Battered Power Consumers Cry Mercy as Climate Cult Ramps Up Renewables Rhetoric

Wind and solar power have never been about logic and reason, it’s a deranged form of ideology that drives their promoters. The zealots that promote that pathetic pair are screaming blue murder, as the political tide turns against them. The rhetoric gets ramped up, even as reality bites.

Sydney billionaires living in $100 million Harbourside mansions are just the latest class of virtue signalling cynics to condescend from their very privileged positions to dictate the terms on the form of electricity that only their peers can afford. Mike Cannon-Brookes, who has a Masters in Smug, is now lecturing Australians on what constitutes ‘fair dinkum power’. He’s made his fortune out of the Internet, which in Australia runs on coal-fired power; always has, always will.

Now Cannon-Brookes is demanding an end to what powers Australia and his beloved Internet.

Naturally, Cannon-Brookes commences his pontification by claiming the moral high ground on climate change and runs the line that urgent action is required to save the planet from everybody else’s energy use (not his, of course).

Cannon-Brookes recently targeted STT as part of his Twitter storm, unleashing his push from all sun and wind powered future – he reckons he can take “Australia 100% onto renewables eventually”. A Sydney boy, Cannon-Brookes may have never heard of South Australia where, having only reached the halfway mark, it’s already the butt of international jokes, suffering the world’s highest power prices and Third World reliability, to boot.

Unwilling to deal with troubling facts such as the skyrocketing power prices and blackouts that plague SA, Cannon-Brookes and his ilk instead attack STT and our fellow travellers as “anti-wind, climate deniers”.

The guff about STT (or any other repository of common sense, for that matter) being “anti-wind” is … well … just plain silly.

STT loves a summer breeze just as much as the next family sweating on the beach – we’re partial to surfing a ‘winter-stormy’ – and love being tucked up inside during a winter squall. And sailing wouldn’t be much without a southerly bluster.

No, it’s the nonsense that is wind power that’s the prime target for STT.

The use of words and phrases such as “anti-wind”, “denier”, “denial”, “belief” and “believer” have no place in science, politics or economics. Then there’s the hysterical phrase: “climate denier”.

No one at STT, well, actually no one anywhere, denies that there’s such a thing as the “climate”.

That word, by definition, incorporates within it the concept of “change”; for if the climate had not changed over the 4.6 billion years that our Earth has been lapping around the Sun, it would have probably remained a solid frozen lump of ice; and we wouldn’t be here arguing the toss about a few degrees, one way or the other.

Climate hysterics run a kind of ‘Goldilocks fantasy’ that, at some point in the recent past (we can’t quite pin down when) the climate was “just right”. Ever since, apparently, we’ve been lurching towards a man-made climate catastrophe.

In the 1970s school kids were terrorised with forecasts of a looming ice age. 20 years on and the reign of terror was reversed: catastrophic global warming was the next big thing.

As global surface temperatures stubbornly refused to budge for nearly 20 years – ‘the pause’ – the rhetoric shifted from global warming to “climate change”: a tautology if ever there was one.

As any geologist will tell you, the Earth’s climate is in a constant state of change: change is endogenous to the model. Whether that change is significant or “dangerous”, as the most strident would have us believe, is yet to be seen. Humans have tolerated severe ice ages and, somehow, miraculously managed to survive. If the planet warms, we’ll survive that, too. It’s called “adaptation”: a central feature of humanity, without which the species wouldn’t have 8 billion units presently roaming the planet.

STT takes the position that man-made emissions of CO2 may increase atmospheric temperatures. But we don’t concede that wind or solar power has made – or is even capable of making – one jot of difference to CO2 emissions in the electricity sector; principally because they are not – and will never be – an ‘alternative’ to conventional generation systems, which are always and everywhere available on demand:

Assume that man-made CO2 emissions in the electricity sector are a problem. Then the only presently available solution is nuclear power; unless, of course, you’re prepared to live in Stone Age darkness.

STT’s work is aimed at a pair of meaningless power sources; that are insanely expensive, and utterly pointless, on every level. For those on both sides of the argument (including “climate deniers”) that slavishly connect industrial wind turbines or solar panels with global warming (or climate change) they, in effect, box themselves into a logical corner.

