To the editor of The Australian

Dear Editor

A few comments on the editorial on Tuesday August 23. On the closure of our ageing fleet of coal-fired power stations, the situation is much more precarious than the writer realises, as explained in this piece that was rejected by your op ed staff recently.

Closure of more coal capacity at present will be disastrous due to the combination of wind droughts, the need for un-interrupted and adequate input to the grid, and the lack grid-scale storage. When Liddell is phased out every windless night will pose a threat of major blackouts,

Snowy2.0 is practically irrelevant as a storage device because it (powered by a large fleet of windmills) will not replace even a single coal power station, if it is ever completed.

You mention unexpected wind droughts across Europe. The term Dunkelflaute (dark lull) has been used in Germany for years to describe prolonged periods without wind and with little sun. Similarly the failure of the German green transition, the Energiewende was public knowledge as long ago as 2018 when the annual report on progress stated that it was failing on all three legs of the “policy triangle” – emission reduction, cost and grid stability.

I don’t know if your writers believe what they say about the inevitable move to intermittent energy or whether you have instructions to take that line regardless of the evidence. As you can see from developments in Europe we are on a road to ruin with support from the major parties and popular approval. You can help by providing the people with the information they need to engage in a serious talk about the issues.

For example you could issue breakfast and dinnertime reports based on the NemWatch widget, the AEMO data dashboard or Aneroid energy to read something like this [from 6.30 this morning]

Across the NEM the wind is providing 16% of demand for power with CP 38 (the facilities are delivering 38% of installed capacity). In South Australia, the wind-leading state, the wind is delivering 43% of demand but the capacity is 25% (compared with the average of 29) so the state is importing energy and 57% of local generation is gas.

The point is that whenever the wind is below average in SA they import power and use a great deal of gas.

You could also write an editorial urging the Senate to vote down the “suicide bill” they are about to pass to allow some time to reconsider the issues in the light of information provided by the Energy Realists of Australia.

And please ask Perry Williams to report the size of storage facilities in MWhours and not just MW. Providing MW alone is like reporting the size of a tract of land by stating the length but not the breadth!

EV illusions and delusions

Saw Chris Bowen (minister for a contradiction in terms; namely, climate change and energy) some time back, with a crazy-eyes look, talking about emission standards being applied to conventional cars to encourage the take up of electric cars (EVs). He had the same look when inviting people to vote against Labor if they didn’t like him taxing super-fund franking credits. And they accepted his invitation. I think he might be the only hope the Libs have got (slim though it is) of bypassing the teals and getting back in.

Bowen won’t be able to come up with anything extreme enough to please Adam Bandt and the teals. All of the pressure will be to go too far. I suggest that to a man of Bowen’s temperament, it will be simply irresistible, as Robert Palmer sang in another context.  Disaster lies ahead. Thus, hope lies ahead, even for waste-of-space Liberals.

In its ‘Powering Australia Plan’, Labor projects that the proportion of light EVs on the road will increase from 0.2 percent now to 15 percent (i.e., to 3.8 million vehicles) by 2030. New EV sales, including hybrids) will make up close to 90 percent of car sales. Note the Greens have 100 percent zero-emission new car sales by 2030. Labor claim they will build 1800 new public fast-charging stations. The Green say 3000. Whatever Labor can promise to do, the Greens promise more. The fact that all of the promises are illusory and delusional is incidental.

Labor in its unhinged imaginings has 100,000 businesses and 3.8 million households with EV charging capacity by 2030. For the avoidance of doubt, all figures, pulled out of a hat. And the Greens and teals have even bigger hats remember.

A figure of 3.8 million households, represent about 35 percent of the projected number of around 11 million Australian households by 2030. It’s simply not a small thing to put 3.8 million 7.2 kW power points into houses and apartments. First, you have to generate the power, while busily closing down fossil-fuel power sources. Second, you need wiring and substations capable of handling the extra power. Third, you need to electrically refit houses and apartment buildings to handle the extra power. Fourth, you need thousands upon thousands of expert electricians to do the work. C’mon mate, she’ll be right. We did pink batts didn’t we.

And by the way, this is just EV’s. How about across-the-board emissions down by 43 percent by 2030. Renewables generating 82 percent of electricity. Really? And, all the time, Bandt whispering, nay shouting, in Bowen’s ear. It ain’t enough.

Mater’s Musings #55 – An Inconvenient Truth

Chapters on Socialism

Love this quote, but it’s all worth a read.

The difference between the motive powers in the economy of society under private property and under communism would be greatest in case of the directing minds. Under the present system, the direction being entirely in the hand of the person or persons who own (or are personally responsible for) the capital, the whole benefit of the difference between the best administration and the worst under which the business can continue to be carried on accrues to the person or persons who control the administration: they reap the whole profit of good management except so far as their self-interest or liberality induces them to share it with their subordinates; and they suffer the whole detriment of mismanagement except so far as this may cripple their subsequent power of employing labor. This strong personal motive to do their very best and utmost for the efficiency and economy of the operations, would not exist under Communism; as the managers would only receive out of the produce the same equal dividend as the other members of the association, what would remain would be the interest common to all in so managing affairs as to make the dividend as large as possible; the incentives of public spirit, of conscience, and of the honor and credit of the managers. The force of these motives, especially when combined, is great. But it varies greatly in different persons, and is much greater for some purposes than for others. The verdict of experience, in the imperfect degree of moral cultivation which mankind have yet reached, is that the motive of conscience and that of credit and reputation, even when they are of some strength, are, in the majority of cases, much stronger as restraining than as impelling forces—are more to be depended on for preventing wrong, than for calling forth the fullest energies in the pursuit of ordinary occupations. In the case of most men the only inducement which has been found sufficiently constant and unflagging to overcome the ever-present influence of indolence and love of ease, and induce men to apply themselves unrelaxingly to work for the most part in itself dull and unexciting, is the prospect of bettering their own economic condition and that of their family; and the closer the connection of every increase of exertion with a corresponding increase of its fruits, the more powerful is this motive.

