The world is either coming to an end – or it’s not.
Every successful political tyranny understands that civilisation has an inbuilt emergency setting. The big red button. When activated, humans of every ilk will set aside their selfish genes – cast off material ambition – down the tools of common conflict and work a unity ticket in the name of survival.
This mechanism is a gift of our violent history. We use it to endure horrific accidents, sustained warfare, plague, starvation, and of course those rare cracks in our epoch when we can do nothing but watch as nature tears apart reality. These are the moments of humbling terror. The flashes where annihilation reminds us that we are a wink in the dark.
It is very important to understand that this survival instinct is first and foremost unsustainable.
Primarily an emotion, it compels us to do things that we would not ordinarily consider including activities against our civilisational interest. When it ends – and it will always end – whatever embers of society that have endured will face upheaval as all the pieces try to shuffle themselves back together on a broken board.
The West lost alcoves of its psyche during World Wars that can never be replaced. Many for the better, a lot for the worse but all at the cost of 100 million lives. Entire generations were stolen and those who survived faced decades of poverty. The Millennial empire may be genuinely unaware but peace is purchased with leagues of blood so we should hold onto it for as long as possible and cherish every day our swords remain sheathed.
Crying wolf about this sort of approaching hell takes radical stupidity, moral vacuousness or both. Certainly, chaos is not the ground upon which anyone should construct a political thesis – unless you’re short-sighted.
Apocalypse-politics preys on the camaraderie of fear.
Labor knows how easy it is to terrify people into dropping a vote at the ballot box. Union thuggery has worked this way for the best part of a century and now they’ve reared a generation to be Climate-god fearing in the Greek fashion. I’m frankly surprised we’re not at the point of vegan-virgin sacrifices in the public square to make amends for our iphone emissions.
When this eco-cataclysmic philosophy is embraced, there’s no need to sell boring economic facts that feel like an abstraction in the face of brimstone. Of course who cares about the economy if we’re all going to die!? A solid budget for future success pales in the shadow of the Socialist spend. This is the argument of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez who laughs at the challenge of balancing a budget to pay for the great climate war as if she is the general in an existential conflict instead of a backwater politician facing a campaign fund scandal. What is money anyway but a sin of Capitalism? Unless it’s your tax money arriving in their campaign accounts – then Socialists perk right up.
The glaring truth observed by the ordinary citizen is that the governments writing doomsday prophecy do not believe their own press releases.
We are not relocating our capital cities into the mountains for fear of ocean inundation. Politicians haven’t grounded the aviation industry or scaled back their personal indulgences. World conflict hasn’t been snuffed for the greater good as you would expect if the world’s leaders truly thought that there was a serious threat to their survival. No. We continue to prop up corrupt governments with aid as they mulch through irreplaceable natural resources. Meanwhile France’s Renewable Energy Regime all looks a bit pointless as the streets of Paris are set on fire every weekend, billowing thick smoke across the horizon in an ironic stain.
Seriously… The elite class strapping a token solar panel to their sprawling air-conditioned mansions with heated pools and more rare earth scrap metal than Southern China is not a sign of the ‘end times’. It is indicative of a scam.
As is the constant in politics the world over, it is for the plebs to suffer the consequence of Dante politicking.
The poorest are tasked with the bill while the top end of town have nothing to fear from the likes of Bill Shorten, Labor or their notorious punch-spiking wingman the Greens. Everyone else I advise, buyer beware. There is no money left in the kitty for vanity projects which is why Shorten intends to take the balance directly from you under the guise of a moral veil. He will tax you to death and follow you into the grave, resurrecting the hated ‘death duties’ in which politicians conspire to profit off your grief like a flock of vultures tearing at a corpse on the Savannah. They want you to think that your sacrifice is to stop the rising tide like the virgins tossed into volcanoes. Don’t be a fool. The contents of your wallet is purchasing beach front houses for the rich.
So, let us settle something up front. The world is not ending.
