Back in June 2013, STT asked: Where are Australia’s Journos – asleep or on drugs?
At that point, we wondered about what had happened to the investigative journos like Chris Masters or Paul Barry? And whether all of the Nation’s scribes were either asleep, on drugs, paid up members of the Greens, or patsies for the Clean Energy Council?
Here was a mammoth story in the making: the Federal government had locked in $60 billion in subsidies to be thrown at a wholly weather dependent power generation system, abandoned centuries ago, for pretty obvious reasons. And, yet, none of them seemed the slightest bit interested in getting the facts out.
There are still plenty of lightweights, who do not think, speak, let alone write, anything at all which might be taken as criticism of wind and solar power. However, now that renewables rent-seekers can no longer cover up the mass blackouts and load shedding caused by weather related power output collapses in places like Australia’s wind power capital, South Australia; or keep a lid on the fact that that notionally wind ‘powered’ State now suffers the highest power prices in the world, mainstream journalists are starting to challenge not only the greatest economic and environmental fraud of all time, but also the lack of journalistic integrity and objectivity amongst their colleagues.
True it is that the likes of The Sydney Morning Herald’s Peter Hannam’s work reads more like a cross between the doodlings of a deranged religious zealot and the infantile scribblings of a petulant child. But journalists have a responsibility to get a grip on the facts and to relay them without varnishing them beyond recognition.
As George Orwell put it: “Journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed: everything else is public relations.”
It’s a point well made by The Australian’s Chris Mitchell.
Climate hysteria hits ‘peak stupid’ in hurricane season
18 September 2017
That’s the story of Hurricane, the one the Lefties came to blame
Media climate hysteria has reached “peak stupid” with this US hurricane season. In a week when Phillip Adams on ABC Radio National’s Late Night Live on Tuesday asked his US correspondent Bruce Shapiro if Florida Governor Rick Scott was a climate change denier for religious fundamentalist reasons, the left again showed its arrogance in declaring anyone who expressed the slightest doubt about the need to throw everything available economically at it must be thick.
Hey, but not lefty actress Jennifer Lawrence, who took thick to a whole new level with a rant about Hurricane Irma being nature’s revenge against President Donald Trump for pulling the US out of the Paris climate accord. She was yet another celebrity to take British environmental elder statesman James Lovelock’s Gaia theory to ridiculous levels.
How fantastic that James Delingpole from The Spectator published an interview with Lovelock on September 9. You see Lovelock has repudiated the whole nature’s payback story from his 2006 book The Revenge of Gaia.
The father of the environment movement says he hates wind energy, thinks it is a financial scam and is “modestly pro-shale gas”. He is strongly in favour of nuclear power generation and believes the dangers “have been grotesquely oversold by greens for reasons which have more to do with quasi-religious ideology than with science”.
Even The New York Times resisted the hurricane hysteria, publishing a piece by Henry Fountain on September 6 pointing out there was nothing particularly unusual about this US hurricane season.
If only the NYT’s Australian ideological cousins at The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald would take note. Fairfax environment editor Peter Hannam and regulars Peter FitzSimons and Jane Caro were sure the arrival of Hurricane Irma was all about man-made climate change and used the Gaia analogy to attack the government for trying to keep the lights on.
This paper’s environment editor, Graham Lloyd, stuck to the facts in a lengthy piece last Monday. Lloyd pointed out Irma had formed in a part of the Atlantic with unusually cool ocean surface temperature averaging 26.5C, about two degrees less than usual for such an intense storm.
He also skewered the latest bulletin from the Climate Council, led by palaeontologist climate activist Tim Flannery, titled: “Fingerprints of climate change all over Tropical Storm Harvey”. Climate Council chief executive Amanda McKenzie had claimed “climate change is now supercharging extreme weather events”.
Lloyd cited the latest scientific paper from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration that concluded it was premature to suggest human activities had already had a detectable impact on Atlantic hurricane or global tropical cyclone activity.
