Can someone pass me a shovel? I need to dig up the last of Bill Shorten’s conscience…
Well, I can either do that or continue hoeing out this trench that Labor and the Coalition have dug from the coffers of Getup! straight to the entrance of the polling booths. I wonder if they realise that for a supposedly benevolent entity a cursory glance at their website reveals ground zero for a Labor policy post-it note apocalypse… At this point they are more-or-less a slipway made from decomposing fliers and coconut oil. Not that anyone is bothering to question how much wasteful paraphernalia accumulates during an election campaign – we’re simply offering the odd lofted eyebrow in the direction of hypocrisy while side-eyeing the current definition of ‘independent’.
To borrow an overused metaphor from a naked, raving Remainer and employ it properly – as a voter, it is a tad nauseating to watch Scott Morrison and Bill Shorten lock arms and stroll a unity ticket along the Yellow Brick Road, leading Australia through the gates of the Emerald City in which every citizen is commanded to wear green-tinted glasses to perpetrate the fallacy that the walls are ‘renewable’. At the end of the day, this morally vacuous civilisation created from Labor’s utopia is a sad melee of smoke and mirrors – if only we had Julie Bishop’s glittering red shoes to tap together and takes us back to reality. I’m kidding. We’re well rid of the shoes. No seriously – enough about the shoes. They’re safely in a museum which is exactly where shallow politicking should be laid to rest.
The truth is, if you resort to motivating the voting base with a manufactured apocalypse – if you have to employ baseless fear as currency – then the moral bankruptcy of Australian politics has well and truly fallen off the ledge. That roar from Twitter is the wind in our hair as we hurtle toward the ocean of Social Justice, Union thuggery, the erosion of civil liberty and theft of private enterprise. Here we are, base jumping without a parachute.
Certainly, the percentages of ‘crazy’ shift a little between Labor and the LNP. While the small print of their policies aren’t quite carbon copies (give me some credit for that pun) their souls are weighed equal on the metaphoric scales of misery. Poverty. Exorbitant electricity prices. Woeful unreliability. Big renewable share portfolio returns. Foreign ownership of Australian power. Most terrifyingly, we’re being offered an energy solution whose net impact from birth to grave on the environment is worse than any ailing coal fired plant.
The simple truth is that we have entered an age where our leaders actively sabotage the environment to sell the lie of ‘virtue’ in order to earn power while the actual power we require is stuttering towards catastrophic failure. These are the last days of Rome…
Here lies the real problem.
Scientists on the renewables payroll do everything they can to disguise the hefty environmental cost of their money-making pets Solar and Wind energy while blindfolding the public to Nuclear’s graces. Debates about the tumultuous state of the climate are irrelevant when the reality of these ‘clean’ industries is that they are filthy ventures with all unpalatable ecological damage kept away from scrutiny. They exist, almost solely, for share portfolio gain but when the time comes and they are challenged to stand and deliver their energy mandate we’re going to find a rudely empty stage and a few crumpled campaign fliers.
For the unaware, these idolised technologies Solar and Wind require China’s sprawl of toxic rare earth mines to trash swathes of land – ruining rural communities and their surrounding areas with radioactive sludge all in search of a finite resource desperately needed for more important technologies.
The mining and transport is fossil fuel intensive whilst the steel has to be smelted with the use of good old coal furnaces. Rare earth materials vacuumed up by solar panels and wind turbines aren’t geologically rare – they are ‘diffuse’ simply meaning that you have to dig up an awful lot of dirt to get something useful. Enormous – open – pit – mines. Neodymium, Indium, Tellurium, Dysprosium – China uses them all as a stick to smack Western markets across the face with whenever it suits them. That is the risk of doing business with a Communist dictatorship. China’s rare earth companies were forcibly amalgamated into six government owned bodies which, somewhat foolishly, Western leaders have decided to bank their entire energy security futures on.
Even without the brewing geopolitical climate ramping up a few degrees, per kilowatt of power eventually produced by renewables, they stockpile orders of magnitude more waste than a Nuclear plant. Uncomfortably for the greener members of the audience, the only power generation technology whose waste is entirely self contained for proper disposal is Nuclear which also has the highest level of scrutiny and law. Indeed, if your serious intention is to the save the environment, on paper Solar and Wind would be your last choice for net devastation vs return. Only an individual blinded by prejudice could review the studies sighted at the European Union and write Nuclear off.
The only question left for Australia is whether or not our economy will survive the renewables social experiment.