On the one hand, if the AGW champions are wrong and we are in fact on the brink of the next ice age, applying their (by then failed) man-made CO2/warming argument, we should scrap every last (planet cooling) wind turbine and solar panel and start burning coal and gas as fast as humanly possible and prevent the next ‘big freeze’.

Alternatively, if the “climate deniers” are wrong, temperatures start to rise and Australia becomes a lifeless desert, then the AGW camp gets to claim victory and the high moral ground.

From that platform, the anti-CO2 crowd will have the imperative to carpet the entire planet with an endless sea of giant industrial wind turbines and solar panels as far as the eye can see.

Having pinned their arguments against wind power on the basis that CO2 caused AGW is a furphy, the “deniers” would be forced to concede their opponents’ case; and to also concede the need for a completely wind and solar powered electricity system.

And that’s why STT seeks to disconnect arguments for and against global warming, from arguments about generating electricity with sunshine and breezes.

As wind power can only ever be delivered (if at all) at crazy, random intervals it will never amount to a meaningful power source and will always require 100% of its capacity to be backed up 100% of the time with fossil fuel generation sources; in Australia, principally coal-fired plant. As a result, wind power generation will never “displace”, let alone “replace” fossil fuel generation sources.

Contrary to the anti-fossil fuel squad’s ranting, there isn’t a ‘choice’ between wind power and fossil fuel power generation: there’s a ‘choice’ between wind power (with fossil fuel powered back-up equal to 100% of its capacity) and relying on wind power alone. If you’re ready to ‘pick’ the latter, expect to be sitting freezing (or boiling) in the dark more than 60% of the time.

Wind power isn’t a ‘system’, it’s ‘chaos’ – the pictures from Aneroid Energy tell the story:

That was the ‘output’ from every wind farm connected to Australia’s Eastern Grid (which connects the QLD, ACT, NSW, VIC, TAS & SA) during June; 1,800 turbines with a combined installed capacity of over 5,000 MW.

Placed in the practical context of the needs of a functioning industrial society, wind power can be seen as the patent nonsense that it clearly is. If a country didn’t have a conventional power generation system (as we have), it would build one, anyway.

Despite the hype from RE zealots, the completely chaotic and very occasional delivery of wind and solar won’t be cured with giant batteries. Sure, at a technical level, it is possible to store volumes of electricity for a period, such that it might be released when power consumers need it. However, were such a thing ever attempted, the cost of the electricity generated, stored and later released would be astronomical and beyond the reach of all but billionaires and rock stars – people just like Mike Cannon-Brookes.

The world’s largest battery cuts a lonely figure in a paddock near Jamestown in South Australia’s mid North; it doesn’t generate power; it stores a piddling 100 MW worth; it consumes power during each charge/discharge cycle, lost as heat energy; it cost taxpayers $150 million; and would satisfy SA’s minimum power demand for all of four minutes. On those numbers, anyone talking about batteries providing an economic solution to Australia’s energy crisis, is either delusional or hoping to sell them.

Facts, logic and reason of never stopped the likes of Mike Cannon-Brookes from trying to destroy the system that works, by pushing wind and solar, which never will.

But, always and everywhere, central to their case is the idea that the only way to save the planet is to run it entirely on sunshine and breezes.

An inconvenient truth for Gore
The Australian
Graham Lloyd
3 November 2018

Climate champion Al Gore has given a frank assessment of the latest UN report into the dangers of global warming. Interviewed by US public broadcaster PBS, Gore said the language used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in its report on limiting global warming to 1.5C had been “torqued up” a little to get the ­attention of policymakers.

This was appropriate, he said, because climate change was a global emergency that posed “an existential threat to human civil­isation on this planet”.

There has been plenty of “torquing up” as conflicting signals buffet what is supposed to be a milestone in implementing the Paris Agreement in Poland next month. Peak stupid in climate change politics usually is timed to coincide with key decisions that have to be made to keep together a UN process in which the annual bill for meetings alone is calculated at more than $150 million.

Internationally, the conflicting signals include the demise of German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the rise of authoritarian president-elect Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil. Together with Donald Trump’s withdrawal of climate change funding and threats to leave the Paris Agreement altogether, the global sentiment going into Poland is vastly different from that coming out of Paris.

