Abundant cheap renewable energy? Imagining will make it so


Drove to Melbourne and back a few weeks ago. Haven’t driven interstate for decades; haven’t owned a car for about eight years. Could I still drive? Still not sure because the Hume Highway offers little challenges. Two generous lanes, dual carriageway, all the way. Rest areas aplenty.

Not long out of England, many decades ago, I worked for the Queensland Main Roads Department and was stationed in a camp near Cardwell. A new long section of the Pacific Highway [Correction, as reader miltonf points out, it was the the Bruce Highway in that neck of the woods] was being laid next to the crumbling existing road. One lane each way. I asked the foreman why the opportunity was not taken to build a four-lane highway. You don’t understand, he replied patiently. Australia’s a big country with relatively few people.

Since then, the population has more than doubled. Still, Australia hasn’t shrunk in size, and the population remains small in the scheme of things, yet now we can afford modern motorways. And there’s more. From motorways to urban side roads. A perfectly serviceable laneway near where I live was dug up by the local council a little while ago and the bitumen replaced with fancy paving. How have such wonders been possible?

Let me guess, I don’t believe the Greens or Teals or even Laborites ask themselves this singular question. If they did they might conclude that cheap, abundant and reliable energy has played a vital part in our ascending prosperity. Essentially they are Cargo Cultists. They see what we have but don’t see how it was wrought. This will turn out to be a fatal blindness for them and, most particularly, for us.

When you don’t appreciate how things are made, and how hard it is, your plans (however unrealistic and unachievable) become your reality.

Plans to build nine times the existing number of wind and solar farms, to crisscross the country with 13,000 to 28,000 kms of new transmission lines, to construct new dams and pumped hydro, to become the world leader in green hydrogen production and export. These are paper constructs. Back-office imaginings. Meanwhile coal-power stations are actually being demolished. Real power out; imaginary power in. This won’t end well; to put a euphemistic gloss on it.


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Gerry Jackson
Gerry Jackson
December 27, 2022 6:03 pm

The hardcore greens are not Cargo Cultists, Mr Smith. They fanatical deindustrialisers who firmly believe that the abolition of capitalism will bring about a green paradise, something along the lines of Ernest Callenbach’s green utopia as described in his 1974 book Ecotopia . This nightmarish fantasy became a green bible for many green activists.

It’s a wonder that our right does not delve into deep green literature.

Elizabeth (Lizzie) Beare
Elizabeth (Lizzie) Beare
December 27, 2022 6:48 pm

Still sounds like an old fashioned cargo cult to me.

You don’t worry about how to get there, only about what you want.
You see some good things in existence and you want more of them to arrive, gifted.
You don’t spend even five minutes thinking about any of it at all. You just believe.
You do the right rituals (pass some laws, make new taxes) and presto, the goods will come.
Simples.

GreyRanga
GreyRanga
December 27, 2022 7:13 pm

99.9% of greens couldn’t live the life they aspire to. None of them have the skills to do things for themselves.

Bruce
Bruce
December 27, 2022 7:21 pm

Much worse than “Cargo-Cultists”, the eco-nazis are a DEATH CULT.

They are quite enthusiastic about “depopulation” on a planetary scale.

Of course they will stay behind as they shove others into the lime-laced pits.

Read their actual words as used among themselves.

There is no “nuance”.

Plasmamortar
Plasmamortar
December 27, 2022 8:15 pm

Most people are disconnected from reality…

They don’t understand where food or energy come from.
Even something as simple as the plastic knife and fork at a fast food restaurant and how it is part of the oil industry, as is all plastic…

Hell, I had 2 guys at work who are from rural NSW get squeamish when I talked about skinning and gutting rabbits on a weekend shoot.

caveman
caveman
December 27, 2022 10:39 pm

I don’t k now I think we squandered alot of what coulda shoulda been.

MatrixTransform
December 27, 2022 10:41 pm

it s hot in Melbourne tonight.
pulled back from 38°C but still maybe 35°C and probably wont drop much all night

during luck-down, I installed what’s called a multi-headed split system
so basically the joint is heated and cooled on a room by room basis.

and here I am sitting outside wearing nothing but shorts and Aerogard while inside its a comfy 25

once apon a time, hot was just hot

Damon
Damon
December 27, 2022 10:45 pm

Far fewer comments on this (and other) sites. I’ll leave it to others to decide whether this wold be good or bad.

Damon
Damon
December 27, 2022 10:56 pm

I have just spent a week with ‘friends’ in Canberra. I was immediately labelled a right wing extremist, even though their own views were indefensibly radical left. When I pointed out that some of their opinions were factually wrong, they were deeply offended. One person involved even refused to shake my hand in farewell. I’m not sorry I left the city, and would not consider going back.

Zipster
Zipster
December 27, 2022 11:55 pm

woke is a secular gaian religion, to disagree with it gets you branded a denier. As in denying the truth of its proclamations and mantras.

a dark age is already upon us.