Weekend Reading #4

Patrick Deneen on why freedom for excellence as opposed to freedom of indifference explains Why Liberalism can’t limit government.

Ben Sixsmith discusses the poverty of punishment in our contemporary legal systems, and why some men, can neither be rehabilitated nor deterred, only separated from society by either imprisonment or death.

Daniel Miller outlines how the Regime deals with opponents of liberalism by focusing on the recent assassination of Darya Dugina.

Darel E. Paul discusses the emerging problems within the Republic of Work.

Lastly, Declan Leary on the enduring prescience of Pat Buchanan’s culture war speech three decades hence.

WolfmanOz at the Movies #35

God Save the King !

Historical dramas have long been a staple of cinema, whether based on fact or fiction, they have provided a countless sources of topic/plots over the years.

One of my particular favourites is the film Cromwell starring Richard Harris as Oliver Cromwell and Alec Guinness as King Charles I. The film depicts the rise of Cromwell and the depiction of the English Civil War which lead to the trial and execution of the king.

One of the reasons why the film still resonates with me today is that I saw it on first release way back in 1970 and it was a special treat seeing the film with my mum at an evening session during the school week. We were also studying this period of history at school, and being a keen student of history (thanks again to my mum) I lapped up the film.

On reflection, the film does take some liberties with the events eg. it raises Cromwell’s profiles and leadership of the New Model Army whereas it was Sir Thomas Fairfax who was the main driver of it; which is disappointing as it depicts the look and feel of the period splendidly and it does present the complex issues of the conflict between parliament and king very well in a two hour plus movie.

Today, I look back at more to savour one of Alec Guinness’s finest film performances as the vain, weak but ultimately tragic king. It’s a great performance where he captures the king’s nuances, his stammer and his obstinate nature that ultimately cost him his crown and his life.

Of course Alec Guinness is most famous for his role as Obi-Wan Kenobi in the Star Wars trilogy, but really they were only a sideshow to his really great film roles – Fagin in Oliver Twist, eight D’Ascoyne’s in Kind Hearts And Coronets, his Ealing roles in The Lavender Hill Mob and The Man In The White Suit, Colonel Nicholson in The Bridge On The River Kwai (for which he won the Academy Award for Best Actor) Tunes Of Glory, Lawrence Of Arabia . . . the list goes on. For me, he’s one of cinema’s great actors.

One should not forget Richard Harris who brings enormous statue and earnestness to the role of Cromwell, one of English history’s most polarising figures.

For those that are interested I have created the following playlist from this film which features 10 clips in total.

Cromwell Playlist


WW Movie Clips

Life’s tough, pretending it can be otherwise helps no one

Meandering through my Sydney Sunday newspaper- The Sunday Telegraph – (poor fare, why do they bother) two things struck me. One concerned the sad suicide death of rugby league player and coach Paul Green. A terrible thing for his family to deal with. Enough said.

However, according to the writer of an article on the tragedy, a Phil Rothfield, “Green’s death has led to concerns around the welfare of former players and coaches across rugby league.” Where does this kind of thing come from these days?

Life is tough, there’s no doubt about that. But tougher still for rugby league players? A friend of Green is reported as saying that the NRL is like a machine that can just spit you out. Is it? I once worked for the State Bank Victoria. When it collapsed and was taken over by the CBA, the CBA spat a lot of us with dependent families out onto the street. Nothing special about it. Lots of people get spat out of their employment.

It’s the victim card again, of course, being played. It’s just plain silly in this case, as it is in most cases. I understand that professional rugby league players are well paid. Lucky them; not poor them. Though to be fair there is no hiding place in sport. Whereas plenty of bankers are incompetent without sticking out. If you’re a sportsman and your standards drop, you stick out. But that’s the well-remunerated game they’re in and the pitfalls are not kept secret.

A second thing that struck me was criticism of some reported comments by Sir Peter Cosgrove following the release of the interim report of the Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide. Apparently, according to the newspaper, he suggested that new recruits to the ADF needed to be more tightly screened to ensure they are not predisposed to mental health problems.

No doubt he will feel pressured to roll back this reported comment; again, in these days of extolling victimhood, the truth, even the bleeding obvious, has to be handled with kid gloves, lest it enrage the mob. But surely operating in the ADF is one of the most stressful occupations; particularly in combat roles. Mental strength is a key requirement, isn’t it?

Now I know other factors besides the stress of combat might be at play in the ADF, which bear on the considerations of the Royal Commission. Nonetheless, it is still true that those bearing arms need to be mentally as well as physically tough. And part of the recruitment process must be to weed out those who fall short. No shame in it. Just a fact of life. If the process isn’t rigorous enough then some ADF personnel will suffer unnecessarily. Can’t that be said?