Analysis by the pro-action Climate Home News is that “the ­alliance of rich, emerging and poor economies that sealed the Paris climate deal is falling apart”. In many countries, it says, climate scepticism and economic nationalism are usurping the international green enthusiasm of 2015.

Even countries that remain committed to climate action are consumed by domestic concerns, such as Brexit in Britain and political instability in Germany.

But in Australia, “torquing up” continues to reach new heights. In a speech to the National Press Club this week, Australian Conservation Foundation chief exec­utive Kelly O’Shanassy out-torqued the IPCC. “If we continue to burn coal and gas for decades to come, we will kill the 1.5 degree target, we will not have a habitable planet and hundreds of millions of people will die,” she said.

Tech billionaire Mike Cannon-Brookes tweeted from his recent­ly purchased $100m harbour-front mansion a modern-day equivalent of “let them eat cake”. Cannon-Brookes’s answer is a $200 prize for a new logo for “fair dinkum” power that is reliable, renewable and cheap.

However, the real torque is the way in which small deceptions, repeated often, are allowed to become fact. The results of a recent survey of company directors illustrate the point. Federal opposition climate change and energy spokesman Mark Butler says: “We’ve also seen the biannual survey of company directors for the first time place climate change, or action on climate change, at the top of the list of challenges that company directors think the federal government should be acting on.”

A full reading of the Australian Institute of Company Directors report shows otherwise. The leading economic challenges cited are rising global economic protectionism, global economic uncertainty, energy policy, taxation system, high energy prices, red tape, low productivity growth, the China economic outlook and then climate change. Climate change is considered a major long-term issue for government to solve. But what business wants the government to concentrate on now is energy policy, tax reform and infrastructure.

Likewise, it has become an ­article of faith among many that the Wentworth by-election was swung by climate change, which would be a dominant issue at the next election. The ACF has activated a lobbying effort in marginal seats to push the issue. “We are making this the climate election,” O’Shanassy says.

But research by Essential Media shows that pushing renewable energy is a first-order issue only among those who already vote Green. According to Essential’s October 23 report, the most important issues for the federal government to address in the next 12 months are cost of living, improving the health system and housing affordability. Promoting renewable energy was a first-order issue for only 7 per cent of respondents. Overall, the issue of renewables ranked eighth behind the major concerns and then job creation, improved wages, economic growth, national security and terrorism.

What is not in dispute is the cost of the low emissions transition so far. Nathan Vass, founder of the Australian Power Project, which is championing a continued role for coal, says renewable energy subsidies at state and federal levels to date amount to $42.5 billion. Across that same period 10 coal-fired power stations have been taken out of action and, according to the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission’s recent report, electricity prices have increased in real terms, adjusted for inflation, by 56 per cent. For the $42.5bn spent, greenhouse gas emissions from the power sector have risen by 50 million tonnes a year or 40 per cent since 1990. Globally, greenhouse gas emissions are back on the rise after slowing with the global financial crisis.

Ironically, it is the US that is bucking the global trend: its emissions fell 2.7 per cent last year, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Reported emissions from large power plants declined 4.5 per cent since 2016, and 19.7 per cent since 2011 due mainly to a switch from coal to natural gas from fracking.

US EPA acting administrator Andrew Wheeler says the Trump administration has proven federal regulations are not necessary to drive CO2 reductions. “These achievements flow largely from technological breakthroughs in the private sector, not the heavy hand of government,” he says.
The Australian

Fair dinkum power source: it’s gas not wind that’s powering the USA.


In another article about Cannon-Brookes and his push for 100% wind and solar – ‘Atlassian boss Mike Cannon-Brookes’ attack on ‘fair-dinkum’ power a bit rich’ – The Australian put another perspective on this pompous drivel from Cannon-Brookes:

“I’m not sure you know what fair dinkum means,” Mr Cannon-Brookes tweeted at the Prime Minister. “It means fair to Aussies, to our wallets AND to the planet.” He declared electricity could be “reliable, renewable and cheap”.

Again, Cannon-Brookes has clearly never heard of South Australia. Indeed, it’s doubtful whether he’s ever strayed far from the elite that occupy the shores of Sydney Harbour.

The view from elsewhere is a whole lot less smug and arrogant, as the article continued:

But in the streets of Holmview, south of Brisbane, and Woolaware, south of Sydney, a long drive from the vistas of Sydney Harbour, “fair dinkum” looks a lot different.

