As We Plunge Into Darkness

We inexorably beginning the decent into an era of darkness, a time when our expectations of being able to simply throw a light switch and have a room illuminated begins to wan. With Hazelwood power station now closed and a significant component of our previously cheap and reliable electricity supply gone and Yallourn as well as others also facing the chopping block, electricity costs will continue to rise and reliability will continue to fall. We managed to miss a bullet last year by not having major blackouts, with South Australia not being so lucky, but our time will come soon enough. The rush to renewables at all cost, or damn the costs as it seems to be, will mean that the days of cheap, plentiful and reliable electricity will become a distant memory. When children in the future ask what their parents used for lighting before candles, the answer will be electricity. Grandparents will tell incredulous stories of light appearing through invisible forces.

Candles and wood heating - late 21st Century technology

Candles and wood heating – late 21st Century technology

As I pointed out in an earlier story, The Winds of Climate Change, there’s this relentless push for an ever increasing number of so-called renewable energy sources that are always touted as the answer to all of our future energy needs and that they are now as cheap to run as conventional power (mainly coal). The mainstream media is the choirboy for all of this hope and change, yet for all of their insistence our power bills keep escalating many times a year and electricity becomes unreliable. The increasing cost of electricity is seriously beginning to affect the normal lifestyles of every Australian, to the point where many have to chose between lighting, heating and food on the table. There’s an irony to all of this, when even the Green’s Godfather Bob Brown (as I noted in that earlier story) publicly comes out in opposition to at least one such renewable plan. ‘When Even Bob Brown Gets It …‘, has the folly of so-called renewables been revealed?

Some people think wind turbines are structures of beauty. Bob Brown is no longer among them and we’ve all had fun pointing out his apostasy. The half-million birds which turbines are estimated to kill every year in the US and the 200,000 German bats minced annually by the same machines might also take heart at his belated conversion, although the louder and less intelligent members of another species lately gluing themselves to Brisbane’s roads and elsewhere will probably take longer to absorb the truth about these taxpayer-supported environmental destroyers.

The sad truth is that many still see wind and solar power as the future, displacing those old-fashioned coal and nuclear plants. But even though wind and solar are said to be competitive, their supporters continue to demand increased subsidies, often dressed up as National Energy Guarantees or soft loans from the taxpayers’ greenbank, the Clean Energy Finance Corporation. Those subsidies have caused commercial coal generators to collapse, doubling the cost electricity and savaging its reliability.

In other words, and even allowing for Brown’s Damascene conversion, idiocy continues to prevail.

But when you boil it all down, so-called renewable energy is entirely fossil fuel derived. There is not one solar panel, windmill, hydro-electric dam or anything else that could exist or continue to exist without fossil fuel. Even nuclear requires fossil fuel to exist. There is not one factory anywhere that’s ‘renewable energy’ powered that can produce steel, aluminium, copper wire, plastic, concrete, or any of the numerous materials required to build a windmill, solar panel or hydro-electric dam. And there’s not one mine that can produce the raw materials that runs purely on renewable energy anywhere in the world, unless you consider renewable to be what is effectively slave labour that’s used to dig, by hand, the rare earth minerals that renewable energy systems require. Even nuclear power stations require similar support that can only be supplied by conventional energy sources, meaning fossil fuels(I’m talking about transport). And then there’s the huge cost of disposal and replacement of renewable energy platforms after only maybe 20 years, and you think we have recycling issues. Then there are the millions of solar panels.

Characteristics of a wind turbine system - (source: researchgate)

Characteristics of a wind turbine system – (source: researchgate)

100% Renewable Energy - (source: The Star)

100% Renewable Energy – (source: The Star)

But the irony of all of this is that while there’s a war going on against cheap, plentiful and reliable electricity, many of those encouraging that war and embracing renewables are promoting the very thing that relies most on the former, such things as light festivals. This is most notably promoted by the very same media that decries any form of cheap and reliable power for the common man, so  perhaps it OK to waste energy in the name of art. On the one hand we have an ‘Earth Hour’ where, for one hour every year, people are encouraged to turn off all electricity to make a point about how the planet is in danger and we all need to reduce our use of electricity. Then in the next breath, we have all manner of ‘light festivals’ across the country trying to compete with each other for the best show. And these light festivals don’t just go for one hour, they go on for days, chewing up valuable electricity and creating more planet destroying CO2. And you wonder why so many are taking all this global warming fear mongering as one big joke, more so when Sydney council sacrifices ‘safety of women for climate ideology‘.

Melbourne Light Festival

Melbourne Light Festival - (source: ABC)

Melbourne Light Festival – (source: ABC)

Sydney Light Festival

Sydney Light Festival - (source: Sydney)

Sydney Light Festival – (source: Sydney)

NT Light Festival

Parrtjima - A Festival in Light - (source: Parrtjima)

Parrtjima – A Festival in Light – (source: Parrtjima)

Earth Hour

North Korea does it best; not once a year, but every night - (source: Wikimedia)

North Korea does it best; not once a year; but every night – (source: Wikimedia)

One of the biggest issues is that we are always calling upon so-called experts for solutions to perceived problems. As all too often happens, these experts have lived in a bubble of their own making, studying their field through models and the like, but never actually experienced the world that they study. It would be akin to a surgeon having studied the theory, used models (literal ones as well as virtual ones) to undertake operations, but never done so on a living being. It’s not until a surgeon has had their arms covered in blood, they have seen and felt living organs in their hands and realised that they now have the responsibility for the life, suffering or death of the patient will they really become competent in surgery.And this is just one example of where it’s all gone so wrong, ”Bad science’: Australian studies found to be unreliable, compromised in all disciplines of science:

Hundreds of scientific research papers published by Australian scientists have been found to be unreliable or compromised, fuelling calls for a national science watchdog.

For the first time, a team of science writers behind Retraction Watch has put together a database of compromised scientific research in Australia.

Over the past two decades, 247 scientific research papers – some associated with the country’s most reputable universities – have been found to be compromised.

The database reveals the scale of scientific misconduct in Australia, although senior scientists claim it is just the tip of the iceberg.

And the sad thing is that just about any academic can overnight become an expert and be called upon to advise a course of action without ever having proved themselves competent. And knowing they will never suffer the consequences of being wrong, someone else’s life, suffering or death is simply academic. That’s why this is all an era of madness.

Update 1. And here is an excellent article explaining the contribution of reliable vs intermittent power in Australia, ‘David Bidstrup: Are we really “power poor” or are we just stupid?’. If it’s not stupidity that’s driving all of this, then one can only assume that it’s the wilful push to de-industrialise Australia:

The starry eyed greenies and the renewables carpetbaggers will be the only beneficiaries of this insanity and consumers will be shafted some more. Reliable coal power stations will close to satisfy an irrational fear of “emissions” and the grid will teeter on the precipice, particularly in summer.

We are not “power-poor” at all; we just trash good systems for the “benefit” of the planet and the pockets of the carpetbaggers.