This is nothing more than the archaic argument of ‘ an enemy at the gates’ given a makeover. The aggressor is Capitalism, the battleground is Australia’s economy and the proposed Olympian hero is Socialism. The government is coming to save you from a threat that doesn’t exist. Political parties only require a ludicrous foundation when the policies themselves are ludicrous. Stop and think about how unpalatable these ideas must be for the threat of world wide annihilation to be brought onto the field as a sweetener.
I’m not going to pretend that there are many clean hands in Australian politics.
We’d all be thoroughly shocked if the Greens didn’t employ this tactic and it is practically the party foundation of Shorten’s Labor. However, watching the conservative LNP wade in up to their necks is disappointing to say the least. The purpose of the Liberal-National alliance is to counter-balance the Left’s heavy lean toward large government supremacy but since Malcolm Turnbull had a go at the wheel they’ve developed a taste for climate ponzi schemes for which we are all the poorer.
It’s no surprise that minor parties are back in favour. If nothing else voters feel that they have been bookended by twin pillars of the same philosophy. The tightening of the chain, shall we say. Populism is on the rise well yes that tends to happen when both sides of the political coin adopt unpopular policy.
In lieu of the Budget Reply 2019, the founding premise of Labor’s doomsday campaign can be named as
#GlobalCooling #GlobalWarming #ClimateChange. This is the fantasy that, despite all historic evidence to the contrary, the Earth’s climate naturally exists in a static state which humans have wrecked with their technology and now the fiery vaults of the Doom are opening. The ten year deadline on this apocalypse has been shifting since the 70’s and has proven to be about as accurate as a Mayan prophecy.
Never mind the oceans filling with plastic pouring out of the third world’s largest rivers. Don’t look too closely at the ravages of religious war ripping apart the environment across the Middle East. We’re not going to worry about the wood-chipping of the Amazon to make way for palm oil, soy and rubber. It doesn’t matter that the biggest threat to our atmosphere is the loss of the mechanism that generates 20% of the Oxygen we require to keep breathing… Humans are pretty good at navigating temperature change. We don’t do so well with oxygen depletion.
If the United Nations and the Alliance of Virtue Signalling Countries with Shonky Human Rights Records were truly worried they might consider tying aid money to the survival of these last mega rainforests. It’s no good Australians bankrupting ourselves into the Stone Age if the lungs of the world have cancer. A move like this would require political bravery and moral fortitude – neither of which washes up on the shores of parliament very often.
We already know a hiccup of carbon dioxide sends swathes of the Left fainting so how could any eco warrior worth their salt make the case for Solar or Wind over Nuclear energy? Kilowatt per pound of lifetime carbon emission, it’s the gold standard. Indeed, France’s historically low emissions have climbed as it closes its Nuclear power plants in favour of Renewables while Germany has had somewhat of an actual catastrophe. As a country, it has thrown about as much money into Wind and Solar as South Australia and managed to give itself the silver medal in, ‘Europe’s Most Outrageously Priced Energy in the World’ category. Germany’s once stable power grid now suffers through black outs and load sharing mayhem despite subsidies and green levies that set the German taxpayer back nearly one trillion euros.
There’s no end in sight either. Building your power grid around Solar and Wind is the worst idea nation states have ever had. This electricity is unpredictable and expensive. More importantly, it fails to meet the basic requirement of a national energy grid – stability.
What we call ‘baseload’ is the minimum consumption requirement to keep the lights on. Solar and Wind have necessitated the bizarre obligation to build parallel energy grids. It is one thing to supplement baseload with a bit of Wind but quite another to try and run a country on it. As a power source, it tends to average 10% on its promised return peaking at 50% on good days and dropping to literally nothing without warning. Don’t get me started on batteries. Suffice to say there is neither the money nor resources to cover even Germany’s lonely grid.
The natural reality is that traditional sources of energy like Nuclear will always have to prop up the grid but here’s the thing – Nuclear is perfectly capable of running the grid all on its own – so why are we duplicating our costs on a technology that has a habit of slaughtering native birds and bats?