For Brielle Cass, Mr Cannon-Brookes’ comments aren’t in tune with her reality. “Obviously it’s hurtful,” she said.

A year ago, Ms Cass moved back to Australia after living in London for 10 years, where she met her husband, Simon, and had children Henry, 3, and Maya, 1.

The couple initially began renting a small three-bedroom home in Sydney’s north, and were surprised when their quarterly power bills were hitting $600 — more than they had paid in Britain. They have since moved back to live with Ms Cass’s parents in Woolaware, in the Prime Minister’s electorate of Cook, after putting up with costs that were “quite a bit steeper” than they had expected.

At the Woolaware house, the Cass family make efforts to minimise their electricity bill, having installed energy-efficient lights, as well as investing in rooftop solar panels that “haven’t done much” to keep power bills down.

In Brisbane’s Holmview, Joel Hall lives with his wife Amanda and 10-month-old Flynn. For the trio, every dollar counts, and energy bills take a big chunk from their pay cheque.

“I think it’s ridiculous for someone in that position to have a go at the Prime Minister for trying to help everyday Australians,” Mr Hall said of Mr Cannon-Brookes. “If it wasn’t for Australians using his products, then he wouldn’t be in his situation. If all our money is going to Energex, we’re not able to spend money.”

Mr Hall, 30, works in sales for a construction company while his wife works three days in every nine for an airline. “It doesn’t matter what company you’re with, it’s all the same discounts and all, you don’t seem to get them,” Mr Hall said.

“We’ve got to be careful with how we spend our money. It’s like, little things: going out for dinner, to cafes. When it was just the two of us working full time, you didn’t think about it.”

Their heavily mortgaged home is worth about $500,000, or 1/200th of Mr Cannon-Brookes’s Point Piper mansion that once belonged to Lady Mary Fairfax.

Cost of living, Mr Hall said, was the major selling point for any political party.

He said a 50 per cent renewable energy target as proposed by Labor seemed extremely high and “destined to fail”. “It needs to be handled properly, and from my understanding renewables are not cost-effective,” he said. “Everyone in Canberra seems to agree there should be some level (of renewables), but at this stage, coal still works.”

Energy Minister Angus Taylor last night defended the government’s policy. “The government stands arm-in-arm with the hardworking Australian businesses and families who want to see lower power prices,” he said.

The Australian

Empathy, compassion and decency have clearly given way to a cynical brand of virtue signalling, among the inner-city nouveau riche.

There’s something altogether unnerving about people like Cannon-Brookes: a character quite ready to deprive the poorest and most vulnerable in society of a commodity that, not so long ago in this country, was considered to be a birthright: reliable and affordable electricity.

The forgotten: RE zealots ensure fair dinkum
Australians will never afford power, ever again.

7 thoughts on “Battered Power Consumers Cry Mercy as Climate Cult Ramps Up Renewables Rhetoric

  1. Talking to a woman I had just met, I was telling her about not being able to live in my home next door to a wind farm due to the sound, vibration and health impacts. Her response was, “Well, what is your answer to energy” and not in an empathetic or kind tone. It is heart-breaking to me that not only has renewable energy pushed me and so many others out of our homes, we are also being held to account for all of our energy woes because we voice the flaws in renewable energy. I’m not a scientist or expert and I don’t know what the answer to energy is but I do know from experience that wind turbines are expensive, intermittent and cannot operate without backup power. I know our energy use was once affordable and is now a luxury and costs keep going up and up. The $50 Victorian handout for comparing prices, just, doesn’t, cut it. Forking out a small fortune to put solar panels on doesn’t cut it. And I know that the devaluation of property and degradation of health and well-being near wind farms and ignoring the problems, serves no purpose only to allow more and more renewables to be built. The over-righteous, zealous windies have so much to be proud of… NOT. This woman didn’t even realise the ludicrousness of her question. If you know a towns children are being poisoned by lead do you advocate using lead paint or lead filled pencils? So how has it become ok to expect families to raise children within an electricity generating plant?
    The degree of animosity is unusual but matches the fear people are being taught through a long standing renewables campaign, political agendas and the creation of this money making monster. It has become socially acceptable to put common-sense and empathy aside and to unreasonably point the finger at those of us negatively impacted by and against wind energy.

