Suddenly, the Australian press are treating wind power with the contempt it deserves, due to an about-face by former Greens leader, Bob Brown.
True it is you won’t hear Dr Bob explaining why heavily subsidised and chaotically intermittent wind power is a meaningless power source.
Bob won’t be talking about the toxic lakes of heavy metals and waste from rare earth processing strewn across China that are an inevitable incident of the manufacturing of wind turbines and solar panels.
Nor will Bob have much to say about the unnecessary suffering caused to neighbours by the practically incessant low-frequency noise and infrasound generated by these things.
However, Bob’s rant about wind turbines despoiling the view of his patch of paradise and slaughtering birds in droves managed to spark a discussion that the hard-green left would rather not have. Thanks Bob!
As to which, we’ll hand over to STT Champion, Alan Jones and Craig Kelly MP.
‘Men go mad in herds‘: Former Greens leader sees the light
Alan Jones and Craig Kelly
19 July 2019
MP Craig Kelly has commended former Greens leader Bob Brown’s criticisms of building one of the world’s biggest wind farms in Tasmania.
Despite the Greens’ constant push for renewable energy, including wind turbines, the surprising opposition from one of their own has been met with silence.
Dr Brown insists he remains a supporter of wind turbines but has condemned the proposal on Robbins Island for its impact on views and dangers posed to migratory birds.
Mr Kelly tells Alan Jones he is pleased with Dr Brown’s comments.
“It’s often said men go mad in herds but they regain their senses one at a time.
“Bob has seen the light and he realises that these wind turbines are both environmental disasters, and economic disasters, for the nation.
“And this is a big turning point because for two decades, Alan, you and I have been arguing his case and we’ve been ridiculed and we’ve been laughed at.”
Alan Jones: The other issue is energy. Water, energy, forget everything else. We’ve got a chronicle, Bob Brown, Dr. Bob Brown, the father of the Australian Greens Movement, who has seen the light and parted ways with the wind farm industry, it seems. He’s campaigning to stop a 1.6 billion on a wind farm development on Robbins Island in northwest Tasmania. Of course he’s right. The wind farm would comprise 200 turbines, 270 metres high. And he said, “Mariners will see this hairbrush of tall towers from 50 kilometres out to sea, and elevated land lovers will see it like it or not, from greater distances on the land.” Bob Brown, well done Bob. But there’s a bit of inconsistency. He’s remained silent about wind farms because they threatened his own precious backyard, but he’s a medical doctor. You might’ve expected him to say something about the adverse health effects from wind farms, not just their aesthetic ugliness.
Perhaps Dr. Brown, you might care to start educating yourself about all the pitfalls of wind farms, including the fact which you prefer to ignore, but you referred to this week, that their profits largely go to foreign companies. You’d make a good mate, Dr. Brown for Zali Steggall. We could link you up. She might start putting the wind farms where voters indicated they wanted them, in the state of Warringah. The people behind the petition to support plans to put wind farms in Warringah, in less than a fortnight, gained 25,000 signatures, to make Zali Steggall act according to her word. That’s what they voted for. That’s what she said she’d do. She said on the night of the election, “The people have spoken, so put the wind farms up on Balmoral Beach, Manly Beach, Queenscliff, Middle Head, the golf courses of Warringah.” And of course she won’t because she’s a hypocrite.
Well, Bob Brown has seen the light. He’s saying now what I’ve been saying for decades, and what Craig Kelly, sitting here beside me. The outstanding member for the federal seat of Hughes. He’s been saying these wind farms are environmental and economic disasters. He makes the point, Craig Kelly, that in 2018 last year, Australia consumed, bear with me, 133.2 million tonnes of oil equivalent from fossil fuels. 53.3 million tonnes from oil, 44.3 million tonnes from coal, 35.6 million tonnes of oil equivalent from gas. So don’t worry about those figures. The point is, million tonnes oil equivalent, is the international unit of measure used to compare sources of energy. 1 million tonne oil equivalent is approximately equal to about a thousand giant wind turbines. So, to replace all the energy generated by fossil fuels in Australia, and replace it with nuclear power, we’d need to build about 200 nuclear power stations, one gigawatt in size. Or we’d need to build 133,000 giant wind turbines. Now, Bob Brown, Craig Kelly makes the point, is campaigning against 200 being built, of wind turbines. But if they were built, there’d be another 132,800 still to be considered. The head spins with hypocrisy, idiocy, and stupidity. Thank God for this man Craig Kelly. Good morning.
