This article is published in the Spectator Oz…
This article is published in the Spectator Oz…
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.
If you’re after the face of savagery, look no further than the cracks that run between our rustling tectonic plates, drowned in a league of salt water and kept in perfect pitch. This is the freezing darkness home to humanity’s wrecks of war and exploration – the true deep in which time lags, dragging creatures from our evolutionary twilight out from fragile pockets of refuge in all their awkward horror.
In the black, an orb of light is dangled. It bobs temptingly – Lucifer’s light bulb in what may as well be the void between stars.
Like all false hope it wavers, flickering strangely as naive prey approach. What remains unseen are the thousands of thin razors protruding from a jaw that’s all awkward angles and hard lines of bone. Translucent fins loiter as threads set adrift, waiting for a tremble in the water. This is the ambush predator lying in wait with its mouth open. It’s heard the tiny fish coming across the darkness and kept very still. For hours, they duck and weave between its rows of fangs. When the jaws close, the lights go out and the trap closes with barely a ripple.
Beneath – deeper still – the gashes that cross the ocean floor smoulder. Columns of scorching water claw up through the cold leaving semi-precious metals glinting on the seabed produced by an infinite tectonic factory where brimstone breeds treasure.
Let’s talk about deadlines…
For better or worse, our civilisation has latched its survival to the ‘Rare Earth’ industry. A somewhat unexpected creation, the roots of this monstrosity run right to the core of our technological empire, wrapping themselves around sunken coffers while anchoring onto trade portfolios like the Face-Huggers of Alien.
To imagine a world without Rare Earth operations is to envisage the Dark Ages from the deck of a ship adrift without a sail.
We are Rare Earth dependants. ‘Rare Earth’ refers to the mining and production of seventeen chemical elements essential to our technological revolution. The culprits are:
Cerium(Ce), Dysprosium(Dy), Erbium(Er), Europium(Eu), Gadolinium(Gd), Holmium(Ho), Lanthanum(La), Lutetium(Lu), Neodymium(Nd), Praseodymium(Pr), Promethium(Pm), Samarium(Sm), Scandium(Sc), Terbium(Tb), Thulium(Tm), Ytterbium(Yb), Yttrium(Y).
Paradoxically, excusing our radioactive friend Promethium, none of these elements are rare. Instead they are diffuse meaning that although ore deposits are widespread their low concentrations require intensive mining to extract meaningful quantities. So, whilst you can hoe down into a nice solid vein gold and call it a day, if you want to get your hands on some of the 100 tonnes of Dysprosium extracted every year for computers, wind turbines, electric vehicles and batteries, you’ll have to carve out a sizable slice of Southern China.
Not only are these things a bit on the sparse side, they’re also weak-minded. You’ll find Rare Earth elements in compound packs or hanging with their phosphate buddies. Expect to spend the rest of your natural life tearing these bastards away from tight chemical embraces at great expense, tedium and unsavoury environmental practices.
This is why they have a bad reputation.
If you plug it in or slap a #renewables sticker on the side, chances are it began its life in the filthy open-cut mines sprawling across the East. That is the reality of electronics. That is the truth of our marriage to renewable technology.
All you need to understand about Rare Earth elements inside the world economy is that they are essential, irreplaceable and finite.
The last part of this trio caused a stir twenty years ago when concerns surfaced that mining operations would fail to meet demand on several fronts. What had quietly started as a fringe, expensive luxury industry exploded across the globe as TVs, computers, military weapons, white goods and music devices went mainstream. This fear of the empty mine scraping the bedrock gave rise to the electronic recycling craze that has now been largely forgotten. While yes, it’s best that these items don’t find their way into landfill (even though they do) the idea behind the push was not to save the environment but to salvage material.
It soon became obvious that even if recycling recovered all elements from discarded products, the electrical industry was growing exponentially and their addition to the pool of resources barely moved the metaphoric cliff edge two fifths of bugger all. Simply put – it was cheaper to go digging for more.
No matter how you cut it, China produces upwards of 90% of all Rare Earth materials. This is not because they are in possession of the world’s coveted stockpile – it is because they are prepared to decimate their landscape with cheap labour and rampant destruction that would cause the environmentalists of the West to breakdown in fits of hysteria. There are no endangered frog ‘GoFundMe’s or activists chaining themselves to finches – only an authoritarian regime arriving with a DA and a bulldozer. Local resistance and tragedy count for little in a dictatorship and virtue signalling companies of the West purchasing the end product aren’t often caught shedding a tear over the birth of their solar panels at the expense of an ancient fishing village.
