There is an embarrassment of subjects to write about at the end of the week. I had my eyes on the UK General Election, if only because in 1964, now 53 years ago, I worked as a behind-the-scenes analyst on the BBC’s election night coverage, and then became part of the Australian election night coverage for the next nearly twenty years. It is too early to say too much about the outcome, other than to me it seemed a bit of a re-run of the Brexit referendum. There will have been much more than this, of course, especially with respect to the terror episodes during the campaign. Mrs May will govern with the support of the Democratic Unionist Party, which won its seats in Northern Ireland.

But this outcome, plus that of the French a few weeks earlier says to me that Western democracies have no clear sense of what to do, who to trust, or where to go. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if our next federal elections have the same sense of bafflement. Where, indeed, is there a Western country which seems united, clear-sighted and purposeful?

The Report on what to do and where to go with respect to energy in Australia has been delivered by Dr Alan Finkel, the Chief Scientist. He must have done something right because the Greens are scathing about it. His preliminary report, issued in December last year you can read here . What is new?

First, let us agree that he was given a tough remit. Australia has committed itself to certain targets for emissions reduction under the Paris Accord, and though President Trump has walked away from that Accord, and it is not binding on anyone anyway, even Australia, Dr Finkel has to accept that it is there. So whatever he says has to at least make a respectful bow in that direction.

Second, the Commonwealth has no direct Constitutional responsibility for energy generation or transmission anyway. So he has to pitch his report towards the Premiers and Chief Ministers as well as the Federal Government, which commissioned it. At the time of writing I have only read extracts from the Report, which seems to have been widely circulated to the media but not to the public.

To summarise, he accepts that there is a commitment to emissions reduction that has to be honoured, says that investment in electricity supply has stalled because of ‘policy instability and uncertainty’, and proposes a Clean Energy Target rather than an ‘emissions intensity trading scheme’ (the other rumoured mechanism) to help manage the ‘transition’ to a lower emissions energy generating system.

What is the difference? Well, in the Clean Energy Target suppliers like AGW and Origin will have to purchase a higher proportion of their energy from low emissions sources like wind, solar and gas. In an emissions intensity trading scheme industries (including power generating companies) are given some kind of baseline for their emissions intensity — that is, how much GGE they produce per megawatt hour. Plants that are above the baseline would have to buy permits from those that are below it. Since coal is the big emitter, this would advantage solar, wind and gas, which would presumably be below it. The CET does not punish coal as much as the trading scheme. Dr Finkel says that coal’s contribution to electricity generation would drop from around 70 per cent now to 53 per cent by 2030.

Got that? Where does it all take us? I am not sure. I could find no references to the dispatch problem  — the more solar and wind you have in the system the more unreliable it becomes, and the more you have to back those sources up. Gas might fill the bill (coal does it anyway), but there are obvious problems with gas supply. The Greens don’t like the Report at all, which suggests to me that there must be some good in it. The Greens website starts as follows.

 The review of Australia’s energy markets handed down today by Chief Scientist Dr Alan Finkel is more interested in fixing a political problem for Malcolm Turnbull and Bill Shorten than in addressing the great issue of our times, dangerous global warming, said leader of the Australian Greens Dr Richard Di Natale and Greens Climate Change Spokesperson Adam Bandt MP.

“The goal should be to stop dangerous climate change, not find a political fix that won’t keep the climate safe or save the reef,” Dr Di Natale said.

So saving the reef is more important than fixing our energy problem? What is Labor’s response? At the moment one can understand from news reports that Bill Shorten has written to Malcolm Turnbull offering to work with him to find a solution. Predictably, those on the Right don’t want any marriage with Labor, let alone on such a central issue in Australian politics.

I may have it wrong, and in any case a great deal will depend on what the Target is. While it is not a tax as such, it will have the effect of raising electricity prices, since coal is the cheapest source. It also provides more scope for sudden leaps in demand when the weather is cloudy and still, and I don’t see any quick solution to the possible outages in the coming summer.

Given the news two days ago that I will be paying between a fifth and a sixth more in the next financial year for heating, lighting and keeping the machines running, I need such an extra inducement for higher energy prices like the proverbial head-hole. I thought Chief Minister Andrew’s Barr’s stated belief that Canberra people would be understand the need for/be in favour of these increases was, to put it mildly, a strange belief. But then he probably thinks that the increase of about 350 per cent in my rates over the last little while is also something my neighbours and I should be ecstatic about.

In the meantime, those actually responsible for providing us with electricity and gas have become rather silent. It is agreed we have a major energy problem, but we are not going to do anything about it quickly. The head of ACTEW/AGL said on television a couple of nights ago that the problems we have in this field are the result of ‘inadequate national leadership over the past decade’ (I didn’t write it down but I repeated it a couple of times in the hope that my memory would retain it.)

Well, I could agree with that summary, but since ACTEW/AGL has gone down the alternative energy path in an almost ludicrous way over that time, I think he and I would be looking at rather different sorts of poor leadership. It would be so much easier if the Federal Government said that it would suspend its Renewable Energy Target until it had deal with the real problem of reliable and affordable energy to everyone. Alas, that’s a pipe dream with the present Government, though a minority of its members would go that way.

From a Martian point of view, you can see in this whole energy problem the mess that our political system is getting into in a number of fields. Thirty years ago people got exercised about greenhouse gas emissions and runaway warming. That became a fashionable cause, and political parties decided they had to have policies about it. Sections of the electorate found in global warming a new religion. Governments tried to appease the noisy ones with half-baked visions. Before long the price of energy started to rise. Energy is the constant element in all our prices.

Now we are in a pickle. Global warming is not the threat it was said to be, and may not be a threat at all. And we no longer have reliable and affordable energy. But the threat notion is built into all sorts of practices and expectations. It is almost impossible to get out of some of them, at least in the short run. And in a remarkably short period we have seen governments do almost crazy things in order to appease the warmers, while making electricity more and more expensive, and less and less reliable. We have only just started on the energy review but I can’t see how the Finkel Report, at least what I have seen of it, is any help at all in real terms, however much it may solve a short–term political problem for the PM, who will have to decide what the Clean Energy Target really is, and how it is to work. I’m not at all sure it solves any problems for anyone.

And we have the same kind of muddle with respect to immigration, to free speech, to terrorism, to what should be taught in schools, and how to deal with obesity. Where is that ‘national leadership’? Where is ‘the community’? As I’ve said before, most of the time I can only see lobby groups uninterested in anything but their own concerns, and g0vernments terrified about the next election.

End note The title for this essay came at once, and I tried to use it, with Dr Finkel finding clever solutions in his cave, but it didn’t work. Maybe a reader will come up with one. The reference is to Mendelssohn’s most famous orchestral piece, an overture about his reaction to Fingal’s Cave in Scotland.

Join the discussion 227 Comments

  • JohnM says:

    Finkel’s rabbit warren or Finkel’s rats’ nest might have been more appropriate titles.
    A reader’s comment in The Australia said it well …”As I understand it, if my power bill was going to UP say $500 under the ridiculous RETs and it’s now “only” going up by $250 with the same ridiculous RETs, I’m supposed to be grateful?”

    • margaret says:

      Something the homeless don’t have to worry about.
      Cry me a river.

      • Don Aitkin says:

        Are the homeless more important in the scheme of things than fixing what is becoming every day a worse problem for 24 million Australians?

        • margaret says:

          Probably depends on the weighting you put on problems. We all put different weightings on problems but I guess complaining about power bills is a particularly big one for those on low incomes or, conversely, those who live in large houses.

          • margaret says:

            Most people live in Plato’s Cave not Finkel’s Cave.

            Finkel seems to understand what most of us cannot so …


            “Yet perhaps the most interesting and troubling psychological feature of climate change, ironically enough, is how boring it is to so many of us. The filmmaker Randy Olson has called this “the great unmentionable” of the environmental movement, and at first glance it makes little sense: such a severe, planet-wide threat might well terrify us into paralysis, but you’d hardly expect it to seem dull. The truth, though, is that modernity’s most pressing problems are frequently among the least interesting – in part because they involve not exciting individual human dramas, which seize our attention and evoke empathy, but complex interconnected systems and endless quantities of data. The global financial meltdown of 2007-8 was of little interest to anyone other than specialists, or those worst affected, until it began to involve TV images of homeowners forced from their dwellings, or fired bankers carrying out boxes of their belongings on to Wall Street.”

            Sometimes I wonder whether certain commenters live in bubbles of functional autism.

        • tripitaka says:

          These things are related Don. The numbers of homeless have increased and many of us are less well off than we should be because trickle down doesn’t work and all the wealth is being sucked up by the greedy and selfish individualists who don’t believe in society or social justice.

          • Don Aitkin says:

            Which ones are they, Tripitaka?

          • margaret says:

            Even the word ‘trickle’ is an affront – why was it not called ‘flow down’? Because, trickle is all that the ‘leaners’ should expect and be grateful for?

        • margaret says:

          My power bills have been stable to this point.

          • PeterD says:

            HI Margaret,

            You write that your power bills have remained stable to this point. Don has indicated the predicted increases at the local government level after the recent budget and I believe there is cause for concern.

            I would be interested in how contributors to this discussion resolve the energy/electricity costs at the local level.

            I live in a small courtyard home with gas heating into the main rooms, one large solar panel for the hot water and one air-conditioner that is used very sparingly just in summer.

            Like many in Canberra, I am looking minimising projected future costs and wondering about best practice solutions.

            Here are some options:

            1) Go back to cheap coal/coke like in the old days with a coke heater
            2) Go back to heating oil which I used to have in the seventies
            3) Build a wind mill in my backyard or invest in wind farm energy
            4) Collect some wood out in the bush and run a wood heater
            5) Install lots of solar panels on the roof
            6) Purchase a Tesla Powerwall fro around $16,700.

            Interested in any other options, or combinations of options.

            Just a comment on 6: In the May issue of ‘Choice’ one family saved 92% of their annual electricity bill and the subtitle of the article was that the solar system could pay itself off much quicker than expected.

          • margaret says:

            Hello PeterD
            My power bills have remained stable on Origin and Elgas but we can control costs because like you we live in a small situation – some would say a ‘tiny house’.
            All your solutions are available but I have no advice for you as we all must only compare apples with apples.
            Families can’t control their costs the way we more mature people can.

          • PeterD says:

            Hi Margaret,

            Thanks for your reply. After July, many ACT residents will not be able to state that “power bills have remained stable”. I had an energy assessment conducted, as a free service, and that provided some energy-saving tips.

            I also understand that the practices one adopts on a personal basis are different from big systems decisions about the energy mix and overall costs across states etc. Because some on this listserv argue for new coal sources because of cheaper costs, does not imply that they want coal dumps in their backyard. Given the perspicacity and scientific knowledge of many subscribers to this forum, though, the solutions they adopt is an interesting decision.

      • Aert Driessen says:

        Cast your gaze a bit wider Margaret. The way power bills are rising will eventually cause unemployment, first in small businesses who just can’t keep up, then in bigger enterprises as they lose markets to cheaper imports, all as disposable income dries up. These people will then be joined by the renters who just cannot keep up with these price increases and who will then be evicted. Think of how this scenario will impact on the budget deficit, and then some.

        • JimboR says:

          “The way power bills are rising will eventually cause unemployment, first in small businesses who just can’t keep up”

          Or they can go this route:

          No up front costs to the small business, and more willing investors than there are installations at the moment. Everyone’s a winner! The grid operators are well aware they if they don’t do something, their customers will, and the death spiral will hasten.

        • BoyfromTottenham says:


          More importantly, Don says: “Well, in the Clean Energy Target suppliers like AGW and Origin will have to purchase a higher proportion of their energy from low emissions sources like wind, solar and gas.”. As I understand it, the current LRET scheme requires Retailers to purchase up to 33GW (?) of RECs (renewable energy certificates that subsidise wind and solar) from generators of ‘renewables’ at a current market price of about $90.00 a megawatt. To me, imposing the CET without winding back the LRET scheme will merely increase the demand for ‘renewables’ and drive the baseload generators out of business even faster than now. When is this madness going to stop?

          • JimboR says:

            I think Finkel et al agree with you….

            “Australia’s existing Renewable Energy Target (RET) will continue to its scheduled 2020 end for new
            participants but should not be extended.”

            “Provisions to prevent renewable generators from benefiting from both the Large-scale Renewable Energy Target and the CET would need to be considered.”

            They even explain why they think turning it off before 2020 would be bad for business….

            “The Panel emphasises the urgency of the need for a credible and enduring emissions reduction policy for the electricity sector to provide investor confidence. To avoid further disruptions to the sector, the existing Large-scale Renewable Energy Target scheme should remain unchanged to the end of its design life, but not be extended in its current form.”

      • BB says:

        It annoys me that on this blog that distractions abound someone such as Margaret uses the post to express her concern about the homeless to divert comment into something entirely different to what the post was about. I must congratulate her on such success in diverting us so easily. But Margaret you forgot the suicidal, mentally disturbed, terminally ill, refugees, and so on. You also forgot something that greatly disturbs me it is the survival of the blob fish

        Don can’t you just delete comments that will obviously divert things well away from the topic of the post.

        • Don Aitkin says:

          Just scroll down past her, BB. She does use the Off-Topic Thread for most of her random postings.

          • margaret says:

            Hee hee – I say one sentence, quite relevant really, that the homeless don’t have the concern of power bills and the bristling begins.

        • margaret says:

          But BB I don’t waste time watching blob fish on YouTube and you obviously do.

        • spangled drongo says:

          BB, marg and trip’s message that the leaners need more, more, more. Flow down, not trickle etc., really does show the trouble we are in when their energy chooks come home to roost.

          They just don’t get that they are proving Don’s point, not contesting it.

          And they would probably classify that Blob Fish as an OWM.

          • tripitaka says:

            I don’t have any message drongo. I come here for the lols and to try and to understand the cognitive processes that allow foolish old right wing men who imagine that they are smartest people on earth to carry on with that belief despite all the evidence to the contrary.

            It really is an amazing feature of human psychology that allows some of us to be so obtuse; to be so lacking in self-awareness and able to carry on spouting nonsense that defies reality when less delusional and less resilient people would have slunk off in shame.

            How unfortunate you are to be so driven by a need to deride people who have done you no wrong and who you do not even know. It is interesting and a useful thing for those of us who want a better and fairer world to try and understand the psychology of people like you who are so lacking in the milk of human kindness that they choose to condemn ordinary people who are doing the best they can in a complex and confusing world.

          • spangled drongo says:

            “I don’t have any message drongo.”

            What’s this then, trip?

            “The numbers of homeless have increased and many of us are less well off than we should be because trickle down doesn’t work and all the wealth is being sucked up by the greedy and selfish individualists who don’t believe in society or social justice.”

            And….”social justice in other words – is the only way to go.”

            Sounds like the usual half-baked Marxist message that the incompetents spout when they think anyone who has earned anything is greedy and selfish.

            You don’t have any idea about what I do or what I am involved in but it doesn’t stop you shooting insults from the hip.

            It seems like your way of admitting inadequacy.

          • tripitaka says:

            drongo says:

            “Sounds like the usual half-baked Marxist message that the incompetents spout when they think anyone who has earned anything is greedy and selfish.
            You don’t have any idea about what I do or what I am involved in but it doesn’t stop you shooting insults from the hip.
            It seems like your way of admitting inadequacy.”

            I’m sure it does sound like that to you drongo but that is because you are compromised by your inability to think rationally and objectively. What do you mean by earned? That’s a wild and woolly term that can only be defined to your satisfaction within the narrow and shallow ideology that blinkers your ability to be rational and see the reality about your fellow human beings and their needs this is all around you.

            It is more accurate to say that the ‘message’ in my reiterations about ‘selfishness and greed’ if there is a message rather than a simplification of all the knowledge that is available to those who are interested in alternative ideas, that shows the toxic and dysfunctional nature of neo-liberal values and how these values bias individuals who are easily led by their baser instincts to behave in ways that create dysfunctional societies.

            I don’t need to have any idea what you do or are involved in to understand how your mind works and how blinkered and biased and full of venom toward your fellow humans you are because I can read what you write and that surely that reveals your ‘real’ self and I’m not insulting you,I am just as you say shooting my analysis from the hip in response to your nastiness and intentional attempts to make other people feel bad with your insults.

            In what way do you see that I am inadequate? You know nothing about me, what I do with my life or my involvements. But you just have to say something nasty don’t you drongo. 🙂

          • spangled drongo says:

            “What do you mean by earned?”

            If you’ve ever earned anything you should know.

            But I can understand why you don’t.

  • Neville says:

    Andrew Bolt and other seekers of the truth flush out all the Finkel Scheme “porkies” and indeed find that we will be replacing MAD with BAD.

    Incredible what we find when we use logic , reason and evidence . Of course we’ll waste billions $ for years and definitely no measurable difference to co2 levels or temp or climate or SLs or extreme weather events or polar bear numbers etc. Definitely a MAD and very BAD waste of endless billions $ of taxpayers money for no measurable return at all.

    Andrew Bolt, Herald Sun
    an hour ago

    The Turnbull Government claims the Finkel report’s plan will cut your power bills and end the climate war. What a joke: how can moving to nearly 50 per cent renewable energy do anything but make electricity a luxury item? Remove Turnbull before he destroys both the power grid and the Liberals.

    Judith Sloan:

    Look at what happens to the penetration of renewables under the Finkel recommendations: it goes from 16 per cent of electricity generation now to 42 per cent in 2030 — not far off Labor’s holy grail of 50 per cent. It’s no wonder Labor is tempted to sign on.

    Gas goes from 6 per cent in 2020 to 5 per cent in 2030 and to just 3 per cent in 2050 — so much for the CET being neutral about technology. For a country with abundant gas supplies, this is a ridiculous result and is in stark contrast with the US experience, where the take-up of gas to electricity plants has led to falling emissions without any real government intervention.

    And consider Finkel’s Soviet-like command that coal-fired electricity plants must give at least three years’ warning of closure, even if these plants are haemorrhaging money in the meantime. He can’t be serious.

