Time to start planning
We need a plan before a government comes to power with a mandate to exit, only to find that they have to make it up during the first year of office.
More commentators are talking about an orderly exit from coal, instead of the insane stampede prescribed by most Australian governments and AEMO so you might think that they realise that we keep the coal fires burning until nuclear power is well established.
But they are still living in the parallel universe of net zero delusion and they just want to slow down the retreat from coal until we have enough RE installed to stand in for it.
The “accelerating exit of coal is not happening because the transition to intermittent sources is impossible due the combined effect of wind droughts and the lack of grid-scale storage.
The net zero program is not going to work and Terry McCrann reminded us that there is a way back to a future with cheap and reliable power from a mix of coal, gas and nuclear. Add hydro plus wind and solar off-grid wherever it makes sense.
At the same time, he put a damper on the prospects of nuclear power in the near future, with the story of the attempt to build a low-grade, mostly medical waste plant in the outback. Planning began in the 1980s while Hong Kong started to build their second airport. That was done by 1998 but we still don’t have the nuclear waste disposal facility.
Zealots of the wind and solar industries will contest the exit call because they are animated by ideological, political and financial motives that have nothing to do with good science and engineering principles or concern for people and the planet.
Trillions of dollars are in play in a gigantic RE ponzi cheme and billions will be made by well-placed players before it collapses.
Looking on the bright side, the collapse may not be far away as more states and nations reach the inflection (tipping) point where conventional power capacity runs down to the point where wind droughts pose a mortal threat to the power supply. See Texas in 2021.
The call to exit net zero will appeal to those who face fuel poverty at home or the collapse of their profit margin at work. The case will have to be fully explained to bring the community on board to the point where they can bring serious pressure to bear upon their local members. That pressure will have to outweigh the power of the vested interests who control the politicians and the political process at present.
The public education campaign will be challenging because the RE zealots also dominate the mainstream media, the ABC and most of the centres of extra-parliamentary power and influence.
The exit will need a clear majority in favour in the community and bipartisan support from the major parties. Forget about the Greens and the Teals.
Support in the major parties will have to be based on strong support in the party rooms, in the face of the influences that are currently driving both parties.
The party that comes into office with a mandate to exit net zero will need to spend some years in advance working on the plan to get over the resistance from the myriad of departments, quangos and other government funded agencies that are currently dedicated to net zero.
The reform program must minimise failures that discredit the whole enterprise, in the way that Hewson failed to sell the GST and Whitlam’s hasty “across the board” tariff reduction in the 1970s received negative press coverage which set back the push for deregulation.
In addition to the plan, prospective cabinet ministers will have to be trained and prepared to go head to head with their departments and they will need alternative advisors. Gladys Berejiklian as NSW transport minister spent years in opposition learning the trade and researching public transport systems around the world. She came in with a plan and she could not be easily snowed by the bureaucrats.