The industry did not start in China.
Europe, the United States, South America, India and Australia have all toyed around with Rare Earth mining to varying degrees but China’s dubious practices have allowed it to severely undercut the market. However, China’s monopoly over this critical industry is tenuous.
Unlike high quality Uranium which exists in very few ancient geological landscapes, Rare Earth elements are everywhere. Mining them is a pain in the arse, not a logistical impossibility and so in 2010 when China attempted to use their market dominance as a political rifle over a territorial scuffle in the South China Sea, the world heard the first irritating shrieks of a doomsday alarm. Learning that an allegedly friendly totalitarian State was not above using market supremacy as blackmail took a bit of getting used to.
With a lot of very worried eyes looking on, Chinese trawler captain Zhan Qixion of the Minjinya 5179 sparked a major dispute when he had a careless head-on collision with the Japanese Coast Guard in the waters around the Senkaku Islands (claimed by Japan, Taiwan and China). Like everything in the South China Sea, it’s a diplomatic mess of ancient claims mixed with post-war surrenders and a whole lot of underwater oil.
Things went about as well as you’d expect.
The Japanese detained Zhan. China demanded he be released. Japan added ten days to the man’s detention and the reports began that China had halted Rare Earth exports to Japan and rounded up some Japanese employees as insurance. Although everyone eventually decided to back down and call it a day, at the conclusion to this enlightening confrontation, Representative Donald Manzullo said:
“China’s action against Japan fundamentally transformed the Rare Earths market for the worse. As a result, manufacturers can no longer expect a steady supply of these elements, and the pricing uncertainty created by this action threatens tens of thousands of American jobs.”
This little flourish of power ultimately did not work in China’s favour. Properly alarmed, manufacturers pressed ‘snooze’ on the global financial apocalypse then carefully assessed their economic situation over a stiff coffee. Many realised that they were using Rare Earth materials because they were cheap and readily available but not indispensable. They changed to synthetic alternatives or significantly reduced their use. Japan learned the harshest lesson, immediately setting aside 53.3 billion yen and doubled down by investing heavily in alternate sources of Rare Earth exploration including deep sea deposits.
Call it a rustling of the predator’s fins, if you will, and a fleeting retreat by a few baby fish.
Nothing dramatically changed.
The technology boom created a spectacular plume into the fledgling century. Environmental scrutiny from the United Nations ensured that Western countries stayed well away from the dirty Rare Earth industry, shoring up China’s position who had also forcibly amalgamated its mining companies into a fleet of six so that should it choose to waggle its eyebrows, no one could slide anything precious under the table.
Well, admittedly there was an organised crime problem. As Rare Earth prices soared due to China’s restriction on exports, illegal mines (imagine the horror from Australian activists) started popping up all over the place selling to the West on the cheap. At one point they represented a third of the market.
Meanwhile the world’s parent, ‘America’ had a hard think back to why it left the industry in the first place.
California’s Mountain Pass premier Rare Earth Mine was at capacity operations throughout the 1990’s producing 850 gallons of salt-infused, Thorium and Uranium tainted radioactive waste water every single minute. During operations it suffered a catastrophic leak and eventually closed in 2002, unable to handle its toxic output. China was more than happy to exploit Western distaste for mining operations but given the Pacific problem, America thought to hell with it and had another go, ordering its reopening.
Why? Here’s the rub…
America realised that as a nation it was facing a future in which the beacon of freedom on the world stage would be 100% reliable on China for military components for defence. It didn’t take a genius to work out that something had to change. Rare Earth had become a national interest and a serious security risk. China knows this but many climate enthralled activists do not.
America understood the climate for re-opening a Rare Earth enterprise had worsened but did it anyway. Most countries ignored the problem, including Australia.
The ‘Green’ revolution was well on its way and mandated via treaties from the United Nations. At the same time, politicians scrounging for the ‘youth vote’ pulled a swifty on doe-eyed Millennials, leading them to believe in a China-owned renewable energy future, adding another hook to the problem. So far, only India had raised its hand, shifting about 5% of the market balance away from the East but they have their own market risk, playing Cold War with Pakistan every other week.
Like most valuable geological shit, Australia has more than her fair share. If we really wanted to, we could start a Rare Earth revolution in our own backyard to match the Uranium Age (which we should be having). Of course, considering the trouble caused trying to build a small coal mine, the chances of a Labor or Labor-lite Conservative governments chasing the international golden egg is about as good as Theresa May’s political future.