Accept the science is the cry from green extremists, but they don’t really. This is the kind of fundamentalism Adams was mocking but it is usually found on his side of the argument. It is marked by a belief climate change is the most important issue on Earth and there should be no limit to the amount of money spent mitigating carbon, even if it drives our industries offshore and creates financial havoc for those who can no longer afford their power bills.
As The Australian’s national affairs editor Simon Benson wrote in this paper midweek, hundreds of coal-fired power stations are being built around the world. And the US may still meet its carbon commitments. It reduced 2015 emissions by 145 million tons, the largest annual decline anywhere ever. Not that it is being saved by renewables. No, it is gas from fracking that is driving down both energy prices and emissions.
Gas (33 per cent) has for the first time passed coal (32 per cent) as the primary fuel for power generation in the US. Renewables account for 15 per cent but half of that is hydro electricity. Wind accounts for 6 per cent and solar 1 per cent. The balance is nuclear. As recently as 1990 coal accounted for 60 per cent of US power.
The Greens and Labor here say coal is dead but when you factor in projects actually under way and those in scope, 1600 new coal-fired plants are planned worldwide. They also say coal is dead in China. It’s true about 100 new coal plants have been shelved, but the country is still opening two new plants a week. China struck a deal with Barack Obama at the Brisbane G20 meeting in 2015 to reach peak emissions in 2030. So it’s really coal business as usual.
India plans or is building 370 new coal plants. In Southeast Asia, 400 are in scope and 170 under way, including in the advanced countries of South Korea and Japan. Germany has had the same reliability problems with renewables as South Australia and is building more coal-fired power stations. Renewables account for a third of its power and it was targeting 40 per cent, but reliability issues are putting paid to that. So is there a message in all this for the Turnbull government? You bet.
While leading left-wing journalists at Fairfax Media, The Guardian and the ABC expressed dismay last week that Malcolm Turnbull was seeking to pressure AGL, owner of the Liddell power plant in the NSW Hunter Valley, to keep the plant open beyond its scheduled closure in 2022 or sell it to someone who would, there is every reason to believe the government is now getting close to a workable plan that could limit the cost of renewables, improve reliability threatened by the action of state Labor governments and peg prices to consumers, maybe even saving manufacturing jobs.
The latest action comes in the wake of the release a fortnight ago by Australian Energy Market Operator chief executive Audrey Zibelman of a report warning Australia was at risk of a serious shortfall in dispatchable power: perhaps gas or hydro and theoretically battery power, but not solar and wind. At the rate South Australia is paying for Elon Musk’s 100 megawatt battery that won’t power that state in a crisis for more than a few minutes, I think no government with an eye on power prices will go there for a decade.
Now journalists are criticising Turnbull for what looks certain to be a winding back of the Finkel Report’s recommended 42 per cent renewables target by 2030. Clearly evidence of the damage done by the present 28 per cent target and the interests of their readers’ hip pockets play second fiddle to their green fundamentalism.
Mark Kenny, SMH national affairs editor, even suspected on Friday morning that Turnbull might be motivated by a political desire to damage “Blackout” Bill Shorten, Labor’s scourge of coalminers everywhere. God forbid.
Many journalists seem scandalised that Finkel might include so-called clean coal. They should read the work of US environmentalist Amory Lovins who has for more than a decade been showing US coal-fired power plants how to cut emissions by retrofitting cleaner production methods.
AEMO’s Zibelman told a hearing in Canberra on Thursday the answer to the dispatchable problem might be a separate auction system for power that can be turned on and off quickly. Germany is going the same way. Get it? We need more reliability than wind and solar can provide.
Finally, brickbats to Sky News and the ABC for continuing to invite former opposition leader John Hewson on as a commentator on the power issue without declaring he has been a substantial investor in power technologies.
Chris Mitchell mentioned James Delingpole’s interview with James Lovelock published by The Spectator. Delingpole is one journalist who will never be accused of over-lacquering a story. Here’s James on James Lovelock’s remarkable journey from tree hugging eco-guru, to rational nuclear power advocate.
