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March 07th 2017 print

Tony Thomas

The Natives Are Getting RETless

According to the Prime Minister, it will take but a few more billions to perfect carbon-capture technology, protect Gaia and win the approval of those who will never vote Coalition come hell or 'extreme weather' high water. Alan Moran's new book delivers the good kicking such thinking deserves

gore with ill-gotten gainsAs you might expect at the launching by Andrew Bolt of a book detailing the asinine inspiration and disastrous consequences of “green” energy policies, all present kept their clothes on at yesterday’s gathering in the inner-Melbourne suburb of Carlton. The surprise — although it isn’t really that surprising after all these years of the media’s dutifully parrotted warmist propaganda — is that so many of those who will scoff at Quadrant contributor Alan Moran’s Climate Change – Treaties and Policies in the Trump Era aren’t themselves laughingstocks for the stark-naked exposure of their lies and cause.

Bolt, of course, was citing Hans Christian Andersen’s tale of the emperor’s new clothes, casting himself as but one among the legion of rational and observant little boys who have yelled long and loud that the shortcomings of warmism’s priests and pardoners are on full display for all to see. What he can’t figure, he told his lunchtime audience, is why the greater public remains unmoved by the costly peddling of alarmist fantasies, lies, deceits and evasions, not to mention the imposition of unworkable solutions on a non-problem.

However there is hope, he said, as even the warmists’ altar boys in the media must be getting “a little nervy” that none of the prophesied climate catastrophes their breathless reporting so confidently endorsed have yet come to pass, nor do they appear ever likely to do so.

Click here to purchase Alan Moran’s
Climate Change: Treaties and Policies in the Trump Era

“Authorities said things would happen, like the onset of dengue fever and Tim Flannery’s dried-up dams,” Bolt noted. “Well the dams haven’t dried, [Melbourne's are] more than two-thirds full. On the strength of that expert advice – Flannery is actually a mammologist – most capitals have spent billions to create idled desal plants.

“This suits the Greens, who don’t want new dams either. The Mitchell River catchment was created for a new dam and then was deliberately converted into a national park to thwart any dam,” he continued, referencing as his source Victoria’s former deputy-premier John Thwaites, a Labor man, who also served at Gaia’s altar as the minister for weather, aka climate change.

Bolt also instanced the IPCC/UN prediction of 50 million climate refugees by 2010. “We’re still waiting to see them. One bloke has claimed climate refugee status and the NZ courts threw him out.”

The tall tale that polar bears would soon be extinct was all the rage a decade ago, he noted, with Al Gore’s omnibus collection of lies and distortions, An Inconvenient Truth, using animations of drowning bears to make its spurious point (and the failed presidential candidate a pile of money). That myth, only this week put to rest once and for all by the news that ursus maritinus is doing just fine, thank you, was inspired by nothing more than the observation from a low-flying plane of four drowned and floating bears that perished after a storm. Naturally the ABC, keen as always to push climate shock and horror, went big on the story at the time. Coca-Cola was moved to “raise awareness”, as they say, by putting polar bear images on cans and bottles, the scare culminating in George W. Bush putting the creatures on the endangered species list. The reality is that polar bear populations overall are thriving, but the non-story remains largely impervious to fact and reason. Indeed, even in December, as researchers were finalising the latest and most comprehensive paper to date on the robust health of polar bear populations, the ABC continued to feature its fake news about polar bears’ looming extinction.

Bolt noted that Moran’s book covers al the other massive fictions and scares, including acid rain, the health of the Antarctic ecosystem and whale numbers. The explanation for those myths longevity is quite simple: absent the panic, those armies of second-rate “scientists” and crusading academics, the rent-seekers, podium hogs and publicity hounds might have to find real work and other sourcs of income. There would be no more turning left when entering jetliners bound for all-expenses-paid international conferences and gabfests where hollow pieties, rather than facts, are the currency of participants. An astonishing 40,000 devotees of room service and free travel tripped to the Paris climate  jamboree in 2015, which makes one think admiringly of the Medici popes, who had the good sense not to parade their mistresses while preaching chastity. But climate “experts”, such as the high-school dropout Leonardo DiCaprio, see no such need as they instruct the world to cut emissions, then climb aboard private jets propelled no less by fossil fuels than their galloping hypocrisy.