Simple Simon
Simple Simon
December 28, 2022 1:09 am

You will lose as long as you attack appearance and not substance.
Labelling these people ‘cargo cultists’ or arguing as if they are acting in good faith is misguided and ultimately a losing strategy.
Like the conjurer misdirecting his audience, while you are looking over there they are pushing forward their trick over here.

These people have been clear for years about their true goals, but we on this side ignore it.

Way back in 2010, more than twelve (12!—count ‘em) years ago Ottmar Edenhofer(then co-chair of Working Group III “Mitigation of Climate Change” of the IPCC, so someone actually in the room when decisions were made) said, in an interview with Neue Zürcher Zeitung am Sonntag:

one must say clearly that we redistribute de facto the world’s wealth by climate policy. … One has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy. This has almost nothing to do with environmental policy anymore, with problems such as deforestation or the ozone hole.
(emphasis added)

How much more clear do they need to be?

Then there was Christiana Figueres (then Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) way back back in 2015, and as reported by the UN’s own Regional Information Centre:

This is probably the most difficult task we have ever given ourselves, which is to intentionally transform the economic development model, for the first time in human history”, Ms Figueres stated at a press conference in Brussels.
This is the first time in the history of mankind that we are setting ourselves the task of intentionally, within a defined period of time to change the economic development model.

(emphasis added)

I ask again, how much more clear do they need to be?

It is little wonder that they consider us, their opponents, ‘stupid’.

132andBush
132andBush
December 28, 2022 5:52 am

When I think about it, the state of our roads seems to have declined in direct proportion to the proliferation of wind turbines and solar panels.

miltonf
miltonf
December 28, 2022 6:12 am

It’s the Bruce Highway at Cardwell actually.

sfw
sfw
December 28, 2022 6:15 am

I’ve stopped debating this with those who believe in AGW and renewables etc. My attitude now is one of passive acceptance of the madness and irrationality. I know that what little industry left here will be gone in the foreseeable future, I know that millions of Aussies will be reduced to poverty and our economy will be a real mess. The economic damage will be great but take a fairly long time to really hit the majority, what will hasten the process is the end of cheap abundant energy. Indeed the only way out of this mess is ending our cheap reliable energy, the sooner it happens the sooner things will begin to improve.

Trouble is a small country at the end of the world that has no economy, no energy, no manufacturing, a small defence force and relies on oil and arms imports is a prime target for invasion, just hope that those who desire our resources are not inclined to take them by force, it would probably be cheaper and easier just to buy us out. We could/will be serfs in our own country.

That’s my view, I wouldn’t want to live in the cities when it it eventuates, the wealthy will be ok but the rest?

Gabor
Gabor
December 28, 2022 6:25 am

sfw says:
December 28, 2022 at 6:15 am

is a prime target for invasion, just hope that those who desire our resources are not inclined to take them by force, it would probably be cheaper and easier just to buy us out. We could/will be serfs in our own country.

So do I.
Always intrigued me why governments started wars about resources when buying it was a lot less costly.

Completely agree with the rest of your post.
Sadly there people who ridicule Arky about his attitude here of the decline manufacturing.

A lot more money is sent down the drain via stupid schemes than the subsidies ever went to the car industries.

Mantaray
Mantaray
December 28, 2022 6:32 am

Far too much “pessimism” on this thread.

Crooks are crooks, and always have preyed on the gullible know-nothings. They are called “con-men” because they gain your confidence to convince you to part with your dough on stuff that doesn’t exist or which doesn’t perform.

Likewise the fools and their money have always been parted, so what’s new about the current cons and con-men?

As for the Climate cult, try discussing the crypto-cult with believers. Try discussing the consumerism cult with believers. Try discussing almost anything with believers and you will get hostility….

45 years ago a very good friend expressed it as follows “Most people know what they know, and that’s all they care to know”. Why get annoyed by this reality…..instead of exploiting it?

BTW; My old mate, 45 years ago, was bedding every good-looking sheila he could find, by AGREEING with their inanities….not by try to get them thinking straight FFS. The trend IS your friend, is it not?

jupes
jupes
December 28, 2022 8:03 am

Real power out; imaginary power in.

All with zero effect on the weather.

Roger
Roger
December 28, 2022 8:14 am

This won’t end well; to put a euphemistic gloss on it.

I do hope for a day of reckoning.

I suspect we’ll resort to diesel generators before that, though.

shatterzzz
December 28, 2022 8:37 am

A perfectly serviceable laneway near where I live was dug up by the local council a little while ago and the bitumen replaced with fancy paving. How have such wonders been possible?

Around Fairfield, NSW we had a lot of this bitumen/concrete fottpaths all replaced with pavers .. the Council accessed the work-for-the-dole scheme (obviously a profit in it for them) and used the ‘free” labour to do the manual yakka! .. Paver laying requires lotza hands-on effort & takes time which Council wouldn’t normally be prepared to pay for .. but when it comes “free” .. Let-‘er-rip .. LOL!