If anything, Australia is rolling backwards off the civilisation table, putting as many of our eggs in China’s basket as possible despite the clear and present danger our expansionist neighbour poses. Suppose the Greens got their way (as they are likely to do) and drove Australia to 100% renewable energy reality – our basic service would then be 100% tied to China. Without power, you don’t have a nation – or the ability to defend one. I’ll leave you to ponder what a smart, ruthless nation looking for a bit of extra real estate might do with that information.
In relation to China, the globe really was in deep shit without a snorkel.
What to do? The competing ideologies of the age make for devastating bedfellows and a political minefield.
Today’s world is obsessed with ‘environmentalism’ at the expense of survival. A generation of inner-city reality-virgins believe bustling modern metropolises can exist with zero impact to the planet and thus, oddly, do everything they can to destroy the demon-farmers that provide them with food. This is joined by the contradictory ‘renewable energy’ obsession thrust upon us by the United Nations – who coincidentally have the South-South redistribution of wealth from the West to the Socialist Empire as one of their pet projects championed by luvvies like Gaddafi and Chavez.
The regress of Western Civilisation appears to be led by a tiny pack of elites making money off the back of conflict like modern arms dealers but these ambitions cannot co-exist forever.
Overall, the United Nation agenda has been successful. The West is getting poorer but the third world is not creating significant wealth beyond that which is gifted to them. By driving ourselves into the economic ground whilst laying seeds for a terrible technical stagnation in our immediate future, as a general trend we will slow down our purchasing of products from China. As the pool of money dries up and with an enormous domestic market to satisfy, China will eye off our resources. It’s not all about mining opportunities for them – food and space are always high on the agenda when you have over a billion people to look after.
‘Open borders’ as a misguided philosophy exasperates the problem. Raising welfare to support ill-settled refugees drains the temple chests while putting additional stress on infrastructure not to mention fostering a population loyal to other nations – as has proved disastrous for Germany and the recent trend for Erdogan’s 1.4 million strong supporter base inside Germany to meddle in German politics while still propping up the AKP in Turkish elections.
As the ancient world knows, countries who do not dream of their future won’t have one. A nation who fails to recognise their own value voluntarily places themselves on the global auction heap at a discount.
This is the fracturing world being laid down as we watch.
The natural progression is a period of upheaval, a global re-shuffling of borders through opportunistic conquest and the collapse of the modern Roman Empire aka The West, folded in to the dictatorial superpowers. If you don’t think the winds of war have started to creep in over the seas, you haven’t been paying attention.
‘Peace’ is not our default setting.
As the generation who exchanged their horses for cars begins to dwindle so too do those who remember what it is to watch the pieces of the world knock up against each other in moments of violence. When they pass over the horizon, it will be left to our wide-eyed youth to stumble into the open seas without a map, let alone a GPS.
In this global skirmish over natural resources, countries like Australia have our throats held tight and our Western arses ransomed beyond our means. There is no running from the storm so we may as well hold our ground and take a closer look at the flickers of light branching across its girth. Every now and then a few gnarled economic rocks breach in the trough of a wave – perhaps scuff the side and take a bit of paint off in the form of political squabble.
…and so on to the alluring deposits of Rare Earth loot hiding under the waves.
This ‘Fool’s Gold’ is forged in the mantle, dragged through the crust like veins from the Earth’s heart before exploding from hydrothermal vents. These towering creations that dwarf buildings sit there ready for the plunder of deep sea mining operations who see this as their solution to the unpopular open-cut mines.
Plans are well under way to harvest tens of thousands of square kilometres of the ocean floor for the express purpose of stabilising the Green-Renewable industry, circumnavigating China entirely. They are coming for the sulphides in the thermal stacks, the manganese littered over the Abyssal Plains and the cobalt crusts running down the flanks of submerged mountains.
Unfortunately this underwater world is not a barren wasteland of volcanic activity – it is a delicate ecosystem for our most precious and rare extremophiles – the creatures we barely understand who may hold secrets we haven’t dreamt of.
So I wonder if the children protesting in the streets for our Green revolution – if the academics on the public payroll killing any hope of our nation’s energy future and if the politicians waving their virtue-drenched placards around can square the fact that their obsession with Climate Change dogma is driving the mechanism of environmental destruction whilst stretching out the fragile threads that hold our international peace to breaking point?
Do not bother looking for the surface.
Australia is in too deep.
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!