    A possibly useful suggestion in the report is that all new renewable energy providers must include back-up as part of their offerings — batteries or pumped hydro storage, for example.

    Given that wind has a utilisation rate generally of between 25 and 30 per cent of its maximum capacity, and factoring in the cost of the battery back-up, this requirement could triple the cost of wind power, at least in the short term….

    It might be better than nothing, but it doesn’t solve the reliability issue likely to plague the electricity system. It will be those creaking old coal-fired power plants doing that, even though under the CET there will be no new investment in coal.

    Do the damn maths. Much higher power bills. More lost jobs. Little if any new investment in reliable coal-fired power without subisides and guarantees. And all to make no difference at all to the climate.

    So this is a lie:

    The federal government is holding out the prospect of big savings on power bills

    And this is Malcolm Turnbull’s big plan? What on earth is the point of the Liberal party?

    Turnbull will argue that it could at least “end the climate wars” and win more votes. I doubt it very much, but even were he right that’s more reason to stop it now. Ruining Australia is no respectable plan for any politicians.

    David Crowe – and I’m putting the huge caveats and catches in bold:

    Household electricity bills would be $90 lower every year under the new target compared with a business-as-usual ­approach over the years to 2030, as the new scheme encourages wind and solar without punishing coal.

    But there’s a catch. The savings estimate, which is a very early estimate from government advisers, is based on a key assumption about climate change in yesterday’s report from Australia’s Chief Scientist, Alan Finkel.

    The report’s modelling assumes a CET that favours power generators producing fewer than 0.6 tonnes of carbon emissions for every megawatt hour of ­electricity.

    Even the very best coal-fired power stations cannot meet this benchmark.

    In other words, all the modelling assumes a target that knocks coal out of the scheme…

    The $90 saving is highly theo­retical…

    Crowe misses the biggest caveat at all, only hinted at in the first bit I bolded.

    This latest scheme can be said to be better only when you compare it to the insanity of existing global warming policies – the ones we were once assured were great.

    This is just an attempt to replace the mad with the bad.

    And the question must remain: WHY ARE WE DOING ANY OF THIS IN THE FIRST PLACE?

    Will all these global warming projects here lower the world’s temperatures? Not by anything anyone can mention.

    Would any global warming theoretically stopped be bad? Not on the evidence so far.

    Are we setting an important example to the big emitters who might actually make some difference? No, the top four emitters – China, the US, India and Russia – are all increasing their own emissions under the Paris deal or (the US) pulling out of the Paris deal.

    All pain, no gain, yet the politicians and the media make out that they’re doing incredibly important things with their absolutely useless policies.

    Originally published as FINKEL SCHEME: REPLACING MAD WITH BAD

  • tripitaka says:

    ” Western democracies have no clear sense of what to do, who to trust, or where to go”

    This may be the way you see it Don but there is a growing number of us who do know where to go and it is back to the old fashioned beliefs that we in Australia used to have that there is such a thing as society and that justice for everyone in this society – social justice in other words – is the only way to go.

    It is very clear that a lot of the problems we have result from the toxic nature of the marketing and consumerism that underpins the trickle down economic system that doesn’t believe in society and has been fed to us without any balance by the media that is owned and run by those who benefit most from this economic system. The realisation is growing that we don’t need all this stuff so we don’t need all the power that is wasted producing this stuff. There are alternative ways to live a good life.

    “Global warming is not the threat it was said to be, and may not be a threat at all. ”

    Most ordinary people who don’t have a mark-on-a-rock at Cleveland Point to tell them the truth about climate change do see that as the scientists keep telling us, our planet is under threat from our way of life, and we are willing to pay to avoid a catastrophe. There is so much crap that we pay for that we don’t need and that we would be better off without.

    That belief that the Barrier Reef needs to be saved and is worth paying for is real conservatism you know; the feeling that we do want to save the world for our children rather than take a chance that a few old men who haven’t done particularly well in their lives are smarter than the scientists and can see the truth when people who are trained in the disciples can’t see the truth.

    The polls in Australia should tell you something about the likely result of the next election here. If Labor pull themselves together and offer something like Corbyn and Bernie Sanders offer, there will be a landslide away from what we have been having under the neo-liberal economics; a landslide like we had when Gough offered us an alternative.

    “Predictably, those on the Right don’t want any marriage with Labor, let alone on such a central issue in Australian politics.”

    This is predictable but why is it so? The nonsense that Bolt and co keep writing for their delusional acolytes is not making any headway against the common sense or as the right used to put it, the wisdom of the crowd that is reflected in the polls that are consistently favouring Labor even before they begin to put forward a real plan and a vision for the country.

    It is the internet you know that is providing ordinary people with freedom and the ability to access a range of information and not just the Murdoch propaganda and people do come to the right conclusion about what they want when they have all the facts.

    But it’s a good thing you extremists have safe spaces to vent and carry on with your delusions.

    • Don Aitkin says:

      Do you have a clear sense of what you mean by ‘social justice”, and how you would implement it?

      • tripitaka says:

        Yes, Don yes I do have a clear sense of what I mean by social justice. You addressed this topic on your blog some time ago and it seemed to me that you don’t have much of a sense of what the term means.

        There is quite a lot of literature on the various ways that various people have understood social justice and how it can be implemented so perhaps it would be a good thing if you read some of what the experts have written about the topic.

        But very broadly speaking, the way I see it the fundamental concept behind social justice is “from each according to their ability and to each according to their needs”. It is clear that this principle works when parents are raising children so it is not an alien concept for humans and most people intuitively understand what the phrase means even if all the terms are not particularly amenable to being clearly defined.

        The way I see it being ‘implemented’ is broadly speaking in the same way that people are working out that trickle down economics doesn’t work; it will happen through self-organisation, through people talking to each other and understanding the possibilities for a fair and decent society that exist when people work together and cooperate without denigrating other human beings as right wing people like to do.

        Self-organisation is the only concept in all that Hayek wrote that had any real intelligence behind it and it was an idea that he took from others and didn’t really understand well, but self-organisation is what people do when they are free to work out what it is they value and how good life for all of us would be when every child is provided with equality of opportunity.

        • Boambee John says:

          When I suggested on the Social Justice thread that many social justice campaigners seemed to focus on equality of outcomes, you rejected that, and referred to the body of literature on the subject.
          Yet in your comment here, after referring again to the body of literature, you sum up your vision of social justice as “From each according to their ability, to each according to their needs”.
          Looking at a very simple example, a surgeon and a janitor, each with a non-working spouse and two school age children, they have essentially the same needs for housing, clothing, sustenance, et al, but widely different abilities. Under your summation, they should receive the same remuneration.
          Sounds like equality of outcome to me, but perhaps you could enlighten me?
          PS, Once you get to equality of outcome as your objective, which you seem to have, the subject becomes theoretical, as this is never going to happen.
          PPS, your example of parents and children has limited application, as the connection between parents and children is quite different to that between unrelated citizens.

          • margaret says:

            I would ask why it is that with two school age children neither the surgeon’s wife nor the janitor’s wife is working.
            These days a surgeon’s wife may be doing lunch and socialising (apologies to those surgeon’s wives who are working, it’s just hypothetical), however the janitor’s wife probably returned to work through necessity before the children became school age.

          • tripitaka says:

            John I didn’t mention remuneration. Perhaps you don’t have the ability to understand what I wrote? It would be a good idea if you stayed silent rather than reveal the inadequacy of your ability to understand complex concepts and also reveal how narrow your conceptual basis is and how focused you simple right wing people are on simple and flawed assumptions that remuneration is the thing that is important for human well being.

            About the surgeon and the janitor, lol what a stereotyped example, how do you know that the janitor doesn’t have the ability to be a surgeon? How do you know that the janitor was unlucky enough to be born into the wrong family? You don’t. You make the assumption that outcome is always the result of inherent ability and all the evidence shows that luck is a huge factor in determining outcomes in human lives. You seem to have no knowledge of the evidence from neuroscience and psychology about the plasticity of infant brains and how critical this is for development of abilities.

            This simplistic assumption you make about the difference between janitors and surgeons is self-serving nonsense that right wing people cling to because they need to believe in the idea that human abilities can be graded on a scale.

            No I cannot enlighten you; if you understand the term it would be obvious to you that people have to enlighten themselves and furthermore you show no aptitude for this task or the necessary abilities to self-examine and self-critique that is fundamental to the pursuit of enlightenment.

            I never mentioned equality of outcome. Again you demonstrate how lacking is your ability to read what is before your eyes you are. You just make stuff up.

            You tell me how the relationship between children and parents is different from that between unrelated citizens? List the differences and how they come about? What are the processes that underpin the differences?

            Have you never done any volunteering work and seen how many people do want to help their unrelated neighbours?

            Have you never read anything about how relationships in small communities are based on the idea of from each according to their needs to each according to their abilities?

            Do you not understand the concept of reciprocity?

            Better for you not to reply to me anymore. I’m so totally not interested in replying to people like you who lack the ability to even read the comment that they are replying to and are dishonest enough to pretend that I have said things that I didn’t.

          • Boambee John says:


            I realise that I am only a simple minded right winger, far below your highly nuanced intellect, but how does “From each according to their ability, to each according to their needs” not relate to equality of outcome in some sense? If needs are the same, “to each” should go the same.
            On the janitor and the surgeon, you are correct, I do not know whether the janitor has the abilities of the surgeon; neither do you. But their needs (putting aside margaret’s comment about employment of spouses- margaret, you said wives, I am not so sexist as to assume that all surgeons are male) are similar, and the clear implication is that “to each their needs” should give the same outcome.
            However, I do accept one of your points, our discussion is a dialogue of the deaf, with your ideology blinding you to all other points of of view. I just wanted to confirm that point, and you have done so in your response.

            PS, yes, even a simple minded right winger like me has done a lot of voluntary work, extending over more than a decade. I won’t bore you with the details.

          • margaret says:

            Touché on my fail on the spouse/wife assumption Boambee John.

          • David says:

            John, but what if the people concerned had different needs? One person is old and sick the other young and healthy. If resources were distributed according to need it does not follow that each person will have the same outcome.

          • tripitaka says:

            Boambee John I’ve been thinking about why you seem to me to be such a dishonest person when you don’t see that you are, and I have to acknowledge not nearly as abusive and needing to insult those you regard as your enemies as some other people here and it seems to me that the basis of your problem – that is the problem you have understanding that ‘from each according to their abilities and to each according to their needs’ is nothing to do with outcome – is that you have a simplistic understanding of the dimensions and complexities of human needs.

            I raised 4 children and I can tell you that their needs were very different. Perhaps you don’t do enough parenting at a level of care that would provide you with an awareness of this fact that children have very different needs for touch for stimulation for reassurance etc etc

            You may benefit from this article that will explain to you that needs for shelter food and warmth and rest are only the beginning of what human beings need to grow and become productive citizens who want to be a valued part of their society which is what every child could and would become if every child was provided with that which they need to develop to their full potential.


          • Boambee John says:


            Two points.

            First, I have two children and four grandchildren. I do have some vague understanding of their different needs.

            Second, why do you apparently feel obliged to start your responses with insults (eg, “Perhaps you don’t have the ability to understand what I wrote? It would be a good idea if you stayed silent rather than reveal the inadequacy of your ability to understand complex concepts and also reveal how narrow your conceptual basis is” or “Boambee John I’ve been thinking about why you seem to me to be such a dishonest person when you don’t see that you are”?

            You might find discussions more friendly if you did not start with an attitude of insufferable superiority.

            That said, I accept that we are in a dialogue of the deaf. Let’s leave it at that.

          • tripitaka says:

            lol Bombee John says “You might find discussions more friendly if you did not start with an attitude of insufferable superiority.”

            lol poor you eh? Did it occur to you that you might find discussion with lefties less fraught and marred by attitudes of insufferable superiority if you and you and your fellow righties didn’t say such nasty and stupid things about ‘lefties’ and if you righties didn’t assume that your ignorance and common knowledge provides you with some sort of understanding of the real world that experts don’t have.

          • Boambee John says:


            I got it wrong.

            Monologue of the deaf.

        • Don Aitkin says:

          Tripitaka, I said it was vague and woolly. I asked you what you thought it meant, not what others thought it meant. There’s nothing wrong with your shorthand slogan, but it works best in a small community, like a tribe or an isolated village or rural settlement, where they have a local ‘currency’ so that people can trade their goods, products ands services with one another. I’ve seen such an example on the south coast of NSW. But 97 per cent of 24 million Australians live in 14 large urban conglomerations. It is implementation in such a society that is the difficulty. Until I see some sensible plan for (a) defining social justice for such a society and (b) bringing that definition into reality, I will go on thinking thinking that it is a vague and woolly concept that people use without any real understanding.

          • tripitaka says:

            Don if you read some of the literature you would find sensible definite definitions for what social justice is and sensible plans about how it can be implemented these definitions into reality.

            The vague and woolly characterisation is just a cop out that you use rather than admit that you don’t ‘like’ the concept and don’t believe in it and don’t want to accept that you are biased and your ‘common-sense assumptions about a lot of things are flawed.

            Spinoza said something like – depending on the translation – that to know the truth one needs to have no opinions; to set up what you like against what you don’t like is a disease or a failure of the mind to work properly.

            You don’t understand how difficult objectivity is for the human mind do you? You really imagine that you are capable of a greater level of objectivity than almost anyone else you know don’t you?

        • BoyfromTottenham says:

          Tripitaka said “But very broadly speaking, the way I see it the fundamental concept behind social justice is “from each according to their ability and to each according to their needs”. So social justice is just a new name for that corrupt ideology that was debunked in the 1990’s by the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of the USSR and its satellites then – “Communism”. Enough said.

          • tripitaka says:

            Boyo, Wow that is just so silly to imagine that you think what went on in Russia has anything to do with the concept of ‘from each according to their abilities …’ or indeed with Marxism. Seriously, is that all you have in your intellectual repertoire to try and argue against the reality of what is happening and the onset of what will supplant late stage capitalism which is what we are living through now?

            It may well be enough said to you but there is so much more to say about this old old saying than you could probably imagine.

            The saying isn’t a new concept and Marx popularised it but he did not make it up; it seems to have been around for as long as human societies have existed and is the fundamental basis on which so called ‘primitive’ human groups organised the distribution of resources and any surpluses.

            It is really sad – for you and your right wing fellows as individuals but not sad for the future – that you are unable to work out what is going on all around you and understand why the old political correctness that you knew and loved is losing it’s grip and so many people are looking for more intelligent values on which to base their lives.

            Seriously, western civilisation is moving toward a better model and working out how we can all live together in peace and harmony and there is nothing you can do to stop it. It’s a movement of the people because people are basically good despite the numbers of poorly socialised old men who are still alive and willing and able to display their contempt for ordinary people and their fear and hatred of the ‘other’.

    • spangled drongo says:

      “Most ordinary people who don’t have a mark-on-a-rock at Cleveland Point to tell them the truth about climate change do see that as the scientists keep telling us, our planet is under threat from our way of life….”

      Trip, does it ever occur to you that people with an evidenced based outlook as opposed to those “feeling threatened by our way of life” may be a little more rational when it comes to deciding what are the basic necessities needed to survive in what Don clearly points out is a very confused political world that is making vague, pointless and unproductive decisions that will not only lead to increased poverty but increased chaos.

      If, instead of “feeling” threatened, you tended to be a little more rational, observant and aware, your “feelings” may improve considerably.

      And, who knows, it might even lead to a likewise less confused govt.

      • tripitaka says:

        It has occurred to me drongo that you might be more rational than me. But all the evidence and not just my feeling points to the opposite being the case. 🙂

        Of course if you provided some rational explanation of how all this confusion happened and what caused one part of science to go off the rails and be part of a Chinese hoax, I’d be willing to read this explanation. But it would need to be a rational argument you know with a conclusion and premises that supported the conclusion.

        Go for it dude. 🙂

        • spangled drongo says:

          No rational, evidential explanation would ever work with, or for, you, trip.

          If the penny was ever going to drop, it would have happened long ago.

          • tripitaka says:

            So you can’t provide a rational argument that backs up your assumptions; just more insults. Why am I not surprised? 🙂

          • spangled drongo says:

            I can and have provided endless rational arguments for your benefit trip.

            But rational arguments to you appear as insults.

            Yet you are too obtuse to realise that you are an insult specialist.

  • Doug Hurst says:

    i have lived in countries where the poor would be delighted to change places with our poor who, though poor, get welfare, health care, and help from people like the Salvos (who I support) and volunteer organisations. Much of this is funded by people like me who pay more taxes than average. Thus, I reject the constant accusation that Australians lack compassion and our current society of hopelessly unfair because of greed and indifference. We are not perfect, but we are better than most and the majority do care.

    Now, a comment on the topic of the day – the Finkel Cave. He wasn’t able to investigate the big issue, whether or not we should be doing anything at all, but it may be that he quietly slipped a Trojan Horse into the renewables industry which he recommends create their own back-up power and 24/7 power delivery guarantees. If that happened, the cost of the renewables/back-up package would be astronomical and, depending on the back-up, the CO2 emissions might also be unacceptable. This would virtually preclude wind and solar, forcing energy generators to use gas, HELE coal and to eventually consider nuclear. This would completely eliminate the need for back-up power, reduce costs considerably and make no difference at all to our CO2 emissions, except perhaps to reduce them

    • margaret says:

      “Thus, I reject the constant accusation that Australians lack compassion and our current society of hopelessly unfair because of greed and indifference. We are not perfect, but we are better than most and the majority do care.”

      Who makes these constant accusations? And why are we “better than most?”

      • Doug Hurst says:

        You make implied accusations all the time Margaret – e.g., ‘something the homeless don’t have to worry about” . And you are not alone, I hear such crap all the time. And we are better than most simply because most countries outside the West are bad. A quick look around our neighbourhood provides examples like PNG and East Timor and much of Indonesia where the poor would love to live as well as most of our poor. In the Communist utopias of Vietnam and Cambodia if you don’t work you don’t eat; there is no welfare, you pay towards the kids schooling and if you get sick bad luck if you can’t afford to pay the doctor.

