Divisive Greenies put reconciliation in peril
Albo spoke well to the matter but the flag is a side-issue. The hopelessly impractical Greenie climate policies are the big issue. And the Greens now have substantial representation in both houses of parliament so those policies matter.
The temptation for the Left is to ally with the Greens as both of them wish destruction on us. So we can only hope that Albo gets enough support for saner policies from the conservatives to resist that temptation
Anthony Albanese says the push for reconciliation risks being undermined by the refusal of Greens leader Adam Bandt to stand in front of the Australian flag.
The Prime Minister said every parliamentarian should be proud to stand in front of the national flag, urging Mr Bandt to “reconsider his position and work to promote unity and work to promote reconciliation”.
“Reconciliation is about bringing people together on the journey that we need to undertake.
“It is undermined if people look for division rather than look for unity,” Mr Albanese said.
The criticism of the Greens escalated further on Wednesday after the party’s First Nations spokeswoman, Lidia Thorpe, said she was only in the parliament to “infiltrate” the “colonial project”.
Incoming Northern Territory Country Liberal Party senator Jacinta Price said Governor-General David Hurley should investigate whether there were grounds to dismiss Senator Thorpe from parliament. “I think she has nothing but contempt for the Australian people and she doesn’t respect the position she is in,” Ms Price said.
“I personally feel that the Governor-General should take a closer look at what her real intentions are and consider whether this is possible grounds for dismissal.
“She doesn’t see herself as an Australian, she doesn’t see herself as being represented by the Australian flag. Therefore she is not the right person to be in a position to represent the Australian people nor does it indicate she has Australia’s best interests at heart.”
Indigenous leader Warren Mundine said he was “flabbergasted” by Senator Thorpe’s comments.
“She is carrying on like she is in a five-year-old’s spy game,” Mr Mundine said.
“I just shake my head at these people. We have got so many problems with Indigenous communities … They have got to have jobs and businesses operating, and education.
“So is she there to blow the place up? It is just bizarre.”
On Tuesday night, Senator Thorpe said both the flag and the parliament “does not represent me or my people”.
“It represents the colonisation of these lands. And it has no permission to be here. There’s been no consent,” Senator Thorpe told Network Ten’s The Project.
“I’m there to infiltrate.
“I signed up to become a senator in the colonial project and that wasn’t an easy decision for me personally, and it wasn’t an easy decision for my family either to support me in this. However, we need voices like this to question the illegitimate occupation of the colonial system in this country.”
RSL Australia president Greg Melick said Mr Bandt’s action on the flag was disrespectful to Australian service personnel and veterans. “The RSL condemns the actions of Mr Bandt in the strongest possible terms,” he said.
“Australians have served under our national flag, irrespective of their race, religion or political views, and it and all our present and past service personnel deserve the highest respect.
“Mr Bandt’s move was disrespectful to all these people and the RSL rejects it as unfitting of a member of our national parliament.”
Labor Left senator Tim Ayres said Mr Bandt’s flag policy was “some of the most empty gesture politics”.
“University, Trotskyite-sort of politics,” Senator Ayres told the ABC.
“There ought to be a bit of growing up around the place and a bit of self-reflection is absolutely in order for Mr Bandt and his colleagues.
Australian influencer wants choice for abortions AND vaccinations
An Australian influencer is causing controversy over a post that conflated abortion rights with the Victorian government’s Covid lockdowns and vaccine mandates.
On Saturday morning AEST, millions of American women lost the legal right to have an abortion after the US Supreme Court overturned a landmark ruling which for nearly half a century had permitted terminations during the first two trimesters of pregnancy.
Roe v Wade, which in 1973 provided the constitutional right to abortions up until foetal viability, was overturned on Friday local time. It is now up to each state to determine whether women can have legal abortions.
It’s sparked a wave of protests across the world and some views that were divisive.
Ms Plecic, 30, took to Instagram to share to her 16,000 followers what she saw as a double standard.
She quoted another user, who wrote: “I’m seeing more opinions from Australians on domestic issues in the US than I ever saw from people in Melbourne (or Australia in general) when Victoria Police were shooting rubber bullets at peaceful protesters last year or when Government-enforced mandates surrounding medical procedure were coming into play, for example.
“You want to have a public opinion on human rights, post them all over your stories and look like a hero on social media? Then pick a lane.”
Ms Plecic added: “Why is it ok to be pro choice about one human right but not the other? “The same people who are against freedom of choice with mandates are the same people who are screaming freedom of choice about abortions.
“It doesn’t work like that. Freedom of choice regardless of your narrative”.