morans bookThe reality is that the expensive green energy touted by such people will cause the poor and pensioners to endure unaffordable heating and cooling bills, potentially a lethal issue. As if to confirm Bolt’s point, that very same day Fairfax Media was exploring on its Domain website another aspect of the damage green theology is wreaking. Residents of high-rise apartments, Fairfax informed visitors to the site, will be hardest hit in a future plagued by inevitable South Australia-style power shortages. As if to confirm Bolt’s point about self-evident truths ignored, that same report went on to quote yet another, er, expert, Matt Mushalik of the Australian Association for the Study of Peak Oil and Gas, to the effect that people would be climbing endless flights of stairs because “few of the existing towers ever invest in renewable energy to make up for shortfalls”. The naked emperor wiggles his craggy bottom and, once again, his green courtiers acclaim cellulite as the richest and most exquisite royal velvet.

Not that apartment dwellers will be alone in their inconvenience, as the burden and imposition go well beyond the exertion of mounting 30 flights of stairs. BHP-Billiton, for example, has said South Australia’s excess energy costs have amounted to $US105 million at Olympic Dam alone, prompting a freeze on plans to expand operations at the site and the jobs that would have gone with it.

“Real money! Real jobs! Incredible!” marvelled Bolt. “Anti-warming measures have cost Australia far more than warming has ever done. Not just lost jobs and lost investment but the huge distraction of the government and bureaucracy from real issues like Aboriginal disadvantage. It’s been a shocking corruption of the public process.”

Yet even as the Liberal Party finally recognises that policies have to shift, it continues to make power systems more expensive while driving businesses to the wall. As today’s Australian Financial Review reports (paywalled):

Hardware manufacturer Alchin Long Group in Sydney’s west has had to agree to a near-doubling of its electricity price and may rethink plans to shift work back to Australia from China as a result, said Graham Lee, national operations manager. The price of the new two-year contract from Origin Energy has surged from $55.30 per megawatt-hour to $109.70. (emphasis added)

The Liberals’ addled ‘solution’ is to spend yet more taxpayer funds on subsidies in a bid to alleviate the ills sown by previous subsidies to green rent-seekers, which have made the production of baseload, coal-fired electricity uneconomic and unsustainable. If Victoria’s Portland aluminium smelter goes under as a consequence of soaring electricity prices, with the loss of 700 direct jobs and many indirect ones as well, official policy will have turned the now prosperous and pleasant Western District community into a second Moe, the Victorian town infamous for welfare dependency and social malaise. Thousands will be trapped there because house devaluations will prevent them re-buying elsewhere. Government reaction? More subsidies.

In the case of the Hazelwood power station’s imminent shuttering, the official ‘solution’ is to subsidise a skyhook technology, carbon capture and storage (CCS), which has worked nowhere else in the world. Unless Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, who has endorsed the expenditure of yet more millions to develop CCS, and his ministers are entirely brain-dead, they will know in their private conversations that CCS is folly on gold-plated stilts. Yet none dare raise a public voice against such madness, for such is their fear of being branded abusers of Gaia. The supreme irony, the great testament to such cowardice and craven fecklessness, is that those inner-suburban green/left critics will never vote for the Coalition no matter what they do.

Mathias Cormann, for one, knows it is all rubbish and has argued against the renewable energy targets (RET), Bolt said. Yet people like the finance minister now argue that scrapping those mandated goals would raise the spectre of sovereign risk and, as a consequence, prompt a strike of overseas investment. The notion that a healthy, growing economy powered by cheap energy might more than compensate seems never to have occurred to them.

“The final insanity is that, even if CO2 warming were real and dangerous, all the vast spending on emission cuts, and plans to spend more, will achieve no detectable reduction of future warming,” Bolt said.

“If every emitting country adhered to its Paris non-binding commitments,[i] on the IPCC’s own formula, global temperature over the rest of the century would lower by a trivial 0.168degC. Is it worth it? If politicians think it is, I would like them to say so.

“They all know the emperor is naked,” Bolt concluded, “but not one of them has the guts to tell you so.”

Tony Thomas’s book of Quadrant essays, That’s Debatable – 60 Years in Print, is available here.