        • margaret says:

          Can poverty or homelessness in developing countries be compared with the same problems in a country like ours?

          • margaret says:

            I’ve been to Thailand and Laos, and to Siem Reap. There’s absolutely no comparison possible with a western culture like ours but neither would I say ours is “better”. I don’t really suffer from cultural cringe unless it’s appropriate (oi oi oi stuff) but I’d say those cultures and our first peoples culture have a richness the Rum Corps couldn’t bring, nor Macquarie with his fancy architecture, not Batman with his land-grabbers.
            But hey! We were British! Rule Brittania and now, with our glossy TV presenters and ‘belief in self’ evangelical fervour, our new hero of the world as a reality tv program – it’s Rule Amerika – it’s getting great again did you know?

          • Doug Hurst says:

            Yes – it can. My point is that most people would rather be poor in Australia than somewhere like India where there is no welfare, health care, clean water, sewage, electricity etc for 400 million or more and I believe that is true. You may think such comparisons are somehow culturally inappropriate, but the Indians who have to live in these appealing conditions voted overwhelmingly for Modi when he promised to do something about it – beginning with water, sewage and electricity (some via the dreaded Adani mine)

            And I am talking about 2017, so I don’t see what your later comments about the Rum Corps have to do with the discussion. And I didn’t say our culture is better – I was talking about the living conditions of the poor. And as any comparison with the poor in places like India, Bangladesh, Cambodia etc shows, my comments are valid.

            Ronald Reagan used to say when people criticised the US, if we took down all the barriers to migration, where would the people go. My guess, is if we did this today, far more would come here than relocate to the slums of India.

          • margaret says:

            Doug Hurst it’s not about being culturally appropriate it’s about being pointless to compare ‘types’ of poverty because poverty is relative to ones own culture. What would be the point of saying to a homeless person on Flinders St station “do you realise how lucky you are not to be living in the slums of India?”

      • tripitaka says:

        The idea that right wing people hold dear is that some of us are ‘better’ than others of us. The problem is that they can’t define what better means in any objective way; the criteria for judging themselves as ‘better’ than others is self-referential and lacks any objectivity.

        This is one of their core beliefs and is the font of all their wrongness.

        Maintaining this belief requires such a high level of self-serving rationalisation and a refusal to read any evidence that explores the subjectivity of the concept of ‘better’ and the nature of human abilities and achievements that right wing people appear very stupid to those more open to rational explanations of how the universe works.

        • Bryan Roberts says:

          The idea that “some of us are ‘better’ than others of us” is one of the core tenets of Islam. I agree that it is “the font of all their wrongness”.

          • tripitaka says:

            So Bryan you are saying that it is wrong for Muslims to think they are better than unbelievers but not wrong for white men to think that? This is off topic you know and it annoys BB when people go off topic. He’s a straight and narrow kinda bloke.

          • Bryan Roberts says:

            I did not say anything of the sort. I said that Islam allows its adherents to believe they are superior. I do not accept that old white men believe they are superior, an assertion you cannot substantiate in any way.

          • tripitaka says:

            Do tell Bryan, why would you talk about what Islam believes when it is so far off topic? Do you understand the way your mind works and why the wrongness of Islam is something that is constantly on your mind? How much time do you spend ruminating on how awful those Muslims are and does this cause you a great deal of irritation? Do you like feeling irritated and angry at the way the world is going to hell in a hand basket?

            It’s totally fantastical of you to deny that white men imagine they are better than other groups of people. There are now of course many examples of men who do not take that view including my own sons but in the main that is still the vibe and that this is true is ‘proved’ by the comments from several of men here and on other right wing sites.

            There are out and proud white male supremacists who are a respected part of the right wing and who make no secret that this is their belief and that white males are the high point of evolution.

          • Bryan Roberts says:

            You are so insufferably righteous that you cannot even acknowledge that you yourself went ‘off topic’ when you stated “The idea that right wing people hold dear is that some of us are ‘better’ than others of us”.

            I pointed out that that idea was not limited to right wing people – it is also sanctioned by the religion of Islam.

            Your quasi-philosophical nonsense about “evidence that explores the subjectivity of the concept of ‘better’” is laughable. What ‘evidence’?

            When you are called out on your arguments, all you can do is descend into abuse and psycho-babble.

        • spangled drongo says:

          Tripluv, let’s play Nurses and Patients. If I were to see someone working, earning money and paying income tax while I did nothing but collect that income tax as a handout, I am prepared to accept that that worker is more productive and essential to the country than I am and therefore better.

          You, OTOH, think that the lifters and leaners are equally essential to the good of the country.

          Is that objective enough for you?

          Show me where I am wrong.

          • tripitaka says:

            I didn’t say anything about lifters and leaners. Do you mean that Nurses are lifters and patients are leaners?

            I have no idea what you mean by lifters and leaners. Can you rationally define these terms?

            And explain what is good for the country? I didn’t say anything about the good of the country.

            And what do you think objectivity is?

          • spangled drongo says:

            The “country” is society, trip. Don’t act precious, cute and dumb.

            And your conscience tells you it is social justice for a perfectly healthy person to take and keep on taking as it is to give and keep on giving?

            Please explain your so-called objectivity there.

          • tripitaka says:

            drongo says

            “The “country” is society, trip. Don’t act precious, cute and dumb.
            And your conscience tells you it is social justice for a perfectly healthy person to take and keep on taking as it is to give and keep on giving?
            Please explain your so-called objectivity there.”

            The country is society? That is the level of your understanding of country and society?!! lol and me precious cute and dumb? lol So funny drongo.

            Do you know any perfectly healthy person who takes and keeps on taking? I don’t.

            I can’t see what objectivity has to do with this failure on your part to realise how lacking you are in an understanding of the real world and real people.

          • spangled drongo says:

            “Do you know any perfectly healthy person who takes and keeps on taking? I don’t.”

            And you accuse me of not understanding the real world. Oh, dear.

            Life is always a bit of a shipwreck and we must always remember to sing if we ever reach the lifeboats but in the meantime, among the swimmers, sinkers, helpers and patients it is better to keep at it than to waste time pointing fingers, imagining insults and kidding yourself that you are ahead of the game and worthy enough to pass judgement.

            You end up swallowing too much water.

          • tripitaka says:


            I said “Do you know any perfectly healthy person who takes and keeps on taking? I don’t.”

            And your response is “And you accuse me of not understanding the real world. Oh, dear.”

            So you don’t actually know anyone who is like this but you keep on accusing your fellow humans of being leaners.

            It should be easy to name or describe one person you know who is perfectly healthy and who takes and keeps on taking. There are so many of these leaners around aren’t there?

            Otherwise it’s clear you are just making stuff up and clogging up Don’s blog with off topic stuff.

            Now I do know I have lots of faults and one of them is that sometimes when I am procrastinating I find myself unable to ignore the stupid things you say even though I feel really bad about being part of all this off topic discussion that is cluttering up the thread.

          • margaret says:

            Tripitaka I’ve realised that I do I know perfectly healthy people who take and keep on taking!
            But they haven’t grown up. They are called babies and toddlers 🙂

          • spangled drongo says:

            “Do you know any perfectly healthy person who takes and keeps on taking? I don’t.”

            Please don’t be so obtuse, trip. You truly don’t get that you are claiming that perfectly healthy people don’t have entitlement mentalities?

            That you have never encountered any?

            How old are you?

            Where have you been all your life?

          • tripitaka says:

            drongo really we should take this to the off topic thread.

            you ask “You truly don’t get that you are claiming that perfectly healthy people don’t have entitlement mentalities?”

            I truly don’t understand what you mean by an ‘entitlement mentality’.

            Do you have a definition? Otherwise I’m just going to dismiss it as a vague and woolly concept that is used by people with a mentality that entitles them to denigrate other human beings. I have a hypothesis about why some people like to look down on others but I wonder if you know why you do like to do this?

            I think that ‘entitlement mentality’ is a politically correct term that is used to simplistically and ignorantly divide people into categories of good and bad. In other words it is a right wing idea that is not based on any knowledge about how people develop their attitudes and personalities and what motivates them.

            And I have never met a perfectly healthy person who just took and took and thought they were entitled to take and take. People who do this are not perfectly healthy.

            And furthermore what do you mean by ‘perfectly healthy’? Is there such a person? I don’t think so.

          • spangled drongo says:

            “drongo really we should take this to the off topic thread.”

            Who’s stopping you, tripluv?

            You started it so off you go now.

        • Doug Hurst says:

          Margaret – declaring poverty being judged only in relative terms to one’s own culture is a common nonsense of the self-loathing intent on painting us as a nasty, uncaring people. I totally reject it. The poor in Australia, for reasons I have listed, mostly live far better than the poor in India, and no amount of sophistry will change that fact.

          When we start re-defining poverty as being less rich than the average, we start to redirect our resources away from those in real need – i.e., the hungry, sick, homeless. I grew up in circumstances that today would be defined as poverty, but then were normal where I lived. But our parents had their priorities right. We were well fed, had clothes to wear and warm beds. And none of it came from government handouts, just hard work. Not surprisingly, I find your implied criticism of me not just tiresome, but borderline offensive.

          • margaret says:

            I think you have a very thin skin, but by all means be offended, jump over the border.
            The world is not the world you grew up in, nor me because I lived in at least three homes that had an outdoor dunny during my childhood and adolescence.
            So really, I’m finding you rather tiresome but not offensive. Good day.

          • margaret says:

            “Outhouses were in use in cities of developed countries (e.g. Australia) well into the second half of the twentieth century. They are still common in rural areas and also in cities of developing countries.”

            In fact my paternal grandfather, war damaged (to the detriment of not only himself but his subsequent wife and children), but a canny Scot with a brogue so pronounced that I couldn’t understand him left Leichhardt (where my father had been born in 1924), during the Depression to take up an “opportunity” in Kandos.
            It was the contract for night soil removal and at school my father was called ‘the shit King’. The grandfather was no ‘leaner’, he also ran an sp bookie operation and was the editor of the local newspaper … apropos of … off-topic! – oh so sorry BB!
            When you come to power my free speech will be taken away.

          • margaret says:

            Correction. My father was called the Shit Prince – it was his father who was the Shit King.
            Because it was Depression times and night soil collection was a contract, Bert had employees so, along with the sp bookie operation (my father recalled pound notes covering the floor of their living room), and the writing for the paper, the family lived better than a lot of the townsfolk.
            My father hid his shoes under the culvert on his way to school because most of his classmates didn’t have any.

  • Neville says:

    More of their con starts to emerge. A future of higher and higher bills, certainly heaps of pain and no future gain.
    Andrew Bolt, Herald Sun
    June 10, 2017 10:28am

    Seen the ads on TV from electricity supplier AGL boasting it will stop using terrible coal-fired electricity?

    Missing is the admission that this green zealotry comes at a terrible price:

    “AGL boasts:

    “Starting in 2022 and ending by 2050, we are getting out of coal. We already run Australia’s largest solar and wind farms.

    AGL announces the catch:

    AGL’s residential customers in NSW will have to pay 16 per cent – or on average $300 – more for electricity in the next financial year.

    And more in SA:

    AGL’s electricity prices in SA will rise by 18 per cent from July, costing the average household an extra $350 a year.

    The cause? In part the insane global warming policies that have shut down coal-fired power stations in South Australia and Victoria, and frightened off investment in new ones. From AGL:

    Wholesale prices have increased for a number of reasons, including high gas prices and limited gas availability on the east coast, the closure of ageing coal-fired generators, and an uncertain policy environment…

    Textbooks will one day be written about this madness and suicidal self-delusion. Provided we haven’t then lost the ability to write as well as reason”.

  • Colin Davidson says:

    The task of working out what to do should never have been given to a scientist – those guys never solve problems, they are not trained to do that, and so a muddle (as in this case) is a very likely result. The task should have been given to an engineer.

    The power generation system is essential to the prosperity and growth of our economy as well as our physical well-being. It should never have been the plaything of short-sighted and ignorant politicians.

    Before starting on a solution we need to identify the essential requirements for the system. These are:
    1. Power Quality (voltage, frequency, harmonic content, power factor, phase balance) shall be within specification.
    2. Power shall be made available in the quantity users require at the time they require it.
    3. Supply shall not be interrupted.
    4. The cost to consumers shall be minimised. (It is obvious that lower costs mean greater economic advantage and activity. On the other hand, higher costs mean that industry and people look elsewhere to do business/reside.)

    Recently it has become desirable to lower emissions of CO2, SO2, NO and NO2. So a fifth requirement, of lower importance than the essential ones, is to minimise emissions of these gases.

    Additions/modifications/upgrades to the existing power system should aim as a minimum not to degrade the first four requirements, and ideally will improve our economic advantage by improving power quality, availability and reliability while lowering cost.

    We desire to reduce emissions, and so seek to replace the existing coal fired stations. Replacement power generation assets which are consistent with the 5 requirements are: Hydro, gas, nuclear and the latest coal technology (55% efficient versus 33% now).

    Power generation assets which are not consistent with the 4 essential requirements are: Wind, solar, wave, hot rocks.

    The jury is out on Tidal.

    We can now starkly see what has been happening. Politicians have ignored engineering advice and placed the fifth, unessential requirement over the four essential ones. They have mandated changes to the system which have reduced power quality, reduced availability (aluminium smelters are being told when they can have power and when they cannot), increased blackouts, and massively increased costs.

    All connected wind generators and solar panels are very bad for the grid and therefore very bad for our economy. This includes home installed solar.

    Instead of wasting our economy on wind and solar, if we replaced all existing coal fired power stations with the latest technology (Japanese), we would achieve the same reduction in emissions at less cost and far better power quality, availability and reliability.

    One final point. It is often claimed that wind, solar, wave and hot rocks are “sustainable”. This is incorrect. These fitful, feeble power sources do not produce sufficient power over their lifetimes to build a replacement power system which meets the essential requirements. They have never been, and never will be, sustainable. On the other hand, Hydro is sustainable, and nuclear, gas and coal are sustainable for a few hundred years at least.

    • JimboR says:

      “The task should have been given to an engineer.”

      Finkel has a PhD in electrical engineering from Monash. Other expert panel members include the CEO of Energex, Terry Effeney also an electrical engineer and Mary O’Kane, once Professor of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at the University of Adelaide. Just a bunch of pesky experts telling us how to run an electricity grid!

      • Colin Davidson says:

        Jimbo, thank you for that correction. Nevertheless I cannot understand why they did not come to any correct end.

      • Don Aitkin says:

        Finkel is not only a graduate in electrical engineering but a neuroscientist, and is better known in that role. He is also an environmentalist, and wealthy enough to endow a chair at Monash.

      • JimboR says:

        “Finkel is not only a graduate in electrical engineering… ”

        But also a doctorate in electrical engineering. What’s your doctorate in Don?

      • Bryan Roberts says:

        The Chief Scientist is almost certainly appointed on the Peter Principle.

        • tripitaka says:

          You should have been appointed Chief Scientist Bryan? I suppose you were too busy lifting the country to get the qualifications that would have put you in the running for this appointemnt?

          It is amazing to me that the fantastically talented and intelligent blokes who inhabit this site are not running the country.

          • Bryan Roberts says:

            Don’t be stupid. I am a very talented scientist, but acknowledge that I would be a very poor administrator, and have never wanted to be one. No real scientist wants to end his days pushing paper around, no matter how famous he becomes.

        • tripitaka says:

          Are you really a talented scientist? I googled you and all I could find was a talented scientist called Bryan Roberts at LSE. Is that you? I’d be interested in reading your publications. Can you provide links?

          • Bryan Roberts says:

            Are you really that naive?

            I googled you and couldn’t find anything either.

        • tripitaka says:

          You mean am I naive enough to believe that you really are a “talented scientist” or what are you suggesting I am naive about?

          If you googled tripitaka I’m very surprised that you didn’t find anything. Are you sure you know how to google. A lot of old people don’t really understand how the internet works. 🙂

          • Bryan Roberts says:

            “what are you suggesting I am naive about?”

            I think I’ll leave you in ignorance. I’m not interested in playing games, especially with someone who’s not very good at them. I also find childish sneers tedious in the extreme.

      • Thorfinn says:

        Political engineers are more common.

    • JimboR says:

      “…solar panels are very bad for the grid and therefore very bad for our economy. This includes home installed solar.”

      That’s a bit of a dated view. When determining how to deal with the over-voltage conditions they can cause, grid operators quickly realised those privately owned PV inverters bolted to the sides of people’s houses can be turned into a very useful asset for voltage regulation in the LV network, something they’ve never been particularly good at in the past, even prior to widespread solar. By simply regulating that all new PV inverters must be able to inject/absorb reactive power, Germany, California and even Qld as of 1/1/2015 are all moving towards a more stable grid. Obviously it doesn’t retrospectively apply to inverters installed before that date, but when they eventually fail they will be replaced by inverters complying with the new standards.

      There’s a layman’s version here:

      and a meatier analysis here:

      • Colin Davidson says:

        Jimbo kindly responded to my claim that Solar is a threat to the Grid. That threat is threefold:
        1. In the middle of the day when clouds pass overhead the output from the panels drastically falls without warning. And when the cloud passes on at some later indeterminate time the output suddenly resumes full blast again. So the grid has to be able to cope with short-term fluctuations of random amplitude. This has big potential to degrade power quality and some potential to decrease resilience of the grid.
        2. In Canberra last winter there was a two week period when we had no sun at all, and this coincided with an approximately 1 week period when the whole of South-Eastern Australia was without sun. The generation system therefore needs to be able to produce full load for extended periods without any solar contributions. One could try to cover the shortfall (which coincided with no wind for a week) with batteries or pumped storage, but the investment required would be enormous – trillions of dollars. (A really good book on power generation options is Sustainable Energy – without the hot air (available free as an e-book at ) by David Mackay FRS, a physics professor at Cambridge University, sadly now deceased. His chapter on power storage starts at page 186, and it is clear that providing back-up storage is a difficult problem, and very expensive to resolve without using fossil fuelled power sources.)
        3. The Duck Curve. See and

        • JimboR says:

          Yes, those issues have been around for quite a while now, and are well understood, especially here in SEQ. Mike Swantson from Energex gave a good presentation way back at Solar 2013. As he says, it’s much more a commercial issue than a technical one.