In a follow-up Instagram story, Ms Plecic said she was pro-choice, which she applied to all situations, including vaccines or women’s bodies.
She also claimed more than 500 people had reached out to her to express agreement.
Ms Plecic, who is founder and CEO of Slick Hair Company, told news.com.au: “I’m pro choice. Your body, your choice. Period.”
Ms Plecic’s comments were quickly picked up by Instagram page Aussie Influencer Opinions, which has more than 70,000 followers.
One person jumped onto the comment section, writing: “Yeah it’s totally the same thing because being slightly delayed in when you could go eat in restaurants is definitely the same as being forced to see a pregnancy to term, give birth and then raise the child all while taking on the cost and physical burden of what the pregnancy and delivery and recovery does to your body. Totally the same”.
“Covid is contagious, and pregnancy is not. Simple really,” said another..
Last year, Ms Plecic made headlines for her strong anti-lockdown and anti-vaccination stances but ended up issuing an apology over her “political view” after receiving some backlash.
According to her Instagram stories, she attended an anti-lockdown protest and also claimed she would find a “black market doctor” to give her a fake vaccine passport.
“What the media won’t show you,” she wrote on Instagram in 2021, according to a screenshot of her among a crowd of protesters. “30k+ Victorians protesting for their rights for freedom.”
In June, she wrote “I’ll pay a black market doctor to sign my ‘covid passport’ if I have to. IDGAF [I don’t give a f**k].
“I’ll go as far as I need. Nobody will bribe me to jab poison in my body in order to be free.”
Energy reality is now biting hard
Turning a blind eye to the limits of "renewables" no longer works. We may be getting close to their practical limit
Energy crises have a useful ambiguity to them. Each crisis creates an opportunity for everyone to claim that, ‘It would never have happened if we’d just done what they said all along!’
Everyone, that is, except the people who actually did do what they said – they have to sit down and explain why it was both unforeseeable but will resolve if we just continue doing what they say.
Reality always wins. Politicians can argue, investors can throw around money, and journalists can spin dramatic headlines. Energy does not care.
What we knew was coming
Several years ago, I attended a Lunch & Learn by the CEO of the Clean Energy Council. He put up a slide listing all the Australian coal-fired power stations that would be reaching the end of their design life in the next thirty years. It looked something like this:
He then put a question to the group: ‘Why wouldn’t we replace these with the cheapest form of energy available?’ It sounds obvious. At the time, a wind farm had been approved with an agreed price of only $55/MWh, which is a very low cost.
The problem with this argument (as I previously pointed out here) is that you may be paying less for wind and solar, but you aren’t getting the same thing. Coal-fired power stations not only provide energy, they provide available capacity when the wind isn’t blowing, frequency stabilisation, and a single connection for a large energy supply.
If we replace them with wind then we need wind farms, but we also need energy storage, frequency control systems, multiple connections – some of those with long transmission lines.
I challenged the speaker with expensive reality after his presentation. He replied, ‘Yes, but nobody knows the cost of those things.’ How is that an acceptable answer? If nobody knows the cost, you can’t just assume it is zero. That is beyond moronic, it is flagrantly dishonest.
Here is a useful bit of information – the larger the portion of supply that comes from wind and solar, the more supplementary infrastructure is required.
When renewables are supplying less than 20 per cent of total capacity, their shortcomings can be accommodated elsewhere in the electricity network. Above this, they begin to create significant issues.
South Australia had to install a battery, synchronous condensers, additional backup generation, and relies heavily on its connection to the rest of the NEM through an interconnector. The Grattan Institute report Go for net zero showed that even achieving 90 per cent renewable would be significantly easier than 100 per cent.
For this reason, after attending the IEA lunch, my conclusion was this: For now, we may be able to replace the coal generation we have lost with a combination of renewables, supplementary infrastructure, and other flexible backup generation (i.e. gas-fired open-circuit generators). So far we have indeed handled the closures of one-third of our coal plants, equivalent to about 20 per cent of energy supply.
This is unlikely to continue.
The sheer volume of energy that we will need to displace is large. The question is not whether the network can handle more renewables, but where they will even be installed and whether they can be built fast enough.
Eventually, the storage problem will be revealed as just that – a problem. We may have to hold our noses and build more coal-fired generators. If we aren’t willing to do that then the only remaining compromise, as conservative commentators have been saying forever… may be to build some nuclear power plants.