 



[i] The Paris agreement allows China to raise emissions by 50%, and India to double emissions. The fourth-biggest emitter, Russia, is also permitted large increases.

Comments [19]

  1. ianl says:

    Well, this is where the very opposite of hard, detailed, costed, accountable policy has put us. And still, the meeja is full of greenie economists and CAGW advocates industriously avoiding the details of the mess (they can’t be expected to understand MWh and GWh, now can they) – no experienced power grid engineers allowed to be in sight of the public megaphones.

    Having subsidised hopelessly inadequate, destructive “renewabubbles” to force coal/gas/oil generation out, our insightful planners are now subsidising these very same coal/oil/gas generators to carry the shortfall caused by subsidising the renewabubbles. And this, while perhaps unintended (although I doubt that), was *not* unpredicted. Two decades ago, in fact. Wunderbar.

    Most people prefer feeling to thinking – and it shows. Rhetorical arm-waving shall continue until the situation improves… just so much easier.

  2. Bill Martin says:

    Andrew Bolt is quoted in the article as having said, amongst other things, that “What he can’t figure, he told his lunchtime audience, is why the greater public remains unmoved by the costly peddling of alarmist fantasies, lies, deceits and evasions, not to mention the imposition of unworkable solutions on a non-problem.”

    That certainly is an extremely frustrating conundrum. The most likely valid explanation is that a great proportion of the people are more than a little confused. Simple observation of climate and “gut feeling” suggest that there is nothing unusual or threatening occurring climatewise. Sadly, those indisputable facts receive very little publicity in the MSM. The number of people regularly consulting conservative sources is frighteningly small. The rest of society, including the vast segment of the apathetic and the ignorant, derive their “information” – when they do, in fact, do any such thing – from the MSM, which almost exclusively spruiks the politically correct message that “we’ll all be rooned” by catastrophically increasing global temperatures caused by the CO2 released by the burning of fossil fuels. There are far too few opportunities for the dissemination of the true facts of the matter and even fewer prominent people prepared to stick out their chin and proclaim it.

    • Lawrie Ayres says:

      You are, of course, correct Bill. Leave aside the Fairfax and ABC sources I would have thought the Australian could have evened the score somewhat. Graham Lloyd is probably the closest we will get to a thoughtful climate journalist and yet he so often spruiks the lies of the second raters such as Kiroly and Flannery. He never interviewed Bob Carter for example or a Richard Lindzen to put the natural cycle case. The Australian could shoot down the windmills are free energy rubbish but hasn’t. It could also investigate the ties between the CFMEU, the industry super funds and investments in wind power. I’m sure there is a story there.

  3. Ian MacDougall says:

    The explanation for those myths longevity is quite simple: absent the panic, those armies of second-rate “scientists” and crusading academics, the rent-seekers, podium hogs and publicity hounds might have to find real work and other sourcs [sic] of income. There would be no more turning left when entering jetliners bound for all-expenses-paid international conferences and gabfests where hollow pieties, rather than facts, are the currency of participants. An astonishing 40,000 devotees of room service and free travel tripped to the Paris climate jamboree in 2015, which makes one think admiringly of the Medici popes, who had the good sense not to parade their mistresses while preaching chastity. But climate “experts”, such as the high-school dropout Leonardo DiCaprio, see no such need as they instruct the world to cut emissions, then climb aboard private jets propelled no less by fossil fuels than their galloping hypocrisy.

    This whole rant by Tony Thomas rests on two major assumptions: (1) CO2, despite its demonstrable heat-trapping properties, can be added to the atmosphere without ill-effect and to whatever uncontrolled extent emerging in the unrolling saga of industrial society and (2) renewables are pure evil, and must be denounced at every opportunity. Both assumptions are without any scientific or moral foundation.
    If in the words of Tony Abbott “the future is coal” – at least till that runs out in x hundred years, then why dump on renewables? (From there on, it will be some you beaut future technology like thorium reactors running the grid.) But if our descendants are likely to depend on renewables for at least part of their energy, why denounce those renewables?
    Perhaps only a shill for Fossil Carbon Inc could understand.

    • Tricone says:

      Speaking as a fully paid up “shill” (stupid American internet term) who derives most of his income from drilling, I certainly do understand.