          “But Swanston said the “vast majority” of urban networks are “solid as a rock.” “The introduction of solar from a technical point of view is not a problem,” he said. That should not be a surprise, because it echoes a CSIRO study last year that suggested that networks should be able to absorb up to 40 per cent with little problem. If there was an issue, it was not likely to be the fault of solar.

          As mentioned above, the issue are not so much technical issues as commercial ones. Swanston vigorously defended the right of the network operators to recoup their investment, but he made clear that over the long-term it would require a change to the way that customers were billed – continuing on the kilowatt-hour basis would accelerate the “death spiral,” while raising fixed charges was also an unlikely long-term solution. (Others have pointed out that it would likely cause a backlash from consumers, and reduce incentives for energy efficiency).”

          • Colin Davidson says:

            Jimbo cites a spokesperson from Energex, a company in receipt of massive subsidies for the incorrectly named “renewables” . He also claims that a system can absorb up to 40% of renewables.
            I would like to know where in the world, other than that basket case of South Australia, there is a 40% penetration of renewables. In other countries, 20% is seen as an upper limit, see
            A comment from that link:
            “Rotating equipment like steam turbine generators, diesel generators have inertia and buffer out these problems. A Steam turbine generator has so much inertia that in testing generators I have witnessed the frequency and voltage remain within 1% of normal for more than 10 seconds after a trip. Inverters do not have inertia, thus they will rapidly (less than a second) cause high reactive currents and havoc on the grid. When the total grid power provided by these electronic inverter devices (Wind/Solar) is about 10% of total load it is not much of a problem. At 20% it gets kinda dicy as that could cause reactive and circulating currents at the limits of the existing safety limits/trips, when there is an unexpected loss of a large generator. When inverter fed power is about 30% get ready for a system that is about as reliable as a Model T Ford. And buy your own emergency generator if you have a large freezer full of food or if your life depends on having electricity 24/7/365 with less than a few hour or so outages.”

            “There is a limit to how much of a variable power source like wind can be accommodated by the system and the DOE estimated that limit to be about 20% of the total electrical power generated. In addition, after adding this new wind power, the system will continue to need natural gas fired, on-demand, dispatchable power to achieve a balance between supply and demand.”
            [Note: “Dispatchable” is the technical term for controllable.]

            “In 2015, wind and solar PV amounted to only 12.2% of total electricity consumed in Hawaii, based on EIA data. Even at this low level, Hawaii is encountering sufficiently serious grid problems that…”

            “California is running into grid issues at a similar level of intermittent electricity penetration (wind + solar PV) as Hawaii–about 12.3% of electricity consumed in 2015, compared to 12.2% for Hawaii.”

            “Germany is known as a world leader in intermittent electricity generation. Its intermittent generation hit 12.2% of total generation in 2012. As you will recall, this is the level where California and Hawaii started to reach grid problems. By 2015, its intermittent electricity amounted to 19.5% of total electricity generated.
            Needless to say, such high intermittent electricity generation leads to frequent spikes in generation. Germany chose to solve this problem by dumping its excess electricity supply on the European Union electric grid. Poland, Czech Republic, and Netherlands complained to the European Union. As a result, the European Union mandated that from 2017 onward, all European Union countries (not just Germany) can no longer use feed-in tariffs. Doing so provides too much of an advantage to intermittent electricity providers. Instead, EU members must use market-responsive auctioning, known as “feed-in premiums.” Germany legislated changes that went even beyond the minimum changes required by the European Union. Dörte Fouquet, Director of the European Renewable Energy Federation, says that the German adjustments will “decimate the industry.”

          • JimboR says:

            Colin, I think you completely misunderstood the 40% quote. The Energex spokesman was saying up to 40% of houses in an urban sub-network can have solar panels on their roofs before the urban networks struggle.

            That is entirely different from claiming you can easily run your entire grid off 40% renewables, especially if it’s extremely intermittent renewals like solar panels.

        • JimboR says:

          “clouds pass overhead the output from the panels drastically falls without warning. And when the cloud passes on at some later indeterminate time the output suddenly resumes full blast again. So the grid has to be able to cope with short-term fluctuations of random amplitude.”

          It already has to deal with that, with or without solar. Your average residential system around these parts is 3-4kW which is about the same as two electric kettles or an electric hotwater element. To the grid, a 4kW PV inverter suddenly dropping off because of clouds, looks exactly the same as a 4kW hotwater element coming on. And the inverter suddenly coming back on again as the cloud passes looks exactly like a 4kW hotwater element going off.

          Now you could argue that clouds can impact entire areas at the same time so that’s more like entire ‘hoods turning their kettles on at the same time which is less common, although curiously not in Britain. Their grid suffers from a fascinating phenomenon known as “TV pickup”. It’s estimated that 1.75 million electric kettles get switched on when Eastenders comes to an end each evening.

          The grid managers can even see the synchronised flushing of toilets and opening of fridge doors during ad breaks! Some TV pickup records are listed here:

          They also show how futile mass switch-off campaigns are…. generating more C02 than they save.

          • Colin Davidson says:

            Jimbo responded to my post on solar panels.
            Near where I live are two very large foreign-owned solar farms, engendered by an ignorant and possibly corrupt government. The farms have capacity of 20 and 13 MW, I’m unsure if that is peak or average rating but take it as peak. Intermittency of that magnitude definitely increases risk to the grid.

          • JimboR says:

            Yes, large scale VRE is a whole different kettle of fish, and one that Finkel et al discuss in detail. All my replies above were specifically about your “This includes home installed solar.” claim. They’re not a problem because:

            a. they’re about the power-size of typical household loads coming on/off, which happens all the time
            b. grid operators have found ways to use privately owned inverters to actually improve the quality of their LV network by demanding that they be able to produce/absorb reactive power.

            As Energex reports above, in some newer estates they have 11kV feeders that run backwards in the middle of the day, and they “deal with it”.

          • JimboR says:

            “20 and 13 MW, I’m unsure if that is peak or average rating but take it as peak. Intermittency of that magnitude definitely increases risk to the grid.”

            And just to put that in some perspective… on the afternoon 12th Feb. this year, 787 MW of coal and gas fired generation dropped out unexpectedly, because they got too hot.


          • Colin Davidson says:

            Installed solar is a problem because of the Duck Curve – the ramping rate imposed on the other grid assets ed at the end of the day, which increases as more and more solar panels are installed.

          • JimboR says:

            A problem for whom? Certainly not Energex. Sunsets are fairly predictable!

          • JimboR says:

            The duck curve is an illustration of commercial problem, not a technical one. Grid operators have to build their grid to deal with evening peaks, and rooftop solar PV (without storage) does nothing to assist with that, but it does cut into overall demand (the duck’s back). If network operators are trying to recoup their relatively fixed network costs on a per kWh basis and they’re now selling less kWh overall, the prices go up. Those that haven’t lept onto the solar bandwagon end up paying a bigger share of the network costs than those that have, even though both are equally responsible for the evening peak demand that dictates those network costs.

            There have been various attempts to balance that inequity, including time-of-day metering, and higher fixed daily connection fees.

          • Colin Davidson says:

            The duck curve is a technical problem. You need to have the assets in the grid which can take upo the rapid ramp rate as the sun goes down at the same time as consumer demand is increasing. It is not a commercial but a technical issue, a consequence of solar panels.

  • Neville says:

    I know it’s hard to get people to concentrate on the real planet earth and not some delusional fantasy planet, but I’ll try AGAIN.

    In 2012 OECD countries emitted just 12.8 bn Tonnes of co2 pa, but NON OECD countries ( China, India etc) emitted 19.5 bn Ts pa. The projection for 2040 is OECD to increase to 13.8 bn Ts pa ( just 8% increase) and the NON OECD to increase to 29.4 bn Ts pa or an increase of 51% and from a much higher base.

    So 2040 co2 emissions are projected to be OECD just 1 bn Ts pa more and NON OECD are projected to increase by 9.9 bn Ts pa. That’s an NON OECD increase of over 9.9 times the OECD countries. Why are OECD pollies, journos and media too stupid to understand these simple numbers? I know for a fact that most people have a very poor grasp of these facts. Here is the relevant part of the US govt 2016 EIA report and the link. Just a look at the EIA co2 graph should wake anyone up to their fra-dulent mitigation nonsense.

    Because anthropogenic emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) result primarily from the combustion of fossil fuels, energy consumption
    is at the center of the climate change debate. In the International Energy Outlook 2016 (IEO2016) Reference case, world energyrelated
    CO2 emissions331 increase from 32.3 billion metric tons in 2012 to 35.6 billion metric tons in 2020 and to 43.2 billion
    metric tons in 2040. The Reference case estimates do
    not include effects of the recently finalized Clean Power
    Plan (CPP) regulations in the United States, which reduce
    projected U.S. emissions in 2040 by 0.5 billion metric tons.
    Much of the growth in emissions is attributed to developing
    nations outside the Organization for Economic Cooperation
    and Development (OECD), many of which continue to rely
    heavily on fossil fuels to meet the fast-paced growth of
    energy demand. In the IEO2016 Reference case, non-OECD
    emissions in 2040 total 29.4 billion metric tons, or about 51%
    higher than the 2012 level. In comparison, OECD emissions
    total 13.8 billion metric tons in 2040, or about 8% higher than
    the 2012 level (Table 9-1 and Figure 9-1)”.

  • Aert Driessen says:

    Don, all our politicians have clearly demonstrated over a decade at least that they are not capable of solving this problem. Finkel’s report contributes nothing. I regard this issue as more important to Australia than Britain’s concerns regarding its issues with the European Union. So why not have a single issue referendum similar to Britain’s brexit? A simple question along the lines of showing a preference either for reliable and cheap power and job security albeit with more CO2 perhaps causing some warming versus expensive and unreliable power leading to job insecurity. As Colin Davidson pointed out above, Finkel was out of his depth writing an ‘engineering-like’ report, with uncosted proposals. As a scientist , Finkel could then make his contribution to the referendum question by saying how much more CO2 would be emitted by option one over option 2, and how this difference in CO2 emissions would affect the planet’s climate. The choice would then be ours. I think the cheap power choice would win hands down.

  • JimboR says:

    “At the time of writing I have only read extracts from the Report, which seems to have been widely circulated to the media but not to the public.”

    Perhaps you should have held off. Try here:

    “I could find no references to the dispatch problem — the more solar and wind you have in the system the more unreliable it becomes, and the more you have to back those sources up.”

    Try Chapter 2 Increased Security, it’s quite detailed.

    • Don Aitkin says:

      Why should I have held off? Every paper in the country seemed to have been given a copy before or on Friday, but it was not accessible to citizens.

      Chapter 2 does not deal at all with the real problems of integrating VRE with the system. It simply waves it all away: ‘a number of studies have found that there are no technical barriers to a high VRE penetration in the Australian context’. Who said so? The Clea Energy Finance Corporation. Oh dear, now there’s a disinterested source…

    • JimboR says:

      The report was released yesterday. You complain of a wealth of topics to write on this week, and then settled for reviewing a report that you hadn’t read yet, and it shows.

      Did you read all of chapter 2? I think your accusation that they have waved anything away is totally unfounded. I suspect the reality is, once again you didn’t understand the physics, so you skipped it. What are your views on Recommendations 2.1 and 2.3 for example? Or the requirements laid out in Box 2.3? The mention of demand-side frequency response is an interesting one too, don’t you think? But what do we get from you?

      “the more solar and wind you have in the system the more unreliable it becomes, and the more you have to back those sources up.”

      I can see you’re as expert at electrical engineering as you are at climate science.

      • Don Aitkin says:


        It was not available at 8 pm when I was writing my essay. Yet it had been provided to newspapers on Thursday, since all of the majors had news stories about what it was ‘expected’ Finkel would say (and correctly expected).

        Recommendations 2.1 and 2.3 are in the right direction. But you haven’t dealt with the lack of any substantial discussion of the real difficulties in increasing VRE as part of the energy generation mix. There is abundant material all over the Internet about the problems, and plenty of examples from Europe of how expected energy from solar and wind was not forthcoming, and countries suddenly had to buy it from elsewhere.

        To be told that The Clean Finance Corporation said there were no technical barriers is fatuous, and suggestive that Finkel hoped that most readers wouldn’t press the point I do press the point, and I’ve written quite a bit about the subject in the last few years (no Jimbo, you do the work and read them yourself).

        And yes, I did read Chapter 2. Now you show me where the discussion about potential difficulties is in Chapter two, and then, just maybe, I will consider your view that my reaction is ‘totally unfounded’. You’re good at the big accusations, Jimbo, but not at examining evidence that is contrary to your own views, like so many who ‘believe’.

      • JimboR says:

        Don your comments here suggest you don’t understand Chapter 2. I don’t feel I’m the one in this exchange with any outstanding homework.

  • Chris Warren says:


    Slandering people with tags of “new religion” does you no good.

    Global warming is based on science – absorption spectra, and data – interpreted on a solid basis of chemistry and physics.

    NASA, CSIRO, and the Royal Society are NOT religious institutions.

    • Don Aitkin says:

      Chris, when people say they ‘believe’ in climate change, and are not interested in looking at the data, then I see religion. What do you call it?

      • Neville says:

        Don there is no doubt their CAGW is a religion. I’ve provided the data and evidence about the fra-udulent mitigation con for a long time, but they still refuse to understand the numbers.
        You see they are barracking for a side and couldn’t care less about the data or evidence and use infantile arguments to try and make themselves feel better.
        I’ve asked them to explain how the OECD countries could make a difference and then provide the EIA and IEA data to support my claims, yet they still maintain it doesn’t matter.
        The data easily proves my case yet they still cling to their silly mitigation cult and crazy religious dogma. Their crazy mitigation con is like a herd of elephants in the room but they just ignore data, evidence, simple maths and common sense.
        I mean even Hansen tells them that Paris COP 21 is BS and fra-d and S&W energy is a fairytale and yet they still believe. Truly frightening to see these people cling to silly religious dogma and ignore all the overwhelming evidence.

      • Chris Warren says:


        You need better reasons than that for throwing around the religion canard. Just look at a simple example;

        I believe the Earth is round and I am not interested in looking at the data.

        This does not mean that my belief in a round Earth is a “religion”.

        I believe murder is bad and I am not interested in looking at the data.

        This does not mean that my belief about murder is a “religion”.

        Anyone tagging such claims as “religion” are in-effect supporting, flat Earth murder.

      • tripitaka says:

        It’s so silly but it’s all you’ve got Don, to focus on the way people use a word like ‘believe’. It isn’t significant and isn’t indicative of any religious feeling toward climate change.

        Ordinary people do not carefully choose the way they use words. We say we believe because it is the most obvious word to use in response to people who are denying what the scientists are saying.

        We believe in science and we believe that science is finding the ‘truth’ because there is no evidence that science is corrupt or stupid or wrong.

        • margaret says:

          Yes what is an alternative word? It can only be an ‘agree-er’. Believe it or not, sceptics, who basically are supposed not to believe ANYTHING, do believe that AGW is not harmful to the future of the planet. Funny that because the so-called believers are in line with the scientific community and the sceptics who believe in the scientific method, don’t ‘believe’ them. Ironic … no?
          Do they also believe that the invention of plastic in the fifties is a wonder of modern life?

        • JimboR says:

          “there is no evidence that science is corrupt or stupid or wrong.”

          Apparently it’s not just the climate scientists.. the electrical engineers are in on it now too. Where will it stop? Is their no profession that hasn’t been corrupted by all this green nonsense? After an entire state goes into darkness for a day or two, we set up an expert panel that includes a PhD in Electrical Engineering and an ex Professor of Electrical and Electronic Engineering giving us a detailed roadmap to grid stability, but Don with his keen eye and background in political science and history can see right through it….

          “Finkel hoped that most readers wouldn’t press the point I do press the point”

          Perhaps Don is the only expert panel the government ever needs in any area. Those consulting fees might help pay for his ever increasing utility bills.

        • Doug Hurst says:

          We all know that the world is round because massive amounts of data, including photos from space, tell us so and there is no opposing data suggesting otherwise. With climate, it’s quite different. We have a hypothesis telling us we face dangerous climate change from rising human-induced atmospheric CO2 levels, but data telling us nothing unusual or dangerous is happening. We also know CO2 is a bit player in a big green house picture in which solar variations, ocean heat transfers and cloud all play important roles, but as yet are unquantified and so rarely considered in climate models – which, in the main, have consistently and wildly exaggerated possible changes to temperature and sea levels. Good science should produce good predictions – and that’s not happening.

          To that, we can add the geological knowledge that for 80% of Earth’s history there were no ice caps, and 60% of the Holocene (the period since the last ice age ended some 12 000 years ago) has been a degree or more warmer than now that tells us there is no ‘standard climate’ and nothing unusual is happening.

          There’s more, but that’s enough to back up Don’s claim that ‘belief’ in the face of such contrary facts, smacks more of religion than science. This is also true of undue faith in abstract concepts like ‘renewable energy’ that sound good, but so far have failed to produce anything that works 24/7 to produce the quantity of affordable power needed to run a modern country.

          • Chris Warren says:


            You are wrong.

            but data telling us nothing unusual or dangerous is happening.

            There is plenty of data, all showing warming in the lower layers of the atmosphere and cooling in the top layers. This is unusual and dangerous.