Yet the clear and loud objective of the clean energy council (which is a lobby) and many other parties, is to ensure this doesn’t happen. Their firm belief is that we can replace our fossil fuel generation with renewables. Worse, however, the attitude of many is that if they directly oppose coal-fired power, then they will force the change that they want.
Last year, when the International Energy Agency released its first Net Zero by 2050 report, it said the following: ‘There is no need for new investment in fossil fuel supply in our Net Zero pathway.’
In the pathway, there were two milestones for 2021: ‘No new unabated coal plants approved for development’ and ‘no new oil and gas fields approved for development’. Considering the two energy crises that have occurred in 2022 – oil and gas shortages and coal shortages – they appear to be getting what they wanted.
The Australian energy stalemate
The future of our existing fossil-fuel assets has been topical for a long time. Back in 2017, it raised its head with the announcement of the closure of Liddell. You may recall that several conservative politicians (Tony Abbott, George Christensen, etc.) fought for Liddell to remain online and tabled nationalising it as a means to force its sale rather than closure. This was based on a kind of compromised view – if we are not going to build any new coal power, then at least we must try to get our current coal power to last as long as possible, to reduce the shock to the system.
Some green idealists, however, responded with the opposite aim. They desire to close the coal plants as fast as possible to fulfil their primary goal – leaving coal in the ground. The most notable manifestation of this view is Mike Cannon-Brookes’ recent actions. Having earned billions from software development, he tried to team up with a Canadian investment company Brookefields to purchase AGL. The stated aim was to accelerate coal power-plant closures.
AGL rejected his bid, and the board advanced a demerger proposal. The demerger would result in two companies, only one of which would hold all the coal generation assets. AGL has been responsible for building and managing a large number of renewables projects all around Australia, yet because they also own coal assets, they are demonised and considered untouchable for green investment. In response, Mike Cannon-Brookes bought 10 per cent of the company and sent a letter to the rest of the shareholders asking them to vote against the demerger. The board gave up the plan for the demerger, and several board members announced their impending resignations.
AGL is in an unworkable position – no one wants to invest in their work. At the same time, as a major generator, they have obligations to the market operator. They are required to retain generation capacity or replace capacity that they remove, without compromising grid stability.
Further evidence of the stalemate that has existed in the energy business over the last few years is the Kurri-Kurri project. When the federal government realised that the NEM would need more generation capacity once Liddell closes, they were essentially forced to construct the new Kurri-Kurri power plant themselves, because the private sector wouldn’t do it. It should have been the safest investment around – critical infrastructure with government backing. And yet the political and social climate has everyone terrified of putting money into fossil fuels.
The project has faced continuous negative media, including Matt Kean.
Hopefully, the projects detractors can now feel egg dripping off their chins. The current energy crisis is clear evidence that additional generation capacity will be welcome and possible not even enough (SA’s state-owned diesel generator has certainly been getting a workout over the last month!)
Machines don’t suddenly fail the day that they reach their design life. Power plants are really just giant engines, similar to the one in your car. Imagine you were driving your car continuously for 50 years. Would you expect it to start needing maintenance at the end of that? Eventually, your car would need so much care that the maintenance costs would exceed the value that the car returns, and you are better off getting a new one.
Currently, we have two simultaneous crises. The first is international. The entire world is facing a fuel availability crisis caused simultaneously by the after-shocks of the Covid pandemic (demand recovered at a rapid rate after the pandemic) and the Russia-Ukraine war. This has been exacerbated by some government policies and a hostile investment climate. The latter two issues work together in a negative feedback loop stoked by green activists – the more government policy is hostile, the more reluctant everyone is to invest. This international energy problem is felt mainly through the current high prices.
The second crisis is local. The energy market operator reports on reserve capacity. This is the amount of additional electricity generation that is available to the market if needed. If reserve capacity becomes less than the two largest generators in the system, this is called a Loss of Reserve (LOR) level 1 event. This means that if we had a sudden shutdown of our two largest generators, the system would have insufficient capacity to meet demand.
If capacity goes below the single largest generator, this is called a LOR 2, and means that losing the largest generator could trigger a supply shortfall. LOR 3 occurs when there is an insufficient reserve, and the operator expects to have to trigger intentional blackouts for load-shedding.
This local crisis is only tangentially related to the international one. It occurred mainly because some ageing infrastructure had issues and needed to shut down. As can be seen on the following graph, Bayswater, one of the largest suppliers to the system, lost two generators between June 7-9, reducing it to a third of its registered capacity (one of them came back online just two days ago). Since late May, Liddell has been running only 2 of its 4 generator trains. Gladstone in Queensland is also operating well below its registered capacity.