      Unfortunately, it’s the drilling that pays, not the shilling.

      And we drillers don’t like coal much because it’s a very efficient source of energy in direct competition with oil and gas .

      We don’t worry about “renewables” much because, apart from hydro which greens hate, and geothermal which means drilling (yay!), they are hopeless turkeys which are not genuine competitors.

      The objection is really that, as private citizens, we are paying for these hopeless turkeys to wreck the grid, ruin lives and dismantle healthy economies. Let’s hope our descendants have something better to depend on than the backwardness and ignorance of wind and solar.

      Nothing against the engineers involved in those two technologies. They do clever work and many also work in oil and gas. But they are not ideal technologies for anything except small-scale off-grid applications

      • ianl says:

        > “we are paying for these hopeless turkeys to wreck the grid, ruin lives and dismantle healthy economies”

        And no way back. Both major parties are tacitly agreed on this with minor squabbling over the rate of destruction. Vote (or not) how you will – the juggernaut is unstoppable.

        Btw, I do know what a tricone drill bit is :)

    • Clive says:

      The greenhouse effect of carbon dioxide is logarithmic not linear. That means the more you put in the less effect it has. It is already very low now. Carbon dioxide is a miniscule 3% of the atmosphere and humans produce just 1.4% of that.The major greenhouse gas is water vapor, 96% of greenhouse effect. Japan is building 45 new coal fired plants and 1500 are under construction or planned around the world. We have about 500 years of fossil fuels left in the ground and we should burn them if only to put the CO2 back in the atmosphere where it was before plants converted it into coal and gas. It was 7000 ppm then. During that time we can work on nuclear fusion. We don’t have to dramatically lower our standard of living to give the Left the UN IPCC’s world government and a socialist world.http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/images/stories/papers/originals/abdication.pdf

  4. Jody says:

    I think cars do a lot more environmental damage than people are willing to discuss or acknowledge. Could it be because people don’t want to modify their behaviour but want to be sufficiently ‘alert and alarmed’ by climate change? I say they should put their money where their mouths are. Same with the people over the road; a house the size of a school, no curtains on west-facing house (in the Hunter Valley) and air-conditioning running 24/7. He’s a pharmacy owner and very proud of his position on AGW!!

    My new car has no exhaust pipes – it expels water vapour. Why can’t all cars go this way? This would prevent the people from China choking and, instead, enjoying some quality of life.

    Perhaps this climate change discussion needs to revert to debates about how to clean up our own habitats.

    • ianl says:

      > “My new car has no exhaust pipes – it expels water vapour”

      So smug – what recharges the batteries, Jody ?

      And water vapour is a 5x more powerful GHG than CO2, both in its’ ability to absorb energy and its’ sheer atmospheric volume. This point has been made several times before but middle-class greenie sympathisers won’t take it onboard. So the propaganda just rolls on and on …

      • Ian MacDougall says:

        Water vapour is no problem for the atmosphere, which learned to purge itself rapidly of the stuff (as snow, rain, hail etc) before Adam was even a glint in God’s eye.
        But CO2 is another story.

  5. Keith Kennelly says:

    Jody who are you telling to put their money where their mouths are in relation to the environmental damage caused by cars is typical advice from the centrist educated elites.

    Let me explain to you why that sort of attitude has result in Brexit, Trump and the swing against the centrists in Australia.

    It is quite nuanced so you’ll need to be patient and concentrate.

    It is only the elites who can afford the newer and very expensive motor technology. And they can afford it because of the obscenely high salaries, inflated public service wages and self indulgent spruicking and support for each other.

    The deplorables can’t afford the new technologies but you the blame them for not modifying their behaviour. You call on them to become more aware of motor vehicle pollution to improve air quality in China, a place they can’t afford to visit and a place where you elites exported their jobs.

    So you blame them and ask why they don’t talk about cleaning up their (the deplorables) own habatits.

    Then you go on to talk about how your neighbour displays his wealth and wastes energy in his giant mansion when his wealth has been generated in a very elite control sector like pharmaceuticals. And of course that income in large part comes from their taxes subsidising the drugs. Ie they are paying for it.