    • Colin Davidson says:

      Chris clams that the science of global warming is soundly based.
      The claims made by activist scientists are based on the projections (weasel-speak for predictions) made by the Global Circulation Models, of which there are over 100. These models in turn are based on the current physical theory (chemistry not required).
      But there is a problem. When the models predict from 1975 to the present, the actual measurements of temperature by weather balloons and satellites lie outside two standard deviations from the mean of the models. And furthermore the tropical mid-tropospheric hotspot which should be evident is completely missing. In short these results throw grave doubt on the current physics used by the modellers.

      There are two possibilities which come to mind. The first of these is that the calculation of forcing may be wrong. There is no doubt that when you look at tropical clear air spectra(see for example the spectra at ) the increase in absorption (including the increased emission to Space from the 630 to 710 cm^-1 band) for a CO2 doubling is around 3.5W/m2. But the situation for emissions when it is cloudy (about 62% of the planet) is more murky. In the 50% of the planet within latitudes 30 degrees either side of the sun’s declination, there will be a small increase (yes increase) in emissions to space, probably offset by a decrease in the other 50% of the planet. So the net decrease in radiation to space is considerably less than the 3.5W/m2, probably only around 2.5W/m2.

      The second is the problematic water vapour feedback, which provides positive feedback, on average inflating predictions (sorry, WW projections) by a factor of 3, precisely the problem with the models. It could well be that this part of the physics is wrong, as there should be a hotspot arising from this feedback, and we know that it isn’t there.

      What is clear is that the measurements show, and have always shown, that the model projections are wrong, and therefore the physics used in the models is wrong. To claim otherwise is incorrect.

      At present the global warming physics used in the models has about the same status as the Piltdown Man or Phlogiston.

      • Chris Warren says:


        Your claim:

        the tropical mid-tropospheric hotspot which should be evident is completely missing.

        is false.

        The hotspot is clearly shown in balloon data here:

        The only point is that the hot spot is somewhat less than what was predicted. However the underlying physics is correct. There is a GHG heat trap so warming is occurring below and cooling is occurring above. So please do not make false assertions that the physics is wrong. This is your error.

        Your claim:

        When the models predict from 1975 to the present, the actual measurements of temperature by weather balloons and satellites lie outside two standard deviations from the mean of the models is also false.

        You can see the comparison of observations to models at fig 1.4 here:

        • Colin Davidson says:

          Chris kindly responded to me:
          “The hotspot is clearly shown in balloon data here:

          The only point is that the hot spot is somewhat less than what was predicted. However the underlying physics is correct. There is a GHG heat trap so warming is occurring below and cooling is occurring above. ”
          What I see in the linked plot is that if the hotspot exists it is less than 0.1DegC (I had a look at the twice daily balloon measurements over Hawaii from 1972 through to the present, and can see no hotspot at 300hPa). Furthermore this is less than half the model predictions shown on the same plot. So the models are clearly incorrect, over predicting by a factor of nearly three.
          See also and

          “Your claim:
          When the models predict from 1975 to the present, the actual measurements of temperature by weather balloons and satellites lie outside two standard deviations from the mean of the models is also false.
          You can see the comparison of observations to models at fig 1.4 here:

          The cited reference shows a plot of predictions versus data to about 2012. It is clear that the measurements are running right at the lower bounds of the model predictions. The plot is not the latest science. The latest is
          That graph shows the average of runs of the different models in common use. The results are devastating for the models.
          • The real world observations lie outside the 95% confidence limits of the models.
          • The model average rate of warming is around 3 times the observed rate.
          • The null hypothesis, that there would be no global warming for increased CO2 levels, fits the real world more closely than the expensive models.
          In most fields of science this would call the theory into question – the measurements reveal there is something critically wrong with the assumed mechanism by which CO2 is supposed to warm the atmosphere. (A really good discussion of the statistics is at . The conclusion: a model run will be warmer than an observed trend more than 99.5% of the time.)
          In a subsequent published paper in J. Climate entitled Comparing Tropospheric Warming in Climate Models and Satellite Data, Santer et al. use a combination of lesser-known satellite datasets and neglect of radiosonde data to reduce the model bias to only 1.7 times too much warming. But in doing so they ignore the other data from satellites and radiosondes.
          Christy comments: “My testimony in Dec 2015 and Feb 2016 included all observational datasets in their latest versions at that time. Santer et al. neglected the independent datasets generated from balloon measurements. The brand new “hot” satellite dataset (NOAAv4.0) used by Santer et al. to my knowledge has no documentation.”
          The objective assessment is that the Christy testimony has not been credibly refuted, that the models indeed are useless for prediction, and therefore useless for public policy decision making. The physics on which the Global Warming hypothesis is based is in error (and we don’t know what the error is, but it seems likely that water vapour feedback is not properly understood), and leads to grossly incorrect and inflated forecasts of future temperature.

      • Doug Hurst says:

        Chris – the rate and amount of temperature and sea level change is slight, in no way unprecedented and certainly not dangerous if it continues. The temperatures have been up to 10C higher in the past, and the seas much lower and higher, and the planet has survived. There is no standard climate from which we are departing. CO2 levels during some ice ages were up to 10 times those today. Etc – In other words, the data refutes the hypothesis of dangerous and unprecedented climate change.

        Furthermore, our knowledge of the atmosphere was almost zero until the 20th century, so as we learn about it now how can we say it’s unusual and dangerous? And as you claim it is, perhaps you could tell us why.

        And I am not wrong about the geological history of the world – it is well established and easily accessed. I suggest you read what I wrote – I am not going to repeat it to humour you.

  • David says:

    Don you are hopelessly partisan. You write “the Greens don’t like the Report at all, …..”

    Yet the website quotes Brant as follows

    “The Finkel Report is full of good ideas, but the key proposal of a Low Emissions Target is far worse than the version John Howard announced in 2007 and will see consumers subsidise gas and let coal keep polluting,” he [Adam Brant] said.


    • Don Aitkin says:

      Ah well, you read into the website what you like, and I look at what they say. ‘A lot of good ideas’ has to be balanced by the rest of the statement.

  • Neville says:

    Here is the EIA data graph showing the use of coal around the world from 1990 to 2030.
    China uses more coal than all of the rest of the world combined and when you throw in all the other NON OECD countries the evidence is very clear that mitigation of their so called CAGW is obviously BS and fra-d.
    If the OECD countries are really stupid enough to waste endless trillions $ on this mitigation fra-d the NON OECD will be rubbing their hands with glee.

  • Peter Kemmis says:

    The Finkel report and the events that led to its commission, are just further instances of the orthodox view about global warming retreating another step. This is a “bob each way” report, a compromise seeking to meet the demand for supply certainty, while at the same time hoping to calm the nerves and comfort the subsidised wallets of the renewables lobby, while reassuring climate alarmists that all is not lost. What the report does not do, nor were its terms of reference so charged, is to raise any question of what the fuss is all about.

    Over thirty years ago we were told that we are on an unprecedented path of global warming; delightfully ironic, as only a decade previously we had been told we were on the brink of another glaciation, by people such as James Hansen. But the language changed when it became clear in this new century that the rate of warming was slowing, as real observations fell quite out of step with the climate models; so now we call it “climate change”, which is no more than a confusing euphemism for “global warming”. For any reasonable person with a grasp of historical or geological history, accepts readily that the climate always changes. But the change of terminology was in fact a retreat, a retreat in the face of contradictory evidence. A clever retreat, using a term against which only the irrational or ignorant would argue, a term under whose skirts all manner of climate behaviours can huddle, from cyclones to sea levels, glacier movements to desertification, droughts to drenching rains.

    The focus of the media (which leads as well as rides along with public perceptions) started to shift again a few years ago; we started talking more about renewable energy, all the while ignoring what were the primary reasons for its embrace. So just as “climate change” has been used as a synonym for “global warming”, renewable energy has become another proxy for the same thing. So if one questions the need for renewable energy, one is condemned for churlish, irresponsible and utterly selfish carelessness about our planet.

    The questioning will continue, the contrary evidence will mount, and there will be further retreats. Eventually civilisation will shrug off this nonsense, as it has with so many other impediments to social and technological progress. (I won’t digress into other major social issues of local and global significance, but I am thinking of them as I affirm my optimism.)

    So what will be the next retreats? Other Finkel-like reviews in Europe, probably. Other countries reviewing their Paris positions, particularly in view of Trump’s recent action on one of his major pre-election commitments. And in due course, we’ll have more dilution of the Finkel report. Meanwhile, as other posters have noted, there may be a real Trojan horse planted in the renewables camp, of their having to ensure stability of supply. Ouch! help!! More subsidies, please? And the other bit I like is the requirement for electricity retailers to note on consumers’ power bills, the costs of their Clean Energy Certificates. The tide of realism eventually washes over all.

  • Neville says:

    Howard Brady is an award winning scientist who looked at their CAGW scare and found a maze of problems. Here are some of his youtube videos.

    Here is a summary of his book”Mirrors and Mazes” and it is interesting that he finds so many problems with their AGW science. He found that the beach near Nowra NSW is advancing seaward and temps were much higher on the NSW coast 8,000 years ago.

    He also read the Viking Greenland diaries and confirmed that it was much warmer during the Med WP than it is today. Of course the Viking burial sites are now locked in permafrost and that ground today is as hard as steel.

  • Chris Warren says:

    Colin Davidson

    Any individual, such as Christy, making a submission to a Senate inquiry, is not “latest science”.

    In any case, even using Christy data, the observations all show global warming with a distinct hot spot as predicted.

    The amount of warming is a different matter.

    You can view a whole range of observations available through numerous online tools.

    The clear fact is that lower layers of the atmosphere are warming, and top layers are cooling.

    If this continues long enough there will be more than a climate catastrophe. Continuous heat trapping will result in an ecological catastrophe.

    The only issues are:

    – whether the amount of warming will be self limiting due to a logarithmic relationship
    – whether we can have the entire global population living a life style so that C emissions do not exceed the C sink
    – whether we can devise means of extracting from the atmosphere and/or sequestering C from industrial exhausts.

    But no matter what, the amount of C we emit must not exceed the amount the environment can reabsorb.

    So says science.

    • Bryan Roberts says:

      “So says science”

      Yeah, well, observation says Pacific island nations have not yet been engulfed by the sea. I won’t be around in 2100, and neither will you, but I’ll bet the Pacific islands will be.

      • Chris Warren says:

        Bryan Roberts

        By 2100 the sea level will be around 1 foot higher than in 2000.

        So you should have said:

        Not all of the Pacific Islands will still be around in 2100.

        If GHG accumulation has not levelled-off by then, the next decades could well be very grim indeed.

        • spangled drongo says:

          Whether the SLs will be higher or lower will have nothing to do with it. Overpopulated islands may erode away and the rest will survive.

          Thanks for showing your grasp of the subject, BC.

        • Colin Davidson says:

          Chris says correctly that “By 2100 the sea level will be around 1 foot higher than in 2000.”
          That rate of rise is about the same as the rise in the 20th century (about 8 inches).

          Chris goes on to say “Not all of the Pacific Islands will still be around in 2100. If GHG accumulation has not levelled-off by then, the next decades could well be very grim indeed.”

          OK here’s a challenge. Sea level has been rising for around 2 centuries, the evidence is that the rate has been constant but may be decreasing (see for example ). Darwin noted that atolls rise and fall in step with sea level.
          Since the sea has been rising at roughly constant rate for so long, Chris should be able to back up his claim that “Not all of the Pacific Islands will still be around in 2100” by citing examples where atolls have already disappeared.
          My bet is that there is no such instance, that Darwin was right, and that the claim is wrong.

        • Bryan Roberts says:

          These sorts of statements are made all the time. In relation to the Pacific Islands, the BOM’s own data fail to show any discernible trends over the past 25 years.

          • NH says:

            From the link provided by you:
            Table 1 – Updated Rates of Sea Level Movement (rise in mm/year since 1992-1993)
            Federated States of Micronesia 6.3
            PNG 5.1
            Nauru 5.2
            Samoa 8.4
            Tonga 6.8

          • Bryan Roberts says:

            Like catastrophic, man. We’re all gonna die for sure.

          • NH says:

            Thanks for your reply SD. I was really only reponding to the statement that “the BOM’s own data fail to show any discernible trends over the last 25 years”. Clearly the BOM’s own data show very high rises.

            Now you have provided some data from a different source – GLOSS. In the case of PNG it is for the period 1966-1997 and it shows a trend of -2.59mm/yr with an uncertainty of +/-4.92mm. I am not suggesting that such a high uncertainty cancels the usefulness of such a record, but it should be noted that acoustic tide gauges as used by BOM are far more accurate than the float gauge used at Rabaul.
            You have also pointed to the rate at Yap in Micronesia -0.41mm/yr. According to GLOSS Pohnpei, also in Micronesia, had a rate of +3.87. Fiji was +6.3mm/yr between 1972 and 2011. This station also had an acoustic tide gauge.
            Such divergences are indeed a puzzle. Part of the answer may be in obsolete instruments and land movement. In general the acoustic tide gauge record agrees very well with the satellite record, at least in the western Pacific.

            I appreciate that you have stuck to the data without extra comments. I will add that if you would talk to some of the officers at the island stations and in the National Tide Centre you will find they are competent and dedicated, not the crooks that some here like to imagine.

    • spangled drongo says:

      “with a distinct hot spot as predicted.”

      “So says science.”

      You quite sure about that, BC?

    • Colin Davidson says:

      Chris kindly responded to my detailed post on why the physics used in the models is definitely wrong.
      To respond to his points:
      1. John Christy is a prominent climate scientist in charge of the UAH team which produces one of the two satellite data sets used by all climate scientists. I note that he also produced the curve which Chris alluded to in his first critique at
      2. Chris claims there is a prominent hot spot. I don’t see one – or if there is it is tiny, less than 0.1 Deg C. There isn’t one in the data from 1972 to the present in the balloon measurements over Hilo in Hawaii – there is no statistical rise in the temperature difference between the ground and 300hPa. There should be a large hotspot, and there is not – again look at the predictions in the link and compare them to the measurements.
      3. Chris concedes that the warming is less than predicted. And that is the main point – the warming is so much less than predicted by the models that it calls into question the validity of the physics used in those models. That is why the statistical tests applied by McIntyre are so important – he confirms that this is not something which is a minor difficulty or an insignificant faux pas, but that the models are 99.5% certain to over-predict.
      4. Chris then goes on to claim climate catastrophe. But I am very unsure what he is now basing his claim on. We know that the models used by the activists grossly and unscientifically exaggerate any warming. Taking the measured model errors into account, at most the warming from a doubling of CO2 is One Degree Centigrade. We know from settled geological and archaeological science that that amount of temperature rise would be wholly beneficial to all lifeforms on the planet. We know from the settled agricultural science that the increase in CO2 would provide a massive increase in crop yields, in addition to the increases due to increased arable land and increased rainfall.

      The physics used by the models is incomplete or wrong.
      The models are so wrong in their predictions to date that it is unsafe to use them for predictions of future state.

      • Chris Warren says:


        1) There are many more prominent scientists who reject Christy conclusions. No august public-funded scientific institution has endorsed his claims.

        2) If you look at the chart again you will see a clear temperature bulge at around 300 hPa.

        3) The obvious trend corroborates the science. If there was no GHG’s the temperature trend would be a sloped straight line passing through 0.05 at around 300 hPa. So the anomaly is currently around 0.15 at this point. Tagging something as tiny is both subjective and unscientific. The current amount is not the key point – it is the trend. We know that the cooling at the top of the atmosphere is huge and the Earth’s lower atmosphere and oceans are warming.

        4) Catastrophe is guaranteed if the trends continue long enough.

        Why do people say, against all evidence that there is no hotspot?

        This is denialism – the evidence is right in front of them.

        • Colin Davidson says:

          I would like to thank Chris for his response to my post.
          We are discussing the plot here
          Chris said: “The obvious trend corroborates the science. If there was no GHG’s the temperature trend would be a sloped straight line passing through 0.05 at around 300 hPa. So the anomaly is currently around 0.15 at this point. ”
          I don’t agree. If there was no hotspot, the line of observations would be vertical at 0.13 Deg C (the increase in ground temperature). The actual 300hPa is about 0.18 so there is a 0.05DegC hotspot. Compared to the prediction of around 0.24 DegC this is about a quarter of the expected amount.
          Chris also said: “There are many more prominent scientists who reject Christy conclusions. No august public-funded scientific institution has endorsed his claims.” I cited the work by McIntyre which looked at Christy’s work and criticism of it by the head of NASA GISS, Gavin Schmidt, a well known/prominent activist scientist. McIntyre demolished Schmidt’s claims at
          [ It may be of interest also that the publicly funded NASA GISS is under attack for their dodgy climate work, for example:
          “Summarizing: NASA has completely erased the post-1940 cooling. They turned Tom Karl’s 1921-1979 cooling into 0.5C warming, and have more than doubled 1880 to 1999 warming since their own 2001 temperature graph. Malfeasance like this in most professions would have serious consequences for the perpetrators. The NASA temperature record is wildly unsupportable garbage…”
          This is the opening paragraph of a 2012 letter by 49 former NASA employees
          “We, the undersigned, respectfully request that NASA and the Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) refrain from including unproven remarks in public releases and websites. We believe the claims by NASA and GISS, that man-made carbon dioxide is having a catastrophic impact on global climate change are not substantiated, especially when considering thousands of years of empirical data. With hundreds of well-known climate scientists and tens of thousands of other scientists publicly declaring their disbelief in the catastrophic forecasts, coming particularly from the GISS leadership, it is clear that the science is NOT settled…”]

          I am unaware of other criticisms of Christy’s claims, and would be grateful for any links Chris can provide.

          Chris also says “This is denialism – the evidence is right in front of them” Yep. The temperature observations lie outside 2 standard deviations from the mean model predictions. McIntyre says that the chance of a model prediction being correct or below the actual measured temperature rise is less than 0.5%. So it is denialism to say that predictions based on the models are garbage?
          Au contraire, it is denialism to deny that the physical theory used in the models is at best incomplete, at worst wrong. It is denialism or worse to use forecasts based on these inaccurate and useless models to scaremonger, claiming imminent or future doom.
          To persist with the model forecasts is anti-Enlightenment. The Enlightenment essentially is that data trumps whatever anyone says, no matter who says it. The measurements do not support the models, so it is the models which are wrong, and so are the legion of spruikers who claim to be scientists but who are not adhering to the scientific method, rather acting like the authoritarian church in the Galileo trials.

