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Essential Reading

Comparative terror

poland MP BBC

Polish MP Dominik Tarczyński consented to an interview with the BBC about his country's disinclination to open its borders and, as the broadcaster put it, "do its fair share" to absorb undocumented arrivals from Africa and Middle East. Perhaps unaccustomed to politicians speaking bluntly, she was taken aback by his response.

The full interview can be heard via the link below.

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The coming of Big Battery

batteries hooked upThe pace at which technology moves is really quite astonishing, especially in the applied field of green brochuresmanship.

Author of the recent report on the future of Australia's energy market, Chief Scientist Alan Finkel, mused in his Cosmos magazine only two years ago about the great leap forward to be achieved when energy storage systems -- pumped hydro, miracle batteries, big bottles of compressed air etc etc -- become economically viable. There was, however, quite some way to go, with many taxpayer subsidies required to get there (emphasis added):

To store the world’s electricity requirements for 10 days would require 500 million megawatt hours – 10,000 times the projected annual production capacity of the Tesla Gigafactory in full swing. To get there we have to think big.

The message for governments is clear. Governments already use subsidies to encourage renewable electricity generation. It is time now to shift their investments to improving storage.

Those thoughts went to press in August, 2015. And here we are, not two short years later, and the storage revolution is at hand. From page 78 of the Finkel report:

"Technological progress since the 1990s means there is now potential for market participants to respond on a five-minute basis,  for example, with battery storage or demand response mechanisms."

And on page 115:

"Given the current gas market conditions, it is possible that new technologies such as battery storage systems may be more cost effective in providing security and reliability in the [national electricity market] in the near future."

Ain't it wonderful how government-endorsed notions of science progress? From a nascent technology requiring massive subsidies in 2015, big batteries are now blessed by the unqualified "potential" to kick in on five minutes' notice, and do so "in the near future".

And what might the cost run to? Well, in a follow-up Cosmos column, published in August, 2016, Dr Finkel explained "why $5 trillion is my new favourite number" when it comes to greening the planet.

The Finkel report, bereft of calculations as to battery costs, can be read in its entirety via the link at the foot of this post. The great deal of attention Cosmos gives to the prophets and acolytes of climate catastropharianism is assembled here.

Two hundred and eighteen articles since 2012 would seem to suggest a certain and partisan mindset.

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Rampaging vehicles

bollards firm

Futurists and technophiles are very excited about self-driving cars, but seem not to have noticed they are already with us. The Age reports:

Australia's bollard industry is experiencing rapid growth as councils and businesses move quickly to deal with the threat of vehicle rampages and truck bombs on city streets.

While Australia's manufacturing sector has not been doing too well of late, the bollard business sets the pace. The tactful euphemism sector is also surging.

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