Writers for The Guardian, RenewEconomy, many journalists at the ABC, and probably every Teal Independent, argue that the current crisis proves that coal is the problem. After all, the coal infrastructure is to blame, so we wouldn’t have these issues if it wasn’t there, right? But the current issue is being caused by only a partial supply shortfall of coal power. What if we lost it all?
At the risk of repeating myself, I must stress: wind and solar can’t solve this problem. 100 per cent supply shortfalls of solar are a daily occurrence. It’s called nighttime. Supply shortfalls of wind are a weekly occurrence at least. The NEM was operating on only 1 per cent wind just two days ago. Comparing solar/wind supply with coal is to make a category error. One cannot replace the other until we have bulk energy storage infrastructure, which currently, simply, does not exist.
Last year, the IEA ‘Net Zero’ roadmap received two different receptions. Some perceived it as what it claimed to be: a pathway for Net Zero 2050. Where the report said that all government, people, private sector across the whole world would have to ‘work together’ to ‘act immediately’, they believed that this is what must surely happen because Net Zero by 2050 is the only option.
Others (like me) received the report as a clear statement that Net Zero by 2050 is doomed. When it listed seven things that would all have to happen in order to achieve Net Zero by 2050, and all of them were virtually impossible, and on further inspection, its assessment of the state of technology was even optimistic… It didn’t look like a roadmap to a place this planet is going anytime soon. In my view, unless a significant technological advancement comes along, we will not be achieving Net Zero by 2050.
The current buzzword is ‘the energy transition’. Note the definite article ‘the’ – it is spoken about as if it is a fact, and yet it is not a transition driven by natural causes. Any natural drivers for change – such as scarcity or competitiveness of new technology – are many decades away. This is a transition that requires a forced change. Hence, the persistent focus of its proponents on government action and divestment.
Yet this is our power supply that they are messing with. When there are supply shortfalls in the electricity market, people die. And they don’t die in twenty years due to global temperature rises, they die tomorrow. Unlike the ‘climate emergency’, electricity supply shortfalls actually meet the definition of an emergency.
If Australian billionaires and investors wish to effect an energy transition, then they are free to build the technology needed to do it. They can build batteries and develop tidal technology, geothermal, or solar, they can support better housing insulation, they can make hydrogen or ammonia or biogas, they can make electric vehicles… They can do whatever floats their boats. But until they have, they need to stop demonising and sabotaging the infrastructure that already exists and is keeping us alive.
That’s the reality, and reality always wins.
Australia: The greenest lemmings in the world?
Australia’s new ALP/Green/Teal government has a Zero Emissions plan, putting them on track to be the victor in the Great Green Lemming Race.
America’s John Kerry was previously a strong contender to win the Great Green Lemming race, but he was given a stiff handicap by United Nations organisers due to America having access to reliable coal, oil, gas, hydro, and nuclear power, not to mention plus cross-border pipelines and power lines.
Biden is trying to close these loopholes. Literally.
Eight nations have withdrawn from the Green Lemming Race. Russia has joined China, India, Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico, Iran, and Turkey in forming a new and powerful G8. This hard-headed group ignore Net Zero dogma unless that suits their business plan. The G8 members have diverse reliable energy supplies – oil, coal, gas, hydro. and nuclear. They use wind and solar primarily for virtue-signalling or to earn billions making and selling millions of green toys to Net Zero Lemmings like us.
Europeans were disqualified from the Great Green Lemming Race when they were caught cheating. They pretended to run on intermittent energy from windmills and sunbeams, but whenever these failed they quickly filled the power shortfall with reliable energy from French nuclear, Scandinavian hydro, Polish and German coal, Iceland geothermal, North Sea natural gas, and (sanctions permitting) Russian gas, oil, and coal.
Australia has ageing coal plants (marked for demolition), wildly unstable supplies of disruptive and intermittent green electricity, oodles of gas (but unwelcome in local markets), and abundant uranium for export (but none for local nuclear power). Australia is also a remote island with no extension cords to neighbours with reliable energy. They remain a clear favourite in the Great Green Lemming Race.
Sometime soon, at dinner time on a cold still night, the Aussie winners of the Great Green Lemming Race will be acclaimed by widespread blackouts and a failing economy.
Also see my other blogs. Main ones below:
http://dissectleft.blogspot.com (DISSECTING LEFTISM -- daily)
http://antigreen.blogspot.com (GREENIE WATCH)
http://pcwatch.blogspot.com (POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH)
http://edwatch.blogspot.com (EDUCATION WATCH)