          The truth is the measurements.
          The models do not conform to the measurements.
          The models belong in the bin.
          And so does the scaremongering based upon them.

      • Chris Warren says:

        Yes, it may well be a straight line.

        Nonetheless the bulge is still there and we get two complementary trends – a hotspot bulge to the right of the plot, and a cold spot higher up to the left of the plot.

        It may be less than predicted, but this is of minor interest. GHG’s are distorting the atmosphere – warming below and cooling above.

        The only issue is what happens if these trends continue and/or worsen?

  • Brian Austen says:

    It is far from clear to me why we have the NEM. It obviously doesn’t work since its boss, the Federal Government has to keep intervening.

    Without it, Tasmania would be almost 100% renewable and South Australia would have to deal with the consequences of its own decisions, on its own.

    As John Clarke has said we have a NEM; we don’t have an energy system.

    If we had energy systems like we used to, Governments could dictate how they operate. If we have a market which works, then its not controlled, and the consequences become clear.

  • Neville says:

    Here’s another problem we’ll be faced with by 2040 and beyond. We won’t be dealing with today’s population of 24+ M but at least 40% higher by 2040 (in just 27 years) and a doubling by 2075 according to the ABS. All those extra people will require energy to live a decent life so where will the extra energy come from?

    Let’s hope we’re not stupid enough to be still using fairytale energy like our present S&W technology. Perhaps safe and reliable nuclear energy could easily secure their needs or perhaps so called clean coal will be an easy option by then, who knows. And perhaps some types of new energy will be available by 2040 or 2075? Who knows?

    Here’s the link and the summary.

    Australia’s population projected to double by 2075

    Australia’s population is projected to double to 46 million by 2075, according to the latest population projections released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

    “Based on our projections, with medium growth, Australia will double its population by the year 2075,” said Bjorn Jarvis, Director of Demography at the ABS, “but under our high and low scenarios it could be as early as 2058, or after 2101.”

    “Highlights from the ABS projections include Perth overtaking Brisbane in 2028, at three million people, and then ten years later, the Australian Capital Territory overtaking Tasmania.

    “Melbourne and Sydney should be neck and neck by 2053, with 7.9 million people each.”

    “By 2040, Western Australia’s population is projected to almost double in size, from 2.4 million people in 2012 to 4.7 million. Queensland will have gone from 4.6 million people to 7.3 million, and the Australian Capital Territory will have grown from 375,000 people to 586,000.

    The population of the Northern Territory is projected to grow from 240,000 people in 2012 to 360,000 people in 2040 (a 51 per cent increase), Victoria 5.6 million to 8.4 million (50 per cent), New South Wales 7.3 million to 9.9 million (35 per cent), South Australia 1.7 million to 2.1 million (26 per cent) and Tasmania 510,000 to 570,000 (11 per cent). Tasmania’s population is projected to level out by around 2040 and then fall slightly from 2047 onwards.

    Population projections are based on assumptions of future levels of fertility, life expectancy and migration, which are guided by recent population trends.

    “The ageing of Australia’s population as a result of sustained low fertility, combined with increasing life expectancy is likely to continue. In 2012 Australia’s median age was 37 years old; by 2040 it could be 40.5 years.” said Mr Jarvis.

    In addition, the number of people 65 and over is projected to double, from 3.2 million people, (14 percent of the population) in 2012 to 6.8 million (20 percent) by 2040.

    Similarly, the number of people aged 85 years and over is projected to almost triple by 2040, increasing by 770,000 people to reach 1.2 million in 2040. By then, people aged 85 years or over will make up four per cent of Australia’s population, compared to only two per cent in 2012.

    Further information is available in Population Projections, Australia, 2012 (base) to 2101 (cat. no. 3222.0), available for free download from the ABS website.

  • Neville says:

    Here is the Malcolm Roberts interview this morning on their ABC AM. He handles himself well, certainly better than the two people who followed him.

    SABRA LANE: The Finkel review into the nation’s electricity grid says consumers would pay on average $90 less a year for power, under the recommended new Clean Energy Target, compared with business as usual.

    The review was released at the end of last week and the Federal Government is now going to thrash out its recommendations before deciding on what it will do. And no doubt, many Coalition MPs will ask questions about it at tomorrow’s party room meeting.

    The target and threshold at which the Government will grant certificates to power companies, if they are adopted, will be a key part of meeting Australia’s commitment to cutting carbon emissions by 26 to 28 per cent by 2030.

    Ultimately, if Labor doesn’t support it, the Government will have to negotiate with the Senate crossbench and one of those Senators is One Nation’s Malcolm Roberts.

    Senator Roberts, thank you for joining AM.

    MALCOLM ROBERTS: You’re welcome, Sabra. Good morning.

    SABRA LANE: Senator, the report’s 200-plus pages. What do you make of it?

    MALCOLM ROBERTS: I haven’t read it yet. But I had a half-hour, three-quarter-of-an-hour conversation with Alan Finkel on Friday evening.

    And what I see is that this problem has been created by regulation. And the solution that he is proposing is more regulation – and that just does not make sense.

    This is about cost of living. And he has said – and I think it’s not really open and transparent here – he said it’ll be, using his recommendations: the power costs will be $90 less than business as usual.

    They will still be increasing dramatically. And cost of living is our really big issue in Queensland and around the country.

    If we just went back to normal coal-fired operation, we would have the reliability, the security, the stabilization and the lower cost that we used to have.

    SABRA LANE: This report is under attack from both ends of the political spectrum. Is that a sign, perhaps, that Dr Finkel might have achieved a sensible balance?

    MALCOLM ROBERTS: No, I don’t think so at all. Because what you’ll see in the report and what Alan Finkel talks about is demand management.

    That’s another word for saying: “We will turn the power off in order to make some money if we can’t afford prices at a high level.”

    So instead of what we rely on now, Sabra: we are able to go and flick a switch and get cheap power – or we used to be able to, 10 years ago.

    What will happen is that ‘flick a switch’ will be replaced by ‘kill with a bill.’

    We will have older people, people on fixed incomes not being able to afford energy. That is already happening.

    This is a disaster.

    SABRA LANE: Power companies and big businesses are asking for a plan for the future to set about lower carbon emissions; not only to meet the targets that Australia has signed up for Paris, but bipartisanship here: the Liberal and Labor parties, say that they do want a future with lower emissions.

    You don’t agree with that at all?

    MALCOLM ROBERTS: Emissions of what, Sabra?

    SABRA LANE: Er… carbon: CO2.

    MALCOLM ROBERTS: Carbon dioxide. Why would we want to decrease emissions of carbon dioxide?

    SABRA LANE: The peer review process that scientists, most scientists agree on, say that we need to do that if the planet has an opportunity of staying within the two-degree range, that they say is needed to ensure a future for the planet.

    MALCOLM ROBERTS: Sabra, peer review has been corrupted. The CSIRO claims it relies on peer review but it can’t answer fundamental questions about the robustness of the peer review. It is just buddy review.

    Now, the empirical evidence, which is what is the only thing that decides science, shows that we can’t even affect the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and that carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is a result of temperature change, not a cause of that.

    That is empirical evidence and that is increasingly being now shouted by scientists because they’re starting to emerge as realising that they won’t be smeared if they speak up.

    We have had science suppressed in this country for so long. And the CSIRO has done an atrocious job of responding to us. And we will continue on with them, engaging them because they have…

    SABRA LANE: Getting back to the report – getting back to the report, which is what we asked you an interview for, Dr Finkel says it is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to reshape the nation’s electricity system.

    How would you describe the state of the national grid right now?

    MALCOLM ROBERTS: A mess. It’s not a market for energy. It is a racket for poverty. That is what we’ve got now.

    We have – the mess was created, starting around 2007. You can see the impact of the regulations. It’s destroying the electricity market, turning it into a racket for vested interests and political favours. That’s all it is right now.

    And who pays the price for that? Always the customer, the electricity user, the taxpayer.

    SABRA LANE: The Energy Minister, Josh Frydenberg and Dr Finkel have both been at pains to say that vulnerable Australians need to be factored in mind, looking to the future and what is designed for the nation.

    Both have said that a new scheme would neither punish existing coal-fired power stations, nor stop a new one from being built. Do you agree with that analysis?

    MALCOLM ROBERTS: No, I don’t: not at all. This is a carbon tax. That’s all it is. It’s a carbon tax levied at the retail level. But who pays? The customer, who is the user of electricity: businesses and private residential users. And we will be exporting jobs and we will be destroying our industrialisation in this country.

    This is another carbon tax. The Liberal backbenchers that I have spoken to are nervous: very nervous.

    Malcolm Turnbull, when he took over, was in good shape in the grass roots. He is no longer in good shape in the grass roots. This could be serious issues for the Liberal Party.

    SABRA LANE: How can you be so definitive about this when, even as you point out, you haven’t read the report yourself?

    MALCOLM ROBERTS: I talked to Alan Finkel for about three quarters of an hour, as I said, on Friday night. And he gave me the key points.

    And this is just more of the same, Sabra. That’s how I can be so definitive.

    And I’ve also…

    SABRA LANE: Labor says it would like to be part of a bipartisan solution on this, though not if new coal projects emerge from it. What’s your response?

    MALCOLM ROBERTS: The Labor Party has gone and abandoned its base. Its base used to be honest workers and its base used to be people who depended upon cheap energy: coal miners, for example.

    They’re abandoning that base. And what’s more: they’re abandoning humanity, because we need to export our coal to continue the standard of living rises in foreign countries.

    There is another big elephant in the room that no-one is talking about: this is an attack on electricity prices. What about all the coking coal that is used to make steel? When are we going to start talking about that?

    What about all of the carbon dioxide that is produced from cars and transport, planes, ships? When are we going to talk about that? We’re not – and that’s not right.

    SABRA LANE: Senator Roberts, that’s a subject for another time. Thank you very much for joining AM this morning.

    • tripitaka says:

      It was wonderful to hear Malcolm Roberts on RN this morning. His over the top alarmism made it clear to ordinary people how crazee he is and how he has no ability to explain why he is so hysterical and certain that he can see The Truth when real working scientists can’t.

      The tide of denial is turning despite all the media resources that deniers have had over the past decades to spread their propaganda and you deniers stand revealed as silly old men with psychological issues who have nothing more productive to do than shout at the rest of the world to get off your lawn.

      If the Abbot and his fellow fools are able to monster Turnbull into a rejection of Finkels advice, the election of Labor will be assured. There is no way that the Australian people are going to accept this sort of wrecking any more.

      “none of us should forget the cynical politicking and appalling propaganda that turned a debate that should have been settled in 2007 into one that limps across the finish line in 2017.

      A group of conservative politicians, …were allowed to lie, obfuscate, block and bully with impunity.”

      • JimboR says:

        “how crazee he is and how he has no ability to explain why he is so hysterical and certain that he can see The Truth when real working scientists can’t. ”

        He certainly appeals to his base!

        • margaret says:

          … his base of rigid-minded decerebrates …

          • tripitaka says:

            Gotta feel sorry for them Margaret. They can’t help themselves and we must remember that once they were lovely little babies who could have grown up into decent men who loved their neighbours and wanted to contribute to society and use their abilities to make the world a better place.

            The task is to understanding how these old men developed the various disorders and personality types that make them so toxic to the progress of western civilisation and to prevent it happening to our children of the future.

            They are oblivious to how increasingly small and unbalanced their ‘base’ is and unable to admit that they are a small group of very unhappy people who are like Canute trying to hold back the tide that has turned.

        • JimboR says:

          There’s a great interview with Neil deGrasse Tyson here from Lateline last week:

          It goes quite some way to explaining the phenomenon.

      • Thorfinn says:

        Real hard working scientists busy squashing cockroaches behind their monitors. How many climate scientists does it take to perpetuate a failed theory. Well, we have BoM and CSIRO on the case and cockies are an endangered species down Canberra way.

  • Neville says:

    Prof Fritz Vahrenholt agrees with Trump’s stand on the Paris agreement. Amazing that only some people seem to be able to understand the very simple sums and the total lack of future funding required to back up this unholy mess. OH and COP 21 is not binding as well. GEEEZZZ, will they ever wake up?
    Trump Correct To Reject…Founder Of German Environmental Movement Calls Paris Accord A Bad Deal!

    By P Gosselin on 11. June 2017

    One of the founders of Germany’s modern environmental movement and a former renewable energies executive has publicly announced that President Donald Trump’s rejection of the Paris Accord is the right thing to do.

    Prof. Fritz Vahrenholt, a founder of Germany’s modern environmental movement, supports rejection of Paris Accord. Photo credit: Die kalte Sonne.
    USA starts the PREXIT

    At his climate science critical website, Die kalte Sonne, Prof. Fritz Vahrenholt says the USA has de facto “begun the exit out of the Paris Climate Accord“, or PREXIT, and that among world leaders at least Donald Trump comprehends that natural factors are at play in climate.

    Moreover, Vahrenholt notes that upon really reading the Paris Accord for the first time, it is only now that the media have become surprised that it is not even a binding agreement, but instead one that only involves intentions by the rich countries to transfer cash to developing nations to the tune of $100 billion annually beginning in 2020.

    He wonders why “neither Obama nor Merkel, Juncker or Macron have found it necessary so far to explain to their citizens the agreement burdens their own citizens to the benefit of no. 1 emitters China, and India“.

    Vahrenholt calculated the 2030 per capita emissions China would be allowed by the Paris Accord:

    In 2030 Europeans would have to lower their emissions to 4 tonnes per capita, while China’s would be allowed to rise to 14 onnes per capita and the USA would have to fall to 10 tonnes per capita. One has to ask, who signed, cheered and celebrated such an agreement and welcome it with tears of joy?”

    Vahrenholt describes an agreement that is totally in favor of China, a country that plans to construct 368 coal power plants by 2020 while India plans to build 370. In his view the Paris Accord is a free ride for China.

    Overall the Paris Accord will hardly have any effect on total emissions.

    We can be happy that the American President Trump has seen this anachronism, and what on earth moved his predecessor to such a disadvantageous agreement?”

    In Vahrenholt’s view the agreement is neither about the climate nor the environment, and that its real intention was made clear by Prof. Ottmar Edenhofer of the Potsdam Institute in 2010:

    Through climate policy we will de facto redistribute global wealth… One has to free himself of the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy.”

    Also the German professor of chemistry writes that European leaders cannot expect Trump to simply defraud his voters by not keeping his campaign promises, as controversial as some may be.

    Vahrenholt, a member of the SPD socialist party, says Trump’s decision is nothing to criticize, and those who do criticize “either do not understand the mechanism of Paris, or have an interest in deindustrializing Germany and the bad USA.”

    Vahrenholt also questions Germany’s Ministry of Environment (UBA) proposals to tax privately driven kilometers so that German citizens will finally stop driving and ride their bicycles more often, remarking: “There was once such a society: China 25 years ago.”

    Overall Vahrenholt sees the Paris Accord as “practically dead” because “Trump’s most important announcement is a stop of all finances to the green climate fund, which was to be supplied with $100 billion beginning in 2020.” The USA’s share is 22%.

    Vahrenholt also blasts the IPCC climate conference circuses of Cancun, Bali, Durban, etc..

    The USA gave $55 million annually for this travelling climate circus to go to the most exotic locations of the world so that the Schellnhubers and Edenhofers of the globe could act like they were doing important things on the taxpayers’ dime.”

    He cites Prof. Judith Curry. She wrote earlier this year (2017) that the IPCC climate models are not suitable to explain the causes of the 20th century warming or to forecast regional and global climate changes over decades, let alone a hundred years, and that they are not adequate for acting as a base for policymaking. Curry adds:

    There’s growing evidence that the climate models are running too warm.”

    Prof. Vahrenholt concludes his piece by advising EPA chief Scott Pruit to heed Curry’s recommendation.

  • Neville says:

    Amazing that Germany’s Merkel has the hide to lecture Trump on climate change. Germany hasn’t reduced emissions for 8 years, while the US has reduced emissions faster and further than all of the EU plus the rest of the world put together. How much longer can they get away with this blatant corruption and fra-d? And why doesn’t the media hound these fra-dulent con merchants until they admit their BS and super porkies?

    Even Zeke Hausfather ( a strong AGW supporter) has admitted that all that future pain will have very little gain. Sooner or later their corruption and fra-d will be exposed and the sooner the better.

    • David says:

      Nev in case you have not been paying attention, the President responsible for reducing emissions in the USA was Obama, not Trump. Trump has been lectured for undoing Obama’s good work.

  • Chris Warren says:

    MALCOLM ROBERTS: I haven’t read it yet.

    Maybe he should vacate his Senate place and let someone more competent have a go.

    • spangled drongo says:

      The blitherer doesn’t get that it’s the Trumps and the Roberts of this world that are having the most effect on reducing CO2 emissions.

  • Neville says:

    Jo Nova gives a good summary of the Finkel Report and what a mess it is. And Labor now tells us they will further damage the OZ economy and force up electricity prices even higher once they are elected.

    But the bottom line is that we will waste even more billions $ for no measurable change to temp by 2040 and beyond. Don’t forget that the NON OECD countries will increase THEIR co2 emissions by 51% by 2040. A Shorten Labor govt would be so clueless that they would be prepared to ignore very simple maths and science to push their stupid agenda. OH and at the same time Labor would happily export coal and gas to any country in the world.

    These people are crazy, yet the polls seem to show that enough Aussie voters will vote for them at the next election.

    Here is Jo Nova’s excellent summary of the Finkel report.
    Here is the 2016 EIA report forecasting emissions by 2040. Will these people ever wake up?