Whether the alarmist, apocalypse profiteering mongers like it or not, Nuclear and exciting fusion-based power generators are our future. The energy negative systems of Solar and Wind, with their impossible land footprints required to meet demand (consuming entire countries) are a dead end vanity street. Necessity will eventually outweigh our virtue. Sure – but at present we are the foolish explorer wandering the desert, dropping our water supply on the promise of a mirage.
For maximum irritation to our fragile friends in generation #metoo I shall use a gender-analogy to explain the concept of a ‘net energy negative system’. It is important to understand the severity of the flaw renewables present to the world because it is insurmountable.
Let’s pretend that Coal Fired, Natural Gas, Hydro and Nuclear power generation stations are country towns. Contained within these communities are men and women. If left to their own devices over the next fifty years their net population will increase as they have lots of babies. Great. Civilisation 1.01.
Nearby towns Solar and Wind have only men. They can make some buildings – they’ve got a half decent street and one or two e-cars but no matter how long you leave them their net population will degrade until eventually they die out entirely. If they want to maintain their civilisation, they have to travel to our big towns Coal, Gas, Hydro or Nuclear to make families.
In other words, Solar and Wind consume more energy than they ever create.
And so the reality is that in a world with only renewable technologies on offer they do not meet the base requirement to be self perpetuating which is exactly why they were always envisioned as situation specific, supplementary energy sources. No one is saying a solar panel on a farm gate is a crime or that a windmill in a remote area thousands of miles from the grid can’t be of use – we’re saying you can’t power cities and civilisations with them.
Kindly described as ‘difficult’ to recycle – ‘impossible’ is a closer approximation. In the case of wind turbines, the thermosetting matrix and glass fibre composition of their blades can never be remoulded into other products. The damages of wear and critical failure fatigue to its components almost exclusively make them unsuitable for reuse meaning that when one piece of the wind turbine breaks or something smashes your solar panel you are usually forced to replace the entire installation. If you’re wondering why we can’t melt the components down and start again, it is because the heat required irrecoverably destroys the quality of the material. Of course, the biggest problem is the price tag. Think Trump’s wall hurts the budget? You should see what the bill is to recycle a few ‘renewables’.
We haven’t even spoken of the concrete and steel required for these playgrounds of noise. In case you were wondering – no – it’s not a ‘carbon neutral’ activity.
5% of global carbon dioxide emissions originate during the production of cement while 7% comes from manufacturing steel. Renewables are quickly adding themselves to the count. In short, fossil fuels are required to build these renewable technologies even if the brochure doesn’t show the coal stack. Infinitely worse we are wasting the resource to construct power-weak technologies that need constant replacing. It is like spending 5 billion dollars to print 500 dollar notes. In short, it’s a bad return on investment.
Summary figures suggest that 1MW of wind capacity requires 103 tonnes of stainless steel, 402 tonnes of concrete, 6.8 tonnes of fibreglass, 3 tonnes of copper and 20 tonnes of cast iron. To replace global power with wind would require 10TW (terrawatts) of wind capacity. Now run those numbers again…
Okay – so we can agree that sucks but I’m on the Solar-Train! (You declare). I hate to break it to you but the production, lifespan and grave of photovoltaic panels leave some pretty nasty piles of liquid and gas waste running into the waterways. Everything from the extraction of the raw materials to the additives and furnaces needed to turn them into benign looking solar panels would make even the most moderate Green twitch. Indeed, China is dealing with a mounting waste problem and protests such as those Haining in Zhejia (a village surrounding Zhejiang Jink Solar Co. Ltd.). As villagers riot the careless destruction of their rivers they are beaten into silence by the regime struggling to keep their contracts with the virtuous West.
“The factory has been polluting us all this while and now that we make some noise, the government shuts us up. They are all in this together, now we just have to die here silently. You can see all these riot police here, we are just helpless villagers.” – A quote from one of the village elders, taken from Reuters.com
While there are emerging technologies available to reduce (but not mitigate) the destructive force of this process, the majority of renewables are produced in China at the cheapest possible production cost. A generous estimate is that it takes a year for a solar panel to cancel out its production emission but come the end of its life (listed as 30 years but the reality is far shorter particularly in the face of hail storms), it must be classified as ‘special waste’. Like wind turbines, solar panels are full of material considered hazardous and economically un-viable to recycle.