James Lovelock on voting Brexit, ‘wicked’ renewables and why he changed his mind on climate change
9 September 2017
The cures being advanced on green zealots are often worse than the disease itself, warns the pioneering environmentalist
Environmentalism has gone too far; renewable energy is a disaster; scares about pesticides and chemicals are horribly overdone; no, the planet is not going to end any time soon; and, by the way, the answer is nuclear…
This isn’t me speaking, but the views of an environmentalist so learned, distinguished and influential you could call him the Godfather of Green. His name is James Lovelock, the maverick independent scientist perhaps best known for positing the theory that our planet is an interconnected, self-regulating organism called Gaia.
Not ‘Sir’ James Lovelock, I was mildly surprised to discover when I met him at his Dorset home, perched idyllically just behind Chesil Beach. ‘But I am a CH,’ he says, meaning Companion of Honour. ‘There are only 65 of them,’ chips in Lovelock’s American wife Sandy. ‘Yes, but I have to share the honour with Shirley Williams, which dilutes it somewhat — you know, comprehensive education,’ says Lovelock. ‘You’re not supposed to say that!’ chides Sandy, clearly amused.
The Lovelocks are delightful company. Our lively conversation ranges from Brexit (they’re both very pro) to the joys of having a hornets’ nest in your house (they kill all the wasps in your garden so you can enjoy picnics undisturbed); they’ve witnessed an awful lot of history (‘I was stationed briefly at a B-17 base in the Midlands. The death toll was hideous, almost as bad as Passchendaele. One day I remember 21 planes — each with a crew of ten — took off and only three came back. It was devastating’); and they fizz with irreverent good humour. We’d never met before, but they felt like old friends.
Really old friends. Lovelock is 98, though you’d never guess it to look at him. His movements are light, agile and brisk; his marbles more than still there. One secret is his three-mile daily walk with Sandy; another is that though he used to smoke, he has never been a big eater or drinker. Mainly, though, he puts it down to a lifetime spent doing whatever has taken his fancy: ‘Live life as an independent! Never have a boss.’
Lovelock came up with his Gaia hypothesis more than half a century ago, in the course of a conversation with fellow scientists including Carl Sagan at Nasa’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, where he was employed to work out ways of testing whether there was life on Mars.
This got him thinking about the mystery of life on our own planet: our peculiar atmosphere, largely comprising nitrogen and oxygen (unlike Mars and Venus, where it’s mostly CO2), and the extraordinary way that for the past 3.5 billion years, Earth has remained within a narrow temperature band capable of supporting life, even though the sun has grown 30 per cent hotter and ought to have fried us by now. Could it be, he wondered, that the entire planet is an incredibly complex, self-regulating system designed for supporting life?
The name Gaia came later, provided by his friend, the novelist William Golding, after the ancient Greek name for Earth. This didn’t help its reputation with scientists, many of whom dismissed it as a neo-pagan religion. But from the early 1970s onwards it struck a chord with the green movement, which used it to support its belief that the planet’s delicate balance was on the verge of being destroyed forever by an unwelcome interloper: man.
In 2006, Lovelock burnished his green credentials with The Revenge of Gaia, in which he argued that, thanks to global warming, man was all but doomed. By the end of the 21st century ‘billions of us will die and the few breeding pairs of people that survive will be in the Arctic where the climate remains tolerable,’ he told an interviewer. Climate change was so serious a threat, he told the Guardian in 2010, that democracy might have to be ‘put on hold’.
Within two years he’d had a remarkable change of heart. ‘All right, I made a mistake,’ he told the cable channel MSNBC. He still believed — and continues to believe — that manmade carbon dioxide is a problem that needs addressing. But we’ve plenty of time to do something about it before any dangerous effects are felt, and in any case, the cures being advanced by green zealots are often worse than the disease itself.
One of his main bugbears is biomass, such as the woodchips from old oak forests in the US, which are shipped across the Atlantic to be burned for electricity at the Drax power station: ‘This is one of the most monstrous examples of green absurdity that I know of. It’s wicked!’