  • Neville says:

    Just for accuracy here are US EIA govt co2 emissions from 1973 to 2016. Incredible that US emissions are only marginally higher than 1973. 1973 total was 4.7 bn tonnes and 2016 total was 5.3 bn tonnes or 1.1 times higher now than 43 years ago. And 2017 is trending lower again according to the data.
    1990 was about 5 bn Ts, so just 0.3 bn Ts lower than 2016 and 2016 just 1.06 more than 1990 emissions. Here’s the link. Certainly the US hasn’t got anything to apologise for and we are being fed a load BS.

  • Neville says:

    Another accurate update from Bjorn Lomborg via Andrew Bolt.
    Andrew Bolt, Herald Sun
    June 13, 2017 10:19am

    Bjorn Lomborg once again asks the inconvenient question.

    What is the gain for this insane pain?

    Solar and wind is taking over the world. We hear it all the time.

    Only it is wrong.

    Today, solar and wind makes up just 0.6% of global energy. In a quarter century, in 2040 – even if everyone including Trump lives up to their Paris promises – solar and wind will produce less than 3% of global energy.

    These stats comes from the latest global energy overview from the most respected institution, the International Energy Agency (the OECD for energy) in its World Energy Outlook 2016.

    Reader Kirk is right:

    The question, as always: why are we spending billions of dollars on technologies that even the most generous estimates suggest will be negligible contributors to world energy? And what will the reduction in global temperatures be for that spend?

    These are the questions our politicians never answer.

  • bb says:

    There is talk about Finkel in his review stating that renewable generators should be responsible for backup. I have modeled exactly this problem. Using the AEMO data for 2016 I modeled hypothetically the capacity you would need to get a constant output from a wind power station. I took the Snowtown South power station in South Australia and hypothetically connected it to a battery. It is then assumed that the energy being dispatched to the grid would come from that battery. Snowtown was chosen because it is the most efficient wind power station connected to the eastern grid. It is supposed that the output should be 30% of the plate capacity. The plate capacity of the Snowtown South power station is 126 MW. The requirement then is to get a constant 37.8 MW. The battery in the model is a hypothetically perfect one that is there is no delay in the storage of energy or the extraction of energy. It is also assumed that the battery is fully charged at the start of the year. What is the result of this in terms of how large does this battery have to be to do the job?

    So day by day we extract the energy generated and use it to charge the battery. At the same time every day we dispatch .91 GW hours to the grid. It goes well until 18/03/2016 and then starts to fall. Continues to fall the battery charge that is until 15/04/2016. To do this we must start with a fully charged battery at 5.7 GW hours. This is a huge battery unprecedented. Currently, there is the talk of using a Tesla hundred megawatt battery in South Australia. In terms of energy storage, that battery is 0.4 GW hours that is 14 times smaller. This is for just one small wind power station.

    Also, note doing this costs a lot of money and results in a loss for the wind power station operator. Overall this wind power station produces 41% of the plate capacity. But doing the above means only 30% will be produced. So what if we aim for 41%? Modeling that we find a 26 GW-hour battery would be required. It is 65 times larger than the Tesla battery mentioned.

    It is obvious that energy storage will not be at all sufficient. The proposed new pumped storage facility by the Turnbull government on memory will cost many billions and provide 2.0 GW hours for seven hours. This is 1/3 of what would be required with the first scenario. Further, in that instance, the decline starts on 18/03/2016 the energy storage facility has to cope with a drain every day for a month until mid-April! A gas turbine installation with a capacity of 38 MW would replace all the energy storage at a fraction of the cost but fossil so not acceptable.

    • JimboR says:

      Nobody is talking about windfarms having sufficient storage to keep outputting at 30% indefinitely until the wind returns. The other night I heard him use an example of 30% for four hours. The idea is to allow the windfarm to gracefully exit itself from the grid, especially with regards to any current bids it might have in. If the wind stops blowing then that generator simply stops putting in bids and somebody else takes over.

      This belief that all wind farms need to be specifically “backed up” for when the wind stops is a complete myth. The entire grid already works that way and that’s how it gets its reliability. Coal and gas fired power stations are going off-line all the time, sometimes for planned maintenance, sometimes because of faults. Here in Qld on the afternoon 12th Feb. this year, 787 MW of coal and gas fired generation dropped out unexpectedly, because they got too hot!

      There was nothing graceful about that exit and certainly no battery backup. AFAIK it caused no blackouts. RWNJ blogsites are always going feral about the fact that wind turbines (that need wind to operate) shutdown when it gets too windy. They never mention that gas and coal fired turbines (that need heat to operate) shutdown when it gets too hot.

      The peak demand for a grid happens for maybe 5 to 10 hours per year. The peak generation capability has to cover that plus a safety margin if you don’t want blackouts. So even during those 10 hours, there’s considerable reserve capacity, and for the remaining 8750 hours in the year there’s huge amounts of reserve capacity. Generators are dropping in and out of the bids all the time.

      Think of generators as more like Uber drivers.. they’re all cruising around putting in bids for jobs. Most of the time there are way more drivers than there are customers. If an Uber driver decides to go home for a nap, his car doesn’t have to be “backed up”, it simply means there’s more work on offer for the remaining drivers, and he simply stops putting in bids. Ideally he wouldn’t do that while he has a passenger onboard, but instead exit the system gracefully. Every once in a while (like New Years Eve) there’ll be massive spikes in demand and prices will go up to encourage more drivers to get out there. If there’s still not enough, riders have to wait, the equivalent of load-shedding on the grid. Generally the grid is designed so that never happens.. but for those 5 to 10 hours per year, it can get close, especially when massive coal fired powerstations go home for an unannounced nap because they’re too hot.

      • ianl8888 says:

        Before you sprout your silly glibset nonsense, examine the empirical data, the actual information, on wind availability from the AEMO website

        Look at it for say, about a week or a month. Then compare the wind output (no, erecting a whole bunch more of windfarms won’t make the wind blow more frequently) with (eg.) the SA base load requirement of 2GWh each hour 24/7/365. And note the country as a whole has a base load requirement of about 22GWh, 24/7/365. Any drop below 18GWh costs lives.

        Now tell us exactly what this means: “somebody else takes over”. Note, I’m looking for numbers, GWh. This includes giant, Alice-through-the-Looking-Glass batteries if you’re that silly.

        And what nonsense is this about hydro-carbon generators closing down when it “gets too hot” ? Tell that to the Indonesians running coal-fired generators along the equator, or the generators operating in central/northern Q’ld.

        I’ve been watching this entire point being glibsetted away, glibly evaded, by the greenies for 20 years now. Crunch time is finally here. Windfarms will be held financially accountable (as hydro-carbon generators already are) for failure to supply.

        Now glibset away, Jimbo.

        • JimboR says:

          “And what nonsense is this about hydro-carbon generators closing down when it “gets too hot” ? Tell that to the Indonesians running coal-fired generators along the equator, or the generators operating in central/northern Q’ld.”

          Stanwell is in CQ. Check out Table 2 in the AER’s incident report above.

      • bb says:

        So the wind farms gracefully exit from the grid what takes over? I thought the idea of batteries was to take over energy production from fossil fuelled power stations. I think you do not understand how long-term wind outages can be and that wind patterns are such that the whole eastern coast is affected by a lull in the wind. For instance at 9 AM yesterday 13/06/2016 wind power that is all stations were at 10% of the plate capacity. This dropped to around 5% at 3 PM and slowly built to 30% at 7:30 PM the next day. So for the whole day we have something around 15% of the overall plate capacity for the entire wind power installation. This is not unusual in fact when you watch the figures it can be far worse. What I wrote was about using battery type storage of energy. If you are going to say it is to be used for a orderly exit what is the point? Why not use a fast gas-fired power station as we currently do. Tiny energy storage such as the 100 MW unit proposed just does not cut it. I am not against renewable energy per se but something other than wind or solar for that matter will be needed.

        • JimboR says:

          “So the wind farms gracefully exit from the grid what takes over?”

          Other generators. Remember, there’s massive over-capacity for 8750 hours of the year, and sufficient (if the grid operators are doing their jobs well) over-capacity for the 10 scarey hours of the year. Have you read that AER incident report above? It demonstrates how robust the system is in that even after an unplanned drop out of 787 MW, there were enough “other generators” to step up and take over. So who takes over when the wind stops? The same guys that take over when the gas/coal generators stop. It happens all the time.

          I fully appreciate how long wind droughts can be. Nobody expects wind to be running all the time; use it when it is, ignore it when it’s not. Ditto for solar after this last week of SEQ weather. I’m guessing the off-grid brigade are starting to get very low on battery capacity about now.

          To understand how wind can contribute, you need to break away from this myth that the grid is running at capacity at all times and if someone drops out we’ve got load shedding. It’s almost the exact opposite. Ignoring the 10 scarey hours per year for a moment, we’ve got an abundance of generators out there trying to make a buck. They’re all putting in bids to supply power to the grid for the next 30 minutes, lowest bids win. A wind farm operator has a pretty good idea if the wind is about to die in the next 30 minutes, and for the cases where he’s surprised, Finkel’s 4 hours of storage assists. Once the wind stops, he stops putting in bids.

          Now think about the marginal costs of putting in a bid. All generators have a big upfront capital cost of building their plant and hope to recoup that (and then some) over the life of the plant. Wind and solar have virtually no marginal cost to putting in a bid for the next 30 minutes because wind and sunshine are free. Gas and coal fired have to consider their fuel costs (especially gas these days). So when the sun is shining or the wind is blowing it’s pretty easy for those guys to undercut those that have fuel costs.

          Pelican Point is an interesting example in SA. It was having so little joy getting in on the bids that the owners said… bugger it… I’m going to make some money by selling my gas reserves off-shore. Then eventually the inevitable wind drought and solar drought comes along, the renewable guys all bow out and the gas guys say: don’t be turning to me, I sold my gas. And can you really blame them? Weatherill’s solution to that is to have a state owned gas generator of last resort, although it’s not clear where he’s going to get his gas from either.

          Apart from the small 4hr reservoir Finkel suggests for graceful exits, the other time it makes sense to store wind energy is when you’ve got too much of it. If it’s blowing all night and demand is low because everyone is asleep, it makes perfect sense to store that energy, and as your modelling shows, that needs to be big storage, like pumped hyrdo.

    • Chris Warren says:


      When some one says “many billions” when we all know the actual figure, alarm bells ring.

      The so-called “many” is just 2, for extra 2GW capacity and over 4 years.

      While there will also be increased maintenance costs over the years, spending $1 for each watt of capacity seems reasonable to me.

      The annual power needed to pump the water also needs to be costed as this portion is not delivered to retail customers.

      • bb says:

        I have seen estimates that the statement about that scheme greatly underestimated the cost. The article argued that this was way below what pumped storage costs actually are. As far as Turnbull is concerned the whole thing was a political statement anyway which I do not expect to be ever constructed. Before it gets off the ground we will have another government anyway.

    • JimboR says:

      I hate to delve into your maths, because I don’t agree with your basic premise as I described above, but:

      “The proposed new pumped storage facility by the Turnbull government on memory will cost many billions and provide 2.0 GW hours for seven hours.”

      Turnbull claims it will do 2GW for a week which would make it 336GWh of storage.

      • Chris Warren says:

        Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull will today reveal plans for a $2 billion expansion of the iconic Snowy Hydro scheme that could power up to 500,000 homes through a new network of tunnels and power stations.

        The surprise intervention, a potential game-changer in the political brawl over flaws in the nation’s electricity system, will increase the scheme’s 4100 megawatt capacity by as much as 50 per cent.

        50% of 4,000 MW is 2 GW.

      • JimboR says:

        Sorry Chris, it wasn’t your maths I was questioning, it was BB’s, on the storage capacity. Turnbull claims 2GW for 1 week which means the energy stored is 2 x 7 x 24 = 336 GWh.

        BB says “2.0 GW hours for seven hours”. I assumed he meant 2 GW for seven hours. Even that is 14 GWh, quite a bit more than his conclusion, but way lower than Turnbull’s claim.

      • bb says:

        So it will replace one coal-fired power station for a week. I have also modelled what you would need for the whole current wind farm installation and that is hopelessly inadequate. We are talking about terawatts not gigawatts.

  • spangled drongo says:

    Terry McCrann points out the madness of believing this plan will cut your power prices:

    “Did he have a deal for us: we can supposedly cut our annual power bills by around $90 a year by first spending nearly $900 billion on more and more useless wind and solar ‘farms,’ more and more power lines looping crazily around the country, and batteries.

    Believe that and I have a wonderful bridge, walked over but never been lived in, with never to be built out views of the Sydney Opera House and Harbour, for sale to you real cheap.”

    Who could believe Finkel’s plan, other than Turnbull?:

  • Neville says:

    More rubbery numbers from the Finkel report. Thanks to the Bolter and Alan Moran.
    Andrew Bolt, Herald Sun
    an hour ago

    The Turnbull Government is pushing the Finkel report as a miracle that would give us lots more renewable energy – an amazing 42 per cent of our electricity – by 2030 without higher power prices or more blackouts.

    But this graph – fig. 3.8 from the Finkel report – suggests it’s just making stuff up.

    ?Consider the explosion in green power it’s predicting:

    Shares (%) are: hydro wind/solar/bio rooftop

    Present 8 9 2

    2020 8 16 4

    2030 CET 8 25 9

    2050 CET 8 54 11

    No more hydro, of course, since we’ve got bans on such dams.

    But look at winds, solar and biomass – that nearly doubles in just three years and nearly triples in 13. Since solar farms aren’t huge, most of that huge growth is expected to come from wind farms. Are we really expecting triple the wind farms we have now? Without the system becoming even more unreliable or prices going through the roof?

    Then look at rooftop solar. In just the next three years Finkel is predicting a doubling of the amount of panels on roofs, even though feedback tariffs have been wound back. But even more extraordinary is that he reckons we will have solar panels explode from 2 per cent of our power supply to 9 per cent in just 13 years – more than quadrupling.


    I can see that happening only if power prices keep rocketing up, making that somehow economic without government subsidies. But isn’t the Turnbull Government claiming our power prices will fall?

    These projections are what the Government relies on?

    (Thanks to Alan Moran for the tip.)

  • Neville says:

    According to left wing fools the US is supposed to be the villain when it comes to their CAGW fantasy. But what do the real numbers show?
    US co2 emissions have increased by about 10% since 1973 and about 4% since 1990. But the US population has increased by about 37% since 1973 and about 24% since 1990.
    It’s amazing how much efficiency the US has now built into their TOTAL energy system and so far 2017 is trending down as well. OH and the US is now thought to have up to 11 million illegals. A lot of food for thought in these numbers. Here are the EIA US co2 emissions since 1973.

  • Neville says:

    Sorry I’ve made a mistake above and the line should read—-“But the US population has increased by about 59% since 1973 and about 30% since 1990”.
    But it just strengthens my argument and evidence about US Co2 emissions and ongoing energy efficiency.
    Gotta stop trying to do 6 jobs at once and not checking my sums properly before I hit the send button. Grrrrr.

  • Neville says:

    Here is a graph from the US govt EPA showing US co2 emissions from 1990 to 2015 and showing a reduction in co2 since 2007.
    That reduction still applies to 2017 and yet the US pop has increased by about 76 million (30%) over the last 27 years. Just amazing energy efficiency.
    So why wouldn’t the US pull out of the Paris COP 21 fra-d and con? And why would they pay the lions share of the 100 bn $ a year compensation scam to bludgers who can increase co2 emissions as they see fit?
    What BS and fra-d, Dr Hansen I salute you.

  • Chris Warren says:


    When people have extremely weak arguments they try to strengthen them with foul language.

    So we get terms like “fraud, con, fools, scam etc” emanating from their keyboards. They just end up digging their hole deeper.

    The more you scream, the worse it looks for you.

    • spangled drongo says:

      Then again there are those who have no evidence to support their pov and simply blither.

      • Chris Warren says:


        Talking all by himself about himself.


        • Neville says:

          Chris I know you’re a belief type of guy, but I like data and evidence. But please show me where I’m wrong?
          And can I just say I couldn’t care less what you believe or feel about anything.

          • David says:

            Well since you asked. All your silly posts about the Younger Dryas, for example. This was a localized warming effect which predominately occurred Greenland 11,000 years ago which you conflate with modern climate change.

            I seem to recall you also misinterpreted a number of papers which looked at localized climate change in Antarctica. Again you erroneously tried to extrapolate.

            And all your silly allegations of fraud.

        • tripitaka says:

          Yep it is sad but it seems clear that these silly old blokes and the fools and wreckers in the Liberal party can go on and on with their nonsense til the day they die and it won’t change what is happening in the real world where the empirical evidence that ordinary people can understand is that renewables will bring household energy costs down.

          “Dr Finkel models three scenarios: ‘business as usual’; a scenario with the ‘clean energy target’; and a scenario with an ’emissions intensity scheme’ price signal that the Labor Party favours.

          The two latter scenarios are actually pretty similar in their outcomes, but both produce lower prices than business as usual.

          Yes, pricing carbon will lower energy costs…….

          Dr Finkel is really calling for two things: an acceleration of a revolution that was being held back by the ‘carbon wars’, plus a huge overhaul of the energy grid and market to cope with the new technologies.”

        • David says:

          Make Drongo Great Again

  • Neville says:

    A global warming Red team should have been set up when the IPCC was first established. Let’s hope we belatedly get a team of sceptics who challenge all of their past claims and any future nonsense they may try to con us with. We now know there are thousands of PR studies that challenge so much of the IPCC’s agenda.

    Remember there are trillions of $ of future spending to try and mitigate their so called CAGW and yet even even Dr Hansen knows it is BS and fra-d. Not that anyone above 4 years of age should have any problems understanding Dr Hansen’s claim.

    Here’s Dr Roy Spencer’s ideas about such a Red team and some concerns to think about.
    A Global Warming Red Team Warning: Do NOT Strive for Consensus with the Blue Team
    June 13th, 2017

    EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has advocated a Red Team approach to evaluating the climate science guiding CO2 regulations.
    Now that the idea of a global warming Red Team approach to help determine what our energy policy should be is gaining traction, it is important that we understand what that means to some of us who have been advocating it for over 10 years — and also what it doesn’t mean.

