels of deception at play. They are tools for the NWO.

  10. guest

    Sydney,

    I must say I am surprised by the essay written by an AI robot because I have not seen examples before. I have seen computer driven poems.

    However, whether it is written by a person or by an AI robot, the input is by humans.

    As for your statement “The end game seems to be the creation of a one world government”, this smacks of UN conspiracy of the climate change kind. And I do not buy that kind of conspiracy theory – which is designed to deny the reality of climate change.

    Read Murdoch scribbling about Trump, or climate change, or anything else and one might think it was written by a robot, with input and prompts from humans programmed by a certain ingrained ideology. That is why the same thing is written repeatedly, over and over, by different journalists in the Murdoch bunker.

  11. Kronomex

    As long as the donations (and the rewards of cushy positions as lobbyists) keep rolling in the LNP will continue to part its cheeks and be the corporate bicycle rack they turned into years ago.

  12. Sydney

    guest, “the input is by humans” not sure what you mean. AI language software is able to put together cogent arguments simply by accessing millions of books, articles, journals etc. Over time, literature once written by humans will be joined by AI aggregations. A few people can run the public narrative, all they need is GPT-3 and a MSM portal. I agree, most of the rubbish Murdoch publishes could be written by AI, lots of word but not much intelligent or compassionate analysis.
    As for theories, I go to source docs (UN, WHO, govt and agency papers etc) to see what is planned, then contrast that against current events. Over time it is possible to read between the lines. Our rights are being done over and I doubt they will be fully returned. Many people believe the world will be mask-free in a year, the assumption being that covid is the last killer virus? What, they never heard the common flu kills 1000s in Aus alone each year.

  13. DrakeN

    So, who is the “I” in the first paragraph, since there is no by-line to credit an author?
    Does “I” have an identity or is “AI”?
    Or even AI-MN?
    “Curiouser and curiouser.”

  14. guest

    Sydney,

    That is enough. We are off topic now and I am not going to be impressed by your claims of investigating government agencies and comparing them with current events which reveal…what? Our rights are being done over?
    You cannot even find the number of deaths from flu in Australia.

    “The flu season which struck down 300,00 Australians ‘worst on record’ due to early outbreaks” (abc.net.au, 11/2/2020)
    “The figure is 7 times greater than Australia’s 18 year average…Last year [2019] there were over 900 influenza linked deaths in Australia.”

    “Hundreds of Australian flu deaths have been avoided because of the lockdown measures used to prevent the spread of COVID-19, experts say. The latest national statistics, obtained by the ABC, reveal from January to June 2020, there were just 36 deaths from the flu.”
    (abc.net.au, 23/07/2020)

    So much for ‘what they never heard’ and ‘how our rights are being overdone”!
    You sound like a Murdoch scribbler.

    DrakeN,

    No name – so it must be a conspiracy of AI trolls? Curiouser and curiouser. And abbreviated names? Or false names? Pen names?

    Don’t let it worry you too much.

  15. Michael Taylor

    DrakeN, it is not uncommon for authors wanting to remain anonymous. Whatever their reason, we respect their wish. I have had to do the same for work reasons, ie, when I was a public servant.

  16. Michael Taylor

    Sydney, your conspiracy theories are waaay off topic.

  17. Matters Not

    My preference is that ALL contributions remain anonymous and therefore untraceable to those who might have skin in the game or alternative agendas. In that way, it’s IDEAS that are discussed and participants are not distracted by irrelevant monikers because, by and large, a name on a Blog should matter not.

  18. Sydney

    guest, I like it, ‘a conspiracy of AI trolls’, running amok, despite the best efforts of their human handlers, a great visual.
    ABS figures for influenza deaths 2018 = 3102 https://www.abs.gov.au/statistics/health/causes-death/causes-death-australia/2018
    ‘Murdoch scribbler’? The only reason I’d work for him would be if he let me use GPT-3 to write his Editorials for a week say.
    Win-win, his sales would get a boost and coincidentally his flagshit newspaper empire would end in tatters, a win for the public.
    Matters Not, true, this is why I read this blog and sometimes comment, it’s the flow of ideas that matters, no prob with anons.
    Yours truly,
    Mr AI Amok

  19. New England Cocky

    @Kronomex: Agreed. At present the reported near empty coffers of the Nazional$ seem to be filling with political donations from Costa Guyra Tomato Farm, owned about 50% by a Canadian agri-investment corporation. The ASX Initial Public Offering documents about five years ago valued Costa at about $750 million. But the Guyra site has no large holding dam to supply water to the 2 x 50 acre glasshouses during a drought period after the bores have run dry and the collected water from the glasshouses has been consumed.

    THEN DURING THE 2019-2020 WORST DROUGHT IN LIVING MEMORY, Armidale Regional Council (ARC), controlled by the Nazional$ faction, ”lost” the water supply contract entered into by the force amalgamated Guyra Shire Council and Costa continued production of export tomatoes for the benefit of the overseas shareholders while Armidale ratepayers were struggled on Level 5 Water Restrictions.

    All the likely suspects were quickly on the scene to provide a $13 MILLION taxpayer funded pipeline from Malpas Dam, the source of Armidale drinking water, directly into the Costa operation. The then Mayor, Dr Simply Simon, believed to be the aspiring successor to Holla$A Marshall, the local MP and Minister for Agriculture, Barnyard Joke the adulterous, alcoholic Federal MP (Nazional$) for New England and the Nazional$ Mr Fix-it, Giovanni Porkbarrelo, all posed for publicity pics while announcing that Armidale would hence forth be supplied with drinking water from the de-commissioned Gara Dam after a second about $9 MILLION pipeline upgrade.

    There were no statements about future political donations at that time. However, no political party invests that much taxpayer money without expecting a significant return in political donations to keep the unelected political hacks who control pre-selection in the manner to which they wish to remain accustomed.

  20. Jo.

    Yes the Costa Guyra Tomato Farm is listed on the ASX as CGC with its current price at $3.93 (Friday close 13/11/20) which is somewhat less than its peak of $8.84 as of 20/06/2018. One suspects therefore that its shareholders would be less than impressed with its overall performance and would be interested to know how much, and when, was donated to political parties. Would you have a link?

    Perhaps the AEC website which allows anyone to establish who made donations which can then be checked against those who received particular amounts. Can’t find any myself but maybe you’ll have better luck.

    https://transparency.aec.gov.au/AnnualDonor

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