That would be politics getting in the way of progress.
Not only do we have systematic failure with the end product of the Renewables Industry – there’s a taxpayer rort perpetrated at the beginning. Government funded ventures to build Solar, Wind and Wave power (many foreign owned) are taking their pay cheques before folding in on themselves.
Meanwhile, with a mortally wounded power grid staring down inevitable collapse, Bill Shorten and Labor have birthed a remarkable policy to lure what’s left of our energy security into the senate where it will be stabbed repeatedly until finally stumbling over and bleeding out on the floor of parliament.
Who is our Brutus? Mandated electric car purchases.
To clarify – this policy will decree that 50% of all new cars be at least partially electric by 2030 from a market currently at 0.2%. It will impose an emission target on the other 50% which completely bans sales of Australia’s most popular vehicles currently totalling 97% of all purchases – ouch… Businesses will be able to write off 20% of the cost of their electric vehicle worth more than $20,000 (you pay for that) on top of the existing 12.5% (you pay for that too).
Shorten will then author a 200 million cheque to the car industry (which Labor previously argued should not be supported by the government) 100 million of which will go into new charging stations and the rest into the creation of yet more layers of bureaucracy in the guise of COAG. There is no consideration for the wiping out of the mechanical industry surrounding vehicles and contrary to what Shorten has said, electric vehicle manufacturers do not allow third parties to service their batteries. In addition, Federally funded road upgrades and charging stations have about as much chance of reaching Australia’s country areas as the NBN so we can pretty much write this off as another inner city wet dream paid for by Australians who’ll never experience the benefit. Again.
To bring these budgetary figures into perspective. The average Australian pays $10,000 a year in taxes of some kind so Shorten’s little ecar binge would take 20,000 years for you to pay off. Good value? Probably not…
So while we have tens of thousands of vulnerable Australians disconnecting from the power grid every year unable to afford the most basic of first world comforts and pensioners dying in their beds from the cold as they ration their air conditioning, it’s good to know that we’re spending so much money on virtue projects to keep the United Nations happy.
Speaking of that power grid.
Current government policy is to politely request that businesses and home owners reduce their electricity consumption at the height of summer when it’s needed most because after the closure of our largest Coal Fired power stations, it quite literally cannot cope with demand. Like the Germans, we are well acquainted with sustained blackouts and forced power sharing which basically translates to a big F-U to country areas in favour of keeping the city lit.
Even without electric cars leeching off the grid, if Australia doesn’t do something about building baseload power plants immediately Sydney and Melbourne might have to adapt and become vampire enclaves where residents resign themselves to candles and other savageries of the 14th Century. One might imagine that any government currently campaigning for the Federal election might put this at the top of their list. Sadly, focus groups have been taught to resent the very thing that charges their smart phones and no one has the chops to buck up and state the obvious – we need Coal Fired power stations or it’s back to the caves.
So yeah, there is going to be a massive demand issue when the tide of electric cars roll into their garages of an evening and plug in. They don’t evenly distribute themselves either, they cluster in hot spots in a feeding frenzy the nightmare of electrical engineers the world over.
Mark Butler, a Labor spokesman, recently operated on a supreme level of naivety when he suggested that, ‘other countries around the world were dealing with the issues.’ Yes Mark, with their Nuclear power plants which we’re not allowed to build. He continued, ‘high take-up of rooftop solar panels will lower the impact’. Indeed Mark, when everyone plugs their cars in at night. However it is Mark’s final suggestion that gets the grand prize for sustained hilarity in which he floats the idea that the cars themselves could be used as backup batteries for the houses during blackouts.
Firstly – that’s not how electric car batteries are designed to discharge their energy… Secondly what? And how is a flat car going to be of use the next morning when people head out to their jobs? At this point Labor and their apologists are pulling lunacy right out of the air while the Press give them a free pass.