What we are doing is creating a future landfill of toxic material that – unlike Nuclear waste – won’t breakdown on its own to something innocuous. Heavy metals are stable and for all the fuss made over our plastic shopping bags we’re happy to put the worst of the worst into the ground. At the end of the day, less than 11% of the solar panel is recyclable and there’s no money to be made in doing it – in fact, it costs money.
We haven’t even crossed the bridge over the quagmire of batteries and transformers or the bat and bird slaughtering wind turbines somehow exempt from legislation designed to protect rare predatory birds. Actually, these two particular renewables require a remarkable ‘scorched earth’ approach to the landscape. We live with the irony that you can’t temporarily clear land for a mine but you can tear it up for a solar farm. I’m not sure if the Black-Throated Finches can tell the difference.
Sunlight might appear to be ‘free’ but let’s not forget that we’re in orbit around a very efficient nuclear fusion reactor – the holy grail of power generation. It’s having a grand old time transforming 620 million metric tons of Hydrogen into 606 million metric tones of Helium every single second. The result is light, viciously charged winds that buffet the Earth and the supposed, ‘free energy’ of immense heat hitting the solar panels on your roof. Remember, budding Socialists, just because you didn’t pay for it, doesn’t mean it was ‘free’.
The simple, uncomfortable fact is that the only mass-producing, cheap and efficient renewable technologies within our immediate reach are Geothermal and Hydro. No, not the imitation Snowy-Hydro scheme 2.0 pumping water up and down at a net loss, proper old school Hydro like the station at Niagara Falls that churns out power day and night. We should remind ourselves of Nikola Tesla’s words upon the opening of Niagara Falls’ Hydro Electric Power Station.
“We have many a monument of past ages; we have the palaces and pyramids, the temples of the Greeks and the cathedrals of Christendom. In them is exemplified the power of men, the greatness of nations, the love of art and religious devotion. But the monument at Niagara has something of its own, more in accord with our present thoughts and tendencies. It is a monument worthy of our scientific age, a true monument of enlightenment and of peace. It signifies the subjugation of natural forces to the service of man, the discontinuance of barbarous methods, the relieving of millions from want and suffering.” – Nikola Tesla
Where are the giants of our age? Where are the ambitious, brilliant minds wading into the world to build great things? They are dead. The regressive hearts of the Left have killed them and cast mediocrity and absurdity in their wake.
Harnessing Niagara was never about playing politics, it was an opportunity to fill a desperate need of the growing population by taming a powerful natural force.
Unfortunately Australia is at a disadvantage for the realistic renewable energy market. We don’t have a handy fault line to latch a Geothermal powerhouse onto meanwhile Hydro, whether you like it or not, requires a fair bit of environmental interruption to river systems which isn’t a brilliant idea in a flood and drought ravaged landmass like Australia – unless you count Tasmania, which we mainlanders try not to.
We have got a blindingly obvious answer glowing in the deserts every night but no one wants to talk about Nuclear because we like to give ourselves handicaps for no good reason. While the kids over at ITER play at making miniature stars, the rest of us heathens have some workable alternatives.
With evidence mounting that renewables are the worst fit for our energy environment, presumptive heir Bill Shorten and terrified king Scott Morrison print the treacherous slogans of the Paris Agreement across their chests and scream from the flanks of parliament, begging for money – always more money – to prop up the UN’s paper castle.
The proverbial shit is headed toward the fan.
As we’ve long been told by angry Climate Alarmists, Nuclear reactors take time to build (as if this in itself is a failing). Indeed, useful things often take time to construct. So, as the Green’s march to close our existing Coal Fired plants, the burden of baseload has started to exasperate the grid into alarming palpitations. Eventually, during one of these blackouts, an engineer will whisper to the surviving politician that a First World country is about to face a sudden regression into the Dark Ages. Queensland and Tasmania will be the only states with 21st century lights while the rest of us stare down the barrel of a very real, very serious logistical disaster.
Without power a civilisation is nothing. We’re only ever a light switch away from the caves. Living on a farm, we’re often left with week long stretches carting water from the paddock, living by candlelight, cooking with gas and charging our phones in our diesel car. I’m not sure Sydney would take kindly to the same experience.
Now, with bags of gold changing hands beneath the table and shallow ideology driving our politics, I can’t help but wonder if the Australian people are being sold short.
In the mean time, while we await our epoch downgrade, I have set calendar reminders for every new climate change hoax that comes across my desk in what should amount to half a century of gloating. At least I resisted the urge to turn it into a drinking game. Cheers!