Pogria
Pogria
December 28, 2022 10:42 am

That’s my view, I wouldn’t want to live in the cities when it it eventuates, the wealthy will be ok but the rest?

sfw,
I don’t believe the wealthy will be okay. Yes, it will take a bit longer for them to be affected, but they rely on others to do any hard or skilled work. How many of the wealthy do you think know anything about generators, car repair, house repair or any other of the multitude of problems that will arise when the massive decline in power arrives?
Sure, there will be people who will complete the tasks for a price. But when the shit really hits the fan, no amount of money will suffice if there is nothing to buy with it. The ones who will get buy, maybe even flourish are the ones who do so already. The people who can rely on themselves to get the job done.
There are many Cats here who already live their life that way by choice. Stock up on CB radios Cats so we can keep in touch once the power goes and batteries will be worth more than Gold.

Morsie
Morsie
December 28, 2022 10:45 am

Bring on the blackouts.I have put my trust in one of Elon’s batteries.
It should smooth out most of the problems.

Bazinga
Bazinga
December 28, 2022 10:56 am

Bring on the blackouts. Bring on the forcible removal from government and the PS of those responsible.

Robert Sewell
December 28, 2022 11:02 am

Just back from visiting family in Brisbane.
They’re so Lefty, they still have a fridge magnet of Gough and his famous words “God save the Queen for nothing will save the Governor General”.
I point out each time I visit, the election results that followed the great sacking – a landslide victory for the Coalition, and a step further down the road of collectivist financial ruin.

Fast Bowler
Fast Bowler
December 28, 2022 11:52 am

Damon says:
December 27, 2022 at 10:56 pm
I have just spent a week with ‘friends’ in Canberra. I was immediately labelled a right wing extremist, even though their own views were indefensibly radical left. When I pointed out that some of their opinions were factually wrong, they were deeply offended. One person involved even refused to shake my hand in farewell. I’m not sorry I left the city, and would not consider going back.

Just had the same experience in Canberra. Chose to bite my tongue, any other action would have been a waste. As Big Julius Caesar said “people will believe in what they want to believe”. Says it all really. The younger generation will inherit the world they deserve.

Dot
Dot
December 28, 2022 12:02 pm

45 years ago a very good friend expressed it as follows “Most people know what they know, and that’s all they care to know”. Why get annoyed by this reality…..instead of exploiting it?

Jesus christ man.

I thought I was a jaded cynic.

Eyrie
Eyrie
December 28, 2022 12:29 pm

Bring on the blackouts.I have put my trust in one of Elon’s batteries.

I hope it is in a masonry building in the yard a decent distance from the house. This was to be the Australian building standard but it was dropped for political reasons. What’s a few houses burning down now and again.

Bruce
Bruce
December 28, 2022 3:49 pm

Water wheels and steam power?

Just try to not come to the attention of the “energy regulators”.

About those “predators”:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u0-q15Di9uE

thefrollickingmole
thefrollickingmole
December 28, 2022 4:37 pm

There was an example of the political magical thinking involved in an interview with the aged care minister.

When confronted with the shortage of nurses to meet the aged care laws brought in she just reiterated “its the law now, so it has to happen”.

They really are that high on their own supply.

Lee
Lee
December 28, 2022 4:43 pm

It has been said that but for the industrial revolution in the 18th century, the forests of Europe would have disappeared long ago.

If people don’t have reliable energy for cooking and heating they will inevitably turn to burning wood.

Rabz
December 28, 2022 5:06 pm

This won’t end well

However, it will end with my very close supervision of the long overdue implementation of HOP Time™.

🙂

Entropy
Entropy
December 29, 2022 10:15 am

To put it in Marxist terms, modern society runs on capital, labour, and energy.

You might be able to get away with two of them being high cost, but not all three.

Robert Sewell
December 30, 2022 5:41 pm

Bruce:

Water wheels and steam power?

I wonder if a series of those turbines currently catching wind when it blows, could produce power if the blades were shortened and spread out like a paddle steamer along a river, or even put in a tethered boat?

Robert Sewell
December 30, 2022 5:52 pm

TFM:

When confronted with the shortage of nurses to meet the aged care laws brought in she just reiterated “its the law now, so it has to happen”.

That’s tragically similar to a kind of thinking (From a lecture a lifetime ago) that is unable to differentiate between the ‘name’ of a thing and the ‘thing’ itself. One of the reasons the Left continues to be unable to carry out its projects to a satisfactory conclusion.
Writing something on a sheet of A4 to them is indistinguishable from completion of whatever is written. Its how Chamberlain was able to stand on his podium and declare “Peace in our time.”
All he had was a piece of paper that meant nothing.
(And please let’s not get into a conversation about prewar realities.)

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