Labor are also acting under the impression that most people who own cars in Australia travel short distances or barely use them like our European cousins. This might be true of the Canberra circle or even the political class in Melbourne but for the Sydney workers who commute for an average of 2 hours every single day or the unwashed hordes living outside major cities who easily rack up 1000km a week, electric cars are not very appealing in their current capacity. If you’re facing an 8 hour return trip with produce the last thing you want to do is stand around waiting for your car to charge. The supercharging requirement for this sort of use falls well beyond the recommendations from ecar retailers for the health of the battery. You’re simply not meant to use these cars as dogged workhorses. That’s the entire reason why Australians buy higher emission cars in the first place – the work load.
We are not Europe. Our roads are terrible, everything is bloody miles away, we’ve no useful rail system and the quality of the power infrastructure is at the lowest threshold with eyewateringly long charges on an ever rising electricity price tag.
This discussion does not even begin to delve into the chemical limitation of battery technology. For two hundred years we’ve known that the process which allows us to re-charge a battery by reversing electron flow irrevocably destroys the battery. Changing materials and packing the cells more densely has slowed the damage and increased the voltage but the problem remains. As Climate Change zealots are yet to work out, not every technical puzzle has a solution no matter how much money you throw at it. Battery engineers have been working on this full time since the electrical revolution and the best recommendation of laptop and phone manufacturers was to reduce the charge load of the devices to be more gentle on the battery thus extending its life. You can do this with a phone but it doesn’t work with a car which requires a large amount of electricity to physically turn the wheels.
Superchargers make it worse. The faster you charge a battery, the quicker it degrades. Degradation means that the charge capacity lowers – about 8% in the first year with perfect use, 11% after two but much worse if you start religiously using superchargers. This means your range also drops 11%. All these wild claims about ecars being able to travel 400km is only true when they are brand new. You cannot expect that to be the same a year into your ownership. If that happened to petrol cars they’d be returned to the dealership.
These are material limitations similar in difficulty to breaking the speed of light. You just can’t get past the law.
There are so many pieces of vertebra out of place in this policy that all you can see for miles is deformed bone. While Bill Shorten remains resolute Australians are completely bewildered by the reality he is proposing.
At the end of the day the real demon is government interference. Technological achievements do not require our loving government to rob us blind and then stand there and beat the living shit out of us until we adopt their product.
Good technology is appealing.
Customers line up in the freezing cold for days to pay more money than they can afford. The reason markets the world over don’t buy electric cars on their own is because the product isn’t good value. If we’re ever going to produce an electric car that people desire manufacturers have to be left to compete with the better product currently available. When they succeed, the supporting industries will be mature enough to sustain a 50% target. Forcing it too soon will not only destroy Australia’s economy and sour consumers, it will stifle ecar development.
In every conceivable way, Shorten’s policy is a terrible idea.
When the greatest ancient mariners sailed off in search of the rumoured Southern Land they did so on a leap of faith. Ahead lay endless gaping water. Languid and mellow. The tides of exploration lulled around their hulls and dragged the ill-fated expeditions over the edge of the horizon until their grand empires were reduced to a glittering mirage.
These were not middling fools. The wide-eyed groups were cashed up, well stocked and experienced. More than that, they were driven by captains who believed in their bones that this mission was ordained by the rabble of gods. To be fair, they were all onto something. Across the uncharted oceans waited many prosperous realms dreamed of in their legends. The great Southern Land long rumoured in myth really did have open veins of gold.
To foreign princes the ages past, Australia was a floating mine of rare and precious plunder defended by the bizarre with an ecosystem trapped in an evolutionary pocket poorly understood by those first European eyes who were forced to re-learn survival.
Their problem was never ambition – it was timing.
Australia is a form of unsurpassed geological hostility. That is what she is to electric cars – logistically hostile and if European electric car manufacturers want to succeed then it is the product that must evolve, not the consumer.
And so we are left to watch Bill Shorten set his fleet into the water – not a skilled captain but a middling canoeist – where it will soon be cast adrift, meandering from one fatal shore to the next until it sinks beneath the waves and arrives on the ocean floor in bits.