  2. Well done STT – the smug, self righteousness and ignorance of a rich man often has nothing to do with the reality of life for the ‘common’ hard working men and women of this nation. In saying that I don’t mean to demean the success of many of our richest people like Murdoch or Lowry or the original Packers or Hancock all of which understood ‘reality’ extremely well – this guy Cannon-Brookes makes the mistake of believing that getting lucky and having big wealth means he knows everything – it reminds me of wool growers in the late eighties and early nineties that made good money when the reserve price scheme was at its zenith, they knew everything, but uh-oh the scheme collapsed at which time they just became ‘dumb farmers’ or just hard working farmers trying to eke out an honest living again.Beware your smugness Cannon- Brookes, you are wrong about intermittent wind and solar power which probably means your ‘luck’ is about to run out and your smugness with it, no doubt your ignorance will still be prominent.

  3. I have recently found a convincing explanation of why major global warming is an improbable event. The earth is surrounded by an equatorial belt of powerful thunderstorms(TS) that reach up to the top of the troposphere. These TSs carry heat upwards in the form of water vapour and dump the heat by condensation and then, at higher levels, freezing. The air coming out of the top of the TS clouds is very dry.

    Now the thing about this heat being released at high level is that the greenhouse gases(GHG) at low level have been bypassed and the heat can more easily get out to space. These equatorial TSs can solve the GHG problem, so how many TSs do you need to keep the earth in a benign state? What is needed is a control loop that starts the right number of TCs. This loop turns out to be remarkably simple.

    To understand how a control loop works :-
    The set point of the control loop is provided by the TS initiation temperature of the tropical sea surface temperature(SST); it seems to be about 26C. Now the tropical SST cycles on a daily basis, being coolest at dawn. Under clear skies, the SST rises in the morning. If it rises to above 26C, TCs form, suck up moisture from the ocean and cool the SST. If the SST remains below 26C, then no TCs form. It is an important point to note that, once started, the TCs keep operating when the SST below them drops clearly below the initiation temperature; it takes the setting sun to stop them.

    The TCs are the earth’s air-conditioners, running with a set-point of SST=26C. The system starts as many TCs as are needed. It works the other way as well. If the SST stays below 26C, the TCs do not start and there is no over-cooling. If the SST reaches 26C at a later time of day, then fewer TCs will be running, so the system provides a graded response.
    Notes :
    1: This is so simple that even a climate scientist or politician should be able to understand it.
    2: For more detail :

  4. Renewable Energy Messiah mark II
    I’m sure there must be a stud farm around Scone called “Green Utopia” where the the lead stallion is called “Messiah’ whose progeny at this stage have unfortunately promised a lot but delivered very little.

    Mr Brookes has been prancing around the paddock of late like a show jumper keen to show off his credentials in getting Australia’s power generation to 100% renewables in the not too distant future.

    He calls for a gathering of the faithful on twitter and his twisted propaganda campaign proposes using “Hoges” as an ambassador for a renewable future.Why one zealot commented they could have an advertisement with Hoges putting solar panels on the Sydney Harbor Bridge.
    That might be a bridge too far.

    I think unfortunately for Mr Brookes in his push for Australia to jump to an all renewables future he bears an uncanny resemblance to one of Paul Hogans characters.

  5. Mike Cannon-Brookes was featured on a Sunday morning show. He really is quite clueless about the energy system, espousing the usual renewables mantra. And the Ch7 interviewers were simply fawning in their admiration. No hard questioning. The message about dispatchable power is not cutting through to most millenials.

    1. Yeah but he may eventually have a nice logo to show off? Unfortunately most millenials have been subjected to an education regime focused on teaching them what to think rather than how to think. With the accumulation of life experience many of them will no doubt come to realise they’ve been duped by their teacher preachers. In the meantime watch for more PC ideological nonsense such as powering the national electricity grid on 50% or even 100% renewables – both about as useful as subsidised unicorn breeding.
      Western civilization long ago learned that the intermittent power of wind, sunshine and beasts of burden couldn’t be relied on to power a modern economy. It was the reliable power of fossil fuels, nuclear and stored hydro that made possible the high standard of living we now now enjoy. As the old adage goes, when you haven’t learnt history (more likely haven’t been taught history) you are destined to repeat the mistakes of the past.

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