Craig Kelly: Good morning, Allan.
Alan Jones: What about it?
Craig Kelly: Well Allan, you’re being very critical of Bob Brown, but I’m going to give Bob actually some credit on this. It’s often said that men go mad in herds, but they regain their senses one at a time. And Bob Brown, perhaps on his road back, his road trip, he went up there to Queensland in his electric cars. Perhaps on the way back to Tasmania and the way up to Devonport, he had a road to Damascus conversion. We’ll call it a road to Devonport conversion. And Bob has seen the light, and he realises that these wind turbines are both environmental disasters and economic disasters for the nation. And this is a big turning point, because for two decades Allan, you and myself have been arguing this case. And we’ve been ridiculed and we’ve been laughed at, and the majority will see in the bubble down there in Canberra, have just closed their eyes to the environmental and economic problems of wind turbines. Now we’ve got actually a clean break here, where Bob Brown is ….
Alan Jones: I will just interrupt there, Craig Kelly, this man’s a member of the government. Remember 53 spots were given after the election to ministers, assistant ministers and whatever. This bloke doesn’t get a guernsey because of the position he’s taken. Go on.
Craig Kelly: Look Allan, I’m glad, and I welcome Bob Brown’s comments on this. This would be firstly an environmental disaster. To give you some idea of how large these things are, each one would require 600 cubic metres of concrete for the base. You’re talking 200 of them. That’s 120,000 cubic metres of concrete, and to put that in some perspective, imagine the surface of the MCG. You could cover that with concrete, not just one metre high but six metres high. That’s the amount of concrete that would need to go into this project. Then there’s the economics of it Allan. Forget the cost of the wind turbines or the electricity. You’ve got to put another extension cord across Bass Strait to plug into the national grid to use it. That extension quarter is going to cost and estimates between two and $3 billion. Now, that’s not going to be paid by the proponents.
Craig Kelly: That’s going to be added to everyone else’s electricity bill. And what do we end up with at the end? We end up with this hopeless intermittent electricity thrown into the grid, that makes all your existing coal fired power stations run more inefficiently. Imagine a truck, a coal fire power station is designed to operate like a truck, driving down the highway, at 100 ks, on a flat surface. You put all this intermittent generation into the grid, it’s like bringing that truck into the city, you’re stopping at lights, you’re idling, you’re accelerating and you’re slamming on the brakes to try and counteract the intermittency of the wind. It will force electricity prices up. It will make the nation less efficient. It will cost billions of dollars, and it will be an environmental disaster.
Alan Jones: But if he built the 200, as you’ve made this very valid point, if they approve the 200 turbines, to replace energy from fossil fuels, you’d need another 132,800 over a 20 year period. That would be over 1,100 turbines a week. You’d have to construct about 120 each week, every week for the next 20 years, and then they’d be rusted out and broken down, and you’d need to start again.
Craig Kelly: Allan, it just shows the complete fallacy that we can get rid of our coal-fired power stations
Alan Jones: At the Cabinet table. Doesn’t anyone down there understand this? And it’s all about carbon dioxide. So if you believe that carbon dioxide is the problem, which I don’t, but if you believe that, then the amount that’s being returned to the atmosphere by burning coal is 1.2, 1.3% of the world’s total carbon dioxide emissions from human activity.
Craig Kelly: That’s not the endpoint. What are we doing this for? Now our chief scientist has said that nothing we do in Australia will change the temperature of the globe or stop bad weather. And yet we’ve got children marching in the streets in their thousands, saying that they want us to build wind turbines throughout the nation. Allan, this is why I welcome Bob Brown’s comments, because it is a turn of the tide. Bob has seen the light, and he’s come around. And hopefully now we can have a wide public discussion on the environmental and economic catastrophe that these things are.
Alan Jones: You keep at it. You’re amazing. Fantastic. One day the battle will be won, but my God, at what price?
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