    They also see you being envious of your neighbours huge mansion and they know that you probably live in an area in which there are many huge houses, probably including your own, which since you were a teacher they also probably subsidised, while they sit struggling trying to keep or buy their own very modest homes or units or in public housing or negatively geared rentals, owned by you elites,

    Do you understand the inequities in your story today and can you even try to understand how offensive you have been to them?

    Is it any wonder you hate Trump and Abbott and Hanson. They want to reinfect some equity into our communities whereas you elitists want to keep your snug little worlds of illigimately earned wealth and privilege.

  6. Keith Kennelly says:

    All in all very bourgeois and from you a lefty.

    Have you ever read Animal Farm?

    You ought to be thankful today’s revolution is being led by capitalists who believe in democracy; Trump, Abbott and Hanson rather than your ideological bedmates, the communist murderers from the 1900′s.

    You probably condemned Hanson for her position on immunisation, like all those he other elitists didn’t you?
    What was her position?

    She call the linking of immunisation to welfare payments reminesient of dictatorships.

    I call it dictatorial and discriminatory and unfair.

    Every deplorable understands why.

    You see Jody all the elites joined in the chorus condemning Hanson for saying parents should check and make up their own minds about immunisation. That’s a view I share but I’d add seek you medicos advice.

    So why wasn’t Hanson punished in the polls by her supporters, the deplorables?

    Simple really to the deplorables but not understood by the in depth and nuanced elites.

    You see Jody the deplorables see the elites punishing only those on welfare or who struggle to afford the gap in a doctors visit( another of those elite groups whose income is guaranteed by deplorables taxes).

    You see Jody they ask why are the elites punishing only those on welfare?
    Why aren’t they punishing those who aren’t on welfare but who refuse to immunise?
    Why are the elites collecting and collating the info on welfare recipients and doctors records but not on those who aren’t in welfare but who don’t immune.

    They ask why do the elites only assume it is only people on welfare who don’t agree with immunisation?

    They ask don’t you elites who exported our jobs and have left us underemployed realise you are punishing us for our poverty?

    I’ve heard commentator after commentator, interviewer after interviewer, interviewed after interviewed, expert after expert, centrist after centrist, all educated get up and condemn Hanson and yet not one voice raised any where pointing how despicably arrogrant and discrimatory is the policy of only punishing welfare recipients.

    You see I think Pauline Hanson probably went understood this but was not quite articulate enough to express it so well. Dictatorship stokes a chord with the deplorables as does the attitude of parental responsibility she expressed.

    Yet you elites read in depth and are nuanced. Why didn’t you see this?

    • Jody says:

      Take the rest of the week off. Please!!!

    • Ian MacDougall says:

      Keith:
      Before we go any further, let’s knock one little misbegotten word squarely on the head.
      An ‘elite’ according to the Oxford Living Dictionary is group that is: 1. A select group that is superior in terms of ability or qualities to the rest of a group or society, and/or
      1.1 A group or class of people seen as having the most power and influence in a society, especially on account of their wealth or privilege.
      eg ‘the country’s governing elite’
      So I put it to you that if anyone you perceive as a ‘lefty’ such as myself(!) or Jody(!!) falls into that class, the word has been robbed of all discriminatory meaning.
      While around this site, an ‘elite’ is any group containing one or more members with whom you or some other ‘conservative’ (however defined) has some philosophical disagreement, in the world at large the term is used somewhat differently.

      https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/elite

  7. Keith Kennelly says:

    Lesson too hard for you? Jody.

  8. Keith Kennelly says:

    Why Jody do you need to tell independent free thinking adults what to do?

    That’s what you elites have been doing for 30 years now and look at the mess it has put us in.

    Debt, deficit, an elite with a sense of entitlement, centrist cowards dominating our politics, and two classes of Australians.

    And you tell me to go away when I confront you and your ilk with the truth.

    That’s why you’ve been so wrong about Trump and all the rest and will go on being wrong wrong wrong.

  9. Keith Kennelly says:

    Look at the abuse you heap on me? Causitry; clever and clear thinking yes, sophistry no.Why can’t you debate the points made.

    Haven’t you the facts or intelligence to debate or contest my point of view?

    Is it easier for you just to ignore my point of view and tell me to go away?

    Now that would be typical.