Nor is he a fan of wind energy, which he considers environmentally damaging, inefficient, expensive and a scam. ‘There’s so much money in renewable energy. I’m sure there’s a giant corruption going on.’
He’s modestly pro shale gas — only as a transition fuel to wean the world off coal — but his real enthusiasm is for nuclear, ‘so cheap, so safe’, whose dangers, he believes, have been grotesquely oversold by greens for reasons which have more to do with quasi-religious ideology than with science.
‘The way to look at radiation is that it’s about what they call the linear no-threshold. Namely, what the greens say is that there’s no amount of radiation that won’t give you cancer, no matter how small it is. Well, this is as stupid as saying, “Never go out of your home because if you do you’ve a chance of being killed by something or other.”’
He has a similar gripe about the greens’ attitude to chemicals and pesticides. Ironically, Lovelock himself helped to bolster this scare by inventing the machine — an electron capture detector — capable of measuring substances in quantities so tiny that they were previously undetectable. The good news was Lovelock was able to warn of the widespread presence of CFCs in the atmosphere and thus avert a potential environmental disaster. The bad news was that his device also gave the greens ammunition for more scaremongering, even though in fact the presence of most chemicals in tiny quantities is ‘of no consequence to anyone’ in terms of health or safety.
Lovelock has always been a cussedly free-thinking sort. He was born in 1919 into a working-class Quaker family. His mother Nell, who started work at 13 in a pickle factory, was a suffragette and socialist; his father Tom was a conservative despite, or perhaps because of, serving six months hard labour in his teens for poaching (‘I did wrong and I was punished and that’s all there is to it,’ he’d say). Lovelock’s experiences at a grammar school in Brixton made him a firm believer in selective education.
‘It wasn’t the teaching, it was the kids,’ Lovelock says. ‘When I came back from the summer holidays when I was 13 there was one boy called Piercy, who said: “I’ve been spending the hols swotting up on quantum theory.” This was 1933. It was utterly new. It wasn’t taught in universities. “And if any of you are interested in discussing it…” And we did. Now this is the unique education only a grammar school could give because it had selected. No bullies. No nasties. Just kids who were intelligent enough to be interested in the world around them… Egalitarianism is utterly evil. It’s contra Darwin.’
Despite his lowly 2.2 (‘really not much use’) in chemistry from Manchester — a result he blames on his dyslexia — his professor, Nobel laureate Alexander Todd, recommended him for a job at the National Institute for Medical Research. ‘It was wartime and it was wonderful — just solving a series of problems in every damn field under the sun,’ he says. ‘Someone might come in and say: “Lovelock, could you make me a gadget to show whether radiation from a source will cause a first-, -second-, or third-degree burn.” You’d have it with them by ten the next day.’ The problem with modern science, he thinks, is that everyone is far too specialised, and no one has a sense of vocation. It’s ‘just a career, where scientists don’t even do much science. They’re just line managers’.
Lovelock was famously adventurous, insisting on testing burns on himself (‘it hurt like hell’) rather than on lab animals, working on a vaccine for scrub typhus (‘if you’d caught it in the lab it would have been certain death’) and trying out one of the rocket–firing-tank landing ships like the one commanded on D-Day by his mate ‘Bill’ Golding.
The war really was Britain’s finest hour, he believes: ‘It’s one of the things that made me vote Brexit — it was such a tribal thing. It was a society that you felt was right and doing wonders and fighting a hell of an enemy. And you couldn’t not join in.’
On Brexit, as on many other issues, his opinions are surprisingly reactionary for a (tarnished) green icon. He thinks Al Gore is a ‘nasty piece of work’; he’s a fan of Jacob Rees-Mogg and the British Empire; he’s mystified by the anti-scientific nonsense about ‘gender fluidity’; and he and Sandy love The Spectator (though they also take Prospect for balance).