    The Red Team approach has been used for many years in private industry, DoD, and the intelligence community to examine very costly decisions and programs in a purposely adversarial way…to ask, what if we are wrong about a certain program or policy change? What might the unintended consequences be?

    In such a discussion we must make sure that we do not conflate the consensus on a scientific theory with the need to change energy policy, as is often done. (Just because we know that car wrecks in the U.S. cause 40,000 deaths a year doesn’t mean we should outlaw cars; and I doubt human-caused climate change has ever killed anyone).

    While science can help guide policy, it certainly does not dictate it.

    In the case of global warming and the role of our carbon dioxide emissions, the debate has too long been dominated by a myopic view that asserts the following 5 general points as indisputable. I have ordered them generally from scientific to economic.

    1) global warming is occurring, will continue to occur, and will have dangerous consequences

    2) the warming is mostly, if not totally, caused by our CO2 emissions

    3) there are no benefits to our CO2 emissions, either direct (biological) or indirect (economic)

    4) we can reduce our CO2 emissions to a level that we avoid a substantial amount of the expected damage

    5) the cost of reducing CO2 emissions is low enough to make it worthwhile (e.g. mandating much more wind, solar, etc.)

    ALL of these 5 points must be essentially true for things like the Paris Agreement (which President Trump has now withdrawn us from…for the time being) to make much sense.

    But I would argue that each of the five points can be challenged, and not just with “fake science”. There is peer-reviewed and published analysis in science and economics that would allow one to contest each one of the five claims.

    The Red Team Approach: It’s NOT a Redo of the Blue Team

    John Christy and I are concerned that the Red Team approach, if applied to global warming, will simply be a review of the U.N. IPCC science on global warming. We are worried that it will only address the first two points (warming will continue, and it is mostly caused by CO2). Heck, even *I* believe we will continue to see modest warming, and that it might well be at least 50% due to CO2.

    But a Red Team reaffirming those points does NOT mean we should “do something” about global warming.

    To fully address whether we should, say, have regulations to reduce CO2 emissions, the Red Team must address all 5 of the “consensus” claims listed above, because that is the only way to determine if we should change energy policy in a direction different from that which the free market would carry it naturally.

    The Red Team MUST address the benefits of more CO2 to global agriculture, “global greening” etc.

    The Red Team MUST address whether forced reductions in CO2 emissions will cause even a measurable effect on global temperatures.

    The Red Team MUST address whether the reduction in prosperity and increase in energy poverty are permissible consequences of forced emissions reductions to achieve (potentially unmeasurable) results.

    The membership of the Red Team will basically determine the Team’s conclusions. It must be made up of adversaries to the Blue Team “consensus”, which has basically been the U.N. IPCC. If it is not adversarial in membership and in mission, it will not be a real Red Team.

    As a result, the Red Team must not be allowed to be controlled by the usual IPCC-affiliated participants.

    Only then can its report can be considered to be an independent, adversarial analysis to be considered along with the IPCC report (and other non-IPCC reports) to help guide U.S. energy policy.

  • JimboR says:

    For those that prefer to read reports about reports, rather than the reports themselves, here’s another:

  • Neville says:

    Just checking OZ co2 emissions since 1990, 0.58 bn tonnes pa and comparing it to the latest year available in 2015, 0.54bn Ts pa. That’s a drop of 0.04 bn Ts pa over that period of 25 years.

    The OZ population was 17.1 M in 1990 and 23.8 M in 2015 or an increase of about 39% over that quarter of a century. But amazingly our co2 emissions are now 0.04 bn Ts pa lower today. Why then should the OZ taxpayer be funding other countries to increase their co2 emissions for decades into the future?

    See graph and bottom of the page for data at Govt link.

    • Chris Warren says:


      How many times has it been now, that you try to post evidence for your rude pronouncements only to find that what you post disproves your claims.

      The National Greenhouse Gas Inventory chart shows a standard sine wave variation of a rising tendency. Each trough is higher than the previous and each peak is greater than the earlier.

      There is no reason to pick 1990 and 2015 as legitimate points of comparison. This is cherry-picking in which you persist.

      To understand what is really happening you must compare trough to trough or peak to peak.

      However, if you thought about it for a moment, you may find that, on a per capita basis, our inventory GHG’s have fallen. This is what you would expect because on a per capita basis, the amount of sustainable energy (solar plus wind) has increased. This shows a way forward.

      The other aspect of this is that, if the components of our solar farms and wind towers are imported, the emissions associated with their manufacture appear on the Inventories of other nations.

      • Neville says:

        Geeezzz Chris you’re a genius. The entire point of my comment is to prove that on a per capita basis we’ve dropped our co2 emissions by a long way.
        And in fact we’ve been dropping consistently since about 2007. But our use of S&W energy is still ZIP compared to our TOTAL emissions. Here again is the IEA graph. S&W alone is probably about 0.6% of the TOTAL energy used in OZ. IOW this is fairytale stuff and Dr Hansen calls it BS and fra-d.

        Just for your education here is China’s pie graph AGAIN showing just 1.3% from geo S&W combined. But look at the use of coal in China and think about how far India has to go to catch up. More food for thought.

  • Neville says:

    Bjorn Lomborg’s video explaining the facts behind Paris COP 21 should be screened in every school, Uni and all parliaments.
    Just a pity our dopey media and pollies haven’t got the brains to understand the simple facts behind Hansen’s Paris BS and fra-d statement.

  • Neville says:

    Chris here is India’s pie graph and also US pie graph. Note geo S&W for India only 0.5% and US 1.3%. China, India and US combined emit over 50% of the world’s co2 emissions. China, India about 36% + and US 14.3%. And OZ 1.2%.

  • tripitaka says:

    “The shift away from coal in most of the world’s major economies comes as U.S. President Donald Trump is seeking to revive the fuel, having promised during his election campaign to restore lost jobs in mining areas such as West Virginia. Coal’s decline has been driven largely by competition from cheap shale gas, prompting skepticism that the country’s withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement will do much to halt the slide.”

  • tripitaka says:

    “Prices for solar PV rooftop panels, wind power and batteries will fall rapidly and quickly undercut coal and gas power, driving rapid uptake of these “distributed energy” technologies and making Australia one of the most decentralised energy markets in the world with a massive 45 per cent of power capacity “behind the meter” by 2040.”–bloomberg-20170615-gwrwat

    This article is paywalled; need to be quick with the esc key.

  • tripitaka says:

    “The scenario suggests green energy is taking root more quickly than most experts anticipate. It would mean that global carbon dioxide pollution from fossil fuels may decline after 2026, a contrast with the International Energy Agency’s central forecast, which sees emissions rising steadily for decades to come.

    “Costs of new energy technologies are falling in a way that it’s more a matter of when than if,” said Seb Henbest, a researcher at BNEF in London and lead author of the report.”

    • spangled drongo says:

      Poor, deluded trip somehow doesn’t understand the real world that when you make the free-market competition weaker the price goes up.

      I wonder why those double digit price increases are being widely announced at present?

      Maybe we just need even more taxpayer-subsidised competition.

      Just think of the non-problems it will solve as it impoverishes the already-poor.

      • tripitaka says:

        I don’t get it why you are so worried about ‘the poor’ drongo. Surely the poors are poor because they made the wrong choices and/or were too stupid and lazy to have got ahead and be able to pay their way in the world? I wonder why would you raise this as an issue.

        You know that the leaners should take responsibility for their ‘poverty’ which isn’t even poverty really because there are people in other countries who are even poorer. You know our poors should think themselves lucky that they aren’t living in a cave which they would be if it wasn’t for the lifters like you.

        So what’s with this concern for losers? I do hope you are not turning into a bleeding heart and starting to care about your fellow human; it would be sad indeed to see magnificent individuals who worked so hard and made all the right choices through their lives reduced to having irrational feelings. 🙂

        • spangled drongo says:

          Ah! the bleeding-heart [?] blitherers at work again.

          Please try to get over your twitty selves.

      • margaret says:

        Emotions are for women trip. As is keeping the home fires burning for the capitalist warriors who bring home the bacon so the little lady can feed and clothe the family, making sure of course that she combs her hair and puts on some make up, lights the candles and gets ready for lurv.
        Apologies to Burt Bacharach and Jack Jones you handsome devils – bwahaha.

        • tripitaka says:

          lol Margaret men are their worst enemies though. Surely it isn’t women who send men to war and make up all the old politically correct rules about the way men and women should behave toward each other that resulted in men being denied the opportunity to be fully involved in raising children and relegated to the monotony and soul destroying competition and corporate warfare that is involved in bringing home the bacon in a Capitalist system?

          And some women are still advocating that we should join them in their competitive individualist dog eat dog world rather than be working toward equality of opportunity for both men and women.

          Tammy Wynette and her ilk also have a lot to answer for also with Stand by your Man and that sort of rubbishy sentimental irrationality that treats men as if they were incapable of being fully responsible for their actions.

          The worst and most regrettable of the political correctness that men have imposed on us and that leads to the terrorism that is domestic violence is the idea that men can’t control their emotions and their ‘urges’ and are like dogs on heat and have no self-control when they see a women dressed to fulfil the whore fantasies that they themselves have created about women.

          At playgroup some time ago I saw an example of the way women themselves participate in this idea that men are not able to or need not learn to control their emotions and behave like gentlemen toward others. There was a very bossy little boy and an equally bossy little girl playing together and the boy began to hit the girl who looked at her mother as if for advice about what to do but the mother of the boy said to the girls mother “you should take her away before he really hurts her”. That is how it begins; this preciousness that so many badly raised men take as normal.

          • margaret says:

            You raise some excellent points.
            A few years ago I had to lose my temper with my own grandson aged just two when he launched a punch to his four year old sister’s stomach – “NEVER hit a girl” I said angrily.
            Now the question I ask myself is if it had been a brother would I have been so angry?
            The sad part about capitalist patriarchy is the unending ‘damned whores and god’s police’ trope. Men’s fear of women as sexually autonomous beings shows that we are complicit as a society in either promoting or accepting this trope and the ABC has a promo of upcoming programs in which the word ‘dangerous’ is used as a glamorous woman walks confidently towards the camera.
            Meanwhile the other free to air channels of course make no bones about how women are sexualised but only for the male gaze.
            Apparently there is a good new to series coming to pay tv – it’s called I Love Dick. Funnily enough it stars Kevin Bacon … as Dick.

        • margaret says:

          Don your first sentence in the essay says there was an embarrassment of topics to choose from so I post here rather than in off-topic as it adds to embarrassment.

  • JimboR says:

    The mining industry is using renewables to lower input costs…

    “While mature renewable energy technologies such as wind or solar PV are already competitive with traditional fossil fuel generation in grid-connected applications, they are currently only competitive in off-grid applications at low levels of renewable penetration (ie less than 40 per cent instantaneous penetration)…..

    Renewables are no longer a new or expensive technology, and in Australia they are now proven as both robust and reliable, with operating examples in remote, off-grid locations. Now more than ever before, renewables are becoming a viable option to reduce mine operating costs.”

    • spangled drongo says:

      Is that right, jimb?

      It might have some chance if you only want power in the middle of the day but people at mining sites also need power at night.

      Have you ever been to Windorah, an off-grid town on the Cooper where the Qld govt spent over $100,000 per house to provide electricity with a solar plant?

      Where prior to that, the town had a diesel generator using around 100,000 litres of fuel per year.

      Guess how much diesel fuel they use now?

      You guessed it. 100,000 litres of diesel per year!!!

      So they spent $100,000 per house for the pleasure of producing increased GHGs and slaughtering money.

      What an environmental and economic masterstroke!!!

      I have been trying to get my rep to produce a cost/benefits report on this fiasco but surprise!, surprise!, the govt hasn’t done one.

    • JimboR says:

      Well these guys are using 5 millions litres of diesel less per year as a result of their PV installation. Your tax dollar at work Drongo. Is that a subsidy to the mining industry or a subsidy to the renewable energy industry? Careful Drongo, your head might explode.

      • spangled drongo says:

        “Well these guys are using 5 millions litres of diesel less per year as a result of their PV installation.”

        You quite sure about that, jimb? Don’t jump to conclusions.

        I think you’ll find that is only what is hoped for.

        So when it has proved itself maybe you could provide us all with a C/B report.

        But if you think it is to the taxpayers advantage to pay more than half of that $40 million outlay in a high risk business you have a lot of loose rocks that need attention.

        And what is the correct conclusion to draw here, Jimb?

        Do you think that people being responsible for their own consumption as opposed to govts telling us they know and slaughtering our money might have some influence on the outcome?

        Amazing how economical you can make any project when you are spending your own money.

        I have had a couple of off-grid solar systems for the last thirty years that have paid for themselves many times over.

        It’s just when the “experts” get involved, using our money, that we have to worry.

        I’m surprised you need reminding.

  • Neville says:

    The REAL Finkel plan costing is starting to emerge. Judith Sloan and others know that this is just more Tooth fairy and Easter bunny nonsense.
    Will the fools ever wake up to these fairytales? Great to see real scientists like William Kininmonth coming out to condemn their so called CAGW. This is indeed a FAKE FIX to a FAKE climate CATASTROPHE. And it will cost OECD countries trillions $ for no MEASURABLE change at all. While the NON OECD countries emit as much co2 as they can.


    Andrew Bolt, Herald Sun

    June 16, 2017 8:09am

    You were told the Finkel plan pushed by the Turnbull Government would save you money. That was always unbelievable.

    But now it turns out that even Finkel had a catch that make that promise false.

    Last week’s spin:

    Australian households would save about $90 a year, or up to $1000 on their electricity bills over a decade to 2030 under the Clean Energy Target proposed by the Finkel review of the electricity sector, compared to a business-as-usual scenario for it.

    The truth this week:

    Dr Finkel’s briefing yesterday confirmed these calculations did not include the cost of his recommendation for a “reliability obligation” on new wind and solar projects to have to invest in batteries, hydro or other generators to ensure back-up power.

    Judith Sloan identifies weird assumptions in the Finkel plan.

    It is a fake fix to a fake climate catastrophe. Hear it from a real climate expert, William Kininmonth, former head of the National Climate Centre:

    • spangled drongo says:

      Neville, when “reputable” scientists like Finkel lead us astray without a care you can see where the whole climate scam is coming from, and why.

  • spangled drongo says:

    60 years ago we had off-grid wind generated electricity with large banks of battery storage, as did many people in the bush and we knew its limits. Back-up diesel or petrol generators were essential and were called upon whenever any serious power was required like just doing the washing. That is why we connected to the grid at huge expense when it became available.

    Now everyone will need their own F/F gen back-up and batteries and the net result will be a huge increase in household expense, greater CO2 emissions and unreliable energy supply.

    Everybody will be back to where the unfortunates were 60 years ago.

    Typical mindless greenie solution.

    • Neville says:

      Spangled I’ve just looked at the EU who are the most extreme green countries on the planet and compared their efforts to the NON OECD ( China, India etc) up to 2014.
      Now the EU have wasted hundreds of Bns $ on S&W and yet they STILL only produce 2.6% of their energy from Geo S&W. They produce 71.7% from fossil fuels, but they also produce a very high 14.6% from Nuclear.
      Add these two base load energy sources and that is 86% of their energy from FFs and nuke. S&W alone is probably STILL only about 1.5% to 2% of TOTAL energy for the EU. What a joke and if S&W weren’t receiving those huge taxpayer funded subsidies they would fall in a heap. Yet this is the path these clueless idiots want us to take? Here’s the EU pie chart.

      The NON OECD only produces 1% of TOTAL energy from Geo S&W, 80.7% from Fossil Fuels, and just 1.8% from Nuclear. So the EU still has a higher percentage of Base load power than the NON OECD. And S&W alone is probably under 0.5% of NON OECD TOTAL energy.

      Here is the NON OECD pie chart.

  • Neville says:

    Amazing that people still insist that Paris COP 21 COULD limit the rise to 2.7 C by 2100. But the truth is that COP 21 only achieves 1% of the reductions required and that means that 99% of the reduction are left until after 2030. Lomborg explains the Figueres nonsense and provides a column graph to support his argument.

    Little wonder that Dr Hansen called COP 21 out as BS and fra-d. Remember that underlying this con is increased use of S&W that have no chance whatsoever of replacing base load power for the world’s TOTAL energy needs. Of course the EIA have already told us that co2 emissions will increase by 34% by 2040. Here’s Lomborg’s explanation of Figueres’ nonsense and the link.
    You describe a 0.05°C reduction, but the UN Climate Chief, Christina Figueres, said Paris could lead to a 2.7°C rise instead of 4°C or 5°C. Why?

    Christiana Figueres quote: “The INDCs have the capability of limiting the forecast temperature rise to around 2.7 degrees Celsius by 2100, by no means enough but a lot lower than the estimated four, five, or more degrees of warming projected by many prior to the INDCs.”

    Dr. Lomborg said: “That entirely misrepresents the world’s options. The 2.7°C comes from the International Energy Agency and essentially assumes that if governments do little in Paris and then right after 2030 embark on incredibly ambitious climate reductions, we could get to 2.7°C.

    That way of thinking is similar to telling the deeply indebted Greeks that just making the first repayment on their most pressing loans will put them on an easy pathway to becoming debt-free. It completely misses the point.

    Figueres’ own organization estimates the Paris promises will reduce emissions by 33Gt CO? in total. To limit rises to 2.7°C, about 3,000Gt CO? would need to be reduced – or about 100 times more than the Paris commitments (see figure below). That is not optimism; it is wishful thinking.

    • ianl8888 says:

      See at 10am June 17, 2017.

      So what’s powering the ATM’s, laptops and supermarkets for the city-centric glibset here ? Empirical evidence shows incontrovertibly that it’s not unicorn backwind or moonbeams. Not even AAA Evereadies …

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