But while he’s inclined to think things have mostly gone downhill since the war, he remains so full of the joys of life that they ought to bottle him and sell him as a tonic. He’s survived everything from anthrax (‘It’s a bloody horrible disease. Makes you feel like absolute shit for a very long time’) to, recently, a bite from an adder. ‘Israeli scientists have worked out you can’t live much beyond 110, though,’ he tells me cheerfully as we part. Knowing Jim as I now do, I expect he’ll cram more into those remaining 12 years than most of us do in a lifetime.
9 thoughts on “Mainstream Journalists Finally Wake-Up to the Greatest Fraud of All Time: Subsidised Wind Power”
Meanwhile the ABC continues to support the renewables fantasy by publishing drivel based on the taxpayer funded (A$500,000) daydreams of Prof Andrew Blakers and his team
Have a look at the April 2017 CSIRO report. They admit that “renewables” (wind and solar) cannot deliver over winter. “In Figure 22, winter renewable output in 2036 can be observed as being lower than during summer, and as such the system producing less energy for battery storage during the day. This results in the system NEEDING to utilise GAS PEAKING PLANT MUCH MORE during this period. It should be noted that this example could be modified to include other solutions such the deployment of further demand management or state interconnectors.” “Much more” means most of the energy comes from and “demand management” means turn your heater off!!!!
http://www.energynetworks.com.au/sites/default/files/entr_final_report_web.pdf Hydro is not currently suited to on/off over short periods because of turbine damage.
Quite frankly, if this renewables scam has been a massive conspiracy to drive us towards nuclear power, I really don’t care anymore. Just stop polluting the Planet with f#cking wind turbines. They are a one trick pony and all the salesmen can do now is tell you this wind turbine is better than that one because it’s bigger! To quote Spinal Tap (and STT), “This one goes to 11!”
And how have they helped exactly? The news keeps stating that the climate is warming year on year with yet more freak weather events. Well there you go. There is your proof. WIND DOES NOT WORK! The UK is full of them as are parts of Europe and elsewhere around the Globe and yet they are still telling us that the climate is warming. Why would you roll out yet more wind turbines across the Planet when clearly they don’t make the slightest bit of difference! Is the answer to the Great Barrier Reef bleaching events, to build a massive offshore wind farm RIGHT ON TOP OF IT!
Well is it?
This is the logic as used by the wind industry.
One thing that has changed in the last 20 or so years is there are now thousands of wind turbines around the Planet. They were not there before. Now they are. That is a fact! They are churning up the Earth’s surface winds, which cool us down, and are mixing cold and hot air whilst all the time channelling spent energy into the Earth’s crust. The tectonic plates float for crying out loud! The Wind Industry are messing with forces we do not fully understand. A least one study I have read indicates that wind farms create a microclimate around them. The more you build, the more you alter the climate around the Planet. To my mind, these are among the key areas we should be researching, along with health. But we are not. Why? Because the wind industry and its supporters are too busy making money.
Why get in the way of a buck!
Crispin, a lot of research exists on micro climate changes from wind farms – could I suggest you look up the publications of Baidya Roy and Zhou. One study in Texas demonstrated increased temperatures of 2 degrees centigrade over a decade, accompanied by additional drying (just what we need in rural Australia)! The NSW department of planning has ignored my submissions on this – not a problem for the inner city elites no doubt.
Thanks for the reply Terry.
Will follow this up.
How can we establish the answers we seek if we do not ask the questions in the first place? No matter how off the wall they may seem.
Knowledge is power.
But a little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing.
Lets all be grateful John Hewson never became Prime Minister, hell he could have put Alan Kohler as his treasurer.
You can always trust an Investment Banker to look after the average worker.
“You can always trust an Investment Banker to look after the average worker”
Agreed. Malcolm Turnbull is all for the little guy/gal/whatever.
‘the presence of most chemicals in tiny quantities is ‘of no consequence to anyone’ – pigs bum. Just another thing that takes people a long time to wake up to.
Click to access NCCC%20ICD10AM%20Submission.pdf
Click to access General-Applied-and-Systems-Toxicology.pdf